FIRST THINGS FIRST

Well, here you are. God has you here and reading these words for a reason. He loves you. God doesn’t reveal Himself by writing paragraphs in the sky. He doesn’t come and sit with you on the couch at your home and have a conversation. He doesn’t speak through others to you in a way that is complete. A great preacher named Adrian Rogers once said that sometimes he doesn’t know whether the voice in his head was his own, God’s or the devil himself. He was trying to make a point that the only place to know for sure that God is speaking is in the Bible.

Our world is a mess. Many of our lives are a mess. But the Bible has all the answers. It is the operators manual for the human machine. Let’s get started shall we?

We are going to start with 1st John, written by Jesus’ best friend when he was on earth, John the Apostle. We will cover anywhere from 4 to 10 verses every day. I’ll stop and explain important words or phrases:

1st John 1:1-2-That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—

Word of life     manifest     proclaim

John has seen Jesus. He lived with Him for three years. John was Jesus’ best friend. John was Jesus’ most trusted disciple. Jesus told him, from the cross, to take care of his mother. When John says we, he means he and the other disciples. John is giving his credentials before he begins to teach about Jesus. He is letting you know that there is no one that we can trust more to tell us about Jesus than John himself.

The first thing I’ve underlined from today’s reading is “word of life”. The “WORD OF LIFE” means God’s promise about ETERNAL Life. You’ve heard people say “I give you my Word” and it means I give you my promise and Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and THE LIFE”. So “word of life” means God’s Promise concerning eternal life found only in his Son.

What does manifest mean?

Manifest– In the Old Testament, God put words in the prophets mouths that point to a coming Messiah(Isaiah 53) . But it wasn’t completely understood. So manifest means to make known that which was previously not completely known.

phaneroō –Greek word for manifest that means to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.

 

ON THE TURNING AWAY

There are a variety of reasons that people fasted in the Bible. Jesus fasted for 40 days before He began his great ministry, the city of Ninevah fasted when confronted with it’s great sin, David fasted when Nathan confronted him, the disciples fasted before replacing Judas as a disciple and Jesus counseled the disciples that truly powerful demons could only be cast out through prayer and fasting. There are other examples of fasting in the Bible but these examples are for fasting ahead of ministry, fasting in repentance, fasting before important decisions and fasting for greater spiritual power in our lives.

Mark 2: 18-20: Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?”19 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. 20 But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

download (2)As a Christian and you as Christians reading this, I know a lot of your conversations. We all talk about the fall of morality in our country. We all worry about the country we are leaving our children. Our immorality has left us so ignorant as a country that we “officially” don’t know what marriage is. Those who govern us and many if not most of our fellow citizens, no longer know what a human life is. We as the church are shocked at the speed of our downfall but are we shocked to bold action. The prescribed action seems to be prayer and fasting. There are huge ministry opportunities in front of us. There are horrible personal, church wide and society wide sins that need to be repented of. There are important decisions that need to be made and there are some very powerful demons that need to be cast out. If our country is to come back to Her God, Biblical fasting will be a huge part of that happening. It WILL NOT happen without it.

I MUST DIE

Romans 8:1- Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Verse one is another cornerstone verse from Romans. And it follows the sorrow Paul experiences as he recounts in detail his sometimes losing battle with sin and the flesh in the second half of Chapter 7. Who will save Him from this body of Death… The Man Christ Jesus and his saving from the body of death is that now there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:2-8- For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Verse 8 corresponds to the reformed teaching on the TOTAL depravity of man and would seem to teach that man has no free will to make a GOOD decision towards God on his own.

Flesh dies. Spirit doesn’t. The flaw in the Law is that it tells the flesh it must do something that it can’t do.

Condemnation– The Greek word is katakrima- it means a damning sentence. In this case the sentence is eternal; punishment in Hell.

Romans 8:9-11– However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ all the same Spirit but living…in…you. Amazing!! If we are in Christ, the same God who raised Christ from the dead will raise us.

Romans 8:12-17- So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

AAFlesh must die. Not be improved or repaired but die and be replaced. C S Lewis’ quote is always good for explaining this:

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” –C. S. Lewis

MISSING THE MARK

Galatians 6:1- Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

How? Aren’t there some places we shouldn’t go to try to get a sinner back on the right track?  How can we be sure not to fall into the same sin as the one we are trying to restore?

Where does the word sin come from and what does it mean?

When the King James Version of the Bible was written in the very early 1600’s, the English language as we know it today was still in its early stages of development. Think Shakespeare as this was during his time.

Romeo, Romeo. Wherefore aren’t thou Romeo?

archeryThe word “sin” was used to describe the idea of man breaking one of God’s commandments and in the original King James it was actually spelled SYNN. The commandments were the things God demanded that we shoot for. They were our moral target and the word Synn was actually an archery term. One of the major sports of the day was shooting arrows with a bow at a distant target. The shooters would stand at a line and a target was placed some good distance away. The shooters could not see the target very well so someone was placed near enough to the target to see the results but not so close as to be in harm’s way. As each arrow flew, if that arrow missed the mark, the spotter would turn and yell “SYNN!” toward the shooter and the onlookers. So the word SYNN was adopted to describe this word for missing God’s target

There was actually a husband and wife team that toured the country attending various archery events around England during this time period. She was the spotter and he was the archer. During one contest, he was doing very poorly and she started to really aggravate him with her calls and it didn’t help matters that there was quite a crowd gathered for this event. She would yell:

You Synneth…AGAIN!. Thou ist quite the SYNNER today. Canst thou doing nothing but SYNN? SYNN!! SYNN!! SYNN!

This appeared to flummox the man to no great end and his performance grew worse. Finally he shot an arrow so far off course that it flew right towards his wife and pierced her in the heart. With one last blood curdling scream she screamed:

SYNN!!

As she breathed her last, the husband turned to the startled crowd and yelled: Behold!! On that particular shot, I SYNNETH NOT!!

Seriously! It could’ve happened!!!

APOLOGIZE TO GEORGE?

Galatians 5:1- So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

How has Christ set us free? Free from what

Galatians 5:2-3- Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision (being a Jew-apple of God’s eye) to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole Law of Moses.

God doesn’t want us to be concentrating on all the things we should be doing or not doing. He doesn’t want us to be thinking of how many times we should pray or go to church or be nice to this person or how many chapters we should read. He doesn’t want us concentrating on all those things. That’s not freedom. He wants us concentrating on Him. If we are focused on Him, all these other things that we ought to be doing or ought not to be doing will take care of themselves.

God doesn’t want our daily Christian to do list to look like this:

  • Morning Devotion
  • Prayer
  • Read Bible
  • Go to Church on Wednesday and Sunday
  • Apologize to George
  • Call my sick Grandma
  • Be nice to my sister

He wants our daily Christian to do list to look like this:

  • Jesus

Now the first list may happen as a result of the second list but those things would be done out of love, not obligation.

Galatians 5:4- For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

focus-on-jesusIt’s a question of focus. You can’t be concentrating on a person if you are concentrating on a bunch of rules to follow. You can’t have a personal relationship with Stone Tablets that have commands written on them but you can have a personal relationship with a LIVING CHRIST!!

Galatians 5:5-6- But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

All in all it means don’t be a rule follower, be a Christ follower (in love). Let your true and honest love of Christ be your only rule and all of the other rules and commands take care of themselves. It’s exactly what Jesus is talking about here:

Matthew 22:36-40 (Jesus speaking) – “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?”37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

TRUE DAT

The truth does not usually bring people together. It separates people. It creates enemies. Jesus didn’t learn truth like we might and pass it on to others. He didn’t teach truth as a concept to be learned by others. He learned and then taught that He WAS truth. How does truth create enemies??

Galatians 4:16-20- Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

John 14:6- I am the way, the TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Verse 16 just says “Have I become your enemy by telling you about Jesus?” Telling people about Jesus and living for Jesus can create enemies.

crossMatthew 10:34-39- “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Truth separates and so Jesus, as TRUTH, also separates. These verses are some of the most important in the Bible. Jesus is letting people know just how important he has to be in their lives and it must’ve been truly shocking. It still is.

Verse 37-Whoever loves anybody or anything more than me is not worthy of me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! Quick test…Do you love Jesus more than your kids? BE HONEST!! Do you love Jesus more than your spouse? DO YOU? Do I love Jesus more than my wife and family? COME ON!! LET’S NOT FOOL OURSELVES ANY LONGER!! And the biggest test for all of us. Do I love Jesus more than I love myself?

And these verses are not just a test to see where you’re at in your walk with Christ. This loving Christ more than anyone else, this putting him first in every way is not some goal to aspire to ONE DAY. It is a commandment for RIGHT NOW TODAY!! Is that where you are at right now?

Matthew 5:10-12(Jesus talking to you)-“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Worthy- Greek word is axios- Means undeserving. Unsuitable to be mine.

Jesus saying a person is unworthy of Him is hard teaching but we must listen to him. Let His hard teaching do it’s hard work in us.

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me?

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it?

WOW!!!

 

 

UNDESERVED FAVOR

Galatians 1:1-2- Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,

Timothy was sent by a man (Paul). Luke was sent by a man (Paul). Mark was sent by a man (Peter). Now Jesus did choose all these men but the thing that separates Paul and the 12 disciples is that Jesus chose them face to face. Paul’s selection by Jesus is very dramatic:

Acts 9:1-9- But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

To the churches in Galatia:

Galatians 1:3-5Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace=Charis in Greek- means good will, loving-kindness, unmerited or undeserved favor. The reason Grace is such an important Christian word is because the greatest act of unearned loving kindness (Grace) that has ever been given to us is Jesus dying on the Cross:

Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Most people don’t boast out loud but they boast in their heart by thinking they’re better than someone else. It’s important to remember we can’t earn our own saving (salvation). If nothing is earned, everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. God doesn’t count sins or rank people.

Galatians 1:6-9- I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Hello. How are you? I am Paul the Apostle…WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!! Doesn’t take Paul long to get to the point because it is a point that is near and dear to his heart and should be to ours. That is, it is important to get Jesus’ message RIGHTT!! How important? Even an Angel should die if the message is wrong? Do you protect the Gospel? How should we protect the words of Jesus? Is Theology important? Is Orthodoxy? Or is that just being legalistic? What does Paul say? If the Gospel is the only thing that saves then it should probably be presented accurately. Do you think so, too?

jesus-holds-manWhat is the Gospel? Why is an understanding of the Ten Commandments important to understanding the Gospel? The Gospel means Good News. In order for there to be good news, there must be bad news or the good news is just news and the bad news IS the Ten Commandments? Why? God says we must obey them and we prove over and over that we can’t. That’s a problem but the Gospel is the solution.

GIVE ME ALL

1st John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

What does it mean to walk in the Light if the Light is Christ? How does that happen in our daily life? Walking in the light means opening your whole heart and life to him. All of us have opened part of our heart but there are rooms in our heart that are still dark and we have not invited Jesus to shine a light in. That’s what he demands if we are to have KOINONIA fellowship with him.

Greek word for sin is Hamartia which means to miss the mark. Where does the word SIN come from?

archeryWhen the King James Version of the Bible was written in the very early 1600’s, the English language as we know it today was still in its early stages of development. Think Shakespeare as this was during his time. The word “sin” was used to describe the idea of man breaking one of God’s commandments and in the original King James it was actually spelled SYNN. The commandments were the things God demanded that we shoot for. It was our moral target and the word Synn was actually an archery term. One of the major sports of the day was shooting arrows with a bow at a distant target. The shooters would stand at a line and a target was placed some distance away. The shooters could not see the target very well so someone was placed near enough to the target to see the results but not so close as to be in harm’s way. As each arrow flew, if that arrow missed the mark, the spotter would yell “SYNN!” So the word synn was adopted to describe this word for missing God’s target

1st John 1:8- If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

John 14:6- Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to Father except through me.”

Essentially, based on John 14:6, if the truth is not in us, Jesus is not in us.

The warning here is not to deceive ourselves and deceiving ourselves is the number one problem in the Christian church, my life and your life. The reason they call them blind spots is because we can’t see them. Duhhh. Jesus must show them to us for us to know they are there.

Greek word for deceive is planaō-to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive

1st John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

IF! A quick prayer at night that ask God to “please forgive all my sins” is not confessing. We ask God to forgive all our sins once and he does it for all time but John is writing here to Christians who’ve already been forgiven of their sins so why is he teaching them to confess their sins so they will be forgiven? Well we all continue to sin we just are no longer able to sin freely as we once did (if we are saved and growing in Christ) and when we acknowledge/confess it is part of growing. We will always sin. The greatest Christian whoever lived was Paul and look at his struggle with sin:

Romans 7:14-25- So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

 

1st John 1:9 is the Christians bar of soap. Confess your sins and don’t hold back. He will cleanse the humble one who confesses.

What does it mean to confess?

The Greek word for confess is homologeō and it means “to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with” and in this case the person you are agreeing with is God. Essentially, confessing is a lot like repentance in that it is agreeing with God about you with the intention of doing something about it. Before you are Born Again, you are at war with God, whether you understand that or not. After you are saved you join Gods army in the war against you. The new you and God join forces to try to kill the old you. That’s what dying to self means.

Does we understand they you must “die to self”? Die to you.

“Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. … Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’” C S LEWIS

LIGHT

1st John 1:1-2-That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us

John has seen Jesus. John was Jesus’ best friend. John was Jesus’ most trusted disciple. Jesus told him, from the cross, to take care of his mother. When John says we, he means he and the other disciples. He is giving his credentials before he begins to teach about Jesus. He is letting you know that there is no one that we can trust more to tell us about Jesus.

The “WORD OF LIFE” means God’s promise about ETERNAL Life. You’ve heard people say “I give you my Word” and it means I give you my promise and Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and THE LIFE”. So it means God’s Promise concerning the new life found in his Son.

