Do you find yourself complaining that Christ has been removed from much that goes on this season? Protests against hymns and prayers in schools. Merry Christmas replaced with Happy Holidays. Too much emphasis on buying and a gimme-gimme attitude.
But what are you and I doing to shine the light of Christ and share the reason this season exists? Are we so focused on long lines and long to-do lists that we fail to share the most important thing … the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Does sharing the gospel strike fear in your heart? Check out today’s post for one of the best resources I’ve found for sharing our faith.
And what about our interaction with other believers? Have we fallen into some of the world’s concepts about love and tolerance? How do passages like Galatians 6.1-2 and Ezekiel 33.1-6 make it clear that tolerance is not always loving?
Also read about God’s promises to Israel, the futility of running from God, and how a fool and his words get into trouble. Continue reading →
Leadership books, seminars, articles and posts abound in every realm of life. Sales companies want to lead their teams to more sales. Company executives want to motivate employees to loyalty and greater profits. Ministry leaders want to inspire more involvement and greater commitment to the church and its purposes.
Some lead through manipulation. Some through strength of character or charismatic personality. Some try leading through force, fear, or intimidation. But Jesus’ explanation of leadership contained none of those things. It might seem counter-intuitive to many. It surprised, even, His disciples.
Jesus’ instructions about leadership could be characterized by three words: love, sacrifice and servant-hood.
Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.
Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 12 “The Husband’s Role: Loving Leadership”
We’re in a series on God’s design for marriage. If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, you can read them here. Today’s post is on the husband’s role, that of loving leadership.
Ephesians 5 says:
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Just as Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of his home. This is not a matter of personality or what works for each couple. God says the husband is the leader of his home.
He may default on his role. One of the complaints I hear from wives is, “My husband won’t lead. He leaves everything to me.”
Wives may refuse to submit to their husband’s leadership making it very difficult for him to lead effectively. In fact, some husbands simply throw up their hands and quit trying to lead, believing it’s not worth the battle.
In some marriages husbands and wives fight constantly over who will have their way. Their children live in a minefield where an explosion can happen at any moment.
Others divide responsibilities and assets and proceed to lead two separate lives. There’s my money and your money. I do my thing; you do yours.
Some husbands try to maintain control with their fists or some other manifestation of anger. Some by being harsh or treating their wives and children like their employees.
But what does God have to say? Lets look at the rest of Ephesians 5:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own 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 the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Three Key Words
We could sum up Christ’s teaching on the husband’s role in three words: love, sacrifice, and servant-hood. God has called husbands to loving leadership. Continue reading →
So what is love? Is it what greeting card writer’s want us to believe? Is it some
irresistible attraction? Is it something we fall into and out of? Are we just victims of Cupid’s arrows?
One definition of love is “a purposeful, sacrificial action for the benefit of another and the glory of God without expecting anything in return”. And one of the best passages to show us what that looks like is 1 Corinthians 13.4-7a. Among other things, it says:
Love is patient. It’s patient when tempted to be impatient.
Love is kind. It’s kind even when the other person doesn’t deserve kindness.
It’s not envious of others. It’s not envious of their material possessions, their success, or anything else.
Love is not boastful. It doesn’t show off or brag. It’s not puffed up with pride.
It’s not rude. Sometimes we’re kinder to strangers than we are to our own spouses and children. But if God’s love abides in us we will not be rude, either in our words or our actions.
Love is not selfish, constantly seeking to have it’s own way. It prefers others as more important than itself.
It is not irritable, no matter what the circumstances. It is not resentful.
Love bears all things. It bears up under hardship. The old King James Version says that love forbears. It puts up with. At times we just have to “put up with” the shortcomings and failings of others. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4.8).
It believes all things. It gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. It believes that God is working in the other person just as He is working in us.
Love hopes. Biblical hope is much stronger than our “wishing and hoping” kind of hope. It’s expectant.
It endures. It perseveres. Love never ends.
Based on this list, if you were to rate your love on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being very low and 10 supremely loving, how would you rate yourself? Take a minute and think about it. I’ll wait. Continue reading →
This week’s question: “Which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22.36).
Everyone has a purpose? We may believe we are called to teach others or take care of those who are sick. We may feel called to be full time moms or lead a large company. We may be firefighters or police officers or nannies. We may have a strong desire to use an artistic or musical talent. We can feel called to various careers or activities, but what is our primary purpose in God’s view?
Jesus went straight to the heart of that question when He was asked by a religious lawyer, “Which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Including the Ten Commandments, the Jewish Torah— comprised of the first five books of the Bible— contains 613 commandments. When the Jewish lawyer posed the question, Jesus used the phrase “first and great” to clarify that He was also taking into consideration the Ten Commandments. Jesus went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (v. 40).
Loving God (the vertical dimension of life) and loving one another (the horizontal dimension) represent all that the Ten Commandments address. The first four commandments (having no other gods before Him, not making an image or likeness, not taking His name in vain, and remembering to keep the Sabbath day) have to do with our relationship with God, the upward, or vertical, expression. The last six (honoring our parents, not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not lying, and not coveting) speak about our relationship with other people, the outward, or horizontal, expression. So, although the Pharisees were “testing” Jesus when they asked this question (v. 35), He simply told them that all the commandments boil down to this: love. According to Jesus, we who are His followers are to love God supremely and to love people around us.
Most of us understand in some measure what it means to love with all our hearts. When we find that special someone in life, we focus all our attention on him or her and on building that relationship. We want to spend long periods of time just talking to each other, getting acquainted, and learning all we can about each other’s likes and dislikes.