We are Family!

family
When I was a kid the Pittsburg Pirates had a World Series Champion baseball team that had the motif “We are Family” They even played a popular song by the same title every time they would take the field. This gave a sense of unity between the team and the fans and the city they represented. It said very simply, “we are one”, “we are in this together”, “we have each others back”. What a wonderful thing to be a part of a family. You might be surprised how many people long for this sense of belonging and unity and dare I even say ‘safety’ that comes from being in a family unit. Sociologist and criminologist tell us this is one of the reasons gangs are so prevalent. In a very strange and often times dysfunctional way they provide for young people the sense of unity and belonging that they may otherwise lack in their own private lives. I believe very strongly that this is the reason God gives us the local church. The local church is the place where God’s people can assemble together and connect together and quite frankly ‘do life together’. In our church in Post we have a tremendous sense of family and connectiveness (sp) in our midst. I don’t know that I have ever served folks that quite simply just flat out love each other the way we do. This is not to say that we are free of problems, we have them, every family does. However our problems are not something that we fear will divide us or cause us to turn on each other. Unfortunately, that cannot be said in every church. In fact, our problems actually cause us to strive harder and to seek unity and reconciliation all the more. God has really been working in our church. There are so many exciting things happening however, If you were to look at our church from the outside we really would not stand out. In fact, we are pretty typical of a West Texas County Seat First Baptist Church. We are fairly traditional with a mix of some of the new songs and techniques being used today, but all in all we do not stand out as man would count such things. Yet, we understand that our strength does not come from the things the world counts as important. We are bound together because we recognize the truth that we serve a God who has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. Simply put, He saved us. He has saved us from the wages of our sin. He has saved us from the penalty of death. He has saved us from ourselves and at the same time He has given us His life. We are family because of our understanding of the gospel and quite simply nothing else really matters. We celebrate this every time we are together. Every hug, every smile, every handshake, every committee meeting, every worship service, every cup of coffee in the kitchen. It is what the New Testament calls “Fellowship”. In our church people are being saved, we are growing, folks are recommitting their lives to the Lord and we are even adding staff – but none of this causes our joy, it is the result of our joy. October is Pastor Appreciation month but I must confess it is I that appreciates my church…my brothers and sisters in Christ…my family. It is a joy to just be a part. Spurgeon said it best when he stated to young preachers that if God had called you to preach never surrender to a lesser thing even should it be to become the king of the world itself. We are Family…today, and forever. Jesus died so it would be so. Let us rejoice in the truth of love and acceptance in the local church, and in those cases where it is not so, let us repent and cry out for forgiveness to the one who longs to make all things new!

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