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I grew up thinking everyone had a “Church Home.”  That’s what we called it; a “Church Home.” Sounded like a good name for the Family of God.  I couldn’t imagine life without it. I was always “at home” at church.  I didn’t know there were people who were “Spiritually Homeless.”  I think that’s what people without a church home are.  They are spiritually homeless.  I can’t imagine it.  I can’t imagine how extra difficult my life would be without a church home.

Listen, no one can make a biblical argument against having a church home, a community of faith where you can be known, can know others and can grow in the way God has designed for you to grow.  It is not only a good-thing to have a church family, but it is a God-thing.  It is God’s design that we come together as family, and God’s Word doesn’t make having a community of faith an option for His children.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Do not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  God understands why participation in a spiritual family is so important and has purposed to use our experiences together to reveal who He is, who we are and who we are supposed to become.

What makes us family? 1.  We all have the same Heavenly Father.  God has adopted us. 

Ephesians 1:5 (Message Translation) “Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ.  What pleasure He took in planning this!”

When we accept the gift of salvation God offers to us, He becomes our Heavenly Father, and we become His children, which puts us into a relationship not only with God, but with each other. 

In this family we are supposed to have each other’s back.  “I’ve got your back” means, I am looking out for you when you might not be able to see the danger that is lurking.  It means, “I am here to protect you.”  We all need people who are on the lookout for us, people who have our best interest in mind.  We need people who care if we are doing well spiritually and otherwise.  We need people to point out the pitfalls of sin.  We need people who will tell us the truth about the things the devil is up to.  We need people who can help steer us in the right direction when we might be tempted to veer off course.  We are better together, stronger together. 

It is easier for the devil to take a person down when they are isolated, when they are vulnerable because they aren’t protected, but when they are part of a group, it is more difficult for Satan to mess with them. Each one of us is capable of just about anything if we give the devil any kind of authority in our lives.  We need each other to be able to stay strong and protected from his schemes. 

Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

When you call someone to check on them because they have missed a few Sundays, when you text someone to ask if they are doing OK, when you express concern for someone in the Body of Christ, you are serving as a protective covering for that person.  It isn’t good for them to be disconnected from the Body of Christ.  And listen, If you are on the receiving end of one of those messages, one of those gestures, be thankful that someone cares enough to reach out.  Be thankful that God has prompted someone’s heart to inquire about you.  That is what family does.

The second thing we are to do in this family is to bear each other’s burdens.  Galatians 6:2- Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

God has put you in a family where when you are overburdened, when life is difficult, when you are grieving, you can find some support from others who will help carry you through. Isn’t that what family does? 

In this adopted family we have each other’s back, we bear each other’s burdens, and

We are to bless one another.

Galatians 6:10-Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Yes, we are to be a blessing to everyone we encounter, believers and unbelievers, but God says that because we are family, we have an extra responsibility to do good to each other.

I can’t be everywhere, but I want to be an active church family member, showing up to as many places where the family is performing or playing a sport or celebrating a special occasion.  Why?  Because family matters.  We matter to each other.  Our presence matters to each other. 

Jesus said that the way we love one another is proof that we belong to Him (John 13:34-35).  Can we take that to heart?

You need a church family. Your church family plays a key role in the development of your faith, in giving you strength during difficult times, and in helping you become all God intended. Your church family helps protect you from the traps and temptations of the devil. Your church family should be a safe place when you’ve lost your way and you need to get back on track. It happens, and when it does, a church family should be the ones who help you pick up the pieces. Being accountable to and involved with a church family can make the difference between victory and defeat.  It is just that important.

It’s a lot to think about, right? What a blessing and what a responsibility we have in being part of the Family of God.  The main goal of this wonderful Family of God here at TVCOG isn’t just to take care of each other and train each other in Christian living.  That’s built in.  That’s foundational, and it is awesome, but our main goal is so much bigger. Our overarching goal is to expand the family. He wants His family to grow.  God wants to adopt more children.  He wants everyone to belong to Him and to His wonderful family.  We need to live in such a way with each other that the rest of the world wants to be part of the family.

Often, when I post a picture of our daughter, Hannah, on FB, folks will say, “She looks like you” or “She’s your mini-me.”  There is a strong family resemblance between us. People can easily tell who she belongs to.  Is it easy for people to see who our Heavenly Father is?  Do we resemble Jesus in any way?  When people look at us, do they know who we belong to?  Can they tell what family we are part of?

Are you living at home in the Family of God?  Have you been adopted by God?  Have you said “yes” to Jesus and to becoming like Him? Or are you still spiritually homeless? Are you sharing in this fellowship at TVCOG in the ways that Scripture says we are to relate with one another as Brothers and Sisters?  Who else have you invited into the family? 

I was five when God adopted me.  I’m 53 years old.  I have walked with Jesus for 48 years, and I still need my church family.  I need the love, the care, the support, the friendship, the leadership, and the instruction that this Body of Believers provides. Next to salvation, the Family of God is the greatest blessing of my life.  Are you part of God’s forever family?  Are you at home in the Family of God, or are you spiritually homeless?

Matthew 25:1-13 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet
Luke 6:27-31-27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those
John 6:53-56 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink