I started out my Fathering blog with this quote from “Transformation of the Inner Man” – “ If the father has truly lived the Way in Christ; it is easy for a son to do the same; if the father has not, our Lord will first have to overcome and bring to death in the son what the father was.” This is a necessary work of Christ to release the negative effects that our fathers had on us. One of the things Anne and I were contending for in that blog was that in our quest for holiness and cleansing and sanctification, the Holy Spirit will at times have us revisit the way we were fathered, and especially the negative effects from the way we were fathered. Continue reading Fathering Blog Follow Up
King David is the only person in scripture deemed as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). I suppose there are a number of reasons why God esteems him as such. But surely one of them is because of how much David loved and cherished the people of God. David felt about God’s people like God did, and therefore he longed for the next opportunity to worship and seek God with them.
The following scriptures serve to highlight this, and hopefully will stir us up to a greater love for and desire to worship with God’s people. Continue reading David’s Delight in the Gathered People of God, and Commitment to Corporate Worship
“The word of the Lord” appears in the New Testament – 16x’s in 12 verses. The purpose of this study is to help clarify the difference between the phrase, “The word of the Lord” and phrases such as “the word of God” and terms like “the scriptures”. At first appearance, they may seem to all refer to the same, but further investigation proves otherwise.
Scripture: Luke 22:61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” Tou logou tou Kuriou (from logos)
Comments: Something specific and personal and prophetic Jesus spoke to Peter.
Scripture: Acts 8:25 “So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.” Ton logon tou Kuriou
Comments: Is “the word of the Lord” herein the specific and personal rebuke that Peter spoke to Simon? And thus different from the gospel mentioned in the latter part of the verse? Appears to be so.
Scripture: Acts 11:16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” tou rhematos tou kuriou
Comments: Here Peter is referring to a specific prophetic declaration of Jesus made apparently more than once to His disciples re: the soon coming baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture: Acts 12:24 “But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.” Logos tou Theou
Comments: Wouldn’t this refer to the preaching/proclamation of the gospel and the teaching of Christian doctrine (e.g. teachings of Jesus and prophetic O.T. passages re: Jesus) by the apostles and other disciples, as well as any specific, personal and prophetic words added in?
Scripture: Acts 13:44, 48-49 “The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. … “ ton logon tou kuriou 48 “When the Gentiles heard this, they [began] rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Ton logon tou kuriou 49 “And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.” O logos tou kuriou
Comments: Proclamation of Christ and His kingdom? What God is saying through His servants. Certainly would have been based or grounded in whatever scriptures they had available to them.
Scripture: Acts 15:35-36 “But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord.” Ton logon tou kuriou 36 “After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, [and see] how they are.” Ton logon tou kuriou
Comments: The “word of the Lord” was taught, preached, and proclaimed by Paul, Barnabus and the “others”. Much of this ministry appeared to be to believers. The “word of the Lord” thus consisted of whatever the Holy Spirit led them to convey to these believers, again grounded and based in the scriptures available to them, but personal and specific to the audience.
Scripture: Acts 16:32 “And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.” Ton logon tou kuriou
Comments: “him” refers to the Philippian Jailer, who started to kill himself, presuming the prisoners had escaped. Paul intervened; he then wanted to be saved from his sins; and thus Paul began to minister “the word of the Lord” to him, which obviously had to be the gospel or good news re: Christ and His kingdom and how to enter it.
Scripture: Acts 19:10, 20 “This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. …” ton logon tou kuriou 20 “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” Tou kuriou o logos
Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?
Scripture: 1 Thess. 1:8 “For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.” O logos tou kuriou
Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?
Scripture: 1 Thess. 4:15 “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” En logo kuriou
Comments: Paul appears to be claiming that what he and his co-workers were teaching the Thessalonians about the return of the Lord came straight from the Lord (for Paul at least through special revelation).
Scripture: 2 Thess. 3:1 “Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as [it did] also with you;” “o logos tou kuriou”
Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?
Scripture: 1Pet 1:25 “BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you. “ to de rhema kuriou
Comments: Taking into account vs. 23 wherein we learn we are born again “through the living and enduring word of God”, and then the latter part of vs. 25 that should literally read “And this is the word which was preached as good news to you”, we know first of all that “the word of the Lord” is this “word which was preached as good news to you.” We know that the apostles preached Christ/the good news in at least 3 ways: 1. Old testament scriptures pertaining to Him; 2. The actual words and teachings of Christ; 3. Revelations of Christ such as Paul received and spoke of in II Cor. 12.
