Sunday, May 27, 2018

Family Series - The Rock Beneath Our Foundation

last week = Eph. 5 - Basic Marital Instruction
(ie:  Love & Respect forming the BASE of marital relationship)

Point:  things important to a good marriage will crack/fail if not on Solid foundation.

BUT ... there is a problem here!!!  ie:  your foundation will be faulty
Because:  (1)  you're faulty - ("seriously flawed")  - Rom. 3:23
therefore, (2)  won't always express Love and Respect!
and, (3)  spouse is faulty
therefore, 4  won't always experience Love and Respect! 
As vital as this information is, there will be breaks in the foundation!!

ANSWER:  A foundation beneath the foundation. 

For the Christian - the Rock beneath the foundation = Christ.
1 Cor. 3:10-11

Point:  We often overlook the most basic Christian tenets when dealing with marriage and family
YET ... they underlie all other principles!!!

So ... to start at the beginning = to Build on Christ.  
To build on Christ is to:
#1.  Accept Him as Savior   Rom. 10;9-10
 ie:  gospel =  A dmit - are a sinner
                      B elieve - Christ is who He says He is
                      C onfess Him verbally
#2.  Embrace Him as Lord  (master/boss)
       #1 & 2 separated for illustration and clarity, but whether this is possible,  it is certainly not reasonable (not wise)
Which results in:
#3. Forgiveness and Restoration  - Now can have a Relationship with God, (creator, designer, "lover of your soul"!)
#4.  New Birth - John 3:3, John 1:10-13, 2 Cor. 5:17
Something happens which results in new heart (affections)
                                               + new mind - (thinking, reasoning)
                                         =     new lifestyle  (action)
 Which leads to:
#5.  Sanctification  (setting apart)
ie:  the process of personal development, personal betterment, becoming what created to be, saved to be.  Eph. 2:10     Can function better than before.

Do you want to be a better parent?  better partner?  Start here with being a better person!!!

The Focus  of Bulk of Scripture = (1)  develop your relationship with God
                                                    (2)  develop yourself according to His will, desire, design!!

Add 1 more:  ie:  with this beginning should come either:
#6.  A new set of rules or a new appreciation for those rules
(ie:  Scripture:  God's Revelation to us, for us.)

Loot at list:  ask if it could Make A Difference (M.A.D.) in your marriage, family??

(1)  Accept Jesus as Savior
(2)  Embrace Jesus as Lord
(3)  experience a new beginning  (change of heart, mind)
(4)  begin a process of betterment
(5)  learn and follow the rules of God
This is before the Love and Respect stuff!

On one hand, is no guarantee your family will respond.
Can't change them, but can influence!

Your Need?  Your Response?

1.  Accept

2.  Enthrone (re-enthrone)

3.  Commit  (re-commit)  to process of "betterment" at whatever stage you are at.

4.  learn, follow His rules

Result = Win/Win!! - for you, spouse, kids, community

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Family Series - Christian Marriage 101

BASIC Christian marital instruction - Eph. 5

Word "BASIC" = forming the base, the starting point, the foundation.
Example:  the concrete and steel that under girds and supports the (visible) structure.

On one hand - the foundation is NOT the whole house!!
BUT - it is that on which the whole house stands!!

So - Basics - Eph. 5:21-33 - these truths will work for any couple.  However, will work better if the couple is Christian.

I)  Husbands - love your wife as Christ loves the church.
The word "Agape" = to value, treasure, cherish
to treat as the Chosen One, THE Special One.
Means provide more than physical needs = intimate, feminine needs - which are God given and legitimate

This (Agape) love is:
(1) Chosen = a decision to love her...
         (a) according to God's instruction
         (b) according to her needs - not yours!
(2) Intentional .. which = (a) on purpose
                                      (b) with a  purpose which = to edify, buildup!!

(3)  Active - ie:  more than attitude or feeling
                   - (a) shown, manifest, and (b) shown IN PINK!!  (her way)  Rom. 5:8

(4)  Sacrificial ... you give up to build up
(5)  Beneficial - ie:  to you!!  ie.  build up your wife... to your advantage!!
"happy wife, happy life"
(6) Possible - else it wouldn't be commanded.   (note:  not perfectly possible because are dealing with 2 flawed people!!)
(7)  Primary = the concrete and steel that under-girds!!

II)   Wives - Respect your husband  
honor, admire, look up to
Show confidence in his abilities, judgments, intentions (toward you)
to treat him as if he were competent, capable, trustworthy

This Respect is:
(1)  Chosen = a decision to honor him.
                 (a) according to God's instruction
                (b)  according to his needs
(2)  Intentional which = (a) on purpose
                                   (b) with a purpose - which = edify!!  - Prov. 14:1
(Side note - Gen. 2:18 - "helper" used in the Scripture for God, Holy Spirit, and Eve  - does that speak to your role?  influence?  importance?)

(3)  Active - ie:  it's (a) shown, displayed, manifest   (b) in BLUE!! - his way.

(4)  Sacrificial - because often difficult to show!

(5)  Beneficial - ie:  for you!!  Build up him = benefit you!!
(6)  Possible - else wouldn't be commanded
(7)  Primary = the concrete and steel that under girds.

Next week - the foundation beneath the foundation - ie:  Christ

Monday, May 14, 2018

Family Series - 7 Steps to Family Blessing

Been doing the "Family Series" since 1989.

