Family Fusion Week 8
Pastor Dave Chiolero & Pastor Kim Chiolero
This is the final message in the Family Fusion series.
We tried to come up with a creative way to tie what God is doing in our family with lessons that would help all of us. Each and every one of us are going through different life lessons at different times – today we want to share with you a big life lesson from each member of our family.
We would like to announce that no Chiolero child was harmed in the making of this message. All testimonies were shared willingly and somewhat excitedly.
We all struggle with relationships even in families. We were reminded a couple of weeks ago when John and carol Arnott where here about forgiveness, the power of forgiveness for others and ourselves. We all face difficult relationships in our lives. People we don’t get along with or people who have hurt us.
Jesus said, “So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). It is interesting to note the disciple’s immediate response to Jesus’ words: “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). Forgiveness is some of the hardest work we have to do.
Forgiveness is not saying, “Oh, that’s okay, it didn’t matter.” Forgiveness says, “It wasn’t okay, it did matter, and what you did hurt me deeply, but I choose to forgive you anyway.”
Real love really remembers and feels the full force of the pain and still extends forgiveness to the offender. That kind of forgiveness is what it means to live like Jesus.
Relationships are messy and hard but they are so worth it.
I know that this comes as a big shocker to most of you, that a young teenage boy would be struggling with responsibility.
I wonder how many times God has looked down at me over the years, slightly shaking His head thinking, “when are you gonna be responsible!”
Teaching Responsibility is a common practice when raising children.
And since we’re Gods children, He’s constantly trying to teach us too.
A couple weeks ago, Allan was given the job of cleaning the kitchen. When I inspected his work I noticed the electric skillet still dirty on the counter. When I pointed it out to him, he realized he had completely overlooked it. We had a great conversation about the difference between being absent minded and making a conscience decision to neglect responsibility.
I don’t read anywhere in the Bible where being forgetful is considered a sin.
But, when you know exactly what’s expected from you and you choose differently, that’s an issue of the heart, and we will all stand in judgment for those.
In Matthew 25, Jesus told of a rich man who was going away on a trip and entrusted his resources to his servants. Two servants invested what they were given, but the third did not. When the master came back, he asked for an accounting. The first two were praised and rewarded for their diligence, but when Jesus told the story, the ending seemed unfair. He took away from the man who did not invest and gave his talent to the most fruitful investor, firmly announcing this law of the kingdom: “To everyone who is faithful with what he has, more will be given… but if your not faithful with what God’s given you, he will take it away.” Matt 25:29
Whether in physical, intellectual, financial, or relational dealings, whatever is given you, however small it is, use it. Use it diligently and use it on an ever-increasing scale. Set goals to increase whatever you do. This is a secret of the kingdom.
Everyone faces trials and obsticles in our lives:
Illness or adversity comes to all of us. In a family and when something difficult happens to one of us, we all feel it. Dealing with something that affects learning and friendships and even self-esteem is hard.
I love what Paul said when he faced his adversity:
Philippians is one of the “prison epistles,” which is to say, it was written during one of the many times Paul was a jailbird. So it isn’t surprising that the book draws heavily on the themes of humility and self-sacrifice. When you imagine Paul penning this letter in a dank first-century prison cell
12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength.
Paul is reminding them that they can endure the crushing feeling of defeat and discouragement. He is reminding us that we can with Christ’s strength make it to the end of this trial, obstacle and reminds us where are strength really comes from.
Is there anyone here who has ever worried about their future?
All of us have questions about what the future might hold, but the future is uncertain. The one thing you can count on is that you can’t count on anything!
Death and taxes – We can be sure of those.
If life is a journey, then we know that…
- There are many crossroads along the way
- There are detours
- There are surprises around the corner
- Sometimes there’s big bumps in the road
We don’t always know where this road will take us, but we CAN know the one who walks with us. He is completely dependable – always trustworthy.
I think this is why the Lord asks us to seek Him!
