October 22, 2018

Behavioral change is both a universal human need and an essential aspect of character formation. Because our choices influence and help develop our character, we benefit from choosing behaviors that will help form godly character.

   So how do we change a behavior? First, we should identify the behavior we want to change. Second, it’s important to understand what elements are necessary for a behavior to occur. At a minimum, three things need to come together for a behavior to occur: motivation, ability and a cue.

 Whether the behavior is simple or complex, if sufficient motivation to perform a behavior is matched with the ability to do that behavior, then all that is needed for the behavior to occur is a cue (a reminder or call-to-action).

 These aspects of behavior change appear to be part of God’s creational norm, and thus are shared by Christians and unbelievers alike. Where Christians differ is that our motivations, abilities and cues are aligned with God’s own character, his sanctifying power and his revealed will for our lives.

 A notable example of Christian behavioral change is found in Acts 11, when Peter explains his reasons for one of the most important changes in history: preaching the gospel to Gentiles. Let’s explore the passage using the three factors we’ve already mentioned:

  1. Motivation: The most influential factor in behavior change will almost always be motivation—the reason we change. For Peter, the motivation was a vision from God telling him what behavior to change (expand his preaching to include not only Jews but also Gentiles).

  2. Ability: Peter always had the ability to preach to Gentiles; he merely needed the godly motivation to do so.

  3. Cue: Peter’s cue to change his behavior came almost immediately in the form of three men sent to him from Caesarea (see v. 11).

Our behavior reflects our character and reveals, more than anything else can, what we really believe and who we really are.

 We are taught from an early age the importance of our behavior and that certain behaviors are right while others are wrong. Yet despite such lessons, we are rarely taught how to change our behavior.

 Because so many areas of spiritual formation—from faithfulness to practicing spiritual disciplines—entail changing our behavior, it’s helpful to have an understanding of this process and how we can use it to our advantage.

 In other devotions we have looked at how to change our behavior. But here we will consider the ways we can change behavior. Every behavioral change includes two primary factors—adjustment and time span.

 Adjustment is the change in action for either a new or familiar behavior. We can adjust a behavior in five main ways:

  1. Perform a new behavior—A new behavior is either one you’ve never engaged in before or one that is no longer familiar to you. Starting a journal for the first time would be considered a new behavior. But so could regularly attending church if you haven’t gone in years.

  2. Perform a familiar behavior—A familiar behavior is one you can carry out without having to develop new skills or knowledge. For instance, if you wanted to change your sleep habits by going to bed at a certain time every night, you already have all the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out that behavior.

  3. Increase behavior level—For positive familiar behaviors, you might want to increase their level of a frequency or intensity. For example, you might currently read your Bible only on Sundays and want to increase the frequency to seven days a week. Similarly, you might regularly run or walk for exercise but want to increase the intensity (either pace or mileage) to improve your fitness levels.

  4. Decrease behavior level—Some familiar behaviors, whether positive or negative, might need to be decreased, either in frequency or intensity. For instance, you might enjoy spending time with friends but need to decrease the amount of time you spend in fellowship to fit in other priorities.

  5. Stop existing behavior—While some positive behaviors might need to be limited to make space for other positive behaviors, negative and sinful behaviors need to be eliminated from your life. (Not all harmful or negative behaviors are necessarily sinful. Some activities that are neutral or even positive for other people might negatively impact us.)

  Time span refers to the time period when you intend to engage in the behavior. The three main time spans are:

  1. One time—Behavior that occurs only once in a lifetime (e.g., baptism) or extremely infrequently (less than once a year).

  2. Period of time—Behavior that occurs for a specific length of time (from one day to a year).

  3. From now on—Behavior that will become habitual

            If you keep a journal, it helps to have a plan to chart how you are progressing on changing. To many people expect to change by magic, not literally, but they ‘wish’ they would change; or they believe that God will do something mystical. I’ve got news for you, changing our behavior is hard work, and yes, part of it can be prayer, but a lot of it is sweat equity. and without keeping a road map you are only going to get lost.

  If we combine these two factors—adjustment and time span—we can describe 15 ways behavior can change. For example, we can perform a new behavior one time (1-A), decrease a behavior over a period of time (4-B), perform a familiar behavior from now on (2-C) or arrange the matrix in 13 other ways.

 What behaviors in your life do you want to change? Make a list and label them based on our matrix (e.g., read Bible daily [3-C]), then group them together based on their related code (all 3-C’s together.). Determine the most important behavior change from each group and then select 3–4 groups.

 Now that you’ve identified the behaviors most in need of changing, we’ll consider the process for how to change them

God bless from

Pray for Sharon S, she is dealing with a gnawing fear, all the women in her family die very young from cancer. She has lived longer than most and although she doesn’t think she is dwelling on it often, that’s not really true.


October 21, 2018

I think this quote is from an Issac Watts, but I’m not sure; “I would fail neither man not Thee.”

Failure, not a real popular topic. People that recover from great failures are forged in a fire that makes them greater in faith, purpose and forgiveness than those that have never failed greatly.

A promising junior executive with IBM involved the company in a risky venture that resulted in a $10 million loss. When Tom Watson, IBM’s founder, called the nervous executive into his office, the young man blurted out, “I guess you want my resignation?” Watson replied, “You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent $10 million educating you!” (Christianity Today [8/9/85], p. 67)

God is in the business of using people who have failed. The Bible doesn’t paper over the failures of its heroes. Noah got drunk and exposed himself. Abraham lied twice about his wife being his sister. Isaac did the same. Jacob deceived his father and cheated his brother out of the birthright. David sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered. The disciples all abandoned Jesus at His crucifixion and then doubted the resurrection. Peter denied Jesus and later waffled on the gospel out of fear of the Judaizers. Mark bailed out on the first missionary journey. And in our text, Moses murders an Egyptian, is rejected by his countrymen, flees for his life, and lives in the desert for the next forty years. This story gives us hope that God can use us even after we’ve failed.

  1. L. Moody said, “Moses spent his first forty years thinking he was somebody. He spent his second forty years learning he was a nobody. He spent his third forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody.” (Henrietta Mears, What the Bible is All About [Gospel Light], p. 33, in Charles Swindoll, Moses [Thomas Nelson], p. 20.) It is from Stephen’s testimony before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:23) that we learn that Moses was about forty when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster and that he spent forty years in the land of Midian before the encounter with the burning bush (Acts 7:30). We joke about students who cram a four-year degree program into five years. Moses stretched his education out to forty years!

Stephen also gives us some insight into what Moses was like when he went out to visit his brethren and killed the Egyptian taskmaster (Acts 7:22): “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.” Although it’s not inspired Scripture, the Jewish historian, Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews [Baker], 2:9:7), says that Moses was being groomed to be the next king, since Pharaoh didn’t have a son. Josephus also reports (ibid. 2:10) that Moses led a victorious Egyptian force against the Ethiopians. Perhaps that’s why Stephen calls Moses “a man of power in words and deeds.”

Why would Moses side with the Hebrew slaves and risk his place in the Egyptian court by killing this taskmaster? This action caused Pharaoh now to see Moses as a traitor who needed to be killed. Hebrews 11:24-26 tells us why Moses did this: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”

So Moses’ intentions were right when he went out to help his suffering Hebrew people. He had given up position, pleasure, and prosperity to take his stand with God’s people (Philip Ryken, Exodus [Crossway], p. 62). But he went about his mission in the wrong way, resulting in a forty year detour. From a prince in the palace of Egypt, Moses became a shepherd in the barren wilderness of Midian. From being in the limelight of Pharaoh’s government, Moses went into isolation and obscurity. From being a “somebody,” he instantly became a “nobody.” The text does not tell us what he felt, but he must have battled depression and confusion. His first attempt at leadership had been a dismal failure.

Some believe that Moses was right to kill this Egyptian oppressor (see Calvin’s Commentaries [Baker], on Exod. 2:12, p. 47). Calvin believed that Moses was not impelled by rash zeal, but rather acted because he knew that God had appointed him to be the deliverer of his nation (Acts 7:25). But I agree with the majority of scholars who believe that Moses’ action was not in submission to God’s will at that time. And even Calvin (p. 51) acknowledges that the forty years in the desert was God’s school to prepare Moses for his later more difficult assignment. This story teaches us that …

Our failures cannot thwart God’s gracious covenant faithfulness toward His people.

That is one reason the bible has such great appeal to me, it is a catalog of men that have failed and often failed again. And yet God uses them, changes them. A quote that I am fond of and don’t know the author; “When you pray remember God will often do something to you before He does something for you.”

So, the fiery furnace you are in right now, it probably won’t last 40 years like Moses in the wilderness, good news, right?

The one important thing to cut a trial short, learn the lesson God is trying to teach you the first time. And it’s ok to ask, “what the heck are you doing to me.”

Sickness, pain, hardships, no money, friends leaving, disease, cancer, divorce, they are all like the burning bush, you just have to listen to hear the voice of God.

And don’t get me wrong, God doesn’t cause these things to happen, but He will use them to temper the metal, the trial will make you a better person once you get over your anger, your declaring your rights, submission to God, the breaking before the mending, never any fun, but the lesson learned, the time of closeness to Him, it’s sad we forget and have to learn it over and over again.

God bless from

Pray for the family of A.G. Russell, the knife community has lost a great man, remember the family and all the lives he touched.


October 20, 2018

  “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).


  We receive life by reliance upon the Savior; we grow in that life by reliance upon the Spirit.


  “Many think that because of faith they are cleared of everything before God through the Cross, and therefore by faith they are clear of everything in themselves. But that is the error of ‘holiness by faith.’ The objective (position) is that we are clear before the Father; the subjective (condition) is that we are cleared from ourselves by the growth ministry of the Holy Spirit.”


As you by faith in the positional facts realize that you are in the Father’s presence. You know His presence because you know that your position in the Christian life is a life of faith in the facts, nothing else, a life based upon what the Word of God tells us. Not your feelings, not a message in tongues, just the facts.


We are, naturally, suspicious of any offer to make us happy in God. Because our moral sense, our natural conscience, tells us of our having lost all right even to His ordinary blessings. But in the Word of our Father, faith reads our abundant title to be near to Him and happy with Him, though natural conscience and our sense of the fitness of things would have it otherwise. Faith feeds where the moral sensibilities of the natural mind would count it presuming even to tread.


 The moment we walk by sight we are outside of faith. The Father would never have us outside of faith; hence, even in answering faith, He so answers it that we need it again the next moment, even while we are enjoying the results of it. The Christian life is indeed moment by moment, faith by faith.

  “Faith is. . . the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

God bless from


Pray for those struggling with cancer, Joe, Marybeth, Susan, Dave…

Pray for those struggling with depression

Pray for Susan, who just lost her husband in fatal car crash the funeral is tomorrow (Saturday)


October 19, 2018

  “That. . . the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Christ)” (Eph. 1:17).

  The object of the Christian life is that we may center in the Object of the Father—His Beloved Son.

If we go on with the Father, sweet as is the assurance that we belong to Him, yet the uppermost thought will in the long run be Himself. We shall come back to His Person. We shall in our praises weave with them what the Lord Jesus has done, suffered, and won for us; but the primary thought in our hearts is, not what we have gained, however true, but what He has been for us and what He is for us, yes, what He is in Himself.

There is usually only occupation with the Lord Jesus for the relief of the conscience, and if so, where does it stop? It stops when the relief is gained. But if He is the object of the heart, you will never be satisfied but in fellowship with Him where He is.

I know of no arguments, and I am acquainted with no power, that will move the heart to devotedness except the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Himself and His love. It is possible to read books by the score, and to listen to the most faithful and blessed ministry for years on end, and yet never know the Lord Jesus as a present loving Object in heavenly glory. It is nigh impossible to see and know Him there by faith without a resulting intense desire to be wholly devoted to Him here.

We have a new Person before us as the Object of our faith and affections; and as we drop ourselves and have the Lord Jesus as our Object, He is formed in us. What has been judicially accomplished at the Cross has its fruition by the Spirit in our souls, and it is by that principle that we grow.

  “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all fullness dwell” (Col. 1:19).

God bless from

Pray for Chris R, 22 years old and charged with vehicular manslaughter. DUI while driving at 9am in the morning. His parents are Christians and Chris was raised in church. At 15 he got involved in drugs and drinking. When his parents prayed; “Lord whatever it takes” they never imagined this.

1 PETER 3:1-2;Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives

We must consider 1 Peter 3:1-2: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands 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, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” “Disobedient to the word” primarily refers to an unbelieving husband, but it may include a professing believer who is difficult, cantankerous, or disobedient.

What should the wife do? First, she should to make sure that her behavior, attitude, and words, are “chaste and respectful,” and that she has a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:4). “Chaste” means, “pure, undefiled.” She should never retaliate to abusive speech with abusive speech or punish her husband with the silent, angry treatment, but rather, give a blessing instead (1 Pet. 3:9). If she is angry and bitter, she needs to repent and show him God’s love (Matt. 5:44-46; Luke 6:27-28, 32-33). “Gentle” means “strength under control.” “Quiet” means not being contentious or argumentative.

A wife should never join her husband in sinful behavior. If he makes a profession of faith or is a church member, but insists that she join him in sinful behavior, after appealing to him, if he persists she should go to the elders of the church to seek godly counsel. They need to confront his sin. If he is not a believer, she should gently explain the reason that she cannot join him in disobedience to the Lord (1 Pet. 3:13-16).

If the disobedient husband is being verbally but not physically abusive, the wife needs to make sure that she does not provoke him by her words or behavior (unless he is provoked by her godly behavior!). She should gently explain that she would like to be close to him, but his abusive speech is creating distance. If he threatens violence or is violent against her or the children, she should flee to a place of safety. If he has been physically violent or he’s using illegal drugs in the home, she should report him to the police. God ordained the government to punish evildoers and protect law-abiding citizens. No man should be allowed to bully his family and cause them to live in constant fear because of his violent temper.

But, coming back to 1 Peter 3, winning the disobedient husband without a word means being a godly example in the face of his ungodly behavior (1 Pet. 3:8-17 goes on to explain this). Sometimes (but not always) God will use a wife’s godly behavior to bring her disobedient husband to repentance and faith. But whatever his response, she will know that she is pleasing the Lord.

If you’re in a difficult situation, I encourage you to seek godly counsel. Find a mature woman of God, to confide in and pray with. The command for a wife to submit is never license for a husband to be abusive. An abusive husband needs to repent. A wife’s submissive, gentle, and quiet spirit is God’s way to win a disobedient husband to repentant faith in Christ (1 Pet. 3:1-4). It follows the example of the Lord Jesus, who, while being reviled, “did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23). Submission to God-ordained authority is not easy, especially when the authority is not godly. But it is “fitting in the Lord.”

So it’s our choice, man or woman, follow the pattern for a godly, biblical marriage and be blessed. Or choose your own way and create a living hell, never feeling satisfied, always envious of someone else’s marriage, which usually leads to infidelity.

God has given us free will, not necessarily the smarts to go with it. That’s why we have the bible as a road map to success.

God bless from

Pray for Karey, she is wanting the whole family to go to church together. Now they have young teens (2) and she regrets not keeping them active in church.

Pray for Dallas W, 66 years old, he just gave his heart to the Lord (Salvation, born again, new Christian) and his family (wife and grown sons) are saying he’s nuts or having an identity crisis. Pray for him to be a godly husband and father and servant and to lead by example.

Husbands and Wives part four. Don’t worry about the titles, I mis-numbered where we are, so some will think this is part 3. (we are almost done, hang it there).

It’s interesting that while Titus 2:4 mentions a wife’s loving her husband in the context of submission, neither Ephesians nor 1 Peter (nor Colossians) mention a wife’s love. Instead Ephesians (5:33) and 1 Peter (3:2, 6) both mention respect in connection with submission. Respect is a crucial element of biblical submission.

But what often happens is that a couple starts marriage with high expectations. They’re in love and they think that love will conquer all their problems. But not too far into the marriage, the honeymoon wears off and there are disappointments as expectations are not met. Often this takes place unconsciously, since many of the expectations are not consciously identified. The husband, who may not be as relationally tuned in as his wife, deals with his marital disappointments by burying himself in his job.

The disappointed wife tries to remodel her husband by nagging him about his shortcomings and about not meeting her emotional needs. He’s clueless about how to meet her needs, but he’s pretty confident in his job, so he pours himself into work. When he makes feeble attempts to lead spiritually or relationally at home, she resists his efforts, because she doesn’t respect his relational skills or his spiritual leadership. The end result is emotional distance, relational hurts, and sometimes the disintegration of the marriage.

If, instead of that downward cycle, a wife will work at showing her husband respect, acceptance, and appreciation for anything she can possibly affirm, and she responds to his attempts at leadership, it will lead to greater unity and intimacy in the marriage. Wives, make note of this: Men react to nagging either by flight or by fight. A nice husband will run for cover; a more belligerent husband will fight back. But neither leads to greater marital intimacy. But 1 Peter 3:1-4 says that even a disobedient husband may be won by a wife’s gentle and quiet spirit.

Part of submitting to your husband involves looking for things that please him and doing them. But some of you may be thinking, “If I do that, how will my needs be met?” Or, “I’d meet more of his desires and needs if he weren’t so selfish and would meet more of my needs!” But marriage is not a 50-50 deal (even though that’s what every book and two bit counselor says). Each partner needs to give 100 percent in the way God has ordained and leave their partner’s response up to the Lord. When that happens, God often changes the partner and the needs of the one who stepped out first in obedience to God are met.

Many years ago a wife on the verge of divorce came to me, along with two of our deacons’ wives, who were counseling her to leave him (needless to say, we had several training sessions with deacons and their wives on giving biblical counseling). Her husband, who professed to be a Christian, left early each morning for a long commute to work and returned late in the evening, after stopping off to have a couple of beers at a bar. He would eat dinner, watch some TV, and hit the sack. Except for providing for them, he was completely disengaged from the family. She had to do it all and she was extremely frustrated and constantly let him know about it.

I explained 1 Peter 3 and advised that rather than criticizing and nagging her husband for his lack of involvement, she should thank him for his hard work and for anything else that she honestly could affirm. I told her to make her home a refuge for him so that there was nowhere else that he would rather be. She took my advice and stopped nagging him. Instead, she cheerfully greeted him when he got home, telling him how much she appreciated his hard work. She focused on meeting his needs. He started coming home earlier, eating dinner with the family, and even leading them in family devotions. When I left that church, with tears streaming down her cheeks she thanked me for holding to God’s Word that day. She said, “I wouldn’t have my family together today if you had compromised what God’s Word says.”

So the practice of submission involves an attitude of respect and a response to the husband’s leadership.

If there is one word about what destroys a marriage, it’s “selfishness”. And it is rampant in the church. I don’t get it, because the ‘servant’ mentality that teaches all we are to be should kill selfishness. I have to confess that I was shocked that our deacons’ wives would offer this kind of counseling. I had both the deacons’ step down for one year. To examine their leadership in the home and sent them out of the church to another biblical counselor to work on their marriages.

Counseling almost ender their marriages, because each wife was a ‘liberated’ Christian woman. There is no such thing. Yet, it is one of the biggest obstacles to a healthy, loving marriage. Husbands need respect, women need security. Husbands that don’t come home after work or golf all weekend, simply don’t want to be their wives. It’s vicious circle.

To all believers, lead a biblical life and you will find peace and harmony in all you do. Don’t compromise biblical principals and God will bless you in ways you can’t imagine. And best of all, when the storms of life hit you there will be no doubt about your relation to God. Give God the respect He deserves, and you will have peace of mind and joy.

God bless from

Pray for Susan and her 3 children. Her husband was killed today on the way to work. His pickup truck was hit so hard by another truck, that his truck split in two. The cab and the pickup bed were 45 feet apart. His body burst like a balloon. His dog left only a shadow on the dashboard. If they family didn’t say he traveled with his dog, no one would have even known. The driver that hit him is dead as well and we still don’t know what happened, heart attack, fell asleep, we don’t know.

Life is like a mist; one puff of air and we are gone.

Live every day for the Lord.


October 16, 2018

Well, this is really part three with some stuff in between. After the topic of tithing, this seems to be the next most volatile sermon I can preach. I’ve never got death threats from this topic, but I do get some interesting comments from husbands and especially the wives. The fact that it’s biblical doesn’t seem to matter to some folks, “I’m still messing with their marriage”.

Submission is valid for all times and cultures because it is fitting in the Lord.

In God’s original creation, the man and woman together were to reflect God’s image which, in part, involves the voluntary submission of the Son to the Father in order to carry out the divine plan of salvation. Though the Son is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, Jesus submitted Himself to the cross so that Satan’s dominion would be broken. The husband and wife are to relate to one another as the Father and Son relate to each other. The wife, though equal with her husband, submits to him to reflect God’s image and His relation with Christ the Son and our relation to Christ our Savior.

Paul develops this theme in Ephesians 5 where he states that Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so wives ought to be to their husbands (Eph. 5:24). Why? Because through Christ and the church, which Paul calls the new man, created in God’s image (Eph. 2:15; 4:24; Col. 3:10), God is recovering what was lost in the fall of the first creation. Christian marriage, as the unit of the church, is to reflect God’s image through the sacrificial love of the husband for his wife and the voluntary submission of the wife to her husband in a context of equality as they exercise dominion over God’s enemy.

One way that an enemy can defeat its foe is to instill discontent and insurrection among the ranks. If you can get the enlisted men complaining about their lot, fighting against the officers, and trying to grab authority, you’ve just about won the war. That’s why Satan first approached Eve, not Adam, and got her to usurp his authority. Today his strategy is the same: to promise greater happiness to wives if they will get out from under their husbands’ authority. Many Christian wives do not realize that we are engaged in combat against the unseen forces of darkness in heavenly places and that Christian marriage is to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. So they cast off the idea of authority in marriage—and play right into Satan’s hand!

So the principle of the headship of the husband and the submission of the wife is not cultural. In creation God’s order was to create the man first and then to create Eve as his helper. At the fall, the authority of the husband, which the wife had usurped, was specifically decreed (Gen. 3:16). Paul’s analogy of Christ and the church is the basis of his appeal for the proper order in marriage. Thus it is fitting in the Lord for the wife to submit herself to her husband to uphold God’s purpose for creating human beings, namely, to reflect His image and to crush Satan’s dominion. It’s not up for grabs if a culture believes differently.

