Wednesday, June 13, 2012
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).
Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:12-21
John wrote to help his readers avoid the disaster of being lured to destruction by the world.
1) The world against which John warns us.
John uses the term “the world” more than all the other New Testament writers combined. He uses this term seventy-nine times in his gospel and twenty-three times in 1 John. This term has at least three different significations in the writings: (1) It is used of the world of nature, the created order, the material universe (John 1:10; I John 4:17). This world, with its changing seasons, majestic mountains, restless seas, and verdant fields, is a thing of beauty and is to be acknowledged as such by Christians (Ps. 8, 19). (2) It is used of the whole human race thought of as a world fallen into sin and in need of redemption. This world God loves (John 3:16); He feels its burdens and is sensitive to its needs (I John 2:2; 4:9). (3) It is used of unbelieving, pagan society thought of as a rebel order embodying the influences and forces hostile to God (I John 5:19; John 14:30; 15:18-19; 16:30). John saw this world ranged in opposition to the people of God and threatening their very existence on the earth. It is this world which the Christian is not to love.
2) The appetites of the world.
The lust of the flesh.
We are warned against living solely for the gratification of our earthly nature. Here the word “flesh” stands for our human nature as corrupted by sin. “Lust” refers to the unlawful and sinful desires produced by our lower nature. We must not live merely for the satisfaction of the appetites of our lower nature.
The lust of the eyes.
We must guard against living for and loving that for which our eyes crave, that which brings satisfaction and gratification to the eye. Temptation often comes to us through seeing that which appeals to the lower nature and that which would bring gratification to human pride.
The pride of life.
We must guard against that which makes a contribution toward the proud display of life. We must not live for vainglory and for the vain grandeur that the world has to offer. We must not live for the glamour of a pretentious life.
3) The devil’s offer of the world.
In our Lord’s temptation experience, the devil offered to him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them providing he would fall down and worship him (Matt. 4:8-10). Jesus resisted this temptation and declared that one must worship God only and nothing less than God.
The devil uses the world today to tempt the children of God in an effort to lead them to spiritual destruction. Perhaps the following considerations can assist us in rejecting his offer of the world to us.
The world is perishing.
The words of our text declare it. The world is not permanent. It will not last forever. Only those who do the will of God will abide forever.
The world does not really satisfy.
The securing of wealth, the enjoyment of pleasure, or even the earning of honor do not satisfy the deepest hungers of the human heart.
The world is something that you will leave behind you at the day of death.
You cannot take the world with its appetites and ambitions with you to heaven. The treasures of the world are not the treasures of heaven.
The world is dangerous.
That is the whole point of our text. We need to recognize that the world would capture our imagination, monopolize our energy, and lead us away from God.
Now in Conclusion
This world is not our home. We are only passing through. We must beware lest we fall into a trap set for us by the devil. Slowly but surely he would use the world as bait to lure us further and further away from the will of our loving Father.
It is in the world that we serve God and seek to win people to faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the will of our Lord that we be taken out of this world at this time but rather that we should live in this world a victorious life of worship, witness, and service (John 17:15-17).
God bless you all, Pastor Mike
Note: I just want to thank all of you for your comments, goodies, and emails from the last Bible blog. It has been a very busy week keeping me away from Spark People!! In His Service, Pastor Mike
Saturday, June 09, 2012
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Num. 13:30).
Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:26-33
The story of Moses sending the twelve spies into the Promised Land is one of the most thrilling incidents in the Bible. Their report, split ten to two, may well be a parallel of today’s church members. Would we say that only two out of twelve are really faithful Christians?
When the ten gave their report, they created such confusion in the camp that it was with great difficulty that Joshua and Caleb were able to get the floor to present the minority report. Their faith in the power of God and his ability to help people should inspire Christians everywhere to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord and trust him for the results. I see six wonderful challenges in the report of Joshua and Caleb.
1) The challenge of cooperation-“Let us.”
Working together is the key to success in any endeavor.
The job is too great for a few, so “let us” do it together-teamwork.
Cooperation made Pentecost possible.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). What if that had been in our day when the 120 had gathered in the Upper Room? The record would be something like this: “The meeting was called for the first day of the week, but so many things interfered, that of the company of 120 only 40 could be present. Peter and his wife had bought a cottage on Lake Galilee and were away from the hot city over the weekend. Bartholomew had guests and, of course, could not come. Philip and his family had been up late the night before and overslept. Andrew had a business conference about a new fishing boat. James had to stay home and cut the grass.” Result? No Pentecost!
2) The challenge of activity-“Go.”
Cooperation says, “Let us go.”
There is action-something to be done. It was Sunday morning in the Doe household. The parents were not interested in the church and its program, but they wanted their son to have the advantage of the church’s activities. The mother had dressed little Joe for Sunday school. On the way out, he paused in front of his dad as he sat before the TV in his sweats and T-shirt, coffee in hand. “Dad, may I ask you a question?” “Sure, son,” he replied. “When am I going to get old enough not to have to go to church either?” The father hesitated a moment then said, “Wait a minute, son, and I’ll go with you.” Without a doubt, that was the right answer-“Go.”
Look into another home:
A little girl with shining eyes and face all aglow said, “Daddy, it’s almost time for Sunday school. Let’s go.” “Oh no,” said Daddy, “not today. I’ve worked hard all week, and I must have one day of rest. I’m going down to the river where I can relax. The fish will be biting today. Now run along; don’t bother me. We’ll go to church another day.” Months and years roll by, but Daddy no more hears that plea, “Let’s go to Sunday school.” Those childhood days are over, and Daddy is growing old. Life is halfway through when he finds time to go to church. But what does his daughter say? She says, “Not today. I stayed up late last night, and I just have to get some sleep. Besides, I look a fright.”
Should parents insist that their children go to Sunday school?
Yes. How do you answer Junior when he comes to breakfast Monday morning and announces rebelliously, “I’m not going to school today”? Junior goes! What about when he comes in dirty and says, “I’m not going to take a bath”? Junior takes a bath! How do you answer when Junior gets sick and says, “I’m not going to take medicine.” Junior takes it! Why then are some parents timid in the area of their children’s spiritual guidance and growth? Are you going to let your child wait and decide what church to go to when he is old enough? Quit kidding! You didn’t wait until he was old enough to decide whether he wanted to go to public school or until he made up his mind whether he wanted to be a clean or healthy person. What should you say when Junior announces that he does not like Sunday school or church? Just be consistent. “Junior, in our home we all attend Sunday school and church, and that includes you.” Your firmness and example here will furnish a bridge over which youthful rebellion may travel into rich and satisfying experiences in personal Christian living.
3) The challenge of advance-“Up.”
One of the greatest challenges America has ever had is before us now — winning the world for Christ.
The world is becoming more pagan each year. The challenge to total commitment to service for Christ is before us.
To go “up” means work-lots of it-and I believe that Christians are capable of it if they set their minds to doing it.
4) The challenge of urgency-“Now.”
Years ago a prominent American Christian asked a native Chinese, “Why has Christianity lost to communism in your country?”
The studied answer was, “Because the Communists have a philosophy, a program, and a passion.” They believe in something, they plan how they may appeal to others, then they work with a passion, even to giving their lives. Christianity has the first two-a philosophy and a program, but tragic beyond words is our absence of passion. The apostles had it: “Beaten . .they departed . .rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Jesus’] name” (Acts 5:40-41).
Our philosophy is infallible truth.
Our program is divine. Our passion is such that we have to plead for our members to attend worship regularly on the Lord’s Day. If one-third of the members agree after high-pressure preaching to give 10 percent of their income, we count it success. No wonder so few members lead anyone to Christ in their lifetime. When our passion for Christ and his cause is sufficient to produce the practice of “he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:39), then Christianity will overcome the world.
Somewhere among your acquaintances there is someone who has not taken Christ as personal Savior.
Somewhere in our busy lives we have promised ourselves that sometime we will invite that someone to come to our church. But we have put it off or have forgotten that promise. For some of us, time is running out. Someday it will be too late to speak to that person about becoming a Christian. Either we may be gone or that someone may die before accepting Christ as Savior. Let us talk to that someone today and invite him to come to church and to Christ. “Let us go up now.”
5) The challenge of conquest-“Possess the land.”
Isn’t it wonderful to accomplish something-to get it done?
