Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Aged

In the "family series" - this not often addressed:  THE AGED!!!!

"old" = relative term! 
Example:  early patriarchs' list:
Oldest = Methuselah @969 years!  He was the son of Enoch (who was "taken" at 365" years & grandfather of Noah.
Methuselah - 969 years
Jared - 962 years
Noah - 950 years  (Gen. 5:32)    after Noah was 500 years old, he became father of Shem, Ham, Japheth.
Adam - 930 years
Seth - 912 years
Kenon - 910 years
Enos - 905 years
Mahalalel - 895 years
Lamech - 777 years
Enoch - 365 years  ("taken" in his prime!)  Gen. 5:23-24 - "lived 365 years... then "walked with God and he was no more because God took him away.'

After the flood, things slow down!
Abraham - 175 years - Gen. 25:7-8
Moses - 120 years - Deut. 34:5-7  Was 80 when he confronted Pharaoh
Caleb - Josh. 14:10-12

"Age" = 3 groups:

I.  Aged - (over the hill group)
II.  Aging - (not yet over the hill)
III.  Youngsters - on one hand aware (mentally), however, no real understanding!!!  No real experience!

The "aging" hill is always relative.  These groups do not describe particular ages.

I.  The Aged  (OTHG)
    (A)  A prayer to be used/useful - Psm. 71:9, 17-18
On one hand, not all have the physical of mental health to be used!  However, we should be available as long as possible.   As long as can be used, we need to stay active.

Just because are Old does not mean beyond use by God.  Psm. 92:12-15

    (B)  Open to continued growth and development
The support scripture is not age related - Phil. 1:6,  2 Cor. 4:16

   (C)  Confidence in God's care, provision - Isa. 46:3-4
context = Israel
Application = His People!!!

II.  To the Aging  (under The Hill Group)  (including youngsters)
     (A)   Concerning your elders - Deut. 5:16  example: ( Paul "first command with a Promise!)
Compare Prov. 23:22 and 30:17.  This means more than parents!  Lev. 19:32

    (B)  Concerning Yourself
On one hand, you don't know as juch as you think you do!  (something only known and understood with experience!!!)
However, WISDOM is not just for the elderly!!! - Job 32:4-10

So.... example:  Paul ==>Timothy - 1 Tim. 4:11-12

III.  (to all ages)
     (A)  Consider the time - Psm. 39:4 - show me how fleeting life is  (help to recognize)
with Psm. 90:10-12
Vs. 12 paraphrase = "teach us the brevity of life... SO THAT we might:
        (a)  consider the time (use it wisely)
        (b)  Acquire a WISE HEART!!! (soul, being of life, more than head knowledge)

    (B)  Redeem the time - Eph. 5:15-17
Paraphrase = "be careful with your time!  There are so may temptations to WASTE time in this evil age!" 


III.  Youngsters - don't wait to accept, follow, serve Christ. 
In fact = can accomplish same things while following Christ as not!

II.  Aging - have family, careers, business, place, which are IMPORTANT
The idea is NOT to make Jesus priority, rather = LET HIM set the priorities!! -  make Him "LORD"

I.  Aged - not been here long enough to advise! 
BUT Scripture = clar!! ie:  should follow Christ, Serve Christ, Promote Christ - as long as possible!!

M.A.E.D.  = Make an Eternal Difference

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Bible on Children

Children are a blessing from the Lord.  Psm. 127:3-5
(Eve recognized from the beginning the the child was from the Lord.)
Children are a great responsibility. - Prov. 22:6 - "train up" = direct them, get started on correct path. (assumes you know the way of the Lord.)

Common theme in Scripture:::
with blessing comes great responsibility
with privilege comes great obligation.
Hence, Paul = 1 Tim. 5:8
More blessings, more obligations.

On one hand, children have "free will".  However, is parental responsibility to "start them off" right.  Is not your responsibility if the go wrong if they were directed right.
Deut. 6:4-7
Parents are responsible for children - not the school, not the church.  Those are tools to be used.

New Testament & Jesus with children:  On one hand, is not much recorded.  However, what IS recorded shows:
(1) Jesus Valued children highly! - Mark 10:13-16  (in all 3 synoptic gospels)

(2)  He used them as a MODEL of Christian faith! - Matt.18:1-4

(3)  He states the seriousness of mistreating them.  - Matt. 18:5-6 - is a big deal to offend one of the little ones.

(4)  He warns they have heavenly advocates - Matt. 18:10

So... we are to ...Value and Protect them but also to ... Discipline and Develop them.

