The King and His Kingdom – Part Seven


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 7

Welcome to Part 7 of the King and His Kingdom, where we ask the question – ‘Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom’?

This session is primarily aimed at Christian business owners. ‘Kingdom business’ is seen as the work of the Lord, in other words sharing the gospel, praying for people or situations, Lord; and helping to meet the needs of others. ‘Business in the Kingdom’ on the other hand, can be seen as doing business in the worldly realm in the name of the Lord.

Today’s business market is extremely competitive. There has never been a time in our history when all aspects of the business need to be so well-honed in order to merely just stay ‘afloat’.

We believe, by faith, that God can do anything, but can we trust Him to take our businesses to a level where He can freely bless us?

In reality, what is our personal motivation for God to help us in our businesses?

                Is it – To have a business where we would like God to be a partner with us?

                Is it – A business where we can bless the less fortunate through proceeds?

                Or is it – A business we can use as a vehicle to share the Gospel with others? 

There is nothing wrong if we’ve answered ‘yes’ to some or all of these questions.

Let’s Look at some Scripture

Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). He says that if we want to bear good testimony to Him in our daily lives, we need to abide in Him and He in us. We need to be spending time with Him in prayer, in His Word, and with other believers. (Spending time with other believers for fellowship and encouragement – not for times of criticizing and judging one another!).

Paul tells us in Romans 8 that those who are sensitive to and obey the Holy Spirit, are His children (Romans 8:14). Again, we need to spend time with Him, if we want to learn how to hear Him through His Spirit. We learn God’s character through reading the word, meaningful fellowship, and praying in our closets, as well as praying in groups.

Jesus says that we will be able to recognize believers by their actions (Matt.7-16-19;20). Our actions reflect the depth of our relationship with the Lord. How are we behaving in our business place?

Types of Businesses

Let’s have a look at some fictitious examples of business types we see in the world today:

Business Number 1…

Worldly Business

A person who does not know the Lord and owns a business will pass on their character through that business. The following ‘fruit’ normally categorizes business in the world without God:

                They are – 100% self-centered

                Management normally – Not Caring about Staff/Suppliers/Customers

                And it’s – Profit at any cost

Business Number 2…

A.L.A. Agencies (Pty) Ltd

After the Lord has touched a repentant heart, change begins to take place in the business owner. When the first part of the salvation process, ‘sight’, has come to the individual (John 3:3), they become enlightened about the things of God and their personal sinful nature. However, at this point, they have not ‘entered’ into the Kingdom of God, because although they are aware of God, they still walk daily in their old nature.  

For the purpose of our session, let’s say this business owner has a business, which we will call “As Long As Agencies (Pty) Ltd.”

Some ‘fruit’ of this business would be:

                They – Pay Staff fairly (Min Wage) – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

                There is – Fair Exchange of Value – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

                And they – Give resources to Kingdom work – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

And finally Business Number 3…

A.L.L. Consultants (Pty) Ltd

However, once the second part of the born again process takes place – being born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5) – then true entry into the Kingdom of God takes place. At that point, the repentant heart realizes their old nature has died with Jesus on the cross and they now start to operate from the new heart of Jesus. This business owner has a business, which we will call “As Led by the Lord Realties Inc.”.

Some of the ‘fruit’ of this business would be as follows:

                – Pay Staff fairly   –  AS LORD LEADS

                – Fair Exchange of Value –  AS LORD LEADS

                – Give resources to Kingdom Work –  AS LORD LEADS

                – This business will go over and above to make sure Godly principles apply throughout.

Our Measure

If we use Matt. 28:19-20 as the Kingdom ruler to measure business success, this is what we will see:

                                Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • Worldly business is not involved at all in sharing the Gospel and making disciples.

Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • “As Long As Agencies (Pty) Ltd.” is involved in sharing the Gospel and making disciples as long as it is comfortable for the business.

Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • “As Led by the Lord Consultants (Pty) Ltd.” is completely committed to making sure ALL aspects of the business operate according to Godly principles. Sharing the Gospel and making disciples will be a ‘fruit’ thereof.

In Conclusion

Therefore, back to our question – ‘Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom’?

 Kingdom business and business in the Kingdom are the same things – one is not possible without the other. Jesus said that apart from Him we cannot do anything (John 15:5). In 1Cor we see we are transformed from our old nature to our new nature in Christ, on a daily basis (1Cor.1:18). As this happens, the fruit displayed in our lives is more reflective of the Lord. If we are business owners, then this fruit is carried down through all aspects of our business.

Thanks very much for joining me over the past 7 sessions – as always my hope is that the Holy Spirit has opened up some new insights for us all and that these sessions have drawn us that bit closer to Him. May the Lord bless you all – until we meet again.

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 Six A


Our Role in His Kingdom.

The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 6a

In previous sessions we’ve looked at the Kingdom of God and how it is that as we obey God’s principles, (or His Government), we are blessed by Him (Psa.1:1-4). We also saw that as we drift out of His principles in our day, God is not able to bless us – this is because His Government is indisputable, irreversible, and final. We see in the books of Zechariah and Daniel, that His government, or another expression for His word or law, is beyond debate or question, whether we agree with it or not! (Zech.14:9; Daniel 2:44).

God desires to bless you and me on a daily basis, but if we don’t adhere to His principles, His own government prevents Him from doing so. If He were to bless someone who is acting outside of His Government, then He would be obliged to even bless the accuser of the believers, the devil – a situation He cannot have!

If God’s principles are close to our hearts, then we will be more aware of them during the course of our day. In this session, we are going to look at some of His principles that can apply specifically to our behavior in the workplace.

Please remember, there are many more principles in His word than what we are looking at in this session. Let’s try and prayerfully sit with the Lord on a regular basis, asking Him to reveal more principles to us, so that we become more aware and more blessed.

Eph 6:5  Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

How obedient are we to those in authority over us? Do we carry out our tasks with a sincere heart, as if we were doing the work for the Lord?

Eph 6:6  not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Eph 6:7  With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

We should be working as though we are working for the Lord – not trying to please mankind but to please the Lord.

Eph 6:8  knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

As we work diligently as if for the Lord, His promise is that we will receive blessing back from Him.

1Ti 6:1  All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.

Are we able to treat those in authority over us with honor? This, so that the name of the Lord is not scoffed at.

1Ti 6:2  Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren but must serve them all the more because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

Are we blessed to have an authority figure over us who believes in the Lord? The scripture says they are brothers or sisters in the Lord and therefore we should serve them. We should encourage this behavior in our workplace – not criticize it.

1Pe 2:18  Servants, you must obey your masters and always show respect to them. Do this, not only to those who are kind and thoughtful but also to those who are cruel.

It can be very easy to show respect to those who treat us well, but the scripture says we also need to show respect to those who are not kind to us as well.

1Pe 2:19  God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him.

As we respect others in the workplace we adhere to this Godly principle and therefore the Lord will bless us.

1Pe 2:20  You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you if you have to suffer for doing something good.

Have we been wrongfully accused of doing something – God says He will bless us if we are persecuted for wrongs we did not do.

1Pe 2:21  After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

The Lord allows situations of suffering to come to us in order that we will change. If we had perfect lives – there would be no need for us to know or seek God.

1Pe 2:22 Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.

Have a time of reflection about our day today. How many times did we lie or be deceitful? In our old sinful nature, we will continue to be deceitful but in our new Christ-like nature, His character will flow through us.

1Pe 2:23  Although he was abused, he never tried to get even. And when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly.

We need to trust in God more throughout our day. If wrongs have been done to us, God knows about it and it is His place to judge and bring vengeance – not ours.

In this last section let’s read out some scripture together as we did previously in part 2a. At the end of the section, pause and discuss for 10min what you have read together.

However, VERY IMPORTANTLY – please note here:

We have put in brackets some words in the following scriptures for the purpose of highlighting them for employees and employers. We are not trying to change God’s word.

EMPLOYERS

Col 4:1  Masters, (EMPLOYERS) grant to your slaves (EMPLOYEES) justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Eph 6:9  And masters (EMPLOYERS), do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

Col 3:25  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

1Pe 3:7  You husbands (EMPLOYERS) in the same way live with your wives (EMPLOYEES) in an understanding way, as with someone weaker…….. and show her (THEM) honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

1Pe 3:8  To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

1Pe 3:9  not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

EMPLOYEES –

1Pe 3:1  In the same way, you wives (EMPLOYEES), be submissive to your own husbands (EMPLOYERS) so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives (EMPLOYEES),

1Pe 3:2  as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

1Pe 3:3  Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

1Pe 3:4  but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Remember – as we adhere to these principles daily, we will be blessed. I pray that the Lord has ministered some ‘pearls of wisdom in this session. These Godly principles for our daily lives are very difficult to adhere to if we try in our own strength. Let’s call on the Lord daily, to help us with the power of His Holy Spirit.

As we enter into the Kingdom of God here and now, we have acknowledged that our old sinful nature (the engine that drives us to sin), has died and been buried with Jesus. Let’s begin to walk in the new resurrected nature that God has given us.  This is the nature that is able to walk daily in God’s principles.

Please join me next week, for PART 7, where we will be looking at Christian businesses, to see how God would like them managed. 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 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
 
 

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 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.

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

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Three

If you missed the introduction to The First Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

You will reach Part Two here.

Matthew 7:1-28

Tap this link for scriptures.

In this final session, Jesus begins by teaching on the issue of the judgment of others. He warns that in terms of how the Disciples judge others, they themselves will be judged by the same measure. In comparatively harsh words, He explains why they are not in a position to judge others. Rather they should concentrate judgment of themselves.

Changing subjects, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples they should be discerning with whom they share these teachings. Unholy people will mock their words, damming them, and finally, use those words to attack the disciples personally.

Jesus now tells them that there are three things they should always do: Ask, if they are in need; they should seek if they are in doubt, and should they wish to enter Him and follow his example, they only have to knock. He assures them, in asking, they will receive what they ask for, in seeking they will find what they are looking for. Lastly, if they knock to enter Him, he will open the door.

He now compares their giving to that of His Father and states his Father’s giving to be the stronger, this is the way that their giving should be.

Wrapping this point up, Jesus states that they should always do unto others as they would have others do to them. He explains that this is the fulfillment of their law.

Now Jesus talks about the way forward, saying, the entrance to the Kingdom of God on earth is only accessible through a narrow gate. This leads to an equally narrow walk. Because the gate is narrow, few find it. Because the way is so narrow, it is a difficult walk. They will observe though, that the world at large enters their lives via a wide gate, easy to find and easy to walk.

He warns His disciples concerning those that would approach them with differing doctrines. He says that whilst they would appear as mild as lambs on the outside, they will be as ferocious as wolves on the inside. The way they should judge this ilk is to look at the fruit they bear in their lives. They well know that grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes and figs are not found on thistles. Neither do good trees bear bad fruit or bad trees bear good fruit. Those that do not bear good fruit are uprooted and destroyed. In short, don’t entertain these, they will ultimately destroy themselves.

Jesus continues; saying that because there will be those that call Him “…Lord, Lord…” does not necessarily mean they will enter into the Kingdom. Only those who do His Father’s will. Even when these protest that they performed miracles in His name, He will say, “I don’t know you, away from me you thugs!”

Jesus concludes by saying that any person who hears His words and acts on them would be compared to a wise person, who builds their house on firm foundations. When violent storms ravaged the earth, the house stood firm. Those, however, who hear His words and do not act on them are like the foolish person, who built their house on sandy foundations. When the storms raged the house collapsed in a huge heap.

The crowds below observed that Jesus did not teach like the teachers of their day, but as a person who had authority.

