Audio message of the week : Transcribed Text
19-The Christian Home-Examples Of Christian Homes In The Bible.
We are very grateful for the faithfulness with which God has maintained our fellowship in His Word on this program from week to week. May the labours of the Holy Spirit over your life make you an instrument of service and honour in the Father's will.
We have been broadcasting a series of messages on The Christian Home for the past several weeks. We keep praying that the Lord will cause the families that listen to us to be models of the design of God. If you will apply the Principles that we have learned, God will make your home a model of what He designed marriage to be.
This week, we start with the concluding messages of this series with the examples of Christian homes in the Bible to reinforce all the Principles we have learnt.
There are 2 books: i.) No More Two: God's Principles for Marriage, Cost N450 and ii) Building A Fulfilling Marital Relationship, Cost N250, that deal with the Christian Home that we would like to recommend to you. Both of them are written by Bro Gbile Akanni. These two books are good resource materials that you can buy and refer to in order to keep the Principles we have shared fresh and always handy to pray and work through with your spouse. The books are retailed in our zonal offices spread much across Nigeria. Here is how to find the addresses of the offices - there is a file menu on this Home page. Please go to 'Revival Fields' on that menu and find the geopolitical zone where you are located and you can check our nearest zonal office to you. Contact them and you can make request for these books.
If you are in Europe, Middle East and Asia, please visit our UK subsidiary on the web on http://www.livingseedUK.org and you can place orders through them for the books. Same for those who live in the Americas who in this instance should visit our USA subsidiary on http://www.livingseedUSA.org
God bless you.
And now to the message . . .
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The Christian Home-Examples Of Christian Homes In The Bible.
Prayer: Our Lord and our God we bless You once again, thank You for Your faithfulness and Your goodness to us. Thank You for our listeners who together with ourselves have been at Your feet listening to You over these several weeks. Lord even as we round up this series today with examples of homes in Scripture we ask Lord that we may learn from the lives of those that have gone before us and proven that the things You are saying to us is not impossible - others have walked with it and You have supported them.
Thank You Father; thank You because You will do much more than we could ask or imagine today since we have prayed in Jesus Name. Amen.
I want to thank God for this privilege God has granted us again to come your way all through these several weeks of series of teachings on the Christian Home. We are trusting that God Who brought us into these instructions will also cause it to grow and germinate and produce diverse fruits in our land, in our community, and especially in your own family in the Name of Jesus Christ.
I would like to say the following things today as we look at the marriages in the Scriptures and the various examples we have so that you might arise knowing that these Principles are not meant for those that are gone. These instructions are not meant for extra-special beings: they are meant for people like you and people like myself. If you simply follow the Word of God and you cause the Word of God to come again and again to your life God Himself is going to give you a firm foundation as a family; God is going to give you the joy that belongs to those people that walk according to His will.
Just to start-off, I would like you to know that the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 4
Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Marriage is honourable in all: marriage is to be recognised and to be honoured in all, at all times and in all situations. God honours marriage. The first place Jesus attended and where He performed His first miracle was at a marriage in Cana of Galilee. God believes in marriage and that is why God has kept insisting on our coming into a proper understanding of His mind in the matter of marriage. Marriage is God's way of building a society and of building a nation. The church can only be built through families, and when families are in proper relations with God most of the problem we have both in the church and in the nation will be resolved. Our prayer is that God will grant you understanding even as we go ahead today in Jesus Name.
I would like to say to you that the Principles God has taught us have been worked with by men of like passions like ourselves. Apart from Adam that we started with in Genesis chapter 2 that seemed to first of all experience the Genesis 2 Principles before the Serpent interrupted him and before marriage went into disarray and went into the Genesis Chapter 3 aberration, we have also seen some people, though they look like exceptional cases, who walked according to the truth of the Word of God they saw and something came out of their lives. And I just want to draw your attention to such persons, I may not be able to go into details because of our time but I pray that you will be able to remember some of the Principles we learnt and how they applied it both as wives and as husbands and how they went through their trials by the grace of God.
There were also some people who fell victim of the Genesis chapter 3 marriage after Adam: there were many of them. I hope you will remember that the first polygamist in the Bible was Mr. Lamech the son of Methuselah. See Gen. 4:19. This man was the first polygamist in the Bible. It was wonderful to notice that right in Genesis, the devil had always planned to cause confusion and destroy the good things that God had wanted to give man.
There are so many others that I would categorise as I go ahead with you today but I want you to look at some persons that epitomised and demonstrated the Principles of God's divine design for marriage clearly and vividly by their lives and by their own experiences. You will see the life of Abraham and his wife in a way demonstrating part of the Principles that God has taught us over these weeks while we have been looking at the Christian Home.
When you look at First Peter chapter 3 which we referred to when we were dealing with the roles of the wife, God presented Sarah as a model of a wife. The Bible says, and I would like to read again I Peter 3 from verses 3 to 7.
1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
1Pe 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
I want to praise God that the Bible talks about sisters, women submitting to their husbands. We are not asking you to do something that no-one has ever done; we are not asking you to do something that is so extremely difficult that no human has ever walked in. People have lived it before! Several people did it before as you can see here. The Bible says the adorning that God is expecting from your life is not that of the outward adorning of the plaiting of the hair, the elaborate fixing of your hair, all those wonderful things that people do - the bangles and the necklaces, some people even put nose rings and all kinds of things apart from the things they paint like lipsticks and things like these. My friend, I want to tell you those things don't add any essential thing to your beauty. I don't know if you have ever found out how terribly you begin to stink after you wear all these things and the weather condition becomes hot and humid: you find out that all those make-ups, of course that is the right name to call it, do not help. What do you call it? “Make-up!” Where do we need make-ups? Where things are not complete and you want to deceive: you just want to cajole people by making-up. I can see underneath your nose, underneath the make-up on your cheek that you are really not that happy. You are just making up! I can see some of you bleaching as if that is what will make you acceptable to your husband - you put on a lot of perfume even though your body is very dirty! What is the meaning of that? You are living carelessly. I can see all the veins coming out of your neck because you keep shouting, you keep getting anxious, you keep getting angry, you are on the edge of your nerves all the time! And right now, you are almost always restless! The Bible says that is not the kind of adorning that God is expecting from you.
Look at the Bible! The word of God is saying “..even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” There is a necklace that you can put on, what is that? A meek and a quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price!
And the Bible further says “for after this manner the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves being in subjection to their own husbands: even as Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord.” I Peter 3:5-6a. Now I wouldn't have time to look at how Sarah obeyed Abraham, but it was interesting! Sarah obeyed Abraham unto the point of death. Sarah obeyed Abraham unto the point that she accepted even to go into dangerous places so that Abraham would not die, so that people will not kill Abraham. It is as if she agreed to be offered as a sacrificial lamb in order to preserve her husband. What a help she was unto that man! And the Bible said “...She called him lord whose daughters you are as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” I Peter 3:6b.
May God grant you understanding in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Subjection of oneself to one’s husband (submission) is not a weakness as we have said again and again. There is no amazement because you submit to your husband. Sarah called Abraham her husband “my lord.” Nowadays I see a lot of equality-tendency that education and foolish civilisation seem to have taught us (you see, the Bible teaches respect and reverence for your husband) I don’t know where you got that culture! I want to tell you that the white man’s culture is not heavenly culture. And for you to carry it up and down and beyond the truth of the Scripture, I would like to say that: that is not correct! Holy women of old, they call their husbands “my lord,” they never looked down on their husbands!
And the Bible said - women should be dressed appropriately (what the old King James Version called shamefacedly. See I Tim. 2: 9-10). This “open-eye” I see you do is the principle of Genesis chapter 3. This “open-eye” that makes you call your husband by his name and you just cut him open here and there with your mouth is not right: you may think that you are civilised but I think that that civilisation is becoming something else! You are sliding back into barbarism. May God help you to understand the simplicity of the Word of God that never will fail in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now let me leave Sarah alone, I hope that will help you to discover several things. But as I leave her let me remind you that Sarah even went through a lot of contradiction, Hagar came into her family and it was such a serious matter but God intervened and Sarah never regretted as she allowed God take up her case. Maybe you are listening to me today; your husband has gone to pick another woman and it may be your house girl like Hagar but you don’t need to quit if you would wait before God and you would keep praying - God is going to bring your solution as He did in the family of Abraham and Sarah.
I want to move away from there, I want you to see another couple - Isaac and Rebekah. Please follow me quickly: there are simple things that I have noticed about this particular couple, they look like a couple that we can learn from. They seem to have demonstrated several of the Principles that God has taught us as we came through this series of messages. Though we didn’t have too much time to deal with how to choose and how to run your courtship, I want to quickly see the life of Isaac, may God help us in the Name of Jesus Christ. If you look at Genesis chapter 24, that’s where the story came. I want you to see what happened, let’s read from verse 1
Gen 24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
Gen 24:2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
Gen 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
Gen 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
Again we saw a Principle here: Isaac was already old and was up to 40 years of age here yet he was waiting for a directive from his father. He was waiting for a right time when marriage would come up in God’s calendar for his life. There are so many young people in this age - you never consulted God neither did you talk to the brothers and all the elders that God placed over you in life and in the Body of Christ! In the church you attend, you never will consult with them, you never allow them to confirm your leading! All that we suddenly saw was that you have suddenly impregnated a girl and you are hiding! All that we see is that you just rushed down to your village, you went and did customary marriage and you come back and say “Pastor, please bless us.” I want to tell you, age is not a reason to misbehave as far as the matter of marriage is concerned!
