“Jesus Is Enough”
“Therefore There Should Be A ND In Our Homes”
“I have been crucified with Christ...
And I no longer live,
But Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me
and gave himself for me.” - Gal 3:20
“Then He said to them all
If anyone would come after me,
He must deny himself
And take up his cross daily
And follow me.” - Luke 9:23
“When I do things,
I can’t let selfishness or pride be my guide.
Instead, I must be humble
And give more honor to others,
than to myself...
In my life
I must think and act like Jesus...” - Phil 2:3,5 (ncv)
“Every detail in my life -
words, actions, whatever -
must be done
in the name of Jesus,
thanking God the Father
every step of the way.” - Col 3:17 (msg)
A beggar lived near the king’s palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate. The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.
The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble. Would he dare?
He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. “Please, sire, I would like to speak to the king....”
“Wait here,” The guard replied.
In a few minutes he was back. “His majesty will see you,” he said, and led the beggar in.
“You wish to see me?” asked the king.
“Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too may come to the banquet?”
The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king face.
“You have been wise in coming to me,” the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. “Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes.”
The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he never dared hope for.
“You are now eligible to attend the king’s banquet tomorrow night,” said the prince. “But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever.
The beggar dropped to his knees. “Oh, thank you,” he cried. But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated. What if the prince was wrong? What if he would need his old clothes again? Quickly he gathered them up.
The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should. He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.
Time proved that the prince was right. The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed, people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They only saw the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went. They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.
One day as he lay dying, the king visited him. The beggar saw the sad look on the kings’s face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince’s words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty. He wept bitterly at his folly and the king wept with him.
Listen - the Christian life - is about taking off the rags of the old life - AND putting on the royal garments of Jesus Christ.
BUT tragically, like the beggar in our story (a good word by the way to describe you & I BC - “Before Christ” - beggar) - tragically many Christians, because they also carry a small bundle of old rags with them - miss out and never get to experience, a lifetime of true royalty...They never ‘really’ get to enjoy themselves, as they should and they miss out, on some of the greatest delicacies of the Christian life....
Understand that our God weeps bitterly over such lives, AND those who live such lives - when & if they ever realize what they have chosen, and what they have given up, will weep too.
BUT those who live a life of true royalty - those who leave behind the rags of the old life - they will experience life, that is truly life... AND people who live like this - who live royalty, in a world of peasants stick out - There will be a difference in their lives....What kind of difference? A ND!!!!
On Tuesday - I got hit with an awesome truth -- about the flow of this letter to the Colossians. It’s kind of like The 3 Major Steps Of A Christian...
Step One - Realize & Embrace the truth the Jesus is Enough
Step Two - Let Go of the world
Step Three - Change the world......(How through lives with a ND)
Last week - we talked about how there should be a ND in the assembly of the body of Christ. How when people who are clothes in Christ get together - it is not like the assemblies in the world.....
In The Church Christ Rules - (Jesus Christ IS the agenda -- He is the ruling and driving force of the church - not anger, rage, slander - AND not our way, our wants, our agenda, our glory or our self....)
In the church we are thankful - when the body of Christ assembles - we don’t a hear a bunch whining, gripping & complaining -- but rather we hear conversations full of thanks & gratitude. People grateful; for the grace the saves them - the blood that redeemed them - the hope that fills them and the presence of Christ that is with them...
In the Church The Word is home - The word of God is comfortable - because we know, love and live it....
In The Church Jesus Is Praised - and as we worship God He is magnified - we realize how big He is - He’s huge - and our faces are changed by being in the presence of one so great!
And In the Church It Is All About Jesus - As Paul wrote in chapter 1 of Colossians.
“God decided to let people know this rich & glorious secret which is for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our ONLY hope for glory. SO we continue to PREACH CHRIST to each person...in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature person in Christ. To do this, I work & struggle, using Christ’s great strength that works so powerfully in me...” Col 1:27-29
Today, we are going to talk about how there is to be a ND in the homes & families of Christians. What an important and crucial topic - I pray God directs, guides and uses this study to make a difference - to make ND in our homes....
Question, Do you believe that God’s wants there to be a ND in the homes of Christians? ...Of course he does... Okay, here is another question; Is there a ND in the homes of Christians? No - at least as not, as there should be.....
Let me asks some questions;
Does divorce ever happen in Christian homes?
Are Christian marriages always happy & fulfilling?
Are husbands & wives in Christian homes ever selfish and unyielding in their relationship?
Do Christian do parents especially the dads - ever make work and career their gods & expect their wives and children to survive on whatever leftovers he decides to toss their way?
Are anger & rage ever a part of Christian homes?
Do Christian kids ever rebel - are they ever disobedient?
Do Christian kids - ever do drugs, drink alcohol, have sex, get abortions?
Do Christian parents ever drink too much?
Do Christian parents ever abuse and mistreat their children physically or emotionally?
Do Christian parents ever make their kids feel like they are worthless and they don’t measure up?
Do members of Christian families ever lie and hide things from each other?
Do people in Christian homes ever struggle with pornography?
Do step-parents in blended Christian families EVER act insane and unreasonable to their step-children.
Do people in Christian homes ever let unwholesome talk come out of their mouths do they ‘ever’ say words that do not build up, BUT only tear down and benefit no one?
Though it is God’s desire & will for their to be a ND in the homes of Christian - there is more often then - not much of one. The line has been blurred between - Christian & non Christian homes.
How do we bring harmony back to the Christian home?
What can we do to ensure that in our home there is a ND?
That’s what I want us to talk about today.......5 things that will make your home one that has a difference - what kind of difference - a ND!!!
Listen, nothing I am going to talk about today takes a rocket scientist to figure out - the things I am going to share are concepts that are pretty simple to grasp.... AND I am convinced - totally convinced that - if you apply them - they WILL not they might BUT WILL change your marriage and your home.....
Okay, first things first. If you want harmony in your home ‘real’ harmony. If you want there to be a ND in your home... Then you need to;
Get Your Relationship With God Right
Jesus said the following on the Sermon on The Mount when he began his public ministry.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well....” Mt 6:33
And Jesus during the last week of His ministry was asked by some of his enemies what the most important commandment was. And Jesus gave the following answer;
“The most important one, is this: Hear O Israel the Lord our God is one. Love the Lord with your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mk 12:29
Listen; if you want harmony in your home, if you want there to be a ND in your marriage, if you want there to be a ND between you & your children & between you and your parents - understand that your - relationship with God is the - key - it’s the foundation; it’s the starting point.. it’s the very lifeblood of all meaningful relationship.
Whenever I do any type of marital counseling before or during marriage - I always - draw a triangle on a piece of paper. I label the top of the triangle God and the sides - husband & wife.... THEN, I ask this question - “What happens when both the husband and the wife (and you could substitute any relationship there) what happens when they grow closer to God? >>>> They grow closer together...
Listen That’s the way it is - that’s how it works every time!! - BECAUSE Our God has way of bringing people together... Therefore - anytime there is a problem in a relationship (are there problems between you: and your wife? Your husband? Your kids? Your parents?) Anytime - every time, there is a problem in one of your relationships the reason is because - one or both of you is getting further away from God. It’s just that simple.
Many times when I sit with a husband and wife - who are having problems the first thing I tell them to do is to get their own individual relationships with God right first - and then let’s come back and talk about their marriage. You see, I am not going to waste my time talking about their marital problems if they are unwilling to bring God into the equation.
Listen God can do more to bring people together then anyone or anything - in fact, that’s the very nature of his business... God loves to bring - marriages and families together. Last week Sandy came up and shared how God has worked in her family the last 11 months. How besides being saved and all that good stuff they are closer... ow, over the last 11 months I have seen other marriages and families grow further apart... Why is that?
Does God care only about some marriages and not others?
Is God willing to work in certain families but not others?
No - the problems not with God - it is just that some homes don’t really have him at the center... In some homes people’s relationship with God are not right. Okay, if I convinced you that the most important thing in your home life - is your relationship with God - then you my wondering HOW do I, get one.....-or- improve the one I have?
Before I answer that question - let me encourage you with these words from your God - words that clearly tell us, that anyone can have a relationship with God....
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me & find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you...” declares the Lord. Jer 29:11-13
Listen, you build a relationship with God - like you build a relationship with anyone else... You hang out with Him.... You talk to him (prayer) and you listen to Him & you find things out about Him (being in the Word).... AND You hang out with other people who know & love Him and who can tell you things about Him... (bible studies, small groups etc)
We have put together QT journals to help your grow in your relationship with God
We have small groups that will be kicking off in OCT (34 signed up far)
We have men’s D-groups...
We have awesome study and fellowship time on Wednesday night....
We do I 201 class that talks about the spiritual disciplines that will help your grow closer to God.....
Deeper 2000 is coming......
