Thought for Today
“Am I now seeking the approval of men,
or of God? Or am I striving to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10 (BSB)
The Holy Spirit IS come to make His people “witnesses” unto God, not men. We are not here to conduct ourselves in order to gain men’s approval. We are here to live inwardly and outwardly to seek God’s approval.
“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
The power is given unto us that we might live lives solely unto Him. We are not here to please men but to serve God. We live in a day where the church in general is trying to live “nice” secular lives in order to persuade people to come to their church or fellowship. To live in this mind set Paul declares that we are no longer the “servants of Christ”! Jesus said if HE be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself. We are here to live by Him, unto Him and through Him and in so doing we are freed from the horror of trying to please people. Authenticity is the freedom to live out of the well of all that we truly are in Him.
The Holy Spirit is come to make us witnesses UNTO God. The power of God is given to glorify Jesus.
“…because as he is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up”
His name, His goodness and His praise should ever be on the hearts and minds of His own. Our lives before our children should be lived in the evident love of Him. Even though there are shortcomings and issues we need for our children to see that HE is the love and purpose of our life. Strong homes where God is spoken of constantly, where HE is the over-riding reason for the direction and purpose of the home is a ministry in itself. If our faith is not pervading our home and our children’s lives it is time to seek afresh the priorities of our life and turn again to the good and perfect way of the Lord. The unity and the faith of the home is the strength of the Church. It is in passing on to our children the goodness of the fear and the love of God that we see the next generation arising in their own faith and their own light.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;
and I am persuaded that in thee also”
II Timothy 1:5
Strong faith, unfeigned faith, faith that is not comprised of principles and concepts, but a faith that is living and real must bring others into their own FAITH and walk. Faith cannot not be handed down like some sort of heirloom it must be ministered. True faith is only known via relationship with the Author. How we need in this day homes and families where HE is exalted, talked about and lived out to the fullest measure we know that in so doing our children will be drawn into the place of their own relationship and journey with God. The next generation of ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ should be rising up within our own families.
“The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where the
processes of character-molding are
silently, lovingly, faithfully
and successfully carried on”
RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES (1809–1885)
Home Sweet Home
Recently, while contemplating another move, the question of “Won’t you miss this house?” got me thinking about how many times I have been asked that in my almost 30 years of marriage. Through the years we have lived in a trailer, an apartment, a log house, a brand new house and a 100 year old house. The challenge of renovating, decorating and constantly rearranging is one of those things in life that brings me joy and I think each place has reflected that. Finding a bargain on just the right piece of furniture or that perfect throw rug really makes my day! So why, when I enjoy all this so much, do I feel detached from it and able to honestly answer the above question with a “no”? It is because it is not about the house but about the home. Home is where our family is. Home is where we laugh and cry and eat and sleep and work and do nothing and argue and make up and feel safe. And even when our children are grown and making homes of their own they still know that this is a place they are welcome at any time of day or night. We all know that feeling of coming back from a trip and knowing there is truly “no place like home”. There is a feeling of contentment that simply is not to be found anywhere else.
I think God has designed us with this desire for home because we are made in His image; He also desires a home. But are we confusing the house with the home? After all, if heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool where do we suppose there is a house that can contain Him anyway? Maybe these houses that we call “church” are just so many buildings to Him; no different than a school or a hospital or a superstore. Is He finding His home? That place where His family is; where brothers and sisters can laugh and cry and even have their differences but nevertheless feel safe. Where no matter how far they may roam they know where home is; a place where love rules. How about a place where He can rest? There are lots of little “houses” all claiming to be His but I think He is still looking and wondering why we do not understand that it is a “home” He is wanting. A place where our Father is comfortable. A place where we as His children discover that we are just part of a vast, worldwide family for whom Christ shed His blood; so vast that no building could possibly contain us. We say the church is the people not the building, but do we truly believe that? Our love and reverence for our Father needs to be greater than our misguided loyalties to a building or even to our brothers and sisters. This home is all about Him finding a resting place. And when He does we will find ours as well.
Come to think of it, I have never seen a cross-stitched plaque on anyone’s wall that reads, “House Sweet House”. It is always “Home Sweet Home”.