SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth. Speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> There is hope for the family today, and that hope is found in Jesus Christ. Perhaps you remember the parable of Jesus about the wise man and the foolish man at the end of his famous Sermon on the Mount.
In Matthew 7:24-27, hear these words of Jesus. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I’ll liken to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”
You notice here a difference between these two houses. One house was built upon a rock; the other house was built on upon the sand. And that’s what made the difference.
The one built upon the rock was able to survive the storms that came against it, but the one on the sand fell beneath the storms. And you know, our homes, like individuals, will crumble and fall if they’re not built upon Jesus Christ.
Jesus was teaching us here in this parable that if we’ll listen to his words, if we will keep his sayings, then we can build strong lives that will stand the storms of life, and we need to bring that teaching to our families. The very best thing you can do for your family is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.
Are you a Christian?
More importantly, are you a faithful Christian?
Are you still trusting Jesus with your life and with your family?
Are you a Christian husband, are you a Christian wife, striving to be the husband and wife that Christ teaches us to be?
Are you a Christian father, a Christian mother?
Are you the kind of parent that God wants you to be?
Are you a Christian son and daughter?
Children, too, are subject to the law of God as he speaks to them to be obedient and to honor their parents. And another question that many of you may be thinking about today if you’re just growing up and becoming independent and thinking about your future: Who will you marry?
Who will be the mother or the father of your children?
Who is it that you’re going to join together with for life?
Will it be one that you can share Christ with, that will strengthen and encourage you in the Lord, that will help you to raise your children in the Lord?
Who will you marry may be the second most important decision that you’ll ever make, after your decision to be a Christian.
I remember not too long ago, my wife and I went to a Texas Rangers baseball game. We hadn’t been there in some time. And I remember walking into the stadium and I began to smell the hot dogs and the popcorn, and they were selling cotton candy. And at the end of the game there was the national anthem, everybody put their hands over their heart, and we’re reminded of this country in which we live. And it was a good time that we enjoyed, and it was helpful to us to get out and to do that that night. But you know, baseball and hot dogs and the national anthem and mom’s apple pie, all those things, those are great things and they’re wonderful, and they do help us as a family, but if Jesus Christ is not in the center of our life, if our families are not rallied around Jesus Christ, then we don’t have what we really need to hold a family together, especially in time of trouble.
And so as we think about fortifying our families, strengthening our families today, we need to remember that most importantly is that our lives and that our families are built upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ so when those storms come against us we can stand strong, we will stay together, we’ll be able to beat these attacks against the home, because we’re holding firmly to Jesus Christ.
There’s something else that Jesus would want in our homes, and it’s so important to helping us when those attacks come against us, and that’s the privilege of prayer that we as Christians have to go to our father at any time, to talk to him, to share with him, to know that he hears and answers us.
It’s this kind of prayer that will help our marriages. It’s this kind of prayer that will protect our children and will help us in solving the problems that come into our families.
You might remember in Acts the 12th chapter when the early church was suffering a tremendous persecution, and how that Herod the king reached out to harass God’s people. He first arrested James the apostle, and he cut off his head. And this was the first apostle to be martyred for the cause of Christ. But then he reached out and he arrested Peter the apostle. No doubt Peter also would have lost his life had it not been for the angel of God who came and freed him from prison.
Do you remember what Peter did when he got out of the prison that day?
According to Acts 12:12,” he came to the house of Mary, where it says many where gathered together and were praying.”
This was a praying home. Here was a home that no doubt was concerned about the persecution that surrounded them. Surely they remembered Peter in their prayers, and perhaps they were praying about their own homes and their own families, lest they, too, received that kind of persecution.
Maybe we’re not in danger of the same kind of persecution as they were here in America today. I know in some places there are many that are concerned about their very lives as Christians.
But is your home a praying home?
Because all of our families are being attacked. We all have problems and difficulties and needs that only God can help us with and that God can help us to overcome in our families.
Is your home a praying home?
Do you offer thanks at the table when you gather around to eat together?
Do you hold hands and bow your head and talk to the Lord and give him thanks for how he has blessed your family?
Or do we just take those things for granted?
Do you pray with your family before going to bed each night, remembering how he has blessed you through the day and praying for his safety and security that evening and the rest through the night?
Do you pray together in times of sorrow, perhaps in the loss of a loved one?
Do you pray about family problems and decisions that have to be made as a family?
Do you as husbands and wives come together in prayer before making those decisions, before going forward about those problems?
Do you get your family together to talk about the things that need to be talked about and then talk with God about those things?
