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Religion in the Family
What constitutes a godly home? The acknowledgment of God in all things. Making His will the governing principle. There can be no godly household where that is not done.
I. Where the will of God is placed first there will be order an inestimable blessing in a home. God is not the God of confusion in the home or the Church. A man or woman who truly walks with God will soon become ashamed of disorder and slovenliness. And where God is the God of the family, and not merely the God of the Church, there will be order. The father and mother will take their proper place at the head of the household, and govern it and administer it as a trust for God. There will be no tyranny, no caprice; but there will be firm order, and an insistence upon it, and a constant striving after it.
II. There will be unselfishness. Not every one doing that which is right in his own eyes, but every one asking, 'What is the will of God?' And there will be a perpetual and relentless war upon selfishness. Care for others will be supreme. Consideration of others will prevail. Kindness will be paramount, and it will be a happy service to render it.
III. Where God is the God of the family, His will will govern the whole policy of the home. Such matters as the education of the children, the treatment of servants, such matters as dress and evening parties, as books and games, are sadly in want of a Christian standard. They are matters about which some Christian people think, or seem to think, that there is no will of God, and they simply follow the fashion, that is, the fashion of the world, and sometimes money dominates, and sometimes your neighbour's custom. And we shall not get right in any of these matters until we recognize that there is a will of God in them, and it is not a question of what my neighbour practises, and allows or condemns. Not my narrow neighbour on the one hand, nor my broad neighbour on the other, but 'What is the Christian standard? what is the will of God? 'and I must be brave enough to follow that.
IV. And there is another side to this fair and lovely picture. It is suggested by the last line in the verse. Wherever you have a number of people set on doing God's will and placing that will first, there you have most surely God's protection and safe keeping.
C. Brown, Light and Life, p. 137.
References. XXXI. 1. C. Brown, God and Man, p. 95. XXXI. 1-26. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvii. No. 2726. XXXI. 3. Ibid. vol. xxxii. No. 1914; vol. xxxvi. No. 2149; vol. 1. No. 2880. J. S. Maver, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lvii. 1900, p. 109. J. Tulloch, Sundays at Balmoral, p. 18. S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Sermons, p. 61. R. E. Hutton, The Crown of Christ, vol. ii. p. 253. G. Brett, Fellowship With God, p. 132. XXXI. 10, 11. John Clifford, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lv. 1899, p. 161. XXXI. 14. H. W. Webb-Peploe, Calls to Holiness, p. 53. XXXI. 14 and 25. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvii. No. 2726. XXXI. 18 . Ibid, vol. xiii. No. 743. XXXI. 18-20. Ibid. vol. xxxv. No. 2104. XXXI. 31-34. Ibid. vol. xlviii. No. 2762. H. P. Liddon, Christmastide in St. Paul's, p. 38. A. Ramsay, Studies in Jeremiah, p. 261. XXXI. 33. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii. No. 93; vol. xxviii. No. 1687; vol. lii. No. 2992. XXXI. 34. Ibid. vol. xxviii. No. 1685; vol. xxxiv. No. 2006. E. Griffith-Jones, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lxxii. 1907, p. 282. XXXI. 36. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Isaiah and Jeremiah, p. 332. XXXI. 37. Ibid. p. 336. XXXII. 1-27. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvi. No. 2675. XXXII. 8-10. A. Ramsay, Studies in Jeremiah, p. 241.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 31". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany