Reference:  1 Thessalonians 2:5-12

Your Blessing of Being Included in God’s Family – Paul compares love for the church with the love of a mother and a father.  These are family relationships.  The actual phrase, “The family of God” doesn’t appear in the Bible, but there are dozens of verses that refer to the church as a family.  God’s family is forever family.  We become a part of His family here on earth; after we die, we’re still part of God’s family in heaven.  There are two primary blessings we receive from being a part of God’s family:

1)  We Share a Relationship With The Same Father

     A biological family traditionally is defined by blood origins and common ancestry.  Jesus gave a new definition for a new kind of family:  God’s family – Mark 3:31-34

2) We Share Fellowship With Our Siblings

     At the beginning of the church a very strange thing began to happen.  The people who followed Jesus began to refer to each other as brother and sister, although they were not related at all.  Pretty soon most of them were not of the same race.

Your Opportunity For Serving In God’s Family – As there are many blessing we receive from being in God’s family, there are also responsibilities.  Three important opportunities are in this passage:

1)  Like Gentle Mothers, We Care For Each Other

     The word “gentle” was used of a protective mother nursing her children.  It was a word that was used to describe how a mother hen covered her chicks with her wings.  It’s the word Jesus used when He wept over Jerusalem in Matthew 23.  He said, “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.”

2)  Like Hard Workers ,We Serve Each Other

    Paul was careful to point out that he wasn’t a financial burden to the church.  He carried his own weight.  There is a problem that existed in Paul’s day and it still exists.  There are people who use religion or faith as a means to get rich.  There is heresy going around today called the prosperity gospel, by which preachers tell people to give money to their ministry and they will get rich as a result.  In the church we serve one another.  We aren’t here to see what we can get.  We’re here to see how we can give.  Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

3)  Like Loving Fathers, We Encourage Each Other

     Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches us that the main reason we gather together as the church is to encourage one another.  Like God did with Jesus when He said “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am please…” (Matthew 3:17).  He was saying “I love you.”  That’s the best way to encourage the church.

The church isn’t perfect because it is filled with imperfect people, but we serve a perfect Savior.  The church isn’t a club; it isn’t an institution; it isn’t an organization; it’s a family.  Everybody needs a family.  Whether you’re young, old, single or married, you need a spiritual family.

 

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