Stacking the Deck for Your Family

Matt 7:24-27

24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 "Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (NKJ)

Families can bring the greatest joy or the deepest sorrows.

Family life can be a blessing or a curse.

Probably in our lives there have been occasions for both.

We wish it was always joy and blessing, but often situations end up beyond our control. Many times we hope that we can influence the people we love without driving them away.

Weather it is a child, a spouse, or a parent, or even a sister or brother that things have gone bad with, any of these can bring great sorrow into our lives.

Is there anyway to avoid all of that? Probably not completely.

Whenever we deal with people we deal with very independent personalities. It becomes a battle of will. Many times it is a survival of the most tenacious.

But many of us understand that there are some battles that we had dare not loose. If we loose some battles the consequences will last for years in the future.

Now if I had a dollar for every book written to address these family problems. I would be well off. There are almost as many ideas of causes and solutions of these family problems as there are problems themselves.

Who we listen to and whose advice we take can greatly affect our handling and outlook for these situations.

I myself am a great believer in prevention rather than only trying to treat the problems.

Much of the literature deals with solving the problems. And although that is very good, it would be better to prevent the problem.

The greatest work ever written on families is the Bible. It deals with prevention as well as treatment. But in the Bible, emphases is always on prevention.

A number of good Christians authors have taken those principles from the Bible and written some very helpful books.

Over the next twelve months we will present a message each month from the Bible that is important to families.

This morning I want to talk to you about stacking the deck. You have to be careful when playing poker with a card sharp. They know how to stack the deck so to speak. They can manipulate the cards so that they get the best cards, the ones they want.

Wouldn't it be great in life if we could stack the decks so things would end up like we wanted.

I heard a story one time of a successful architect. He and his contractor had built hundreds of homes over the years. One day the architect brought the plans for a very special house. It was to have the very best materials and workmanship. But the contractor had become disgruntled. So he decided to use this house to get even.

Wherever he could he used substandard materials and he planned to make a healthy profit on this house. Weeks later the contractor brought the keys to the new house to the architect. When he had laid them on the desk, he was quite surprised when the architect gave them back. He told the contractor that the house was his, it was a gift for his many years of faithful service. How disappointed the contractor was when he realized that he had only cheated himself.

So many people are like that contractor. God has provided the materials for a blessed life. But they think they are going to get one up on God. They will live life their way and come out far ahead, so they think. But the sad thing is that they are only cheating themselves.

Don't do that to yourselves young people. Don't try to cheat God. He loves you and only wants the best for you. If you kick against God and rebel against His will for your life then you will be hurting yourself.

Jesus said there are two types of people in this world. Those who listen to Him and do what He says in God's Word and those who do not. Jesus said that if you do not listen to Him and follow the Bible then you are a fool. And if you do follow what the word of God says then you are wise.

  1. Be careful where you build your house
    1. Once you have begun to build your house, it is hard to move it.
    2. So build it on Jesus Christ from the beginning.
    3. Pray and read His word.
    4. Get your children involved in God's word.
  2. The winds will come
    1. Everyone's house will be tried.
    2. It may not be in the short run but in the long run.
    3. Your decisions and skills will be tested by the storms of your life.
  3. A fallen house cannot be hidden
    1. You may fool people all along the way.
    2. You may make them think that you are a great builder.
    3. But the fallen house is a testimony to the faulty construction.
  4. What to do if you look out your life's window and discover you have building on sand.
    1. Admit it
      1. Just working harder will not help
      2. It will only make the catastrophe worse.
    2. Start right away to build on the right foundation.
      1. Remember if the foundation is faulty then the whole structure is in danger of collapse.
      2. This takes some major life changes.
      3. But God is gracious and will be there to work through you to get the job done.
    3. Some things you will be able to salvage from the old house but for the most part it cannot be.
      1. That's why it is so important to build on the right foundation.
      2. So many people try to salvage the shipwreck they have made of life but to no avail.
      3. And you cannot live in two houses.

        This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com