Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, May 17, 2013

God's looking through Him to you!

Being that we have pondered the question concerning what a godly person looks like, viewing through the godly woman of Proverbs 31, we naturally must ask the question; why do we fail to live godly and what do we do about it when we fail?  We will discuss in more detail about “why” later; at this time suffice it to say we fail because we are still living with a fallen nature, though now we have a new nature, we will continue to wrestle with the flesh.

Having said that – let’s look at what do we do when we fail to “live” godly. The major difficulty is that we live in an instant society – some of it is not our fault, and not all is bad. I remember years ago I was returning from a speaking engagement. I was on a train and the plan was to be picked up by my wife that night. I arrived and waited for Dee to pick me up. Two hours went by…I was alone at the station wondering if I had miscommunicated with my wife. I saw some lights coming into the parking lot, but it was not my wife. It was a state trooper vehicle. The car stopped and a trooper got out, walked up to me and asked – “are you Pastor Nathan Leigh, husband of Armida Leigh?” – my heart dropped…I figured the next statement would be…”I am sorry to tell you your wife has been killed.” – What he said was much better – “Pastor, first ,your wife and kids are okay, but there has been an accident.” What a difference my night would have been if texting existed at that time! So there are some very positive things about the technological age we live in. However, it also has created a problem – instant gratification! I want all the benefits of whatever I want right now and without any of the work. This has trained us to be impatient for everything, including growth in Christ, and we seek solutions for everything in quick, formulaic answers.

Wish your love for Him would be as consistent as His love for you?

Wouldn’t it be great if you opened the bible and it said – Tired of failing God?

Your troubles are over – turn to the “Book of Victory” to chapter 1 and in 5 easy lessons you will be filled with the spirit of “Obediomatic.” “Obediomatic” enables you to obey when you want to and when you don’t want to. Act now and for no extra work or prayers we will throw in repentamator! If your “will” actually finds a way to disobey – the repentamator will automatically produce tears of sorrow and vows of change – you will express repentment!

Most disciplines in our life are not easy to come by. So it is with obedience. However, I believe that we make it far harder than we need to and that is because we have not taken the time to understand some very important Truths that directly affect our walk of obedience

Romans 8:1-17  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. [3] For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. [5] For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. [6] For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, [7] because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; [8] and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. [10] And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. [11] But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. [12] So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- [13] for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. [14] For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. [15] For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" [16] The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

Let’s unpack this!

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

“Therefore” – this refers to that huge struggle Paul described in chapter 7. He knows what he should and even wants to do, but fails to do it! This is the ongoing battle between the new nature and the old nature.  Paul’s “therefore” is saying - because of what I just said about the struggle we have, and the fact that only Christ can deliver us from that struggle, we must realize there is:

No condemnation – for those that belong to Christ.  God looks at us through Christ! He sees His perfection, which has been accounted to us. 

This does not say there is no conviction. We will and should feel remorse over our sin; however, our obedience has nothing to do with God's love for us. That kind of thinking turns obedience into a great burden. For some it even makes them believe they lose their salvation. God loves us the same before, during and after we disobey.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. [3] For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Notice: God condemned “sin” in us. We are fully accepted because of Christ. (the old man is dead – that means separated from being your master. He no longer can command you – BUT you can yield. God has placed inside you a new nature; you alone control which nature is in charge)

That doesn't sound right Nate, you mean I can disobey all I want and God still loves and accepts me. Yep! Several things here…IF you truly belong to Him and live in rebellion, He will chastise you for your own good. Sin is rat poison and your heavenly Father wants to protect you from it!  Also, if you really understand God’s unconditional love and acceptance in Christ that you have, it won't give you license to sin…it should give you incentive to obey!

A preacher brought a wonderful sermon on the depravity of the human heart. And when he finished his message, someone came to him and said, 'I want you to know I can't swallow it! No I can't swallow that depraved heart that you preached about. The preacher smiled and said, 'You don't have to swallow it. It's already
in you!'"

When we realize that our old heart really is depraved, but because of Christ we are fully accepted, obedience happens from freedom, not guilt. From the proper fear of the Lord, not dread of Him.

Meditation Questions: What do you do when you realize you disobeyed God? Describe what that looks like. Do you ever ignore the voice inside of you that is encouraging you to live right? How do you do that? What would it take to make your self stop that habit? Do you have sins that are habits? What would it take to break that habitual practice? Do you think God loves you less? Explain. 

We will look at the rest of this passage next Devo

Monday, May 13, 2013

Feminism...From God’s point of view…Part 3 It’s not what’s in the mirror, it what’s inside the person looking into the mirror!

When I was growing up, as a teenager, my mother was a very close friend. We talked about everything. One day I talked to her about sex. My mother never used profanity. She looked at me and said, “Nathan you make love to only one woman in your life, all the others you”...then she used a very profane word. Shocked, I said mom! She said “I wanted to make a point, love comes from inside, sex can happen without love. What makes a person is what’s inside, not what happens outside.”

We have seen a godly woman is Mature, and is an Overseer. Here are the rest of the qualities from this passage:

A godly woman is Trustworthy

Trustworthy Defined: Worthy of confidence, dependable, reliable

v.11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
This is the greatest gift spouses can give each other; Heart trust – it is all encompassing. This man does not worry about any circumstances concerning his wife, even if he does not have all the facts, because he trusts her! Even if “data” is missing in a particular situation, he knows that his wife has their interest in her heart. Trust is the concrete foundation in a marriage!

Because she is trustworthy she has the freedom to make very important decisions:

v. 16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She watches for opportunities to invest for her husband and family’s prosperity. - She has Vision

A godly woman is also Humble

Humble Defined: Not proud, not self assertive
v.13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.

The godly woman is not looking to be served, but desires to serve and is not above hard work. There is no work or task that is below a humble heart. This is why a godly woman is willing to do whatever is needed, no matter how difficult or menial, to help her family.

v 28-29 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
A godly woman does not need to praise herself – that praise will come from others. She is driven by love and service to her family, they will appreciate her life and she reaps the Eternal investments.

A godly woman is an Edifier

Edifier Defined: One who builds up, establishes

v. 23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
Her character impacts her husband’s reputation!  She brings him recognition – She is an Authentic Helpmate! This also shows how she approaches her relationship him, as an ally!  

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Lastly a godly woman is Reverent

Reverent Defined: One who shows an attitude of deep respect, love, awe and esteem

v.30  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

This does not mean that she does not care about charm or being beautiful, she does. However, a reverent person has deep respect for God and that brings the balance to life. The outside issues are important but not essential. Fearing the Lord sets everything else in life in balance

2 Corinthians 7:1  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

God’s gift to all of us is motherhood. Proverbs 31 makes it clear that when the inside is right, what everyone else will see on the outside will be praise to her. How about us? Are we more focused on the outside, or allowing God to develop the inside to the glory of His name?