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Desperate Households

February 20, 2007

Matthew 10:34-36  “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:  I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a mans foes shall be they of his own household.”

John 7:5  “For neither did his brethren believe on him.”

The second verse above is, in hindsight, quite incredible.  Jesus had natural siblings which believed not on him.  The top verse tells about divided households in which some believe and some don’t.  This is a topic which is close to my heart as mine is such a household.  It is a battleground in which souls are in the balance and each morning announces to the world that the Lords appearing is one day closer.  Thus the days are becoming increasingly critical as the end is approaching and eventually time will have “run its course.”  The battle for the hearts of our relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone with whom we rub shoulders daily has never been more intense.

I Timothy 5:8  “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

The natural affection that we all have for our loved ones is indeed proper.  It’s both natural and proper to do everything that we can do to keep the family intact; striving to be a good spouse and parent while at the same time not compromising our faith.  We all desire what’s best for our household, not only in the realm of daily necessities, but all the more so in the spiritual realm as the decisions made here have everlasting consequences.  I “know” that the Lord is working on the hearts of those in my family and I don’t want to, in any way be a hinderance.  A “standing petition” has been to ask the Lord for wisdom to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said and for wisdom to know when to be silent.  Thus “being ready to give an answer to any who ask of the hope that is in you” is of the utmost importance.

As I was beginning this post, I realized that it could go one of two directions.  It could either focus on the family that’s split along spiritual lines or could address the condition of the household in general.  All are under attack as the institution ordained by God in Genesis 2:24 is under assault, just as it has been from the beginning.

Genesis 2:24  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

When I was growing up in the seventies and early eighties, it seemed that most of my friends (not all, but most) had normal homes in which the institution of the family was intact.  Today, I see a totally different picture.  My oldest daughter has a number of friends and almost none of them are in a “normal family situation.  They have single parent households, a mom with an “abusive” live-in-boyfriend, (that one I’ll never figure out) grandparents who are raising them because their biological folks are incompetent, the influence of drugs or alcohol which distort the ability of one to make sound decisions, and a host of other destablizing factors which create havoc on the home front.  Without a doubt an unstable situation in the home leads to an influx of complications as kids have no stability; no guidance, and are drifting in a society that’s trying to erase any rememberance of the God who inhabits eternity.  The following passage offers a glimpse into the conditons of many in the last days.

II Timothy 3:1-5  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobediant to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false acusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

These conditions are not only very much at work on todays culture, they are glorified by the media which places a favorable spin on the attributes of iniquity before shipping it into our homes.  Thus the “dumbing down” of an entire generation is well underway and the ability to make sound choices becomes almost impossible for many.  The images presented by Hollywood are viewed by many as “reality” while the connection to authentic reality becomes obscured.  At work they always have CNN headline news airing in the break rooms and yesterday, the only thing that I heard about was Britany Spears having her head shaved.  (Whatever)  I wonder if we have reached a point where one of our aircraft carriers could sink in the Strait of Hormuz, however, we would never hear about it because of the “new revelations” surrounding the Anna Nicole Smith investigation. This story has enjoyed 24 hour coverage as of late.

Ephesians 2:1-3  “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  Wherein in time past ye walked acording to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobediance:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Or as the contemporary phrase goes “been there, done that!”  We remember the old days when we were walking after the things of this temporal life.  We all remember the “death” as we were without God and seeking satisfaction in a host of venues which can offer a good time for a season, but will eventually fail.  We see those around us including, in many instances, those of our own households, seeking for fulfilment in all of the wrong places and we keep them in fervent prayer.  The very thought of any in my household being lost is unbearable.  Truly it is God who brings one to repentance and we must strive to be in a position where he can utilize us.

Ephesians 2:4-7  “But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

This is still fascinating!  To think that Jesus died for us while we were so contrary to his perfect nature.  “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  This never gets old; nor should it ever.  If I had gone into eternity in August of 1983, I would be in hell at this very moment.  Without hope, without a name, without a family, without a blog.  It’s my fervent desire that all around me would know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  I know this sounds ever so basic, but it’s imprative to remain focused on what matters.  (We live in an age when it’s easy to become sidetracked.)

Well, I need to wrap this up.  The spiritual warfare continues on at a fever pitch as the enemy seeks to keep as many from the truth as he can.  The truth that Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  The truth that really can make one free.  Lord willing, I want to continue on in Hebrews 11 tomorrow as the verse concerning Noah is next in line.  Of course who knows what a day will bring, or if something will be more pressing when tomorrow becomes today.  For now, I’ll leave off with the following verse.

