10 Ways To Be A Spiritual Leader In Your Household
Two Men! Both Gentiles! Each has a large household. One was named Cornelius who was a Roman Centurion, and the other, a Philippian Prison Guard. Odd visions for one man. For the other, an earthquake at midnight, and the possibility of a death sentence. What happened when they both encountered the truth of Jesus Christ? In this article, we’ll look at how these men of integrity, used their wild experiences to influence their homes, giving you 10 ways to be a spiritual leader in your own household.
The Centurion's Story - Acts 10:1-48
While praying one day, a Roman Centurion named Cornelius had a surprising encounter with an angel. In the vision the angel gave Cornelius instructions to send men to a city called Joppa, to bring back a man who was called Peter – the disciple of Jesus. Being, a God-fearing Gentile living in Caesarea along with his family, he immediately sent men to Joppa to find Peter and bring him back. This was unique because, at that time, Jews and Gentiles did not associate.
When Peter arrived in Caesarea, he found a large gathering of people, since Cornelius had called together his relatives and close friends. Cornelius wanted all of them to hear whatever it was the LORD wanted to reveal through Peter. So, Peter began preaching Jesus to them, telling them about who Jesus was. Peter explained that Jesus was killed, but raised from the dead on the third day, offering proof that Jesus was seen alive by many witnesses including himself. As he testified that Jesus was the one appointed by God-the-Father to judge the living and the dead; he went on to say that everyone who believed in this testimony of Jesus, would receive forgiveness through His name, and be in good standing with God.
As Peter continued speaking, the Holy Spirit came upon everyone who heard the message in Cornelius’ house. They began speaking in tongues and praising God! Peter, and the believers who had come with him, were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles. Peter immediately called for water stating...
“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
So, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. These were the first Gentiles to have received salvation in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Philippian Jailer's Story - Acts 16:16-34
The Apostle Paul and his helper Silas, had been beaten with rods and put in prison for casting out an evil spirit from a slave girl in the city of Philippi. Incredibly, while in jail with their feet in stocks, they could be heard praying and singing hymns, praising God at midnight! Suddenly, an earthquake shook the prison doors open, and their chains were loosed. The jailer, thinking he would be put to death for losing prisoners (which was the standard punishment for jailers), pulled his sword to take his own life. He figured it would be better to die on his terms than to suffer the consequences of Rome. But Paul and Silas cried out to him, and told him not to take his life! The prisoners were all still there.
The question asked by the fearful jailer was one we should all be asking. “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul and Silas answered by saying, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and your household!”
The Jailer took Paul and Silas to his house, and they spoke the Word of the LORD to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family believed the testimony of the LORD, and were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house, and set a meal before them. He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God based on the testimony that Paul and Silas gave, according to the Word. He and his household were saved.
Spiritual Leadership In The Household
Now let’s not get bogged down in the theological arguments in these passages, such as gifts of the Holy Spirit, and who the people were in these houses. That is not the purpose here. Instead, let’s focus on the men, their households, and how they led in their households. Realize that in Bible times women, children, and servants had little influence and depended on the heads of households to make decisions and care for their wellbeing! These men provided for and protected their households with the decisions they made, and the way they treated those within their household.
Cornelius invited relatives and neighbors to be part of his household on the day Peter was there. We are not told of his immediate family. The Jailer had a family which probably included a wife, children, and more than likely servants and others as well. We can see the households of Cornelius and the Jailer both listened to the Gospel message as it was being presented because of what Cornelius and the Jailer did to bring the testimony of the Word into their homes.
Ultimately, who does the Bible say were saved after hearing the good news of Jesus Christ? The HOUSEHOLDS of Cornelius and the Philippian Jailer!
As Christians, who do we most want to be saved during our lifetimes? Our households!!!
For me, my household would include my husband as head, myself as wife, our children, and at times our grandchildren, in-laws, and extended family.At other times we may include close friends and coworkers. My husband as head of our house, guides, provides, and protects those of us in the household, and those invited into our household. He takes time to see to our needs. As he rises to opportunities and situations, we reap the rewards of his efforts to bless us in bringing SPIRITUAL prosperity into our lives. This is not a matter of riches and wealth, but a matter of peace and understanding in our family, mutual respect, and reverence for God. With good communication and the loving support of all involved, he sets an example for the rest of our household to imitate.
The Bible gives us great examples of Cornelius and the Jailer, as men whose influence blessed their households with saving words. God’s Word also gives us examples of two other men who did not bring blessings to their households. Hymenaeus and Philetus are mentioned as being guilty of wandering from the truth, preaching a false doctrine, and causing the ruin of many. Not only did these two men obviously neglect their households, but Paul also warned others not to listen to their worldly and empty chatter, which would lead to further ungodliness and spread like gangrene (2 Timothy 2:16,17). Pretty explicit!
What would make a household want to listen to strangers, with strange testimonies, unless the head of the household gave the stamp of approval? The households received the testimonies of Peter and Paul because the head of the household was deeply respected. Those men had care and concern for the welfare of their households. If Cornelius and the Jailer regularly squandered “the best” on themselves; if they had ignored or even mistreated those who were in their house, they may have been listed along with Hymenaeus and Philetus as troublemakers. They would not have been respected in the household. The testimonies of Peter and Paul would have carried little weight.
But they were not! They deeply cared for their households, and it made all the difference.
So, what is the secret? Consider: 10 Ways to be a Spiritual Leader in Your Household
· Be an example to your family in your own prayer life and Bible Study.
· Be faithful to your household.
· Refrain from addictions.
· Be eager and cheerful in your outreach to others.
· Be trained to teach the Bible to others, and to lead in the learning of the scriptures.
· Encourage your family to be involved in the church, Bible studies, and outreach efforts.
· Encourage spiritual activities for the whole family: Bible Study groups, workdays, etc.
· Protect your children from the influences of the world.
· Support the work of the church and give chances for your children to do so as well.
· If you're divorced, take every available opportunity to do these things. If you're not married, be like Cornelius – reach out to your relatives and your family.
You are responsible for those in your household. Will they be counted with those who are “saved,” or will they not? Do not take this lightly! Time is short. Eternity is at stake. So much depends on you.
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