Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful. He was simply showing the difference between His blood family, and His spiritual family. Elsewhere in Luke we can find Him repeating this notion when He says, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28) When we become a Christian, we are adopted into and become part of the family of God. And part of being in this family is listening to the word of God and then applying it to our own life…practicing until it becomes a habit.
God’s principles are solely there to instruct us in our actions and conduct. For when we obey them, we are filled with wisdom and understanding…for the Word of the Lord is right and true. (Psalm 33:4) And as we follow His commands, His Word burns brightly, illuminating our path ahead and giving us peace…and as we follow Him, we rejoice, as one rejoices in having great riches. (Psalm 119:14)
In this verse it tells us what the secret to having inner peace and security is. This assurance we can have can only be found within God’s Word. But it also means not just listening, but actually applying it to your life. And when we do this, there is no end to His peace for us. (Isaiah 9:7) For the Lord rewards the godly with all good things. (Psalm 103:5)
This verse speaks specifically to those within the Church-body that preach and teach the Word of God. They are to be compensated for their work. But I would like to take this idea of consideration a step farther. When was the last time you thanked that friend who spoke encouragement, hope and prayed for you during a hard time in your life? Or when was the last time you called a long-time friend who had been instrumental in your walk with God and thanked them for faithfully speaking the truth? We could all benefit from reaching out to friends today and just thanking them for sharing the Good News.
This was one of Paul’s loveliest and most personal letters directed to the leader of the Colossian Church. Here Paul was encouraging Philemon to continue sharing his faith. For when faith is shared, the Word of God is unleashed to successfully accomplish its plan and purpose in people’s lives. Never be afraid to share the reason for the hope you have. (I Peter 3:15) For you may never know the impact it may have on someone. And the wonderful benefit of sharing your faith with others is that every time you hear it yourself…your trust and confidence in God is built up a little bit more.
The words of the Lord should move us when we hear or read them. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The word of God should touch us and evoke emotion from within. For from nowhere else can you be divinely encouraged, comforted, inspired or convicted.
It tells us in John 12:25 that, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Everyday is a struggle, where our affections are pulled one way or the other. The glitter and lure of the world is great, with its promises of immediate gratification and unending ecstasy. But the cold hard truth is that our excessive fondness for things of the world will only lead us down a path to self-destruction and death. For the world tells us to live today to the fullest… to eat, drink, and be merry, with no regard for tomorrow. But the Lord tells us that there is life beyond the grave, and that the world is blinding us from this truth. If I want to save my life, I must lose it in the person of Jesus Christ…I must turn my focus and affections from the temporal to the eternal…from the fleeting to the everlasting.
Israel was weaponless…the armaments to protect and defend themselves- swords and spears – were absent…leaving them vulnerable to the enemy. We too can be open to attack from the enemy if we are swordless, for it says in Ephesians 6:17, “Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” The Word of God…the Bible, is the mightiest weapon we have in our arsenal against the enemy. Without our sword of the Spirit, we are as unprotected as the Israelites facing the Philistine army were. That’s why memorizing Scripture is so important…for you never know when you might be ambushed and need that trusty sword at your side.
The next House Rule deals with listening and then obeying. The Scripture comes from Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.” If you examine the famous painting depicting this verse, you’ll see that there’s no doorknob on the outside. Jesus stands knocking, but can’t open the door Himself…we have to. All throughout our Spiritual journey with the Lord, He’ll knock at certain doors…doors of opportunity…doors of ministry…doors that are so foreign, scary, and frankly, so far-fetched, that we can’t put our heads around what He’s calling us to do. It’s at that point that we must make the decision to obey…to open that door and allow Him and His plan for us to come in.
Make no bones about it – Satan would like you dead…and He’s out to kill you by any means he can. He’d love to get you entangled in an addiction that would take your life, or get you to compromise and make bad choices that would lead to your demise. You see, Satan doesn’t have an ounce of compassion or regard for you. He’d rather take your joy…ruin your life…and ravage your body than watch you grow strong in the Lord. But in Jesus Christ…you are stronger than any threat Satan can throw your way…you are more powerful than any addiction that holds you bound…and you are tougher than you could ever imagine yourself.