Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Loving by Leading
By David Jachim
The Bible has a great deal to say about the topic of love, as well it should since the God of Holy Scripture IS love! It is God’s perfect being and character that provides us with the very definition of love. Apart from God Almighty, we would be unable to know what love is. He has given us a gracious gift by allowing us the privilege of experiencing love in this life, as well as in the life to come. This gift of love includes our relationship to our Creator, as well as our relationship with those who are on this earth, especially those of our own family.
In the family structure, God has ordained certain roles and responsibilities that must be fulfilled by the various members of this unit in order to function as a biblical, Christ-honoring family. For the husband and father of the family, the role is to be the leader in the home. This leadership is clearly communicated to us in the book of Ephesians, where it states:
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church(Ephesians 5:23, KJV)
The question to answer is not “Who should lead?”, but “What kind of leader should the family patriarch be?” In order to answer this question, we must look to God’s perfect Word since we know that the Bible is sufficient for us in every area of life. For the husband, Scripture teaches us that Christ is our example and we are called to live in a manner that models the love that the Savior has shown to His Church. In Ephesians 5:25, we are taught the following:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (KJV)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the standard by which we are to model love in the closest and most intimate relationships that God has given us on earth. As we look to Christ and how He leads His Church, we will know how we are to lead our wife and family.
Let us examine the leadership of the Lord and determine what specific applications we can make based on this perfect example. Our love should be like His and contain the following aspects:
Providing love - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, KJV) The Lord meets all of our needs and we must model His provision toward us by responsibly caring for the needs of those in our family.
Protecting love - “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, KJV) The Lord protects us from our enemy and as the leader in our home, we must be guarding those under our care. We must be aware of the many influences that communicate messages (including people, magazines, books, music, movies, and clothing) and make sure that our household is managed in a manner that only allows messages that are consistent with godliness.
Sacrificial love - “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [sacrifice] for our sins.” (1 John 4:4, KJV) Since Jesus showed His love by sacrificing His life for His Bride, we must live a life that will sacrifice our selfish ambitions and pursuits. We need to be willing to lay down our life daily to care for our family and their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Sanctifying love - We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10, KJV) Just like Jesus performs a work in His Church to bring them along the path of holiness, we need to be discipling our wife and children in the ways of the Lord. Our words and our actions should teach our family the importance of being faithful servants who are obedient to all of the Lord’s commandments. In order to carry out this responsibility, we must know the Law of God ourselves and must be able to effectively communicate that Law to those that are under our authority.
Unconditional love - But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5, KJV) Just as God showed his love to us when we were in rebellion against Him, we need to show an unconditional love to our family that is not dependent on current performance or past achievements.
Forgiving love - Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34, KJV) When Jesus was being crucified on the Cross of Calvary, He willingly forgave those who put Him to such an agonizing death even though they did not ask for His forgiveness. As we model Christ to our family, we must have a love that is willing to forgive and not keep any record of those wrongs.
Honoring love - Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7, KJV) We are to show our love to our dear help meet by giving her honor through our words and actions that demonstrate how precious and delicate she is.
Intercessory love - Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25, KJV) As the leader in our home, we must be making prayerful intercession to our gracious Heavenly Father on behalf of each of the precious souls that God has entrusted to us.
Compassionate love - Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren (1 Peter 3:8, KJV) Just as Jesus is full of compassion, the love for our family should be compassionate, always looking to the best interest of those under our care.
This Valentine’s Day, may we give our families something of greater worth, more meaning, and more lasting than flowers or candy. May we give them a commitment of love that will be consistent with the ideal that Christ has modeled for His Church.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Loving by Following
By Jill Jachim
Have you ever played “Follow the Leader?” It is great fun if everyone does his part. The leader must think of creative moves to keep his followers interested. For all to enjoy the game, the followers enthusiastically mimic the leader. What happens to the game when the followers decide they will no longer follow the leader? The leader now has no reason to lead.
In a marriage based on God’s standards, the man leads and his wife follows. It is God’s appointed order. Though the game is an imperfect analogy to marriage, let us compare them. What happens to the game if two decide to be the leader? There is no teamwork and no one to follow the lead. If there are others in the game, which leader do they follow? Now there is division and chaos.
God is a god of order. He expects order in civil government, in the church, and in the home. The man follows Christ, the wife follows her husband, and the children follow the father. Sometimes it will appear that the children follow the mother, but this is right as long as the mother follows her husband. Again, compare to the game. Children in a straight line may not all see the leader, but as long as the one directly after the leader follows properly, and each one follows properly after that, then the leader’s moves are exactly mimicked by everyone in the line.
