Summary: The importance of the various family members to use their spiritual gifts

1 Cor. 12.12-27 “Functioning Family”

1. In order for a family of God to be a functional family, first, we must find a family. We can’t be a part of the family of God at home by ourselves. We have to find a family, then, we join that family at events like worship when we gather together to worship the Heavenly Father remembering that worship is for Him; remembering that our goal as individuals and as the family of God is to magnify the Father. Then we leave the worship experience with the heart and the passion of Jesus Christ to go out and to share God’s love with the world. We gather to worship and leave as models and examples of what it means to be a Christ follower. We leave to be salt and light to our part of the world. We won’t perhaps have a first hand influence on non-believers in India, or Pakistan, or Uruguay, but we can have an impact on the people within our circle of influence, our brothers, our sisters, our moms and dads, our children and grandchildren, our friends, and co-workers, and sometimes even on someone we just happen to meet. The two, three, or four whose hands we help find the door to God.

2. And when we do that in the right way, when we love people as Christ loved, when we find ways to share with those we know God’s grace and love and mercy, they become Christ followers and they want to find a family as well and it may be that many of those we share Christ with will want to be a part of your family because they saw the love of God through you. And as we discovered last week, our family photo of what the church might look like as we continue to do this is a church that grows and grows as God gives the growth. As God allows our seed planting and our seed watering to turn into a harvest, we will see growth. And the photo we took last week of what our family could look like was pretty awesome. A church that was growing and healthy and that was reaching out to people to share the love of Jesus Christ.

3. But what happens as the family of God grows, or more specifically, what happens as this family of God grows? Well, let me just tell you, by way of personal illustration.

4. When Kolaya and I began our ministry in our last two churches, it was just us. Her and I. We could get up and go just about anywhere we wanted whenever we wanted. And we pretty much did. But as we became foster parents, and as Illinois’ department of children and family services began to bring children into our home, our family grew and so did our responsibilities. And it wasn’t as easy to just get up and go. And it took a bit longer to get loaded up. Especially, as we began to realize that Chelsey, Myles, and Austin were a part of God’s plan for our family. We knew that they were going to be in our house for more than just a brief period of time, but that they would become our children.

5. What this meant as our family grew this way was more laundry, more trash, more dirty dishes, more beds to be made, more food to buy. In essence, what we realized was that as our family grew, so did the work. And then as Hannah, Rachel and Joel came along, that work was increased to diapers to change, more laundry to do, more food to feed, more and more and more work. And as all of our children have gotten older we have been able to request their assistance around the house to help do some of the work.

6. And I just want to tell you that we have wonderful children. All of our children are what I think may very well be the best children. No offense to your children because I know you think yours are good. But mine are better. I say that because whenever we ask our children to do work around the house, they instantly drop what they are doing, and say, “right away” and they do it and they do it right the first time. They always pick up after themselves and put things away when they are done with them. Always. They practically volunteer to help us out. Sometimes it gets so bad that we have to tell our children to stop trying to be so helpful and to stop trying to do each other’s chores. That’s how good they are.

7. How many of you think I might be stretching the truth a bit? You got me. That’s exactly right. Just like you, my children are normal children who would rather play and laugh than do any work. They avoid work. They avoid doing their chores and when they do them, sometimes we get to invite them to come back and redo the work again. And sometimes we have to remind them that they are a part of our family and that as a part of the family, there are certain jobs they have responsibility to do and in order for the family to function like it ought to, we need everybody to do what they can so that no one is doing everyone else’s job. So that no one does all the work while everyone else sits around. Together Everyone Accomplishes More – TEAM.

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