I Will Lead My Family to be Healthy Church Members
I Will Lead My Family to be Healthy Church Members
Scripture Reading: I Samuel 2:12 – 17; 22 - 25
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.
- Ask not what your church can do for you, ask what you can do for your church
I Will Be a Functioning Church Member
I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
I Will Not Let My Church Be about My Preferences and Desires
I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
- We, as Christians, are living in exile. We are foreigners in an unfriendly and dark land.
- A ministry friend of mine has worked at a community college campus in Arizona for over 20 years. In his newsletter that I received he was making an urgent plea for Christian parents and churches to invest deeply into the hearts of their children a biblical worldview.
- He says in his newsletter that each succeeding generation of Christian young people that comes to his community college campus is less biblically grounded, worldlier, and more susceptible to temptation.
- A lot of it he feels is the amount of time Christian young people spend watching and connecting with the media and the media portrayals of the family and sexual morals.
- Christian divorce is leaving children disillusioned about the validity of Christianity
- Only 12% of Christians according to a Barna survey and their measurements of what a biblical worldview looks like are actually living out what they say they believe.
- Revolutionary Parenting
- Revolutionary Parenting Workbook
- Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions
- Sticky Faith
- Great resources for shaping your children into becoming leaders or not being swayed by the culture that is so opposed to the Bible and its teachings.
- I was so glad that Judge Kavanaugh, the president and the majority party of the judicial committee in the Senate stuck with Judge Kavanaugh.
- I am glad that he was willing to fight for his character and reputation
A good name is better than fine perfume
- Character and truth won with Judge Kavanaugh and character and truth over the long stretches of history always win
- It does not mean Christians will not be persecuted.
- It does not mean there will not be martyrs
- It does mean;
Quote: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” – Tertullian
- To quote my friend in ministry out in Arizona, he concludes as he works with young adults in college in this current time is;
Quote: “Faith is not about getting people into heaven, but heaven into people. We must radically involve our children in God’s Word and godly environments. Without this Satan will DEVOUR them!!” – Sam Trommler – Missionary with Missions Door
Purpose: Every Christian couple must be intentional on building the spiritual life of their family in order to be in the world and not of it and be successful at it.
Transition: It is with that backdrop of truth, we come to this very important topic. I wish I had more time to talk about this but let me stress that preparing your children to live in exile in this increasing secular culture begins not at the church, but the home. The home led by a spiritually strong mother and father and supported by the church is the only hope of raising godly kids who will not be influenced and swayed by society but will make an impact in changing the culture one person at a time.
God created three institutions. First was the home, second was government and third was the church. The church works in harmony to influence and support the home and influence and support the government but the church is not to take the place of raising spiritually minded children, it is the home.
I believe one person at a time is the answer; bringing people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ will over time bring redemption to the culture and revival if that is God’s Sovereign plan. Let’s look quickly at three principles that need to be the foundation in every Christian home in America in teaching young people how to view and love the church of Jesus Christ
We will pray together as a family for the church
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints
- It has been aptly said that the family that prays together stays together
- Having a time at home several times a week if not every day to read the Bible, to discuss it with them at age appropriate levels and to pray together is a habit that will indelibly be imprinted upon your kids’ life
- It will be a foundation for the rest of their lives
- Teaching your children to love the Word of God, to go to it in times of difficulty, to teach them that the Bible is the road map of life and has the answers for all of life’s problems. Those are the most valuable things you could teach your children.
- To go to God in prayer shows your families dependence on Him and reinforces that He has all the answers to life’s needs and questions. Valuable lesson.
Illustration: Deb Ralfs
- As the children get older, developing in their lives a way to get into God’s Word on a daily basis to dig out the answers to life’s problems for themselves is so vitally important
- Scripture memory
- Great devotional books for all ages are out there. Resources abound
- Read to them biographies of the heroes of the faith at bedtime
- Media choices – Right Now Media
- It is taking the time. When you do one thing, you sacrifice another thing.
- Screen time
Illustration: In his book, Jeffrey Froh writes that an American child who watches three hours of children's television programming a day will see 4,380 good acts in a year but 15,330 acts of violence in that same time. On the other hand, exposure to prosocial content is linked to good deeds and kindness towards others.
Quote: “The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you’re watching. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed on daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels. O, how we need to meditate on the horror of rejecting the gospel. O, how we need to guard ourselves from the barrage of eternity – denying entertainment. The wrath of God is revealed to shake unbelievers out of their stupor and to motivate believers to reach the lost.” – John Piper
- In this book we are reading, the author encourages us to pray at home for the church.
- Pray for the leaders as we talked about last week.
- For spiritual protection
- For protection from moral failure
- For the preaching of the Word of God
- For the families of the leaders
- For encouragement
- For physical strength
- For courage
- For discernment
- For wisdom in their leadership
- As your family prays for the church and for each other and for those you are close to in the church family, you will fall more in love with Christ and His church.
