Family Fusion Week 1

Pastor Terry Inman & Pastor Mary Inman

09-06-15

 

Family Fusion is not a new hybrid SUV or an exotic restaurant. It’s our new message series. Our Pastors and spouses are going to give us a biblical view on healthy relationships in this radically changing culture.

 

Married, re-married, or un-married--with or without children--blended or separated-- We are all part of God’s diverse Family.

Psa 68.6 says,

“God sets the solitary (alone) in families” 

There will be something in this Family series for everyone.

 

Fusion is about blending or merging things. Our culture is definitely a fusion of traditional and non-traditional family systems. We are no longer the “leave it to beaver” or “father knows best” all-white family with a working dad and stay at home mom with two blue eyed blond haired kids.

 

Families are more ethnically, racially, religiously and now sexually more diverse than half a generation ago — or even half a year ago.

Married or unmarried--parenting or not--as members of the Body of Christ we are all part of God’s extended or universal family. Paul says,
“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the
familyof believers.”
Gal. 6.10 NIV

 

So in the next few weeks we will talk about relationships in our Father’s inclusive and very diverse family. Labor Day is a good time to look at the increasing challenges of managing the home-place and the workplace.

 

Most two-parent and especially one parent families are facing this dance. The Norman Rockwell paintings of the family around the farm table are a thing of the past. We don’t have time for our families let alone friends!

So what does the bible say about work and home. How does it define family? How can we build healthy relationships and succeed in our careers at the same time. I am a little nervous about some scriptures that address my profession. Paul wrote to a young Pastor named Timothy.

 

A leader must be well-thought-of and committed to his wife… He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church?”
(1 Timothy 3.2-5 Message)

 

A previous Pope called the family the domestic church. The home is where two or three come together in Jesus name. The ancient Hebrew nation was God’s original family. These Jewish clans would break out in song on their pilgrimages to the family feasts and festivals in Jerusalem.

 

These tunes are called the Psalms of Assent. It was a bit of climb as the families neared the Holy City. As Jerusalem’s walls came into view they began singing several of these folk songs. One of them Psalms 127 says,

 

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

 

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
(Psa. 127)

 

First God is the designer and manufacturer of the home no matter how it’s shaped. Message: “If GOD doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks.” He created family on a firm foundation. We can redesign it or redefine it but he made the original blueprints.

 

According to the scriptures family is a reflection of Him.

“God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! (Gen. 1.27-28 MSG)

 

To carry out the first family’s responsibility for the management of the earth God added kids. The New Testament book of Ephesians chapter 5 & 6 includes a family handbook on roles and responsibilities of Husbands, wives, children, and Parents. Husbands love your wives. Wives respect your husbands. Children obey your parents.

 

We will look at some of these instructions later on in this series but for now let me say. God intended for the human family to reflect His Holy family. As we learn to live as healthy families we will understand our roles and relationships in God’s greater family the church.

 

Next this psalm says--God protects our families or communities. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

 

Even though managing home and livelihood is hard work it doesn’t have to be so stressful. It should also be restful. The economic demands of our region and culture are incredibly challenging for family peace and rest.

 

According to the language of the next few verses children are actually one of the ways he increases our protection and production.

 

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.

Satan does all he can to mess with our children because, aimed right, they become our best defense. They can be a workforce and a fighting force!

 

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Psa. 127

 

Pastor Mary is coming to elaborate on this force called family! She is going to highlight some practical applications from the next song in Psa 128  

  

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.


May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life;

may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.
(Psa. 128.1-6 NIV)

 

MARY: Good morning! This morning I plan on sharing God’s goodness with you—promises that He is obligated to, and intends to keep for you.

 

Let’s read the first verse of Psalm 128 again together.

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

 

Do you want blessings and not cursing’s? FEAR THE LORD. Exactly what does that mean? To me it means respectful obedience. In a society that entertains itself with sarcasm and disrespect, set God aside as an entity worthy of our total awesome respect.

 

So we are blessed if we stand in awesome respect of our Father God.

 

The second part of that verse says, “We are blessed if we walk in his ways.” One of my favorite prayers is to pray that children’s feet will always stay in the path God has ordained for them.

 

There are many places in the Bible that talk about walking in His ways.

Ps. 17:5 says, My feet have not slipped from your path.

 

In Hebrews 12:13, The Message we read, Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

 

Parents, I know that you realize that the way you live life will either clear the path or make stumbling blocks for your children. When we talk about Family DNA in psychological terms, we are talking about influencing sins that pass down from generation to generation.

 

Have you heard about a particular sin in your family of ancestors—anger/rage, fear, adultery, addictions and compulsions? Let’s clear the path for our descendants, so they don’t have to trip and fall!

In the Old Testament, one of the kings in Israel was Ahaziah, who did evil in the sight of the Lord. But listen to what is said about his ancestry—his mother encouraged him to do wrong.

 

What are the blessings for you who respect and fear the Lord, and walk in his ways?

  1. You will eat the fruit of your labor
  2. Blessings and prosperity will be yours
  3. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house
  4. Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table

 

Let’s look at those blessings one at a time.

 

  1. If you honor and respect the Lord, blessings will be yours. Good things that you don’t earn or deserve will come knocking at your door. How many would like to obtain that undeserved favor?

 

  1. And prosperity won’t dodge you—it will come looking for you. Prosperity will be YOURS! You will own it. The Lord will sew up the holes in your money purse. No longer will the locust eat up all your crops, or the snails eat up all your tomatoes. God will be the lifeguard around your money.

 

  1. Your wife will be beautiful to you—not a quarrelsome wife who is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. Proverbs 19:13

 

  1. Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table

I read in the interlinear Bible, that the olive shoots were the shoots that come up at the base of an old olive vine—shoots that can be transplanted into new vines. The sons and daughters that you nurture at your table of food and devotions, and a life lived in awesome respect of God, will eventually be transplanted into homes of their own, to raise up Godly sons and daughters.

 

I’ve always liked this verse. When our 7 sons were growing up, my favorite time of everyday life was at the supper table. One of my household rules was, if I cook, you will sit at the table and eat.

It wasn’t original with me, as it happened in my parent’s home, and I heard my sister Ruth state it to her family.

 

If you are a parent with children still in your house, I suggest you might take up this rule of everyone at the dinner table. Dinner is served, you sit down to eat, no one is allowed to start serving themselves before prayer, pray together—then everyone hopes to get at least one serving. If you don’t do this, then WHEN are you going to be family together, interacting as a unit?

 

This is the way a man is blessed who reverently respects the Lord!

 

Now, allow me to bless you with the blessing of the rest of Psalms chapter 128. Receive this blessing from the Lord:

 

May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you live to see your children’s children—peace be on Israel.