Monday, November 26, 2012

The Pathway to Peace in the Home

Enjoyed teaching on one of my favorite subjects in our membership class yesterday: challenging parents to lead their families at home in worship and discipleship!

Deuteronomy 6:1-10 . . .

I trust there are none here present, who profess to be followers of Christ who do not also practice prayer in their families.  We do not have a positive commandment for it, but we believe that it is so much in accord with the genius and spirit of the gospel, and that it is so commended by the example of the saints, that the neglect thereof is a strange inconsistency.       - Charles Spurgeon

If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family-worship the most valuable of our family comforts. . . .  A church in the house will be a good legacy, nay, it will be a good inheritance, to be left to your children after you.

-         Matthew Henry

Devotions can be a time of true togetherness when family members share questions, doubts, thoughts, problems, and answers.  Hearing one another pray or learning verses of Scripture together regularly establishes and reinforces the fact that God is at the center of the family unit.  In my opinion, the success of family devotions relies much more on the parents’ conviction to have them than it does on a specific technique or carefully chosen material.  The fact of the matter is this: If you truly consider family devotions vital to you and to your children’s welfare, you will make sure it becomes an integral part of your household routine.

-         Henry Brandt and Kerry Skinner, I Want to Enjoy My Children


1.     The purpose of the home – produce adults and children who love the Lord

2.     The prosperity of the home – enjoying the blessing of God’s presence and goodness

3.      The provision of the home – the Word of God

4.     The pattern in the home – Dad and Mom have the Word of God on their hearts

5.     The practice in  the home – Dad and Mom teach the Bible to their children

6.   The place of instruction for the home – everywhere you are inside and outside


What a heritage to pass along to our children . . . memories of home intertwined with memories of praise and laughter and song and the strong, undergirding arms of the living God.  (Jack Hayford, “Making Your Home a Worship Center”)

If we want to bring up a godly family, who shall be a seed to serve God when our heads are under the clods of the valley, let us seek to train them up in the fear of God
by meeting together as a family for worship.          - Charles Spurgeon

Quotation of the Day

We live in a day when entertaining our children ranks higher in importance than instructing our children.   Beware the television set or internet that will keep you from family worship!

The Motivational Gift of Organization

Biblical Example: Nehemiah


The Spirit-given motivation and ability to understand what makes an organization function, and the special ability to plan and execute processes and procedures that accomplish the goals of the organization or ministry.

The ability to organize  and systematize information, people, and things to work efficiently.


Administrators . . .                  leaders, facilitators, organizers, rulers, organizers, delegators



1.               Ability to visualize the final results of a major undertaking (Ne. 1:2-3; 2:5).

2.               Ability to break down goals into smaller achievable tasks.

·                  Believes in delegation – breaks up the task and gives it to others.  Involves others without feeling guilty.

·                  The walls were a huge task.  In 52 days they were broken into many small groups stationed around the walls.

3.               Knows what resources are available and needed to reach a goal (Ne. 2:6-8).

·                  Had his list together for the king in chapter one.

·                  Attitude – prepares himself for the task ahead of time so when the opportunity comes, he will be ready.

4.        Tends to remove himself from distracting details in order to focus on the ultimate goal (5:1-13).

                                   Nehemiah is not building himself but removed from the distractions.

5.        Willingness to endure negative reactions from insiders and outsiders in order to reach a goal.

                                   Nehemiah addresses Sanballat, Tobia, and Geshem.

6.        Has a need for loyalty and competence from those who are being directed and served (5:1-13).

                                   Requires oaths of cooperation.

7.        Ability to know what he should and should not delegate to others (4:13).

He did not build the walls but handled the enemies and was involved in guarding the walls.

8.        Ability to inspire and encourage workers by cheerfulness, praise, approval, and challenge (2:1; 4:14).

                       The ability to slow down and encourage / exhort.

9.        Joy and fulfillment in seeing all parts come together in a finished project (Ne. 7:1-2; 8:1-18).



1.               Viewing people as human resources rather than human beings.

Do you use your ministry to build the people or do you use the people to build the ministry?