“word” in vs. 23 in greek is logou from logos; “word” in vs. 24 both times in greek is rhema.
Questions: 1. How does “the word of the Lord” differ from “the gospel of the kingdom”?
2. What is the significance of rhema in Acts 11:16 & I Peter 1:25 as contrasted with the use of Logos in all the other passages?
3. While “the word of the Lord” clearly does not always refer to scripture, does it not include it in some of these references such as Acts 12:24, Acts 13:44, 48-49, I Peter 1:25, etc.? ?
Possible Definitions: The word of the Lord is the message conveyed through one of God’s servants that proclaims Christ and His kingdom in a specific and personal way to the audience grounded in or based in the scriptures.
INTRODUCTION – The author of www.evilbible.com says this re: the Bible and the scourge of slavery: “Except for murder, slavery has got to be one of the most immoral things a person can do. Yet slavery is rampant throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly approves of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and when you can have sex with the female slaves.”
Psalm 145:8,9 says this about the God of the Old and New testaments – the same God who wrote the Old and New testaments through the minds and pens of men: “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.” Later in vs. 17 it says, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.”
So who should we believe? Well one of the passages evilbible.com uses to make its argument just so happens to be the one we are going to look at today in our ongoing series through I Timothy. So please turn in your Bibles if you will to I Timothy 6:1,2 Continue reading Slavery & The Kingdom of God – I Tim. 6:1,2
“If the father has truly lived the Way in Christ; it is easy for a son to do the same; if the father has not, our Lord will first have to overcome and bring to death in the son what the father was.” John & Paula Sanford, p.99, “Restoring the Christian Family”
God has always been about producing a people among whom He could dwell, and through whom His will and ways and person could be manifested. His intentions began to be revealed in a known and clear way first to Abraham, as seen initially in Genesis chapter 12.
While there were a handful of things that God promised to do for and through Abraham, it all started with making him into “a great nation” (vs. 2). This idea of a nation in God’s mind was not a political entity as much as it was a relational entity. A relational entity or a people through whom “all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (vs. 3). Continue reading Restoring The Truth About Fathering
Knowing some years ago that I was more like the 12 disciples (who often did not see the value of children) than I cared to think, I decided to search the scripture for what God says about their value. The following study came from that search. May the Lord continue to help us all feel about children the way He does!
Children Are a Blessing and a Gift from God
Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;…”
Psalm 128:1-4 “…..your children like olive plants around your table….” = sign of God’s blessing Continue reading SEEING CHILDREN AS GOD SEES THEM
These promises have been a great encouragement to me over the years to talk less and pray more, though I still need to talk less and pray more. I trust they will be an encouragement to you as well!
Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be give to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Continue reading Jesus’s Prayer Promises
Some behavioral experts say the first six years of life are the most formative. For sure our years growing up with our parents and other relatives if they are close by have a lasting effect on the way we see and handle life.
Because of my own journey of self-examination particularly surrounding the decline and death of my father, and the experiences others have shared with me, I recently began to study in earnest the scriptural theme of what some call “generational sins”, sometimes referred to in scripture as the “sins of the fathers”. Continue reading Generational Sins Study
One of the most glorious ongoing works of our great Savior Jesus Christ is that He is continually cleansing His church from all of our unrighteousness and defilement by His precious blood and by the intimate work of the Holy Spirit.
Our role is to cooperate with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Corinthians 7:1 Continue reading A Simple Tool for Cooperating with the On-going Cleansing Work of Christ
INTRODUCTION – This morning I hope to help broaden and strengthen your perspective on how life works, & how the kingdom of God intersects this fallen world; because that is what I believe Solomon – the preacher – is after in chapter 10, if not in this whole book called Ecclesiastes. Even back then, I think Solomon knew that people could place their faith in God to escape hell and judgment and to find much needed forgiveness for sins, but never really learn how to live like God meant for us to live.
You see perspective pretty much more than anything else determines whether we thrive or just survive. Perspective determines whether we see the glass half full or almost empty. Perspective – that is wise and godly perspective – shields us from the onslaught of lies that constantly come our way from the father of lies, and from this corrupt world system that is well oiled and crafted by the father of lies, and from our own sinful flesh. Continue reading Truths for Thriving – – Ecclesiastes 10:1-20
I. For knowing Christ –
A. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27
B. “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, it is these that testify about Me.” John 5:39
II. For spiritual growth and sanctification –
A. “But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 Continue reading The Supreme Value & Fruit From Bible Reading, Meditation & Study
INTRODUCTION – Ecclesiastes is a great book for those of us who tend to be too black and white, too anal, too uptight, too dependent on formulas, or just too unlike Christ!
I want to confess that it is not the easiest book to understand, much less apply or heed. Parts of Chapter 8 are especially challenging. One of the things that helped me this week was my reading on Wednesday in Thomas a Kempis’s “Imitation of Christ” re: the study of scripture and how to handle difficult to understand portions. Here’s what he said,
“Our curiosity proves a hindrance to us, for while reading the Scriptures we sometimes want to stop to debate and discuss, when we should simply read on. If you wish to derive profit from your reading of Scripture, do it with humility, simplicity and faith; “ Continue reading Overcoming sternness with Wisdom – Eccl. 8:1
June 17, 2018
INTRODUCTION – As we jump into Ecclesiastes ch. 4 today, I want to direct my thoughts primarily to the working folk among us, because that is what most of this chapter is about.
Thinking back to Genesis ch. 2 if you would for a moment, soon after God created Adam and Eve , He set them to work in this beautiful and most likely quite expansive garden in a place called Eden.
The living God is a God who loves to work. He never dreams of retiring. He enjoys and takes great delight in working and creating and accomplishing and healing and redeeming things on the earth. And part of being created in His image is having a mind and capacity to not only work, but to enjoy it. Continue reading Four Maxims for the Marketplace – Ecclesiastes 4
In my first study on cleansing posted on March 10th, I sought to establish a couple of important truths. First that our wonderful Savior performed an initial cleansing and washing in each of us when we were born again by the Spirit of God. For instance, in Acts 15:9, Peter testifies of Christ’s saving and cleansing work among the Gentiles, “and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.” Second, that He continues to cleanse and purify His church until we are forever with Him.
Then in my second study posted on April 8th, I sought to establish that we have an active role to play in the ongoing cleansing work of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, Paul exhorts, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Continue reading Getting Cleansed Part I
Greetings Husbands: I originally developed this as a pre-marital counseling tool minus the prayer requests. Then when I realized in June of 2017 that I was taking my wife for granted and not leading and pursuing her like I should, I turned this into a daily prayer tool. The transformation in me and in my marriage, has been significant. May the Holy Spirit use this tool to help you become the husband God called you to be!
I. We are to leave our parents and cleave to our wife and become one flesh – Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:5 Eph. 5:31 Father, please help me honor, but leave and have good boundaries with my parents, and to ever more cleave to my wife and become one in every way with her.
II. We are to give our wife happiness – especially during our first year of marriage. Deut. 24:5 Father show me creative ways to make my wife happy all the days of our life together. Continue reading A Husband’s Job Description Prayer Tool
“There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes Yet is not washed from his filthiness.” Prov. 30:12
In my previous and first study on this whole subject of Cleansing, we focused on knowing and trusting our Savior as One who came to cleanse us from all sin and defilement until the day that we are with Him face to face.
In this study I want to focus on our role in this all important call from our Savior to be continually cleansed. Then I hope to follow this study up with some very practical steps for developing a lifestyle of being daily washed and cleansed from sin, defilement and corruption.
The reality sadly in the body of Christ today is that many of us have been able to serve and minister and seemingly be used (sometimes greatly) of the Lord, and yet have huge blind spots as to our own personal need for inner transformation and cleansing. Continue reading The Call to Purity – The Believer’s & Church’s Role in Being Cleansed from Sin
INTRODUCTION – I was grieved this last week to hear from a dear friend of yet another local congregation (not anywhere near here) being torn apart because of ungodliness and worldliness among the elder board or elder team.
Another friend wrote me this last week telling me of his grief in learning that a good friend of his had quit walking with the Lord.
God’s will and full intention is that the elders of His church – wherever in the world a corporate expression of Christ’s church finds itself – thrive in the carrying out of their ministry, and that they end their race strong and well, and that Christ’s church is safe and secure under their leadership and care as a result.
