Friend of the Family News Letter
We have been discussing communication in this column. Last time we concluded thoughts on Ephesians 4:31. We noted that sometimes the lines of communication get broken and can result in hurting reaction. Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice are consuming many people and destroying many relationships. Can the problems be fixed? Let’s be clear; we can solve some problems, but we may not solve all. The important thing is that we do what God tells us to do. We cannot control or determine what someone else will do. However, if we do what God tells us to do we create the best possibility for resolution of the problems, and restoration of fellowship with others. Now, we want to examine the teaching of Paul in Ephesians 4:32. His teaching is primarily for any of us who are experiencing the defeat that comes from living in verse 31. I emphasize it is no guarantee of restoration of fellowship with the one who hurt us, but it is a guarantee of restoration of peace and joy in our lives.
Verse 32 begins with these words, “And be ye kind one to another…” Kind means good, gracious and pleasant. That is a good exhortation which seems reasonable for all Christians. The tough part is the context in which it is given. It is written to people who are living in verse 31 and it has in mind our attitudes and actions toward the people who have hurt us. Obeying that challenge is no easy task. When we are hurt our emotions come into play and we feel justified in our bitterness, anger etc. Then God breaks into our emotional turmoil and tells us to be kind to our offender. Wisdom and caution are needed here, and godly counsel may be necessary. If the offender has hurt you physically or abused you, get godly counsel before moving forward. When you have carefully and prayerfully considered the entire situation, search for an appropriate effort to be kind. It may be a note or a call or some action. I like the idea of meeting a need in the offender’s life. I am confident that if we are genuine in our desire to do the right thing, the Lord will guide us, even with the timing. This will be an important and critical step, which is why the second exhortation is to be tenderhearted. This is the opportunity for all of us to learn a great lesson. Consider Psalm 62:5. It has saved me a lot of heartache and it will do the same for you. Here it is: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Here is the lesson. Don’t set expectations for the other person. When we do something nice to or for someone we tent to expect them to act or react in a certain way. Don’t do that. More next time.
Trends & Troubles
The church in America is facing tremendous pressure. Some States have actually ordered churches to be closed as a response to Covid-19. Other States have limited the number of people who can attend services. It is indeed a troubling time and answers to the questions being raised by many are not easy to find. Prior to giving my thoughts I want to take note of what Baptists call Individual Soul Liberty. It is the belief, to which I subscribe, that each believer is ultimately responsible to and accountable to God for his actions. I mention that because there are many responses being given by Christians in general as well as Christian leaders, regarding these times. When all is said and done we will each answer to the Lord. We find answers by searching Scripture. Romans 13 is clear that we should be subject to the higher powers. The text says rulers are not a terror to good works – but what if they are? The text says the ruler is a minister of God to thee for good – but what he his isn’t? When I compare Scripture with Scripture, I find some very godly people who refused to obey government. The ruler Darius told Daniel he could not pray for 30 days, but Daniel prayed publicly anyway. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were told they had to bow down and worship the image set up by Nebuchadnezzar, but they refused. In both instances government inserted itself into the believer’s practice of worship and the believers refused to obey. In our Country we have a wonderful system of government. It was devised by men who had a basic understanding of two things. The first was that God is the Creator of all things and He has given us certain rights that man cannot take away. Our Founders also understood the sinfulness of humanity. That understanding led them to adopt the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution, The Bill of Rights. It also led them to establish a government which included a system of checks and balances, so laws could not be established by a single individual or even a single body of people, and when laws are passed, they must be in harmony with the written Constitution When we fully grasp the rule of law in our Country we see guaranteed rights in our Constitution which cannot be cast aside. The Constitution is our ultimate “higher power”. Each person and each church must find peace about how they respond to these days, I believe our “higher power” clearly states there can be no government interference with our religious practice. Pray much – live wisely – don’t condemn other believers for their choices.
For The Family
Responding to the Corona Virus.
In these days of public turmoil many are experiencing personal turmoil. I believe the Lord led me to Psalm 91 as a scriptural guide for finding peace and confidence in facing today and preparing for tomorrow. I encourage you to read it and claim it for yourself and your family. Verse one is wonderful. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. I have been to this Psalm many times and am always intrigued by the secret place and the challenge to dwell there. The secret place is a private place, a place to hide and find protection. To dwell is to sit and settle. The Lord Jesus speaks of the secret fellowship we can have with our Heavenly Father. He told us to give in secret, to pray in secret, to fast in secret. The secret place is away from other people. It is the place where we meet and commune with God and no one else is there. We talk to Him in private and share our deepest burdens. We open ourselves completely and sense ourselves in His very presence. We claim His promises as we search for peace and quietness within. We can enter the secret place in a private time when no one else is near-by, but I suggest to you we can also enter the secret place when standing in a crowd. We need to find the secret place, we need to dwell there. It is where, as the verse says, we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The shadow is the shade of protection from the burning heat of the day. It is a defense against attacks from within and without. It is the place of quiet rest. After meditating on this first verse read through the rest of the Psalm. Then read it again and again.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
There are many great men to be found in the Bible. There is one man who stands out because he invested his life in other people. He was a leader and his name was Joses. Have you ever heard of him? Probably very few people would recognize his name, because his character caused the Apostles to give him another name. We commonly know him by his surname – Barnabus. We meet him in Acts 4:36, when to help meet the needs of persecuted believers he sold a piece of land and gave the proceeds to the Apostles. They used the money to help the hurting. “Barnabus” means the “Son of Consolation”. Consolation is comfort and encouragement. As we find Barnabus throughout the Book of Acts we see him giving of himself and investing his energies to make others spiritually successful. Read Acts and take note of his life. There are many hurting boys and young men, who need spiritual help, encouragement and guidance. They need a man like Barnabus.
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE THAT MAN?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
One of my precious granddaughters posted a wonderful poem one day. I was so blessed I thought it might encourage you as you read my little part of Friend of the Family.
It’s easy to doubt and fear.
It’s easy to struggle
About what you see and hear.
It’s easy to give up and cry.
It’s easy to stay up
And wonder why.
But we are not called to do what is easy.
We are not promised
A life sweet and breezy.
We are called, no, commanded
To do what is right
Not what is demanded.
He is in control and will not fail us.
God promises to be there
And to never, never forsake us.
It is not easy to know and to trust.
It is not easy to believe
We have the power to overcome what we must
Because for us it’s about eternity.
By Rachel Maley
II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
All Men Are Invited: age 14 and up
Join us for the 22nd BFM Men’s Conference, November 13-14, 2020. Open Door Baptist Church, Lebanon, PA
Theme: Perilous Times Have Come!
Visit the BFM Website and register online.
New dates September 7-17, 2020
Our March trip had to be canceled due to the Corona Virus. Some who were registered cannot make our new dates, so there is room for you.
The cost remains $3,995.If interested - Contact our office.
BFM RESOURCES INCLUDE:
*All listed prices are suggested donations.
BOOKS AND BOOKLETS:
The Christian Response to Culture Collapse in the USA - $2.00.
Does it Matter? – A look at Bible manuscripts and versions - $8.00
Before the Throne of Grace – Leather - $19.99.
Victory Over Trial and Trouble – hard back book on getting real victory in life - $13.95.
Parenting: One Chance to do it Right - $12.95.
Serving As A Deacon – booklet - $2.50.
Growing Up God’s Way – John Stormer - $3.00
None dare Call It Education – John Stormer - $3.00
Israel, Still God’s Chosen people - $12.00
God Is Looking for Men, Is He Looking for You? - $13.00
Holy Ground – 3 messages - $12.00
Til Death do Us Part – 6 messages - $18.00
Parenting – 6 messages - $18.00
The Basic Family Series – 6 messages - $18.00
Biblical Family Ministries Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit Christian ministry established in 1993 to present the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, child training and other Biblical topics. Dr. E. Allen Griffith and his wife Patricia, work together in this ministry located in Myerstown, PA. They are assisted by Kimberly Schmelzer.
E-mail us at email@example.com. We will notify you when FOF is up on our website.