God described King David as a man after His own heart. What is His heart? It is summed up by loving God, loving people, and calling others to do the same. His heart is pleased when you spend time with Him daily and when you are filled up with His love so much so that you pour it out on the person in front of you. God’s desire for your church is to look like a family after God’s own heart. He is building a family that not only loves Him, loves each other—but also together reaches out to those who don’t know Him—so they too can do the same.
God is saving individuals to be a part of something big to accomplish His purposes in the earth. The letter to Ephesians is a perfect picture of God’s plan. In the first few chapters, the Apostle Paul writes to the believers about their new life in Christ. Paul tells his readers, “Wow the Gospel of Jesus has changed your life dramatically. Remember the time you were in darkness? Well now you are in the light because of God’s grace and love towards you. You were once dead, now you are alive. There was nothing you did to earn it. God has put the same power in you that raised Jesus from the dead so you have power to accomplish the purposes God has for you.”
Growing up in a family, you want to know a few things that are important to you. First, you want to know that you are unconditionally loved by your parents. Second, you want to know how to live as a family. Knowing that you are unconditionally loved by God will speak volumes to your identity. It builds security in you to know that you are truly loved no matter how long it takes you to develop character traits, skills, gifts, and mature in your faith. You can know your identity as you spend time individually with God daily in prayer and declaring who you are and who God is by reading His Word and listening to that still small voice.
It is so important for you to know who you are in Christ. It’s not what you do, how you dress, who you hangout with, what grades you get, whether you are rich or poor that determines your identity. It’s what God says about you that matters. He says you are a new creation, child of God, light to the world, chosen by God to do great things. He has created a whole new you and He wants you to spend time with Him daily so you can know what He says about you and He wants to teach you who He is and what His purpose is for you.
However, Paul didn’t stop there. In the next four chapters he goes from talking about you as a new believer to talking about us as the people of God. God is not only saving individuals, but He is building a family, an army, and a Kingdom, who together are after His heart. The family He is building has one heart, one mind, one purpose, one Cause. God’s main Cause is to build His family of believers by you reaching your lost friends and family with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But God doesn’t want you to do this on your own because you can’t. He promises that He will be with you always and He wants you to live the Gospel together, in unity, as a family of God so that you can together see a true awakening in your city.
The plan of the devil is to isolate you so that you will lack power to live the Christian life. I have talked to people that feel like they are drifting from God and back into sin. I have talked to others that have no desire to reach their lost friends for Jesus. Nine out of ten times it’s because they are not in community with the Family of God or they are not spending time with Jesus daily. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we shouldn’t neglect meeting together as some people do. He exhorts them to encourage and love each other as a Family of God. But he also says something interesting. He tells the believers to think of ways to motivate each other to good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Recently, a few friends of mine have been sending daily Bible verses and words of encouragement through text messages, Facebook, and over the phone. They are motivating each other to live the Gospel, spend more daily time with Jesus, and encourage each other to live the Christian walk and win the race. I believe this is what Jesus meant by discipleship. It’s lived out as the Family of God “as you go” about your daily life with each other (Matthew 28:18-20).
When you live daily as the Family of God, there seems to be a greater hunger for Jesus. Your testimonies and sharing verses inspire and motivate others in the group to continue to live out the Gospel at your job and community that is full of lost and hurting people. You will also motivate others to pray as a group realizing it’s your source of power.
This is God’s plan for your church to live the gospel in community with each other. He wants you to be unified in His Cause because He knows there is great strength in numbers and in meeting with each other daily. As you are being Fathered by God when you meet with Him and get what you need in Him, you will realize that God’s plan for you is to give it away to each other and others who don’t know Him.
Jesus died for you. But Jesus also died for the world. He died for your community, your society, your neighborhood, your school, your youth group. He is building a family that is after His own heart. And God’s heart is that you love Him, love each other, and together lovingly reach out to those who don’t know Him.
Go and live the Gospel together as the Family of God…