Monday, August 19, 2013

Family Matters 5 - Some basics of family life

Family Matters 5
This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 18 th of August 2013. 

This is part 5  of a series called Family Matters.  What makes a family a family? How is it the same in the church. Ever met a Christian from across the globe and found there is an instant connection like meeting a long lost cousin? What binds us and keeps us together?

 Read and listen to this life changing message.
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Families are wonderful. WE are all placed in a family. Wonderful though they may be they have their challenges. No matter what, there is a connection that transcends time, space, geography. What binds us together is that we are family.

What about the church. The church is the family of God – not “like” a family, it “is “ is a family.
We are all sinners and we all have realized that the only hope we have is in Jesus. We all came to that realization at some point in our life. Good people don’t go to heaven, only forgiven people do! We believed in Jesus and then something incredible happened. We became born again and our desires began to change. Gal3:26 tells us that we are all sons of God through Jesus Christ. Thus we have brothers and sisters across the world. Its amazing how when you meet a Christian from across the world there is an instant connection like meeting a long lost cousin.
As believers we will be together in eternity so we better learn how to get along with each other now.

How do we live together as a family?

When a door creeks what do you do? You put a little oil on the hinges and the problem is sorted. It’s the same thing in relationships. The Bible gives us a little oil for different situations that when applied will help sort things out.

Romans 12:9-21 These 15 verses are packed with so much instructions on how to live. There are 200 words with 28 instructions and they all deal with LOVE. 1 Cor. 13 talks about the attributes of love. 1 Cor. 12 is very practical.

1.      Verse 9 – Love must be sincere. The word sincere comes from a latin word si·ne·cure

In those days they would make cast iron statues and if there were any gaps/flaws they would cover /fill it with wax. A good statue was one without wax I.e. sincere. Like we have a stamp that says “genuine leather” this was “sincere” meaning without wax. In love in implies, no cover up, no hypocrisy. This can only happen when God pours out his love in our hearts. In our flesh this is difficult to do so. To love those who love us is easy. But to love those who don’t reciprocate takes the grace of God.

2.       Verse 10 “Devoted to one another in brotherly love” i.e it means to loves as though we are from the same womb! We need to pursue love. It is not a “falling in love” kind of love.

How is this outworked?

3.      Verse 10b honour others above yourselves. The bible says a lot about this. This is something everyone can do. Don’t think of how nobody greeted \you- think about how you can greet the other person. You cannot demand love and honour but we can give it freely. Let’s honour the elderly and not ignore the children. Parents teach your children to greet and show proper respect.

In today’s world all good manners have gone out of the window. Men don’t behave like men .We want to live by a biblical standard and not cultural standards and often time the two clash.
This should change the way we conduct ourselves in our homes as well viz. eating together vis a vis a women slaving in the kitchen while the men eat.

4.       Verse 12 Faithful in prayer- everyone has needs. We need to be committed to each other in our prayer life. Paul told them that he is praying for them. This encourages the other person and lightens their burden.

5.      Verse 13 Share with God’s people in need. (we covered this a lot in last Sunday’s message). Practice hospitality. I have preached on this before. How can I be a blessing or help meet a need? It’s amazing how many times hospitality is mentioned in the Bible. When Jesus rose from the dead did he make a dramatic entry? Jn21:7, 12 “come have breakfast”. Verse9 Jesus was dos down to earth. The Lord of all creation cooks breakfast. Before he died he had the last supper with his disciples where he shared some important things with them.

6.       Verse16. Do not be conceited but be willing to associate with the lowly. In today’s world everyone wants to associate with the rich and famous. In the church not so. Be willing to associate with the lowly and someone different from you i.e language, culture, economic status etc. Always think about whom you can be a blessing to.

     If we just put these things into practice – greet everyone, practice hospitality and associate with everyone it will make such a difference to PUNE!! ( I didn’t say just church) People will begin to feel loved and accepted. They will know that we are Christians by our love. John Stott called the passage a recipe for love.
7.      The bottom line is, are we obeying something? Then this place will be buzzing with the love and life of God.  Amen !

   Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.

    English Language Service 10am. Please check google maps for directions!