The Branch of the Lord

Open Your Bible

Exodus 4:22, Deuteronomy 7:7-9, Jeremiah 23:3-5, Isaiah 4:2, Isaiah 11:1-2, Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 53:1-5

Start each day by reading the passages listed above. Then use the summary and reflection provided here to guide discussion around the daily reading.

The root running through the Old Testament is one of God making, calling, redeeming, and keeping a people for Himself—a physical people called to be a blessing to the world. This family tree would bring about the branch that would be the world’s salvation: Jesus who grafted us into a spiritual family.

As you start this plan, think about what the idea of family means to you. Family may look like the people you’re related to or friends who have surrounded you in close community. How do your thoughts about and experiences of family affect how you see yourself as a part of God’s family? 

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150 thoughts on "The Branch of the Lord"

  1. Nhlonipho Nkombyane says:

    Believe in our father and Lord

  2. Tori Rivera says:

    Family to me is people who support and uplift you, are honest with you and love you deeply. They are people so they aren’t perfect but they try their best to be with you and support you. Jesus is the perfect version of all things and so his family is the perfect family. He is perfectly understanding and forgiving, he is perfectly loving and caring, he is perfectly patient and kind and his family is the perfect family. He is the blueprint for how all families on earth should strive to be as an example to children of what perfect love looks like.

  3. Vickie Tarter says:

    Family is something that comes from working and trying to work together in all of the hard times. I have a wonderful family around me and it makes me want to grow and see what branches I can bloom in my future.

  4. Emily Leonard says:

    My blood family was broken when my mom passed away. God has been good to us in giving us a wonderful step mom. I am learning more about what God family and what it is like. When we get to heaven, we will experience a perfect family

  5. Cassy Funkhouser says:

    ❤️ family has always been a painful word for me. My blood family and I are not close. I did not grow up with the best of parents, and my siblings and I are unfortunately not close either. For me, family has meant betrayal. I have always longed for family. The Lord has been faithful to provide me with people who have wrapped me up in their arms, showing me the love of the Father. While I still hurt and long for the day when my blood family is reconciled and following Christ, I am grateful for the spiritual family He has gifted me.

  6. Madison Strand says:

    Family is part of the solid foundation I stand on to help me get through each day. God, relatives, and friends all make up what I would consider my family. My experiences with Earthly family do give me a glimpse at just how much God loves me. I will always remember my Dad telling me that he loves me so much, he would do anything for me, but God loves me even more than he does & that was hard to wrap his mind around. Now that I have my own little family, I understood what my dad had said all those years ago. I love my husband and my daughter so incredibly much, but God loves them even more.

  7. Hannah says:

    Family means so much to me. I think of God’s big family, too, and it feels so joyful that we are deeply connected through our Savior.

  8. Susanna Rountree says:

    My family can be so stressful but they are my rock. They point me to Christ and even in the worse times I love them.

  9. Susanna Rountree says:

    so so good

  10. Emily Wynn says:

    Family is messy but so life giving…they’re the people I run to when I am happy and sad..,

  11. Hanna Pinson says:

    To me, family means people who will be there for you no matter what. In any situation, I take heart in the fact that God will always be there for me, guiding me as I walk through the life he has written for me.

  12. Mia Ashley says:

    my family is the the girls i have found in my small group. they keep me rooted and give me strength in prayer when i have none. they go the distance for me

  13. Kellie Eberle says:

    Family makes me remember my own family and how much I love and enjoy them. But then how much more should I be caring about the family of God? It’s very convicting

  14. Nikita Mayo says:


  15. Shelby Oliver says:

    I think family means who you feel most comfortable around and knowing that God created us and is our heavenly family and knows us in and out and we can be fully ourselves in Him.

  16. Cindy Matute says:


  17. kylie richardson says:

    the meaning of family to me is the ones i’m related to, as well as my close friends that are always there for me when i need them to be. i try to keep my family happy and protected as much as i can, i can relate to Jesse because that’s what he did for his family and his community as he grew older.

  18. Alissa Rumsey says:

    Thank you for sharing Mercy ❤️ this resonates with me deeply! Praying for you sister!

  19. kennedy proctor says:

    Deuteronomy 7:9

  20. Ellen MacLean says:


  21. Ta’yael Patton says:

    I think i’m apart of God’s family because Im more closer to God then my real family, I can give all my problems to God but not my family

  22. Leann Marshall says:

    Family. Not only what I’ve been born into, but deep abiding friendships within the Kingdom of God.

  23. shane Toews says:

    Family, I think of “messy”, “imperfect”. But despite the imperfect part about family. We still rely on each other and so much beauty can come from sinners together working for a common goal and hope. This is how we can view the body of Christ, we won’t always love everyone at church but we can be united as one through Christ and that’s where the miracle of imperfect people come together under one hope.

  24. Nastassia Williams says:

    Amen ❤️

  25. Janell McDonald says:

    Family is my family, friends, community & church family. I believe God put those people in your life for certain purposes & callings. Some “family” test you & make you stronger in faith, some are there to make you laugh, some are there for mountains & valleys, and some are just there to be with you.

  26. Lisa Shaw says:


  27. Lavish Luxxury says:

    Family means “no matter what”. Good or bad, right or wrong, thick and thin…. Family is not always genetically connected to you, family could be some people you built very strong bonds and relationships with Christ or along the way. Family is people you can whole heartedly trust to have your back and support you through whatever it is that you’re going through.

  28. Shelby Moore says:

    I immediately think of the body of Christ around us- immediate family, church family & close friends. Thank you Jesus for those blessings!

  29. Patty Quirk says:


  30. Jennifer King says:

     I feel like it is so important for us to know that family isn’t always what we were born into, but more often than not. It ends up being the people who choose us, and the people who we choose. The ones that are there when everyone else isn’t. Those who we know we can call on in every situation.

