Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Goodness of God to a Family

by Bruce Mills

We are winding up a vacation visit to my daughter and son-in-law’s home in Olathe, Kansas, located in the greater Kansas City area. It is also the residence of the world’s two best-looking, most-intelligent grandchildren, as can be seen in these pictures.Olathe KS July09 006 Olathe KS July09 001I recognize that other grandparents may disagree with me on this point, but all I can say is that they are mistaken. You understand, of course, that my grandfatherly bias is showing through!

As I spent some time this morning reflecting on our stay, I was thinking of the goodness and kindness of our heavenly Father in giving us a wonderful daughter who loves the Lord and a son-in-law who faithfully serves Him as the pastor of Christ Community Church in Olathe. Speaking of his spiritual children, the apostle John said, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4). The same is certainly true of one’s physical children. There is no greater joy in a father’s heart to see his daughter walking in obedience to Christ, and to see that the man she married has the same desire and direction in his life.

We got together with our son-in-law’s parents last night. They are a wonderful couple that we thoroughly enjoy spending time with, ever since we met them back in January 2002, a few months before our daughter and their son got married. Keith is a professor of pastoral studies at Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary in Kansas City, and Pat is the head of the Biblical Counseling program at the same school. For those who are familiar with the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, she is the author of the Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women, and she and Keith together wrote the Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth. Together the two books have sold over 110,000 copies.

We had a great time with them, and after they left to return home, my son-in-law was commenting how wonderful it is to be able to get together with both sets of parents and, as he put it, “the situation not be weird.” Everyone shares the same love for the Lord Jesus Christ, we agree doctrinally on all significant issues, we share the same philosophical worldview, and we even share some of the same interests. I have many friends who dread getting both sides of their families together because there is disagreement, strife, conflict, or simply bad, inappropriate behavior.

Our situation is ONLY possible because of Jesus Christ. Because every person present last night has committed and submitted his or her life to Jesus Christ and desires to live in obedience to His Word, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God has been working in us to transform us by renewing our minds (Rom. 12:1-2). Consequently, there is a unity of spirit and bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) among us which otherwise would not exist.

It is God alone who deserves the glory for our family’s circumstances. His gracious goodness and abundant kindness to our family has nothing to do with any of us. I don’t want anyone to think that the individuals in our family are in any way “better” than those in any other family. We are all fallen sinners, just like every other person on the face of the earth. But for God’s sovereign grace which He has chosen to pour out upon us in abundance, our family would be just as dysfunctional as many with which I am acquainted. But He has, instead, chosen to show us His mercy, grace and peace, and for that I am and will be eternally grateful. I just wanted to take a couple of moments to praise His name publicly for what He has chosen to do for us. Sola Deo Gloria!

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