Written by Audrey Lee. Artwork by Tammi Yu.
When you accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life, you are a new creation and become a child of God (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:1). That means you and I are family! All Christians on earth since the beginning of time to the end of time, we are family!
Have you ever thought of the other Christians at church as family? How about Christians at other churches or Christians you meet at the market? What about the Christians in other countries? Knowing that they are your family, does this change the way you think about them?
As Christians, we are called to love one another so that all people will know that we are Christ’s disciples (John 13:34-35). Loving another Christian that you have never met? That’s radical love. In the New Testament, Paul continually writes about his love for the churches and the Christians he has not met and may never meet. He struggles for them, committing them to God and asking that their hearts would be encouraged and that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will (Colossians 1:9-14, 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9).
A pastor in Guadalajara, Mexico once told me that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t strong enough to help move boulders or that I wasn’t fluent in Spanish, he was encouraged to know that their church was not forgotten. He was happy to know that they had family praying for them all the way from California. Our prayers give him strength and when we pray for them, God fills him with strength to continue his ministry. Sometimes it’s hard to pray for someone we don’t know or something we ourselves won’t see answered, but God is greater than we can imagine. When we commune with and support our global church family, we get a small picture of God’s will on earth as we will see it one day in heaven when we are all worshiping God together. Even if we don’t know them now or only hear about them through others, God hears our prayers for our family, and we will meet them in heaven in the biggest family reunion ever! Take some time today to meditate of the vastness of God’s grace which reaches the whole earth and to pray for our family who are persecuted and struggle for the sake of Christ.
1. Can you recall a time when you felt accepted and supported without condition?
2. How can you be the love of Christ to your church family? Is there anything you can do to encourage and strengthen your family members?