“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19 NIV.
We have a new citizenship. Not of this world but of His. We are members, not of our earthly families, but of His family. Luke 14:26 NIV “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be My disciple.” Jesus is not telling us to hate our families or ourselves. The word “hate” is defined from the Greek as “having one take a back seat” or “requiring single-minded loyalty in discipleship, prefer less.” (Bibleworks). Jesus tells us that the Way, the Truth, and the Life must always come before the things of the world. We are all part of a bigger whole that extends beyond this earthly realm. “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields.” Mark 10:29-30 NIV. We love our families and take care of one another but we also are to love our neighbors – we take care of all those God has put in our paths irregardless of the acquaintanceship. We take care of each other stretching our arms as wide as Christ’s – as far to the east and as far to the west as God’s boundless love. 1 John 4:12 NIV “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another; God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
The Hebrew word for “Eden” is delight. The Garden of Delight.
“You feed them from the abundance of Your own house, letting them drink from Your rivers of delight.” Psalm 36:8 NLT.
The Garden of Eden was His house and had everything in it to feed Adam and Eve. They would have been filled both physically and spiritually for eternity if they had not chosen themselves instead of the things of God.
Thank God He came to restore His house! We are the stones – being shaped to fit perfectly into one another – building a dwelling place for God.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV.
“Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” John 8:35 NIV. Are we sons and daughters of God within His family forever, abiding in the Way, the Truth, and the Life? “To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31 NIV. Holding to His teachings, we can be assured that we have been made family.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparable great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-10 NIV.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 NIV. Holding to a desire not to separate from God is the seed working within us. It grows as we mature resulting in more and more of Christ in us and more and more love for God and others. Watching the news often grieves our hearts; hearing of the difficulties or sicknesses of people pulls at us to comfort and love anyway we can. Often we may find ourselves praying for other’s needs more than our own – setting aside our heart’s desires to make sure God hears someone else’s. This is how we know we are children of God. This is how we know we are rooted and grounded in love. We are born of love – that is the seed.
That love growing within, expresses itself and blooms. God plants us, waters us and we lift up our branches and burst forth in flowers.
Let us journey onward to Eternal Life
(All bolded scripture is for my own emphasis)