Keys To Family Unity
SECOND QUARTER 2019
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #7
MAY 18, 2019
“KEYS TO FAMILY UNITY”
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” Revelation 14:12, NKJV
The home life, the family, is often founded upon something other than true love:
“Love is a plant of heavenly origin. It is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol. In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown. Modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, and religion will characterize every step toward an alliance in marriage. Those who are thus controlled, will not be absorbed in each other's society, at a loss of interest in the prayer meeting and the religious service. Their fervor for the truth will not die on account of the neglect of the opportunities and privileges that God has graciously given to them.” RH, September 25, 1888.
Good counsel for the beginning of marriage, but the Divine Horticulturist is years on still teaching me about that heavenly plant. Am I tempted to become impatient myself? Am I cheerfully bearing and enduring the burden of spiritual responsibility in my own home?
Think of the many parables of Jesus that involve the heavenly principle of patience - one of the key attributes of true agape. The seed and the sower, the wheat and the tares, the seed becoming the tree, first the blade and then the ear, and many others. Our fallen human nature is different, and this plant of heavenly growth “cannot live and flourish in the human heart.”
We must be born again, and again, and again, in a daily conversion.
One of the key elements of the three angels' messages that is essential to prepare for translation is bringing in this hypomone, or enduring patience, into our home and church life.
“God would have us individually come into that position where He can bestow His love upon us. He has placed a high value upon man, and has redeemed us by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, and we are to see in our fellow-man the purchase of the blood of Christ. If we have this love one for another, we shall be growing in love for God and the truth. We have been pained at heart to see how little love is cherished in our midst. Love is a plant of heavenly origin, and if we would have it flourish in our hearts, we must cultivate it daily. Mildness, gentleness, long suffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, enduring all things,--these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love.” RH, June 5, 1888.
It is only through claiming the new humanity in Christ, who was consumed in His death to sin, putting to death the enmity (Sunday’s lesson) that we can nurture that plant. He alone can cleanse our families of the weeds passed from generation to generation from Adam to this day. He will unite us in His love (Monday), He will destroy the family destroyer of selfishness (Tuesday), and He will teach us through His own submission to the Father in our salvation how to exercise both living the love (Thursday) and submitting to heaven’s order in our homes (Wednesday).
We could apply the same to the family of God - the church. Is Christ the center of our ministry? Are we really here to serve, or to be served? What brings true unity?
“The only true union among Christians is union with Christ. Men may try to patch up union between themselves, but it lasts only so long as will subserve their selfish purposes. Man cannot be grafted upon man for the reason that no man has life in himself to impart to others. Such a union is like the union of two separate branches; there is no vitality to it. But if the Christian is united as a branch to the Living Vine, Christ Jesus, the One Who has life in Himself, that branch becomes transfused with the life of the Vine, a part of the very stock itself. Two Christians thus united are united to each other by a bond which no power on earth can break. That bond is the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way is our Lord's prayer answered: ‘That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.’ John 17:21. This is the union which God desires; this is the only true union possible!’ September 8, 1890 EJW, SITI 480.
May God nurture that divine plant of love in each of our hearts, in our families, and in His Laodicean Church today, at the same time weeding out the selfish plant of sin.