A husband has no reason to lead if his wife does not follow. Following her husband is one of the many ways a wife can demonstrate her love to him. Consider these few examples of “following” to evaluate if you are trying to be a good follower, or if you are trying to steal your husband’s God-appointed position as leader:
- Be enthusiastic about his dreams and plans (1 Cor. 11:9, Prov. 14:1)
- Take care of tasks he wants you to do (Prov. 31:27)
- Speak highly of him to others, especially to your children (Luke 6:45)
- Speak respectfully to him (Song of Solomon 4:3)
- Raise your children under his direction (Prov. 22:6)
- Spend your money, time, and energy the way he desires (Prov. 31:12)
- Cheerfully let him be the final authority (1 Peter 3:4-6)
Having a godly marriage is not a game. It is critical for furthering God’s kingdom. Make sure you are not hindering God’s plan by seizing a position that is not meant to be yours. Take joy in following your beloved leader--and receive God’s blessings in return.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Lay Down Your Life
A Short Story by Jordan Jachim
Sir Christopher watched with dread as the crossbow was deliberately pointed at his wife, whom he had loved and cherished for so many years.
“Kill me, but spare her!” he shouted desperately to his captors. None honored him with a response. At last, he came up with a plan to preserve her life—at least for the moment. As the crossbow bolt was discharged, Sir Christopher leapt in front of it, taking the arrow in the region of the chest. The enemy was stunned as the gallant knight collapsed to the floor.
“Christopher, why?” his wife managed to gasp out through a deluge of tears.
“Greater love hath no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He struggled for breath, and when he had finished this speech, every word of which was an unspeakable burden to utter, he died. The dark knights stood stupefied. This was so contrary to their idea of “survival of the fittest.”
Wow, I thought as I closed the book momentarily. I imagined myself doing that for my wife, who was in the distant future. What a spectacular example of love, and it would really twist the nose of the bad guys.
“You need to wash the dishes now!” my mom called.
“Coming,” I said reluctantly as I slammed the book shut.
Why do I have to do something as useless as washing dishes? They’ll just get dirty again anyway. Why can’t I do important stuff, you know, like the author of that book? That’s something BIG for God, not like dishes.
I sulked as I slowly wound my way out to the kitchen. While I ran hot water in the sink, I fumed over this disturbance to my reading all the while.
That night, I regaled my dad with a short, imperfect, and choppy synopsis of the book.
“Wasn’t that neat how the guy just died for his wife? I mean, now that’s sacrificial love!”
My father smiled. “Yes,” he agreed, “that is a good example of laying down one’s life for his friends.” Then he changed the topic. “Your mother tells me that you were reluctant to do the dishes. And delayed obedience is the same as disobedience.”
I was caught red-handed.
“But, Dad,” I began, then couldn’t think of anything else to say in my defense.
“Do you realize,” my father continued, “that washing the dishes for your mother is laying down your life just as much as that fictitious knight did?” He reached for his Bible and flipped through the thin gilded pages. They made a pleasant rustle, but at last he stopped. “Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31,‘I die daily.’ This is not literal, but instead refers to the crucifixion of the selfish desires, which is a battle we must fight every day.”
“So, I just have to give up everything I want to do?” I retorted.
“Not exactly,” my father countered swiftly. “But it does mean that you should help others before thinking of what you want.”
My father ended the conversation, challenging me by saying, “Why don’t you try laying down your life tomorrow? Then, you’ll be doing the same thing as that knight.”
Well, I decided to follow my father’s advice. That morning before starting, I prayed that God would help me as I tried to lay down my life. I washed the dishes cheerfully, without being asked. When I had finished, I sat down and opened my book. “Where was I?” I muttered. It was then that my little sister had a problem with pressing flowers. The stack of books fell down and made a horrific noise, scattering books and flowers all over the place.
“Would you help her?” my mom called, with her hands deep in breading chicken. So, I shut my book and stuffed her flowers back into the dictionary, under the monumental pile of other books. Then I helped her cut some more flowers and press those, too. When everything was arranged to her satisfaction, I plopped on the couch and opened the book. But, my little brother decided that he wanted me to play Monopoly, or, more precisely, he wanted someone different to hammer with his real estate smarts. I complied, and he pummeled me, winning with over $20,000. “That was fun!” he said. I had a slight difference of opinion, but did not bother to voice it.
Well, it would bore you if I was to tell everything I did that day, but I could put it into a single sentence which gives you the point. Every time I sat down to read, I needed to help someone with something. I was tempted many times to feel sorry for myself, but I rejected that idea with God’s help.
That night, I had a hard time sleeping, so I went over the day in review.
I didn’t get a lot of time to read, but I did lay down my life, just like my dad challenged me. And, I thought, maybe this is harder than taking a crossbow arrow, or a bullet, for someone you love. After all, you can only die once, but you have to deny your own selfishness multiple times in a day, every day. So possibly, I did something harder than that knight in the story. I yawned and rolled over. Maybe I should write a story about laying down your life every day. Yes, that’s it…zzz.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
God’s Love vs. The World’s Love
By Aidan Jachim
The Bible talks about love in 1 Corinthians 13. It says that if we had faith that could move a mountain, but did not have love, our faith would not be worth anything. However, the world would think we are great because we could move a mountain. Since they only look at the outside, they think that love is just an option. The Bible disagrees, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8, KJV) So it is not optional for Christians to love people; we need to show God’s love to them.
