The King and His Kingdom – Part Six


The King and His Kingdom Video
Session 6
 
Welcome to Part 6 of the King and His Kingdom, which we’ve titled the Working Believer.
 
Having had a closer look at the roles of the family this week, we want to see how God’s principles apply to us in our workplace. As believers, we are guilty of seeing the ‘church’ place as different from the ‘work’ place. God’s kingdom principles apply to us all the time – whether in church or out – whether at work or home.
 
 
 
In the Beginning
Adam was given free rein in the Garden of Eden and was told by God, “…I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth…to you it shall be for meat”. Everything was placed at his disposal. As we have today, there was certainly no need for him to ‘toil’ for his food. (Gen 1:29)
 
The result of Disobedience
They were effectively cursed when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil.’ Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long (We can get more detail of this situation in the ‘Gospel Explained’ sessions). Gen.3:19 shows us that humankind’s work (or Job) would not be easy, because he had lost his wonderful ‘image’ of God (Gen.1:26 5:3), and would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage to working in – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
 
Humankind’s Part
In the book of Psalms, the author wrote in Ps.104 about creation, showing how God had laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. In verse 23, we see one of fallen humankind’s parts in the plan – to labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
 
What about Christ’s Body (Church)?
Within the actual body of Christ (the bride of Christ, in other words), it is evident that not all members will receive gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Only those God has destined will grow in those gifts (Eph.4:11). These gifts cannot be obtained by studying at a school or bible college, but are given free by God to those He has ordained. As the body (church) grows, some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world (although not be part of it) to generate funds for furthering the gospel.
 
How will they Work?
In Romans, Paul exhorts the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in their daily tasks – as unto the Lord (Rom.13:1). That means all jobs – whether liked or not liked, agreed with or disagreed with (Eph.6:5-8). Work done daily should not be done ‘halfheartedly’ to make it appear as though a good job has been done but should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done (1 Timothy 6:1-2). We’ll all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He’ll want to know why?
 
Set Apart
Our behavior as Christians in the workplace is always under the watchful eye of the world. (“…and he calls himself a Christian!!” – heard the expression?). It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord. We should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
 
Who must Listen?
This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but those who disobey cannot be blessed, and this without partiality (Col.3:25).
 
Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings
At times it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! (1 Pet.2:18-22).
 
Some might say – “Why should I obey those in authority when they mistreat me?” Well, we need to remember that firstly, the Lord requests us to obey. Secondly, the scripture in Ephesians tells us that those in authority over us are accountable to God, so if they mistreat anyone under their jurisdiction, they will answer to God (Col.4:1 Eph.6:9).
 
Points to meditate
In previous sessions, we’ve been dealing with the roles of the husband and wife. Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Let’s have a look at these scenarios:
 
What would happen if we take the marriage scripture of 1 Peter and applied it to the workplace scenario, in other words:-
 
– The employer treated the employee with understanding – loved and honored them as fellow heirs of the grace of life? (1 Pet.3:7).
OR
  – The employee was obedient and submissive to the employer? (1 Pet.3:1-6).

AND FINALLY…
                – Both employer and employee focused their eyes on the Lord? (Taking the pressure off each other)
 
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
Right, let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:
1.       In the Beginning – In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given free rein. Humankind looked like God and had the exact nature of God. Everything in the Garden was placed at their disposal. There was certainly no need for them to ‘toil’ for their food. (Gen 1:29).
2.       The result of Disobedience – When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil,’ they were effectively cursed. Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long. Their work (or Job) would not be easy because they had lost their Godly ‘image’ (Gen.1:26 5:3). They would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage in which to work – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
3.       Humankind’s Part – God, laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. Fallen humankind’s part in the plan? – to
labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
4.       What about Christ’s Body (Church)? – Within the actual body of Christ (the bride), it is evident that not all members will receive the gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world to generate funds to further the gospel.
5.       How will they Work? – Paul urges the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in all their daily tasks as unto the Lord. Work done daily should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done. We will all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He will want to know why.
6.       Set Apart – It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord – we should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
7.       Who must Listen? – This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but without partiality, those who disobey cannot be blessed.
8.       Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings – At times, it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! The Lord said He would reward those who follow His word and deal with the superior who has been acting outside of the His principles. To the employer, Paul says that they should treat their subordinates with fairness and justice. If they take advantage of subordinates, “…you also have a Master in heaven”.
9.       Points to meditate
Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Compare the marriage scripture of 1 Pet.3:7 to the employer/employee relationship in the workplace.
 
LASTLY…
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
 
Please join me soon for the next session, where we will look closer at examples of some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers. Be blessed during this coming week – until we meet again soon
 
 

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The King and His Kingdom – Part Five


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 5

Welcome to PART 5 of the King and His Kingdom which we’ve entitled the Role of the Parents.

Having completed the roles of both the husband and wife, this session, we are going to take a closer look at the Godly responsibilities of Parents. Many of the principles applying to the role of the husband and wife, mentioned in the previous sessions, will apply to parents as well.

God’s Promise

God has made and will continue to make a great nation of His people, because He has a covenant with them, promising this very thing. They are a redeemed people from every nation, who have been made into kings and priests for the sole sake of God – to reign with Him … even on earth. (Rev5: 9-10).

Mankind was created to give glory, honor, and power to God. This being their main purpose.  As a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden, mankind did not give glory to God, nor did they subsequently realize their real purpose, because of their fallen state.  Jesus came to restore this circumstance and we can see in 2 Cor., mankind has been redeemed to live for God’s good pleasure (2 Cor.5:14-15).

This objective of living for God is so singularly important, that both Jesus and Paul advised against marriage in the scriptures of Matt.19 and 1Cor., as it could distract the focus of establishing God’s purposes on earth. (Matt.19: 10-12; 1 Cor.7: 8, 32-33). Jesus says in fact, that there ought not to be a single relationship or possession that should take precedence over our love of Him (Luke14: 26,33).

We must bear in mind here that it was God who instituted marriage (not mankind), and that separate principles apply to married disciples. This, so that the Gospel can continue to be shared through the testimony of marriage.

Through correct training of our offspring, God’s plan of making His children into a great nation will continue to come to pass.

Godly Seed

Husbands and wives are a team effort for God’s objectives being carried out on this earth, and ultimately in the Kingdom of Heaven, as they are co-heirs of His Kingdom.  (1 Pet.3: 7; Col.3:19).  But also, by virtue of their acceptance of marriage, they will be accountable to God because of their status as parents and also teachers. (James 3:1).

They will have the unique role of bringing children into the world and then raising them as Godly seed, whilst their marriage and family life will both encourage other believers and give hope (salvation) to the lost; thereby producing Godly seed in others (Mal2:15 NLT). This will ensure that God’s authority will flow through the family and be passed onto the next generation.

Family Unit

From the viewpoint of the Church, it is reliant on strong functional family units, to make it, as a body, effective for the Gospel.  The strength of the local church is directly related to the strength of its family units.

The strength of the family unit will see God’s authority flowing out into the community, into workplaces, and eventually into the nation.

Next, we must clearly see that outside the Christian marriage and family unit, the world does NOT HAVE A GODLY MODEL, and therefore has reduced hope of finding salvation.

Role Models

Today we see the result of marriages not working according to Godly principles – crime, drugs, and all types of debauchery. Parents operating outside of God’s principles will project the wrong role models for their children. Children will not experience God’s authority through their parents and therefore will not know how to pass this authority onto future generations. 

To successfully raise Godly seed in our children, parents need to first have both the role of the husband and the role of the wife working according to God’s government, or their words of instruction will have no life-giving qualities.  Effective communication for Jesus comes from an authoritative communicator, not an articulate one (Matt.7:29). Both parents need to be effective, authoritative communicators, with testimony in their own lives, to earn the respect of their children (Matt.7:29).

EM Bounds wrote this: – “No man can preach beyond the level of his own testimony”.

How does God see Children?

We need to see children in the important light that God sees them and as Jesus describes in Matt 18 and 19:

In our relationship with the Lord, we need to become like little children. They are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  When we respect little children and serve them, it is as good as doing it to Jesus (Matt.18:1-5; Matt.19: 13-15).  If we reject and ill-treat them, we may as well be put to death! (Matt.18:6;10). Perfect praise comes from children (Matt.21:15-16).

Obedience produces Fruit

In Gen.18, we see God’s covenant with Abraham was put into play because he was obedient regarding the bringing up of his child, Isaac (Gen.18:18-19).  Further, Abraham was an effective communicator. On the way to the sacrificial alter, Isaac hears his Father prophesying … “God will provide a lamb…”. Then he witnessed the dagger over his body. However, Isaac remained obedient because of the way he had been brought up. He heard his father prophesy life and trusted him (Gen.22: 8-11).

Communication

Positive communication follows the form of speaking words of life.  Prov.18:21 warns us that either death or life flows from the tongue.  The only way we can communicate life is by abiding in Jesus, so that He abides in us (Jn.15:5), in other words, our relationship with God should be real and well-grounded.  When we are led by His Spirit, out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths will speak (Jn.7:38).

Communication also involves listening. James 1 tells us we need to be better listeners than speakers (James 1:19).  If Jesus was willing to minister to the need of children, so it is that as parents abide in Him, they will seek ministry opportunities when their children approach them, wanting to speak.

A child who is accustomed to communicating with a receptive parent will never struggle to communicate with his parents in later years.  Just as our communication habit with God needs to be cultivated, so does our communication with our children.

Lastly, communication involves lifestyle.  Whilst talking and listening is important, it is a scientific fact that the human brain only retains 7% of all that it hears, but on the other hand, retains 38% of all that it sees and hears – and that is Lifestyle. 

Parental Examples

Someone once said, ‘Zip the lip and walk the talk’.  Children will be most affected by what they see in their parents’ lifestyles.  Particularly up until they are able to have their own relationship with God, they see and communicate with God through their parents.  Any child who has had a poor relationship with his parents will struggle to have a relationship with God. Their trust in God is founded on trusting their parents.

It must be always remembered that with regard to training children, we have strong competition from satan.  He works through the very effective media of television, magazines, worldly friends, education, and worldly entertainment. 

The scriptures speak much of correctly disciplining children.  Discipline is never an easy thing to effect, but without it, children may not inherit the Kingdom of God (Prov.23:13-14). The reason for this is because the sinful nature inherited from Adam, causes a child to have a sinful heart (Ps.51:5). The habits of the sinful nature need to be trained to re-new the thinking.  Proverbs 22 says that discipline is the way to train children (Prov.22:15).  Parents need to discipline with diligence (Prov.13:24). Discipline should be effective, but not damaging (Prov. 20:30).

Discipline

Society today has a negative outlook on the use of Biblical discipline, largely because, over years, the biblical methods have not been correctly adhered to, resulting in cases of abuse of children. Discipline may take many forms. Parents should seek the Lord diligently over this issue to find the correct and preferred method for each family.

