Friday, January 27, 2012
Thoughts about TD Jakes
Dr. Bart Barber has offered a thoughtful analysis of TD Jakes conversion to trinitarianism and Christianity here.
I copy it for your encouragement.
No time to blog well here. I'm just going with a laundry-list
Jakes's statement satisfies me that he is a Trinitarian. I read him differentiating his present view from his previous view of the Godhead. He affirmed not only "three persons" but also the concept that the three persons are to be distinguished from one another. The Father is not The Son is not The Holy Spirit, although all three are the One True God. In his first reply to Driscoll, Jakes seems to have affirmed that these attributes are eternal, not just matters of assignment or appearance.
It is certainly possible that I am just not qualified enough to see the nuance that is missing here. I do not claim to be an expert in theology. And yet, I would count what Jakes has affirmed as Trinitarianism.
Jakes's statement makes it perfectly clear that he used to be a modalist. He himself characterizes his embrace of Trinitarianism as a movement away from something else. Driscoll characterized it similarly, with no rebuttal from Jakes. When did the change take place? We don't have data on that, but we do know that Jakes has never clearly articulated Trinitarianism in public before yesterday.
This is something for all of us to celebrate. When Jakes became a Trinitarian, he became a Christian. His eternal destiny changed at that moment. Now he needs to be baptized. Again, this is something to celebrate.
This is a complete vindication of those who criticized Jakes's earlier theology. As noted above, Jakes himself has now acknowledged that he used to be a modalist (not that that's news to anybody who has paid attention). There will be people who will perform a lot of self-congratulatory chest-thumping over this—people who have been defending Jakes—along the lines of "See, we were right all along, you muck-raking, ruckus-loving, slander-throwing watchbloggers!" If you're somebody who has held Jakes's feet to the fire on this issue in the past, it's really important for you not to pay attention to the minions of atheology on this question and to become defensive. Close their blog and open your Bible to James 5:20. Rejoice.
The Trinity is a big, big deal. It's a heaven-or-hell deal. Minimizing the doctrine of God is not helpful. Anyone who has pretended that this is not important is hurting, not helping. Jakes is certainly one of those people. Although he has espoused Trinitarianism, he certainly is minimizing the importance of that, both by trying to avoid specifically Trinitarian language where he can and by calling for unity between Trinitarians and modalists. Unity between us and Oneness folks would be wrong. It would be sinful for us to be one with them. Jakes must be rebutted at this point.
But I would not say that it is the same level of sin to fail to condemn modalism as it is to espouse modalism and reject Trinitarianism. Both are wrongful, but only one is heretical, I think. If a failure to condemn modalism is damnable heresy, then T. D. Jakes isn't the only person we have to worry about. If you say that T. D. Jakes has to have condemned modalism as heresy in order to be a Trinitarian, then we have good grounds to question the Trinitarianism of every other participant in the Elephant Room. From what I've seen in transcripts, none of the people there condemned modalism. Perhaps some of them would, in some other context, but with the topic right up there on the table, nobody said a single word of condemnation against modalism.
This makes them all wrong, and embarrassingly so, not only in my book but also along the lines of everything that historic orthodox Christianity has stood for. But it doesn't make them people who are going to Hell. I think, if you're going to condemn Jakes on the basis of his desire for greater unity between Trinitarians and modalists, you're going to have to condemn every other person on that platform (unless you believe that they all really do condemn modalism and are just cowards).
This is no complete vindication of T. D. Jakes. Yes, there are still massive theological problems with Jakes. He's a prosperity preacher. He's one who still desires ecumenity with modalists, even if he no longer is one. He's a terrible expositor. I wouldn't say that he's qualified to serve as a pastor. I certainly wouldn't support his presence preaching at anything at my church, anything in my denomination, or anything I was at all associated with.
But all of that, serious as it is, can take a back seat for at least a moment. He's not presently being proposed to preach at my church, at anything in my denomination, or at anything I'm associated with. I don't even have to think about that right now, and there's something better to think about in its place. A man who has preached heresy has, on a worldwide stage, recanted from it and has espoused Trinitarianism. He has become a Christian. Surely, whatever other problems are attendant, THAT is something worthy of rejoicing in and of itself.
Or maybe I'm just being naïve.”
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Several Sharp outlines mainly from Adrian Rogers
I have these outlines printed in my Bible for emergencies.
1. The Challenges Of Cruelty
A. The Stress Of Cruel Corruption Eccles 3:16-21 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. ICAC
B. The Stress Of Cruel Companies Eccl 4:1-3 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. 3 But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
C. The Stress Of Cruel Competition 4-8 4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
D. The Stress Of Cruel Criticism 13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. 14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king’s place. 16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
2. The Comfort of Companionship
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
A. An Eternal Companion Isa 40:28 the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
B. An Earthly Companion
Mutual Encouragement when we are Weak Stabilizing One Another 9,10
Mutual Support when we are Vulnerable Supporting One Another 11 Paul Simon 1969 Vietnam War. “When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street, When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you, I’ll take your part. Oh when darkness comes and pain is all around, Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down.”
Mutual Protection when we are Attacked Strengthening One Another
Mutual Achievement when we are Stressed Sustaining One Another
Mutual Development When we are Shallow Sharpening One Another Prov 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
The Best Is Yet To Be I Thessalonians 5:1-11
What a glorious time this is ... to be between two mountain peaks of history -- the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the coronation of Jesus Christ!.
1. Learn Of His Coming The Thessalonians learned two things about Jesus' coming ─ the certainty of it and the uncertainty of the time. Anybody who sets a date for the second coming of Jesus Christ is approaching (if he hasn't already crossed it) the line of blasphemy (see Matthew 24:36 and Acts 1:7). Many people ask why Jesus hasn't come yet. I believe it is the mercy of God that holds Him back (see 2 Peter 3:9). Even now the raging waters of God's wrath are furiously pounding against the dam of His mercy. And one of these days, that dam of God's mercy will give way to God's judgment and the day of the Lord will come. The second coming of Jesus isn't an incidental truth in Scripture, it is fundamental. Over and over the Bible teaches this. This bursts aflame in your heart, in your life ─ learn about His second coming.
2. Look For His Coming "The day of the Lord" is going to be a solemn day (see Joel 2:1-2, Jeremiah 30:7-9, Daniel 12:1-2, and Matthew 24:21). You can combine all the horrors this world has ever known and you will have a faint description of what the day of the Lord will be for those who are left behind.
It will also be a surprising day. The Bible compares it to the time of Noah (see Matthew 24:36-39). People were going about the normal routine of life when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, the heavens were emptied, the flood came, and carried them all away. We are to be ready.
Lastly, it will be a sure day. As surely as a birth follows labor pains, God's judgment is going to come upon the earth. Indeed, our world is on a collision course with judgment. We are to live today as if Jesus was coming back today.
3. Live For His Coming
Be aware and wise up. We are the only ones who can make sense of what is happening all around us. Dr. Vance Havner said, "You can give a Bible and a candle to a child of God then put him in a dungeon. Even there, he will know more about what is going on in this world than all of Congress and the Pentagon put together."
Be awake and get up. Do you know the problem with many churches today? They are not preaching the second coming of Jesus Christ. Instead, many are teaching bedtime stories that lull congregations to sleep. We must wake up! Can't you hear it? God's alarm clock is going off all over this world.
Be alert and dress up. First Thessalonians 5:8 teaches we are to put on the breastplate of faith and love to protect our hearts. At the same time, we are to put on the helmet ─ the hope of salvation. And this "hope" is a divine certainty based on the Word of God (see Titus 2:13 and 1 John 5:13).
4. Long For His Coming First Thessalonians 5:11 teaches us that Christ's second coming is a comforting truth. The church is going to be raptured before the great tribulation. And here are three reasons why:
Explanation. Verse 9 tells us that God has not appointed us to wrath (see 1 Thess 1:9-10). Now, that is different from His chastisement which God's children will experience
Expectation. Paul writes that he was expecting Jesus in his lifetime. Was he wrong? No, he was right. Every Christian should be expecting Jesus to come in his life.
Exhortation. There is comfort for us in knowing that as we wait for His second coming that we will be spared the great tribulation. And the Apostle Paul tells us to exhort others with this truth. "even so come Lord Jesus."
Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts 1 Cor 12, Rom 12
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. Romans 12:5b-6 You are a gifted child. God has equipped you in a special way for a special purpose. And you are to discover that gift (you've got at least one), develop it, and deploy it for the glory of our Lord.
The Description of the Gifts You may have talent and thought it was a gift - and in a way it is. All talents are given by God. But talents are not unique to the saved - unsaved people have talents, as well. Spiritual gifts, though, are supernatural, grace gifts - not earned or learned. Some people also confuse the gifts of the Spirit with the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance) is to be manifested in every believer. The gifts, on the other hand, are uniquely distributed as God sees fit for the building up of His Kingdom.
The Diversity of the Gifts First Corinthians 12:4 tells us that there are "diversities of gifts." God has given His children a variety of gifts, "but the same Spirit." There are also different administrations and operations of these gifts. In the Body of Christ we exhibit unity in diversity. And what is unity? It is not unison. Have you ever heard a choir? Then, you know that they sing different parts. That's what makes it beautiful. God doesn't want us all to be alike. God has made each of us different. When we come together in one Spirit, our work is a harmonious symphony of loving service to our King!
The Distribution of the Gifts The gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit (read First Corinthians 12:8-11). You don't decide which one of the gifts you would like. He sovereignly chooses the gift for you. And, there's no need for you to ask God for a spiritual gift. When the Holy Spirit entered your life and placed you into the Body of Christ, He didn't come in empty-handed; He came in with a gift. All you need to do is discover the gift and develop the gift that God has already given you. First Peter 4:10 says, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
The Design of the Gifts What is God's design for your spiritual gift? First Corinthians 12:7 says: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." Many people think their spiritual gift is for their enjoyment. But, it is not for your enjoyment; it is for your employment. If I have a gift, it's going to bless you. If you have a gift, it's going to bless me. Together, we're going to bless each other. The Phillips 7 says, "Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may use it for the common good."
The Discovery of the Gifts The first step in discovering your spiritual gift is to present yourself to God (see Romans 12:1). Once you've done that, spend some time in God's Word. Day after day, He will transform you more and more into His likeness, then you can realize your gift in Christ.
Next, I suggest you spend time serving others. You see, the Body of Christ affirms each other and helps surface our gifts. May God bless you in all your endeavors as you step out in faith to use your spiritual gift for His glory.
It Is Decision That Determines Destiny
"... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days... ." Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a What would happen to you if you were in the same valley of decision between these two mountains? Let me help by giving you some principles of choice.
1 you are free to choose. Every day, God gives us the freedom to make choices about what we think is going to be good, or even best for us.
2 you're not free not to choose. To decide not to choose is a choice. Am I making any sense? Let me make it very clear - to decide not to choose good is always a choice to choose evil. Jesus said, "He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad" (Matthew 12:30). If you do not crown Jesus, you crucify Him. There is no middle ground.
3 - you're not free to choose the consequences of your choice. Let me illustrate. Stand beside an open window on the tenth floor of a building. You're free to jump. Now, that's a foolish thing to do, but if nobody is there to restrain you, you can choose to do so. Stay in the room or jump out. Now, if you decide to jump, then you must be ready to face the consequences of that choice.
4. you are free to choose, but you're not free to achieve. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, suppose I chose to achieve as a professional basketball player. Well, you look at my frame and you say to yourself, "How can he even hope of achieving success?" And you're probably right. You see, I can make all the choices I want. I can even have all the hopes and dreams I want. But, I have to be realistic to see that I might not achieve success simply because I have chosen to do something.
5 - a big choice will take care of a lot of little ones. I am a man who has made up his mind that I am going to be loyal to my wife. You see, I don't have to worry when I check into a hotel whether to watch pornography or not. I don't have to be concerned whether I am going to flirt with another woman. I don't have to keep making that decision to be loyal to my wife. I've made that decision and that one big decision takes care of a lot of the other little decisions.
6 God has already chosen you, that you might choose Him. That's why we're called His elect. "We love him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Had God not first chosen us, we would never have the inclination to choose Him. Thank God for His sovereignty!
7. the day of choice is passing away. Don't think that you have forever to make up your mind whether you're going to be a follower of Jesus Christ or not. Make your eternal salvation secure today. CHOOSE JESUS BECAUSE ...
You can know immediate joy. Why wait to have joy when you can have it right now? I'd be a Christian if there were no heaven or hell for the joy that I have today in Christ. You may die tonight. These may be the last words you ever read about salvation in Jesus Christ. After you die, there are no second chances to get saved. Choose life. Jesus Christ is coming back. Matthew 24:24 says, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." If you don't think He's coming, then that is a fulfillment of this verse because He's coming when you least expect Him. Each time you decide against Him, you harden your heart. Hebrews 3:7-8 says, "Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts." A person becomes proficient at anything he does for a long time. You can become a professional Christ-denier.
FINDING GOD'S WAY IN A DARK DAY
A Plan And A Promise God has a promise for us in Isaiah 58:11: "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." Here's another promise from God: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). God isn't simply interested in the course of nations or congregations; He has a plan for you!
A Trusting Confidence Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. This is a complete, trusting confidence. And it is trust in the Lord - not in a purpose or a plan, but a Person. To trust a person, you must love him. Most of us are unlikely to trust a stranger. Would you trust him with your wallet? Of course not. You don't know him well enough. But you would hand your wallet to a good friend and never worry that you would see it again. To know God is to come to love Him; and to love Him is to trust Him; and to trust Him is to begin to obey Him and to be blessed by Him. How does this process begin? Are you spending time every day with God? It is the only way to come to know Him - that we may love Him, trust Him, obey Him, and be blessed by Him. How did you come to love your spouse or a good friend? You spent time with that person. We cannot love or trust strangers. The latter part of verse 5 says not to lean on one's own understanding. Does that mean not to have any understanding in the first place? Of course not. This is not an excuse for sanctified ignorance.
A Total Commitment Proverbs 3:6a tells us about total commitment: "In all thy ways acknowledge Him." It is a total commitment of our ways to God's way. And how do we acknowledge Him? As Lord, as sovereign God - the rightful Ruler of life. We hand a signed, blank check to God and ask Him to fill it in. Have you ever handed someone a blank check? It takes ultimate trust, a total commitment. But it's the only way to find God's way on a dark day. When we know and love God, we realize His will is not to be feared. It is not a burden we have to bear; it is a gift God lavishes upon us. God chooses for us what we would choose for ourselves if we weren't so prone to failure.
A Thrilling Consequence Out of a trusting confidence and a total commitment comes a thrilling consequence: He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6b). Divine direction means that God will lead us into His will. How will He do it? First, through His Word. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). In a dark day, we need a little lamplight and the Bible shines brilliantly. What if a man asked you to pray with him about whether he should leave his wife for another woman? Do you need to pray for guidance on that one? Of course not! God's will is already revealed through His Word. He will never direct a spouse to get romantically involved with someone else outside of the marriage relationship. In that case and so many others, God's will is already revealed for us. If you seek to know God's way, you'd best know God's Word.
Clearing The Path The Hebrew word for "direct" in Proverbs 3:6b is yashar and it literally means "to cut a path or clear the way." The exciting thing about this concept is that God will not only lead you, but He will clear the way. Take some time to read Isaiah 40 - it contains the same idea. There is no itinerary for the journey of life. It is filled with surprises. But you will find God's will for the rest of your life by finding His will for the next fifteen minutes. Do what you know He wants you to do today. Be faithful in the small things, and the greater things will come. He will lead the way through a dark day.
Joseph was placed in prison not for doing anything wrong, but for doing something right.
DON’T DEMAND TO UNDERSTAND Proverbs 3:5-6 Isaiah 50:10-11
You can come to a time of perplexity even though you have done nothing wrong.
Job was perplexed at times. Habakkuk was perplexed at times.
John the Baptist was perplexed at times. Luke 7:28 John 1:29 Matthew 11:3
Paul was perplexed at times. Isaiah 55:8-9
DON’T FAIL TO BE FAITHFUL (Genesis 39:21-23) Genesis 39:2
The same God who was with Joseph in the good times was with him in the bad times.
DON’T BOW TO BITTERNESS (Genesis 40:14-15)
1 Peter 2:20 One of the greatest tests in life is this: Not how you react when you’re punished for doing wrong, but how you react when you’re persecuted for doing right.
DON’T BE UNWILLING TO WAIT (Genesis 40:23) Genesis 41:46
1 Peter 5:6
DON’T LET DREAMS DISSOLVE (Genesis 41:37-44)
Joel 2:28 Joseph never forgot the dream that God gave him and God never forgot the dream either.
The real question is not whether or not we’re going to have conflicts; the real question is how do we settle them? Here are some practical ways to handle conflicts in our relationships.
TUNE IN BE QUICK TO LISTEN (James 1:19-20) When we listen, we encourage the other person to talk. Listening also helps us to understand the other person. Reasons many of us do not listen: We’re defensive.
We assume we already know what they’re going to say.
We’re thinking about what we’re going to say next.
How do we listen?
With observation listen not merely with our ears, but listen with our eyes.
With concentration focus on what the other person is saying.
With consideration think about the meaning behind the words without jumping to conclusions. With clarification think it through until we get it straight.
TONE DOWN BE SLOW TO SPEAK (James 1:19) Proverbs 10:19 Proverbs 17:27 Proverbs 21:23 Ecclesiastes 5:3 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Destructive games we play:
The judge we blame our mate.
The professor we act superior.
The psychologist we assume we understand everything about the other person.
The historian we keep a record; we want every detail correct.
The dictator we want to rule, sometimes by a show of force.
The critic we compare our mate with other people.
The preacher we act “holier than thou”.
LIGHTEN UP BE SLOW TO WRATH (James 1:19) The Bible does not say that we should never be angry. Ephesians 4:26 Mark 3:5
how can we be angry and sin not?
Be angry for the right reason be angry only at sin.
Be angry at the right things not at the sinner, but at the sin.
Be angry in the right way our anger should move us to do something about a situation that is wrong.
If we have an uncontrolled temper: We are very foolish. Ecclesiastes 7:9
We have a very weak character. Proverbs 16:32 Proverbs 29:22
If your mate is prone to anger: Do not practice avoidance. Do not practice appeasement. Do not practice aggression.
When you have an argument: Have it at the right time not before a meal or a social event. Have it in the right tone keep words soft and sweet; you may have to eat them. Have it on the right turf just the two of you.
We should practice accommodation. We should practice acceptance.
We should practice adjustment.
Family Fun Psalm 128:1-6
WHAT IS A FAMILY?
A God-ordained unit related by marriage, blood or adoption.
God created the family to satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and to give us a means to give and receive love, to propagate the human race, and to provide a safe and secure environment in which to nurture, to teach and to love our children.
God describes the ideal family in Psalm 128: A godly husband (Psalm 128:1-2) A faithful wife (Psalm 128:3) Happy and productive children (Psalm 128:3)
The idea of a happy family is often made fun of today. We need to bring fun back to the family. This does not mean irresponsibility or failing to do what we should because of carelessness. Laughter is a gift from God. Psalm 126:2 Genesis 21:6
Jesus was a man of great gladness. Psalm 45:7 Ecclesiastes 3:4 Luke 6:21
FAMILY FUN REFRESHES (Psalm 128:2) Psalm 127:2
This verse literally means that God “giveth his beloved inhis sleep.”
We need not be so busy making a living that we forget to live.
FAMILY FUN REPAIRS (Psalm 128:2) Joy and laughter are medicine to our bodies and souls. Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 12:25 Proverbs 15:13-15
Three things to remember when raising children: Be firm have some rules.
Be fair be honest. Be fun.
FAMILY FUN REMAINS (Psalm 128:4-6)
We build for our children a museum of memories.
Memories bring a sense of security and belonging to a child’s life.
God desires for all of us to have three homes.
A church home A family home A heavenly home
Jesus Christ is the key to all three.
The fear of the Lord is love on its knees.
Family Finances 1 Timothy 6:5-10, 17-19
Many families are in financial bondage. The following are questions to consider when determining whether or not you and your family are in financial bondage:
Are you charging daily expenditures because of a lack of funds?
Do you put off paying a bill until next month?
Do you borrow to pay fixed expenses such as taxes or insurance?
Does your annual debt retirement on a long-term debt exceed 20% of your annual income? Are you unaware of how much you owe?
Are creditors and bill collectors writing you about past due bills?
