from the book Why I Love God
16. Characteristics of My Spiritual Family
As I lived my Christian life and engaged in different activities such as attending church, participating in ministry, and serving the Lord in various ways, relationships formed with others who also had eternal life. I tended to associate with those whose lives plainly exhibited the same transformed life I had experienced, so our interactions reflected the eternal life indwelling us. To use the words of Jesus Himself, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers? … whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” It is these people who formed my new spiritual family, and our relationships had certain notable characteristics.
First and foremost, in this new spiritual family we all recognized Jesus Christ as the Son of God. He was the Anointed One whom God the Father sent to die for the sins of the world and whom He had raised from the dead. God was someone we knew, and we knew Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
In this new spiritual family there was genuine love towards each other born out of God’s love for us. We were sincerely concerned about each other, and were willing to sacrifice on the other’s behalf just as Christ had sacrificed for us. We always warmly greeted one another, and took interest in the spiritual aspects of life. We would freely ask each other “How are you doing in the Lord?”, “What has the Lord been teaching you?” or “Is there anything I can pray about with you?”, and such questions were not considered intrusive but rather welcomed.
In this new spiritual family there was joy in discussing spiritual things. Even when meeting casually, discussions would tend to center around what God had done in our lives, what He had taught us, and what we have learned from His word. And the discussion would not be one way. A man would share things God was doing in his life, and others would likewise share. This fellowship was our primary joy.
In this new spiritual family there was an expectation of Christ’ return. We all not only knew Christ would one day return; we knew it was imminent. We were expecting it and living in anticipation of it because we knew the same Lord who saved us was faithful, and He would keep His word and come back for us. And we wanted to see Him; we wanted to forever be with Him because we loved Him.
In this new spiritual family there was a hunger for learning scripture. Bible teaching was not something we had to endure or bear with; it was what our hearts yearned for. We all believed the Bible was not the word of men, but the word of God. Why would we not seek to learn all that our God had for us? And how could anyone who professed to believe in the God of the Bible have absolutely no interest in learning from it?In this new spiritual family there was fervency in prayer. Our prayers were not dry, ritualistic, or void of seriousness. Nor were they vain repetitions. Instead there was earnestness, conviction and sincerity. And we all enjoyed praying together; it was a delight, as opposed to a duty. And when God answered our prayers, we would openly and joyfully share what He had done, attributing the answer to Him, and give Him the praise and thanks He was due.
from the book Why I Love God
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