Beyond the theological reasons, I believe there are other reasons to follow the biblically ordained roles for husbands and wives. God has made us as male and female with distinctive strengths, weaknesses, and needs. When each partner dies to his or her pursuit for self-fulfillment and lives in obedience to God to fulfill the needs of his or her mate, both partners are fulfilled. A godly, loving husband provides protection and support, both financially and emotionally, for his wife, which she lacks if she is independent of him.

God bless from

Pray for Richard C, 91 years old, he came to Jesus late in life. (60’s) because of a Gideon bible in his hotel room. Doesn’t go to church (never has) he feels that reading his bible 2 hours a day is more than enough. We finally got him enrolled in a online bible study and I’m hoping as he “chats” online he will feel the need for personal fellowship. Although at his age he’s pretty set in his ways.

Pray for Betty K, she will bury her husband of 56 years this Wednesday, no kids and a very small circle of friends. She also is sporadic in church attendance, I’m hoping we can help fill the void.

Pray for Kyle, a church worship leader that does coke, I don’t even know where to begin with this prayer request. His pastor won’t make him step down because Kyle is semi famous. So pray for the pastor, the church and Kyle.

the godly couple

October 15, 2018

Ok, I sort of got sidetracked from the discussion of submission, so here is part two.

What is submission?

  1. Submission is to put oneself under another’s authority.

The Greek word Paul (Colossians 3:18) uses here is a military term meaning to put oneself in rank under another. God has ordained the principle of authority and submission in a number of different spheres: Citizens are to be subject to civil authorities (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1); slaves to their masters (Col. 3:22; Titus 2:9); church members to their leaders (1 Cor. 16:16; Titus 2:15; Heb. 13:17); children to their parents (Col. 3:20); and wives to their husbands (Eph. 5:22, 24; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1). Every time the New Testament speaks to the role of wives, the command is the same: “Be subject to your husband.”

We don’t like the idea of submission to authority. But before you react against this command, consider some mitigating factors. First, whenever God grants authority, it is always for the blessing and protection of those under authority and never for the advantage of the ones in authority. God loves people and in His wisdom He has ordained proper authority for the benefit of the human race. If those in government authority use their position to further their own interests at the expense of those under them, they are corrupt and will answer to God, who delegated authority to them. Likewise, any husband who uses his authority in the home to lord it over his family for his own advantage is liable before God for abusing his authority. To be in authority does not mean greater perks, but rather greater responsibility and accountability before God.

Second, it’s important to recognize that husbands are never commanded, “Exercise authority over your wife!” The headship of the husband is stated as a fact, but the commands to submit are always given to the wife. The husband is commanded to love his wife sacrificially. Almost always when couples come for marriage counseling, they are pointing the finger at each other. The wife complains that the husband is unloving and insensitive. He complains that she isn’t submissive and doesn’t meet his needs. But Paul tells husbands (Eph. 5:25), “Love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” He tells wives (Eph. 5:22), “Be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord.” When husbands and wives each focus on their God-ordained responsibilities toward each other, there will be harmony, not abuse.

Third, to be in authority does not in any way imply the superiority of the husband or the inferiority of the wife. A wife may in fact be superior in intellect and spiritual maturity to her husband. Paul affirms elsewhere (Gal. 3:28) that she is just as much a member of Christ as her husband is. Peter calls the wife a “fellow-heir of the grace of life” (1 Pet. 3:7). She is in every way equal as a person to her husband. But God has ordained the principle of authority for the orderly functioning of government, the church, and the home. To resist it is to resist God who ordained it (Rom. 13:1-2).

To put oneself under the authority of another does not imply passivity. A submissive wife is not one who meekly goes along with her husband, while keeping her thoughts and feelings to herself. Close relationships are built on truthfulness and openness in a context of love. If a wife withholds her viewpoint or feelings under the guise of submissiveness, she is creating distance in her relationship with her husband.

Also, a submissive wife should properly confront her husband’s sin. When 1 Peter 3:1 says that a wife should win a disobedient husband “without a word” by her godly behavior, it is not prohibiting her from speaking. Peter means that the main emphasis of the wife’s way of changing her husband should be her behavior, not sermons. A disobedient husband will not be won over by a preaching, nagging wife. But that does not mean that in the context of living a godly life, a wife cannot lovingly speak to her husband about his disobedience and how it is damaging their relationship. If a wife does not speak the truth in love, she is not fulfilling her responsibility in the marriage.

True submission is communicated both by attitudes and actions. A wife can be strong and even outspoken and yet be submissive in spirit if she respects her husband and backs his leadership even when she disagrees. Or she can be outwardly submissive but inwardly defiant, using deception and manipulation to get her own way. God doesn’t want grudging compliance, where a wife says, “I’ll submit; but I know you’re wrong and I’ll never let you forget it when it doesn’t work out.” True submission means that after an open sharing of thinking and feelings, with prayer, if there is still a disagreement, a wife yields to her husband’s authority and seeks to help him in his responsibility to lead under God. In our over 44 years of marriage, My wife and I would be hard pressed to come up with a single instance where we haven’t come to mutual agreement.

When a marriage is one of equality in God, trusting the roles He has laid out for us. And the husband and wife respect and accept the gifts each spouse has, then there is more harmony in a marriage.

I usually give two words of advice to marriage couples; 1, be nice, friendly and loving to each other. 2; Speak only kind words to each other. Yelling and accusations, finger pointing and blaming never solves anything.

God bless from

Pray for Xonia, she will not accept that she has dementia and needs some help in her day to day life.

Pray for Karla, she’s been married 30 years and her older sister is getting a divorce and the older sister is trying to wreck Karla’s marriage to justify her own situation.

NIV, for better or worse?

October 14, 2018

The NIV has totally omitted seventeen verses. In it, you no longer read Matthew

17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17; John

5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24; or I John 5:7. These verses deal with doctrines of great importance: the doctrine of the Trinity (I John 5:7); the

doctrine of hell (Mark 9:44,46); the doctrine of salvation (Matthew 18:11; Mark

15:28; Acts 8:37); the doctrine of prayer (Matthew 17:21). Other passages remain in the NIV, but the marginal notes discredit them. These notes reveal that the NIV translators would have preferred to leave out Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11.

That’s an additional 24 verses. Why would someone want to remove these passages? Who would want to remove Matthew 18:11 which states, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost”? In spite of these and even more disturbing alterations, the advocates of the new versions declare that no doctrines are changed in the new bibles.

Words Omitted

Something else is disappearing from the NIV. There are many biblically significant words that are simply no longer there. By this, I mean that these words are not mentioned even one time in the NIV. Words conspicuously absent from the NIV

include all of the following words enclosed in quotation marks. There is no longer

a “Godhead.” There is no “Jehovah” or “blessed and only potentate.” There is no

“Holy Ghost” and He is not the “Comforter.” God is no longer “immutable” or

“omnipotent” – there goes Handel’s Messiah!

Christ is no longer the “only begotten” or the “first begotten.” We no longer need to worry about “devils” or “Lucifer” or “damnation” or “brimstone” or the “bottomless pit.” Hell, which is mentioned 54 times in the KJV, is mentioned only fourteen times in the NIV and is entirely removed from the Old Testament. But why worry about hell or damnation? In the NIV, there are no “trucebreakers” or “winebibbers.” No one is ever accused of being “carnal,” “slothful,” or “unthankful.” In the NIV, there is no “backbiting,” “vanity,” “lasciviousness,” “fornication,” or “whoredom.” In fact, no one is “effeminate” and there are no “sodomites.” No wonder liberals so readily accept this bible.

It is a good thing that there is not much to be saved from in the NIV, since it is harder to get saved as well. No longer is Christ crucified on “Calvary.” He is not the “testator” who brings us the New Testament or the “daysman” who stands between God and us. He has not sprinkled His blood on the “mercy seat.” He was not placed in the “sepulchre” and His resurrection is no longer established by many “infallible” proofs. It only makes sense then that we are no longer “quickened” and there is no more “propitiation” or “remission” or “regeneration” in the NIV. Did you get that? No “Calvary;” no “propitiation;” no “regeneration.”

So what are our choices, I am not a King James Version only kind of guy, the HCSB

(Holman Christian standard bible) is great, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version suit me fine.

I like the ESV, The New Living Translation, the NIV, but I always check them against the kjv, or NASV. Versions like the good news, CEV, these are all good for reading but are more the ‘flesh’ than the bones of the Word of God. Like reading

‘The Message’, great for story telling but you are eating bubble gum and not meat. I’ve read the beginning of all the ‘versions’ and why we did this and I understand that as a race of humans we are getting more stupid and every thing has to be dumbed down. It has to look like a regular book in order to be easier to read, and I get it.

If you notice probably 95% all bible quotes I use are from the NIV, that’s for its readability. But I’ve said before, check the other versions to get a sense of it all.

It’s really a matter of being spoon fed or cutting your own steak. A version that is harder to read will slow you down and make you think more and it helps with bible memorization because it is quirkier than modern English. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Read whatever helps you read, just understand the difference when it comes to using the bible for theology, doctrine and defense.

