‘Family’ [v149]

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JULY 2011

‘FAMILY’

My brother and sister came into town last week (Houston and Ft. Lauderdale respectively), for a sort of ‘celebration’—it looks like my dad has successfully ‘beat’ lung cancer! So, they thought ‘Fathers Day’ would be a good time to visit—since that would give him a month or so to ‘recuperate’ after the end of his treatment—and the ‘perfect’ time to focus on dad and have a ‘family get together’.

We did all the ‘normal’ stuff: Went out for some nice dinners; had a BBQ and did some fishin’; saw ‘Pirates’ in iMax 3D on a rainy day; reminisced about ‘earlier’ years (we laughed and cried); looked at some old photos; and went golfing a few times (my dad said he had lost 20 yards off his tee ball, however, his Doctor was VERY surprised he was even golfing this early after the treatment!).

So, we just generally caught up on what’s been ‘really’ happening in each others’ lives (and TOTALLY wore my dad out!).

Now, let me say upfront, we’re NOT the ‘perfect’ family—we all have our ‘issues’—but these are the people that I would trust with my life! I know that they would do anything to help me in a ‘bad’ situation—and that’s what ‘family’ is all about!

Being a ‘part’ of most anything usually is a good feeling, but being a ‘member’ of a ‘working’ family has many additional benefits: Unconditional encouragement, acceptance, support, and forgiveness—a ‘place’ of comfort and security. Next to the grace of God, I see no principle which unites people so much in this world as family sentiments. The ‘community’ of blood is a most powerful tie!

It was an American naval officer that said, when his men insisted on helping the English sailors in fighting the Taku forts in China, “I cannot help it: blood is thicker than water.”

I have often observed that people will stand up for their relatives, merely because they are their relatives, and refuse to hear a word against them, even when they have no sympathy with their tastes and ways. Anything that helps to keep up the family sentiment ought to be commended and fostered. It is a wise thing, when it can be done, to gather “the whole family” together.

All that being said, there is a ‘family’ that we can be a part of that will be EVEN CLOSER and have STRONGER ‘BONDS’ that our family members here on earth—and that’s the “FAMILY OF GOD.” The good thing is, all of us can be a part of it, since ‘membership’ in it does not depend on any earthly connection—just the ‘connection’ to Jesus.

As I mentioned previously, there are many benefits of our earthly families, but there are even MORE AMAZING BENEFITS which membership of the ‘family of God’ conveys.

Membership in ‘the family of God’ does not come by natural birth, but by ‘new birth’. Pastors can’t impart it to their hearers. Parents cannot give it to their children. To belong to it you must be “born again” [John 3:3-8]—no one but the Holy Spirit can make you a living ‘member’ of this family. It is His special function and prerogative to bring into the true Church all those who will be saved. Those who are born again are born, “not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” [John 1:13]

Now, there’s a few reasons that the Bible gives this name “family” to ‘true’ Christians.

First off, it’s because they all have one “Father”—they are all children of God by faith in Jesus. They are all ‘born’ of one Spirit. They have received the Spirit of ‘adoption’, whereby they can cry, “Abba Father.” [Galatians 3:26; John 3:8; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 8:15]

Secondly, they are all led by one “Spirit,” and are ‘marked’ by the same general features of ‘heart’ and character. Just as there is a general bodily resemblance among the brothers and sisters of a family, so there is a general spiritual resemblance among all the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. They all hate sin and love God. They all rest their hope of salvation on Christ, and have no confidence in themselves. They all endeavor to “come out and be separate” from the ways of the world, and to set their affections on things above. They all naturally turn to the Bible, as the only ‘food’ for their souls, and the only sure guide in their pilgrimage toward Heaven—they find it “a lamp to their feet and a light for their path.” [Psalm 119:105]

