March 9, 2009

Treasures or Trinkets?

Saturday's event was such a wonderful experience for me as I had the privilege of sharing about cleaning out our spiritual closets. This group was willing to delve, and I am praying for each of them as they tackle the homework. As promised, these are the study notes from the March 7 Encouragement Event in Winter Springs, Florida.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. . .

Ephesians 3:20

When we lose a loved one, we have the monumental task of cleaning out their things. We have to sort the items according to whose they are now. We have to separate the treasure from the trinkets. What do we want to keep? What has value? Should we get rid of it or “keep it in the family?”

Just because we have inherited something and it now belongs to us does not mean that we should keep it, use it, or display it. We have been given some spiritual treasures from our parents and grandparents. But we have also been given some hurts, patterns of sin and sicknesses that we do not and should not pass along to the next generation. Those trinkets should be placed in the trash.

Proverbs 27:23-24 warns us : "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. "

We also learned that when we are given a treasure, we must take care of it, so that we do not lose that valuable quality: honoring the Lord as a family, growing in the Lord, letting go of our "immaturity" sins. We must deliberately establish the climate in our home. We can "repent" or change our mind from things that do not please the Lord.

Acts 2: 38-39: “Repent (change) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

During this process, we also remember the following:

1. Be specific with our children about our story. Our verbal communication with the next generation will give them a more accurate of account of "why" and "how" we serve the Lord. We cannot leave it to them to figure out on their own. Children do watch our actions; that is very important. But we must explain our reasons, because children often misunderstand our motives.

2. Keep working on forgiveness. This is a process for most of us, but it is a worthwhile effort.

3. Find a faith partner; not just a prayer partner. Ask the Lord for someone to pray with you who will also believe with you for the freedom from your past hurts and family's sins.

4. Be specific with the Lord about what you are hoping for your family's future. What do you want your family’s life to be like in 2 generations? Stronger or weaker, spiritually? What is God's will for the generations? To know Him. To be like Him. To serve Him.

Prayer for believers:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

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