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Serving the Church Family

(Romans 12:3–16)

Due to technical difficulties, there's no video this week.
The video recorded fine, but there was no audio!
You can still read the summary and handout below.

After God created all things, He said it was very good (Gen 1:31). However, looking at the man that He had made, the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen 2:18). Therefore, He made a woman for Adam to be his wife. God said, “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Gen 1:28) It was not long, and they heard the pitter patter of little feet, and the joy of a family was experienced.

It is not good to be alone. Let that sink in. In Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families.” However, in this life there are many lonely people. There are some who have been orphaned, or never married, or married and widowed or divorced. Perhaps, they have moved to a new neighborhood and do not have a friend. Perhaps they are lonely in a crowd, a young mother with little kids alone at home while her husband is away at work.

Some who are alone, steel themselves, and true to the lyrics of the old Simon and Garfunkel song of the 1960s say, “I am a rock. I am an island.” Listen to the haunting words.

"A winters day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.

I am a rock,
I am an island.
I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.

I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don't talk of love,
But I've heard the words before;
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.

I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.

I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries."

Paul Simon, who wrote these lyrics, has masterfully captured the pain of rejection and loneliness. This is truly a emotionally powerful song!

What does God have to say to such hurt and pain? “It is not good for the man to be alone.”“God sets the lonely in families.”

What has God done to address such hurt and pain? He came to set the solitary in families. His family.

It is a Divine family. The Trinity. It is a family with God the Father as our Father, the Son of God as our brother, and the Holy Spirit. It is a family characterized by love, and felicity, abounding in goodness. How do we fit in? We become adopted children when we receive Christ by faith, and our fellow church members become our brothers and sisters. There is no need to be alone any longer. This is to be a family of love and grace, and acceptance and encouragement,

There is even another picture of intimacy and love. In the Old Testament Abraham sent his servant to a far country to get a bride for his son, Isaac. This portrays another picture of our inclusion into the family of God. God the Father sent the Holy Spirit into the world to get a bride for His Son. We are that bride, and Jesus is the happy groom who delights in us and will take us home to His family, a place of happiness and bliss.

God’s plan for the believer is to bring him or her into His family, and the church is the earthly representation of that reality. Today, in our study of Romans 12:3–8, we are going to speak about the joy that comes in being a part of and sharing in that family life.

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The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)

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