Do you pray over your spouse? Do you pray over your children when they leave the house, that God will be with them, that God will protect them and keep them strong in the face of temptation, that God will bring them back safely?
Do you pray that God would watch over your family?
Do you as children pray for your parents?
Do you really care about what happens to them and trust God with them?
When someone sins against another in the home, when we offend one another as perhaps brothers and sisters, as children and parents and husband and wife, do you confess your sins, do you pray for one another in the home like James 5:16 teaches us? Or is your home without a prayer?
Yes, prayer helps our marriages, protects our children, and solves problems.
That’s why the apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “to pray without ceasing.”
Don’t ever give up on prayer. Don’t ever quit praying. Too many, I’m afraid, have neglected prayer when it could really make a difference in their home. Our children deserve to hear their father lead the family in prayer. They deserve to see their parents believing in a God that answers prayer. You see, the family that prays together stays together.
But there’s something else I want to remind us of today. Building our house, our homes, our families upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ, we need to certainly spend time talking to God in prayer, but we also need to spend time listening to God’s word as we read from the scriptures. I know that most of our homes have Bibles in them. I’m afraid that too many of them are just collecting dust.
Do you remember how God told the families of Israel to share the word with one another?
Go back with me if you will to Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Here Moses, as he is about to leave this earth, is concerned about the families of Israel. And he wants to encourage them to continue in the ways of God.
Here’s what he says in Deuteronomy 6 beginning in verse 6: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your hearts. 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.”
Yes, it’s clear that Moses understands the importance of God’s word, of his commandments, of the teachings of the scriptures being a major part of our homes. God’s word must be shared as a family. We need to take time to teach our children the Bible. When our children were small, I remember we would read a Bible story to them each night before putting them to bed, reminding them of the word of God and trying to instill that in their hearts.
But you know we must also look for those teachable moments throughout the day to help them see how the Bible applies to their everyday life, to bring God’s word to their problems and their questions and their decisions, and to remember that our own example is the most powerful lesson of all.
So let them see that you’re striving to keep the book. If you noticed here in Deuteronomy 6, Moses first told them to take these teachings, these words which I command you, and have them in their heart. So we as parents, as God’s people must first put his word in our heart. That means we’re going to live it in our life. And in this way we can best show it to others and best teach others in our family. I think one of the best examples of this is found in Paul’s words to Timothy. You remember Paul commended Timothy for his genuine faith.
According to 2 Timothy 1:5,”this faith first dwelt in his grandmother Lois and his mother, Eunice.”
And he went on to explain in 2 Timothy 3:15 how that from his childhood he had known the holy scriptures, which it says is able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Yes, the Bible’s so important to living the Christian life and to influencing others for Christ. And this is true as we try to be Christians in our home and to influence our other family members for the Lord. You see, the Bible can keep us from sin.
Psalm 119:11, the Bible says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
In those days, those things that were valuable, those things that were treasures to them, they would hide in the ground. They didn’t have the massive vaults and the security systems that we have today. But to keep things secure, they would hide them in the ground. Nobody would know where they were and would be unable to steal them away from them. And so the Psalmist says I have taken your word which I value and treasure so much, and I have hidden it in my heart. There he placed it so that no one could take it away from him. And it’s there that it has great power over our lives so that we don’t sin against the Lord. The word of God is so important that we cannot live without it.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Yes, we need God’s word to survive spiritually. Just as we need food for our physical bodies, so we need the word of God for our spirits. We need to take of it daily. Just as we would not think of missing a meal through the day, so we need to read our Bibles every day, continue to feed our spirit with the word of God. The Bible gives us faith.
In Romans 10:17 the scripture says that, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Yes, we must get into the book and study it and learn it and listen to it and believe it and obey it. That’s how we developed faith in our hearts and in our life, and this is how we bring faith into our homes, through the hearing of the word of God.
It’s this word that is able to save our souls according to James 1:21-22, where he says, “Receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls; and be not hearers of the word only, but be doers of the word and not hearers only.”
Yes, God wants us to listen and to hear and to obey his word because he knows that it will bring salvation to our souls and to our families. You see, if the Bible in your home is just sitting there on the shelf, it’s not doing anyone any good. Let’s dust our Bibles off, let’s get them open, let’s begin to read and to study and to make give God’s word an important place in our hearts and in our homes. Committing your home to God is what makes the difference. I’m afraid that too many worship in church and pray in church and teach in church, but not in the home.
