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Archive for July, 2012

Around the world today, people are to celebrate their parents for their commitment, dedication, support, encouragement, and love. Paul summed it up in his exhortation to the saints at Ephesus:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER; which is the first commandment with promise; THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG IN THE EARTH (Ephesians 6:1-3) – KJV.

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Around the world, today is celebrated as “Global Hug Your Child Day.” I find it so appropriate as I also celebrate my 52nd birthday on this day. During my morning devotional prayer, I thanked God, as I always do, for my family. I particularly take time to thank Him for my three sons – their purpose and spiritual gifts –  and for the promises, provisions, and protection that surrounds their lives daily. Take the time to hug your child today. Make a difference in their lives. They’ll be better for it!

Chldren’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers (Proverbs 17:6).”

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Summer time is in full swing! It is a time to cherish family time…a very valued time indeed. During this fourth of July (Independence Day) period and beyond, be sure to spend quality time with those who love you the most. They are irreplaceable!

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)

HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER; which is the first commandment with promise. THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (Ephesians 6:2-3)

God’s first commandment to man, with a promise, deals with the family.  Holiness in family life is evident in the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the saints and faithful brethen in Christ (Colossians 1:2).  In this dynamic teaching, God’s Word clearly reveals His plans, roles, and responsibilities for the family that He created.

 Wives – …submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord (Colossians 3:18).

 Husbands – …love your wives, and be not bitter against them (Colossians 3:19).

 Children – …obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 3:20).

 Fathers – …provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged (Colossians 3:21). The consistent nature of God’s Word is again illuminated through the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:1) relative to holiness in family life.  In several powerful passages of Scripture, beginning in chapter five, verse twenty-one through chapter six, verse four, God Word’s comforts His readers with a detailed focus on the believer’s responsibility to walk in accordance with their heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.  In essence, this is the key to the   book of Ephesians: That we become more aware of our position in Christ because this is the basis for our practice on every level of life.

 Wives – …submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22)…as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing (Ephesians 5:24).

 Husbands – …love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25)…so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself (Ephesians 5:28).

 Marriage – For this cause SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL BE JOINED UNTO THIS WIFE, AND THEY TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH (Ephesians 5:31).

 Husband and Wife – …let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:33).

 Children – …obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER; which is the first commandment with promise; THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH (Ephesians 6:1-3).

God’s Plan for the Family  

Simply put, family centers around mom and dad. It means: Father And Mother I Love You

“It’s Christmas!,” my middle son shouted at 7:13am on December 25th.  As his two brothers and mother slept, he made his way to the living room, from his bedroom, to open his toys with great anticipation.  I exploded with gladness knowing that my family would be fulfilled on this day.  The celebration of Christmas Day brings such joy to my heart.  It is a time to teach my family about Jesus.  It is His birth that is first and foremost on my mind during this season.  No time to discuss Santa Claus, no time to get too caught up in secular Christmas songs, and no time to spend countless hours in stores making others rich.  Instead, this time of the year is appropriate for family to spend quality time together celebrating the new life that we have because of the love that God has for us – His children.  This is a time to get away from the daily rigor and chaos of life to:  Talk,  Celebrate,  Love,  Cherish memories,  Hug,  Cry,  Pray,  Restore,  Reflect,  Rest,  Relax, and  Pray. God’s first commandment, that is sealed with a promise, centers around the family and family life.  This is revealed twice in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:12 – one of the original ten commandments – and again in Deuteronomy 5:16).  The New Testament revelation is written as follows: HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER; which is the first commandment with promise. THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (Ephesians 6:2-3)

F-A-M-I-L-Y is mentioned 123 times in The Holy Bible – 122 in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament.  In its original form, in the Greek language – patria – it means “an ancestry, lineage, family or tribe.”  Another translation – oikos – means “a household, family, a dwelling, a house.”  With dads taking the lead, develop a close intimate relationship with your family as follows:

1. Make the things of God a priority in your life.  Live by the Word, do the Word, and seek the kingdom of God first above all issues and concerns in your life.  God promises to take care of you with the natural needs (food, clothing, and shelter) that are essential to survive in this world.  Submit yourself to Him. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7)

2. Become a prayer warrior.  Talk to God on behalf of your FAMILY.  Communicate with Him.  He desires to talk to His children.  It takes practice but will soon become a normal part of your day.  Morning devotionals must become a priority.  Men are to be the natural example in our homes. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”  (John 15:16)

3. Make God clear and visible.  Read and study God’s Word at least 5 to 6 hours per week.  Then, do what the Word says to do. “And, I if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Salt – Cleanses, purifies, seasons, and disinfects. Light – Exposes darkness, penetrates, leads, guides, directs, expels corruption, radiates, and shines!

4. Spend quality time together. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sitteth in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

…when thou sitteth in thine house – teach the children about the LORD our God at all times.  Do not allow anything in your home that will distract their ways, their thinking, or their habits.  Shut off HBO, avoid the music videos, and monitor their internet usage.

…when thou walkest by the way – Take the time to walk them to school and attend their recreational activities as a chaperone, coach or volunteer.

…when thou liest down and when thou riseth up – Be the last one to go to bed at night and the first one to rise in the morning.  Be at home both at night and in the morning for your children.

5. Learn from one another. “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear; and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:2-7)

6. Walk by faith, not by sight. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17)

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

7. Allow the love of God to shine in your hearts.  Follow the lead of Joshua – the ultimate family man. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  (Joshua 1:8)

This family man succeeded Moses and his capable leadership survived three military campaigns involving more than thirty enemy armies.  Ultimately though, victory comes through faith in God and obedience to His Word rather than through military might or numerical superiority.  Make a new commitment to live according to God’s plan for family as a result of reading and sharing this book.  Make a renewed commitment to spend quality time with your family.  Remember what family means: (F)ather (A)nd (M)other (I) (L)ove (Y)ou!  Let your love extend to your family.  Our children need us!

Source: Give God the Glory! The Godly Family Life, 2005, Introduction, by Kevin Wayne Johnson

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