Devotional for Saturday and Sunday November 14-15

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Be Thankful”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:49-50 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Be thankful for your church”
 
Readers sometimes find this passage from Matthew 12:46-50 confusing because it sounds as if Jesus was being dismissive of his mother and siblings and treating them as if they were unimportant. In this scene He had been ministering in the region of Galilee, and large crowds were following Him day after day. On this day, He was in a home that was packed to overflowing. At one point his mother and brothers and sisters arrived wanting to see Him, but they were unable to get inside because of the crowds. So, someone informed Him that His family was outside asking for Him. That then led to the response we just read in verses 49-50.
 
What did Jesus mean when He referred to the crowd of followers in front of Him and declared that they were in fact His true family? Was He being disrespectful and dismissive of His biological mother and brothers and sisters?
 
Not at all. Instead, He was making reference to the fact that brothers and sisters in the family of God are united by a spiritual bond that is deeper and more important and longer lasting than the biological bonds that unite a human family. It’s not that the human bonds aren’t important, they are, many passages in the Bible teach the importance of the family unit and of loving and honoring our parents and siblings. It’s just that the blood bond between family members end at death, but the spiritual bond between members of the family of God lasts for eternity. That’s why being part of a good church family is so important, and it is why God intends for every Christian to be a fully participating member of a good church family.
 
Not only is the Christian united by a spiritual bond with fellow members of the family of God – a bond that will last for eternity – but a church family provides many benefits now, in this lifetime. Read the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with passages and illustrations which teach the importance of fellowship with other believers. We unite with others in worship; we support and encourage one another in times of heartache and struggle; we assist each other with finances and provisions; we also socialize and spend time together; and much more.
 
The church family is intended by God to supplement and enhance our lives with our biological families and in some cases, it even substitutes for life with a biological family. That’s why Psalm 68:6 says that “God places the lonely in families …” The Psalmist was talking about church families. God takes those who don’t have biological families and He puts them in a good church family instead.
 
I encourage you to spend some time today thanking God for your church family. And if you aren’t already part of a good church, I encourage you to join one right away. If you’re close to Crossville, Tennessee, we invite you to visit with us at Oak Hill Baptist.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
 
 
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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