Whichever method is sought, here are some points to remember:

Some ‘Do’s and ‘Don’ts’

  • Don’t keep threatening verbally.
  • Don’t discipline hastily or in anger.
  • Don’t discipline in front of friends or in public.
  • Do act after speaking twice.
  • Do discipline promptly.
  • Do follow through with, and complete the corrective action.

Discipline should be considered ONLY after:

                a. A child has broken the rules that have been set for them—ensuring they fully understood the instruction.

                b. Parents have gone the second mile with them.

If parents do not discipline their children when they break the rules they have been set, then parents undo valuable work (Matt.5:19 and 37).

In a Nutshell….

The role of the parents is to disciple their children to a place where they will hunger and thirst for God.

In a practical vein, Prov.22 says we are to ‘train up a child ..’ (Prov. 22:6). We do this first of all by communication, and secondly by discipline.

Children simply need to understand their boundaries socially and within the family unit. They will often explore for themselves how far they can go, before transgressing rules.

We should disciple children according to Godly principles – ‘permit’ what has already been ‘permitted’ in heaven and ‘forbid’ what has already been ‘forbidden’ in Heaven (Matt.18:18).

And last – but definitely not least – remember, “a family that prays together… stays together”. Parents should never stop praying for their children – ever!

OK… time to recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. God’s Promise – God is making a great nation of His people, because He has made a covenant with them promising this very thing. Through correct disciplining of our offspring, God’s plan of making His children into a great nation will come to pass.
  2. Godly Seed – Husbands and wives are a team effort for God’s objectives being carried out on this earth. They are co-heirs of His Kingdom. Parents will be accountable to God because of their status as parents and also teachers. They will have the unique role of bringing children into the world and then raising them as Godly seed.
  3. Family Unit – The strength of the local church is directly related to the strength of its family units.

We must clearly see that outside the Christian marriage and family unit, the world does NOT HAVE A GODLY MODEL.

  • Role Models – Parents operating outside of God’s principles will project the wrong role models for their children. Both parents need be effective, authoritative communicators, with testimony in their own lives, to earn the respect of their children (Matt.7:29).
  • How does God see Children? – When we respect little children and serve them, it is as good as doing it to Jesus.  If we reject and ill treat them, we may as well be put to death! Perfect praise comes from children.
  • Obedience produces Fruit – God’s covenant with Abraham was fulfilled because he was obedient regarding the bringing up of his child Isaac.  Further, he was an effective communicator.
  • Communication – Communication follows the form of speaking words of life.  The only way we can communicate life is by abiding in Jesus, so that He abides in us (Jn.15:5).  Communication also involves listening. Out of their relationship with the Lord, parents will seek ministry opportunities when their children approach them wanting to speak. Communication involves lifestyle.
  • Parental Examples – Children will be most affected by what they see in their parents’ lifestyle.  Any child who has had a poor relationship with his parents will struggle to have a relationship with God. Remember that parents face competition from Satan through the very effective media of television, magazines, worldly friends, education and worldly entertainment. 
  • Discipline – Discipline may take many forms. Parents should seek the Lord diligently over this issue to find the correct and preferred method for each family. Remember the list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ mentioned earlier.
  • In a Nutshell…. The role of the parents is to disciple their children to a place where they will hunger and thirst for God, done firstly by communication, and secondly by discipline. Children simply need to understand their boundaries socially and within the family unit. 

Please join me soon for PART 6, where we will explore some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers in the business world. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The King and His Kingdom – Part Four.


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 4

Welcome to session 4 of the King and His Kingdom which we’ve entitled the Role of the Wife.

In the last session we said the following:

  1. Knowledge of God – Never before in history has there been such a need for examples of Godly marriages, as now. To truly understand what God expects from us in our marriages, we need to have a knowledge of His character.
  2. God’s Government (The Kingdom of God) – God’s government or His word or law, is beyond debate or question and is final and irreversible. It is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him. God himself is powerless to reverse His own Government. Anyone who obeys the will of God (or His government) is blessed.   Anyone who does not walk according to His principles, will struggle through life, yet still, God’s infinite mercy provides us with ‘grace’ – the power to obey Him.
  3. Clearly defined area – The role of the Husband, like the role of the Wife and that of the church, is specific and VERY CLEARLY detailed in the word of God. If husbands have a heart’s desire to be the type of Husband God intends them to be, they will be blessed among all people. If they do not have this desire, they need to pray for it, because without it, they will struggle much in this life, and may even drag others into their situations.
  4. Suitable Partner – God decided that it was not good for man to be alone.  He needed a ‘helper’.  Someone to help him in his needs: spiritual, emotional and physical. To be an assistant to him and him alone. Not a slave, following behind him – or ahead of him in a position of authority. Husband and wife are inseparably linked by their spirits – a team working with, and for, each other.
  5. Understand your wife – To live with one’s wife in an understanding way is to accept by faith that which the scriptures say of her, praying for a Christ like attitude toward her and the way she has been created – the husband putting himself in her shoes.
  6. Honour and love your wife – To honour one’s Wife according to the scripture is to esteem her in the HIGHEST degree – to maintain her dignity. She is honoured because she is critically part of man and because she is a gift from God. Husbands should love their wives and not bear any unforgiveness (bitterness) towards them – neither for past or present circumstances. Husbands should be providers for their wife and family. This not only materially, but spiritually and emotionally. The wife’s role calls for sensitivity, but it can leave her vulnerable and therefore she needs understanding and protection, but NEVER is she inferior in terms of her ultimate reward of eternal life.
  7. God’s Line of Authority – According to God’s government, the husband is the spiritual authority of the wife.  He is to instruct her in the ways of the Lord, by word and by example. The scripture says that Husband and wife are one. The husband cannot fulfil his role as a Christian unless he is fulfilling his role as a husband. He has a very essential partner as assistant, spiritual, physical and emotional support, in his wife. Husband and wife should never be out of step in their roles, the stronger even carrying the weaker at different times.  The individual roles should never be taken over or changed.
  8. Our Role Models – Tragically today the family model is being poorly moulded. In some communities today ‘Fathers’ are scarcely even seen, never mind fulfilling their roles – sometimes having left home to find employment in other areas. The only lasting and workable solution for the marriage model is the word of God.  We as Christians need to take a firm stand in this last hour.  The best place to begin is in the family.  Husbands, as the spiritual authority, must be the initiators.
  9. Next Step… – The beginning for the husband is to go earnestly before God and pray for the desire to change, whatever the cost.  The effort of the husband to fulfil his role will amount to nothing, if it is not borne out of his relationship with God.  Only in this way will he be the type of husband God wants him to be.

