Summary: Message regarding how to show love to the family of God.
Developing a Passion for the Family of God
January 23, 2005
Families are pretty neat, in my opinion. Some are better than others, there’s no question about that, but overall, I’m pretty glad families exist.
And I hope you are, because you wouldn’t even exist if there weren’t families!
Families were God’s idea, did you know that? He invented them - right in the garden of Eden. He brought Eve to Adam and said, "Here you go. No go forth and multiply."
There are two main types of family: a biological family, and a spiritual family, made up of all who call on the name of Jesus.
Now that’s a pretty huge family, and it’s made up of all sorts of different people.
Red, yellow, black, and white, big, small, short, tall, good-looking, ugly, and in-between.
God is passionate about both types of families. He gives lots of instructions for how to raise a biological family to love God.
And He gives lots of instructions about how to treat the members of the spiritual family, the family of God.
In the spiritual family, we have a Father, and we have a brother. That’s what the Bible calls Jesus. Look with me at Hebrews 2:11 -
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Hey - any perfect people in here today? No? And you know what’s cool about that? In spite of the fact that you’re not perfect, Jesus still calls himself your brother.
I just mentioned that the Bible gives lots of direction regarding how we should treat members of the family of God, but the Scripture that sticks out to me the most is this on - Galatians 6:10 - please read this aloud with me.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
That kinda puts it in a nutshell. We are to treat the family of believers like members of our own family - we are to love them.
And when we are in love with the family of God, we can then experience fellowship to its fullest extent.
Jesus says that one of the ways we show our love for him is to show our love for his family.
We read this in our bulletin this morning before our first hymn -
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
You look at a lot of churches today, and you see the pettiness and backbiting that goes on, and you’ll see that it’s no wonder they are not having an impact for Jesus.
So today I want to discuss some ways to enhance the fellowship of the family of God.
And in doing that, I want you to keep a couple things in mind. First, think of these things in terms of a biological family, how you would like to see your family at home treated.
And also think about how you would like to be treated by other members of the family.
I think that’ll help in getting a better grasp on these things.
Let’s dig in and look at how we can develop a passion for the family of God, and enhance that fellowship He so dearly wants us to experience. First...
1. Treat each other with respect.
Respect is one of the hallmarks of society, not to mention one of the hallmarks of the family of God.
Respect is highly prized. People are liked for showing respect, and sometimes killed for not showing it.
And I would guess that everyone here likes to be respected and doesn’t like being disrespected.
Well, Jesus addresses that here in Matthew 7:12 -
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Most of us have grown up hearing that time and time again, but how does it really impact what you do about it? Are you really just as ready to show respect as you are to desire it from others?
If not, that’s not Christlike. We are to show it the same way we want it. That just makes sense, doesn’t it?
What is the basis of this respect? It’s that each person is a unique creation of God himself, made in his image, and for his purposes.
No matter what a person does or says, it doesn’t change this most basic fact.
And so in all our dealings, we need to keep this in mind - when we’re dealing with another person, we’re dealing with the image of God.
It may be majorly tarnished in the life of that person, but it’s there nonetheless.