My Family – Sanctified in Jesus Christ
Scripture: Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
Lesson Goal: To unpack a few of the characteristics of a family in Christ.
Before we get into this lesson, I want to clarify the term “family.” In terms of traditional family, we consider those who are blood relatives as family. But we must understand that as a believer in Christ, we are also a member of a larger family. So when we speak of family in this context, we should not just reserve the term for our biological family, but also as the family of Christ and how we relate to one another in the church.
A family in Christ doesn’t put Christ first!
Wait, what? Before you turn me off, hang with me for a few minutes. In Deuteronomy 6:5, Moses gives the Nation of Israel a commandment from the Lord: “To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Then Jesus confirmed the commandment in Luke 10:27 when an “expert” in the law stood up to test Jesus saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
To put Christ first would be to compare Him to a list of things in our lives. To compare Him to anything in our lives would bring His infinite value down to an earthly level. Jesus is incomparable to anything we can ever imagine or experience on this earth. Jesus doesn’t want to be first in your life; He wants to consume your life.
• How is it evident to those around you that you sift things through the hands of Jesus? From the movies you watch, to the language you use and how you treat those who are closest to you?
As I talked with Brother Ben Gooch about this principal, he offered a great illustration. He explained:
We look at life as a buffet line. We are quick to put Jesus in the middle of our plate; then we add work, family, hobbies, finances, vacations, etc. on the plate as well. But Jesus doesn’t want to be in the middle of our plate, He is the Plate on which everything is held. When we put Jesus in a list like 1) Jesus, 2) work, 3) family…, it’s not long before the things of this world take over and direct our lives. But when we put Jesus in everything we do, He becomes the plate holding everything else in our lives. Everything we do is filtered through the hands of Jesus. Not Jesus then our family, but Jesus in our family, not Jesus then our career, but Jesus in our career.
• How do we often compartmentalize our faith?
• How can we put Jesus in everything we do?
A family in Christ has different conversations.
Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9.
In this text, Moses preached a message to the nation just before they are to go into the Promised Land. He will not be allowed to go in with them (see Numbers 20:12). Moses told them what God expected of them as they go in and as they live their lives. He gave them very detailed instructions about how they were to pass on faith to the next generation.
• How often were the Israelites instructed to talk about the commandments of the Lord?
• Why do you think God wanted them to talk about the things of the Lord so much?
I posed a simple question on Facebook a few weeks ago: “What is the most talked about topic in your home?”
The responses varied from sports, fishing, the weather, school, work, the future, etc. These are all topics that we are interested in and put value in. We are well versed in them; we know all the stats, what’s coming next, who’s in, who’s out. It’s a natural flow of our conversation. We talk about those things that we are most mindful of. We talk about our worries, our fears, our frustrations. Our children can recite lyrics to entire songs and lines from movies without us prompting them to do so.
• Please explain why conversations within our families about godly things have to be more intentional than out of a natural flow.
• What can we do as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, church members to change this?
• How does God expect us to pass on faith to the next generation?
If you want to be first, you must be at the end of the line.
Read Mark 9:33-37.
• When making daily decisions, why are we inclined to consider how things will work out best for ourselves?
As a family in Christ, we should be striving to serve one another. This is a lesson that Jesus walks out every day. While on earth, He could have been one of the most famous people ever born. He could have been rich by earthly standards. If He had sold the miracles He performed, people would have paid all they had to receive healing, food multiplied, water that could be turned into wine, etc. But He chose the role of a servant, putting us first.
For some, servanthood is the natural flow of their lives; for others, like me, this is not a gift that comes naturally. I have to strive to put others first. As a family in Christ, are we teaching the next generation to serve or to be served?
• How do we, unintentionally, at times teach kids that it is better to be served than to serve?
• How can we, as a church, teach young ones that, as a family in Christ, servanthood should be a way of life?
These are just a few characteristics of a family in Christ. And while we should make the effort and disciplines to live in this way, we should recognize that our attempts will be in vain without the help of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Take some time to pray and ask the help of the Holy Spirit to grow you in these areas and admit that you are weak and will fail quickly on your own.