SHARING SAINTS!

Grace For The Journey
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17Mar

How well do you share? You may be thinking, “Well, that depends on what it is you want me to share!” When it comes to a meal, a favorite snack, or the last bowl of ice cream in the freezer . . . well, everyone in my family has the good sense to know that Dad has absolutely no intention of sharing that with anyone!

The Bible tells us we are to share our time, talent, and treasure with others for the glory of God. Most believers know this truth and do their best to do just that. But there is something else we have been called by God to share, and I am convinced that many of us are not as good at sharing in this area. The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

When was the last time you shared a burden of yours with someone else? When was the last time you shared someone else’s burden with them? For many, the second is much easier to do than the first. Yet we are called by God to share our burdens; and by doing this, we fulfill the law of Christ.

You see, we have been made for community. When God saved us, He drew us out of our intentional isolation and placed us in the body of Christ. As part of one body with many members, we are to shoulder the burdens of others . . . and at the same time, share our burdens with others.

Our perfect model of sharing burdens is the Lord Jesus Christ. He came into this world to bear the greatest burden the world has ever known: the burden of sin and death. The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). And as He moved along the way toward the cross, Jesus also demonstrated how to bear daily burdens. Jesus not only met our deep spiritual needs; He met our physical needs as well. Jesus modeled burden-bearing perfectly!

When we share the struggles of others, we point them to Jesus Christ, who can and will meet the deepest needs of all those who will turn to Him in faith. One of the best ways to put the Gospel on display is to bear one another’s burdens. Burdens that we bear alone can bury us; but when someone comes along to shoulder the burden with us, the load is lighter and the burden becomes bearable.

Do you remember God’s statement in Genesis – “It is not good for man to be alone”? To be sure, Adam was not alone; he had the Triune God to be with. And yet God ordained another person, Eve, to be Adam’s helpmate. God has designed life to be lived in community, where we look to the needs of others and find ways to meet people there.

So . . . are you carrying a burden today that would be lightened by sharing it with someone else? Know this: when you keep your burdens to yourself, you deny a blessing to the other person who wants to share it with you. We each need each other, and when we share our burdens we are building each other up to press on toward the finish line.

Many Christians do not spend much time in the book of Ecclesiastes, and that’s a shame, because they are missing great chunks of gold, like this one: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep arm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Share your time, your talent, and your treasure. But don’t forget to share your struggles too!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

 

Holy Headship?

Grace For The Journey

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14Mar  My years as pastor, and seeking to lead men to fulfill the biblical role in their home and family, has made it painfully clear that there is great confusion within the Body of Christ regarding biblical headship.  Today I would like to make a few distinctions to begin to dispel that uncertainty.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Let me make it crystal clear what headship is not . . .

(1) It is not justification for men to control, demean, and enslave their wives in the name of religion.  Sadly, many men in the church mistakenly believe this to be true and    quote countless Scriptures out of context to support their misguided thinking.

Kent Hughes has something to say about this:

“God’s Word in the hands of a religious fool can do immense harm.  I have seen ‘couch potatoes’ who order their wives and children around like the grand sultan of Morocco – adulterous misogynists with the domestic ethics of “Jabba the Hut” who cow their wives around with Bible verses about submission – insecure men whose wives do not dare go to the grocery without permission, who even tell their wives how to dress.  But the fact that evil, disordered men have perverted God’s word is no reason to throw it out.”

(2) Now to you men who thought you were off the hook because you have not tried to control, demean, or enslave your wife, you also need to know what headship is not!  A life of passivity is not the sacrificial living you are called to as the head of your home. Expecting your wife to take the lead, to be responsible for the upbringing of your children, and to be the model of Christian commitment in the home is a gutless abandonment of the biblical responsibility set forth in Scripture.

Many wives have shared with me in great distress that their husbands are in no way demanding or demeaning; they are simply disconnected.  They refuse to take on the responsibility biblical manhood requires.  Rarely will they make decisions, provide direction, or even be open to discuss the matter.  They live more for the weekend and themselves than they do for their Savior and their families.