Are you taking from savings to pay current bills? Are you making new loans to pay off old loans? Have you thought about being dishonest concerning money?
Are you having difficulty returning your tithe to God?
Do you and your spouse argue over money?
THE LACK OF WEALTH (1 Timothy 6:6-8) The lack of wealth cannot take away genuine contentment. Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances. Ecclesiastes 5:10
Contentment is found with godliness. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Your personal value is revealed by godliness.
Your personal virtue is revealed by godliness.
Your personal victory is revealed by godliness.
Worth cannot be measured by money. Psalm 23:1 We need to get our families together and confess the sin of discontent.
THE LOSS OF WEALTH (1 Timothy 6:7) The loss of wealth is inevitable. Proverbs 23:4-5 Job 1:21 Prosperity is posterity. What are we leaving behind in the hearts and minds of our children?
THE LOVE OF WEALTH (1 Timothy 6:8-10)
The love of wealth is dangerous.1 Timothy 6:9 “they that will be rich”.
This passage literally means those who determine to be rich. Prov 28:20 Mat 6:33
THE LUXURY OF WEALTH (1 Timothy 6:17-19) The luxury of wealth brings responsibility. Be humble. 1 Timothy 6:17 Be trustful. 1 Timothy 6:17
Be joyful. 1 Timothy 6:17 Psalm 84:11 Be generous. 1 Timothy 6:18
We are stewards; God is the owner. Psalm 24:1
FINANCIAL BONDAGE OF THE WEALTHY The wealthy can encounter financial bondage when: They seek satisfaction in their money.
Their wealth increases their worries. Proverbs 15:6
They become slaves to their money. Proverbs 23:4
They have no treasure in Heaven. Proverbs 11:4
Cultivating Contentment in the Home Psalm 128
WHAT IS CONTENTMENT? Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances. Philippians 4:11 The Bible is not opposed to having material possessions. Deuteronomy 8:18 Psalm 35:27 James 1:17
WHAT DESTROYS FAMILY CONTENTMENT?
Covetousness destroys contentment. Exodus 20:17 Covetousness is unlawful desire that comes out of discontent. Why is covetousness so bad?
Covetousness is deceptive. Romans 7:7
Covetousness is debasing. Mark 7:21-22 Covetousness comes out of the heart. We are covetous by nature. John 8:44 Isaiah 4:14
Covetousness is destructive. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
A discontented man is never rich, and a contented man is always rich. Eccl 5:10
The Bible refers to covetousness as idolatry. Colossians 3:5
Anytime we put God in second place, we commit idolatry. Luke 16:13 Matthew 6:33
WHAT DEFINES FAMILY CONTENTMENT?
Faith for the family. Psalm 128:1 Hebrews 13:5 Psalm 73:25-26 1 Timothy 6:6
Fellowship for the family. Psalm 128:2-3 Psalm 127:3
Food for the family. Psalm 128:2 Philippians 4:19 Proverbs 15:16-17
WHAT DEVELOPS FAMILY CONTENTMENT?
Learn to trust God. Psalm 128:1
Learn to thank God. Psalm 128:3-4
Learn to love. Psalm 128:5-6
Learn to give.
THE VALUE OF A SOUL (Mark 8:35-38)
(could you lose something and not know what it is? Beryl’s Saratoga)
THE FABULOUS TREASURE Your soul is a priceless treasure.
It’s the Essential part of you
It’s the Eternal part of you
It’s the Expensive part of you (cost the Son of God)
A FOOLISH TRANSACTION (Mark 8:36-37) Three reasons why this is a bad bargain: i. Nobody gains the whole world.
ii. The part of the world you gain, you can’t keep.
iii. The world will never satisfy you.a.Acts 17:28
To lose your soul would be a tragic loss:
i. It is an irreversible loss Hebrews 9:27 Ezekiel 18:4
ii. It is an immeasurable loss.
iii. It is an irreplaceable loss.
iv. It is an inexcusable loss. You don’t have to lose your soul
THE FATAL TRAGEDY
Many of us are engaged in bargaining away our souls for pieces of this world, and we’re not even gaining the pleasures of the world. Surrender your soul to Jesus.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the wholeworld, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Planning Your Future James 4:13-17
Failure is succeeding at the wrong thing. This passage in James tells of three major mistakes often made when planning for the future.
BEWARE OF SELF-CENTERED PLANNING (James 4:13)
This man was planning the future of his business.
He planned the period of time. He planned the places he would go.
He planned the procedure. He planned the profits.
The Bible does not discourage planning. The problem was that this man left God out of his plans; he did not seek the will of God. Psalm 32:8 Isaiah 30:21 John 16:13
Romans 8:14 God has a plan for every area of your life. The following will help you in finding His will: Confession confess your sins. Get your heart right with God. Psalm 66:18 1 John 1:5-6, 9 Ezekiel 14:3
Consecration Do you really want to know the will of God, or do you just want God to help you in your plans? Proverbs 3:6
Concentration listen to God.
BEWARE OF SELF-CONFIDENT PRESUMPTION (James 4:14-15)
Life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Proverbs 27:1
Time is fleeting; be careful not to waste time. Do not presume upon the time that you have. Luke 12:16-20
BEWARE OF SELF-COMPLACENT PROCRASTINATION (James 4:15-17)
Procrastination may be the biggest problem most of us face today.
The sin of omission, or procrastination, is a very deceptive and dangerous sin.
The reason a person is not saved is because he has failed to do what he ought to do. No longer is a man condemned to Hell because he’s a sinner, because those sins have been paid for by Jesus’ death and resurrection. A person is lost because he has not believed. John 3:18
The sin of omission is the reason why many homes are falling apart; we’re simply not doing what we know we ought to be doing. What do you have to do to harm your home? Nothing, just neglect to do what you ought to do.
The reason many of our churches fail is due to the sin of omission; we neglect to do what we ought to do. Numbers 32:23
Build up each other in the faith. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "a threefold cord is not quickly broken." A three-fold cord is a man, a woman, and God. Lorelle knows that she is not first in my life because God is first in my life. She doesn't mind being second. Why? Because she knows I can love her more by putting her second than I ever could love her by putting her first.
Remember Roles God made us different that He might make us one (see 1 Peter 3:1, 7). He made the husband with a hard exterior and the wife more gentle, but not inferior. The husband is the head of the home, as Jesus is the head of the church and gave Himself for the church (see Ephesians 5:23-25). Most women don't mind submitting to a man who loves her enough to die for her, and lives for her.
Cultivate Contentment "To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough." If you're not careful, your marriage is going to be until debt do us part. Learn to be content (see Philippians 4:11-13).
Banish Bitterness There are no problems too big to solve, just people too small to solve them. If we would just banish bitterness and attack the problem rather than one another, our families would be a lot better off. Don't go to bed angry with your backs to each other. Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath."
Continue Communication Communication is so important because it is truly what builds intimacy in a marriage. 1Peter 3:8-10 has much to say about the communication a couple needs to have in order to enjoy a lasting love. One way we can build communication is to have a good date life and there are four kinds of dates that everybody needs to make. First, each spouse needs to have a daily date with God. Second, if the couple has children, each needs to have a regular date with their kids. Third, couples need to have a date by themselves. Fourth, have a date with each other.
Refresh Romance Try to keep your "courtship" going. To the husband, never cease flirting with your wife and never flirt with any other woman. Second, God's Word tells husbands to give honor to their wives, that means to respect and be courteous to her at all times. Open the door for her – and not just when other people are looking.
Practice Prayer 1Peter 3:7 tells the husband to "dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." I implore you to humble yourself and get down on your knees with your wife and practice prayer. Let her know you are praying for her, let her hear you pouring out your heart before God. It will give her great confidence and comfort.
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24
Genesis 2:21-24 tells about the first marriage. It tells about God's plan for the home and for a magnificent marriage. And verse twenty-four sums up all of marriage: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." This one verse speaks so clearly of the priority, the permanence and the purpose of marriage.
The Priority of Marriage The highest priority of human relationships is not parent to child or child to parent, but mate to mate. Therefore, as parents we must be preparing our children to leave us. Like the eagle, we must stir the nest, so they can go out and have homes of their own. Now the little eagles may not want to leave the nest, but there comes a time when they must fly. Many moms and dads don't want to have the empty nest, so they keep it feathered and make it easy for the little baby eagles and never really teach them how to fly. What a mistake!
The Permanence of Marriage This verse further instructs the man to "cleave unto his wife." The Hebrew wording has the idea of welding or gluing. It's not people who put themselves together; it's God. And Mark 10: 9 says, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Marriage is permanent; it is "till death do us part." All marriages have problems. People who stay married and those who get divorced have basically the same kinds of problems. The difference is not in the problems but in the commitment. Just get rid of the idea of divorce. Take your scissors and cut that word out of your dictionary.
The Purpose of Marriage Genesis 21:24 says that the two will be one flesh. This deals with more than a sexual union - though that is included. It means they will be one flesh physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Marriage is a romance, and in the first chapter both the hero and the die heroine, so they can become one new person. God takes two and makes them one. You may say that's old-fashioned. Yes, it is old-fashioned, but it's still mighty good.
When all else has failed, we need to simply go back and read the directions. But if you've failed, remember God is a God of forgiveness. He's the God of a second chance, a third chance, and a fourth chance. If you have a broken heart or a broken home, bring it to Jesus. He can put it back together if you'll give Him all the pieces.
The first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding when He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11), and He is still performing miracles. When you get right down to it, every magnificent marriage is a miracle because it is a union of man, a woman, and God. It won't always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
Confrontations are unavoidable in marriage. But the most important factor in marital harmony isn't whether you get into a confrontation, but how you handle the confrontations. James gives us God's formula for handling marital debates: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).
THREE DON'TS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Here are three things from which to steer as you find yourself in inevitable marital conflicts.
Don't Practice Avoidance. Do you avoid all conflict with your spouse? Perhaps you are frightened of your spouse's anger. Perhaps you don't want to lose an argument or you're afraid an argument will ruin your marriage. Could it be that you're terrified you'll have to admit something about yourself that you'd rather keep silent. Or are you so afraid of seeing a problem inside yourself, that you just retreat?
Avoiding conflict never solves conflict; it only postpones the inevitable. You may stuff it and repress it, but your stomach will keep score. Don't practice avoidance. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Proverbs 27:6).
Don't practice appeasement. Some people don't avoid conflict; they appease. They automatically concede, in every discussion. One person always wins; one always loses. One person always dominates; the other simply gives in and gives ground. Godly compromise happens when both spouses give a little. But appeasement is something else. Appeasers may think they solve problems, but they don't.
Appeasement smolders in the heart like oily rags in a closet. They can break out and burn the house down. What's more, appeasers are given to self pity. They develop martyr complexes. They feel trapped because they know they'll never win. And while marriages with appeasers may stay together, they often suffer from emotional divorce, which is as tragic as physical divorce.
Don't practice aggression. You must face your partner, but don't attack. There are few problems husbands and wives can't solve if they will attack the problem, rather than each other. The Bible says, you must speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). To attack the problem, choose your time wisely. Psychologists say that 90 percent of family arguments begin just before mealtime, when your blood sugar is low. Another time not to bring up problems is on the way to a social event or to church. "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1). The right time. The right tone. The right turf. All three are so important.
THREE DO'S OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Practice accommodation. We all want our partners to change. But we need to focus on ourselves. The most effective way to change your partner is to change you. Because when you change, your partner has to react to someone different. To change yourself, practice accommodation. Suppose a wife says, "My husband and I don't spend enough time together. He doesn't give me enough time." How can she accommodate her husband? She could learn a sport he loves – that they can play together. That way she gets what she deeply desires: time with her husband, but she does so by accommodating herself to him.
Practice acceptance. By practicing accommodation, you say, "I change." By practicing acceptance, you say, "My spouse might never change. I accept it. I accept my partner." There are simply certain things we have to accept about others. We're different
Practice adjustment. This is the best "do" of all. In accommodation, I change. In acceptance, I make up my mind to love my spouse despite the fact that he or she can't change. But in adjustment, we both change together. And when that happens, it's wonderful. Now what do you do when you have a lark and an owl married to each other? You practice adjustment.
Let's look at some of the differences between men and women. But before we do, let's note the following qualification: These differences are generalizations. They aren't judgments. They're general differences between the sexes that God built into creation to help men and women be better partners.
Provider/Encourager God made man to be the provider; He made woman to be the encourager. Adam was to "dress and keep" – to cultivate – the Garden of Eden. Eve was to be his fitting helper, to encourage him and stand by his side. These differences are there, regardless of our culture's silly efforts to minimize them – or even to eliminate them.
Protector/Nurturer According to Genesis 3:16, the man is to be the protector, and the woman is to be the nurturer: "Unto the woman [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.' " The husband is to be in charge and the wife is to bring forth and nurture the next generation.
The man is to lead, guide, protect. That's why God made the man physically strong. But God made the woman to be soft, gentle, and tender because she is the life giver.
Logical/Emotional men and women think differently. Men think logically – with their heads; women think emotionally – with their hearts. Now, that doesn't mean women can't think with logic. They just approach the world differently. A man by nature is goal oriented. He will see the goal and the steps to get there. Feelings are not his primary consideration. That's just the way his mind works. On the other hand, a woman sees not only the goal but beyond the goal. She is more concerned with how actions will affect the feelings of others.
Risk/Security Men are risk takers. God built this tendency into men because risk taking is the only way to achieve new and great things in life. But the woman, being the homemaker and nurturer God intended for her to be, is much more interested in creating beauty, gentleness, and security. Most women would choose security before success because God has given them that instinct. But God has given men a productive instinct. So men take risks; women desire security.
Big Picture/Details Men have a propensity for seeing the big picture, while women focus on details. If you want irritate your husband discuss nitty tiny details with him while he is trying to watch the news.
Men tend to be insensitive compared to women. Now insensitivity taken to an extreme is bad. But men tend to have a thick skin, which is vital in certain situations. Life is tough, and there are tough decisions to be made, so he has a certain measure of insensitivity. On the other hand, a woman is empathetic. God made her very sensitive, so that she could be a fitting helper for a man who might get hardened out in the jungle. While the man tends to be more defensive and suspicious, the woman tends to be more trusting and open. She's the nurturer, the life giver. She knows better how to forgive, because she's more sensitive to the feelings of others.
Ephesians 5 magnificent marriages
Many couples today do not have this. Many do not even have a mediocre marriage. In fact, many have a miserable marriage. And the devil knows that if he can hurt us at home, he can hurt us everywhere — in the church, in the school, in society, and in the nation. So Satan levels his biggest artillery at our homes.
What Can the Husband Do? You are to be to your wife what Jesus is to the church.
Give Leadership "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church" (verse 23). Now be careful. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Master of the church, but He is not the Dictator. Jesus never makes me do anything. And you are going to be have difficulty if you take this to mean you are the boss or dictator. You're to be the head. It's not so much a chain of command as it is a chain of responsibility. To be the head means that you accept the responsibility.
Give Love In addition to giving leadership, in verse twenty-five the husband is told to love his wife as Christ loved the church. What kind of love is that?
It is a passionate love. He loved the church enough to die for her. You ought to love your wife that much.
It is a purifying love. Jesus cleanses the church (verse 26). Your chief assignment is to make your wife a more radiantly beautiful Christian.
It is a protecting love. Men should love their wives as their own bodies (verse 28). If you allow your wife to be hurt, you will hurt yourself.
It is a providing love. "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it" (verse 29). See to it that her needs are met — physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Give Loyalty He is to "... be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh" (31) literally means "welded" or "fused" to his wife
What Can the Wife Do? Now, let's look at the relationship of a wife to her husband. She is to be as the church is to Christ.
Submit 22 Now, this is opposite from the world's advice of, "Demand your rights." As a Christian, you don't have any rights. What rights does a dead man have? You're crucified with Christ. You are not our own. And when you refuse God's plan to submit, you are only hurting yourself.
Support Jesus has given His work to us. He has no hands but our hands. He has no feet but our feet. You need to exalt His name. You need to advance His cause. Just as the church supports the work of Jesus, you are to support the work of your husband.
Share "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." (verse 30). What a wonderful relationship Christ and the church share, the most intimate of all relationships. There is nothing that Jesus doesn't share with the church. How the Lord manifests Himself to us. And therefore, husbands and wives are to share together.
What If? Now some couples leave divorce as an option if problems arise. But couples that get divorced and those that don't have basically the same kinds of problems. The difference is not in the problems but in their commitment. Others rationalize, "I owe it to myself to be happy." There's a Greek word for that: bologna! When you were at the marriage altar, you made a vow. You owe it to God, your spouse, your children, and yourself to keep that vow. Or maybe it's too late for you — your marriage is already broken. I'm not trying to heap more sorrow and pain on your head. You can't unscramble eggs. Take the broken pieces and give them to God. He can and will forgive and restore. I'm simply trying to tell couples that are married to find a way to work your marriage out in the grace of God. You owe it to yourselves and to God to have a magnificent, Christ-honoring marriage.
Foundations For Marriage
From the very beginning, we learn that God created men and God created women (see Genesis 1:27). He made them different that He might make them one. Why is this important? Because any society that blurs the distinction between male and female is headed for disaster. And if you study history, it bears that out as well.
The Bible says that after each creative act, God said it was good. But when we read about His last act of creating man, it was "very good" (see Genesis 1:31). Read a little bit further and you learn something that wasn't good - man was alone: "And the LORD God said...I will make him an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18).
But before Adam got his helpmate, God gave him a task. First, He wanted Adam to name the animals. God had a purpose in this order. He wanted Adam to realize that animals came in sets of two. Each one had a companion. So after Adam named the animals, then the Lord created Eve. "Adam then said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' " (Genesis 2:23). I am certainly not a Hebrew scholar, but those who are tell us that Adam said (loosely translated): "Wow! This is what I have been looking for! You did it right God. This is what I want." And now for the key verse: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24, emphasis mine). And there you have an outline for preparing a young person for marriage.
The Priority Of Marriage – Leave The relationship of parent and child is wonderful, but the Bible teaches that there is a higher human relationship and that is of husband and wife. Do you know what your job is as a parent? To prepare your child to leave. A parent's job is to build character into their children so they can mature and be the individuals that God intended for them to be. The tighter grip you hold on your kids, the more they're going to want to get away. Your job is to work yourself out of a job but not out of a relationship. You remain in their lives as a friend for a lifetime.
The Permanence Of Marriage – Cleave Cleave means to fasten together in an unbreakable bond. Mark 10:7-9 says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Parents need to teach their children that divorce is never an option. Show me two people who begin their marriage with the idea that if it doesn't work out, they can get a divorce, and I'll show you two people who are highly likely to get a divorce. When you get on this airplane, you throw away your parachute.
It is not love that sustains a marriage so much as it is marriage that sustains love. Commitment sustains love and keeps it growing. Divorce is the only game people play where both sides lose.
The Purpose Of Marriage - One Flesh When God says that the man and woman are to become "one flesh," He means that man and women will join as one - physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Sex is a wonderful gift of God. It is a way of saying "I love you" that cannot be put into words. And when God tells us to flee fornication and not commit adultery, He is not trying to keep sex from us; He is trying to keep sex for us. There is to be a marriage of our bodies, but there is also to be a marriage of our souls. Our egos, minds, wills, and hearts, are to be joined in love. And not only should we love one another; we ought to like each other. There is to be a blending of spirits where the woman who loves Jesus joins the man who loves Jesus and together they praise the Lord. Together, they study the Word of God, pray and worship God.
The Bible says, "...a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). There is no higher communion than a couple who is of one flesh physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
I am sure you would agree that the old ship of matrimony is sailing some troubled seas these days with couples jumping overboard by the thousands every day. Many will stay chained to the mast for the children, business, social pressure or even the church, but they won't enjoy the trip.
Faithful Followship Of The Wife Ephesians 5:22-24
In the family, the Lord teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands - in an outward manifestation and an inner attitude. Now, why does God instruct women in this way? Because He has a chain of command. The head of Christ is God, the head of the husband is Christ, and the head of the wife is the husband. Is this order to punish women? No. Does this mean that women are inferior to men? No. This kind of subjection is similar to the way Christ and the Father are equal and yet Christ submits to the Father (see Philippians 2:6-8). Everybody knows that a woman is infinitely superior to a man when it comes to being a woman. And a man is infinitely superior to a woman at being a man. And in the sight of God men and woman are complete equals (see Galatians 3:28). When a wife chooses not to submit to her husband, she is going to have serious problems. First, she is going to have a spiritual problem with God because He is the One who told her to submit. Second, she is going to have problems with her husband because he will not be able to assume his God-given role as initiator if his wife isn't in her God-given role as responder.
