Friday is for Family:

As I sit in Starbucks this morning there is a lot going on in my family. Last night we had a blow out, so one of our cars is waiting on me to put the spare on—so I can go to the tire store and dish out some money to replace the tire. In addition, Joannie and I are preparing to go out of town for the weekend to talk with a church about the possibility of planting a church somewhere in the Chicagoland area. In light of going out of town there are things to do around the house like clean and straighten-up; coupled with having to pack the kids for the weekend to spend at Nani and Papi’s (grandparents). Did I mention that it is the Christmas season; the pressures of shopping, Christmas dinners, and family gatherings. I literally could add a few more things to the list this morning, but hopefully you get the point. Life, as you all know, is busy, hectic, face-paced, pressure-filled, intense, and sometimes frustrating, disturbing and troubling.

The question and challenge that always is at the forefront of family life is: how can I live out the gospel in my family amid the pressures, challenges, and busyness of life? The reason why I ask this question springs up from the desire to live a life that is pleasing to God the Father. However, I have to admit, I ask this question because there are many times I have problems in living the gospel out in my family amid the pressures, challenges, trials, and frantic nature of life. So here are some things that help me to think through this question of how to live out the gospel in my family when experiencing challenges, pressures, and busyness of life:

– Remember that Jesus and what Jesus has done and is doing in you, through the Spirit, is more important than anything else. You are his. You are his vessel. He defines you and controls you, not your challenge, situation, or busyness. The old hymn, “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” would be a good hymn to know. It simply expresses that Jesus is supremely better than anything we could possess, attain, or need.

– Seek to Surrender to Him, and be Possessed by him. Whatever possess you, will come out of you. If you are possessed by frustration, anxiety, bitterness, anger, hurt—those will come out. But, if you are possessed by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and a heart that is just grateful for who God has claimed and deemed you to be, that will come out.

– Remember that this life is temporary and fading. The Bible says that in this life we will have many troubles and trials, but rest assured that God has overcome the world. We are aliens and sojourners nomadically moving through this world to a much better perfect world. Jesus says that he is not of this world. One of these days, at his second coming, Jesus will consummate his kingdom. The consummated kingdom will be one restored that is perfect and undefiled where there will be no more pain, sorrow, suffering, grief, anxiety, or death. Experiencing the challenges and difficulties of this life induces a yearning for the eschatological (future) kingdom that we will one day inhabit.

– Remember that through trials and challenges God is shaping and conforming you more into the image of Christ. Trials, challenges, difficulties, and troubles are ways that God is conforming you into the image of Christ in order for him to display his glory to the world.

Hopefully these help when it comes to living out the gospel in our family as we all experience difficulties and challenges (whether small or great) in life.