  31. Brandi Williams says:


  32. gabrielle gonzales says:


  33. Caitlyn Blignaut says:

    Family is everything, we cannot choose our family members but we can choose to sow unto them grace, love, kindness, support, patience and forgiveness. I have been bitter towards my family for my upbringing most of my life but mainly because I compared my family to what media portrayed to be a family and to my friends’s families. I have learnt now that not everything in life is about me and each of these people in my family have been and are facing their own struggles and pains and they’re doing the best they can with what they have. Instead of just being mad at them, I needed to come into acceptance that we’re all just human. If I want God to forgive me, show mercy and grace unto me and love me beyond my faults-I need to do that first unto my own family before everything. It’s hard at times when they seem to break you down more than bring value to your life but it’s in those times that I need to call unto God the most. For am I truly and will never be anything without God.

  34. Nicole Isom says:


  35. Melissa Mcronney says:


  36. Aimee Holcombe says:

    I agree

  37. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord thank you

  38. Holly M says:

    Family “should” be the people who love and accept you the most, welcome you with open arms when you fail, and show unconditional support. They tell you when you’re not doing right, but only out of their deep love for you. It’s tricky because when people don’t have this it leaves deep hurt in their lives.

  39. Nora Lowrey says:


  40. Ashley Banks says:

    Family are the people who show up for me in life. The people I can call when it’s all falling apart— family hold up my arms in battle. Family encourages, strengthens and listens.

  41. Aliya Minor says:

    Family can be anything to you because most of the time your relatives aren’t the closest to you. Family is someone or something that matter most to you and will accept you in any form

  42. Abigail Berger says:


  43. Brooke Dorr says:


  44. Elisha Lyons says:

    Family can either make you are break you. Sometimes people who aren’t ur relatives can really be ur closest family. You have to stray away from family to get to a point in life where you NEED to be. If leaving your family to get your life right spiritually, emotionally, and stably, if something you gotta do, then that’s something you’ll have to do. Especially if your family doesn’t support the decision that you make. I can say the one person in my family who’s always and will always be there is My Heavenly Father.!

  45. Ashley Hughes says:

    For my family, redemption is a huge part of our story and who we are. My husband and I were both widows prior to marrying each other. God brought great healing and joy from the ashes of trauma for both of us and our children. Of course, family isn’t always who you are genetically related to but also what family Christ can create through his divine and intentional plan. I have 4 kids now and a husband I never thought I would have. Our kids have blended into one family and God blessed us with a baby boy who is the perfect combo of us all. We are no more or less a family than if we had been formed in the more traditional sense. I pray that broken families are mended and that forgiveness can be had. I pray that as a society, we would start to value family again and see it for the beautiful creation God intended it to be. I pray that we would all love as Christ does and be welcoming to those who don’t have anyone to call family; we all just want to feel a sense of belonging.

  46. Jessica Velez says:

    It is difficult to answer this question as my experience has been negative

  47. Makenzie Griggs says:

    I also pray for those who don’t have such a good memory of the word. Lord, I ask that their chains be broken from the past. That they can move on with forgiveness in their hearts, and realize that the hatred growing will just hurt themselves more. God I pray you touch my sisters under Christ as they go through this study with me, and help us all with our struggles and really just pinpoint us back to You, God, and to why we are all truly on this earth. Amen ❤️

  48. Makenzie Griggs says:

    Family, for me, means “no matter what.” No matter the pain, the mistakes, the curve-balls; whatever it may be, we stick together. We love each other through all of it. I often think…I love my kids and my husband SO much, but somehow, God still loves us MORE. I tell my kids that God loves them even more than mommy does. It’s so mind-boggling trying to wrap my human brain around something so large and glorious. The word “family,” is positive and loving to me, so whenever I think about it, I praise God for giving me mine.

  49. Kayla Strata says:

    Coming into my faith as a young adult, I definitely can understand blood family (for me, a family of nonbelievers) and a spiritual family (my friends in Christ I have gained over the years).

  50. Georgia Chalmers says:


  51. Heather Basham says:


  52. Terri Baldwin says:

    9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, – Deuteronomy 7:9 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5. It is beyond my comprehension to be so blessed by our Savior, Jesus Christ, who saved sinners like us!

  53. Eve Vickers says:


  54. Beth Fraser says:

    Isaiah 53, we who are utterly undeserving are healed by His wounds. Everytime I reflect on it, even for the briefest of seconds, whatever the soul version of ‘mindblown’ happens. Every. Single. Time. The more time passes, the more undeserving I understand I am (and humans are) the more I’m floored by Jesus’ suffering & sacrifice. Truly sola gratia, By Grace Alone.

  55. Mercy says:

    Family is such a tender word for me. I moved away from my family to another country for university and I always kept them in my heart. I have been through seasons of learning to forgive the wrongs my mom did, and the betrayal and hurt my pastor did, which happened around the same time. So there’s that, for blood family and spiritual family. A hard lesson. They both can wrong you. I was betrayed and abandoned by such support foundations, church and family. Maybe I shouldn’t have trusted as much. I think the devil was so wicked at the timing, to cut off all the support I had at that time, at the time when I was battling with postpartum depression and just had a newborn. I was fragile and alone. Sometimes I reflected why I went through this, and I wondered why the Lord allowed. But then, I knew it happened for a divine purpose. He trusted me with this pain, He trusted the growth I would get to become, and to trust that He is my family. And He can restore. My husband’s grandma sometimes comes to visit us, but she was mean to me and absolutely babied my husband. She made fun of me for taking naps during the day to catch up on energy when I stayed up at night feeding my newborn. So family is a tender word for me, but is also a painful word, with mixed descriptions across the spectrum. I pray for faithful families (physical and spiritual) and faithful friends. It is a season of just God and myself. I am thankful that God has adopted me into His family, and He is patient, He is kind. I give praise, I give thanks to my Heavenly Father who has a good plan and who will work all things together for my good. SO very touched reading the raw stories of you dear she’s. Praying for Ella, Lehua K and others as I read through your pain. Thanks for sharing. Be blessed dear sisters.

