Ozark Christian Living

Family Life & Homemaker's Guide

The Inception of Reception

April 21

"If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself."  Philemon 17

"A Cloak-and-Dagger Christian is extremely cancerous ..."






The family of GOD far exceeds every other relationship.  Time, and perhaps eternity, will separate the dearest born of earth (cf. Matthew 10:34-37); but the gene pool of the "born again" extends beyond the valley.  This stark truth is no more pronounced, than in this story found in Mark's gospel: "There came then HIS brethren and HIS mother, and, standing without, sent unto HIM, calling HIM.  And the multitude sat about HIM, and they said unto HIM, Behold, THY mother and THY brethren without seek for THEE.  And HE answered them, saying, who is MY mother, or MY brethren?  And HE looked round about on them which sat about HIM, and said, behold MY mother and MY brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of GOD, the same is MY brother, and MY sister, and mother."

An inseparable oneness with FATHER and SON occurs at the nativity of our faith (cf. John 17:20-23; Romans 8:35-39).  Every sibling adopted by grace is umbilical-ed into the body of which HE is head.  HIS Church is not clap and board, but an organism of dynamic love and forgiveness, capable of turning the world upside down.  "So we, being many, are one body in CHRIST, and every one members one of another."  There is no place in HIS body for either selective, or elective paralysis; and Paul, in his masterful way, reminds Philemon in today's text of this vital principle.  A Cloak-and-Dagger Christian is extremely cancerous, and Biblically, no tolerance is afforded him.  But Onesimus was guilty of grand theft slavery!  No matter! ... for: "... love covereth all sins."  Paul rightly plays the trump card of grace, of which logic defies us, appealing to GOD HIMSELF: "He that receiveth you receiveth ME, and he that receiveth ME receiveth HIM that sent ME."  HE is the inception of all reception.  Conversely, he who receives not a brother, receives not CHRIST, and he that receives not CHRIST, receives not the FATHER, and he that receives not the FATHER:   "... hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

"If a man say, I love GOD, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love GOD whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from HIM, that he who loveth GOD love his brother also."  The love of GOD is strong, thus these words of admonition must be equally strong as well. 

"Beloved, if GOD so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

For Love of Country
George Washington (1732-1799)
(1st U. S. President)
"Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that THOU wilt keep the United States in THY Holy protection; and THOU wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another ..."

This site was last updated 04/20/2012