Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Saturday Series - 19 - "Family"

(Friends:  Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto.  I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you.  Glen).

The Saturday Series - 19

  (For Bembe and Brittany, whose family begins today)
    Our human families reflect the nature of our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer.  The Bible declares that "there is one God" (I Timothy 2:5). It also teaches that three distinct Personalities exist in the oneness of Divinity.

   "Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation" (Psalm 89:26).
   "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).
   "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?... Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 2:4-5).

    God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three sublime Persons so intrinsically united in nature, character, and being that "They" are one (the Bible uses individual and plural pronouns in referencing God - Genesis 1:26; 3:22). Herein lies the reference to family, involving a unity in plurality, and a plurality in unity.  Our own experience tells us that individuals can be so bound in heart that oneness is easily the best way to describe the loving union. The love of husband and wife, parents and children, and sibling with sibling united in the bond of family reveals that unity and plurality can be mutually inclusive rather than exclusive.

     We need little understanding or explanation for such glory. Some realities we know in ways so sublimely beautiful that no description is possible. I recall an evening with our family many years ago, when our children were very young. We sat around a table at a favorite restaurant.  The banter was lively, with much laughter and enjoyment.  For a brief moment, I sat back to gaze upon and listen to the four people so dear to my heart. I cannot explain or describe that moment, but deep within my depths, I knew then (and I still know) that God gave me a glimpse of something so beautiful that tears formed in my eyes (they're forming again as I write this!). The "something" concerned my own family, no doubt. I realized the amazing gift I had been given.   However, I also believe that the glimpse involved more.  It referenced God Himself, and a hint at the wonder of His triune heart and being of love, affection, and devotion between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

     I came away from the moment believing we do no violence to Truth by considering God with reference to family.  He is one and yet He is three; He is three and yet He is one. The Bible proclaims the enigma, and the God of the Bible provides the most definitive and influential aspect of our lives - family - as a window into who and what He is.  Indeed, family is elemental in the existence of humanity because it so reflects the loving union of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

      Born again believers in the Lord Jesus are now part of this "whole family in Heaven and earth" (Ephesians 3:15). We are adopted sons and daughters, of course, and will never become God as He exists in His essence.  However, we are spiritually united to the Lord Jesus so closely that we are "in Christ," our Heavenly Father having drawn us as near to Himself as created beings can be.  Our Savior prayed for our entree into such glory, and then died and rose again to make Heaven our eternal home not only in place, but also in personal kinship to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Yes, in Christ, we are family.

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us."
(John 17:20-21)

Weekly Memory Verse
   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(Romans 5:10)

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