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Archive for March, 2010

Are You a “Student” of Your Wife?

Some of you may be getting tired of me posting thoughts I have about my wife and things I share with our Iron Men group…but, it’s a passion of mine.  So, isn’t that what you do with a blog?  Share your passion?  So, here’s the latest and greatest…

I read a few years ago in a men’s magazine that we needed to be a “student” of our wives. That struck me and hasn’t left me…even though…I’m really not a good student of my wife. I try, mind you…yet, I’m probably a C+ to B- student at best. In the passage we are looking at this week the Bible says:

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:29-30

Are you presenting your wife to the Father as a radiant bride?  Do you study her to know how to help her?  Do you know what brings her joy?  Is the way I’m living with my wife making her holy and blameless or am I holding her back?

Do you love your body?  Do you feed it?  Cover it up if it’s cold?  Provide water if it’s thirsty?  Do you groom it, wash it, care for it if it’s sick?  We are to do the same for our brides.  We are to love her as our own bodies.

Remember Jesus asked Paul, “Why do you persecute me?”  Paul wasn’t persecuting Jesus in a literal way.  Jesus was in heaven when Paul was on his rampage against Christians.  But, to Jesus, when Saul was persecuting the bride…he was indeed persecuting Him (Jesus).

I must ask myself every day, “Does my love for my wife reveal the marks of Christ’s love like He loved His church?  That high ideal must never be relinquished.

Look at the verses again:

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:29-30

What did Jesus do for the church…that’s how we must look at this right?

  • He was tempted for her
  • He identified with her needs and suffered all that she suffers
  • He disciples her
  • He prayed for her
  • He was made nothing for her
  • He said He’d NEVER leave her or forsake her
  • He separated Himself from the world for her to sanctify and wash her in the Word
  • He served her and was willing to serve the least of her and wash her feet
  • He continues to pray for her as an advocate to the Father
  • He sent her provision for the future in the Holy Spirit
  • He is preparing a place for her
  • He was willing to humble Himself and pay a “price” to save her
  • He died for her as Savior

Now replace your name men.  I’ll use mine for my wife Pam. Please understand I’m not trying to be sacrilegious here. Only Jesus is the ultimate Savior for my wife…but in light of Eph. 5:29-30, we need to see the seriousness of our role…

  • Kevin is discipling her
  • Kevin is praying for her
  • Kevin is willing to be made nothing for her
  • Kevin is NEVER going to leave her or forsake her
  • Kevin is identifying with her needs and is willing to suffer as she suffers
  • Kevin is separating from the world to sanctify and wash her in the Word
  • Kevin is serving her and is willing to serve in the “least” ways and stoop to wash her feet
  • Kevin is providing for her future
  • Kevin is willing to pay a price for her
  • Kevin is willing to die for her

I thought of this sobering question.  If someone were to ask our wives “How is your husband doing right now at caring for you?”

How would she answer?  Honestly, you think how she would answer?  Don’t think about you would answer for her, because we have a very high opinion of ourselves men.  We think we are better than we really are, because we tend to compare ourselves to the lowest standard (the biggest low-life husband/man) we can think of…and yes, according to that standard…we may be doing ok.  Our standard is Christ.  So, how would she answer?  What does she need from you?  How is she hurting or suffering?  How is she battling?  Do you know?  Do I know?  Have we asked them lately?  Have you asked her, “Honey, how are you battling…what’s bothering you…how can I pray for you?”

Are we truly studying or wives like we study our Fantasy Football Teams or the NCAA brackets or that hunting plot or that assignment at the office?  Remember, love is a decision and it doesn’t mean much until someone else’s needs become more important than mine.  Jesus lived out His life daily for the church.  He didn’t just talk about it.  Are we truly caring for our brides as we should?  Does she know she is a priority in your life?  Really?  Is she a priority over work?  Over hobbies?  Over the kids’ activities?  Over the assignment at work?  Over the “guys?”  Over our leisure?  What makes her tick?  What motivates her?  What makes her laugh?  What makes her cry?  What is her emotional and spiritual state right now?  God forbid…but, what if you lost her today?  What if she died today?  What would you do?

