Displaying Christian Sermons by tag: Family
Rick Warren (February-23-2022) Daily Devotional: The Benefits of Belonging to a Church Family, Part 2
“[God] made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, we are his flock." Psalm 100:3 (GNT)
Belonging to a church family has many benefits. Yesterday we looked at two of those benefits: Through the church, you learn your true identity and you are supported by others. Today we’ll look at three more benefits.
You discover your unique value. Everyone is unique. Nowhere else on Earth is there anyone like you. That’s why the church needs you—to make the body complete. Romans 12:4-5 says, “Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others” (TLB). You need other people, and they need you.
You receive protection. Psalm 100:3 says, “[God] made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, we are his flock” (GNT). What’s the benefit of being part of God’s flock? You are defended and cared for. You have other people looking out for you. And you can enjoy the safety and security that come from belonging to a family who trusts in Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Being connected to God’s church—God’s flock—also makes you more confident and less anxious. When you’re struggling in the business world, you can say, “I’m not on my own.” When your relationships are strained, you can say, “I’m not on my own.” Or when you’re facing a health crisis, you can say, “I’m not on my own.” Why? Because you belong to a church family that loves you.
You become productive. Most people want their life to count. They want to make a difference. How can you best do that? By staying connected to a church family. And that’s the key—you have to stay connected.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener . . . you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1, 5 NIV).
The point is this: You’ll never be as productive as God intended for you to be if you’re not connected to a church family. Your church teaches you the right questions to ask and the right priorities to set. A cut-off branch cannot bear fruit. But when you’re connected to the true vine, Jesus, life-giving energy flows through you to others.
Nothing in the world can give you what the church gives you. Only the church can meet your need for significance, stability, protection, productivity, and being valued.
Talk It Over
- How is God using the talents and giftings of other people to benefit your life?
- With everything going on in our world today, why is it important to seek the protection of a church family?
- Think of someone who is making a huge difference in the world through their church. How do their efforts encourage you to do the same?
Have you trusted God’s promise of salvation?
If you’re ready to commit your life to Jesus, then pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I receive you into my life as my Lord and Savior. Today, I’m turning every part of my life over to you. I want to follow you and do what you tell me to do.
“Jesus, I am grateful for your love and for your sacrifice that makes it possible for me to join you in heaven. I know I don’t deserve it. And I thank you that I don’t have to earn or work for my salvation, because I know that is impossible. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you, and I ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Rick Warren (February-22-2022) Daily Devotional: The Benefits of Belonging to a Church Family, Part 1
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Romans 1:12 (NLT)
The better connected you are to a church family, the more you will experience everything the church has to offer.
What does the church have to offer? You get five benefits when you belong to a church family. Today we’ll be looking at the first two.
You learn your true identity. People often look for their identity in superficial things, such as their career, wealth, or favorite sports team. They may even try to find their identity in the brands of clothing they wear. But when you belong to Jesus, he gives you a whole new identity.
The Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
When you belong to Jesus, God adopts you into his family, the church. Unlike your physical family—in which people die, grow apart, move away, or divorce—your spiritual family is permanent and will last for all eternity in heaven. Ephesians 2:19 says, “You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God” (CEV).
You are supported by others. Like the strong structure of a building, we hold each other up. Without the stable support system of a church, you may find yourself collapsing at some point in your life. You weren’t meant to do it all on your own. You need physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental support.
The Bible says, “In [Christ] 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 2:21-22 NIV).
Years ago, I began putting LEGO sets together with my grandkids. You know what I discovered? Each LEGO brick has no purpose on its own unless it’s connected to others. Disconnected, they’re just a pile of plastic. But when you connect them, you can build just about anything you can imagine.
Romans 1:12 says, “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours” (NLT). That’s why we belong to the church—so God’s people can say together, “Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.”
Talk It Over
- Where—other than in Jesus—are you sometimes tempted to place your identity?
- How does your spiritual family encourage you to embrace your true identity in Christ?
- Describe a time you were disconnected from the church and didn’t have any support. What circumstance brought you back to a church family? If you’ve never been disconnected from the church, how has your church supported you through a hard time?