Certainly we understand the importance of Bible school and the assembling of God’s people together and the worship of God in public, but we need to bring that into the home. Certainly it’s in the home and as a family that we can shape and we can mold and we can help to bring up our children in the way of the Lord and have a much greater impression upon them than just sending them to church say once or twice a week. It’s in the home that we will truly strengthen our relationships as husbands and wives, as parents and children when we are really committed to God. Just going to church is not going to get the job done. We’ve got to commit our homes to him.
We’ve got to say with Joshua in Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
I don’t know if Joshua’s wife and Joshua’s children had made that decision, but they certainly knew that their father was going to lead them to serve the Lord. And fathers, our families need to know that this will be a home where Christ is worshiped, where he is served.
2 Samuel chapter 6, we read an interesting story where king David was bringing the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, into the city of Jerusalem where it would find its permanent home there in the temple someday. But you remember that David did not have the ark transported by the priests, poles through the ark and putting it upon their shoulders as God commanded, but he had set the ark on a cart. And that cart was driven by oxen. And somewhere along the way. As things became unstable, Uzzah reached out to steady the ark. And when he touched the ark, God struck him down dead that very moment. That box was a powerful box. It was a sacred box. It was a holy box. It was a symbol of God’s presence among the people. And they had disobeyed God in regards to that box.
Now I know David was afraid, and so he did not bring the ark immediately to Jerusalem, but put the ark in the home of Obed Edom for three months. Do you think that that box, that ark made a difference in that home?
Don’t you imagine that every day they would see that box in their house, that they would be reminded of the power and the presence and the promises and the faithfulness and the covenant of God?
We’ve got a box in many of our homes, and all the furniture’s turned towards it, you’re watching it today. It gets a lot of our attention. We must make the center of our homes a home where Christ dwells, where God is, a home committed to him.
According to Hebrews 11:7, “Noah made an ark for the saving of his family. By faith Noah, being convinced of things not yet seen, was moved with godly fear, preparing an ark for the saving of his household.”
You know, he couldn’t drag them into it, but he made sure they had a way to survive that flood. And we need to make sure to provide a way, the way of Christ, for our families. We can’t drag them to Christ, we can’t make them Christians, but we can certainly bring that influence into our homes and show them the way. When Jesus addressed the problem of worry in his great Sermon on the Mount, his solution was to give priority to the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
When they were worried about what they were going to eat and drink and put on, when they were worried about their lives, he said, “You seek first the kingdom of God of and his righteousness,” Matthew 6:33.
He was talking about God’s rule and reign over our lives. And like those of the first century to whom Jesus was talking, we worry about what we’re going to eat, what we’re going to drink, what we’re going to put on. But we have much greater problems we’re concerned about, too. What do we do, what can we do?
We commit our homes to God. You remember that God’s in control, that you can trust him with all things, and whatever it is you’re concerned about, remember, you may not be able to fix it, but only he can. Only with his help can we put things aright and can we bring our families where they need to be. Your responsibility is to submit to him, to obey him, to give yourself to his worship, to his service, to live your life for him.
I love how Paul put it in Romans 12:1 when he said, “To present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Yes, give yourself to God, give your family to God. Trust him with it. We do that, and many of the things that disrupt and disconnect our families will never come into our homes. And those that do, God will be able to take care of them. If a family member’s not a Christian, you be a Christian. That’s your best way of winning that one to Christ. If a family member leaves the Lord, you stay with the Lord. That’s your best way of winning that one back to Christ, and you’ll be there when he or she comes back home. If you or your family gets into trouble, you keep your priority the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and he’ll bless you with all you need. That’s his promise.
Psalm 127:1-2, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Proverbs 14:11 says,” The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish.”
We either live in a tent or a mansion. What matters is whether your home is committed to God. Committing your home to God is what makes the difference.
SINGING>> I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you.
Oh my soul, rejoice.
Take joy, my king, in what you hear.
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.
I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you.
Oh my soul, rejoice.
Take joy, my king, in what you hear.
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.
SINGING>> I bring my sins to thee, the sins I cannot count,
that all may cleansed be in thy once opened fount.
I bring them, savior, all to thee.
The burden is too great for me.
The burden is too great for me.
I bring my grief to thee, the grief I cannot tell. No words shall needed be. Thou knowest all so well.
I bring the sorrow laid on me, oh, suffering savior, all to thee,
oh suffering savior, all to thee.
My life I bring to thee, I would not be my own.
Oh savior, let me be thine ever, thine alone.
My heart, my life, my all I bring to thee my savior and my king,
to thee my savior and my king.
ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We would love to hear from you. So let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at TTIL, P O box 865, Hurst, Texas, 76053.
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SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh whence for me shall my salvation come?
From whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid.
From God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore
shall keep thee henceforth, yea, for evermore.