I drove to Baptist Hospital (Winston-Salem, NC) last night knowing that a friend might lose his 38-year old wife because her heart had stopped.  Thank the Lord, he didn’t and she’s still with us.  But, I thought about Pam…what would I do if she died?  Have you thought about that lately?  I don’t mean to be overly dramatic or morbid…but, think about it.  What would you do?

Men, do you and I really spend much time thinking and praying about what she needs as Christ did and does for the church?  Let’s cherish our wives.  So, men…what do you need to do?  What is the Lord impressing upon you right now to do?  What is He nudging you to do on her behalf for your bride to truly care for her as Christ does the church?

Do it.

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Here’s a recent study I had with the group of men that I have the privilege of meeting with each week for lunch on Wednesdays.  I believe even ladies will find it most interesting.  It’s written of course from a man’s perspective…

Men, do you ever wonder if there is a “perfect wife” out there somewhere?  Do you get upset when your wife doesn’t do what you want or expect?  Do you allow her differences and idiosyncrasies to drive you crazy?  (Be careful how you answer that one…because someone may ask her that question about you?  Ha!)  Do you focus on the “negatives” with your bride?

Maybe we should put it in this context to help us.  How are you at work?  Do you try to do a good job?  Do you attempt to overlook the negative things about your company or employer of job, so as to get the job done?  Do you deal with people at work that are kind of a “pain” or hard to deal with?  Do you have to get beyond these issues to be able to survive and do your job and make a living?  I bet the answer is “yes” to all of the above.  I assume you have trained yourself to be able to focus on other things instead of all the negatives.

Well, we must do the same in our marriages.  That may sound simple and trite, but it’s true.  We have to focus on the good and not the bad.  The Bible says in Ephesians 5:28:

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  Ephesians 5:28

Can I ask you a question?  Do you have any problems with your body?  I’m laughing as I type that sentence…because, boy I sure do.  I have a double-chin, no hair, toothpicks for legs and…well…I’ll stop with that…the mental image may be killing you at this point.  Ha!  The point is…yes…we all have issues…problems…things about our bodies that we don’t like.  So, what do we do about these?  We work on them don’t we?  I’ve shaved my head because it looks better than having a bird’s nest on top.  I wear long pants most of the time, because I don’t want to blind people with how white they are and get laughs about how skinny they are.  Bottom line…I try to take care of my body the best I can…because it’s the only one I have.  The same is true of our wives…so says the Word of God in Ephesians 5:28.  We should love our wives as our own bodies.  We feed our bodies, bathe our bodies, clothe it, groom it, exercise it, etc.  If it’s sick, we take it the doctor and get medicine and at times, we may even have to take it to the hospital or have surgery to fix it.

It takes maintenance to take care of our bodies…and our marriages take maintenance to take care of them.  More on this in a minute…but, for now…I want to show you a marriage that I believe is one of the worst you could imagine.  I want you and me to see how a man of God named Hosea chose to obey God and how he was obedient even in very, very difficult marital circumstances.

It was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.

As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration.  But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2). The golden calves set up by Jeroboam I about 150 years earlier had opened the floodgates to every evil expression of Canaanite idolatry, including drunkenness, religious prostitution and human sacrifice.  Since the Lord viewed Israel as His wife, He viewed her worship of other gods as spiritual adultery. The Old Testament speaks frequently of Israel whoring after or playing the harlot with other gods (e.g., Deut. 31:16; Judg. 2:17). Jehovah had told Israel from the beginning that he would not share her with others. “You shall have no other gods before Me” was the first of his ten great commandments (Ex. 20:3).

The very first thing God ever said to Hosea tells us about his unlikely marriage: When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD. (Hos. 1:2). These instructions have been variously understood by different students of Scripture through the years. Some believe that God was commanding Hosea to marry a woman who had formerly been a prostitute. Others contend that taking a wife of harlotry would merely refer to marrying a woman from the northern kingdom of Israel, a land which was guilty of spiritual adultery. Personally, I believe she was a prostitute.  In either case, it is obvious that she was a woman who had been deeply affected by the moral filth of her society, and God intended to use the prophet’s personal relationship with her as a penetrating object lesson of His own relationship with His unfaithful people, Israel. Whatever her past, God directed Hosea to take her as his wife, and so it was that Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, became the unlikely wife of this young prophet.  Can you imagine?  It would be like a preacher marrying a prostitute in our day.  Can you imagine the scandal?  Hosea was a brave and may I say, “obedient” man of God.  God has never asked me to do anything like this?  Has He asked you to do such?  Probably not.  Yet, what if He did?  Would you?  Would I? 

Eventually, after giving birth to their first child, Jezreel, Hosea seems to have noticed a change in Gomer. She became restless and unhappy, like a bird trapped in a cage. He went on preaching, encouraging the wayward nation to turn from its sin and trust God for deliverance from the threat of surrounding nations. “Return unto the Lord!” was the theme of his message, and he preached it repeatedly with power (Hos. 6:1; 14:1).

I noticed something while reading the book of Hosea.  I noticed that as I read, it appears Hosea and Gomer grew apart.  Hosea was doing his job preaching…Gomer was at home with the child…and soon her past and her background began wooing her away.  You know the dangers are great when a husband and wife have few interests in common. It seems that he went his way and she went hers.  I see this so often today.  Do you?  Husband and wife have their own set of friends, their own set of interests and literally their own separate lives.  Because of this…there is usually little communication to bring their two worlds together except for the occasional “passing conversation” that centers more on who’s picking up the cleaning and what time are the kids’ practices?

Often I find a man’s preoccupation with his work or sports or hobbies are usually major contributing factors to this “drifting away.”  Yes, it can be the wife’s issue as well.  Perhaps it’s her growing involvement in outside activities and subsequent neglect of the home. It may simply be a disinterest in the things of the Lord on the part of either husband or wife. But it sets the scene for great calamity. Bottom line…husbands and wives need to do things TOGETHER and as families and to take an interest in each other’s activities.  If they don’t…it will almost guarantee a drifting away to the point that they simply “co-exist” in the same house.

Eventually, more children were born.  No sooner had little Lo-Ruhamah been weaned than Gomer conceived again. It was another boy. God told Hosea to call him Lo-Ammi, which meant “not my people,” or “no kin of mine.” It symbolized Israel’s alienation from Jehovah God, but it also exposed Gomer’s sinful escapades. That child born in Hosea’s house was not his.  The name reflected that fact. It was all out in the open now. Everyone knew about Gomer’s affairs. The entire second chapter of Hosea’s prophecy describes Gods relationship with his unfaithful wife Israel and it parallels the situation with Hosea and Gomer. God, through Hosea pleaded with his people, Israel, (2:2), as I’m sure Hosea did with Gomer. He threatened to disinherit her (2:3). But still she ran off with her lovers because they promised to lavish material things on her (2:5). He tried to stop her on occasion (2:6), but she continued to seek her companions in sin (2:7). Hosea would take her back in loving forgiveness and they would try again. But her repentance would be short-lived and soon she would be off again with another new lover.

Then the final blow fell. Maybe it was a note, maybe word sent by a friend, no one knows and Scripture doesn’t say, but the essence of it seems to have been, “I’m leaving for good this time. I’ve found my true love. I’ll never come back again.” How Hosea must have suffered! He loved her deeply and grieved for her as though she had been taken in death. His heart ached that she should choose a life that would surely bring her to ruin. His friends were probably saying, “Good riddance to her, Hosea. Now you’ll be through with her adulterous ways once and for all.” But Hosea did not feel that way. He longed for her to come home.  Just as a side note…a lot of times, well-meaning friends and family will give advice to those that are separated and encourage them to “chuck it all.”  They’ll say, “You deserve better.  You shouldn’t put up with that.”  Yet, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  So, we should be very careful in how we “counsel” someone who is separated.  We should take them to Scripture (Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7).