Most church members who find fault, who are unhappy, who find so many things to clutter up their lives, who stir up trouble, and the like have themselves to blame. They make excuses when they ought to make good.
It is easy to quit, but it is often difficult to keep on going when the going is tough; that makes a real man or woman. Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go possess the land.”
My Spark Friends, let us enter on a spirit of conquest for God. Let us resolve that with his help we are going to do our share in reaching people. Let us not be making excuses when we ought to be making good.
6) The challenge of ability-“We are able.”
The ten spies said, “They are too big for us. We can’t do it.” Joshua and Caleb answered, “We are able, for we have God on our side.” What do you say?
Now in Conclusion
The experiences of Joshua and Caleb and the subsequent results of entering the Promised Land should inspire all of us to trust the Lord to do what he promises. Victory is ours.
God bless you all,
Monday, June 04, 2012
“By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:20 NIV).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:15-23
Jesus once said that people are like trees: they can be judged by their fruit. “Are grapes gathered from thorns or figs from thistles?” he asked. “So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. .Thus you will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16-20 RSV).
“Fruit” is more than outward acts; it is inner motives relentlessly showing themselves in the course of time by word and conduct. Fruit grows slowly, but it loudly proclaims the tree. Thus, the test is one of inner and outer Christlikeness proved by time-the eyes of Christ being the judgment. “Fruit” is a major term in the New Testament, and while it includes works, it must never be equated with outward works. The tree is judged good or bad according to the kind of fruit it produces. The bad tree is not a rotten one, but the wrong kind. The word is used in the parable of the net in Matthew 13:48. The bad fish are not diseased, but the wrong kind, inedible.
These words of Jesus about the danger of false teachers are somewhat surprising. We might have expected him to say, “You will know them by their beliefs, their interpretations of texts, their fidelity to creeds. Or you will know them by the company they keep or the way they baptize.” But not so. He said we could distinguish the false prophet from the true one by his fruit, by the temper he displays, by the spirit that he manifests, by the character that he reveals, by the deeds that he does, by the life that he lives. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (5:22 RSV).
A man who prides himself on his orthodoxy but is uncharitable, bitter, and hard is a dangerous man. Certainly we should attach importance to right beliefs, but keep in mind Jesus’ warning, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy [preach, teach] in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’ ” (Matt. 7:22-23 RSV).
People are like trees, Jesus said; they can be judged by their fruit. Churches are people, and if people are like trees, so are churches. We know them by their fruit. Great churches produce great fruit, and by examining the fruit, we learn about the church. Our Lord’s church is a world-embracing fellowship of those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and seek to be his followers. The church exists to be the carrier of the gospel of Christ; a church is or is not a church in the fullest sense to the degree that its members are faithful to this mission.
To be a carrier of the good news of Jesus Christ is a many-sided task. It takes many forms and requires that many channels be opened. How can we know if a church is becoming what our Lord expects? By its fruit. What fruit, then, does a good church produce?
1) The first fruit of a good church is worship.
A church announces its worship times, and we usually refer to these times as worship services, a rather odd use of words in the opinion of some people who define the words as somewhat opposites and say that a person cannot do one while doing the other. As I see it, the words worship and service are not contradictory-they go together properly. A Christian congregation unites in a “service” of worship not primarily to serve themselves and go away feeling better after “getting a lift,” but to serve and honor God. This by no means excludes the call to the service of others, which, beginning at the house of worship, should extend out into daily life in the workplace and home. Yet it is quite different from worship as a psychological exercise, the inducing of a meditative mood for a pleasant feeling of well-being. The Greek word leitourgia, from which the word liturgy is derived, though it can be applied to any corporate service of worship, is itself derived from words that mean “public work.” Not only does this suggest that the worship of God is a form of service, but the word for “public” suggests that the whole people of God-ministers, choirs, and congregations alike-are to do something about it.
Regrettably, the worship service of the church for some people is nothing but a strange interlude between getting the children ready for Sunday school and cooking the Sunday dinner, or between reading the newspaper and taking an afternoon nap. It is the process of sitting back and watching the ministers and the worship band perform. And when this is the case, we judge the worship service as we judge a motion picture or a baseball game. Is it a good show or isn’t it? Has it been entertaining or hasn’t it? Did we like the players or didn’t we? And when the service is over, it may have been a pleasant meeting, a helpful talk, or a clever performance; but it certainly has not been worship.
