Ted Wilson: Hello, friends. Today, Nancy and I would like to invite you to participate in a very special event beginning Sunday, September 5. It's the worldwide "Family Togetherness Week of Prayer" sponsored by the Family Ministries department of the General Conference.
Since the beginning of time, when God created the first family in the Garden of Eden, families have been a very important building block in society and in God's Church. Families can be a powerful witness for what God can do in the lives of His people. We read in the book, The Adventist Home: "The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as nothing else can, for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart" (Adventist Home, p. 32).
Nancy Wilson: This sounds like a very high ideal--to have a well-ordered, well-disciplined family, and sometimes we, as human beings, fall short. Nevertheless, God does not ask us to do the impossible, for we are told that "Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings" (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 333).
We are given plenty of inspired instruction in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy of how to have a happy, God-filled home--a place where angels love to dwell. However, putting that instruction into practice does not always come naturally. That is why it is so important to stay close to the Lord through Bible study and prayer, and daily asking for the indwelling of His Spirit, which will result in the fruit of the Spirit that we read about in Galatians 5:22, 23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
TW: These fruits of the Spirit are the focus of a new book, Living Fruitful Love, written especially for this week of prayer by Dr. Willie and Elaine Oliver, directors at the GC Family Ministries department. In this resource book, the Olivers have creatively combined interesting information about various fruit from around the world— mangoes, kiwi, cranberries, figs, and more—and then draw out Scriptural lessons focusing on the fruit of the Spirit.
Each day's reading includes questions for families to discuss together and fun activities reinforcing the lesson for the day, along with the Bible verse.
This upcoming Family Togetherness Week of Prayer provides a wonderful opportunity for families around the world to spend time together in wholesome, spiritual activities that will strengthen and encourage each member of the family.
NW: This special resource book, Living Fruitful Love, is available as a free digital download at the url shown at the bottom of your screen and is available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
TW: Having the fruit of the Spirit is something that God offers to all--mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, single people--everyone. We can all learn and grow by having this beautiful fruit of the Spirit in our lives through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
May God bless you in a wonderful way during this special week of prayer with hope, courage, joy, peace, and love, as you open your heart to Him.
Let's pray together just now. Father in heaven, bless this very special week, this Week of Prayer of Family Togetherness. Guide each member, of every family, around this globe. Help them to realize they can be tremendous witnesses for you as they lean upon you completely through Bible study, through prayer, through an understanding of their role in the mission of the church. And Lord, let everyone of us exemplify the fruits of the spirit as we lean upon you in these last days just before Jesus in return. Bless our families in a special way for this week and beyond. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.