THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 4-14-13

LESSON TITLE: “FINDING MY PLACE.”

WELCOME

James once asked, “who is wise and understanding among you?” What type of wisdom do we strive for in this world?

Thank you for joining us for the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord’s Day morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God.

Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won’t you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let’s begin our praise to God in prayer.

(Prayer)

This morning we want to begin with a song which reminds us of that we must remain in the light of God and be the light for God. So, won’t you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing together, “Send The Light.”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We quoted earlier from James 3:13, where it said, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Oh, to be wise! Usually when we think of wisdom we think of success, power, or control, but really this is not what we find in the Bible. Our society has taught us that wisdom is of this world, but again this is not what we find in God’s Word. In fact, the very opposite is true. In the same verse that we read earlier, James went on to say, “let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” Does this sound like power and control? The inspired James said that good conduct, good works and gentleness are a part of what true wisdom consists of. In the same chapter, James continues his thoughts in verses 14-18; where he goes on to confirm that true wisdom is of God and not of earthly things.

When we focus on God and His will we start down the road to becoming wise. True wisdom comes from not only knowing what God says and what He wants, but being able to practice what He says and wants in our everyday action. You see wisdom is really learning to make the best use of our knowledge, in Christ Jesus.

Solomon adds this to our discussion in Proverbs 24:5, “a wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.” Here we see how strength and power fit in to the equation. They are outcomes of true godly wisdom, but they do not produce wisdom in and of themselves. We also further see the extent of the strength of wisdom in chapter 12 and verse 18, of the same book. There Solomon said, “There is one who speaks like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Over and over in the Bible we see this same idea being promoted, how a wise man accomplishes good and promotes health, but on the other hand, the foolish choose to reject God’s wisdom for the world’s wisdom.

How fitting this example is, for it is this same Solomon who earlier prayed to God for wisdom, to lead God’s people properly. Let’s read together from 2 Chronicles 1 to see how this great story unfolded. “…and God said to Solomon: ‘because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king; wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’” Now I hope you are beginning to see what God’s wisdom is like! Also notice the great rewards from God in response to one proving their wisdom before Him.

Another great example of God’s wisdom is found in Joshua 24:15, when he confronted the people as to whether they would serve God or reject Him. Notice what Joshua said in this verse, “and if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Here we see true godly wisdom. Putting the Creator above everything and anyone else. Standing on the promises of God and not this earth. Where do you and your house stand in relationship to God?

This morning we will be continuing our series of study entitled, “What Have They Seen In Your House.” Our specific topic of study today is, “Finding My Place!” So please stay with us through our next song and after that I will return with this study from God’s Word. Now it’s time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “Sing To Me Of Heaven.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and consider another lesson in relationship to the things of the home, the Christian home, the home of God. Trying to really understand what it is that the Bible teaches that we might be the type of people within the home who are fulfilling His Will and doing those things according to His perfect commandments. With that in mind I would like to begin by reading from Colossians 3:18, there the bible says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in to the Lord. Husbands love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” As we read the text here and as we find out what Paul the inspired man of God wrote to the Colossian Church and we see its similarities to those things found in Ephesians 5. We are again reminded of an important question are we fulfilling our roles in the home, the Christian home, before God? Are we as men being those sons or brothers that we need to be? Are we those fathers or those husbands that we need to be? Are we those people in the world as we live amongst our cousins and our relatives that we need to be? Do people see me as a man in whatever position of life who strives to do what God desires despite the fact of what the world is doing, or despite the reality that I might even from the flesh desire to do some things my own way? Then we think for a moment about the women within the home. Are you as a woman, a lady, being a proper sister or daughter, in relationship to your life? What about the wife or again the mother? We might also then think about the cousins, or the extended relatives, or even the proper grandmother that you should be? Whatever again the question we again ask are you being what God requires? The same would be true for children. Are children fulfilling their God given responsibility according to the things found in scripture that are required by God. I ask these questions because it is our responsibility each and every one of us, as those who love God and as those who love His word, that we strive to find our own place. No matter what the time or the period of our lives that we find our own place in life and then we do our part because the reality is, is that you and I are responsible at least in part for a home to function as it should. So that means as I am brought into the world and I am a son and then I begin to grow up, and I get married and I become a husband then a father, then later I become a grandfather. As I fulfill all the roles that God has set before me am I fulfilling them not only in just a little bit of a way that God desires or doing a pretty good job, but I am really doing everything I can to be the best son, the best husband, the best father, the best grandfather, the best whatever God needs of me in my life at any given point. So are you finding your place? Have you found your place? Are you doing what God commands in respect to where you are in life? Are you making a difference, an important difference? Because you cannot only affect not only your own life, the joy and happiness of your own life, your own soul salvation, but you also can greatly affect that of others within the same home or even within other homes that look to you for an example.

