Grateful for our Family
I am so grateful to the Lord for my wife and my children. I could write volumes about them and sometime perhaps I will.
My family and I are also very grateful to the Lord for our extended (blood relative)
family. Not all of our relatives are Christians and of those who consider themselves
Christians, not all of them would share with us a lot of very important convictions about
who Jesus is and what the Gospel means.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17)
And I consider our flesh and blood relatives to be examples of such gifts from God.
As a kid, growing up, I was very blessed to have parents who loved me and took care of me. My father was a Navy pilot so he was away a lot. But he took me fishing and camping and hunting and played sports with me. And as an elementary school kid, I would come home at the end of the day, and yell, "Anybody home?" and it was a great comfort to hear my Mom answer.
No matter how old I am, this is what God wants for me:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3
More about our extended family...I had (and still have) two older sisters, growing up, whose arts and talents and personalities and interests have greatly influenced me. I had an uncle and an aunt and two cousins who were very close to us.
My wife's Mom and step-dad and her Dad and step-mom and my wife's sisters are people we love and they are so good to us.
We have been grateful for all of these people, along with my niece and my nephew. Also, we have various uncles and aunts and cousins who we love and who have been a blessing to us. We just want to publicly thank the Lord Jesus for our relatives.
We love our relatives, and because of that, what we want most for them is that we all could be united in an eternal family reunion. According to the Bible, it is the Truth that makes that happen. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus prepares a place for us. Families that trust Jesus together spend an eternity together with Him.
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:1-6
The Truth Separates Families
Not Peace, but a Sword
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:34-39
Some have had to leave their families to follow the Lord Jesus
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." Matthew 19:29
Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and 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 12:47-50
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:13-21