Hope Sabbath School Lesson 11 Families of Faith

Posted By on June 11, 2019

[Applause] [Applause] welcome to Hope Sabbath school an in-depth interactive study of the Word of God have you been blessed by the series seasons for the family we're going through learning about different seasons that we face and today we're talking about an important issue families of faith did you grow up in a family of faith or are you now by God's grace creating a family of faith it's going to be a great study and we're glad you're here and I'm especially excited then one of our team Tricia Lee is going to be teaching today and I know we're going to learn many powerful lessons and welcome to the team are you learning some important things about family seasons yes and I think we recognize that we're all on a journey together and we're glad that you're on the journey with us we're learning we're praying for each other and we're always happy to hear from your Hope Sabbath school family here are just a few emails we've received recently Angela writes from Pennsylvania oh wait I think Stephanie are you originally from Pennsylvania right would you like to give a a little way there to Angela watching hope Sabbath school has helped me to facilitate a Sabbath School study myself that's great isn't it you know the lesson outline that Tricia Lee will be using today is the same one we all have you can use that in your home right in your home church or with a small group at your home she's using that I've never done anything like this before says Angela and I was really nervous I'm still a fairly new church member going on three years and I'm still learning myself let alone trying to teach others remember that one man that Jesus sent free sent him right back go back to your people and tell them what the Lord has done I receive compliments on the lesson study thanks to God for he was definitely with me on that day and the resources of Hope service cool amen well Angela we're really excited that you're teaching an in-depth interactive class there in Pennsylvania thanks so much for writing to us here's an email from a Zimbabwean living in Cyprus international group my name is Keith I'm currently a student in Cyprus we just starting out as a new church with other believers God has been patient with us we are in a Muslim community we're still facing challenges in terms of balancing out everything please remember us in your prayers and thank you god bless you amen Oh Keith which is so thankful in that setting where you are in Cyprus that you're saying I want to stay close to Jesus want to honor him and let the light of Jesus shine to bless your community thanks for writing to us here's a hand written note we don't get those very often this is a hand written note from New York in the United States I've been watching hope Sabbath school since 2012 I appreciate the way you present the Bible studies I've learned a lot spiritually speaking I've gained a lot thank you so much may God bless you all from the bottom of my heart and this donors sent a gift of a hundred dollars to help web service cool we're all working together we just want to say thank you for your support and thank you to each one of you that remember us in your prayers here's one note from the great country of Zambia you know we have many hopes Sabbath school members in Zambia and LU Amba writes and says are actually mokuba is the first name i am ma koba from zambia i am a teacher by profession and my family and i enjoy hope sabbath school I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you for the good work you're doing please continue because lives are being changed what a testimony and that's written from a mokuba in Zambia thank you so much for writing to us one last note from Amy in Canada there's no Canadians here no all right Amy writes and says hello from North and British Columbia I love hope Sabbath school I fell and dislocated my elbow several years ago and trying to I was trying to skate on a pond of ice not very wise Amy says then I face the prospect of spending the next six weeks stuck in my house wondering what can I do that's positive and useful in my current situation that's when I went searching for ways to study the Bible through the internet and guess what I found Pope's Sabbath school look how God helped me to improve on my unwise choice I was able to make a wiser choice because of it thank you all for the good work you do through hope Sava school and for the Lord Amy well Amy we hope that you're fully recovered from your accident on the pond and we're glad that you are part of our hope service school family and actually we need you up there in northern British Columbia Canada to sing with us right now along with Hope Sabbath school members from all around the world our theme song praise Him in the heights let's sing together inside among stars of light oh I hope lots of people are singing that and feeling joyful in the Lord and I know Trisha Lee as you lead our study today we'll find some joy being part of a big family of faith amen amen let's bow our heads as we begin our study there Heavenly Father thank you so much for giving us your word and giving us examples sort of all these families that have learned to have faith and trust in you bless our study as we learn to follow that example so we can be a light in this world in Christ's name we pray amen amen so our study today we're studying about families of faith families of faith and whether we come from a family of faith or we are trying to build our own families of faith there's so much in the Word of God that we can learn and apply to our lives today and if anyone is not having experience with reading the Word of God or studying the Word of God this study is so practical because we're gonna see a lot of Bible characters and very everyday situations that we can relate to it might have happened a long time ago but what are we gonna learn for our lives today as we build families of faith and we can um we can be grateful that these stories were recorded for us so let's start at first thinking about families very few families are in isolation and even if a family is in isolation they're gonna bring a culture with them they grew up