Gen 1:1-3 NLT “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. {2} The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface. {3} Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Our  church builder for Rejoice Church, Rusty Kirk, declares that God is a Baseball fan because the Bible begins with “In the Big Inning.” And to be sure, the Creation of the heavens and the earth was the biggest inning ever.

As the Master Architect of the Universe, God set a precedent with beginnings. Everything has a beginning, and very often the way a thing begins is also how it continues…or ends.

The “seed” that is planted at the first has tremendous influence over what follows. Every beginning releases a “genetic code” of sorts that silently and invisibly shapes and guides the events that follow. A natural plant seed is self explanatory, as is the conception of a child. But the impact of beginnings, and new beginnings, affects so many other things.

The habits we learn at an early age, both good ones and bad ones, have long term affects on how we conduct our lives. Something as simple as the way we start our day often affects how the rest of the day goes. Sports teams always want to score first in the game to propel them to confidence and victory. Beginnings are very important. God designed this into the universe, and our psyche.

The first chapter of Genesis chronicles a new beginning for the earth, a recreation from former devastation. In so doing, God carefully crafted the elements or “seed” of this new beginning, already knowing what would follow. In like manner God crafts the elements in our new life in Christ. The proper beginning of a new Christian’s life is vital to survival. This is why the Bible says God puts the solitary in families. (Ps. 68:6)

Babies need the care and nurture of a family, both naturally and spiritually. A baby learns its’ identity from it’s parents and siblings. A lack of proper “family” influence in the beginning can contribute to a life of emptiness, formlessness, and darkness. Without proper guidance and direction we may never find and fulfill our purpose.

This is one of the many reasons the local church is so vital. The church is a family where new Christians can learn their identity in Christ. Jesus said His sheep know His voice. But He didn’t say His lambs did. So how do the lambs learn the Master’s voice? By following the sheep, who are the mature Christians who have already been formed by family and parental relationships.

If you have not yet found your spiritual home, it’s time to stop floating and start finding. Jesus said ask you and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. You need a local church family that can be your “ohana”. Ohana is the Hawaiian word for “family.” And as Lilo famously stated in Lilo & Stitch, “Family” means no one gets left behind.”

Family and formation take place through divine connections. Divine connections remove the darkness and confusion of formlessness. Only within the context of true family can we learn our true calling and purpose.

But let me take it a step further. Local churches and ministries need to be in families too. Pastor Brian Moore stated at the Rejoice International Summit in May of 2014, “Not every network is the right network. You have to be in the right network for the net to work.” Profound yet simple.

Each of us that are networking together with other churches bring something needed to the table that makes us all better. Our individual contributions strengthen and encourage. But this is only possible because there is a “table” from which to share. It is this common table that unites us in communion, and from which we all draw our inspiration and vision to do God’s work.

“Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

All for Jesus, George W Black

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