Friend of the Family News Letter
We are moving through Ephesians 4:25-32 in an effort to discuss and get guidance on communication. Last time we were giving thoughts on Ephesians 4:32. We have noted that not all human relationships can be restored when the lines of communication get broken. There are many reasons for that, but each of us must focus on doing what we are supposed to do before the Lord. As verse 31 warns us, we can be destroyed with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice. No doubt all of us have experienced some of these things, but we cannot continue to live with them. Full restoration with others will depend on whether both parties are willing. Sometimes they are not. We must be willing, and thankfully we can be delivered from the mess of verse 31 in our own lives, even if the other party will not do what is right. Obeying the challenges of verse 32 can bring restoration, and even if the other party will not yield to the Lord, we can regain the joy and peace we had before the trouble and division came.
As we saw last time, verse 32 begins with these words, “And be ye kind one to another…” That can be very difficult when we have been hurt. We don’t want to be kind. Let’s start by making sure we are not being unkind. We need to guard our words and actions. We especially need to keep the matter as private as possible. Sometimes we feel like we need to tell others about our hurt. Be careful. If there are legal complications, we need counsel. If we truly need spiritual advice we can talk to our pastor or other spiritually minded person. However, that person must hold the matter in confidence and not take sides in the issue. If they take up the offense on behalf of you or the other person, everything will get much more complicated. So, let’s get back to kindness. Your expression of kindness might be a gracious word, a call, a note, or some other act that will hopefully calm tensions. Last time we suggested possibly meeting a need of the other person. When you have carefully and prayerfully considered the entire situation, search for an appropriate effort to be kind. The second exhortation of verse 32 is to be tenderhearted. We briefly referenced Psalm 62:5 last time and will do so here. It can save us a lot of heartache. 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 tend to expect them to act or react in a certain way. Don’t do that. Wait only upon God. Give your expectations to Him. Be and stay tenderhearted. More next time.
Trends & Troubles
It seems very possible that many have found it too convenient to stay home from church during these trying days. No doubt the vulnerable need to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from Covid-19, the flu or any other illness that could affect them in an extremely negative way. Care-givers must also protect family members from the same dangers. While keeping those things in mind, it is critically important for individuals, families, churches and the Nation as a whole, that God’s people meet together, pray together, worship together, and fellowship together. Before the Covid adventure, some found it easier and more convenient to watch a live stream presentation rather then get up, get dressed and actually go to church. Live streaming services is a wonderful help to the sick or infirmed, and can possibly serve an evangelistic purpose, but it must not replace the gathering together of the Local Assembly. Convenience must not replace conviction. Many are familiar with Hebrews 10:25 and the warning to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but consider the larger challenge of the text as found in Hebrews 10:23-25. Those verses are a single sentence and need to be read together. Here they are. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. None of us are prophets, but evidently the writer of Hebrews believed we would be able to see the day approaching. We can ask – what day? If we search for a day in the context of the letter, we are taken back to Hebrews 9:28. It says, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. I look for that day and long for that day. It seems that it is approaching. If you think we are nearing that day, then you and I have challenges ahead of us. We need to consider others and their needs; we need to stir them to get busy in God’s good work; we need to exhort (encourage) them. Such fellowship and ministry to one another is carried on in the context of meeting and worshiping together. If we believe the coming of the Lord may be soon, we need to do these things more, and more aggressively. Right now, people are hurting, lonely, struggling and worrying. God established the local church. We all need to be there together.
For The Family
We have begun a new year. Who knows what it will bring? It is good we are in the Lord’s hands. The experiences of 2020 and the prospects for 2021 have certainly stirred my anticipation for the blessed hope of Christ’s return. My prayer, quoting Revelation 22:20, “Even so come, Lord Jesus”, falls often and easily from my lips. Of course, as most Christians, we have wanted Him to come for a long time. When we talk about His return, Tricia and I often refer back to one of her aunts. That precious lady was saved and is now with the Lord. When we would talk in her presence about the rapture of the Church and our hope for it to happen soon, she would always say, “But my children are not saved; I want them saved before Christ comes back.” We still pray for them. In recent times, as we have talked about Christ’s return, we find others carry the heavy burden of lost relatives and loved ones. Do you carry that burden? I cannot imagine what it would be like for any of us to have loved ones die without Christ. I realize as you read this you may have that very heartache. If so, I ache with you and for you. As we face the future and think of those who are still on this earth, but do not know Christ, what are we going to do? I want to encourage you to pray and think about more specific efforts to win the lost. I confess, that while I want as many saved as possible, and would want no one to be on this earth for the judgment that is coming, my greatest burden is for those closest to me. For whom do you have the greatest burden for their salvation? Have you talked to them, written to them, given them something to read about salvation, prayed for them? Hopefully you have not given up on any of them. We do not know when Christ will return. In Romans 13:11, Paul wrote, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” The phrase, “now it is high time to awake” puts the emphasis on NOW. If we don’t do something NOW, all may be lost. Make your plan. Who do you want to reach – children, parents, siblings, friends? What steps are you going to take to reach them? Jesus may come today – and I hope He does.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
Where are the men? I ask the question and often think about it. I am especially burdened to see young people who desperately need a dad to love, teach and guide them. Too often dad’s fail to invest all that is necessary to care for and train his children. Parenting takes a lot of work. The urgency in being a father to children is that time to affect them properly for God is limited. We may have them at home for 20 years or so and then they step out into adulthood. How they live their adult years will be a reflection of a father’s success or failure in training them. Consider portions of the testimony of a father from Proverbs 4. Vs.2 – I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. Vs.10 – receive my sayings. Vs.11- I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. Vss. 26-27 – Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. That man is the father children need!
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE THAT MAN?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2. We have just come through the hardest test in our lives; our precious son, Pastor Craig Griffith, was called home to Glory, November 21, 2020. On his way home from taking one of his sons to college, he developed a hurting leg. After testing and biopsy, he was diagnosed with a very rare aggressive cancer that had already spread to his lungs; inoperable! We, through years of ministry had walked with many folks facing such horrible news. Now it was our turn to face the most heartbreaking thing any parent or wife or child could face. I’m so thankful for a God who loves us, provides everything we need and promises to hold us close to Him, through things we must face in our lives. Psalm 106:1 – “Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.” Our faithful, merciful God is sustaining us. It’s not easy, but God never fails. We want to trust our Heavenly Father, because He makes no mistakes, and we want to continue to live for Him as we wade through this experience in our lives. We are thankful to share our lives with you and pray you will have a blessed New Year, as we await the return of our Savior in the air. Maybe today…!
Reflections and Perspective
I Thessalonians 4:16-18, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Many of you know that our pastor/son, Craig was called home to heaven on November 21, 2020. A rare incurable cancer took his life only 10 weeks after diagnosis. Our hope and comfort are found in the verses quoted above.
We live every day longing for Christ’s return, but are committed to serving Him as faithfully as we can until we go to heaven by death or the rapture.
The tragedy in our life has caused us to reflect on the tragedies we have witnessed in the lives of so many over our 53 years of ministry. We are glad the time will come for all believers when Revelation 21:4 will be fulfilled. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
BFM RESOURCES INCLUDE:
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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.
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