Today’s Scripture:  “25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

Introduction:

Five days into this study, and we’ve discovered a few things about the book called the Holy Bible.  On day one, we discovered that the Word of God is profitable, and $11 billion dollars cheaper than all those self-help books.  On day two, we learned that one of the biggest reasons we need to read the Bible is because that’s how we find out about Jesus.  Who He is.  What He did.  Why He came.  The Holy Bible is really a book that’s all about Jesus.  On the third day, we were reminded that the Word of God is alive and powerful, and that it is the only offensive weapon when we are wearing the full Armor of God.  Yesterday, we read that the Bible really is a manual for how to live life.  We can look in the Bible, and find answers for any and every area of our lives.

Today, we get to something that’s closely related to what we’re talking about at New Life Christian Center with Pastor Cass Hill is a series of messages on Family Ties.  I believe one of the greatest things that threatens the fabric of homes in the United States of America is the lack of Bible reading within the homes.   We’d rather watch television, play video games, and do whatever else than sit and have a time of family Bible Devotional time…and I am freely admitting that I am just as guilty.  So, I am preaching this message to myself as we look at day 5 of “Why Read The Bible?”…let’s see about the “Cleansing of God’s Word”.

Today’s Message:

As I was writing the introduction, I had the Holy Spirit drop in my heart the direction this message needs to go.  Who knows sometimes it’s okay to let the Holy Spirit speak and have His way?  So, I want to take a moment to pray and invite the Holy Spirit to speak what He wants and do what He wants in this message.

Holy Spirit, I thank You for the prompting You have given me about what direction this message needs to go.  I yield myself to You, and ask You Holy Spirit to give us all ears to hear what it is that You would have to say to us through this message.  I pray that it would be clear, concise, and direct.  I pray for the utterance and unction that You, Holy Spirit, supply me with now supernaturally, and that I would speak only of the oracles of You.  Sink this message deep within my heart, and the hearts of those who will read this message.  I ask Holy Spirit that You would take over now, and speak…in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.

So, as I was writing the introduction I barely got through the last paragraph when I described what’s at the root of the moral decline within the family today, and I readily admitted that I am just as much at fault as anyone else.  Has anyone ever heard the phrase:  “The family that prays together…stays together?”.  Well, in addition to praying together as a family, and I mean for more than just saying grace at meals…and yes…I am speaking this to myself as well…we also need to study the Bible together as a family.  I don’t care if we take 15 minutes to do a devotional and 5 minutes to pray…it needs to be done…and when those two things are done…we will see a revival of reconciling families all over the nation.

The Bible used to be the cornerstone of every ministry, every church, every family, every classroom, and even the government.  However, since the government has worked to remove the Word of God from every last institution they possibly can…we as the body of Christ have gotten the idea that it’s okay to remove it from the most important institution altogether…the family.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Mark 3:23 – 27

Listen, if you want to know where the nations moral decay is coming from you don’t start at the top, and work your way down.  You start with the smallest part, and work your way up.  We have no right to blame the government for something that we could have prevented ourselves by remaining steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine.  If we’d have continued to study to show ourselves approved, and searched the scriptures daily there wouldn’t be all this garbage going on in this nation today.

Do you think we’d see the filth we see on television if every America family that was Bible believing would have continued to make the Word of God the cornerstone of our families?  It used to be that you couldn’t even hear a cuss word on television, and now you have prime time television shows with “R” ratings because of language, sexual content, and violence.  Do you think that we would see the kind of video games we see today?  How about pornographic websites?  Can you see where I am going?  Had the Bible continued to be the main cornerstone of Christian families then perhaps they wouldn’t be so weak and willing to turn the other cheek.

Yes, we do have to be peacemakers, but Paul also teaches us to earnestly contend for the faith.  Have we done that as the body of Christ?  NO.  Why?  Because we don’t value the Word of God anymore.  We have made the Word of God a decorative piece on our coffee tables.  Some of us even have that great big family Bible that sits on the coffee table out there to pretend and portray that this house is the Lord’s house…but is it really?

I can guarantee you that unless they are really good housekeepers (like my wife is) then you’ll see at least an inch of dust, and a nice little ring of dust if you were to pick that sucker up.  Do you know what you do when you’re in a house like that?  Find an excuse to leave!  Well, I take it back.  Share with them The Gospel Soul-Winning Script, and if they reject you…RUN!  If it looks like they haven’t picked up that Bible even to dust…the get out of there because I can guarantee you that God is not the head of that home.

I am convicted myself.  I am supposed to be the spiritual leader of my home, and I’ve spent all this time writing messages about the importance of the Word of God…and I don’t even have a mandatory family Bible devotional time in my house.  My wife even got us a devotional book, and we’ve put it away.  For what?  For the sake of television or whatever?  Shame on me.  I admit that I need to change that immediately in my home.  I can’t proclaim to the world; “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Like Joshua did (Joshua 24:15).

So, this message is probably far, far away from where the YouVersion writers of this devotional series intended it to go, but that’s why we have the Holy Ghost.  Some times He has something to say that supersedes anything we might have ready or thought we would say.

The bottom line of today’s message is simple, friends.  We need to restore the Word of God to it’s rightful place in our homes.  If the  Family Ties of our homes is to be strengthened to a point of being unbreakable then we must return to the Word of God.  It must be a priority both in our personal lives, and in our family.  Turn off the television, cell phones, and everything else for a half an hour.  Turn on some worship music, take a moment to open up in prayer, find a devotional to read, and then close in another prayer…and then go on about your evening.  I’m pretty sure that for the most part that can be done in a half hour or so.

I know that I am convicted that I need to start that in my home…and I hope that this will encourage you to start doing it in yours as well.

Interactive Study Questions:

Now, I realize that we didn’t come anywhere close to writing about what I’m sure was intended to be written about Ephesians 5:25-27.  But, we can say something about it here before we get into the questions.  I guess we can tie in the title of this message to the way the message came out.  The tie in is this.  If we want to cleanse the moral fabric of this great nation of ours then we need to start at the family level, and the best way to cleanse the home is by making sure that our homes are a house that serves the Lord.  That our homes don’t have Bibles as decorative pieces, but that they’re being read and studied from in our homes.  That includes making sure our homes have worship music playing, and that they are also homes of prayer.

Here’s today’s Interactive Study Questions:

  1. What is the role of the Bible in this passage?
  2. How do you think the Bible could be used to present you without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish?

Conclusion & Prayer:

My friends, I’m challenging you and myself…starting in June to make sure that we are having some sort of family devotional time with worship, prayer, and a Bible Devotional reading. If you need help, I have a simple study guide that I can mail you, or you can go to RBC Ministries and sign up to have the Our Daily Bread Bible Devotional mailed to your home. They’re even online now so you don’t even need to have a paper copy mailed to you.

I know that I’m accepting the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and am going to start doing the very same thing beginning on June 1.

Lord, forgive us…forgive me.  We have made Your Word into a conversation piece of decoration instead of edification, education, and enrichment.  We have made Your Word a dust collector, and have allowed it to become of none effect…and we ask You…Lord…to forgive us.  Give us a hunger, passion, and desire for Your Holy Word that we have never had before…help us to be bold where there is fear, and get an established routine of Bible Study, Worship, and Prayer into our home lives.  Help us, Lord God, to overcome the temptations to put it off.  Oh Lord, we love You.  We give You glory, and we thank You for speaking to us this day.  Give us receptive hearts, ears to hear, and minds that comprehend all that was said…and help us to have the commitment to put it into practice.  In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.