“This day I call the heavens and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…” – Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
Critical Mass – the amount of a given fissionable material necessary to sustain a chain reaction at a constant rate.
Many people realize the fact that it takes actions to help mold a person into what they desire to be. If I would like to be a soldier I would join the military service to obey my superiors in order to be noted as a good soldier in the Armed forces, if I wanted to be a writer I would find myself writing down thoughts, facts or even events that happen so that I could perfect my ability to relay the ideas that I write so that others would want to read. A person who desires to have a great marriage must put forth the effort to have a great marriage by the standards of the one who created marriage, and who promises to sustain the family that comes forth from that marriage. Many understand grace as the favor from God for persons who could not earn it for themselves. The passage above was given to the Israelites on their entering into the “promised land”. The promise was not for them to do these things so that they would get to the “promised land” but for the type of lifestyle and practices they would maintain after they got to the “promised land” so that they would enjoy the favor of God while in the land God had already promised them.
Our marriages are setup for success if we continue in the grace that God gives us in a way that says we want to enjoy the grace of God in what He has already done. God’s grace is not cheap, it is valued at the cost of the life of Jesus Christ, the only sinless person who ever lived. Christ’s death on the cross is the perfect illustration for a husband who needs to make great sacrifices for his wife. The time that Jesus came to the world to give obedience to the perfect ordinance of God is the example for any wife should understand in order to know that her obedience to husband will bring about tremendous gain for her life and family. The bottom line is that a yielded heart to the Lord for the success He desires brings about the real life that we all want when we said, “I Do”. When Christ suffered himself to be baptized by John in Jordon, he gave any husband the ability to bear the weight of responsibility for his family, identifying with his wife and children.
The people of Israel were given promises by God because God has a holy character which calls for those who really believe in Him to lean upon his power, wisdom and authority in their life to stay in step with His will. The Christian life is not a set of rules to live by but a lifestyle to be grasped with the understanding that God wishes to show his power and ability to rule above circumstances in this life.
“These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.” – Deuteronomy 6:1-3 (NIV)
God even instructs the people through Moses that life will go well because you take hold of this lifestyle which gives God glory. There are laws which lead to success and there are rules which when followed bring about the fruits of a great family. So many people do not realize the promises of God, so they feel that they are ordered not to have fun in life. I know that the decrees of God are fixed up so that those who honor God, will be honored. They will see trouble but will not be set aside in their progress in life. Listening to the terrible statistics about the family today gives every husband the responsibility of taking a hard look at his relationship with his wife and revisiting the disciplines of praying together with his wife, getting involved with his children’s spiritual maturity, gathering information from scripture to teach his children so that they will look to God for the future. The verse here even implies that the husband and wife will diligently seek to know the scripture better so that they will lead their children to a closer walk with God.
A Critical Mass is the amount of a given material necessary to sustain a chain reaction at a constant rate. A Critical Mass of Spiritual Discipline in marriage is needed to sustain the favor of God supporting the relationship and the family during the challenges of life. Challenges come from all sorts of places, school, work peer pressure, extended family and any other place imaginable. The issue is that we do not know what challenge will be next. The only sure strategy in marriage and family today is a close walk with God and focusing on His involvement in your life. Children need a ritual to fall back on, a place they go to when life gets antsy. They do not know that now but you are aware of the need. As husband and wife you are aware of the many set-backs your child will face. It is impossible for you to prep them for everything but you can give them the advantage they need in knowing the Lord, who knows what will happen in the future. The Critical Mass is the sustaining material needed to bring about joy and peace in the middle of whatever life throws at them. Begin working on building and maintaining a Critical Mass of Spiritual Discipline in marriage so that, as God says, “So that you and your seed may live.”
Peace and God’s Speed to ya
~ Former Assistant Pastor Horace Cutter