in a culture somewhere and they're bringing that with them and so let's read some examples in the Bible of how culture where we live our environment our neighborhoods our communities can influence and impact the faith that we live and some of the decisions that we might have in our families so let's start off in Genesis right from the very beginning we have families learning to live out faith but dealing with cultures around them Stephanie would you read for us Genesis chapter 16 verses one through three and when she's done we're going to see what was a cultural influence on this family and I'll be reading from the King James Version now Sarai Abrams wife bear him no children and she had an mean an Egyptian whose name was Hagar and Sarai said unto Abram behold now the LORD hath restrained me from bearing I pray thee go into my maid it may be that I may obtain children by her and Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai and Sarai Abrams wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife all right so we've got a family of faith we have Abraham and Sarah his wife and they have a situation that they are faced with but they don't have a child and there is one way they decide to solve this problem but it's not God's Way what's the cultural influence that they are experiencing what's what is the influence on their family and what do they adopt that's a practice that really wasn't something they were supposed to Travis having multiple wives okay so that was God didn't Institute that in the Garden of Eden he was one man and one woman and as as time went on of course out of Cain's lineage they started adopting the practice of marrying more than having more than one wife so the polygamy was used as a way to get access or to have a surrogate a surrogate mother for a child that was also a practice back then but it was not God's ideal why how do we know that Adam and Eve yes how do we know it was not theirs his ideal for Abraham and Sarah cuz they gave him the promise they dig they literally had a promise so even though there was a cultural practice of surrogacy and polygamy God himself had told Abraham your child will come from your body right unfortunately the influence of the culture around they adopted that practice and we could read on in Genesis and learn of all the heartache and sorrow that came from that and I'm sure today we are aware of the heartache that comes from unfaithfulness but also from having relationships and and and not being able to be committed in one way let's look at Genesis chapter 35 there's another practice that we seed another family of faith Genesis chapter 35 verses one through four and that elects John if you to read that for us sure Genesis 35 verses one three one through four from the NIV say then God said to Jacob go up to Bethel and settle there and build an altar there to God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau so Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him get rid of the foreign gods you have with you and purify yourselves and change your clothes then come let us go up to Bethel where I will build an altar to God who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone so they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem so Billy what was the customer practice that they had adopted that Jacob was trying to I guess rid them of so on the practice of having strange gods you know give you know little gods demigods you know just having that and holding on to it and not it's almost like it's a reflection that they didn't fully trust God or that they they still acknowledge God but he still had sort of like no other gods on the side just in case yeah and even calling them foreign gods literally they could have gotten those gods or idols from foreign nations around them but even it's foreign because it's strange that's not what their family that's what the faith their family had are held on to it was a practice that they adopted from neighboring neighboring communities let's see another example first Kings chapter 11 Alex Nicole to read first Kings chapter 11 verse 1 to 4 we're gonna hear about polygamy again but there are some other practices that are a little different in this account that we're gonna hear about first Kings 11 verses 1 through 4 the New International Version says King Solomon however loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter Moabites ammonites edomites Sidonians and Hittites they were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites you must not intermarry with them because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods nevertheless Solomon held fast to them in love he had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines and his wives led him astray as Solomon grew old his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of his father David what had been so King Solomon is a great example he was known as what the wisest man I've ever lived but even he if he's not listening to the counsel that God had given his people not just not to have many wives because he could have had all this has many religious you know God serving wise no he also had wives that were on from other countries that served other gods and what do we learn happened to him it turned his heart away it turned his heart away we're also told here in New King James Version it says he had married a princess a princess from Egypt Pharaoh's daughter why do you think that might have been what practice for kings and that day might Solomon had also been trying to copy or adopt glados diplomacy they wanted to build relationship with other kingdoms so they will not be attacked so he could have easily justified what he was doing by saying well this is for the good of the people is for the good of the people that we have these alliances and strengthen our bonds with the surrounding places but we can see time and time again that only trouble comes when we stray from God's original plan for us let's look again at another account in the book of Ezra in the book of Ezra chapter 10 we'll read the first two verses Ezra 10 verses 1 & 2 I'll ask Joshua if you'd read that for us as soon as I can find out did you find EMI it's gonna be right there that's alright I'm sure other folks that are watching and flipping along or are having time fighting it's a smaller book yeah and I'll be reading from the New King James Version the Bible says now while Israel was praying and while he was confessing weeping and bowing down before the house of God a very large assembly of men women and children gathered to him from Israel for the people wept very bitterly and sheykh ania the son of jahir one of the sons of Elam spoke up and said to Ezra we have trespassed against our God and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this so it seems like there so they're confessing and acknowledging that they had these pagan wives um there's a lot going on in these several first examples about polygamy marrying the wrong individuals why are we focusing on a study about faith families of faith why are we starting out looking at polygamy right marrying the wrong individuals why would that be John there are subtle influences that can play a part that slowly erodes somebody's faith sometimes without noticing the family unit is the beginning of that the marriage is the beginning of the family unit certainly you know we can find ourselves in situations where you might not have known Christ's or we don't know him like we do now when we were married but at the very beginning God gave his people parameters on the types of relationships to enter into because he knew that it would have such a strong influence on the children they would have and whether to be easy for them to maintain the faith living in nation living in the midst of nations around who didn't believe the same way Travis I was once doing witnessing in a community and one of the guys I was witnessing with he said we need to flirt to convert but I don't think that that's really a biblical way to approach things because when you approach things in that kind of a light you know more often you'll be the one that will be converted more often than not when you put yourself in a position where you're disconnecting yourself from God it's a dangerous thing and and of course God loves everybody right and he wants everyone to come to repentance but they should we come to repentance first and ever relationship with Jesus before we enter into a relationship with them amen so let's think about today what are some of the cultures where are the aspects of the cultures that we might live in maybe here in the US or just in general this time period that we're in that are maybe challenging to on being a Christian to having a family of faith what are some examples at least in this part of the world that we're filming in polygamy is not a really acceptable culturally acceptable practice it is in other parts of the world but there may be other challenges that we're facing culturally that we're tempted to follow what might sort of those would be yes deafening horn ography is all over the place hmm and at least in our culture here in the US and that does not support a family unit of faith absolutely and I'm thinking in harmony what Stephanie said of a young couple that I knew well and he was very much addicted to pornography and didn't think it would damage his marriage I don't know what he was thinking because it's clearly Jesus said don't just avoid adultery but don't look lustfully at another person and it ended up destroying his marriage so there's a temptation in our culture that no there's no harm I'm just looking with my eyes I'm not doing anything but the Word of God tells us very differently Nicole and then Joshua it's a we talk about talking about pornography we're talking about adultery but we have a culture where it's okay to live with your spouse before you get married to test it out and see how it's going to go and so we've gotten ourselves accustomed to not thinking it's that bad if you live with the person that you hope to marry in the future and living in a life that would only be reserved for someone who was actually married so playing house before you actually have a house but uh one thing that's becoming very popular within the United States at least that's pretty much openly practices and practiced in many other parts of the world is witchcraft there are many people who are being drawn into practices of witchcraft whether or not they realize where that source of power is coming from and it's been on the rise it's been growing you have more and more people trying to bond with spirits in that manner and they really don't understand the consequences of what they really Joshua I'm so glad you brought that up and just Stephanie's point about pornography you know we don't necessarily see a witch walking down the streets of you know in different parts of the US but the entertainment that we watch a lot of the TV shows you see so much of this occult influence as if it's just a form of entertainment it's just the thing to watch and you just laugh or it's just the the what they call the paranormal is just spooky it's just fun but you're right that is a cultural norm that is making it difficult for families oh well it's easy for us to look down on polygamy from an American perspective when I was overseas and talking to people in the Middle East about polygamy that they look down on us over here where we have rampant serial monogamy where people just go from one relationship to the next and going back to her point I think the the practice of living together before marriage is led into this well idea that we can just leave our partner if things don't work out and that's not necessary healthy perspective either we need to be able to go into this relationship with this commitment that this is for life and amen it's true it's in our culture's divorce is is an option for for it happens but it's it's also advocated and not as a last resort but as even just an option that's always on the table the idea that marriage really isn't something that is supposed to be lifelong is a problem so let's keep let's keep talking about this so the the example in Ezra when all the people came and confessed their sins if you were to keep reading it actually results with them putting away their foreign wives and putting away their foreign children and because of something that's I can't even imagine a whole group of people doing that together it must have been very painful very messy very confusing and so sometimes when we're trying to it's easier to do the right thing first then try to go back something afterwards but let's let's think about has there been an example that you can think of a time when you have to let go of something in the culture in order to hold on to your faith in God or abandon something that our culture is telling us is ok just like the folks in that account in Ezra they have to let go of those foreign alliances because they realize the nation would be doomed if they kept continuing down that path what do we have to let go of today or what examples can we share John I see you smiling when I was a young man of 22 and I had just given my life to the Lord I knew that I had this collection of CDs of music that had strayed me away from God and hitting the principles of the word and so I had to get rid of that because of what it's paused and the content of that music a big part of our program is the scripture songs music is so powerful Eric than Joshua was just just gonna build up on just add on to what he just said music we and I estimate how powerful music is pastor Darius here tells us that his wife wrote the creepiest song so that the kids can remember their scriptures now if that is powerfully enough to have us remember Scripture imagine how much damaging Lee can be to a Christianity all we're listening to his music that is not edifying I remember my myself not too long ago but all I could listen to was a specific kind of music and I didn't I thought of it as harmless cuz you know the message is positive and all but I realized it was not edifying me in any way it was you know kept in a happy in a positive mood but it was not edifying me spiritually so yes you know music is I just want to agree with the tool [Laughter] music is so powerful mmm that I mean you have a you know you and I something we have in common we have a Caribbean background yes right growing up like I listen to dancehall reggae music like that was I wasn't even born in the Caribbean my friends and I from church we knew all the songs it could be that we would be in church Saturday morning and Saturday night we would all be in the club together and it would just draw us it was it was like a part of us so the point where like it I mean it the the things that they teach you in the music you start to practice that just like how spiritual music can draw us to worship our Creator music that is not of God can also draw us away away let's turn to 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 21 to 22 LX glad is to read that for us and it's a counsel that we have from God and we'll talk a little bit like how do we how do we actually apply this in our lives first of the Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 21 20 21 and 22 I'm reading from the New King James Version test all things hold fast what is good abstain from every form of evil okay so we have families of faith and we are told to hold fast what's good and abstain from every evil so does this mean my husband and I are going to move to the top of Mount Everest and bring a Peter with us to stay warm so we can stay away from all the influences no one we don't like the cold we want to be close to our family in some way but how do we abstain from evil how are we in the world but not of it practically practically speaking because people do some people do think that is the solution to go far away and close ourselves off from others Travis I think it's keeping those things out of our out of our homes is the first place to start if we can keep those things out of our home then we don't have that influence within if you're living with that influence daily you're just gonna circum – sooner or later and that's not always easy to do when if you practice as a family for a long time so you kind of cut I think you have to do it slowly slowly remove these things and let God take those puts you know let to fill those voids that they were feeling Thomas I think it's very easy to also focus on things that are obviously like wrong like like bad media but if we look at idols when these stories is anything that gets between us and God then that could actually broaden this to a big perspective I'm thinking for example I know families have put a lot of emphasis on things that are otherwise good like for example getting into the best schools or the best you know neighborhoods and the best of everything but those can also get in the way between us and God if we put so much emphasis on that they will lose sight of God and we lose sight of our humility and that's where they're you know so I think those are also important too thank you so much we have to move on sometimes let's go to the book of Acts chapter 10 we're going to look at a story of Paul as he's you know beginning and working for the Lord on his missionary journeys he's encountering different people in the cultures that he's trying to witness and work to and so sometimes holding on to what is good also means letting go of the way we view others whether they're outside our family or inside our family and even realizing it truth be told we actually all are in the same family right and so we know that Paul was coming from a religious and cultural context where Jews and Gentiles were separate people and coming and as a church is growing now in his beginnings that viewpoint was still held on to that the truth that God came to share was only meant for certain people and so we're gonna read through and summarize some points and read some points and we're gonna learn what we can from this encounter that sorry Peter sorry Peter that has with Cornelius I said Paul I meant would someone please Laurel read for us acts chapter 10 verses 1 through 8 and we're going to be introduced to this man named Cornelius alright I'll be reading for the new American Standard Bible now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius a Centurion of what was called the Italian cohort a devout man and one who feared God with all his household and gave many alms the Jewish people and pray to God continually about