Five Blocks Needed to Strengthen Our Families

strong-family-board-game

Here is a simple outline from a recent sermon on the five ingredients we must have if our homes are to be strengthened and long lasting.  There are many that can be added, but these are the ones I have chosen for this post.

Block One – Character First

Character regarding our vows

At most weddings the couple takes a vow before God and witnesses that they will stay together as husband and wife till death does them part.  This does not mean till the death of lust, the death of happiness, death of love, or death of finances, but till physical death of one of the other partners.

Character regarding our union

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mat 19:6)

Once made “one”, it cannot be separated into its original pieces without irreparable harm done to both parts.

 Character regarding our purpose

 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (Mal 2:16)

If, as a Christian, our purpose is to please the Lord, we will not easily decide to do what the Lord says He hates. 

Block Two – Common Faith

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1Pe 3:7)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2Co 6:14)

We must have the same mind, same spirit, and same Lord.

Block Three – Christ Focus

As a family we must we focus together on Christ’s will – Submit to it

As a family we must we focus together on Christ’s Word – Obey it

As a family we must we focus together on Christ’s work  – Join it

Block  Four – Continual Forgiveness

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. (Eph 4:26-27)

People are fallible and we all need to be quick to forgive and slow to anger.

Block  Five – Church Family

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, (Tit 2:3-4)

We need the example and instruction of older married couples. They show the way.  They can teach husbands and wives to perform their duties and make their Christian homes strong and lasting.


Watch the entire sermon – Click Here

Visit us on line – Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

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This Thing Called Family

Strengthening this thing called Family

It is certain that the fundamental institution of the family is under attack today and undergoing major transformations.  God has established three institutions; the family, government, and the church.  Of these three, the family was the first and is fundamental and most foundational.

Allow me a few posts on “Strengthening This Thing Called Family.”

 First – Recognize the Source of the Family is God 

 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:22-25)

It was not congress that came up with idea of family.  The family did not slowly evolve as people gathered together and needed some method of training and caring for children and co-habitation.  The family was specifically and strategically established by God in the garden.

Therefore, the family needs to stay fundamentally the same until God sends us new instructions.   I am not looking for that update any time soon.

With that as the basis, let’s focus on what God has said about family.

Secondly – Reaffirm the structure of the family as God has described.

The husband is head of the family as the Lord is head of the church.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Eph 5:23)

The wife is the help meet sent from the Lord (Gen 2:18-25)         

She is not a competitor, but a completer.  The wife’s position is to be a help, a counterpart, a completer for the husband.

She was given to the husband from the Lord.  She is a gift and to be a blessing from God.  Mine certainly is to me!

 

Thirdly – Receive children as an heritage of the Lord

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psa 127:3)

The word heritage refers to an inheritance. Children are gifts from God to parents.  We must not just view them as property, but a responsibility.  With the blessing of children, we are given the responsibly to train, nurture, and prepare them for service to the Lord.

 


Watch the entire sermon – What Mean These Stones – Family

 Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Soul Winning – The Plan

 Goal-plan

In witnessing to people, we have some specific goals or objectives in mind.

  • Present the Gospel clearly
  • Provide an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to bring understanding and conviction to the individual
  • “Draw the net” and see them saved

These are the objectives. But an objective without a plan is a wish.  Let’s stop wishing and start fishing!  Get a plan and work the plan.

Make a Plan (or 2)

There are many resources and ideas to help formulate a plan for Gospel presentations.

Find one that you feel comfortable using. It must be Scriptural and honest.

Map the Plan

Map out the plan in the flyleaf of your New Testament or map it verse to verse.  By that I mean, know the first verse.  Then, somewhere on the page of the first verse, note the next verse you would like to use.  You can see it and the one being witnessed to does not notice it. Continue mapping the plan from verse to verse.

 

Person_Centered_Planning

Model the plan – try it out

Try it out by yourself.  Practice it.  See how it flows.  How are you going to transition from one point to another?

What questions are you going to ask to ensure understanding and help bring conviction and thoughtfulness?

Try it out on another saint.  Let them see how it sounds. Let them give feedback as to its Scriptural content and clarity in presentation.

Try it out in battle.  Use it to witness to that special friend or co-worker that God has laid upon your heart.  Go door to door and see how God blesses the plan.

Memorize the plan

Know the plan without the “mapped helps”.  Memorize the verses.

There will be many times, you cannot see the Bible yourself as you point them out to the individual. It may be too dark. You may show the verses to the individual across a table or even through a screen door.

Sometimes you may not have your Bible, but you can still witness if you know the Scriptures.

Massage the plan

Vary it as you learn more.

Vary it as the situation requires.  That means you may need to detour and take an alternate route based upon the understanding and responses of the person. There may be a need to alter it based upon time constraints. Be flexible.

It is not your PLAN that saves the person, it is the Holy Spirit bringing understanding and conviction to the lost soul based upon what God has said and what Christ has done.


 

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Returning to Family Worship

family-worship

Family Worship

Pastor Rick Owens of Victory Baptist Church in Fresno, Ca.  spoke to our men at a Pizza and Leadership meeting about the importance and practice of conducting family worship.  Here are a few outtakes of his message with my own additions and thoughts

 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 sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deu 6:6-7)

 Family Worship Needs to be Scheduled

I am more and more aware that inconsistent is non-existent.  Consistency is at least as important as frequency and content.  Set the times and schedule them.  Twice a week?  Four times a week?  Determine how often works. What gets scheduled gets done.

Set the days and times.  Once faithful with the schedule, you will probably want to increase the periodicity, but first things first.

 Family Worship Needs to be Serious

It can and should be fun, but the importance and the personal impact of the family worship time should always be sensed and impressed.  Teach your family you are meeting with God and as a family, worshiping Him.

 Family Worship Should be Simple

A 45 minute church-like service is not necessary, nor probably the best approach.  Here is one approach to a simple but effective family worship time. Find what works for you. Here is a sample given by Pastor Owens;

  • Open in brief prayer
  • Sing a song – Varied according to age appropriateness
  • Short Bible reading or study. – Take a verse or passage, read it, discuss it, apply it.  Get some interaction from the children.
  • Take and ask questions – You will surprised after a while the depth of the questions.
  • Sing another song
  • Each member pray for a missionary and / or a church family

 Mix and match ideas according to ages, like, and what works. Add or subtract.  Mix it up a little if you like, but just do it.

Family-Worship-Bible

 


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Confronting Legalism – We Need a Revival of Grace and Mercy

Legalist

I am not discussing the side of legalism that teaches us to do good works to obtain salvation, but rather the spirit that says, I am a better person because my works are better than yours.  In particular, we see their works are evil and ours are good.

The essence of the legalism is pride.

A preacher related the story to me that while preaching revival services a lady came up to him after a service and was commenting on how much she had grown in humility,  He said to her, “I imagine you are proud of that fact.” “I sure am” was her reply.

Pride is the seed of legalism.  It is the old nature’s desire to feel we are better that others.

God condemns such pride. In the passage Luke 6:1-11, Jesus makes a point to try to confront legalism in the hearts of the Pharisees and stir a revival of grace and mercy.

Here are some traits of a legalistic heart.

Critical – always looking for the cracks and faults in others. (Luke 6:2-3, 7-8)

Condescending – always looking down upon others

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (Luk 18:11)

 Condemning

In John 8 we have the story of the woman taken in the very act of adultery.  How fast the men were to condemn and judge rather that seek repentance and restoration.

Calloused (Luke 6:6-9)

We are hardened to the results of sins in others.  Instead of being broken for the effects of sin, are puffed up about ourselves in that we have not (yet) committed this level of sin.

And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (1Co 5:2)

Let’s regularly do a heart check, seeking for the seeds and signs of legalism in our lives and spirit.


Watch the entire sermon As It Should Be (pt 2) –  you may fast forward to the sermon at marker 23:30 .

Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Eat Bay