Saturday, November 20, 2010



Do you know how important the church is to God? Well, the Bible says that Jesus gave His life for the Church and that right now He is preparing a place for the Church so that when He comes back one day, He can take everyone who is a part of the Church to heaven to live with Him. It sounds like the Church is pretty important don’t you think?

Well, as important as the Church is, can you guess what is perhaps more important to God? Wait … let me tell you – It’s the family! That’s right!

Did you know that God created the family before He created the Church?

Family means different things to different people, but to God family is relationships and family is God’s will.

Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families …

The Bible says that God sets the solitary in families. Indeed, there are several ways in which people can become family. One way is to be born into a family biologically. That is what happens each time a baby is born. The “birth mother” and “birth father” are called biological parents.

Another way people become family is through marriage. When a man marries a woman, her family becomes his family and his family becomes her family. This is one of the ways God grows and interconnects families in the earth. Once we are married, the commandment of God to honor our father and mother extends to the mother and father of our husband or wife. Since marriage makes two people one, that oneness is intended to express God’s will, including the honoring of our spouse’s parents.

It’s the same principle when a widowed or divorced parent remarries another person. The covenant of marriage includes the responsibility that when a man marries a woman who already has children, he becomes not only her husband but also a father to the children. It is the same when a woman marries a man who already has children; she assumes the role and responsibilities of being a mother to her new family.

In these situations however, it is not only the parents’ responsibility to build family, but also every child’s responsibility to accept this new person into the family and into the role to which life has called them.

Remember: Family is relationships and family is God’s will.

Did I already mention that family takes work?

Yet another way we can become family is through adoption. When God sees children in need He looks for a family to adopt them. Even though adoption is a process seemingly decided by the courts, most often adoption is initiated and adjudicated in heaven. Adoption may include lawyers and judges, but adoption actually happens in the hearts of parents, children and other extended family members.

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

This is how we all become children of God. The born again experience grants us rights of adoption into God’s family and even makes us heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, God’s only biological, or only begotten Son.

Romans 8:15 … you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

Adoption gives a child someone to call family. And, by the way, adoption does not have to pass the muster of the courts or be legal to be real. Again, adoption happens in the heart and what makes the family is relationship. Many people are spiritually adopted into a family long after they are past the age of adulthood.

Suffice it to say that without regard as to how people become family, family takes work and family is worth working for. It is God’s will that everyone work on being family and that everyone help the family to be better, stronger and happier.

When it is all said and done, family offers us the most important relationships we will ever have. And, when God has finished His whole work and fulfilled all His will on planet Earth, all that God will have to show for His hard, untiring work, is family.

In fact, Family is all God ever wanted, and it’s everything He’s working for!

When we think of family, we often see the perfect picture of family that God first intended. However, something unfortunate happened to God’s family and He is having to work to rebuild it.

God’s picture of family includes parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, uncles and aunts, cousins and nieces and nephews, and brothers and sisters, and great aunts and great grandmothers, and so on and so forth. That’s the family picture God gave us for our natural families. However, for the family of God in heaven – we see God, our Father; Jesus, our older Brother and Friend; and then so many other brothers and sisters, each one welcoming the next new one who is born again and adopted into the family.

When God decided that people on earth would be born as babies who can’t walk, can’t talk, and can’t eat or hardly do anything by themselves, He decided to give each child someone to guide them, take care of them and teach them while they grow up.

Do you know that God designed life so that no child could be born without parents? And, even when something unfortunate or unexpected happens to a family, God still intends for every boy and each girl to grow up under the supervision of someone who loves them, takes care of them and makes sure that they all learn the things necessary for a good and productive life.

Many family tragedies are beyond our control and even if we do contribute to a family failure, yet we must recover ourselves and not stop believing in family. That’s what God did … God still believes in family and family is still God’s will for every person … even after the unfortunate tragedies which sometimes tear families apart. Don’t stop believing in family – God didn’t!

In the picture perfect world of family, God gave commandments to moms and dads which instructs them to guide their children in the ways of the Lord. And as well, God gave commandments to every child that they should listen to, honor and obey their parents.

I want us to take the next few minutes and look at some of the life principles children are to learn from their parents.

There are so many life principles we could discuss today and we could go on for hours, but this morning I have chosen only 5 Simple, Common Sense Rules of Life which God taught to His Children through Moses. I imagine you already know these but I often go over them to reinforce their continued value in my life and family.

So, if you wish you can follow along with the scriptures on the big screen or you can turn in your bibles to the book of Exodus … we will begin with our first life principle in chapter 22 and then go on to chapter 23 for 4 more life principles.

Again, these are 5 simple, common sense rules of life and community.

Life Principle #1:
Be Responsible

Exodus 22
14 And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good.
15 If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire.

Life Principle #2:
Don’t Lie For Your Friends

Exodus 23
1 You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Life Principle #3:
Don’t Follow The Wrong Crowd

Exodus 23
2 You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.

Life Principle #4:
Be No Respecter Of Persons

Exodus 23
3 You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute.

Life Principle #5:
Do Good And Help Everyone Who Needs

Exodus 23
4 If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.

Remember, today we looked at 5 simple, common sense principles of life and talked about family and the fact that everyone: parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins … everyone … is responsible to build relationships within and among the family.

God ordained the family before He ordained the Church. And you are the family. It may not be the family you would have chosen, but it may be all the family you have to work with … and … you might be all the family others have as well. Who knows why God does what He does? --- However, your responsibility at this point is to work with what He gives you!

Family is relationships – Be a little more like God and work on yours while you can!