Archive for February, 2009


cross1God gave Christ to be head over all things, to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. (Eph 1:22)

 Is Jesus Christ our ‘ideal’, to be arrived at only after much suffering, self-sacrifice, striving and then finally dying?

Perhaps to one who sees through fleshly eyes. But from God’s perspective, Christ is His LIVING gift to us. He is not only for LIFE in the future tense, but for LIFE in the present tense. Scripture teaches that if we die to ourselves, we live to Jesus Christ. The life of a disciple is the way of the Cross, the way of death to what we want. When we place our lives in our Savior’s hands, through the New Birth we are raised up to sit together in the heavenlies with King Jesus! (Eph 2:6). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, securing our future Bodily Redemption (Eph 1:13,14). The reality is that just as Christ reigns at the right hand of His Father, so do we reign with Him!

 Do we doubt this? There is a 21 “LCD computer monitor on my desk. I do not look at my desk and say over and over “there must be a monitor here, there must be a monitor here!” and by some magical encantation the monitor appears. No, it was there all the time. I simply open my eyes and see it.

jesus-reigns-in-heavenFaith is no make-believe, no magical encantation. Faith allows us to take hold of the unseen FACTS of what God has done. God has placed us IN CHRIST through the power of the New Birth. THAT IS FACT. It is an accomplished work. When we dare to venture our faith upon those facts, the Holy Spirit is present to prove them true. Whenever you feel your life is overwhelmed by sorrow or struggles, whenever you feel your faith struggling, look to the Christ who fills all in all, and the Holy Spirit will fill you with His sustaining and uplifting power!

Prayer: Father, open my heart to see that I am in your Son, and that together we reign over any problems in my life. Holy Spirit, make me to know the reality of Christ’s uplifting power!

From PathwayofBlessing

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peter-freed-from-prison-by-pier-francesco-mola-1612-1666In Acts 12:14 the lowly maid is sent to answer the persistent knock outside the gate. The disciples are obviously fearful of the recent aggressive persecution undertaken by Herod. She is so excited to see Peter that she runs in to tell the disciples, forgetting to open the gate and allow Peter in. The disciples, the ones who months before preached boldly in the Temple about the “power of God” to raise Jesus from the dead, hear the ramblings of the maid and pronounce her “Mad”. These great disciples and apostles, men who turned the world upside down with their faith in God, doubted the results of their own prayers. How could Peter have escaped from such a prison?

How can modern day disciples presume to have faith greater than the apostles? I do pray in faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. But I never pray with the presumptuous pride of a voice that believes it can command God. God is God alone. Only He does Wondrous things. How dare I bother Him with petty requests when He has an entire Universe to Rule?

I dare because His Son lives in me, and the life I now live I live by the faith of Jesus Christ. When I pray the Words of His Son, they are the Words that arrest the attention of Almighty God! They are the Words that grab God’s Heart!prayer_3

Pray for Peter to be freed, but wait upon God to reveal His will. Never presume that our will must be His! After all the apostles prayed that James would be freed too!

If I abide in Christ, and His Words abide in me, then I may ask whatever I wish, and He will accomplish it for me (John 15:7 mud version)

Prayer: Enable me to pray with the faith of your Son, and may His Words become my prayer to you. May your will be done in and through my life, just as it is in heaven. Remind me to always open the gate to see your answer to my prayers.

From Pathway of Blessing


liftupthecross1cThe Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth in John 16:13. Jesus declared Himself to be the Way the Truth anf the Life. So the Holy Spirit is He…the one who reveals the Truth of Christ to darkened hearts. Revelation must and will always precede faith. Faith embraces REVEALED truth. Faith never embraces the obvious. Lack of Faith usually involves lack of Revelation.

Our prayer should be “Holy Spirit open my heart to know Your Truth you have for me today. Make your way clear to me”

Revelation comes in the midst of darkness. God made the light to shine upon a world covered by darkness. When our way is obscured by obstacles, when difficulties cloud our view of God’s pathway, the Holy Spirit stands ready to illumine our way with the Truth. Ask Him to reveal His Truth. In fact, His Revelation will not come as long as you are using your fleshly eyes to see the way. You must be willing to close them and lean not unto your own understanding. Don’t fret about missing anything. The Holy Spirit will reveal His Truth when things are darkest and you are most willing to seek Him.

But once revealed, quickly embrace it, even grab it (lambano) as though it was the winning lottery ticket. Only Faith embraces the invisible, the revealed Truth. The opportunity to walk by faith will not linger long. The Holy Spirit demand’s immediated obedience and embrace. He wearies of ‘doubleminded dullards’. His light will not be wasted on those who ignore it.

Prayer: “Open my heart Lord and quicken my steps to walk in your revealed truth”

From my Devotional Site “Pathway of Blessing”


show-me-your-gloryMoses longed with all his heart to see the Glory of God. “Please, show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18). In our churches we sing “Glory to God in the highest”. We sing and pray “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth; (Ps 108:5) We want the World to see the glory of God, and to behold the glory of His Son Jesus Christ. We long for the day when “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Yet God has already shown us His glory. His glory is sitting next to you. You behold His glory when you watch your husband leave for work. You behold his glory when you thank your wife for a great meal. You behold his glory when you nursed your baby. At the same time you behold his glory when you listen to your husband yell at you for spending too much money. You behold his glory when your wife tells you for the millionth time to not leave the toilet roll empty. You behold the glory of God when your teenager breaks your heart by an unkind comment or look.

The truth is that we are meant to experience and reveal and manifest the glory of God through our family, through those people we share a roof with, be it a normal family, a blended family, or a messed up family.

If we see the family as God designed it and wants it to be, we will restore Honor in our homes. And in restoring honor to our homes, we will see immediate rewards, rewards that will reveal the Glory of God to a fallen and disillusioned world.

Peter revealed:

There is wonderful JOY ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These TRIALS will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR ON THE DAY WHEN JESUS CHRIST IS REVEALED to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:3-7 (NLT)

No one else will provide testing to your faith in the power of Christ than your spouse or your children. If you pass this test of Faith, you will see glory and Honor.

maid-of-honorMost Brides have a Maid of Honor who helps them with the wedding. Besides the planning and the help with getting dressed, she will also give a speech at the reception after the wedding. She will give a speech with catchy little sayings such as:

Marriage begins when you sink into his arms and ends up with your arms in his sink.

Before marriage a man will lay awake thinking about something you said, after marriage he’ll fall asleep before you have finished saying it.

If you’re clever you’ll always have the last word, BUT if you are clever you won’t use it!

When you are wrong admit it, when you’re right shut up!

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

victorian-weddingsActually the Maid of Honor tradition:

” is thought to have originated from Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits (believed to attend marriage ceremonies) by dressing in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married. It was thought that evil spirits caused marriages to fail.”

“Even as late as 19th century England, there was a belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, the bride and groom are frequently dressed in the same fashion as other members of the bridal party.”

You can have all the maid of honors you want. You can take every precaution to ward off evil spirits. But that is not what causes marriages to fail. The reasons marriages fail are myriad. But I know that if you keep one thing alive in your marriage, your marriage will never fail. I know if you keep one thing alive in your family, with your children, your family will never fall apart.

marriage-made-of-honorThat one thing is Honor. WE MUST HAVE A MARRIAGE OF HONOR. If we restore and treasure Honor in our family, for our spouse, for our children, God promises your marriage will never fail. He promises your children will be a Godly Inheritance.