What does manifest mean

Manifest– In the Old Testament, God put words in the prophets mouths that point to a coming Messiah(Isaiah 53) . But it wasn’t completely understood. So manifest means to make known that which was previously not completely known.

1st John 1:3-4- That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is evangelism. Evangel means GOOD NEWS. Evangelism is proclaiming that GOOD NEWS. They saw Jesus and they heard the Good News Jesus was preaching. And that News is so good that they can’t help but share it. How about You??!! They are filled with Joy because they are able to share such wonderful good news.

1st John 1:5– This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

John 8:12- Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 12:46- I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

candleWhat does this word LIGHT mean here? I have “seen the light” does not mean that I saw the sun or a light bulb that has been turned on. It means that I have finally understood something I hadn’t previously understood. Light and darkness, in this instance is the same as seeing and blindness. It is spiritual. OOOhhhhh, I see! If you are in a dark room that is unfamiliar, you have no idea what the room looks like. But turn the light on and we can see. If we are not saved we are standing in a dark, unfamiliar world whether we know it or not. When Jesus the Light enters, we are shocked to see how dark the world is and we were.

2 Corinthians 4:6- For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

1st John 1:6- If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Fellowship- Greek word is koinōnia. It means intimate close relationship.

It is impossible to have an intimate relationship with an all-powerful being that calls Himself LIGHT and walk in darkness. You can’t walk on the beach on a sunny cloudless day and it be dark at the same time. It’s impossible and doesn’t even make sense and it would be ridiculous to even think  that were possible. What John is saying is it is just as impossible that you can say you’ve been Born Again into a relationship with Christ and yet still live a Sinful life. God is light. Sin is darkness. Those two things shouldn’t co-exist.

DIVORCE

More tomorrow. WITH DRAWINGS!!

Those were the last words of the last post from ELEVEN days ago. Been BUSY! Just a reminder that I’m not in control of my tomorrows. Jesus is.

But we were talking about divorce and I think a key take away, especially in light of today’s blog, would have been this:

Over the years, as people have quit caring for and fearing God in a respectful way, those things he’s instituted, like marriage, have begun to crumble. And since marriage is a building block of a healthy society, it’s no wonder that our society has begun to crumble as well, like a house with a crumbling foundation.

So I thought that maybe some simple sketches would help show how this break down happens over generations. They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I don’t think that number is accurate. It’s probably closer to 850 to 875 words but I quibble. As far as understanding divorce’s effect on the crumbling of our society, maybe some simple sketches will help:

abbaThis is God’s plan for marriage and the family. The whole family on Jesus, the ROCK and a firm foundation. A strong Mom and Dad supporting the rest of the family.

 

 

 

ABBA 2

 

 

And there a certain things only a Mom can teach a little boy and there certain things only a Mom can teach a little girl. And there are certain things only a Dad can teach a little girl and there a certain things only a Dad can teach a little boy. In God’s plan, a fully formed human being needs the healthy and full influence of a Mom and the healthy and full influence of a Dad.

 
SOCIETYThen this is a society where the building blocks are firm. Marriage is cherished and respected and God’s authority and plan is followed. This was our society up until 70 years or so ago. I know it’s not this cut and dried but society was much stronger and we were much stronger, in every way, as a country when God’s plan of marriage was respected and cared for.

 

FAMILY BROKEAnd here you have the brokenness of a family where the parents have divided. I chose the Mom leaving because that was my experience but far more often than not, it’s the Dad. Mom and Dad have already done most of the growing and the developing of character they are probably going to do in themselves but when little one’s are involved it can be devastating for them and the formation of their little psyches and how they will love and who they will love and how they interact with humanity and how they may feel about God. I know that as I watched my family implode and experienced and observed the effects it had on my siblings, I began to feel that whoever was in charge of the Cosmos must not have cared very much about me or my siblings. I was wrong about that.

WORLD'S PLANSo then where will what the Mommy needs to teach the child come from. And the Dad. Who will model what a father, and husband and a man should be. God’s plan has always been obvious for thousands of years until now and suddenly we’re so smart? Take a look around. Take a listen around, if that makes sense. We’re not Evolving, we’re DEvolving and a rapid pace.

SOCIETY BROKENAnd now this. Our society is falling apart. I could give you a lot of statistics and numbers that show how many folks come from broken homes or are fatherless. You’ve experienced the number of people addicted to drugs. You’ve seen the immorality run amok. Divorce. It doesn’t just wreck lives, it wrecks societies. There is no natural disaster, their is no war, their is no plague that has done the damage to humanity that divorce has done.

Malachi 2:16– For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”