My prayer is that this series enlivened the Spirit within you and me, resulting in us thanking God for etching these Kingdom principles into our hearts.

Blessings

Peter.

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 Three


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 3

Welcome to part 3 of the King and His Kingdom which we’ve entitled the Role of Husband. In the coming sessions, we’ll see what it is that God expects from our specific roles in the Kingdom.

In the last session we said the following:

  1. What are the benefits of living in His Kingdom? – In the Kingdom of God, we live according to His ‘rule’ or ‘government’ and the results are that we are a people that are blessed. His promises to us are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him’, is the Amen! The more we walk in His principles, the more God’s authority will flow through us.

We become ‘agents’ (or vessels) of the Kingdom, here on earth – permitting/forbidding that which has been permitted or forbidden in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt.16:19).

  • What happens when we do not live according to His principles? – Duet 28: 15-68 describes this situation only too well.  In short, the more we are in His will (His Government), the more we will experience blessings in this life and reward in the next life. This is also a measure of how God’s authority will flow through us daily (Psa.1:4-6).
  • Examples of Godly Principles – There are many of God’s principles to be found in His word. Why not spend a bit of time looking for them and be enriched as the Lord opens these principles to you? Try turning the principle around to discover why we are not living blessed lives.
  • What is the purpose of His Kingdom? – God uses His principles on this earth to refine us (Ph.2:12). Each difficulty we face, God has permitted into our lives so that we will turn to Him and be strengthened as we overcome them. (Rom.8:28). It is impossible for us to live according to God’s Principles in our own strength. We need the power of His Spirit to strengthen, teach and guide us.

All of this is being done in order to prepare us for the greatest fulfillment of prophecy – the ruling of the saints with Jesus over the “House of Jacob” in the millennial reign as seen in the book of Luke (Luke1: 33).

God designed marriage as the cornerstone of our society. When we “go and make disciples” (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)

In Isa.55:8-11 we see the fact that God is sovereign.  He is supreme and not accountable to anyone except Himself. We see in the books of Zecharia 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). The Kingdom of God (His government) is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him. We see this in the scriptures of Psalms 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 His government (or God’s Will) is blessed.  Anyone who does not walk according to His 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 Husband, like the role of the Wife 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 Husbands have a heart’s desire to be the type of Husband God intends, he shall be blessed among all people.  If he does not have this desire, he needs to pray for it, because without it, he will struggle much in this life.  Not only will he suffer, but he may drag others into his situations.

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

(We can refer back to Part 2—The King and His Kingdom)

Suitable Partner

Genesis 2:18 says that 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. The animals were paraded before man and whilst he named them all, NONE WERE FOUND AS A SUITABLE HELP FOR HIM! (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” she 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 and 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, who would walk behind him – or ahead of him to take authority – Husband and Wife are inseparably linked by their spirits, as 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.

Understand your wife

The husband is commanded to live with his wife in an understanding way.  He is commanded to honor her.  He is commanded to treat her as a weaker vessel, yet as a joint heir to the blessings of eternal life. The scripture of 1 Peter tells us this should be so, in order that the husbands’ prayers will not be hindered (1 Pet.3: 7).

In addition to this, the Husband is commanded to teach his wife that which she desires to know. (1 Cor.14:35).

To live with one’s wife in an understanding way is to accept by faith that which the scriptures say of her. To pray for a Christ-like attitude toward her and the way she has been created – the husband always putting himself in his wife’s shoes.

Honor and love your wife

To honor one’s Wife according to the scripture is to esteem her in the HIGHEST degree – to maintain her dignity. She is a critical support to man:  such as a crucial body part for instance, without which a man would find life very difficult.  She is honored because she is critically part of man and because she is a gift from God (Prov.19:14). Not honoring the wife will limit God’s blessings on the husband (Mal.2:13-14).

Paul says that husbands should love their wives as their own bodies! – even as Christ loved the Church (Eph.5:25; 28; 33). He says in Colossians that Husbands should love their wives and not bear any unforgiveness (bitterness) towards them – neither for past or present circumstances (Col. 3:19).

