A Vision of Covenant Marriage

This is the final message in the Home-Life 101 teaching series from Genesis 2:18 and Hebrews 13:4.

Genesis 2:18 – three facts of covenant as seen through God’s created order

  1. The created order of all things reveals the significance of the marital union.
  2. The story of the first marriage displays God’s intention of the uniqueness of the marriage union between husband and wife.
  3. This uniqueness stands defined by God as good.

Hebrews 13:4 – three ways of honoring covenant as seen through New Testament principles.

  1. Every husband and wife must embrace marriage as a reflection of God’s original design.
  2. The value of the “institutional other” must be held in highest regard.
  3. The Scriptures warn against defiling God’s intention for husband and wife.

Conclusion: Marriage as a covenant experience (I will make a helper suitable…)

  • God enveloped the first humans in perfect fellowship.
  • God so designed that man and woman live in that same type of fellowship.

The Joy of Life Together

This psalm is one of the psalms of ascent, in preparation for entering into the temple for worship. There was tremendous anticipation of coming together to worship.

Psalm 127 reveals the building of the family and in Psalm 128 that family can flourish when God is central in the home.

  • Faith precedes favor
  • Family is a blessing
  • Future prosperity – is announced to the home but is for the community, the city. It moves from a personal faith toward being reconciled with Christ and with others.

These principles of togetherness foreshadow the coming of the church. Togetherness is inseparable from personal faith, we were never meant to walk through this life alone.

Togetherness prioritizes – we effect immediate proximity first.

Togetherness always gathers, getting people face to face (Hebrews 10:25). We get together for a meal (like Wednesday dinners) and the intention is not just to eat but to draw us all together.

In this psalm we see…

  • The Table of Faith
  • The Table of Fellowship
  • The Table of Family

Additional Observations:

God promises blessings or benefits to those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways.

  1. PERKS – Psalm 128:1 – blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.
  2. PROSPERITY – Psalm 128:2 – eating the fruit of your own hands.
  3. PRODUCTIVITY – Psalm 128:3 – your wife as a fruitful vine with children around your table.
  4. PRIDE – Psalm 128:4 – a God-fearing family man is blessed.
  5. PROSPERITY – Psalm 128:5 – blessings from Zion with the prosperity from Jerusalem.
  6. PERPETUITY – Psalm 128:6a – may you live to see your children’s children.
  7. PEACE – Psalm 128:6b – and peace upon Israel.

Whether One of Many: The Home

This message is from Scott Chafee on the value of the home used as a tool for the Kingdom of God, from Psalm 127:1-2. [ The full message text may be found here ]

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

The Value of a Lighthouse

  • Life Purpose
  • Life Verses – here are a few possibilities: Acts 20:24, Galatians 2:20, Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 28:19-20, Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Hebrews 12:1-2

The Vanity of Life

  1. It is vain to build a House without God – Psalm 127:1a
  2. It is vain to guard the City without God – Psalm 127:1b
  3. It is vain to Work Hard without God – Psalm 127:2

The Vacuum of Space

  • The Front Hall – where we initiate relationships
  • The Dining Room – where we satisfy our appetites and desires
  • The Living Room – where we fellowship and get to know each other
  • The Work Room – where we find the work bench and build things
  • The Bed Room – where we protect our moral purity
  • The Recreation Room – where we have entertainment and relaxation
  • The Hall Closet – where we store items we want to keep

Next Steps:

  1. Transfer Your Deed.
  2. Choose Your Verse.
  3. Embrace Your Purpose.
  4. Clean Your Closet.

Study Questions:

  1. How did Solomon remind us that all of life’s blessings come from God and not people’s own achievements?
  2. In what specific ways should God’s people depend on Him?
  3. What does this psalm say about relationships?
  4. What should motivate us to depend on the Lord for help in times of need?
  5. What promises from this psalm would you like to claim for yourself?
  6. What attitude should we have toward ourselves?
  7. How do you think you could improve your attitude toward worshiping God?
  8. In what specific ways do you need to depend more on the Lord and less on yourself?
  9. What have you learned today about interpersonal relationships?
  10. How should we treat our family members and friends?
  11. What good things, experiences, people, or successes has God granted to you?
  12. How can we thank the Lord for His goodness to us?
  13. How could you demonstrate your thankfulness to the Lord today for the friendships you have?
  14. In what specific area of your life could you depend more on the Lord and less on confidence in your own abilities?
  15. In what ways will you begin to use your home as a tool for the purposes of God?
  16. Who are the neighbors that you are regularly praying for?
  17. Who in your community needs the GPS (God’s Plan of Salvation) that you have?

A True Investment for the Future

May 21 was our Worship on the Lawn; a great time of worship, fellowship, and eating! Pastor Ken is continuing his teaching series on Home-Life 101, this week focusing on children, from 2 Timothy 3:14-15. Our apologies, but the sound volume has been increased the best we could.

In a Barna survey, parents have indicated what parents desire to give their children:

  1. Good education
  2. Know they are loved
  3. Have faith – a distant third at that.

And you know that from childhood…

The initiative of spiritual health of our children. There are two ways to prioritize this initiative:

  • Relationship – recall that which people have personally poured into your life. Who has taught you, and who are you teaching?
  • Repetition (Isaiah 38:19, Joel 1:3) – what are you passing on to the next generation?

You have known the sacred Scriptures…

  • Knowing the Scriptures – have we passed on the truth of God’s Word, or just what I think about God’s Word? Have they seen it come alive in my life? Have they seen it, engaged it?
  • The Ezra Principle (Ezra 7:10) – Ezra purposed to study God’s Word, keep it, and teach it. We cannot do the third if we lack the first two.

To give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus…

  • The goal: the salvation of their souls.
  • The vision: to create a venue in which faith in Christ Jesus may be encountered, understood, and received. We are not desiring our children to be doctrinally sound as much as knowing Jesus personally.

Study Questions:

  • What did Paul encourage Timothy to do?
  • How long had Timothy known the holy Scriptures?
  • What are the holy Scriptures able to do?
  • How authoritative are the Scriptures to you?
  • Have you personally responded to Christ in faith? When?
  • What steps have you taken to learn how to more effectively share your salvation story with others?
  • How have you personally continued in the spiritual teachings you have learned?
  • How have you passed faith on to the next generation?
  • Name some teachings from the Bible that you are convinced of (a settled faith).
  • Name other teachings where you still doubt or struggle.
  • What steps can you take to be discipled, and also disciple others?

 

A Living Proverb for Life

This message is from Proverbs 31, about the importance of mothers in the home, on this Mother’s Day 2017.

Billy Sunday: What did the pastor say that induced him to follow Christ? Nothing, but the godly life that I saw lived in the home.

Here the king reflects on the godly mother in his life.

1. External Influence: the illustration of a mother’s touch (Proverbs 31:10-24).

Introduction

  • Unique value – Proverbs 31:10.
  • Endearment – by those who are dependent on her love.
  • Integrity – her character and goodness are evident.

Production – The great call on your life. Notice these ten word pictures.

  1. Proverbs 31:13 – her joyful service, willing hands, serving others.
  2. Proverbs 31:14 – gives the very best – like the merchant ships.
  3. Proverbs 31:15 – sacrifices
  4. Proverbs 31:16 – initiative, right place at the right time.
  5. Proverbs 31:17 – work ethic and moral integrity
  6. Proverbs 31:18 – very conscientious
  7. Proverbs 31:19-20 – gifted in multitasking, meeting needs where they exist
  8. Proverbs 31:21 – a mother gives the very best not just getting by
  9. Proverbs 31:22-23 – otherness, taking care and thinking of others
  10. Proverbs 31:24 – work that is never below her dignity

2. The Internal Reality: the impact of God’s tough (Proverbs 31:25-31)

  1. Proverbs 31:25 – strength of God’s presence, and inward beauty – character is defined by who we are when the lights go out.
  2. Proverbs 31:26 – is able to speak but there are times when she does not speak. When she does speak, her words of kind and loving
  3. Proverbs 31:27 – never idle – never folding her hands with nothing to do, trustworthiness, and people can count on her
  4. Proverbs 31:28-29 – she is above them all, she surpasses other family members, her reputation precedes her. Proverbs 22:1, Romans 12:17
  5. Proverbs 31:30-31 – what people see in her should reflect the value and character of the Lord who leads her. Faith, integrity, trustworthiness, loyalty, fear of the Lord – Proverbs 14:26. Also see Philippians 2:12-13 – work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Obedience to and consecration in the Lord.

Lives are to be lived in honor and service to God.

Study Questions:

  1. How would you describe a wife of noble character?
  2. How is the noble wife of this chapter different from or similar to the popular ideal today?
  3. What can we do to encourage wives and mothers in their God-given responsibilities?
  4. How is charm deceptive?
  5. Why is it important to keep in mind the fact that physical beauty is fleeting?
  6. How can you recognize the importance of inner beauty?
  7. What is one God-given role or responsibility (whether that of a wife or something else) you can devote to God’s service?
  8. How can you show appreciation to your mother or wife for her hard work and wisdom?