Rachel's brother James came to visit us for a day this week as he was in the area for work. This was the first time we really able to get to know one another(the 1st time we met was at his wedding, but he was a little busy that day).
We had some great conversation about the Lord and his Church, and it was truly exciting to find that we were of the same Spirit, and were being led by the Lord down a very similar path. By the end of our short time together I was confident that he is eager to know the Lord and the he desires to sacrifice whatever it takes to follow him.
It is hard to get to know people, let alone in just a few hours, but sometimes the Lord moves relationships along faster than usual. I have to confess that I am still struggling to not be presumptuous and make assumptions in conversations. I think this is the context for the struggles of a "younger" according to Timothy, and James' (the Book, not my brother-in-law)exhortation about listening.
2 Tim 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
No worries..God is at work addressing those things, and in spite of my limited ability to communicate God proved faithful to help us bear fruit in our conversation. I can't wait to get to know my brother, brother more. I also can't wait to have gray hair someday, and be past my youthful struggles!
So...Why Brother, Brother James?
Well, 'cause covenants are such great and wonderful things, never to be taken lightly or for granted. They change relationships. (friends, enemies, brothers, wives, children of God)
I entered into the covenant of marriage with Rachel, and she became my wife.
God's people entered into the new covenant with him, and they became his bride (the Church).
God's people entered into the new covenant together, and became Brothers & Sisters.
The covenant of marriage made a stranger into my brother-in-law, and the New Covenant makes my brother-in-law into a brother-in-Christ. I am thankful that the Lord has given me a brother, as a brother. Can't say I have too many of those!
And to answer Cain's question...YES I AM.