Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Risk Becoming a Great Lover (Gen 2: 18-25; Eph 5:22-33) ------------------------------------------------------- The church should teach on marriage and intimacy, because the world twists this beautiful relationship that God created. Wouldn’t it be great if our marriages at Celebration are so good that the community takes notice? We do not FIND our soulmate or get lucky in love as the world would have us believe. The reality is that that we must risk enough for love, need to work at it, and be strong enough to not walk out when things get tough. The world celebrates conquests and people’s lives are destroyed. God’s design is so much better!! We need to forge a one-flesh love that this world cannot break or tear apart! God recognized that man needed someone special on earth. He took a piece from Adam’s side to make woman. Note that we are not 2 people to battle, but are SIDE by SIDE working together. God’s plan is 1 man and 1 woman for life. Marriage is a spiritual covenant between man, woman, and God. For a good marriage, we can’t be selfish; we can’t try to fix each other; and we can’t dwell on the negative. Remember, we CHOSE to marry this person. Now we need to follow through. God chooses the marriage relationship to describe the relationship of Christ and the Church. Man is commanded to love his wife like Jesus loves us, dying to self, with a life-giving love. Wives are told to submit to their husband, but this means to CHOOSE to submit, not to become a doormat. Men have a God-given responsibility to lead, not to repress, and women are to respect and submit to their husband not because he deserves it, but because it is God’s way. If a couple fights over their individual rights, then a marriage crumbles. Forging is done through heat and pressure. We need to consider whether our marriage will fail when there is heat and pressure, or whether it becomes stronger through the power of God because it is forged. Application points: -- Do yourself the favor of coming in second to your spouse! -- Recapture the wonder! -- Dwell on the good and pray for the rest. Stop trying to fix each other and forget about the past. Pray for God to make the change. Men, love her to greater inner beauty, and women, respect him to greater inner strength.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Learn to Treat Your Parents Right (Ex 20:12; Col 3:20; Pr 1:8-9) ------------------------------------------------------- Pastor David shared about how he took a job nearer to his parents so he could be near enough to care for them in their old age even though the job was for less money than he could have made. All of our relationships start with God, but our first and most important human relationship is with our parents. We don’t honor them because they are perfect, and it doesn’t mean that everything they do is OK. We don’t need to always agree with them. We need to make sure that we don’t ignore God in favor of honoring our parents. Obedience to our parents pleases the Lord, but obeying Him always has higher priority. We must treat our parents rightly within the bounds of what God requires of us (Col 3:20; Eph 6:1). Moms and dads are to be the “front line” of discipleship. Children may not always appreciate their parent’s rules and instructions, but these come from love. Some parents want to be a friend to their children, so they don’t correct, rebuke, and discipline them when they need it. Children need for their parents to be adults who love and obey God more than anyone or anything else. The church partners with the parents to help them raise up Godly children. Parents need to make the most of every day they have with their children, and children need to realize that they won’t always have their parents around. God matters. Trivial, temporary things don’t. Doing things His way is the best path to having a blessed life (Prov 1:8-9). Honoring our parents results in being honored and respected by others because of our character. We should honor our parents for a lifetime. It will sometimes be hard, but it is a command from God. A society that doesn’t honor its parents will not last. Application points: -- Work to have the best attitude toward your parents you can -- As children, obey them in anything that doesn’t disobey God. -- As we get older, treat them well. Keep listening, keep loving, and be there when it gets hard. There is a fight for life in our society about “expendable” human lives. The older and weaker, those whose “quality of life” isn’t as good as it once was are increasingly vulnerable to being institutionalized or even euthanized.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Start With God (Dt 6:4-5; Ex 20:2-11; Lk 14:25-33) ------------------------------------------------------- Whether we are introverted or extroverted, God created all of us to be successful in our relationships. But even people that we trust might betray us or mislead us. Over the next 7 weeks, we will learn how to pursue good relationships. We first need to look at our PASSION and ASSURANCE. Our passion is what we really care about, what consumes our thoughts. Our assurance is that our God is perfect and He doesn’t make mistakes. He made us to have great relationships. God made us to know and love Him, not part time but full time. He loves us unconditionally and when we respond to Him, we enter into an unbreakable relationship on His terms (not ours) (John 10:27-30; Ro 8:35-39). He knows all things and He teaches us. (I John 4:19). We need to live abandoned to God. Let nothing rival God in our heart, and let’s not settle for less than Who He really is. We need to not treat God lightly, and make sure to take time for Him and for us. God will change us. We can get off track really fast and take a wrong turn, but God keeps us on the right track. He knows what we need. Let Him be our security and let’s learn to live a life in worship and trust (Ex 20:2-11). All good relationships start with our relationship with Him. In fact, loving God is the key to loving everyone else. We need to love God most before we can love someone else the right way. (Luke 14: 25-23) We need to surrender everything else and trust Him in everything. Application points: -- Keep God first in everything. -- Surrender your life. -- Surrender your other relationships. Trust God with them. -- Surrender your “stuff”.
Monday, May 4, 2015
The Power of Passing it On (Aquilla and Priscilla) (Acts 18:1-4, 18-21, 24-28) ------------------------------------------------------- Our purpose on earth is to make disciples, which goes beyond introducing people to Christ. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do what God designed us to do. The hang up is in our attitude. We need to be teachable (willing to learn) and “teach-able” (able to teach others what we learned). We also need to be available and show up. Aquilla and Priscilla went to Corinth when they were kicked out of Rome. Paul connected with them there and taught them more about Christ. So first, they had a connection, and then had a conversation. Aquilla and Priscilla were willing to leave their business and their security to go with Paul to Assyria. Paul left them in Ephesus where they then poured themselves into Apollos. This shows God’s plan: 1) We should make a connection. There is no need to change who we are. We just need to live out our faith, and shouldn’t stay quiet because we are afraid to offend or are afraid that we will mess it up. God just asks to share what we have learned. We need to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. 2) We should share life together 3) We need to make disciples who then make disciples (II Tim 2:2). We should consider what we are doing to pour ourselves into someone else. Application points: -- Make an effort. Carve out some time. It takes effort to learn sound doctrine. -- Take an interest in people , in the Lord, and in things of the Lord. -- Decide that it matters. Issues of faith are not trivial. We are willing to work extra hours, go the gym, and enjoy entertainment, but sometimes not willing to learn about God’s love and share it with others. We should be so in love with Him that our desire is to know Him better and be as useful to Him as we can be.