Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Serving the Lord
Often we think of serving as something we can only do in the church. We think the more programs we are involved in the more Godly we are and the more influence we will have on society. Often I see Christians who are so busy serving in the church that they neglect their children, spouse, homes, and personal time with God. How we live our life, what kind of worker we are at our jobs, the families we have, the home we cultivate is a much more powerful testimony of our faith than any activity we are involved in. I believe it’s the “little things” that are of greater importance. It’s how we live that is our testimony.
God does want us to be involved in our church, but not at the expense of our family or our own personal time with the Lord. We often forget that God desires our hearts first and then our service. God isn’t pleased when we neglect spending time with Him in prayer, reading His Word, and seeking His will. God isn’t pleased when we neglect our family. Satan is out to destroy your family. If he is able to destroy your family, he knows it will hurt your testimony. Just because the opportunity for ministry arises doesn’t always mean that it is God’s Will. We need to pray for discernment before taking on new responsibilities. If we are to busy to seek God’s Will, we are to busy.
There have been wives who in their zeal for Christ’s work outside have neglected Christ’s work inside their own doors. They have had eyes and hearts for human need and human sorrow in the broad fields lying far out, but neither eye nor heart for the work of love lain about their own feet. The result has been that while they were doing angelic work in the lanes and streets, the angels were mourning over their neglected duties within the hallowed walls of their own homes. While they were winning a place in the hearts of the poor or the sick or the orphan, they were losing their rightful place in the hearts of their own household. Let it be remembered that Christ’s work in the home is the first that he gives every wife, and that no amount of consecrated activities in other spheres will atone in this world or the next for neglect or failure there.
Family JR Miller
1 Peter 2:12-17
12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Rules for Christian Households
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
"To know the true state of a nation, look at the state of the Church. To know the true state of the Church, look at the families who populate her pews. To know the state of her families, look to the fathers who lead them. Destroy the vision of the father, and you render impotent the family, thus creating a chain reaction that will spread throughout civilization."
- Douglas W. Phillips
It is difficult to see how Christianity can have a positive effect on society if it cannot transform it's own homes.
We have experienced substantial joys in professional ministry, but nothing is quite so fulfilling as the personal joy of seeing family friends come to faith… The family is at the very heart of authentic ministry and evangelism. As ministry professionals, we hold the firm conviction that family is ministry and that the most effective spread of the gospel occurs through family. We are also convinced that we were never more effective in evangelism than when we had children at home.
Kent and Barbara Hughes
Disciplines of a Godly Family, Crossway, 2004, p. 86- 87
Your good works ought to first be done at home--ministering to the needs of your family. Then if God gives you time, opportunity, available resources or in a different season of life--to take those gifts and those abilities and expand them, as we'll see the Proverbs 31 woman does, outside of your own home.
Remember always that your work or ministry or position dare never keep you from your family. If you fail them, you fail your greatest responsibility – and you are a failure in life.
Ted W. Engstrom
The Making of a Christian Leader, Zondervan, 1976, p. 118
Link up at Raising Homemakers.