Hometown Faith

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*Edited version of sermon manuscript from Sunday.

 

Introduction

This week I did not give my wife the support and quality time she needed.  This week I was impatient and quick tempered with my two kids.  I even spoke harshly to my dog.  This week we also start a three-week series on faith and family.  We’re calling the series Home Improvement: The Gospel Around the Kitchen Table.  Yet, I don’t speak as an expert.  I speak as a broken person who knows God is calling me to something better.

I also realize that I’m speaking to broken people.  Our homes reflect our broken lives.  Inside our homes we find joy and frustration, victories and defeats, pain and love. Our homes reflect our families – newlyweds, 50-year marriages, singles, divorcees, remarriages, kids, no kids, adopted kids, foster kids, widows, widowers.

The Bible has a word for us all.

We are going to cover a lot in three weeks.  Yet, today I simply want to cover the idea of hometown faith.

I invite you to join me at [Mark 6:1-6].

 

You’re called to faithfulness.

“Come follow me” is the invitation Jesus offers to each of us.  He calls us to place our trust and faith in him.  In order to live out your faith you must be people of faith at home.  There is no way around it.  Perhaps the genuineness of your faith is best seen at home.  Perhaps your faith truly comes alive, or hides for cover, when you’re behind closed doors and among the people that know you best.

Your family sees you at your best … and your worst.

Your family sees you after church … and after a bad day at work.

You’re called to faithfulness.  But I also want to tell you a bit more.

 

You’re called to faithfulness not outcomes.

Jesus goes home and is met with resistance and lack of faith.  Yet, that doesn’t keep him from faithfulness. You cannot control how people respond to your faithfulness to the Lord.  You’re merely called to demonstrate faith and point people to Jesus.  I want this to provide comfort and also eliminate excuses.  You can’t be worried or scared of outcomes.

Perhaps you’re worried about the faith of your spouse or your kids.  Perhaps people in your home are actively demonstrating resistance and lack of faith.

Don’t let that keep you from faithfulness.  You’re called to faithfulness not outcomes.  Even Jesus faced unresponsive people.  But I also want to tell you a bit more.

 

Faithfulness is difficult.

Jesus was rejected in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own home because people simply knew too much about him.  Isn’t this the carpenter?  Isn’t this Mary’s son? 

I picked this passage to begin this series because this passage speaks to small towns like Sulphur Springs.

In a town the size of Sulphur Springs there is a good chance that everyone knows your business.  If they don’t now – just give it some time.  I wonder how many people in worship have shied away from being a person of faith because people simply know too much about them?  I’m willing to argue that it is a great number of people.

You should take some comfort this morning – you are not alone.  Faith at home is difficult.

Jesus was rejected by his hometown, by his relatives, and in his own home because people knew too much about him – and Jesus had a closet free from any skeletons.  Jesus was the Son of God.  He lived a life perfectly in tune with the Heavenly Father.   That guy was rejected!  What does that mean for us?

It means that faith at home is difficult.  Unlike Jesus we have stories of sin in our past.    Perhaps sins in our present.  Perhaps we have fallen victim to unholy habits and routines.

This doesn’t disqualify you from being a person of faith at home.  It qualifies you for being a candidate for grace.  God uses broken people like us.  We’re all that he has!

 

Faithfulness is difficult but worth it.

Let’s make this passage a little more personal.  You attempt to be a person of faith at home … and you receive the Mark 6:3 treatment.  Isn’t this?  Isn’t he?  Isn’t she?  And they take offense.  So you give up.  Yet, look at v. 6, and he was amazed at their lack of faith.

Here is where it gets really personal: Do you want to be amazed at the lack of faith of your own family? I hope the answer is a loud “no.”  Then why would you ever give up?

 Be a person of faith.  Place your life into the hands of Jesus Christ and lead your family to do the same.  Faith at home is difficult but worth it.

Who else is going to demonstrate faith to your family?  Don’t leave it up to other people.  It might never happen.

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