Glory Bubble Anyone?

I wonder how many professing believers attempt life in Christ while in a “glory bubble”– not serving or reaching outside their church or family. Might you be in one? They are great for tasting the sweetness of the Lord, but that isn’t following Jesus. For the disciples, the time on the mountain during the transfiguration was wonderful, but then it was down the mountain and back to serving. Is part of the discipleship of your children helping them become followers of Christ through ministering and serving first in your family but then with you outside the family?

Jesus could have spent all of His time with the disciples in the wilderness teaching them about the Father and life in Him. He didn’t. They were with Him as He “… went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23). Then later, when they were ready, the disciples were sent out by themselves.

How are you ministering and how frequently? Who are you sharing the love of Jesus with? Yes, we minister daily to our families but if we aren’t ministering beyond them, something is broken, and it will reproduce a dysfunctional spiritual life in them. Are you following Christ? What is your example, and how are your children serving along side you?

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

Steve

Daily Bible Time Foundational for Families

Do you have a personal time in the Word daily? Do you also have family Bible time every day? If you spent a half hour each, that totals one hour a day in God’s Word. Why you are spending that much time reading the Bible? Might some think that is a little “over the top”? I’m confident that a lot today would think that extreme which is likely the reason why they don’t. 

Building Strong Lives in Christ

Aren’t we are in the Word because we value our God so much–the One Who died for our sins–that we want to spend that much time and more hearing what He wants to speak into our lives so that we can live it?  

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). 

Steve

Who’s Greater?

Do you consider yourself a greater man than John the Baptist? “No way!” you say. “He was the Lord’s forerunner. Didn’t Jesus say that there was none greater than John the Baptist? Doesn’t that mean John was even greater than Moses and David?” 

You are right. That’s true, but let’s look further to the rest of the Lord’s statement: “… notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” 

Friend, are you saved? Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life? If so, then you are part of the kingdom of heaven. 

We are greater because we have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables and empowers us to do what our Lord calls us to do. We can do whatever is His will. 

Brothers we have no excuses, and we are not victims. We are joint-heirs (Romans 8:17) and must be about the Master’s business (Luke 9:62).

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). 

Steve

The Secret Sauce

Want to make your life following Christ a joy and delight? Wake up every morning and sincerely tell the Lord “I delight to do your will, my Lord.” Then spend quality time reading His Word with the commitment to live it. 

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:8). 

Steve

Whose Work Is It?

Last month we discussed the tremendous value of a family chore team. That generated a question related specifically to those with older children, but certainly, those with younger ones will someday be in this position as well. 

Here is what was asked:

Managers of Their Chores was a helpful guide while raising my children. We are in a new season with young adults (ages 17 and almost 19) living at home while taking college classes, the oldest working very part-time, and the other pursuing interests related to her future career. Contributing to the household tasks and chores has taken quite a backseat on everyone’s priority list. I am worn out and sometimes feeling taken advantage of. Can you please share how the household responsibilities are managed now that you have adult children living at home? — Sandra

As my homeschooling duties lessened first with a couple of graduated children, then just older children homeschooling, and finally homeschooling was finished, I had time available. This was time that had been utilized homeschooling that then allowed me to pick up more of the household chores that were previously shared. 

Communication and evaluation of time usage are critical at this stage in family life. Perhaps this verse is a great guideline in a family for chore distribution: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

We want our children to own responsibility in the home, and we all want to serve one another in love. Those who have fewer obligations in work, ministry, and study should then have more time to invest in household chores. 

I remember when our first son started a courtship. He invested much time in that relationship. We worked to make sure his chores could be flexible as to when they were accomplished. For example, he had the chore of unloading the dishwasher after dinner but before breakfast. That could be done whenever he chose to fit it into his life in the evening or early morning.

For several years, Jesse was the one who cleaned the boys’ bathroom. Each boy had that responsibility for a season of years, Jesse being the youngest of the five boys to end up with it. When all the boys were working full time, but the girls weren’t, we chose to take that job from Jesse and move it to the girls. That was not a decision Jesse asked for but one the girls offered. Jesse was still our lawn mower and could plan that around his schedule. 

At this point with four adult children still living here, each person is responsible for his own laundry. We divide the basic cleaning between we four women in the house, with me taking a bit more than the others. The kitchen work is managed and done by the one who has the most time available. The girls do it when I am writing a book. I do it when they have big projects, and sometimes we share it quite evenly. 

Jesse does the least, but he works full-time. The girls work part-time, generally, but sometimes work projects bump it to full time and more. All of them invest many hours each week in ministry. It seems reasonable that when I, as a mom, have fewer or no homeschooling responsibilities, and my children gain more responsibility whether with education, work, or ministry that I step back into more of the meal and housekeeping roles.

As moms, we want to be careful that we don’t expect our children to serve us when we have time to do household work ourselves, but also we don’t want to enable them not to shoulder adult responsibilities. Family communication in time management and household responsibilities help everyone come on board with the plan the family decides to put in place.

Clear Guidance

Have you observed a believer who claims to follow God’s will make a decision that you greatly wondered how that could be ever be God’s will? Or, maybe you are wrestling with a decision currently. Here are some thoughts.

Jesus gave a clear, unambiguous command concerning following Him in Matthew 16:24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

If any man will come after me: would your desire, your love, your resolve, your delight be to follow Jesus? (Not begrudging or a legalistic “do I have to?”) Is the deep desire of your heart to please Him?

Deny himself: forget yourself, your interests and desires. This can be summarized as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The flesh desires pleasure, fun, ease, attention, money, power, and gratification. Jesus’ will is guaranteed to go against the cry of our flesh. Otherwise we wouldn’t have to deny ourselves. I have to wonder if what is often claimed to be “God’s will” might be self-gratification.

Take up his cross: it will (or is assumed to) be painful for not only the flesh but the soul. Jesus’ greatest suffering was taking on our sins, which exceeded His physical suffering.

Another test might be to observe what the world thinks about your choice. If it is popular with the world, you can expect it not to be Jesus’ will. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

Steve