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A Word to Husbands

May 11, 2011

Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is savior of the body.”  As husbands, we are to be servants in our home.  We are to be leaders.  This does not mean that we are to be dictators, but we are to be responsible. 

 I am to love my wife as Christ loved the church.  And He gave His life for the church.  I am to love her sacrificially with a passionate, purifying, and protecting love.  All of this does not mean that she is inferior to me.  Men and women are created equal, but with different roles.  The man is to be the provider.  He is to provide for her emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.  The husband is responsible for his loyalty to his wife. 

 This entire chapter in Ephesians tells us that we are to be “filled with the Spirit.”  The only way that I can be that kind of husband is to be filled with the Spirit.  When I gave my heart to Jesus Christ and surrendered to Him, the Holy Spirit of God came into me and gave me the spirit of Jesus so I can love like Jesus.

 I think about the tragedy of “throw away” marriages today.  Today we have men who stand at the marriage altar and make a holy vow.  They make a covenant, not a contract, and then they walk out.  A lot of people today say, “Well, I owe it to myself to be happy.” Or “It would be better for the children.”  Or “I have prayed about it and God told me it was alright to get a divorce.”  But God has said no such thing. 

 The bible says, “God hates divorce.”  We owe it to God to keep our promise. We owe it to our spouses to keep our promise.  We are not to walk out on our wives.  If we are to love our wives as Jesus loves the church, when is Jesus going to walk out on the church?  Never. 

 We need to see, as fathers and as husbands, our responsibilities, not our rights.  Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman and God almighty.  And our wives have every right to look to us to meet their every need.

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Walk the Talk

April 28, 2011

Take a moment and read 1 John 2:3-11.  There are three little phrases that catch my attention right away.  In verse 4, “He who says, “I know Him…”  In verse 6, “He who says he abides in Him.”  And then in verse 9, “He who says he is in the light…” 

What John is saying is this: “some people are saying one thing and living another.”  They are not what they claim to be.  Their walk doesn’t match their talk.  We are to walk as Jesus walked.  I don’t walk as Jesus walked in order to be saved, but I walk as Jesus walked because I abide in Him and His life is in me. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is my example.  He is my pattern.  I am to walk in honesty, purity, and righteousness.  I am to love as Jesus loved.  The love of Jesus Christ is serving love.  He washed the smelly feet of those fishermen.  The love of Jesus Christ is sanctifying love.  He was washing their feet as a symbol that He was cleansing and forgiving their sin.  And Jesus loves with a steadfast love.  He never stopped loving them and He never stops loving me.  That is the kind of love that I am to demonstrate – unconditional love. 

This passage of Scripture forces us to examine our words and our actions.  Do they match?  Do they add up?  Are they contradictory?  I remind you that these are not legal commandments, they are love commandments.  The love of God is made rich and full and perfect in our lives because God is in our hearts and in our lives.  And the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. 

If I truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, then I am going to obey Him and serve Him.  I love Jesus and I want to keep His Word.  There are times that we fail.  There are times when we stumble.  There are times when our words don’t match our actions.  But we must guard those commandments and steer our lives by God’s Word to keep His commandments.

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Pride

January 5, 2011

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Pride is an attitude of independence from God.  Pride is esteeming ourselves better than other people.  I love what C.S. Lewis wrote about Pride, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the other man.  We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good looking, but they are not! They are proud of being richer or more clever or better looking than others.  It is the comparison that makes you proud.  The pleasure of being above the rest.”  That is so true. 

Pride ruined the human race.  In the Garden of Eden, when Satan came to tempt Eve, the temptation wasn’t to taste a particular fruit.  The garden was full of fruit.  The temptation was, “take this and you will be as God.”  Pride.

 As I was thinking about pride this week, I began to think about the indicators of a person who is filled with Pride.  I found an interesting list and I can’t remember who gave it.  But it said this:           

-A proud person becomes irritated when corrected for mistakes. 

-A proud person accepts praise for things of which he or she has no control.  Things such as beauty, talent or     abilities. 

- Pride will not admit mistakes.  Pride says, when there is a disagreement, “Alright, I can get along without you.” 

- Pride refuses to take counsel and to learn from other people. 

- Pride has an ungrateful spirit for all that God has done. 

- Pride often shows itself in competition with other people. 

- Pride does not want more, pride wants more than somebody else. 

 As I was reading through this list, I realized how prideful I can be.  I think one of the biggest areas we all struggle in is that we find it hard to admit mistakes.  Every time we seem to have this prideful heart and attitude, it is amazing, and at the same time wonderful, that God has a way of bringing us back down to earth.  Although it is humiliating, we must be thankful for that.  To have a heavenly Father who loves us so much to correct us when we are heading down the path of destruction.

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Go Tell

October 13, 2010

Acts 4:13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus.  And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”  These men were bold.  Why were they bold?  They were bold because they had been with Jesus.  They had seen Christ alive, resurrected, and now, Christ lives in them.  All of the forces of hell could not intimidate them or shut them up or hold them back.  They refused to let up or shut up or back up because they were filled with the Spirit of God and the presence of Jesus Christ.  This boldness that they had enabled them to say, “Lord, if you want to use me, use me.  I trust that you will take care of me. And Lord, if you choose to let me be put in jail, then I’ll rejoice that I’m counted worthy to suffer shame for your name.  If you choose that I suffer bodily harm, then nothing will come to me but what comes through you first.  And Lord, I submit myself to you and I will speak at your command.” 

That is boldness.  They were convinced that Jesus Christ came out of that grave.  They said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”  These men told what they had seen and heard.  This was the daily business of these early Christians.  They were all at it, and they were always at it. 

