Grow Deep - The Family That Has Everything - Week 2

Week 2: August 25-31

The Family That Has Jesus Has Community

Memory Verse: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

This month we travel to Chicago for my nephew’s baptism. I’m excited to witness God’s miraculous grace and love, but I also hope to hear a familiar response from the congregation: “We welcome you into the Lord’s family. We receive you as a fellow member of the body of Christ, a child of the same heavenly Father, and a worker with us in the kingdom of God.”

During His ministry, Jesus formed a new kinship extending beyond family trees. His disciples weren’t merely an entourage hanging on His every word. Jesus declared them “brothers” and “sisters,” a distinction the apostles reinforced in the early church. Then and now, being in the body of Christ involves connection with a family community that follows Jesus and strives, though imperfectly, to live together in a way that differs from the surrounding culture.

As a child I was blessed to have parents who showered me with love, kindness, patience and forgiveness. They were the hands and feet of Jesus in my daily life. For this reason I love the idea of my church being family as well. Sunday mornings, I like looking around to see who is there with me—my husband and son, my in-laws, my small group, people with whom I have volunteered, friends I have made through women’s ministry. These brothers and sisters, like my biological family, model for me how to be a godly parent and spouse, how to show generosity with time and money, how to support one another in times of crisis, how to show love and grace to others. I am better equipped to live out the Gospel because of the family God has placed in my life. As you read this week, I hope you are encouraged by how Christian families can embody God’s love in action.

 

Sunday, August 25
Read: Colossians 3:12-21
Every relationship requires enduring with one another, forgiving one another and walking together with one another in love. That is true in families and in the family of God.
Reflect: How do the qualities Paul describes help to sustain relationships? Which qualities are you learning to exhibit more as you interact with your immediate family or your larger Christian family?

 

Monday, August 26
Read: Ephesians 2:19-22
We are all part of God's family, part of His household. In the same way that our families come together, we take our places as His children in the family of God.
Reflect: What does it mean to you to be a citizen and member rather than a foreigner and stranger? How is God building you up and joining you with other Christians?

 

Tuesday, August 27
Read: Romans 12:10-21
Paul exhorts his audience to make all love genuine. In the same way that you love your family, you are to love and extend kindness and forgiveness to others.
Reflect: Which verse connects with how someone has shown you love even though you are not “family”? What obstacles exist to show love in the way God asks us to?

 

Wednesday, August 28
Read: Ephesians 4:25-32
Paul outlines instructions for Christian living that are true in our earthly families, in our relationships with those in our church families, and with those who do not yet know Christ.
Reflect: Which command speaks the most to your current situation?

 

Thursday, August 29
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe how members of families should live together. In a body, there is no “me” versus “them,” and the same is true for our families and God’s family.
Reflect: What does rejoicing and suffering together look like? How might we show “equal concern” to others?

 

Friday, August 30
Read: Galatians 6:1-2
Paul instructs that we should restore anyone caught in sin with gentleness and bear one another's burdens. We also need to be careful not to fall into temptation ourselves.
Reflect: How can our Christian community help us to support one another in these ways?

 

Saturday, August 31
Read: Philippians 2:3-5
Paul encourages his readers to have the same mindset as Christ in their relationships: to value others more than themselves.
Reflect: Who among your acquaintances exemplifies this Christ-like attitude? How does having this mindset build up the body of Christ?