Bible Ballistics: Family Leadership June 23, 2013 Vol. 2 No.06
I pray you’ve had a blessed week with the Lord, and taken some time to think on the things we have been sharing recently. We’ve looked at friendship, the Christian family, and to continue on in this vein let’s think about godly leadership– in general and particularly in the home. We have talked about the cost of friendship, and the Christian family, it’s demands and rewards. A price that many in our day, have neglected or blatantly refused to pay. Where is the leadership we need? Well, as usual let’s go to God’s Word, and we may find that “leadership” begins with “followship”.
I’d like us to start in Proverbs—the book of “wisdom”. What greater wisdom could we have than God’s? What is God’s desire for families and friends? It will reach into the church and community (after all God is the manufacturer)! When we live godly lives at home, it affects our families. Godly families then, affect our churches, and churches filled with godly families will affect our communities, and even our country. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:11-14 “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” Here in the beginning of the book of Proverbs the value of God’s wisdom is made so clear and urgent: to fear the Lord, trusting in Him and yielding to His discipline personally, is required to be a good leader. Then to trust, obey and share this “fear of God” and “trust in Him” with “my” family.
When we trust in God it will manifest itself in our action, both inside (especially to those closest to us) and outside of our home. 1 Timothy 5:8 declares: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Contextually this refers to material provision, but I don’t believe we’d be far afield to apply this to the spiritual leadership of the home. Proverbs 3:27-29, reveals that our reach doesn’t stop at home: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.” I am to express the grace, integrity and generosity of God to those in my realm of influence—near and far. Remember that Jesus told us “who” our neighbor really is in Luke 10!! Praise God, He has never refused to hear my cry for help, and He never will. What less can we do for others.
Sometimes, though, “LOVE’S” best answer is NO. Remember God’s “agape“ (agapao) love always does that which is best for the recipient of the love. The ultimate spiritual good of others should be our highest motive. Romans 5:5b “because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”. By the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are to exercise the qualities of love, grace, integrity and generosity toward our own family. God’s love at work through us. I am not referring to indulgence and enablement of bad habits and behaviors, but of truly wise generosity. In Proverbs 4:23-27 we see the call to “right” living, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”; and Proverbs 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” In other words—think right=do right. Jesus makes this same point in Matthew 15:18-19 “18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” Hence, I must guard my heart and put good into it that good may come out of it. Mark 10:18, “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” I can do be/do good only when I have God’s righteousness in me, 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.—Christ’s righteousness accounted to me, and by His Spirit dwelling within me, working itself out in all I do. Phil. 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” As God is at work in us we are to live it out, and Paul gives us a good checklist in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If it’s not on the checklist, it isn’t good food for our heart or minds—reject it.
I can be a faithful friend, family member, leader and citizen if I keep my heart yielded to God, so that I will reflect HIS glory. I must carry the gospel in a clean vessel. God’s cure for sin is found at Calvary, through repentance and faith, the alternative is “eternal judgment”. We are called to teach others, to– “go ye therefore and teach all nations”, and there is no generational retirement that I can find in the Word. Just because I’m a “grand” parent, doesn’t relieve me of my duty to my God, nor my offspring, all of them. If we claim to be God’s children, then we are to hold to God’s standard. Do you think maybe that’s why we, as families, churches, communities, and yes even this great nation, have so little influence on the world? Have we failed to hold ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren to God’s standard? To remind them that God will judge and the rules haven’t changed? Let me close with Philippians 3:14-16 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” Loosely paraphrased—seek to know truth, do truth, seek to know more truth to receive the prize. Have a blessed week pursuing the “prize” –Jesus.