God’s will and full intention for every believer in His church is that they also thrive in the fulfillment of their calling, that they experience the fullness of Christ and the Holy Spirit in ever greater measure, and that they end their race strong and well. Continue reading How to Thrive and End Well in Christ – – I Peter 5:1-14
The Cleansing/Purifying Work of the Savior/Messiah
In some circles of the body of Christ there is great emphasis on the initial saving work that Jesus does when unregenerate sinners turn to Him for salvation (justification). And well there should be an emphasis throughout the body of Christ on this wonderful saving work, and our role in it. But it is crucial that we all know that Jesus our Savior does not stop or slow down once God has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).
While there is an initial and wonderful cleansing work by our Savior when we are born again (see Titus 3:5), He continues to cleanse us from the roots and foundations until the day we are finally and ultimately saved or delivered (glorification), and forever joined with Him in heaven. Sadly many seem to be unaware of or not sufficiently aware of and embracing this current work of our Savior.
So the following scriptures are given so that we can all know and experience Him as the great Purifier and Cleanser of His people. May He reveal Himself to you in this way as never before as you meditate on these scriptures. Continue reading Knowing Jesus as the Great Purifier/Cleanser of His People
On July 16th of this year I posted a blog entitled, “Oneness Challenged”. I’ve had some months since to continue to try to understand and pursue this God created oneness with my wife. So I thought it might be helpful to revisit oneness in marriage with a little more Biblical exposition. This is just a start, but there is enough herein to make it worth posting.
The first inkling we get of the call to marital oneness appears in Genesis 1:26, 27.
Genesis 1:26,27 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Continue reading Marital Oneness – Revisited
“At the Lord’s Table” by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889
“Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen,
Here grasp with firmer hand the eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon Thee lean. Continue reading Poems to help those longing for more meaningful worship at the Lord’s Table
This little study was motivated by our church name change from “Los Osos Christian Fellowship” to “The Well – Los Osos” . The enemy of our souls loves to lie to us in our times of great difficulty that there is no hope; that our sin or someone else’s is just too great. May the Lord continue to convince us of the unfathomable depths of resource we have in Him for every challenge and battle and difficulty and impossibility we will ever face, and may we ever know Him as the life giving Well, Fountain, Spring, and River.
Continue reading Well, Wells, Fountain, Fountains, Spring, Springs, River, Rivers in the Old & New Testaments
Rom. 8:32 – Before I started my sermon, I expounded the thought that if the living holy and sinless God was willing to deliver His Son over to all the evil and suffering and finally taking our sin upon Himself that He did, then how much more will He give us spiritual gifts!?
INTRODUCTION – – Most of you know that a few months before my 20th birthday I rather abruptly moved from Knoxville, TN to San Jose, CA – desperate for change and breakthrough in my personal and spiritual life and journey with Christ. That first year in San Jose I devoured the Bible like never before; and then I believe in my second year met my wife – Anne, who through similar life circumstances and desperation for change was also becoming a beaver for the Bible. The combination of our daily quiet times and scripture memory, involvement in small group Bible studies, and attending a very strong Bible teaching church brought a much needed stability to our lives. Continue reading Our Journey Out of I Corinthians ch. 14
This last Sunday my wife shared some thoughts before I preached – – both of us commenting on aspects of I Corinthians 14. Below is the gist of what she shared. Mine will follow.
Last week as Joshua preached on 1 Corinthians 14 he ended briefly addressing verses 34 and 35 “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” And I thought, I would like to say something about that, because if you are anything like me, initially it seems that this is restrictive and unequal. Continue reading Women & the Washing of the Word
INTRODUCTION – God has revealed Himself, and Jesus especially revealed God as a God who is living and active and always working. This study is designed to both convince us of that and then show us what to do about it. Sadly while many of us would identify ourselves as evangelicals, in our daily experience and expectation we function more as Deists. That is – we say we believe in the God the Bible reveals, but we rarely expect to see Him working in our daily lives and circumstances. Much less do we regularly speak of His working in our lives and circumstances and spheres of influence. In these last days, the Holy Spirit is going to turn this around I do believe.
The occasion of or motivation to put this study together came last week when I had the opportunity to teach our elementary Children’s church class, and also when I had the opportunity to preach/teach at “The Gathering Place” in Morro Bay last Saturday night due to my pastor friend’s health challenges late in the week. Continue reading God at Work
At first glance, “Dying to Know” might convey that there is some new or cutting edge field of knowledge that I am pursuing to enable me to be more effective. But in fact the opposite is true.
God by His grace in recent months has opened my eyes and helped me come to terms with the fact that my sense of the “need to know” has become an entanglement that has actually prevented me from effectively fulfilling my calling and ministry. Continue reading Dying to Know