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The Family of God at Work

“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)

Born again people are God’s children. This means that we are one family, in Christ.

Nothing can nullify that. Although the devil has done a fantastic job of functionally dividing the Body of Christ into largely non-cooperative autonomous denominations, sects, synods, assemblies, and congregations the fact remains that in the eyes of God…we

ARE one single family in Christ.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:1-2)

God loves us. In fact, God is the VERY embodiment of love:

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. GOD IS LOVE, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:15-17)

When we live out this love we are effectively demonstrating something about our family in Christ and about our Father, LOVE.

I would like to share a true story about this love and brag on how the Father has poured out His love through some of His children in the past two days. I participated in this event but I am not bragging on my own involvement.

This is, rather, a story about many people who represent their Father well through the love He pours our through them.

Yesterday, as we began our Gathering (a first century-style house church meeting) in our home, I received a call from a woman who is like a sister to Laurie and me, Harlene Carter. She lives in metro Houston, TX and attends a congregation there. A couple from that group were travelling home from Thanksgiving in Oklahoma and stopped 20 miles east of our town in Denton, TX to visit someone there.

The husband slipped on something in that home and hit his head in the tile floor resulting in his being rushed to the hospital. Harlene called me asking if I would visit them in the hospital. Since our meeting was just beginning she agreed that I could wait until it was over to visit with this couple that are strangers to me but, in the eternal sense are a part of my forever family.

During our meeting we prayed for a number of people present and in other places and I told the group about these people in Denton and we prayed for them. While we were praying Harlene texted me to tell me that the man had been transferred by helicopter to another hospital in Fort Worth and that I didn’t need to visit them.

One of the ladies attending our house church meetings pulled Laurie aside to tell her that she wanted me to offer pay to house the man’s wife a week in a local hotel if she needed that.

This lady wanted to pay for this room because this woman she had never met was her sister….in Christ…a fellow family of God member.

When I called her today to ask how much she had in mind I asked her why she was offering. She told me that when she was younger she was married to a man who went into the hospital for a simple procedure and spent many days there. She slept every night in the back seat of her car. She remembered that and wanted to save someone else from having to experience that.

This is what love looks like.

I sent out a prayer request yesterday afternoon that went literally all around the world. That prayer request is being shared in dozens or more other prayer chains that will eventually result in hundreds of Christians praying for these family members in Christ laying in a bed and sitting in a chair next to the bed in a hospital in Fort Worth.

This is what love looks like.

Harlene spent yesterday and today as the go-between for me and the man’s wife.

This is what love looks like.

Their pastor had dropped everything and rushed the five hours from Houston to Fort Worth to be at their side.

This is what love looks like.

The man’s brother contacted me at Harlene’s urging and we set the lady up in a hotel near the hospital. He had negotiated a cheaper price so that the woman who was paying for the room wouldn’t have to pay so much.

This is what love looks like.

My part in this was to be connective tissue and make sure it all happened. Connective tissue holds the parts of a body together.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)

All this love in action started through relationships that caused Harlene to call us and tell us about this couple in need.

I hope to meet them sometime this week. It will be good to put faces with the names.

Every day we have the opportunity to take the initiative to LOVE someone else. I hope my telling of this true story of love in action will cause us all to open our eyes and watch for opportunities to serve others.

When these come up please do what Harlene and everyone else in this story did: ask Father God if we should help and if so, how. And then let’s do what He prompts us to do.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, Texas

© November 28, 2016

(For use with permission)

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