Going home for the holidays

There’s nothing like going home or going to visit loved ones during the holidays. There’s something about going to a place you are invited, where you are welcomed, and where you will enjoy spending time with loved ones and friends. The only downside is a day of departure is always set. It can’t go on forever.

We visited our daughter, husband, and children in Mississippi during the holiday season. Our son went with us so our whole family was together. What a joyful time we had. There were lots of hugs, laughter, late night and early morning talks, and good times shared with each other. Also, it was a restful time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to finally sit down and totally relax. What a joyful time this was for all of us. I just imagine in a small way it will be that way when we all get to heaven. Let’s think about that.

First of all, we are invited to heaven. No greater invitation has ever been issued. The invitation was set long ago when Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Secondly, we are wanted. We don’t like to go places where we feel we are unwanted and uncomfortable. Jesus has prepared a place for us. He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions if it were not so I would have told you.” Jesus wants us to be with Him. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may be also.”

Thirdly, in heaven, we will be meeting loved ones and friends and talking and sharing stories. Who is it that you most want to meet in heaven beyond family members? What Bible character? How wonderful it will be to sit down and hear them tell of their work on earth.

Fourthly, we will not have a time limit on how long we can stay. We can stay forever in the most wonderful place we have ever seen or visited. In our world, we see many beautiful sites, but our eyes have never seen anything to compare with the beauties of this wonderful place prepared for us.

Finally, we will be singing and praising our Savior, thanking Him for laying down His life for us that we might have the hope of living in heaven with Him one sweet day. What a joy it will be to be in His presence.

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Now is the time to prepare, my friend.

#heaven, #home

Teach it at home

Ron T. has a good thought today on his blog, as usual, about teaching children, the next generation. I commented over there and said that parents are mostly derelict in their duty. Ron started a short list of what children ought to be taught:

Some of the things that need to be taught young people (and older folk also) would be the historicity of Jesus, salvation from sin, the nature and importance of the Lord’s church, the day of judgment that is before us all. these are but a few very important points of teaching.

What would you add to this list?

Friends, we must teach at home. Fathers, that responsibility falls especially upon you, as the spiritual guides of the home. Plan what, how, when you’re going to do this. Give it much, much thought. It is the greatest and highest responsibility we have.

Anyone familiar with a home curriculum for teaching one’s children the story of the Bible? Not homeschool material, necessarily, but something for an organized approach for parents?

Most parents do more planning for their vacation than they do for their children’s instruction in the Lord. There’s more movie watching and internet surfing than Bible reading. To the great shame of parents and to the children’s eternal danger.

#home #parenting #teaching

Things that come to mind when I hear the word “home”

Home-run

There’s no place like home

Home is where the heart is

Home-remedies

Home-sickness

Home-body

Home-base

My address

Homeward Bound (it’s a movie that I remember watching as a kid)

My family

Home-improvement (not the TV show that I remember watching as a kid)

The topic that I will be preaching on during a VBS in June

Multiple songs that get sung during worship that include the word home

Heaven

Have anything that you would like to add?

And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:15-16)

#home, #thoughts, #word-association

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2-6-2015   Dis-orderly Life

“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NKJV). Whose “order?” God said: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 NKJV). Those who disregard God don’t have “illegitimate” children, just “single mothers;” there’s no “marital spats,” just “domestic violence;” there’s no “parental responsibility,” just “it takes a village;” there’s no “faithfulness,” just “divorce for every cause;” there’s no “wedding ceremony,” just “living together;” there’s no “loving commitment,” just “hooking up!” The “PC” change of terms doesn’t change the fact that disregarding God only confuses and degrades morals. “Fornicators and adulterers” have illegitimate children because God’s Law has been violated! “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV).  

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#family, #god, #home, #illegitimate-children, #marriage, #order, #pc

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(#100) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:25-True Home Wreckers

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:25:  “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.”

“The proud” probably would bring down their own “house” even before God would “destroy” it. “Proud” is a sin listed along with “disobedient to parents” (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2), and home and marriage require humility (Ephesians 5:33-6:4). Since “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), then “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 16:5). God hates this destructive attitude (Proverbs 6:16-19), therefore “the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:17). “Being puffed up with pride,” causes one to fall into the same “condemnation as the Devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). “God resists the proud” (1 Peter 5:5).

God has done as He said, whenever He has wanted to: “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). This has been done many times: the world-wide flood in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5-8); the Babylonian Empire (Isaiah 13:17-22); the Roman Empire (Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28); the Jewish Nation (Luke 21:20-24; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16); and will be done for the end of all empires (2 Peter 3:9-13).

“The boundary of the widow” is provision for her support, so all those who submit to God in every age are aware of the provision(s) God has for “widows.” He is Jehovah, “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5). The hallmarks of “pure religion” for Christians are “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). “The proud” overlook the welfare of widows, and greedily price, tax or devour widows out of existence! This proverb is still true!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #family, #home, #humility, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #widows

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(#95) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:17-One Ingredient Makes All Food Better

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”

Huge houses, heavily-laden tables, fancy cars, loads of recreation, none of these can take the place of “love” within the family! “Love” makes a little a lot! People who are raised in a loving home frequently comment, “We didn’t know we were poor.” Riches and poverty are states of mind, more than something in the hand! There is much more to life than working to have things, so “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!” (Proverbs 23:4). Solomon later will write there is, “A time to love” (Ecclesiastes 3:8), and we must love in this life, for when we die, our earthly “love” perishes with us, so we must “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9). Without a loving home, life is empty, shallow, and vain! With a loving home, it matters little what possessions we may not have. After life’s experiences had tumbled in, Solomon wrote: “Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

No proverb says it better than Proverbs 15:17, but other proverbs emphasize this truth: “Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice” (Proverbs 16:8); “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9); “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5); “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20).

Jesus clearly taught this Wisdom when He said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15); and the Holy Spirit echoed it through Paul, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Job #1 is to make our homes full of love, designed to build up each member with truth, honesty, and forgiveness. Paul’s commands surely apply within the home: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8); “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). No one who loves their child will say the horrible things we hear said in public. Truly “above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  How are your meal-times?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #children, #family, #home, #little, #love, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #riches, #wisdom, #work

The Husband is Head

In the “spirit of this world” there is a challenge the Lord’s people have with regard to the Lord’s will concerning the family. In today’s environment, the husband is not the head of the house, but merely a co-authority alongside his wife. The male and female were created (and are still) equal in the Lord’s eyes (Genesis 1:26; 2:18), but with that declaration of the Lord’s, there is also the declaration concerning who the leader in the family is (1 Corinthians 11:3).

When the Lord brought the male and female together that He created, He brought two equals and made them into one whole (Genesis 2:23-24). Though both the male and female are equals, they were given different roles within the family structure. Paul made this plain in his writings to the church at Ephesus and to Timothy (also at Ephesus). To the church he wrote, the husband is the head of his wife like Christ is the head of the church. The very use of the word head in this context indicates authority. Lest we misunderstand what that authority entails, consider the remainder of the chapter (Ephesians 5:22-33).

The word head, indicating authority, is not dictatorial—not even close! It is authority based on love, and love always seeks that which is best for the other person. Christ is the savior of the body, and the husband is to seek to save (or protect) his wife from the outside harm that will surely come to her if he fails to make the right choices in leading his family (poor choices are made by both the male and female in any and all relationships). This is what love does.

The insecure (and spiritually weak) husband who demands that his wife must obey him, this is a man who is operating, not from love, but spiritual infirmity. What kind of spirit of a man will operate in such a way as this? Only one who is insecure and weak of spirit! Someone might object to this sentiment with, “Does not the Scripture say she must obey him in all things”? It does say this with regard to children (Colossians 3:20), but with regard to the wife it does not say this, and the wife is not a child!

In Titus 2:5, Paul exhorts the older women to teach the younger women to be obedient to their husbands (Titus 2:5). Given what we know of God’s love and Jesus’ example, what do you think is in mind? Dictatorial, of course! Hardly. What is in view is a godly disposition that seeks to honor God in one’s life (Titus 2:1-5). A wife who understands her God-ordained role contributes, mightily, to the strength of her family. The husband who understands his God-ordained role leads his family on the path already blazed by the Lord Jesus.

To wrap up this thought, let us reflect (and be reminded) on the work of love. Love seeks that which is best for the other person. With regard to salvation, Jesus sought our best interest (John 3:16; Luke 19:10). With regard to personal relations, man is to love God with all of his being (which means he honors God by obeying Him), and he is to love his neighbor as himself (which means he will seek that which is best for him—as he would himself).

Husbands, love your wives; if God brought you two together, then she is the best thing that has happened to you in personal relations. Wives, love your husbands; if God brought you two together, then not only is he the best thing that happened to you in personal relations, but his example and leadership is of such a quality that he will do you good all of your days. RT

#home, #husband, #leadership, #marriage, #roles, #wife