Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas is a Time for Family

A dear family friend, Dr. Wingrove Taylor, wrote this devotional. He included it in his yearly Christmas letter. He gave his permission for me to share it with you.

Family Truth. Preparing for a time of worship while on vacation, God’s truth about family became structured. The truth about family must begin with The Forever Family. This uncreated family is comprised of the eternal Father (1 John 1:2), the eternal Son (1 John 5:11), and the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14, KJV). The Forever Family is mystery that we faithfully accept through our spiritual latitudes but cannot fully analyze because of our physical limitations. On His created earth, the uncreated God created what we may call The Foundational Family (Gen. 2:18-24). Here God undoubtedly laid for all time the principle for the basic composition of earthly marriage and family—the God-officiating uniting of a male and a female (cf. Matt. 19:3-6). All other supposedly marital combinations are total untruth—even from the practical standpoint of posterity. There is The Fallen Family—fallen because Adam brought sin into the world (Rom.5:12a). Study Genesis 3 and it becomes obvious that sin is basically self-deity in place of the Sovereign Deity. First by the rudimentary redemption of sacrifice and covering in Genesis 3:20-21; then by royal redemption God made possible The Faith Family (Eph. 5:22-6:4). The faith family is indeed The Father’s Family; for when Jesus was told that his mother and brothers sought Him, His response was “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mark 3:34b-35). In fact, not only do the claims of earthly family cease in eternity, but the condition itself of earthly family changes (Luke 20:27-36). Indeed the Father’s Family is to be The Final Family (Eph. 3:14-15).

Family Thoughts. When I was growing up, one of the pungent appeals of evangelists and pastors was whether or not a given family would be unbroken around the throne of God. It produced powerful aspiration. There is no question, as Ephesians 5 and 6 reveal, that God desires Christian and responsible parents, and Christian and responsive children. These family thoughts are separate and apart. Here, the truth is that whatever decisions, for or against Christ, parents or children may make, there will be no broken families in heaven. In heaven, the Father’s Family will be the Final, the only Family. More than being remarkably structured, God’s truth about family is unmistakably sobering; and this I shared with my children and grandchildren. I share it now again with them; with my wider family; and with my wonderful friends. With conscientious devotion let us all be doers of God’s will in the deeds that He wants us to do; but first and foremost, with complete dedication let us be doers of God’s will in the beings that He wants us to be.

Let us resolve to fully celebrate Christmas as families by each member being a part of the Father’s Family!

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