June 2019 — We Are Family

June 2019 — We Are Family

Introduction

“And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory” (Rom. 8:17). This verse assures us that we can celebrate our adoption into the priesthood of all believers. Remind the women that we are His children and heirs.

Worship Center

Set up a worship center with a royal blue or purple satin cloth, pearls and other jewels to depict royalty.

Call to Worship—Responsive Reading

Leader: Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.

All: God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this: it is a gift from God. For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus.

Leader: And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children.

All: God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts prompting us to call out, “Abba Father.”

Leader: So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead you have received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him “Abba Father,” for His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are a chosen people.

All: For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

(Scripture taken from: Ephesians 1:5,6; 2:6,10; 3:6; Galatians 4:5,6; Romans 8:15-17; I Peter 2:9) NLT

Song: #877/504, “I’m The Child of a King,” The Salvation Army Song Book

Sharing

In preparation for the sharing time, purchase small cards with birthstones and their meaning to give to each woman. Some Christian bookstores may have them with scripture verses as well as the meaning of each birthstone. These can also be handmade. Research on the Internet the birthstones and their meaning. If you make your own cards, include a scripture promise along with a small gemstone. Check the names roster for birthdates so that you will be prepared with the appropriate gemstones. In advance ask several of the women to share when they became a child of the King. Give an opportunity for them to share their scripture promise with the group.

Craft

Purchase paper crowns from a party store or dollar store. You also might be able to get these from Burger King®. Buy bags of gemstones from a craft store and have the women decorate their crown with the gemstones. Talk about the fact that they are all daughters of the King.

Cinderella Complex

My favorite childhood fairy tale was Cinderella. I would read her story over and over. My life paralleled Cinderella’s in some ways. I was a real “coal miner’s daughter.” I was one of 16 children and at times my alcoholic stepfather could be very cruel. When my mother became ill after a miscarriage, I had to leave school in my sophomore year to help care for my younger siblings. As a young girl, I would often fantasize about living in a palace, wearing a beautiful Cinderella dress and owning a canopy–crowned bed that was all mine that I didn’t have to share with three sisters. Eventually my prince did come, and as God would have it we came from very similar family circumstances. We have been living joyfully in the Lord for the past forty–eight years, well on our way to our “happily ever after.” We often tease and say The Salvation Army found us in the Red Box and kept us, although there is an element of truth in our teasing.

Like all childhood fantasies the reality of life took hold as I grew and matured. Through the redemptive love of Jesus, I was adopted into another family—the family of God. The path He chose for my life led me to a tiny Salvation Army outpost where I learned about God’s love and gave my heart to Christ. It was there that I found love and acceptance. To this day I can still see the faces of those beautiful home league women who nurtured me in the Lord and also my loving corps officers, with whom I lived for a time. They helped me realize that I was truly a part of the wonderful the family of God.

Scripture reminds us that Christ gave His life to redeem us. Saved by His grace, we receive the gift of a glorious inheritance and we are God’s children. We have a heavenly Father, and His Spirit affirms with our spirit that we are His. We have been adopted and as His heirs we have every right to all the benefits of the kingdom of God. It is more than just a Cinderella fantasy. It is a reality made possible through the redeeming work of Christ.

I am going to ask you to put on your crown (the one made during the craft time) signifying that you are proud to acknowledge that you are a part of the family of God and that you are the child of a King. One day we will all experience a “happily ever after,” eternal life in Christ and we will receive the glorious inheritance of the kingdom of heaven through Him.

Close by singing Song #878/503 from The Salvation Army Song Book, “My Jesus I Love Thee.” (Emphasize verse 4: “In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee and dwell in Thy sight; I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow, If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ‘tis now.”)

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