Pastor’s Ponderings: The Family of God

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

Pastor Jim submitted the following devotional on February 6 2015…

Greetings Friends:

PLEASE READ: Hebrews 10:25

Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer” (CEV).

PLEASE READ: Acts 2:42

They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together” (CEV)

Entertainment before the Easter Egg Hunt (4/19/14)

A hymn which has become a favorite of many is called, “The Family of God.” It was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in 1970. Like many of the great hymns throughout Church History, this hymn was born out of a real life situation. Bill and Gloria Gaither were faithful members of a local church in Alexandria, Indiana, for many years. It was a young family and their three children from their congregation who inspired the writing of “The Family of God.” Gloria Gaither tells it this way:

“It was the Saturday after Good Friday that Ron went in for work at the garage where he was serving as a mechanic. He was making up time that he had taken off the previous Thursday to take his little daughter for some tests prior to some anticipated heart surgery. While Ron was working with combustible material, there was an explosion. He managed to crash his way through the large double doors before the building blew apart and went up in flames, but he was severely burned over most of his body. Ron was alive, but was not expected to make it through the night.

Within minutes a chain of telephone calls alerted the family of God, and the whole church began to pray for Ron. Little groups, bigger groups, in homes, at the church, over the phone. The church building was kept open, and lights burned all through the night as a steady stream of folks who cared and loved came to talk to Jesus about this young father.

Easter morning the sun rose on a sanctuary filled with a bleary-eyed congregation. The pastor came in with a report from the hospital. Ron has outlived the deadline. The doctor says he has a chance.

For the Body of Christ, that news was better than eight hours of sleep and a good breakfast. New life was infused into us all. Tears of praise and joy began to flow, and our hope and gratitude poured itself into the glorious songs of Easter. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we too shall live! With the words of victory we pledged ourselves to what would lie ahead: help with the children, many long trips to the hospital, blood for transfusions, money, meals—long months of support while the healing process went on.

On our way home from church that morning Bill and I were so full of the beauty of it all that we could hardly speak. Finally, we said to each other what we had come to realize through all this:

They’d do that for us, too!

It was almost too good to realize, but it was true! We aren’t very model church members. The function we fill in the Body of Christ takes us away from a lot of the activities of our congregation. We’re never available on Fridays and Saturdays. We arrive early on Sunday mornings to get our children to their Sunday school and church, but we can’t be counted to teach a class with a schedule like that. But they’d do the same thing for us if we were the part of the Body that was suffering! Not because we were worthy or had earned special treatment or were indispensable—but just because we were a part of the Family of God!

As I started dinner, Bill sat down at the piano. It wasn’t long before the magnetism of the chorus Bill was singing drew me from the kitchen to the piano, and we finished the song that was to feed us better than any other food.” 

Isn’t that an encouraging story from Gloria Gaither? What a powerful testimony of how God works through the local church. Now we can see why being together was so important to the believers in the verses cited above. Aren’t we all glad for the churches where we worship and fellowship? To be able to feel like we are loved, supported, encouraged, loved, and forgiven is truly a priceless gift. I thank God each day for the church I serve and worship. Friends, wherever God has called you to worship and serve, be an active part. Why sleep in on Sunday when you can be with the family of God?

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

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Watch the video below to watch Bill Gaither perform “The Family of God,” and open the following box to see the lyrics.

Lyrics

  1. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God- I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, the family of God.
  2. You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here- It’s because we’re a family and these folks are so near; When one has a heartache we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory In this family so dear.
  3. From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King- No longer an outcast, a new song I sing; From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong, I’m not worthy to be here, But, praise God, I belong!

 

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