… family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” Lilo and Stitch
That quote comes from a children’s show which is also a movie, such a small phrase with huge impact. The kingdom of God (which is the church) is composed of disciples which is the spiritual family.
“Since the one who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus does not hesitate to treat them as family…” Hebrews 2:11 MSG
To often I have heard disciples say that they do not feel as if they are part of a family or that no one cares. Unfortunately, that is usually also from the disciples that do not give their whole heart or are not (truly) vulnerable with others so they set up walls and barriers expecting others to overcome when they have set up traps surrounding the walls. The Hebrew verse says that Jesus does not hesitate to call us his family when we mess up all the time so why are there still some hesitating to really embrace the church as a family?
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household… In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Ephesians 2: 19 & 22 NIV
In this scripture, as one commentary pointed out, there are three metaphors for unity in (1) common citizenship, (2) membership in a single household, and (3) mutual parts of one holy temple. People take pride in what country they are from and what their last name is (though not always the case). As humans we recognise the need to identify ourselves with something. So why not fully embrace yourself as a member of God’s house? If you keep one foot outside while your standing in the front door way, I am sure your parent or guardian would tell you to make up your mind whether you are going to be in the house or stay outside and shut the door based on your decision.
Same thing with God’s family, if you declared “Jesus is Lord” and believe that you are part of the body, why do you keep the front door open where all the insects can come in?? Your passport no longer says *insert country name here* but it says Kingdom Of God. I am tired of disciples saying bro/sis out of tradition/compulsion when they do not fully believe it or else their actions would show it.
I believe the kingdom is it and there is nothing else out there. This is the one place everyone has the Bible as their standard and challenge each other to live like it. No unstable “one the preacher knows their Bible” type of church. Because of this conviction I have done two hospital A & E runs and stayed until the early hours of the morning, almost got police called on me trying to protect a sister, ran after a sister who ran out of church, showed up at disciple’s houses at night time to check in on them, topped up oysters, fed disciples, been to two funerals ( a disciple and a non-disciple) and commemoration of a brother’s mum who was not a disciple, and even bought housing items for disciples in need. This is not to make me big up myself but simply to show that my convictions are in my actions. So, when I call a disciple bro/sis I really mean it. Imagine how much closer the family of believers could be or even how greater of an impact we would have if we followed through with our convictions.
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”. Acts 20: 28 NIV
Do you draw limits to the distance you’ll go for your spiritual family or is it really the Agape love we’re called to have?
Let’s keep an eye out of each other, even the ones that we are not so close to because they may be the ones who need our help the most!