[reprinted from May 3, 2010]
For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christâ€™s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Â Â Â Ephesians 3:14-21 (WEB)
Some days God speaks to me in my devotion time and I know it is just for me. Other days what God says is for me first and then I am to share that with you. Most days I do not second guess and it is just like transcribing what I hear. And then there are days like today when I have peace about writing it down but it does feel like I am out on a limb.
I doubt there is anyone reading this today who does not have a prayer in their heart for their family. Marriages are under attack and crumbling under the pressure from all directions. Children are navigating through turbulent waters that have threatened generations before them but at the same time are uniquely treacherous to them. Parents are alternately buying into allowing their children the freedom to â€œbe themselvesâ€ and pulling in the reins so tight, thinking that if they can just do everything â€œrightâ€ that their children will be â€œall rightâ€. Adult children are struggling with parents who are living longer and government support (Medicare and Social Security) â€“ itâ€™s not looking good, is it?
It is not surprising that statistically the families that are individually and as a group committed to their relationship with Jesus are the ones who are thriving. Why is that? I believe that it is because when I accept Jesusâ€™ free gift of love, my heart receives this new and bigger capacity to love. The â€˜conditionsâ€™ that I may have put on love changes, even disappears.
Priorities change. And when the family members become â€˜Jesus servantsâ€™, to each other and those outside their family circle, the family discovers their â€˜callingâ€™ as a family. As they grow and mature, their calling may draw them away from their unit but they will always support each other and encourage each other.
As we study what God says about family this week, let us stand together in prayer for each other. God knows each one of us. God knows each of our needs.
Lord, I lift up the families of those who are represented here. You know each one of us,Lord, by name and every hair on our heads. We need You, Lord. We need Your love; Your protection; Your strength; and wisdom and faith to seek You in all that we do. We thank You, Lord. We thank You that before we even call, Lord, You are already answering. It is because of Jesus that I pray. Amen.
The Love of God written by Vesphew Benton Ellis and sung by The Gaither Vocal Band