Can My Family Tell I Have Been With Jesus?
Homebuilders March 29, 2006 - Martha Burkholder
The title assumes the fact that I am spending time with Jesus. It will be evident if this is not happening. When things run smoothly we're OK, but let something come in unexpectedly - how do we respond?
God wants us to seek His face. Deut. 4:29 has a promise for seeking His face. In Heb.11:6 there is a reward to those who diligently seek God's face.
We should be asking how does God want me to live. We need to want to know. In Phil. 3:10 it tells of Paul's desire to know God. After we know, we should want to live like that. It is a lifetime endeavor. It will not be achieved in a day, a week, or even in ten years. Each new day we need to purpose in our hearts to do God's will that day.
Some characteristics that our families will recognize that we have been with Jesus:
1. Bowels of mercy, a sympathetic heart. Do we really show that we care for our families? Do we take the time to do little extras every now and then? Our husbands need to know that we care if they worked extra hard one day. Maybe the job we wanted them to do can wait another day or week. We will not be selfish in our time as we care for others. We also will have a sympathetic heart toward our children. As we encourage them in their school work, we will recognize if they are really trying to do their best.
2. The next characteristic is kindness. In Eph. 4:32a it says, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted." Are we so set on planning our day to the last detail and forget to stick in kindness? Being kind and tenderhearted speaks of an act that is done in a caring way. Our families should be the first ones to feel our kindness. A simple unhurried answer to a small child will go a long way in their hearts. Someday they will be able to know that God also cares for the smallest details of our lives. The true test of kindness comes when we feel pressured to get the job done in a certain amount of time. Kindness will be remembered, but dirty windows will not be remembered. Our children learn from us how to be kind and tenderhearted.
3. The third characteristic we want to look at is humbleness of mind - knowing our limitations. We cannot meet all the needs around us. Realize you are only one person, but you are one person. Do what you can and then be satisfied. Ask God to help you keep your priorities in the right order. Remember that God gave you a family and he expects you to take care of them and then teach out to others. Our children have emotional needs as well. While our children are at home, we have our mission at home. We do not have to go on guilt trips because we aren't reaching out like an older sister can. We are not super woman. God wants us to be faithful in what He calls us to do today.
4. The next characteristic our family should bserve is meekness. Meekness is accepting without murmuring what God has for me. Can we say, "Yes Lord," in every situation and let it rest there? Being fully content in God's will for my husband, myself, and children. Remember God knows what is best for us. When we spend time with Jesus, His will, will be our will, If asked to teach a Sunday School class, we will be glad for the opportunity to serve in meekness. There will not be a "have to" attitude. In meekness we will do our best, not worry that it will not be as good as someone else.
5. The next characteristic some of us need to work at more than others. It is longsuffering - not losing patience. When I spend time with Jesus I will be more relaxed in my schedule. My frustration level will not be as high when my plans are ruined. We need to realize that certain things are a normal part of life: like spilled water glasses, runny noses, finger printed windows, etc. These kinds of things do not last very long. We learn to be longsuffering by using Jesus for an example.
6. Forbearing one another is the next characteristic. Learning to live with our differences in a family (that is where it is learned). There is more than one way to do a job! Appreciate different personalities. We need some who are talkers and some who are listeners. We will encourage both when we have been with Jesus. We will learn a lot more in life if we are open to others ideas and ways of doing things. If this trait is learned in the family, it will go a long way in helping the church family to be at peace. Eph. 4:12 says forbearing in love (not just putting up with). Remember how God forbears with mankind.
7. Our family can see we have been with Jesus when we forgive one another. Eph. 4:32b says," forgive even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." In Matt.18:21 &22 it says that forgiveness is a continual act. Every time it comes up we need to forgive again. Ps.86:5 says that, "God is ready to forgive." We need to let go of the hurts and misunderstandings in our families. Give people room to make mistakes, maybe they didn't mean what it sounded like, maybe they were up all night with the baby, etc.. Do our children hear us say, "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?"
8. The last characteristic our families need to see is charity. Charity is the overcoat that covers everything. Even though it's last on the list, it probably needs to be the most important one. Love is more than a nice feeling. It is a decision of our will.
When we need help, God is there to give us all the love we need and some to spare. If the love of God is absent in our families, all of our good teaching will not have the desired effect. God's love needs to flow through us even when we are tired and tempted to be grouchy! Read I Cor. 13 and think how it applies to our families.
When we spend time with Jesus, our families will know it. Take the challenge and concentrate in one characteristic that you are weak in, work on it for one week, step back and observe the difference. God Bless Each in Our Journey.
"Mind the Lord and Be Sweet".