New Hope Notes
A House Divided
Pastor Elwin Ahu
A House Divided
Desperate Households Series
Pastor Elwin Ahu
July 3-4, 2010
We live in a great country. Amen? Amen. We live in the most abundant country in the world. We have so much but that’s not what makes America great. What makes America great is that our founders were God-fearing men who wrote and signed off on the Declaration of Independence to create one nation, under God, indivisible.
America was founded by God-fearing, Christ-loving men.
George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
John Adams: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
Benjamin Franklin: “God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
Noah Webster: “Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21].”
Why do you think we’re living through such a hard economic time? Could it be because we have unprincipled people in office? Although we are a country based on God-fearing men, how have we drifted so far from what the Founding Fathers intended for this country? For example, in 1980, there was a Supreme Court ruling in stating that it was unconstitutional to post the 10 commandments on the walls in a public school. According to one of the judges, “Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.”
How do we have a nation with no moral absolutes? Instead, we defend “my rights.” With nothing to correct to, we see the obvious occur: increases in teenage pregnancy, guns on campus, broken families, etc. How did that happen? There’s a clue in the bible:
"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land...a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything... Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments...otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them...then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt." (Deut. 8:7-14)
Do you see this happening today? We eat until we are more than satisfied, we have houses that more than meet our basic needs, yet we have forgotten our Lord our God. Have we reached the point where we can’t turnaround to what our Founding Fathers had intended?
I would love to go back to a time when we were a God-fearing, Christ-loving country. I don’t believe it’s too late. I believe we can still do it and…
1. It begins with the FAMILY.
It begins in your household, with your family. We live in a time of desperate households. We can take the country back to where it ought to be but it starts in our households and spreads from there. What happens in your home matters, but then say to your neighbor, “You are very valuable and I need you.”
· Family -> CHURCH -> Country.
What happens in our families, happens in our [community and] church, and eventually in our country so we need to be mindful of our actions.
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world." (Phil. 2:14-15)
In this passage Paul tells the Phillipians to do all things without complaining. Work hard to preserve the unity (not division) in your homes so you can be stars and lights in the world. What are stars anyway? Stars are navigational markers or tools that help to guide us, like the North Star that is still used today. Why? Because it is unchanging and unmoving and that allows us to rely upon it to assist us in where we’re going.
Similarly, you need to preserve the unity of the spirit so it can act as a guiding light for others. If you move your spirit, location, or stance, you cannot be relied upon for direction.
"To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." (1 Pet. 3:8-9)
Peter is encouraging us to be consistent and a blessing so the world can navigate their way through life based on you.
2. Stay faithful to the BASICS.
If we don’t steward our lives well, confusion will take place. We must stay faithful to the basics, our intended roles in this life. As such, let me speak to the men or husbands first:
"You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." (1 Pet. 3:7)
How many of you want your prayers answered? We all do! But how often do we really do what this passage says – to live with your wives in an understanding way? Instead, for example, we come home from a hard day’s work and immediately start complaining about day while asking our wives to get our dinners ready. That’s not what God wants. On the contrary, God wants us to be able to understand our wives.
Now Ladies, let me talk to you:
As you support your husband, you will also be supporting Christ. No woman likes to submit to her husband. Why is it so difficult? “Submit” has a bad connotation in this world because husbands have not taken the time to understand their wives, instead there’s abuse.
Wives, you may think your husband’s not cutting it but even if he’s only batting 250 (one out of four), submit to him. Respect your husbands as God urges you.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother...so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." (Eph. 6:1-3)
This passage tells children that if they want to live long lives, honor their father and mother.
We have just heard how God has a plan/role for each of us yet so often, we don’t trust the design and role that He has laid out. Let me illustrate this with a Happy Meal. MacDonald’s has had great success with their Happy Meals because they have understand and appreciate the individual roles of each components (burger, fries, and drink) and how those items working together create the perfect combination – each item complementing the next to collectively raise the appeal of the whole. But if I were impatient and not willing to savor each component for what it brings to the Meal – by blending all the components into one mix (i.e., in a blender), the components no longer looks appetizing as it once were.
This is an illustration of what happens to us as a family sometimes when each member doesn’t understand their respective role. When we don’t understand our role and individual contribution to the whole, and instead we impose ourselves on the roles of others, the result to our family is similar to the Happy Meal through the blender – a mess! Don’t rush happiness by taking on the roles of others to try to forcefully get what you want. Instead, respect what God intended. How?
3. Establish GODLY family values.
Identify your family values – the non-negotiables – in your family. Family values go deep and they are the bedrock of your lives. They are like the foundation of a building; you may not even see it but it is there and it is what gets you through the wind, rain, and even the occasional storm.
“They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, 'For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.' And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid." (Ezra 3:11)
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." (Ps. 127:1)
What are your family values? What will you correct back to in a time of need?
The Founding Fathers of this country built this country on God-fearing principles. We seem to have strayed from those and it is having devastating consequences to our families and country. But it’s not too late for us to turn things around and reestablish our faith and biblical values. The first place for us to start is in our family because what happens in our families, happens in our churches (and communities), and ultimately happens in (and to) our country. Next, we need to focus on the basics – as basic as recognizing what our individual roles in our families should be and by honoring God by being obedient to His design for the family. And then finally, take some time to establish your family values – the things that are non-negotiable for your family and to which you will correct back to in difficult times. Be sure that those values are Godly values and God will bless you (us, and this country) in return.
God bless America!
1. Where have you seen our country moving away from it Founding Fathers’ Godly principles?
2. What example have you seen where you think a distancing from our Godly principle is having a negative impact on our families, community/churches, or country?
3. What is your role in your family? Is your view in alignment with God’s view or design of your role? Explain.
4. How has confusion about our role of God’s family design affected your family?
5. What are your core family values?