Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Families really matter to God! God wants to help our families and help us as individuals. He wants to heal our brokenness and dysfunction and teach us to love the way He does. And this is only possible if we become a member of His family.

Family Matters

Intro: A man saw a very attractive girl while awaiting his flight at the airport. He approached her and asked, “Hey. Is there any chance you’d go out on a date with a guy like me?” She said, “Well, anything’s possible. I might.”

So he asked her, "What kind of guy are you interested in?"

“Well, to tell you the truth" , she said, "I really like to go out with native Americans, because they have rugged good looks and chiseled facial features.”

“But then again, I also like to go out with Jewish men, because they are usually very well off financially and I love their culture and their great traditions.”

“But I guess my favorite, if I had to pick a favorite, would be country boys. I really love country boys.”

And she said, “By the way, what's your name?”

He said, "My name is Geronimo Bernstein but you can call me Bubba!"

-What’s in a name? How important is your last name to you? I remember hearing both good things and some not-so-good things about those Opperman kids. One time in particular I was working on my car and whatever I was doing required a few gentle taps with a hammer. One kid walked by and said, “Yeah, that’s how an Opperman fixes a car – with a hammer.” For some reason, the idea bothered me that my family might be viewed as incompetent by the rest of the town. Whether it was true or not didn’t matter. I just didn’t want the family name to be laughed at or mocked.

-Now I realize that there are all kinds of families. Large, small, biological, adoptive, foster, 2-parent, single parent, single parent bereaved, single parent divorced, blended, domestic partnership families, couples with no kids, empty nesters, extended families sharing a home, etc.

-The word Family is often used to describe a group of people who may be biologically unrelated, but share their lives together and help one another along. There are even some work places that refer to the employees as a family.

-When I pray with Zoe at bedtime, we always ask God to bless and help our church family, and our town family. We really try to view every person in our community as part of a family, regardless of who they are or what they do. The important thing is that we want each one of them to come to know Jesus and find out what they were created for.

-So, regardless of what your family name or background is, you belong to a larger family called the human race. God is our Father, our Creator, and He desires to bring us all home some day for the greatest family reunion ever! Unfortunately, not everybody wants to belong to God’s family. Some aren’t sure He even exists, so they have no reason to join someone’s family until they know He exists. But God has been showing humans who He is since the beginning of this world. It’s just that many of them refused to listen and instead plotted their own course in life. It is almost like a child saying, “I don’t need my parents, and I never want to see them again.” And while I’m sure that hurt God deeply, believe me when I say that He is not moping around heaven feeling sorry for Himself. No, He is actively seeking out those who really long to be part of His family. He sent His Divine Son, Jesus, to seek and save those who were lost and looking for a family to belong to. God sent His most precious family member to us so that we could become family members too! We will never be divine, but we can find where we belong, and to whom we belong. We can be called sons and daughters of God – part of God’s family!

-Now, here’s what I’d like to do for the next few minutes. In your bulletin you will find 5 purposes for the Christian Life Center family. I want to look at these from a family perspective. I truly believe that families really matter to God! God wants to help our families and help us as individuals. He wants to heal our brokenness and dysfunction and teach us to love the way He does. And this is only possible if we become a member of His family. So let’s look at these 5 endeavors that help identify God’s family at CLC.

1. Worship

-Honoring our divine parents by interacting with them through praise, adoration, prayer, giving, and a lifestyle of obedience. By “divine parents” I simply mean the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There is no mother depicted in the Godhead. Yet, the whole concept of motherhood came from God, so we can safely conclude that God meets the needs of both Father and Mother to us. Psalm 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Understand that God is the epitome of masculinity, yet His masculinity does not preclude His tender care and nurture of His children. Jesus compared His love for Israel and Jerusalem to the protecting care a mother hen gives her chicks – “How I have longed to gather you together like a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not” (Matt. 23:37).

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