By Unknown Author
Psalm 127:1 tells us that “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” Can you be sure that your labors are not in vain?
In Matthew chapter 7, two types of “building programs” are discussed by the Lord Jesus Christ. One was wise, and the other was foolish. In both cases the house was built. The final test of both houses was “Did it last?”
In John chapter 15, two types of “gathering programs” are discussed by our Lord. One is that of gathering fruit. The other is that of gathering firewood. Both programs produce benefits. Again, the final test of value is “Does it last?” So, we ask:
WHY WOULD MEN REJECT FRUIT AND INSTEAD CHOOSE FIREWOOD?
*Ground must be carefully prepared for fruit, whereas little preparation is necessary for firewood.
*Visible results do not show after planting for fruit, whereas spectacular results follow when firewood is used.
*Years of work are required before a harvest of fruit can be gathered, whereas immediate warmth and light are given off from firewood.
*Fruit trees must constantly be pruned, making them look skimpy, whereas branches that are pruned can attract immediate attention in their own program of burning.
*In the end, however, fruit nourishes life and reproduces itself for many generations, whereas in a very short time firewood turns to ashes, and men trample them under foot.
ARE WE BUILDING GODLY GENERATIONS OR TEMPORARY CONGREGATIONS?
*Is your priority that of building the families of your church? Or is your priority that of building the meetings of your church?
*Are your programs being built around family needs? Or are your families being built around church needs?
*Is there evidence of spiritually mature men, joyful wives, and dynamic children? Or is there evidence of carnally motivated men, discontented wives, and rebellious children?
This year, prayerfully consider these:
TEN BASIC CHURCH GOALS
1. To guide every individual to put his full faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, to seek to know and love Him with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. (See Romans 10:9; Philippians 3:10; and Matthew 22:37-40.)
2. To build God’s Word and Christ’s character in individuals, marriages, and families so we will be above reproach and an “advertisement” for the Christian faith. (See Colossians 1:28-29 and Matthew 5:16.)
3. To teach every man how to delight in and meet the needs of his wife with the same kind of love that Christ gave to the Church when He sacrificed Himself for her. (See Ephesians 5:25-29 and I Peter 3:7.)
4. To teach every wife how to love her husband and children, how to be discreet and chaste, how to manage her home, and how to adapt to her own husband so the Christian faith cannot be spoken against by those who know her. (See Titus 2:4-5 and I Peter 3:1-6.)
5. To turn the heart of every father toward his sons and daughters in order to teach them Scriptural principles on how to be successful persons, partners, and parents. (See Malachi 4:6 and Deuteronomy 6:7.)
6. To demonstrate our love to the Lord and our loyalty to His Body by giving a good report of one another, and to follow Matthew 18 in the spirit of restoring rather than merely exposing. (See Galatians 6:1 and Ephesians 4:29.)
7. To explain and apply God’s principles of finance in the church and in each family so God can provide specific direction and illustrate His supernatural power. (See Malachi 3:10; Luke 16:11-12; and Romans 13:8.)
8. To motivate women to a life of Godliness and faithfulness by providing meaningful ministries and financial assistance for them when they are older and have no husband or other relatives to help. (See I Timothy 5:3-16.)
9. To help each Christian discover his spiritual gift and exercise it in expressing God’s love to the members of the Body of Christ. (See I Corinthians 12-13; Romans 12:3-16; and Ephesians 4:1-16.)
10. To lead each family in how to genuinely worship the Lord Jesus Christ and how to edify one another, making the church strong. (See Ephesians 5:19-20 and Colossians 3:15-16.)
Understood by your people, these goals can be helpful in evaluating church programs. You may want to clarify each in a series of messages.
DO YOU HAVE WISE FAMILY GOALS?
It is the wise pastor who realizes that his most precious “asset” is a radiant, fulfilled wife.
The joyful wife of a pastor is his most important “credential” for ministry and the sustainer of his Scriptural qualifications to remain in the pastorate.
The following seven basic needs of a wife were presented at an All-Day Ministers Seminar several years ago. It is also included in the Rebuilder’s Guide, which is available through the IBLP Publications Office.
THE SEVEN BASIC NEEDS OF A WIFE
1. She needs the stability and direction of a spiritual leader.
2. She needs to know that she is meeting vital needs in your life that no other woman can meet.
3. She needs to see and hear that you cherish her and that you delight in her as a person.
4. She needs to know that you understand her by protecting her in areas of her limitations.
5. She needs to know that you enjoy setting quality time aside for intimate conversation with her.
6. She needs to know that you are aware of her presence even when your mind is on other matters.
7. She needs to know that you are making investments in her life that will expand and fulfill her world.
(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)
Christian Information Network