The Blessed Household
Brother Felmar Serreno: Chances are you’re part of a family. You might even be on the journey to starting your own family. Maybe you’re wondering, “what does it take to keep a family stable, happy, and peaceful?” Hello, and welcome to the podcast version of God’s Message Magazine, where we hope you’ll join us for today’s topic: The Blessed Household.
Brother Felmar Serreno: What many people usually consider as a fortunate or favored household is one which abounds in material possessions or is financially stable, such that its members can buy whatever they want. In short, they believe that material wealth defines how blessed such a family is.
For members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church Of Christ, however, being truly fortunate or privileged is not measured by material things. What they consider as their true wealth are the spiritual blessings from the Lord God—their membership in the Church, their right and privilege to worship Him, and their living hope for the salvation He promised. More than material comfort, they value the peace and security that reign in their household because of God’s fellowship with them as they continue in their steadfast faith and zeal in their services to him. But why are they certain that what they have outweigh any material riches?
Reverently fears God
Brother Felmar Serreno: The household that has the promise of God’s blessings reverently fears the Lord God. The Bible teaches, thus:
Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
[Psalms 128: 1-2 New King James Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Those who fear the Lord deeply revere Him. Instead of staying away from Him, they yearn to be closer to Him and they do stay away from what He hates. They walk in His ways by leading a life according to His teachings. Thus, the members of the family who have reverent fear of the Lord God are obedient to His commands and devoted to their duties to Him.
Such a family does not stand to lose. The Bible depicts them as blessed and happy, and all will be well with them. With God’s blessings, protection, and help, all its members will be in good health and will be able to realize their good dreams and aspirations. A Church Of Christ family fully understands that obedience to God is the key to such blessings.
Religious instruction begins at home
Brother Felmar Serreno: Because obedience to God’s commands is essential to receiving His blessings, the whole family should give much importance to listening to and learning His teachings. Church Of Christ members are thus exhorted to be active in attending the worship service, during which God’s words are learned (Deuteronomy 31:12-13).
For the children’s sake, religious instruction should begin at home. According to the Bible, teaching God’s words to the children is a responsibility not only of the Church but also of the parents:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
[Deuteronomy 6:6-7 New King James Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Parents who understand this truth and the benefit of fulfilling it set aside time to be with their children and never get tired of teaching them God’s commands that they have learned from the Administration placed by God in the Church Of Christ. They understand that while sending their children to school to acquire proper education is of great value, it cannot truly guarantee their children of good fortune that God promises to His servants. Above any knowledge perceived as precious by most, what they teach their children is the true religion and true faith. The apostles instructed, thus:
Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.
[Ephesians 6:4 Good News Bible]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Parents in the Church Of Christ have been exhorted to teach their children carefully as they grow up. They should help their children understand the message of the Lord, train them to have a steadfast faith in Him, and help them uphold His teachings. On the part of the children, the apostles reminded them:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.
[Ephesians 6:1-3 New International Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Children should obey their parents in the Lord—parents who teach and uphold God’s commands. They should never disrespect their parents; rather, they should always honor them in thought, in word, and in deed. Children should not insist on whatever they want. What is right is for them to follow the teachings of God taught to them by their parents in the Lord. The Bible informs us of the blessings reserved for families who fulfill what God requires of them:
My child, don’t forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.
[Proverbs 3:1-4 Good News Bible]
Blessed even to the next generations
Brother Felmar Serreno: God wants that the blessings and protection He had given to His people will also be enjoyed by the generations to come. So, He instructs them that His teachings and the goodness and wonderful things He has done for them be taught and handed down to their children and to their grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9).
As God commands the leaders of his nation to assemble His people in His presence to hear His words, the parents have the responsibility to teach to their children what they have heard from such gatherings (Deuteronomy 4:10), that is, during the congregational worship services in our time. Doing so is one of the ways of molding children to put their trust and faith in God:
So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
[Psalms 78:6-7 New International Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: While it is true that parents have the responsibility to provide their children their basic needs—food, shelter, clothing—they still have a sacred responsibility to mold their children to put their trust in God, to be obedient to all His commandments, and to remain active members of the Church until the end. These are the most important treasures that parents can bequeath to their children.
To provide an environment and avenue for the Iglesia Ni Cristo family to put into practice the teachings of God, the Church Administration, through the leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, has launched projects and activities for the Christian Family Organizations (Buklod, KADIWA, Binhi, Children’s Worship Service, among others). Each family member should then be active in participating in the endeavors of their respective organizations.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo is God’s nation in these last days (Isaiah 43:5-6 Moffatt Translation, Isaiah 41:9-10). God wants every family in His nation to have a stable future, but most of all, to have a strong conviction and faith in Him. He has promised them life full of His blessings. He will comfort them in times of distress. Their homes shall have prosperity, peace, and happiness with God in their midst.
Hence, if ever the family encounters difficulties and problems, they should be united in presenting their case to Him, such as what God’s servants before did:
If I were you, I would turn to God and present my case to him. … Time after time he will save you from harm; when famine comes, he will keep you alive, and in war protect you from death. … Then you will live at peace in your tent; when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe.”
[Job 5:8, 19-20, 24 Good News Bible]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Iglesia Ni Cristo families can always turn to God and present their case through prayers (Philippians 4:6). God will always be there to help and protect them. God Himself keeps His promise that even in times of famine or war, He will keep them alive and will protect them from death.
And if God remains with them, their tent or home (Job 5:24 New Living Translation) will be safe from any harm and they will live at peace. Although they may not be materially rich or influential, or they might not have what they want on a whim; still, they have peace and harmony in their life. Most of all, God Himself gave them the guarantee of receiving the promised salvation, and this they consider their true wealth, more valuable than anything in this world.
For more articles like these, get your copy of God’s Message Magazine from a member of the Church Of Christ. You can listen and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and the INC Media mobile app. Thank you for listening. I’m Brother Felmar Serreno. God bless.