This is something I put together based on some things that have been on my heart. I pray that its a blessing to all who read it. Any thoughts or better wording of the ideas are always appreciated.
Why It's Important for God to be the Head of Your Life and Family.
There are two philosophies at war. They are the Lord's philosophy and the world's or devil's philosophy.
The Lord's philosophy is different than mans and the two are vastly different.
The Lord desire is to love God with all our heart and soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. The devil's philosophy is a love of self and self pleasure as the ultimate goal.
As we analyze the two, our children are taught from advertisers that buying their products and the pleasures of the world will bring happiness. They are preyed upon as children when they are young and impressionable by people whose only desire is to make our children consumers of their products and their main concern is the financial profit and loss sheet of their company at the end of each time cycle.
Yet money and things can not bring the true happiness. A story goes that someone once asked one of the richest men in the world how much money it takes to make one happy, and the answer he gave was, "just a little bit more". The true source of happiness comes from an environment of the unconditional love of God and the protection of his standards.. not things or money. It is interesting to see a study done recently that the area surrounding New York City,an area blessed with more pleasures of the earth than many other areas happened to be the three states with the least satisfied people.
One philosophy desires to seek up treasures on this earth. God's way is to seek up treasures in the kingdom of heaven. I went to a funeral of a friend and someone who spoke mentioned that the good deeds that we do for others lives on. Yet the bad things we do for others lives on also. How true the story is of the Christmas Carol's scrooge. Even though he was able to secure vasts sums of wealth, he was not truly happy and when he reached the time of retrospection and re evaluating our life towards its end, we see that all of the fortunes we have will be scattered and we leave behind the legacy that was not respected or loved which brought misery to others. How much truly richer is the poor missionary with nothing yet has had the honor of bringing the love of God to many. As in the Christmas story, "Its A Wonderful Life", those who have spent their life helping others are the "richest men alive." It reminds me of the parable of the man who "This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But Jesus said to him very simply, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Luke 12:18-20) As the hymnist once said, "Only one life, twill soon be past. Only whats done for God will last"
Another comparison is instantaneous gratification or long term gratification. Having no laws or restraints compared to a live with restraints. When our founding fathers formed our laws, they started with the words, "We the People" because they understood that good laws benefit us all. When God formed the Bible, He realized what was the ultimate good for mankind to live by and he gave us those laws. One may feel that If anyone was allowed to go through a red light, they may get initial instantaneous gratification, yet a world like that would cause much disarray, lack of organization and speed, plus many accidents. One may feel that it is ok to merely take what one wants from someone, yet a world like that, all who fairly earned their items would have nothing and only those who stole or had the most force. It would cause a change of direction of from productivity to conniving and theft.So many young people today growing up in inner cities where their life is full of sin and crime and quick money, yet at the same time ahead of them lies a future of prison, pain and death at a young age. And as this godless society continues to replace the rightous ways where God rules, I believe this will become more the norm of our country. how much better to seek the long term gratification by earning the right way and seeking the best which is the things of God and His love as our source of joy.
In looking at these points, it is easy to see the results of the choices of each of these path and how our choices will affect others. A commonly known story was told tracing the history of two families; Jonathan Edwards and the Max Jukes:
"His name was Jonathan Edwards and he was born October 5, 1703. He entered Yale College at age 13 and graduated with honors. He became a pastor, and his sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God," started the Great Awakening, a revival that swept America, uniting the colonies prior to the Revolution. He became President of Princeton College. Jonathan Edwards married Sarah Pierrepont, and according to A Study in Education and Heredity by A.E. Winship (1900), their descendants included a U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries.
This same study examined a family known as "Jukes." In 1877, while visiting New York's prisons, Richard Dugdale found inmates with 42 different last names all descending from one man, called "Max." Born around 1720 of Dutch stock, Max was a hard drinker, idle, irreverent and uneducated. His descendants included 310 paupers, who, combined spent 2,300 years in poorhouses, 50 women of debauchery, 400 physically wrecked by indulgent living, 7 murderers, 60 thieves, and 130 other convicts.
The "Jukes" descendants cost the state more than $1,250,000"
The story shows the importance of how every decision we make about morality, God and the Bible will influence future generations. If our decisions about God only effect ourselves, then we are the only ones hurt. If it effects only our children, then perhaps one might even rationalize letting them make the decision to go the wrong direction. Yet we can clearly see our decisions effect not only the next generation, but many generations.
This is nothing new but a principle described throughout time in the Bible. We can see from the following verses what the Bible teaches when it says....
"...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation”. Exodus 34:7 Numbers 14:18 and Deut. 5:9
The Bible also teaches that the believing spouse and parent has an effect. It says...
Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Proverbs 6.
Also,"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." 1 Cor 7:13 and 14.
This is not saying that every child of a sinner will be a sinner and every child or spouse of a saved person will become saved. What it is sayings is that God has set the earth up in a direction where we have the ability to be an influence on others for good or evil, that our decisions do not effect just us, but others, and we will be accountable to God for those choices that we make... the good and godly acts we do for others and the ungodly acts we do also.
Our children are a melting pot of the values we have and the society we put our children into. During the time Jonathan Edwards and Max lived, we were basically in a bubble where the primarily influence was the parents. Today, the temptations upon us and our children are stronger with the influence of television, radio, internet, modern immoral music, the entertainment world, a godless school system and many other temptations. This makes the battle for the souls of our heirs more aggressive against them and more on the attack against Judeo-Christian values.
I am sorry to say that what I see are a four groups of people.
The first are the few who have remained loyal to God in their lives. There are still those who love God with all their heart soul and strength, yet they are very few.
There are also those who come from godless homes. In our county many of these are different than those who grew up in heathen lands who have not been exposed to the gospel of God. These have been taught not to believe the truth and that it is not true and that one should not believe it. Yet those from this group who desire to learn the truth and believe on the Lord, can be born again.
But next there are two groups of people. Both understand the truth, yet are not willing to take the stand for right. These last two sadden my heart the most.
There are also some who understand the truths of God and go to church because that was the way they were brought up. Because of the morality and teachings of the past, they understand what is right and find their peace in going to church, loving others and living the moral life. But to this group, the gospel is a selfish gospel. It is something that makes them happy. To them the purpose of God is to help them and their family, rather than their family be servants of God. If their children want to go a different way, if they date or marry non-christians, if they get involved in the culture of this immoral world, then it's fine by them, because their happiness is not saddened. They say its important to love them anyway, (which is true) but they forget they need to love God more than them, or life itself. Their religion is a selfish one which is centered on their happiness rather than one who cares about God and the souls of others and agonizes over it.
Finally there are those who knew the truth. They perhaps experienced a christian home or society, and deep down they know what is the truth, yet they are Almost Children of Christians. Like the parable of the sower, for various reasons have left the faith. Some leave Him for the pleasures of the world. Others leave God for the love/desire of a spouse or children. They may have various sins in their life including adultry, fornication, immoral music, immoral television shows, no more going to the house of the lord, no private time daily with God, etc. They know the better way, but whatever reason, they have decided to chose for their happiness the sins for a season.
I am saddened to see a very small percentage of our population who are still on fire for God. What is see of most is the two later groups. It breaks my heart to see so many who should know better who have had God as an influence in their lives, who have allowed the world and the pleasures of this earth and pushed God to the side. Instead of the our forefathers vision of God being fulfilled to greater efforts by our heirs, they have left that calling and joined in the pleasures of the earth so that their children will not have that memory.
I once remember someone told me that they stopped going to Church because their child lost interest and didn't want to go. Unfortunately, what really happened is not this being the child's choice. The real reason was that the world in its aggressiveness was more successful in controlling their child and the parent gave into the world rather than fight with all their might for the freedom of heart soul and mind of their child. And perhaps the parents also lost the focus on the place of God in their daily lives as the most important thing in their life, not merely a culture. In their weakened state, the devil reached them through the vulnerability of their child. Some lose it in college when they believe secular/humanist/socialist teachers who try to indoctrinate them. And the older generation, who should know better, did not realize the importance of fighting for the souls of their youth, and instead believing they should let them go to the world and perhaps they will come back.
As I look at the demographics of the usa. I see the decline in the church. There are some worldly churches that are entertainment centers which young people go to for the fun of the earth. The churches that have standards are smaller and primarily older people. Yet many of the people who go there are going because they've gone their life, although there are still some who are remaining firm for Christ. Even many pastors view their life as a career.. as a builder of a business or an enterainer, rather one whose purpose is to bring the sword of the spirit to come to light with the sin nature of others and have the new life of God spread throughout the world. And as our world becomes farther and farther from the influence of God, the new generation is coming up with no knowledge of God. Being brought up in an anti christian school system, media system and cultural society, with no adults christians truly agonizing over their souls.
I was talking to someone and he mentioned that the person I should be concerned about witnessing to is a person we both know who was from a godless moral less background. I thought about what he said and then responded, "no my friend.. for you see. he grew up in a world where he never was exposed to the truth. The person who is the greater sinner is yourself, for you have been taught the ways of truth. The ways of right have been en-lighted to you, yet you have left following the truth and instead follow the things of the world and live a godless life."
A good friend once said to me, "I was brought up in a christian family. My parents brought me to a christian school, my parents showed love and gave me a moral life style. I have no excuse for turning bad." No one has an excuse for rejecting God. While the ones that have received no light, the things of god are foreign to them,I pray that God will save them and he can save anyone. But the "Almost Christians", the ones who know the truth, the ones who've known who God is, experienced is goodness, experienced the wholesomeness of Him and His ways, the ones who have had godly forefathers who truly desired their children to be part of God's family, who have been entrusted with the truth carry out God's mission throughout the earth. Those are the ones if they continue in path of the idleness of the world are doing the greatest sin because they have no excuse.
As the hymn writer once said, "What will you do with Jesus, Neutral you can not be. one day your heart will be asking, 'What will he do with me?'"
I pray that those can be reached by my writings and brought back into a position where their life truly is "Jesus ONLY". And like the Christians before us, let us understand God's truth, allow it to change us into new beings in love with God more than life itself, and be willing to give our all for Christ, including our familes, as many have done before. For in the enemies camp, many today are giving their all to destroy the truth and bring our brothers sisters down a different path..