God's Purpose for Families
by Johan du Preez
(Roodepoort, South Africa)
God's Global Purpose For Families
Welcome, Visitors, Notices
I remember when I was getting ready to marry Dorothy, one of the things that I thought was, "Am I really the man that Dorothy should marry? Am I good enough?" And the answer was, " I really want her to have somebody even better." And it challenged me to improve my own life.
Now that my children Robyn and Ryan have come along, a whole new set of questions has arisen. Am I the kind of father that I want my son or daughter to have? Am I the kind of man that they deserve to have as a father?
Once again, it is a challenge to me because I have to answer, "No, I am not quite the man I want them to have as a father." They make me want to be a better man.
Our children have the most significant role models they can ever have in you and me. The question is,
"What kind of role models are we?"
Please turn with me to the Old Testament lesson, Genesis 18, verses 16-19.
Before I read this, let me just set the context: These are the words of God's deliberation as he is thinking about Abraham, right before he is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He is deliberating whether or not to tell Abraham what he is going to do.
Hear then the word of the Lord as it comes to us from Genesis 18: >>>>>>>>>
Let us pray: Father God Almighty, we thank You for your Word, on which we can depend for wisdom and insight, as to Your ways of thinking. We pray now that your Holy Spirit will take these words, Lord, that you would engrave them upon our hearts. That you would change us by them that we might be more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. For it is in his name that we pray,
In these words of deliberation of our Lord, there are several key issues that come out for us today.
The first thing we see here is that God has chosen Abraham and blessed him. In fact, the blessing here is really a reiteration of the blessing that we find in Genesis 12, verses 2 and 3 where God says to Abraham, 'I will bless you. I will make a great nation out of you. In fact, I will bless those who bless you, and will curse those who curse you.' God chose Abraham….
The second thing that we see here is equally important and gives the reason for the first. Part of the blessing in verse 18 says Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation. But it goes on to say, "...and all nations on earth will be blessed through him." Not only was Abraham chosen and blessed, there was a purpose for that blessing.
The purpose for the blessing of Abraham was not for Abraham's own sake. It was that all the nations; another translation says, all the families on earth will be blessed through him. God blessed Abraham, but the blessing was for a larger purpose. It was in order to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.
The third key element here is that this promise is not only to Abraham. It was also to his children, and all who would come after him. Which is why in verse 19 God says, 'For I have chosen Abraham, so that he will direct his children and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord in order that my promise to him, in order that the Lord's promise to Abraham might be fulfilled.'
In other words, God is blessing Abraham, specifically with the purpose of Abraham being a blessing to others. Abraham is also given the responsibility of teaching and training his children and his household - all who come after him.
Immediately after this deliberation, God decides :
"Yes, I do need to let Abraham know that I am going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah." And what does Abraham do almost immediately? He pleads with God on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Lord, what if there are fifty righteous people in Sodom, surely you would save the town for the sake of those fifty?" And the Lord says, "Yes, I will."
And Abraham negotiates God down to, 'If there are only 10 righteous people, will you save the town?' And God agrees, 'Yes, I will save it even for ten righteous.'
Unfortunately, ten righteous people were not to be found in Sodom and the towns were destroyed, but the key is that Abraham understood even at that point that he had been chosen by God, ……was in very special place, and that he could use that special relationship as a blessing to the nations,….. as a blessing to those who had no prior claim on his life…….
Sodom and Gomorrah meant nothing to him, other than that his nephew Lot lived there, but he could easily have gotten Lot out of there in time, as he did.
If you trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, if you live by faith in Jesus Christ, then you are a child of Abraham. That is what Jesus tells us. It is what Paul tells us. We are children of Abraham, not of natural seed, but spiritually.
Spiritually we are just as much children of Abraham as anyone who has Abraham's blood running in their veins. Therefore you and I are also heirs of the promise to Abraham, as well as heirs not just to the blessing, but of the responsibility.
Just as God blessed Abraham, so also he has blessed you and me. And just as he blessed Abraham for a purpose, to be a blessing to the nations, so also the reason God has blessed you and me is for a purpose, that we might bless the nations. Not just you and me, but our children as well.
Just as Abraham was given the charge to train, and to teach, and to model to his children, that they might learn the reason for their blessing, who God made them to be, so also we have the same responsibility to our children. To help them understand who God has created them to be. The promise God has given them. The blessings God has given them, and the responsibility God has given them.
It is not just to the parents that this is addressed.
The leaders of DMC also have this as part of their vision …..
We are all part of a family. You may not have children, but you still have responsibility for the children. It begins with all of us helping the children understand the call of God upon their lives. Are we training the children to know and to serve Jesus Christ?
It became very obvious to me again, just last week, when I was speaking to an elderly gentlemen and he blessed me with parting some of his knowledge and blessing me as he walked away. This same gentlemen again blessed me when he was leaving the mini-market.
– You see, God is not finished with you yet, you might be thinking, oh I’m too old for this or what can I do?
Well, the children needs your prayers, lots of it in today’s world
They need your wisdom, gained through many years of Bible study, attending church, speaking with God and vast learning as you have walked with God for so long…
You have the knowledge, the children need it,… maybe you would consider giving Sunday School next year?
Is YOUR seat getting warm?
Or maybe you just want to be a Polly Anna, working quietly behind the scenes…
I re-iterate, God is not finished with you yet, and I challenge you this morning to respond and leave a legacy behind …. A legacy that many will be eternally grateful for ….
We need to begin with evangelizing to the children. Helping them to understand that Jesus Christ died for them. He died for their sins to give them new life.
"Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so." But we have got to go beyond just, ' Jesus loves me, and Jesus died for me, and Jesus wants to bless me.'
We need to share with our children the whole gospel, which is that, 'Jesus loves me. Jesus has blessed me. Jesus has called me to share that blessing to the ends of the earth.'
One of the problems now is that, to be honest, many adults even don't get it yet. Many are still stuck on, 'God blessing me.' Many still haven't really understood and begun to live out the reality that God has blessed in order to be a blessing.
Are we willing? Do we love God, and do we love the world and the children of the world, enough to say, "You make me want to be a better Christian in order to be a blessing."
May God give us the grace, the strength, and the courage, and the desire to live as true Christians.
To be better disciples of Jesus Christ for his sake, and for the sake of the world, and the children of the world.