the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him Cornelius and fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed he said what is it Lord and he said to him your prayers and ohms have ascended as a memorial before God now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon who is also called Peter he is staying with a Tanner named Simon whose house is by the sea when the angel who was speaking to have had left he summoned to serve two of his servants a devout soldier of those who were his personal attendants and after he had explained everything to them he sent them to Joppa alright so we see Cornelius we're told that he's not a Jew but he's told that he's a devout man and he and his family there he's they're believers so they have somehow heard of Jesus and are to the best knowledge that they have they are following the truth they have meanwhile if we were to read verses 9 through 16 Peter receives a vision John would you quickly summarize what what is the vision that Peter receives Peter was on the roof and happened to be hungry and so he sees envision this a sheet that is held from the four corners and all sorts of wild animals and beasts were in there and he was told a Peter arise kill and eat and Peter had denied because he's never than anything common or unclean that happened three times in division and so let's pick up the story Billy verses 17 through 23 okay I'll be reading from the from the King James Version now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean behold the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house and stood before the gate and called and asked whether Simon which was surnamed Peter were lodged there while Peter thought on the vision the Spirit said unto Him behold three men seek thee arise therefore and get thee down and go with them doubting nothing for I have sent them then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius and said Behold I am he whom ye seek what is the cause where of ye are come and they said Cornelius the Centurion adjust man and one that feareth God in of good report among all the nation of the Jews was warned from God by an Holy Angel to send for thee unto his house and to hear words of thee then called heed them in and lodged them and on the morrow Peter went away with them in certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him all right so he has this dream he still not sure what it means but he has now instruction to go to a certain City he eventually finds and meets Cornelius and they start to have a start interaction I'm gonna act Joshua we're gonna hear the words of Peter himself as he shares with us what he's learned from what the dream means what he learns it means about his relationship or how he should treat Cornelius would you please read on verse 28 and then read verse 34 and 35 for us okay and the Bible says then he said to them you know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation but God has shown me that I should not call any man on excuse me any man common or unclean verses 33 and 34 for and 35 for 135 then Peter opened his mouth and said in truth I perceive that God shows no partiality but in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him amen amen so God working in Cornelius's life and in Peters life not just to bring the gospel to Cornelius and his family but to also show Peter that the gospel and being a Christian really means we're a lot more open and accepting and loving than our culture's might tell us that we should be what else do we learn that what else might Peter have had to let go of how do you think this new revelation would have been accepted by his peers his religious spirits will need to go back home do you think that was easy for him no it's not easy for us either when we decide that we're gonna follow the will of God we're not always gonna find support from others outside you know you read earlier that we should hold fast to what's good mm-hmm what was good Peter knew was that God loved him yes what he needed to let go of is the thought that God didn't love them so you know it's not that God didn't love him that was true God loved him but God loved all of his children and so there's a broadening of his understanding which which actually directly challenged this culture of the past absolutely absolutely praise God I'm grateful that that message was given to Peter and this story's recorded because truth be told we're all Gentiles but God God be praised we were all a part of his family let's keep reading some different examples of how families can deal with change sometimes it's not just the people or cultures that we have to deal with sometimes it's just life life just brings us different challenges and we have the opportunity to show our faith in how we handle those different circumstances let's go back to Genesis and I'm gonna ask milena if she would read to us read for us in Genesis chapter 12 verse there's one through five I'll be reading from the New King James Version now the Lord had said to Abram get out of your country from your family and from your father's house to a land that I will show you I will make you a great nation I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed so Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him and lot went with him and Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran then Abram took Sarai his wife and lot his brother's son in all their possessions that they had gathered in the people whom they had acquired in her on and they departed to go to the land of Canaan so they came to the land of Canaan thank you so who here I'm looking I know at least one person here was not born in this country but actually had to travel here or immigrate here for those of you who have had that experience was it an easy experience Gladys please share some what what was difficult about that situation well leaving everything behind leaving your family leaving your friends leaving everything you know and coming to a land when you don't speak the language you don't understand the culture and send the people so you have a lot of doubts you think I'm not gonna be accepted I'm not gonna have friends especially when you're a kid when I was a teenager it