  56. Christine Smith says:

    Family is tough and I’m so glad we can be welcomed into others regardless of blood. I’m single and have no children. My immediate family is estranged from me, in part due to my health. I’ve been told I’m a burden countless times. I know I’m not, but words hurt. I’m so grateful for friends and strangers who stick up for me and care. It could be a hard and lonely life BUT GOD, reminds me He is faithful and He has placed others in my life to be family.

  57. Teresa Donley says:

    When my dad died 34 years ago, it was so very, very hard for me. One of the things that has helped me through the years is remembering that God is my Father. My dad wasn’t someone to demonstrate love, even though I knew he loved me. God demonstrates his love toward us in so many wonderful ways.

  58. Teresa Donley says:

    @Karrie, I am keeping you in my prayers that God will reunite your whole family, and that he will enable you to come to terms with forgiving your own father. It took me 17 years to even attempt to forgive my ex-husband. I still struggle with it every day, and sometimes when something he did is brought to mind, I have to talk with God and remember that Jesus died for my ex, just as he died for me. I don’t have to be naive about the things he did and believe he wouldn’t do them again. I just have to develop a feeling of love and forgiveness for him, through God’s guidance and will. It’s not easy. But it is very freeing.

  59. Teresa Donley says:

    @Sharon – what a beautiful legacy left to you by your great grandmother. She touched many generations of your family with her words and her prayers. Thank you for sharing. It made me smile and feel warm all over.

  60. Tara Wilson says:


  61. AK Livesay says:

    I loved how on our first day of reading in Jeremiah 23:5 the Righteous Branch will administer justice and righteousness ~ which is what we’ve been studying the past two weeks in Amos!

  62. Terri Honeycutt says:

    We have to be careful we aren’t trusting our emotions. It’s says in Jer 17:9 that the heart is deceitful. It lies to us. Ella, you are loved and known by God. He knows the very number of hairs on your head! I, too had a very difficult family life. My dad actually told me he hated me. BUT I had to turn my focus from that broken lost man to God and remind myself of how very loved I am by God. He loves me so much He gave up his life for me and you!!! I pray you find a group to connect with in your church and a way to serve in your church. It will help you find people who live God and in turn love you. I’m so sorry you feel alone.

  63. Rachel Stacy says:

    Family is beyond those you are connected to through blood, marriage, or adoption. Family is the people that surround you in times of joy but also in times of deep sorrow. I know that I am lucky to have a strong relationship with my family and I am grateful for them. I have also been able to see my ‘extended family’ grow and change throughout the years via friendships I have been able to make. Family is there for you in all areas of your life and will be a provider for you when needed.

  64. Karrie says:

    Good morning everyone. Family is sometimes tough for me. I grew up with a dad who was a workaholic and an alcoholic, my mom was on prescription meds. We tiptoed around everyday not to upset either one of them. When I had my own girls I vowed to never be like that and to raise them in a loving calm home. Well things were good up til a few years ago when my husband and I separated and the girls and I bought and moved into a new home. Then my life seemed to fall apart. It’s been a struggle and most days I barely held on. My husband and I are reconciling and thinking about him moving into my new home to start a new life. My girls are 18 and 20 and still live here and are so angry and threatening to leave if he moves in. I pray for peace within my family and for my girls to forgive and move on. I held onto anger and resentment against my own father and it still eats at me years after his passing. Please pray that my girls come around and we can find joy in our home once again.

  65. Sharon says:

    This makes me think of my dear great grandmother. She died looong before I was born in 1945. She had a difficult life with a very abusive husband. In a letter to her children, she wrote that Jesus had never left her and was her friend. There are other letters where she said she said she prayed for her grandchildren, great grand grandchildren and beyond to know Jesus as their Savior. Blows me away!

  66. Kristen says:

    When asking about families, you may hear multiple responses. No matter what kind of family we are born in to or people we have encountered, I know that no one is perfect. My pastor was just talking about how people have walked away from church or God because of others. He said that even if someone that was Christian and supposed to represent God did something that wasn’t good or right, not to let that keep them from God. I’ve heard R C Sproul and Paul Washer talk about God’s Otherness. He isn’t the same as us. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours! Reflecting on my own life, I repent of things I’ve done that weren’t right. I pray for God to help me, so I don’t lead people away from Him, but to Him. I need the Holy Spirit’s help, because own my own I’d fall! There is none like Him. May we all find ourselves even more be amazed at Him today and give praise and thanks! Praying for you all today.

  67. E H says:

    I have found it easier to consider my church family my real family, but at the same time, mistrust from growing up with a bad blood family can make me suspicious of others. I feel the most close to my family through marriage.

  68. Kimberly Z says:

    @Ella sweet girl I know so many people are praying for you as I am too! I have felt your pain of being lonely but I can promise you you are loved even by all these strangers on the internet. If I lived close to you I would love to spend time you. Please know your never over looked by God. I pray you can find a good group of people to connect with. Know you’re not alone I have walked your path many times. Trust me it gets better!

  69. Chelsea Wilson says:

    I’m sorry to read about the pain you are going through. I pray you feel encouraged by the women who are writing to you in this community! I will tell you that if you want to have friends, then you need to be a friend. I’m no one reached out to you, then you schedule time with them! I went through a season of feeling like no one cared, but when I reached out and shared what was going on I saw a community who actually cared about me. It took time, it wasn’t easy, but in the end God got me through this tough season. Pray that God will give you one good sister in Christ. I know He will do it in His timing. Don’t give up on your God!