What they fail to see is the true Head and how He demonstrated headship.  He is forever to be our model.  Jesus gave Himself to make the church holy, radiant, and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27), to the point of sacrificing Himself on the cross for her.  The man who is living a self-centered, self-focused, and self-absorbed life is not living the life he has been called to and the life Jesus lived for him.  Jesus made it clear that “holy headship” was more about the body than it was about the Head.  Sacrificial living is the foundation upon which holy headship is to be built.

To be the head is to be in authority.  Yet the right to exercise that authority exists to the degree that it reflects the King and the advancement of His kingdom.  Headship authority exists to further the agenda of Christ, not our own, and it is demonstrated in the way we lay down our lives for the good of our home and everyone in it.  With authority comes the issue of submission.  To understand headship we must understand that everyone is to submit to Christ first and foremost.

Headship is holy when it demonstrates the character of Christ to encourage and equip everyone in the home to know, love, honor, and glorify God, love each other, and experience the blessings that naturally flow inside of this kind of environment.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Praying For More

Grace For The Journey

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15Mar I read this prayer from a puritan Christian recently …

“Father,

I do not want to go back to my old ways and I sense this morning how easy it would be to do that. You know my heart, Lord, and that I fear a departure back into that blind place of my own flesh. I thought I would be there forever and You graciously rescued me, pulling me out and setting me upon the peak of what You desired to grant me. Lord Jesus, you opened my eyes and caused me to see things clearly for what they were so I cannot thump my chest today and take any credit for the transformation. What do I have that has not been given to me? There is no boasting in me but only this plea that You will not let me fall back into that awful place – not that place of my pre-conversion lostness but that more confounding place of my post-conversion religious shackles.”

I don’t know about you, but I can identify with this prayer. All of us are tempted to live life bound by “religious rules and regulation.” It is a place that many Christians constantly live in . . .

That place of “trying,” instead of “trusting”

That place of “labor,” instead of “love”

That place of “performance,” instead of “position.”

That place of religious “discipline,” without relational “devotion.”

That place of outward “piety,” without inward “purity.”

That place of theological certainty, without the fullness of joy.

That place of morning prayer, but no afternoon delight.

That place of speaking accurately for You, but rarely hearing affirmation from You.

That place of rules, standards, codes and conformity.

That place where I passed my own checklist, but regularly wondered where You were and what You might be doing.

That place of words of surrender, but retention of control.

That place of my sincerity, but the absence of Your glorious presence.

One thing I know today is that I do not want to go back to my old ways. I have tasted of the Lord – His love, His grace, His mercy, His joy, His peace, and His power. I never would have seen it had He not opened my eyes.

This is my prayer today . . .

“My heart’s desire is that God would use me to help others see it for what it is. They also want out but they are afraid of what those who remain behind will think of them, what they will say about them. Fill those dungeons with light and fling wide the gate so that nobody else wastes their remaining years there! Spirit of the Living God, I am finding so many to be afraid of You because of what they have heard or seen from others. Jesus makes them feel safe. Father makes them feel in control. But You? You are the enigma to them and they prefer that You remain still and silent, tacit and tame, theologically valid but theoretically animate in their lives.

“Your people need You. I need You. We are commanded to be filled with You, by You and seek the glory of Jesus in our lives. We cannot make it without You and, as we attempt to do so, we build religious monuments to our own abilities, gifting, accomplishments and legacies.

“Forbid it to be so any longer – make us to know our need for You. Let it gnaw at our spirits until we can no longer bear the wonder as to whether or not we are living in You. Show us the difference. Rob us of our religious sentimentality and give us burgeoning relationship with You. Burst our old wineskins and give us Your new wine so we may drink to the full. Satisfy us with Your divine goodness and love. Convince our hesitant hearts and expose to us that the hard-to-define element that we spiritually hunger for is You. We are actually longing for You, not things from You. Not Your gifts. Not Your fruit. Not Your power. Not Your supernatural workings. We long for You because You are our God.

