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The Scriptorium

Homefront Discipleship

It's the starting-point for discipleship. Colossians 3.18-21 

Growing in Christ: Colossians 3 (5)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 71.14-16
But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.

Sing Psalm 71.14-16, 3
(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
Refrain, v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Read Colossians 3.18-21

Preparation
1. To what should relationships in the home be oriented?

2. What should characterize a Christian home?

Meditation
Home is where we hone our skills of discipleship and disciple-making. Home offers continuous opportunities to practice the love of Jesus. The more consistent we are in loving our spouses, children, and parents, the more that love will transfer into the rest of our Personal Mission Field.

The operative phrase in these verses is “in the Lord” or “to the Lord” (vv. 18, 20). If we set our minds on the Lord and the out-of-and-above-this-world love He shows us, we’ll love and submit to one another in the home, as each situation requires. A wife who is loved as Christ loves the Church (Eph. 5.22-25) will gladly submit to such love and flourish in it (v. 18). The husband’s duty is to nurture such love for his wife and to guard against any bitter affections leading him to love himself instead (v. 19). Parents who love one another in the Lord will love their children in ways that nurture and encourage them (vv. 20, 21). Children must be taught to love the Lord and obey their parents who love them so that they may know the Lord’s pleasure as they grow (v. 20).

All of this takes patience, practice, and openness. We won’t always succeed, so we need to be ready to confess our failings, seek forgiveness, and take up the course of love anew.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
These verses strike at the heart of the issue in the same way the Ten Commandments and other Scriptures do where we have been given lists to follow. We are warned about our weaknesses before we blunder into mistakes. Family dynamics, Homefront Discipleship, can be tricky, and fraught with egos continually banging up against one another. So here is our checklist for making this work:
1. Wives submit.
2. Husbands love.
3. Children obey.
4. Fathers don’t provoke.
If these weren’t perceived problems there would be no need to mention them.

The warnings for all are against pride; and that pride is the operative negative.
Love in Christ is the positive.
So, let’s back up and look at the verse directly before these verses.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3.17).

Jesus is always the clear example of love and humility.
And He is the only person who ever lived who did love perfectly.
And of all people, He is the only One who could ever have felt prideful about Himself. But He didn’t.
In fact, “…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2.8-11).

Truly this puts us squarely in our place. Whatever position we have in Homefront Discipleship should be done gladly, and to the glory of God. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9.23). “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10.38).
Jesus showed us how to do it. Paul gave us guidelines. Our job is to just do it.

Reflection

1. Why are home and family such important places for practicing discipleship?

2. How can we deal with the pride that can throttle the exercise of love in the home?

3. How can we make “in the Lord” or “to the Lord” a more operative principle in our lives?

Again Paul has written, “in the Lord,” at once laying down the laws of obedience, producing shame in them. For this, he says, is well-pleasing to the Lord. See how Paul would have us live not only according to natural principles but, prior to this, according to what is pleasing to God. In this way we also gain a reward. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on Colossians 10

Help me today, Lord, to encourage my fellow believers to…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 71.17-24

Where will you need to flee to your Rock of habitation today? Prepare for that now, by offering yourself and all your activities to the Lord and for His glory.

Sing Psalm 71.17-24, 3

(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
O Lord, I praise Your righteousness Who me from youth have taught and blessed.
Forsake me not when I am old, ‘til I Your mercies all have told!
Refrain, v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Your righteous deeds are great and true. O God, there is no one like You!
Though many troubles I have seen, You will revive my soul again!
Refrain

Increase my greatness, comfort me, and unto You shall praises be.
Your truth I will exalt full well, O Holy One of Israel!
Refrain

My lips with joy and praises ring; to You, Redeemer, praise I bring!
I praise Your goodness all day long; Lord, humble all who do me wrong.
Refrain

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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