From Your Pastor’s Heart
Grace for the Family
On Monday March 24, Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, announced that the American branch of the 64 year old organization, established to help the poor and orphaned children of the world, will no longer restrict the sexual conduct of their employees to marriage between one man and one woman. World Vision has fought for and won the right to employ and hire based on faith-based requirements. Included in those requirements is a code of Christian conduct requiring abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. Now Stearns, with the approval of the World Vision Board of Trustees, has led the organization to change the condition of employment to permit “gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages.”
On Wednesday, March 26, Richard Stearns along with the World Vision’s Board of Trustees reversed that decision. Citing the outcry of World Vision supporters and the lack of consultation with leaders from the global humanitarian community and the church community, the conclusion was made that a grave error in judgment had occurred and the best course was reversal. Accompanying this reversal was a full endorsement of the Biblical definition of the family.
Reflecting upon this organization’s struggle with the definition of family, I think it would be wise for us to reflect on the family as well. As we complete our winter/spring 2014 sermon series, “The Winning Family”, we also begin the journey to the cross and the empty tomb during Easter (April 20). What a splendid transition to remind ourselves that the strongest family is the family whose structure in decision making, growing in relational intimacy, and all other things related to family development is the family rooted in the truth of the gospel, the grace of the gospel, and the call of the gospel.
The Truth of the Gospel – We are all sinners saved by God’s grace alone. That grace becomes effective in the life of those who recognize their sin and trust in the work of Christ displayed in scripture through the revelation that God grants through the person of the Holy Spirit. We raise our children and encourage each other as spouses in the gloriously gracious truth of this salvation.
The Grace of the Gospel – Not one of us deserves salvation. God does not treat us as we deserve to be treated, but by grace He works in believer’s lives for His glory and our joy. We should love and discipline our children with such grace in view. Our spouses will also benefit if we would choose to lavish grace upon one another.
The Call of the Gospel – Families become a display of God’s grace when they live and love under the influence of this grace. The families who have the greatest impact in the world are the families who see the potential of this call in the world today. These families want all peoples of all nations to know the grace of God.
I pray for your family and for mine that we will enjoy abundantly the grace of God within our homes and distribute generously the grace of God in the world we live in.
Living in and by Grace,