“We reverence You as the thrice-holy God over all…but we cannot bear the thought of remaining below Your offer to us. It sounds so trite, maybe even theologically unsound at a surface level but I have to say it: I want more of You. I want more of You. I want more of You. Father, Son, Spirit…

I want more of You!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Heads…or…Tails?

Grace For The Journey

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11Mar  At first glance, you might be thinking I am referring to the time-honored practice of flipping a coin.  This coin toss is used to start NFL, college, and high school football games in determining possession at the beginning of the game.  Sometimes it is used to decide an issue between two parties; “I’ll flip you for it,” someone might say.

Let’s look in the Bible and see what our Lord says about heads and tails:

In Deuteronomy 28:13, “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them.”

God promised to place His people, Israel, in a position of power and privilege above all others if they were obedient.  Yet, how often they chose the way of the “tail” and not the “head” by doing what was right in their own eyes.

But this is what God desires for you!  Because of what Jesus has done for you in His perfect obedience – in both life and death – this promise, indeed “all the promises of God in Him [Christ] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Inasmuch as God is pleased to bless His people materially, we must receive this promise in the deepest spiritual sense.  All those who are in Christ are above all those who are not in power (lacking the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit) and privilege (not adopted as a child of the Most High God).  The lowliest Christian in the eyes of the world possesses this power and privilege because of Jesus.  It is the Lord who makes us “the head and not the tail,” and for that we must be eternally grateful.

One of the best ways to show our love and gratitude to God is by allowing Him to live out practically what He has made us positionally in Christ.  We are to represent the One who laid His life down for us to this fallen and broken world.  When we surrender to Him we will live in a way that consistently reflects the God who recreated us. When that happens then we will:

  • Walk humbly before our God
  • Give generously
  • Serve sacrificially
  • Love unconditionally

When Jesus transforms the heart, He also transforms the head and the hands.  Now …

I am not speaking about perfection in practice,

but

I am speaking about progression in performance.

It’s what theologians call progressive sanctification, where we are being sanctified progressively by the same grace that saved us throughout life.  Paul sets forth this truth beautifully in Ephesians 4:22-24. “That you put off your old man, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man, which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

We will make an eternal difference in the world by being different from this world.

Because we are not what we once were,

We are not to live as we once lived.

Jesus has raised us from death to life and in doing so, He has given us the grace to “put off” the old self and to “put on” the new self.

We are to be accurate representations of the One we represent.  When we are, we make the Gospel attractive.  God alone saves, but He uses means to do it.  One of the means He has ordained to use is the way we preach the Gospel with our lives.  When we live, give, serve, and love like Jesus, we make the Gospel attractive and provide an accurate picture to others of the God who saved us.  Then we can live life with certainty!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Holy Homecoming

Grace For The Journey

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10Mar  There is an old story of a retiring missionary who was on his way home to America and happened to be traveling on the same ship as the president of the United States. As the ship neared the dock, a military band began to play, cheering crowds waving bright banners surged forward, and a red carpet was set in place to welcome the returning president home. The missionary exited the ship unnoticed and feeling very unwelcome and unappreciated.

Mired in self-pity, the aging saint cried out to God, “I have served You well for many years, and this is the welcome I get upon my return home?” God gently, graciously reminded the misguided missionary, “My dear child, you’re not home yet!”

This world is not our home; we are pilgrims passing through this world on our way to the next. Our true home is in heaven, and one day we shall be received with the anthems of the angels! This life is merely a temporary assignment designed to prepare us for eternity.

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:13, 16, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth” … “They were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”  (Hebrews 11:13, 16)

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often called the Bible’s Hall of Fame of Faith. The great heroes of the faith enshrined there understood that this world was not their home and life on earth was not the whole story. By faith they lived as aliens in a foreign land, looking toward the future and their promised heavenly homecoming.

So . . . what are you looking forward to?

Is your greatest joy wrapped up in . . .

The here and now

or

The there and then?

Our time here on earth is incredibly short compared to our time in eternity. C. S. Lewis wrote, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” We must, as 2 Corinthians 4:18 exhorts us, continually fix our eyes on what is unseen, not what is seen, knowing that one day soon we will receive our Holy Homecoming when we finally arrive at home!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Glory Not In Grace – Glory In The Grace-Giver

Grace For The Journey

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09Mar  It is a strange thing to see a Christian glory in grace. But as strange as this idea might seem, it is all too common in the church today. How easily we lose sight of the grace Giver and focus only on what He has graciously given!

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Countless Christians have lost their way by disconnecting themselves from the Way. They glory in the grace given rather than glorifying the One who has bestowed it. They glory in their great faith; they glory in their growing commitment to their calling; they glory in their generous portion and place in God’s kingdom.

But they glory in the wrong things!

Every grace is simply a gift from God, and if we are to glory in it at all, it must be focused on the One who has given the gift.

The Bible says in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . .” And in Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”

You see, it is not the grace given that keeps us standing firm, but rather the Giver of the grace. The only thing keeping us from falling flat on our faces is Jesus’ faithfulness to us, not our faithfulness to Him. The Christian must never glory in any grace given or even the result of that grace. Our glory is to be in God alone because our strength is only found in our Savior alone.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “… What do you have that you did not receive?” If we get down to the very basic truth, we even have to conclude – the more we have, the more you are indebted to the One who has given it. We must fix our eyes on the Giver of the gift and never on the gift itself. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) is the fount from which all our blessings flow, and we must continually drink from this fount if we are to grow in the grace we have been given.

Sip continually from the streams of strength that flow from your Savior and you will find yourself standing on a Solid Rock!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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A SINGING SAVIOR!

Grace For The Journey

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8Mar  When was the last time you thought of your Savior as One who delights so much in you that He sings over you? If it has been a while – or if perhaps this idea never occurred to you before – prepare for a word of unimaginable encouragement and comfort today!

The Bible says in Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD, your God, in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Reading through the gospel accounts, we see the clear and consistent evidence of our Serving Savior. Just one look at the cross reminds us of our Suffering Savior. But when was the last time we thought of Jesus as our Singing Savior? And yet we read in Zephaniah that our Lord rejoices over us with singing! The Hebrew phrase “He will rejoice over you with singing” can be literally translated to read, “He rejoices over you with a shout of joy.”

One vivid memory I have is that mom sang many time as she worked around the house. At the time, I wasn’t sure if her singing was designed to bless our hearts or buffer our noise. When asked why she did it, she told us that her singing was . . .

A sign of a heart that overflowed with love for her Savior.

Well, today’s Scripture reveals that it’s the same way with our Savior. Jesus’ heart overflows with love for all of His children and He rejoices over all of us with singing. WOW! Here is a love with such a joyful outward expression, one that is designed to inwardly bless us at the deepest level. We are so loved in the sight of our Savior that He rejoices over us with singing!

You may find this difficult to believe; perhaps your picture is one of Jesus looking sorrowfully down from heaven, grieved – perhaps even angered – by your many sins. The thought of Him rejoicing over you with singing may be almost impossible for you to believe . . . but God’s inspired and inerrant Word assures us that it is true! Your Savior is singing over you, literally shouting with joy, morning, noon, and night.

So . . . how does that knowledge make you feel today?

The Bible tells us how we are to feel. God instructs His people in Zephaniah 3:14 to, “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! (Zephaniah 3:14)

Like my mom, who rejoiced in her Lord in song for the gift of faith, family, and the blessings life, we should all feel like singing and shouting aloud to our Lord. To be sure, we find ourselves in times of trouble, times when our hearts are filled with sorrow and pain. But if we keep our eyes fixed on our Servant Savior, our Suffering Savior, and our Singing Savior, we will weather any storm and come out on the other side of it singing with shouts of joy to the One who loved us so much that He paid to redeem us with His precious blood – and who today rejoices that we are His!

and invaluable – what a wonderful combination!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Unworthy and Yet Invaluable!