The thoughtful Christian regards the worship of the church as both an attitude and an act. It involves an attitude of awareness, a conscious entrance into the presence of God as “the personal Spirit, perfectly good, who in holy love creates, sustains, and orders all.” But it is more than attitude; it is action, too. It involves adoration of God’s glory and thanksgiving for God’s will. It involves confession of one’s own sins, petition for one’s own needs, and intercession for others.
2) A second fruit of a good church is evangelism.
Evangelism is the battle for souls and central loyalties. It is what Jesus intended when he told his disciples to let their light so shine before all that others might see their good works and give glory to their heavenly Father. It is what Jesus intended when he sent them out with the command to “preach as you go” and when he commissioned them to “make disciples of all nations.” It is what Jude meant when he urged the early Christians to “contend for the faith.”
Evangelism is telling the truth about God with a persuasiveness designed to win people to his fellowship. It is proclaiming the glad tidings of Jesus Christ in the hope of helping people to understand that the victory over sin, which people could never win for themselves, is daily being won for them by one who was crucified long ago.
Evangelism takes many forms. There is a place for mass evangelism through the voice and appeal of a Christian evangelist who views this as his particular calling, providing it is done with integrity and without hysteria. Evangelism is also a quiet pastor in a church service, a teacher in a Sunday school room or at a social, a parent talking to a child, a workman talking to his friend, a college student chatting with her peers, or young people sharing their thoughts and feelings-with a view to winning people to a commitment to Jesus Christ the Lord. Evangelism is the outward probing of the church as the church invades the world with the good news of God’s love.
3) A third fruit of a good church is education.
It is a major function of a church to appropriate, understand, and transmit its Christian heritage, applying the eternal truths of the gospel and the funded wisdom of the past to the contemporary needs of persons. The major source of this Christian heritage is the Bible, and many churches try to make the study of the Bible as comprehensive and helpful as possible through the work of the Sunday school.
Christian education involves the stimulation of human growth in its highest and noblest forms-the enlightenment of the mind, the kindling of the heart, the drawing out of the real person. The tragedy is that often such programs are devoted to entertaining trivialities or to themes that are wholesome in themselves but have no basic Christian rootage-such as sports, flower arranging, or quilt making. The fruit of education coming from a good church provides an opportunity to see and understand the world as God has made it. It requires probing after truth, rejoicing when truth has been found, and gladly sharing with others both the riches of the gospel’s past and individual contemporary discoveries that tell us that God is still at work among his people.
4) A fourth fruit of a good church is service.
James put it this way, “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (2:15-17 RSV). Henry Drummond said, “To grow up in complacent belief that God has no business in this great groaning world of human beings except to attend to a few saved souls is the negation of all religion.”
The church has no right to ignore human suffering and need. When it sees injustice, it must rebel; when it confronts deprivation, it has compassion. Wherever human need exists unmet, a church too proud to try to meet it is dead. The need may be to improve poor housing conditions, or to help a person find a job or get legal counsel, or to help a child feel wanted. In other words, we are to give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.
5) A fifth fruit of a good church is fellowship.
Some would say that fellowship should come first, but I think the last place is its rightful place-not because it is unimportant, but because it is quite superficial unless its roots are in the soil of worship, evangelism, education, and service. We can have fellowship in almost anything we do, from climbing mountains to collecting antiques, but the only fellowship that marks a great church is the fellowship of men and women who are doing the Lord’s business through that church.
Now in Conclusion
According to these fruits, what can we know about our church? Is it a good church?
There are some blossoms on the trees; and if warmth of concern and sunshine of work, prayer, and cooperation are provided, good fruit can be harvested.
God bless you all,
Thursday, May 31, 2012
“He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:5 RSV).
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10
In one of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons, Lucy shouts, “Do you understand?” Linus puts his hands over his ears and says, “Yes. I understand! You don’t have to yell at me!” Lucy reflects. “Perhaps you’re right. . Perhaps I shouldn’t yell at you so much, but I feel that if I talked to you quietly as I am doing now [and again she shouts], you’d never listen!”
