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.

Not a Religious Plod, But a Living, Spirited Dance

Each day I make a cup of coffee. Then I open and shut the Keurig on the same pod and brew another one. I mix the two together and add cream and sugar. I pour it into a stainless steel water bottle. The remainder goes into my cup. I pour out a half a cup at a time. I have hot coffee, just the way I like it, as I write.

(Thank you, Paula Adam, for telling me to brew both cups and mix them together! You should be frugalfish!)

Since switching to the Keurig, we both have cut back to 2 cups a day. That was one of our goals.

You would not believe how much I look forward to that first cup of coffee! I’ve burned the top of my mouth and my tongue many times. I was pretty proud of myself for cutting back…until last night’s sermon…

“Do we crave God’s Word more than coffee? …We partake of God’s nature when we eat God’s Word. …Revelation 10:8-9, ‘…Go take the little scroll…Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’ (New Living Translation) …The Word of God is good for correction…” Pastor Monte Knudsen, 6-6-18

I felt like I had been hit in the gut! I don’t crave God’s Word like I crave my coffee!

When I read the Bible it always tastes sweet. But when I chew (meditate and think) on it, I feel sick to my stomach! The Word is correcting me. It points out the things in my life that are contrary to God’s nature.

I dislike sharing my faults and failures. Last night, I realized Pastor Monte does it twice a week – and on Facebook Live! Thank God, preaching is not my vocation!

The synonyms of vocation are: calling, life’s work, mission, purpose, etc. We read a few verses today about doing our work and fulfilling our calling.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6, “All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. (6) You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way.” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, “Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time – pray that our God will make you fit for what He’s called you to be, pray that He’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it all amounts to something. (12) If your life honors the name of Jesus, He will honor you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Thessalonians 2:15-17, “So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. (11) May Jesus Himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, (17) put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.” The Message

God never planned for our vocation as work or drudgery. The secret is to find your calling in your job. Give your best work when you are on the clock. Be the employee of the month every month. That honors God.

But on your breaks, lunch, before and after work, fulfill your calling. Reach out to your coworkers. Everywhere Jesus went, He was doing good, (Matthew 9:35; Acts 10:38).

Being a good person is not our goal; being a God-person is. The more Word we think on, the more of God’s nature manifests.

Paul gave the Thessalonians several instructions on how to live:

1 Thessalonians 4:1, “One final word, friends. We ask you – urge you is more like it – that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.” The Message

* * * * * * * *

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, “Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. (12) We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Thessalonians 5:13-14, “Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. (14) Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on…” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be cheerful no matter what, (17) Pray all the time; (18) thank God no matter what happens…” The Message

* * * * * * * *

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, “Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome Him. (2) Don’t let anyone shake you up…” The Message

Pray. Twice Paul said, “Pray all the time!” We will never fulfill our calling, our destiny, without prayer.

“Dear friend, never go out into the danger of the world without praying first. …You have failed to pray, and you will suffer as a result. Temptations are waiting to confront you, and you are not prepared to withstand them. …When we give in to laziness, moments of prayer that are missed can never be redeemed.” Frederick William Robertson in “Streams in the Desert” June 6

* * * * * * * *

“…We’re all called as gospel ministers, no matter what our job or vocation. I’ve met some of the poorest, most destitute people in the world, and some are powerful evangelists for the Lord. They all have one thing in common with the late, amazing Billy Graham: When you meet them, you know they’ve spent time in God’s presence. That makes all the difference, no matter what our station in life.

…So, what does it mean, exactly, to have God’s nature in us? It means we don’t have to try to be holy; we are holy, by virtue of His presence in us. We don’t have to try to be acceptable; we are made acceptable by Him. We don’t have to try to be good; we already are good by His divine nature, which resides in us through His Spirit.

…Here is yet another aspect of God’s presence in us; having the mind of Christ. No matter what mental battles we face, our stance is always one of victory, because we live and move in God’s presence. Even on our worst days we’re held together, propped up, and put at peace by the life and mind of Christ within us. Yet breaking chains is only the beginning of Jesus’ work in us. The more time we spend with Him, the more He prepares us to do His works. ‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil,’ (1 John 3:8).“Intimacy with God – Out of His presence Come the Works of Jesus,” by Gary Wilkerson, World Challenge Pulpit Series, May 21, 2018

©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.

Submission Is Not About Surrender

1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” ESV

“Man, “aner” – a man (properly as an individual male): – husband, man (-hood), sir.” ESV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible Notes

The same word means man or husband, just as the Greek word “gune” means woman or wife. It does not say every man is the head of every woman. It says a husband is the head of his wife.

Pastor Monte Knudsen has been preaching through 1 Corinthians on Wednesday nights. He spoke about submission when he preached on this chapter.

  1. Submission is not about surrender.
  2. Submission is a mutual commitment for cooperation.
  3. Submission is a key element in God’s plan for your life.
  4. Submission for a wife is to her husband, only.

Men are not off of the hook either; not only do they have to submit to Christ, we all have to submit to one another.

Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” ESV