Grace For The Journey

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7Mar  That’s a funny combination isn’t it?  Yet that’s exactly what we are – both unworthy and invaluable.  This is the truth the Bible teaches, and no one made this point more clearly than did the apostle Paul.

I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  (1 Corinthians 15:9)

Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.  (Ephesians 3:8)

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.  (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Paul says he was both unworthy and undeserving to receive his place of service in God’s kingdom, yet God assured him through His precious Word that he was invaluable to the advancement of it.  Guess what?  So are you!  Now, I am not suggesting that you will be used by God to pen some special revelation.  The Canon of Scripture is closed. What I am suggesting is that God has a perfect plan – a plan for you to be used to further His purposes in this world.  Even though you, like me, are unworthy, you are still invaluable.

You may not be preaching the Gospel from the pulpit, but you are preaching it with your life every day.  People are watching you closely, checking to see if your walk matches your talk.

Please don’t think for a second that I am suggesting you or I can achieve a life of perfect living.  Spend one day with me, and you will know I am not suggesting that!  Sin no longer reigns in the life of the believer, but it still remains, as Romans 7 so eloquently reminds us.  What I am suggesting is that the genuine believer desires, more than anything else, to live a life that is pleasing to God.  And the more we see just how unworthy we truly are, the more we consider the unimaginable price Jesus paid for our salvation, the more we see just how invaluable we are to Him.

Think about this: we are not needed, but we are wanted.  In the eyes of the world, you could be needed but not wanted.  But in your life with Christ, you are not needed yet still wanted.  Now, that thought ought to light a fire under us! In Romans 12:6 Paul writes, “We have different gifts according to the grace given to us.”  Note three things contained in this verse:

  1. Everyone in the body of Christ has been given a spiritual gift.
  2. This gift is different and unique to us.
  3. The gift was given according to grace, not works . . . mercy not merit.

Have you ever received a gift and left it unopened?  How would you feel if you found out a gift you gave to a friend remained in the box unopened and unused?  Would you be hurt? Perhaps even highly offended?

So . . . what have you been doing with the gifts God has given to you?  Peter instructed that “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).  Though unworthy, you are invaluable simply because you are Christ’s.  Jesus paid an unimaginable price for you, one that you could never have paid for yourself, simply because He wanted you to be His.

The Gospel teaches us these truths: undeserved favor was lavished on unworthy people at an unimaginable cost simply because of God’s incomprehensible, unconditional love.  Like Paul, we are to acknowledge our unworthiness . . . but in the same breath we are to realize the truth that we are invaluable to Him and to the advancement of the cause of His kingdom.

Jesus has given you everything you need to do everything He has called you to do. Don’t wait for the perfect time – it never comes . . . or for the perfect opportunity—it never knocks.  Just trust in the One who has called you and equipped you for that calling.  What He began in you He will finish (Philippians 1:6), and He is not finished with you yet.  If He was, He would have called you home.

Unworthy and invaluable – what a wonderful combination!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Holy Headship?

Grace For The Journey

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14Mar  My years as pastor, and seeking to lead men to fulfill their biblical role in their home and family, has made it painfully clear that there is great confusion within the Body of Christ regarding biblical headship.  Today I would like to make a few distinctions to begin to dispel that uncertainty.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

First, let me make it crystal clear what headship is not . . .

(1) It is not justification for men to control, demean, and enslave their wives in the name of religion.  Sadly, many men in the church mistakenly believe this to be true and    quote countless Scriptures out of context to support their misguided thinking.

Kent Hughes has something to say about this:

“God’s Word in the hands of a religious fool can do immense harm.  I have seen ‘couch potatoes’ who order their wives and children around like the grand sultan of Morocco – adulterous misogynists with the domestic ethics of “Jabba the Hut” who cow their wives around with Bible verses about submission – insecure men whose wives do not dare go to the grocery without permission, who even tell their wives how to dress.  But the fact that evil, disordered men have perverted God’s word is no reason to throw it out.”