I notice here that Isaac was waiting and Abraham took it upon himself as a responsibility to find a wife for him. Whereas as I look at Abraham here I see God planning for your marriage, planning for you if you will learn to wait on Him! If you will let God handle it, He Himself will enter into a covenant to find a wife and a suitable woman for your life.
And you can see, no unequal yoking: Abraham said to his servant “You must not marry for my son among this Canaanites among whom I dwell.” Excuse me - the citizens of this world, they belong to this world! And God said “Do not be unequally yoked to unbelievers” even though you dwell among unbelievers, you walk among them, you go to the same school with them, you do the same work in the office, you don’t belong to the same land! You are not from the same country! You are not of the same kindred. You are not!
The Bible says whosoever is born of God does not sin!! You know, the difference between the child of God and the child of the devil, it is in the question of sin. I want to ask you today, brother: what are you doing with that unbelieving woman? Sister! What are you doing with that unbelieving man? He is bringing you all kinds of gifts along with wraps of money and your eyes are dazed; will you mortgage your eternity because of a marriage which you don’t even know how long it would last? Are you listening to me? Jesus has saved you, the Spirit of God has filled you - you speak in tongues, you manifest spiritual gifts and you are accepting to lay your life in the hand of a careless man! A careless man? He is beginning to enter into your body carelessly; he is fiddling with your life right now and you are not thinking. If you are actually a child of God and a child of the Kingdom, I tell you: you must quit. Look! Isaac was not going to marry from the people around him, even though they are so many; many girls of Moabite and Canaanite extraction - they were all there, beautiful girls on the surface but he knew that they are not the correct stock. Any man who is not born again is not ‘marryable’ for you. Are you understanding me? Any girl who is not a child of God is not marryable - she is not correct for marriage! May God help you to understand that!
Somebody, some people have practised these instructions we speak to you and it was well with them. It will be well with you also if you will take these thoughts today and live by them in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Now, I want you to see what they did. Eliezer prayed. I don’t want to spend time on what Eliezer did but he prayed and waited on God. I hope you can take time to study the whole of that chapter and see how God can lead. Let that man, Eliezer, challenge you to see how God can lead! Consider the kind of things he put before God. When I studied it I saw a man who is looking for the best from the hand of God. And we are not talking of the Principles-of-cajole that is prevalent in today’s religion! Eliezer asked God for the woman that will be willing to serve, a woman that will be willing to water the cattle and the camel and give him enough water to drink and you see, when Rebekah came she did all of that without thinking and without looking about and saying to herself “I am a woman, I am supposed to be tended and cared for, how can I be doing all this service for a strange man?” She did it instinctively!
But I don’t understand your own condition, what are you looking for in a girl? Some of you brothers, you are looking for a girl that has a long neck, that always wears some jewellery around her neck; some of you say “Look, I want the one that is very fair-skinned and the one that looks almost like a white person.” I am sorry for you!!! The beauty on the surface doesn’t last. Such girls, which you call beautiful do not have a home! You go and find out and you will see for yourself - the most beautiful girls you see on the road do not have any home! They use their bodies to sustain themselves and are always bleaching their skin. If you marry such a person, you can never satisfy her; she can never find her satisfaction in your life, you are too small! Are you understanding? How can she settle with you? You are too small! These ones that run with sugar-daddies and men who steal money from their work-places to throw at them and maintain them? Is that the kind of life you want to live in order to satisfy your wife? You? Why don’t you look up to God and ask Him for a woman who will serve God with you? A woman that is willing to bend down and fetch water from a deep well (imagine how deep wells are in that part of the world) in order to fulfill the thirst of your life. That loop-hole that is in your life, someone must fill it up, not with superficial things but things from the well of life, things from the presence of God! That was what Rebekah was unto Isaac.
May God help you in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Now I want you to follow me quickly to chapter 24 of Genesis, I still have some few issues to thresh there. I will take time to show you a few things there before we pray together this week: we look up to the Lord to help us. Now, the Bible said in verses 57 to 58.
Gen 24:57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
Gen 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
Rebekah said I will go! You see the woman that is willing to go, to go with a man into every situation, to go with a man into every condition. “I will go” is what such women say from the bottom of their hearts, “I will go with him into every condition. I will go.. I will go!! I will go with him in life, I will go with him in danger!” Nowadays I hear some of us making jest of marriage. On the day of wedding, some of you who think you are Pentecostals - I don’t even know how to classify you - maybe I should call you “Pente-rascals” because you don’t really understand what the word of God is saying! When they say “Will you go with this man for better, for worse?” Some of you I hear you saying “…for better for best, for richer for richest.” You don’t understand what we are talking about! Marriage is not a conditional relationship! Marriage is unconditional, whether it is good today and it is bad tomorrow, marriage continues!! Whether there is money today and there is no money tomorrow, marriage continues!!” Circumstances don’t affect Christian marriage at all. So we don’t say for better for richer, for best and for prosperity and for promotion and for prominence and for all of that. It shows that your heart is wrong!
