Summary: The church is the family of God. WE ARE FAMILY! ~ And our #1 family value is: LOVE! Let’s be the family God has called us to be and learn to love each other.
WE ARE FAMILY
A pastor had had a bad week. On Sunday he was very frustrated and he began his sermon, "Everyone who belongs to this church is going to hell if they don’t change their ways."
One man in the back began to laugh. So the pastor said it again louder. The man continued to laugh. The pastor went back to him and asked him why he was laughing. He answered, "Because I don’t belong to this church!"
KEY TEXT: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).
The church is the family of God. WE ARE FAMILY! ~ And our #1 family value is: LOVE!
What is love?
A PROFILE OF THE FAMILY OF GOD:
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always "me first," Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, Message Bible).
JOKE: A small boy was sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later he said: "Da-ad...." "What?" "I’m thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?" "No. You had your chance. Lights out." Five minutes later: "Da-ad..." "WHAT?" "I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water?" "I told you NO!" If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!!" Five minutes later: "Da-ad..." "WHAT!" "When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"
THE BIBLE ON FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS:
“It is not good that man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18).
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
~ WE ARE FAMILY! Not only does God want us to love each other, but He wants us to help each other, too!
There’s a difference between a genuine relationship with God and religion.
There’s a difference between the family of God and the family of the Pharisee.
A PROFILE OF THE PHARISEE: Are YOU a Pharisee?
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first…" Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11).
The Pharisee says: The law! Kill! Condemn! That’s religion!
Jesus says: Grace! Life! Forgiveness! That’s the family of God!
Religion: “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Matt. 23:4).
The Family of God: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (Matthew 11:28, Message).
“Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?" That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. "I took on the troubles of the troubled," is the way Scripture puts it...” (Romans 15:2-3, Message).