Exalting Christ In The Family
By Kim Butts
The Church of Jesus Christ in much of the world is suffering from apathy, complacency and spiritual weakness. Programs have replaced passion. Entertainment has pre-empted the Holy Spirit. The works of the flesh have crept into our lives rather than the working of God’s power! Because the Bride of Christ has yet to realize, recognize, or acknowledge His presence in her midst, she continues to be disobedient and dysfunctional in preparing for her Bridegroom’s return.
It is vital that families within the Church begin to wake up and respond to the call of Christ. If your church is not calling you to the highest levels of obedience, sacrifice and good works…and is not desperate to glorify the Father, reach out to lost people and bear fruit for the kingdom – don’t wait for something to happen! Mobilize your family to deepen your relationships with Christ. Dig into His Word and do what it says (James 1:22)! Encourage others in your church to do the same. Pray for your leaders to gain insight and understanding if they are growing a wide church, but not a deep one. Encourage your leaders to be committed to building the body of Christ. If you have such leaders already, join with them in calling your church to a higher level!
Be like the "men of Isachaar, who understood the times, and knew what Israel should do" (1 Chr. 12:32). These men had 200 chiefs, with all of their relatives under their command. This was a tribe of people committed to bringing their families into alignment with the purposes of God. It’s time for our families to understand the times in which we live and know what should be done through understanding the Word of God. Then, as with the tribe of Isachaar, we should obey!
Don’t wait to be told what you should do! Exalt the Lord your God! Lift up Jesus Christ in your family, in your church, in your neighborhood, and in all the world! Jesus said, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32). His death and resurrection must be proclaimed so that all men have the opportunity to hear the Good News! Is your family lifting up Christ each and every day – with your mouths, and through your actions? Are you offering the kinds of sacrifices that please the Lord and bring glory to His Son? "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Heb. 13:15-16).
Our nation, and indeed, this entire planet, is in terrible turmoil. This is not a time to be shy, or to make excuses! This is a time to take action and to be bold in sharing our faith! Teach your children to be proud of the heritage they have received as believers in Christ: "For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name" (Psa. 61:5). "Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart" (Psa. 119:111). "…no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD…" (Isa. 54:17).
Why Should We Exalt The Lord?
• Because the LORD is great "and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods" (Psa. 96:4)
• Because He has redeemed us (Psa. 71:23)
• Because He is the Rock, His works are perfect, all His ways are just; He is a faithful God who does no wrong; He is upright and just (Deut. 32:4)
• Because He is our fortress and our loving God; He is our strength (Psa. 59:17)
• He does not reject our prayers or withhold His love from us (Psa. 66:20)
• Because He daily bears our burdens (Psa. 68:19)
• Because He is faithful (Psa. 71:22)
• Because He chose us in Himself before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight (Eph. 1:4)
• Because in love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will (Eph. 1:5)
• Because He has freely given us His glorious grace in Jesus (Eph. 1:6)
• Because in Him we have redemption through the blood of Christ, and the forgiveness of our sins in accordance with the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7)
• Because He lavished this grace upon us with all wisdom and understanding (Eph. 1:8)
• Because He alone does marvelous deeds (Psa. 72:18)
• Because He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psa. 147:3)
• Because He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name (Psa. 147:4)
• Because His understanding has no limit (Psa. 147:5)
• Because He sustains the humble (Psa. 147:6)
• Because of His acts of power and His surpassing greatness (Psa. 150:2)
• Because in perfect faithfulness He has done marvelous things, planned long ago (Isa. 25:1)
• Because He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort He has given to us (2 Cor. 1:3)
• Because He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3)
• Because He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ (Eph. 1:9-10)
• Because He is our Savior (2 Sam. 22:47)
• Because everything in heaven and earth is His (1 Chr. 29:11)
• Because wealth and honor come from Him; He is the ruler of all things; in His hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all (1 Chr. 29:12)
• Because He alone is LORD; He made the heavens and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; He gave life to everything (Neh. 9:5b-6)
• Because He is holy (Psa. 99:5,9)
• Because of His love and faithfulness; because He has exalted His name and His word above all things (Psa. 138:2)
• Because He answers prayer; he is near to all who call on Him in truth (Psa. 138:3; Psa. 145:18)
• Because His glory is great (Psa. 138:5)
• Because even when we walk in the midst of trouble, He preserves our lives (Psa. 138:7)
• Because He will fulfill His purpose for us; His love endures forever (Psa. 138:8)
• Because He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love (Psa. 145:7-8)
• Because His kingdom is everlasting; He is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made (Psa. 145:13)
• Because He upholds those who fall and lifts up those who are bowed down (Psa. 145:14)
• Because He satisfies the desires of every living thing (Psa. 145:16)
• Because His love is better than life (Psa. 63:3)
• Because He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20-21)
What Happens When We Exalt Christ?
When we begin to lift up Jesus Christ, awesome things will happen in our personal lives, in our families, and in our churches! Here are just a few:
Souls Will Be Added To The Kingdom:
• "May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him" (Psa. 67:5-7).
• "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
• "All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of His mighty acts and the glorious splendor of His kingdom" (Psa. 145:10-12).
Believers Will Be Rescued From The Attacks Of The Devil:
• "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Tim. 4:18). This doesn’t mean that we will be exempt from difficulties in our lives. Sometimes it is the problems and adverse circumstances of our lives through which God can be honored the most. It simply means that God will bring us safely through our lives of struggle into heaven.
Believers Will Be Equipped For Lives Of Fruitful Service:
• "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb. 13:20-21). Wouldn’t this be a wonderful blessing to pray for those in your family? What a powerful word from the Lord as we seek to bring Him glory!
God Will Receive Glory:
• Through the prayers of believers: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:12-14).
• Through the fruit that we bear: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:5-8).
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:9-11).
• Through a spirit of unity among Christians: "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:5-6).
• Through our good deeds and pure lives: "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (1 Pet. 2:12). Perhaps the good lives lived out in your family may influence unbelievers to repent and believe!
As a family, lift up the name of Jesus Christ! Proclaim His mighty deeds to others – even to other Christians! It is amazing how many believers need to be reminded of the Lordship of Christ in the midst of our godless culture. Share His free gift of salvation and His marvelous grace. Let others know that there is a difference in your family because of the power of Christ. Never be ashamed of your testimony: "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" (Rom. 1:16). "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" (Phil. 1:20). "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name" (1 Pet. 4:16).
May Christ be glorified in and through your family, as you proclaim the Good News to all! "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:9-11).