Text: Colossians 3:18-25 Theme: Our love for Christ will motivate our love for our families, thus serving Christ by serving them. Key verses: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children…” (v. 18-21) “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving.” (v. 23-24) What God said to me: Dwayne, these are simple, straight-forward rules for families and servants. There are no hidden meanings behind these words. And there are no exceptions, no exemptions. These verses can’t be explained away or ignored (though many have tried). They are not passe or out-dated. And they certainly don’t need updating or upgrading. Wives have their job in me. Husbands have their job like me. Children have their role toward me. And slaves have their place for me. The key for all of them is to understand the direction of their service, not to serve each other first of all, but to first and ultimately serve, love and honor me. So, next time you feel the need to lecture your children about obedience, don’t have as your first words that they should show respect toward you (although they should). Make sure they first understand that their first consideration must be of me and the effect their disobedience to you has on me. Again, it comes down to the heart. If the primary motive of your heart is to love and honor your family, that is noble and good – but yet faulty at the same time. Many a “good man” has fallen prey to such shallow motivations and good intentions. What happens on days he doesn’t feel so loving and honoring toward his family? How will he react when his wife and children don’t show love and appreciation back to him? You see, any love built on another human is by its very nature prone to fail because humans are prone and proven to fail. Point your love and your family’s love toward me. Get yourÂ inspiration to love and cherish each other from my determination to love and cherish you. Engulf yourself in rapturous love for me, your God who never leaves or forsakes you. Then even when your family doesn’t seem to remember they are your family, you will still want to show love to them even as I continue to show love toward you. What I said to God: Lord, this is certainly not what I was expecting from these verses today. Yet, it seems clear and plain to meÂ now. I must want first of all to please and serve You. I must encourage my family to first of all seek to love and serve You. The way we treat each other will quite super-naturally flow out of that deep and lasting agape love. That is the love that motivates human phileo love for each other. I dare not trust my wicked heart to love my kids and my wife. I must be filled with your love that is “shed abroad in my heart.” I claim Your Holy Spirit’s filling, thus claiming Your love’s filling me through and through. Help me show that love toward my family and those I meet today.
28. February 2007 Colossians 0