Asking the "Little" Questions
In the home, if a good parent sees their child dressing or acting very strangely in a way that seems to be a love of the world, they’ll sit down and talk with that child. “Why are you doing this? What are you thinking? What matters to you? Why did you begin to act this way? I see that you’re changing your heart and actions to look more like the world. Why? Are you afraid you won’t be liked? Has someone said something unkind to you, and so you’re trying to earn their affection? Are you trying to win people’s approval because your feelings are hurt? Or are you doing this because you’re jealous of someone, and you want to compete with their love of the world, their affection, and their popularity? Why are you doing this?” A good parent will help a child change the way he or she is thinking. They will help that child learn to exalt Jesus with their choices, and to trust, so that there is no fear and no need to compete and conform to the patterns of the world in order to win something for themselves.
Now, suppose you have something similar happen with a person in the church. What happens in the normal religious world, whether it’s in a big building or in little houses? In today’s normal church world—we don’t ask. If we see a person begin to look or act or talk like the world….oh no, we don’t dare ask. That would be judging, we think. “I’m not worthy to ask that question. I need to get the log out of my own eye. Who am I to ask such a question? And besides, I’m afraid they might reject me or might not like me.” That’s what people think, but it’s wrong. You would do something if it were your own child, right? So when you bring the home into the church, and you see a brother or a sister doing that same thing, you do something. We can learn how to do something for our brothers and sisters just like we would for our own child. We can begin to use the Word of God and the Ways of God to help one another as we would our own family members, to see Jesus more clearly. Pull the weeds in the garden of their life, so that the Life of Jesus can grow, and then be open to them doing that with you too. The more we begin to bring His Word and His Ways to each other, the more Jesus will begin to see His bride mature, and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church anymore. We won’t lose so many of our children to the world and our marriages won’t be broken. Our lives won’t be wounded by sin, by the internet, and by the garbage of the world, because we’ll be seeing the little things and helping each other. In your children, you would detect the little thing that is a change in the wrong direction. You would see it because you love them and know them and you care. You’re responsible. It’s the same if you see their face is all flushed or it’s white with sickness, and there’s sweat on their brow. You immediately put your hand on their head, “Do they have a fever? What can I do?” You care about them.
If we begin to understand the church the way Jesus understands the church, and walk the way He walked with His disciples, we will begin to take responsibility for one another when we see sweat on the brow spiritually. We’ll be involved on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday—not just on a Sunday by saying, “Hi, how are you? Praise the Lord!” and then we just go on. If you do that with your children, do you know what happens to them? They die. If you leave a child without guidance, without love, and without protection, and if you’re afraid to say something to your child when he begins to walk a direction that doesn’t honor Jesus, he will die. We think, “Oh, I don’t want to say anything to them. They may not love me anymore if I correct them. They may not love me anymore if I ask them something that might offend them or hurt their feelings. I don’t want to send them to their room without dinner because they might hate me.” If we live that way with our children, they will die. They will go into the world and die. You can’t “preach enough good sermons” to save a young person who doesn’t get any nourishment, teaching or correction in the home. The same is true with all of us adults.
If I don’t have my brothers and sisters helping me with my blind spots—the places I myself can’t see—I will begin to wander from the highest place that Jesus has for me. I’ll begin to be prideful or selfish. I’ll begin to be lazy if I don’t have someone say, “Are you getting lazy?” If I don’t have brothers and sisters helping me in those areas that I can’t see, I will begin to bend in a direction that is not healthy. If you love me, you’ll help me pull the weeds from the garden of my heart. You will help me pull the cares and worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches which are the weeds that choke the Life of God. I can’t see all the weeds that are choking me, so you will help me pull them. And you can’t see all the weeds that are choking you. Jesus made us to need each other. In I Corinthians 12, it’s very clear that the parts of the Body of Christ must never say, “I have no need of you until next Sunday. I have no need of you until the next house church meeting.” I need you every day. If your children saw you once or twice a week for a two-hour assigned period on the calendar, they would begin to move in a very unhealthy direction. That’s how human flesh is—it’s easily deceived and tricked. But God made us to need each other, and in fact, commanded us in Hebrews 3:13 to “admonish one another daily.” Other translations say “Encourage one another daily,” and “Warn one another daily.” The Greek word is parakaleo which means “to be called alongside” one another. And that means we have to be involved. To obey the command in Hebrews 3, we have to be involved with each other every day, and get out of our little bubbles. You know the bubbles we have? The bubble of my life. I go to my job, I do my work, and then I see my family, in my house. “Oh, is it time to attend a meeting? Oh, okay! I’m a good Christian. I’ll attend the meeting.” That’s not a family, is it? We don’t say, “I’m going to attend my children and it’s time to kiss my wife. It’s time to say hello to my children.” No, a family isn’t like that! If you’re bringing the home into the church—meaning our relationships—like Jesus said, “ a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters, lands, and possessions”…we don’t care who owns what. If I want to borrow Benny’s reading glasses, he gives me his reading glasses, because we care about each other more than we care about ourselves. That is the way of God. That is the way of Jesus, and from the day people became Christians in Acts chapter 2, do you know they all lived this way? This isn’t a mature Christian thing…this is an every Christian thing.