Summary: Exposition of Job 1:5 for the first part of the paragraph of the church covenant that deals with private life commitments that church members make to the church
t: Job 1:5, Title: Keep the Home Fires Burning, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/5/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: Bonnie said that in the covenant that we must accept okra from Benny
B. “We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances;”
C. Background to passage: As we continue looking at our church covenant, let me remind you in brief that we have talked about regenerate church membership and voluntary self-commitment, as well as our specific commitments to the church services and ministries to attend, give, advance, support our church. Tonight we begin a paragraph of the covenant that deals with personal, private, home life. Yes, our covenant specifies some things that you promise to do as a member of NRBC. I had a lady tell me one time that she did not owe the church any kind of explanation for the way she was living. And specifically tonight, we are going to briefly look at our family commitment to NR. Was reading devotionally on day this week and I came across a verse in Job that I am sure I have read, but it really jumped off the page at me. It spoke of Job’s personal practice of family ministry. Job was a godly and wealthy man, but he was the priest of his home and his led his family and acquaintances to Christ.
D. Main thought: Jesus Christ and New River Baptist Church expect (and you promised) to live family life in a fashion to exalt Christ, support the church, and pass on the faith to the generations. In order to do that we promise four things:
A. To have family devotions
1. Job called the family together for worship. Within a biblical theology, we must move from thinking about worship as what happens on Sundays in the church to what happens everyday. Life is worship—that is the perspective of the NT. And so the family, being the basic unit of scripture should worship together. And John Brown in 1858 knew that families worshipping together was essential to passing on the faith once handed down to the succeeding generations. Therefore the church agreed that they would all participate.
2. Gen 35:1-3, Joshua 24:15
3. Illustration: the puritans viewed the home as a mini-church with the father as the pastor, assuming the responsibility for teaching and leading everyone in his household to godliness, what if we began inspecting homes that did not measure up to the covenant in this area,
4. Most families have heard about it, at least in the past couple of years from me. But very few of our church families do more than just pray over the meals (which is good, don’t get me wrong). But saying grace over food doesn’t get the faith into our children’s hearts. Our conference on family worship was well attended, but not by NRBC members. I want to provide further opportunities and further resources to help those of you that want to abide by the covenant. What about singles, empty-nesters, grandparents. This is your promise to NRBC.
B. To maintain personal devotions
1. As the priest of his home, Job had to maintain a close walk with God to minister on behalf of others. Most of us would all agree that genuine believers should be having some kind of daily quiet time with God. Most of you get your bible and read and pray sometime during the day. That is good. If you really believe that God wants to and is going to speak to you, you will get in His Word daily.
2. Phil 3:8-10, Isa 55:6, 31:1,
3. Illustration: the garden was work and time consuming in an already busy schedule, but it is worth it, "Brother, the grass grows on your path."
4. But it is tough! Schedules are tight, the kids (or grandkids) think it’s lame, and it’s easier not to. It is a struggle for most families. But like many other things in life, if it becomes important enough to you, you will make time for it. Most of us can get up an extra 15 minutes earlier for the greatest treasure in the universe. If you are going to follow your commitment to grow, you must spend time in the word. Most of us read little scripture and pray and fast only in small amounts. This is your promise to NRBC.
C. To teach and train our children
1. Not only did job worship with family, he taught them right, for they came. John Brown also realized that it was our responsibility at home to religiously educate our children. Far too often that responsibility is shirked by parents (although not overtly, but more like neglect), and put upon a Christian school or a church. And while it is definitely helpful to have a church or school that reinforces principles that you teach at home, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents.