Tag Archives: needs

The Watch and the Ring

The Watch and the Ring

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Genesis 1:27

I am thankful for my wife.  I am glad that she is different than me!  If we were identical in personality and physicality why would I need her?  Better yet – Why would she need me?

God made men and women with differences on purpose and it is these differences that add great variety and… value to an individual person.

The role of men and women in the home or in the church has nothing to do with value or worth and everything to do with function and role.  If a body has two heads we would know the body will have conflict and issues.  Dr. Adrian Rogers used to preach that a body with “two heads is a freak.”  For sure it is not natural, nor intended for a body to have 2 heads trying to tell the body what to do. Science fiction is just that- science fiction.  Some people want science fiction to be true in their marriage relationship or in their home or church.  It is just not healthy to have two heads vying to be in charge.

 

The head of the church is Jesus.  For order & structure in the home, God says the man is the “head.”  Study the New Testament book of Ephesians chapter 5.

Men, don’t let that go to your head; and women, don’t think that this structure excludes or devalues you.  “To whom much is given much is required.”  If a home succeeds or not – is a responsibility charged to the man. He is held accountable by the Lord.  Men are not to be dictators.  Leaders are to be servants. A husband should be bending over backward to make life easy for his wife.

This organizational structure contributes to a happy and healthy home where the “two” have truly become “one.”

Men and women are of equal value, even if their role and function is not the same.  Here is a valid example:

Recently, I was looking at my wrist watch and my wedding band, both of which my wife gave to me.  Both are made from shiny silver looking metal.  They are made of the same stuff but are different in form and function.

  • The wedding band’s function is to prove that I belong to Natalie.
  • The wrist watches’ function is to keep me “on time.”

While both are made of similar materials and have a different function and role in my life, the watch and the ring have the same value.  The retail value of either one is about $200.

Function and role does not determine value.  Each person in your home should be HIGHLY VALUED…

 

 

 

 

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Mind Games in Relationships

Mind Games in Relationships

“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind…”  Ephesians 4:23

One professional aptly stated that: “At age 20 we think: ‘What does everyone think about me.’  At age 40 we think: ‘It does not matter what other people think about me.’ And at age 60 we finally realize and think: ‘No one has been thinking about me anyway.’”

True.  Most of our thoughts about the perceptions others have of us are self-perceptions.  Most people are actually thinking about themselves and not thinking about you.  Why is it that we can be so consumed with perception and what others are thinking?

Testimony is one reason.  We should have a good testimony that is consistent with the Bible and that is exalting to Jesus.  Testimony does not mean that people are always thinking of us.  When they see us, or talk with us we should be edifying and encouraging.  When the Spirit of God uses your testimony to help another person, they may think of you for a moment, but otherwise, they are not constantly thinking about you.

Most of the time however, the reason we are so “self-conscious” of what others think or may think about us has to do with our personal pride.  Pride can create “Mind Games” than consume our time and damage needed relationships.  This pride takes form in several ways.  Here are two:

  • Do you know someone that needs constant affirmation for the most basic tasks in life? As our children grow, they will ask from time to time “Are you proud of me? I just made the ball go in the basket.  I just painted a watercolor, etc…”  As we get older the need for affirmation should adjust to find value in “who we are” in Christ – not merely what we have done or can do with our actions.  Insecure people seek the “pat on the back” in an obsessive way.  We all need encouragement and should actively encourage others, but insecure people are consumed with peer affirmation to the point that it paralyses any positive progress in their spiritual life and in their family/acquaintance relationships.
  • Like a bull in a china shop, overconfidence is bullish, brash, and bold in detrimental ways.  This self confidence is the opposite of biblical humility.  Its ego is fed by the projection of a certain “image” or perception the confident one wants other people to think about him/her.  This boldness can be dismissive of other people and cause division in relationships.   The ego must be fed at all costs because “I have an image to keep up…”  This confidence can be in position, ability, wealth, or social standing.  Self-righteousness is also a big contributor in a religiously minded person. Sometimes people who are overconfident, trying to impress people, have nothing in their life really worth bragging or boasting about.  Many times, they have shallow victories with no real success; but they want others to think that they are successful.  It’s another form of pride and is also one manifestation of an insecurity.
  • Finding the balance in this pendulum of emotions and thinking is found by centering in on Jesus. We can be emotional and relational extremists in the thinking of our mind if we do not find a Bible balance.

In one long sentence to the Christians in the church at Corinth, Paul writes 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 which declares, “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

Notice that our sufficiency, security, and confidences is in God, not in ourselves. It takes humility to see this in a personal life.

Don’t let mind games swing your emotions and relationships from side to side.  Reject the personal pride that causes faulty and sinful thinking.  Replace pride with humility and a desire to point people to Jesus.  Sharpen your testimony and ensure that your life (evident to others and in your mind) is not self-absorbed.  Let the Word of God and the Spirit of God “renew” your mind each day.  Purpose with God’s help to have accurate, Biblical, and right thoughts about yourself and others.

Other people are generally thinking about themselves.  Stop thinking about yourself too and learn ways to help yourself and others think about Jesus. His Word. And His Father.

 

 

 

 

The Friend Who Finally Opened the Door

Prayers of Importunity

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.  Luke 11:8

I love it when church members describe with excitement that they are seeing God answer prayers in their lives.  We serve a living God who can hear and respond to the prayers of His people!  Perhaps you have a prayer request that the Lord has answered recently.  I rejoice with you!

Speaking about prayer, Jesus used one particular word only one time.  In fact, only one time in the whole Bible is this word used.  This word is illustrated many times in Scripture.  Even though it is seldom used, it is a BIG word when it comes to prayer.

“Importunity” is the word.  Encarta says it means “wearisome persistence and persistently demanding.”  Have you ever kept asking someone for something until you got what you were asking for?  That is what “importunity” is.

The disciples of Jesus have just asked Him to teach them “How to Pray.”  He gives the “Model Prayer” in Luke 11:1-3.  It is better known as the “Model Prayer” than the “Lord’s Prayer.”  This is because in the prayer, Jesus instructs the one praying to confess sin.  Jesus had no sin of His own.  He was sinless, unlike you and me.

After giving the “Model Prayer” Jesus relates several examples or illustrations about the consistency, priority, and value of prayer.  The first example is where we find this word “Importunity.”

Imagine with me for a moment…  Your next door neighbor has a friend travel to visit from a far-away place.  It is getting late in the evening – way past dinner time.  Your lights are out and everyone in the house is asleep.  The doorbell rings, someone is knocking on your door.

It is your neighbor.  You shout out the window in the second floor “leave us alone.”  The window is open already because you do not have air conditioning, so the breeze keeps everyone cool at night.  The neighbor says “I need your help – a friend has come to visit me and we ran out of food!”  He is persistent and asks for only 3 loaves of bread.  “Go away!” you shout.  He keeps knocking.  You have bread in the kitchen – but that is on the first floor.  You were awakened out of a “dead sleep” and do not want to get up out of bed.  The kids are asleep.  If he keeps ringing the bell and knocking on the door he will wake the kids up!

When you do rise up, go down to the first floor, get the bread, and give the bread to your neighbor – it is not because he is your friend (in a sleepless moment, you may not even like him!).  It is not because he is your friend that you open the door – it is because he kept knocking.  The wearisome persistence was in the listener in the house– not the one doing the knocking.  His persistence paid off and demonstrated to the one in the house– “You are my only hope. Only you can help me.”  When we pray with importunity – we express the same thing to God.

God is better than this sleepy neighbor.  In fact, as His children – we are already in the household of faith with Him!  He never sleeps.  He is quick to respond but we must ask and keep on asking!  He does not grow weary of our prayers.

This is the lesson that Jesus connects in relation to prayer – we need to keep asking God.  Keep knocking at Heavens door.  Do you pray with “importunity” seeking the will of God to take place in your life and in the life of others?  Why or why not?

In verses 9 and 10, Jesus instructs further:  “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Learn to pray with persistence today.  Demonstrate God your complete dependence on Him.  Keep taking the same requests to the Lord each day and see how the Lord responds.

 

 

 

 

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