Jesus came to seek and save those that are lost and in finding them, restore them.
This restoration does not come by means of morality lists and supreme effort by us, it comes by death, specifically Jesus’ and then ours. There are many great books that do help us to be better people, husbands, wives and children but they build on a rotten foundation, our sinful nature. We need to be made anew and we need a better foundation. Jesus, through his death and resurrection makes us new, gives us a new nature, and becomes our foundation. In being our substitute, Jesus absorbed the punishment of God in our place. This one aspect of the gospel frees us from condemnation, guilt, and works based good ol’ boy systems that have proved to be failures. Even public schools see the decay around us and need for restoration, so what do they do? They hand out powerfully good words of the week and hope to change lives. Is that working? No.
In short, we need Jesus, God’s word, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to heal us and make us whole, to make our communities whole, and to make us lovers of God and others, not of our selves.
Two rotten core foundations that have been eroding the world from the beginning are pride and selfishness. You will not be too surprised if you do a search for divorce rate in America. These two core values show themselves in many other ways, but I want to focus on families, where all societies have their roots. We are so much about ourselves! So much so that we are blinded to see that we are killing ourselves and those around us.
USA is not alone in the increase of divorces:
One blog shares with us the Thai governments assessment of the divorce rate increasing in Thailand along with unregistered marriages:
“The statistics shows a gradual loss of faith in the family, according to government officials.
This could lead to other society problems, they warned.
The government has been promoting a return to family values in order to preserve a loving and peaceful Thai society.”
Family values are not enough
Once again, we need Jesus, we need a helper, we need more than good goals and hopes, we need power, we need a new nature, we need the gospel everyday. Everyday I need to be reminded that through the cross Jesus died for me, for the specific junk I am living in, and because of his resurrection I have the power and ability to trust him and be led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus will make me whole, make me better, for God’s glory, and for my families good and then for the good of the world.
Statisticlly, most of us come from some type of “broken” or dysfunctional family. God desires to heal us and make us whole and functional. He does that through the cross. I do not write this to discourage you in your brokenness, but to encourage you to confess it and trust God with the results.
How are you loving your parents? your wife? your husband? your children? your neighbors? and even your enemies? How am I? I need Jesus. Read the following update, pray, and be encouraged.
Brian Firpo, our country director, wrote the following update:
“It was the last day of our campus staff training on May 13th when Yute, one of our Thai staff men got a call from his mom. His mom was crying & said she’d had enough of being married to Yute’s dad. His dad felt the same way. A week later, Yute was sitting in his home leading a discussion between his father, mother & younger brother where each of them were sharing their hurt with each other, confessing their sin and being reconciled. Terri & I have been in Thailand almost TWENTY years & we’ve never heard of such a thing happening. His parents or brother haven’t accepted Christ yet, but the LIGHT of Christ has shined in their home through the power of the Gospel. In a country where younger people are never listened to … In a country where you never admit you are wrong because you lose face … In a country where almost 70 million Buddhist live … The Gospel of Christ is transforming lives & families one person at a time. Please pray for Yute as he evangelizes college students at KKU and as he evangelizes his family at home.”