December 9, Sunday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Standing Up for the Family”

Ephesians 2:16-19

. . . and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God….

I still remember when I threw my first punch: I was in middle school and the boy made fun of my mom. Perhaps it was the hormones or the suppressed aggression, but something in me went off. After throwing him to the ground, I threatened him to never say such things about my family again. As I look back at that moment, I realize that—more than anything— it was because he had attacked something very dear to me: family. Family meant everything to me—so much so that I often struggled putting God before them. And this is the image that Paul uses to illustrate the unity that comes through Christ. Gentiles and Jews, two people groups that would never be mentioned in the same sentence, have been reconciled both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility—so that all would become the members of the household of God.

Francis Chan once said that there is no greater bond between two people than the blood of Christ. It is a bond that is stronger and closer than even blood ties. The practical consequence of this can be a little daunting—meaning, the same love and priority we show our family members, the same care and resources we give them, should be for all who are of the household of God. Can you imagine such a community that loved one another in such a manner? Perhaps this was the image Christ had in mind as He prayed His last words before the Father (John 17). Through our love for one another, the world will see Him. May we be the family of God who stands up and fights for one another. Spend a few minutes praying for the family of God. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ by name.

Prayer: Father, I confess that I think more about my own needs rather than the needs of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, help me to love others as You have loved me. In this, I pray that the world will see Your love. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 10

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