Joshua 24:15 - As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
I. Introduction: Not only is the above statement wise, think how our world would change if many of those who call themselves Christian would adopt it.
* British anthropologist John D. Unwin conducted an in depth study
of eighty civilizations that have come and gone over a period of
some four thousand years. He discovered that a common thread ran
through all of them. In each instance, they started out with a
conserative mind-set with strong moral values and a heavy emphasis
on family. Over a period of time, the conserative mind-set became
more and more liberal, moral values declined, and the family
suffered. In each instance, as the family deteriorated, the
civilization itself started to come apart; and in All eighty cases
the fall of the Nation was related to the fall of the family. In
most cases, that civilization fell within one generation of the
fall of the family unit. SO GOES THE HOME, SO GOES THE NATION!!!
In order to understand the practice of our house serving the Lord, we must inquire:
II. What it is to serve the Lord?
To serve the Lord, one must have faith or we cannot perform acceptable service to the Lord.
Hebrews 11:6 (NRSV)
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
With faith comes love, which God sheds abroad in our hearts, and enables us to not only love Him, but love our neighbor as well, doing always things pleasing to Him in obedience.
III. Who is included in my house?
IV. What can we do that we and our house may serve the Lord?
A. Restrain them
1. All those kept under your roof through employment or hospitality must be kept from outward sin. If not persuaded by example or argument they must be dismissed.
2. Your spouse - There is no place in Scripture that allows for a man to strike his wife (or the other way around). The devil cannot be beaten through his own weapons. A man may not dismiss his wife save for adultery. If nothing else avails, we must bear our cross. As for the wife toward the husband, we may remember:
2.1 Corinthians 7:14 through 1 Corinthians 7:16 (KJV)
2.14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 17But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk
3. Children - Correction (corporal punishment) may be used, but only as a last resort, after you have tried other methods at your disposal.
* I once heard about an earthquake recently that frightened the inhabitants of a certain town. One couple sent their little boy to stay with an uncle in another state, explaining the reason for the nephew's sudden visit. A couple of days later the parents received the following telegram, "Am returning boy. Send earthquake next instead."
B. Instruct them - teaching all under your roof the things that bring eternal peace.
1. By Example -
Students involved in a research project at the University of Illinois called 2000 homes at random between midnight and 2 A.M. on a Friday night in the city of Chicago to see if parents knew where their children were. In 75% of the homes called, a child answered and didn't know where the parents were. --David L. Hocking *
*A mother and her 3 year old daughter were riding in a car when suddenly the little girl put her head on her mother's chest and began to listen. "What are you doing?" mom asked. "I'm listening for Jesus in your heart," was the reply. "Well what do you hear?" The innocent child looked up with the satisfied look of discovery in her eyes and said, "Sounds like he's making coffee to me!"
Children and others should be able to hear Jesus in our Words and actions.
2. Speak plainly
3. Do it frequently
4. Persevere I once heard the story about a little girl who asked her mother for another piece of candy. Her mother answered, "But you've had three already." "Just one more, please," said the little girl. The mother finally said, "Well, this must be the last!" "Thank you mother . . . but I must say, you have no will power."
5. Advise on schooling
6. Advise on marriage
V. Conclusion: To do all these things to serve the lord will not be easy, for the devil will oppose you and others will say you are carrying things too far. Whatever others do, let you and your house "adorn the doctrine of our God and our Savior."
Benediction: Hebrews 13:20
20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.