III John 4  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

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15 comments

  1. Hi Timbob, first off all thanks for reading and commenting on my blog!
    Now…..
    I dont think Jesus died so we can have a religion! The most trouble Jesus had was with the religious people. Religious people have sometimes a bad attitude, they are very critical and judgemental. And if you not like them, than you are a sinner! I believe religion is just rules and regs. They think you have to look and dress a certain way, or otherwise you are not acceptable to God.We, (I guess you are) are christians and they follow Jesus with all their heart, and mind, and strength, because He is so wonderful and awesome. We Christians enjoy the Lord and want to have Him in our daily life. We dont care where you come from or how you dress, hey even if you smoke…lol…like me, Jesus loves me. We obey the commandments, and serve him joyfully because there is no greater joy than to walk with the Lord.

    Have blessed day
    In Christ
    Andrea


  2. Your post is thought provoking. It really is getting closer to the end I think. Now, whether that is tomorrow or a hundred years I don’t know. But the world is getting worse quicker.

    Larry


  3. Thanks Andrea for stopping by. When someone really loves the Lord Jesus, it shows in their conversation and in their hearts desire to serve him. I knew the first time that I read your blog that you were for real. The folks mentioned in the post are indeed real, however, they allow certain “tradition” to be held up as doctrine. Thus “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together” means to them that “whenever we’re here, you must be here too.” My wife was ready to leave because of spending a lot of time with them. Today, a work is being done in the hearts of my household as a result of following God and not bowing to the wishes of other folks.
    Your observations concerning “religion” are very accurate. I’ve been guilty in times past, of taking tradition and holding it up as doctrine. If we love the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly and trust him completly, he’ll take care of the rest. When we take a misstep, he lets us know it and is always ready to forgive. We truly do serve an awesome God. Thanks again for commenting.


  4. Oh Timbob, I could say a lot here… ( May the Lord help me to be charitable)

    We spent several years in a church where we had to be there every time the doors were opened; ( actually we were involved in ministry there so I readily admit guilt in propagating some of the bondage and legalism, much to my sorrow.)
    Spirituality was measured by involvement with the church,( along with some other ridiculous “standards”), which meant usually 4 days a week (with nursing home and rescue mission ministry), services that lasted 3-4 hours, sometimes longer. Every holiday we had a “revival”, so when family came from out of town if you missed a service you were looked down on, or worse yet, preached at. It’s been 18 years since the Lord delivered us from that bondage.
    Sadly we alienated my husbands family during those years

    Love your family timbob, love Jesus! Be an example of His love and righteousness before them, letting your light so shine that it glorifies God and lifts up our Lord Jesus Christ.
    If you never stepped foot in the door of a church again it would not make you any less spiritual or any less of a christian. It’s your day to day 24/7 commitment to our Lord; your love for Him, for others, your faithful witness of His grace in and through your life that counts.

    Not that you should forsake assembling with other believers, but that can be anywhere where two or more are gathered in His name. Be led of the Spirit and your life will be a reflection of He who is our Life, our every breath our reason for living.
    If it’s being really involved with a local expression of the church, great! Just be led of the Holy Spirit.
    May we all by Gods grace live lives of radical faith, but not religious bondage. And may our lives glorify and honor our Father which is in heaven, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    Blessings to you always!


  5. Greetings. You must have been commenting as I was commenting too. I’ve learned so much over the years on how certain scriptures can be misapplied such as the famous “not forsaking” verse. I tried to explain to the folks in this church that I really enjoyed fellowshipping with them. (which I did) It was that souls in my household were in the balance and if the situation fell apart, spiritual battles would have been lost. This, to me, was more important than the opinions of saints who don’t have such a situation to be concerned with.
    One thing that I love about blogging is that i’m in contact with so many saints. Serious saints who always challenge me to grow in christ. This is why i’m so convinced that this venue is the right thing to be doing at this season. Thanks for the encouraging comments. We have all been through things and have learned as a result of those things. Truly all things do work together for the good of them that love the Lord Jesus.


  6. Greetings larry. I didn’t see your comment at first and as a result, it’s not in sequential order. Indeed things are getting crazy. All the more reason to stay close to the lord Jesus and stand in the gap for those around us.


  7. Susan, the fifth comment was addressed to you. I’m trying to hurry and I forgot to mention it. I’m glad that nobody else has a problem with typos. lol


  8. That was an excellent and thought provoking post. You are in my prayers as you stand in the gap for your family. God hears and is listening. He is working.


  9. Thanks for this post. It’s something that I needed to hear today as I tire of praying for parents who were leaders in the church & have denied their disobediance to God for many years.


  10. Hi Timbob,
    I love my church so much and I WANT to be there everytime the ‘doors are open’. That is not the case with my family and so I have to be very senstive about how much time I spend at church and involved in fellowhip or service activities that take away from family time. I remind myself often that I was the exact same way (not wanting to attend church) before the Lord came into my heart in August of 2004. I don’t believe that God wants people to be in church and fellowship situations simply out of duty and certainly not by coersion. God looks at the heart and serving Him and His people must become the desire of one’s heart. I have come to the point of surrender…I have put up the white flag and just surrendered my family to God. They are in His capable hands and I believe He has put us together as a family for a reason. He has a purpose in all of this for you, too. Pray, Pray, Pray is all I know to do at this point and like you said…knowing when to share and when to stay silent. For me (being a wife) I sometimes feel like I have the added complication of submission issues….always wishing to honor God and my husband…sometimes finding myself in a gray area. I find so much comfort in 1 Corinthians 7:14 and 16. Father, you have called us to peace. Please pour out your blessings of grace and faith on all such desperate households. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.


