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  • Writer's pictureericleerisner

3.17.24

Updated: Mar 19


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18
 

"Wholesome Homes Cure Violent Communities"


 

TRUTHS:


1.There are several factors that determine if a human civilization flourishes or decays, but the concept and reality of ‘family’ is the foundation that healthy civilizations are primarily built upon. Humble, Jesus-honoring families create a culture characterized by grace, mercy, and peace. Peaceful communities, in turn, provide a safe and healthy environment for children to mature. It’s as if society is a giant 'puzzle,' and families are the individual pieces. If a society forsakes or distorts its commitment to family, there are no 'pieces' to be put together, and the final picture cannot be realized. Virtually all moral and cultural breakdowns can ultimately be traced back to the redefinition what 'family' is and should be.


2. God commands Christian husbands to live with their wives in a wise and understanding manner. The health of individual families is greatly impacted by the way husbands and wives treat and communicate with each other. God expects men to set the example for their families, pursuing peace and refraining from speaking evil with their lips. Often, we communicate with our spouse using words and tones that we would never use with someone else. The temptation to speak negatively will be a real battle within the household at times, and God wants men to recognize this reality and humbly set a tone that fosters peace within the home.


3. The Bible is “messy” because it accurately details the brokenness that we can expect to see in our world (and in our own lives) as a result of sin. But the Word of God is not condoning unrighteousness when it seeks to help us navigate the messy aspects of human life and existence. The Bible is revealing that God meets us where we are at, messiness and all. God is keenly aware of humanity’s brokenness and, instead of discarding and rejecting us, offers us the gifts of repentance and His presence.


4. Throughout the Old Testament we can observe God addressing specific areas of sin and brokenness. He instructs His people concerning how they are to conduct themselves in the middle of some very messy situations. The ‘boundaries’ that the Lord gives His children are in stark contrast to the guiding truths and sentiments that were being expressed by surrounding nations. What is God trying to do? He is seeking to ensure that His people refrain from allowing the 'messiness' of human life to cause their hearts to become against one another. God desires that we humbly care for other humans, and He understands our proclivity to accuse, belittle, oppress, and disparage other humans.


5. The Bible employs the imagery of physical drunkenness as a metaphor for receiving and adhering to false doctrine. Consuming an excess of alcohol leads to specific behaviors and the Lord uses this reality to illustrate the outcome of embracing false teachings.


6. Constant arguing within a marriage prepares children to go out into the world with ‘violent’ hearts. God pays close attention to the words that come out of our mouths, and if the gift of communication is used to express kindness and encouragement, the Lord responds by guiding and answering our prayers. And that is the KEY factor in determining if your offspring will serve the Lord—does your Heavenly Father respond favorably when you cry out to Him? In order for your faith to be legitimately passed on, it requires that the Lord hear and answer your prayers. He does things in the hearts of our children that we are simply unable to do, no matter how much we have stressed out about making the right decision; no matter how well we have modeled external obedience to God’s Word before our children. We can (and should) model what external obedience to God’s Word practically looks like, but the Holy Spirit is the only one with the ability to transform internal motivations and desires. Christian parents ultimately cannot change the hearts of their children, so we in large part depend on the Spirit responding to our prayers.

 

TALK TO EACH OTHER:


1. Why is it healthier to use family as the foundation of civilization rather than certain and specific individuals? Do you see God using this principle anywhere else?


2. How can Christian couples practically move towards creating a home environment that is characterized by peace? What would be some helpful boundaries to have in place to ensure that this becomes a reality in your household?


3. The Bible is "messy." Take note of your immediate reaction to this statement. What truths should be gleaned from the fact that messy content is divinely inspired to be included in the Word of God?


4. Passing your faith on to the next generation hinges on whether or not the Lord directs and answers your prayers. What is the benefit that we experience as a result of the Lord setting it up to work this way? How should/does this reality shape our spiritual growth and transformation?


5. What is God wanting us to discern about receiving false doctrine? Remember, He uses physical drunkenness to help us understand the impact of adhering to false teaching.

 

TALK TO GOD:


Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:


  • For husbands and fathers to be empowered by God's Spirit

  • For peace within our homes

  • That God would transform our 'violent' community



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