9/27 Series: Family at its Best – “A Partnership with a Purpose” 1 John 1:1-4
This Sunday begins a new study series titled Family at its Best. Family, those that belong to you. Family, those that you belong to. As we begin to study in this series we are taking that thought, widening it to say family also is a group of people, not related, but supporting of each other, could include but not limited to work family, school family, or a sports family, and church family too. Our focus begins “A Partnership with a Purpose” 1 John 1: 1-4.
Pastor George shared that within these groups there is an atmosphere, a feeling of family. Family isn’t a physical place although there could be a homestead, a town, a place that we call home where our family is, that connects us. Family is relationship. Family is partnership. When people come together, they are family in the sense of the word. Family should be the first to defend, the I got your back kind of thing, says Pastor George, it’s that support, encouragement that we value in family. We crave time together, it’s where we are loved and cared for. The question was asked Sunday, how do we as a body have that same attribute? As a body of believers, as New Life Church, and also of the greater church universal, can we have that same attributes of togetherness, support, love, same atmosphere, feeling of family? What calls us into this family relationship?
A Right Now Media video we watched this week from Chuck Swindoll, is titled God’s Family. God’s family is the church of the living God. Dare we say that God is the patriarch of this family? The Divine God, the one with no limits, an absolute, He who is our all in all. We share in the fellowship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This week we viewed Session 1 on Fellowship, in the series 1 John: A Call to Authentic Faith & Sacrificial Community. In this Women’s Bible Study, they discussed this God. He is, from the beginning he was – He is, in flesh and blood he came to Earth, just as we are flesh and blood. This God, he is flesh and blood and also Divine, God/Man. In our scripture passage for this week 1 John 1:1 reads “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands…” John has passed on the message, a message based on a relationship, one that he says he had seen, felt, touched, heard, this Jesus. He was an advocate, being a voice, an influencer, a physical advocacy for another, for a real Jesus Christ, one he touched, heard, felt, had seen. He’s telling us Jesus isn’t an ideal, Jesus is a person. One that we as Christ followers’ partner with, in family. He who is our common cause, our purpose. Giving our support, the I got your back kind of defending, the encouragement towards this greater purpose. We heard on Sunday that anyone who does the will of God is my brother and my sister, we are heirs. This is what makes us family. We are brothers and sisters striving to do the will of God as he leads and guides us.
Verse 3 in this passage of 1 John 1 reads “…so that you too may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus.” John wants all believers into this fellowship with him, and the Father. Pastor George said that fellowship means partnership. To have fellowship with each other we partner together. To have A Partnership with a Purpose, our partnership is not only with each other, but a fellowship/partnership with the heavenly Father. Phil Vischer, in his kid’s video Jellyfish on 1 John from Right Now Media shared that the fellowship we share is with God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. We find joy through fellowship with God, he says. It’s doing life together. Phil explained that it’s a hug kind of happy- to be the best kind of happy together. In the Fellowship series the ladies discussed to be the gospel in the flesh, that’s our purpose, and to make it a priority with your relationships. To be like John, an advocate, to model who Jesus is, having a heart to love the way God does. You know the Truth, be the light for one another. Pastor George says it’s taking the message of the cross, His love for us, making it a bigger and greater part of our lives, reach out into the world we live, work and play, with this joy that makes life complete. Our joy brings Him joy! It’s a partnership with a purpose. The partnership we know as members of God’s family that is for all who believe in Him. Living that love out within our physical family, our church family, and the other family groups that we are part of, for the sake of the group, for the sake of family.
Andy Stanley in his series Future Family, shared that in family there is what’s real and what’s ideal. Jesus points towards an ideal, but He did not condemn when people fell short of the ideal. Real life family at times loses site of the ideal. Andy calls it the complexity of family life. One bit of advice that he gave comes from Ephesians 5:21 “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This calls us to be a servant to the people around us, says Andy. What makes for happy great families is a willingness to leverage all of oneself for an us. A what can I do for you mentality. Andy says that your life is to be a message, you were created to care. Christ’s love compels us to. Our great God to whom you are accountable, our relationships, are they grace filled? He extends grace to us daily. Are those relationships loved and cared for, in the ideal but also when life gets real? It’s who we are when we are partnering with others, with a purpose, in this Partnership with a Purpose it’s family at its best knowing Truth, fully loved, fully forgiven, fully redeemed, this is Family at it’s Best!
Larry and Darlene