Right-Living, Right-Giving Fathers

Five Fatal Mistakes Fathers Make ( from the life of Lot)

  1. Selfishness – Lot chose money over God, he chose the land with the best prospects, Genesis 13:10.
  2. Bad Environment – Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, Genesis 13:12.
  3. Expectations – Lot moved into Sodom and thought he could change it, Genesis 14:11-12; 2 Peter 2:6-8.
  4. Example – He thought his family would listen to his words, not watch his lifestyle. When the angels arrived in Sodom, Lot was on the council sitting at the city gate, Genesis 19:1. When Lot told his sons-in-law the Lord was going to destroy the city, they laughed at him, Genesis 19:14.
  5. Entrapment – The world entangled Lot and his family. He knew the city would be destroyed, but he lingered. The angels had to grab the hands of him, his wife, and 2 unmarried daughters to pull them out of the city, Genesis 19:15-16.”

“Wear the Shoes You Want Filled” – Pastor Monte Knudsen,

June 17, 2018

* * * * * * *

2 Corinthians 9:9, “As one Psalmist put it, ‘He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.’ ” The Message

Paul was quoting from Psalms 112. It describes the attributes of a godly parent.

Psalms 112:1-9, “Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish His commandments, (2) Their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright – how blessed! (3) Their homes brim with wealth and generosity that never runs dry. (4) Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice! (5) The good person is generous and lends lavishly; no shuffling or stumbling around for this one, (6) But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. (7) Unfazed by rumor and gossip, heart ready, trusting in God, (8) Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, (9) They lavish gifts on the poor – a generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life!” The Message

There is a connection between right-living and right-giving. Paul consistently addressed a financial offering for the church in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 9:1, “If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself.” The Message

* * * * * *

“This collection for the Jerusalem church seems to have originated at the so-called Jerusalem council (Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-10). While the apostles and elders of the council agreed that Paul could pursue his mission to the Gentiles, they asked that he ‘remember the poor’ (Galatians 2:10), indirectly referring to an offering for the Jerusalem church. The collection, therefore, stood at the very foundation of Paul’s missionary work.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Which shoes do you want your children to wear?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Live Well, Live Wisely, Live Humbly

“When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong, sooner or later does. …Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. …” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

Sin is like diabetes. Daily Bible reading and prayer are your insulin. But we all had “kidney failure” so to speak. Going to church is our dialysis. Every few days we get our heart cleaned out.

“…So Christian churches are not as a rule model communities of good behavior. They are, rather, places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open, faced, and dealt with….” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

We face our failures – and with God’s help, set strategies to keep from repeating them.

“The letter of James shows one of the church’s early pastors skillfully going about his work of confronting, diagnosing, and dealing with areas of mis-belief and misbehavior that had turned up in congregations committed to his care. …Wisdom is not primarily knowing the truth, although it certainly includes that; it is skill in living. For, what good is truth if we don’t know how to live it? …James carried the nickname “Old Camel Knees” because of thick calluses built up on his knees from many years of determined prayer. …Prayer is always foundational to wisdom.” The Message Introduction to the Book of James

There would be fewer knee replacements if we spent more time on them in prayer.

James 1:2, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” The Message

Now I am a little afraid to go to church!

James 1:3-4, “You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. (4) So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” The Message

Whatever test is coming, I will need to endure it with patience!

James 1:22-24, “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! (23) Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, (24) walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” The Message

Guilty. I am easily distracted. I need to make action notes with my sermon notes.

James 1:25, “But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God – the free life! – even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” The Message

Cool. My actions will be rewarded!

James 2:12-13, “Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. (13) For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.” The Message

Note to self: Be kind. Show Mercy.

James 2:14-18, “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

(15) For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved

(16) and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you?

(17) Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

(18)…You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.” The Message

It’s time to leave for worship practice before church. Time to put my faith to work!

* * * * * * *

The keyboard monitor didn’t seem to work well in practice. I decided to use earphones – just in case. We started the service and nothing came out of the monitor. Thankfully, the synth came in and off we went.

Still no monitor. I thought the sound man had left my channel muted. I was a virtuoso. I hit 10 or 12 glissandos, a little rock and roll, and several jazz notes.

Nothing. The synth led the next 2 songs. When I came in on my part, I hit it hard. At the end of the third song, I even waved at the sound man. Still nothing.

I was to lead the fourth song. The guitar player was gone and wasn’t there to cover for me. I played the intro – NOTHING!

I ripped the earphones out of the keyboard and pushed the volume up to the max. The external speakers on it, (which were muted by the earphones), were loud enough for the leader to hear.

I grinned at the worship leader on the drums. He mouthed, “Make Rachel play the synth.” She came in and we finished worship.

The lay pastor came forward. (We are to turn our instruments down while he talks.)

Suddenly, the keyboard came through the system. My nephew, Brayden, put it best, “All service I couldn’t hear the piano. Then it was as if I fell into a piano!”

