March 22, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church March 22, 2020
Church Service Notes
Statement on COVID-19 Coronavirus
As we continue to do our part in the midst of the virus spreading I want to encourage you to live for Christ! This is what we are to do as Christian in all times. I encourage you to call your neighbors and check on them. Many of church members are staying home to avoid exposure to this virus. Call to check on those members. And if you are one of the ones staying home to avoid exposure please call others to say hello. Hearing one another’s voices will be an encouragement to everyone. The other thing we can do as Christians is to pray. Pray for the different leaders all around the world, in our nation, our state, our local communities, and elsewhere that they will have wisdom to make the right decisions; pray for the medical researchers looking for a cure and treatment of the virus; pray for doctors and nurses treating people, pray for the medical support staff including pharmacists, custodians, reception workers, technicians, cafeteria personnel, and others who are working to keep hospitals going; pray for the workers who keep our nation running and will work no matter what comes; pray for missionaries who are working to share the gospel in uncertain times; pray for other countries facing the spread of the virus and especially those who do not have the medical capabilities to respond to this virus; pray for those who are sick with the virus for their healing; pray for the Lord to stop the virus; and pray for all of us, everyone, to come nearer to God during this time.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-4
Today we continue to look at family and God’s plan for family. In the past few weeks we have celebrated the children and teenagers that make up our families. We have looked at God’s initial creation of family and reviewed God’s intended purpose for family: to reveal God to everyone and to teach new generations about God’s truths. We have looked at marriage, how God defines it, principles for marriage, and how God desires it to be an example that reveals His love for people to others. Now we will turn our focus to the interaction between the family generations, the relationship between parents and children.
Let’s begin with the parents and Ephesians 6:4. Here we see parents have responsibilities. We know parents have a responsibility to nurture children, to teach life lessons, to shelter and provide for children. The Bible also tells us to discipline and instruct our children. In verse 4 we find guidance to be sure that as we parents we guard against wrath becoming the defining aspect of our relationship. Wrath has the power to drive families apart and it can destroy relationships. Wrath can cause children to leave their parents and no longer have contact. Parents and other siblings can live the rest of their lives wondering if a family member is even alive. Why does wrath come? Sometimes it develops because children make poor decisions, repeatedly ignore parental guidance, make wrong decisions, or make choices parents cannot understand. Parents love their children and do not want their children to make poor decisions. We must guard that parental discipline and parental guidance does not give way to disparaging criticisms that destroy self-worth, bitterness the breeds animosity, and wrath that drives people apart. Instead our parenting should be season with love, mercy, and grace. Our parenting should balance reprimands with encouragements. Parenting should point our children to hope and to realize their potential. Love should be shown in our parenting, just as God Father loves us.
Parenting must include discipline. Discipline is not always a popular subject and there are many different methods of discipline. What the Bible tells us, is that discipline cannot be ignored. Proverbs 13:24 tells us that not disciplining is essentially hating our children. If parents choose to not discipline their children it leads to the downfall of their children. Children are not born inherently good, rather they are born under the curse of sin. Discipline is needed to guide children away from temptations and sins for their protection. Deuteronomy 6 instructs parents to children God’s law. All of this works to point our children to the Lord and His love. We must discipline our children, choose the method that’s most effective for you and your family, but be sure to discipline.
Ephesians 6:1-3 discusses the role of children in the family relationships. Good news for children! The child’s role is very simple: obey your parents. Do what you are told. So long as your parents do not tell you to do something that would be against God’s will, you should obey your parents. And more good news is that obeying your children comes with a promise of blessings. Ephesians continues and tells us children should honor their parents. This speaks to the respect we should have for our parents and applies beyond our childhood years. It speaks to the attitude we should have when we interact with our parents. As we consider the instruction to honor parents we should be mindful of 1 Timothy 5 which instructs us to care for our elderly parents’ needs. Children, obey your parents and honor them.
As we conclude this discussion on the family I want us to consider two more verses: Proverbs 22:6 and Joshua 24:15. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train a child in the way they so go. Joshua 24:15 gives us the example to commit our families to serve the Lord. Where are you leading your family? Parents, what are you training your children for? There are many many things we can train our children towards. And what are we committing our families towards? Is it in service to the Lord or elsewhere?
Let’s commit our families to serve the Lord and lead our families to seek God!
Scripture: James 3:13-18
After looking at the power of our words in the first half of chapter 3 in the Book of James we now turn our focus to wisdom. Verse 13 introduces wisdom to us. It connects wisdom with understanding and the gentle application of wisdom. As we begin discussing wisdom I want to consider its difference from knowledge. Knowledge is the sourcing of ideas and concepts. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge to life. People can have lots of knowledge but lack all wisdom. Our wisdom helps us as we engage other people and interact with different circumstances of life. Sound wisdom will be a blessing to us. Proverbs 4:5-9 provides us insight into the importance of wisdom in our life. Verse 7 really sums up the passage of Proverbs by declaring that wisdom is important and we are to get wisdom! So ask the Lord for wisdom. James has already instructed us to do so in chapter 1 of his letter. It reminds me of Solomon who was given the opportunity to ask God for favor and Solomon asked for wisdom which was counted as a good request. Solomon would go to be known as the wisest man. We need wisdom in our lives, so ask the Lord for it.
Verses 14 – 16 give us warning about seeking wisdom from the wrong sources. Wisdom applies knowledge. If our knowledge is flawed then our wisdom will be too. Knowledge can be corrupted by lies. The devil and his demons are liars and deceivers, they will spread lies and deceive people for the purpose of destroying people. Their false narratives bring ruin. We must be mindful our where find our “truths”. We need to find it in the Lord and His Word; not in people’s opinion, not in our hearts, and not in the devil’s lies. We must be guarded against false teachers that are doing the devils work. Not only does inaccurate knowledge lead us into problems by corrupting wisdom but there is also danger in misapplication of true knowledge. When we use our knowledge in unworthy means it leads to pride and arrogance in ourselves. Pride and arrogance can cause us to misapply knowledge and bring about costly repercussions. Verse 16 tells us where there is a lack of proper wisdom there will be confusion, chaos, and evil work. None of us desire confusion, chaos, or evilness. Those things are unsettling, stressful, burdensome, and harm us.
We must seek wisdom from the Lord. Verses 17-18 describe the blessings that come from God’s wisdom. Purity, peace, gentleness, yielding, mercy, good fruits, no favorites, and no hypocrisy. Are these the things we would like to experience on earth? Wisdom is the key and it begins with purity, righteousness, holiness, living in repentance apart from sin following the Lord. Let’s live with wisdom from God. Seek God’s wisdom and live accordingly.
In Christ’s Love,