We often distinguish between discipline and development
Biblical view ... discipline & development:
        Serve same Purpose
        Designed for same outcome
        One does not negate the other!

So.... Prov. 22:15, 29:13, 13:24
Heb. 12:5-11

When we couple...
   (1)  the High Value Jesus places on children, with
   (2)  the many Biblical admonitions to discipline,
Can only (rightly) conclude:

(1)   We are to discipline children

(2)  We are to discipline ... IN LOVE / PROPERLY  "as God does His children"  (He is our model)

(3)  We are to discipline for the purpose of developing - but always for the benefit.

A Warning against Harsh Discipline!!  Eph. 6:4  (ie. discipline that provokes anger)
use "the discipline and instruction of the Lord" - ie:  Do it God's way!)

Since today is Father's Day ... additional note:  The State of the Father affects (doesn't determine) the state of the children!!  - Bible is very clear on this.

Deut. 5:29, Prov. 20:7, Psm. 112:1& 2

Monday, June 15, 2020

Marriage Maintenance

Within marriage .. as the New wears off ... can lead to on one hand - an increased level of "Comfortable" with one another
However, are new issues to contend with!!

(1)  Personal Preferences come to light.
If it's mustard vs. mayo = not a big deal.
BUT, night Vs morning person?  Spender vs. saver?  City living vs. country living?

(2)  Imperfections begin to surface.
examples:  snores, unorganized, slob!!!  procrastinate, domineering, etc.
These begin as annoyance but lead to offensive/disgusting

(3)  Responsibilities increase
ie:  bills, jobs, a business, a property?  KIDS!!!

(4)  Unintentional negligence often follows
too busy, etc.

(5)  slights, hurts, disappointments occur
AND accumulate!!!!  Leads to FESTER  which leads to anger/ bitter/ resentment which can lead to last out OR withdraw...!!!

POINT:  is not to paint bleak picture of marriage, but = reality check!!!
Marriage and Family in a Fallen World!!!

On one hand - Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman = 1 "flesh", couple, household, family beginning

However:  in light of Rom. 3:23 , Marriage = 1 (flawed) man + 1 (flawed) woman = 1 (flawed) couple/household, etc.

Every marriage (even a sold Christian marriage.... even  a solid, LONG TERM Christian marriage) needs attention, correction, repair!!!  (ie:  Maintenance)

It Could be argued ... the longer the marriage the greater the need for Marriage Maintenance!!
NOT to keep the marriage from falling apart,
BUT to keep it FRESH, joyous, satisfying, fulfilling, exciting!!

So... let's look at 3 simple needs to address concerning Marriage Maintenance.  (ie:  simple to comprehend!  Not necessarily simple to facilitate!!)

Marriage Maintenance needs include:
(1)  The need to  Examine the Relationship
To assess, be alert to deterioration, negligence, etc.
     (A)  Often don't see our Own dirt!!  and
     (B)  the damage is often Subtle.  Example:  termite damage vs tornado damage.  We are more subject to termite damage than tornado damage.  Song of Sol. 2:15

(2)  The need to Accept Responsibility
On one hand, you CAN'T fix your spouse  (therefore can't fix Marriage!)
However, you can accept responsibility for....:
      (A)  what you CAN fix
      (B)  What you Can IMPROVE - example:  Prov. 15:1
      (C)  what's your Fault!!!  example:  Gen. 3:8-13    (sounds like 21st. century America)

(3)  the need to Make Adjustments - 1 Cor. 11:31
which requires OPEN-NESS ... to  truth, common sense/ scripture, conscience, Holy Spirit
and .... Spouse's Criticisms!!!
Which .. on one hand, may not be right!!  However, certainly reveal an area of discontent!!

NOTE  These (1, 2, 3 above) = BASIC BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES!!!
Will apply to EVERY relationship!!
ie:  Should you...
     (1)  be alert to Sin?
     (2)  accept Responsibility?
     (3)  correct (repent) behavior?

POINT:  This is not Extra Biblical material.  This = BASIC Biblical material .... Applied to Marriage!!

A few more Basic Biblical Principles Applied to Marriage:

(1)  Praise and Affirmation - Rom. 13:7-8
Biblical term - "Edify" ... to Build up!!
Example:  Biblical parallel - Eph. 5:25-29

(2)  Apology - Matt. 5:23-24 - IF true of brothers/sisters in Christ, how much MORE of Spouse?

(3)  Forgiveness - Matt. 6:12-15
We all have need of affirmation, apology, forgiveness

You cannot build up by beating down!!  - by deprivation, withholding what's needed!  What's "due"!!

