Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Practical Christianity #4: Our Home Influence

Psalm 127:1

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

INTRODUCTION

We've been looking at practical areas of ministry. We have discussed ministry to our friends, ministry to others, ministry on the job, now I want us to consider our Home Ministry.

One area that believers are failing to be effective is in their own homes! We use terms like 'broken homes', 'dysfunctional families', 'at risk children', and others to describe the state of homes, but those terms are not just describing non Christian homes! More and more we see believers included in those statistics!

So what can be done? Let's look at some thoughts on what I believe is the most important area of ministry that any believer will ever havetheir own home. If things are not right at home, then we will be ineffective in every other area in which we seek to minister. We may 'put on a happy face' when we come to church, but that will not do it.

Often, ignoring the problem or denying the problem just makes it worse. God never intended for us to live in a constant state of turmoil. He wants us to be happy. What can we do to provide a happy home for our families?

I. Scriptural Definition of Happiness

A. There are at least three words that the Scriptures use to communicate the concept of happiness.

B. The definition of these three words gives us an understanding of what it is to be happy.

1. Joy

a. This word speaks of one's outward appearance and inward attitude.

b. It deals with our personality and how it interacts with others.

c. It is an important part of the fruit of the Spirit.

d. So it is clear that this joy comes from God and not from outward circumstances.

2. Happy

a. This word is found primarily in the Old Testament and speaks of being 'supremely blessed'.

b. This relates to a person's relationship and fellowship with God.

c. It sometimes is used to describe a person's state or condition as a result of being 'supremely blessed' by God.

3. Blessed

a. The word 'blessed' is often translated from the same words as 'happy'.

b. The meaning is very similar.

c. It speaks of receiving benefits and being endowed with goodness.

II. Source of Happiness

A. Not from things acquired.

1. The advertising world tells us that to be happy we need the latest and greatest things that companies have to offer.

2. The 'good life' the 'American dream' etc.

3. But we don't have to look far to discover that we can have all of the 'things' the world offers, and still not have happiness!

B. Happiness comes from a proper relationship with God.

(Psalm 1:1 3) "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

1. True biblical happiness, joy and blessedness come from our relationship with the Lord.

2. Although it is from withinit is not from within ourselvesit comes from God.

C. Happiness is not so much a reward as it is a result.

(Rom 15:13) "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."

1. God does not force joy and happiness.

2. It is a result of our faith in God and our obedience to His Word.

(Eph 5:19) "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"

3. Here is the formula:

a. Exercise faith in the Lord

b. Learn to sing the Psalms and songs of praise unto God within our heart.

c. Speak outwardly those words expressing our gratitude and thanks unto Him.

III. Making Our Homes a Place of Happiness

A. Evaluate our home's happiness level.

1. Ask ourselves how we can make it happier.

2. Be honest and consider whether we take from the happiness of our home or whether we add to it.

3. Are we one way at work or church and another way at home?

4. Realize that if it is important for us to be kind and gracious to others whether on the job or in public, it is just as important that we do so at home.

(Eph 4:29) "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

B. Determine to do all we can to add to the enjoyment and happiness of our home.

1. Leave work problems at work.

a. 'I had a bad day at work' is not an excuse for sinful behavior.

b. Your family didn't cause the problems you had at work.

c. They shouldn't have to suffer because of them!

2. Don't come home with unrealistic expectations.

a. Home is a real placeit isn't heaven, but it should be a haven.

b. There will be problemspipes will freeze, water heaters quit working, don't expect to never have trouble.

c. Remember, home might of had a trying day also!

d. Determine to act biblically, no matter what circumstances might develop.

e. Keep the tone and level of your voice as if the Lord was in the other room listening, because He is!

3. Sacrifice self interests in order to help others to enjoy your home.

a. "All I want to do is sit down to a great meal and afterward put my feet up"

b. "I want to watch the game tonight or a favorite TV show"

c. Instead of doing those things that we want to do, why not take the initiative to do something for the family that will add to their happiness?

d. Break the routines and show grace and kindness.

e. This will go a long way towards making your home a place of joy and blessedness.

(Eph 4:32a) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted..."

CONCLUSION:

Often we dream of adding on a room, or expanding the garage, or maybe even building that dream house.

We can have our dream house and still have a nightmare when it comes to our family.

A Christian home is not just an address where Christians live. It is a place where biblical principles are lived out daily for God's glory.

What kind of ministry do we have at home?

It is never too late to make a few home repairs.

Why not commit ourselves to adding happiness to our homes?