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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2005

The Spiritual Family of God

If you have been blessed with a good family, you understand that family relationships can, indeed, be precious and beautiful. In fact, God invented the family (Genesis 2:24). He wants people to experience the warm, tender ties
of a physical family and its blessings.

But far more important than even our physicalfamily—is God’s spiritualfamily. When a person becomes a Christian, he or she has a greater, deeper relationship with the family of God—the church. In fact, the Bible teaches that Christians should not hesitate for a mo-ment to give up fleshly family ties if it becomes necessary to do so in order to put God first (Luke 14:20,24).

Commenting on His relationship with His own blood relatives, Jesus declared: “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). He realized that His teachings would sometimes disrupt family relationships, and so He stated
“a man’s foes will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36).

That explains why, during the Mosaic period of Bible history, Aaron was not permitted to mourn the deaths of his two sons (Leviticus 10:6). And it also explains why the people were to show no pity for their relatives who promoted false teaching, but instead were to lead the way in their execution (Deuteronomy 13:6-11).

Yes, the family ties of blood kin can be extremely wonderful. They can provide unending security and acceptance. When working properly, a physical family fulfills an important job that God intended. But these same blood ties can be the very thing that keeps a Christian from following the strait and narrow, discouraging one from standing strongly and firmly for truth and right. Each person must put God’s church first—even above physical family (Matthew 6:33).

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