I am convinced that many of us want to share our faith and tell others about our Savior.  But we have been intimidated.  I believe there are a lot of people, when they go out to testify for Jesus, their loyalty makes them go on the one hand.  But their fear makes them slow on the other hand.  And they are not the vibrant testimony for Jesus that they ought to be. 

Why are we afraid?  Is it because someone will say, “Get lost?”  Are we afraid of hurting our reputation?  Are we afraid we won’t know the right thing to say?  I suppose all of these are reasons why we don’t share more than we do.  But we need to make a commitment that every person God leads us to, that God will somehow arrange that conversation into a conversation about Jesus. 

At HBC we are in the middle of a “Goin Fishin” Series where I have been challenging you to build relationships and share your story.  On October 24 at 6pm I am going to train you in how to do that.  Dr. Ken Hemphill has a wonderful study called “Splash.”  We are going to look at this study together and learn how we can develop relationships with lost people with the goal of bringing them to Christ.  I hope you will make plans to be here on October 24.  We will be having a WMU sponsored fellowship meal at 5pm and Worship at 6pm in the Fellowship hall.  Please sign up this Sunday.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get equipped to share your story.

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A Disciple of Christ

October 4, 2010

Luke 14 gives us some great insight into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  One of the things that I am reminded of is that when I follow Jesus Christ, I am following Him into battle.  According to Luke 14, there is a war and it is a fight to the death.  I am either on one side or the other.  But when I follow Christ, I know that the favor is on my side.  “If God be for us, who can be against us.”  Jesus said, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

Jesus Christ does not want prominence in my life.  He does not want a place in my life.  Jesus Christ demands and deserves preeminence.  But I am reminded that it costs to serve Jesus.  Am I willing to pay the price?  Luke 34:14 says, “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  I know that there are some people who will not listen to this.  Our Lord gives us a commission here.  We are the salt of the earth.  That means that we are to witness.  This speaks of witness and testimony.  If I am to be a follower, a disciple of Jesus Christ, I must tell others about Jesus.  And I pray that God will help us take the initiative in sharing our faith. 

As we reflect upon our lives in this area of discipleship we must ponder several questions.  Are we truly willing to go into battle for the Lord Jesus Christ?  Another question we must ask ourselves in this area of discipleship is this, “Does Jesus Christ have all that I have?  Is there any part of my life that is out of bounds to the Lord Jesus Christ?”  

I have been convicted by my answers to these questions.  Sometimes I am not what I ought to be.  I cannot serve two masters.  I pray that God will help me to be totally committed to Him.  I pray that everything we do is as unto the Lord.  Our speech, our actions, our attitude, and our character ought reflect who God is!  We ought to be able  to rest in our relationship with Christ because we know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that we truly are followers of Christ.

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In the Presence of the King

October 1, 2010

Psalm 95 is an incredible Psalm!  When the Psalmist opens this passage, he opens it with a sense of joy.  The Psalmist, as he pictures this idea of moving into the sanctuary, the tabernacle, or the presence of God, he’s overwhelmed with a sense of excitement!  The fact that we are going into the presence of God!  We are going to see the King! 

This is not dignified language.  It’s not the boring language that we sometimes associate with our worship services here in this day.  He is overwhelmed with a sense of excitement!  It is a corporate excitement.  It is a corporate enthusiasm.  This is no ordinary invitation.  This is not like going to a friend’s house or going to a ball game.  We are going into the presence of God almighty! 

Have we lost a sense of the awesomeness of God?  Have we lost sight of the privilege it is to enter into the presence of God?  He is the “rock of my salvation, the foundation of my salvation.”  We have no deliverance apart from God.  We ought to wake up every morning with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm. 

As I reflect upon the importance of Psalm 95 in my everyday life I keep coming back to this idea of worship.  Sometimes we fill like we have done God a wild favor by just attending a worship service.  The truth of the matter is, He is God.  There is none like Him.  The burning desire of our heart should be to bow down and worship Him with all that we are.  Anything less would be to rob him of the worship that is due His name. 

Sometimes I wonder why we are not as excited about worship as we ought to be and why so many of our worship services are so boring when they should not be.  I think it is because we have lost sight of who God is.  We have not bowed the knee to Jesus Christ.

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Salty Saints

September 30, 2010

We all know that  familiar verse in the Book of Matthew.  Jesus said, You are the salt of the earth.”  The apostle Paul said, Let your speech always be seasoned with salt.”  There ought to be something about our lives that has a flavor about it, a zest about it.  Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth.  He didn’t say that we are the salt of the church. 

In Jesus’ time salt was more valuable than gold.  Pure salt was a rare delicacy.  Salt seasons, preserves, heals, burns, and penetrates.  Thats what Christians are to be to this world.  Our life is to be lived in a way that spices things up and brings the message of hope to a lost and dying world.  But we have to understand that this will not always be popular.  When we take the message of Jesus Christ to this world it will be an irritant to some people.  Not everyone will receive the message with joy.  But none the less, this is what our Lord has called us to.  We are to be the “salt of the earth.”

If there was ever a time or ever an age for this salt to work, it is now.  The salt has lost its flavor.  We must be dedicated and willing to stand up for Christ in this day.  But the only way we can do that is by Him doing it through us.  So many of us just live bland lives.  We find ourselves only being around those who are Christians.  It is like we are trying to salt, salt when we need to be salting the earth. 

This passage challenges us to be more intentional about the people we are around.  We must pray for direction and guidance in this matter of being around those who are lost.  And as I pray this, God continually reminds me that lost people are all around me.  We all get in our daily routine of our jobs and responsibilities.  And those things or people that He brings into our life, we see them as hindrances when we ought to see them as opportunities.  We need to see things different, remembering our calling.  We cannot neglect the fact that we are called to be salty saints.

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