Rick Warren (February-21-2022) Daily Devotional: Commit to Jesus and His Family
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NLT)
God never meant for you to go through life on your own. He wants you to be part of his family—the church. In fact, the church has been God’s plan from the very beginning.
Some people think of the church as a building, an institution, or an event you attend. The church isn’t any of those things. It’s a family you belong to.
The Bible says, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!” (Ephesians 1:5 TLB)
When you’re part of the church, two things are true of you: You’re committed to Jesus, and you’re committed to the people in your church family. The Bible says in 2 Corinthian 8:5, “First they gave themselves to the Lord; and then, by God’s will they gave themselves to us as well” (GNT).
You give yourself to the Lord, and then you give yourself to a group of people in God’s family. The first choice makes you a Christian. The second choice connects you with other believers. I’m not the church. You’re not the church. But together, we are the church—the body of Christ.
What does it mean to be part of the body of Christ? The Bible says, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT).
To understand how the church operates, look at the way God designed your body. Your hand, nose, spleen, and liver are all parts of your body. They all have separate functions, but together they make up one physical body—just like God’s church makes up one spiritual body.
That’s why you are such a necessary part of your church family. You can’t say, “My part—my talents and abilities—isn’t needed.” There are no unnecessary parts. We are all dependent on each other, and each of us has a different role to play.
God’s intention “from the very beginning of time” is that we live our lives together in his family.
Talk It Over
- In what ways have you approached the church as a place you go instead of a place you belong?
- How can you use your talents and abilities to love and care for other believers?
- How would not using your unique talents and abilities have a negative effect on other believers?
Rick Warren (December-05-2022) Daily Devotional: God Made You for His Family
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
The whole reason you exist is because God wanted you to become part of his family.
The Bible says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT).
Your spiritual family, God’s family, is going to outlast even your physical family. Physical families don’t last. They grow up, they move away, they pass away. But the spiritual family of God will live on and on for eternity.
God never meant for you to go through life alone. The truth is, God hates loneliness. When God created man, he put him in the Garden of Eden—a perfect environment—and the first thing God said was, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God wants you to be part of his family.
What is God’s family? The Bible says, “That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 NCV). The church, the body of Christ, is not an institution. The church is not a bureaucracy, an organization, or a social club. The church is God’s family. It’s not about rules and regulations, rituals and religion. It’s about relationships. And it’s about love.
The church is “the support and foundation of the truth.” What happens when a building has no support and foundation? It collapses. People who live in earthquake-prone areas understand this more than most. If you don’t have a good foundation under your building, it’s going to collapse when an earthquake comes.
God says that your life works the same way. You’re going to have some earthquakes—financial, emotional, relational, health, and career earthquakes. And when tough times come along and you don’t have a spiritual family to support you, you’ll collapse.
You can’t fulfill God’s purposes by yourself. God wired you to need other people. With the strong support of the family of God, you’ll have the secure foundation you need to stand through life’s challenges.
Talk It Over
- How would you explain the difference between God’s family and a religious organization?
- God wants you to have the support of your spiritual family when the “earthquakes” of life come. How can you be a support to someone in the family of God who is experiencing tough circumstances right now?
- How will others in the family of God know how to support you when you need it?
Charles Stanley (October-31-2022) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Expanding Your Family
When we encounter someone from a broken family, we should respond with compassion, not judgment.
Think about it: Do you know someone who’s without loved ones or who suffers from loneliness? Consider offering an invitation to join you in a family activity this week—dinner at home, movie night, a walk through the park, or even a trip to the store.
Charles Stanley (October-24-2022) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: The Truth About Family
Our families may be damaged this side of heaven, but brokenness in this life is an opportunity for redemption and healing.
Rom. 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
See 2 Cor. 12:9-10 - And He has said to me, ``My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong)
Robert Morris - Belong to Family. Pastor Robert continues the Created to Be series with a message titled, “Belong to Family,” where he shares that we belong to Christ and His Church.
Bill Johnson - Watch Message: The Kingdom of God is Family. In this video blog, Pastor Bill Johnson shares his revelation on the Kingdom of God. Anytime we leave the subject of family, we’ve left the subject of Kingdom. Family includes and celebrates everyone; this is the nature of the Kingdom we are part of.