The Church as a Family
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching” (THE MESSAGE).
Believers in Jesus need to learn how to encourage one another toward love and helping each other out. The word “encourage” ( paroxysm ) means stimulating strongly; arousing, or inciting a riot. We need to stimulate each other in two areas according to this passage:
- Love: not an emotional reaction but a thoughtful choice to act regardless of our feelings.
- Helping out: works are done for the good of others and which attract others to Christ.
Because we are a family, we must not give up gathering together. Because of the pandemic, we have gotten into the habit of not going to the Church, attending small groups, or serving one another.
God did not design believers in Jesus to be independent or walk the “Christian life” alone. God created believers to be a community that lives and works as a team, encouraging each other.
Our withdrawal from this corporate strength is a disaster. Alone we become a target for the prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8) to take us down. We must protect, encourage, love, strengthen, challenge, and pray for one another (and more).
This passage teaches us that this encouragement should happen all the more as you see the Day approaching. This day (Christ’s return) is guaranteed; Christ will return. As Christians, we need to live as if the Lord will come back at any moment.
Therefore we need to make it our disciplined practice to attend Church regularly! To neglect attending Church is to give up the encouragement, help, and support of other Christians. We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord. This happens best when we breathe the same air together. But we have been given a spirit of the fear of breathing the same air together.
We have started a dangerous practice of social distancing, texting, emailing, and messaging through social media as a substitute for gathering together. It is guaranteed that if we do not fight the temptation to disengage, it will become a deep wound in the Church.
Our gathering to Worship, hear the Word, and participate in ministry are essential witnesses and a valuable time for spiritual nourishment and growth, and health. If we want to grow as a Christian, then we cannot go it alone.
Worship will always be a top priority. Worshiping God with the family of God can never be substituted by watching a church service using social media sources. The truth is that there is nothing more unchristian than a solitary, isolated believer in Jesus!
God expects us to be part of a church family. A Believer in Jesus without a church family is a contradiction.
Ephesians 2:19 says, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…”
The Church as a family is NOT an event or activity. It is a WAY OF LIVING!
- We are called to be a supportive and encouraging community
- We are called to be a loving, forgiving, accepting, and caring family system
- We are a complimentary family serving one another
- Building relationships with one another and Jesus that involves caring, comforting, edifying one another
- Developing clear integration, application of Biblical principles into practical and relevant aspects of life.
- Supporting and encouraging one another to serve, grow and change together
- Learning to understand what is important and relevant
Exodus 10:2, “You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.”
We BETTER TOGETHER as a family,