Friend of the Family News Letter
We are focusing our attention on Ephesians 4:31. We noted last time that sometimes the lines of communication among people get broken. Preventing problems is far better than curing problems, but if problems exist they must be resolved. The problems that develop when communication fails are listed in our text. They include bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice. This is the Ephesians 4:31 list and if you are in there you must get out. These are all reactions to being hurt. You know and I know everyone gets hurt by other people. You have been hurt and so have I. If people failing and hurting us doom us to living in verse 31 our lives will be a disaster.
In our last article we talked about bitterness. Bitterness is poison. Remember the bitter waters of Marah in Exodus 15. Moses would not let the people drink it. You and I cannot drink of the bitter waters of life. We talked about its dangers in our last article. The Ephesians 4:31 list secondly mentions wrath. The term means hot passion and anger. Sometimes we refer to a person as a hot head. When I consider someone like that I wonder what ever happened in his life to make him that way. The next term is anger. This is more of a simmering anger. Some people never seem to be happy. They find fault with everything and everybody. You wonder what is underneath gnawing away at their mind and emotions. Clamor is next on the list. It is a word without specific meaning that suggests an outward expression of what is going on inside. I sometimes use venting to describe it. A vent lets out whatever is inside. So clamoring could be an expression of frustration, worry, fear or whatever. It is kind of like not being able to take “it” anymore, so we have to let it out. Evil speaking is next. The term comes from a word that means blasphemy, but here is used regarding people against people. It can be rendered “railing” and means injurious speech. It occurs when we say something to someone or about someone to intentionally hurt them. Finally on our 4:31 list is malice. Malice reflects vicious character. When we desire to get back at someone or see harm come to them we are malicious. That is the list. Remember each of these is a response to hurt. It can be immediate or long term, but each one is very destructive. We get destroyed and can do unrepairable harm to a relationship. Do you know anyone living in verse 31? Are you living there? What are you going to do about it? I am sure you can justify your feelings and actions. In fact, if we were talking you could tell me the name of the offender, what happened and when it happened. More next time.
The last aspect of our spiritual weaponry is found in Ephesians 6:18. Paul said, Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…
Prayer is an amazing experience and an unbelievable privilege. Too often we enter into it lightly. Phrases become too common and are spoken without thought. We fail to fully consider what we are doing and to whom we are speaking. In this text we find two terms for prayer. They are both always used of prayer to God. The first is general prayer and the second means to beseech or ask out of desire. The focus of the verse is not to identify different aspects of prayer. The focus is found in the phrase, in the Spirit. What does it mean to pray in the Spirit? It has nothing to do with some charismatic experience. It is related to our fellowship with God. The Bible warns about grieving the Spirit and quenching the Spirit. If we fall into those spiritual traps our prayer life will be hindered to be sure. Psalm 66:18 says, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Isaiah 59:1-2 reads this way, Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. We are fighting a spiritual battle and there are things we must do, but ultimately our hope is in the Lord. At the outset of Paul’s challenge in Ephesians 6:10, he tell us we must be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. That statement refers to the enabling power of God that is rooted in his Divine strength. Therefore we must be in fellowship with the Lord or we may not experience His enabling power. We have all sung, He is able, He is able. He is, we are not. The next part of the verse 18 is important. We pray in the Spirit, watching thereunto with all perseverance. Watching comes from a word meaning not to sleep. We better be awake in this battle. Perseverance is critical to victory. We must not quit in this spiritual conflict, especially in prayer. The fight is on. The devil is busy, but God has equipped us to win. Live in victory!
“God Is Looking for Men,
Is He Looking for You?”
For The Family
Responding to the Corona Virus.
We have been discussing parenting in this column. We are going to pause in that series to address the Corona Virus and our response to it.
The Christian perspective should be entirely different from that of the world. We know our Heavenly Father holds the world and us in His hands. We know that nothing happens outside of His knowledge and control. When it comes to the virus, we know He either sent it or at least allowed it. Either way we have promises to claim that put this matter on a spiritual plane. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. That raises a question. Do we love God? If we can say yes, we are included in this verse. If we are saved – I trust you are – we are among those who are called according to His purpose. I love that truth. We do not know all that God is going to accomplish during this pandemic, but He has purpose in it and that purpose encompasses us and those of our families who are saved. The virus is not a good thing, but our all - powerful God will work it for good – yes for good. It has taken the lives of some Christians and will probably take more. As believers we do not long for death, but we do not fear it. The Bible tells us (Hebrews 2:15) that the unsaved through fear of death are all their lifetime subject to bondage. Christ has delivered us from that fear. At death the angels will usher us into heaven. Even so, death will come to relatively few. Our challenge is to recognize that God wants to use this thing for His glory, and that by living victoriously in these uncertain times our testimony can magnify the Lord in the eyes of people who are looking for help. They do not know where to turn. They wonder if the world is ending. They have no security. If we claim our victory in Christ – and we can. If we exercise appropriate health cautions as a testimony for Him, if we demonstrate love, joy and peace, in our life and family, people might just look to us to find hope.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
When the time came for David to fully take the throne of Israel, mighty men of valor gathered in his support. Various groups are listed in I Chronicles 12 and are primarily mentioned relative to their specific tribe. Each group had anywhere from a few thousand up to many thousands. One group was exceptionally small, but very unique. They are identified in verse 32. And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. We don’t know the full number of this group, but they were noted for their wisdom, not their fighting skills. More than any other time in my life we need men who understand the times and know what needs to be done. I want to be one of those men. I hope you do too. This is not a time for misguided reaction. Whether it be in our personal life or in our family, church, community or nation, there needs to be men who understand the times. Only when we understand the times, do we have a chance of knowing what to do. Many are in spiritual and emotional turmoil. They need the leadership of a man of God. ARE YOU WILLING (and able) TO BE THAT MAN?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
As I sit at my desk wondering how to write my little article, I’m so reminded that out Heavenly Father is watching over me and you. What a strange time we are living in! The world has gone completely nuts; the devil’s workmanship is evident all over the world. God has allowed all these things that are happening, I do believe with all my heart, to turn mankind to look at Him. We have become such a Godless culture in the United States. Will the world, and in particular, the United States, turn from their wicked sin and look to God for salvation? Our merciful Heavenly Father is waiting for mankind to turn to Him. Any nation that kills unborn babies and thinks it is okay; protects and promotes homosexuality and thinks that is okay, deserves far more punishment than this virus. On the other hand, we that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and have accepted him as our Savior have a very pressing need to tell others about Him. We are praying for opportunities to reach neighbors and Lebanon city for Christ. God has blessed by bringing hundreds of viewers to watch the live-streaming of our Pastor’s messages. God is still in the business of saving sinners and we need to proclaim Him from the house tops during this wild time. God bless you and your family. Stay close to Him and be bold in your witness. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify you when FOF is up on our website.