(2) Now to you men who thought you were off the hook because you have not tried to control, demean, or enslave your wife, you also need to know what headship is not!  A life of passivity is not the sacrificial living you are called to as the head of your home. Expecting your wife to take the lead, to be responsible for the upbringing of your children, and to be the model of Christian commitment in the home is a gutless abandonment of the biblical responsibility set forth in Scripture.

Many wives have shared with me in great distress that their husbands are in no way demanding or demeaning; they are simply disconnected.  They refuse to take on the responsibility biblical manhood requires.  Rarely will they make decisions, provide direction, or even be open to discuss the matter.  They live more for the weekend and themselves than they do for their Savior and their families.

What they fail to see is the true Head and how He demonstrated headship.  He is forever to be our model.  Jesus gave Himself to make the church holy, radiant, and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27), to the point of sacrificing Himself on the cross for her.  The man who is living a self-centered, self-focused, and self-absorbed life is not living the life he has been called to and the life Jesus lived for him.  Jesus made it clear that “holy headship” was more about the body than it was about the Head.  Sacrificial living is the foundation upon which holy headship is to be built.

To be the head is to be in authority.  Yet the right to exercise that authority exists to the degree that it reflects the King and the advancement of His kingdom.  Headship authority exists to further the agenda of Christ, not our own, and it is demonstrated in the way we lay down our lives for the good of our home and everyone in it.  With authority comes the issue of submission.  To understand headship we must understand that everyone is to submit to Christ first and foremost.

Headship is holy when it demonstrates the character of Christ to encourage and equip everyone in the home to know, love, honor, and glorify God, love each other, and experience the blessings that naturally flow inside of this kind of environment.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

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Stand Still…and You’ll Be Standing! – Part 2

Grace For The Journey

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1Mar  Sorry for the delay in getting this blog out. Some unplanned demands have consumed my time the last two of days. Thank the Lord our “normal” routine has returned. If you remember, on Monday we looked at the “Instruction” contained within Exodus 14:13 – “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.”  Today we will complete our two-part look into this powerful passage by looking at the “Inspiration” contained within this wonderful verse.

THE INSPIRATION

God is in the business of delivering His people out of seemingly hopeless situations.  He has been doing this since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and He will continue until the return of Jesus Christ.  Whatever Red Sea experience you might be facing today, remember the commandment of God: “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.”

The world will whisper, “It cannot be done,” but pay no attention!  It may well be impossible for man, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).  God takes obstacles and turns them into opportunities; He takes problems and turns them into possibilities; He takes what is broken and makes it whole.  When God led you on your exodus from death to life, He was simply underscoring the glorious truth sung by the chorus of heaven: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10).  And He expects you to look to Him for your deliverance today.

The world will whisper, “Retreat and go back where you came from,” but pay no attention!  When the going got tough, the Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt where their taskmasters provided food for them.  Just days before, they had been groaning under the yoke of slavery; now they were willing to forfeit their freedom for food.  But that was so much less that what God wanted for them!

Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  The life and freedom we have in Christ is far greater than anything this world has to offer.  The provision we receive from our heavenly Father far surpasses what the worldly dangles before us, for Solomon declares in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”   As someone has said, “Jesus plus nothing equals everything . . . and everything minus Jesus equals nothing!”

One final thought: when God says, “Stand still,” He is telling you to prepare to walk into your deliverance.  The instruction to “stand” implies a posture of readiness.  If God had said “sit” or “kneel” or “lie down,” it would not have the same force.  But when God says “stand,” He is telling us to be ready and alert to receive our marching orders.  When they come, we are to march with confidence and joy into our promised land.  Make no mistake, God is in the business of bringing His people to such a place where the only way out is up.  When you find yourself in that seemingly impassible place, remember His Word: “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”  That way, God gets 100% of the glory . . . and you get 100% of the blessing!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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