Summary: Part One of Seven..How to build a Kingdom Family
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
May 9, 2004 (Mother’s Day)
1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
During the “gold rush” in California’s early history, miners hoping to discover the “mother load” would mark off a section of wilderness with stakes and signs. It was called a claim. The claim would be recorded at the land office, and all the rights of the property then belonged to the one who had staked the claim. The hope was that there would be gold in “them hills” and the riches within the claimed property would bring forth a life of riches for the owner.
Think about this idea of “prior claim”. It is a legal concept – the first one to stake a claim owns the property.
Then consider this sentence:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1 (NASB)
Now, the meaning should be quite clear about Who has “prior claim” over everything in the universe. God’s claim is that undeniable “first and prior claim”. Man’s problem, since the Garden of Eden, has always been the struggle between accepting God’s “staked-out prior claim” and wanting to be a “claim-jumper”!
Self-promoting is the essence of jumping God’s claim on you. A woman lived in a big city neighborhood that was going downhill very fast. The area was becoming increasingly overcrowded, noisy, and dirty. It was a bad situation. The woman decided something would have to be done about it. She knew that money would be required to change the situation. Consequently, she started a fund-raising drive. She called people. She sent letters. She got some financial support from a private foundation. She finally raised eighty-five thousand dollars and then she used the money to move to another neighborhood. 
The opposite of “claim-jumping” is respecting God’s claim on this universe, including its inhabitants! About a year ago our Southern Baptist Convention began an emphasis entitled “Seven Pillars of a Kingdom Family. 
You can see by our bulletin insert that there are seven weeks ahead of us during our Christian Home emphasis [from now until Father’s Day] for looking closely at our family life and how we can be Christians who are more pleasing in the Father’s family. It is, after all, His Kingdom, His claim!
Let’s begin our emphasis by reading together the statement of…
Pillar #1: Honoring God’s Authority
God, as sovereign creator and sustainer of all, holds ultimate authority over his creation. By establishing the family, God has provided a unique setting in which each individual should come to properly understand and respect authority. I will glorify God by surrendering every area of my life to Him, and by offering godly respect in all my earthly relationships, starting in my family.
If you will, notice please how the last sentence begins, I will… For each of the seven statements connected with these seven pillars of a kingdom family there is an “I will”.
I imagine it is only fair to issue the disclaimer first here. An “I will” statement implies the applying of integrity to what follows, in that when you say it, that means you’re then going to do it. The disclaimer here is that I want you to know these pillars are not easy.
• These pillars are hard!
• These pillars, if they become the standards by which we conduct our daily lives, will change most things about most of us.
• But these pillars are also the kinds of things that please the Father most…and are at once the best things for you and your family.
In our text this morning there are three phrases which call us to honor God. The sum of these three “callings” adds-up to our lives. They are what define the lives we lead as Kingdom people:
present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice
When you say “I will” to Kingdom Family Pillar #1
You are Promising to Honor God with Your Body
There is a lot of “body talk” these days. Magazines promote making this part smaller or that part larger. Do the diet, exercise or pills, but don’t just sit there and couch potato – get with the program! It’s all in the name of buffing-up, slimming down and showing off!
And, if it all seems too difficult, you can always go on “Extreme Makeover” or become the next “America’s Swan”. They will bring in a team of experts…surgeons, dieticians, hair and skin consultants, and an ego coach. In no time at all you go from poor ugly you to glamour-puss 2004!