Wednesday, March 19, 2014

God Is Present to Bless You

Do you ever doubt God?  Be sure you have the right 'god' in mind.  God by definition as the one true God will be there to bless you.  In the Old Testament, God helped Israel as a people see that he was the true God because he actually answered prayers in his way.  Thus, from God's view, an idol by definition cannot move to help, or hear, Isaiah 46.  God states plainly (and He would know):  "for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me."  This is right after having said that alternative 'gods' of the people of the earth do not truly exist because they are unable to deliver.

Today you should walk in the promise when you read this, God's promise:  "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose."  (emphasis mine)  The way to remember this is to remember what happened to those who sinned (Isaiah 46:3, 8, 10, 11b).  This will help you when you feel the tendency to wander off from righteous living to return to God, and know that He alone can deliver you.  Then going forward, the God who does ALL of his purpose will bless you who are His people through faith in Jesus.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leading as a Husband - from Dr. Stuart Scott

On the web people come across things that impact their life for good or ill.  I hope you've stumbled on this and it will be a blessing from God to you, especially today to Christian husbands.

In Dr. Stuart Scott's book for small group use, couples study or counseling, called Exemplary Husband, he lays out the difference between a husband living in natural, fallen leadership versus spiritual, in Christ leadership.  You can find it at Barnes & Noble.com here.

The natural, fallen man is the only one making his decisions, enjoys commanding others, motivated only by personal considerations, and so on.  The spiritually wise husband is confident because he's confident in God, not himself, he knows God, he seeks to find God's will and info on decisions, is motivated by God's love and love for man, and so on.  That's an excerpt from the way one of the chapters in the book, on leading, starts out.

This style of leadership a Christian husband is to have some checks then on authority.  He'll be cautious to seek God's will when he has to confront his wife, he will be wiser about how he addresses situations, and he will seek out order and leading in his family actively rather than being an average passive American dad.  He will provide vision on where they are going with finances, how his family will serve Jesus locally, giving stability to his family, and planning provision long-term.  These are a few of the differences between a passive husband, who lets his wife do it all, or most of it, related to the finances and kids and direction of their family.

Using the example of Jesus as a shepherd, Scott recommends how you can lead well.  You'll have to buy a copy of the book to get all of the info, but at least you can see what you're getting into if you've stumbled upon this good resource for your Christian living.

One powerful example that lots of dads benefit from in studies I've led, is in the leadership chapter on how "a shepherd is involved."  You have to have courage, faith in God, and trusting the Bible that you'll succeed for God's glory.  You need to reject busyness or fearing a lot of work or what not, and instead step it up to lead.
The chapter closes out with a word of encouragement.  That is how you need to walk as a Christian husband, encouraged God is for you, and that you must take action to actually lead in a Christlike way.  God will bless that effort as part of the walk of faith.

Grace and peace to you.

Loving Your Wife - from Dr. Stuart Scott

In an excellent book on marriage, Dr. Stuart Scott, formerly of Grace Community Church with John MacArthur in California, but now serving in Louisville, Kentucky, he challenges husbands on their love.
The book is The Exemplary Husband.

If you are a husband seeking to better love your wife as God would have you, go ahead and buy this book at Barnes & Noble or a local Lifeway Store, you will see a pay off from the investment.

Scott tackles what you've probably felt at some point, from a combination of the world's encouragement, your own sinful leanings, and bad advice:  false views of love of a husband for his wife.

Examples in the book:
1.) Romantic feelings defines all of love.  Some people get this wrong, he elaborates on it in here.
2.) Physical attraction defines all of love.  A lot of people today end it when they don't "feel" attracted to their spouse.  That is not God's plan, since love then would be pure selfishness.
3.) Sex=love.  While sex is a part of love, that is not all of it.  This is a shallow love if that's all it is, and there's ways in the book to go beyond it alone.
4.) Needing=love.  Dr. Scott hits this nail on the head.  Many people feel initially they cannot live without a relationship, but that can change, and it is not a biblical definition of love.
5.) Benefitting defines all of love.  This a dangerous love to think of as God's will for you husband.  It's the "I like what you do for me," selfishness disguised as love again.
And then jumping on so you I don't reveal them all, 8.) Being in love=love.  In God's truth the Bible love is a commitment, a choice, an action; it is not a state.  Falling in and out of love is not speaking about love in marriage as God intended.

The author gives a number of examples of what biblical love is, a few samples are:
1.) Is initiated by the husband.
2.) Is enduring.
3.) Is not based on performance.

The Scripture and more info on these are in the book.
One of the best things you'll find if you pick up a copy of this is a series of practical charts on what is a wrong example of love, and the correct one right next to it, side by side.
For instance:

Proud thoughts to put off Dr. Scott suggests, an example:
"Why doesn't she think of me more?" or "Why isn't she doing ____ for me?" can be replaced (Romans 12:1-2) with "How can I think of her now?" or "What can I do for her?"

Bitter thoughts to put off Dr. Scott suggests, an example:
"I've had it.  If she does ___ one more time, that's it." vs. "I will keep loving her.  Jesus Christ loved me when I didn't deserve it.  My love is [going to last], no matter what."

More could be said, but if you're wanting to step up your love for your wife husbands, definitely read through this chapter in Exemplary Husband.

Grace and peace to you.