Thursday, March 26, 2015

Have A Family? You Have a Ministry!

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right.” Titus 2:14

So many search high and low for their “calling,” they scatter here and there involving themselves in every activity and their addiction to busyness. Meanwhile, their children are growing up much without their devotion and guidance, and the years are gone. Searching for a ministry or a “purpose” they never really found. This ministry was in front of them all those years just waiting---their own family and children. Buying into the lie that investing in anywhere but home was worthwhile and being afraid what that might require, the fulfillment that came from busyness and a ‘full schedule’ was seen as what was best. The enemy’s lie was bought into under the cover of “good things”---things that don’t look bad on the outside, may not be inherently wrong, but served as a distraction from the real ministry.

If we have a family, we have a ministry. Living the gospel out in our homes, ministering to the ones God has placed in front of us---is a calling. Pouring ourselves into everyone around us while treating those in front of us as less deserving of seeing and hearing the faith lived out is neglectful. It is honoring God with our actions outside our homes of busyness, yet not honoring God in our hearts. Some are afraid of the hidden work of the home life. The mundane tasks, the lack of thanks, and the total commitment to doing what is right that this work requires. It can’t be done half heartedly, but we must abide in Jesus for this fruit to begin to blossom in our lives. It takes many years of dedication, building up the home, weathering storms, and dying to self. It is not ‘feel good’ work in the way that a busy schedule and being out of the home gives some temporary satisfaction. We have to pray that the blindness that keeps us from seeing the value of the ministry to those in front of us is removed.

God grows us in our homes. We learn what deep, abiding peace is,  being truly satisfied and content with the work we are doing. Some are afraid of quiet, or what the silence of a less busy, home abiding lifestyle will bring, they are afraid of facing themselves, or of truly listening to God. When we follow God’s ways, he blesses us with inner peace. Old habits or a lifestyle we were afraid to give up are nothing compared to obeying and walking God’s path. Busyness with the wrong things does not mean we are living obediently to God. Busyness does not equal righteousness. Obeying God, allowing him to purify us, strip away our idols and become people who truly abide in him and walk with him daily is what refines us and grows us. This spills over into our homes.

We have to train our children in the ways of God. This is very hard to do with a full, overly busy activity based schedule. It can’t be done with one or two memorized scriptures, or weekly church attendance. We can’t train for a marathon with one or two runs---it requires sacrifice and even pain, but we know there is no chance of making it to the finish line without training. When we are committed to training our children, God trains us along the way with them.  It requires devotion, total commitment to walking God's way and wisdom that this will require giving up many other things.  Yet, when we devote ourselves to those God puts in front of us, and we are faithful to do every good work for God, we see we gave nothing up, but gained Christ.

Prayer: “Lord, show me how to forsake the call of the world and hear the call of your voice. Show me how to live the calling and ministry I have to my family first so that I am not neglectful of the good work you have prepared in advance for me to do.” Amen.

“By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth.” ~Titus 2:11

“Such people claim to know God, but deny him by the way they live.” ~Titus 2:16

“But as for you, promote the kind of right living that reflects right teaching.” ~Titus 2:1

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones---the ones at home.” ~Mother Teresa

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