2.               Using people to accomplish personal ambitions.

How to balance this temptation – always be a giver to others.

3.        Showing favoritism to those who show loyalty.

           Strive to be fair and impartial.

4.               Taking charge of projects which are not God’s direction for you.

They man step on the sidelines instead of getting involved in a project until they are in charge.

It is hard for the administrator to see mismanagement and inefficiency and may take charge prematurely.

5.        Delegating too much work to others.

6.        Overlooking serious character faults in valuable workers.

           Because they can be consumed in seeing the project completed, they may overlook integrity.

7.        Being unresponsive to suggestions and appeals.

           You can see a vision so much that you don’t care what others say.

8.        Fail to give proper explanation and praise to workers.

9.        May appear callous and uncaring or insensitive to the schedule of others.

10.      May appear lazy or like they are avoiding work.

11.      May care too much about the rules and regulations.

Beware of majoring on the minors and missing the point.  Remember that Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

The administrator may need to balance his or her “ruling” gifts with faith and mercy.  He needs to remember that many things God leads us to do will be beyond what we can plan, budget, or control.  Without faith it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11:6.  Clothe yourself with compassion, because Jesus died for people, not projects!  Projects are as good as they help people.

TRAITS IN THE SPIRIT / FLESH                                                                                                          

  1. Orderly                                    Disorganized
  2. Initiative                                  Apathy
  3. Responsible                             Unreliable
  4. Humility                                  Pride
  5. Decisive                                  Double-minded
  6. Determined                             Fainthearted
  7. Loyal                                       Unfaithful

1.  Remember that plans are accomplished by the Lord.  2.  People are important for who they are, not just what they do.  3.  Learn and focus on grace.  4.  Discern between your plans vs. God’s plans.  5.  Sometimes procedures and rules have to be altered in order to help people and accomplish much.


The Motivational Gift of Mercy

Biblical Example: John

Mercy-givers are builders of bridges and menders of breaches. 


The Spirit-given motivation and ability to cheerfully suffer the hurts of others, enabling you to minister to them in their time of need.

The verb means “to pity, commiserate, have compassion on, show grace favor to”

The mercy-giver does not just have the stirring of emotions but has deep-down, supernatural, God-given compassion.  Divine love by god’s Spirit in Christ’s name, glorifying the Father.


The Gift of Mercy

Feels pity:       the mercy-giver does not just have the stirring of emotions but has deep-down,

supernatural, God-given compassion.  Divine love by god’s Spirit in Christ’s name, glorifying the Father.

Involves deeds:           Jm. 2:15-16; Ac. 2:44-45; 9:36; 16:33-34; 2 Tim. 1:16-17

Requires cheerfulness:  Ro. 12:8

Strengthens many:     the extent of their ministry is unlimited because of the vast needs of God’s people.


How does this gift differ from the gift of helps/service?  Helps is directed toward relieving a Christian worker of a temporal service so they can concentrate on other things.  Mercy is directed toward one in distress (a shut-in, the handicapped, the ill, the hungry, hurting).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     etc.).

Other facts on the gift of mercy

Personal must learn to be tough on the outside because they are tender on the inside.

Probably 30% of believers have this gift.
Sympathy says, I’m sorry you hurt.  Empathy says, I’m sorry you hurt, and I hurt with you.  Mercy says, I’m sorry you hurt, and I’m going to stay right here with you until the hurt is gone.
Mercy may be drawn to prophecy in marriage.

Can be hurt more than any other person because of their tenderness.



1.               An ability to feel an atmosphere of joy or distress in an individual or a group.

Discern where people are emotionally.

2.         A tendency to attract people who are having mental and emotional distress.

            People gravitate to them, not prophets.

            Able to project themselves to the hurting.

            One of God’s gifts of cheerfulness and joy to the body.  They can weep with others.

