Posted by Brian Lange, 2017/5/15
"Wisdom hath builded her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars" Proverbs 9:1
A family needs an operating system – a system of concepts and principles upon which all the activities and strategies of the family run. Here are 7 key ideas that will form a sure foundation for your home.
When Jesus Christ took the wrath of God for all sin He took it out of the way and allowed love to flow in relationships. Relationships based on a fulfilled judicial system – the finished work of Christ – are free from the penal code. The law of life in Jesus has freed parents so they no longer punish their children in wrath but to chasten them in love. 1 John 2:2 tells us that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and not ours only but the sins of the whole world. This means Jesus satisfied justice’s wrath against sin, all sin for all people – including your children. The new life that flows from the cross of Calvary through the Holy Spirit takes parents out of the role of the police, judge, and jury and puts them into the role of Father, mother, coach, teacher, and friend. Chastening happens when a parent, for the child’s sake, doesn’t give his child what he deserves, but rather what he needs. Chastening can often look like punishment but it isn’t. The parent who loves his child will chasten him.
Parents will be much less controlling and much more understanding when they realize both they and their child have the same life mission – to be mature in Christ. The process we see in Ephesians 4 prescribed for the Church is the same for an adult as for a child. The teaching of the Bible equips a child for ministry and makes him mature and stable so he is no longer tossed about like a child by deceitful teachings. The result of this process is maturity and a life characterized by love – the love they received from their parents who themselves received it from Christ.
Jesus said man is not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man. This means the rules God has given are given for His children’s sake. The purpose of children is NOT to obey the rules, but the purpose of children is to be loved by God and to in turn love God. For the one who loves God, the rules are not a problem (1 John 5:3). Of course, parents can present the rules and concern themselves with enforcing them, but this is getting the cart before the horse. Relationship establishes the foundation for citizenship in a home. A people who are loved and served by their king are blessed and joyfully submit to the rules of the king. Is this pie in the sky? No, it is wisdom from above.
When does a puppy become a dog? When does a kitten become a cat or a chick a chicken? Parenting that misses the conversion of a child to an adult begins to sabotage its own mission to raise a fully empowered adult person. Childhood lasts a short 10 years for most children. The human mind and body begin the staging process in preparation for puberty as early as 9 years old. Parents need to see their 7-year-old as a soon to be adult – able to be a father or mother. During the transition years, parents need to move from a role of schoolmaster and boss to one of counselor and coach. Relationship is the key to maintaining the unobstructed flow of wisdom from the parent to their children.
Relationship is the key to maintaining the unobstructed flow of wisdom from the parent to their children.
A child is naturally works-oriented – he constantly trying to win his parents' approval and blessing through his own performance and production. A parent must be wise to overcome this natural value system and establish a good grace ethic in the child's heart. It is good that our hearts are established in grace the writer of Hebrews states. It is good that a child knows he is loved, accepted, respected, valued – not because of what he does, but because of who he is. Beware of the law of sin and death that requires good performance to earn good rewards.
God knows that we are made of dust and our frame is frail. He is gentle toward us. This means he doesn't put on us more than we are able to bear. A child needs boundaries to know he is loved and cared for.
A child needs boundaries to know he is loved and cared for.
These boundaries act as bumpers to guide his decision-making and formation of proper standards. Parents need to make sure their expectations are appropriate to the child's capacities according to his particular age and abilities. Expectations also need to be well communicated, so the parent has confidence the rules are understood. Lastly, parents need to be consistent, not changing from one mood to the next or becoming unstable because of anger and frustration.
Let all be done without partiality. Parents must be on guard against favoritism, being a respecter of persons in the home. God has made each child unique and of infinite value. To weigh children on the scale of personal preference or performance would be an attack against God's declaration that each is equally important, accepted, and valuable. This is why we don't speak evil of our children, treat them with disrespect, or belittle them. They are so precious to God the Father that He gave His Son to die for them. Parents need to take on the mind of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to show them that all children are created equally and are infinitely valuable. Give each one his due benevolence.
Jesus came to turn the hearts of Fathers to their children. Parenting is a divine calling. Do it willingly, joyfully, and with all your heart and you will be a great blessing to your children and your children's children.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/12/5
Shalom! A group of us in the church just returned from an amazing pilgrimage to Israel. I have been blessed to be a tour pastor on these trips these past years and it has enriched my life immensely. I am so thankful to God. This time was no exception and we had an incredible time. We had about 8 Chinese, 4 Finns, 1 Indonesian and with the Hungarians we were about 28. We were so thankful, broken and blessed to be able to go. We baptized a Chinese brother in the Jordan, spoke on the end times at Armageddon, walked up the southern steps from the city of David to the temple as the pilgrims would have done, got to lead a sweet Arab girl to faith at the Pool of Bethesda who listened to us preach there, sang praises on the shores of Galilee, prayed for the ultimate peace in Jerusalem (at Christ's return) at the western wall, climbed up Engedi after considering David's exile in 1 Samuel and devotions in the Psalms, stood at the lowest place on earth at the Dead Sea and in our hearts we were on top of the world, drove up through the Jordan valley and considered the prophets, the judges and the kings, walked through the ruins of Capernaum, reflecting on the public ministry of Christ and finally had a day in Caesarea where we thought about the first Gentile convert and the great commission. It is such a powerful, personal time. You come face to face with your faith, the land, the Word and the Lord. Amazing time. Thanks for your prayers.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/9/16
This has been quite a heavy season for us as the King Family as we have recently had to make a major decision about our future and ministry in Budapest. In the Summer I returned to the UK with the whole family. We had such a special time with my precious mum who is 93 next birthday. During that time, on a view point called "Box Hill" I first seemed to hear from God about our future as a family and the prospects of us moving back to my motherland. From that time the thought got stronger and stronger and we have now come to that decision. We announced it to the churches and the school staff and the students. Then we also sent out an email which is copied below. Please keep us in your prayers this, our last, school year.
"I just wanted to share some news about The King family and our future plans. My Mum is 93 next birthday and is becoming much more fragile, After much consideration and prayer we are making the very hard decision of leaving Budapest in the Summer of 2017 and relocating to the UK. We are well aware of all we will be leaving here and after 18 years here it's going to be a difficult move for us all. However we believe that it is the right move and do not make the decision lightly, trusting that God will bless and use our family in England. We will be treasuring every day with you all this school year and thank God for all He has given us and allowed us to be a part of"..
In His grace
Posted by Graham King, 2016/5/5
As the years have passed, we have found immense value in taking an account of the graces given in our lives. We owe it to ourselves to often "hit the pause button" and recognize the gift of the moment, the value of people and the opportunities given in this particular season. Over the years, many of us on the team here would often say to each other "can you believe we get to do this?" It certainly fosters a sense of privilege and thankfulness for the rich life we get to live day in and day out. Are you kidding me? Our precious family and friends? Our vibrant little church? the school and team we are a part of? Ministering the word every day? Living in this beautiful city? In short, an attitude (or "altitude") of gratitude makes all the difference doesn't it? We will quickly find so much to be thankful for when we stop and "consider what great things God has done for us" (1 Sam 12:24).
Recently my wife and I read a simple article that deeply blessed us. A young family had spent a few hours at the beach when the weather turned and they had to pack up. It was the usual spectacle of a family juggling sandy beach toys and wet towels in their arms and attempting to convince the kids to comply with the exit strategy. Whining and resistance followed. As they finally trudge through the sand, laden with beach stuff and children, an elderly man looked at them said to his wife: "Oh do you remember dear? ...those were the best days of our life, weren't they?" It served up a powerful lesson. How wise it is to realize NOW that these really are the best days of our life. The days very quickly turn into months and years and graduations come speedily. My wife and I have now coined the phrase "these are the best days of our life" and say it to each other as a reminder, especially in the face of family mayhem and a crazy schedule. It can help put things back in the right perspective. Let's hit the pause button often, consider His great graces and embrace the best days of our life.
Posted by Susan Bisson, 2016/4/14
Since moving to Budapest over a year ago I've adapted from driving a car everywhere to walking almost everywhere. I actually like walking, most of the time. I do admit that when you want to get somewhere quick or have a heavy load to carry, a car is amazing. Okay, back to walking. I've found recently that I really only like walking when the road is easy. The athlete in me doesn't like to admit that. When I reach a hill, like the one my house is on top of, I don't really like walking anymore. It feels really hard and sometimes really, really hard when I'm carrying our 9 month old all the way up. You have to understand the hill. It's big, steep and since my house is at the top, I have to do it. The other day I was at the bottom of the hill just staring at all the steps and thinking about carrying our daughter, Summer, all the way up. I was already tired and looking at the hill just made it worse.
Do you ever feel like that with life? You are already tired, then something weightier comes and before you know it you are drowning, with little hope for what's ahead. The road is no longer straight and easy, but is narrow and complicated. It feels like you'll have to climb a thousand steps before you will get out. It's easy to be overwhelmed. Don't worry, there is hope!