What does honor look like in the daily life of a married couple? For starters, it means waking up in the morning and deciding that our spouse is the most valuable person on earth to us. It is deciding that we will look after our spouse’s needs before we worry about ours. Honoring our children means we see the value of caring for those God has given us to raise. Honoring our spouse and our children on a daily basis is all about priority.

peter-eyewitness-of-the-transfigurationPeter recounts the Transfiguration:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2Pe 1:16-18)

Christ was transfigured before Peter so that He could see his majesty. He could see the Honor and Glory that God bestowed on His son, even before He did what He came to the earth to do–redeem mankind. God held His son in the highest regard even before he saw the finished product.

how-do-you-value-your-familyWe need to see the value of honor in our homes. We need to see the Value that God places on our spouse and our children, and how Honoring them brings great reward.

When we date we learn to honor each other for what they offer us. Remember honor is placing value on something. Our future wife honors us because we are cute, good-natured, loving, will make a good provider. We honor our wife because of her beauty, the way she loves us, makes us feel. All of a sudden we are talking about the future and then talking about what it would be like to be married and before we know it we are making wedding plans.

It doesn’t take too long after we are married before we realize that the person we married may not have been everything we had thought they were. We discover this about them, that about them. They discover this about us, that about us. Soon you discover they can be selfish, they don’t always value your opinion, and in fact they don’t seem to value at all. Why do so many husbands and wives who were so much in love find themselves so much out of love.

Once this person was so valuable to you, now they are nothing but a liability, something to be discarded from your life. What happened?

Dear Positive Way, I feel my husband married me for my looks and someone for his children when he only sees fit. First five years I expressed the need of him and I committing at least one hour a week alone. I had heard responses like too busy, no money, no response, to even what do you want me to do drop everything for you response, you need friends, its not up to me to make you happy etc. He makes comments about my appearances. When first married I gained 5 pounds he expressed his disapproval of this to me and especially now I have gained 20 pounds since having a baby who is currently15 months. He says he has needs for an attractive wife and it is biblical for him to have these needs. He has seen me cry over his comments about my weight and me feeling I’m not good enough to him. He has even seen me cry numerous times over this. He has full custody and do not see there mother maybe talk to her twice a year. The last 7 years my spouse corrects me in front of the boy all the time and doesn’t allow me to be a parent to him. To the point 3 years ago I was trying to correct my step-son and he yelled at me and said I’m calling Dad and your going to be in trouble. My step-son was 4when I met him and now is 12. He shows no respect to females mostly of the time especially me and school teachers. My spouse doesn’t correct so much with the stepdaughter who now is 18. I feel 98% of the time my spouse has never supported me as the other parent. I feel the nanny in the house except I pay half of the bills and my spouse sleeps with the nanny but the nanny has no say or position to say or want anything in her house. How do I really now my spouse’s true motives or does he even love me or care? My self-image, and esteem is shot. signed, noesteemleft, age 34

How do you restore honor to a home? How do you restore the value of our spouse and our children?

Our wife, our husband, even our children can lose their value to us because our focus is on the wrong thing. We need to discover God’s Way (Teach me thy way O Lord and I will walk in your path)

1. Husbands – Honor Your Wife

husbands-honor-your-wifeSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him… (Gen 1:27)

A. Man Is Created To Bear Fruit – Life

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28)

B.The Abundant Life –Parallels between Abiding and Cleaving

1. Not Good for Man to be alone

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18)

2. Man leaves and cleaves to reproduce Life

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:23-24)

3. To Join with Christ, we must leave the world and cleave to Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (Joh 15:4) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8 (NKJV)

4. Christ’s Life is in the Church, so is Man’s Life in his Wife.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Eph 5:25-30)

5. Honor our Wives with Abundant Life in View.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1Pe 3:7)

  1. Grace of Life
  2. Power in Prayer

  • If you want eternal life, you believe in Christ as your Savior.
  • If you want an abundant life, a fruitful life, you die to self and then abide in Christ.

You become one with Jesus Christ.
You live a Galations 2:20 life.
Christ lives his Life through you!

wives-key-to-the-abundant-lifeNow Jesus said in John 15:7-8: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Jesus said you will ask what you want and it shall be done for you. But what did 1 Peter 3:7 say? Peter told us men to honor our wives so that our prayers are not hindered.

