Radcliff United Methodist Church
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November 3, 2013 - Enough to Family Drama

Saturday, November 30, 2013 View Comments Comments (0)
            ENOUGH…. WITH FAMILY DRAMA

                         Ephesians 2:14-22

 

   ALL FAMILIES HAVE THEIR “STUFF”.  Sometimes that “stuff” even shows in our family pictures. ** Show awkward family photos**  All families have that “stuff”. Sometimes that stuff is strained relationships (divorce, cheating, fights, neglect, abuse). Sometimes the family “stuff” is made up of “life problems.( financial worries, sickness, career problems, unrealistic expectations) Sometime it’s just the day to day of family life (school, sports, work, activities…life)

  Families are full of both Good and Bad family “stuff!.... but sometimes that “stuff” moves from just “stuff” to FAMILY DRAMA!      That’s when we want to scream…. ENOUGH!

ENOUGH TO FAMILY DRAMA!

  The Christians in Ephesus were having their fair share of family drama. Ephesus was a large city, with a diverse group of people. This church had both Jewish converts and gentile believers and in the midst was a huge mix of folks from all different sides of many different tracks…. The place was a smoldering pot of family drama!   Can Gentiles really hang-out with Jews? Which religious rules do we really have to follow? Who gets to control the church? What if I don’t like the person sitting on my pew?  Sound familiar?   FAMILY DRAMA!  So Paul writes to the church in Ephesus and says… ENOUGH!

 

    ** ENOUGH WITH THE HOSTILITY BETWEEN PEOPLE!** 

  Many are the fights in families. Brothers competing with brothers. Sisters refusing to talk to one another. Divorce and separation now in well over 50% of marriages. Mental and physical and emotional abuse is running rampant. Domestic disputes are called in nightly. Stress, drug and alcohol abuse, financial strains, are all creating a general hostility between people. We see it in our natural families… and we even feel the effects in the church family. People are hostile to one another!

    The good news is that the Lord has the answer! ( the Lord IS the answer!)

 God’s Word says, “ His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.”

 The work Jesus did on the cross ( the forgiveness and the sacrifice for our sin) made a way for peace not only between us and God… but between us and others. The forgiveness we receive, makes it possible for us to really forgive and to love one another. He put an end to the hostility. ENOUGH WITH THE HOSTILITY

 

   I heard of a church that was having a really rough time. They had  forgotten why they were a church, and this showed itself in a number of ways. There was disagreement on what kind of music should be played… to the point where one side literally wouldn’t sit with the other side. Members of the church were gossiping about one another out in the community. People would literally refuse to talk with one another, even during the holy “passing of the peace” in the worship service. They were mad and angry and hurting. They were hostile. The Pastor saw what was happening, and so he called an all church “come to Jesus” meeting. At that meeting, he handed each of the people of the church a small cross when they came in the door. As they sat down at the table… each side sitting with their own… he said: “ I know we have had disagreements, arguments, fights, and even hostility toward one another. Here’s the deal: Every time you hate your brother or sister…. You “spit” on this cross. You “spit” on Jesus who died to save the very people you are  hating. You “spit” on his sacrifice!

Now, which of you has the guts, to spit on the cross you have in your hand?”   The room was silent… and then tears began. People who had hated and gossiped and hurt one another began to cry and hug and ask for forgiveness.   That church was forever changed!

The Cross stopped the hostility!   Enough!

 

  ** ENOUGH WITH THE IDEA THAT SOME DON’T BELONG!**

  Someone once said, “every family has a black-sheep”. Many people either feel like they don’t belong, or are treated that way. We are guilty of thinking we are better than others… they don’t live in the “right” way or look the “right way” or say the “right things”. People live in the “wrong house” or wear the “wrong clothes” or have the “wrong job”. So we, in our sinfulness, exclude them. We push them away or ignore them, or make them feel less welcome. There are many, many people within families who feel like they don’t belong… and unfortunately, that same attitude extends to the church.

How many people are afraid to walk in the doors of the church, because sometime, somewhere, somehow they have been made to feel like they were not wanted! They feel like strangers!

Enough with that idea!

In God’s family… everyone belongs! The Word says, “ You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household.”

Because of Jesus…. Everyone belongs in the family! All of us have a place. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t the best or the brightest or the “cream of the crop”. We have a place in the family…. We belong!

   I am adopted. I have biological parents out there, somewhere… people I have never met, and more than likely never will (this side of heaven, anyway).People who loved me enough to give me up so that I might have a shot in life. Some people would say… “ so you don’t belong to Peggy and D.D. Gillespie.”  I beg to differ. The Lord chose those parents for me. The Gillespie’s are my family. I belong… because I have been adopted, and been raised, and been loved. I belong!

You too have been adopted…. Now I don’t mean by your family (although some have)… but by God Himself. If you are a Christian… then you are part of the family! God’s family…. And in God’s family, EVERYONE BELONGS!

  Enough with the idea that some people don’t!

 

     ** ENOUGH WITH LIFE LIVED WITHOUT GOD!**

 The problems in our families( and in our churches) are multiplied when God isn’t central in the family! When we seek to live in our own way, and on our own terms, we falter and we fail. When we are focused simply on careers or hobbies or money or the “American dream” and we try to do it without God…. Life and family and church will fall apart! In many families, the only time God is thought about or spoken of  is when He was mentioned in some wedding vow. Families are trying to live life without God…. And it’s a disaster!

    Now, we can say that isn’t true of the church… of course the church centers on God…. Really? Are we sure? How many times do we really seek God’s will when we plan for things in the church? How many of us really pray and fast for each other? How many of us will easily miss a church service, but won’t miss a moment of our favorite ball game? Are we really saturating our minds with Scripture and our hearts in worship and praise?

Even churches try to live life and do ministry without God….. ENOUGH!

The Word says, “ and in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His spirit.”

The Lord can be at the center of our lives and families and churches… and when He is, the drama is done!

    ** My bride and I have been married for 22 years. Now I would love to stand here and tell you that each and every moment has been filled with bliss… never a fight… never a frustration… never a problem. But that would be a Lie! There have been disagreements and problems and fights…. But something we have learned. Those disagreements and problems and fights are a LOT LESS.. when we are growing in our walk with Christ together. When we pray together and do devotional together and find ways to worship and serve together…..we have less drama! When God is at the center….it’s goooooood!

Have you had enough of the drama? Live life with God at the Center!

 

    Our family photographs may continue to be awkward….. but our family lives don’t have to be! We can say ENOUGH!

Enough with the hostility!

Enough with the idea that some don’t belong!

Enough with life lived without God!

                  At the Cross…. Jesus did Enough!


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