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Invitation by Vernon Dunning, March 3, 2010

I. One of the most important parts of the church is its family-like aspect.

 A. It is possibly the most attractive simile describing the church.

 B. Being a part of the family of God is a great blessing.

II. We all realize how important a family is.

 A. We marry, have children, rear them, and cry when they leave.

 B. Why, because of the importance of the family.

III. What are some of the elements of the family that make the family really work?

 I. In a family we find expectations.
   A. Jesus has given different talents to different people.
    1. He wants us to grow. 2 Pet. 3:18 tell us, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

    2. He wants us to mature. Col. 1:28 reads, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”

   B. God expects us to realize our potential…He expects us to do our best.

II. In a family we have forgiveness.
  A. Jesus is willing to forgive everyone in the family who repents. Matt. 18:21-22 lets us know, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

  B. Jesus expects us to forgive one another, Matt. 6:14-15 tells us, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

III. In a family there is encouragement.
  A. Jesus wants us to encourage one another, 1 Thess. 5:11 reads, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” How do we encourage one another?
   1. Properly spoken word. Eph. 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

   2. Togetherness. Heb. 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

   3. Cooperation. 1 Cor. 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”

IV. In a family there is discipline.
  A. God’s family must be a disciplined family. Heb. 12:7 lets us know, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
   1. If we are not disciplined, we are not God’s children.

   2. Discipline helps us to become Christ-like people. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 reads, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

  B. God expects us to live a certain way in his family. The way we live will bring either glory or dishonor upon God.

V. In a family there is a place of identity. God wants us to know who we are.
  A. What makes us different?
   1. The family we belong to.

   2. The name we wear. Acts 11:26, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

   3. The talents we have.    4. The principles we live by. 1 Pet. 4:15-16, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

  B. God wants us to realize that we are His children; we are Christians. Gal. 3:26-27, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

VI. In a family we find security.
  A. God wants us to feel secure in his family. Romans 8:31-32, “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

  B. Many of the problems that are in the world today are there because homes are not providing security.

VII. In a family there is acceptance.
  A. We are to accept one another. Rom. 15:7, “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
   1. That does not mean we accept what people do that is wrong.

   2. But we accept people in matters of judgment, in weakness of faith, and in immaturity.

  B. We must have the attitude of acceptance. John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

VIII. In a family we find comfort.
  A. God is a comforting father. 2 Cor. 1:3, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort”.
   1. God’s family should be a place where we find comfort.

   2. The world is often an uncomfortable place due to our lives, speech and attitudes.

  B. In God’s family there is comforting care. God wants us to care for His children. 1 Thess. 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” As the family of God:
   1. Let us be steadfast. Acts 2:42, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

   2. Let us be responsible. Isa. 6:8, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

   3. Let us be aware of the family needs. James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

   4. Let us be encouragers. Heb. 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”




“I came to the services Sunday,
I walked up and down the aisle;
I noticed your seat was vacant,”
Said the Master with a smile.

“Yes, I was at home,” I answered,
“Some folks from up the way
Drove down for a weekend visit,
So we stayed in the house all day.”

Or, “I had an awful headache.”
Or, “I had a roast in the pan.”
Or, “We overslept that morning,
But we go whenever we can.”

“I went to the morning service
Not over two months ago,
But so much work must wait till Sunday
There is no time for church, you know.”

Looking upon me sadly,
The Master began to speak,
“My child, are there not
Six other days in the week?

If all the other children
Should treat me the same as you,
The assembly would be deserted,
Then what would lost sinners do?

I saw I had grieved my Master
As slowly He turned away,
And I vowed He’d not find me absent
Again on His special day.

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