Why??  Because it's IMPORTANT!   See Stats:

1)  Socially/nationally - (to society/nation)
Typical summaries from historians:
"stable families are essential to building a stable nation:
"no society has ever thrived without durable, cohesive, traditional families"
Note:  the US has the worst marital failure rate in the world!!!

2)  personally/individually  (people)
Example:  Gallup poll - "how important are the various aspects of your life?"
#1 answer Always is family - 47% "very important", 49% - "extremely important" = 96%

1990 Money Magazine commissioned Gallup to poll their subscribers on goals, dreams, aspirations, etc.
#1 = "having a happy home life" @97.8%

National Opinion Research Center polls ... "family is un-important to me" - 3%
""source of greatest SATISFACTION in my life = "family" - 87%..

3)  Solid family = God's will/desire/heart 
But that means more than "happy" = "Blessed!!-
                        more than "pleasing" = Beneficial
You can pursue happiness and miss the blessing
However, you can pursue blessing and gain happiness with it!!

So, again in 2018 - we go to Deuteronomy (2nd law)
Deut. 6
(1) the setting - at edge of Promised Land the 2nd. time - Moses repeats the Law given at Mt. Sinai
(2)  the opening Summary - Deut. 6:1-2

This is not "so you'll live to be 100 years old".
= "so generations will thrive, prosper, be blessed in the land"

SO - we look at the passage NOT as a way to experience national blessings, but as a way to experience family blessings (which lead to national blessings)

Deut. 6:1-25 literally to the nation of Israel - Vs. 12 - 'be careful not to forget'

Do you want to experience God's blessing?  in immediate family?  extended family?  in church?  in community?  in nation?

Basis, beginning of the blessing from Deut. 6 - condensed, shortened, re-ordered...
"7 Steps to Family Blessing" 

#1.  Hear God - Deut. 6:4 - "Shema"
(A)  He has revealed Himself
(B) (in the Hebrew) if don't respond ... you didn't HEAR!!!
Makes it an issue of choice (not ability)  Jer. 5:21, Matt. 13:9 (parable), Rev. 2:29 - (7 times to the 7 churches)

#2.  Love God - how important???? -->  Matt. 22:34-38
This alsochoice!!   "agape" (God love) - matter of head and heart.  Regardless of whether object is lovable or not.

#3.  Fear the Lord = stand in awe of, respect, give reverence to.
Example:  contrast love for your puppy does NOT mean you revere him!!  Prov. 1:7
"fear" includes manifestation  ie:  Evident .... HE occupies the throne in the home - NOT pleasure, business, sports, etc.

#4.  Be careful ... to obey,  to not forget - compare  Deut. 8:10-18 - distraction of comes with prosperity!!

#5.  Teach your kids - Deut. 6:6-7

#6.  Tell them "why" - Deut. 6:20-21
Which = personal testimony, family testimony
Saying, on one hand "I don't know where you'll go", but, on the other hand, "Let me tell you where you come from!!"

#7.  Do what's right ... IN HIS SIGHT!! - Deut. 6:18
Which is not what YOU deem right!!!
Is HARD!!!  Because we all think we know what's best for me!!

Therefore, the typical Christian - has Jesus in heart, but self on throne.

So, want a happy family?  or ... a Blessed family?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

2nd. Peter - Last Days

2 Pet. 3 - referring to Last Days = last time - (Jesus' 1st. return to His 2nd. return)

2 Pet.3:1-8  from Psm. 90:4   Vs. 2 = old testament  - God's spoken word (vs. 5-7) makes it all happen.

2 Pet. 3:9 - Very important verse - God is patient because He's merciful and kind and good.
with Ezek. 18:23, 32  and 1 Tim. 2:3-4

2 Pet. 3:10-12 - The End comes suddenly and Violently!! - Isa. 34:4, Joel 2:30-31, (but not also - Joel 2:32 !)
We tend to forget that the end will come violently. 

2 Pet. 3;13 = will it all be new?  or Re-newed?  Many different views - Pre-millennial, post-millennial, NO millennial.   Peter's point = it will happen!!

2 Pet. 3:14-15 - "Because He is patient,Salvation is still available!!   Illustration:  the Prodigal Son!  Luke 15.

2 Pet. 3:16-18 - Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture.


(1)  Miracles are not the norm!  were only three periods of great miracles from the time of Moses to today.
(2)  Divine mystery will always accompany the Christian faith  (when?  how?  why the wait?)  We will never understand all that God has for us.
(3)  Scoffers will come.   These are more than skeptics - they deliberately forget!! - Rom. 1:32
because we won't have miracles all the time and won't have all the answers,  Divine mystery remains.
(4)  they will distort the scriptures  because they want to follow "own evil desire", not follow God's desire (will).  They want their will.

Peter's whole point in this chapter:

BUT IF God can create, flood, sustain by His Word

THEN He can also fulfill promises of Christ's return  -- by His Word!!!

Therefore:  (1)  "make every effort" - (2 Pet. 3:14 compare with 2nd. Pet. 1:5)

(2)  be on guard...  2 Pet. 3:17 - "lest fall
Example:  Peter - of the 12, of the inner 3, unofficial leader of the Apostles, "the Rock" - denied Christ!!!
don't be discouraged -- by the length of time
don't be distracted - by the world - Heb. 2:1

(3)  grow ... 2 Pet. 3:18 "in the grace  He offers - freely given
                                    "in the Knowledge" you can acquire

Comparison:  Christian walk to bicycle riding:  ie.  stop moving and fall over!!!   Stop growing and fall away!