Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today's Society puts weight on marriage...

Society at times seems like an oppressive weight which is burdensome to bear...

We have to pay bills, pay taxes and keep up with the Jones so that we don't cause them to lose out on building their wealth... after all, most Americans' wealth is in their private property. If you have an eye sore in your yard, your neighbor and neighborhood does too. The irony is when we take care of that eye sore, the cost of owning and living in our home goes up and it goes up for everyone!

Not that God asks us or even requires us to 'keep up with the Jones' quite often we feel it to be our duty as a citizen so that everyone's wealth is valued and thus everyone is given an equal chance at getting ahead, right? This kind of duty is NOT that which comes from the Lord but from society at large which here in the USA puts getting ahead first and foremost; don't we always ask each other, "So, what do you do"?

We tend to look at marriage in the same way "So, what do you do and are going to do for me"... its the American approach to building wealth here on earth rather than building wealth or storing up treasure in His Kingdom ~ Matthew 6; 19,20 and, 1 Timothy 6:19.

That is largely how we chose our spouse in this country. And, when our spouse appears to be letting things go, no longer attractive, no longer pleasurable or no longer willing to go along with our schemes and or ideas in terms of seeking out new alternatives to wealth building here and now we become disillusioned, we become disappointed in our choices and in our choice of mate.

That is not what marriage is about. But, in American society, this is what marriage has become about. We seek out and marry the 'right' person so that we can receive material gains. We mistakenly think that the person we choose will do this for us because they look good, have good connections, have a good job, or have good motivation for getting ahead. We are gravely wrong. Yet, society is all about the individual getting ahead and who is entitled to this and all good things with no trouble at all. 

Society is both wheat and tares and as such a mass of good and bad seed it does not have all the answers when all things fail; its answer is that you just did not do it right and what is that according to society? In our failure to do what society thinks is right, we crash under the weight of its mistaken truth.

We as Christians (wheat) know the truth because we have been given the truth which is that in Him our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are all things possible and that He alone can make all things good in this fallen world and thus as individuals and as married couples we are to glorify Him and His Kingdom... not society!  For in Him we live, move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

An Exposition on Proverbs 12:23...

The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright; as the heart of a wise and good man is filled with useful knowledge, civil, moral, spiritual, and evangelical. The wise takes care to communicate knowledge at proper times and seasons, in proper places, and to proper persons; adapting it to their case and circumstances, so as it may be for their comfort, edification, and instruction, and minister grace unto them; which is using knowledge "well", as the word (s) signifies.

Such a use of it recommends it, and makes it appear beautiful and lovely, decorates and adorns it. Thus every good man, out of the good treasure of knowledge in his heart, brings forth his good things seasonably, to the use of edifying; in like manner, ministers of the word, scribes well instructed in the things of God, bring forth both new and old, to the profit of those to whom they minister; so Christ, as man and Mediator, had the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to weary souls.

But the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness; their knowledge, as they take it to be, but it is no other than folly; this they throw out in great plenty, in a hurry, without fear or wit; they "babble" it out, as the word (t) signifies, as water out of a fountain; their hearts are full of it, and their mouths proclaim it.

Exposition by John Gill

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Words of Comfort ~ Words of Joy in Times of Trouble!

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us ~ 2 COR 1:3-4. And, what is that great comfort? It is the knowledge that God Jesus Christ is over and above all things and holds all things together; and, in Him we live, move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28. 

This gives us the greatest comfort which is that we don't have to rely on ourselves as we learn to rely only on God who raises the dead. In Him we place our confidence and in doing so, He will continue to rescue us ~ 2 COR 1: 9-11. It is in sharing this Good News that we are also comforted!

How is this the greatest comfort? What's the point ... just words, right? Yes, and the most comforting of all words! For what is it that man can do that God cannot? God is greater than any human being ~ Job 33:12. If you sin, how does that affect God? Even if you sin again and again, what effect will it have on Him? If you are good, is this some great gift to Him? 

What could you possibly give Him? No your sins affect only people like yourself, and your good deeds also affect only humans ~ Job 35:6-8. Again, God is greater than any human being and so that is our comfort, that is our joy and that is His Glory! This is how He who is greater comforts us!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Galatians 3: 26-29 ~ in Terms of a Being a Godly Woman in His Divine Order!

In light of the last two posts about women's role in God's purpose, according to His Will, some find contradiction or think they do. They point to Galatians 3: 26-29 - So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Does this one scripture cancel out God's 'social' hierarchy which we can read about in so many other books/scriptures?  Certainly not.  You see, all the distinctions that man or society creates do not exist in our relationship with Jesus but as all are parts of one body so are roles that necessarily separate and divide. We can be assured that all those in Christ are a unified greater distinction and are yet distinct and divided by their God given distinctions and roles which serve Him and His order!

