Just imagine Tom and Tim and a group of 40 (mostly GFCers) are now in ISRAEL walking those same dusty paths that Jesus and His disciples walked! In fact, today (Monday) they are scheduled to be at the Sea of Galilee and later today some will be baptized by Tom in the Jordan River. Wow! As you think of them, please pray this might be a powerful experience in each one’s life to draw them closer to our Lord.
While you are thinking of Israel and our friends who are there, I draw your attention to neighboring SYRIA and our friends in Christ who live there. Syria is a nation locked in a brutal civil war which has plunged its people into a life of danger and suffering.
The Christian church in Syria is experiencing a deep humanitarian crisis that is leading to the rapid loss of hope. In the face of violence and persecution, our brothers and sisters are striving to keep their eyes on the Lord and seeking His face in their country. Even in pain, suffering, and death, God is using the church to accomplish His plan.
I have personal friends in Syria whose families are swept up in this turmoil. While Syria may be a strange and distant land to you, I ask you to open your heart to the reality that some of our fellow believers are struggling to survive and to live out their faith in this context. Would you take a moment right now to remember them in prayer and to consider taking time on Saturday to join others around the world to pray for them?
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ…. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12,26
"Family Life in HD: Grasping for LIfe" Genesis 31, Colossians 3:1-4
Have you ever felt the pressure for your family life to be “right”? Perhaps having a great marriage or a good relationship with your children is the most important thing in the world to you. Maybe there is something from your growing-up years you missed out on or had to endure that has defined your life. Whatever your background, your family is not your life – never has been, never will be. Colossians 3:1-4 reminds us where our lives really are, and what we have to look forward to.
THINKING IT THROUGH
Don’t need your spouse too much. Only need God that much. Then, maybe you will have both God and your spouse.
One must love God first, and only then can one love one’s closest of kin and neighbors. We must not be idols to one another, for such is not the will of God.
~Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
[Idolatry] is the tragically pathetic attempt to squeeze life out of lifeless forms that cannot help us meet our real needs.
~Scott J. Hafemann
Could it be that a good thing has become a bad thing because it has become a ruling thing?
LIVING IT OUT
1. What areas of your family life do you find yourself either overly passive or overly intense? Why?
2. How would you have completed this sentence at various stages of your life: “Give me ______ or I’ll die”? What about now?
3. Are you looking to Christ for “life” right now or does true life in Him seem “hidden”? What one step will you take this week to pursue it?
"Family Life in HD: Communicating Heart to Heart" Ephesians 4:29
Family communication is complicated. It often stays in the shallows of exchanging information and expressing emotions. A deeper level of connecting is often untapped – speaking from the heart to the heart. This form of conversation is marked by honesty, love, and wisdom. It speaks words of life into another heart. It takes courage.
LOOKING IT UP
1. Review Colossians 3:1-17 and note how often Paul points to our words, our speech, and our communication with others.
2. Now read Ephesians 4:25-32 making the same observations. Make a list of the points of wisdom and the commands we find here about family communication.
3. Describe what you think are the differences between surface communication and speaking from the heart to the heart.
4. Take a long look at Ephesians 4:29. See if you can break down and identify the key elements of this admonition.
5. Consider the meaning of specific words and phrases: “unwholesome,” “good for edification,” “need of the moment,” “give grace to those who hear.” (NASB version)
6. Begin an honest assessment of the communication in your family, in your life in light of this verse.
Posted on Mon, May 6, 2013
by Larry Nees