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Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook Volume 1
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Chapter OneWEEK 1
Series: Married with Children
The Biblical Model for the Family
Proverbs 22:6 By Dr. David Wheeler
Think about it: if you wanted to destroy a building, would you not aim your most destructive blows at the foundation? In a very direct manner, that is exactly what Satan has been doing to the family for many years.
Faith Runs in the Family
Pastors and church leaders are often guilty of overlooking the fact that God created the family before He created the church. In fact, I believe it was God's intent all along that one's faith should be passed along generational lines. Consider what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7
From this passage, it is obvious that God places a high value on the family. Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to live in a home that hosted several generations of the same family. This concept of passing biblical faith to the third and the fourth generations becomes much more understandable when you consider that parents and grandparents shared meals and performed daily tasks together.
From birth, children in households like this learned the stories and doctrines of faith while sitting around the dinner table each evening and by working in the fields daily with older family members. In doing so, children learned to both love God and to love others with all of their hearts!
This cycle of biblical mentoring was repeated as new generations came along. As a result, we still talk about movements of God from thousands of years ago. Even with the advent of the Church in the New Testament, as it was in the days of Moses in Deuteronomy, I believe that family remains the foundation from which to build.
Restoration of the Godly Family
"Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). In a day where the family has deteriorated and the church is losing its influence on society, this simple passage holds several profound keys to restore the family back to the purpose for which God originally intended. The question is whether or not we are willing to do what it takes. There are four main points:
1. The Imperative of the home and family. The phrase, to "raise up" is not written as a suggestion. Rather, it is a command that has three very descriptive meanings.
A. It means to "put something sweet in the mouth of babes." One of the responsibilities of the home is to create a positive impression related to faith. However, we are not talking about compromising biblical faith in order to make it easy for a child to believe. On the contrary, like a child who is unwilling to give up a candy bar because it is so fulfilling, this phrase instructs parents to teach their children that God and faith are never to be abandoned.
B. It means to "build an altar." At this point, it is worth noting that it is significant for the writer of Proverbs to use a phrase in reference to the family that reflects back to the Jewish temple. After all, the temple was considered to be the highest and holiest place in Jewish society. Could it be that God is placing the family at the same level? That everything one brings into the home is to be placed on an altar as if it were an offering to God? I believe so!
C. Finally, the phrase also means "to dedicate." This is another meaning that comes from the temple. The process of dedication was evoked every time the priests would prepare the holiest of holies for a time of sacrifice. They would purify the temple and everything in the temple as a symbolic practice of honoring God's holiness. After all, when they laid down the offering, God was expected to show up.
Let's compare this to the home. If the home is to be a place of daily worship as well, should it not also be representative of God's holiness? Thus, everything one watches on TV, along with every word and attitude, is to be scrutinized under the same expectation of purity. In other words, if our homes are to be places of worship, should we not treat it that way? The home and family need to be rededicated to God!
2. The initiation of the home and family. This comes from the reference to "Raise up a Child."
A. All too often, parents miss out on many of the most influential years of a child's life because they are pursuing worldly things, such as acquiring a larger home, fancier car, or a more secure bank account. The truth is, there is nothing inherently wrong with nice things—but at what sacrifice? It seems that parents are spending way too much time away from home; paying other people to pour their values into their children. In turn, the parents buy their kids more stuff to fill the void.
The bottom line is, children don't need more stuff. What they desperately need is their parent's willingness to be a spiritual mentor! If not, how will the next generation learn to follow Christ? True parenting begins when a child is a child—regardless of the cost.
3. The instruction of the home and family. This comes from the reference to "raise up a child in the way he should go." The key here is that parents have to instruct and discipline their children. Too many parents have bought into the approach that their child should be their friend.
There is also the unbiblical concept that a parent should allow children to do as they desire so that they can learn from their mistakes. Please note that the instruction from Proverbs says to lead a child in the way that he "should go" not "would go." Parents have a responsibility to discipline their children!
4. The impressions of the home and family. Finally, keep in mind that when everything is said and done, all that is left are the impressions of the home and family. This comes from the reference, "and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
The bottom line is that, after children leave the home, the "impressions," both positive and negative, live on in the lives of future generations. In other words, if a child is expected to "not depart from" (Proverbs 22:6) biblical teachings, then they must be modeled in the lives of the parents!
As the old saying goes, true lessons in life are usually "caught" more than "taught." If all a child knows about following God is to go to church on Sundays, don't be surprised when the child "departs" from the faith when he leaves the home. Real faith is a daily process of dying to self and fully surrendering to Christ!
ADDITIONAL SERMONS AND LESSON IDEAS
The Missional Family Is Permeated by the Teachings of the Word
Deuteronomy 6:1–9 By Rev. Victor Lee
The family that lives on mission will start and end with the truth of the Word of God. It will permeate the family. God's Word will be the family's guiding light, its counsel, its statement of record, and its reference point.
Knowing the truth, and living by the truth, will cause your family to be a missional family. Restated, a family living by the Word of God will be on mission.
The Call to Live According to the Word of God Is a Generational Call (Deut 6:2)
The phrase "you and your son and your grandson" commands us to look beyond ourselves to future generations, even to parallel generations of siblings and cousins. From your position within your immediate family, you can influence other lines of the family and future generations.
The Call to Live According to the Word of God is a Call with a Reward (6:2, 3)
The passage reads, "that your days may be prolonged" and "that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—a land flowing with milk and honey."
