“God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Psalm 68:6, NKJV).
Christmas is a special time. It’s the time of year God’s presence is a little closer; a time when He makes Himself known to man, to prove once more that His love is always available to us. It’s a time where grace is much easier to come by; a time of letting bygones be bygones; it’s a time reconnecting, of catching up with friends and loved ones we haven’t seen, for perhaps a very long time; it’s a time for families to grow closer together.
Family was God’s idea. We weren’t designed to live alone. People function better together. Despite our western cultural mindset of never allowing anyone to see us struggle; of always having to have it all together, the truth is, some of our problems can only be solved as we share them with another human being who cares. The Bible says we are to, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NKJV).
A family is a wonderful thing – a place of unconditional love and grace. Sometimes a family isn’t made up of traditional blood-relationships. A family might simply be different people with different backgrounds, but with common goals and needs – to take care of each other and become better for it as a result.
This is a great picture of the church. I believe the church is the most powerful family on the face of the earth. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, NKJV). This is why Satan has fought so hard to divide the church; to make Christians appear to be the extremists, the crazies in movies or to give people the idea that the church is filled with hypocrites – he knows just how powerful a unified, loving church family really is and he cannot stop it.
Jesus said this, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation is intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples” (John 15:5-8, MSG).
As we become connected with God first, and with His family second, only then can we truly produce the fruit He desires in our lives. This Christmas season, I encourage you to come home! Come home to God’s loving arms; come home to your loved ones, and finally, find a church home. A family is where we reach our full potential. A family setting is where we are most powerful. A family setting is where we are most secure, productive and at peace.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.