The world thinks that love is not only optional, but also that love should be about yourself. If someone suits them for the moment, they love that person, but when they get tired of that person, the love is gone. They also remember peoples’ offenses against them. The world’s love is false. God’s love is true, and God did not stop loving us even while we were sinners. When we repent, He does not keep record of our sins.
Instead, He loved us so much that He sent his own son Jesus to earth to die for us. Because He died for us, you can go to heaven when you die, if you accept His invitation. All you need to do to accept this offer is to ask Him to forgive you of your sins and trust in His death for you. Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This Valentine's Day, if you have not already, please take His gift.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Importance of Love
By Amara Jachim
Love is a very important thing. When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He said:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV)
It is so sad to think that people do not love Jesus. Would you like it if you laid down your life for someone and they did not show you any kindness or thought? If you do not love Jesus, you are throwing away His gift of eternal life. To receive His gift, you do not need to be perfect. In Romans 5:8, it says: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)
After Jesus said to love God, He said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39, KJV)
We can show Jesus to others by loving our neighbor. God says to love your neighbor as yourself. God also tells us to love our enemy. In Matthew 5:44 it says,
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)
Your enemy is not just someone you are fighting with, it can be your next door neighbor. An enemy is just someone who does not like you and does not love God. So Valentine’s Day is not just about giving some heart shaped cards and flowers but it is the heart of love behind giving them. You should write them a note to tell them that you love them.
Monday, February 1, 2010
This is the fifth and final article in our family newsletter for the Sanctity of Life. It was written by me (David) and shows that the Bible goes far beyond simply being pro-life by upholding children as a gift, a treasure, a reward, and a heritage to be deeply desired.
Why It Is Not Enough To Be Pro-life
There are many Christians that will defend the precious life of the unborn. This commitment to those that are growing within the womb is both good and right, as supported by the many specific Scriptures that can be cited which necessitate a pro-life position. Consider the following wisdom from God’s Holy Word:
“ ... thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16, KJV)
How utterly shameful it is that we are growing up at a time and in a nation where there are approximately 1.3 million of these precious lives that are senselessly discarded each year in the name of a woman’s right to choose. I applaud those that are willing to take a stand on the side of truth by defending these dear and helpless unborn babies. While being pro-life and believing that abortion is explicitly against the sixth commandment that God gave (“Thou shalt not kill”) is a necessary condition to having a Biblical viewpoint on the sanctity of life, it is insufficient. The Bible goes much further and much deeper in upholding the sacred nature of human life than simply being against the atrocity of abortion. As we look at the words of Scripture, please carefully reflect on your own thinking to determine if your view is indeed consistent with the teaching of God Almighty.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5, KJV)
These verses explicitly state that children are a heritage and a reward! Yet, there are many professed Christians that do not speak of children with this same high regard. How often I have heard those that claim the name of Christ speak of children as a burden and say that they have no desire to grow their own families. Those same Christians are rightfully appalled at the tragedy of taking the life of the unborn, but unwittingly have much of the same underlying philosophy as those that are willing to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Here are specific analogies between those that are pro-abortion with those that are pro-life, but wish to prevent the initial conception of a child:
- Both view an additional child as undesirable
- Both attempt to control the womb with their actions
- Both place their own comfort above the life of an unborn baby
How it must sadden the heart of the Lord that one of His greatest gifts is viewed not as a blessing to be eagerly desired, but as a curse to be earnestly avoided. Please do not misunderstand the words written in this article to mean that a person is in sin if he or she has fewer than a certain number of children. There is no specific minimum number of offspring that results in achieving favor from the Lord. As is true in so many areas of life, the real issue is a matter of the heart. God Almighty is the source of all wisdom and He can give you His heart regarding the proper view of children, including helping you to overcome your fears, your concerns, and your selfishness. Here are some questions to consider as you evaluate whether your own thoughts, words, and actions are God-honoring with regard to the subject of children:
- Am I thinking Biblically about the fruit of the womb by seeing children as a blessing from the hand of God Almighty?
- Am I upholding the blessing of children through the words that I speak by consistently pointing out to others the amazing gift that God has entrusted to parents?
- Am I acting upon the view of children as a heritage from the Lord by faithfully parenting the incredible trust that God has given me?
- Am I praying to the Lord to bless my family through the gift of many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and future generations?
- Do I rejoice with those that announce that they are expecting a new baby regardless of the number of children that they already have in their family?
- If I have embraced worldly philosophy on children, am I willing to repent of this sin and humbly bow before the Lord asking for His forgiveness?
As you seek to obey the truth of God’s Word in the area of your perspective on children, may the Lord richly bless you with a faithful legacy involving many descendants that rise up and are mighty in the land!