Family Responsibilities

December 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Posted in The Family of Faith | 4 Comments
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Last time we discussed how you get into the family of faith. Now we will see that being a part of the family, while bestowing great blessings and benefits, also carries serious responsibilities.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10

In an earthly family, family members are expected to do household chores. In God’s spiritual family, we are to do good whenever an opportunity arises. For a Christian, an opportunity is God’s providence masquerading as chance or fortune. Let’s say a fellow church member has a need and you find out about it. Go ahead and assume that God wanted you to find out about it. In your local church family are you not presently seeing any needs? Just keep obediently performing the chores assigned to you, believing by faith that God will use them to meet a need or bless a brother or sister.

That’s how it works in an earthly family or household, right? You see a mess on the floor, and hopefully you recognize it as an opportunity to serve your family by cleaning it up. Maybe you think, “But I didn’t make it; it’s not my mess.” Then you remember, “No, it’s the family’s mess, and I am part of the family.” Somebody forgot to take out the trash? It’s a great opportunity to serve. Somebody offended someone else in your church assembly? Help “take out” the hurt feelings and encourage apology, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

The responsibility of “opportunity” in Galatians 6:10 goes even further. The Greek word kairos has a connotation of “timing” – of actively looking for opportunities. It is used in Ephesians 5:16 like this:

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16

If you show up at church when you are expected, if you demonstrate you are trustworthy, if you have a heart to help, there are always chores – we call them ministry opportunities – that need to be done. Perhaps you have some spiritual gift or God-given talent that will eventually come in handy if you are willing and available.

The other kinds of household chores are things that you are assigned to do, and everyone knows that’s your chore. These are not “surprise” opportunities. They are planned, but they are opportunities nonetheless. Find something that needs to be done at church – or ask a church leader what needs to be done – and sign up to do it. And be faithful about it. Be consistent and trustworthy.

If you are responsible for an earthly family (especially dads), you know that (aside from a precious infant) you do not want somebody living in your earthly home who’s just a sponge – somebody who just soaks up the blessings, but brings no benefits. You don’t want a responsibility-shirking family member who produces burdens, but bears no burdens himself. You wouldn’t stand for it. I’m not sure God’s going to stand for it very long either.

Timing Is Everything and Timing is Nothing

November 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Isaiah, Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Man to God: How long is a million years to You?
God: It’s like a minute.
Man: What is a million dollars like to You?
God: It’s like a dollar.
Man: Can I have a million dollars?
God: Just a minute…

God lives both inside and outside of time. God is not subject to time; time is subject to Him, for He created it. We are creatures, though, and we are fairly obsessed with time. The days on which we set our clocks forward or backward to accommodate Daylight Savings Time are days of great rejoicing or consternation for us, depending upon how the change affects each of us personally. Sometimes the only thing that bothers us more than being too early or too late for an event ourselves, is when someone we are depending upon does not show up “on time” for us.

One of the tasks of our faith is to separate this type of finite thinking from our meditations about God. God can never be late or early. He is perfect in all His ways, and in every attribute of His character. Therefore, His “timing” is always perfect.

We sometimes speak of God’s “providence,” and this word comes from the Latin pro, meaning “ahead,” and video, meaning “to see.” To make it simple, God’s providence refers to His ability to “see ahead,” or to see into the future. How often have we cursed the traffic jam which made us late for an appointment, but which also, unbeknownst to ourselves, kept us from being broadsided by a careless truck driver a few miles down the road? How often have we sulked over a rainy day which kept us from a big outdoor party, and only later realized what a blessing it turned out to have been when we were “forced” to spend the day indoors, reading, playing, and talking with our small children, who will never again be as small as they were that day?

The providence of God not only refers to His ability to see into the future, but also to His sovereignty and control over a future which, to Him, already exists by His Own power, and where He reigns even now, planning wonderful things for our tomorrows that we can not even yet imagine.

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isaiah 46:9-10

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