Friend of the Family News Letter
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.” In our last article on this text we said, “The forgiveness called for in this passage is actually about our own victory over bitterness, anger, etc.” It actually includes victory over all the struggle and heartache mentioned in Ephesians 4:31.
It is impossible to live without being failed and hurt by other people. Sometimes the offense is intentional and sometimes it is not. Either way, we experience a lot of hurt in life. We must not let that hurt destroy us. The simple truth is we cannot always reconcile with people, but we need personal peace within. That is what the forgiveness of Ephesians 4:32c is all about. To open up how the process works, we are going to consider the message of Romans 12:19-21. Paul writes, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the LORD’. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for is so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” I want to emphasize again, if an offense against you was criminal or abusive, get counsel on exactly what your response should be. The thrust of Romans 12:19 is that we should not attempt to meet out justice on our offender. Vengeance is God’s business. He may act through civil authorities, church authorities or bring direct judgment on someone, and will do it in His time and way, not ours. Our victory comes when we can turn matters and people over to the Lord. He says He will repay. God will deal with our offender and He will do it perfectly. When you and I entrust these matters to the Lord we are on our way to victory. As verse 21 says, we must not be overcome of evil. We cannot let evil win. It will destroy us. Many people go through life carrying the burdens of sorrow, sadness, pain and anger created by hurts inflicted on them by other people. Such a person cannot be the Christian, the marriage partner or the parent that God wants him to be. He in turn will bring pain to the next generation. A family will be weakened at best and possibly destroyed. I will not minimize the destructive power of hurt, but it cannot become our excuse to hurt or fail others. Unless these things are surrendered to the Lord, victory will be out of reach. I see the results in so many, and I understand how it all transpires, but we must reach beyond the source of our own defeat to the hope that God alone can give us. God does not preserve us from affliction but shows us a pathway to higher ground. More next time.
Trends & Troubles
We concluded the article in this column last time by writing, “Watch the world. We are moving toward the end of time.” We cannot fully use the United States as the measuring rod for the times. Although some try to fit us in as the prophesied Babylon of Jeremiah 50-51 and Revelation 18, our Country fails to meet the full description of biblical Babylon, and may meet her own fate of judgment before the Tribulation. In the United States however, we certainly see the collapse of society as prophesied for the end of this age. II Timothy 3 describes the decline of civilization in this current Church Age including the rejection of God, along with moral and spiritual decay. Paul, as does Peter and John, describes a period of time called, “the last days”. He says they will be perilous (hard, difficult, grievous, and fierce). He starts the description by saying men (people) will be lovers of themselves. When the first statement about the “last days” identifies people as self-centered and selfish, the rest is easy to imagine. However we are not left to our own imagination, because we are given a list of horrible characteristics of the times that makes us shudder. Family breakdown is exhibited with children being “disobedient to their parents”. The term for disobedience suggests obstinateness and being unpersuadable. It reflects the failure of family structure and authority. It demonstrates the effect of ungodly influence on the basic unit of society. “Without natural affection” is part of the list. It is far reaching in its meaning and connotations. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Texas law illegal, which allowed abortion only to save the life of the mother, has resulted in many states having no restriction on abortion at all. Millions of unborn children are legally slaughtered every year. Indeed, natural affection seemed lost, but unnatural affection rose its head in rebellion against God with the LGBT movement finding acceptance in every element of society. There will be no turning back to godly standards in this Land. While there is more to alert us to the significance of the times in which we live and the wickedness that points toward the end of the age, we write it as a warning to you and your family. We cannot change the world, but is the world destroying your home? More next time!
For The Family
In our last article we raised the issue that the family, as God instituted it, is under attack from many sources. We quoted Genesis 1:27 which says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” That verse offers us foundational truth. There are two genders. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God began the human race by making a man named Adam, who was made in God’s image. Genesis 2:18, 21, 22. say, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him’…And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man.” These verses show that the woman was made of the rib (side) of the man and was created to be a helper to him. God thereby established the man as the leader of the marriage relationship and the woman to stand by his side as a helper. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This verse tells us God established marriage and family to be the continuing norm for society, and that the married couple becomes “one flesh” when they are married. In a summary statement found in Genesis 1:28, God told this first married couple, “…Be fruitful and multiply and replenish (fill) the earth…” At a much later time the prophet Malachi, in referring to God making the couple one flesh, asks and answers the question, “And wherefore one?” His answer is challenging. He said, “That he might seek a godly seed” (Malachi 2:15. The plan is clear – One man and one woman married for life, and as God gives children, they to be raised and trained so as to produce a new godly generation. How does your family measure up against God’s plan for marriage and family? More next time.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
In our last article in God is looking for men, we referred to I Corinthians 16:13 and the phrase, “Quit you like men”. The challenge that follows is “Be strong”. That is what we as men need today. A man needs to be strong. In Ephesians 3:16, Paul prayed that we might be strengthened with might by God’s Spirit in the inner man. Might is the power and strength to do what needs to be done. In a similar way, Paul said in Ephesians 6:10, “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” There is no glory in weakness, but in recognizing it, we become keenly aware of our need for God’s enablement. Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 2:1). Written in the passive voice, the challenge is to allow ourselves to be strengthened. A man needs to consider what God expects of him. Then he needs to find strength and power in God to fulfill his responsibilities.
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE THAT MAN?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:1, 2, 10).
As we begin a new year, 2022, I’m so blessed to be in God’s Word. All the fears in our Country and fears in our lives can easily be allayed through reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. God has all the answers for the time in which we live the future that awaits us! It’s actually exciting to ponder the very time we are living in and know what our end will be. God’s Word was given to us for “such a time as this”. I pray all who read this little article know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. He is the truth and the life for all mankind. Only when we accept His free gift of salvation can we be comforted and excited about life now and in the future! I trust you will have a victorious year ahead, working hard to win others to Him.
The nation and the world are changing and they never going to return to the better times of the past. Our hope is in the Lord and His return, but we are here and must consider our role in the “here and now”. By God’s grace, there may be times of revival and even renewed hope for our beloved Country, but the world is on a dark path toward judgment. A favorite person of mine in Scripture is Elijah. In bad times he was used greatly of the Lord. His confrontation with the prophets of Baal must have stirred his own heart, as well as many in Israel. Fire from heaven was not an everyday experience. From that mountain top of victory however, Elijah was plunged into fear and depression. He had stood wonderfully for the Lord, but his hope for revival in Israel was dashed when Jezebel threatened his life. With expectations of revival unfulfilled, he ran for his life, and even after God sought to comfort and encourage him, he hid in a cave on Horeb, the Mount of God. God’s convicting challenge, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” exposed the inner anger and conflict of a man who wanted to serve victoriously, but weakened in the face of human rejection and attack. May we serve God because He is God – and give our expectations to Him.
BFM RESOURCES INCLUDE:
*All listed prices are suggested donations.
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
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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