Here’s what is very significant to me.  We cannot escape the message of God’s undying love for His people nor Hosea’s for Gomer.  Hosea wanted to see Gomer restored to his side as his faithful wife. And he believed that God was great enough to do it. One day word came that Gomer had been deserted by her lover and had been sold into slavery and had hit rock-bottom. This would have been the last straw for most men.  But, Hosea loved Gomer “as himself.”  While there were those that thought: ”Certainly now Hosea will forget her.”  Yet, his heart said “No.” He could not give her up. And then God spoke to him: “The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” (Hos. 3:1).

Gomer was still married to Hosea even though she was an adulteress, and God wanted him to seek her out and show his love to her again. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “as the Lord loves.” Only one who knows the love and forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And one who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love and forgive others. Remember men…as Christian husbands, we are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), and Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.

So he began his search, driven by that indestructible divine love, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love that never ends or never fails. (1 Cor. 13) And he found her.  In my mind I see her as ragged, torn, sick, dirty, disheveled, destitute, most likely chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was. We wonder how anyone could love her now. But Hosea bought her from her slavery for fifteen shekels of silver and thirteen bushels of barley (Hos. 3:2). Then he said to her, You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.” (Hos. 3:3). Isn’t that amazing!  He went and “bought” his wife!  Can you imagine the look on her face when she saw him and then actually heard him bidding for her?  Can you see the tears and the humiliation, the gratitude, the shame, the joy of being freed, all those emotions…all rolled up into one?

So, men…how many times should a husband or wife forgive? Some contend, “If I keep forgiving, then it looks like I condone their lifestyle and pattern of sin.” Or “If I keep forgiving, she’ll think she can get away with anything she wants.” Others say, “If I keep forgiving, it’s like putting my seal of approval on his behavior.” Or “I can’t take another hurt like that. If he does that one more time, I’m leaving.” Those are human responses. Listen to the response of the Lord Jesus. You see, Peter had asked the Lord this same question: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” The Lord’s answer was, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21, 22). What Jesus was saying is we must be willing to forgive over and over again.  He was saying it’s an infinite number…there is no end to forgiveness.  And indeed…there is no end to God’s forgiveness!  Hallelujah!

Sometimes it’s just the little slights and daily agitations that need forgiveness, the occasional sharp word or angry exchange before you walk out the door.  But what do we do?  We harbor it, let it eat at us, and build up bitterness and resentment which brings down the relationship and causes that “emotional drift.”  Maybe it is a major offense, like Gomer’s, and we can never forget it. We stew on it and fret over it, and we keep bringing it up in a subconscious attempt to punish our mate for the hurts we have suffered. We try to forgive, but a few days later it’s right there again, preying on our consciousness. Big wounds sometimes take longer to heal. They will come back to our minds. There is no way to avoid it. But every time they do, we must first remind ourselves that we really DID forgive, then rehearse how much God has forgiven us, then ask Him to take the destructive, unforgiving thoughts out of our minds.

I understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean that we must not guard against and take positive steps to keep the sin from recurring. This may even require some extended counseling. It might demand an honest reassessment of our personalities or habits.  It may mean that some priorities must change in the home.  It probably means there has been little praying and little reading of the Word of God together and this must change.  It might even mean that you downsize your life and simplify to the point that you can truly have time with one another as a family.  It might mean drastic changes in our life-style, a job change or even a relocation.  But, is there to great a price to pay to “buy back” the marriage.  Hosea didn’t think the price was too great?  Nor did God…and it cost Him His one and only Son.

