THE HOME THAT JESUS BUILDS
Since Time began, women have never fully trusted men. One day Adam took a walk in the Garden of Eden. He told Eve that he would be back soon. But we all know that “soon” means different things to different people. That evening, when Adam got back home, Eve pounced on the situation.
“Where have you been all this time?” “Out walking.” Adam replied. “Where could I have been? How could you be jealous when we are the only two people on earth?”
Eve didn’t argue anymore, but that night while Adam was asleep, she counted his ribs.
Oftentimes, it is the little things that cause a family to take a certain direction. Sometimes, they just drift in a certain direction. But some families plan their direction and pursue it with devotion. Consider these two families:
Two men lived in the same town, Northhampton, Massachuetts, in the early 1700’s. The first was Jonathan Edwards who was a preacher and married a devout Christian girl. Their family tree shows that they had 729 descendants. Of this number, 300 were ministers, 65 were college professors, 13 were university presidents, 60 were authors of good books, 3 were United States congressmen, 1 was Vice President of the United States. Most of the others made a significant contribution to society.
The other man was Max Jukes, an unbeliever who was married to an unbeliever. They had 1,026 descendants. Of these, 300 died early in life, 100 went to prison, 200 were prostitutes, and about 100 were alcoholics. This family cost the state over $1,000,000 to care for them.
What made the difference in these two families? They lived in the same town and had the same educational opportunities. But the homes were different in philosophy of life, values, and parentage. As the twig was bent so grew the tree. One grew deep in faith and the other had shallow roots.
You can see the same thing today. Two families live side by side. One has a stable home and the other does not. One has strong values and the other does not. One has a strong marriage and the other does not. One has a strong faith and the other does not. Jesus is the center of one home and not recognized in the other. One makes a strong contribution to society and the other becomes a burden to society. One stays together and the other does not. The full answer as to why they go in different directions is not an easy one, but the broad reason according to Jesus is that one is built on the sand and the other is built on the rock.
THE HOME ON THE ROCK Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
There is a common saying, “You are what you eat.” This is especially true in the spiritual realm. You are what feeds you. Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The home where Jesus is known as Lord and Savior is a home that draws their strength and values from him. When his teachings are put into practice there is stability that affects the whole of life. There is a different kind of love in the home.
Zig Ziglar says, “The evidence is convincing that the better our relationships are at home, the more effective we are in our careers. If we're having difficulty with a loved one, that difficulty will be translated into reduced performance on the job. In studying the millionaires in America (U.S. News and World Report), a picture of the "typical" millionaire is an individual who has worked eight to ten hours a day for thirty years and is still married to his or her high school or college sweetheart. A New York executive search firm, in a study of 1365 corporate vice presidents, discovered that 87% were still married to their one and only spouse and that 92% were raised in two-parent families. The evidence is overwhelming that the family is the strength and foundation of society. Strengthen your family ties and you'll enhance your opportunity to succeed.”
According to a study of more than 500 family counselors, the following are the top traits of successful families:
*Communicating and listening *Affirming and supporting family members *Respecting one another *Developing a sense of trust *Sharing time and responsibility *Knowing right from wrong *Having rituals and traditions *Sharing a religious core *Respecting privacy. (Focus On The Family Bulletin).
Notice what Jesus said, “…everyone who HEARS…and puts into practice.” Have you really heard what Jesus wants for your home? What are the unstable areas? How can you apply his teachings from the Sermon on the Mount to your relationships with your family members? Some Christians don’t hear at all. Some hear and don’t do anything about it. Some really hear and do what Jesus said.
Consider these sayings of Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13). Family members know what we are made of. If we are true to Jesus as Lord, the family will know it. To truly influence children in the Christian walk, the parents have to be authentic. “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19-20).
If our Christianity won’t work at , it is a farce everywhere else. But if it is believed deeply and practiced devotedly at home, it will be authentic everywhere else. And the home that Jesus builds is placed firmly on the rock and will be secure in the midst of storms.
THE HOME ON THE SAND Matthew 7:26-27. “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down and the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell with a great crash.”
Sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied.
*Marriage loses its sacredness...is frequently broken by divorce.
*Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost.
*Feminist movements abound.
*Increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general.
*Acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion.
*Refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibilities.
*Growing desire for and acceptance of adultery.
*Increasing interest in and spread of sexual perversions and sex-related crimes. Swindoll, The Quest For Character
That study was made in 1947. Look how we have progressed to 2020
Another study was done a few years ago of 1,023 to 13 year olds by Kidspeace, an organization that helps children and families overcome crises. Here are the top ten concerns of America’s children as revealed by this survey.
Parents might die 65%
Might do poorly in school 57%
Might get Aids 54%
Family might become poor 53%
Might die 51%
Might get Kidnapped 50%
Parents unavailable 47%
Physical or Sexual abuse 45%
Physical Harm from bullies 43%
Some of these things are normal for every child of every generation. But some are unique to our day and they reflect homes built on decaying values. Why would a pre-teen worry about getting aids if they were taught to save themselves for their marriage partners? Why do these children have to worry about their parents not being there for them? Why do these young children have to worry about physical or sexual abuse at their age?
If a child lives with criticism,
He learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
He learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
He learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
He learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
He learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
He learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
He learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
He learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world. (Author unknown)
Two of the most powerful forces in our homes is the internet and television. There are anti-family themes in shows and movies that our children see. There is unprecedented violence, language, and sexual content.
A non- Christian home can be strong and stable and many are. Many fine and wonderful people come from backgrounds that had no Christian foundation. But the home has an eternal quality about it. We are equipping children not just for their temporal lives but for their eternal lives. The fine homes that major on the temporal are building on the sand.
Mary had a little boy his soul was white as snow.
He never went to Sunday School because Mary would not go.
He never heard the story of Christ that thrills the childish mind.
While other children went to class, this child was left behind.
And as he grew from babe to youth, she saw to her dismay,
A soul that once was white became a dingy gray.
Realizing that he was lost, she tried to win him back.
But now the soul that once was white, had turned an ugly black.
She started back to church and Sunday School too,
She begged the preacher “Isn’t there something that you can do?
I tried to tell you years ago but you would pay no mind.”
And so another soul is lost that once was white as snow.
Sunday School could have helped, But Mary would not go.
A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world." The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world."
Do you live on the Rock or is sand blowing in your face?
Jesus can build and home that will be heaven on earth and he can do it for you.
Praise Be To His Name!