Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: Staying Together
By Edmond Ng
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- Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers stood united with Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah and the sons of Henadad with their sons and brothers the Levites, to oversee the workmen in the temple of God. (Ezra 3:9 NAS)
A house is not a home, and a home is not a family unless its members stand united with God as the Head. To achieve this however is not something easy these days, especially with few in a family unit actually staying together. For a family to stand united, however, is not impossible because distance can never separate the hearts or the minds if a family purposes to stand united.
A family home, in this sense, is not as the world defines, a house consisting of a single family unit, or a single residential house with people living in it, or a detached dwelling of separate house with a family living in. Rather, it is about a family that stays together and stand united in single-mindedness to serve God. This is how a family home should stand for according to biblical principles, and unless the Lord builds this house, we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1).
Jeshua, in the book of Ezra, sets the example of a family standing united to serve God with one mind, and this is what a family home is all about, a family that is able to come together with one purpose to serve the Lord when the need is required.
Who then makes up the family home? Whoever does the will of God; they are the ones that make up the family of God.
- ... Jesus answered ... and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:48-50 NAS)
What then must a family do to make a family home? By serving the Lord whole-heartedly without hesitation or reservation, for such is the call to true discipleship.
- And He [Jesus] said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God." Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-62 NAS)
A family home in the kingdom of God is therefore more than just a place consisting of Christians who have been born again. Yes, it is true that when we are born again, we receive the full salvation of God and are all born into His family with our real homes in the heavens, but to follow Jesus and be His faithful disciples demand a step further.
- Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me [Jesus] cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27 NAS)
In creating a family home that is Christ-centered, every member in the family must stand united with one mind to serve God in total submission and obedience, for in the kingdom of God, a true family home does not just consist of born again brothers and sisters in Christ, but also disciples who have labored and walked faithfully to honor Christ.
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