Monday, April 28, 2008

Are you a soldier? In Ephesians 6 Paul encourages the church to be a convenant soldier.

Stand and Fight- the covenant soldier
Truths concerning the covenant soldier

I. Stout hearted (vs10)
Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might
In this section of scripture Paul tells the Christian to be strong in the Lord. Soldiers should be ready to fight, to serve, and to suffer. A soldier’s armor is useless if his heart is weak. Through out this scripture we are told to stand, another word for this is covenant. This means we must be committed to the cause to be able to stand our ground. (Tom Petty’s "stand my ground") (what are some ways we can prepare to be the soldier God wants us to be? Where does our strength come from? How can we access it)

II. Strong Opponent (vs12)
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm
If we are soldiers, we must have an adversary. Our enemy who we fight is Satan. He his a liar, and a deceiver. He uses people, evil spirits, sin, principles, and other things to battle with. He is strong and capable. Many people and many preachers have said they would like to fight Satan. On your own strength or feelings this would be very foolish. We must realize that this opponent is strong and fierce. Knowing this should intensify the convent. It should make it real. It should inform us. (What types of weapons does Satan use against us? Why should we be informed about the enemy?)

III. Well Armored (vs11, vs13-18)
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Paul now talks about the armor of the soldier. Notice the first item in the soldier’s gear sit the belt of truth. Truth hold it all together. If we are to be all we can for Christ we must be held together with truth. The breastplate of Righteousness is next. This covers the heart. The heart can deceive you and satan uses the heart to make the Christian do many foolish things. Look at Sampson……(give examples if needed). Faith is next and Paul compares it to a shelid. (what are some things a shield is used for? How does this compare with our faith in Christ?) Salvation is used to protect our minds and our head. Salvation is our helmet. And finally we have the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. (How does salvation protect our minds? Why is the word or sword our only method of Offense?) Prayer is mentioned last (Why do you think its mentioned as part of the armor?)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life: public and private

Ephesians .1-9
I. Private life (vs1-4)
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord

In the final chapter of Ephesians Paul continues his theme of submission by talking about the two sections of life, Public and private. He directs the readers on how to live Publicly and Privately according to the Lord. He begins by talking about our private lives. The Children are called to Obey their parents, mainly because it’s the right thing to do. Now notice that he says to obey them in the Lord, this refers to situations were parents are lost and the children are saved. Notice that this DOES not mean we dishonor or respect them. Verses 1 and 2 clearly point out that it is essential that we honor and respect them. The fathers are called on to encourage the children, and not to provoke them to anger. This can have many implications, but simple put the father has a great influence and impact on the child’s life. Paul then urges the fathers to disciple their children in the ways of the Lord. Notice that the mother is not mentioned here. This does not mean she is left out, but it does mean that the father has the responsibility of discipline in the House. (what are some ways we commonly disobey our parents? Are there time when we should not obey our parents? What are some ways we can Honor our fathers and Mothers? What do you think about the promise made in verse 2? What is the father’s responsibility in the House?)
II. Public life (vs5-9)
Eph 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Now we see the way we should live in our Public life. The first people that Paul brings up are the servants. These are people who have any one in authority over them, this is all of us. We are all called to be good servants. Notice how Paul tells them to serve. He urges them to take great care for their performance. He even goes on to tell them that they should do as if they were doing it for Christ! Wow this would really make work a lot better if we did it as we would for Christ. But the the fact of the matter is that we are doing for Christ. This applies to school, work, sports, or anything you do. The Bible says to do all things to the glory of God……all things. This applies to those of us with authority as well. We are called to care for those we have charge over. Now this may or may not apply to you now, but one day it will. Masters are also to realize were their power comes from. All authority comes from the Lord. (Is it hard to do your work or studies as if it were for Christ? Why? Why should we take extra care for how we do our work? How is this a witness for Christ? What are some characteristics of a good servant? What are some characteristics of a good leader or master?)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Husbands and Wives

Hey all, here is some pictures of me and my Bride and some of the whole family. well its been a week or so since the last blog, so here it is...........
I now pronounce you Husband and Wife
Truths of a Healthy Home
Ephesians 5.21-33

I. Duties of the Wife
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands

This is a very touchy subject that Paul deals with in the remainder of Chapter five. He deals specifically with husbands and wives, and their relationships. Notice how verse 21 clarifies. This verse tells us that we should submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. Now this is important because the next verses could be taken as a blow against women. But in this scripture we see how we can literally serve one another. Wives are told by Paul to submit to their husbands. This is a military term were the officer in control receives all responsibility for the actions of the military unit. In other words the man is responsible to God for all action in the House. This is not a command for women to be stupid, or to be a secondary citizen. This text describes how God set up the Household. This also refers to respect. Many men are not what they could be because they may not receiver the respect that they should be receiving. Paul compares the relationship of the Husband and wife to the Relationship of Christ and the Church. Just as the Church respects and submits to God, wives should do the same to the Husbands. Now this does not make the Husbands a type of God or Higher being. God has given husband and wives each jobs. Both are a type of submission. Christ was the Servant leader, men are to be the same way, the Church is Christ’ glorious wife, wives are to be the same way. (Do you think our culture would go along with this? How can we better encourage this type of Thinking? Do you think this would help some of our Homes today? Why?)
a. Submit
b. Respect

II. Duties of the Husband
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Paul now begins to describe the Husbands duties by comparing him to Christ. This is no doubt are some tough shoes to fill. The husband is more than just a provider, he is the representative of Christ to his family. The first duty is to love. This is not saying I love you, but it is living it. Just as Christ wooed us with his love the Husband is to do the same towards his wife. She should never doubt his love for her. The husband love should be all it could possibly be here on earth. The husband should also sacrifice. This can apply to anything he should just a Christ was sacrificial. The husband should let his wants and even his needs be put back so that his wife’s can be met. This is what Christ did for his church. We see that everything that Christ does glorifies himself, thus he is sanctifying his Church to present it to Himself. In other words, Christ is making, and doing everything he can to make his bride look and feel as beautiful as she can. Husbands are called to do the same thing. (Who do you think has more on them, the husband or the wife? Why are both roles so important? What are some ways the world opposes this?)
a. Love
b. Sacrifice
c. Present

Monday, April 7, 2008

We will miss you Dustin. Dustin lived a full life, he loved Christ, his family, and his freinds. He will be missed. We thank God for allowing Dustin to be a part of our lives.

Dustin Moody

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Children of the Light

Hey ,so what characterises your life?......what marks your life?...............what are you known for? Well the Bible calls us to be different, separated, and yes..holiness. It does not call us to perfection but we should all strive to produce fruit. So are you a child of the light.

Children of the Light
Ephesians 5.8-16
I. Obedience (vs9-10)
Eph 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
(were you will be found)
a. Were you are found
b. Separated
In this text Paul tells us that we are children of the light. He gives us some elements of the Children of the Light. The first main element that Paul talks about is the element of Obedience. We are to look at our life and give ourselves an exam and see if we line up with God’s word. Does our life have resemblance of His Word? Or is our life one that is plagued with sin and destruction that is not characteristic of a faithful believer. God also wants us to be separated. He wants us to be set apart and different. ( Why is it so hard to be obedient to God? What are some ways we should be separated from the world?)
II. Discipleship (vs11b-14)
Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 4 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
a. Your life
b. The Dead
In the next part we see Paul talking about Discipleship. This is the tough part of being a Christian comes in. Paul tells us that our life should reflect the Lord. Our life should expose other’s sins. Sometimes this can be hard but God expects us to reflect him. You see there are those in our world who are truly living dead. These people have no hope or any type of life. When we reflect God we show the people around us hope and true life. (How do our lives reflect God’s truth? Why is discipleship so hard? What are some ways we can show true life?)

III. Stewardship (vs15-16)
Eph 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
The next element Paul talks about, is the element of Stewardship. God gave us all a life, its what we do with it that matters most. We should be careful in all things we do, because there are always consequences that we must face. We also are accountable for our time. Everyday we are given by God to do something for him. (Why do students your age have such a hard time with stewardship? What are some ways we can give God the time he deserves? What can we do to make sure that God has every part of our life?)
a. Life
b. Time
c. Days