26 April - Brent Paschall spoke

  1. The God-Centered Home
    1. The home God blesses is the one that is built according to His plan
      1. One man and one woman committed to each other for life
      2. The husband as the head of the home
      3. The husband loving the wife as Christ loved the church and giving himself for her
      4. The wife submitting herself to the husband as the church does to Christ
      5. Fulfilling each other's primary needs of love and respect
    2. These statements describe the composition, structure, and roles of marriage as God intends it to be
    3. We begin in this lesson to look at structure and function of the family as God intends it
      1. Parents
      2. Children
  2. KEY STATEMENT: The home that God blesses is a God-centered home.
    1. Filled with the knowledge of God
    2. Loving and Praising God
    3. Acting according to God’s purposes
  3. Knowledge of God
    1. It is the parents' duty
      1. Abraham – Gen. 18:17-19
      2. Israel regarding the plagues - Exodus 10:1-2
      3. Israel regarding the firstborn – Ex. 13:11-16 –
        1. Biblical acknowledgement of the fact that children ask a lot of questions
        2. What kind of answers do we give them?
      4. Israel regarding basic truths about God – Deut 6:1-9
      5. Israel regarding God’s laws – Deut 6:20-25
      6. Israel regarding the Jordan crossing - Joshua 4:1-7
      7. All parents – Proverbs 22:6
      8. Christian parents – Eph. 6:4
    2. It is the children’s birthright
      1. Abraham’s children depended on learning what Abraham knew of God in order to receive the blessings God intended for them – Gen. 18:17-19
      2. There would be an obvious difference between children raised in the knowledge of God and others - Deuteronomy 4:5-10
      3. Israel’s children depended on learning what their parents knew of God in order to receive the blessings God intended for them – Deut. 6:1-9
      4. The grandchildren’s knowledge depended on the children learning
      5. If we raise children who know less of God than we do, we have failed
    3. The world is against us
      1. The world has no interest in the knowledge of God – Rom. 1:18
      2. They do not glorify Him – Rom. 1:21
      3. They prefer no knowledge of God at all – Rom. 1:28
      4. Or to believe lies about Him – Rom. 1:25
      5. The knowledge the world desires to give our children – Rom. 1:29-31
      6. ILLUSTRATION: The wolf prefers the lambs.
      7. If God-fearing parents want their children to know of God, THEY HAVE TO TEACH THEM
      8. They WILL NEVER find out the truth about God from the world
    4. But we have allies
      1. God Himself – He gave us this child and this duty. He will provide what we need to perform it
      2. All creation – Rom. 1:19-20; Ps. 19:1
      3. His word – Deut. 29:29; 2 Tim. 3:14-15
      4. His church – 1 Tim. 3:15
      5. However, the parents have the primary obligation
    5. Is there anything more important?
      1. Give me my little child to point the way
        Over the strange sweet path that leads to Thee;
        Give me the little voice to teach to pray;
        Give me two shining eyes Thy face to see.

        The only crown I ask, dear Lord, to wear,
        Is this: that I may teach my little child.

        I do not ask that I may ever stand
        Among the wise, the worthy, or the great --
        I only ask that softly, hand in hand,
        My child and I may enter at the gate.

        Adapted from C. A. Fields.
  4. Loving and Praising God
    1. The God-centered home does not just know of God, they love and praise Him - Dt. 6:4-9
    2. Prayer
      1. Pray for your children
      2. Pray with your children
      3. Pray for your children with your children
        1. Do you want you children to love God and follow His plan?
        2. Ask for God to bring that about in their presence and call them by name
        3. Hearing their name in prayer will get their attention!
        4. What is mommy or daddy telling God about me?!?
      4. Praise God in prayer
    3. Church attendance and preparation
      1. Be at services at every opportunity
      2. Be prepared and eager to worship – Ps. 122:1
      3. Fully participate in Bible classes and worship
    4. Home worship
      1. Praise God
        1. In speech
        2. In song
        3. In prayer
      2. Read and talk about His word
      3. Talk about Him –
        1. How?
          1. With Love
          2. Awe and Reverence
        2. When? Dt. 6:4-9
          1. When you get up – Ex. Rachel’s dad
          2. When you sit at home
          3. When you go here and there
          4. When you go to bed
        3. Why?
          1. So God hears how you feel about him
          2. So your children understand how important their Heavenly Father is to their family
      4. If there is one change that we can make to any Christian home that is not already doing it, it would be to add family worship time
      5. We teach by what we do not do as much as by what we do
        1. Illustration: “Is He Talking About You?”
  5. Acting According to God’s Purposes
    1. The God-Centered home also acts according to God’s purposes
    2. Priorities and Values
      1. The decisions made by the family should reflect God’s values and priorities
        1. Financial decisions
        2. Entertainment decisions
        3. Social decisions
        4. Scheduling decisions
      2. Are we Secularizing our Children?, by Sewell Hall
        1. Define secular
        2. After discussing how most modern Christian families with children are too busy with homework and other school responsibilities to attend gospel meetings. He says:

          “Many conscientious parents, however, want still more secular opportunities for their children than the standard curriculum provides. They encourage participation in extra-curricular sports organized by the school and in others that are privately organized, occupying afternoons and Saturdays and even portions of Sundays as well as the summer months. Students not inclined to sports are encouraged to join the band with long hours of after-school practice, summer band camps, compulsory Friday night football in the fall and concerts in the spring. In addition, there are often private music lessons. Scouts also provide wholesome experiences, and parents want their children to be involved. In fact, they feel that their children are deprived if they miss any of these opportunities, and so to provide them parents pack their own schedules full, taxiing the children here and there and sacrificially spending their energy and money.

          "What is wrong with these things? Generally nothing. The problem is that they are dominating children's lives. No wonder it has become impossible to plan a gospel meeting at a time when it does not conflict with some kind of secular activity! No wonder it is exceptional when students attend every night of such a meeting! No wonder very few parents and even fewer young people are to be seen at special services beyond their own congregation!

          "A negative attitude seems to be developing toward anything the church plans beyond the usual Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night assemblies or toward any extension of evening activities beyond one hour. The church is considered insensitive when anything is planned that encroaches on children's busy secular activities.

          "When do we expect our children to change from this heavily weighted emphasis on this world to 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?' If they become accustomed to a secular schedule in elementary school, high school will only increase the pressure. College allows still less time for the Lord unless there is a purposeful determination to keep the lid on secular demands. If such priorities have not been learned under the guidance of parents, it is unlikely they will be developed when students are on their own in college. By the time those school years of immersion in secularism are over, there is usually very little spiritual life left in them.

          "And it all begins when they are young!”
      3. Evaluate events and choices by God’s standards
        1. Critically evaluate
          1. Opinions
          2. Things taught at school
          3. Movies/TV/Radio content
          4. Events
          5. Good and bad choices of themselves and others
        2. In light of God’s word and will
      4. Godly Example
        1. Could Jesus raise your children better than you?
        2. Then act more like Jesus in raising your children!
        3. Be continually developing and living out Christian character in yourself
        4. You WILL BE a blessing to your children
        5. A Father’s Prayer
          Dear God, my little boy of three
          Has said his nightly prayer to Thee;
          Before his eyes were closed in sleep,
          He asked that Thou his soul would keep.
          And I, still kneeling at his bed,
          My hand upon his tousled head,
          Do ask, with deep humility,
          That Thou, dear Lord, remember me.
          Make me, kind Lord, a worthy Dad,
          That I may lead this little lad
          In pathways ever fair and bright
          That I may keep his steps aright.
          O God, his trust must never be
          Destroyed or even marred by me.
          So, for the simple things he prayed
          With childish voice so unafraid,
          I, trembling, ask the same from Thee.
          Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me.
          --Selected
  6. Conclusion
    1. Our homes will be blessed if they are God-centered homes
    2. With the knowledge of God valued, taught and lived
    3. With God being honored with our love and praise
    4. With the family’s decisions and actions being guided by God’s purposes
      1. In our priorities and values
      2. In our godly example
    5. God desires godly offspring. He accomplishes this by giving children godly parents who raise their children in God-centered homes.
    6. God’s way is the best way

Genesis 18:17-19 NKJV  And the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing,  18  since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19  For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 NKJV  "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,  2  that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.  3  Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you 'a land flowing with milk and honey.'  4  "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!  5  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  6  "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  7  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  8  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  9  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:20-25 NKJV  "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?'  21  then you shall say to your son: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;  22  and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household.  23  Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers.  24  And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.  25  Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.'

Exodus 13:11-16 NKJV  "And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you,  12  that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD's.  13  But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.  14  So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' that you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  15  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'  16  It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."

Exodus 10:1-2 NKJV  Now the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him,  2  and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD."

Exodus 13:5-9 NKJV  And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month.  6  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD.  7  Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.  8  And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.'  9  It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.

Joshua 4:1-7 NKJV  And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying:  2  "Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe,  3  and command them, saying, 'Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.' "  4  Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe;  5  and Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,  6  that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?'  7  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."

Deuteronomy 4:5-10 NKJV  "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.  6  Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'  7  "For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?  8  And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?  9  Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,  10  especially concerning the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.'

Deuteronomy 11:16-21 NKJV  Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,  17  lest the LORD's anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.  18  "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  19  You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  20  And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,  21  that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.

Psalms 132:11-12 NKJV  The LORD has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from it: "I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.  12  If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I shall teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore."

Psalms 122:1 NKJV  A Song of Ascents. Of David. I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Ephesians 6:4 NKJV  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

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