Scott LaPierre Ministries

Scott LaPierre

Scott LaPierre (https://www.scottlapierre.org/) is a pastor, author, and Christian speaker on marriage. This podcast includes his conference messages, guest preaching, and expository sermons at Woodland Christian Church. Each of Scott’s messages is the result of hours of studying the Bible. Scott and his wife, Katie, grew up together in northern California, and God has blessed them with nine children. View all of Pastor Scott’s books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Scott-LaPierre/e/B01JT920EQ. Receive a FREE copy of Scott’s book, “Seven Biblical Insights for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Marriages.” For Scott LaPierre’s conference and speaking information, including testimonies, and endorsements, please visit: https://www.scottlapierre.org/christian-speaker/. Feel free to contact Scott at: https://www.scottlapierre.org/contact/. read less

The Couple’s Bible Study for Christ-Centered Relationships
2d ago
The Couple’s Bible Study for Christ-Centered Relationships
Your Marriage God's Way Workbook is the couple's Bible study husbands and wives can do together for Christ-centered relationships. Read or listen to the introduction to see why this workbook stands out among husband-and-wife Bible studies. Table of ContentsBeing not Only Hearers, but DoersUsing this Couple's Bible StudyTake Your Time and Pray!Expect Tension with This Couple's Bible StudyFocus on the Way Your Spouse FeelsCrucify Your Flesh When Doing this Couple's Bible StudyApologize the Right WayThe Negative Consequences of Failing to Apologize Well Forgive the Right WayFootnotes Let me commend you for prioritizing your marriage! You went beyond simply reading Your Marriage God’s Way to also purchasing this accompanying workbook. Second to our relationship with Christ, our relationship with our spouse is the most important relationship in our life. We should invest in it so that we can have Christ-centered relationships. That’s what this workbook is—an investment of time and energy (spiritual, mental, and emotional), for your joy and God’s glory. Being not Only Hearers, but Doers In Your Marriage God’s Way, I wrote: The importance of going beyond hearing (or reading) to obeying is a regular theme in Scripture. Jesus said, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it…If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (Luke 8:21; John 13:17). We do not learn God’s Word simply for the sake of knowing it. We learn it so that we can apply it. James 1:22 urges us to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” This verse reveals a common mistake people make. They learn God’s Word and believe they have done enough and fall short of applying it to their lives. Husbands and wives do this when they believe they have a marriage built on Christ simply because they know what the Bible teaches, read Christian marriage books, and attend Christian marriage conferences. But none of their learning will have any effect if they are not obeying Scripture’s instructions. As believers, our responsibility goes much further than simply obtaining information. We must obey what we have learned (pages 241-242). You are doing your part to be not just a hearer (or reader), but a doer (or obey-er) of the Word. What better way to apply what you have read than to go through a workbook with your spouse? I am confident your investment will pay great dividends for you and your spouse. Why am I so certain? Two reasons: First, the instruction in Your Marriage God’s Way is drawn from the Bible. As the Author of marriage, God knows exactly what husbands and wives need to have healthy, joyful Christ-centered relationships as He intended. The second reason is less spiritual and more practical. Before becoming a pastor, I was an elementary school teacher. That’s when I learned how people learn. When I started preaching—telling people to open their Bibles versus telling students to open their math books—it was another form (albeit infinitely more important) of teaching. Whether I’m delivering a sermon, speaking at a conference, or guest preaching, I do my best to provide those in attendance with message handouts that have lessons and blanks to fill in. Why do I do this? Because as you’ve probably already heard, people retain more information when they take notes versus only listen.1 But did you know their retention is even better when the notes are handwritten versus typed?2 Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve written much by hand. We’ve moved away from letters to emails and many of us rely on our computers all day. But you can be encouraged in knowing the answers you write in this workbook will have a much better chance of staying with you because you wrote them down. Plus, this will help you remember the content from the book as you cement the material in your heart and mind, especially as you put things into practice. An added benefit of writing your answers is you...
The Ten Lepers and Their Spiritual Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19 and Leviticus 13)
5d ago
The Ten Lepers and Their Spiritual Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19 and Leviticus 13)
In Luke 17:11-19 Jesus cleansed ten lepers of their physical leprosy. Only one of them returned and ended up being cleansed of his spiritual leprosy. https://youtu.be/13bpSzKhUjk In Luke 17:11-19 Jesus cleansed ten lepers of physical leprosy. One of them returned and ended up being cleansed of his spiritual leprosy. Table of contentsUnderstanding LeprosyLeprosy's Physical Effects Leprosy's Spiritual EffectsLeprosy's Mental EffectsLeprosy's Emotional EffectsWhy Lepers (Sadly) Weren't PitiedWho Might Lepers Approach?Cleansed Leprosy in the Old TestamentMiriam's CleansingNaaman's CleansingThe Ritual for Cleansed Lepers in Leviticus 14Cleansing Physical Leprosy Identified the Messiah’s ComingGreater than Moses and ElishaJesus Noticed the Ten Lepers Thanklessness and ThankfulnessLook Past the Ten Lepers' Physical Leprosy to Their Spiritual LeprosyLeprosy Is a Picture of SinA Beautiful Picture of Cleansing Spiritual LeprosyJesus Wants to Cleanse Our Spiritual LeprosyThe Greatest Cleansing Any of the Ten Lepers Received Leprosy and its variants are mentioned 68 times in the Bible. The number of references alone makes it worth understanding. Regarding the account of the ten lepers in Luke 11:17-19, understanding leprosy helps us better understand: The lepers’ desperation when they came to Jesus How dramatic and wonderful it was for Jesus to heal them How thankful they should have been when Jesus healed them Understanding Leprosy Leprosy's Physical Effects Leprosy began as small, red spots on the skin. Before long the spots grew and turned white, with a shiny or scaly appearance. Then the spots would become dirty sores and ulcers because of the poor blood supply. The sores and ulcers would spread until they covered the body. Lepers would lose feeling in affected areas, and without pain as a warning system they’d experience other injuries: They might twist an ankle but continue walking, worsening the tearing of the ligaments. If they were cooking with a fire, they wouldn’t know if they got too close and burn themselves. Because they were forced to live away from civilization in unsanitary environments, they might not notice – and I’m not kidding – if rodents were chewing on them while they slept. The body would start to fall apart: Hair would fall out. Fingernails and toenails would become loose and fall off. The joints of fingers and toes would rot until the fingers and toes themselves fell off. Gums would shrink until teeth fell out. The disease would affect the larynx, producing a grating quality in the leper’s voice. The skin around the eyes and ears would begin to bunch, with deep furrows between the swellings, so the face started to look like that of a lion. Leprosy would eat away at the victim’s face until their nose, palate, and even their eyes would rot away. Since lepers had parts of their bodies rotting, they put off a terrible odor, and these are only the physical consequences. There were spiritual, mental, and emotional consequences as well. Leprosy's Spiritual Effects Spiritually, because lepers were unclean, they were removed from the religious life of the nation. Say goodbye to ever being able to corporately worship the Lord again. Leprosy's Mental Effects Mentally, leprosy was terrible because there was no cure. Lepers had to live with the reality that their condition would only get worse. As terrible as this week was, the next week would be even worse and the week after that even worse. Leprosy's Emotional Effects Emotionally, leprosy was terrible because it meant the end of human relationships. Unless you want to risk your spouse, parents, children, siblings, or friends contracting leprosy you stay away from them. All suffering is helped by the love and support of family and friends, but lepers couldn’t even experience that. Imagine for a moment, you can never kiss your spouse again, hug your children or parents again.
Avoid Covetousness and Be Content with What You Have (Hebrews 13:5)
Mar 23 2023
Avoid Covetousness and Be Content with What You Have (Hebrews 13:5)
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Avoid covetousness and be content with what you have, for He has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" This verse instructs us to put off covetousness and put on contentment. We do so, not physically, but spiritually by focusing on Christ's promise to always be with us. Table of contentsRepentance Involves Stopping and StartingPut On the Opposite of What You Put OffBe Content with What You Have by Putting Off CovetousnessBe Content with What You Have Versus Pursuing WealthDiscontentment and Covetousness Caused by Social MediaDiscontentment and Covetousness Caused by Endless AdsContentment Is a Spiritual IssueYour Relationship with Christ Allows You to Be Content with What You HaveApplying Hebrews 13:5 https://youtu.be/oLxvCPELgD4 Hebrews 13:5 says, "Avoid covetousness and be content with what you have." We're told to put off covetousness and put on contentment. The single greatest reason we fail in our repentance is we “put off” without “putting on.” If we want to stop a certain behavior, there’s a corresponding behavior we must also start. John the Baptist is a man whose message can be summarized in the word “repent.” He said, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8). These words tell us something about repentance that we don’t often consider. When we repent of something, we must also produce corresponding fruit. This can be a dramatic revelation for many, because when they think of repentance, they think only of stopping. If that’s been the case with you, then from now on, remember that’s only the first step. The second step is starting the accompanying behavior. The Apostle Paul also knew how to preach repentance, and he said, “Repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20b). Like John, he said repentance would bear fruit, or be accompanied by “works.” Repentance Involves Stopping and Starting Paul explained this most clearly in Ephesians 4. Verse 25 says, “Put away lying.” This is what we put off, followed by: “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.” This is what we put on. It is not enough to simply stop lying. We must also make a conscious effort to start telling the truth and ensure what we say is accurate. Verse 28 says, “Let him who stole steal no longer.” This is what we put off, followed by: “Rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” We can’t simply stop stealing. We must replace theft with hard work and generosity. I want to give this example more attention, because it relates so closely to covetousness, contentment, and giving. Why do most people labor, especially those struggling with covetousness? To have more for themselves. They do the opposite of what Paul commands. They don’t labor to “have something to share with [others] in need.” They labor according to their greed. This is characteristic of our consumer-driven society. We constantly seek to raise our standard of living. But if we want victory over covetousness we should raise our capacity to give. One way we can tell whether we struggle with covetousness is by asking, “Who am I working for? Who is the recipient of all my stuff? Luke James 4:3 says, do you want more money “to spend it on your own passions?” Verse 29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth.” This is what we put off, followed by: “But what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” We can’t simply stop saying unwholesome things. We must intentionally speak words that edify and encourage. Verse 31 sums it up: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” Put off all this, and then put on verse 32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Paul makes the same point in Colossians 3: Verse 8 says,
Learning from the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant (Luke 17:7-10)
Mar 19 2023
Learning from the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant (Luke 17:7-10)
In Luke 17:7-10 Jesus preached The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant. When we think of all Christ has done for us, our response should be, “We are unworthy servants. We have only done our duty.” https://youtu.be/qsYtrLd5NWE In Luke 17:7-10 Jesus preached The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant. Our response should always be, “We are unworthy servants.” Table of contentsFamily Worship GuideSermon NotesLesson One: The parable of the unprofitable servant teaches us we (Part One) always have more work to do for the master.Lesson One: The parable of the unprofitable servant teaches us we (Part Two) should prefer the master to ourselves.Lesson One: The parable of the unprofitable servant teaches us we (Part Three) have never went above and beyond.Lesson Two: The master will serve those who faithfully served Him. Family Worship Guide Directions: Read the following verses and then answer the questions: Day 1: Luke 17:7-9—Can you think of some examples of what Pastor Scott said about being busy helping us heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Perhaps you have seen this in your own life or someone else’s? What is the danger, or temptation, we face when actively serving the Lord, and why do we face it? Day 2: Luke 17:7-10, Matthew 19:27—Why didn’t the master tell the servant to come in and sit down and relax after working so hard? What application does this have for us? What might people be tempted to think after serving the Lord faithfully for decades and why? Have we ever went above and beyond in our relationships with the Lord? Why or why not? Day 3: Luke 12:35-37 cf. John 13:4-6—Describe the relationship between the verses in Luke 12 and Luke 17. Did they conflict with each other or complement each other, and how so? Which verses describe this life and which verses describe the next life? How do both sets of verses encourage us in our service to the Lord? Sermon Notes The title of this morning’s sermon is, “The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant.” On Sunday mornings we’re working our way through Luke’s gospel verse by verse, and we find ourselves at Luke 17:7. I pole vaulted in high school. As you can guess you get better each year, so we were excited for my senior year. When the season was approaching Dad took me down to the track to practice. I felt bad about him having to stand around while I warmed up, so I decided I wouldn’t warm up that day. I jumped on the runway and was racing toward the box for my first vault when I felt a painful tear in my hamstring. I thought the best way to heal it was to do as little as possible. It would start to feel better, but every time I ran on it the pain returned. I repeated this all season. The highest height I cleared was two feet lower than my highest height the year before. Sometime later I was sharing about the injury with someone, and he said, “You should have been lightly jogging on it to get blood flowing. Blood is healing, which is why a papercut take so long to heal: there’s little blood. A jagged cut that bleeds will always heal much faster.” Fast forward to my junior year of college. At that time Florida Tech didn’t have a tackle football program. Instead, they had a flag football program that I participated in each year. We had the All-Star game at the end of the season, and believe it or not, someone forgot to bring the flags. Not wanting to disappoint everyone who came out to watch, we decided to play tackle…with no pads, helmets, or any protective gear. I ended up severely separating my shoulder, and everyone knew my ROTC career was in jeopardy. The injury was on Wednesday, I took an emergency flight home on Thursday, which was Thanksgiving Day, and on Friday my parents had me meeting with an orthopedic surgeon. I had surgery within a few days, did the rehab at home in California through the rest of the fall semester and Christmas vacation. Then I returned to Florida for spring semester,
The Importance of Physical Rest in the Bible (Exodus 20:8-11)
Mar 16 2023
The Importance of Physical Rest in the Bible (Exodus 20:8-11)
Physical rest in the Bible is an important topic. Read or listen to this chapter from Work and Rest God’s Way to learn the Bible verses about rest. Table of contentsThe Need for Physical Rest in the BibleTransition from the Seventh Day to First DayThe Need for Sleep in the BibleThe Consequences of Inadequate SleepMortalityDiabetesObesityCardiovascularMentalImmune SystemSocialWhen Science Catches Up with the BibleThe Spiritual Helps Us Rest PhysicallyRest Produced from Obeying the LordRest Produced from the Lord’s LeadingRest Produced from the Lord’s SovereigntyRest in the Bible Requires BalanceFootnotes The Need for Physical Rest in the Bible On the surface, work and rest seem like opposites, as though one undoes the other. They appear to be mutually exclusive. To do one must mean that we reject doing the other. There’s a conflict: do we work or rest? The answer is, yes! We’re commanded to do both. Rest is as much a theme from Genesis to Revelation as work. God introduced the concept of rest at creation. Genesis 2:2–3 says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” God is omnipotent. He wasn’t tired. He didn’t need to rest. Instead, He was establishing a pattern for His people to follow. The Ten Commandments made resting on the Sabbath a requirement of the Law. The fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8–11 reads: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. God said, “Remember the Sabbath,” because it wasn’t something new; it had been around since creation. The command to rest was not an excuse to be lazy, considering they had to work six full days before the seventh. Since the Sabbath preceded the Mosaic Law, we can “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy” as a creation mandate. Transition from the Seventh Day to First Day Jesus and the disciples kept the fourth commandment, just as they kept the other nine commandments. But there was a transition. Jesus instituted the New Covenant at the Last Supper with these familiar words: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). With the institution of the New Covenant there was a shift from the seventh day of the week (the Sabbath/Saturday) to the first day of the week (Sunday) in honor of Christ’s resurrection.10 Thus, we see the first day of the week emphasized in the New Testament. The phrase “first day of the week” occurs eight times: Six times in the Gospels identifying the day of Jesus’ resurrection: Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, 9, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, and John 20:19 Once in Acts 20:7 identifying the day the early church met: “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread”11 Once when Paul encouraged believers to set aside something to give financially: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). More than likely Paul told them to set their collections aside on the first day of the week, because that’s when they gathered for worship. If we only had Acts 20:7 stating the early church met on the first day of the week, this would be enough to encourage corporate worship on ...
Seven Reasons to Attend a Family Integrated Church
Mar 12 2023
Seven Reasons to Attend a Family Integrated Church
What is the family integrated church movement? Why do people attend family integrated churches? Here are seven reasons! Table of contentsFirst, a Family Integrated Church Fits the New Testament PatternJesus Had Children Present When He TaughtPaul Had Children Present When He TaughtPaul Expected Children to Be Present When His Letters Were ReadSecond, a Family Integrated Church Allows Parents to Spend More Time with Their ChildrenThird, a Family Integrated Church Encourages Fathers to Be Spiritual LeadersEncouragement for WivesFourth, a Family Integrated Church Allows the Church and Home to Look Alike"What If My Children Don't Sit Perfectly in Church?"Fifth, a Family Integrated Church Surrounds Children with Adults and InfantsSixth, a Family Integrated Church Surrounds Children with Wisdom Versus FoolishnessSeventh, a Family Integrated Church Gives a Family to Those Without FamiliesWhy Aren't More Churches Family Integrated?My Personal Burden Because I must "Give an Account" https://youtu.be/j6V15FxM4FU What is the family integrated church movement? Why do people attend family integrated churches? Here are seven reasons! My previous post on having children in worship examined Old Testament verses. This is part two and it examines New Testament verses. First, a Family Integrated Church Fits the New Testament Pattern Matthew 21:12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” The religious leaders were upset about two things: First, what Jesus was doing—healing the blind and the lame. Second, the children in the temple—they didn't want them making noise and crying out praises to the Lord. But Jesus wanted the children there, and He defended their presence and praise. Jesus Had Children Present When He Taught Mark 9:35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Notice not what Jesus said, but what He did. Jesus was in the middle of teaching, and He reached down and grabbed a child. He didn’t have to tell one of the disciples to go get a child from somewhere to serve as an object lesson. He had children around when He was teaching. Mark 10:13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. First, we see another instance of Jesus rebuking people who tried to keep children away. Second, He argued that children are central to the kingdom of God. That’s a strong statement that I think argues for children to be present during worship. If the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like children, then we should probably have children worshiping with us. Paul Had Children Present When He Taught
The Christian Marriage Book for a Couple Reading Together
Mar 9 2023
The Christian Marriage Book for a Couple Reading Together
Your Marriage God’s Way is the Christian marriage book for a couple reading together. Read or listen to the Introduction if you're looking for books to read with your significant other. Table of ContentsFour Reasons Your Marriage God's Way is the Christian Marriage Book for a Couple Reading TogetherFirst, and of Greatest Importance, I Am Not Asking You to Trust MeSecond, I Wrote This Christian Marriage Book Because I Am Passionate About This Area of Scripture and LifeThird, Marriage Is One of the Greatest Evangelistic Tools Christians HaveFourth, I Wrote This Christian Marriage Book Because of What I Have Learned as a Husband and PastorBuilding on God's Word as a Couple Reading Together Recently something discouraging and painful happened while I was at work. We live only a few hundred feet from my office. When this incident took place, I stood up from behind my desk and decided to walk home. I was hurt, discouraged, and the situation weighed heavily on me. I knew it would take some time before I would be able to resume working as I tried to process what occurred. I reached our home and Katie welcomed me with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. Immediately I felt better. Some of the burden was lifted. Katie had no idea what had happened, so it wasn’t any counsel she gave that improved the situation. Instead, simply being with the bride God gave me made me feel better. In chapter 5 of this book you’ll read about wives changing “not good” to “very good” (Genesis 1:31 cf. 2:18), and this was an example in my life. Unfortunately, Katie and I were not able to be together that night, but knowing what happened earlier in the day, she sent me a text saying, “Praying for you to rest well tonight, and trust that none of this is a surprise to our Lord. I believe He is able to do great things through all of this. You will always have me by your side cheering you on. Love you. Rest well in trusting Him.” This is the wonderful wife God has given me! I was blessed by Katie throughout that painful situation, and this is the kind of blessing God, in His perfect wisdom and love, intends for believers to experience through marriage. Aside from salvation and the Scriptures, the greatest gift God has given us as a husband or wife is our spouse. What is required on our part? For marriage to be all that God intends, we must follow the instructions He’s given us, and they are found in His Word. Katie is not a perfect wife, and I am far from a perfect husband. We could fill the following chapters with mistakes we have made and things we would do differently. I will share some examples! But in this situation Katie followed God’s design for marriage, which led her to encourage me as she did. Throughout the book I will repeatedly reference God’s design for marriage because following it pleases Him and leads to the greatest blessing for us. Four Reasons Your Marriage God's Way is the Christian Marriage Book for a Couple Reading Together There are thousands of books on enriching your marriage, so why another one? What makes this one different? Is there any reason you should trust me to write it? First, and of Greatest Importance, I Am Not Asking You to Trust Me Rather, I am inviting you to trust what God says in the Bible. This book is not a collection of my thoughts about marriage. At the church I serve, I set aside a significant amount of time to preach extensively on marriage. Hundreds of hours of studying the Bible were invested in the sermons. I used that material to write this book because God is the author of marriage. He designed the roles and responsibilities for husbands and wives. He knows what couples need so they can experience healthy, joyful, Christ-centered relationships, and He provided the principles in His Word. My desire is to present that guide clearly and biblically in Your Marriage God’s Way. Second, I Wrote This Christian Marriage Book Because I Am Passionate About This Area of Scripture and Life ...
Should We Have Children in Worship?
Mar 6 2023
Should We Have Children in Worship?
Should we have children in worship? Should we have a separate worship service for children? Learn why worshiping with children is so valuable. Table of contentsWhy the Need to Explain Having Children in Worship?Having Children in Worship Is the Biblical PatternChildren Were Present When RejoicingChildren Were Present When God's Word Was ReadChildren Were Present When Seeking the LordChildren Were Present When Confessing SinChildren Were Present When Praising the LordChildren Were Present When RepentingWe Should Have Children in Worship to Foster a Positive View of ChildrenWhen My Son Learned We're Expecting Our Tenth ChildDon't Argue from Silence Against Children in WorshipHaving Children in Worship Is not an Essential https://youtu.be/woc8VB_Tz8c Should we have children in worship? Should we have a separate worship service for children? Learn why worshiping with children is so valuable. Growing up I played soccer, basketball, and baseball. When I was in junior high and high school I switched to football, wrestling, and track. When I was an elementary schoolteacher, I coached high school and junior high wrestling, and elementary school flag football and girls basketball. In all my experience playing and coaching, I found that football coaches receive by far the most criticism. The reason is play calling. Whatever plays the coach calls there will always be fans convinced the coach should have called another play instead. Katie and I attended a small school. There were less than twenty guys on the football team, which meant that if you had a pulse, you probably played offense, defense, and special teams. On offense I played running back and I had my own thoughts about the play calling. There were times I thought it would have been better if the coach called a different play. But then something happened that changed everything for me. I overheard the coach explaining the play calling. He said, “We run this play to set up this play. Then we run this play to set up this play. And if they respond this way, then we run this play, but if they respond this way, then we run this play.” And just like that I understood what our coach was doing. Hopefully this post serves the same purpose and helps you understand why we would have children in the worship service. Why the Need to Explain Having Children in Worship? We tend to be convinced of whatever we first experience. This is why people raised Buddhist typically stay Buddhists, people raised Mormon typically stay Mormons, people raised Pentecostal typically stay Pentecostal, and the list goes on. If you go into many churches across the nation, the norm is for parents and children to be separated for events and activities. There is a worship service, and the kids are removed for children’s church. There is a midweek service, and the children go to youth group. Because this is so common, it is what many people first experience. They become convinced it is right because it is all they know. A paradigm shift can be required for people who never thought about church any other way. They are not opposed to having children in worship. Instead, they’ve never seen it differently, so it’s not on their radar. Many people might be surprised to know it was the norm throughout most of church history and it is still the norm throughout most of the rest of the world today for families to worship together. We are part of a Christian hospitality network we highly recommend called, “A Candle in the Window.” A Chinese family stayed with us. They came to the United States so the father, Peter, could receive pastoral training and return to China to plant churches. He said they had always seen children in worship until coming to the United States. A pastor friend, Cary Green, and his wife, Lois, were missionaries in Germany. They came to the United States when they were told they could no longer homeschool. They shared about church life in Germany,
What Does the Bible Say About Working Too Much? (Exodus 18)
Mar 3 2023
What Does the Bible Say About Working Too Much? (Exodus 18)
What does the Bible say about working too much? Read or listen to this chapter from Work and Rest God’s Way to learn many bible verses for workaholics. Table of contentsThe Danger of WorkaholismThe Bible Says Our Relationship to Work Can Become Sinful“Physician, Heal Thyself!”The Consequences of WorkaholismPhysical ConsequencesEmotional ConsequencesRelationship ConsequencesPerformance ConsequencesThe Bible Says Working Too Much Has Spiritual ConsequencesThe Danger of BurnoutLearning from the Mistake of a Great Leader in the Bible Who Worked Too MuchLearning from the Example in the Bible of the Twelve Apostles Who Wouldn't Work Too MuchExpect Negative ResponsesThe Bible Says Working Too Much Requires RepentancePutting Off Idolatry and Putting on WorshipFootnotes The Danger of Workaholism Picture a young father, Brian, whose parents made him work hard when he was growing up. Although he didn’t like it at the time, now that he has a family of his own, he appreciates the way they raised him. To provide for his family, he’s been putting in more hours than ever before. Over time he begins to value his work hours more than his family time. Church attendance has become infrequent because he’s convinced his paycheck can care for him better than God. Most of his thoughts are consumed with accumulating wealth and securing a reputation for himself. He’s anxious, exhausted, and his health is suffering, but he can’t stop checking emails, returning phone calls, and sending text messages. Every communication, project, deal, sale, and offer is important. He stays awake at night worried about the next review, promotion, or deadline. Productivity is so important he’s critical of others who make mistakes or don’t achieve as much as him. What his boss thinks is more important than what his wife, children, or God think. He pursues his job with the same passion with which he used to pursue Christ. Brian’s job became an idol. He turned a good thing into a god thing. Like Brian, we have the potential to ruin even the blessings God gives us because of our sinfulness. One such example took place with the bronze serpent. Israel complained, and as a judgment, God sent poisonous serpents into the camp: Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:7–9). Tragically, over time, people began to worship the bronze serpent. When Hezekiah reformed the nation and destroyed the idolatry, he had to include the bronze serpent, which by then had developed its own name: [Hezekiah] removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan” (2 Kings 18:4). The object that brought miraculous healing became an idol. Nehushtan is a reminder that we must be on guard against taking any of God’s blessings—such as marriage, children, homes, relationships, money, or jobs—and letting our relationships to them become sinful. Scripture doesn’t forbid any of the above, but we are forbidden from making them idols. Brian’s job, and our jobs, are no more sinful than the bronze serpent; however, when we worship them, they become Nehushtan. The Bible Says Our Relationship to Work Can Become Sinful Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made (Isaiah 2:8). The people in Isaiah’s day worshiped their work, and we can worship our work too.
How to Cherish Your Wife by Leaving and Cleaving (Genesis 2:24)
Feb 27 2023
How to Cherish Your Wife by Leaving and Cleaving (Genesis 2:24)
Genesis 2:24 says, "A man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife." Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn how to cherish your wife by leaving and cleaving. Table of ContentsLeaving and Cleaving Means Keeping the Marriage in the MarriageSeeking Godly Counsel Is the Exception When Talking Bad About Your SpouseLet Not Man Separate What God Has Joined TogetherHow to Cherish Your Wife by Making Her SupremeA Wife's Perception Is Her RealityHobbies Are Okay for Husbands, But...Repent If You Make Your Wife Feel Like Second PlaceBe Ruthless with AddictionsAn Important Note for WivesThe Greatest "Leaving and Cleaving" A newly married young woman had an argument with her husband. Because she had a good relationship with her father, in the midst of her hurt and anger, she went to see him. She knew her father would affirm how wonderful she was, and how wrong her husband had been. When she arrived, the father opened the door, looked at his daughter, knew she was upset, invited her in immediately, and asked her what was wrong. After a few pleasantries, the daughter began divulging details about the argument she just had with her husband. The father gently rebuked her and suggested she return home. He explained, “Your husband is now the most important man in your life. You two will have problems, and you can’t come back to me when that happens. You must learn to work things out together. I love you and I’m all for the best for your marriage, which is why I’m giving you this counsel.” Scripture agrees with the father’s response. Genesis 2:24 says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The term leaving and cleaving comes from this verse. We know it portrays God’s divine plan for marriage because it was instituted at creation and brought forward into the New Testament by Jesus and Paul (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31). Leaving and Cleaving Means Keeping the Marriage in the Marriage When Paul commanded “a man [to] leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife” (Ephesians 5:31), he was, in effect, encouraging couples to keep the marriage between the husband and wife. Married individuals should cling to their spouses instead of anyone else, including their parents. When couples experience conflict, as all couples will, they should work things out together instead of running to others. The father in the story above understood an important truth about marriage: under most circumstances, problems should remain between the husband and wife. In fact, in-laws can end up contributing to marriage problems, especially with newlyweds who aren’t used to being separated from their parents. But this scenario isn’t limited to parents. When couples experience conflict, frequently they are tempted to go to friends or coworkers to criticize their spouse and talk about how badly they have been treated. The reason they want to do this is that they expect those close to them to take their side in the dispute. Some wives turn to their girlfriends. Some husbands talk to their guy friends. While parents are the only ones mentioned in Ephesians 5:31, we can extend this principle to say that if we shouldn’t complain to our parents about our spouse, we shouldn’t complain to anyone else either. The dangers here should be obvious. Pouring out our anger merely stokes it. This will make us feel justified in responding poorly to our spouse, feed our belief that we deserve better treatment than we are receiving, and discourage us from seeking forgiveness for our fault in the conflict. We’ll be filled with pride instead of humility, which will make an already-strained relationship worse. An even worse scenario is when the offended party shares the grievances with someone of the opposite sex. The result will be: A married woman thinking, I wish my husband listened to me the way he listens to me.
