Summary: This eigth in the series deals with God’s design and power to work in our homes and marriages. What does God want our marriages to look like?

Fresh Start

12 Secrets for Abundant Living

This week we are continuing in our series for the New Year - 12 secrets for abundant living. Well it looks like we are going to spend one more week here. I tried to fit both these last pieces into the puzzle but really needed to do them one at a time to do justice to the topics. So can you handle one more week of abundant living? Good! Remember that this whole series is based on 3 very important principles.

1. God has a plan for your life - Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

2. There is a battle engaged for your life - Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

3. Too many of God’s people are losing the battle - Marriages, children, finances, life.

For a summary of the first 10 you can look at the back of your notes sheet or you can catch up by asking JR for tapes of the series. Today we are going to look together at secret number 11.

Secret # 11 - If you want an abundant life - Do Your HOMEwork! - You know I have come to understand that life’s abundance and also its discordance starts at home. Studies tell us that women get their primary value and esteem from relationships and men from work - but I’m telling you the truth today - what I’ve found out over the years is “If mamma aint happy aint nobody happy.” What I am trying to tell you is that home is the platform of life - when it’s stable everything else in life is easier to manage. When things are going all wrong here - I know I can go home to a family that loves me.

Understand that I am talking about HomeWORK - an abundant home does not happen by accident -nor does it happen without intentional work. I think that is why we become so disillusioned in marriage - it’s so easy to fall in “love” - to find those warm fuzzy feelings for someone - but making it work for a lifetime is really hard. So here are some suggestions for finding abundance in your home.

• Develop a stable base of operations - In Iraq they call it the green zone. In Bagdad it’s commonly referred to as the "Ultimate Gated Community" due to the numerous armed checkpoints, coils of razor wire, chain link fences, and the fact it is surrounded by "T-Walls" (reinforced and blast-proof concrete slabs). It’s a place of safety and security in a war torn country. Inside the green zone you don’t have to watch your back every second, you can close your eyes to sleep, and your head doesn’t have to be on a constant swivel. We need to develop a green zone in our homes. A place where it’s safe to live. Jesus said in Luke 11:17 “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls.” Now granted he was talking about a greater concept in the case of nations but the principle holds. Any house divided against itself will fall. We need to develop rules of conduct that keep our homes safe - no name calling - no violence - no harmful outbursts - no mean spirited taunting - look folks the world is full of people who can abuse you - why do you want to bring it home? Set your home as a safe zone - build walls against the enemy and checkpoints at the doors.

• Develop a Team concept - Any successful team is built on encouragement, cooperation, spirit, friendship, and loyalty. Teams win. You will find that on the best teams of any kind in history there are few stars - what you find is a bunch of people who work together to get the job done. Here is what I mean by this. We have developed the idea of marriages being 50/50. You do your part and I’ll do mine. If you want to be successful you need to develop an all in strategy. What I mean is that you give all you’ve got not just your part. If you see that the job needs doing - do it no matter who is supposed to. Read Proverbs 31 - I’m not going to take the time to do it this morning but you are going to find an “all in” attitude. If it has to be done it has to be done - let’s just get it done and stop wasting time and energy fighting over whose job it is. In a family we all have to pitch in if we are going to get where we are going. That’s what it means to be a family.

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