A Blessing at Home
Be responsible for people who belong to you -- those in your own family circle.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world, but not of it? That’s the basis for the little, corny greeting, that has now become a familiar trademark to many people, in the world, but not tarred with the world’s brush, not stamped with the world’s trademark. Jesus, our blessed Lord, prayed in His high priestly prayer, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” “You can be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” quoting the Apostle Peter. “Kept by the power of God. In the world, but not of it.” So that, beloved, is why I ask you, “How in the world are you?”
I think that you and I have, as probably the most blessed, wonderful provision in all the universe, that we can look Heavenward, and at any given moment, involve Almighty God in our lives. “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” says Paul in Philippians. Enjoy that privilege today, by inviting your Lord into your life, step by step.
Well, we’re looking at first Timothy 5, and we talked about God’s plan for internal public relations, ‘internal PR,’ we call it. You don’t rebuke, you don’t beat up on people verbally, certainly not physically, but you accept them, you respect them, you love them, you work with them, you honor them, and you keep pure in your relationships with them. That’s the way you deal with people.
Now, this fifth chapter starts out with the concepts that I just gave you-dealing with older people and younger people, generally. Then he takes quite a space here, talking about how to take care of folk who are dependent upon the church for support. In those days, as indeed now, maybe a little different in the relationship, but responsibility is responsibility, we all have it. In those days, those who had no way of supporting themselves, were supported by the church, widows or fatherless people. He said, “Honor the widows, that are widows indeed.”
This, of course, is something that is mentioned in the Word of God very clearly, where God says, “Don’t afflict the widow and the fatherless.” “Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child,” Exodus 22, and also Deuteronomy 14, “Thou shalt not pervert the judgement of the fatherless, nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge.” And then He said, “Your tithes ought to be utilized in helping the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.” He says, “Remove not the old landmark and enter not into the fields of the fatherless. Learn to do well, seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow.” That’s Isaiah 1, and also Jeremiah 22.
And then James says, “Pure religion, and undefiled before God, and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction, and to keep yourself unspotted from the world.” Just a little cross-section, as I read it from God’s Word, having to do with His concern for those who don’t have any other means of support. “Honor widows, that are widows indeed.”
But now, Paul is a very practical man and he said, “Now, if there’s a person whose husband has died, if she has a family, the family ought to provide for her.” He says in verse 4 “If any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home and requite their parents, for that is good and acceptable before God.” Now, he said, “A real widow,” this is his definition, “She that is a widow indeed and desolate, doesn’t have any other place to go. She’s learned to trust in God, trusteth in God.”
I wanna stop here just for a moment. Do you remember the little saying, “When you’re down to nothing at all, but then, for the first time, you may realize that God is enough?” That’s a hard lesson to learn. God brings us to the end of our resources, every now and again, so that we can be reminded that He is enough, and that He does have the answer, and that He can supply, and does supply every need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. But this is the essence, this is the essence of a real relationship with God. “She that is a widow, indeed, and desolate,” that is, you don’t have any other place to look, “Trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications, and prayers night and day.”
The essence of real trust is absolute dependence on God in continual prayer, and trust, and supplication, and faith. Now, you can’t always be religious in every situation, but your heart can be praying and trusting your Lord. And real faith expects, as you walk through any given day, real faith expects God to give you His blessed surprises. Have you learned that yet? Have you learned to start out a day and remind your Lord, that you’re gonna be looking for the things He provides for you?
Dr Ed Mann, who for many years was president of Eastern Nazarene College, our sister college up in New England, Dr Mann said… He spoke as though he were quoting somebody else, but I suspect that it was his prayer… He said, “A prayer in the morning would go like this, ‘Good morning, God. What are you up to today? Please count me in on it. Amen.’ ” [chuckle] Oh, well, it’s not a very pompous or a theological prayer, but it makes a lot of sense. Whatever God is doing, get in on it.
Dr Bob Jones, Sr, whose memory lives in the lives of the many students that he trained while he lived, Dr Bob Jones used to say to his young people, “Find out where God is working and get in there. Find out where God is working and get in there.” Good idea. See, the essence of being real, “She that is a widow, indeed,” a real person, is that you don’t have any other out, you don’t have any side exit, you don’t have any plan B. It’s you and God, period.
Oh, I would that that would be the approach that every one of us takes, as we go on through life: just you and God, and let Him lead. Yes, He uses people. Yes, of course, He does. We have to live in a world with people and God uses people to bring about things in our lives. I know that and so do you. But the essence of trust, is boiling it down to the place, where there isn’t anybody else to whom you are ultimately looking, but your blessed Heavenly Father, and He won’t let you down, for He hath said, “I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Now, the antithesis to this, is in verse 6, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” Jesus, our blessed Lord, said, “You cannot serve God,”( didn’t say that you must not), said, “You cannot serve God and mammon,” things of this world. The essence of trust, first, is to boil it all down, until it’s just you and God.
Second, to put everything else second, after your relationship with God. Things, you can’t serve things and God at the same time. He said, “You do that, you’re dead while you live.” Why? Because there isn’t any percentage, there’s no eternal markup. There’s no profit in spending your life, your time, and your talents, and energies on anything less, than that which has eternal value.
Well, you say, “Brother Cook, I’m in a secular job. I can’t make my job be religious.” No, it doesn’t say ‘religious.’ You don’t have to be religious. You find a person that’s always pious and he’s apt to cover up other things too. No, no, “Whatever you do,” he said, “Do it heartily, as for the Lord, and not just for people. Knowing that, of the Lord, ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye served the Lord Christ,” Colossians 3:23. Hey, the point is, beloved, everything you do, if it’s done for Jesus, and in the enablement of the Holy Spirit, whether it’s selling a car, or repairing a Mack truck, or making a garment, or building a house, or operating on a patient, or trying a case, or teaching a class, or whatever- everything you do, if it’s done in the Spirit, and for Jesus, has eternal consequences. Of course, it does.
And so he warns us first, “She that is a widow, indeed, and desolate,” that means that you don’t have any other out, “Trusteth in God and continues in prayers.” So it’s trust, and it’s prayer, and then it’s ruling out those things, that are not for His glory. “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” Alright?
Then he goes on to say, “You oughta take care of your own family members.” “If any provide, not for his own, especially for those of his own house, he’s worse than an infidel.” There’s the principle, “I ought to take care of my own.” Well, now, we’re in a different age, aren’t we? We have Medicare, and we have retirement, IRAs, and we have nursing homes, and we have retirement facilities, and so on, Social Security. Alright, now, God works through different cultures, but the principle is the same. Yes, take advantage of anything that there may be offered to you, within the culture in which you live. There’s some countries, where they just allow old people to die, you know that. There’s some places in the world, where when you get too old to be productive, they see to it that you are gone.
Well, we don’t do that here. But within the culture that you’re living in, he says, “You be responsible for those that belong to you.” That’s the only thing he’s saying there. “You be responsible for people who belong to you, in your own family circle.” And, obviously, the point of good sense, would be to use the things that are provided in your own culture, like our own, where we’d have certain benefits for older people. You understand that, don’t you? He says, “If any provide not for his own, especially his own household, he’s worse than an infidel.”
Our number one job is to be a blessing at home, have you discovered that? Your number one job is to provide, physically, and materially, and spiritually for other people. Be a blessing. Be a blessing to wife, or to husband, and children, and mother, and father, and in-laws. These are the things that you and I have to think about, as our responsibility under God. He won’t do that for us. We have to do that.
Father God, today, help us to be good stewards of our time, and talents, and energies, especially as it has to do with the other people for whom we’re responsible. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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