“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
THE FAMILY TRAITS
Whenever a person is brought into the Kingdom of God, and becomes a child of God, the new lifestyle follows. While God works in and through the personalities we already have (strictly speaking, we do not instantly receive a “new nature”), He begins to mark those personalities with certain broad similarities. There are characteristic qualities of life shared by all of God’s children; there is a family likeness which is always present. We expect this in a family.
In our own families the children have many similar features, yet at the same time possess quite distinct and different personalities. It is the same in the family of God. There are many obvious differences in God’s children — “sameness” is not something that appeals to God! Yet, at the same time, there are characteristics common to all members of the family, because they have received them from their Father in Heaven, and learned them from their great Elder Brother.
According to the New Testament our lifestyle is influenced both by the new life which has been given to us (we have been born of God) and by our adoption into the family of God. We receive new dispositions and a new environment. The wonderful thing about the gospel is that these two things are done together. Unlike human adoption, God is able to give us the disposition of a member of His family. Yet, like natural adoption, we have come from another family, and God needs to keep on saying to us; since you belong to MY family now I want to see you behaving like one of MY children.
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Sinclair Ferguson, “Children of the Living God”
The JoyPals Network
The Blessing of Peace
Scripture declares that “peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18). Do you want to produce a harvest of righteousness in your family? James says that you should not expect this to occur in a home marked by fighting and quarrelling. It will happen in families where peacemakers are continuously sowing in peace. They will reap the harvest of righteousness.
Psalm 133 emphasizes the same thought. It compares unity in the family with the anointing oil that was poured on Aaron when he was set apart for his priestly ministry (Exod. 28:7; 30:25). He was thereby officially consecrated for the Lord’s use. The psalmist seems to be saying that when we maintain unity (by preventing and resolving conflicts), we, like Aaron, are especially set apart for the Lord’s service. In an atmosphere of peace and unity, God blesses and uses us in a special way.
Another phrase in this psalm expands the concept further. The psalmist compares peace and unity among brothers [sisters] to “the dew of Hermon . . . falling on Mount Zion” (Ps. 133:3). Between the rains of early spring and late summer, little precipitation fell in Palestine. If the crops were to grow, they need additional moisture. Fortunately, unless severe conditions prevailed, many sections of Palestine were blessed with a heavy dew. Nowhere, however, was the dew heavier than around Mount Hermon. As a result, the fields in this area usually bore an abundant harvest.
In similar fashion, the psalmist indicates that God’s blessing is abundantly bestowed on people (individuals, families, churches) who cherish unity. Drought conditions may prevail all around such people, and evil forces may oppose the work of God in their lives. But in their relationship in and out of the home, the blessing of God yields a harvest of righteousness. __Your Family, God’s Way, Wayne A. Mack