Tag Archives: pleasing

Be Filled (Part 4): A Spirit-Filled Family

Today’s message of July 24, 2016 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

What defines a family?  Is it merely love?  Or is it something greater than that?  Our definition of love should not come from television sitcoms or of something that is more about lust?  The world view is that “love wins,” but if this love is expressed outside of the word of God, then it is not what God would condone.

Love is not love according to how the world views love.

1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
Nonetheless, if we adopt the world’s view of God, then it is outside of how the bible instructs.  The world view of love is not a reflection of Jesus Christ.

The world’s view of family is based upon a faulty love.

In Genesis 4, there is a brotherly love turned into jealousy…and murder.  This happened because of Cain’s evil tendencies in his heart that was against Abel’s acts of righteousness.

1 John 3:11-14

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.
If you ever thought that your own family was dysfunctional, it probably doesn’t compare to the family of David.  It was truly dysfunctional.  David’s failure to discipline his children created a great deal of pain and suffering, and he even lost one of his sons because of it.

Interestingly, many families today are just as bad if not worse today.

The world has no clue today what it means to be a family.  God defines what it is to have a spirit-filled family.

Love is involved within a spirit-filled family, but not just any love.  A spirit-filled family is characterized by submissive unconditional love.

Ephesians 5:15-33

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:

speaking to one another
in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,
singing and making music
from your heart to the Lord,
giving thanks always for everything
to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another
in the fear of Christ.

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body.

For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.

This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
These are the biblical examples of a spirit-filled family.

Notice that in Ephesians 5:18, he notes that we are to be spirit-filled.  This is imperative in order to be able to submit to and to be obedient to God’s Word.  Anything outside of this means that there is a desire to follow what the world teaches.

Be obedient to the Word and bring yourself under self-control.  Putting aside the deeds of the flesh is to surrender everything to God.  This includes everything.  This is spirit-filled living.

It takes more than love to have a spirit-filled family.  It cannot pay the bills.  It cannot cut the grass or wash the dishes. Loving someone means submitting yourself, in love, to someone else.

Our families should be branded by love in submission.  That is what a spirit-filled family is.

As far as the roles within a family, as noted by Paul (Ephesians 5:22-28), there is a structure that requires submissive love, and the structure is in place in order that God is glorified.  A submissive wife is the crowning jewel of her husband.  She is not submissive not just to please her husband, but to please the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Godly submission is much more pleasing than physical attractiveness.

1 Peter 3:1-7

In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives.  Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature[d] yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
God is using the church, the bride of Christ, to reach people with the good news.  The spirit-filled family is the essence of living before the world in a godly manner.

The husband, in Ephesians 5:25-33, also has to be submissive.  He has to love his wife unconditionally in submission.

This submission, even in a marriage where there is an unbeliever, can have a profound effect on the unbeliever.  You won’t know unless you stay with it.

1 Corinthians 7:14-16

For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband.  Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace.  For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

That is why Paul is telling husbands to love their wives.  The love is reflection of Jesus Christ, who saves.

Sanctification is a maturity process for both the wife and the husband in marriage and in faith (Ephesians 5:26-27).

This sanctification comes from the power of the Word of God.  The church is polluted and guilty under sin, but the Word has cleansing power.  A husband who is submissive to his wife is a Christlike example as to how to live for Jesus Christ.

Children are to live in obedience to the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4).  The husband and wife, to the children, represent God’s authority.  Disobedience is a reflection of disobedience to God.  The Lord will bless those children who submit to their parents.

The husband and the wife are mindful to not abuse this authority and to make their children miserable.  God will judge all parents as to how their children were raised and disciplined.

Proverbs 4:10

Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
Proverbs 23:13

Don’t withhold discipline from a youth;
if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
Families are hardly perfect.  There will be arguments and difficulties, but allow the love of Jesus Christ, in submission, to prevail.  This love is a love in humility and in submission to Jesus Christ.

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Your Mind and Thoughts

A continuing study on the impact of sin.

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:16-17

The Spirit versus the Flesh

16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.

God gives each one of us a mind. While God wants you to use your mind for the purpose of serving God and glorifying Him, it is up to you to determine whether you will follow God or follow the ruler of this world, Satan.

Romans 7:21-23

21 So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. 23 But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.

Sin is never eradicated or destroyed.

God deals with sin in two ways:

1. He frees us from sin, for we are slaves of sin.

2. He delivers us from sin.  He rescues us from the perils of sin.

Note that once you are in sin, you alone cannot walk away from it on your own power or ability.

Proverbs 16:1-2

1 The reflections of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

2 All a man’s ways seem right to him,

but the Lord evaluates the motives.

Your thought process is affected by many different factors (your friends, worldly influences, and even demonic influences). You can experience conflict in your thought process, especially in your own flesh.  God has to be a part of your thought life in order that He can reason with you.  He helps you to sort out any voices that conflict with Him.  It’s up to you to listen to God’s voice and allow for His reasoning.  He is the voice that keeps you away from sin.

If we follow a principle to guard our thoughts and hearts, we will be receptive to God’s voice.

Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

1.  Is it true?  (speaking the truth, truthful)

2.  Is it noble?  (honest character, honorable; showing high moral qualities, ideals or deeds)

3.  Is it right?  Is it just?

4.  Is it pure?  (avoid carnality; free from every fault, clean)

5.  Is it lovely?  (acceptable, pleasing)

6.  Is it admirable?  (well spoken, repeatable, good report)

7.  Is it excellent?  (virtue, moral goodness)

8.  Is it praiseworthy?  (a commendable thing)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.  He will give you what is best for you if you listen to Him, but you have to trust Him and believe in His Word.  The enemy will try to discourage you with thoughts that God does not want the best for you.  It is important for you to distinguish God’s truth from Satan’s deception.  When your thoughts are weighed against God’s reasoning and His truth.  He helps us with our thoughts and leads us to truth.

Proverbs 16:20

The one who understands a matter finds success,

and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.

You have a choice to make.  God makes known His will through His Word.  It should be a matter of prayer for each of us as we seek the truth and His will in our life.  We must choose to do God’s will or we will be outside of it.

John 7:17

If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own.

Luke 10:38-42

Martha and Mary

38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It is important for each of us to listen to God speak in order to process our thoughts with the proper care and consideration.

After God has replied to our prayers and petitions and weighed our plans and thoughts, we still need to commit to the Lord’s plans.  This is an important step in trusting The Lord.  Your success is in the Lord’s hand.  It all has to work out according to His will.

Proverbs 16:3-4

3 Commit your activities to the Lord,

and your plans will be achieved.

4 The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose—

even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his way,

but the Lord determines his steps.

If you commit your plans and thoughts to God, His promise is that He will direct your steps.  He is faithful.  He wants you to succeed.


How To Stay Out of Sin (You Have To Do It)

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

A believer in Jesus Christ should always reflect the desire and the resulting effort to avoid sin (Psalm 119:11).  Anything less should be unacceptable.  Unfortunately, there are some who profess to be Christian and yet live constantly in sin, and don’t seem to have the desire to escape it.  A person who professes faith in Jesus Christ will not remain in sin without repentance and a desire to live in a godly manner; unfortunately, many who call themselves Christian don’t show the evidence of living for Christ because they fail to remove sin.  A believer will not grow in Christ if his or her lifestyle does not distinguish itself from that of the world.

Jeremiah 48:11

Moab has been left quiet since his youth,
settled like wine on its dregs.
He hasn’t been poured from one container to another
or gone into exile.
So his taste has remained the same,
and his aroma hasn’t changed.

In order to grow in Christ, you must remove sin from your life and do everything you can to keep clear of those things that cause you to sin.  God desires for every believer to live in such a way where he or she is a light in a dark world, and being that salt and light is a lifestyle that is a pleasing fragrance to God.

2 Corinthians 2:15

For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

In order to overcome sin, the believer in Jesus Christ has to make a commitment to do it and to continually strive for godliness.

Three ways you can keep sin out of your life:

I.  Don’t take advice from the ungodly as to how to live in a godly manner.

(This does not mean that one should not take any advice from a person who is not a believer.  You can get good advice, but it may often not be advice that distinguishes how you are to live as a believer in Christ.)  This advice covers many different areas—marriage, family, money, work habits and friendships.

Psalm 1:1-3

How happy is the man
who does not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path of sinners
or join a group of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

It’s important to recognize today’s basic worldly principles:

1. Get all you can without working (work ethic as we have known it is just about gone today).

2.  If you do work, do as little as possible.  Don’t let the man take advantage of you.

3.  Have as much sex as you can with as many people as you can.

4.  Look for others to clean up your mess.  If necessary, use the blame game.

5.  Be loyal only to yourself, and care only about yourself.

6.  This is the only life you have; therefore, make it a party!

If you allow ungodly people in your life, they will have a negative effect on you and your testimony.

Psalm 125:3-4

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
so that the righteous will not apply their hands to injustice.
Do what is good, Lord, to the good,
to those whose hearts are upright.

 

II. Learn to wait on The Lord

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for Yahweh; I wait
and put my hope in His word.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning—
more than watchmen for the morning.

Philippians 4:6, 11-12

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.

Psalm 37: 34

Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
and He will exalt you to inherit the land.
You will watch when the wicked are destroyed.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time.

God will indeed lift you up.

Isaiah 40:31

…but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

Waiting is our hope in The Lord.

John 3:27

John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven.

 

III. Change your friends from those who corrupt to those who encourage your fellowship with Christ

Don’t allow yourself to be misled.

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Proverbs 30:11-12

11 There is a generation that curses its father
and does not bless its mother.
12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
yet is not washed from its filth.