There’s reading and there’s fight’n.

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Pray for Roger S, still dealing with depression, help him to remember it may be a life long battle and take his medicine

Pray for Caroline T, the same, plus she fights daily battles with thoughts of suicide.

Praise from Olivia, this is a young lady that doctors said she would never live very long, never get better, spend most of her days bedridden. Well they were wrong on everything, and they said she would never get pregnant, well they were wrong there too. This is a great young adult, pray that she proves the doctor wrong again.

I know of no verse in the Bible that is as concise and obvious in its meaning and yet so controversial and difficult to apply practically as Colossians 3:18. On the surface, it’s pretty simple:

Wives must submit to their husbands as is fitting in the Lord.

If there are no questions, we can all go home now! But the obvious simplicity becomes incredibly complex as you begin to sort it out. For one thing, there are probably thousands of subjective opinions about what a submissive wife is like. A husband once complained to me that his wife wasn’t submissive. I asked him what he thought that meant. He snapped, “When I say, ‘Paint the house black,’ she picks up a brush and starts painting!”

In a similar vein, some think that submission means the total passivity of the wife. The husband makes all the decisions without consulting her or taking her needs and desires into account. He controls the money, determines where the family will live, whether he will take a new job, whether they buy a new car, etc. She passively goes along. I heard of a seminary graduate who came home and without discussing it, announced to his wife that they would be moving across the country where she had no family or friends. He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t excited about this great ministry opportunity for him!

Others think that submission means that the wife should take care of all the household chores—cooking, cleaning, shopping, and dealing with the kids, while the husband works, brings home the paycheck, and watches sports on TV.

On the opposite side, many Christians now embrace “egalitarianism.” They claim that there are no distinctive roles for men and women in marriage or in the church. There should be “mutual submission,” with no one exercising final authority. They argue that the biblical commands for wives to be subject to their husbands were culturally determined. Paul told wives to be subject to their husbands in that male-dominated culture so that the truth of the equality of the sexes would not interfere with the gospel. But now that we live in a more egalitarian age, we should cast off all gender-based role distinctions.

As if the subject were not difficult enough to sort out, we also have widespread wife abuse, which is often blamed on teaching wives to be submissive. One in three women have been the object of some form of physical violence from an intimate partner. One in five women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. About one in five instances of domestic violence involves a weapon.

If you think that such abuse is rare in the church, you’re not in touch with reality. The late Chuck Colson told this story on his “Breakpoint” radio program (10/20/09):

A woman I’ll call “Marleen” went to her pastor for help. “My husband is abusing me,” she told him. “Last week he knocked me down and kicked me. He broke one of my ribs.”

Marleen’s pastor was sympathetic. He prayed with Marleen—and then he sent her home. “Try to be more submissive,” he advised. “After all, your husband is your spiritual head.”

Two weeks later, Marleen was dead—killed by an abusive husband. Her church could not believe it. Marleen’s husband was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon. How could he have done such a thing?

Tragically, studies reveal that spousal abuse is just as common within the evangelical churches as anywhere else. This means that about 25 percent of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind.

And the statistics on physical abuse don’t include verbal and emotional abuse. So in light of all these confusing factors, how should we deal with Paul’s admonition to wives to submit to their husbands?

We had a wife in our church of a defrocked pastor. He wouldn’t come to church because he was embarrassed about losing his pastorate. During our very hot South Texas summers, I noticed she had long sleeves on and kept her sunglasses on during church. When I asked about the glasses she said she was having eye problems.

Then she came to church limping and said it was gout.

One Sunday a woman heard her crying in the restroom. The sunglasses were off and both eyes were black. By the grace of God, one of our sweetest, most caring “church grandmothers” finally asked her straight out if her husband was abusing her.

She broke down and showed the women the bruises on her back and sides.

When confronted he denied it. We reported him to Adult Protective Services and he tried to run. He was finally caught and arrested. I think half the church showed up in court to support the wife.

With all the doctor and hospital ER reports and the wife’s sworn deposition, he landed in jail (not long enough). When he got out he tried to get a homeless guy to kill his wife. Turns out the homeless was an undercover cop.

Now the husband is in jail for a sentence of over 50 years. Even with time off for good behavior it is doubtful he’ll get out.

So, ladies, if you are being hurt, physically, emotionally, verbally psychologically, get out and get away, get somewhere safe and start the process legally. Never let the “accidents” go unreported. You didn’t walk into a door or tripped on the stairs. Some churches have safe houses just for women and children. Seek help but get away. it’s never your fault.

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Pray for women and children that are abuse, pray they get to safety.