All in the Family

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 

When I meet new babies, I can’t help but ask the parents who they think the baby looks like. You may have asked that question before yourself and you get all kinds of wonderful answers; “he has blue eyes like grandpa, she smiles like her mother, she chatters like daddy or he yells like grandma. Everyone finds a connection to the family. 

According to the dictionary, a family is a group of people who are related to each other. We know the examples are parents, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. When we think of family, we often recall the family we live with and belong to and are our blood kin. 

In the case of the community of faith as a family, God chose us first. Like children who are adopted, we are chosen children. Our connection to one another comes through Christ and we have been brought into the family at great cost. We are related in a special way. We are a different kind of blood relation and the cross is the reason for that. Jesus poured out his life there and by his blood we are saved. Once we accept the relationship he offers, we are full fledged family members. Our growing edge is that sometimes we don’t look like it or act like it. 

1 Peter is a letter to several churches that was sent to encourage believers in their faith by reminding them that they are chosen by God and their hope is in Jesus. The churches were being persecuted and the people were struggling. What better way to face the toughest days than to remember who we are in Christ Jesus? If this one verse, 1 Peter 3:8, were written specifically to us all at Athens First United Methodist Church, would it affect you in any way? It makes me look in the mirror and check to see if transformation is taking place. I sure do look like my dad when I smile and I have my mother’s blue eyes, but ultimately I want to resemble the family of God in the way Peter is describing it. May we all have “unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind” to the glory of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Life-long Learner

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend the morning with a group of women and share about the importance of prayer and our daily devotion time with the Lord. It seemed a little like I was “preaching to the choir,” however, as I was preparing what I might share, I was reminded that we are all in need of a “refresher course” on prayer. Put another way, we should all be seeking to be a life-long learner in our prayer life and in the time we devote to set aside for God. 

For me, prayer is a continual conversation that I have with the Lord. My prayers are not a wish list, and they are not only for me. Praying for others allows us to get outside our circumstances and think about what is going on in the lives of those we love. Corporate prayer gives us the opportunity to speak together words, praise and petition to the Lord and soften our hearts for one another.

In our scripture verse today, Paul is guiding the people of Philippi to meet their anxieties with prayer. In doing so, we can access the power of the Holy Spirit and find the peace we crave during challenging times. This verse reminds me that every single day, we are to bring our hopes, dreams, joys, concerns, praises, laments…everything to God and join in union – through our prayers - with the Lord for guidance. 

I want to always remember to be a life-long learner on the subject of prayer. How about you? 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

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