Saturday, February 13, 2010

2 hot 4 church? Family Planning and the Believer - Lesson

What do you consider to be a big decision in your home? How do you make those decisions? What's the process? Do you pray? Rely on past situations? Seek counsel? How do you know when you have made the right decision?

How did you choose your job? Was it because of money or career path?

How did you decide on who to marry? They were breathing and had a heartbeat?

Where to live? Was it because your neighborhood had a pool? Tennis courts?

How did you decide on your church home? Was it based on the music? The preaching? The church's ability to "feed" you?

Have you already planned out what your family will look like with the number of boy for me a girl for you...two and we are through!

All of these are major questions that most of us are dealing with right now and how we answer them has far reaching consequences on our lives...not just for today, but far into the future as well.

Ruth 1:1-5

We see this is in the day when the judges ruled which was a dark time in the history of Israel. The government was corrupt, wicked, and sinful. We also learn that there is a famine in the land which causes Elimilech to begin asking some very tough questions - Do we need to look for another job? Sell our house? Downsize? Do we need to hold off having babies or starting a family for a while? So we see Elimelech take his family and move to Moab.

When hard times hit, Elimilech looses his job, or maybe he starts job hunting and sees that they are hiring in Moab..."look honey, this job in Moab pays really well....has a career path...has two weeks of paid vacation...will be close to shopping for you...right now things are tough...there is a famine...let's go!"

So they loaded up the truck and moved to Moab...swimming pools/movie stars.

So what? Was this a good decision or a bad decision?

Unfortunately it turned out to be a fatal decision for Elimelech and his family. Moab is the city founded by an incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughter, Genesis 19:37. Moab is a perverse city that worships false gods and it is no place for God's people to work or to live.

Yet Ruth 1:2 says they moved there and they remained there and soon after Elimelech dies...the very thing he was trying to avoid when they moved in the first place! Like so many of us he thought he was making a wise decision, providing for his family, leading. Not only did Elimelech die but his two sons ended up marrying Moabite women and died as well leaving Elimelech's wife, Naomi, a widow with two pagan daughter-n-laws in extreme poverty.

Naomi is left alone, no children, no church, no small group, no family, no help, 50 plus miles away from home in a perverse, wicked city.

What began as a seemingly harmless decision to take a job ended up having dire consequences.

World view is described as the filter by which we run all our our thinking through. It is how we see the world, how we process, how we make decisions. Sometimes it is with great thought and consideration yet often it is without thought, subconsciously.

A world view seeks to answer at least three questions: 1. Creation - how? 2. Purpose - why am I here? 3. Correction - can what is wrong be made right?

The predominant worldview today is secular humanism [link]. Secular humanism is seen in almost every commercial, TV show, movie, and unfortunately churches and the lives of believers like you and me.

How does SH answer the three basic questions of creation, purpose, and correction?

1. Creation comes from evolution. You, me, the universe are part of a series of random processes and chance that came about over billions of years.

2. Purpose - our purpose is to eat, drink, and be merry, to consume, make money, buy toys, and he who dies with the most toys wins.

3. Correction - can what is wrong be made right? SH would not say that there is really anything wrong but that the reason people struggle is that they do not have adequate education, or resources, or government.

SH answers the following crucial questions -

What job? The one that makes the most money.

Marriage? Who looks the best or will serve me. Could be one man/one woman, two men, two doesn't matter as long as I am happy.

Where to live? Based on connivance and amenities.

Where to go to church? Don't go! But if you do look for a church that caters to you, meets your needs, has great "programs" that can "feed" you.

Family? No, but if you must do not have more than two children. One child is OK two children is pushing it and any more than that is extreme. SH says that we control life by using birth control and fertility drugs. We say when we have babies and we say how many we will have.

Statistically most couples are waiting longer to have children putting career and money first. SH says that children are a burden, expensive, get in the way and are a problem [link].

My fear is that many of us...God fearing, Jesus loving, Bible toting, Christians...have bought into this worldview hook, line, and sinker.

If that is secular humanism then what is a Biblical worldview? How does it answer the three questions?

1. Creation - Genesis 1:1 - God created by speaking. Genesis 2:7 God created man with His own hands in a very personal intimate way. Genesis 1:26 that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God and that everyone has inherent dignity, value, and worth because we are all image bearers of God. That's why Christians do no support abortion and we do not support assisted suicide.

2. What's our purpose? I love how the Westminster Catechism answers this [link]. "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." See Psalm 86, Psalm 16:5-11. Our purpose isn't about buying stuff, has always been and will always be about God. Knowing God in an intimate, deep, trusting, loving relationship.

3. Correction - can what is wrong be made right? The Bible clearly states our problem is sin. Sin has placed a curse on everything, our relationships with each other, our relationship with God...sin destroys, separates, and kills and the answer to the world's problems isn't more money, education, or government. The Bible tells us that the answer is found in the free gift, John 3:16, of God's love, grace, and mercy found only in Jesus, John 14:6. The Bible says that Jesus will make all things new and will remove the curse from creation and us once and for all, Revelation 21:1-6.

So how does the Bible answer the same questions of work, marriage, home, and family?

The Bible says that when we work we work as towards the Lord, Colossians 3:23, not for money or stuff but as worship to God. The Bible says that marriage is a gift from God, one man and one woman coming together to form one forever, Genesis 2:24. The Bible says that I am in this place at this time because God has ordained it and has plans for me Acts 17:26. The Bible says it is God who builds the church and it is God who calls us to His church and when it comes to family and children the Bible says that it is God who opens the womb, Genesis 29:31 and God who closes the womb, Genesis 20:18.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with most fertility drugs and birth control anyone who places their trust and hope in them is believing in a false gospel and some forms of birth control are abortive by nature with many women murdering their own babies each year without ever knowing it!

The Bible says that children are wonderfully made by God, a heritage, fruit, a reward, joy, and a blessing, Psalm 139:13-14, Psalm 127:3-5. Yet very often we make the decision to limit God's blessings on our lives by limiting the number of children we will have. We say things like:

Children are too expensive.

Children interfere with my career.

My home is not big enough.

Being pregnant will destroy my body.

The time is not right.

Two or fewer children is the responsible thing to do.

Having more than two children is irresponsible.

I won't be able to love more than one, two, three, etc children.

Just so you know none of these reasons are Biblical reasons and all of these are prevalent stances put forth by the world.

When God invites you into His family He invites you into a new life through Jesus, 1 Corinthians 5:17, and He invites you to a new way to live.

How do you make the big decisions in your life? Is it through the filter of secular humanism or is it by filtering everything through God's word?

Some of you in reading this will be convicted of your sinful thinking, decisions, and planning.

Will you turn to Jesus first in repentance and secondly for guidance and direction?

My fear is that many of us will make decisions today and tomorrow without much thought, based on emotion, feelings, not the Bible, and just like Elimelech reap the sad fruit of those decisions.

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