FIRST Thoughts

During the months of November and December there is more opportunity for families to be together than at any other time of the year. Many gather for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas. It can be a very encouraging time for people, and it can be a very discouraging time for others.

Family is important. It provides a social structure of support for the individuals who are blessed in being included. Maybe that is why our adversary has worked so tirelessly in trying to dismantle the family structure over the previous sixty years. We who know the Lord realize that his ultimate goal is to destroy what God established as necessary for the health and welfare of those created in His image.

When you stop and think about it, the Devil has been effective in isolating people from one another for some time. That can make these days much more difficult. The sad truth is many feel 'cut off' from their family because of something that happened in the past. The consequence is often isolation from their family and too often the innocent are orphaned, as a result.

That is why Jesus was so concerned about widows and orphans (James 1:27). James referred to a person's outreach toward those who have been left out or left behind as 'pure religion and undefiled'. That simply means that Jesus intentionally ministered to those who had been 'cut off' from family or 'cut out' of the herd of humanity. In short, Jesus came to embrace 'the culls' of society and He did so with grace.

Now before any of us jump to the wrong conclusion on this, we must remember that all of us were at one time 'orphaned' because of sin. Our past decisions of striving to satisfy our flesh separated us from God's family. Sin effectively isolated us from Holy God. The best person who ever lived according to the flawed standards of mankind still needs a Father who loves them; a Father who is willing to love them unconditionally and a Savior who is willing to give everything so they might live and not perish eternally. Praise God that He loves those orphaned by sin and made us children of His forever family through Christ His Son!

The next time you are 'down' with discouragement or even depressed with how things are going or not going in your family, remember that God included you in His family by grace through faith.

Take a moment or two this December and reflect on the biblical truth that because of God's grace and Christ's sacrifice, we have the opportunity to be a part of a family where love is foundational and forever. Hallelujah and PTL!

As a child of God, born again in Christ, our veins pump the royal blood of Christ. We are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We share in his sufferings and one day we will share in His glory!

As 2021 comes to a close (hard to believe I know), whether you are close to your earthly family or not this December, remember that because of Christ's offering, the opportunity to be close to our heavenly Father eternally is available and necessary for everyone!

Our Father embraces the orphaned and makes them His own children!

That is something worth living for, indeed!

May Christ remain the greatest gift ever this year!

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1