Friend of the Family News Letter


Family Issues


As we noted in our last article in this column, God does not preserve us from affliction, but shows us a pathway to higher ground. The last phrase of Ephesians 4 is found in verse 32c. It says “…forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” I must forgive people. How can I do that? The first thing we must remember is that forgiving is not connected with emotion. Feelings are hard to conquer. Some people think they cannot forgive, because they still have feelings of hurt or anger. They tend to think they cannot forgive until the feelings go away. Or if they act to forgive, they think they must not have done it right, because feelings linger. Emotion is a wonderful gift from God, but uncontrolled emotion can bring terrible defeat into our lives. Forgiveness must be seen as an act of our will. It is a choice we make based on Bible truth. First we must acknowledge the truth of Romans 12:19. Vengeance is not an option for us. God will repay. Vengeance comes out of justice, not emotion. God is just. He knows exactly what response is appropriate for what one person has done to another. Thankfully, God says, He will repay. We often want to see the payment. We want to be able to identify what happened to the person who hurt or offended us. Maybe I am just confessing my own guilt on that one. But God tells me it is not my business; it is His. I have found it to be a test of my own faith in God to be able to let go of a situation or person, by yielding it all to Him. I am reminded that His ways are above my ways, so it is likely He will not handle the matter as I would want Him to. When we do surrender all to Him, we have our best chance of personal peace and victory. There are different Greek words that can be rendered “forgive” in our Bible. The one found in Ephesians 4:32 is charizomai. It means unconditional giving. It boils down to us turning the matter over to the Lord. Now we must clarify. This forgiveness is about the mess of verse 31. I must find a way to be delivered from the “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking and malice listed in that verse. I must find spiritual victory for my own well-being. It does not mean that I ignore other obligations in dealing with a problem. For instance, if a person commits a crime, can I forgive him and at the same time have him arrested? Yes. If my child disobeys, can I forgive him and still follow through with appropriate discipline? Yes. My obligations as a citizen, spouse, parent, church member, etc. are not to be ignored or sacrificed. One more article next time.      


  

Trends & Troubles


 Watch the world. We are moving toward the end of time. We should all realize that many precious saints of days gone by were confident that they were living in the last days. The horrors of  World Wars I and II made many sure the return of Christ was near. We believe the return of Christ is imminent. It could happen any moment from our perspective, because there is no biblical prophecy that must be fulfilled before He comes. Only the Lord Himself knows the timing of the fulfillment of His plan. We are reminded however, of the words of challenge given to the Pharisees and Saducees by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:2-3. He said, When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. Oh ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? The signs of the times were not supernatural signs. That is what the religious leaders were hoping for. The signs spoken of by the Lord Jesus were simply indicators of the times in which they were living. So, we do not look for supernatural signs and we certainly cannot prophesy anything, but we must look at what is going on around us. One of the most simple, but powerful indicators of our times was the establishment of Israel as a nation in their own land in 1948. They had not controlled their own land from 586 BC to 70 AD. Then in 70 AD they were destroyed in battle by the Romans, with a million being killed and multitudes scattered all over the world. So, from 70 AD to 1948, they did not fully occupy their land. For over 2500 years, the land promised to Israel by God was totally out of their control. In our time, the people of Israel have returned to that Land of Promise. Is that an indicator of the times? Some might say no. I say, Even so come, Lord Jesus.

In time, God will bring judgment to the world. It will come in the prophesied last 7 years of Gabriels message to Daniel, as recorded in the book Daniel, chapter 9. Those last 7 years are what are commonly called the Tribulation Period. Those years will occur soon after the Rapture of the Church. As stated already, we do not know when that will happen, but there are seeming indicators of the times. One part of the total judgment to come on the world is noted as a series of events called the Trumpet Judgments. The sixth judgment found Revelation 9 will bring death to the third part of men. Read Revelation 9:20-21 to see how men will respond. We will address it next time.            


