"Ten Habits of Highly Effective Families""Foundation For A Strong Family"

Let's talk aboutPriorities! What's #1 in your life? That's an important question.That's what we want to talk aboutWe are going to be looking at the 10 Commandments more thoroughly this summer with this series entitled "Ten Habits of Highly Effective Families".  I don’t care how old you are or how young you are you are all members of a family.  That's right!You may besingle right now,a widowor widower.  You may livealone for whatever reason...but,I'm telling you,you ARE a member of a family.

As a believer in Jesus Christ,you ARE a member of The Family of God.That's what God's Word says!

(Eph 2:19 NLT)"So now you gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. you are members of God's family."

You see, the 10Commandments are really a set of values that God gives to us on how to live the victorious life in relationship to Him & then,in our relationships with each other.You know our values have to do with characterAnd the habits that we develop in our life grow out of the character that we have developed over the course of our lives. 

Listen, from the moment you first believed in Jesus Christ as your SaviorGod began to do something special in your life. And that something that He began to do was to empower us with the Holy Spiritto shed that old sinful self, &to replace it with the character of Jesus Christ.This is called Christian Growth& it isa lifelong processof being a new person...in Christ!

What does that new person look like. In Roman's 8, God informs usthat the new person looks exactly 

like Jesus Christ. For it is God's desire that we are fashioned &molded after the character of Jesus Christ.The 10 Commandments show us what Jesus looks like.  The 10 Commandments are NOT a list of rules that we can obey

so that God would be so pleased that He would someday allow us to enter heaven.  

Faith bringthe knowledge that you will spend eternity in heaven.  Heaven is not a goal for the Christian. Heavenis your destination.The 10 Commandments set forth the values &character that the Holy Spirit seeks to give to usas we walk on our journey through life.  These 10 Commandments show howyou & I can reflect Jesus Christto one another, and those in the world.  

We want God to teach us about the"FOUNDATION FOR A STRONG FAMILY"Deuteronomy 6:6,7"Never forget these commands that I am giving you. Teach them to your children." How many parents take the time to teach their children the 10 Commandments today? I would venture to say very few. Why did God give us the 10 Commandments? God gave us the 10 Commandments to protect us& to provide for us.  Not to hurt us!God gave these 10 Commandments so that you & I could enjoy living the victorious life.

The First Commandment tells us "You shall have no other gods before me." 

The principle is PUT GOD FIRST!That's rightPut God .FIRST:in my life, in my family, in my relationships with peoplein everything I do.What is a god? A god is anything that dominates your life. It could anything we put before our relationship with the Lord in our life. God says, put Me FIRST. That's the foundation for your life!!!  ! In your home if you do not have a strong foundation your house will collapse. Now a foundation is not very glamorous.When was the last time you invited someone overto look at the foundation of your house? Probably never in your life

Why is itin America todaythat we are experiencing the break-up of families.  Why aremarriages breaking up?lives unraveling? Could it be because they are built on the WRONG foundation?God is saying to you & me that the right foundation is to put Him first.  Let's look at ways to put God first:

1.Put God 1st in YourFinancesI know exactly what's going through your mind."He's now going to hit us up for money. "You can relax that's NOT coming. The writer of Proverbs says, "Honor the Lord by giving Him the FIRST part of all you income, and He will fill your barns to overflowing." God says, give Me the 1st part &I will bless ALL the rest. Wherever you look in the scripture, God says that if you want to see what is the 1st priority in your life.  Look at what you spend your money on. How we spend our money revealswhat is important to us.

2.Put God First in yourInterests.  That meaneven in our fun times.  What we do for recreationour hobbies.  Paul wrote in I Corinthians 10:31 "Whatever you do, do it for God's glory.""whatever you do."Vacation, eat, play golf, go fishing, collect stamps.  Whatever you do,do it to the glory of God!Do it withan attitude of gratitude in your heart. It's like thank you Lord that I have the arms to play golf,to bowl, orto fish.  It's an attitude of gratitude. You can see what a person's priorities in life are, by what gets them excited.

3.Put God 1st in Your Relationships CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDSWISELY.  Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:19 "What a man is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."Why is that ?

Because we become most like the people we spend the most time with. If we spend time with people who take God lightly,we will become casual believers. When we hang with people who take God seriously, we becomestronger committedChristiansProverbs I2:26"A righteous man is careful about friendships." And truth isthat if we want God to be 1st in our life there may be some relationshipsthat are wrong for us. That's why God says, "Chose your friends wisely." Put God 1stin ALLof your relationships.

4.Put God 1st in YourSchedulePaul wrote: (in Ephes 5:16-17)"Make the most of your time. Grasp firmly what you know to be the will of God." How does one put God 1stin one's schedule?Prioritize!Make a list of the things you have to do today. What things in your daily schedule enable you to best serve God?  That's whyit is important to spend time with God in prayer & the study of Scripture. Take timeto let God talk to you about His priorities for your life.Jesus did that! Mark1:35"Very early in the morning, Jesus got up and went off to solitary place where He prayed." If Jesus needed it, we also need it.

5.Put God 1st in YourTroubles.  Often times in our lives,Wehave to faceunwanted crisis &

troubles that come into our lives. Our 1st reaction iswhy me? Why did THIShave to happen to me?Look at the promise God has for you! Turn to me FIRST! So often prayer is the LAST option when we run into troubles in life.We do everythingwe possibly can to try and solve the crisis. We Do whatwcan do to make it better & then we say, Oh, my goodness,I guess all we can do is pray. Prayer is neverthe last resort for the believer. 

Prayer is to beour 1st option!God says in Psalm 50:15 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me." Some people say, "Look I don't talk to God very often when things are going good, I'm not going to bother Him when things are going bad." God says, "Bother me, I love you. That's why I sent my son Jesus to be your savior. I care about you!"

How do you know when God is first in your life? WellOne sure signYou stop worrying!  Someone has said:"Worry is the warning light that God is not first in my life at this particular moment." 

When God is not first in any or all these areas we tend to worry about them allHow about you?

But when we stop &do a priority check& allow God to take His rightful position of being first &listen to Himthen  I can relax.  That's why Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these 

things will he added unto you." Do you know when Jesus said that? It's right in the midst of the section on worry. 

It's the antidote to worryto put God 1st. That's the 1st habit of Highly Effective Families!  Amen.