What he is saying is your ability to abide in Christ, your power in prayer is nullified if you do not honor your wife. Your wife and the way you honor her is key to abiding in Christ! It is Key to having power in your prayer life. And when you abide in Christ and you have prayer power, GOD IS GLORIFIED!

Do you want to see the glory of God? Do you want to have prayers that are answered? DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE ABUNDANT SATISFYING LIFE? THEN HONOR YOUR WIFE!

  • But she doesn’t make my breakfast. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t iron my shirts. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t….
  • But she….

I DON”T CARE WHAT SHE DOES TO YOU OR DOESN’T DO FOR YOU. HONOR YOUR WIFE. IF YOU DO NOT HONOR YOUR WIFE YOU ARE NOT ABIDING IN CHRIST, YOU ARE WALKING IN THE FLESH YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE HINDERED, AND YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE GRACE OF LIFE IN CHRIST!

6. Honor is a Decision, Just as Abiding is a Decision

Every day you say: “I’m going to show my wife that she is extremely valuable to me.”

Honor is a decision. It is the simple decision to place high value, worth, and importance on your wife, to view her as a priceless gift. Love involves putting that decision into action. Honor is a gift we give to our wives. It isn’t purchased by their actions or contingent on our emotions. You’re giving them distinction whether or not they like it, want it, or deserve it. It’s a conferring distinction, much like an honorary degree. You give honor to your wife simply because she is the way you can abide in Jesus and bring glory to God. You will discover that honoring your wife gives legs to the words “I love you.” It puts LOVE into action.

luvrYou must make a decision to be a LUVR:

LUVR (Lover): With her opinions, concerns and expectations, you decide to

  • Listen,
  • Understand,
  • Value, and
  • Resolve any arguments with win-win solutions.

Honor does not involve the belief that your opinions, concerns and desires are somehow superior to your partner’s. Conveying a superior attitude is the biggest killer of marriage and produces the most frustration, hurt, and fear within marriage.

Honor is a “lifting up,” a holding up of your wife with reverence. Honor is permanent, unmovable and forever. Honor is the most important skill you can master; it is even more important than being able to communicate. If honor is non-existent in one partner, there is a high probability that the marriage is over. But if only a spark of respect or adoration remains, the spark can be turned into a flame in a few days.

EIGHT COW WIFE

eight-cow-wifeJohnny Lingo was a young man who lived on the island of Nurabandi, not far from the island Kiniwata in the South Pacific. Johnny was one of the brightest, strongest, and richest men in the islands, but people shook their heads and smiled about a business deal he had made with a man on Kiniwata.

It was customary among the people of these islands for a man to buy his wife from her father, with the price being paid in cows. Two or three cows would buy an average wife, and four or five would fetch a highly satisfactory one. Yet for some reason, Johnny had paid the unheard-of price of eight cows for a wife, Sarita, who was unattractive by any standards. As one fellow explained, “It would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny. She walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow.” Why did Johnny Lingo pay eight cows, especially for such a woman? Everyone figured Sarita’s father, Sam Karoo, had taken young Johnny for a ride, and that’s why the islanders smiled whenever they discussed the deal.

Patricia McGerr finally met Johnny for herself and got the chance to ask about his eight-cow purchase of Sarita. She had assumed he had done it for his own vanity and reputation—at least until she saw Sarita. “She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen,” McGerr wrote. “The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.” Sarita was not the plain girl McGerr had expected, and the explanation lay with Johnny Lingo.

“Do you ever think,” he said, “what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happen to my Sarita.”

“Then you did this just to make your wife happy?” McGerr asked.

“I wanted Sarita to be happy, yes. But I wanted more than that. This is true. Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands.”