You cannot expect to gain what you need by withholding from spouse what he/she needs!!

Without ... affirmation, apology, forgiveness, you have Accumulated hurts, open wounds, withdrawal, lashing out, downward spiral!!!

(4)  Time together  "Exclusive intimacy"
Remember??  Marriage compared to Christ and the church?  Rev. 2:4-5 (church in Ephasus)
(Adam's "helpmate" was also his "playmate")

On one hand, I use and recommend Extra-Biblical material(s) for marriage and Family Studies.

BUT... those (Extra-Biblical) materials are BASED on (built on) BASIC BIBLE PRINCIPLES
which apply to all human relationships - are especially true of marital relationships

Matt:  7:24-27 - Jesus teaching about house on rock vs. house on sand.

Comparison:  Marriage on THE ROCK???
                     Marriage on the sand????

Closing Scripture:  Prov. 14:1


Sunday, June 7, 2020

God's Design for Marriage

2 weeks ago = "God's PLAN for Marriage"  from Gen. Chap. 1 & 2
the original blueprint for Marriage = 1 man and 1 woman (in exclusive intimacy)/ leave/ cleave/ become/ remain

A plan supposes a purpose!
Example:  design a sailboat to sail on the water.  design an airplane to fly.  Design a house vs. a barn.   The design shows the purpose intended.

So... if God's plan = "leave, cleave, become, remain...", what's His purpose??  Trying to accomplish what??  What was marriage designed to do??

Gen. 1 & 2 - again - (original blueprint)   God designed Marriage to benefit (bless) mankind  ie:  the individual, the couple, the family, the community, the nation. ... by providing ....4 things:     (Not to restrict, designed so will function as intended)

I.  Companionship - Gen. 2:18 - "not good man should be alone..."  but didn't create another Man or a herd!!  But 1 Wo-man.

Marriage is more than companionship = friend (higher!)  John 15:15 - "no longer servants"  Song of Solomon 5:16 - "my lover, my friend" - Abraham was called the friend of God.
The issue is more than passion = compatibility!!
                                             = enjoy one another
                                             = spend time with one another - ie:  a soul Need met by Soul Mate!

II.  Partnership - Gen. 2:18 b - "help mate suitable"
(companion = soul need   Partner = practical need!)
            for (A)  Assisting
                 (B)  completing - supplementing, complementing, rounding out  - "we're better together"
Gen. 1:28 - "subdue the earth"   (together as a team) = co-workers, co-builders, co-rulers!
(not as common as it should be!!)
My joy = to see young couple working as a team to build - home, family, a business or holding, a "kingdom", a legacy!!

With I and II you have ..... a Partner to share load, and a companion to share the journey
III.  ROMANCE (where is that in Genesis?) - Gen. 2:23
Poetry = awe/excitement!!  (passion?)
   A.  Sexual Passion - unleashed within marriage!!
Are 20+ sexual prohibitions int he scripture - nearly all apply to Extra-Marital!! - only a couple guidelines within the marriage.
   B.  NON-Sexual Passion
  C.  Life-long Passion

"a successful marriage requires falling in love many times... always with the same person!"
Marriage = Help Mate - also Play-Mate!!!

When you have a Companion and a Partner who is also your Lover ... = a sweet package!!!

IV.  Family - Gen. 4:1
God's design and purpose in marriage includes.....
    (A)  Family:  This = place where children are to be Born, Raised, influenced, molded!!!
ie:  within a household of 2 committed to one another, committed to the Task, the Journey, the Family!!

God's design/purpose includes:
A)  Family
B)  STABLE family  (sound, solid, secure)
C)  GODLY family  - Mal. 2:15

(1)  God designed Marriage to Benefit Mankind
(2)  He's involved in EVERY Marriage (even pagan marriage) - (example:  soul knitter)

(3)  He = a Partner, not a Dictator  (we have free will) - example:  Adam and Eve

Therefore:  we must:
(1)  Work to develop companionship, partnership, romance, stability!

(2)  Work together - takes 2!!  BOTH!!

(3)  Work according to God's plan, design, will

Closing:  Gen. 3:8 - God's Presence in your Marriage?
Build successful marriage with God's plan, design
Build a Godly marriage with Jesus as LORD!!

Summary:  Men and Woman and children ALL do better in a STABLE, MARRIED family group (or setting)
ie:  stable marriage leads to stable homes which lead to stable kids... who then lead to stable marriages, etc.