Saturday, January 29, 2011

Duties of the Master of a Family

By: John Bunyan (as found on NCFIC)

If thou have under thee a family, then thou art to consider the several relations thou standest under; and art to know, that thou in each of them hast a work to do for God, and that he expecteth thy faithful deportment under every one of them. As, in general;
Duty of the Family in General

He that is the master of a family, he hath, as under that relation, a work to do for God; to wit, the right governing of his own family. And his work is twofold. First, Touching the spiritual state thereof. Second, Touching the outward state thereof.

First, As touching the spiritual state of his family; he ought to be very diligent and circumspect, doing his utmost endeavour both to increase faith where it is begun, and to begin it where it is not. Wherefore, to this end, he ought diligently and frequently to lay before his household such things of God, out of his word, as are suitable for each particular. And let no man question his rule in the word of God for such a practice; for if the thing itself were but of good report, and a thing tending to civil honesty, it is within the compass and bounds even of nature itself, and ought to be done; much more things of a higher nature; besides, the apostle exhorts us to ‘Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, pure, lovely, and of good report, to think of them,’ that is, to be mindful to do them (Phil 4:8). But to be conversant in this godly exercise in our family, is very worthy of praise, and doth much become all Christians. This is one of the things for which God so highly commended his servant Abraham, and that with which his heart was so much affected. I know Abraham, saith God, ‘I know him’ to be a good man in very deed, for ‘he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord’ (Gen 18:19). This was a thing also which good Joshua designed should be his practice as long as he had a breathing time in this world. ‘As for me,’ saith he, I ‘and my household, we will serve the Lord’ (Josh 24:15).

Further, we find also in the New Testament, that they are looked upon as Christians of an inferior rank that have not a due regard to this duty; yea, so inferior as not fit to be chosen to any office in the church of God. A [bishop or] pastor must be one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? ‘The deacon’ also, saith he, must ‘be the husband of one wife, ruling their children, and their own house well’ (1 Tim 3). Mark a little, the apostle seems to lay down thus much, that a man that governs his family well, hath one qualification belonging to a pastor or deacon in the house of God, for he that knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? which thing considered, it giveth us light into the work of the master of a family, touching the governing of his house.


A pastor must be sound and uncorrupt in his doctrine; and indeed so must the master of a family (Titus 1:9; Eph 6:4).


A pastor should be apt to teach, to reprove, and to exhort; and so should the master of a family (1 Tim 3:2; Deut 6:7).


A pastor must himself be exemplary in faith and holiness; and so also should the master of a family (1 Tim 3:2-4; 4:12). ‘I,’ saith David, ‘will behave myself in a perfect way; I will walk in,’ or before, ‘my house with a perfect heart’ (Psa 101:2).


The pastor is for getting the church together; and when they are so come together, then to pray among them, and to preach unto them. This is also commendable in Christian masters of families.


Object. But my family is ungodly and unruly, touching all that is good. What shall I do?

Answer.

1. Though this be true, yet thou must rule them, and not they thee! Thou are set over them of God, and thou art to use the authority which God hath given thee, both to rebuke their vice, and to show them the evil of their rebelling against the Lord. This did Eli, though not enough; and thus did David (1 Sam 2:24, 25; 1 Chron 28:9). Also, thou must tell them how sad thy state was when thou wast in their condition, and so labour to recover them out of the snare of the devil (Mark 5:19).

2. Thou oughtest also to labour to draw them forth to God’s public worship, if peradventure God may convert their souls. Saith Jacob to his household, and to all that were about him, ‘Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress’ (Gen 35:3). Hannah would carry Samuel to Shiloh, that he might abide with God for ever (1 Sam 1:22). Indeed a soul rightly touched, will labour to draw, not only their families, but a whole city after Jesus Christ (John 4:28-30).

3. If they are obstinate, and will not go forth with thee, then do thou get godly and sound men to thy house, and there let the word of God be preached, when thou hast, as Cornelius, gathered thy family and friends together (Acts 10).