After staring at the stairs for a while I started to walk, very slowly. As I walked, taking one step at a time, I felt like God reminded me of something. That's all I need to do. Take one step at a time. If I look too far ahead at everything in front of me I get discouraged and want to give up. When I take one step of faith at a time it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Actually, before I know it I'm half way there. It doesn't mean it's not challenging and I may end up going backwards or resting awhile along the way but in the end, on the top, the view is amazing!
Our God is so great! He doesn't just watch us go through life and its trials leaving us stranded to figure them out alone. The Bible says that God is with us and even strengthens us! That is a reason to hope in the trials of this life. He is with us every step of the way, no matter how small that step may be.
What's your next move?
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/4/2
I have had several people telling me in recent weeks that "God is doing something". I have sensed it too. Under the surface, in people's lives and hearts. Something is brewing and I think God wants to take the church to a new place in terms of momentum, vision and direction. I am up late, pondering over Ezra 5-7 and the work of God, the good hand of His God upon him. There was certainly a movement of God and a stirring of hearts. There was a word, a time, a movement and a living faith in the living God. Frail people, but a mighty God. An enemy, but also a victory. Will we look down to the dust? Inwardly to our self doubt? side to side at others who sit and others who serve? or will we look up to God, into the face of Christ, to be moved in the heart to serve as a doulos? What kind of church are we a part of? Well, what kind of church do we want? We are the church! We are the hands and we are the feet. We are the ones who can and must minister, give, go, serve, lay down our lives. There is no one else. This is our time, our calling, our place, our privilege. We cannot let it pass us by. May God speak to our hearts with every message, word and prayer. May we sense the opportunities and embrace them with faith and commitment. They are all around us. Both on a personal and also a corporate level, taking steps of faith is the only way forward. Thank you for your prayers. Let's go forward.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/3/7
The Hebrew word HESED cannot be translated with any one word in English. It is a covenant term that cannot be grasped with just one word. In our Bibles we find the word translated as steadfast love, mercies, lovingkindness, devotion, trustworthiness and loyalty. This shows us that it really needs to be explained rather than just translated. HESED wraps itself with all the eternal positive attributes of God. God uses the word in His self-revealing words in Exodus 34:6-7 right after they had broken the Mosaic covenant. They could not lay any claim to HESED, it was certainly undeserved (as is Charis in the NT). God has bound Himself to His people with a covenant love that will not and cannot ever let them go. (Isaiah 54:10) Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, his HESED (unfailing love) will never fail. As the Psalmist records their history from Egypt, through the wilderness, into the promised land, every verse, every step of the way is echoed with "the HESED (mercies, lovingkindness) endures forever". The Abrahamic covenant is rooted in HESED. An unconditional covenant of grace. A covenant that we, as Gentiles in the church, have also been made partakers of the spiritual blessings. Such eternal security and assurance we see when we consider how the nation Israel was unfaithful and God remained so faithful. So it is with us. We know He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We might echo Jacob (Genesis 32:10) in saying that we are worthy of the very least of His mercies (HESED). Yet we have found, not the least but the abundance of His mercies (Psalm 5:7). In the midst of his lamentations, the weeping prophet looked over Jerusalem. Though the hour was dark he still was able to look up to the covenant love that held Israel secure in saying "the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases". That same prophet predicted the captivity would come to an end and God had given them an expected end to return to the land. HESED runs through the Old Testament history, it holds Israel secure and that same love holds us in His Son Jesus Christ. Like David can rest in knowing that his HESED pursues us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6).
Posted by Gabi Korhonen, 2016/2/15
Last week's theme in Sunday school was getting to know God and the Trinity. When the children were asked who would like to get to know God, not only did they all raise their hands, but their faces were shining with excitement! How wonderful and encouraging their response was to this question! We played a little game on how we get to know, or recognize someone. A familiar person's picture was projected on the board, but it was covered so that only a small part of the face could be seen. Then the next slide showed a little more and so on. We talked about how we get to know God more and more, little by little in our lives.
There is an interesting verse in Deuteronomy 6:3, it is even more revealing in the Amplified version. God talks to Moses just before He would deliver them out of Egypt. He says: I am the Lord (Yahweh). I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty (El-Shaddai), but My name the Lord (Yahweh - the redemptive name of God) I did not make Myself known to them. The Israelites soon were going to get to know their God as the Redemptive God - as neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob knew Him - through their deliverance from Egypt. Throughout the history of humanity there is the progress of God revealing Himself, as the Creator, as God Almighty, as the only True God, as the God of Israel, reaching the ultimate revelation in His Son, as the Savior of the world. During the course of our lives we experience this progress on a personal level, as we get to know God – more and more, little by little- as the merciful Father, as the greatest Friend Who gave His life for us, as the Spirit of Truth, Who is the Comforter. This is eternal life. What an exciting privilege we all have in this life. Let's raise our hands and hearts to God together with these children, because we are getting to know Him.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/2/4
Sadly books like Daniel and Revelation are often neglected in many Christian circles. Perhaps there might be a class offered on it, but it is not something typically taught as part of the church diet. When you consider that over 1/5 of the Bible is prophecy and that the second coming and the kingdom is referred to 8 times more than the first, we realize what a key subject it is. As balanced students of the Bible, we must also be students of prophecy and the end times. Additionally, "topical preaching" (presenting a theme with various verses to support it and making application to the church) is more common than "expositional preaching" (explaining the meaning of the text literally and in context). The danger with only teaching topically lies in things like Israel, the kingdom and the covenants being lost, or even worse, being applied to the church. When expositional teaching and instruction takes place, people seemed to be built up in the core and grow in a personal hunger for the word, rather than just a personal appreciation of grace and how that applies to their lives now! Don't get me wrong, there must be both, but we are called to preach the word and to teach doctrine. It is certainly more healthy to grow in understanding of God's plan through the ages, than only to be asking how this applies to my own life and situation. We have been using both of these methods with purpose in our local church. We have a series on Daniel, where we teach a chapter every so often, sprinkled in with also using topical teaching themes (still with great caution on how passages and verses are applied). The response is encouraging as we see people hungering after the teaching and understanding of the Word of God. Thank you for your prayers for God's leading as we go forward with ministry, preaching and teaching. God bless you.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/1/25
As a church with such an international flavor, we are often saying our "goodbyes" to those who move away. Over our 7 year history more than 50 people who were part of our fellowship have moved away from Hungary. As grace believers we have learned not to take things for granted and are fully aware that one of the greatest gifts God may add to our lives is people. It may only be for a season and we may not know how long that season may last, but we cherish and treasure each precious person. One such family is the Donovan family, now returning to Canada after about 6-7 months in Budapest. Kerry became a dear friend and brother to me, to many, and will be greatly missed. From the day we first met he has been such a blessing to me and to the church. We are deeply thankful to God for bringing people and families our way. This past year He has added other incredible people to our lives, like the amazing Bisson Family, Jamin & Kiowa, Miklos & Bonia and their beautiful girls, Joshua Camacho and his sister Jessica, and many others. Thank you Lord for the gift of people and for such a blessed season as this one.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/1/12
This past Sunday was such a special service. We shared a message on our freedom in grace based on Jesus saying "my yoke is easy (gracious, kind) and my burden is light (see sermon links). For me, and I think for the church, it was a definitive message. It was a message that has been marinating for over a year, or perhaps much longer. If there is anything other than an easy yoke or a light burden in my Christian walk, then something is not right. How much obligation or guilt is there that drives me in the things that I do or even endure? Am I living before men or before God? Ephesians 6:6 says that we are "not men-pleasers, but servants (doulos) of the will of God from the heart".
What a great truth. But is it true in the lives of every Christian? It's so healthy to consider grace in our lives and also the lack thereof. In our churches there may be many healthy initiations, such as Bible school, raps, outreach, missions trips, conferences and many other things, but those same things can become subtle standards by which we measure people by. We might consider a Bible school graduate a valuable disciple in the church, but a mother who struggles to get to church as someone who just attends. What a horrible conclusion to make. Judging people based on programs. How about "They will know you are My disciples by your love"? But grace must be grace. People are free. When we see someone in church, someone might think "where have they been" - but how about genuinely loving them and rejoicing to see them, with no critique or question? A pastor might step up to the pulpit with the mind that the people are wrong, and it's his job to correct them. How about seeing people through the eyes of grace and assuming they are right and addressing them as new creations in Christ? Are people living under obligation in their service or with a sense of freedom and privilege? What does our church culture allow or cultivate? What is the mindset we have adopted towards people? Healthy heart searching thoughts. Are we free? Are we free to.. and also free not to? God bless us all in 2016, going forward in the liberty of grace.
Posted by Graham King, 2016/1/6
A new generation of Israelites stood on the plains of Moab, looking across the Jordan to the promised land. A new land, a new leader, a new generation, a new enemy. In Moses' last address he lays before them the need to ..."remember", to reflect often on all that God has done. Joshua tells them to keep their eyes on the ark. This is where we stand as believers with a new year before us. We look back and remember what God has done and we look forward, across the river, considering the promises before us. Now we go forward with God. He is with us, He is for us and He loves us. We consider the promises and not the giants. We are God's people and not grasshoppers. We have faith expectation for a fruitful year for our families and for our church. God bless us all in IGCB for 2016!