Family has been the foundation of communities and societies from the beginning of time. That is how humanity has organized itself. But the truth is, family was God’s idea. God invented the family. Before He called together a faith community, before there was the church, God used family to accomplish his purposes. And I believe family is still the primary vehicle that God uses to accomplish his purposes. Therefore, family matters.
As we troll through the first book in the Bible it traces a family line that will be used to bless “all the peoples on earth” (Gen12:3). From Abraham’s household, to Isaac’s family, to Jacob’s tree branch, and then on his deathbed Jacob prophetically declares that out of Judah’s tribe (one of his 12 sons) would come the Messiah (Gen.49:10).
And here’s another thing: the good news is that God can use imperfect families! Whew! That means that none of us are beyond hope for usefulness to God! As you read through the stories of the families God worked through towards the end of blessing all peoples on earth, you will shake your head at the dysfunction you see! From incest to rape to deception to favouritism to murder, only God in his Sovereignty could still work through that to accomplish his purposes! Incredible!
In the New Testament we read a lot of family language that is applied to the people of God. For example, Eph.2:9- “So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. ” Everybody has a standing invitation to become part of the family of God through belief and obedience to Jesus Christ. Can you imagine being part of a better family than a family whose head is the Creator and King of the Universe! Our Heavenly Father loves us and desires to lead and guide and care for us, if we would just allow him to! He has plans and purposes for us. His family is found in every country of the world and is ever expanding. It spans every culture and there is room for you!
One last thought on God and family. You may belong to what you consider a great biological family. Thank God for that. However, don’t let your biological family exclude you from the family of God. God created and designed you for relationship with Him. As a result you cannot experience true and complete fulfillment apart from your Heavenly Father and your brothers and sisters in Christ. Think on that and how it plays out in your life.
This month at Riverbend we are preaching through the theme of “Family Of God” and we will take 3 more weeks to further explore what that entails, the privileges and the responsibilities.