“Then you wanted …”

“I wanted to marry Sarita. I loved her and no other woman.”

“But …”

“But,” he finished softly, “I wanted an eight-cow wife.”

Because Johnny Lingo considered Sarita to be worth eight cows, she began to see and present herself as an eight-cow woman. Before Johnny entered her life, Sarita was a shy, plain island girl. After he placed incredible value upon her, she was transformed into a confident, attractive woman who knew she was worth far more than any other island woman.

The above story was based partially on an article found in Reader’s Digest (February, 1988 ). The original work was copyrighted by Patricia McGerr in 1965.

2. Wives – Honor Your Husband

wives-honor-your-husbandA. God Defines An “Excellent” WIFE As One Who Fears The Lord

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Pro 31:29-31)

1. Fear of the Lord Leads to Honor for Your Husband

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph 5:31-33)

Respect is “phobeo” – fear. Fear (reverence) of God and His design for your life. God made woman to be a help meet for her husband. Husband and wife are to be one just as a Christian is to be one with Christ. Just as Christ is our protection from this evil world, your husband is protection for his wife. Just as Christ is the guide for our life, a wife must realize that she will she God’s direction and glory as she honors her husband.

2. God Values a Wife Who Honors Her Husband

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 1 Pet 3:1-6 NLT

B.Your Abiding in Christ is dependent upon your honoring your husband.

For in honoring your husband, you are demonstrating your reverence for God as well as your trust in Him. That is why you don’t give in to hysterical fears.

  • What if he does this…
  • What if he doesn’t do this….

1 Corinthians 7:16 says that our great duty is to promote the salvation of our spouse. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NLT) What good is it to enjoy marriage now and then go to hell together? If you let your spouse be damned, where is your love? Both should inquire into each other’s spiritual state, and use the means appointed to improve it.

Wives, you should learn the value of speaking as “apples of gold”

apples-of-gold“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”Proverbs 25:11

A Are my words APPROPRIATE? “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23

P Are my words PLEASANT? “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

P Are my words PURE? “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life…” Proverbs 10:11

L A re my words LOVELY? “And all bare him [Jesus] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth….” Luke 4:22

E Are my words ENCOURAGING? “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25

S Are my words SOFT? “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

3. Parent’s – Honor Your Children

Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)

honor-your-childrenChildren are a “Nachalah”, a precious possession. God promised his children in the wilderness that if “the children of Israel would obey the voice of the Lord, and keep His covenant, then He would promise them that, “ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine”. The word for “peculiar treasure” is the Hebrew “cegullah” and it is akin to the previous word “nachalah”. It too also means a possession or property with the added meaning of being a special treasure or a jewel.”

Honor simply means deciding to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. It’s like what Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (NIV).

As with genuine love, honor is one of the greatest gifts we can provide. In fact, honor is genuine love in action. To honor a person involves choosing to highly value him or her even before we put love into action. In many cases, love often begins to flow once we’ve decided to honor that person. The opposite of honor is dishonor, which is almost certain to make anger develop in a child or teenager’s heart.

What is dishonor? The essence of dishonor is when who you are (your feelings, opinions, thoughts, beliefs, etc.) is devalued by another.

  • When do we, in everyday family experience, tend to treat our children like that?
  • When he has just asked the same question for the thousandth time
  • When they leaves her “stuff” out at night, expecting us to clean up
  • When they selectively forgets what he’s been told
  • When she brings home a boy who wears an earring and a leather jacket
  • When he screams at us, claiming that “you just don’t understand!”
  • When she goes out on a date dressed in risqué clothes

Anger, unjust criticism, unhealthy comparisons, favoritism, inconsistency, jealousy, selfishness, envy, disrespect, belittling comments, negative beliefs, and a host of other weapons are “justified” as valid to use against people we consider to be of little value. Here’s something everyone ought to write on a card and read every day: The lower the value we attach to people, the easier we can “justify” dishonoring them with our words or treating them with disrespect. The 5,000 adults we surveyed reported that one of the least-popular things they received from their parents was criticism. As youngsters, many of these teens showed little or no evidence of the problems they face as adolescents today. And often, as we began to look into their history, we found that their parents had had no idea they were failing to honor their teens. “It could never happen to my teenager!” some might say. Let’s look, however, at some of the problems young people often face because, in part, their parents never understood the tragic impact of their dishonoring actions. Some of the devastating things that can grow out of dishonor, either in the teen years or later in life, are:

  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • chronic lying
  • procrastination
  • extreme pride and self-centeredness (narcissism)
  • workaholism and the need to achieve more and more
  • vicious emotional ups and downs
  • repeated absences from church and school
  • extreme submission
  • unhealthy legalism
  • severe withdrawal from society
  • sexual difficulties in marriage
  • lower academic achievement
  • feelings of loss of control
  • stress-related heart problems
  • homosexuality
  • deep feelings of loneliness
  • suicidal thinking and attempts
  • poor marital mate selection
  • clinical depression
  • poor decision making
  • lowered career achievement
  • a pattern of outbursts of anger
  • low energy in accomplishing school or work tasks
  • extreme self-criticism
  • gravitation toward cults and fringe religious groups
  • unrealistic expectations of self and others
  • eating disorders

Parents don’t want to see their teenagers experience such problems. Yet without realizing it, some parents lead their children down these very paths.

The key to avoiding such things in our teens’ lives is to honor them, especially as children. To make them feel valuable, loved, and accepted, we must decide to increase honor and help lower their anger. Even if you’ve unknowingly been in the habit of dishonoring your teen, you can choose today to stop the devastating effects of dishonor—even reverse them—by giving your teen the gift of honor. And when you learn how to communicate in tangible ways to your adolescent that he or she is deeply loved and highly valued, it goes a long way toward combating future problems.

restore-honor-to-familyGod said that your children are His special treasure. He desires them as His inheritance. When you honor them as God’s special treasure, you show them whose they are. They will grow up giving their heart to Him, for they are His.

So how do we honor our wife, our husband, our children? The following are the four faces of honor: (From Gary Smalley)

1. Give Meaningful Touch

2. Picture a Special Future Together

3. Have an Active Commitment

4. Express High Value

These four elements are what make honor possible for a family. They are the driving force to healthier, more exciting families. If we do not have honor, then we cannot have a satisfying life, and abundant life, a Godly Heritage with Children growing up knowing they are God’s Treasured Possession.

The Testimony of Johnny Ferrier

im-thirdThe following is an account of a day Johnny Ferrier had been preparing for all his life. The story was originally featured in The Denver Post in the late 1950s.

Out of the sun, packed in a diamond formation and flying as one that day, the Minute Men dove at nearly the speed of sound toward a tiny emerald patch on Ohio’s unwrinkled crazy quilt below. It was a little after nine on the morning of June 7, 1958, and the target of the Air National Guard’s jet precision team was the famed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside Dayton.

On the ground, thousands of faces looked upward as Colonel Walt Williams, leader of the Denver-based Sabrejet team, gauged the high-speed pullout. For the Minute Men pilots—Colonel Walt Williams, Captain Bob Cherry, Lieutenant Bob Odle, Captain John Ferrier, and Major Win Coomer—the maneuver was routine, for they had given their show hundreds of times before millions of people.

Low across the fresh, green grass the jet team streaked, far ahead of the noise of the planes’ own screaming engines. Judging his pull-up, Colonel Williams pressed the microphone button on top of his throttle: “Smoke on . . . now!” The diamond of planes pulled straight up into the turquoise sky, a bush tail of white smoke pluming out behind. The crowd gasped as the four ships suddenly split apart, rolling to the four points of the compass and leaving a beautiful, smoky fleur-de-lis inscribed on the heavens. This was the Minute Men’s famed “flower burst” maneuver. For a minute the crowd relaxed, gazing at the tranquil beauty of the huge, white flower that had grown from the lush Ohio grasslands to fill the great bowl of sky.

