Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is REAL family time?

I recently had the pleasure of preaching my first message at a Sunday night service at my Church.  I entitled it  "Are We Really Hungry".  I will post a version of it to my blog soon but I wanted to share a piece from it now in reference to an experience tonight.

In this message I deal with the idea that one of the excuses that we make for not coming to church consistently outside of Sunday morning (namely, Sunday Night) is that we call ourselves having family time.  If we took a poll of what kind of family time was being spent, especially on Sunday's, we would find that the time is often spent watching sports.  There is always the possibility of a family game being played, or a movie being watched.  I make the point that, in the case of watching a sports game, we are substituting passion for an inconsequential, make-believe battle between two sports teams for the time we should be spending preparing ourselves and our family for the very real battle in the spirit realm that wages around us all the time.   Nothing wrong with these times together, but to substitute them, for time spent together in corporate worship I cannot justify.

I make the statement that, there is no more valuable way to spend time with family than by coming together in corporate worship, setting an example for your children and your spouse that will have longer lasting effects than anything else you could do with that time.

This last Thursday and Friday night have proven that point.  My family and I have sat together, not on a Sunday night, but a "valuable" week night worshiping together and sitting under the teaching of the word together.  My wife, 8 yr old son, and 4 yr old son sat in the presence of the Almighty and took part in  services where the only agenda was that of the Holy Spirit.  Where people were saved and set free.  These particular ministers happened to be pastors who also have a worship ministry.  So you have teaching of the word interspersed with worshiping in song.  No rules, no religion, just Jesus.  We were fed together as a family in ways we never could have been sitting together doing anything else at home.  I long to set a lifestyle example for my children that revolves around God.  I pray that this is the beginning of a new way of living life in obedience to God as a family.  I pray that, as they should, our lives will begin to daily revolve around the word and worship, not requiring a church service to create that environment.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 says this:  "Now this is the commandment-the statutes and the rules-that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.  Here therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when your walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates".

Now, why type out all that.  I just wanted to be sure that we see and understand that anyone who thinks you can talk to much about God and his word or involve it too much in their lives is in direct contradiction to God.  This passage is to Israel, however, there are many other scriptures to support the fact that the truths stated here apply today.  That there is Nothing more important than being taught the word of God, reading and studying the word of God, and sharing the word of God with others.  It is of utmost importance.  In fact God's word says that if we want it to go well not only for us but for our children and our grandchildren that we must put God first and obey his commands.

God impressed it upon me during the Wednesday night service to make sure my family was there for the last two nights and I obeyed.  I am so grateful that I obeyed.  There is nothing more gratifying than knowing you are walking in obedience to God.  As a man, a God ordained spiritual head of the household, there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you have gotten something right in the way in which you have led your family.  I still have a long way to go.

What I want anyone reading this to understand is that I am not chastising you.  I am not that far removed from the disobedient side of this equation.  This is a heart cry.  Please don't let another day pass by without putting God first. Without getting in the word and learning who God is, who you are in Christ and what his plans and desires are for your life.  Please don't let another week pass by making excuses for why you can't be sitting under more teaching at your church than just what you get in the brief Sunday morning sermon.  Pursue God for all that he is.  Creator, Judge, Ruler, Savior King, Father, Lover, Friend.  Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

If you don't know Jesus as Savior and Lord then know this. Without Christ we are sinners in the hands of an angry God.  A God that in his holiness cannot even look upon sin.  A God that in his Holiness must poor out his wrath upon sin and sinners alike.  But, this same God that created the universe also created you, and he  loves you enough that he sent his one and only Son to die on a cross for your sins.  Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath toward your sin and experienced separation from God so that you wouldn't have to.  He provided a way of redemption.  He paid the price. He satisfied the judgement that had to come upon sin.

I pray, that if you have been feeling a tug at your heart, while reading this, or prior to reading this.  If you have felt on the inside that God was calling you unto himself.  I would say that now is the time.  The bible says that if you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord then you are a Christian.  It says that the Spirit of God will testify with your spirit that you are a child of God.  Just know that once you make him Lord, EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE......for the better.  The old you will pass way and a new you will begin appearing.  A you that revolves around Jesus and is led by his Spirit.  You will no longer be enslaved to the desires of the flesh.  If this has happened for you, start studying the bible daily, get in a solid New Testament bible teaching church and start serving Jesus with all you've got.

Let us, whom love the Lord, cease to idolize the things of this world, even our own families.  Let us cease to prioritize anything over selfless obedience to him who saved us from eternal destruction.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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