Just a Little More Every Day

We don't just strive to be a Christian home. 

I'm going to cram everything I can into this, but I wanted to start off with this statement or a couple of statements. One is, in our homes and in our families, we don't just strive to be a Christian home. 

I don't want to be just a Christian home. I want to live and I want to set the pace in a home that is a Christ-centered home, because there's something different there. There's one thing, you go by the title, "Oh, yes, I'm Christian, praise God," but there's a lot of Christians who do a lot of not-Christian things out there.

The goal of Christian family is not just to have the title, to have the cool, as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord, when you walk into the house on some a little billboard in your house, but that you would actually live in a way that says everything that we do is centered on Christ and His work, not only in our lives, but in the world around us. That we intentionally focus our hearts, our lives, and everything we do on what He's doing first, and then we follow, and that is the goal of this series, our homes, and of a church who loves the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are in this together.

What about this from Colossians? "Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged."

I got any children that can give me an amen on that one?

Let's be clear in this and in this text, and if you were to go to the book of Ephesians, you would also see Paul saying the very same thing, just in a little different format, a little more expanded. What he's saying is everything in this world and everything in your family should be built off of submission. It's about serving, caring for, and loving one another in a way that does not elevate one over the other, but says we are in this together.

Everybody wants a home that's characterized by peace.

I think everybody wants to have a blessed home. They want a home that is a peaceful place. That's what people desire. You guys know that. We all want to have a peaceful home, but to build a dream home requires large amounts of amazing grace. I'm not just talking about the old soulful, amazing. I'm talking about, no, it takes a lot of grace because you ain't easy to love.

Grace leads to peace, and peace puts my heart in the proper place, submission, and partnership. That's what happens. See, grace gives me peace, and then peace puts my heart in the right place so that I can submit and partner with the world around me, with my family, with those closest to me, with my children that we're all doing this together because their goal, the big thing that we all want is a peaceful home.

Everybody wants a home that's characterized by peace and yet so many families and so many of us in this world live in homes that are characterized by conflict. Every home has at least one challenging family member. How easily do we slip into dysfunctional cycles? In fact, we even say, I just grew up in a dysfunctional home. I've never really heard somebody say, I grew up in a functional home.

Now here's the thing. As we go into this, we have to understand that God wants more from us. What does it look like, Jeff? Obviously, I'm talking about the word grace. That leads us then to be able to have relationships that look different from anything else in the world.

Be a peacemaker.

He says this, blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. Now if I were to rephrase that, not that I need to rephrase it because Jesus said it, so it's not like He didn't say it understandably, but for us today, I would say, blessed are those who are so covered with peace that you can tell they're founded on grace.

How about this? God's grace in my life makes me a peacemaker, not a peacekeeper. Hold on, Jeff. That sounds very familiar. Our goal as believers is not to be peacekeepers, it's to be peacemakers. What's the difference to that? Peacemakers embrace conflict to make peace.

See, peacekeepers, they avoid conflict to keep the peace. We'll just, "Oh. No, that was bad. I'm just going to stand over here. Ah, no, I probably should say something, but that will get awkward. I don't want that and I still want to get a Christmas card from them." Let's just avoid that. I know we should probably talk about it and it would make us all healthier, but no, I don't think so.

God has called us as the body of Christ to be peacemakers, not peacekeepers. A Christ-centered home isn't conflict-free. A Christ-centered home just simply says, "We're going to live by the principles that God has given us."

What does a home with a foundation of grace really look like?

What does a home with a foundation of grace really look like? I'm going to give you three things.

1. Tell the truth in love. Remember:  the thing we need to understand as a body of Christ as we try to keep peace and make peace with the world is that the people are not the enemy. The enemy is the enemy. Satan and sin and selfishness, that's the enemy. It's not the people. The people are the best part and the best thing that we've been given. When we do this life and we try and do it in this way in times that aren't conflicting and in places and times when we're talking about the issue, not the person.

2. Apologize and own it. You say, "Look, I have let you down. Obviously, I have let you down. I know you're hurting and I know that I'm the source that you are pointing at and I'm going to tell you I am incredibly sorry for what took place. I will name it out if you need me to, but I'm willing to take whatever you need me to take to own it. I'm sorry."

James 5:16 says this, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Forgiveness is the hardest thing to do from both sides.

3. Forgive and let go.  Colossians 3:13 says, "make allowance for each other's faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others."

Children of God look like this. Grace that leads to peace. Peace that puts my heart in the proper place that leads to submission and partnership. Let me just encourage you, be the people that tell the truth, that apologize and own it and forgive and let go and you and I will look different from everyone else in the world. That's our challenge.

I'm telling you, church. There are people who have hurt you, that have let you down, that have broken you in more ways than I can imagine, and I'm not minimizing it, but I'm telling you, He died on the cross so you wouldn't have to carry their junk anymore because the problem is the longer you hold it, the more it kills you and they don't even know it. With that place, let's go to His grace today.
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