- Seek first the Kingdom…
- Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, strength…
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, submit to Him in all your ways… and He will direct your path.
Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
He’s the only constant in this life?
Several years ago, I was pastoring in San Antonio and just got engaged to Kim. My father-in-law invited me to move to Houston and pastor with him. This was a huge fork in the road and there were good arguments supporting both directions. I really wrestled with God to make His path clear. One night, while I was praying, I heard the Lord ask me if I was happy in my current situation. This was quite a revelation to me because my happiness was never part of my consideration. Not only did God give me direction, He gave me a clearer picture of Himself – that He cares about my happiness.
Just remember that the goal of this life is to know Him – above all else.
We have all felt the pain of starting a new church, job, school and having to find people with like interests and beliefs.
We have all felt a need to be in relationship with Jesus and others.
Jesus summed up the Commandments with two simple lines –
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39).
• That’s loving God, and loving people. It sounded simplistic, but that’s the foundation to everything in life. Think about that for a moment.
• It’s all about loving God and doing things His way, and loving people, living life just like Christ.
• The way Jesus puts it, relationship is the core to the Christian life.
You cannot live in isolation. Independence is not the goal of the Christian life.
• We need a community. We need to be in a community. We can only grow well and healthy in a community.
Relationships are complicated and complex. It takes efforts and lots of wisdom to nurture relationships.
I think we all learn valuable lessons in the uncomfortable times of life. It is in those times we really cry out to God for all that we need.
There are several things that the Lord is doing in my life, but at the root of them all is one central theme that’s prominent above the rest, and that’s my personal devotional time with Jesus. If I want to be a better husband, it will come as I spend time with Jesus. If I want to have patience as a dad, it will come from my time with Jesus. If I want my life in ministry to be effective and fruitful, it will be a result of my time with Jesus. All my hearts desires start with Him.
I realize this is a basic truth, no Christian is going to argue with the validity of daily devotions, but I find it’s something I have to fight for.
Even when I’m doing a good job at setting aside the time each morning, I have to work at making the most out of it. It’s really not hard for me to sit quietly with a cup of coffee and just let my mind wonder for an hour, so I need to be disciplined and stay focused during my devotion time to connect with Christ.
For me, this time comes in the mornings. I’ve learned that if I don’t put God first in my day, my day puts a lot of other things first. I like to be outdoors, so I sit in my garage with the garage door open - I connect to God better when I can see the trees and hear the birds chirp. I try to center in on Jesus – tune into Him – talk with Him – and not be rushed.
I don’t always see immediate fruit from this discipline, but when my wife tells me she sees the difference it makes, I consider that to be a good benchmark.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
To the men: If you fail at your devotional life, your failing at the most important ministry you have for your wife and children. All your fruitfulness comes from abiding in Him.
I know especially in the bay area we all struggle with keeping a healthy balance in our life. I was praying and I felt drawn to this passage:
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I think we all switch between Martha and Mary many times in our lives.
Don’t get me wrong we all have jobs we have to do and want to do but we also have our families our first ministry.
- I want to be present for my children, I want to know them and their desires and speak life to them. I want to know what makes them laugh and cry and do both with them. I say I’m sorry when I’m wrong.
- We say no to some things to make time just for our family.
- I want to be healthy so I have the energy to keep up
- I want to be spiritually healthy.
- Lately The lord has said to me “ stop doing and just be with me”
I must remind myself to stop and just spend time with the Lord and it miraculously centers my day and my thoughts and actions.
Spending quality time has to be a priority and we have to fight for it. Family devotions have to be fought for. Dave and I want our children to know that their salvation is the most important to us. Laughing together, celebrating our successes. Knowing that we are team Chiolero. When one of the kids does something great we all celebrate them, Honor them for their character. Tell them how grateful we are for them. We want them to feel like our words of life go with them. But that takes time, effort. Sometime I do so well and others I don’t. We are not perfect and apologize often when we are wrong.
Dave and I fight for our healthy marriage.