DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Converting Family Members
 

1. Make no excuse for your spirituality

When we become christians, our relationship with family and relatives gets upset. That is natural to happen, as Jesus said in

Matthew 10:34-39
34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.


We must be clear about our priorities.

Luke 9:57-62
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."


Our security is in God, not in money or worldly values. When they question your priorities and say you are wasting your time with church and Bible, communicate clearly that your priority and security is God and you live by faith and not sight.

When they question your faith and ask Ďwhat will you wear?, what will you eat or drink?í, communicate faith not worry. Our duty to God must be above that of our duties to our family. When they make demands on frequent visits to native place, we should not give-in. We must communicate that God is first in our lives.

Do not entertain sentimentality. Be hardlined when it comes to your commitment about marrying in the church. In case of marrieds, you must protect and support your wife than your parents. Your rock solid unwavering faith will convict them, and make them question their own religiosity and their love and commitment to God.

That is a good beginning.

Mark 3:20-21
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."


Do not allow them to take charge of your life.

Mark 3:31-35
31 Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.
32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."
33 "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35 Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."


Be willing to hurt when they are in the wrong. Do not fear emotional outbursts, they will calm down once they realize they are wrong. In the end Mary did become disciple!

In conclusion, do not compromise on your spirituality. They will be convicted by your love and commitment to God.

2. Understand their challenges and be sympathetic

Matthew 13:53-58
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.
54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked.
55 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
56 Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"
57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.


Very often, our families do trust us, but because of the pressures they face from neighbours and relatives they get influenced and nag us. You must understand their side of the challenges and be sympathetic and take time to talk them out of these pressures.

Help them see that all these neighbours and relatives are not available when in need. Question them; where were they when we were in need? What did they do for our life?

Mark 1:29-31
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.
30 Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her.
31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.


Invite other disciples to home, especially when any of the family member is sick. Let them see the love of christians. Help them develop relationship with other Christians. Invite them to picnics , sports and parties.

John 19:25-27
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"
27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.


Help them find security in Godís family. Help them see that your christian friends will be there for them in your absence. For this relationship to develop, you have to take much initiative in using every opportunity to invite christians home.

3. Tell them about God

Mark 5:18-19
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."


Jesus expects us to tell our family about God. Without being harsh and too forceful, you must bring up talk about God, and question their beliefs. You must use every opportunity to introduce to them the truth. You may face conflicts. But donít avoid conflicts.

Acts 10:1-2
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.
2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.


You can initiate family devotionals, and slowly but consistently introduce truth to them in the devotionals. Be the devout God Ė fearing leader of the family.

4. Be a good example

For many of us, christianity is an excuse for not being helpful at home. If your example at home is bad , you ruin the chances of your family becoming christians.

1 Peter 3:1-2
1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.


You must win the unbelievers in your family by your good behaviour and your purity and reverence.

1 Timothy 5:3-4,8
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.
4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Care for the needs of your family.

Conclusion

We will feel very bad if our family members expire without us giving our best in converting them. Letís be good examples at home.
* Let us be living examples of those who love God and live by faith in Him.
* Letís be sympathetic to the challenges our families face.
* Letís help them see the love of our christian family.
* Letís talk to them about God and help them see the truth.
* Letís do our very best, because our families mean so much to us.