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You cannot refuse to walk in righteousness, led by the Spirit, and expect good fruit. You can't walk as in darkness and expect to be in the light. You cannot ignore righteousness and ignore repentance and expect redemption of your life, your marriage, your family, or anything.

God has a righteous standard, and, no, it's not "legalistic" to know and pursue and live out that righteous standard for your life, your marriage, your natural and your Christian family, your relationships, your associations, your business, and on and on.

For everything, God has a righteous standard and we are all, always, responsible for seeking it out, understanding it, and, by the leading of His Word and Spirit (and by His power, not ours), to LIVE IT consciously and conscienciously!

A life lived without regard to God's righteous standard, as if even having such a standard is somehow "legalism", as if such a righteous standard doesn't exist, is less than God's best for us. It is like filling your yard with sand and then planting a vegetable garden, then blaming God because nothing sprouted! Look at your life, what is growing in your life, in your marriage, your family, your career or business, your ministry, or your dreams and hopes? Is it all coming up empty, or is it coming up fruitful?

I can guarantee that in my life, where there is no fruit, I look FIRST at whether or not the soil is good, and good soil is hearing and doing the Word of God, in other words God's righteous standard for that thing. What, after all, is righteousness but to be set apart for God's use and purposes? God sets a standard whereby our lives, words, deeds, and relationships can be set aside for His use and purpose to give Him Glory and for the Praise of His Name! If we pursue a life set apart for his use and purposes, we will reap good fruit.

This doesn't mean we don't struggle, I've had struggles and even injustices, but the fruit is good, in other words God gets the Glory, when I am in line with His righteous standard, and it is not good, it doesn't give Glory to God, when I am not in line: when I pour sand in my garden, the plants don't thrive!

This is very important: God getting the glory is the fruit we seek, for this is our life's meaning, to Glorify God. Good fruit is "God is Glorified". Success as the world sees it is bad fruit if it does not Glorify God: if you get the glory, that's not the good fruit I am talking about.

(NOTE: I am not pushing false humility nor saying we should not praise people who do good, we should honor people, and even in doing so we ought to Glorify God in them, and if we are praised we ought to Glorify God in us.)

Look at the fruit regarding the family of God around you. Is there unity and peace and no real lack or want among the People of God, which results in God getting the Glory? Or do people see how the family of God acts in a whole community, divided into competing clans, and think "this is NOT the kind of family I want to be part of"? Do we even actively seek to know what God's righteous standard for His People as a family is? We do not seek it, let alone try, and that solely by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, to implement that righteous standard in our decision-making and our relationships.

We say it is an impossible dream, but so too our very salvation is an impossible dream. We cannot possibly be saved, but thanks be to God we are: we cannot possibly act like real family with Christians around us, but thanks be to God through Christ, "we who WERE strangers" are no more, by His Spirit in us we CAN act as, and experience the life of, a family together in Christ.

What is God's righteous standard for the family, and, by extension, the family of God in your home, at your place of work, in your neighborhood and community, wherever you fellowship or worship with other Believers, or wherever you come into contact with your Christian kinfolk? Do we even actively ASK that urgent question?

Here is another important point: we are responsible for doing this ourselves right now.

Acting as family is not something we must get everyone to agree to, it is something we have to individually choose to do. This is key. If we want Christian family, we ourselves have to choose to ACT LIKE FAMILY even when our Blood Bought Family members choose not to! It is what you and I choose to do, not what others agree to do. It is not an impossible dream, it is, in fact, a present day mandate for us to treat other family members as God's righteous standard prescribes. We may confess, "I do not know that standard", and so we can seek wisdom from God who gives it liberally to all who ask. We must repent that "I am not living out God's righteous standard for family with fellow Believers".

I have made a decision in my life, long ago, to apply the same standard expected of natural blood kin to Blood Bought Christian kin, and it has never been easy, especially since many Christians are not even aware that this bit about us being the family of God MEANS SOMETHING! This has put me at a disadvantage at times and it has made me vulnerable to being hurt and even to abuse, but I do not act this out for me or because others will respond in kind, my fixed aim is to Glorify God and serve His Purpose.

God says we are family, therefore I have only one way to go, in order to follow Him, and that is to ACT AS IF IT IS REAL, regardless of circumstances or what the other person does.

The old song says "they'll know we are Christians by our love". That's family. And God has a righteous standard for family. Even if we are ignorant of it, it exists, and the consequencs of ignoring it...well...we see that all around us. The Denominational Era has taught us how to be exclusive and isolated, in our churches and our homes, and even in our cubicles at work. Christian unity is limited to pastoral gatherings or occassional get togethers, which are good but which are not able to replace the need for such unity at the household, neigborhood, and workspace level where we can experience Christian family in the every day reality of our daily lives together.

God is doing a new thing, He is moving us, as a Body, into a new era, the Kingdom Era, where even your denomination is just a shade of diversity within a unified Body that acts out the living reality and power of The Kingdom Of God within us and among us. I believe that individual Christians deciding, unilaterally, to seek out, discover, and live out God's righteous standard for the Christian family in their relationships with other Christians is a vital part of the coming changes God is "conspiring" with His willing servants to "unleash" in a world of darkness that desperately needs the light of an engaged and vibrant united Body of Christ.

The question is: do YOU choose daily to actually treat Christians around you as "family" members, and if not, why not?

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This is the most important section to me of this post- "Acting as family is not something we must get everyone to agree to, it is something we have to individually choose to do. "- So often we complain about the disunity of a functioning body and set about thinking of top-down, body-wide change, without ever simply committing to being members of the body ourselves- as the saying goes- be the change you seek to make- be the church you seek to see- in this case- be the family you seek to see...the family of Christ

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