ONLINE Sunday Service (M911) | Mount Zion Church | 19 April 2020 | HAPPY HAPPY HOME | Luke 12:49-53
One of the biggest challenge that we will face in this end times is the purification that will come with all challenges and difficulties! Daniel wrote: “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand Dan.12:10.” The wicked will not realise nor understand about this process, but the wise will be able to see that important moment and be prepared! The end times is a very critical moment when people must decide if they want to continue in the right track or the wrong one Rev.22:11. The righteous will be more righteous because Holy Spirit will work mightily more than before in the latter rain to bring the church into perfection. But the sinner will also be more sinful because the devil also will work very hard, more than before, to prepare the way for the antichrist. What you will choose?
Jesus warned believers very boldly that the purification will start within the family. Our family must get prepared. Our family must be reinforced. While we are now asked to stay at home more than ever before, we may use this opportunity to build our family stronger happier healthier in Christ. An old song teaches us that the secret of a happy home is in Christ alone. When Jesus in the family, happy, happy home! Let’s read what Jesus had said about the danger of division in the family at the end times.
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Luke 12:49-53 NKJV
1: THE FIRE WILL BE SET ON
Jesus was actually talking about the refiner’s fire. Malachi wrote: “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap Mal.3:2.” Why there must be a fire? The genuineness of faith must be tested with fire 1Pet.1:7. Whatever we did in earth will be revealed by fire, the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is 1Cor.3:13.
So, why then the fire of purification will start in our family? Because all of us came from a family. Family is the most important part for everyone! Everyone has family and we can’t hide anything from our family. People may see us as a good person out from home, but the reality of our character will be revealed at our home. We can’t hide our weakness, our mistake, our stubbornness in the presence of our family. Family is the essential thing for everyone! Staying at home is a good and crucial moment for us to help build each other, to listen each other, to make a reconciliation between each family member. It is a time to let our weaknesses being examined so that we can be fixed and be a better person! People may say that staying at home will mean more problems and fights between each family member. Yes, it will happen if each family member doesn’t want to be changed and forgive each other. But if we see this condition from the perspective of the Bible, then we can be thankful for this wonderful opportunity!
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:5-6 NKJV
This is truly a good moment for the reconciliation between family members. God indeed has a desire to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. God indeed has a desire to see every Christian family grows into its fulness, experiencing happiness and full strength that start from their family. The fire will bring division for those who don’t want to repent. But the same fire will bring restoration for those who have a meek heart and want to be changed!
2: START FROM OUR FAMILY
The best start to do our ministry is from within our family. We must not neglect our family. Paul wrote: “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever 1Tim.5:8.” This is a good time to put more attention for our family. While we can’t do any ministry in the church building like normally we always do every weekend, we can go back to the essential of ministry when we serve our family so that they can come closer to Jesus. Just for example, for parents with little children, while we never know what our kids learn at the Sunday School class because normally we join and make ourselves busy with our ministry in general service, now we can sit together with them while they watch the teaching video every Sunday and give them a fresh and genuine teaching from us as their parents. How wonderful is that!
Jesus always very concern and so mindful about family. After being healed, that person wanted to join Jesus and the disciples, but Jesus said to him: “Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you Mrk.5:19.” Sometimes we may forget to take care our family first and just too busy with other things, with our ministries at church. But now we have a good time and we can’t have any excuse to neglect our family.
Maybe we like to share our testimony with other people in church service or maybe with our colleagues at work, but we never share it to our family, now we have a plenty opportunity to share our testimony every time with our family, not only every Sunday at church! While normally we only enjoy our dinner together with family, now we can have more time to share. While normally our teenager being very busy at the weekend, now we can have more time to spend with them. A good and strong ministry is when the whole family committed to serve the Lord just like what Joshua said: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Jos.24:15!” Let’s pray so that this lockdown will be a retreat to build our family stronger, to build better commitment for the whole family to serve the Lord, and when the time will come for us to go back to the normal church service, we will able to see the revival as we will have stronger ministry and Holy Spirit works mightily in our church!
3: THE HAPPY FAMILY IN THE ARK
13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. Genesis 7:13-16 NKJV
Jesus said that the days of the Son of Man will be as it was in the days of Noah. People will let their hearts be weighed down with drunkenness and all cares of this life so that they will neglect to be prepared. As the flood prevailed the whole earth at once, so the difficulties will come to the whole world, globally! And in the perspective of happy home, we can learn how the family of Noah was very happy inside that ark! They stayed inside the ark not only for 40 days during the big rain happened, but they stayed even longer! The rain was commenced in the 17th day of the second month, and they went out of the ark on the 27th day of the second month at following year Gen.7:11; 8:14-16. It was about 1 year and 10 days they were shut inside the ark and there was not any division happened between them, between Noah and his wife, nor between Noah and his sons, nor between Noah and his daughter-in-law! Everything was good because they were lived together in the love of God. It was a happy, happy, ark!
Who is Noah? The Bible told us that Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations, and he walked with God Gen.6:9. Those are the most important characters that need to be found within our family so that the family can be a happy, happy, home. Noah was the main character that play the most important role to bring all his family came together as one, and it was proved wonderfully during their lockdown inside the ark. Noah was fully respected by his family members. That kind of respect is a result when someone truly walks with God. Each family member must learn to walk with God so that each member will respect each other. Jesus also gave us example how He increased in wisdom and in favour with both God and men Luk.2:52. Family could be a true reflection mirror about who we are. Sometimes we may not realise that we had already become a stumbling block for another member within our family. But as we keep walking with God, Holy Spirit will show that mistakes and then teach us to fix those weaknesses so that we can gather all family members together.
We can compare the family of Noah with the family of Lot. While Noah was able to bring all his families, including his 3 sons and 3 daughter-in-law, Lot was not able to do that, even Lot lost his wife! Lot was compromising himself with sins as he let himself blended together with the culture of Sodom and Gomorrah and sat together with the elders in the gate of Sodom Gen.19:1. Lot just suddenly changed to be a nice man and said something about the Lord in the presence of his sons-in-law so that they thought Lot just made a joke Gen.19:14. His wife also was not able to obey to what Lot and the angels said so that she looked back and became a pillar of salt Gen.19:26. Lot got no respect at all from his family members and it was the result of his way of life that compromising with sins.
We may ask a simple question to ourselves. Do my family feel safe and comfort when I sit together with him, OR they always try to avoid me? Let’s pray so that we will be able to always walk with God and bring the whole family come to Jesus, even grow together with us.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
This is the time to reinforce our family in Christ like never before! The clock is ticking, and that big day is approaching. How wonderful is that when we together with our family will be caught up in that glorious rapture that we are always waiting for!
Since the fire of the refiner will happen and even go larger, let’s submit ourselves in the mighty hand of God so that He will refine us and mould us just as He will. Let’s believe that all these challenges that we have now, and also the upcoming one, will be a good tool from God to change us and prepare us for His second coming. Let’s pray so that this moment will bring each family closer each other and closer to God. Let’s pray so the heart of the fathers will turn to their children and vice versa.
Let’s serve our family as serious as when we do ministry in our church. Let’s pray so that this lockdown will be a retreat to build our family stronger, to build better commitment for the whole family to serve the Lord, and when the time will come for us to go back to the normal church service, we will able to see the revival as we will have stronger ministry and Holy Spirit works mightily in our church!
Let’s pray so that God can use us as Noah who able to bring all family member come together in the glorious plan of God. Let’s pray so that we will be able to always walk with God and bring the whole family come to Jesus, even grow together with us. AMEN.