As the year progresses, I feel it more and more, that we grow in developing our families in the purpose and power of the kingdom of God. In preaching the gospel, we often offer Jesus as a helper to meet needs and as giver of eternal life. These are truths. This year, our emphasis is for us to know Jesus as one who helps us and meet our needs plus one who grooms us to be useful people for the kingdom of God. To do this meaningfully, primary focus must be given in building our family to be a KINGDOM FAMILY. Our family is not just saved as a household so that we may all go to heaven, we are saved to serve God’s kingdom in society.
Our marriage, family and children should enjoy church life as a beautiful kingdom community. We should also live a kingdom life in God’s righteousness, peace and joy. Most of all we and our children must live with God’s purpose. Life must be meaningful. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes all these possible. Marriage joy, significant dads, fulfilled mums and successful children are totally within our reach in kingdom life. In turn, they influence others in society, at work and school, leaning others to Christ and discipling them in being equally successful and significant.
Yes, it takes learning skills of communication one with another but nothing beats intentional time sharing life together as a family. This is possible when the children are young. When they are grown-ups, time together is harder. It has to be intentional. Make the effort to form a hub-time together as a family, whether around a prayer time, a Bible discussion time or just a family meal time. When we meet and chit-chat, dynamics of relationships take place. It is a precious hub-time.
The following is an article by Sandy and Pastor Yee Onn. They have three fast growing boys, the eldest Ivan, is now in Melbourne studying his foundation year for tertiary education. They have family altar time. Read their article and glean from their experiences as a family that is strongly involved in shepherding and planting churches, living out their kingdom life, and in the goodness, favour and passion for the Lord.
Pastor Jeremiah Yap
Kingdom Family Culture
By Sandy & Pr Hiew Yee Onn
Kingdom Life is accepting God’s kingship and yielding ourselves totally to His will on earth as it is in heaven.
Living out values of Kingdom family is only feasible when we consistently gather in His name, acknowledging that He rules with His perfect will for all, especially those who look to Him and pray together.
· Some of the kingdom family values we strive to practice as a family include:
· Weekly family altar with full participation from all family members in reading, sharing and scripture memories. As a result, life is transformed, academic results improved, closer family ties, honoring one another (even when we as parents made mistakes, we ask for forgiveness from our children).
· Speak prayers of blessings to children daily and they came to depend on it as a token of security and a sign of their parents’ continuing love for them.
· For children facing exam pressures, we have one great testimony of prayers covering for our children during the exam period. I will obtain their exam schedule and paste it on my notice board in front of my bible reading space. This culture of assuring our children that parents remembering them in prayers in each of their exam slots have shown much confidence and better results thus far. I myself was truly amazed at the outcome. Praise the Lord!
· The funny thing is they like to sit at my devotion desk to study… uttering this “Mum …this place is truly anointed” …somehow they find that this atmosphere of God’s presence attractive and helps they think smartly!!
· Engaging Holy Spirit in family relationship and aim to live with no regrets.
Relational challenges are real. I can honestly say that obedience to the scriptures to die to self has always been a big challenge for all of us in the family. We and our children may know the scriptures and we do serve in ministry but our humanness will only be revealed when real challenges surface. We can still get temperamental and impatient with one another. For the children, sibling rivalry amidst making comparisons has always been at the top of list of relational challenges. However, God still reigns. When the dusts settled, apologies, reconciliation, mutual assurance and forgiveness are exercised based on the strong bond of love in the family with Holy Spirit as our holiest guest.
As a couple and family, we are amazed as to how the Lord has used us to serve in church planting, running multiple services and leading a united team of leaders. Would that the key to living out New Life’s annual themes – being successful in living a kingdom life and flowing into kingdom family – is honoring the presence of God in our life ? This we can testify, His Presence has empowered us to do what are impossible for us to do.
1. How to you draw out the hidden qualities in people around you?
2. What types of serious consequences have you seen happen as a result of reacting in the flesh?
3. What are the areas of self denial you wish to deal with?