  11. Well, timbob, this is a stimulating post in more than one way. Also, the comments are a bit stirring as well.

    I wrote a bunch and cut it out, so no one have to read it. Thank you for stirring up some reflection for me.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  12. Greetings again. Thanks to all who took time to comment on this. When the situation in question was ongoing, I was’t certain as to how it should be handled. My first and foremost desire is to be obediant to the Lord Jesus. I also desire to fellowship whenever I can and I long for the salvation of those in my family. Either way that I had dealt with the controversy would have found me wondering “was that the right way to handle it?” If it had been a situation where I was being asked to deny my faith in Christ, then I would have lovingly explained that I cannot do that. It really is in the Lords hands and I know that in his time he’ll work things out.
    My wife has really been supportive. I work second shift as I have for over 4 years which means we have very little time together during the week. She has talked about joining me on Sunday and I long for the day when this is a reality. Until then, I keep my entire family in prayer and know that it is the Lord who gives the increase. The increase may come when I least expect it. It may take place before I get home tonight. That would be awesome! Thanks again to all who commented. I really appreciate the conversation and the fellowship; even though it’s through electronic means.


  13. I had to blink my eyes when I saw the title. I seriously thought it said “Desperate Housewives.” 😆 And no, I’ve never watched it. LOL

    I don’t like going to church because it’s mostly boring. Sometimes I even do ministry there. 😳

    I go because of obedience. But it is not always with gratitude. Just being open and honest here. The problem is that I’ve tasted so much of the Lord’s presence over the years, that everything less is mundane and dry in comparison. People say “Wasn’t that a lovely service?” And I have to bite my tongue. I definitely need an attitude adjustment in this area. 😯

    Many years ago a man named Dutch Sheets preached on how to pray for the lost. He used this scripture and told us to be compassionate and patient with the lost because they are blind to the truth and can’t help it.

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”


  14. Timbob, upon reading this I realize that my previous comment didn’t come across quite right. I did not mean to dismiss the importance of being part of a body of believers.
    Seems I still have a sore spot when I sense legalism and condemnation. Ouch!
    Probably from perusing a site that stirred up some negative feelings from those days, especially because we have been walking alongside a family coming out of one of those “we are the only right church” situations with all of the rules and bondage. So Sorry!

    We have also been very involved in churches we loved, and it was joy to be there every time the doors were open; to serve and worship together.
    Some of my most blessed memories are from those days, and I truly miss being part of a church like that.

    Be faithful where you are planted, but balanced. The Lord will honor your heart for Him and for your family. I will pray you family joins you wherever the Lord has you fellowship.
    Blessings to you brother.
    Susan


  15. Hi, Timbob…I HAVE to jump in on this one…

    My great-grandfather is one of the founding charter members of one of today’s mainline denominations. My grandfather was a pastor for sixty-five years, and my uncle was a pastor. My husband and I grew up in this denomination and attended the same church as teens.

    However, when my parents divorced in1975, our nice, neat little world blew up. And everything about human nature apart from Christ–even if it says it is of Christ–became blazingly clear. Turned out the pastor of our church was having affairs, my pastor uncle left my aunt, and although I had been the “darling” of our church, now with split parents, I was “trash” like them.

    Boy are things different for me spiritually today. Yes, I’ve been in a tumultuous sea, but when I was washed up, Jesus was not only waiting for me, I knew He had been with me all along. Today, I COULDN’T CARE LESS WHAT PASTORS THINK; “pastors” by title alone. This doesn’t mean they are called or have a Jesus heart.

    Jesus, however, is AWESOME, and He can transform any heart by His love–I know he can even transform a pastor’s heart–a real miracle–because thankfully, I knew one pastor that was a real Christian, my grandfather. He really lived it while all these other pastors in name only were telling everybody else how to live but never showing Christ’s heart in deed.

    My grandfather dedicated me to the Lord as a baby, married my husband and I, presided over our firstborn’s memorial service, dedicated my two living children to the Lord. In our wedding ceremony he said that the family was God’s first, and therefore most important, institution. Any church leadership that plays down the family is in opposition to God’s heart.

    “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.” 1 Cor. 7:14

    Also, I am enjoying getting back to basics by constructing a page at my site on the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s, which was founded on pure thankfulness, praise and love for Jesus–Gee, that’s an idea; let’s love Jesus, and trust HIM to guide us and our households into close relationship with the Father! ; )



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