Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Family Business

When Jesus instructed his followers to refer to God as our Father, he was revealing something fundamental to our understanding of our relationship with him and with each other. You see God is all about family, and if you don't understand God's idea of family you will never fully enjoy your relationship with him, and what is more you will never enjoy the benefits of being part of his family.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,Philippians 1:3-5New King James Version (NKJV)
There is a Greek word used a number of times in the New Testament which is key to understanding our new relationship with Christ and our relationship with his family - the church. That word is koinonia. In various places it is translated as communion, community, contribution, fellowship and partnership.  It describes a shared faith, shared life, shared resources and a shared mission. In other words a people who are really joined together with their God and with each other, and pursuing the same purpose.

The image that Jesus gave us to help us in our understanding of this was the Lord's table, and upon it one loaf and one cup. In fact the Lord's table is the only piece of furniture mentioned in the New Testament church. No altars, no pews, no candles or other special equipment, just a table with some bread and some wine which is surrounded by God's family. In this family there is deep and meaningful relationship, which expresses itself in love, joy, peace, forgiveness and mutual support on life's journey. In this family it is no longer all about me and my needs, it is about looking to the needs of others first.

Growing up in a family where I was one of five children meant that there was sometimes tension and the odd skirmish (as there is in every family), but I was never lonely,there was always someone to talk to.The scriptures tell us that God places the lonely in families, and in his family there should be no loneliness. In the successes and failures of life I always knew that my family were with me, spurring me on and proud of me when I did well. In God's family the same should be true, that every member is for each other's success and progress in all things, even if it means surpassing them in certain things. Whenever I really messed up and got into trouble, I never doubted that my family still loved me or that I would find forgiveness and restoration. Again, the same should be true in God's family for as he forgives, so he instructs us to forgive also.

In God's family we are all called to be part of the family business - reaching the whole world with the good news and making disciples of all nations.In the family business there are a number of jobs to be done and thankfully there are different skills and gifts in order to ensure success in the overall mission. Everyone has a share in the company no matter how menial their own position seems to be, and therefore everyone can share in the ultimate reward. That means that we must work together and support our brothers and sisters in their roles, because we are all working towards the same end.

Ephesians 3:15
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Psalms 68:6
Romans 12:8
James 5:19-20

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dave for the encouragement.