This is reminiscent of generations of robust, aggressive, evangelical Protestant preaching. The practice of “laying the truth on the line” and turning up the volume is not to be downgraded if done with integrity. Most of us have heard the story of the preacher who wrote on the margin of his sermon notes, “Weak argument-get louder here.” Christianity is more than something to be preached and something to be heard. Kierkegaard pointed this out: “Christianity, by becoming a direct communication, is altogether destroyed. It becomes a superficial thing, capable neither of inflicting wounds, nor of healing them.”
We who have been redeemed through Jesus Christ are the church of God, and therefore it is our responsibility to go beyond “turning up the volume” when presenting God’s Word. When we become Christians, we step into a sacred community where we are to serve others. The church is of God, not of human origin.
1) Since the church is of God, we should not resist self-examination.
The quaint old church on Main Street or in the suburbs, U.S.A., is facing many crises. The church has been a captive church swallowed up in a middle-class culture. Often it has acted as if its sole task is to do whatever the world wants done and to do it on the world’s terms. Afraid to live in terms of its own integrity, the church adopts what has been called a “flirtatious response,” trying to con the world into noticing its presence by all kinds of tricks.
In Robert Bolt’s drama A Man for All Seasons, the concluding scene has the Common Man step to the edge of the stage just after the godly Thomas More has been beheaded for defying for conscience’ sake the wrathful Henry VIII. The Common Man says to the stunned audience: “I’m breathing. . Are you breathing, too? . . It’s nice, isn’t it? It isn’t difficult to keep alive, friends-just don’t make trouble-or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected.”
Here is our problem, at least in part. Any trouble the church has caused modern society is the kind that is expected, like passing resolutions at conventions. Jesus came to bring a sword, but we have been busy pin-pricking. Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple, but we have only hinted gently that they might be offending God. Lukewarmness often is considered virtuous; economic and social application of the gospel is sometimes rejected as subversive, as though communist inspired. Ministers, in far too many instances, have unwittingly sold out in the defense of an oppressive status quo and then wondered why their members ask, especially before the new wears off, “Have you heard our fine preacher?” Our Christian fathers in the first century did not flinch at the charge that they “upset the world”! What heirs we have turned out to be! We cannot bring ourselves to upset the apple cart, let alone the world.
Self-examination is necessary for the church in each generation. Some good and exciting things are taking place now as a result of such reflection. More good things ought yet to come.
2) Since the church is of God, it must learn and remember what God wants it to be.
The New Testament records the early Christians’ convictions about the purpose of the Christian life, community, and witness. It is more of a shout of joy than a closely reasoned theological argument. It invites people to come and see what God has done in Jesus Christ.
In the opening sentences of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he is refreshing the memory of his readers of their joy in their newfound faith, and then he gives this reason for it. “[God] destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ . . for he has made known to us . . [his] plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him” (Eph. 1:5, 9-10 RSV). God is summing up all things in Jesus Christ; he is bringing all things into clear focus in him. All things, as they are brought into their true relationship with him, also are brought into their true relationship to one another and so into an all-embracing harmony.
These early Christians meant business when they said they had found God in Christ or had been found by God in Christ. The one whom they called Lord was Lord in fact as well as name, not only of their lives but of the entire universe. Such a saving experience and such a sense of mission ushered them into a community, the church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The church is not a chance creation of a group of people who happened to make up their minds that they wanted to stand for certain things. They found a mission for living and the strength to carry that mission to the ends of the earth. We belong to the church not simply when our names are on the membership book but when we feel deeply a part of the power of the love of God that brings all things into focus in Jesus Christ.
Now in Conclusion
When you choose Christ in such a way that he truly becomes the center of your life, you put yourself in the sphere where you not only act but are acted upon. This kind of living is not passive. It goads you to your best and haunts you at your worst. It summons you up into what you could be and to forgive what you have been. It invites you to compassion and brings pain upon you. It bids you laugh at your own insignificance; it gives you a sense of your own importance. It calls you into the lives of the unlovable; it enables you to get along without their love. It drives you to the heart of sorrow; it puts you alongside joy as well. Since the church is of God, be a part of it.