We have 4 times of prayer - in His name - Z 4:6 - PFO - 1:35
Point; the banquet for a real relationship with God
has been prepared - and continuing to be prepared at Central...the table is sit
And if you don’t pull up to the table it is your own fault......
Okay That’s how you get a relationship with God - BUT how do you check it?
Well, you pull out your check list to see how you are doing.. Paul has given us 2 in Colossians.
One lists the things that should not be in our life
The other of what should be there.
Here’s The Should Not Be’s
.do I have a problem with sexual sin, with impurity, lust and shameful desires, do I use pornography.
.am I greedy for the good things of this life
.am I an angry person; do I flip out and lose my temper in a fit of rage; do I act maliciously towards some people; do I gossip, talk negatively about and slander specific people; do I use dirty language and tell and listen to filthy jokes; do I lie - do I make a habit of deceiving people..
Listen, if any of these are in your life - your relationship with God needs work - you are not where you think you are.
Here are the should To be There list
. Am a compassionate person, a kind person , a humble person, a gentle person - am I patient.....
.Do I Bear with other people and forgive them no matter what they did, Do I Forgive others as the Lord forgave me.
.Do I truly & actively love others - with God’s kind of love.....
Listen, being in a family - will either help you grow in your faith OR it will mess up your faith. Let me explain, being in close relationships like a family forces us to take a close look at ourselves... You see, we can fake it with people for a few hours a week - BUT we can’t fake it with people we are with 24/7 - 52 weeks a year....
In that kind of relationship The real us is going to come out... Family relationships reveal some of the things that should not be in our livers, anger, rage, deceit....
We need to understand this truth, Family relationships are God’s way of telling us, “Hey you are not who you think, or who you pretend to be....you still have some stuff to work on...” Family is one of God’s most powerful tools to shape and mold us to be like Him.
Is there right now, ‘real’ harmony in your home?
Do you want harmony in your home?
Then put first things first - Get your relationship with God right....
Now, I spent a lot time on point #1 - because it is so important - and it will help you be able to do the next 4 steps....Which we will only hit briefly because of time.
Honor One Another
“Honor one another above yourselves..” Rm 12;10
In New Testament times, the ascribing of honor to something, would bring to the mind of people, something that was "heavy, weighty, or valuable".
The term dishonor on the other hand would bring to their mind something that was light or insignificant. The term dishonor actually means mist or steam. To the Greeks the most insignificant thing that they could think of, was mist rising off of a boiling pot.
When we honor a particular person by the words we say and the things that we do, we are in effect saying to that person, that who they are, and what they say carries weight with us, we are saying to them through both verbal and non-verbal actions that they are exceedingly valuable to us. We are telling them that they are important to us, that they are worthy of our time and our attention.
And on the other hand, when we dishonor someone through the things we do and the words we say we are in effect saying to that person that they are of no value to us. We are telling them that what they say and think, is insignificant and they are in no way worth our time or effort.
Do the things we say and the actions we take communicate to those in our family that they are of extreme value to us. That who they are, and what they say, carry weight with us. OR are we communicating to them that they really are not worth that much to us.
Love Is A Decision - is a book I’d strongly recommend - the second chapter in this book is on honor.....let me share a brief excerpt from that chapter to nail home this point about honor.
Gary Smalley is Christian family counselor and the author of the book ...one day years ago when he came home this is what his wife Norma told him; As I read this - think about your relationships at home - maybe it’s kind of how you are making your; wife, your husband, your kids or your parents feel.... Again, Think about your relationships as I read this...
Gary, I feel like everything on this earth is far more important to you than I am...I feel that all the football games you watch on television are more important than I am, the newspaper, your hobbies, your counseling at the church. I can even farm out the kids to a baby sitter and have a candlelight dinner all prepared for you, and the phone will ring and you’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m not doing anything important. I’m just eating. Sure, I’ll be right over.’ Then you’re gone, telling me to keep something warm for you in the oven.
‘I’m not saying that your counseling isn’t important, but many of those couples you talk to have struggled with their problems for years! Taking one night to spend with your wife isn’t going to bother them - but it’s killing us!
It’s like I don’t matter to you, but other people do. In fact sometimes I feel that you’re more polite to total strangers than you are to me. You’ll say the most awful things to me, but never to anyone else...
Gary writes, ‘she went on, but you get the point - and so did I....Before talking to Norma, I would never have stood up in front of a group and said that my counseling or even the nonstop sporting events I watched on television were more important than my wife - but without realizing it, that’s exactly what I was communicating to her...’
