Jump Start # 2254
Matthew 15:25 “But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’”
Our verse comes from a desperate parent. Even the most calm, sweet, and quiet person becomes a mama bear when one of the little ones isn’t doing well. We love our kids. We defend our kids. And, when we are in a corner and running out of options, we’ll do just about anything to help one of our children.
This was the story behind our verse today. A Canaanite woman’s daughter had a demon. She was a Gentile, which is interesting that demons possessed Gentiles. She came to Jesus seeking help. At first, Jesus didn’t answer her. She didn’t quit. The mama bear came out. She began shouting. The disciples begged Jesus to send her away. Send her away without any help, solutions or hope. Just get rid of her. After an exchange of words, comes our verse. Lord, help me, is what she pleaded. There was no where else to go. There was no one else who could do anything. She wasn’t asking for the sky, just the crumbs. That’s all she needed. Even the crumbs were enough to help her daughter. Jesus was moved. His eyes were always caught by those with incredible faith, especially during the storms of life. The girl was healed. Lessons were learned.
We use this to continue our mini series on “What can I do?” This is a great thought to have at the beginning of the year. What can I do to help myself was the thought from yesterday. Today, “What can I do to help my family?” This is the connection to our verse today. This Canaanite woman left her home seeking help for her daughter. We must wonder and ask, “What can I do to help my family?”
Often, we limit our answer to bringing them to church services and then, expect the church to do it all for us. The church will encourage my family. The church will teach my family. The church will get my family to Heaven. And, when it doesn’t, guess whose fault we feel it is? The church. They didn’t do their job.
What we are looking at are ways I can help my family.
First, don’t store your faith at the church house. Bring it home with you and use it everywhere you are. Before you eat, say a prayer together, with the family. It’s cute hearing the little ones pray, but the little ones need to see and hear the big ones pray. If not, the thought comes, when I get big, then I don’t have to pray anymore. Around the dinner table, put the phones up. No texting. No Facebooking. No Twitter. Talk. And, in your talking, sprinkle thoughts about the Lord.
Second, engage the entire family in a daily Bible reading program. Check up with each other and by this, it’s more than, “Did you read your chapter today?” but rather, “Did you see what God said to David? That’s amazing.” Find ways to plug the daily Bible reading into your family life. Praying together. Reading together. Sharing together. This not only pulls the family closer, but it strengthens them.
Third, get your family to know folks from the church. Go out to eat with others from the congregation. Let your children see Christians laughing, sharing and encouraging one another. It’s special when your children look up and respect, honor and become friends with your friends. Quality people in your life and their lives will be a great value and asset for years to come.
Fourth, get your family busy spiritually. Find ways to do things for others. Learning to serve just doesn’t fly well with our times, but they always do with God’s time. Have the little ones draw some pictures and mail them to others. Have them help you make some cookies for someone. Bring them along when you visit others. If there is a work day or clean up day down at the church house, have them help out. If you are teaching a class, have them come and help you decorate the room. Busy in the kingdom is something that we all can do.
Fifth, for those family members that are out of the house or not directly living with you, be the example spiritually. Don’t get ugly in your talk. Don’t lose your cool in discussions. But also, don’t hide your light under a basket. In your home, be the king and the queen and set the tone. Don’t allow an obnoxious family member to curse or talk obscene. Don’t allow someone to use alcohol. Don’t allow smoking. It’s your house. Sometimes we allow family members to get away with too much. We fear saying things, so we put up with wrong and that sets a bad example.
Bring up the good things that are going on at the congregation. Christ is our life, Colossians says, so we ought to talk about life and that would include Christ. So many are obsessed with a right and a left politically, that they have forgotten that there is an up and a down. Invite family members to come with you to worship. Share things that have been helpful to you with them. Pass along some of our Jump Start books to them. So much of what people say in opposition to Christ has been picked up on the internet, is old news and is something that most haven’t really thought out. Don’t hide because someone barks loud. You do not need to raise the volume, just ask for proof. Counter in kindness, but with solid answers. Be confident. Be consistent.
The most impressive and noticeable thing that grabs your families attention is the way you live. Be generous. Be thankful. Be helpful. Be loving and fair.
And, always pray. Pray specifically for your family. Lift their names up to God. Ask God to help you. It works best if you can get a person one on one, rather than a whole group around the kitchen table. Sometimes all the huffing and puffing goes away when someone is by himself. Then you can probe. You can ask. You can invite. You can answer. You can help. Some have had a bad experience with others. Some are afraid of commitment. Some are confused. Some, simply want nothing to do with Christ. Some have questions. But in that setting, you can know what to do. You can share your life and your ups and downs. You can tell them why you have stayed with it all these years. You can express your love to them.
There are things you can do for you family. “Lord, help me,” is where it begins.