It’s Good To Be Alive And Have Family. Well, for most of us it’s good to have family. One thing I have learned over years is family can be a person’s greatest joy or worst nightmare. For some people, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE except for family.
It’s Good To Be Alive And Have Family
By Pastor Delbert Young
Good To Be Alive and Have Family
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 16:11, Psalms 128:1, Psalms 128:2, Psalms 128:3, Psalms 128:4, Genesis 7:1, Exodus 20:5, Exodus 20:6, Genesis 6:8, Proverbs 13:22, Matthew 12:46, Matthew 12:47, Matthew 12:48, Matthew 12:49, Matthew 12:50, Mark 6:3, John 19:26, John 19:27
We are in our series titled IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE! This week’s lesson is IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY. Well, for most of us it’s good, right? One thing I have learned over years is family can be a person’s greatest joy or worst nightmare. For some people, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE …except for family. Awhile back I was sharing a Thanksgiving lesson and used a play on words to make a point.
Deuteronomy 16:11 And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name – you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the ALIENS, the fatherless and the widows living among you.
I was talking about how we should gather and rejoice with our families at Thanksgiving. Then I said, “I don’t know about your family Thanksgiving gatherings, but our gatherings have ALIENS.” Of course, the word means foreigners, but sometimes it really does seem there are ALIENS from another planet, and definitely from another world. Some of you have aliens in your family too. Right? God loves the ALIENS. The bad news is they usually take the GOOD out of FAMILY especially if you have to live with them.
I heard a humorous but true statement form someone I know. I won’t say the man’s name because I wouldn’t want to embarrass him, but I thought it was a great saying. He said, “To much quality family time is detrimental to the quality of the family.”
This is true, but so sad because the Lord promises us family makes life good… this is when we are living in the Lord’s ways.
(NLT) Psalms 128:1 HOW HAPPY ARE THOSE who fear the LORD – all who follow his ways!
Psalms 128:2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How HAPPY you will be! How rich your life!
Psalms 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.
Psalms 128:4 THAT IS THE LORD’S REWARD FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
As we sit around the table of life, family makes life good when we live according to the Lord’s ways. We are HAPPY! The husband behaves, works, and enjoys his labor. The wife is HAPPY and is fruitful in the house. The children are HAPPY, behave and are healthy. THIS IS THE LORD’S REWARD FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. The Hebrew word translated fear in this verse is yare’(Strong’s #3373) and means reverent. It’s when we revere the Lord and take him seriously he rewards us through our families. So, when we see a family that is HAPPY, the husband enjoys his work and life, the wife is HAPPY and fruitful, and the children are HAPPY and obedient, then you will see a family who takes the Lord seriously – who follow his ways!. Let me ask you this. Have you ever seen a family who was HAPPY like the passage described which didn’t take the Lord seriously by following his ways? I haven’t.
It was interesting to me as I looked through the scriptures to see the word translated in the NIV Bible as family is translated in the KJV as house. Let me show you one instance which is the first use of family in the Bible.
(NIV) Genesis 7:1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family…”
(KJV) Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark…
Of course, Noah wasn’t taking his physical “house” into the ark. He was taking his family. The thought here is tremendous. A house is built. A family is built. A house requires maintenance. A family requires maintenance. A house needs consistent cleaning. And just like with a structural house, if we don’t do consistent maintenance, we will end up with termites secretly eating away at our family causing structural damage. If we don’t clean, we find ourselves living in a filthy environment with rats and roaches. But, when we maintain with consistent daily maintenance, we build a mansion of which we are proud. We can honestly say, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY.
The Bible shows us the Lord works with nations in centuries and individuals in years, but he works with families in generations.
Exodus 20:5 …I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.
Exodus 20:6 But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.
The point is each generation receives the blessings or the consequences of the previous generations. The acts we each do not only affect us individually, but affect our generations to come. Today you are affected positively or negatively by what your father, mother, grandfathers, and grandmothers did. It is your (our) turn now. What we do with our lives and families will greatly affect our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We know this is true in the physical. For example, if your grandfather and father died from a heart attack, then you need to keep an eye on your heart condition, right? If your ancestors were healthy and lived long lives, then you have a great possibility of living a long and healthy life. You are blessed by previous generations.
Blessings come through generations and go on to the next. If you come from a lineage of people who took God seriously and lived in God’s blessings, then you have a heads up on the favor and blessings of God. Have you ever noticed people who come from dysfunctional families tend to produce dysfunctional families unless they begin serving the Lord while people who come from balanced families tend to produce balanced families? I am thinking about someone who goes to church here who came from a very dysfunctional family, but has changed all of that by taking the Lord seriously and following his ways.
The Bible tells us the story of Noah. It was because of Noah’s righteousness his descendants and his future generations experienced salvation. You remember the story about Noah. The whole world had gone crazy, but Noah took God seriously and followed the ways of his godly ancestors. Because of this, he was blessed and blessed his lineage after him.
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Genesis 7:1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, BECA– USE I HAVE FOUND YOU RIGHTEOUS IN THIS GENERATION.
It’s great to have a righteous family heritage and even greater to leave one. But, what does a person do who doesn’t come from a godly heritage? You do what I did. You begin one. My parents did not take the Lord seriously and serve him. My grandparents on either side did not take the Lord seriously and serve him. They were good people, but they did not fear the Lord. I changed this. I read the word and lived the word. I prayed. I insisted everyone get up on Sunday and go to church – no options. I took my family to church on Wednesday. I did the daily maintenance. I became a Noah to my family. I now look around at my descendants and can say, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY!
Each generation should make a difference and raise the standard from the previous generation. I should be a little more successful than were my parents. I should be a little more educated, a little wiser, a little wealthier, and a little more spiritual. I should kick the standard up a notch. Have you ever heard this quoted?
Proverbs 13:22 …and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
That’s probably all of the verse you heard. Let me show you the entire verse.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: AND the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
(NLT) Proverbs 13:22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.
As long as each generation is raising the standard, eventually the godly will have the wealth and all which makes wealth. Most people who live in poverty today do so because of previous generations. Most people who live in wealth do so because of previous generations. I received a pretty nice inheritance from my parents, but will leave a much nicer one for my children. My parents left a little inheritance for their grandchildren, but I will leave a much nicer one for my grandchildren. Above all of this, I have set a spiritual standard of which I have no doubts will be taken higher. My point is each generation should raise the standard in every area of life. If I will, when the deluges of life come, I will be as was Noah. I will have prepared for them an ark which will take us safely to a new place. IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY!
Jesus gave us the highest perspective of family. He was teaching one day in a house and a large crowd was all around. Here is what the Bible says.
Matthew 12:46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
Matthew 12:47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
Matthew 12:48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
Matthew 12:49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.
Matthew 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus had a natural family. Of course his mother was Mary, but he had brothers and sisters also.
Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”
Jesus had a living natural family of at least four brothers, two sisters, and his mother Mary. However, to Jesus, his spiritual family superseded his natural family. Don’t mishear me. As I have tried to say, the natural family is extremely important. However, it is when there is both the natural and the spiritual we can say, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY. I can honestly say what Jesus said when asked, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” I look around my life and my family are those who do the will of the Father. What’s so wonderful is my immediate natural family is also in my spiritual family. See, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY!
So, when we think of IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY, we must think in two areas – the natural family area and the spiritual family area. We go through life with both, but when the rubber meets the road and things get tough, we will usually find ourselves drawing from and being strengthened by the spiritual family the most. Ales had a car crash this past week with all her children in the vehicle. There were just some bumps and bruises and all are fine. She said the people she drew strength, encouragement, and support from were her spiritual family. It is truly when we have both the natural and the spiritual family IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY!
Another thought I want to mention concerning IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILYis about our later years. If we have built the house (family) correctly, then we will have raised our children properly and cared for them when they were young. When we are old they will properly care for us. We will have instilled into them the importance of family. My wife and I have cared for her grandfather and my father. I expect my children to do it for their mother and me. They better if they want this inheritance! No, honestly I have no doubts Judy and I will be properly cared for when and if the time comes.
Jesus was on the cross. He was the oldest son to Mary and it seems of Jesus’ natural family, only Mary was there this day. Mary was getting old now and Jesus felt the responsibility to make certain his mother was properly cared for.
John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Woman, he is your son.”
John 19:27 And he said to this disciple, “She is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
In effect, Jesus was saying, “Don’t treat her like an acquaintance. Treat her like your mother because we are family.” We know Mary had other sons, but Jesus didn’t want his natural brothers taking care of his mother. He wanted John to take care of her. He knew John would do it well and from then on John took care of Mary.
I want to close with this thought. People watch your family. Doug Eaker says, “People watch your family more during the famine than during the feast.” They watch how you handle difficult time. They watch how you respond to your spouse and how your children act. The aliens watch our family. Once Lance was told by someone his family was like the “Leave it to Beaver” family with Ward, June, Wally, and the Beav. Remember the Cleavers – the perfect family? The statement was meant critically, but I took it as a compliment. Years ago a married couple in our church asked Judy and me if they could put us down as legal guardians for their two children should anything ever happen to them. We said yes, but asked why because there was a lot of natural family. They told us they had watched our family over all the years and said if anything were to happen to them they wanted their children to be cared for by us. This was what Jesus wanted John to do for his mother. Blood is thicker than water, but the Spirit is thicker than natural blood. Many of you knew Dewey Hammond. I will never forget what Dewey said to me once and this is a quote. “I lust for your family.” People watch your family.
Isn’t This the way it should be both with the natural family and the spiritual family? I want people to lust to be a part of the kingdom and the Life Gate Family. What do people see when they look at Life Gate? Are we a family? Are we impacting the lives of the “aliens” and the community? Are we helping each other with the issues if life? Are we building a house and doing daily maintenance? I think so.
I remember watching a movie once about Noah and the flood. I suspect Noah had a “Leave it to Beaver” family. Of course, everyone mocked Noah as he built his family and his ark, but in the movie, when the flood began happening people were beating on the door of the ark to escape the flood. It was too late. But, Noah was found righteous in his generation and was able to say, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY! How is your family? Are you happy as you sit around the table of life? I pray you are. Are you building a house and keeping up the maintenance? How’s the foundation looking? Any termites? Are you raising the level of your generation and leaving a godly legacy? Are you leaving an inheritance? Are you a part of a good spiritual family? If not, become a part of this one. It’s a very good one. People are watching your family. I want to hear you say, “IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FAMILY”?
Give the Lord a shout and a handclap! Amen!
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