Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman


Bind Us Together In Family


  There can be no doubt that God created us for togetherness in family, church, and community. God’s will for togetherness is found in the command, "what God has joined together let no man put asunder." The context is that of marriage, but the principle can be applied to family, religious and social interaction. We know this because of other scriptures. "I pray for those who will believe in me, that they may be one... Agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you...Watch out for those who cause division... For they are not serving Jesus, but their own desires... As much as possible, live at peace with all men." The question is not, does God want us to get along, but how?


Ruptured relationships are healed when we are willing to...


  Take the initiative. Regardless of whose fault it is, we have a God-given responsibility to settle the problem immediately. "If your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go reconcile." Who is at fault, who started it, and how the brother will react has nothing to do with our responsibility.We must take the initiative. "Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath." Don’t give the devil time and place to work. Silence is not golden. Do something today to heal the hurt. We are family!


  Sacrifice our own interest. Culture teaches us to look out for number one. This is not Bible. No wonder families, churches, and nations are feuding. If we genuinely love others, we will be willing to sacrifice self on their behalf. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." There was a time everybody could quote it, but the words of Jesus have largely been forgotten: "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them... Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the son of your Father in heaven." We are family!


  Encourage. Anger and encouragement are mutually exclusive. They cannot occupy the same heart. "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other. Live in peace. Encourage the timid and help the weak. Be patient with all." Be an encouragement to family, church and neighbor. We are family!


  Show appreciation. Jesus found something good to say about each of the Seven Churches of Asia in spite of their weaknesses. Think it! Say it! Write it! We must stop our fault finding, complaining and critical judgment of others. Tell them, I love and appreciate you because… You fill in the blank… Encouragement and expressions of appreciation bring genuine healing to strained relationships. We are family!


  Love is the answer! "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Perhaps we’ll never be more like Jesus than when we are loving and forgiving one another. Bind us together Lord, bind us together with love. God help us to believe and live like we sing, amen?


—Randall Caselman