Foundations – Loving Family

Over the last few weeks we have been getting back to the basics of Christianity

The Foundation Principles

  1. Loving God
  2. Loving Your Neighbor
  3. Establishing the fact we need each Other
  4. Rediscovering the Word of God
Today we want to rediscover the basis for human interaction – connecting or re-connecting with our Families, our Church Families and our Communities.
There are many types of homes with various types of Families within our communities and each and everyone are important to the Lord and to us; married couples, single folks, widows and widowers, single parent families, the traditional family and blended families and last but not least the church family.

 

Ever wonder why we call each other, Brother and Sister? it is a term of respect and it gives us our relationship instantly, as children of God we have just one Father, Almighty God.

No matter who your household consists of – your family, your extended family  or who your house is connected to like your church family and  your community, the people in your immediate and extended and church family should be the most important people in your life.
Many times during the course of life some of our families experience a lot of negative things – sickness, financial difficulties, depression, suffering, sorrow, divorce, family violence and abuse, child and elder neglect and the feeling of being isolated and alone even with those you love.
Those trials and troubles tend to spill over into our relationship with the Lord, our immediate family, our extended family, our church family and our neighbours, we can all relate in one way or another.
Thankfully though, there are some families who have conquered many challenges and who are working on loving those who are close to them, accepting the people in their circle for who they are, loving and caring for them, sharing the food times and the bad and being loyal to them through thick and thin.
I believe this is the family we all want – but how do we go about creating that family unit, how do we forgive when some in the family have hurt us so deeply and how do we recover from family break-ups and pain.
Thankfully there are resources and nuggets in the word of God that can help us. many don’t think of the Word of God as a source of help for everyday living- but it is all there.

First it starts with love…

Therefore it starts with knowing and loving God and knowing he loves you. it is impossible to care for and love others, as we should, without first being filled with the love of God ourselves.
Love that fulfils all our needs
  • A Sacrificial Love: Love at any cost – John 3:16
  • An Unconditional Love: Love that is undeserved – Romans 5:8, I John 4:19
  • An Eternal Love: Love that never ends – Jeremiah 31:3
  • A Powerful Love: Love that cannot be changed – Romans 8:38-39
Because without that love flowing through you it is like trying to draw water from a dried up well.
The Lord speaks through the Prophet Jeremiah and says this about the source of the water…

 

“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and they have dug their own cisterns–broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13 

Second it starts with connecting or reconnecting our family, our church family and our communities back to deep fellowship with the Lord.

Today we examine a woman who had a rough home life – yet Jesus uses her to bring salvation to her family and friends and eventually her whole community! Background reading

Lets read…John Chapter 4

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4 And he must needs go through Samaria. 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 ( For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 T hen saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

The Disciples Return and Marvel

27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I  sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

Many Samaritans Believe

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 

Notice how this ladies home life did not mesure up to the acceptable norms of the day yet that didn’t hinder revival, it didn’t hinder her own hunger for the Lord, she was waiting and hoping for the messiah.
This ladies home life didn’t affect her evangelism. She was able to go and speak to the men of her city and tell them the Messiah was at the well.
This ladies home life didn’t stop a mighty move of God that became a center of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost after the death, burial and resurrections of Christ.

Philip in Samaria Acts Chapter 8

4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

When it comes to revival and evangelism, many… many times the enemy likes to tell us we’re not good enough, we have too many hang-ups, or we are not “Christian” enough, or he says your home life isn’t good enough falsly presenting excuses for why we can’t reconnect with family, friends or our church family. Excuses like… my husband isn’t saved, or my children have issues, or we have a dog, the lies the enemy tells us and unfortunately that we believe can be over the top! If we are blessed with a good home and it is a loving safe place he will start on the home itself – then he lies and says our home isn’t good enough, we need renovations, or he house is a mess, it is too cluttered, the living room needs painted. Satan will try to provide you with any excuse he can so that you don’t feel worthy to share your home, your testimony or your faith with those you love within the walls of your home.
During Covid-19 pandemic the blessing that has come out of that is that we realize just how precious our family, our extended family, and even our church family really is.
Before the lock down everyone was too busy to connect with those they love, with family and friends and many  i believe taken for granted. People’s priorities were really out of wack, changing the dollar became the focus of many and families, elders and children suffered.

If nothing else covid lockdowns have taught us just how important family time and church family time really is.

During the lockdowns so many have not hugged their grandma, or held a new grandchild or greatgrandchild- or they could only have one child in their bubble – it was horrific.
Now as things open up lets celebrate the fact we can connect once again with those we love.
So loving, connecting and sharing our time, our homes, our faith with others has once again corm to the forefront and I for one am really glad!
So i want to encourage everyone to begin to reconnect first with the Lord- personally- have time for him each day
Then with your immediate family- have a meal around the table or enjoy a cup of coffee with your spouse, do something that begins to heal the breaches that may have occurred.
Start with Loving…

 

The Jews have a wonderful tradition – every Friday night when the sun goes down they celebrate with a time of worship and a family meal and invite the Shekinah glory of the Lord into their home. They might invite friends or neighbours to celebrate this special family worship meal as well.
From one of my favorite movies, Fiddler on the Roof- the family with all of its drama and goings on…come to a full stop to begin the Sabbath.
The family, a friend, and an acquaintance, along and children dressed up in respect, sitting around the family table, begin with the Sabbath prayer and blessing.

Blessed are You, Eternal our God,
Sovereign of the universe. You hallow us
with Your commandments and command
us to kindle the lights of Shabbat.
The Jews at this time bless the Lord, bless their families and their children, they bless the angels the Lord sends to protect them and bless the bread and the wine.
We can learn a lot from this Old Testament keeping of the Sabbath a time of stopping all labour and resting.

A Sabbath-Rest for God’s People

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9T here remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

For us who are on this side of the Cross-we know that the Sabbath is a type of the infilling of the Holy Ghost which is the perfect rest from our own labours to resting in Christ, but the message is the same, blessing, peace – love and joy to each of us and to our families, our extended families and to our communities.
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. Rom.14:17-19 KJV
And just like the woman at the well who didn’t let any of the circumstances in her life hinder her from sharing the love, joy and peace when she found the messiah, we also need to open up, and not allow the circumstances in our own lives hinder us from sharing the love of Christ.
We need to open up to share Christ with our loved ones, open up to share Christ with our friends and open up to share Christ with members of our communities.

Break our the good china, break out the table cloth and the old family recipes, and minster love through a meal to your family and friends.

Share a meal with an elder, or someone who has been in isolation and alone for so long – use this new found time of freedom and the lifted covid restrictions to invite someone into your home. Don’t worry about the mess, don’t worry about the peeling paint or the worn rug, just share who and what you are – people are aching to reconnect with you, your family and with your church family.

 

It’s time to Re-Connect!

Re-connect with our Families

Re-connect with our Church Family

&

Re-connect to our Communities

 

 

 

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