Third, she is going to have problems with her children. The woman who refuses to be under a husband's headship will never have authority over her children.
Finally, she is going to have trouble with herself. Every wife has certain needs that will never be met until she frees her husband to meet those needs by assuming his role as her provider, protector, priest, and prayer warrior.
When a wife submits, she will experience true freedom - just like a train is most free when it stays on the tracks. A train will accomplish far more on the tracks than it will ever accomplish by trying to go through a meadow.
Loving Leadership Of The Husband Ephesians 5:25-31
What does it mean for the husband to be head of the wife? First of all, it doesn't mean that he's to be her dictator. Any husband who thinks this needs to learn how Jesus made His Bride submissive by loving and dying for her.
If you are a husband, then when you got married, you gave up all rights to yourself. No longer can you make decisions based simply upon what you want. Her welfare must be considered. You are to love your wife selflessly.
Second, husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. Christ died for the church. You do not love your wife as the Bible teaches unless you have died for her (notice the past tense in this sentence). Sir, you do not love your wife as Christ loved the church unless you have died for your wife by dying to yourself.
Thirdly, husbands are to love their wives sanctifyingly (26). Husbands are to make their wives beautiful by helping them become all God wants them to be! You are to be her prophet and priest with intercessory prayer and teaching from His Word.
Fourth, husbands are to love their wives satisfyingly (5:28). Husband, you are to anticipate your wife's needs and please your wife as you please your own body. The more you give, the more you're going to get. Be good to yourself; love your wife.
Finally, husbands are to love their wives supremely (30-31). A husband is to love his wife above all earthly relationships including his own parents and children. A husband is to love his wife above his business and hobbies, as well. The relationship between husband and wife is compared to the relationship of Christ and the church. Marriage is the highest of all human relationships.
1. There Is An Appointment WE ALL MUST FACE “The valley of the shadow of death”
Eccles 3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
Centrelink Notice “Your payments will be stopped effective May 1992 because we have received notice that you have passed away. If your circumstances change you may reapply at any time.
Woody Allen : Death doesn’t scare me I just don’t want to be there at the time.
Plato :”Oh that there was some sure, certain word, upon which we might cast our hopes as we cross this vast sea of death”.
Roy Rogers: The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour,
Careless soul , heed the warning for your life will soon be gone,
Oh how sad to face the judgement unprepared to meet thy God
Greta NSW AUSTRALIA graveyard: Richard Grose May 1882 79 years
Weep not for me my children dear, Because I die and leave you here
My end you know my grace you see Prepare yourselves to follow me
Someone wrote at funeral of grandson in same grave and on same gravestone:
To follow you I’m not content Until I know which way you went.
Or in the UK “Pause now as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now so you shall be, therefore prepare to follow me.” “To follow you I’m not content Until I know which way you went.”
2. There Is An Assurance WE ALL CAN FIND
The Good Shepherd Sympathises with us.
The Good Shepherd Slain for us. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
The Good Shepherd Seeking us 14“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.
Practically vs 6
Committal : Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God to take out of the world the soul of our dear friend etc…….We therefore commit his body to (the ground) (be cremated) earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, remembering the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father demonstrated to us in our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Heaven is real. Sigmund Freud explained heaven as a human fantasy rooted in man’s instinct for self-preservation. Harvard philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said, “Can you imagine anything more appallingly idiotic than the Christian idea of heaven?” Freud was wrong and Jesus was right. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
• No more sea (v. 1) — nothing that separates. • No more tears (v. 4) — nothing that saddens. • No more death (v. 4) — nothing that grieves. • No more pain (v. 4) — nothing that hurts. • No more sin (v. 27) — nothing that defiles. • No more night (v. 25) — nothing that frightens. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). An elderly Christian woman was grief-stricken after the death of her daughter. To adjust, she boarded a ship from England to New York City to visit her other daughter. While at sea a severe storm struck. Passengers frantically raced for lifeboats. The elderly lady showed no signs of panic. A young man excitedly said, “Lady, don’t you know we may sink and all die?” “Young man,” she quietly replied, “I have one daughter in heaven and one daughter in New York City, and it doesn’t make any difference to me which one I see first.”
• Heaven is ready. Hebrews 6:20 Jesus is called our “forerunner.” In the Roman army the forerunners were the reconnaissance troops. That is what Jesus did. He blazed the way to heaven and to God that we might follow in his steps. He has gone ahead to make things ready for us. “No more patients can be accepted.” Sometimes we want to buy tickets to concerts and discover that every seat has been sold. Periodically we want to take a certain flight and learn that it is overbooked. There was no room in the inn for Mary and the child, Jesus. This experience is commonplace on earth, but it is not in heaven nor indeed on the pathway that approaches heaven. “Whosoever will, may come! . . . and yet there is room.” And, there’s room for you. John, in the book of Revelation, pictures heaven as a city with twelve gates “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates” Rev. 21:13
• Heaven is restricted. It is an “exclusive” place. But its exclusion is not a matter of race or face or place. Jesus made this abundantly clear when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” Suppose we are in a strange town and ask for directions. Suppose the person said, “Take the first road to the right, then the second to the left, cross the square, and go past the church, then take the third road to the right and the fourth road to the left, and you’ll be there.” Chances are you and I would get lost before we were halfway there. But suppose the person we asked said, “Come, I’ll take you there.” In that case the person would be to us the way, and we could not miss it.
That’s what Jesus does for us. As Peter declares, “Christ died to bring us to God.” He not only gives us directions, he takes us by the hand and leads us safely there.
Robert Frost wrote a poetic masterpiece entitled, The Road Not Taken. The poem concerns a traveler who comes to a fork in the road and must decide which way to go. After evaluating the options, he makes his choice. Yet, even as he begins his trip down the road of his own choosing, he remarks: I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in the wood, And I . . . I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference! There are two roads in life. One is broad and easy. The other is straight and narrow. One leads to life. The other leads to destruction. The difference is heaven and hell. Choose Christ and heaven can be yours. Life is short, Death is sure, Sin, the curse, And Christ, the cure.
1. You Have A Problem You Can’t Solve
Enemies Israel.. over the side of the mountains enemies.. Middle east even George W can’t solve.
Emptiness Solomon vanity, vanity, all is vanity Eccles 1:2“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” Pascal: God shaped vacuum that only God Himself can fill Jesus : John 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” 32 Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!” 35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again
Eternity Centrelink Notice “Your payments will be stopped effective May 1992 because we have received notice that you have passed away. If your circumstances change you may reapply at any time.”
Woody Allen : Death doesn’t scare me I just don’t want to be there at the time.
Plato :”Oh that there was some sure, some definite word, that might bear him across this vast sea of death”.
