Weekly Devotionals - 16 January

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).

In my early years as a believer, I remember the song, “The family of God”, sung by the Bill Gaither singers. The song spoke of the acceptance, love, and support that comes from being connected to God’s people. This was my experience as a newborn believer, and I benefitted greatly as a result.

Do we appreciate the power and blessings of a family? This may be difficult, considering the division and breakdowns seen in many homes today. This is something the enemy has successfully done from the very beginning. He placed a divisive wedge between Adam and Eve and we suffered the consequence ever since. The enemy is empowered when he can bring division.

At the same time, we see the church in a position to counter this deadly assault on families. What may be lacking in our homes should be found excelling in our church. Is this the case for Lighthouse Evangelism? Do we see ourselves as a family? Do we understand the power of family?

For those who grew up as part of the baby boomer generation, you may recognize the title of this devotional as a pop song from the 1970’s by a group known as Sister Sledge. This song became the anthem for the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team of 1979. This was a team mired in mediocrity at the mid-season point in June. “We are Family” was played over the stadium sound system and it began resonating with the players. They began to encourage, support, and challenge one another, seeing themselves as being part of family, as opposed to just being a team, and success began to follow. The fans began singing “We are Family” over the course of the games. The city of Pittsburgh soon picked up and played this song constantly, resulting in a momentum that eventually brought a struggling team and city together. The Pirates not only made the playoffs, but they also went on to win the 1979 World Series in an incredible upset over the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates had some good players, but for the most part, it was the team, comprised of average players who came together, as they recognized the power of family.

The Bible makes clear that in the last days there will be a restoration of the hearts of family members.

And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6).

One of the most alarming statistics of our day, is the increase in the number of divorces taking place within the church. It is time to press in and seek the Lord for the restoration of broken relationships. It is time for the church to serve as an example of what it means to pray, cover, and support one another in Biblical love. A true family consists of those who can look outside of themselves for the greater good. The more this is employed, the better we will be as individuals and the better we will be as a church.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10).

In the beginning the enemy was able to divide a family (Genesis 3:1-6). In the end we see a time when families will be reunited and restored (Malachi 4:4-6). We will also will see a time when God the Father will have a prepared bride (His Church) adorned for his Son (Revelation 19:7-8). That is the promise and power of family.

This is the year of Intercession for Lighthouse Evangelism. We will experience the fruits and blessings of Intercession to the extent we see ourselves functioning as a part of the family of God. Let’s bear this in mind as we progress through 2023.

For I’m part of the family, The family of God … You will notice we say brother And sister ’round here, It’s because we’re a family. And these folks are so near. When one has a heartache, We all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory In this family so dear. (Bill Gaither singers)

Monday: Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Tuesday: Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Wednesday: Psalm 133:1-3
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; t is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.

Thursday: 1 John 4:20
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Friday: Exodus 20:12
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Saturday: Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Sunday: Galatians 6:2
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell