Friend of the Family News Letter
If you were going to grade your own family life, would you get a passing grade? The criteria for grading would be critical. It is not about us compared to others. It is about what God says in His Word. We are not necessarily looking for specifics, but we are looking for principles on home life and relationships. Families are under a lot of pressure to fit in with the world, and often it is the “world” of Christians. Christians must take time to find out what the Bible says, and conform their family values and practices to those teachings. Church attendance has become a topic of discussion for a number of reasons. For years, the typical Bible believing church has held three services on the Lord’s Day and one service in the middle of the week. Today, churches are cutting down their number of services. As we might expect, I have had people say there are no instructions in the Bible about how many times a church should have services. Well, I cannot argue with that. It seems there are a number of reasons for diminishing service times. Some no longer have evening services because “nobody comes anyway”. Others have stopped Sunday School and many no longer gather to pray in the middle of the week. The early church seems to have gathered often. Acts 2:46 says, they continued daily in the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. Their time at the Temple was probably more for witness than worship, (see chapter 3:1) but their meeting from house to house was apparently for worship, prayer and fellowship. The next verse says the Lord added to the church daily, such as should be saved. Later, as seen in the book of Acts, it would seem the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week) was the primary day of meeting for the preaching of the Word of God. Hebrews 10:25 is helpful with the challenge of “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching.” You may not control how many opportunities your church offers for worship and prayer, but does your practice harmonize with what the Lord might desire? Some folks contend we do not have to go to church to worship; we can pray alone, gather with friends, etc., but God established and ordained the local church. The church was His idea. Four services a week may not be sanctified, but the “day” of Hebrews 10:25 is approaching, so we should probably gather often. Is your family’s participation in your church services a high priority for your family? A, B, C, D, F?
None of us are exempt from
conflict and turmoil in our lives, and we all realize that challenges can come
from any number of sources, but ultimately the battle is spiritual. If we lose
sight of that truth, which is easy to do, we are bound for defeat. As Paul acknowledged in Ephesians 6:12, our life involves wrestling
in the spiritual realm. He described our opponents as “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world and
spiritual wickedness…” The devil, who leads this spiritual
war against us is seeking to devour us. He cannot devour us with sickness, but
how we respond to sickness can take us down. The same is true with unkind
people or troublesome circumstances. The devil will go after our mind and
emotions, and will often succeed in taking Christians to the bottom. To add to
the challenge is the simple truth that human resources are not sufficient to
win the battles of life. It is for that reason God has made spiritual resources
available to us. If we will use those resources we can win. If we reject or
ignore those resources we will lose. Too many times we lose. The spiritual
resources are couched in a presentation of the physical armor available to and
used by the first century Roman soldier. Those pieces of armor include the
belt, the breastplate, the shoes, the shield, the helmet and the sword. The
purpose of those pieces to the soldier, and how they were used, can help us
understand the parallels that Paul established to protect us in our spiritual
conflict. At the same time, we need to give specific attention to those
spiritual weapons. For example, the belt gave protection to the lower abdomen
and loins of the soldier. If the soldier wanted to stand firmly for battle, he
needed the protection afforded him by the belt. Spiritually, Paul likens the
belt to truth. There is an incredible battle going on and we are each in the
middle of ongoing conflict. Can we stay standing or will we fall? The text is
telling us that if we want to stand, we must exalt truth. Initially, that means
we must seek to know the truth of God and his Word. We need to know what God
says. We need to believe it and claim it in all that we do. We need to know it
well enough to be able to use it in discussion, to use it in prayer, and claim
its promises for ourselves and our loved ones in difficult times. It is not
only the truth of God’s Word; it is truth and truthfulness in
our lives. We must speak the truth; we must be truthful and honest in all our
doings. Most of us are very familiar with the words of our Lord in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We can apply that statement very broadly. Truth sets people free.
Truth is where our battle for victory begins.
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For The Family
Few other matters are more heartbreaking than to see a young person grow up in a home where Christ is professed, but then the young person rejects godly standards for his/her life or even rejects Christ. It is hard to address these things without offending people. None of us want to think we have failed, especially in such an important area of life. I have seen too many cases where these tragedies have occurred. I would add that, in my experience, the rebellion of the young person was predictable in many situations. I fear that too many parents have not faced the gravity of the obligations that come with parenthood. The discipline of children is lacking. Genuine spiritual training is weak. By spiritual training, I mean a consistent pattern of instruction, spiritual conversation, and spiritual explanation regarding life and life’s problems. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 hold incredibly important directives for parents. We read, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Today, I wonder how often parents and children actually sit in their house together and walk by the way together, so real spiritual conversation can occur. But, let me take time to address a major area of concern for parents. That concern is protection. We must not only provide our children with positive spiritual instruction, wholesome activities and godly relationships. We must guard our children, and shelter them from negative and ungodly experiences and influences. Today, more than ever our children are at risk, and too often parents don’t have the slightest idea what they are doing, watching, or hearing. They have their own phones; they are using e-mail, texting, snapchat, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogging, skyping, tweeting, etc. You can enter a room full of young people and almost all of them will be glued to their phones. Add all of this to the common challenges of friendships, TV, movies/videos, music, books, and school. How many parents are fully enough involved to know what their child is experiencing every day. Who or what is molding the thinking and their values? When Jeremiah warned Judah to “Learn not the way of the heathen”, he was primarily warning them about worshiping carved idols. When we read his warning our thoughts will take us in a multitude of directions. Are our children learning the way of the heathen? It is no doubt true that children do not want to be protected, because that means limitations on what they do, where they go and with whom they spend their time. It means accountability. The task of guarding our children from wrong influences is overwhelming today, but our failure to do it is bringing terrible results. Parents must establish and enforce guidelines. The earlier in the child’s life, the better. Today, a child can be sitting 10 feet away from a parent and be involved in activities that will destroy their faith and values.
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God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
Isaiah 6:1-8 is an amazing passage of Scripture. After 52 years of rule, King Uzziah of Judah died. Isaiah was then given a vision of the King of Kings. Isaiah was stirred deeply by all he saw and experienced in the Heavenly Temple. He sensed his own sinfulness and unworthiness. He knew he was unfit to serve God or even speak in His presence. But the Lord had a work to be done and Isaiah heard His voice. The Lord asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? It is interesting to say the least, when someone asks for a volunteer and you are the only one standing there. So it was for Isaiah, and thankfully he responded, “Here am I, send me”. God has a work for every man, but he waits for that man to volunteer to do his God appointed task. Are you willing to be that man?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
What a privilege to live in the United States of America! We still have freedom to worship our Heavenly Father. God has given us that freedom, so we would be busy about our Father’s business. What business? The only reason our Heavenly Father leaves us on earth after we are born again, is to live a life and tell others of the free salvation we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. America has become one of the Countries that need the proclamation of the Gospel message. Sadly, the Church has become so weak, that the life changing Gospel has no effect on folks. The Bible clearly states that after we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, being born again, we become a new creature (creation). Old things are passed away, behold, all things become new! When folks get “saved” they become that new creature. Our God is a holy and righteous God. He requires us to accept the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died on that cruel cross to pay the penalty of all mankind’s sin. We must accept that free gift of salvation, to be saved. Revelation 5:12, says, “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength and honor, and glory, and blessing.” It is only God’s Holy Word, the Bible, that can show us how to be saved and how to be a testimony to a lost and dying world. Hopefully, we can be about our Father’s business. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back in the clouds to get those who belong to Him, and it could be at any moment. Will you be ready?
Israel – It is time to go back.
Let us know if you are interested
March 24 – April 3, 2020
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
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.