 

Prescription


For The Family  

 

We closed our last article in this column by asking, “How does your family measure up against God’s plan for marriage and family?” It is not how our families measure up against one another’s family or the family experience of others. The challenge is for us to look honestly at what God says about marriage and family. Then we take a hard look at our homes. The foundation of a family is the marriage. Marriages must be strong and enduring. Pressures on a married couple have always been great and they are not lessening. While the current divorce rate in our Country is lower than in previous years, it is still estimated that 50% of marriages in the United States will end in divorce. Through surveys it has been determined that 60% of divorcees say that infidelity was a major, if not the major factor, in the failure of their relationship. What a tragedy! Other factors include lack of commitment to one another, finances, physical conflict and more. The Bible is clear in announcing in Malachi 2:16, that God hates “putting away”, which is divorce. It does not say God hates divorced people, but he hates the destruction of marriage. How can divorce be stopped? We know problems come to every home, but these destructive experiences of infidelity, lack of commitment and physical conflict must be brought to an end. Of course those victories can only be won in one marriage at a time, but they must be achieved. Ben Franklin coined the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” He was not talking about marriage, but the message applies. When we do apply it, it boils down to choosing the right mate. It is hard to know for sure how a person is going to turn out. It is said that a man gets married hoping his wife will never change, but she always does, and a woman gets married hoping her husband will change, but he never does. We must remember, the marriage is first of all a spiritual relationship. Preachers are involved, but only God can take two and make them one. Since that is true, spiritual values in both parties will be critical to marriage success. The conviction that marriage is for the rest of one’s life is an added necessity. More next time.   

 

God is looking for men…

 

                Is He looking for you?

 

In Isaiah 6 we find the record of Isaiah seeing the Lord. When he saw Him sitting on the heavenly throne, Isaiah recognized his own sinfulness. He saw himself as one who deserved God’s judgment. Don’t we all? But, God cleansed him of his sin and immediately wanted to use him for His divine purpose. He said, “Whom shall I send…?” Isaiah responded, “Here am I; send me.” There has never been a more critical time for men to be willing to be used by God. I don’t think Isaiah knew exactly what God had in mind for him, but he volunteered. Have you dared to say, “Here am I; send me.”? Every family needs the man to be a devoted godly leader. Every church stands in need of men who will serve and lead. The haters of God speak without shame. The servants of God seem to be ashamed to speak. Every sector of society needs a man, who will be a strong and open testimony for Christ.

 

ARE YOU WILLING TO BE THAT MAN?

 

 

 


From Under the Umbrella

By Patricia E. Griffith


It’s so wonderful to see spring! The trees get green and the fields are being prepared for seed. The winter wheat is blowing in the wind; the earth is breaking forth in newness from the stark grey days of winter! In case you were wondering, I LOVE spring. It is like a new beginning of life. I can hardly wait to get my deck set up, so I can do my devotions with a cup of coffee, early in the morning, as the sun rises. The spring flowers are popping up and blooming! A glorious time of year. God’s wonderful creation is springing forth with newness of life. Thank you Lord for another spring! In the ugly world we are living in and the frightful future of America and the world, God’s Word is so precious! I hope you are spending lots of time reading it and claiming the wonderful promises He has given us. Proverbs 3:25-26, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

  

 

 

 

Perspective


Apostasy is far worse than simple unbelief. If you meet someone who has never heard the gospel, they may live in serious sin, but may also be open to the message of redemption. The one far more difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach, is the one who has known and maybe once professed the truth, but has come to reject it. The reprobate of Romans 1:28 is a tragic person. The text says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” To be “not convenient” means to be unfit – unfit for a person to do. Notice the people described did not like to retain God in their knowledge. They had known about Him, but now refuse Him. In rejecting God they were rejected by God. I John 2:19 warns, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would not doubt have continued with us…” The true apostate walks away from truth they once pretended to believe. I fear for such people, as I fear for the United States. It seems there is no repentance from apostasy. May God help us!






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BOOKS AND BOOKLETS:

The Christian Response to Culture Collapse in the USA - $2.00.

Does it Matter? – A look at Bible manuscripts and versions - $8.00

Before the Throne of Grace – Leather - $19.99.

Victory Over Trial and Trouble – hard back book on getting real victory in life - $13.95.

Parenting: One Chance to do it Right - $12.95.

Serving As A Deacon – booklet - $2.50.

Growing Up God’s Way – John Stormer - $3.00

None dare Call It Education – John Stormer - $3.00

Israel, Still God’s Chosen people - $12.00

God Is Looking for Men, Is He Looking for You? - $13.00


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Holy Ground – 3 messages - $12.00

Til Death do Us Part – 6 messages - $18.00

Parenting – 6 messages - $18.00

The Basic Family Series – 6 messages - $18.00




Biblical Family Ministries Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit Christian ministry established in 1993 to present the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, child training and other Biblical topics. Dr. E. Allen Griffith and his wife Patricia, work together in this ministry located in Downingtown, PA. They are assisted by Kimberly Schmelzer.



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BFM holds the absolute conviction that Bible truth can solve the ever growing problems of today’s families.