The Family of God
By George Stroh
September 19, 2011
"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1 Corinthians 12:26,27)
Someone has said that "God doesn't have any grandchildren, only children." Meaning, of course, that each of us must come to God individually through faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no justification, forgiveness or salvation on the basis of family relationships. But, when we become Christians, God is our heavenly Father and we are family.
Like any loving family, when someone in our family is suffering, we suffer too and when one is honored, we rejoice with them. This should happen in the Church universally, but especially in the local Church. As a matter of fact, if you don't care when someone in your Church is hurting or when someone is blessed, maybe you are not really a member of the family. The Holy Spirit dwells in true believers; "But the fruit of the Spirit is love..." (Galatians 5:22)
Since our beginning a couple of years ago, I have been impressed by the love in our local Church, Maranatha Bible Church. When one of us has a need and/or asks for prayer, we know that everyone in the Church will be diligently praying and will also do whatever they can to help, loving their brother or sister. And we have seen God answer our prayers, often in surprising and amazing ways, causing more thanksgiving and praise to God. Sometimes when God blesses someone else, it causes jealously or envy. But, if we belong to the family of God, the Holy Spirit produces instead mutual joy, thanksgiving and praise to God.
Often the Lord motivates, empowers and invites us to do more than pray. Sometimes when we pray for others, God orchestrates circumstances so that we actually become God's answer to prayer. Boaz prayed for God's blessing upon Ruth and then God used Boaz to bless Ruth. Boaz prayed concerning Ruth: "May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge." (Ruth 2:12). Boaz himself was God's answer to his prayer for Ruth.
Yes, we are so blessed to be a part of the family of God. Maranatha!