How To Save Your Family! Evange-Living Series
Question. How can I save my family? Answer. You can’t. But since it’s probably not a good thing to end a blog after just 10 words, let’s talk about it.
Nothing is more heart-wrenching and helpless than looking at a loved one who seems to be wasting life away. Disconnected from God and themselves. But one thing is absolutely certain. As much as much as we love our family members, God loves them more. Matthew 7:11; Psalm 27:10.
That’s a good word for that loved one whose life seems to have run off the rails. Not only does God love them, but God is chasing them. No, you can’t save your family, that’s God’s job. And He’s working on it as we speak. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” God is drawing, pulling, pursuing.
David acknowledged as much in Psalm 139:1, 2 and 7. “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away…I can never get away from your presence!” Frances Thompson called Him, The Hound of Heaven!
Matthew 18 puts it another way. It’s clear that God has no problem “leaving” 99 safe saints to search for that one lost cousin, or mother, or aunt, or grandparent of yours. And Luke 15:4 says he pursues, “until He finds it!” That’s good news.
Now the fact that God is both pursuing and protecting our unsaved loved ones, provides comfort, but it’s no panacea for the pain. It helps to understand the role God gives us to play.
Nothing focuses our prayer life like praying for relatives that are in trouble. Pray with the confidence that God hears and answers prayer. He also understands tears and wails and groans and anger and laments. So come straight. Because when you pray, things happen.
And get other folk involved also. “If any 2 of you agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19,20.
This is powerful counsel. Don’t stop at your prayer closet but enlist others to pray for your family. If you have a prayer team at your church, get them involved. When other ideas fail, you can be sure that prayer makes a difference. It might not work as we planned, and it might ignore our time tables, but prayer always works.
One of the reasons relatives seem reluctant to follow us to God is because our Christianity can be painfully inconsistent. It’s not easy to be at your best all the time, but we must recognize how important a consistent lifestyle is to a non-believing relative.
It’s not fair, but often they are looking for any flaw they can find in our Christianity, to give them an excuse to continue their lifestyle. They are desperately trying to ignore the pleas of the Spirit to change their ways, and they will pounce on any inconsistency they see.
Peter’s counsel to wives is good advice for anyone trying to reach a reluctant family member: “Wives in the same way submit yourselves to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2.
But here’s a little secret. Your lost relatives generally know the difference between consistency and perfection. Don’t hold yourself to an impossible, man-made standard that you can’t keep now, and they won’t keep later. Let the word of God, not someone else’s books, sermons, or opinions be your guide.
Don’t Give Up!
Pray and keep on praying is the message of Matthew 7:7-11. The rescue process can seem painfully slow. At times it doesn’t seem to be moving at all. Years can pass with no change or hope in sight. That’s why Paul encourages us in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Don’t Give Up!
So, what do you think? Are you praying for your loved ones and relatives?