What is God’s definition of a family? The concept of family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a theological sense. The concept of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. A man and a woman would form a “one-flesh” union through marriage (Genesis 2:24), and they with their children become a family – the essential building block of human society.Our very existence as a society is contingent on the success of the family. And that also explains why Satan hates it so and has declared war on the family unit. It has been said, “A family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family.”
The physical family is the most important building block to human society, and as such, it should be nurtured and protected. But more important than that is the new creation that God is making in Christ, which is comprised of a spiritual family, the Church, made up of all people who call upon the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.Revelation 7:9 says”After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands”. The defining characteristic of this spiritual family is love for one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). All of our preaching, teaching, evangelizing and Church activity is worthless to the society at large and a source of irritation to God if it is not founded in and grounded upon the love of God.
In other words, the litmus test of your salvation is not how many sermons you have preached, or how much money you have given or even how many people you have raised from the dead! Rather it is – do you love your brother???? The Apostle John writing in his epistles to the Church (1 John 2:9 and 1 John 4:20), says that anyone who claims to love God (who we cannot see), yet hates his brother (who he can see) is a liar! If you love your brother, you look out for his best interest, you place him in a position to succeed, you are considerate, prayerful and kind-hearted towards him. It is amazing that so many of the crooks and thieves who stole (and are stealing) while in government or in positions of power in industry are the ones occupying the front rows of our Churches!
Now how do we expand the Kingdom if we do not pay attention to our own nearest and dearest i.e. our family? This is the reason why we celebrate family week at LWUC. It is a time when we remind ourselves of what family is. A family is where godly values are taught and learned. A family is where the love of God is displayed and modeled. A family is where the primacy of the Kingdom of God is imbibed, practiced and projected for all to see. The first family God has given to us to demonstrate our love for him is the people seated in the chairs around you!
In God’s economy, beyond the nuclear family there is the family of God which is wider than the one composed of our parents and siblings etc. Once you have been adopted into the family of God by the new birth, you instantly acquire brothers and sisters of different tribes, tongues, colors and backgrounds. It is in the family of God that our love for God (first of all) and the brethren (secondly) is meant to be lived out. Any Christian who understands the concept of family knows that every family member has a responsibility. Remember when we were growing up and everybody had a “duty”? Sister A’s duty was to cook, brother B’s duty was to sweep, Sister C’s was to look after the baby etc. Our parents were trying to model and teach responsibility to the family unit. There were teaching us accountability and stewardship.
As you grow older, you are supposed to carry these Christian family values into the school and ultimately the work environment. A Kingdom Christian knows that for the Kingdom of God to expand, it must be through my efforts in holding territory and taking back the institutes, upholding the values and expanding the message of Kingdom.
As we celebrate this weekend. Let us take a critical look at our effect on our environment and our Nation. Then let us resolve to cooperate with God as he brings revival and change to Nigeria. To do otherwise is to invite disaster.
“Jesus shall reign where’re the Sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more” – Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Jesus SHALL reign whether the world likes it or not. It is better to bow the knee in worship now and acknowledge him as King, rather than wait until he returns as a conquering hero when all MUST bow the knee in submission.