h1

Jesus is Lord!

January 2, 2009

Our congregation’s theme for 2009 is “Jesus is Lord!”

A few weeks ago I blogged about “Living for God.” The challenge facing Christians today is actually to live for God, and not to be consumed by worldly pursuits. Most of us spend our time, our energy, and our money on ourselves, for our own convenience and comfort. We are living for ourselves and not for God. So both husband and wife work outside the home to bring in as much money as possible, which is then spent to acquire the highest lifestyle possible — the biggest house, the fanciest car, the most impressive collection of stuff, and whatever else we think might fill the void of meaning in our lives. Many of us are chasing the wind, not living for God.

The Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, admonished us to live differently:

2Co 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
2Co 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

There is a wide gap between the life we’ve been called to live and our present reality. What should church leaders do about that?

In our congregation, we’re beginning by teaching the biblical standard to the church. A few weeks ago I taught a midweek men’s class covering the material from the Living for God post. This weekend we will meet with our deacons and family group leaders to talk specifically about the biblical model for the family, and about the plague of materialism that is consuming us. We’ll be calling on them to develop deep convictions and to start making changes toward the biblical model. By doing this they will be setting an example, and earning the right to call others in the church to make room in their lives for serving God.

In Titus 2, Paul instructed Titus what must be taught to the church. That teaching included that women should be busy at home (verse 5.) And he closed the chapter by telling Titus to teach these things, and to encourage and rebuke with all authority. He was instructed not only to teach these things, but also to expect the members to obey the teaching.

Most of our families need to downscale their lifestyles so that wives don’t have to work outside the home. The two biggest obstacles to doing that are a lack of conviction on the subject, and a supersized house payment. We are beginning by addressing the conviction. Addressing the house payment problem may be harder. Today’s housing market is not an ideal environment for downsizing the house. But with the right convictions, I think people will be able to find a way.

For many, the first step toward downsizing our lives will be to get out of debt. We will be starting up our second session of Dave Ramsey’s FPU classes in a few weeks.

If we are going to live out our good confessions, we will have to make room in our lives. Living for God requires time, energy, and money. We have to restrain ourselves from consuming everything ourselves, so we will have something left to share with others.

First of all we have to make room for God in our hearts. There is not enough room in our hearts to love our material world and also to love God (1 John 2:15) Do we really love God more than we love the things that are currently preoccupying us? If so, we will make the necessary changes. That’s what it means for Jesus to be Lord.

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. I do spend a lot of time trying to save my family money on our grocery bill and still eat healthy. That is my contribution since we are on a single income. As far as staying home, it seems like such a foreign concept to a working woman. I was that working woman and I did not understand why my sister (who is a SAHM) kept insisting I do it. After we had kid#2 it wasn’t worth the cost of daycare to work. And now that I have 3, it certainly isn’t feasible. But staying at home is so rewarding, but you don’t see it until you try. Its a LOT more peaceful and I wish mom’s would get that. Whewww, trying to rush home from work, pick up kids, cook dinner while they hang from your legs and then put em to bed. They still hang from my legs, but I don’t feel guilty about shooing them away. Its a different kind of peace, and you do get to serve others more when you are SAHM. I highly recommend it. And I was the type of woman who laughed at women in their homemade sweaters and mom jeans and NEVER thought I would do this. I bought into the you can have it all and juggle it all.But the truth is juggling all that to have nice things isn’t worth it, happy kids and family is worth it. Well actually the most important thing really is that we all get to heaven and I pray to do WHATEVER it takes to get us there.PS Alan, I read another article today about how the biblical family can only survive by going agrarian. More research in my understanding of biblical separatism. What do you think?http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2009/01/reestablishing-biblical-families.htmlAlso in my reading of St. Francis, apparently there are monks who spend time in between praying and serving. This seems more in line with what the bible says and not completely cutting off oneself from saving the world and living in a cave. But is a cave a farm? Ohhhhhhh.. my head spins….


  2. Hi Robin,I don’t think the working mom thing is working out too well for most families. Many get addicted to the income, consumption, and debt.I think there probably are some real spiritual benefits to the agrarian lifestyle. The comment in the article about Arminian theology was a red herring. But I do think that the affluence of the industrial age has had a corroding influence on the church.


  3. Happy New Year!When hubby and I were engaged 25 years ago, he told me one day that his mom told him he needed to ask me if I wanted to continue to work once we got married. Having been raised by a single mom, I had never even entertained the thought and responded ‘but what would I do’? I couldn’t imagine what someone did at home. ttk


  4. Good stuff and good teaching for your church. They are blessed to have you there.I find a lot to like in that simpler life style, but I find that the temptation is to like thinking and talking about it, not living it. I'm also a little convicted in that my wife is back to work now after being home for about 12 years. She's now got her bachelors and next year will have her CPA. She's taking summers off for the kids, but will likely work through the summer starting in 2010.So a question. With the kids now turning 10, 12 & 14 soon and more self reliant and able to help around the house, we feel good about her returning to work 25 hours per week (more during tax time). Our goal is not to move to a bigger house (though that's tempting) but to get out of the modest debt we have, save for our older years, help our kids through college and be better equipped to give more and meet more needs. I'm interested in your impressions of that plan. Obviously, when the kids are grown, having Mom go back to work isn't a problem, but how soon is too soon?


  5. Salguod, When the kids were in school, my wife occasionally worked a day as a substitute teacher. That way her work day ended when the kids’ school day ended. And a good percentage of the days, she did not work, so she had opportunity to serve, and to take care of household matters. How much is too much? I think it is a judgment call. The indicators that it is too much include things like stress, conflict, and not feeling like you have any time to give to serving others.She went back to full time work when the kids started college. I have mixed feelings about that, but it certainly helped us pay for college. We were budgeted to live on my salary, so hers could be used to pay college expenses.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: