By His Grace: Our mission field begins at home

Edith Nevis

"Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck."

Edit Nevis

My beloved mom recently shared her plans to travel to Buffalo, N.Y., to attend a friend’s conference. The destination was a five-hour journey. And though the weather was not always favorable, she was never concerned for her safety on the highway while traveling alone. This reminded me of her many mission trips to Asia. My mom is a woman on an assignment she is aiming to fulfill.

“He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'”

Always remember, He who orders your steps will protect you along the way. You are never alone.

"The Lord will keep you from all harm -- he will watch over your life."

My mother’s sincere love of Christ and willingness to surrender to His will has had a direct impact on her life and that of her family. It has also been the driving force behind her many years of involvement in ministry of help of various kinds and has prepared her for the journey.

My mother's personal relationship with Christ enables her to ask, seek and receive what is righteous and good from the Father. As a single mother, she was keenly aware to rear her children in the Lord. It took total faith and assurance on her behalf. Nothing is to hard for the Lord.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

As children we became the great benefactor of such a gift. And now my siblings and I as adults and all in some ways are in the ministry are teaching our children, the next generation the same.

Her mission field began at home.

My mother taught my brothers and me early on through example and godly wisdom the ways of the Lord. Was she perfect? Absolutely not! Remember, neither were her children. My brothers and I (five children in total) were not born with a set of directions to prevent trials and errors along the way. What we did have was a book called the Holy Bible that mother never hesitates to use when correcting and encouraging her family in love.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

My mother taught us children what it meant to give of oneself, first to God and then to others, beginning with family. Never asking what I can get out of it first. Always searching for how we can make a difference to those who cross our paths, including family?

My mother held herself accountable before her family so we would be without excuse in our lives. She lives a life that is transparent for believers and non-believers alike to question the source of her joy and peace. She is always open to an opportunity to share the gospel and the goodness of God, beginning at home with loves ones and friends.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

What one holds dear to the heart is their prize possession in life. And what becomes important is to be protected at all cost. If this is the case, where does the family stand in this equation when it comes to their faith?

Do you rear children in the lord, teaching right from wrong, first through personal examples? Or do you allow them to go their own way?

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

Do you know it’s a gift from heaven to be a parent? And that responsibility should never be taken lightly.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb a reward."

I share all this to say it is time for parents to take a stand against the enemy. Take back what the Lord has given your family and you. You are the head your household; call your loved ones back to God and serve only Him. Place a hedge of protection through prayer around your sons and daughters. Remember, a family the prays together stays together.

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

To serve the Lord individually and as a family there first must be a relationship with Him. For those who desire a relationship with the Lord, or would like to renew it, allow me to extend an invitation to experience his unconditional love for you. By your own free will you accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised. But what is promised is that Jesus is coming soon.

When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. This has nothing to do with religion and all to do with a relationship. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord, Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and Savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and go in peace. Shalom

Bible references: Proverbs 1:8-9; Mark 16:15; Psalm121:7; Matthew 7:7; Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6–7; Ephesians 6:4; Psalms 127:3; Joshua 24:15. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.

-- Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at enevis@gannett.com.