Archive for January, 2014

imageDid you know there are two types of ministries we can offer to our family, according to Paul in 2 Corinthians. One ministry is the kind you can learn and study just about anywhere, in any religion, and they all agree that it comes down to being a good person on this earth so we can love God with all our strength and love people. Sounds doable, right? Then there is another ministry that points to Jesus loving us so much, becoming sin and believers becoming righteous, regardless their behavior, to eternally be connected with God. One ministry points to fruit and the other points to the root ( the vine where fruit is produced). Both ministries have glory but only one is permanent and unchanging.

One ministry (which I like to call bi-polar Christianity) is called condemnation and always points to self behavior. Paul also calls this ministry the “ministry of death” or the Ten Commandments, which Jesus lived under while on the earth and He fulfilled. The other ministry is righteousness and points to who we already are in Christ Jesus. How do we know if we are living in the ministry of condemnation or righteousness in our home? The fruit of freedom is in a family’s home ministering in righteousness. Your spouse and children will be overflowing in joy and freedom. The law will always point families to self-help behavior to earn favor with God and the fruit of that ministry is self-righteousness. I heard a family say once that “the teaching of righteousness in Christ is for baby believers and that it’s the very beginning salvation process” but my response was, “not only is righteousness in Christ the foundation, but according to Paul, it is the spiritual meat to be devoured by the spiritually mature (Hebrews 5:13).”

I am learning as a husband and a father not to mix these two ministries of condemnation and righteousness in my home. The main thing is to seek first His righteousness, because I can only give in power what I myself have received from Jesus!

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One of the most powerful and effective witnessing tool to the world can be the Christian’s marriage and family life. Marriage for the believer is a mirror of the love affair between Christ and the church. Christian parenting can be a reflection of the unconditional love and forgiveness the Father has for His children. Of course it is incredibly difficult to love our spouse and children if we don’t take the time to receive the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus said those that have been forgiven little, love little (Luke 7:46-48) and I used to think that I had a very little to be forgiven since I had received salvation at such an early age. The truth is, we have all have fallen short of the glory of God. We all have been forgiven exactly the same, because if you break one commandment then you are guilty of breaking them all. As Christians we don’t all meditate on exactly what was paid by Jesus for us and because of that, we don’t all love the same. We all were born into a kingdom of darkness and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) was our father. Once we were saved, we were completely forgiven and given the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17). By the way, gifts never require payments in this new family and will not be returned. How can a Father be this loving? When we meditate on this kind of forgiveness and unconditional love, then we begin to receive it for ourselves and can’t help but overflow to our spouse and children.  Yes, the first recipients of our ministry begins in the home but you can only give (in power) what you have received from Jesus (Mathew 10:8). Meditate on the cross and how much you have been forgiven and paid for, because your family needs that kind of unconditional love!

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