Lastly, when the Jesus comes the second time, the dead saints will all be raised, and the living will all be changed. They will no longer have a vile mortal body, full of weaknesses and infirmities—they will have a body without the slightest vulnerability to sickness and pain. They will no longer be hindered by an aching ‘frame’. The former things will have passed away, and the Word will finally be fulfilled: “I am making everything new!” [Revelation 21:5]

Look around to the families on this earth with which you are acquainted: the richest, the greatest, the noblest, and the happiest. Where will you find one among them which can show ‘prospects’ to compare with those of which I just mentioned? (I can’t think of any!). The earthly riches, in many cases, will be gone in a hundred years or so. The ‘noble’ blood, in many a case, will not prevent some disgraceful deed from ‘staining’ the family name. The happiness, in many cases, will be found hollow and illusive. Few, indeed, are the homes that do not have a secret sorrow, or a “skeleton in the closet.” Whether for present possessions or future prospects, there is NO FAMILY SO WELL OFF as the ‘family of God’.

Here on earth, we all can be “scattered, tried, tossed with storms of life, and bowed down with afflictions. But not one of them will perish.” [John 10:28]. The members of God’s family will all be brought safely ‘home’ one day!

The Bible states that, outside this ‘family’, there is no ‘salvation’. No one but those who belong to it, are on the ‘road’ that leads to Heaven. The salvation of our souls does not depend on union with one ‘church’ or separation from another. They are deceived who think that it does, and will find it out to their loss one day. The life of our souls depends on something far more important. This is eternal life—to be a member of “the whole family in heaven and earth.”

Now, I very much want you to be found as a ‘member’ of this family, when it is finally gathered together in the end—a gathering without separation, sorrow, or tears.

So, if you do not yet belong to God’s family, I invite you this day to ‘join it’—without delay. Open your eyes to see the value of your soul, the wretchedness of sin, the holiness of God, and the ‘danger’ of your present condition—and the absolute necessity of the need to change.

Jesus is waiting to save your soul. The Bible tells us how He loves you: He died for your sins and rose from the grave to give you new ‘life’.

He offers you the FREE GIFT of a full, immediate ‘pardon’—if you will only believe in Him. Seek Him now and He will ‘respond’ to you!

I know nothing of your family, your history, or what ‘associations’ you may have. But, as the Bible says, if you join the ‘family of God’ you will find it the BEST and ‘HAPPIEST’ family in the world!—for now, and the ‘world’ to come!!!

[Excerpts from: J. C. Ryle; Bruce Smith; Geoff Thomas; ]

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about how to GROW CLOSER to God in the here and now, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d1_1of10.html

Blessings…Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v149) for JULY 2011

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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”FAMILY” QUOTES
“The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” [Erma Bombeck]

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” [Joyce Brothers]

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” [Desmond Tutu]

“The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” [Dodie Smith]]

“In time of test, family is best.” [Burmese Proverb]

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” [Anthony Brandt]

“The family is the first essential cell of human society.”
[Pope John XXIII]

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THREE THINGS
Three things in life that, once gone, never come back”

1. Time
2. Words
3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person”

1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose”

1. Hope
2. Peace
3. Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable”

1. Love
2. Family
3. Kindness

Three things in life that are never certain”

1. Fortune
2. Success
3. Dreams

Three things that make a person:

1. Commitment
2. Sincerity
3. Hard work

Three things that are truly constant:

Father – Son – Holy Spirit

[Author unknown]

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THE FAMILY OF GOD
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God

You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here,
It’s because we’re a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

Chorus
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I’m not worthy to be here, but PRAISE GOD! I belong!

Chorus
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God

[William J. Gaither]

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“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.

It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing–
Life forevermore.

God’s family is the greatest family.”

[Psalm 133:1-3 (A Song of Ascents of David)]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.”
[Spanish Proverb]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
[John 3:3-8]

Mark

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / NOTE / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

If you would like to make a comment on this subject,
or read previous “Thoughts,” visit the ”Deep Thoughts” blog:

https://markbesh.wordpress.com

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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