Family is an important part of life. Its members are the people that we grow up with. They are the ones that we know best, learning nearly everything about them, both good and bad. They are the ones that help us get through the difficulties of life. I know that when I was growing up, we moved around a lot, so my family was just about all I had by way of relationships. We stuck together, and helped each other through each transition.

            Though my parents were helpful, I relied most heavily upon my relationship with my brothers. There is something about siblings that makes them some of the best and most comforting people in our lives. My younger brothers and I counted on each other because we were growing up together. We experienced our childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and now parenthood at almost the same time. We shared, and continue to share, experiences and advice, encouraging one another and pushing each other to be better sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers.

            Do you have relationships like that? They may not always be blood-related people, but having brothers and sisters is essential to an emotionally and spiritually healthy life. For some of us, including myself, there are times when our blood siblings cannot be there or when they let us down. That is when we turn to our other family, our real family, the family that is bound not by our blood, but the blood of Jesus Christ.

            This is one of the most sacred relationships that we have, in that we can come to one another in the name of Jesus Christ and bear one another’s burdens. In Galatians 6:1, we are urged to “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This verse is given to us in the context of sin and helping brothers and sisters who are struggling, but it also applies to every situation where we need help.

            God gave us our brothers and sisters in Christ for a reason. From these brothers and sisters we can seek counsel, if they have been where we are, or we can seek partnership, if we are enduring the same struggle at the same time. This is a blessing from God in that we have each other to push us closer to Him and to help lift us up when we are down.

            We do these things out of love for God and for our neighbor. The spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the entire family of God should be as important to us as our own well-being.

            Brothers and sisters, let us lift one another up. Let us encourage one another in grace and in truth. Let us always seek to push our brothers and sisters closer to Jesus Christ through how we serve one another. What a blessed opportunity we have to be a part of a family so great, that is united by the death and resurrection of our Lord!


Pastor Ryan