Now I’d like to go back to the book of Genesis. If you look with me there to a familiar passage of Genesis where Adam and Eve now have sinned and are in the garden hiding from God and God certainly finds them. And then He asks the question of Adam and Adam answers the question but then God says, ‘But who told you, you were naked? Who was it that brought this to your attention?’ Then I want you to notice the response of Adam after these things have transpired. In verse 12 the man Adam He said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Well, what did Adam do? Well, Adam didn’t say it was his responsibility as a husband, or his responsibility in the home, or it was his need. He said it was the woman which You gave me, that is why I ate, otherwise I probably would have never done it, if someone else hadn’t made me do it then I would have never sinned. Well, I want you to look at the next example because guess what Eve says, she doesn’t say she should have been a better wife, or better person, or should have shown forth more strength, and shouldn’t have eaten it as she was commanded. What does Eve do? Look again, verse 13, “And the Lord god said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” So it really wasn’t me, it wasn’t my fault; you know if the serpent hadn’t said what he said to me then I would have never eaten. Then the husband said well it really wasn’t me it was really the woman that you gave me and if she hadn’t of given it to me. You see what often happens I believe even today within the home because how many times have you thought or at least heard others say, ‘Well, if my husband was a better husband. Well, if my husband took on more responsibility and doing a better job supporting the home. If my Husband was a better father.’ But it doesn’t end there, ‘If my husband was a better husband then I would be a better wife.’ But the implication is because my husband isn’t a better husband then I choose not to be a better wife, because my husband is not a better father then I choose not to be a better mother. How sad, that we begin that type of a blame. Or that a husband says, ‘Well, my wife just doesn’t take care of me. My wife doesn’t fulfill her responsibilities as she should as commanded by God. Therefore because my wife is not what she should be then I will not be what I need to be.’ Again how sad, how sad because with that attitude, with that mindset, with a society. With a mindset of a society that shows forth this concept that it is always someone else’s responsibility, that it is always someone else’s fault, someone made me do it and if everybody else was better and if everybody else would do more of what they should do then I would be able to do what I need to do. Well, what does God expect of you? God expects you to see first the kingdom of God. God expects you to be an example of the believers to all men. God expects you to set the standard of Christ in your life because when someone looks to me I don’t say to them or encourage then ‘Well you look through my wife and if she were a better wife then you might see Christ in me.’ That is not the way Christianity works. ‘Well if you would first look to the elders of the church, if the elders of the church. If the minister was a better minister. If the deacons were better deacons then we could be better Christians.’ Is that the way it works? When you find your place in the home, the home of God commanded by God, what does a worthy child do? They obey and they obey not because someone else does or someone else doesn’t, someone else will or someone else won’t. They obey because they love God enough to keep His commandments. Isn’t that a beautiful thought that I am the husband I need to be because I love God and I know that if I am the husband I need to be guess what the next thing is, it might challenge my wife to be the best wife that she can be. And when my children see that I am the best husband I can be and the best father that I can be, and therefore my wife also is doing the same and she is the best wife that she can be and the best mother she can be, then my children have such an example. What do they desire? What is their pattern going to be? That they want to as well be the best children, the most honorable, the most respected for they have been taught such not only in word but they have been taught such in deed and in the proof of that which God commands.

Now if you will I would like you to go back there to the book of Colossians with me and I want you to notice something else within this text because as the book of Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Not only encompasses just the one area or a small section of only just the home, or the parents in the home, or the husbands and wives in the home. But he actually goes on to talk about bondservants and masters. So really he is saying wherever you are in life, whatever position you are in life, whatever you do in life you have the great opportunity and the great privilege to be the best you can be. So, therefore notice what he goes on to say in that text again if you will turn there to Colossians but specifically we are going to look at chapter 3. Notice what he says about the sincerity of their actions verse 23 for instance he says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” What do you mean? Do you mean that I am supposed to act towards others as if they were God or as if I was acting towards God? Yes, because what does that challenge me to do? Matthew 25 says that when I do good to even those who are my enemies, and I do it in the name of God, and I have done it as if I have done it to God I am still blessed by God; for my spirit of God, for my character of God, for my attitude which is alike those things of God and the scripture of God. So therefore what is the challenge? That we do our best as if to God. He also had just mentioned in relationship to bondservants there and masters that these things be done with a sincerity of heart. He says we don’t do things just to please others or for show but we do things because they are right inside and they are right with God. You know I want to be a good husband and father because I want to prove to God I love Him and therefore proving to God I love Him I am going to be the best I can be and therefore I am going to have a positive effect on the rest of my family to be what they should be. Then when the times of trials come and the heart aches come how much easier with God, and with the help of God, and the spirit of Christ we are able to deal with such things and to even overcome the greatest of trials unto victory. But there is something else that I think as well is very significant here because he goes on after saying well if you do things as if to God and you do it sincerely from the heart and you don’t just do it to please others or to put on a show. He says verse 24 that your reward, your inheritance, is from the Lord whom you serve. The reward, the great promise of God! You know if I’m a good husband whether my wife is a good wife or not, or whether my wife is a good mother or not, if I am a good husband and father I will reap my reward from God. Will I not? Certainly. And I will still be able to make a difference as a good father on my children even if my wife perhaps is not, they will still have that positive influence they need at least from one parent and visa versa if a mother is what she needs to be she doesn’t need to say well because my husband who should be doing it first. But if the wife is what she needs to be and the mother is what she needs to be can she make up for a husband that is not doing his part, or a father that is not doing his part? In many ways, yes, but furthermore she will be rewarded from God. Isn’t that a beautiful thought, isn’t it wonderful to know that I can find the place that I am in life in accordance to the will of God through His word. I can find what He wants, His instructions, His love, His care, His guidance and I can obey those things and I can be right with God no matter what’s going on around me. But when I am right with God, usually most of the time, I have a positive effect on those around me. I am going to be not only closer to God myself and be more right with God knowing I will receive the reward no matter what but I am going to be able to have that same effect on those I love the most; my wife and my children. So I challenge you today to be one who finds your place before God in the home and fulfill that role no matter what it might be. Also that you might be pleasing to God today on this earth but that you might also thus receive the reward from Him of heaven and eternal life.

(SONG # 3 - “Softly And Tenderly!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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As Christians may we find out what God wants and thus accept our individual responsibilities in the home. For the only way which the home will be what it needs to before God is when we give ourselves fully over to His Pattern and His Will!

(Program closing)