In light of God’s forgiveness…we learn that true forgiveness means someone will pay for the other person’s offenses. We will refuse to retaliate in any way to make the guilty person pay. We will absolve him of all guilt. God uses that kind of “forgiving” love to melt hardened hearts and change callused lives quicker than anything else in this whole wide world. That is the lesson of Hosea and Gomer, the lesson of forgiveness. Please hear me…God hates sin; it grieves His heart; He cannot condone it; His perfect righteousness and justice demand that He deal with it. But He still loves sinners and diligently seeks them out and offers them His loving forgiveness.

We need to love like that. We need to forgive like that. We need to drag the festering hurts we have been harboring in our hearts to the cross of Christ—where we laid our own burden of guilt down one day and where we found God’s loving forgiveness.  And we must leave them all there. When we fully forgive, our minds will be released from the bondage of resentment that has been building a wall between us, and we will be free to grow in our relationship with our brides.

You know what?  I think I’ll go shave my head…it needs it (husbands loving their own bodies)…and after that…hmm…I think I’ll go do some dishes and fold some laundry…because she needs it.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  Ephesians 5:28

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Did you catch the headline below last week?  It is honestly one of the “nuttiest” (is that a word?) articles I’ve ever read.  Reading it is literally sci-fi.  I laughed my head off several times at the absolute absurdity of the outlandish claims and ridiculous assumptions that are presented as fact.  I guess scientists must think, we Americans, are the most gullible and idiotic people on the planet.  I suppose they believe we will “believe” anything. 

Take a look at this article…

Updated March 05, 2010 

Scientists: ‘Hellish Environment’ Caused by Asteroid Wiped Out Dinosaurs

AP  

It paved the way for humans to become the dominant species on Earth — but signaled the end of the 160-million-year reign of the dinosaurs.  

(AP/FoxNews.com) 

LONDON – A giant asteroid smashing into Earth is the only plausible explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs, a global scientific team said on Thursday, hoping to settle a row that has divided experts for decades. 

 A panel of 41 scientists from across the world reviewed 20 years’ worth of research to try to confirm the cause of the so-called Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which created a “hellish environment” around 65 million years ago and wiped out more than half of all species on the planet. Scientific opinion was split over whether the extinction was caused by an asteroid or by volcanic activity in the Deccan Traps in what is now India, where there were a series of super volcanic eruptions that lasted around 1.5 million years. 

The new study, conducted by scientists from Europe, the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan and published in the journal Science, found that a 9-miles wide asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub in what is now Mexico was the culprit. “We now have great confidence that an asteroid was the cause of the KT extinction. This triggered large-scale fires, earthquakes measuring more than 10 on the Richter scale, and continental landslides, which created tsunamis,” said Joanna Morgan of Imperial College London, a co-author of the review. 

The asteroid is thought to have hit Earth with a force a billion times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. Morgan said the “final nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs” came when blasted material flew into the atmosphere, shrouding the planet in darkness, causing a global winter and “killing off many species that couldn’t adapt to this hellish environment.” Scientists working on the study analyzed the work of paleontologists, geochemists, climate modelers, geophysicists and sedimentologists who have been collecting evidence about the KT extinction over the last 20 years. 

Geological records show the event that triggered the dinosaurs’ demise rapidly destroyed marine and land ecosystems, they said, and the asteroid hit “is the only plausible explanation for this.” Peter Schulte of the University of Erlangen in Germany, a lead author on the study, said fossil records clearly show a mass extinction about 65.5 million years ago — a time now known as the K-Pg boundary. Despite evidence of active volcanism in India, marine and land ecosystems only showed minor changes in the 500,000 years before the K-Pg boundary, suggesting the extinction did not come earlier and was not prompted by eruptions.  

The Deccan volcano theory is also thrown into doubt by models of atmospheric chemistry, the team said, which show the asteroid impact would have released much larger amounts of sulphur, dust and soot in a much shorter time than the volcanic eruptions could have, causing extreme darkening and cooling. Gareth Collins, another co-author from Imperial College, said the asteroid impact created a “hellish day” that signaled the end of the 160-million-year reign of the dinosaurs, but also turned out to be a great day for mammals. “The KT extinction was a pivotal moment in Earth’s history, which ultimately paved the way for humans to become the dominant species on Earth,” he wrote in a commentary on the study. 

What an article!!

Anyone that knows me knows that I taught a complete series on the first 11 chapters in the book of Genesis recently.  I would direct you to our church website at www.mpbc.ws if you want to learn more.  Just click on “recent sermons” and click on the sermons I preached from July 19th last summer all the way through Christmas.  The bottom line is this.  People want us to believe such preposterous tales “asteroids wipe out dinosaurs” because they do NOT want us to suppose that man lived with the dinosaurs or that dinosaurs may just have gone extinct like all the other animals who have ever gone extinct.  You see they (the scientists) need this kind of nutty explanation so that they have a way to get man here through evolutionary processes.  They can not and WILL NOT ever consider the idea that God created land animals on day 6 along with man and that God is indeed the Creator.   I want you to take a look at some of my sermon notes from a message I preached last year on the subject of “Was there REALLY a Noah’s Ark?”

We need to understand some other things about this Ark that Noah built.  The ark’s total volume would have been 1,518,000 cubic feet. This would equal the capacity of over 500 modern railroad stock cars. The standard size for a stock car is 44 feet long and a volume of 2670 cubic feet. This would make a train more than 5 ½ miles long.  The floor space for the ark would be over 101,000 square feet. This would be more floor space than 21 standard college basketball courts.

Now remember, God told Noah to build it with rooms in it.  A better translation would be “nests.”  The animals would have a place to bed down. By the way, Creation scientists and scholars tell us the animals more than likely spent most of the time on the ark in a type of hibernation.  Now many people ask, “Were there Dinosaurs on the ark?”  The secular scientists say no and they say dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.  Yet we know according to the Bible, the earth is only about 6,000 years old and I want to remind you of a few other things.

Remember, God created the land animals on Day 6 right?  And that included the dinosaurs…right?  And remember what we read earlier in verses 19-20: 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.  Genesis 6:19-20

God said two of “all” living creatures…two of “every” kind of bird, animal and creature that moves along the ground would come to you.  All means “all” doesn’t it?  So that includes the dinosaurs. We believe according to this Scripture that they still roamed the earth at the time of the flood.  All of this “scientific gobbly-gook” about them dying out is man-made hypothesis and the Bible will not support it.  In fact, the fossil record shows that there were about 50 kinds of dinosaurs and varieties even within these “kinds.”  Remember also, as we studied about 3 Wednesday nights ago, the average size of most dinosaurs is that of a sheep.  We seem to focus just on the few big ones, like T-Rex, Brontosaurus and Stegosaurus.

Yet skeptics continue to say, “Well even so…there still wouldn’t be enough room on the ark.”  Yet, Christian scientists tell us there would have been plenty of room.  In fact most Bible Scholars believe God probably sent young our juvenile dinosaurs to Noah for instance.  Not only would they take up less room and eat less, but no doubt take the rolling and pitching of the ark better and be more suited to survive a tough environment once off the ark.  You say wait a minute, now that I think about it…how did Noah get all the species of animals on the ark?  There couldn’t be enough room.  This is what is amazing.  Scientists have calculated based on the cubic feet in the ark that God didn’t need to send all the varieties of each kind to the ark.  For instance, Noah didn’t need to send two of each dog breed.  Only two dogs would have been needed.  But you say, “But think about all the dog variations on the earth.”

Ok…but, think about this.  Aren’t they all dogs?  Aren’t wolves, coyotes, foxes and jackals just a “variety” of a “kind” of dog?  They are indeed.  So we can see very quickly that Noah didn’t have to have all the varieties of all the “kinds” of the animals on the ark to carry on the population.  He just needed two cats, two zebras, two cows, two giraffes and so forth.  In fact, when you calculate in this manner, you only need about 16,000 species of animals on the ark or about 32,000 animals since we are timing all of these times 2.  Remember marine creatures were not on the ark…they were in the seas.  And think about this, there was ample room for the 1,000,000 species of insects to be on the ark as well.  Can you imagine all the flies, mosquitoes, bees and all?  Talk about needing a can of “Off?”  Oops…Noah couldn’t have done that could he?  No swatting flies on this boat.  He wouldn’t want to mess up God’s ecological cycle would he?  Ha!

That’s just a brief excerpt from my sermon notes…again…you get this online at our church website if you want to learn more…or you can go to www.answersingenesis.org 

Folks…the next time you hear a news report about “asteroids” wiping out the dinosaurs, go get your Doctor Seuss books and Disney books…because the fairy tale is about to begin.

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Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about the role and responsibility that a husband has to his wife.  I’ve been studying the consummate passage on this in Scripture at Ephesians 5.  The Bible speaks to the role of wives and husbands in this wonderful chapter.  But, in fact, I’ve discovered, the Bible has a lot more to say to the husbands in Ephesians 5 than to the women.  Why?  Because we need it!!  Usually (and unfortunately), most of our wives are spiritually stronger than we are as men.  That’s a shame.  But, it’s often true.  Why is this the case?  Because we have allowed it to happen.  We have placed a priority in other areas of our lives and the spiritual takes a back seat to our jobs, hobbies and TV (sports mainly). 

The Bible says:

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

That’s some heavy Scripture.  Do you know what it means “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word…”?  I’m glad you asked!  Ha!  This is a symbol of baptism.  It’s a symbol of sanctification.  It’s one of the roles of the husband being specifically shown in Scripture to his wife.  The husband has three main roles to and for his wife…#1 Provider, #2 Protector, #3 Priest/Prophet.  The role being described here is the Priest/Prophet role.  We are to wash in the word…to baptize…to cleanse our wives and to help and guide in the sanctification process in our homes.  John 17:17 describes this process of sanctification when Jesus prayed for us to the Father in this manner:

17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  John 17:17

The word “sanctify” means to “set apart for sacred use, to make holy.”  Are we doing this for our wives?  You see we can’t until we have been set apart and made holy ourselves.  We can only be made holy by being washed in the “Word” ourselves.  Men, are you a student of the Bible?  You say, “I don’t have time!”  I know…me either…  Before I was called in the ministry, I was right where you are.  I was working as the General Manager of a $6 million business and I had pressure on me that was immense to perform.  I had 3 kids at the time…I was a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and served in a ton of other ways in the church.  But, the bottom line is…I had to make time to be in the Word.  So, I got myself up and out of the bed early each morning and “baptized” my mind in the Word.  There is no other way that we can become sanctified…purified and made holy apart from the Word of God.  It’s a discipline and it’s hard.  But, it must be done.

Take a look at this quote:

“The Bible is the sun and the solar system of all we teach ourselves, our wives and our children.  It will not be and must not be just one among many books.  It must be THE central book, the all permeating book.  The other books are dark planets.  The Bible is the life-giving sun.  All other books will be and should be read in the light of this book.  All books will be judged by this book.  All books will find their meaning in the worldview built by this book, which means that this book should be and must be known first and known better by you than all the other books and activities in your life.”  John Piper, Pastor and Author

I agree with Piper.  And agree with the Apostle Paul…

15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

Men, we must be workman.  We must “do our best” to be workman!  Are you doing your BEST?  I mean be honest…please.  Is the Bible a valuable part of your life?  Who’s the strongest spiritually in your house?  It should be you and do you know what else?  God commands that it is you.  Because YOU and I are the ones that must be handling the priestly duties in the home of helping to sanctify our wives and children.  Are you doing your duty?  I struggle, like you…but, I’m giving it all I’ve got in Christ’s power.  You see, if I succeed everywhere else…at my job, in my hobbies, in my pleasures…but, I fail at home…in this area…then, I have failed most miserably.  May God help us to truly be men of God!

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