As For Me and My House

Do you claim God’s blessings for your family? If so, what blessings do you claim? Maybe you have been expecting less than you should.

I was blessed this past weekend to enjoy an encouraging message from Pastor Roland Seow, speaking at the Sunday night meeting I oversee in Melbourne. He was challenged many years ago by Watchman Nee’s teaching on family salvation. He caught a vision for God bringing salvation to his whole family.

Using the analogy of ripples in a pool he realised that the reach we can have in the wider circle of our family and friends is simply limited by the size of the initial splash. “Family” is identified in the Bible with ‘household’, which includes family members, servants and even the guests within a home.

God’s favour on a person automatically spilled out to their extended family. Noah found grace in the sight of God, and so his wife, sons and daughters-in-law were all privileged with salvation (Genesis 7:1). The Israelites were to circumcise their entire household, including the servants (Genesis 17:12,13). Lot’s sons-in-law were offered salvation, due to their family connection to Lot (Genesis 19:12). One Passover Lamb was sufficient for a whole household, including where two smaller families united for the feast (Exodus 12:3,7). Rahab’s whole family was saved (Joshua 6:19).

In the New Testament we see that Zacchaeus received grace for his whole family (Luke 19:9). Cornelius also had this outcome (Acts 10:2, 11:14). The Philippian jailor’s conversion is famous for Paul’s quote “you will be saved and your household” (Acts 16:31).

The Bible has much more evidence for the reality of family salvation. However, what impressed me the most was not found in these Bible verses, but in a richer meaning from another well known verse on family devotion.

When Joshua concluded his leadership role in Israel he challenged the people to be devoted to God. His speech contained the well known declaration, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). That text has long been claimed by parents and others to believe that all family members can be brought to faith in Jesus Christ.

When Pastor Roland quoted this text he gave it a fresh twist that delighted me. Joshua was not simply saying that all his family would hold to faith in God. He wasn’t speaking only of their salvation or their religious focus. Joshua declared that his entire family would ‘serve’ the Lord.

In Roland’s case he notes that of his many family members which have become Christians a large proportion are ‘serving’ God, not just claiming personal salvation.

Do you claim God’s blessings for your family? If so, what blessings do you claim? Maybe you have been expecting less than you should.

It is possible that you have been trusting God for your family members to be ‘saved’, when you could be dedicating them to go beyond just personal faith in Jesus Christ. You could use the same Bible verses to believe that your family members will ‘serve’ the Lord.

I encourage you to refresh your faith and to look to God to do more than you may previously have expected.

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