was still difficult for me to understand how the family was going to change now that we were gonna be all by ourselves so certainly as a young person in a family who's made this decision to move there are challenges we're told here how old is Abram when he lives seventy seventy five I mean I can't imagine just what that must have been like I mean I'm not near anywhere near 75 but you know just being in my home that I've been in now for what six years or so you're pretty comfortable in a certain town are pretty comfortable in certain place having to pick up and not knowing where you're going of course that requires faith did he know what was waiting him no did he ever promise yes was that what he had to exercise his faith with amen and we're told he believed even it was counted to him for righteousness I'm sure Trisha Lee there were family members who said what are you doing na ho where are you going right now right Sara or Soraya's she was called back then they have no children so she's maybe got siblings I don't know if parents were still living that whole support system I can't imagine they were all saying great idea they would have to travel and live in these temporary shelters the tents it might have been a nice tent because you know it's a he's Abraham he probably has a nice big tent but it's okay that's just my personal thing okay Travis would you read for us Esther let's go to the book of Esther chapter 2 and we'll read verses 5 through 11 and we're going to look at another young woman who herself had to exercise some faith by what life brought to her I'll be reading from the New King James Version mister 2 5 3 11 in sucia and this the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jared the son of shimmy the son of Kish a Benjamin keish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who have been captured with Jakarta Joko Anaya king of Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away and Mordecai had brought up had visa that is Esther his uncle's daughter for she had neither father nor mother the young woman was lovely and beautiful when her father and mother had died Mordecai took her as his own daughter so it was when the king's command and decree were heard and when young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel under the custom of he guy that Esther also was taken to the king's palace into the care of he guy the custodian of the women now the young woman pleased him and she abstained his favor so he readily gave Beauty preparations to her besides her allowance then seventh race maid servants were provided for for her from the king's palace and moved her and her maid servants of the best place in the house of the women Esther had not revealed her her people or family for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it and every day more care pasted in front of the court of the women's quarters to learn of Esther's welfare and what was happening to her so what is the first major life change that Esther and Mordecai are faced with well Esther primarily but Mordecai secondarily I lost her family no father she lost her family and here now her uncle steps in to take care of her and he's also concerned for her well-being and her welfare as well as Travis well I was gonna just say I mean you don't pace up and down in front of somewhere if you're not worried he's obviously worried she's in there what's gonna happen to her that's what I mean that's why I would pace back and forth not only that so Mordecai had dealings in like the palace he was in the the kind of royal search circle he knew the king and you keep reading the whole book of Esther the King has is kind of strange um he seems very irrational in the first chapter but he knows that his business could potentially be in trouble and so what how do Mordecai and Esther have to exercise faith in this type of situation because it seems like what's happening is out of their control you don't control losing your parents or keeping them you have no control that the King has declared that all the women beautiful women are taken to my palace no control over what's happening but how are they exhibiting or how do we know that they can exhibit faith during this you know there's a New Testament promise that God can work all things for good yes and I think Mordecai is praying and later of course when the crisis comes he says it could be that you come to the kingdom for such a timeless in other words we've committed our lives to God we've asked God to lead us I don't know why it all happened the way it did but if God's working then you're there for a reason and of course the reason is that God will use her to deliver the children of Israel from a mass genocide Great God so I know just that awareness if I've committed my life to God no matter how challenging it may look God has some purpose he can work out there we have the advantage of looking back at the story of recognizing that in the moment it might not have felt that way right but just in the verses that we read there is a little bit of evidence some blessing that God is giving to Esther to show that his favor is on her and we're told that of all the women that were taken Esther somehow finds favor in the eyes of the custodian and he gives her extra portions of whatever supplies they were giving out and so even when we find ourselves in these situations where things are kind of outside our control we can look for those little glimpses of hope those glimpses of God's blessings and by faith believe that he will turn this favor into more faith not just for me but for the whole people that ended up saving him and let's go to John the book of John John chapter 2 and this is an interesting interaction between Jesus and his mother John chapter 2 verses 1 through 5 I likes Nichola she'd read that for us the New International Version of John chapter 2 verses 1 through 5 says on the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee Jesus mother was there and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding when the wine was gone Jesus's mother said to him they have no more wine woman why do you involve me jesus replied my hour has yet to come his mother said to the servants do whatever he tells you so what what do you think faith challenge or change is happening in the family what are what is Mary having to accept at this point her son's gotten older I don't know that she's accepting it I think she has faith that he is who who the angel said he was going to be and she knew that he was the the son of God and so she was just exercising faith I believe at that time okay do you think there's an applic for us in thinking about our families and how we can exercise faith maybe in the ministry that maybe one of our loved ones might be called to so certainly this is her little boy and the angel has told her that what a sword would pierce through your heart also she might want to protect or shield him from going out and doing things here you see her kind of kind of pushing him into here's your chance do a miracle Jesus yes she believes but she's also in a way kind of supporting his ministry and we have a role too I mean we might have people that we're they're very familiar to us and maybe we can't see them being called by God but we have a role to play in supporting our loved ones that God's calling them to ministry I almost see a shift though at first she's like well do something and then she steps back and says whatever he said whatever he says yes which is a you're talking about change in families of faith you know she has been his parent and she said to him Jesus I want you to go do this and there is a shift happening here he's now in his ministry yeah as Messiah and she realizes I actually need to step back I can't tell him the miracles of whatever hitos whatever he tells you to do Travis that's right I like what you're saying Trisha Lee about you know that we shouldn't get in the way but and I think we should take it a step further we should encourage our family members to get involved in ministry how often do we as family members actually encourage them you know sometimes we're selfish and we want them close to us but I know now looking back I'd like all of my children involved in ministry every one of them you know with a wish I could have encouraged that so I think encouraging a family member to get involved and have that living connection with Jesus is great have you been thinking about spouses of Ministers I mean that takes faith I mean to know that yes my spouse loves me but they need to spend time with the church members or time doing other things it takes faith and realizing that you can be supportive in different ways whether you are the spouse or sibling or a child of someone that's called to ministry we have to keep moving but let's think about what are some practical ways that we can assist or encourage other families that might be going through major life changes whether it's major changes well I'm just thinking about our own relocation because my wife and I moved from Southern California where we had a group of friends for the last ten years and coming here was really hard because we were really lonely we didn't have a group but in addition to looking at the Bible promises we have been looking at how God has led us in the past you know and and just remembering God has been faithful to us so far he's brought us this far he's going to and we've seen how God has opened up so many doors and Here I am you know just a testimony about how God continues to any will continue to take care of us he's got Eric just go I don't – what he said I I came I came to this country when I was 22 it was it was it was a it was different I had all my life I'd lived there had all my friends it was fun I had a lot of fun and I'm moving to this strange place where I have no one I the only person I have is my dad whom I have not seen in 13 years and I have to turn I have to be able to transition to that and looking back one of the things that I can encourage someone is I have have been there and I've done it and I know I didn't do it by myself because it was not easy but by the hand of God I have been able to get to where I am right now and yes despite it's where the fact that you leave other things God opens out the windows other doors other you know you know your opportunities for you to sit for him to work through you praise God Joshua yeah I would say to consider the spiritual impact on your family I know that for many people especially when it comes to moving to the United States there's wonderful financial educational and business opportunities here it's a wonderful country for that however what many parents don't consider beforehand is how this will impact their families because I've seen so many people who when they first came to the US they were just you know bubbling full of Jesus I enjoy it's very spiritual people you give it a couple of years and they start to integrate with all of the the temptations and the sins and you know all that is available to them here and the parents look back and they say wow if I knew that this was going to happen to my child I would have never come here we need guidance we need that what is that I will say there's a way that seems right to a man right but the end could be the way of destruction sometimes the plans that we have are not always the plants that God has for us but if God does call us to pack up everything and go we can trust that he could make a way to provide for us that's a great point Joshua that our parents really are the first ones to start making a lot of these decisions for us and we there's such a great responsibility that parents have to teach children and literally that's where we first learn about God let's turn to the book of Joshua chapter 24 verse 15 or thinking about the influence of parents and of on children and thinking about how do we instill faith in our children all the different life challenges and cultural influences is not just affecting parents it's the whole family so what can we do to ensure that children are safe in our we are instilling in them good spiritual values John would you read for us Genesis sorry Joshua 24 verses from the NIV it says but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the amorite sin whose land you are living but as for me in my household we will serve the Lord as a father what's powerful about that declaration that Joshua