What Galatians is telling us is that each member though from an absolute object point of view are in the Body of Christ, each member is distinct and has an important function/role. Your hand has a different role than your foot and yet all work together for the same body... each must fulfill their role .

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Wife of Noble Character ~ Proverbs 31: 10-31

The previous post about Esther was to show the great responsibility of a wife, her duty and the husband's. He too is in submission as in subject to 'hupotasso' in the Greek. We see the husband's submission first yet most people don't see/recognize it. Read again Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5 and Ephesians 5:31.

A man must make the decision to submit first by taking a wife. He does this even before his wife does... and when he submits, she then submits to him (accepts the order which she subjects herself to); in this, both are motivated and or inspired to be in God's Will and in this submission together, the husband recognizes his wife of noble character and she fulfills that recognition. 

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Story of Esther... The Model for the Role of Wife!

King Xerxes had asked that his queen - Queen Vashti, be brought before him wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closest to the king—

“According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

“Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come’...there will be no end of disrespect and discord.

Vashti was never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Her royal position was given to someone else who is better than she. The king’s edict was proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.” 

We know that Esther having won favor with the king was able to set her people free. This is the key to understanding the book of Esther and the role of women as wives. It is necessary for both the man and wife to accept her role as the owner of her husband. With this comes a great deal of trust, love, and responsibility which includes sacrifice beyond measure.

Esther understood her role. It is God's will that women bring their husbands closer to God and the purpose He has for them. One woman to one man, united until death; when her role is finished. 

Modern day women are not so different from women in the past. Look at Vashti... the 'goddess' type who only wanted to be adored from far off and to have her way. She had no interest in serving her husband but only herself. She did not take her godly role seriously or did not know it or of it. 

Woman was created to be man's helper. To help him first in every way so that he can be everything the Creator created him to be. What about the woman in all this? What about her being everything that she was created to be? Yes, what about that? 

Believe me, Esther was doing all that she was created to do, don't you see that. And, if you don't see it or believe that, read Esther again along side Genesis, Proverbs 31 or the Song of Solomon. Satan wants women to believe that they are god 'goddess' and that coming under a man is being enslaved and that women are no more than trophies to men. That is a lie. It is not from God. "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord" ~ COL 3:18.

Wives, women are not slaves to men, agreeing to be enslaved, or beaten down, or hated; certainly, never to be harmed mentally or physically as if a lowly creature or a wild animal. Women are not lowly creatures or wild animals. In Genesis, God saw that none were suitable for Adam, so God created Eve from Adam and for him.

Was Vashti a kind of trophy? Perhaps, was she treated that way because she wanted to be seen as a trophy. Esther was not a 'trophy' like that or in the way we think. She had a heart for God and she made her husband (the king) a trophy for God's Kingdom.

For that, women/wives are to be loved and adored. Women are to be cherished as they have a great role as a wife; one that God Himself designed. "Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered" ~ 1 Peter 3:7. 

Can men/husbands reject God's order and the role of women/wives?  Yes, for they too exist in a fallen world. The best advice is to not marry but live for God. But, if one feels the need to marry then do so for God and His will! Not your will or what you think is love. If you live and marry for His will, you will live happily ever after in love and peace. 

In the bigger picture, any woman/wife as a godly woman/wife will save their people 'family; as all will respect their husbands and lead him to a closer relationship with the Creator, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things seen and unseen ~ COL 1:16.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives ~ 1 Peter 3:1

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything ~ Ephesians 5:22-24. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her ~ Ephesians 5:25.

Book of Esther 1: 1-20
Proverbs 31

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Skip Moen ~ Sharing the Secret of the Song of Solomon 8:6...

In one of the finest love poems from the ancient past, the Song of Solomon 8:6 places sexual intimacy, passion, desire and fulfillment under the authority of the “seal.” At the conclusion of this great love poem, the woman instructs the man to “put me like a seal” over your heart and on your arm. Once we know the cultural background of this word, we see God’s view of sexual intimacy also reverses the cultural expectation.

The word translated “seal” is hotham.It describes a cylindrical piece of stone with an external carved inscription.When this cylinder is rolled over a soft material, it leaves a raised impression that establishes legal ownership over the object. Like a signet ring, the seal permanently establishes an unbreakable legal and moral bond.

There are interesting, and powerful, nuances associated with this word. First, the Hebrew word hotham is most likely a loanword from Egyptian. Hebrew has another word for “seal” that is used exclusively in religious rituals. But this loanword is associated with magic, not ritual, in its Egyptian heritage. How appropriate that it should be chosen to describe the bond of intimacy between a man and a woman. Secondly, while there are numerous occurrences of seals establishing male ownership in the archeological record, the occasions of female ownership are very rare. But that is precisely the intention of this verse.

The woman asks the man to roll her seal on to his heart and over his arm, branding him as owned by her. In perfect harmony with the context of Genesis 2:24, the man leaves behind his old life and becomes the property of the woman who loves him. He submits to her ownership. This is in alignment with Proverbs 31:11. The man places his life in the hands of the woman. He is hers exclusively, just as he is his Lord’s exclusive property.

This all sounds really great.  A wife might think that as owner she can do what she wants with her property – the husband.  Husbands might rebel, saying that if their wives are going to act like typical domineering owners they want nothing to do with this “redeemed” marriage.  Both would be wrong.  The standard is God’s ownership.  The ‘ezer must act as the substitute owner in God’s place.  What does that mean?  It means that wives are to act toward their husbands as God acted toward His people.

Yes, He protects.  Yes, He provides.  But He is also long-suffering, merciful, forgiving, gracious, loving and full of compassion.  He never gives up on Israel.  He never acts in ways that are not in the best interests of Israel.  He is eternally committed to doing everything He can to bring Israel to the place where Israel fulfills its divine mission.

Is that the way you, as ‘ezer, act toward your husband?  Are you so much for him that you will never give up on helping him become all that God has called him to be?  Or do you have your own agenda for ownership? Is your position as ‘ezer governed by holiness and compassion, or is it practiced with personal demands and desires?  When you look at your behavior toward your husband, no matter how he behaves, are you faithfully committed to God’s best for him?  Even if you have to put your agenda on the back shelf?

The role of the ‘ezer is a dangerous one.  That’s why God put it in the capable hands of the woman.  It is dangerous because it walks the knife edge of managing obedience or obedient management.  On the one hand, most wives know that with enough prodding, persuasion and persistence, they can get their husbands to do what they want.  But that is managing obedience.  God calls the ‘ezer to obedient management – being the living proof of holiness in the presence of the husband, calling him to greater self-sacrifice for his God.

The ‘ezer does not sin in her weakness.  Her sins are not due to defects.  The ‘ezer sins in her strength.  She takes her God-given capacity and power and uses it for her own purposes.  She defeats her husband.  The result is tragic – as a great many of us know.

“Lord, help me to live as the obedient manager, putting his relationship with You ahead of my agendas.  Let me bring him to the place where he is used completely by You, and I will glory in my role in making him Yours.”

*Source ~

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today's Fruit Slow to and or Unwilling to Mature!

We see a growing concern for young Americans when it comes to maturity. And, even for older people who want to hang on to their fading youth. What kind of example is that in respect of maturity? Its seems more and more than fruit does not want to mature.

All ages/ levels of life require amounts of maturity. There is a point though where a higher level or kind of maturity ( knowing what is expected and being able to fulfill that expectation) is necessary in young adult and all adult relationships: marriage, family and society. More young people are waiting until they are in their late 20's or even early 30s. 

Years ago, young people matured earlier. Why? Was it because they were expected more of at earlier ages? When expectation is low in society maturity drops and relationships begin to fail and thus society itself is not far behind. Society has historically placed limits on behaviors based on chronological age (such as voting and driving restrictions) because age is typically a measure of maturity. Yes, today, we can hear that age and maturity are not necessarily synonymous, especially when it comes to relationships. 

Yet, we can certainly observe that maturity plays a major role in the success or demise of relationships in the young and old. Therefore, it is essential to understand how maturity affects a person’s ability to not only reason effectively but also to understand the concepts and implement the skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships so that society is stable.

 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature ~ Luke 8:14

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Romans 14: 1-23. Dangers of Criticism

A lot of people don't know that they are making others feel bad when they say something about a certain practice/behavior (use of money or credit, liking certain clothes, wearing of makeup or jewelry/hair styles etc.) or serve something that someone does not like to eat or drink or engage in (pop music/dancing) that would seem to be disrespectful or degrading to the mind, body, spirit or soul. 

And, some have a tendency to proclaim regularly that they don't do this/that or think a certain way, behave a certain way, wear certain clothes, and eat or drink certain foods/beverages including alcohol etc. They like to go on about how they never did that and that they weren't raised that way and that they come from a line of generations that never did. Whether you criticize directly or indirectly by proclaiming your righteousness; please, be mindful of Romans 14. You don't want to make a fellow Christian stumble. 

And, yet how to point them in the right direction if you think that they are really in danger of losing their salvation. In a friendly manner, use the Word! Find scripture that they would benefit from. Let them discover for themselves the better path. They will likely see it and repent and move forward. The next time you see them and you see a change, you can say "Wow, I like that dress on you" or "you look so happy lately or well, maybe I should try that diet or cut back/take your advice."

Romans 14: 1-23 
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,“As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God."

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.