God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. But we are also called to protect our families and our home from bad influences and attacks of the enemy. So how do we accomplish this balance of protecting ourselves from harm, but loving others throughout the process? It is a very fine line, but something that we can achieve through discipline and prayer.
Scripture: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.” – 2 John 9-10
First let’s look at protecting our homes and our families. We use parental controls in our internet and television to shield or kids from predators. We install home security systems to protect our homes from burglars and murderers. We lock our cars, and protect our belongings with padlocks. We use seat belts, airbags, bicycle helmets, roller blade pads, and motorcycle helmets. We have rigorous TSA and airport security that uses body scanners, metal detectors, and high-tech security systems. We spend trillions on national defense, and have the most powerful military in the world. We take so mane measures to protect our borders, our bodies, and all of our stuff. But what kind of measures do we take to protect our souls, and our relationship with God? Take a few seconds and think about it – what we do personally to protect ourselves from those who come to steal our souls?
This scripture reminds us that our best defense starts at home. The home is a sacred place, our safe place, our place of rest from the attacks of the enemy. There is plenty of time and other locations where we can be out there waging battle, whether it is by choice or thrust upon us. But just as our bodies need rest and nutrition, so do our souls need rest from constant attack, as well as spiritual nutrition. And the place where we can best receive this is in a place of peace, in our homes. So we should at all costs do what we need to do to provide that place of safety and rest.
I’ve lately become more conscious of the kind of people we invite into our home. None of us would let someone who wanted to cause trouble come into our home in the middle of the night and disturb our rest. We would say sorry bro, but you gotta go. And if it was someone we knew well, we’d say, Sorry but I’ll call you later. So when others want to come into our home and attack God within our four walls and try to lead our young believers astray, they get the same response, sorry bro but you gotta go – I’ll call you later.
Jesus himself knew the importance of getting time to rest and recharge. He often went off alone to rest, and pray. In the same way, our homes should be a place of rest and prayer. Just like batteries, we need time to recharge. We need to protect and provide rest for our souls. If we can’t rest, we will eventually will get tired. And when we get tired, we are not at our best. We start to fail, we start to fall. We lose patience. We are not the best to be around. At least I am not. And if we are not careful, we end up like Kurt Russell in the movie “Falling Down”.
So for me it starts at home. As for me and my household, we serve the Lord. – (Joshua 24:15). He is in our home, sitting right there at the dinner table with us. And in the same way as I protect my family, so do I protect my relationship with the Lord. And in the same way I protect my young believers from attacks on their faith, until they can mature in knowledge and their relationship with the Lord to be able to do it more on their own. That’s my primary job as a parent to feed my children food for their bodies and food for their souls.
Matthew 18:6 spells this out pretty clearly when it says, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” And so we are very careful to help ensure that we do our best to not let our kids stumble. This of course is often easier said than done, but that is a discussion for another day.
I think today’s chosen verse from 2 John is hugely important today, especially in America. Just like when this verse was written, Christianity is under attack. And while we may not be able to solve the world’s problems overnight, this verse reminds us that we can at least start making progress in our homes. We can provide an environment for our families to rest, recharge, nourish themselves in the Word, and grow in faith.
Attacks in on our home on God our Father are direct attacks on our souls. Let us pray that we become more aware of these attacks. And let us pray that we can be more rigorous on providing an environment free of them where God can live, and work, and grow, and flourish.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your awesome Word today. As we wind down for the day, let us feel your Presence among us lord. Let us have fellowship with you, and see you like you are right there in the room with us, because we know that you are. We know that you are here with us right here and right now because you promise us that You are with us always. And your promises are never broken. We ask that you fill our bodies and our souls with nourishment and rest. We ask that you recharge us and fill us up with only your goodness. Wash us clean from anything that is not pleasing to you. Give us rest and peace tonight, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Image courtesy of: Exit Zero Photography
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