You know that the jailor, Lydia, Crispus, Gaius, Stephanus, and others, had not only themselves, but their families, made gracious by the word preached, and that some of them, if not all, by the word preached in their houses (Acts 16:14-34; 18:7, 8; 1 Cor 1:16). And this, for ought I know, might be one reason among many, why the apostles taught in their day, not only publicly, but from house to house; I say, that they might, if possible, bring in those in some family, which yet remained unconverted, and in their sins (Acts 10:24; 20:20, 21). For some, you know how usual it was in the day of Christ, to invite him to their houses, if they had any afflicted, that either would not or could not come unto him (Luke 7:2, 3; 8:41). If this be the way with those that have outward diseases in their families, how much more then, where there are souls that have need of Christ, to save them from death and eternal damnation!

4. Take heed that thou do not neglect family duties among them thyself; as, reading the word and prayer; if thou hast one in thy family that is gracious, take encouragement; nay, if thou art alone, yet know that thou hast both liberty to go to God through Christ, and also art at that time in a capacity of having the universal church join with thee for the whole number of those that shall be saved.

5. Take heed that thou suffer not any ungodly, profane, or heretical books, or discourse in thy house. ‘Evil communications corrupt good manners’ (1 Cor 15:33). I mean such profane or heretical books, &c., as either tend to provoke to looseness of life, or such as do oppose the fundamentals of the gospel. I know that Christians must be allowed their liberty as to things indifferent; but for those things that strike either at faith or holiness, they ought to be abandoned by all Christians, and especially by the pastors of churches, and masters of families; which practice was figured out by Jacob’s commanding his house, and all that was with him, to put away the strange gods from among them, and to change their garments (Gen 35:2). All those in the Acts set a good example for this, who took their curious books and burned them before all men, though they were worth fifty thousand pieces of silver (Acts 19:18, 19). The neglect of this fourth particular hath occasioned ruin in many families, both among children and servants. It is easier for vain talkers, and their deceivable works, to subvert whole households, than many are aware of (Titus 1:10, 11). Thus much touching the spiritual state of thy household. And now to its outward.

Second, Touching the outward state of thy family, thou art to consider these three things.

That it lieth upon thee to care for them that they have a convenient livelihood. ‘If any man provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel’ (1 Tim 5:8). But mark, when the Word saith, thou art to provide for thy house, it giveth thee no license to distracting carefulness; neither doth it allow thee to strive to grasp the world in thy heart, or coffers, nor to take care for years or days to come, but so to provide for them, that they may have food and raiment; and if either they or thou be not content with that, you launch out beyond the rule of God (1 Tim 6:8; Matt 6:34). This is to labour, that you may have wherewith ‘to maintain good works for necessary uses’ (Titus 3:14). And never object, that unless you reach farther, it will never do; for that is but unbelief. The word saith, ‘That God feedeth ravens, careth for sparrows, and clotheth the grass;’ in which three, to feed, clothe, and care for, is as much as heart can wish (Luke 12:6-28).


Therefore though thou shouldest provide for thy family; yet let all thy labour be mixed with moderation; ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men’ (Phil 4:5). Take heed of driving so hard after this world, as to hinder thyself and family from those duties towards God, which thou art by grace obliged to; as private prayer, reading the scriptures, and Christian conference. It is a base thing for men so to spend themselves and families after this world, as that they disengage their heart to God’s worship. Christians, ‘The time is short: it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away’ (1 Cor 7:29-31). Many Christians live and do in this world, as if religion were but a by-business, and this world the one thing necessary; when indeed all the things of this world are but things by the by; and religion only the one thing needful (Luke 10:40-42).


If thou wouldst be such a master of a family as becomes thee, thou must see that there be that Christian harmony among those under thee, as becomes that house where one ruleth that feareth God.

(1.) Thou must look that thy children and servants be under subjection to the word of God; for though it is of God only to rule the heart, yet he expecteth that thou shouldest rule their outward man; which if thou dost not, he may in a short time cut off all they stock, [even every male] (1 Sam 3:11-14). See therefore that thou keep them temperate in all things, in apparel, in language, that they be not gluttons, nor drunkards; not suffering either thy children vainly to domineer over thy servants, nor they again to carry themselves foolishly towards each other.

(2.) Learn to distinguish between that injury that in thy family is done to thee, and that which is done to God; and though thou oughtest to be very zealous for the Lord, and to bear nothing that is open transgression to him; yet here will be thy wisdom, to pass by personal injuries, and to bury them in oblivion: ‘Love covereth a multitude of sins.’ Be not then like those that will rage and stare like madmen, when they are injured; and yet either laugh, or at least not soberly rebuke, and warn, when God is dishonoured. ‘Rule thy own house well, having thy children with others in thy family in subjection, with all gravity’ (1 Tim 3:4). Solomon was so excellent sometimes this way, that he made the eyes of his beholders to dazzle (2 Chron 9:3, 4). [7] But to break off from this general, and to come to particulars.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Children Are a Gift From God




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

States Tell Feds to Back Down

"Thomas Jefferson advised, 'Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers ... a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy,'" states theTenth Amendment Center,which advocates a return to the constitutionally delegated powers for the federal government.
"When states pass laws to reject and nullify unconstitutional federal 'laws,' regulations and mandates – it's not rebellion ... it's duty," the organization states."

To read entire article go to WND.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Prayer and Ministry of the Word

by Scott Brown of NCFIC
"God's plan for His people has always included the raising up of men who would dedicate themselves to do two simple, but powerful things - "prayer and the ministry of the Word." This was clearly stated by the elders in Acts 6:4, who said, "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." This is part of a consistent pattern in scripture where godly culture includes men dedicated to these things. In fact, it is sinful for some men to neglect it. The prophet Samuel stated it this way, "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way." 1 Samuel 12:23"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Church Fellowship

"What is one of the basic ways you show that you love God's people? You want to be with them. You're committed to them. They are a priority for you. You build your life around God's people. One of the ways godliness works itself out in church life is by putting careful thought into thinking ''How do my actions affect others?'' Part of the reason we gather to worship corporately is to encourage one other.  Your presence is a great encouragement to others. Don't give up meeting together!"---Paul Levy


The Great Disconnect

by Enola Gay at Paratus Familia
"When we were connected to our family, we were connected to our neighbors and we were connected to our communities.  If someone was in need, we, as a family member, neighbor or community saw to that need.  There was resolution and accountability.  Taking care of each other was a matter of life and death.  It was not a perfect system.  People fell through the cracks.  Families were not perfect.  But it was personal.  It was connected.  It was real.
It is time for us to reconnect with the real world.  We need to reap the blessings of knowing, loving and serving our families.  We need to take care of our children.  Love our husbands.  Care for our parents.  We need to take care of one another.  We need to relearn how to use our hands and our brains.  We need to reconnect with everything that truly matters."
Go to Enola's blog and read the entire article.  It is very well written.

This Is Not Your Neighbors "Youth Group"

by Rev. Michael Brown
"As Americans, we have an unquenchable thirst for knowing the cash value of something. It may seem to many American Christians that investing in the rigorous daily duty of family worship is too costly. After all, getting a family in 2008 to meet together regularly around a table and take out thirty minutes of the day may seem almost impossible. It would require reordering and restructuring our daily lives. It would require slowing down a little bit. It would require turning off the television a little more (gasp!)."

Go to White Horse Inn  to read the entire article.  This is an awesome article on family worship and the importance of every Christian family taking time out every day to worship together.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Church and the Family Must Work Together for the Sake of Society

“We must have a special eye upon families, to see that they are well ordered, and the duties of each relation performed. The life of religion, and the welfare and glory of both the Church and the State, depend much on family government and duty. If we suffer the neglect of this, we shall undo all. What are we like to do ourselves to the reforming of a congregation, if all the work be cast on us alone; and masters of families neglect that necessary, duty of their own, by which they are bound to help us ? If any good be begun by the ministry in any soul, a careless, prayerless, worldly family is like to stifle it, or very much hinder it; whereas, if you could but get the rulers of families to do their duty, to take up the work where you left it, and help it on, what abundance of good might be done! I beseech you, therefore, if you desire the reformation and welfare of your people, do all you can to promote family religion.” ~ Richard Baxter (from: The Reformed Pastor)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Educating Family Have ALL of Their Children Taken Away

Please Pray for this family to have their children returned promptly. Their children are being brainwashed and abused by the "child protection agency" in New Jersey.

"It's every parent's nightmare. Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian home schoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents."

Read the article in its entirety at WND.



Friday, January 14, 2011

What idols are in your home that you need to get rid of?

By Scott Brown of NCFIC

"This morning in our family devotions we saw in Genesis 34:2-4, a father (Jacob) appealing to his children to abandon their idols, change their garments, and make a new start. We talked about how God has given us a new day, to identify our idols and sins and begin afresh.
"And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone." So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

What a great way to start your day. What idols do you and your children need to rid your lives and home of today?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We Are Called to Make Disciples



"An unholy church! It is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church." ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

The Importance of Instructing Our Children

‎"If you neglect to instruct your children in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No. If you will not teach them to pray, he will teach them to curse, swear, and lie. If ground be uncultivated, weeds will spring.—If the season of their youth is neglected, how little probability is thereof any good fruit afterwards!"---John Flavel


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Today, in 1956, Jim Elliot and Four Other Missionaries Died in Ecuador

by Fred Sanders of Scriptorium Daily

"Today in 1956, five missionaries to the Auca indians in Ecuador were killed. Their deaths brought a sudden end to the project they called “Operation Auca,” but the tragedy became a defining moment in the history of evangelical missions. Hundreds of young people were inspired to take up missionary work, thousands were moved to deeper commitment to Christ, and millions of dollars in resources were mobilized. And the work with the Aucas went on, too."


To read this entire article go to Scriptorium Daily.
You can also watch the dvd, "The End of the Spear", which tells the story of what happened down in Ecuador.





The Raunchy "Real" World

by Patrice Lewis

"You know, the older I get, the more I'm convinced I live in a fantasy world.

In this cheery little artificial la-la land where I reside, boys are young knights-in-training and girls are virtuous and feminine. Children do not long for new and creative ways to self-destruct, and they have no wish to create havoc in their parent's home. And when everyone grows up, they court, get married and have babies (in that order)."

"In the "real" world of modern America, girls are raunchy sexual creatures whose sole purpose from toddler-hood on up is to dress provocatively, adorn their bodies with tattoos, piercings and make-up, and whose sole goal in life, apparently, is to find out how many boys they can bed."

"If people could only stop bathing in the river of slime issuing from mainstream media sources and Hollywood, they might see there's a whole, huge subculture of teens who are growing up with old-fashioned virtues intact. This subculture is not only alive and well, it's thriving and growing."

Go to WND to read Patrice's article in its entirety. 


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is Compulsory School Attendance Compatible With a Free Society?

WRITTEN BY SAM BLUMENFELD at New American

Is America still a free country? We like to think so, even with ObamaCare.

But when it comes to education, suddenly we are confronted with compulsory school attendance laws, compulsory property taxes to pay for the government schools, compulsory testing, compulsory inoculations, forced busing, restrictions against prayer, forced sex ed, death ed, and drug ed. And now, every day, four to six million children are forced to take Ritalin, or some other powerful mind- and mood-altering drug, if they want to attend public school.

The fact that millions of young Americans now emerge from twelve years of compulsory schooling unable to read, write, spell, do basic arithmetic, or speak grammatically, means that the purpose of public education is no longer education but something else. What is that something else? It is politically-correct socialization. But even that doesn't work, since so many of these victims of the system become anti-social delinquents

To read the entire article go to New American.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Joel Beeke on Busyness and Prayer

by: Tyler Kenney @ desiring God 

"Like every other Christian, I suppose, my experience has been that the more I am given to truly pray in my prayers the more keenly I feel how little I truly pray.

My mother is the greatest prayer warrior I know; for decades, she has regularly spent two or more hours per day in earnest prayer. When she turned 85, I asked her, “Mother, if you had your entire life to live over, what would you do differently?” “Oh dear,” she said immediately, “I’d pray more, of course.”

For very busy lives, I would counsel:

Keep prayer as the priority of your life. Don’t do anything without praying about it first. Bunyan reminds us that we can do more than pray after we have prayed, but we cannot do more than prayer until we have prayed.
Cultivate a spirit of prayer. Pray your way through your day. To “pray without ceasing” certainly means at least this much: to pray as you work, as you drive, as you think—in whatever you do. The closer you live to God, the more fruitful and rich this will become for you.
Focus on intercessory prayer—both in private and with people. Pray much with your family; never skip family worship. And view prayer as the most important thing you can do for others."


Sunday, January 2, 2011

My New Years Motto For 2011

"...let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;"  
James 1:19b
(English Standard Version)