My sister if you know a man that says he will only go with you for better for best, that same moment you should withdraw your life from such a man! He is not the correct man to marry: he is joking with a life-long vow, a life-long commitment! You need someone who will stand with you everywhere: stand with you when everybody has deserted you, stand with you on the deathbed; stand with you when there is no money, stand with you when all friends have left you. You need somebody who will ‘go with you!’
Gen 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
“I will go!”… Her colleagues asked “Do you know where you are going?” She said to them “I don’t know but I will go by the grace of God.” Her friends asked “Do you know this man? Do you know his destiny?” Rebekah still said “I am going by the grace of God.” And the Bible said when she said that, they called her and blessed her and sent her away. Verse 60 - 61.
Gen 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
Gen 24:61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!! I want you to get what I am saying here. Here is a woman that God had joined her destiny with Isaac, they lived far away, tens of kilometres apart; the distance separating them was a three-day journey. But see, do you know what happened? The blessing that God placed on Isaac 28 years back on the Mount of Moriah in Genesis chapter 22, if you would read verses 16, 17 and 18 you will find that it is the same blessing that they are placing on Rebekah right now in Genesis 27 verse 60! That is what I am talking about. When God brings a woman into your life, God prepares her to fill a vacuum! God places your destiny, your vision, your ministry and your calling upon her that she together with you might bring fulfillment to the vision, to the call and to the expectation of God concerning your life. If only you would wait on the Lord to make this happen in your life!!
There is something else I need to point out even if I can’t go beyond this case today, I pray that God will minister to you and show you what next to do. Let’s continue.
Now the Bible said in that same Genesis 24 and verse 62.
Gen 24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.
What is the well Lahairoi if you understand it? That name Lahairoi means “The Lord who seeth me.” Do you see? I stand here for Isaac: he dwells in the presence of the Lord. He dwells by the well of life, he dwells by the well that never runs dry. And what was he doing?
Gen 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide...
Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide. Isaac was a prayerful man, he wasn’t running up and down looking at girls here and there and saying “Is it this one, is it that one?” as I see so many young brothers doing. They go to every fellowship meeting and any little girl that comes out to sing a special number would by tomorrow receive 3 to 4 requests from brothers saying “the Lord showed me that you are my wife!” Which God showed you? Could God have showed you when your eyes were so much open flattering here and there? In the course of this series we spoke about Adam and we saw how God caused him to sleep and he slept! But you? You are wide awake: wide awake making your own choices saying “I like this girl, I don’t like this one; this girl is too thin and is not fat enough; this one is too fat, how can I be going with a fat girl like that?!”
I want to say to you: Isaac was a man who knew how to meditate, who knew how to go in the evening-tide to seek the face of God. Now if you would continue that verse 63
Gen. 24:63 …and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
Isaac lifted up his eyes. You see as he lifted up his eyes, he saw his wife from a vantage view - he saw his wife from the presence of the Lord! And if you will continue to verse 64.
Gen 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
You see that Rebekah lifted up her eyes as well. Can you see that, how can the two of them lift up their eyes at the same time? The issue here is that they were looking unto the Lord! The only place where you can find your wife, where you can find your husband is from the Lord. And as you lift up your eye unto God, you will find God doing that miracle, you will find God preparing that girl for you introducing and releasing her to you. Alleluia!!
But I want you to see something else in verse 65.
Gen 24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
What a sign of humility! We already saw in this series that this “open-eye” is the Genesis 3 Marriage Principle. But you see a woman here: she covered her face! This is what the Bible calls shamefacedness (1Tim. 2:9-10) or what we call being self-effacing in contemporary English. She will never belittle her husband! This woman has learnt to cover herself. Why do you think that bowing down and being humble is a sign of weakness? You say “Who is the man let me talk to him straight-ahead!” That is not what Rebekah did!
I want you to see what Isaac also did to the wife. Let’s read verse 67.
Gen 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Can you see that? Where did he place Rebekah? In his mother’s tent. May God help you as we pray together here, we have seen such men as Isaac who have demonstrated the Principles that we have been studying over these months. You also can do so!
Bow your head as we pray, commit your own marriage to the Lord. God is going to help you. I wish when we have another time we can still look at this kind of men and women such as Isaac and Rebekah! People who lived the kind of life we are talking about.
Shall we bow down to pray together?
Prayer: And so Lord we present all these homes to you today asking O God that you will send help to them, to as many lives as are crying to you. We know that you have stationed help for them in the particular matter of their marriage, help them to seek and receive this help as they go on their way. Thank you Father for in Jesus Name we have prayed. Amen.