Day 5: God’s Functional Family

1 John 3:1-2 (NIV)
1 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.

“At the core of the functional family is our Triune God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The church family orbits around our Triune God, receiving life and light. Everything flows from God to God’s family. Our culture tries to make the human family the center of everything. When everything revolves around us, relationships that rely on human effort and human wisdom alone result in dysfunction. We must get caught in the gravitational pull of God’s family, revolving around God himself. God himself must be the source that drives all our relationships. God’s healing and order for our own family will result from being caught in the greater gravitational pull of God’s family.” [P Ed’s message.]

Through Jesus we have been rescued and set free. We can live not just for our own lives and families, but something far greater and worthwhile. We are to live for God and his love, heart, and mission for God’s family.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love lavished on us, calling us children of God. May our church family grow and flourish. May our ministries grow and flourish. May there be new salvations and healings. May our biological families flourish as we center our lives around you and God’s family. May you receive all the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship and sing to “Behold (Then Sings My Soul)” by Hillsong Worship (click here).

-AS

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Day 4: Dearly Loved Children

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Romans 8:14 (NIV)
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

“Out of this comes the phrase ‘Spirit-led’ to portray those who are particularly effective for God. Not only does this mean that the saints are guided by the Spirit as they make daily decisions, but it also has global force. These people are led by the Spirit in terms of career, choosing a life partner, and other major events in their life. This is how we define the victorious Christian life: the extent to which the Spirit is directing our actions is the extent to which we are progressing in our sanctification. The more we determine our own direction, the more we are failing the Triune Godhead…Being led by the Spirit is not the basis of salvation but proof that salvation has taken place.” [Grant Osborne. Romans: Verse by Verse.]

As dearly loved children of God, we are to continually seek to be filled with the Spirit of God. We are called to bear our Heavenly Father’s image. We are called to live a life filled with his love in the footsteps of Jesus. Let us offer and surrender our daily decisions and big life decisions to our Heavenly Father in worship.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in response to your love, we give our lives as a living sacrifice. We trust and surrender every part of our lives to you. Fill us with the Holy Spirit. May we be Spirit led in our decisions. Empower us today to live our lives filled with your love, following the footsteps of Jesus. May you receive the glory from our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship and sing to “Holy Forever” by Chris Tomlin (click here). 

-AS

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Day 3: Pastor Parents

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

“In liturgical worship, a minister or priest sometimes faces the people, and sometimes faces the altar. The significance of the two stances is this: he faces the people when he speaks to the people on behalf of God; he faces the altar when he speaks to God on behalf of the people. These two stances symbolize the two basic functions of a priest: to represent God to the people, and to represent the people to God.

Father! Mother! God has called you to be priests unto your children. Through that priesthood, Jesus will enter into the life and experience of your home. And already here upon earth, you and your children will experience a foretaste of heaven. ‘For this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent’ (John 17:3).” [Larry Christenson. The Christian Family.]

As biological and spiritual parents to our children in our families, ministries, and churches, we are called to be pastor parents. We are called to present God to our biological and spiritual children. We are called to present our biological and spiritual children to God through the ministry of prayer and intercession.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we seek your presence in our homes, in our ministries, and in our church. We present our biological and spiritual children to you. May they encounter you and have faith beyond their years. May they become servants of the Lord. All for your glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship and sing to I Speak Jesus by Charity Gayle (click here).

-AS

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Day 2: One Family

Let us proclaim the following out loud together:

The Cape Town Commitment: We Love the People of God
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-coloured 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 Saviour who loved them and gave himself for them.

Ephesians 3:14-15 (NIV)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

We are part of God’s one family. Let’s pray for our churches from Ephesians 3:16-20 (NIV).

Prayer: “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

Thank you, Heavenly Father. May you receive all the glory in our churches. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s pray, worship and sing to “Hands To The Heavens” by Kari Jobe (click here).

-AS

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Day 1: Children in God’s Family

Let us proclaim these verses out loud together:

Galatians 3:26-27 (NIV)
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Romans 8:14-16 (NIV)
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

“This baptism means Christians’ new parent is God the Father (‘Abba!’ cries Paul.) Their new siblings are other Christians. Their new name or most fundamental identity is simply ‘Christian’ – one of those who know Jesus as Lord and determiner of their existence. And their new inheritance is freedom, community and resources provided a hundred-fold…Thus Paul’s talk of adoption means that conversion is profound and thoroughgoing. Conversion creates a new person…It involves nothing short of resocialization. The biological family…is no longer the primary source of identity, support and growth.” [Rodney Clapp. Families at the Crossroads.]

We have been baptized into Christ and “born again” into a new identity. The Spirit testifies we have been adopted by God and are his children. We have God as our Heavenly Father. We are part of the Heavenly Father’s family. This is who we are!

Prayer: Abba, Father, thank you for the new identity we have in Jesus. Our old selves have died and we are made new. May we be deeply assured and certain we are children of God and loved by you. May those in our churches from the youngest to the oldest have encounters with you to deeply know they are children in God’s family. May you receive the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship and sing to “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship (click here).

-AS

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