God’s Family of Workers
God’s Family of Workers
Kim, a man who has been a Christian for only a few months, is delighted with the beautiful truths he is finding in his eager study of God’s Word. He reads of the ways God spoke to the world in the past and discovers an interesting pattern woven throughout the Bible.
As he reads his Bible, he sees that God has always had a family, and that this family has carried out His work in the world. He reads about the prophets who lived in Old Testament times and the disciples and apostles of the early church who lived in New Testament times. He notices how these men and women have told God’s message to others.
As Kim studies these things, he finds himself praying this prayer: “Lord, how can I be a part of Your work?” This prayer has become the cry of his heart as he sees the needs of the world around him. Is this prayer the cry of your heart too? As you study this first lesson you will begin to discover what God’s plan for you is and how you can be a part of His work in the world today.
God has a Family
God’s Family in the Old Testament
Though God created all creatures, only man was able to fellowship with his Creator. God wanted to fellowship with man; He wanted to share Himself with His creation. He wanted a family.
Although fellowship with the Creator was soon broken because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:1-24), God continued to have a family. He continued to fellowship with those who obeyed Him.
In Genesis 4:26 we read that “people began using the Lord’s holy name in worship.” The story of Noah indicates clearly that God had a family at that time. “Noah did everything that God commanded” (Genesis 6:22). Already God had men to do His work.
Beginning with a man called Abraham, we have a complete record of a family, which became the Jewish nation, God’s special people. They were a people with a mission. They had a special work to do for God.
This Jewish nation was called Israel. Among its leaders were Moses, who led the children of Israel out of Egypt; David, a mighty king; the prophets, who spoke God’s message to the people; and many others. We can follow the history of God’s special people throughout the Old Testament. There were many of them who obeyed God and did His work.
God’s Family in the New Testament
When Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth, He went everywhere doing good. He brought comfort and help, healing and forgiveness. But He also had a greater work to do that only He could do. He gave His blood as the perfect sacrifice for sin. The animal sacrifices that God commanded in the
Old Testament had all pointed to Christ. After Jesus gave Himself they were no longer needed.
Jesus’ death was in the will of God. He had come to do the will of His Father. “My food,” He said, “is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do” (John 4: 34). And God was pleased with Jesus’ work. God raised Jesus from the dead, and after Jesus spent forty days with His disciples He returned to heaven (Acts 1:3-9).
What were Jesus’ followers to do when their leader was gone? They knew. He had told them before He went away. They were to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Acts 1:8).
In the book of Acts in the Bible we read about men and women who worked for Jesus after He returned to heaven. Some of these people had been His followers while He was on earth. Two of them, Peter and John were on their way to pray in the temple when they met a beggar. They had no money to give him. But, in the name of Jesus, Peter told him to walk. He took him by the hand and helped him up. The man went away walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:1-10). Jesus’ work was continuing through Peter and John. Many people became Christians and the church grew.
Another special worker we read about in the book of Acts was the apostle Paul. Before he understood the message of Christ he tried to destroy the Christians. But later he became one of the church’s most faithful workers. He went into many countries starting churches. Paul continued Jesus’ work.
God’s Family Today
The work of Jesus continues today. It has been about 2000 years since Jesus returned to heaven. Before He left, the command He gave to His disciples was, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all mankind” (Mark 16:15). Jesus’ command is to Christians of every generation. The words of Jesus are for us now.
As the message of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is received and believed, the family of God continues to grow. Godly men and women from Old Testament times, believers from the first church, and believers today, are all God’s children. All are a part of His continuing family.
God speaks to the world through His family. Jesus is in heaven, but His work on earth will continue. It will continue through us. The message of life, the message of salvation through faith in God’s Son will always be told, for that is the work of Christians.
God’s Plan for his Family
We know God has a family and has had one since the creation of Adam. Now let us think about
His hopes and plans for His family.
To Be Like His Son
Would it surprise you to know that God is looking for His image in His children? Romans 8:29 says, “Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son.”
Nothing pleases a father more than to look at his infant son and see that the baby’s face is just like his own. He sees his image in his son. God wants our lives and our desires to be like His. We should seek to be righteous and holy even as He is righteous and holy. Then we will be like His Son.
Why should God want us to be like His Son? God knows that unless we are like His Son we will not be able to continue His Son’s work on the earth.
There was once a missionary who went into a new country to preach the gospel. He thought no one had ever been there before to tell the story of Jesus. He began to tell how kind Jesus was and what He did. The people said, “Oh, Jesus has been here. We have seen Him.” The missionary knew it could not be true. As the people talked he understood. Another missionary had been there years before. He was so much like Jesus that the people thought they had seen Jesus!
We must be like God’s Son if we are to continue His work. How can we be like Him? We must walk with Him. Talk with Him. Read His Word. Obey His Word. Seek to know His will and to do it. We will become like Him.
To Carry the Gospel
We have Jesus’ command to take the gospel into the whole world. What does this mean? First of all, there must be workers willing to go. Then there must be workers to pray for them as they go. And there must be workers who support them with money so they can go and preach. Bibles and teaching materials are needed in gospel work.
When churches are started, many people are needed to teach, to pray, to minister to the sick and to comfort those who sorrow. Some will be needed to build the church building, and some to clean it. There is a place for every person who will work. All Christians should be willing to work and to do their work for God’s glory.
To Spend Eternity With Him
Let me tell you about something God the Father is planning for His family. A father likes nothing better than for his children to come home. At the end of the day parents welcome the children home. Even when the children are older and live away from home, still parents want to see them and be together with them.
God is no different. In John 14:2 Jesus said, “There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you.” God is looking forward to the time when the family will come home. He knows that the time is coming, so He is getting everything ready. The whole family of God will be together for eternity.
At that time something wonderful will happen. The Father will have some rewards to give out. Jesus says that there will be a special reward for those who have suffered for His name: “Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven” (Matthew 5:12).