• How are you all doing?
• Did you all find value in this week’s study?
• I pray that you all took the time to sit and be still before the Lord this week as it is incredibly important for us to seek out Jesus with everything we are
How is our family?
• This week we are talking about our family
• Family is extremely important
o Every culture and people group on the planet, throughout time has valued their family relationship
o Genesis 2:18,20b-22 – the first family was Adam and Eve
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”… But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took part of the man’s side and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
* God told them to multiple and increase in number – let the earth be full of humans (Genesis 1:28)
• Sadly the family structure and relationship are under attack in our culture
o It is the “norm” for both parents to work, leaving the day-care workers to raise their child
o It is the “norm” for the parents to be divorced, split or simply not married
o It is the “norm” for parents emotionally and spiritual absent from the family – even if they are physical present.
o It is the “norm” for the children to grow up and move away from their hometown – creating distances between them, their children and grandparents
• In the midst of all this, Jesus is calling His followers to be different
o To have strong family relationships
o To have lasting relationships that are built upon Him, not force, fear or control
o To have a family in which the priority is not how much money one has or what stuff one has or what events one does…
* But one in which the priority is focused around Jesus
* Focused around being around each other and helping each other follow Jesus
• This is the main goal, no matter the relationship
o Extended Family
• It does not matter – the goal is the same:
o To help them know and walk after Jesus
o Everyone has a unique calling on their lives – they have their own needs and dreams
o Yet, we, as family who will walk with them year after, are called by Jesus to help them on their journey towards and with Jesus
• The question then becomes:
o Are we helping each of our family members get close to Jesus?
o Or are we hindering them?
o Are we letting our fear, control, passions, desires, dreams for them keep them from fully following Jesus the way in which Jesus told them to?
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer
o German pastor, scholar, theologian wrote the following while running an underground seminary during World War II
God did not make this person as I would have make him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Life Together” (emphasis added)
• We have one goal:
o Help our family members find their identity in Jesus
o That’s it
• Susanna Wesley
o Mother of John and Charles Wesley
* John Wesley – founder of Methodism
* Charles Wesley – wrote hundreds of hymns, many of which are still sung today
o Wrote the following to her husband, who was absent at the time
I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children…
o She saw herself as a steward in which she had the duty to help her children follow Jesus
o She wasn’t a pastor or anyone special in the eyes of the world
o She was just a mother who taught her children to chase after Jesus
* And in doing so, she changed the world
• Here’s another bit of wisdom, we don’t know what God is going to do in or through our family members.
I can never know beforehand how God’s image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God’s free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I gasped it. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Life Together” (emphasis added)
o We have to trust Jesus!!!!
• In turning to old fisherman, St. Peter, we see the same principle at work
o In 1 Peter chapter 3 St. Peter addresses married couples; however, I believe that the words he spoke carry meaning for all of us in all our family relationships
• The way we live our lives carries the message of Jesus
In the same way, let me say a word to the women. You should be subject to your husband, so that if there should be some who disobey the word, they may be won, without a word, through the behavior of their wives, as they notice you conducting yourselves with reverence and purity. The beauty you should strive for ought not to be the external sort – elaborate hairdressing, gold trinket, fine clothes! Rather, true beauty is the secret beauty of the heart, of a sincere, gentle, and quiet spirit. That is very precious to God. –1 Peter 3:1-4 The Kingdom New Testament
• Think out how to live with your family
You men, in the same, think out how to live with your wives. Yes, they are physically weaker than you, but they deserve full respect. They are heirs of the grace of life, just the same as you. That way nothing will obstruct your prayers. -1 Peter 3:7 The Kingdom New Testament
• We need to work at our family relationship
o There are some great resources out there…
• In other words, don’t take relationship for granted!
• Let us push in and help each other walk a little closer to Jesus
The aim of this is for you all to be like-minded, sympathetic and loving to one another, tender-hearted and humble. Don’t repay evil for evil, or slander for slander, but rather say a blessing. This is what you were called to, so that you may inherit a blessing.
For the one who wants to love life and see good days
Should guard the tongue from evil and the lips from speaking deceit;
Should turn away from evil and do good;
Should seek peace, and follow after it.
For the Lord’s eyes are upon the righteous, and his ears are open their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
-1 Peter 3:8-12 The Kingdom New Testament