2. You Have A Preserver Who Can Save You “Keeper” “Preserve”
One of my favorite stories is about the preacher who was talking about being prepared to die. He said, “Every member of this church is going to die!” A kid on the front pew laughed out loud, so the preacher repeated his statement a little louder. He said, “I said, EVERY MEMBER OF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO DIE!” At that, the kid laughed even louder. The preacher stopped and said, “Young man, how can you laugh at that?” The kid replied, “Because I’m not a member of this church!” Well you and I have to deal with the prospect of death. In the 14th century, the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, wrote a trilogy of books tracing his imaginary journey through hell, purgatory, and then heaven. His first book in the trilogy was called The Inferno. In it, he described hell as seven circles of increasing punishment, based on the seven deadly sins. His descriptions are fictitious, but he does get one detail of hell completely correct: Hell is a completely devoid of hope. Dante’s inscription above the entrance to hell stated, “Through me the way into the city of woe, / Through me the way to eternal pain, / Through me the way among the lost… / Abandon all hope, you who enter here.” But that need not be the consequence for any one of us. Many years ago Queen Victoria wrote upon the tomb of her dead husband, “Here at last I shall rest with thee–with thee in Christ to rise again.” mausoleum of the Prince Consort at Throgmore. The Lord promises to be the Preserver of those who trust in Him. John 3:16
3. You Have A Person To Possess You need to make the One your God.
Procrastination is putting off today what you can do tomorrow. But true procrastination is putting off today what you can put off again tomorrow. Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind” is the matron saint of all procrastinators. Her mantra was, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” “Procrastination is my sin. It only brings me sorrow. I know I ought to change my life. In fact, I will, tomorrow.”
Bertrand Russell 1927 wrote Why I am not a Christian. When he was 81, he was interviewed by the BBC. The interviewer asked him, “What do you have to hang onto when death is obviously so close?” Russell’s answer was: “I have nothing to hang onto but grim, unyielding despair.” You don’t have to be like that. You can receive the life that Jesus offers each one of us. Let Him be your Lord, your Keeper Preserver, Your Saviour. Jn 1:10,12
Committal : Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God to take out of the world the soul of our dear friend etc…….We therefore commit his body to (the ground) (be cremated) earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, remembering the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father demonstrated to us in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Raising Young Christians
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart form it" (Proverbs 22:6) It's issuing a challenge. which of these do you want in your home - Christians or prodigals? Webster says to train means "to prepare for a contest; to instruct by exercise; to drill; to form to a proper shape; to discipline for use." Training is not the same thing as teaching.
Training Commences With Childhood little babies, newly weaned are learners. The word way in Pr 22:6 implies a bend in a branch, bow or river. You can bend a branch when it's tender and a bow when it's green. You can change the bend in a river when it trickles into a stream. But when the branch is hard, the bow sturdy, and the river broad and raging, it's too late. Their shape and course are already set.
Training Communicates With Creativity The phrase train up implies, putting something in the mouth to be tasted. It means literally, to touch the palate. Try touching your own palate now. It makes you swallow. In other word, parents need to create a hunger and thirst in their children for the things of God. They cannot be force-fed the Word of God.And as parents, we cannot put anything in our child's heart that is not first in our own, any more than we can come from where we've not been. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."Isn't that exactly what Jesus did? Walking along with His disciples, He would see someone planting a field, and He would say, "Behold, a sower went forth to sow his seed...." Or if He saw some beautiful flowers, He would say, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow..."
Training Corrects With Consistency Not pc! Too many people have the idea that their little darlings don't need to be corrected. But the Bible disagrees and gives three reasons why children need discipline.
First, it is proof of our love. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24).
Second, it is the only way to set our children free from foolishness. Proverbs 2:15 says foolishness is found in the heart of a child and is driven out with "the rod of correction," something that stings but does no damage, such as a switch.
Third, correction helps keep our sons and daughters out of hell. Proverbs 23:14 says, "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." In addition to giving chastisement when necessary, we need to set limits for our children. Without them, children feel unloved and rejected. Finally we need to assign responsibility for our children and hold them accountable.
Training Consummates With Conversation The ultimate purpose of training our children is to bring them to Jesus Christ. The moment your child can understand that sin is not just naughtiness but rebellion against God, he or she is ready to accept Christ. You need to lead your children to Christ as soon as possible. I often hear people say, "I just don't believe in childhood conversions." Fortunately, God does not agree. Three out of four Christians today were saved before they turned 14! It's also very important to remember that Proverbs 22:6 is a principle, not a promise. A parent cannot override a child's will. You can do everything right, and your child can still rebel again God.
But if you want to do everything right and give your child the best way, you have only to follow the clear plan God laid out for you in His Word.
The Avoidance of Financial Bondage
The Principle of Priority
God is our priority, and we shouldn't let possessions get in the way. When this priority is maintained, life is successful. What do Deuteronomy 26:2 and Matthew 6:33 say about our priorities?
The Principle of Industry Many people want more money so they won't have to work anymore. But God created us to work. As His workmanship, we have the need to work built into us. To cease being productive in life is disastrous. Even retirement simply means more time to serve God. What do Proverbs 10:4 and Proverbs 20:4 have to say about God's attitude towards laziness?
The Principle of Generosity God blesses us when we learn to share. The more we share, the more we have. The more we hoard, the less we have. What do Proverbs 11:24 and Luke 6:38 say about generosity?
The Principle of Reliability God is reliable. As we handle our possessions and our industry, we can, and must, trust God at all times. We know He will provide and care for us. What does God say in Philippians 4:19 about relying on God?
The Principle of Integrity We must be faithful in what we have. Luke 16:10 tells us to be faithful even in the little. What is integrity? What warning does 1 Timothy 6:9-10 offer?
The Principle of Sufficiency God is far more than sufficient to care for His children. What does Ecclesiastes 5:19 says “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.” If we will honor God with what He has already given us, He will pour out more blessings than we have the ability to handle (Malachi 3:10). Poverty is no sign of godliness, and wealth is no sign of wickedness. God wants us to have wealth with godliness. Prosperity is simply having what we need to do what God wants us to do. Now you are armed with what God's word says. Why not start now and evaluate your finances based on what you've read and if necessary, take some immediate steps to find the financial freedom that God promises and desires for you
“Who are you and what are you doing here?”
Romans 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The story is told of the philosopher Schopenauer that he was walking in a local park one day, deeply anxious and depressed about his philosophy of life. Lost in thought he inadvertently walked right into one of the municipal flower-beds. A grounds-man nearby seeing this shouted at him ‘Who are you and what do you think you are doing here?’ ‘Ah my friend’, replied the philosopher, ‘if I only knew the answer to those two questions’. Those are still the great questions of life for every human being: Success?
Fame? Fortune? Power? Pleasure? Solomon all is vanity.
Know who you are and know what it is that you do?
Know who you are: a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Ex 21: 5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever. When I survey
Know What You Do
A debtor to the Lord,
to the lost,
to the learned,
to the locals.