I am grieved by what is happening in the world now.  It is full of chaos and confusion and conflict.

Families typically share a worldview:  common beliefs that they hold in common at least while the children are young.  As the youngsters mature and grow into adulthood, they will evaluate their worldview and either accept it or reject it.  Then when children marry, new and unfamiliar opinions get mixed in.  This can bring harmony and unity, if these viewpoints should agree, but they can bring chaos and turmoil when they don’t.

Micah is an Old Testament prophet who said this about his own time, and also about what will happen when Messiah comes to earth.

Sons refuse to respect their own fathers, daughters rebel against their own mothers, and daughters-in-law despise their mothers-in-law.  Your family is now your enemy.  (Mic 7:6 CEV)

During those days, even within one family there would be breakdowns and strife.  Neighbors no longer trusted one another.  Families were in crisis.

What Micah said in Micah 7, was also Jesus’ argument a few hundred years later!  Jesus even says that He came to turn people against one another—even among families.

For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a person’s enemies will be the members of his household.  (Mt 10:35-36 NASB)

“Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”  (Lk 12:53 NKJV)

You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  (Lk 21:16 NIV)

These are difficult things to hear from the Lord.  No one wants the very people that he deeply loves to turn against him.  But the Lord is warning all of His followers to expect persecution—even from those whom we have nurtured and loved and known deeply.

The enemy loves to use family pressure—even the threat of family violence—to drive us away from our faith in Jesus.  How many of us believers have raised our children and watched them grow up, get married and later turn away from their faith in Jesus Christ?  Too many, and it always brings devastating pain, and too often, broken relationships.

Our only consolation is to know that Jesus loves each one of us.  He will not stop working to bring back His lost sheep into His sheepfold.  Pray faithfully for those whom you love who have wandered away from their faith in Jesus and in the true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

It is good to understand and remember that the Lord has engraved each of us on the palms of His hands.  (Isa 49:16) Praise God!

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