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A Family That Honors God
A good family is one of God’s greatest blessings. In order to find true happiness in our family we must submit ourselves completely to God and His purposes for our life. These words, inspired by God, certainly find application in our family life. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” (1 Peter 3:8) Our greatest concern should be focused on pleasing God in our family and helping our family members prepare for the eternity. Lift up your family, in every possible way, but especially spiritually. We must choose to live according to God’s design for our families. The Psalmist described a family that would be an honor to God. He wrote, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.” (Psalm 128:1-6)
A family that honors God must be a family where people learn to love one another. God's love gives, while man's love constantly takes without regard for others. Husbands and wives must have a deep love for each other; they must love their children and they must love God first and foremost. A person who does not have God in his life is missing the most important thing. Family love will lead to proper actions one toward another. This is the same kind of love that must exist in the church. Paul described this love in 1 Corinthians 13. He wrote, “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13) Love will cause you to guard, protect and keep your family members from all kinds of evil.
A family that honors God must be a family where each family member does little things daily to strengthen the family. Godly families must respectfully communicate with one another. (Colossians 4:6) Members of a family that honors God will make each family member feel loved, important and appreciated. Let your family know how important they are to you. "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22) Try to understand the feelings of your family members, even when you might disagree about something. Have a genuine interest in your family; do your best to take an interest in things that are important to them; be a friend to your family. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24) Stick with your family; they are a blessing sent from God.
A family that honors God must also honor and respect each other. Respect and honor must be first given to God and then to each member of our family. (Psalm 71:8) When you respect your family members, you will not be nearly so angry, hostile or harsh in dealing with them. When each member of the family has, as their goal, the idea of honoring family, they will never intentionally do anything physically or emotionally to bring that person harm. Husbands and wives must be loving and considerate of each other. It is also important that parents love and encourage their children. They must deal with their children in an encouraging, respectful and honorable way. When we honor our family we will love them unconditionally. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) The godly way of life begins in our attitude toward others. In every area of life we should treat others with kindness, love and respect. "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 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." (1 Peter 3:1-7)
A family that honors God must do everything within their power to go to heaven. Give each other unconditional love. Share the pain of your family members. "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." (Romans 12:15) Share the common salvation with your family. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3) Guide your family in obeying God's word. "He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4) Use your faithfulness to help your family grow into spiritual maturity. "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)
Have convictions and act the right way before your family. Convictions are the set of deeply held values which lead you to act the way you do. These convictions give direction to your life. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) There are great blessings that come when we are faithful to God in our family! A Christian family gives us a little fore taste of heaven.
---- Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: Baptist South: Billy Rogers (grandfather of Hunter & Hannah Owens). In Need of Prayer: Haley Acree, Elease Brown, Douglas Butts, Amanda Charles, Terry Claunch, Johnny Cole, Camren Coleman, Lisa Cook, Paul Cotrell, Bonnie Croley, Tim Croley, John Curry, Nell Daughtry, Mary Goodwin, Bill Hammonds, Richard Harrell, Michael Hartin, Devin Hawkins, Austin Herring, James Holmes, Sue Hunt, Allan Jackson, Charlie Jones, Felice Kendrick, Josey McCeary, Barley Newton, Ruby Norman, Alice Padgett, Rebekah Pierce, Bill Perry, William Pierce, Terry Reaves, Linda Reynolds, Peggy Scribner, Johnny Sims, Evelyn Smith, David Stallings, Mary Tatum, Andy Taylor, Dusty Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Alice Thompson, Leroy Waller, Barbara Woods, and Betty & Wayne Young. Crowne Health Care: Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Ruth Davis, Betty Findley, Davis & Ruth Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, and Annie Ruth Tetter. Pine Needle: Lydia Ann Raybon and Elizabeth Perdue.
2. Strengthening Our Family: The Walnut Street Church of Christ will host our yearly, “Strengthening Our Family” Day on Sunday, April 27th. Jesse Claunch, from the Century Church of Christ, will be our speaker. There will be a meal after the morning worship service. Salad committee will do the clean-up.
3. Anniversaries: Celebrating an anniversary this week: April 29th Bobby & Mary Lou Terrell, May 1st Tony and Libby Bozeman, May 2nd Jeff and Cindy Thomas, and May 3rd Allan and Ann Jackson.
4. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: April 27th Gary Leger, April 28th Kevin Huddleston and Della Scarver, and May 2nd Trina Croley.
5. Congratulations: Congratulations to Neomia Collins on the birth of a great-granddaughter, Abigail Elise “Abby”. She is the daughter of Amanda and Hayden Harbuck. She was born April 22nd and weighed 6 lbs., 12 oz. and was 19 inches long.
6. Vacation Bible School Planning Meeting: Vacation Bible School – Walnut Street Church of Christ – June 22nd – 26th – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. “Happily Ever After…The Salvation Story” is the theme for this year’s VBS. There will be a Vacation Bible School planning meeting on Sunday afternoon, April 27th at 5:00 p.m. This meeting is for all those who volunteered to work at a story-themed station (story room, refreshments, or crafts). Please read the text of your story and come prepared to brainstorm ideas for developing your story.
7. Wedding Invitation: God has led two lives to take one path. Brittany Renay Olive and Bryan Matthew Brown together with their parents invite you to witness their vows as they begin their joyful journey on Friday, the twentieth of June two thousand and fourteen at six o’clock in the evening, the Grand on Foster 170 North Foster Street in Dothan.
8. Backwoods Christian Camp Walk-A-Thon: Eli and Eden Powell will be participating in the annual fund raiser for Backwoods Christian Camp. They will be walking 5 miles (thought they may break up their walk into several trips). If you choose to sponsor them in this effort, please make checks payable to Backwoods Christian Camp and hand them to Darrell.
9. Guyana Mission Trip: Charles Box and Bobby Terrell are making a trip to Guyana on May 8th – 22nd. Please pray for their safety and especially pray for Brother Bobby’s health as on this trip. The churches in Guyana need our help, encouragement, and prayers. Much has been done but, there is so much more to do.
10. Area Events: May 3rd – A Young Ladies Day – Decatur Highway Church of Christ, Gardendale – Time 9:00 am to 1:30 pm – Classes for junior high, high school and college-age.
Modern Day Prophets
The other day, Eli informed us that he wants to be a prophet when he grows up. A noble dream to be sure, but I thought we might ought to explore the idea a little more before we enroll him in “prophet school” or anything. The Biblical word for “prophecy” signifies “the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.” Is it possible for men to prophesy today? Perhaps a more relevant question would be “What need does man have for modern-day prophecy?” Let us look to the Bible for answers.
When asked the above question many would state that God reveals His will to men today so that they can share it with others. So, behind the belief that men can prophesy today is the idea that God still secretly reveals His will to men in a personal and miraculous way. But hear what Paul said to the church at Galatia. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8) The church has been instructed not to accept any teaching other than the apostles’ doctrine, no matter who declares it to be true. So it does not appear that God is planning on revealing any more to man than what the Bible says.
If man does need more revelation than is contained in the Bible, then God has falsely claimed it to be perfect and complete. Jesus Himself said of the apostles that the Holy Spirit would reveal all truth to them. (John 16:13) So if all truth was revealed to the apostles, what truth remains for God to reveal to us today? None! That is why God was able to declare “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Now, because the word of God is perfect (James 1:25), no further revelation is needed or allowed. (Revelation 22:18-19) So, the idea of God revealing more truth to us today contradicts the idea of the completeness of the Bible. “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) ----Darrell Powell