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Family In Christ

2 John 1:13
The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings. (NIVUK)

The lady, to whom John is writing, had a sister. Perhaps John was staying with the sister or she may have been nearby. Certainly, her children knew their aunt well and wanted to send their warm greetings. You may say, "Why does John bother to put such a personal comment into a letter which God will use to instruct countless millions of believers?" He has understood a godly principle which he learned from Jesus (Matthew 28:10; John 20:17).

The apostle has been warning the lady against welcoming false teachers into her home (2 John 1:10). But now he counterbalances that by saying that there are some people she can trust, people who truly love her. John is convinced that her sister is soundly saved; she belongs to God through faith in Jesus Christ. She has heard the call of God who has chosen her to belong to Him, and like her sister, she has welcomed the Lord into her life. How precious family relationships should be and yet we easily presume on them and fail to actively cultivate them.

Her children love their aunt and want to maintain their relationship with such a fine godly woman. Their experience of her is wholly positive. Her love of the Lord overspills into love for her nephews and nieces. And John knows how important it is for Christian families to be active in their support for each other. After all, there will be times of real hardship and even persecution; so to prepare for those times, the family needs to be well practised in warm and open communication.

Although we are often preoccupied with the busy-ness of life, we need to learn from this family. Do not leave family and friends to cope by themselves; remind them that you are thinking of them, praying for them and wanting the best for them. It is especially necessary in times of trouble, but the relationships need to be well established before then. Christian families are always in danger as the Evil Once seeks to divide us from one another and from the Lord. Practise this today; send an email, make a call, write a letter or tell someone who can pass on the message that you love them.

Father God. Thank You for loving me and telling me that You do. I am sorry that I have often not expressed my love to some of my family, especially those who may be under spiritual attack. Please help me to be a real spiritual encouragement to my Christian brothers and sisters and especially to those in my own extended family. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams