Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “A prosperous life”
Our Bible verse for today: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers.” Acts 2:42 (HCSB)
Our thought for today: “A truly prosperous life includes a good church family”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about church and what a big part of my life our church family is. It probably doesn’t surprise you that a Pastor thinks about church a lot, or that his church would be a big part of his life. But it’s not just me. All of the truly devoted Christians I know would tell you that church is a big part of their lives too.
Active participation in the life of a good church family seems to be a common denominator among those who are passionate about their faith and who are really living what they profess to believe. That’s because God designed church life to be a place of refuge where His children gather to support and encourage one another, and to help each other grow spiritually. With the sole exception of John the Baptist, you will not find any New Testament examples of “Lone Ranger” Christians. Healthy Christians are always shown in the New Testament as being actively involved in a church family.
In Acts chapter two we read about the early church in Jerusalem. The outstanding characteristic of those believers was that they were always together. The descriptive term used of them is that they were “devoted”. They were devoted to learning, they were devoted to praying, they were devoted to fellowship with other Christians, and they were devoted to sharing money and possessions in order to meet each others needs. And it all took place within the context of being together.
Recently I’ve been reading a book that illustrates just one of the many advantages of being part of a good church family. It was written by father and son Bill and Jim Putman entitled “Hope for the Prodigal: Bringing the Lost, Wandering, and Rebellious Home”. As the title suggests, it’s a book for those who have prodigal children in their lives.
The authors have unique qualifications for writing such a book – they were both prodigals themselves; they then both raised prodigal children of their own; and they are both pastors of churches with prodigals. Bill was a prodigal child who eventually came back to the Lord and to his family. Then he became a pastor. His son Jim was a prodigal who also eventually came back to the Lord and to his family and then he too went on to become a pastor. Jim’s son Christian also was a prodigal who eventually came back to the Lord and to his family, and he ended up in ministry as well.
One of the keys Bill and Jim discovered to dealing with the problem of prodigal children is to make sure a good church family is involved. Raising a child in a good church helps to prevent them from becoming a prodigal to begin with. If and when a child does stray, a good church family helps the family to deal with the situation in a godly manner. And, a good church family gives the prodigal a welcoming environment to come back to.
I could write many pages about the important role a good church family plays in a life that is truly prosperous. Church is a place of worship, refuge, learning, encouragement, and growth. We all need a good church family. If you don’t already have one, we would love you have you visit with us at Oak Hill Baptist this Sunday. A good church family is an important part of living a life that is truly prosperous in all the important ways.