Ephesians 6:1, 4 (NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right… Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The biblical purpose and plan behind the love, the fellowship, the forgiveness, the Christocentric living that occurs in the family of God, is for the sake of living out God’s mission and to be trained and equipped for every good work (Ephesians 4:12). This biblical view of the church family reorients and enhances how our “biological” families are to be viewed and function, for our biological families are to emulate God’s family. Therefore, the primary objective in our biological families is to see one another being raised and trained in the life of worship and discipleship. Even for our extended families, they will hear of God’s blessing and favor in our lives, opening the doors for God’s truth to be exposed to them.
“John Chrysostom, 5th C pastor from Constantinople. In preaching about how to have healthy families, he says to think about the family like a ‘small church,’ or micro-church. And he talks about setting up two tables in the home—a table for food and a table for teaching. As a married couple or as parents, not only do we provide meals in the home, but we have to see ourselves as providers of God’s word, nourishing the household with spiritual food as well as natural… This nurturing and formation within the family, the ‘micro-church,’ equips its members to bring goodness into their spheres of influence—school, work, communities, etc.” (P. Jason Park)
Prayer: Father, we ask that our homes will be places where prayer, discipleship, and biblical love are taught and fleshed out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song Always Enough by Kari Jobe (click here).
John 17:20-21 (NIV) 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
“The church is God’s most important institution on earth. The church is the social agent that most significantly shapes and forms the character of Christians. And the church is the primary vehicle of God’s grace and salvation for a waiting, desperate world… It is no accident that Gerhard Lohfink uses the language of kinship and describes the body of Christ as ‘the new family of God.’ With the coming of the kingdom—a kingdom that manifests itself physically as well as spiritually, socially as well as individually, and in the present as well as in the future—Jesus creates a new family. It is the new first family, a family of his followers that now demands primary allegiance. In fact, he demands allegiance even over the old first family, the biological family. Those who do the will of the Father (who, in other words, live under the reign of God) are now brothers and sisters of Jesus and one another.” (Rodney Clapp)
Prayer: Father, may we live in the mission you have given us—to preach, teach, disciple, and baptize others into your church. We ask for your empowering, grace and passion to continue in your mission as your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song Mission’s Flame by Matt Redman (click here).
Ephesians 3:14-16 (NIV) 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being
To call God “Father,” is to say that all and every understanding of fatherhood is to be derived from God! The intimacy, the care, the belonging, the security, the protection and provision, it all comes from our Father God. Hence, to belong to God’s family is to first know God relationally as the Father. This brings much healing and transformation, as it says in Psalm 68 “God is the father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.” This is what every person in Christ has to hear and experience; the Lord saying “I am you father. You are mine, and I am yours. You belong to me, you are of me, and you will also be with me.” For we were all fatherless at one point without Christ in our lives, but now we are the children of God.
Today, may we relate with God as the Father who knows us, loves us, and fathers us.
Prayer: Father, we come before you as your beloved children. May we walk and grow as your children in obedience and faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song Who you say I am by Hillsong (click here).
Romans 8:15 (NLT) – 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6 (NLT) – 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
To know God’s salvation is synonymous to being adopted as the children of God. This is an incredible reality! To consider that those who were once marked for condemnation are now called the children of God! We are now marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit—we are blessed, favored, and heaven bound!
The idea of adoption is that even though you don’t share the same DNA, you are embraced and given the status of a child (in its fullest sense). Today’s passages show that receiving the Holy Spirit makes us the children of God in its fullest sense. Ephesians 1:3 expresses this truth by declaring “we have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ,” meaning that every blessing, every favor of God in its fullest sense is given to us. We are no longer strangers, orphans, or the fatherless. We are the children of God, and that is what we are!
Prayer: Father, we thank you for adoption into your family, as those who have received your Spirit into our hearts. May we grow in love, obedience, and intimacy with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song No Longer Slaves by Bethel (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following confession, passage, and prayer:
Cape Town Commitment Jesus calls all his disciples together to be one family among the nations, a reconciled fellowship in which all sinful barriers are broken down through his reconciling grace. This Church is a community of grace, obedience and love in the communion of the Holy Spirit, in which the glorious attributes of God and gracious characteristics of Christ are reflected and God’s multi-colored wisdom is displayed. As the most vivid present expression of the kingdom of God, the Church is the community of the reconciled who no longer live for themselves, but for the Savior who loved them and gave himself for them.
1 John 3:1-3 NIV See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the great love that you have lavished on us, that we should be called your children, for that is who we are! We also thank you for the blessing of belonging to your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “How Great is Your Love” by Passion (click here).