Week 1, Day 5

We Are Family

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
(1 John 3:1)

When Jesus taught us to pray, He said, “Our Father”, not “my Father!” Yes, “Our Father!” God is Our Father (Matthew 6:9) and as born again believers, we are His children and members of His Holy Family (1 John 3:1-2). As family members of God, it is so important we assemble ourselves together. Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverb 15:22). When we study God’s Word together as a Church, we share different perspectives or viewpoints in order to grow in the knowledge of God. It fosters community and reveals ways we can love generously and serve each other as one body. Fellowship builds friendships! Jesus calls us friend! (John 15:15). If you want to build good friendship, as we should in the body of Christ, get involved with things in the Church. You can’t expect good relationships to be built if you are not fellowshipping with other Christians. Being together in a church community sharpens our minds and can change the way we think.

Each of us has a story - past tinged with shame, remorse and disappointment. Even though it can be challenging, sharing our stories becomes an invitation for others to get to know us as we grow together in the knowledge, grace and mercy of our loving Father. Our Father wants us to grow, serve, worship, pray and study together. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” ( Matthew 18:20). When we practice this, we invite the presence of our God as He enters our midst. It sets the tone and revives the spiritual fire within us. Something happens in corporate praise and worship that simply cannot be experienced or explained when worshiping privately or alone . Corporate oneness is part of our spiritual journey that unites and strengthens our bond.

As difficult as it is to comprehend even as we fight our own demons, we appear to be blind to the possibility that there are others who understand what we are going through. You may think, “because of my shortcomings, I am alone in my remorse and humiliation.” We are not alone in feeling the constant conflict between what we want to accomplish and what we all too frequently do. Satan would have us think we are alone, and he would love for us to navigate life apart from each other. 

God will use others to speak wisdom to us. No one person has all the answers. Others bring to light things we might not see. They bring fresh perspectives and walk alongside us, advising and guiding in a way that brings us closer to God in order to bring Him glory.

Iron sharpens iron!!! When we are around others in the family of God, we can hold each other accountable. We can encourage each other to meditate on the things of God, and peace will reside within us.

We are Family!

Reflection Questions

• Has shame or bitterness caused you to withdraw from people that God has placed in your life (family, friends, church members)?

• What steps might the Lord be leading you to make this season to be more intentional with relationships that will encourage your faith?
Karell is a member of our Sunday morning greeting team, leads Heritage small groups, facilitates social gatherings, and leads a team for M.O.M. (Ministry of Meals) for those who are grieving. She is also a gifted and anointed singer and an all-around generous person.
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Shirley Davis - September 8th, 2023 at 6:01am

Karell….every word was so life-giving! 30 years ago after my husband left me, I could have let guilt and shame keep me from my church family…I was so ashamed, embarassed, downtrodden….for my friends to know the Christian family I supposedly had was not all that “Satan free”!! I didn’t miss a beat, and after the devastation occurred on a Saturday, I was back in church the next Sunday!! That body of believers is what lifted me up, prayed for me, and literally kept me going.

This is a great encouraging devotion!! I love you!

Don Hancock - September 8th, 2023 at 4:55pm

Thank you Karell, it is easy to feel like our struggles are ours alone, something to be hidden and not discussed, When indeed the healing comes from confession and exposing them to the light. I love your words and I needed it today, thanks again, Love ya!