Will we be denied the right to teach our children the greatest commandment?
If you were going to teach your children one commandment from all of scripture, what would you teach them? In Matthew 22:36-38, a Pharisee once asked Jesus the question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus responds with these words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Read More
“Sanctification, by which our hearts and lives are conformed to the law, is a grace of God communicated to us…” Walter Marshall, a great puritan preacher of the 1600’s, said these words in a book called The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification where he outlines the essential Biblical teaching regarding how we grow spiritually. Since my wife and I home educate our children and attend a family integrated church there is the possibility that we could rely on these wonderful things to carry us through the Christian walk; but as Walter Marshall said it is the grace of God that sanctifies us, not an external action, even if that external action is a good thing. Read More
Wellsprings Church is a family integrated church and every year we have been in existence we have seen a steady growth of families committing to our fellowship. Of those that have come, especially in the past couple of years, nearly all have come from other churches. Because of this, it would be easy for us to become the target of the negative criticism that our church has grown simply by attracting people from other churches. Read More
How does a family integrated church minister to youth or young adult singles who don’t have believing families or any family at all?
The modern church creates programs to reach a variety of sub groups, such as youth groups and singles ministries. In a family integrated church model, these types of programs are non-existent so it is imperative to address the issue of how to minister to people who don’t attend with their family. Read More
There once was a man who built a house for himself. He meticulously crafted every aspect, every detail he thought out, every element and color chosen to be a reflection of himself.
And it was a beautiful home.
Not long after though, his job required him to travel for an unspecified, but extended period of time. To ensure that his home was well cared for, he went looking for a tenant. He found another man who was, by trade, a skilled handy man, someone who he felt could manage the home and care for any needs that might arise. They struck a deal. In exchange for free rent, the man would take care of the home. He would be given whatever resources would be necessary to keep the home in the owner’s desired condition.
Then the owner left. Read More
Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
We know this to be true in the business world. Companies spend enormous sums of
money every year to craft their mission and vision statements. They align
their goals and investments with these statements and tailor each employee’s
development plan around attaining the prescribed vision. Read More
Recently, I reflected back on the Christmas season and I was struck by one element that hadn’t occurred to me before. Usually my thinking goes to the incarnation and Jesus coming as the King of kings, but instead I began to ponder the family that Jesus was placed into. Mary was an ordinary girl in an ordinarily town who was betrothed to an ordinary man. What was so special about Mary and Joseph? The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about either of them; of Mary it remarks that she “found favour with God” (Lk 1:30) and Joseph was referred to as a “just man” (Mt 1:19) when he graciously tried to end their betrothal quietly rather than subjecting Mary to public humiliation. The fact is, what Mary and Joseph did out of loving obedience to God, is that they had a baby, they had a home, they lived life in a normal first-century fashion.
Now this baby was the Lord Jesus Christ, God very God, and the majesty of what took place cannot be fully comprehended, but from Mary and Joseph’s day to day experience, they were parents. Mary kept busy with her duties while Joseph was working as a carpenter (or builder). They had other children to raise and at some point Joseph drops out of the picture (presumably he must have died), so Mary had to continue life alone.
The lesson that we can draw from this and apply to our lives, is that our seemingly mundane life, with its daily problems and successes has tremendous value if lived under the Lordship of Christ! If God saw fit to place His only Son into the care of a normal family, then our normal families can bring glory to God without having to do “extraordinary” things.
2 Corinthians 4:7 says “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”. We are simple clay pots. The extraordinary thing is not us, but Christ. Just as Joseph and Mary were privileged with Jesus as a baby we are privileged to have Christ in us so that He can be glorified as He works through us in the day to day things of life.
I’ve been inspired recently in reading a work by the early Christian writer, Mark Felix. In one respect, I was surprised to see how little society changes. As we age, many of us in conservative Christian circles tend to bemoan the downward spiral of moral depravity which seems to be more and more commonplace. Yet, when one looks carefully at the annals of history and cultures past, it is easy to agree with Ecclesiastes 1:9 which states “there is nothing new under the sun.” Read More