Monty Sharp shares about leaving a legacy.
Not everyone has a great family, and some have no earthly family at all. Fortunately, God has given every person the opportunity to become a part of His family – the Church. For many, however, this is more of a nice idea than a reality. If we’re supposed to be a spiritual family, why isn’t this our common experience? One reason is that too many see church as another means to personal fulfillment and happiness. They see themselves more as God’s customer than His child, looking for what they can get from a church instead of what they can give. For the church to be our family, however, we must be willing to give ourselves up. We must see the value in being a part of true community that makes us more like Jesus. The Church is the single greatest world-changing organization in the history of mankind, and we get to be a part of it. Don’t miss out!
Scripture References: Acts 20:17-38; Galatians 4:1-7; Luke 14:25-27; 1 John 3:1
Parenting is not easy, but it is very much a blessing. Being a godly parent involves being both a nurturer and a disciplinarian. These roles communicate the character of God, who is the model parent. As parents, we need to look to God's example, instruction and character to guide manner and even style of parenting.
Scripture References: Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:1-7; Romans 12:1; Proverbs 22:6; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Psalm 127:3-5
God’s design for Family includes a system that makes marriage better and stronger. When we try to function as a couple outside of this system, the result is frustration, hurt and loss. God’s marriage system is built upon the self-sacrificial love of Jesus, whose example both husband and wife are called to follow. When a woman chooses to become a wife, she chooses to submit to her husband as an equal, just as Jesus submitted to the Father as an equal. Wives have a unique opportunity to walk the path of greatness Jesus paved through servanthood. Likewise, when a man chooses to become a husband, he chooses to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. This means giving things up so that she might gain; laying things down in order to make her more like Jesus – holy and blameless in the eyes of God. Remember, Jesus turned our worldly understanding of authority and glory on its head. The one who submits and serves is the greatest!
Scripture References: Ephesians 5:22-31; Genesis 2:18; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 20:25-28; Romans 15:1-3; Galatians 5:13
What’s the secret to a happy and healthy marriage? Many people have asked this question. Why? Because marriage is a big deal. God designed marriage to be a life-long, unbreakable covenant. Instead, our marketplace-driven culture has reduced it to just another consumer contract. The secret to marriage isn’t really a secret at all: Self-sacrificial love. Marriage was designed by God to give us a picture of Christ’s love for His Church. As Tim Keller observes, “If God had the gospel in mind when He established marriage, then marriage only 'works' to the degree that approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ." Do you want your marriage to work? Then give yourself up for the sake of something greater than yourself. This is God’s design for a happy and healthy marriage. It’s no secret.
Scripture References: Ephesians 5:31-33; Genesis 2:23; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:45; 1 John 3:16; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:17; John 10:10; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 4:1-2
Wouldn’t it be great to have a family without any problems? A family without hurt or conflict would be ideal. Or would it? Many people today are reluctant to start a family. Others who already have families of their own often reminisce about “the good ol’ days” when they were free from the arguing and stress that has become their normal family life. As sinful people in a fallen world, God has a design for family that looks quite different in reality than the ideal most of us have created in our minds. Family does not exist for one’s personal fulfillment and happiness, but to show each person that “us” is better than “me.” Family isn’t supposed to give us everything we’ve ever wanted, but to give us two essential things: Christian community and Christ-like character. Are you ready to give yourself up for something greater than yourself? We’re better with family than we are alone.
Scripture References: Ephesians 5:17-21; Genesis 2:18; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Ephesians 2:22; Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 4:13; Proverbs 27:17