Watch the relationships that your friends have with their parents.  Is it a rebellious relationship or a respectful one?

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.

Is the relationship making you a better person?  A good friend brings encouragement and is uplifting to you.  It is a pleasant, refreshing aroma!

Proverbs 27:9

Oil and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.

You have to work at keeping yourself out of sin.  Pray for guidance from Jesus as to each of these areas.


Standing Firm in God’s Truth

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:

How do you handle the truth? It is difficult to deal with, because the reality is that truth hurts. We are often not willing to accept it. Truth often deals with our attitude and our behavior, and often we run from truth.

If you took the time to write down the things of truth in your life (and if you are honest about it), you would not like what you would see. God wants us to acknowledge who we are as sinners. We try to hide from the truth and say we are good, or we will even blame our issues on others. No matter how we may feel, God speaks to us in the truth through His Word.

Romans 3:3-4
3 What then? If some did not believe, will their unbelief cancel God’s faithfulness? 4 Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written:

That You may be justified in Your words
and triumph when You judge.

John 8:44-45
44 You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

Most people who rather believe the lie instead of truth to avoid acknowledging it. The church is often confused, in much the same way, as to what is truth and what to believe. Either we stand on the truth and God’s Word or we choose to believe what Satan has to say, and he is a liar.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
9 The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.

Satan will be setting up many for deception and to believe in his lies, and he will cause many to fall to the side if not perish altogether. He is successful in the lives of those that choose not to love and accept the truth.

When you begin to believe the truth, it will greatly affect your behavior. This is evident to everyone around you. They will see a person who follows truth living a life of purity. There will be a life of productivity and improvement. In contrast, those who do not follow truth, trust in His Word and believe in His Word will often manifest behavior that shows an inconsistent life. God promises to train you in every area of life if you trust in Him.

2 Timothy 3:16-17, 4:5
16 All Scripture is inspired by God[a] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

5 But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

A person who believes in Jesus Christ must make sure that he or she reads God’s Word in order to begin the process of believing it, and acknowledging that it is true. We read it, we wrestle with it, and then we believe it; therefore, God begins to speak to us and give us the ability to apply it and share it with others. Note the progression of the believer who earnestly seeks The Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:13
And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak.

1 Timothy 3:15
But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Failure to accept truth does not mean that the truth is wrong. Many of us need to set the example before others and uphold His truth when dealing with others who refuse to acknowledge it. A person’s behavior will not change unless they hear the truth and accept it.

Often we get caught up in things such as misbelief and misbehavior, and even superstition. We can believe erroneously in old wives’ tales and things that take our focus off of God through Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness,

1 Corinthians 3:18
No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise.

Galatians 1:6-7
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah.

Matthew 19:16-22
16 Just then someone came up and asked Him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask Me about what is good?” He said to him. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he asked Him. Jesus answered:

Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
19 honor your father and your mother;
and love your neighbor as yourself.
20 “I have kept all these,” the young man told Him. “What do I still lack?”

21 “If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

22 When the young man heard that command, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Note that Jesus answered the man’s question, but he did not like Jesus’ answer. As a result, he was unhappy because he chose not to follow Jesus’ advice. This is exactly what happens when we fail to be obedient to God’s Word and when we lack faith.

Mark 6:4-6a
4 Then Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” 5 So He was not able to do any miracles[a] there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He was amazed at their unbelief.

The only thing that can overcome a lack of faith or one who believes in lies is to teach the truth.

Hebrews 11:6
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

There are many in our midst that are all of one mind that will welcome those who are in unbelief. They are malicious and spiteful, and in the case of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, they happened to be the religious leaders of the time.

Matthew 3:7-8
7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the place of his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance.

Just because you choose to make an alliance with others who are unbelievers does not mean you are in a good place or that you can rationalize your position. God challenges us not to use our own reasoning or way of understanding–He wants you to listen to Him and to reason with Him. It will work with each one of us who seeks His Word and His understanding, and He will give us correction and direction.

In the 19th Century, it was the free thinkers that came up with evolution and the development of life forms–which means no creator and; therefore, no God. In the 20th Century, the move was towards modernism–modern practices because “everyone was doing it” and that is what made it right. In the 21st Century, the movement has evolved to hatred of God’s Word, where man knows more than God and the desire to move away from truth. Today, there is a demand for a new doctrine (teaching) that is not according to Scripture; as a result, society dictates to the Christian that they will need to abandon God’s truth in order to adapt and survive in today’s culture. We are being challenged daily to follow truth and to look to God for guidance and answers.

Acts 5:29
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.

Galatians 1:10
For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

Hebrews 13:20-21
20 Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—with the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 7:21
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Romans 3:4
Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written:

That You may be justified in Your words
and triumph when You judge.

Lord, we pray for those who may doubt you that you will release them from their unbelief, for your Word is true and it will provide guidance and training in everything that they will do. Help us to be obedient to You and to Your Word and to seek you with a desire to learn and grow in You. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.