3.         A desire to remove the causes of hurts rather than to look for benefits from them.

Exhortation says, “Let them hurt.  God is at work.”  Mercy, once they see God’s plan, can back off but not without hurting for them.  1 Jn. 3:11,15

4.         A greater concern over mental joy or distress than physical concerns. 

5.         A sensitivity to words and actions that will help others.

            In the flesh they react harshly.

6.         Tendencies to react harshly when close friends are rejected.

            Remember: very sensitive.

7.         An ability to sense genuine love.  A greater vulnerability to deeper and more frequent hurts.  Mercy is injured more easily.  They want to sense your protective care.

8.         A need for genuine friendships in which there is mutual commitment.

9.         A need to measure acceptance by physical closeness and quality time together.

10.       An enjoyment and unity with those who are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.

11.       A tendency to be attracted to those with the spiritual gift of prophecy.

12.       A tendency to avoid decisions and firmness unless they will eliminate greater hurts.

13.       A closing of their spirit to those they deem as insincere or insensitive.

14.       Serve in difficult or unsightly circumstances and do so cheerfully.

15.       Concern themselves with individuals or social issues that oppress people.



1.               Failing to be firm and decisive when necessary.

2.               Taking up offenses for those who have been hurt.

3.               Basing decisions on emotions rather than on principle.

4.               Promoting improper affections from those of the opposite sex.

5.               Cutting off friendships when they feel others have been insensitive.

6.               Becoming stubborn and vindictive when they feel rejected.

7.               Reacting to God’s purposes in allowing people to suffer.

8.               Sympathizing with those who are violating God’s standards.

9.               Establishing possessive friendships with others.

Biblical references of John the Beloved
His name means “whom Jehovah loves”
John was in the circle of intimacy (Mk. 5:37; 9:2; Mt. 26:37; Lk. 22:8)
Jn. 19:35; 21:24  the author
Jn. 21:20; 19:26  Beloved
Jn. 13:25               physical touch
Gal. 2:9                  a pillar
Mk. 3:17               natural energy
Mk. 9:38               intolerance
Lk. 9:54                 vindictiveness
Mk. 10:35-37       ambition
Jn. 13:33 /             eagerness to learn
1 Jn. 2:
1 Jn. 4:7-21           love

TRAITS IN THE SPIRIT / FLESH                                                                                                          

  1. Attentiveness                          Unconcern
  2. Sensitive                                  Callous
  3. Fair                                          Partial
  4. Compassion                             Indifference
  5. Gentle                                     Harsh
  6. Submissive                              Rude
  7. Meekness                                Anger

Instructions for the Mercy-Giver

1.  Love for others may require toughness.

2.  A need does not equal a call.  You can’t help


3.  Use caution about your motives and desires.

4.  Develop a tough skin, but keep the tender heart.  Beware of being overly sensitive and offended     when people don’t make you feel as good as you wish they would!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Great Word from Kay Arthur on Election-Eve Night

I got up this morning feeling anxious. Like you, I have prayed and prayed for America and for our return to God, our future as a nation. I have been all over the Bible from Genesis 18:22 -33 pleading as Abraham plead for Sodom and Gomorrah - to Luke 18 (which I’m writing a course on) and the persistent widow. THEN THIS MORNING it all turned to peace and praise. I've petitioned and petitioned as He tells us, reminding Him of His character, power and promises, and all the petitions we've made for years before His throne.

It’s enough! I don’t know what is going to happen but I know my God and I rest in His Sovereignty!

The tightness, the angst is gone. Peace and joy fill my heart. I’ve been in Isaiah for several days…try it – go from Isaiah 40-45 and highlight all God tells you about Himself. Look at the end of Isaiah 44 and move into 45 – where God tells about a king, Cyrus, that doesn’t even know God, a king God will put on the throne of Media/Persia who will in about 150 years become His instrument to restore Israel to the land!

Join me, precious faces, in worshiping, bowing before the Sovereign God who promises you Romans 8:28-33…

I love you…. Kay