  70. Chelsea Wilson says:

    For me family is the people I can be myself around. In this life we put many expectations in ourself that maybe we think others have for us, but with family expectations fade. There is laughter, relaxation, and at times it can feel like Heaven on Earth. Family can also be frustrating, but in this imperfect world we cannot expect to have a perfect family! Imagine what it will be like in Heaven. Surround be God’s creation and the creator! Amen!

  71. Andrea Lopez says:

    To me, family means to belong, a safe place. The older I get, the more I appreciate the meaning of family. I’m so thankful that I am close to my immeadiate family. I’m also thankful I have a healthy church family.

  72. Olivia Chambers says:

    Family is the most precious thing on Earth and I am willing to sacrifice for them. I see why Jesus sacrificed himself for me, even though I didn’t deserve it. That’s a strong family love.

  73. Mae says:

    Ella – I have been thinking about you all day, and wrote you into my prayer journal this morning. I have no magic words, but want to say that according to God you are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Please believe many people care for you and your well being, as you can see from comments here that many “She’s” are lifting you up in prayer. Press in to Him, asking for guidance and connection to a person or church that makes you feel cared about.

  74. Jane Lam says:

    ❤️ Looking forward!

  75. AG says:

    I’m blessed to have an amazing biological family but I feel that I have had many other types of families throughout my life as well. Church families, friends who turned to family, work families, etc. I am thankful for all those who God has brought me throughout my life and will continue to

  76. Adrianne says:

    What family means to me. It’s a circle of intertwined community filled with love, regrets, happiness and sorrow. Families are a precious blessing that we are lucky to be born into and good friends are the unexpected blessings we cultivate to enrich us. Blood related or not family is what you make it. Not everyone is for us and some only walk the same path for a short time no matter how much they teach us; either good or bad.

  77. Traci Gendron says:

    Family is tough. I love my siblings. I’m closer to my brother than my sister, but yet I do care for her. My mother was very helpful to me, especially after I had my son. She had a tendency towards negativity and controlling though. My dad was a bit moody. I’m very close to my friends. We tell each other we love you. I know I can go to them. So very thankful.

    The relationship with my husbands family is good enough.

    What I’m most thankful for is God’s love. Knowing I receive tender mercies every morning.

  78. Alayna P. says:

    I’m really thankful for the family I have – both chosen and not chosen. We aren’t perfect but I know I’ve truly been blessed in this regard. And as I’ve travelled on my faith journey, I’ve become so thankful for my place in God’s family.

  79. Donna Wolcott says:

    For me family is not just blood also. I am the oldest of four girls and we are very close. There wasn’t always harmony in our home growing up but we knew we were loved. I look at my two children’s spouses and their families and feel loved and connected. Our son-in-law’s father when first meeting me, called me sister. They live far away and I only see them once a year but we pick-up like it was yesterday. I can say the same for my awesome daughter-in-law and her family. When I think of church family, it isn’t just my local church but the one I go to near our cottage at a Christian camp ground. Then there is that family. I have been blessed and don’t take that for granted. Every mission trip and little church felt like family and love, that’s because of Who we came to worship. I think anyone you care about or offer to help, or serve think of treating them as like a family member. We are all children of God. Heidi hope you are “winging” your way! Sisters I’m so glad for our family!

  80. Lois East says:


  81. Daniela says:

    So happy to be part of this community of women who look for the Lord! God bless you all! At the same time during this time of my life unfortunately believers I know don’t like to relate to each other and are not passionate about God so it is difficult to have a family with people to enjoy this life and edify each other. Thank God, I’ve found one person with I can do it right now. So I decided to join this community too and communicate by this way. Hope my family in Christ will grow.

  82. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    ELLA, I am keeping you in prayer. I am praying that you find those relationships that are so meaningful. I am not sure where you live, but I would love to chat with you. I also find that I don’t really have close friends. And I used to be close to my family, my sisters, and my mom, but things happened and now I am not. I also long for that bond of close relationship. I have a close relationship with my husband, but I long for that with other women. 

  83. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    There have been a lot of issues with my family over the past few years. I really struggle with relationships with my sisters and even my mom. But God. I am thankful that even in difficult times with my family he is faithful and his truth will prevail. 

  84. Grayson Chatfield says:

    I feel blessed to say that my family is very close and loves one another sacrificially. I’ve benefited from these familial relationships abs their model of sacrificial love because Christ’s sacrificial love was easier for me to understand. I love my family (in blood) and my family in Christ.

  85. AZ Walker says:

    My earthly family makes me feel loved and safe. My Heavenly Father makes me feel loved and safe and it’s wonderful being around other believers knowing we are all in the kingdom of God’s family. Praying for my family and all families to come to the Lord. Praying for the current culture that is attacking the family and celebrating sins and encouraging confusion and things that are opposite of God’s truth.

  86. LindaK says:

    Heidi I’m praying for your passport today! Theresa praying also for your passport situation. Molly R Praise God! Ashley White, Lexy Mae and Ashley Harris Amen! Sarah D praying for your job situation. Libby K you can forgive. I’m a witness that it is possible. I harbored hatred for my stepmother close to 50 years. When I saw what it was doing to me I got serious and prayed about letting the hurt go. It wasn’t overnight.But I am free from the pain and bitterness. Ella don’t believe the lies of the enemy! You have worth and are created in Gods image!

  87. LindaK says:

    To me family is who you make it to be. I moved for work following college graduation, so I was hours away from my family but I reluctantly learned to build relationships with those that I worked with and in my community. Growing up my mother died before my 5th birthday and my stepmother was not very kind. We had a dysfunctional household for many years. But I determined that I wanted better, so my husband and children are very important to me. I have a great church family. We have been there 43 years. There are ups and downs as in any family. When we go on mission trips or fellowship with other churches I can experience God’s family in a different way. There is a common bond of Jesus Christ that binds us together, just like we are bound here through SRT. I’ve never met anyone on here but I feel connected and pray for your needs just like they are my own.

  88. Aleida Polanco says:

    Family are people who give their life for you. People who can lift you up in prayer and help in any way they can during times of hardship and distress. They also celebrate and feel joy when you have joy. They show their true love in many ways both tangible and spiritual. It has nothing to do with having the same blood. We are saved by the blood of the Lamb.

  89. Marena Watson says:

    Family is what we make it. Not everyone we call family is blood whether it is by adoption, marriage, etc. Family to me are not just the ones blood related but also the ones who make a place in your heart.

  90. Tiffany Hubner says:

    I came from a house where God was used against me through abused. My father had a master degree in theology and knew he could used it so wrong since he understood it so well. After my parents had passed I wrestle with God on why he gave me a family that didn’t love me the way he loved me. Why he allow them to used his pure words to hurt me. When I met and then married my husband I was so shocked on how pure his love was for me. I was beautiful caring kind and always sexy no matter what in his eye. God has allow me to experience what a true family is. And it comes from people who aren’t even related to me. I believe family is people that care about you and lift you up no matter the occasion. And I know that God hurt when we hurts. It make him sad when he finds out that the ones who he gave us as our blood relative or not the best for our well being.

  91. Viktoria Martinez says:

    My family is very messy between my dad and my mom. Then my ex husband and his side of the family and even my new in-laws. We all have trauma we are trying to work through and do what we feel is best for our family. So I am thankful that in Christ I have a big family full of people I don’t even know yet! Like all of you beautiful ladies.

  92. Cindy Gantz says:

    Oops! The Lord does not place us in earthly families randomly. And only until we get to heaven will we see how rich the tapestry of our lives was woven. I am so thankful for those threads that grafted me into His family.

  93. Cindy Gantz says:

    Family is hard. My mom was the glue that held us all. A woman who grew the most in her faith in her later years. She was my example and the legacy I want to leave. The Lord does not place us the earthly families

  94. Angela Van Dyke says:

    Family is everything to me. I love my parents. After I got married, my family extended to my husband’s family. Now, my family includes my daughter. It is ever growing, filled with people that I love dearly, both related and close friends. I would do anything for my family, and my family would do anything for me. It is a comforting thought to know that being a part of the family of God we have God as our center/focus. God included me as part of the family even though I don’t deserve it. How blessed I am knowing that my salvation is not based on what I’ve done, but it is a gift from God.

  95. Audren Bruszer says:

    My thoughts about family affect how I see myself as part of God’s family in that I am a preserver of the family and to be preserved, that I will unconditionally love and be unconditionally loved, and that this family stays and never leaves. My experiences with family affect how I see myself in God’s family paint the lies that I have to do things well in order to be a part of the family, and let the family do whatever they want.

  96. Erin says:

    @Ella, I’m praying for you today, that you will feel God’s love in a very real and tangible way. Praying that you will sense his great love for you and your worth to Him, even on the hard days. Praying for a close, godly friend for you.

  97. Kaitlyn Elliott says:

    Family. Family can be messy. As a product of a divorced family, being raised by my father from a young age and taking over as head of household in my middle school years so dad could work and provide for my brother and me, I matured quickly. I think our misfortune of living in poverty with just enough to put food on the table and keep the lights on taught both of us kids a hard lesson, but I’m grateful and forgiving for what we did have, and fortunate to have grown through that experience. Mother died a couple of years ago. We had a strained relationship; I was hard on her. I work in Healthcare and she wasn’t taking care of herself and being kind to her body. I have some guilt that I’m carrying to this day about how our relationship was stressful. It wasn’t always that way. Mom and I used to be close, up until the divorce and after I graduated high school. I’m thankful to both of my parents for trying their darnedest despite the trials and tribulations they went through.

    I’m thankful for my husband, my family, his family, and my friends. My tribe. ❤️

  98. Lehua K. says:

    I realize my comment earlier didn’t really talk about family, moreso some college friendships. I understand it doesn’t need to be blood family; to me, the word family, like with many of you, hits in a tender spot. Relationships are messy. We are all imperfect. But thank God that He is unchanging and that His love for us is unconditional. And thank God that He has brought us all into this body of believers to share and support one another in community. ❤️

  99. Lehua K. says:

    ELLA: I’m glad you posted and shared. Please know that you do matter and that God does care about you. “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬). Keep coming around and learning about who God is, His promises and great love for us. I have found peace and a great friendship in Jesus, as long as I keep coming around and spending time with Him. My prayer for you (and all of the SRT sisters) is that your friendship with Jesus is strengthened and that He shows you that you’re never alone. And that you will find a safe community of people whom you can call family; this SRT community is a great place to start ❤️

  100. Sharon Jones says:

    Family – there is the family that birthed you, the family you marry into, the family you create, the family that chooses you and the family I choose.
    There is the family of neighbors, church family, and the global family of Christ.
    I have lived in and visited many countries- not the typical ones. All over the world I have a network of my global church family that I feel blessed to call brother and sisters in Christ.
    My birth family I got a curse from my grandfathers and a blessing from my grandmothers. In the name of Jesus the curse is broken. I Can still walk in that curse or I can choose to give that to God. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and let the blessing redefine my family inheritance. I gave gained so much from my birth family- I love them. But we do not live near any of our family (we moved my husband’s mom here but she is a loner and she doesn’t spend much time with us.) Instead we walk in fellowship with our church family. I focus on my family trying to instill in my kids a love if the Lord and time in the word and in fellowship.

  101. Lehua K. says:

    My husband and I met with one of our mentors yesterday and while talking, I realized some things:

    -I still haven’t fully gotten over some friendships in college that hurt me and those experiences really impacted my mindset since then.
    -I have since operated from a place of fear and unease around others, like they will eventually hurt me so I can’t get too close to people. This mindset has led me to constant disappointment, depression, guilt, and the feeling like I’m never enough. On top of that, I’ve not only put up walls and limited myself, but I’ve let those misconceptions build up a false persona of people pleasing and not actually living true to myself.

    I’ve had moments where my courage and true self shine through, which my mentor pointed out. Turns out that’s when my faith walk is solid and I’m abiding in Christ more. My true self and enthusiasm shine through. She told me that she read somewhere that “when you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.” I don’t want to defend my fears and play victim for the rest of my life. I have found a safe place in Jesus and a family of people who do care and love me in spite of seeing my flaws. But all in all, I want to place my hope and rest in Him. I can learn to trust people again instead of placing my hope in them and feeling let down. I can let down the walls and be more at ease with who I am, because I know Jesus loves me for who I am. I’m the one that has to live with myself, and if I’m only living to please others then I’ll never be happy.

    I thank God for opening my eyes to see my family – some blood related and some not – a beautiful blend of different communities and social groups (like SRT, church, our business/mentorship community). Being secure in who I am in Christ frees me to engage in community as my authentic self.

    Have a blessed day ladies ❤️

  102. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Family is tough for me…my dad was abusive, in some ways, but still a Christian. He had his own issues we never really knew much about, he was secretive. Iand we aren’t as close as I wish we were,

  103. Molly R says:

    I’m getting into gardening – like jumping in the deep end with a large garden I am using to experiment and design. The human part of me wants to see it all filled with lush life….but if I am learning one thing: it takes TIME, and MISTAKES to learn from, and PATIENCE to see new life sprout and gain strength. The images of Christ as branch from a stump, and from dry ground are all newly fond for me!
    Family. Talk about a loaded word! Mine is good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. And ever-changing, and with it my perception and how I let it change and influence me. So thankful to study FAMILY in context of a NEVER-CHANGING God who has our ultimate restoration and redemption and ADOPTION as His promise. What a blessed start to the day and week! Praying for all my fellow SHE’S!
    Oh, and I have an update on my parents house – after lowering the price by $10k the buyers ACCEPTED IT!!!! And they want a quick close which will be such a blessing! Thank you all for fighting in prayer for this very thing – Praise God!!

  104. Lexy May says:

    Family to me extends beyond blood. Family is community. Family is beautiful. Family is messy. Family provides opportunities to teach and to learn….give and to receive.

  105. Allison Bentley says:

    Lord I pray that You will show me how to love deeper and unconditionally in this study. Help me to feel Your love and KNOW I am chosen!!

  106. Lori Lackey says:

    5 times

  107. Lori Lackey says:

    Ugh. I hate when this forum gets glitchy. I promise I only posted once. e above was only part of it

  108. Lori Lackey says:

    Gods timing is incredible. I just returned from visiting my step mom. My dad passed in March and this was my first trip back to his house. My dad was always my hero.
    He was married 4 times. My birth mom was the first, my “mom” ended up being a step mom that raised me and I still consider my mom. There were two in between her and my step mom. There was a lot of reflecting on his life, what made him the way he was, and how I am today. Even with all of that early childhood trauma, I am so incredibly blessed by God. ❤️

  109. Cee Gee says:

    SUNNI CORLEY that comment should say. Eyes are slow to wake up this morning!

  110. Lori Lackey says:

    Gods timing is incredible. I just returned from visiting my step mom. My dad passed in March and this was my first trip back to his house. My dad was always my hero. Even

  111. Cee Gee says:

    SUNNU CORLEY – I get that! Nothing like seeing new growth (promise) where you thought there was none. Just yesterday I noted a chinaberry sapling that I accidentally cut down with the weed water 2 weeks ago. It is back and over a foot tall!

    HEIDI – oh, man, what a conundrum! Praying for your decisions/outcome!!! Thanks for the update!

  112. Cheryl Blow says:

    I have been blessed with a good family. Not perfect but the majority love the Lord. It is such a blessing to be part of God’s family by His grace. Not something to take for granted!

  113. Ella says:

    My family used to feel like a safe place for me growing up. During my teenage years secrets and lies splintered my family. One parent lives their own life and only comes around once a year, mostly to take pictures to post on socials to get likes. My only sibling passed away years ago, he dealt with so much darkness. The perfect family image was just that— an image.
    I have no close friends. My friends from the time before I knew Jesus and i drifted apart. My church friends are too busy to care. Everyone is so busy, and I’m so lonely. My visual impairment keeps me home..
    I’m not worth caring about or investing time in, no one notices me.
    Its hard to believe Jesus cares… i know he does. I have to remind myself that every day.

  114. Heidi says:

    Update: Not sure what to feel… made it thru the passport lines/office in a breeze. However, signs posted everywhere stating pick up or your passport couldn’t happen until 3:00. Our flights are at 3:30. I know God is a miracle God- and- I don’t see how this can happen. It will be an additional $5k to change our flight. Not in the budget. So…. Idk… processing.

  115. Ashley White says:

    I have a good family and a dad who is the best but with every family comes with some dysfunction. It seems like Jesus’ family had some dysfunction too. But God works through all that, healing dysfunction and turning it around. I will keep all of that in mind as I read through this study. I’m very excited to learn & study!

  116. sunni corley says:

    The fact that He was a shoot from a stump speaks to my gardener heart! How amazing!

  117. Susan Richardson says:

    I’m just so thankful for the families I have. Yes, we struggle with each other (we’re human), but with God’s grace we forgive & love.

  118. Jeanie Mclellan says:


  119. SKR1961 says:

    Do not suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. Luke 12: 51-53

    Jesus told us that this is how it would be. Be encouraged that we are not alone in this struggle of “family”.

    Focus your eyes upon Jesus!

  120. Jessica says:

    Ive always struggled with the genealogies, all the names.. and such. But I really am looking forward to understanding more.. So i’m glad this is a study. This day 1, just has me thinking and pondering on God’s love for us. Jesus’ love for us that is just so much to fathom, I am glad it wasn’t me. I don’t know how, only for love so deep could he have done so much for us. I’m thankful and there aren’t words enough to explain gratitude for taking our sins and making us whole. And how he came as a lamb, how he stayed quiet and didn’t speak when so many did so much wrong to him. accusing him of so much. MAN! it’s a lesson in itself to just keep quiet when others may say something that is wrong about you. that takes some serious self-control. THANK YOU JESUS!

  121. Ashley Harris says:

    I see God’s family in this day speckled far and wide across the land. Imperfect people with great love for Him. I have distanced myself from my childhood church and am finding my way to a different one, while still deeply missing that old church. My own family life was not typical. My father was not the best role model, and a heavy drinker. My grandparents helped raise us and brought us up in the church as well. So I have seen a great example of the church family. People coming together to do potlucks and fundraisers. And then at some point in life you might meet friends that become as close as family. And this is like God’s family. Imperfect, and often not where you would expect them to be, yet everywhere. I see myself in God’s family now because I am imperfect and because I fear, love, and trust him.

  122. Libby K says:

    @StefM – me too. My blood family (specifically my mom and dad) really hurt me in my childhood and continue to do so in my adulthood. I know Jesus is calling me to forgive them, but it’s so hard when you know you’re not going to get an apology or acknowledgement for what they’ve done. I feel like I’m handing out a free pass. But that’s what I was given through Christ. But it’s so hard!!!!!

  123. Christen Plough says:


  124. Brandi Young says:

    Wow! What a start to this plan. Family has always meant “trauma” to me until recently. God provided a mother figure that showed me what family was supposed to look like. I am seeing what it means to be grafted into a family. I now know personally that “He sets the lonely in families.” And he sure put this broken girl in one and is providing community for me even now!

  125. Michelle Patire says:

    Family – yes, a mix of emotions in relation to this word.

    When I was baptized as a young adult in college, I did not have anyone next to me that day in the church “pews.” As I got changed in the bathroom, all these random church “strangers” said “congratulations!” as they saw my wet hair. I didn’t know anyone that well at this particular church, but I felt the Lord say “this is your family, Michelle” as different ladies greeted me with congrats.

    Fast forward ten years later, I am back home living with my blood family, as many of you know. I am here for many reasons, but one is to be an example of what it means to follow Jesus. I take comfort in some of your words. Esp @Sharon Jersey Girl who also mentioned growing up in a big family and not every family member being saved. It can be so disappointing to be close to some siblings and not everyone. I am hard-wired for intimate relationships. I think we all are, to some degree.

    My heart breaks at the word of family. Yet my hope is that those are blood will wake up to the good news and one day we will be singing unto the Lord in the New Jerusalem. The promises of a new world give me so much hope as I witness sin and brokenness in my family. So many things disappoint, yet God continues to give me flickers of light as I notice the ugly.
    On the drive to church yesterday, my brother Lucas noticed the silence of my car and asked if he could put on the ten minutes Bible podcast he listens to. I said, “you still listen to that?” Thinking it was a habit he started but didn’t continue with… God is working. I try not to cling to things like this and just trust He is growing the good work I partnered with Him in, the past three years of living with my family.

    Thank you for the prayers, friends. I read your comments daily!

    @Heidi- praying for you this morning! May you stay in good spirits.

  126. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    I am one of six children. My mom one of 12 and my dad one of 11, so growing up I was surrounded by family. I loved it. Although I’m not close to all of my siblings I am with a few – some are walking with the Lord, some not. My dad was not a loving dad – my experience, some family members would disagree. He passed away in October and his death, the will, the estate etc. has caused divisions in the family. I always longed to have a father that I could have a relationship with, but it never happened. My one comfort is that my heavenly Father loves me and I DO have a relationship with him. I now have my own family, they are all grown up but it so important to me that we always have a close, loving relationship. Being together is important to me, and letting my kids and husband regularly know that I love them.

    Growing up we always had family dinner together – I have carried that tradition into my own family. We always ate together – until they grew up and moved out. So much happens around the table. I’m so glad we did it.

    My church family is also very important to me. In some ways, I am much closer to them than my blood family. I’m so glad to be a part of the family of God. And so thankful, grateful, blessed to have God as my Father….Looking forward to this study!

  127. Heidi says:

    I love this… Through a lot of my courses we are just learning to tell and understand the Bible is a whole story… Like a movie, paying attention to each chapter or section as an opening and ending scene and watching where the main character shifts to a new main character like in the lineage of Israel for example. Definitely looking forward to getting deeper into the study!

    As an update on the passport fun I am currently w the fam, in line outside because the doors do not open until eight. Quite a line in front of us! However because we have an appointment apparently we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see someone. We are already grateful for God displaying his will whatever that might be either by protecting us from stepping forward in this direction any further for now, or giving us what we need in order to do it! Hope y’all have a beautiful start to your week!

  128. Anna Hall says:

    Over the last few years, “Family” (whether blood related or not) has become the forefront of my life. I realized that truly nothing else matters in this world but our relationships. It’s the only thing that we will take with us to heaven. So for me it’s so so important to make decisions that are keeping my people the top priority. It’s also important to constantly be seeking our new relationships.

    I struggled for a long time with postpartum anxiety and I want to use that to help other women.

  129. Anna Hall says:

    Over the last few years, “Family” (whether blood related or not) has become the forefront of my life. I realized that truly nothing else matters in this world but our relationships. It’s the only thing that we will take with us to heaven. So for me it’s so so important to make decisions that are keeping my people the top priority. It’s also important to constantly be seeking our new relationships.

  130. Lynn Sokolowski says:

    How inspiring “He grew up before him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground”, “He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at him”.

