When Dr. Gene Getz was being used by the Spirit to give birth to Faith Bible Church in Oak Cliff, he called me. "Dave, do you and Mary know the Gaither's new song, 'The Family Of God"? We didn't but found a cassette (what's that?), figured out the guitar chords, and the next Sunday Mary and I taught the small group gathered in Asa and Billie's living room the song. For many years believers sang out "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God," as it became the theme song for Faith Bible Church, and then Midlothian Bible when Mary and I moved 20 miles south to help start another church family.
From meeting in restaurants, to filling our own home with people we had met around town, to Sunday night meals that culminated in the Lord's Supper, Mary and I constantly stressed the reality of family. A doctrinally correct understanding of God's Word is not enough. We need to live it in relationships that are even closer than our blood family ties. It was this emphasis in Jesus' teaching that shook the Roman Empire.
Romans understood the importance of family. Of course fathers and mothers were to take care of their children and brothers and sisters should express love for one another. What amazed the prevailing culture in the first century was that here was Jesus, a single man, insisting that He had hundreds of brothers and sisters-siblings not because of physical ties but because of the spiritual bond flowing from connection to Him.
This point is powerfully illustrated when Jesus' mom and brothers tried to reach Him through the throngs gathered to hear Him teach. Here's Jesus' response when someone informed Him, "Your mother and siblings are outside."
"Now Jesus' mother and His brothers arrived, and they were not able to connect with Him because of the crowd. Now someone told Him, 'Your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to see You.'
He replied, 'These are my mother and my brothers-these who are hearing and doing the Word of God.'" Luke 8:19-21
LORD, help me to have a stronger commitment to hearing and doing your Word, especially encouraging intimacy in your household.
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