God bless you all,
Saturday, May 26, 2012
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-21
As we consider the Christian home, we face the peril of accepting a part for the whole. Could it be possible that some of us have accepted a counterfeit for the genuine article? We also need to be cautious lest we accept a substitute for a genuine Christian home.
1) What is a Christian home?
Is it a home that merely maintains high moral standards?
Is it a home where all the members believe in the existence of a supreme being?
Is it a home where all of the family members are listed as church members?
Is it a home where everyone goes to church every Sunday?
Is it a home where all of the family members have been converted?
Is it a home where religion is a form to be maintained and a duty to be carried out that produces no glow to gladden the heart or grace to sustain the spirit?
Is it a home where there are certain moral restrictions imposed on the children?
We are using the word Christian as an adjective rather than as a noun. An adjective is used to “denote a quality of the thing or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.” When the word Christian is used as an adjective, it denotes a quality that is distinctive about the noun to which it is attached. When we ask, “How Christian is your home?” we are referring to a home that is distinctively different.
2) How would you define a Christian home?
A Christian home has been defined as having at least the following three characteristics.
A Christian home is a home where Christ is known, trusted, and obeyed.
It is a home in which Christ lives as Savior, Lord, Friend, and Teacher.
The husband loves his wife sincerely and steadfastly even as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25).
The wife reverences her husband and recognizes him as the head of her household (Eph. 5:21-24, 33).
The children respect and obey their parents in the Lord (Col. 3:20).
A Christian home is a home where the husband and wife love each other sincerely and steadfastly.
The vows they made before God and the state on their wedding day are treated as an unconditional commitment to each other as long as life lasts.
The love that should prevail between a husband and wife will manifest itself on the sexual level, the social level, and the sacrificial level. God gives his smile of approval to the romantic attraction of the husband and wife for each other. The husband and the wife should conduct themselves so as to maintain the respect and appreciation of their companion. If married love is to reach its highest level, it must be characterized by a spirit of sacrificial self-giving on the part of each to the other and for the other.
A Christian home is a home where there is a creative relationship between the parents and the children.
The husband and the wife have a spiritual responsibility to help each other to be the best Christians they possibly can be. In turn they have a responsibility to provide spiritual nurture and encouragement to their children as well as provision for their material needs. The parents must not delegate to the church the sole responsibility for the spiritual training and discipline of their children. Parents must recognize their responsibility for the spiritual training and discipline of their children.
Children need to recognize that they have a responsibility to God for assisting in making the home Christian. It is the will of God that they respect and obey their parents. If they would be pleasing to their Lord, they must recognize the authority of their parents. Children need to overcome their inherent tendency to be selfish and to put forth an effort to grow toward spiritual maturity that involves responsible action within the home.
If there is a generation gap that exists, it is a two-way gap. It can be bridged only when both parties put forth an effort to communicate with each other.
3) Making the home more Christian.
To maintain a creative relationship between parents and children, we will need three gifts and activities.
We need the gift and activity of faith.
Faith in God (Heb. 11:6).
Faith in self.
Faith in each other.
Faith in the future.
The gift and activity of hope.
Hope based on the goodness and faithfulness of God.
Hope based on character and commitment to Christ.
Hope based on the presence of God in the hearts of others and in our own hearts.
The gift and activity of love.
Three Greek words are used to communicate the nature of love. Eros refers to sensual or sexual love. This type of love is emotional and instinctive. While it may be selfish, it also can be pure, genuine, and noble between a husband and wife who love each other sincerely and steadfastly. Philia is social love, or brotherly love. It is based on the worth detected in another or on similarity of interest and feeling. It means “I sincerely like you.” Agape is sacrificial, self-giving love, the Calvary kind of love. It always puts the best interest of the other ahead of the interest of self. All three of these types of love are in the plan of God for the Christian home.
Now in Conclusion
If we want to have faith, hope, and love in abundance, we need to let Jesus Christ dwell in our hearts and in our homes as Savior, Lord, Teacher, and Friend. He will assist and encourage us.
Yours can be a Christian home if you will trust and obey Christ and if you will love your companion sincerely.
If there is one in your home who does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then trust him for guidance and help as you seek to give your Christian witness and as you seek to lead that one to know your Savior as Lord and Master.
God bless you all and thank you for all of your wonderful comments to my blogs!!
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