The husband should be a provider for his wife and family (1 Tim.5:8). This not only materially, but spiritually and emotionally. He will be desirable because of his kindness (Prov.19:22).

To treat her as a weaker vessel is to accept that she is weaker physically, emotionally, and spiritually – but this should never be seen as a negative point (1 Peter 3:7). She is his partner. She compliments the usefulness of her husband and she is a co-heir of the grace of life.

She is treated as the weaker vessel because in order to perform her task as a helper – loving her husband, children, and managing the home (Psalm 31), she has to be sensitive.  Her 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, because in the Kingdom of Heaven there is neither male nor female. (Gal.3: 28).

God’s Line of Authority

The Husband is also the head of the Wife. Jesus is the head of the Husband and God is the head of Jesus. This is the word of God, whether we agree or not (1 Cor.11:3). Therefore, 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.  (1 Cor. 14:34-35).

God seeks Godly seed from the covenant of marriage.  In the book Malachi, we see this is the SOLE OBJECTIVE of the union of marriage (Mal.2:15 NLT), but it is imperative to accept that this objective will only be achieved jointly.   The scripture says that the two are one. (Gen. 2:24).

As God’s chosen authority, never can a husband fulfill 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.  It is almost like the pair who run the ‘two-legged’ race.  They can never be out of step, the stronger even carrying the weaker at different times.  However, that very ‘carrying’ must be done in the position that each of the partners occupies.  Individual roles should never be taken over or changed.

Our Role Models

Tragically today the family model is being poorly molded.  Beginning with our parents:  if we had a father who was dominated by our mother, we as children grow to accept that this is the norm.  The boys of the family will marry dominating women and the girls will dominate their husbands.  In some communities today ‘Fathers’ are scarcely ever seen, never mind fulfilling their roles – having left home to find employment in other areas.

The world, through the vast availability of media at its disposal, pounds our minds with all kinds of false impressions and possible worldly solutions, when all the time the only lasting and workable solution is the word of God. 

We face a ‘dog chasing its tail’ circumstance.  The professing church of today seems not to be able to teach the truth (The Gospel).  It seeks its help from worldly concepts and all this because it was never taught the true Gospel in the first place.

We as Christians need to take a firm stand in this last hour.  This situation must be reversed.  The best place to begin is in the family.  Husbands as the spiritual authority must be the initiators.

Next Step…

The beginning for the husband is to go earnestly before God and pray for the desire to change, whatever the cost.  Whilst this prayer may seem frightening; in terms of eternity, no price can be too great.  However, all of the effort of the husband to fulfill his role will amount to nothing, if it is not borne out of his relationship with God (Ps.127: 1).  Only in this way will he be the type of husband God wants him to be.

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 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 always 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.

Please join me soon for PART 4, 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.

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

The Sermon on The Mount – Part Two

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

You will reach Part One here.

Matthew 6:1-34

tap on this link for scriptures.

We read in the introduction that Jesus, moved away from the crowd, up the mount and sitting down, taught his Disciples. In other words, this teaching was only for them.

Today I would start by saying, the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus were all Jews and raised under the law of the Jewish Torah. The basis of Jesus’s teaching was not to set aside this law but expand it so as to express the heart of God.

In part one we said the essence of Jesus’s message is the setting of a lifestyle for His Disciples. His message was not aimed at changing laws, but rather a change of heart.

He begins, in Chapter six by saying they must never show off their Godly acts in public. These, He continues, saying, when they give it must be done in secret. A warning is issued here; if they make public their Godly acts, there will be no benefit for them. They must carry out these in secret and God will bless them in secret.

Likewise, in terms of prayer, these must never be a public performance, but in private. Likewise, their prayers must come from their hearts as if they were in intimate conversation with God. (when we are in conversation with one another, we do not double-talk.) The prayer pattern he gave them was only a guideline and not to be prayed repetitively. Praying as such would bring results.

Jesus enlarges the words, “…forgive us our debts..” Saying forgiving others is of critical importance. As they forgave others it would unlock the door of freedom for them.

It was a practice of the day for fasting Jews to look unkempt and painful. Jesus explains; to receive benefit from fasting, they must behave in the reverse.

He goes on by saying they must not be materialistic. Every person that dies takes nothing but relationships with them. Those that live a Godly life build up benefits in the afterlife. Jesus cautions that their heart desires will determine their rewards in the afterlife.

Jesus now reveals the importance of the fact that their eyes are the windows of their soul. (It is a scientific fact that 55% of our emotions are projected via our eyes.) Their heart condition must be Godly, in order to project Godly power from within themselves.

He warns His Disciples that they will not be able to be in an intimate relationship with God and be slaves to materialism. They must choose one or the other, no other options.

Finally, Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Worry is a powerfully destructive emotion; it blinds the mind to Godly thinking and peace. It blocks the release of miracles and many opportunities.

For those that are committed to living by faith, worry is a primary obstacle. I found in my life; worry was caused by listening to thoughts in my mind. I should rather believe that my Father knows what I need, and will he not provide?

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

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The King and His Kingdom. Part 2a.


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 2a

In previous sessions we’ve looked at the Kingdom of God and how it is that as we obey God’s principles, (or His Government), we are blessed by Him (Psa.1:1-4). We also saw that as we drift out of His principles in our day, God is not able to bless us – this is because His Government is indisputable, irreversible, and final. We see in the books of Zechariah and Daniel, that His government, or another expression for His word or law, is beyond debate or question, whether we agree with it or not! (Zech.14:9; Daniel 2:44).

God desires to bless you and me on a daily basis, but if we do not adhere to His principles, His own government prevents Him from doing so. If He were to bless someone who is acting outside of His Government, then He would be obliged to even bless the accuser of the believers, the devil – a situation He cannot have!

The more we obey these principles, the more we feel the character of God in us, and the more we walk in His authority.

These Godly principles need to be real in our lives. If they are not real, practical and easily understood, then our daily walk with the Lord becomes a farce – an act for the world – which we struggle to maintain in our strength on a daily basis. No – our relationship with God needs to be a true reflection of blessing to us and those around us.

In our daily lives, we will not be perfect in our display of God’s principles. As we miss the mark with God, provided we are truly sorry, we receive forgiveness. As He forgives us, God intends for us to learn from the error of our ways and His amazing grace will help us to continue our day, without guilt.

If the Lord’s principles are near to our minds on a daily basis, it will help us to walk closer to Him – help us to be more aware of the path to glory.

Let’s take a look at some of these Godly principles which make up God’s government and see how we measure up to them. Perhaps this will give each one of us an indication of why we are not being blessed by God as much as we could be?

Please remember there are many more principles in His word than what we are looking at in this session. Let’s try and prayerfully sit with the Lord on a regular basis, asking Him to reveal others to us, so that we become more aware and more blessed.

Mat 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

Are we being an example for the Kingdom of God on a daily basis? How do we reflect God at home and work? And what about in our daily relationships – family and work colleagues?

Mat 5:25 “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”

Do we have any issues with others that have been left unattended? The scripture says deal with it now or it may turn into something worse.

Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;

Mat 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The Lord shows us here that sin has been committed in our hearts even as we think about doing something wrong. This, before we have physically done anything!

Mat 5:37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

How do we answer others in our daily communication? Deceitfully – or truthfully and to the point. Interesting that Jesus says “anything beyond this comes from the evil one”!

Mat 5:42 Give to the one who asks you and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Do we feel the need to judge how others are going to use that which we give them, instead of just giving and allowing God to be their judge?

Mat 5:43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Mat 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

How did we react the last time someone was negative towards us in our day – did we pray for them or get angry with them?

Rom 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

It’s very difficult to live alongside others if we are proud and conceited. We will always feel that we are superior.

Rom 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Rom 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

How many times when we are offended by another do we want to take revenge? God says it’s His job to judge and avenge others.

Rom 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those which exist are established by God.

Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

It’s very easy for us to disobey or be deceitful to those in authority over us. Mankind may not see – but God does! Are we receiving condemnation from God because we disobey those He has put in authority over us?

Php 2:4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.

Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and questionings:

Php 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.

Going about our daily tasks without having negative comments or thoughts is very difficult. God says we should see where we can serve others instead of criticizing them. 

In your group now, please read the following three sections of scriptures out aloud together. At the end of each section, pause and discuss for 10min what you have read together. After your 10min discussion, read the next section.

SECTION 1

Rom 14:13 Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this, not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Rom 14:19 So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.

1Co 10:32 Give no occasions of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God:

1Co 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

1Co 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1Co 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1Co 13:8 Love never fails…

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Rom 12:20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

SECTION 2

2Co 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2Co 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God, loves a cheerful giver.

1Pe 2:15  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1Jn 3:18  My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.

Pro 11:15  He who is a guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

Pro 11:28  He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

Pro 12:1  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.

Pro 12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Pro 13:18  Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.

Pro 14:29  He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

SECTION 3

Pro 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Pro 15:6  In the house of the righteous is much treasure; But in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

Pro 15:27  He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.

Pro 16:7  When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Jas 1:23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

Jas 1:24  for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

Jas 3:8  But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

Jas 3:9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

Jas 3:10  from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

Php 2:3  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Mat 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rom 8:6  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:

Php 3:20  For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Remember – as we adhere to these principles daily, we will be blessed. I pray that the Lord has ministered some ‘pearls of wisdom in this session. These Godly principles for our daily lives are very difficult to adhere to if we try in our own strength.

As we enter into the Kingdom of God here and now, we have acknowledged that our old sinful nature (the engine that drives us to sin), has died and been buried with Jesus. Let us begin to walk in the new resurrected nature that God has given us.  This is the nature that is able to walk daily in God’s principles.

Please join me next week, for PART 3, where we will start to look at the roles God would like us to fit into. 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 Sermon on The Mount – Part One


Feature Photo: Adam Kring Upsplash.com

If you missed the introduction to The Sermon on The Mount please tap on this link.

Matthew 5:1-48

tap on this link for scriptures.

Let’s begin with Matthew’s opening statement, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying…”

Jesus sees the crowds and goes up the mountain; sitting down with His Disciples, he begins to teach them. Said differently, he was addressing His disciples – the instruction was for them only.

He began to explain to them the characteristics of being a disciple of His, expounding the Beatitudes, the Salt and light of and in the world. These are the founding pillars of one who aspires to live a higher life on this earth.

He moves on to explain, he was not in any way suggesting they abandon the Mosaic Law, but rather to fulfill it, through their higher living example.

Jesus unveils the importance of relationships with their fellow humans; the effects and significance of this relationship, especially making right with others before it is too late.

He speaks about the sanctity of their marriage relationship revealing an aspect that few would realize and where the Law was not specific. In addition to this Jesus elaborates on the issue of divorce, when and when not, it is permissible.

Jesus now demonstrates the futility of making vows and states that their yes’s or no’s must mean just that, and nothing else is required.

He expands on the law of loving one’s neighbor, pointing out that loving those that love you is something everyone does, but the one who loves their enemy, this is the quality of a person who aspires to higher living. The person who is a child of God.  

The final statement Jesus makes in this chapter is, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek root word for perfect is ‘Teleios’ meaning ‘mature.’ Another view might be when using the English word perfect, that God is perfect and therefore the standard to follow, is not what the world considers perfect, but that which God sets. The choice is yours.

Because the Holy Spirit has been placed within us, unlike the ancients, we no longer follow a God that is outside us, but rather our God that is inside us.

We glean from this chapter in Matthew 5, that Jesus, in preparing His Disciples for their future life on Earth, established a standard by which they (and us) should all live, that others may see God in us.

Until next Sunday then.

Blessings

Peter.

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.)