Our Father desires to give good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:13). He wants to bless you as you pass on the blessings of His wisdom and truth and as the Holy Spirit moves through you and others to reach the next generation.
The Call to Live According to the Word of God Requires Steadfast, Intentional Thought and Effort (6:7)
"You shall teach them diligently" calls us to teach without fail. The Hebrew word translated diligently means "sharp pointed," as in "you shall zero in on the truth of the Word of God and focus the application where needed in your home!" This understanding of diligence fits perfectly with the declaration in Hebrews 4:12 that the Word of God is "sharper than any two-edged sword."
The Call to Live According to the Word of God is a Comprehensive Call (6:7, 8)
"And shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." This passage tells us that we are to teach the Word of God in all situations.
The Word of God is always:
The Call to Live According to the Word of God is a Specific Call to your Household (6:8)
"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." God is saying in this verse that the Word of God is the lens through which you should see life! The home must establish the Word as the lens for each family member.
The Call to Live According to the Word of God is an Evangelistic Call (6:9)
"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." What is written on the gates announces the standard of the home to passersby. As they get closer, it is announced again, even on the door posts.
The best thing we can do for our families is to teach and then live the Word of God!
A God Blessed Nation
2 Chronicles 7:12–16 Dr. Robert Matz
In 2 Chronicles 7:12–16, it quickly becomes apparent that our nation needs the blessings of God. America needs God's blessing in order to:
1. Live (v. 13a)
2. Be financially stable (v. 13b).
3. Have physical and moral well-being in our nation (v. 13c).
How Can It Happen?
1. God's blessing of America depends on God's People (v. 14a). God will not change America until He changes us.
2. God's blessing of America demands our humility (v. 14b).
3. God will bless America as His People are developed through prayer (v. 14c).
4. God will bless America when His People desire His presence (v. 14d). God's people must seek favor (bakash, Hebrew meaning "to seek favor") by doing what God says in His Word.
5. God will bless America when His People are disgusted by their own sin (v. 14e). A God-blessed America is one where Christians return God.
What happens when we return to Him?
1. God hears us.
2. God forgives us.
3. God heals us personally and nationally.
God is waiting on us to get right with Him so He can heal our land.
God wants to bless America. The only thing stopping God from blessing America is us getting right with Him.
Series: Faith in the Family
What Every Marriage Needs
Gen. 2:18–3:13 By Dr. Doug Munton
Stu Weber tells a story about two men, Bill and Jim, serving together in the terrible trench warfare of World War I. They labored and fought together and became true friends amidst the fighting and death.
One day, after a fruitless charge on enemy trenches, all of the men scrambled back to the safety of their own trench—all of the men, that is, except for Jim. He fell severely wounded between the lines—alone.
Bill wanted to go to Jim to provide whatever assistance he could. The officer in charge, however, would not allow it because of the imminent danger. But when the officer turned his back, Bill rushed into the fray, ignoring the bullets and shells, and made it to Jim.
He managed to get Jim back to the trenches, but it was too late. Jim was gone. His officer asked cynically if it had been worth the risk. Bill responded without hesitation.
"Yes sir, it was," he said. "My friend's last words made it more than worth it. He looked up at me and said, 'I knew you'd come.'"
Marriage is much like life in the trenches. Marriage is about two people living, serving, and growing together. Every marriage needs a partner who will say, "I am here for you. I'll be here when you need me. You can count on me."
The Bible gives us clear instructions for what every marriage needs. The early chapters of Genesis show us God's blueprint for marriage, and how our marriages can be what God intends them to be.
Three Principles that Every Marriage Needs (2:18–3:13)
1. Every marriage needs to live its purpose (2:18–25). God gave marriage a purpose. He is the One who formed the institution. He is the One who gave the first bride to the first groom. He formed the union of Adam and Eve and He gave that union purpose—a reason for being. Two very important purposes for marriage are evident.
A. Family. Marriage is at the core of family relationships. Children are described in the Bible as a blessing from God, and a strong, healthy marriage is a blessing to children. Marriage is the foundation of family life, and a healthy marriage—with a healthy man and woman—is the ideal environment for the growth of children.
B. Fellowship. God gives the gift of physical intimacy to a husband and wife (v. 23). It is a part of the emotional and spiritual intimacy of marriage. He also gives the fellowship of unity (v. 24) to marriage. Close, intimate fellowship between a husband and wife is one of the reasons God created marriage. We need to take steps to guard and strengthen that fellowship. Married couples should:
—Talk daily. Keep connected through regular conversation.
—Date weekly (not "weakly"). Go out together and have fun together.
—Depart annually. Get away from all the distractions and pressures and reconnect with each other.
2. Every marriage needs to know its dangers (3:1–9). The world's first marriage—and every marriage since—faced grave dangers which need to be identified and guarded against.
A. Temptation. "Did God really say?" the enemy asked (v. 1). "Isn't sin really pleasurable and God is just trying to keep you from this pleasure ?" he intimates (v. 4–6). Those in strong marriages know that God calls us to obedience and that this obedience is ultimately for our own benefit.
B. Disobedience. Men can be passive in the face of danger, as Adam was in Eve's conversation with the serpent (v. 6). Temptation can turn into disobedience in a moment. Our disobedience affects our relationship with the Lord and with others.
C. Hiding. Our response to our own sin is often to try to hide from God rather than to repent (v. 8). Running from God and from others is a common, but ineffective, response to sin.
Excerpted from Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook Volume 1 Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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