In this week’s session, many of the principles applying to the role of the husband mentioned the last session will apply.

God designed marriage as the cornerstone of our society. So as mentioned, when we “go and make disciples” as instructed by Jesus in Matt 28 (Matt.28:19-20), if we are married, we need the testimony of a solid marriage because we can only disciple others to the level we ourselves are with God.

Never before in history has there been such a need for examples of Godly marriages, as now. Therefore – what does God expect from us in our marriages?

Until we have some knowledge of the character of God, it is difficult to understand what He expects of us.  Next, it is important to understand what He desires from us in the long term, eternally speaking, before we will be able to perform according to His will.

God’s Government (The Kingdom of God)

We shared before the fact that God is sovereign.  He is supreme and not accountable to anyone except Himself. We see in the books of Zech and Daniel that His government, another expression for His word or law, is beyond debate or question and is final and irreversible (Zech.14:9; Daniel 2:44). His Kingdom (or His government) is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him. We see this in the scriptures of Plasms and 1 Timothy (Psa.135:6; 1. Tim.6:15).  God himself is powerless to reverse His own Government (Is.40:8). Pray for a revelation to understand this fact to gain meaningful change in our lives. 

Anyone who obeys God’s principles is blessed.   Anyone who does not walk according to His Government or principles will struggle through life (Psa.1:1-3).  God is powerless to help the one who wilfully disobeys Him (Heb.10:26), yet His infinite mercy provides us with ‘grace’ – the power to obey Him.

His government is precise and exacting and has far-reaching and often devastating consequences for those who will not follow in it.

Clearly defined area

The role of the Wife, like the role of the Husband and that of the church, is specific and VERY CLEARLY detailed in the word of God.  There are NO grey areas, no aspects of uncertainty.  If wives have a heart’s desire to be the type of Wife God intends them to be, they shall be blessed among all people.  If they do not have this desire, they need to pray for it because without it they will struggle much in this life.  Not only will they suffer, but they may drag others into their situations.

Both the role of the Husband and the role of the Wife, are Godly principles

(See Part 2—The King and His Kingdom)

Suitable Partner

We also saw previously that God decided that it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18).  He needed a ‘helper’.  Someone to help him with his needs: spiritual, emotional, and physical. The animals were paraded before man and whilst he named them all, NONE WERE FOUND AS A SUITABLE HELP FOR HIM, as was a woman (Gen.2:19-20).

God put Adam to sleep and created a ‘helpmeet’ for him, from his own body … from a rib taken out of Adam.   The woman was “brought unto the man” and was given to him as his possession, and it was him that named her ‘woman’ (Gen.2:21-23).

She came from his rib, out of his side. This is symbolic that God intended her to always be at his side, to be an assistant to him and him alone.   Not a slave, following behind him – or ahead of him in a position of authority. Husband and Wife are inseparably linked by their spirits – a team working with, and for, each other. (Gen.2:24).

All of this is the government of God (God’s Kingdom) – Undisputable, irreversible, and final.

God’s Line of Authority

In 1.Cor.11, we are told that a woman is under a DIVINE authority order (1.Cor.11:3).  Her husband is her head, his head is Jesus, whose head is God. The scripture goes on to say that women were created for men, NOT the other way around (1.Cor.11:8-9).  However, as previously mentioned, this is not as a slave, but as a partner or assistant so that THEY together, can jointly achieve God’s divine purpose. Please take some time out in the next few days to prayerfully look at these scriptures (1.Cor.3:12; 1.Pet.3: 7; Mal.2: 15)

Wife’s Obedience

The wife is under the authority of her husband according to the book of Titus. Paul says this must be so, in order that the word of God is not dishonored (Titus 2:4-5).  As a wife, no earthly career should be above obeying her husband, loving him and their children, and caring for their home.  She can work to support the family’s needs, with her husband’s blessing, or perhaps to work with her husband, to support the work of the Lord. Please find time in the next few days to read the following scriptures to support this statement (Prov.31:10-31) ( Acts 16: 14-15, 40; Acts 18:2-4).

Submission – A Great Blessing

Submission, which is the role of the wife, is perfectly portrayed in the scripture of 1 Peter 3: 1-6.  This is a lovely scripture for wives to take quietly before the Lord. In obeying this scripture, the wife honors God through submitting to her Husband and brings blessings to her home, household and all those she comes into contact with.  She honors God through her submission because anyone who obeys Godly principles, honors Him. In this way also, she prepares herself, her husband and children, for God’s ultimate and eternal plan – HIS BRIDE.