- Prayer in the home brings unity in the church
- If you pray as a family with people you may struggle with in relationships, God has a way of changing our hearts and the hearts of those we are struggling with.
- Pray for the leaders as we talked about last week.
Quote: “You can’t swing at someone you are mad at if you are on your face before God praying for them.” -Scott Schaefer
Application: Falling on your knees as a family makes it hard to dislike people
Transition: I have given you a resource in today’s program to give you some suggestions on how to get your family into the Word and praying together. Another very important perspective to have as parents in the home.
We will worship together as a family at church
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
- The nuclear family coming to church each week with the proper attitude to worship
Illustration: PRAGMATIC RELIGION
Years ago in Germany, there was a young Jewish boy who had a profound sense of admiration for his father. His family’s life centered on the acts of piety and devotion prescribed by their religion. The father was zealous in attending worship and religious instruction, and he demanded the same from his children. While the boy was a teenager, the family was forced to move to another town in Germany. There was no synagogue in the new town, and the pillars of the community all belonged to the Lutheran church. Suddenly the father announced to the family that they were going to abandon their Jewish traditions and join the Lutheran church. When the stunned family asked why, the father explained that changing religions was necessary to help his business.
The youngster was bewildered and confused. His deep disappointment soon gave way to anger and a kind of intense bitterness that plagued him throughout his life. That disappointed son, disillusioned by his father’s lack of integrity, eventually left Germany and went to England to study. He sat daily at the British Museum, formulating various ideas and writing a book. In that work, he introduced an entirely new world-view, envisioning a movement that would change the social and political systems of the world. Drawing from past experiences with his father, he described religion as an “opiate for the masses” that could be explained totally in terms of economics and personal gain. Today, millions of people still live under the system invented by this embittered man, and millions more suffered under previous regimes that incorporated its values. His name, of course, was Karl Marx, and his idea was communism. And it all began with his father’s misuse of the name of God for the sake of profit.
SOURCE: James Emery White, You Can Experience an Authentic Life, pp. 33-34
- Single married believer living with a non-believer
I Corinthians 7: 16
16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
I Peter 3: 1- 4
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious
- Husband or wife of an unbeliever, here are words of encouragement and hope.
- Develop a godly mindset on how to live your life as Christ would have you before your non- believing spouse and win them over by seeing Jesus in you
- Be thankful for a spouse who lets you and the kids go to church and grow in Christ even though they do not know Jesus yet.
- Single person
- The world is watching how you conduct yourselves in the matters of honesty and integrity and how committed you are to living out your faith
- Sexuality is a great example but difficult to do
- Don’t be a sexual atheist but save yourself for marriage
- If you have had a moral failure receive forgiveness and make new commitments and trust God to allow you to wait for the one God has for you in the future. It is hard, it is difficult at times but one thing that is worse than not being married is being married to the wrong person
- Be an example by your service for Christ and your participation in worship on a weekly basis.
- Be engaged in using your spiritual gift in ministry here at church.
- Jeremy Jones
- Mark and Matt Sy
- Gage Pedersen
- Emily Meyer
- Josh and Andi Zanki
- How you worship and love the church could significantly impact those are around you for Christ
- All of these people make up the church family. We need to build habits and lasting memories for those following in our footsteps
Application: Falling before God in worship builds a lasting memory
Transition: The priorities of your church habits will build the foundation for the next generation and perhaps generations of your family to come. It will be a lasting legacy.
We will teach our family to love the church together as a family
I Peter 1:22
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart
Romans 12:9 – 13
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
- As parents, teach your children what it is to have unconditional love for the church family
- It is good for your kids to have role models in the church, but teach them that even those they look up to will fail us from time to time. Jesus is the only perfect example
- When they see the flaws in others, explain that we all have flaws
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
- When they see hypocrisy, remind them that before God we are all hypocrites
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
- When people disappoint them, help them to realize the focus is on the Great Shepherd – Jesus Christ
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
- Christ displayed that unconditional love that we need to have for each other and for the church at large.
- We can get upset at the structure or decisions made by leadership but we must always love the church which God calls the bride of Christ.
- We must teach our spouse, our children, our grandchildren the unconditional love of Christ for the church
- The church is going to go through its ups and downs, its cycles of growing numerically, plateauing and declining. But understand that through the good and bad times, the church is God’s church and Jesus said He will build His church not man.
Application: Fall in love with the church unconditionally despite how people respond
Transition: Fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. As you have the opportunity to impact and have teachable spiritual moments, take them because we only have our kids for a short period of time and then they are catapulted in many cases right into the world.
Key Thought: Who will influence, impact, and impart their truths into the lives of your family; the world or you and the church
I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church because He gave His life for her.
Questions to Ponder this Week
1. How is your time in family worship going?
2. How big a priority is church in your weekly schedule?
3. How are you as a parent setting the example to love the church?