Sunday, September 28, 2014

Familial Reflections

Let me say this, I LOVE all my family...and both my families...

There is a family for which experience, law and genetics determines a common past. There is also a family for which the blood of Jesus and unifying work of the Holy Spirit determines a common future. It's a huge blessing to know and walk with people who are in both.

I identify with my genetic family; and, I love them. More so, I identify with my spiritual family. Jesus said, "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50 ESV)

When it comes to my spiritual family, we're on mission together. It's not about where genealogy connects us, but where the Spirit is sending us. Like I said, I love it when those two families are one and the same. I have NOTHING but love for both families. Get that, and don't miss it: I have nothing but love for BOTH families.

In Matthew 12, Jesus lays down a confrontational view of family. Read vss. 46-50; Jesus's mom and brothers are wanting to talk to him, but Jesus makes the radical statement above: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (v. 50)

He basically says there is family, but there is also FAMILY. In other words, there is the family that comes through genetics, and there is spiritual family. Jesus asserts that His spiritual family has his attention first.

Wow...that's putting it right in our face!

Is Jesus telling us to put our physical family in the backseat? Well... wrestle with that. Read Matthew 15:3-9; God would have us love our family and honor our mothers and fathers. What He IS saying is that believers must count their family tie to Him as more important than family ties to anyone else. Luke 14:26 reveals the entirety of the tension we believers are to live in. Honor our mom and dad, yes. Love our family, yes. Take care of our families, yes. But, Jesus first. Jesus first. JESUS FIRST!

That creates tension! Do you hear me? Tension! Tension pulls both ways!
I love both my families, but I must hold Jesus as the highest thing in my heart. I must DEEPLY value the people of God.

As I studied the Scriptures tonight, one thing I need to be reminded of tonight is to remember that God picks my spiritual family, not me. HE is adding to the family, not me. He brings them in, not me. He saves them, not me. He loves them more than me. Then, God expects ME to love who He saves! God expects those whom He saves to do as He commands. AND, THAT is how I'll know who my spiritual family is!

Blood tests work both ways, right? We get a blood sample, and take it to a doctor; it gets analyzed and we find out if genetics truly do connect us. The Church gets a blood sample, too. Whoever is under the blood does the Father's will!

There are some words of challenge, instruction or exhortation for someone here...
#1 Someone needed to be reminded to treasure Christ above everyone and everything.
#2 Someone needed to be reminded to treasure those Jesus also cherishes, the Church (and the church). Those who do the will of God are your future and forever family! Think on that!
#3 Someone needed to be reminded to honor their mom and dad and walk in love with their family.
#4 Someone needed to be reminded to make the mission of the King the prime goal of their lives.
#5 Someone, like me, needed to be reminded to love those God adds to the family, not just the ones we'd add if it were up to us.
#6 Someone needed to be reminded what Jesus says about being in His spiritual family. Yes, His shed blood is the only way to come into His family, and the only proper response is to let Him do with our life as He pleases.

Honestly, I needed to be reminded of all of it. Like all things in the Scriptures, it rattles me, but like He always does, Jesus delights me. Which, again, reminds me to put Him first.

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