Our Role Models

We are products of role models or templates: Firstly, those which our parents were responsible for giving us, and subsequently that which the world shows us via television, magazines, and other media.  Therefore, we will continue our lives according to the role models we see around us. Worldly models for marriage are limited in their power. Paul confirms this in 1 Cor (1.Cor.1:18). Only adhering to Godly principles will give us the correct role models.

God will bring Wives to a place where they submit to their husbands on an unconditional basis, (which is really the only basis for submission).  Wives submit to OBEY GOD not because they expect to see the fruit of their labors.  Submission is doing all things as unto the Lord for the benefit of others.  The lives of those around the wives change, especially their husbands, because they submit and serve.  They submit whether their husbands receive it or not. (1. Peter 3: 1).

If wives feel the need to correct their husbands, it should be done according to the scripture of 1 Tim., where Paul talks of ‘Exhorting’ or ‘encouraging’ them (1 Tim.5:1). Wives should try not to repeatedly approach negative topics verbally with their husbands, but instead seek the Lord, praying for her husband and also for God’s will to be done in that particular circumstance. This is an exercise of trusting God for the wives.

The Government of God is not difficult to follow … it is impossible in our own human strength!  By His grace alone can this be accomplished – let’s ask Him to help us follow – always.

Next Step…

Wives begin by praying to God for change and to receive the mind of Christ, which 1Cor tells us, is given to us, through the scriptures.  (1Cor2: 16).  As wives pray this in all earnestness and sincerity, DAILY, they will begin to experience change.  They will become the wise woman that builds her house, and not the foolish one that tears it down. (Prov14: 1).

Right… let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. Knowledge of God – Never before in history has there been such a need for examples of Godly marriages, as now. To truly understand what God expects from us in our marriages, we need to have a knowledge of His character.
  2. God’s Government (The Kingdom of God) – God’s government or His word or law, is beyond debate or question and is final and irreversible. It is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him. God himself is powerless to reverse His own Government. Anyone who obeys God’s principles is blessed.  Anyone who does not walk according to His Government or principles, will struggle through life (Psa.1:1-3).
  3. Clearly defined area – The role of the Husband, like the role of the Wife and that of the church, is specific and VERY CLEARLY detailed in the word of God. If wives have a heart’s desire to be the type of wife God intends, they shall be blessed among all people. If they do not have this desire, they need to pray for it because without it, they will struggle in this life, and may even drag others into their situations.
  4. Suitable Partner – God decided that it was not good for man to be alone.  He needed a ‘helper’.  Someone to help him in his needs: spiritual, emotional and physical. Not a slave, following behind him – or ahead of him in a position of authority. Husband and wife are inseparably linked by their spirits – a team working with, and for, each other.
  5. Wife’s Obedience – The wife needs to respect her husband’s authority (Titus 2:4-5).  This is in line with God’s authority spoken of in 1 Cor.11. As a wife, no earthly career should be above obeying her husband, loving him, their children and caring for their home.
  6. Submission – A great blessing – In obeying the scriptures about submission, the wife honours God through submitting to her Husband and brings blessings upon her home, household and all those she comes into contact with.  She honours God through her submission because anyone who obeys Godly principles, honours Him. In this way also, she prepares herself, her husband and children, for God’s ultimate and eternal plan – TO BE THE BRIDE OF JESUS.
  7. Our Role Models – We are products of models: Firstly, that which our parents were responsible for giving us, and subsequently what the world shows us via television, magazines and other media. Only adhering to Godly principles works. God will bring wives to a place where they submit to their husbands on an unconditional basis. Wives submit to OBEY GOD not because they expect to see the fruit of their labours.  Submission is doing all things as unto the Lord for the benefit of others.  The lives of those around the wife change, especially her husband, because she submits and serves.  Wives should ‘exhort’ and encourage their husbands, being a partner in the marriage unit. This is an exercise of trusting God for the wives.
  8. Next Step… – Wives should begin by praying for change in their lives, asking for the mind of Christ, which is given to us through the scriptures. As this is prayed in all earnestness and sincerity DAILY, change will be experienced.  Wives will become the wise woman that build their homes, and not the foolish ones that tear it down.

Please join me soon for PART 5, where we will explore some more principles of the Kingdom of God. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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God – A Man?


“Jesus came to die for my sins” – we have heard the expression many times – so many times, that I think it has begun to sound a bit like a ‘stuck record’. After hearing these words so many times, they seem to have lost their power. They don’t seem to cut as deeply into our hearts as they perhaps once did. Do the words still pierce deep into our souls and do we really appreciate what an amazing gift we have been given?

Before the foundation of time, a very serious board meeting was convened. The board consisted of the triune Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At this meeting God’s plan for mankind was discussed. God wanted to bring His Peace and Joy into all the world and the heavens. However, the Godhead saw that rebellion against God would set in. The heavenly beings – Angels – would rebel against God’s authority and the earthly beings – Mankind – would disobey God’s instructions.

What a relief that the Godhead not only had a solution to the situation, but they knew before the foundation of time, that rebellion was going to occur! There was a time in my life when I thought that God was sitting on His throne in the heavens dealing with problems on the earth daily as they occurred. Can you imagine God looking at a certain situation in a country and saying, “Oops…? I didn’t see that coming!”. That would be a pretty scary situation for us to be in. No – God knew before the foundation of time, ALL that HAS occurred on the earth – ALL that IS occurring on the earth – and ALL that WILL occur on the earth. This applies to our personal lives as well.