was making well I think as a the spiritual leader in your home you want you want your whole family to serve God right especially looking back now for sure you know it's like I want all of my family serving God and I will say that it's not always easy you know if you've if they've not if you're not led that way in the past they might look at you and say dad I think you're a little whacked right but it's a powerful day he's basically saying it doesn't matter what you guys decide here's what's gonna happen in my house and he's he sounds committed and determined he's not perfect none of us are at least he's trying to show that example let's go to second Timothy chapter 1 in the book of seconds to me chapter 1 so we have an example of male leadership and a male example from Joshua but we know that women play a powerful role in child-rearing I mean obviously the children Laurel would you read for us second Timothy 1 verses three through five okay three through five you said yes all right I'll be reading from the new American Standard Bible I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience the way of my forefathers did as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day longing to see you even as I recall your tears so that I may be filled with joy for I am mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice I am sure that it is in you as well amen sweetie three generations we're told there's a grandmother there's a mother and now there's Timothy who is following in this example the spiritual leadership the faith that's been instilled in him and so I've got any testimonies that we can share about the impact that our parents have had and helping to shape our faith any examples that we could share Stephanie yeah I think you know first of all none of our parents our families are perfect but we can look at those blessings that we've received as foundations growing up in a Christian home and being exposed to Jesus in in church at school that has been a huge blessing because it gives you that opportunity to build Christian relationships in a in an environment even Amen Gladys and he just provides that you know back to the Bible kind of response it makes it kind of automatic when you grow up in a household of faith that everything any problem any circumstances that comes you turn to prayer so as you grow older it's like comes like a like a second nature to you to turn to prayers Amen God promises that we're gonna be his witnesses what are some practical ways that families can be witnesses to their children to the community what can we do practically that shows that we are family of faith we're not just hiding from the bad things in the world but how are we gonna let the light shine and what Jesus is doing for us where are some ways we can do it I think just principle wise you know what you do at home you also do outside of home sort of like you don't have a to face you know because the kids can tell when you are faking it because they see well how you behave in at your house so I'd say you know just be consistent yeah you know whether you know in the house or outside the house it's funny you say consistent I know growing up we would have relatives come to visit who didn't believe in keeping Sabbath from Friday evening until Saturday evening and I used to feel so embarrassed like mommy daddy like they don't observe Sabbath like why are we forcing things on them like they don't know about worship but they were showing my sisters and I consistency that in this house we do keep Sabbath and our guests are invited to keep Sabbath that was a powerful witness by my parents being consistent with me Nicole I think it's important that you pray with your children I think they see and they can hear what you're praying for and they begin to learn okay it's important to pray for someone else is important to pray not just for what I want but for the needs of others and I think that's it's a great example for your children to know what mommy and daddy are praying for I need to be praying for also is God Laurel I think doing outreach as a family is also a good way to set that as an example to other people for example going to a nursing home and just singing religious songs to them just can like really touch the hearts of like not just the the people who you're working with but like your family as well and it also binds you together spiritually I hope that we have learned that some of the challenges that we face today are not in you and that just like God could build faith through all the life challenges that those in the Bible experience he can do the same thing for us in our families today so thank you for studying with me what a great study you know and I'm very care some some maybe you're watching and you're saying I wish I had a family of faith like maybe name one of you sitting here but the truth of the matter is if we didn't have that we can form that family of faith ourselves we can enlarge the circle welcome people and say God is welcome here we want to reflect his love here we can be the difference with God in our midst and I just want to pray a blessing for your family whatever you're going through whatever season that God would be the very center would bless you and guide you each step of your journey let's pray together our Father in Heaven we've learned from families in the Bible we've learned some who've had strong faith and others who've stepped out just starting to walk in faith but we thank you for the assurance that you with us that you'll never leave us or forsake us and where we've been given families of faith we thank you help us to appreciate that gift but thank you also that we can have new beginnings we can form families of faith with your power and by your blessing and I thank you that you'll bless each family represented in our study today in the name of Jesus amen amen well thanks for joining us for hope service will be a blessing to your family and to the families around you [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 4 comments

  1. Stephanie is also very gifted in teaching. Great choosing pastor Derrick in allowing them to teach and lead out


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