Do you want to bring harmony to your home then GET YOUR relationship with God on track.... AND make sure the things you do and the things you say are communicating to your loved ones “you are valuable & important to me...” Honor each other in the home...” Listen Maybe you need to do a little homework so that you can - find out what you need to so the people most important to you feel honored...
Be A Minister
No, I’m not telling you to quit your job and go to seminary. BUT WHAT I AM telling you is that - you need to see yourself as a servant in all the relationships you find ourselves in at home.....
“...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many...” Mt 20:26-28
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus..Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God...He made himself nothing taking on the every nature of a servant...” Phil 2:4,5,7
Listen, one fire way, for there to be a noticeable difference in your family is for you to be a servant at home. Is for you to be concerned about the interests of others...
Believe me in a self-centered society likes ours - that will stick out.
Question; Do you think it would make a difference in our homes if everyone saw themselves as a servant - if everyone had the attitude of Christ and did not demand their rights... But rather adopted the following philosophy - ‘ask not what your family can do for you - but what you can do for your family..’.
I think this is exactly what Paul is talking about in Col 3:18-21
“You wives must submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord. And you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly. You children must always obey your parents, for this is what pleases the Lord (NLT). Parents don’t be hard on children. If you are they might give up..”(CEV)
In the home - lay down your rights - think of others and look for ways that you can serve - and then serve...
Get your relationship with God right - honor one another - be a minister...
Talking, communication, is a vital part of family life. Now we don’t have time to go into to detail - but I want to give you 2 passages about communication that IF you practice will - help you no only talk right - but will help you be a home with a ND.
“...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry....” James 1:19
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs...” Eph 4:29
If you haven’t figured it out yet - in a home there will be conflict - you can’t avoid - or run from it - conflict is going to happen. SO the key is to try to resolve the conflict. Here are 5 suggestions for doing that...
1) TALK TO GOD ABOUT THE CONFLICT.
Before you talk to the person you’re upset with talk to God about the conflict. Pray about it. Admit it to Him. You may end up solving it right there. James 4:2 "You quarrel and you fight. You do not have because you do not ask of God." Circle "ask God". Many of the conflicts we have in life occur when we expect other people to meet needs which God expects Himself to meet.
2) ANALYZE THE PROBLEM.
Ask yourself, "How much of this is my fault?" Before you start accusing and blaming and attacking, Jesus says check your own self out. Am I the problem? Am I the cause of it? Is there a blind spot in my life? Matthew 7:3 "Why then do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye. Take the log out of your own eye first and then you will be able to see and take the speck out of your brother’s eye." When you’re in a conflict, before you start getting the sawdust out of your families eyes, get the telephone pole out of your own eye.
3) SCHEDULE A PEACE CONFERENCE.
A set down, face-to-face meeting, where you deal with the problem. Listen, Conflict is seldom resolved accidentally. It is done intentionally, deliberately. It doesn’t just happen. Set down, face the issues. Here are 3 quick guidelines for a peace conference...
Choose the right time. Timing is everything in conflict resolution. The best time to deal with an issue is when you’re both at your best. Choose a time when everybody is comfortable and relaxed. “It is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time....” Pr 15:23
Choose the right place. Choose a place where you can sit down and really deal with the issue.
Pray before the meeting. Each of you. Get your own heart right and come to the meeting with a spirit of reconciliation, and a spirit of forgiveness, ready to work on the issue, not attacking each other but attacking the problem.
4) ASK FOR ADVISE
One meeting is rarely a solution; you might need to schedule a series of peace talks. Even if you’re just making incremental progress in your home it’s good. But if you’re not making any progress at all and you’re not making it fast enough and your home life is deteriorating, get some help. Get a third party involved and ask for some advise.
Listen, In every other area of life we’re not ashamed to ask a professional for help. If you have a health problem you go and ask the advise of a doctor who is trained and skilled in health problems. If you have a legal problem you go to an attorney who is a professional and can help you with legal problems.
If you have a relationship problem, a problem in your family, get some Christian counsel! There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
"I’ll just work it out myself!" Do you say that when you’re going bankrupt? "I’ve got cancer, but I’ll just work it out." No, you go get the advise of a professional. Get some help.
5) DON’T GIVE UP
Don’t walk out in the middle of a fight. Finish your fights. Stick with it. Resolve them. Conflict resolution is never easy. But when done it makes a relationship stronger...