I had the keyboard as loud as it would go. The sound man had the channel as loud as it could go. It was an explosion of keys!

It turns out there was a short in the soundboard. That is why the keyboard kept disappearing in the monitor! It refused to work all through worship. The poor sound man tried everything. Then it decided to work at the most inopportune time!

James 3:1, “Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards.” The Message

Teachers teach about what they know. I know about being tested!

James 3:2, “And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths.” The Message

Have you met me?

James 3:5, “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it!” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Over time, small things make a huge difference. …How often do you put your trust in the wrong thing. …Faith is not talking to God about your mountain; it’s talking to your mountain about your great God. …Most people don’t do great things. They do small things well and that changes everything.” Pastor Monte Knudsen, June 3, 2018

* * * * * * *

James 3:13, “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.” The Message

I spent the rest of the service concerned for the sound man. It’s a thankless job. After a service, he may have 2 people talk to him. One will say it was too loud and the other will say they couldn’t hear. I expected he would be stressed out.

I was wrong.

After the service, he quietly made his way to the platform. He calmly explained about the short and promised to report it. (Shout out to Cam, the sound man! You should have been a doctor – you work well in a crisis.)

James 3:17-18, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.

(18) You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” The Message

I need to apologize to all the sound men I’ve worked with before. (Why, oh why, did I start a blog?) When things went wrong, as they inevitably did, I blamed them. They didn’t have any more control over things than me. God is in control. I learned my lesson.

James 4:1-3, “Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again.

(2) They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not?

(3) Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.” The Message

Ouch.

James 4:7-10, “So let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.

(8) Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field.

(9) Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over.

(10) Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” The Message

The only way to get on my feet is by getting back on my knees.

“Even though we follow Christ’s command, we should not expect to escape the storm …Christ may delay coming to us during our times of distress, but it is simply so our faith may be tested and strengthened. …’With Christ in my vessel, I smile at the storm.’ Christ said, ‘Let’s go over to the other side’ – not ‘to the middle of the lake to be drowned.’ ” Daniel Crawford, “Streams in the Desert” June 3

Christ didn’t bail me out during the first song. But I weathered the storm and I’m stronger for it.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Purify Yourselves in Worship

John shrugs his shoulders, looks out across our wheat field. ‘Farmers, we think we control so much, do so much right to make a crop. And when you’re farming,’ he turns back toward me, ‘you are faced with it every day. You control so little. Really. It’s God who decides it all. Not us.’ He slips his big Dutch hands into frayed pockets, smiles easily. ‘It’s all good.’

‘…How do you know that, John? Deep down, how do you know that it really is all good. That God is good. That you can say yes – to whatever He gives?’ I know the story of the man I’m asking…

‘Tiff just noticed Dietrich had started breathing a bit heavier this afternoon. …they said his lung had collapsed. It will just be a matter of hours. Like it was at the end for Austin.’ His firstborn, Austin, had died of the same genetic disease only eighteen months prior. 

‘…Well, even our boys…I don’t know why that all happened. …But do I have to? …maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.’

…There’s a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.

…I wonder…if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually be places to see. …through to God. …that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. …To the God we endlessly crave.

…In our plain country church on the edge of that hayfield enclosed by an old cedar split-rail fence, once a week on Sunday, my soul’s macular holes spontaneously heal.”

“One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp

* * * * * * *

Isaiah 52:1, 2, “Wake up, wake up! Pull on your boots, …Dress up in your Sunday best… Those who want no part of God have been culled out. They won’t be coming along. Brush off the dust and get to your feet… Throw off your chains, captive…” The Message

* * * * * * * * *

Isaiah 52:11, 12, “Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place! Don’t look back. Don’t contaminate yourself with plunder. Just leave, but leave clean. Purify yourselves in the process of worship… (12) But you don’t have to be in a hurry. You’re not running from anybody! God is leading you out of here, and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Isaiah 54:7, 8, “Your Redeemer God says: ‘I left you but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back. (8) In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you – but only for a moment. It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you.” The Message

It doesn’t matter where you are on Saturday, brush off the dust and get up. Get out of there and purify yourself in worship. God is leading you and he has your back! You don’t want to miss a chance to have your soul’s holes heal.

You may say, “I don’t want to go back to church. I don’t like (fill in the blank) or I am angry and hurt by (fill in the blank).” 

“If I’m looking for reasons to be offended, looking for reasons to be angry, I should not be surprised when I find myself in a low emotional state. …How can I expect to walk in freedom if I have not chosen to walk in forgiveness? …I don’t forgive you for you. I forgive you because I want to be free.”

“Finding Freedom in Forgiveness” Steven Furtick – 1 Min Motivation

If you don’t have a church, I invite you to mine. You can visit the local satellite or listen to the sermon online at fcoc.net. And visit truelife.org for answers to life’s hardest questions.

I hope to see you there. We would like to introduce you to The Chain Breaker – Jesus Christ!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.