  131. Marilyn Jones says:

     So sad that Jesus was despised.

  132. Theresa says:

    Growing up, my immediate family lives across the country from my extended family. It’s not that I didn’t know my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, it’s just that they were always far away and only seen once a year if that. When I reached adulthood, I made the choice to pursue my dreams in another state, moving away from my immediate family and branching out on my own. We remained close, but there was a physical distance between us. When I married my husband, I was brought into a very different experience of family. He grew up in a very small farming community where he was related to most of the population. His grandparents lived on the farm next door. An aunt, uncle and cousins lived on the farm a couple of miles away. And his sense of family is large and includes second and third cousins. I was immediately drawn to this sense of family and ultimately when we had our first born we made the choice to move closer to my husbands family so our children could have a similar experience of this large encompassing family. While I’m still close with my own family, I am so grateful to have been “grafted” into my husband’s larger family. Reading these scriptures today reminded me of those relationships.

    HEIDI – praying for your passport appointments today and for safe travels!

    SARAH D- praying for your job decisions.

    RHONDA- praying for your husband and you.

  133. Elaine Morgan says:

    I’ve been blessed to have been chosen as a member into more than one family. It makes me feel wanted and loved. It gives me assurance and makes me feel secure. These feelings cause me to love them back and make me want the best for them too. I feel rich beyond measure.

  134. Erica Christian says:

    I love my family but my dad and I have a strained relationship. I’m also an only child with no extended family. I fear what comes after my parents are gone and I have no one left. I hope this study, learning what it means to be in God’s family, helps my fears! Looking forward to this one.

  135. Gayle R says:

    My family is everything to me and I continue to pray for those who don’t know Jesus YET

  136. Mimi B says:


  137. Barb HerrickJohnson says:


  138. Marya Kat says:

    I am looking forward to this after my own genealogy studies over the past few years. I’m half ethnically Ashkenazi/Sephardic Jewish and I really struggle with the history of my people, especially the whys of the Holocaust and pogroms that went on for centuries. But I do really like reading Isaiah and it gives me some comfort that my ancestors would have had these scriptures as well and received comfort from them.

  139. Maria Baer says:

    Looking forward to sharing this Bible study experience with all of you She’s!

  140. Maria Baer says:

    I am really looking forward to this study because family is a concept that brings mixed emotions. Growing up in a Hispanic family we were close, not just within our immediate family, but also our relatives. Now that I’m an adult, we all have dispersed, and even those who I was close with, I no longer are and in many cases I have chosen not to remain in contact because I do not want to be involved in their “drama.” Right now, my family I consider my husband, my mom and my brother (who has distanced himself from us for some reason). So it will be eye opening to really take a deep dive into Jesus genealogy and see the importance he places in every generation from that perspective.

  141. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Family…that’s complicated. So much brokenness and flat out sin ha created many walls in my family. But as I’m sure we will see in this study,that is nothing new.
    My church family has usually been more stable, and I tend to lean on them more than my physical family.

  142. Aimee D-R says:

    I’m drawing near Jesus, I want to hear Your voice and feel Your presence. Thank You for grafting me in. Amen

  143. Searching says:

    How do your thoughts about and experiences of family affect how you see yourself as a part of God’s family?
    Oh goodness, this is a painful line of thinking for me. Strict upbringing and a rebellious nature. Usually the odd one out at home, school and church. Still am. My relationship with God is my only safe place, my only refuge – where I can pour out my heart and ask for wisdom, guidance and forgiveness.

    HEIDI – joining you and Ryan in prayer today ❤️

    THERESA – praying

    CEE GEE – good idea!

  144. Brenda says:

    I have actually been thinking a lot of the connection between our biological family and our church family lately. I have held the perception that my biological family is going to be imperfect and fight and disappoint me sometimes but that my church family won’t do that. In reality both families are human and therefore imperfect. But Jesus is perfect and has created both types of families to teach us something in our earthly lives. I’m really looking forward to this study.

  145. Erica Wilson says:

    I’m struck by the way that all these passages emphasize GOD’s work on His people’s behalf. He chose us, redeemed us, shepherded us, and healed us by HIS wounds- we bring nothing to this family but our brokenness. He did it ALL. There is no greater family to be a part of!

  146. Stef M says:

    @dana I am struggling with similar challenges with some family members also; thank you for sharing this. I want to foster an open heart within and a spirit of forgiveness, as I have been forgiven, but I was so hurt and it’s been a recurring struggle to keep forgiving.
    Praying for grace and wisdom, for you and for all of us.

  147. Stef M says:

    I am struggling with similar challenges with some family members also, thank you for sharing this. I want to hold an open heart and a spirit of forgiveness as I have been forgiven but I was so hurt and it’s been a recurring struggle to keep forgiving.

  148. Ann Harris says:

    Being a member of the family of God, by His Grace, through His son Jesus Christ is everything.

  149. Dana says:

    I am looking forward to what God has to say to me in this study. I’ve recently (for almost 3 years now) had the close relationships I’ve had with my mom, sister and brother called into question and I am feeling like the odd man out. I never imagined something like this happening and I’m really struggling with moving forward. I want to be who I’ve always been and just let things go, but I’m hurt and I think I’ve reached a point in life where I’m just not okay being the one who shoves her own feelings down so that others don’t feel bad. But I also feel that being a Christian I should just turn the other cheek for the sake of peace. Dear Father please help me sort through this once and for all. Amen.

  150. ali munch says:

    I see family as the foundation of happiness. People to surround yourself with, to be yourself with, to share yourself with. And as a part of Gods family this is no different. We serve a God who will never leave us and never forsake us and that is what a true family member is. Someone who will love you and continue to love you even if you mess up. Someone who will sit with you while you cry and give you encouragement. God is the ultimate Father and leader of an exceptional family.