A Submissive Christian Wife Puts Her Trust in God Versus Her Husband (1 Peter 3:5-6)
Feb 24 2023
A Submissive Christian Wife Puts Her Trust in God Versus Her Husband (1 Peter 3:5-6)
A submissive Christian wife will put her trust in God versus her husband. But what about when her husband is wrong? How should they each respond? Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn, "What does biblical submission of a wife look like in practice?" Table of ContentsA Submissive Christian Wife Will Submit When She FearsA Submissive Christian Wife Can Be Encouraged by Sarah’s Example of Trusting God A Submissive Christian Wife Can Be Encouraged by Jesus’s Example of Trusting GodA Submissive Christian Wife Keeps Her Strength Under ControlThe Premier Demonstration of Strength Under ControlHusbands Are Going to Make Wrong DecisionsHow Husbands Should RespondHow Wives Should Not RespondResponding Rightly to Wrong DecisionsFootnotes https://youtu.be/qJ25Eup-xMI Wives Submit to Your Husband is the third message I deliver at Your Marriage God's Way Conferences. When it comes to learning how we can grow as Christians, being told what to do can be instructive, but being shown what to do can be even better. This is why examples are so helpful. When I taught elementary school, I would tell my students what to do, then I would also try to give them an example of how to fulfill my request. The apostle Peter takes this approach in the New Testament. He finishes his instruction to women by lifting a woman out of the Old Testament—Abraham’s wife, Sarah—and using her as an example for church-age wives. Sarah demonstrated the submission and inner beauty Peter describes in 1 Peter 3:1-4. He writes, “In this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:5-6). Two Reasons to Be Encouraged Sarah Was Chosen as the Example of a Submissive Christian Wife First, Sarah Had to Submit to Abraham Consider who Sarah submitted to: Abraham. It might be tempting for women to say, “I wouldn’t have any trouble submitting to my husband if I was married to Abraham!” While Abraham was indeed one of the greatest men of faith in Scripture, the truth is that being his wife was difficult. God’s call on Abraham’s life required him to leave a comfortable city life in Ur to become a wandering nomad (Genesis 12:1-5; Hebrews 11:8-10). How many places did Abraham and Sarah live? How many times did they have to move? In addition, Abraham made some foolish decisions. Twice he told Sarah to say she was his sister instead of his wife because he was afraid someone coveting her beauty might murder him in order to seize Sarah. He was willing to endanger his wife to protect himself: [Abraham] said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you” (Genesis 12:11-13; see Genesis 20:2 for the second instance). As a result, Sarah ended up in a pagan king’s harem twice, which must have been terrifying for her. Worse yet, Abraham didn’t do anything to save her. In contrast, when his nephew Lot was captured, he organized a war party to rescue him: When Abram heard that [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants…and he and his servants attacked them…and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people (Genesis 14:14-16). How would that make a wife feel? Far from being a strong, brave husband to whom it would be easy to submit and follow, at times Abraham was a cowardly, compromising husband. More than likely, Peter chose Sarah as an example for wives because of how difficult and terrifying it was at times for her to submit to Abraham. Second,
How Do You Deal with Fools? (Proverbs 1:7 and Psalm 39:8-9)
Feb 21 2023
How Do You Deal with Fools? (Proverbs 1:7 and Psalm 39:8-9)
How do you deal with fools who slander you and "despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7)? David sets a great example. When Shimei cursed him, he said, “Leave him alone, and let him curse.” Read on to learn why silence is the best response to proverbs fools. Table of ContentsLeave Fools Alone and Let Them CurseLet a Clear Conscience Keep You SilentRespond to Fools with Godly BehaviorThree Ways David Resembles Jesus in His Response to a FoolDon’t Respond to Fools with WordsHezekiah’s Silence to a FoolJeremiah’s Silence to a FoolFools Fish for ResponsesUnderstanding Proverbs FoolsIdentifying Proverbs FoolsProverbs Fools Hate CorrectionSo, How Do You Deal with Fools?Three Encouragements When Dealing with Proverbs FoolsFirst, God Knows It’s Hard NOT to Respond to Proverbs FoolsSecond, Remaining Silent Is a Sign of MaturityThird, Remaining Silent Looks Like Christ https://youtu.be/APOjm5cCgVg How do you deal with fools who "despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7)? Learn why silence is the best response to proverbs fools. David was experiencing one of the lowest points in his life. He lost the throne. His wicked son, Absalom, is the one who stole it from him. Much of the nation joined Absalom. David was fleeing Jerusalem, and when you think things couldn’t get any worse, Shimei finds him: 2 Samuel 16:8 The Lord has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” 9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. Shimei is related to Saul. Even though Saul lost the throne and died decades earlier, he still blames David for all of Saul’s misfortune. We tend to think that with time people move on. Sometimes they do, but other times the roots of bitterness continue to go grow and become even deeper as each year passes. That was the case with Shimei. He probably despised David more now than he did when Saul died. Leave Fools Alone and Let Them Curse David said, “Leave him alone, and let him curse.” The longer I’m a pastor, the greater wisdom I see in these words. Circle them, underline them, highlight them, or do whatever you need to do to remember them so you can come back to them when people slander you. Gossip is spreading negative information about people to others who have no business knowing that information. But at least the information is true. Slander is spreading lies about people. Let a Clear Conscience Keep You Silent Shimei is slandering David. He falsely accused him of violently overthrowing the house of Saul. But it was just the opposite: David played music to alleviate Saul of his torment, repeatedly spared his life, was friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan, and was gracious to Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth. David knew what Shimei was saying was untrue and this allowed him to remain silent. When David became king again Shimei did a 180, came back to David, and apologized. He said, “Do not let the king take it to heart” (2 Samuel 19:19). David didn’t have to take it to heart because he knew it wasn’t true. When people fools slander us, we don’t have to take it to heart, because it isn’t true. 1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. Having a good conscience allows us to remain silent when slandered: If you know the slander against you is untrue then you c...
Consequences of the Fall for a Husband and Wife (Genesis 3:16-17)
Feb 16 2023
Consequences of the Fall for a Husband and Wife (Genesis 3:16-17)
The consequences of the fall affect every husband and wife. God told Adam, "Because you listened to your wife," and He told Eve, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16-17). Adam lacked spiritual leadership and Eve controlled her husband. Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn which temptations are most common to a husband and wife. Table of ContentsConsequences of the Fall for Every Husband and Wife"Because You Listened to Your Wife," and "Your Desire Will Be for Your Husband, and He Will Rule Over You"A Wife’s Temptation to Control Her HusbandA Husband’s Temptation to Dominate His WifeA Husband’s Temptation to Fail to Be a Spiritual LeaderThe Need for Spiritual LeadershipThe Consequences of a Lack of Spiritual LeadershipAbraham’s Failure to Demonstrate Spiritual LeadershipAhab’s Failure to Demonstrate Spiritual LeadershipA Husband and Wife Are Empowered to Resist the Consequences of the Fall https://youtu.be/5I_moXXHWkc Consequences of the Fall for a Husband and Wife (Genesis 3:16-17) is the first message I deliver at Your Marriage God's Way Conferences. During college I participated in Army ROTC, which means I was just like other students on the university campus except that I also received leadership training and took military science classes. Upon graduating, I was commissioned as an armor (tank) officer. Because I was in a combat arms branch, which is one of the most likely to engage in battle, I was trained to look for an enemy’s weaknesses. After the military, I taught elementary school and coached wrestling and football teams. During this time, I did my best to train my athletes to determine their opponent’s weaknesses. I mention all this because the devil used this same approach when he successfully convinced Adam and Eve to sin! Mankind’s first temptation involved the serpent attacking Adam’s recently established headship in his relationship with Eve. Genesis 3:1-4 says: Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.” Note an important contrast here between the creation account in Genesis 2 and the fall in Genesis 3: In Genesis 2:16, “the Lord God commanded the man.” In Genesis 3:1 and 4, “[the serpent] said to the woman.” God spoke to Adam, but the devil spoke to Eve. Why? The devil saw a weakness. He knew Adam had received the command from God, but Eve had received it from Adam. Part of the reason God placed Eve under male headship was for her own protection. When the devil tempted Eve, she had two choices: She could trust her husband, who had given her God’s command, and submit to him. She could trust the devil, which meant submitting to him. Genesis 3:6 reveals her choice, which, as we now know, had severe consequences: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” At this point, Adam also had two choices: He could obey God, who gave him the command, and submit to Him. He could obey his wife, which meant submitting to her instead. Consequences of the Fall for Every Husband and Wife We all know what happened, and Genesis 3:9-12 details for us the devastating outcome of that decision: The Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”And He said,
A Husband Should Be a Spiritual Strong Man Protecting His Family (Matthew 12:29)
Feb 13 2023
A Husband Should Be a Spiritual Strong Man Protecting His Family (Matthew 12:29)
A husband should be a spiritual strong man protecting his family from enemies (the world, the devil, and the flesh) that seek to destroy them. Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn how to lovingly lead your wife. Table of ContentsSpiritually Strong HusbandsStrong Husbands Spiritually Protect Their HomeWhat Does It Take for a Husband to Be Spiritually Strong? A Spiritual Strongman Prevents His Family from Being PlunderedStrong Husbands Are Not Bound, Blind, or MuteWhat Does This Look Like Practically?Christ Provides the Victory over SatanStrong Husbands Put Christ FirstHusband, May I Speak to You Directly?Footnotes https://youtu.be/xS-XKOLYGuM A husband should be a spiritual strong man protecting his family from enemies (the world, the devil, and the flesh) that seek to destroy them. Spiritually Strong Husbands I started lifting weights in college, and for years, I worked out four or five days per week, month after month, year after year. Sadly, looking back, I think I cared more about my physical strength than my spiritual strength. The constant goal was growing more muscle and lifting more weight. I wish I would have had an even stronger desire to grow in my sanctification and become more like Christ, because little did I know that only a few years later, physical strength would take a backseat to the mental, emotional, and—most importantly—spiritual strength needed to be a Christian husband and father. When your family is experiencing a trial and they look to you for strength, the number of pounds you can lift in the gym could not be more irrelevant. At that moment, what is needed is mental, emotional, and spiritual strength the family can draw on—especially a spiritual strength that can help lift the family the way physical strength can lift a barbell. Likewise, when a wife is discouraged, defeated, or depressed, she doesn’t need a man with big muscles. She needs a husband who says, “Would you like me to read a few psalms to you? This is a difficult time, but with the Lord’s help, I know we can make it through this. Can I tell you about these verses I read that I think will be very encouraging?” By way of example, at the time of this writing, our youngest, Lydia, who is less than a year old, has been sick the last few days. She hasn’t been sleeping well, which means we—and especially Katie, who’s been getting up trying to nurse her—haven’t been sleeping well. When we were up in the middle of the night recently and Katie was in tears because she didn’t know what to do, physical strength couldn’t have meant less to her. What did matter to her was when I asked, “Can I pray?” When a young man asks me whether I think he is ready to get married, I ask him, “When things are difficult and your family suffers, can you hold them up in prayer and point them to Christ as the answer to their needs? Are you ready to gather your wife and children regularly around the Word of God? As the head of the home, will you take responsibility when things don’t go well? If your answer is no, then you don’t yet have the spiritual strength necessary to get married.” In the previous chapter, we looked at what it means for a husband to care for his wife physically, mentally, and emotionally. A man doing so may appear to be a loving husband. Similarly, many husbands work hard to care for their wives financially—and they should. There are physical, mental, emotional, and financial aspects of loving well, but if a husband doesn’t care for his wife spiritually, his love is incomplete. He’s not fulfilling the most important responsibility God has given him. Sadly, during my years as a pastor, I have seen more husbands fail with regard to the spiritual leadership and protection of their homes than any other provision. Strong Husbands Spiritually Protect Their Home Imagine asking a godly woman, “Would you rather have a man who’s physically strong or spiritually strong?
Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25)
Feb 9 2023
Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25)
"Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church" is the primary command for husbands in Ephesians 5:25. Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God's Way, or watch my sermon to learn what a husband's love looks like. Table of ContentsWhat Does a Husband's Love Look Like?Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church by Sanctifying and CleansingHusbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church by Setting the Standard for Holiness A Husband Gets the Wife He Prepares for Himself A Husband's Reaping and Sowing in Marriage Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church by Caring for Her Nourishing and CherishingThe Sacrifice Needed to Love a WifeChrist's Sacrificial Love for His Bride https://youtu.be/9C5IgzTNu1c Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church is the second message at Your Marriage God's Way Conferences. What Does a Husband's Love Look Like? As we begin this chapter, here is a question that deserves serious thought: What does it look like for a husband to love his wife? As we discussed earlier, love is not feelings and emotions—rather, it is actions. So another way to ask that question is this: What do good husbands do? If we were to pose that question to different people, we might get answers like these: Buy their wife expensive jewelry Take her to fancy restaurants Whisk her away on exotic vacations Provide an impressive home for her to live in In the world’s way of thinking, a husband’s love for his wife is demonstrated through material goods. This is why a husband can be a failure in the world’s eyes while being a great husband in God’s eyes, or a great husband in the world’s eyes while failing in God’s eyes. The good news—at least for husbands—is that we don’t have to buy our wives anything expensive or glamorous to be pleasing to God. The bad news is that spending money on our wives is much easier than doing what God requires of us as husbands. With a good understanding of agape, we are now prepared to see just how high the standard is for husbands. The primary passage about husbands loving their wives begins, “Husbands, love [agape] your wives, just as Christ also loved [agape] the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Agape is used twice to describe two different relationships: A husband’s relationship with his bride Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church The two words “just as” reveal that the way Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her is the way a husband is commanded to love his wife and give himself for her. A man should model his relationship with his bride after Christ’s relationship with His bride. With Christ as the standard for husbands, every man must recognize that he always has more room to grow. No husband can ever sit back, relax, and feel as though he has arrived. Ephesians 5:25 reveals for us the characteristics of agape: The words “gave Himself for her” reveal the sacrificial nature of Christ’s agape. In John 3:16, if God the Father’s agape for the world is shown in being willing to sacrifice His Son, then in Ephesians 5:25, the Son’s agape for His bride, the church, is shown in being willing to be sacrificed. Christ gave everything He had, including His own life. That is the standard for husbands—they are commanded to show an unreserved, selfless, sacrificial love for their wives. The absence of the word if reveals the unconditional nature of Christ’s agape. The verse does not say, “Husbands, love your wives if…” Just as Christ loves the church unconditionally, a husband is to love his wife unconditionally. Christ loves the church even when it does not submit, does not love Him in return, or disrespects Him. Simply put, Christ loves the church even when she’s unlovable. A husband should love his wife even when she’s unlovable and does not submit, does not love him in return, or disrespects him. When a husband is upset with his bride,
The Ram’s Substitutionary Atonement for Isaac (Genesis 22:13-14)
Feb 6 2023
The Ram’s Substitutionary Atonement for Isaac (Genesis 22:13-14)
Genesis 22:13 says, "Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son." Read part of this chapter from my book, A Father Offers His Son, to see how the ram died in Isaac's place, prefiguring Jesus's substitutionary atonement for us. Table of contentsJesus's Substitutionary Atonement Means He Died for Us and As UsThe Ram's Substitutionary AtonementJesus and the Ram's Crown of ThornsWhy Did God Provide a Ram Instead of a Lamb?Abraham Saw Jesus through IsaacGod revealed the New Covenant to AbrahamDiscussion Questions Substitutionary atonement refers to Jesus dying in the place of sinners. The Bible teaches that all men are sinners (Romans 3:23), and the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Romans 6:10 says, "For the death Jesus died he died to sin, once for all." There must be a death for our sins, but God is so gracious in that it doesn’t have to be our deaths, at least not eternally. Christ is willing to die in the place of wicked sinners, and this is substitutionary atonement. Jesus's Substitutionary Atonement Means He Died for Us and As Us We say Christ died “for us,” which is to say He died as our substitute. This is true, but He also died “as us,” which is to say He died as our representative. His death became our death. When He died, it’s as though we died. Therefore, the death that’s owed for our sin has been paid. Consider the story of a young man who didn’t want to serve in Napoleon’s army: “When he was drafted a friend volunteered to go in his place. The substitution was made and his replacement died in battle. Through a clerical error the young man was drafted again. He told the officers, ‘You can’t take me, b/c I’m dead. I died on the battlefield.’ They argued that they could see him standing in front of them, but he insisted they look on the roll to find the record of his death. Sure enough, there on the roll was his name w/ another name written beside it. The case was finally brought before Napoleon himself, who after examining the evidence said, ‘Through a substitute, this man died; therefore, there’s no claim on him.’” D.L. Moody The man was freed because someone died in his place. The same is true for us! We’re freed from the death we deserve because Jesus died in our place. We deserved to be the ones placed on that cross because we are the ones who sin. But Christ took the judgment on Himself in our place. He substituted Himself for us and received the punishment we deserve: He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 A few verses later: For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18 Not only do these verses teach that Jesus died as our substitute, they also teach He made atonement. This means He satisfied the payment our sins deserve. The Ram's Substitutionary Atonement One of the clearest examples of substitutionary atonement occurred when the ram died in Isaac's place. After the Angel of the Lord stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, we read: Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” Genesis 22:13–14 The words “instead of his son” are the language of substitutionary atonement. Earlier, in Genesis 22:7, Isaac asked, “Where is the lamb?” Abraham replied, “God will provide a lamb” (Genesis 22:8). The ram they found was not the lamb: The Hebrew word for “lamb” in verses 7 and 8 is seh...
Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from David (2 Samuel 16:9-13)
Feb 5 2023
Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from David (2 Samuel 16:9-13)
The way David responds to Shimei provides wonderful biblical advice on forgiveness. The account reveals what David said to his men that allowed him to respond so patiently to a man who was mistreating him unjustly. Was David always this patient? Not in the account with Nabal! What took place in David’s life that caused him to respond to Shimei so much differently than he responded to Nabal? Table of contentsFamily Worship Guide for Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from DavidSermon Notes for Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from DavidLesson One: We can forgive others easier by thinking about (part one) God’s sovereignty.Lesson One: We can forgive others easier by thinking about (part two) God’s goodness to us in return.Lesson One: We can forgive others easier by thinking about (part three) our sins.Lesson Two: Christ’s forgiveness is greater than David’s. https://youtu.be/bCo03fiVfb8 The way David responds to Shimei provides wonderful biblical advice on forgiveness. The account reveals what David said to his men. Family Worship Guide for Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from David Directions: Read the following verses and then answer the questions: Day 1: Psalm 10:14, 39:8, 2 Samuel 16:10-12, Job 2:9, Luke 6:22, Hebrews 10:34—Why did David twice say that God told Shimei to curse? Why do you think this encouraged David? How can thinking about God’s sovereignty make forgiveness easier? Why did David think God would repay him? How can God’s goodness when we are mistreated make forgiveness easier for us? Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:8-12, Luke 7:47—Can you think of individuals in Scripture, besides David, who were kind to those who mistreated them? Did God seem to reward them? Why do you think David treated Shimei differently than he treated Nabal? How does thinking about our sins make forgiveness easier? Day 3: 2 Samuel 19:16-23 cf. 1 Kings 2:8-9, Hebrews 6:17—Why did Shimei hurry to meet David and 2 Samuel 19? How did David respond to Shimei? Why do you think David went back on his forgiveness before passing the throne to Solomon? In what ways is Jesus’s forgiveness greater than David’s? Sermon Notes for Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from David The title of this morning’s sermon is, “Biblical Advice on Forgiveness from David.” On Sunday mornings we’re working our way through Luke’s gospel verse by verse. We finished a convicting passage on forgiveness. I told you that I wanted to look at an example of forgiveness in the Old Testament, and I chose this account with David and Shimei. This is our second message on this passage. Last week we talked about Shimei, why he hated David, and what we could learn from him about the dangers of being accusing. This morning we’re going to focus on David who we will see forgive Shimei. David is famously known as the Man after God’s own heart. Perhaps you have wondered why he would be given this title when he committed such terrible sins as adultery and murder. At least part of the reason must be his forgiving heart…which makes him look like a man after God’s own heart because of how forgiving God is. The greatest example of David’s forgiveness occurred with Saul. When you can forgive a man who spent years trying to murder you, you know that you’re good at forgiving. But I wanted to look at this example with Shimei, for two reasons… First, I think we can relate to it better. I hope none of you have ever had someone try to murder you for years, but I suspect all of us have had people curse us and throw rocks at us…at least figuratively. Second, slander is one of the more difficult sins to forgive, at least for me, because slander involves untrue accusations. Just in case any of you are unfamiliar with the differences between gossip and slander, let me briefly explain them: Gossip is sharing negative information about people with others who have no business knowing that information. But at least the information is true.
Go to the Ant You Sluggard (Proverbs 6:6–11, 24:30–34, 26:13–16)
Feb 2 2023
Go to the Ant You Sluggard (Proverbs 6:6–11, 24:30–34, 26:13–16)
Proverbs 6:6 says, "Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Read or listen to this chapter from Work and Rest God's Way to see the wisdom in God's Word about the dangers of laziness. Table of contentsThe Sluggard’s Sobering ExampleLearning from AntsOversleeping—The Sluggard’s Great TemptationPhysical Consequences to OversleepingPoverty—The Sluggard’s PaymentAre Sluggards Funny?The Lazy Man’s Strength Is ExcusesThe Lazy Man’s Payment Is StarvationThe Lazy Man's SelfishnessThe Lazy Man’s PrideA Better Motivation The Sluggard’s Sobering Example God’s Word provides the conviction that can help Christians resist laziness. Commit the verses in this chapter (or at least their locations in the Bible) to memory. The next time you’re tempted to remain on the couch when there’s work to do, or sleep in later than you should, review these passages. The sluggard is characterized by inactivity and doesn’t take responsibility for himself. He can work but refuses to do so. He lacks the drive, personal responsibility, and common sense to provide for his needs. The sluggard is not a Christian who occasionally gives in to the temptation to be lazy. Instead, he is habitually lazy, and his life serves as evidence that he is unregenerate. He is mentioned fourteen times in Proverbs, and each instance condemns his behavior and warns of the consequences. There is nothing good said about him. Since he is dead in his sins, his laziness can’t be corrected by mere information, even biblical information. He needs the transformation of regeneration to repent and change. Proverbs is the book of wisdom, filled with practical teaching for daily living. Since Jesus “became for us wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30), all proverbs point to Him. In John 8:23, He said, “I am from above.” James 3:17 says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” Jesus is the embodiment of the wisdom from above, and only in looking to Him in the Proverbs can the sluggard’s life be remedied. As preacher and theologian, Charles Bridges, wrote: But with all care to preserve a soundly-disciplined interpretation, we must not forget, that the Book of Proverbs is a part of the volume entitled—“The word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16). And so accurately does the title describe the Book, that the study of it brings the whole substance of the volume before us. It furnishes indeed the stimulating motive to search the Old Testament Scripture [which testifies of Christ] (John 5:39)—the true key that opens the Divine Treasure-house—“If we do not see the golden thread through all the Bible, marking out Christ, we read the Scripture without the Key.” Charles Bridges, An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs, (BiblioBazaar, May 20, 2009), 7. Learning from Ants A proverb is a short saying that expresses a general truth for practical living. There are so many proverbs dealing with laziness it would take up too much room to cover all of them. We’ll consider the three main passages (Proverbs 6:6–11, 24:30–34, 26:13–16) with other verses integrated. Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest (Proverbs 6:6–8). The book of Proverbs is written as a wise father speaking to his son: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8, see also Proverbs 1:10, 1:15, 2:1, 3:1, 3:11, 3:21, 4:10, 4:20, 5:1, 5:20, 6:1, 6:3, 6:20, 7:1, 19:27, 23:15, 23:19, 23:26, 24:13, 24:21, 27:11, and 31:2.). He tells his son to learn from the ant’s example. She’s a humble, industrious creature that works without anyone watching over her. We, too, should work without having someone standing over our shoulders. If you’re a parent,
Shimei Teaches Us to Avoid Being Accusing (2 Samuel 16:5-8 and Proverbs 3:30)
Jan 30 2023
Shimei Teaches Us to Avoid Being Accusing (2 Samuel 16:5-8 and Proverbs 3:30)
Shimei was convinced that David engineered the overthrow of the house of Saul. He might be the best example in Scripture of being accusing and being wrong. The sermon discusses three reasons to avoid being accusing and two ways we can avoid being accusing. Table of contentsFamily Worship GuideSermon NotesLesson One: Avoid being accusing like Shimei because (part one) it angers us at the wrong people.Lesson One: Avoid being accusing because like Shimei (part two) it resembles the devil.Lesson One: Avoid being accusing because like Shimei (part three) we could be wrong.Lesson Two: Avoid being accusing by (part one) listening to the other side.Lesson Two: Avoid being accusing by (part two) ensuring there are adequate witnesses. https://youtu.be/QKDfyXaTGWM Family Worship Guide Directions: Read the following verses and then answer the questions: Day 1: 2 Samuel 16:5-8, Proverbs 3:30—Why did Shimei think David overthrew the house of Saul? Can you think of any other reasons that were not mentioned in the sermon? What accounts can you think of that demonstrate David’s loyalty to Saul instead? Day 2: Job 1-2, Zechariah 3:3, Revelation 12:10—What was happening in David’s life when Shimei cursed and threw rocks at him and his men? Why is being accusing so dangerous? Can you think of any other reasons besides those mentioned in the sermon that it is so dangerous to be accusing? Day 3: John 7:51, Proverbs 18:13, 17, Numbers 35:30, Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15—How can we avoid being accusing? Can you think of ways to avoid being accusing that were not mentioned in the sermon? Can you think of some accounts in Scripture of individuals who refused to be accusing and instead thought the best? Sermon Notes The title of this morning’s sermon is, “Shimei Teaches Us to Avoid Being Accusing.” On Sunday mornings we have been working our way through Luke’s gospel verse by verse. If you have sat under my preaching very long, you know that I like to look at the Old Testament to illustrate New Testament truths we are learning. Romans 15 and 1 Corinthians 10 both tell us this is one of the primary purposes of the Old Testament. Last week we finished a section on forgiveness. I didn’t want to talk about forgiveness for weeks without looking at an example in the Old Testament. The account I’ve had on my heart, that I’ve been taking notes on for weeks, is David and Shimei. But let me briefly explain why this first sermon won’t deal with forgiveness… The longer I preach the more I would compare it with sculpting. Every passage feels like clay that you hope God is forming into a sermon as you strive to be faithful to the text. We want the text to provide the sermon (this is known as exegesis), versus coming up with a sermon and then finding text to support it (eisegesis). As I began working on this passage I saw that the second half deals with forgiveness, which we will talk about next week. But the first half deals with Shimei being accusing and I wanted to be faithful to cover this as well. I think it has lots of application for us and I hope it encourages you hearing it as much as it encouraged me studying it. For this account to make sense, we are going to have to back up and look at passages that reveal why Shimei hated David so much. We are going to be jumping around a lot, but I want to let you know I have done my best to be precise and only look at those verses that will give us the background we need. Every single verse I’m going to read lays the foundation. Let’s start with 1 Samuel 22. Here’s the context… David faithfully served King Saul. He was willing to go out to fight Goliath when Saul was unwilling to do so. David continued to excel so much that the people sang, “Saul has killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands.” This made Saul insanely jealous and he started trying to murder David. Afraid for his life, and under the encouragement of his close friend, Jonathan,
How Is Joseph a Type of Christ? (Genesis 50:20)
Jan 26 2023
How Is Joseph a Type of Christ? (Genesis 50:20)
How is Joseph a type of Christ? Read or listen to this chapter from Enduring Trials God’s Way to see a list of ways Joseph is a type of Jesus. Table of ContentsJoseph’s Trials Were Supremely About ChristJoseph and Jesus Were Sent by Their FathersJoseph and Jesus Sought Their BrethrenJoseph and Jesus' Brothers Rejected Them and Plotted Their DeathsReuben Tried to Deliver Joseph, Like Pilate Tried to Deliver JesusJoseph and Jesus Were Stripped of Their TunicsJoseph and Jesus Found Themselves in the PitJoseph and Jesus' Brethren Were Indifferent Toward Their SufferingJoseph and Jesus Were "Resurrected" Out of the PitJoseph and Jesus Were Sold for the Price of SlavesJoseph and Jesus Were Taken to EgyptJoseph and Jesus Were Separated from Their BrethrenJoseph and Jesus Were Filled with the SpiritJoseph and Christ Were Exalted RulersJoseph and Christ Have Every Knee Bowed to ThemPeople Look to Joseph and Christ to Be SavedJoseph and Christ Offer the "Bread of Life"The Greatest Act of Evil God Meant for GoodWalking by FaithDiscussion Questions When Abraham “sacrificed” Isaac, it was secondarily about an earthly father sacrificing his earthly son. Primarily it foreshadowed God the Father sacrificing His Son. When Job “saved” his friends, it was secondarily about Job and his friends. Primarily it foreshadowed Jesus saving His friends. Abraham and Job’s trials were supremely about Jesus. Similarly, our trials are secondarily about us. Supremely they are about Jesus—His glorification is the primary end intended by the Lord. John 11:3–4 records: Therefore [Lazarus’s] sisters sent to [Jesus], saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Joseph’s Trials Were Supremely About Christ Genesis 37 records Joseph being rejected by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and then captured by Midianites, but Genesis 37:2 says, “This is the history of Jacob.” Why would a chapter about Joseph say it is Jacob's history? Jesus came from Jacob instead of Joseph, which puts the focus on Jacob, even though Joseph is discussed. The bigger picture in Genesis 37 is Joseph gets to Egypt. Twenty years later, his family moves to Egypt. Joseph’s brothers have enough descendants to become the twelve tribes of Israel. Fast-forward fifteen hundred years, and that nation produces a Savior. Joseph serves as a type and shadow of our Savior. Whether Joseph understood it, everything that happened to him was only secondarily about him. Supremely, Joseph's life was about Jesus. Joseph and Jesus Were Sent by Their Fathers Then [Joseph’s] brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And [Jacob] said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them."So he said to him, "Here I am."Then he said to him, ‘Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.’ So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem.” Genesis 37:12–14 Jacob sent Joseph to his brethren, like Jesus’ Father sent Him to His brethren, the Jews. In Matthew 15:24 Jesus said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Joseph and Jesus Sought Their Brethren Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What are you seeking?"So he said, "I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks."And the man said, "They have departed from here, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Genesis 37:15–18 Notice the repetition of “seeking.” Joseph was seeking his lost brethren, revealing the heart of Christ in seeking His lost brethren: