Family Matters Part 3: Family Assets
On Sunday 11th February at our morning service, we continued our series 'Family Matters' with the topic Family Assets. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to this, click here.
The church is God’s family. His family matters and being family to each other matters as well. This week we’re looking at the “family assets”.
Every family has assets, but the greatest assets are the members. Each of us has a role in the family which changes with the stages of life.
The baby, child, teenager, adult, and eventually the older person.
There are times when we give and times when we take. Love is the glue that holds families together. We also value the care, security and acceptance that can come from family.
The church is not a club, it is a family.
We express our appreciation of being part of that family by what we bring to it and the sacrifices we make for it; Love in action: Hearts, heads and hands. We may support other family members financially, or by doing things to help. We do this because we can, and we care. That is the nature of family life.
I am reading a novel that has the theme of family honour. Actions of the members bring honour or dishonour to the family. As the family of God one of our chief purposes is to bring honour to God by the way we live day by day and the way that we act towards Him and contribute to the welfare each other. We all have something to contribute.
A story in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament part of the Bible, describes God’s people pulling together to build a place of Worship to bring honour to God. Exodus describes the Israelites journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom and a new destiny. We pick up the story after they have been freed by God in miraculous ways and are travelling through the desert on their way to the “Promised Land.” God has given them laws to help them to live safely together and has provided for their every need.
He promises to lead and protect them if they follow him. He then explains to Moses that he wants them to create a mobile place of worship, so that they know that he is at the centre of their community. They gather the resources and skills to create this Tabernacle. You can read this by clicking here.
Clearly they believed that it was God who had given them the skills, abilities and resources and they wanted to share them in the “Family”; they are more than willing to do and give all that they are able to honour God. God had provided all the resources they need to complete the task They had willing and generous hearts; A bit too generous.
They had been on a physical journey, but also a spiritual journey. They remembered that God had freed them from slavery, and that the blood of the lamb that was painted on their doorposts had saved them from death. They recognised Gods daily provision of food and drink had sustained them and their hearts were full of gratitude. They wanted God at the centre of their community and were prepared to give all that they had and work together to build the Tabernacle. Their hearts were captured and the rest flowed.
How does this speak to us today? We have been rescued from slavery of sin and guilt, and saved from death by the blood that flowed from Jesus on the cross. All that we have comes from our heavenly father whether we recognise it or not. Do we want God at the centre of our community? We don’t build temples or tabernacles these days. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit. When we join together we are built into a temple and God’s presence is with us.
I love this story and that people over gave and had to be restrained.
This comes from hearts that are full and a recognition that we are family;
each with a desire to play their part and a passion to have God at the heart of their community. Each has a deep love for God and each other.
Just as in a family we are all at different stages of life and faith and have different resources and abilities; but all have something to give.
First and foremost God wants our hearts. He wants us to know how much he loves us, is with us and gives us. He wants to capture our hearts. He wants our love and devotion and wants us to have Him at the centre of our lives and our community. He wants to see evidence of that love.
Imagine if we all loved God with all of our hearts mind and strength.
Imagine that we had to stop people giving and serving because we were overwhelmed by love in action. Imagine God at the centre of our lives and the centre of our community. To achieve that we each have to have our hearts touched and play our part as we recognise our role in the family and exercise love in action.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Think of the different stages of your family life. What were you able to contribute at each of these stages? What did you receive?
2. What are you able to contribute to your family at the moment, and what does your family contribute to your life?
3. Read the passage through a couple of times.
What words or phrases jump out at you? What are they? Why do you think that is?
4. Where do you see yourself in the family of God at the moment?
a. What has the family of God given to you in the past and at the moment? What are you able to give to them? What would you like to give?
5. List all of the gifts, talents and resources God has given to you? What are you doing with them?
6. The people’s motivation for contributing to the work of the Tabernacle was love and appreciation and recognition of all that God had done and was doing for them. Suggest some ways that would help us to have similar motivation.
7. What is the next step response that you will take as a result of this story?