It was decided at the meeting that Jesus’ death on the cross would be the restitution or sacrifice for this rebellion. Those who wanted to be restored back to God, would have a way back through the Son. For this to happen, Jesus would have to come to the earth as a man. Let’s just think about this statement for a while…Jesus had to become a man.God a Man

The Godhead’s plan began to unfold. Satan rebelled against God in the heavenlies, and Adam disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. Jesus, the Son of God, in order to enter the world as a man, had to empty himself of his deity and everything associated with His power in God. It is relatively easy for mankind to be humbled and begin to be obedient to God, because as mankind, we have much less to lose. How much greater for Jesus to remove all the Godly power within Himself?

Jesus became a man in every respect, except that He never sinned. Not only did He become a man, but He became the lowest of all men. A servant to those around Him – a target to those who hated Him – a sacrifice for those he didn’t even know. The lowliest of all, and never once did He complain or react badly in the situations, He found Himself in.

At any point during His life on earth, Jesus could have succumbed to the temptations around Him. He could have fallen into sin, being a man in all respects. Even if He had fallen into sin, He could have gone back to heaven as part of the Godhead because He is inherently the Son of God. However, He would not have received Glory and Lordship from God on His return. This would mean that at His second coming, He could not be honoured and glorified by all.

As a man, Jesus resisted all temptation. Through Him, God gave us an example to follow. Never could it be said that Jesus did not sin because He is the Son of God. No – He was a man – emptied of God and humbled as a human. Therefore, ALL the world has an opportunity to be reconciled back to God through Jesus – not only rich or poor, educated or uneducated, culture or no culture, but ALL who seek Him. At the second coming of Jesus, the scripture tells us that EVERY KNEE will bow, and EVERY TONGUE will confess “Jesus is Lord”, also the “Kingdoms of this world will be the Kingdoms of our Lord”. God bestowed Lordship upon Jesus because He resisted temptation and sin.Jesus as God

It would be good for us to dwell on this truth and allow God, through the power of His Spirit, to reveal to us the totality of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Emptying Himself of His Father’s deity to become the lowest of all humankind. This is surely a good reason to honor and worship Him all through our day. Hallelujah!

Hopefully when we next hear the phrase, “Jesus came to die for my sins”, we will recall the depth of its meaning and really appreciate how much love the Father has for us.

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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button).

Died for My Sin or Resurrected for my life?


We have heard about the “The Gospel” – the foundation of the Christian faith. Today there seems to be many different versions of how the gospel is interpreted, what the Gospel is or what it means.

The gospel is normally explained by saying, “Jesus died on the cross so that my sins may be forgiven”. This explanation is correct, but is it the fullest answer?

In the Christian faith, a tremendous amount of focus is placed on the death of Jesus, and quite rightly so, for it was the ultimate sacrifice paid for mankind’s sin. A debit that God paid in order that we might have opportunity to have our wrong doings wiped away…as far as the East is from the West. This is an amazing thought and one worthy of our focus.

So…. the gospel shows us how we are forgiven our sin – but then what? Is that the end of the story?

We have seen from past articles that Adam lost his likeness to God through disobedience. He gained a sinful nature Adams sinand passed this nature down the line of mankind. Therefore, every human being is born with a sinful nature – an engine if you like – that drives us to sin. This drive to sin comes about automatically and is so natural that we are powerless to resist.

All of mankind, irrespective of culture, is bound by this self-centred nature. This all adds up to a pretty miserable and difficult existence. No tolerance or respect for one another.

However, the gospel of the Kingdom shows us the next step in the death and burial of Jesus. A continuation of the story. The scriptures show us that on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. It also shows us that around 500 people witnessed this event. This is an historical fact.

The Apostle Paul asks a very pertinent question in the book of Romans. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound – God forbid”. Paul goes onto explain that our old sinful NATURE was buried with Victory over sinJesus – the engine which drives us to sin. Hallelujah – we are therefore no longer slaves to the sinful nature – we don’t have to sin any more.

He continues by saying that if our old sinful nature died and was buried with Jesus, then also we were raised up in the newness of life with him.

So… the gospel of the Kingdom shows us that we have power to overcome the temptation to sin by the fact that Jesus took away our sinful natures. This is worth focussing on!

This makes the gospel real in our personal lives. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but He also died that we might walk in victory daily!!

Here is a point to ponder – how many services have we attended in honour of the resurrection of Jesus and heard that He took away our sinful natures?

The resurrected Jesus gives us a toolbox to use in our daily lives. This toolbox helps us through our walk on earth. It helps us stand firm as we are sanctified (made more like Jesus) – daily, a bit at a time. The final reward will be when we hear His voice saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

The toolbox is the resurrected Jesus – the Holy Spirit! We don’t have to look outside ourselves to find God – He lives within us!

We are the temple of His Holy Spirit.

By all means focus on the fact that Jesus died for your sins, but never forget the fact that the resurrected Jesus lives Victory over sin 2.pngwithin you – the very character of God, giving you power to overcome the sinful nature and granting you wisdom and knowledge about life circumstances.

When we are confronted by life’s tests and trials, will it be necessary for us to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?”

With His character firmly within in us, the question is, “Will we allow Jesus to do what He needs to?” …..

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published weekly.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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button).

 

 

Hold My Emotional Hand


We are naturally self-centred and therefore it is not easy for us to accept negative things that other people say about us. When we do not agree, the built-in instinct to defend ourselves, criticise situations and blame others, raises its head.

This is true of us in our general lifestyle – our daily work place and at home. It seems the closer to ‘home’ (family members) we are, the more sensitive and explosive our reaction can get.

Why is this happening to us?

Pride, when born out of the Adam nature, causes us to react in a negative way when we are offended. Once offended, our reaction is either anger, retaliation, withdrawal or feelings of guilt.

One of the natural characteristics that we are born with, pride, comes to us from the fallen nature of Adam. It is interesting that Adam was created in the Image and Likeness of God. This image and likeness showed the true nature of God reflecting in Adam. He could not only see God, but could fellowship directly with Him. Adam’s way of thinking was based in God’s nature.Pride

When they disobeyed God, Adam and Eve lost their Image and likeness of God. The self-centred ‘Adamic’ nature was then transferred down the line of humankind to us today. All the human cultures we know today were born out of this fallen nature, which is not restricted to certain races – ALL of humanity have received it.

That is why we tend to react in a negative way when things don’t go according to the way we want them to.

If we have people in our midst that always appear to be irritating us, we need to either continue with the relationship and endure the misery (for however long), or we need to confront the situation and ask God to help us deal with it.

Let us look at the example of a person or persons who we don’t seem to get on with. The closer that person is to our heart, the stronger the irritation to us. For those who are not close to us, we may tend just to brush them aside or at least not have contact with them for the majority of our day. Those we love are closer to us and it is not so easy to merely brush the situation ‘under the carpet’, so to speak.

Let us think about this ….
If the person who is the source of our irritation were physically ill with a terminal sickness, how would we react to them? Perhaps if they were not close to us, we may still tend to push them one side. However, if they were close family members, surely we would find ourselves caring for them. Doing whatever we can to make their lives that bit more comfortable.

Why is it then when these people, so close to us, have emotional characteristics we do not agree with, we seem to take offense? It appears the last thing we want to do is to ‘nurse’ them through the emotional illness, as we would do with a physical illness.

If we love a person, we want to see them physically healthy. Surely, it stands to reason therefore, that we would want Emotional Healthto see them emotionally healthy?

Is the prideful Adamic nature in us preventing us from nursing our loved ones’ emotional character? If this emotional imperfection were terminal in that person, would we turn our backs on them?

Let us seek the Lord and ask Him to help us begin to live out of the new (Godlike) nature within us and not the old Adam nature. As God’s nature in us grows and strengthens, we will show more Godly fruit in our lives and have more compassion in circumstances. Patience is earned, not given to us by God. He gives us grace (unmerited favour) to overcome.

From: “time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Prayer…Seriously?


Have you ever pondered the scriptures where Jesus says that we should ask for anything in His name and the Father will grant it to us? I did, many times. I wondered why I was asking the Lord for things that I felt I needed but to no avail.

As I began to grow closer to the Lord, I learned that Jesus taught us to pray by saying, “Your will (the Father’s) be done”. So I began to ask Him for things ending off my prayer by saying, “…Lord if it be your will”. That way I started to learn that the things which did come to me, came by His will.Jesus Prays 2

When I learned that ‘Praying in His name’ meant praying in the character of Jesus, it began to put a new light on my prayers. How wonderful that God will use us in our daily circumstances to pray for situations and for those around us. It is relatively simple to pray for solutions according to what we think. However, it takes a bit more time and thought to pray out of Jesus’ character. What does Jesus see in the specific circumstance? How does HE feel about what we are experiencing at that point? What would HIS solution entail?

As we pray, we need to take ourselves ‘out of our shoes’ and put ourselves into Jesus’ shoes to start to understand HIS heart in the situation we are led to pray for. It is also fairly simple for us to pray for situations or people once off and not again – almost lightheartedly. What if the Lord requires us to have a real burden for our prayer topic? A burden that will occupy our minds day and night until it goes away. Are you so close to a situation or person that you are truly burdened to persistently seek God for help?

Jesus shares the parable of the poor widow seeking the Judge for legal protection from her adversary. Being a widow, she had no husband to help or protect her, so her request came from a very sincere and burdened heart. She had a clear need to keep persevering for her request. How deep and serious are the burdens we have for those around us?

Jesus speaks a parable where the Widow is being bothered by her opponent and that the Judge will have the solution to this troublesome situation. It is the same for us today. The Judge is God; the Widow is like us – burdened – and the opponent is the accuser of the brethren, the devil. As the Judge had the solution to the widow’s problem, so God has the solutions to our situations. Like the widow, we need to persevere in our requests. In order to persevere, we need to have a true burden. In order to have a true burden, we need to ask God to give it to us. If we have no desire to ask for the burden, we should ask God to help us with that as well!

In the parable, the Judge admits that he is no respecter of man or God, but that he needed to grant this Judge and WidowWidow her request for fear that she will wear him out with her persistent asking. Jesus goes on to say, “… now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly”.

As we go to the Lord daily with our prayer requests, let us ask Him for a burden for the particular topic we are led to pray for. That way we will find ourselves seeking God seriously for the things we ask ‘in His name’ (character). That way also, God will be able to answer us quickly as we cry to Him day and night.

Praying seriously for daily protection and other topics is something we have not deeply thought about. Draw close to the Lord as He draws closer to us. Feel the heart of the Father as we sit at His feet during our private prayer times. Then, as we pray ‘in His name’, the Father will grant what we ask.

From: “time with the Master…”

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nineteen


 o3.o1.96

Well, “Christmas” and new year have come and gone for another year. Some Christians have again been drawn into the pagan origins of Christmas celebrations for the wrong reasons. How the Lords heart must break at this time when He witnesses the goings on during this season. He weeps and says, “Why do you only focus on Me at this time of the year? Don’t you know I have made you a people set apart, a Royal Priesthood? But instead, you follow the ways of the world in celebrating something which lacks My power and majesty. It is in the death of My son, whom I GAVE for the forgiveness of your sin, that My power is made manifest.

You sing songs and give gifts in My name, but your hearts are not with Me. I need your obedience to fill My heart with Joy. Not only over this season of time but ALL year round, each and every minute of every day”.

 It’s sometimes very difficult to understand how God works. The other day I sensed God saying to me, “Am I a man that I should explain my ways to you?” The words came as a bit of a shock to me but after deliberating on them, I could see the truth and when I realized the real awesome, mighty power of God (which words cannot describe), I wondered how I could dare to question Gods ways. Who am I? It is only for me to obey not to question His mighty ways.

 I felt that way this morning during my prayer watch between 4-5am. The challenges that faced Kathy and I have become so big. Where to start?

 Our immigration permit expires on the 4/2/96 and cannot be renewed. This means we have to go out of the country for three weeks and then we are able to return on new permits.

 The one trailer which we brought with us has also reached the end of it’s permitted time in the country and must be imported in to Malawi before the end of February. It cannot be imported until it is released from South African customs, which cannot be done but at the border post in R.S.A. This means a trip to S.A. at great expense (which we don’t have!).

 The lease for the house which Chris, Sally, Andy and Sue are staying in, expires at the end of March. Chris and Sally are leaving on 24th January as the doors have opened for accommodation in England, but the question is: Where will Andy and Sue stay?, not to mention all the furniture we have been blessed with that is in the house.

 The Owner of our house is not certain whether we can stay on as he may want to move in. At our last meeting he said he would let me know soon.

 If we go out of the country, there will be no transport here for the brethren to continue the businesses. Andy and Sue will be on their own and will have to manage with the bicycles.

 Arthur phoned from R.S.A. and it seems he is uncertain when or if he will be back. Another great shock!

 So, we sit. Does God want to end this work now? ”

 Another call from S.A. tells us that Rene (my mother), has no place to stay and needs to come to be with us. I would love to have her here, but how will she cope?

what now lord
What Now Lord?

 There is a certain anger which wells up inside of me when I’m trapped in this kind of circumstance. There is nowhere to turn. I feel like screaming at the Govt. departments and saying, “It’s for your people that we have come here, not for our own gain – where is your support for us? – why should we have left what we did just to be treated like this?”

 It’s then that I realize it is only by God’s grace that we are here. We are under His “orders” not our wills. HE must decide what will happen. We must follow the Shepherd and trust that He will not desert us. But it’s so hard to trust during uncertainty like this.

04.01.96

I prayed this morning and felt myself becoming softer and softer. It was like a great pair of hands enveloping me. I hear the accuser saying….”The calm before the storm” but by God’s grace, I choose not to buy that thought.

 We have been in this kind of situation before and the Lord has never failed us. Each time it occurs I have forgotten the past experience and how wonderfully God worked and shielded us. So, it now seems like a new experience and the pains are being felt all over again. 

 After that prayer time, these are the words I received: “When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt – wait. Never act on the impulse of feeling, if you do, you will cause difficult situations to arise that may take months or years to untangle. Wait for Gods timing and He will do it without heartache or disappointment”. And so, by His grace that’s what I’ll do……

12.01.96

The Lord is definitely doing something, but I wonder what? As I’ve learned previously, it’s not for me to question but merely to obey (by His power).

 I have received a letter from the Immigration dept. to say that I may proceed with my application for a Temporary Employment Permit which, if successful, will last for two years, in the meantime I don’t have to leave the country until the application has been answered, one way or the other (thank you Lord).

 In answer to my prayers about Rene, she arrived yesterday from Cape Town. She was in a terrible state, hardly able to walk or remember anything. Anyway, there is a great improvement after only one day. Kathy has been such a great blessing with Rene and I’m really grateful. Both Kathy and I really want to look after her, to help her find peace and a sense of belonging. It will be a very trying job, but we trust that the Lord will guide us and give us the necessary strength because we understand this to be the right thing to do.

 We should look after our parents so that they may have life and fellowship in the body of Christ and not amongst the world in special ‘homes’. We should have the opportunity of giving back to them something of which they gave to us as they brought us into the world.

 It is a wonderful time to minister into fears, regrets and doubts. Lord please let us know that we have the grace you have so willingly poured over us.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

 

 

A Privilege to be Used


Have you ever wondered why it is that we find ourselves in the daily situations and circumstances that we do?

There are a number of answers to that question but one answer is that we are used by God as vessels to bring salvation to others as well as presenting situations before Him. What an exciting thought – to be used by the almighty Father! Is it possible the Lord would need to use us as ‘agents’ here on earth? Well, yes it is!

Continue reading “A Privilege to be Used”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Eleven


Why not start at the beginning of this amazing series……..

South Africa
26th January 1995 – 29th May 1995

We had planned a break to S.A. and Zimbabwe for six weeks, during January 1995, so we were quite amazed when it turned out to be so long. In our last newsletter we shared about the challenges with the Combi and how wonderful it was to see the various parts arriving from South Africa to try and get us on the road.
“….We finally left for Zimbabwe on 26th Jan. On nearing the border of Mozambique (after finally getting visas, which is another whole story!), the power in the Combi began to fade. There was a terrible feeling in my stomach. As the situation worsened, I was freewheeling the down hills to try and make it to the Zimbabwe border where Kathy’s parents had offered to meet us.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Eleven”