Out on the end of his arm of the flower, Colonel Williams turned his Sabre hard, cut off the smoke trail, and dropped the nose of his F-86 to pick up speed for the low-altitude crossover maneuver. Then, glancing back over his shoulder, he froze in terror. Far across the sky to the east, John Ferrier’s plane was rolling. He was in trouble. And his plane was headed right for the small town of Fairborn, on the edge of Patterson Field. In a moment, the lovely morning had turned to horror. Everyone saw; everyone understood. One of the planes was out of control.

Steering his jet in the direction of the crippled plane to race after it, Williams radioed urgently, “Bail out, John! Get out of there!” Johnny still had plenty of time and room to eject safely. Twice more Williams issued the command: “Bail out, Johnny! Bail out!”

Each time, Williams was answered only by a blip of smoke.

He understood immediately. John Ferrier couldn’t reach the mike button on the throttle because both hands were tugging on a control stick locked in full-throw right. But the smoke button was on the stick, so he was answering the only way he could—squeezing it to tell Walt he thought he could keep his plane under enough control to avoid crashing into the houses of Fairborn.

Suddenly, a terrible explosion shook the earth. Then came a haunting silence. Walt Williams continued to call through the radio, “Johnny? Are you there? Captain? Answer me!”

No response.

Captain John T. Ferrier’s Sabrejet had hit the ground midway between four houses, in a backyard garden. It was the only place where he could have crashed without killing people. The explosion had knocked a woman and several children to the ground, but no one had been hurt—with the exception of Johnny Ferrier. He had been killed instantly.

Major Win Coomer, who had flown with Ferrier for years, both in the Air National Guard and on United Airlines and had served a combat tour with him in Korea, was the first Minute Man to land. He raced to the crash scene, hoping to find his friend alive.

Instead, he found a neighborhood in shock from the awful thing that had happened. But then Coomer realized that the people felt no resentment as is ordinarily the case when a peaceful community is torn by a crash. A steady stream of people began coming to him as he stood in his flying suit beside the smoking, gaping hole in the ground where his best friend had just died.

“A bunch of us were standing together, watching the show,” an elderly man with tears in his eyes told Coomer. “When the pilot started to roll, he was headed straight for us. For a second, we looked right at each other. Then he pulled up right over us and put it in there.” And in deep humility, the old man whispered, “This man died for us.”1

It had been a bold and courageous last act. But it was not an act alien to the nature of John Ferrier. He had been awarded one of the nation’s highest medals for risking his life “beyond the call of duty” in Korea. And although he hadn’t known it, he’d been preparing for this tragic day for years by practicing this most important principle: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

A few days after Johnny’s death, his wife, Tulie, wrote the founder of Kanakuk Kamp, Coach Bill Lantz, this letter:

Coach, I went through my husband’s billfold last night and found the old worn card which he always carried—”I’M THIRD.” He told me once he got it from you. He said that you stressed it at one of your camp sermons. Johnny may have had faults, though they were few and minor, but he followed that creed to the very end. God is first, the other fellow second, and “I’m third.” Not just on June 7, 1958, but long before that—certainly as long as I’ve known him. I’m going to carry that same card with me from now on and see if it won’t serve as a reminder. I shouldn’t need it, but I’m sure I do as I have many more faults than Johnny.

The principle by which Johnny Ferrier lived and died is also the greatest lesson you can instill in your family.

At the heart of making others feel valuable, loved, and accepted is a decision to honor them, even above ourselves. If we restore honor to our families, God’s Glory will be evidenced in our lives and in our children’s lives.


slide2Over the last few weeks we have been discovering the value of Honor in finding God’s path for our life, in growing in faith, in seeing the Power of God in a real intimate way, and in realizing our full reward here on earth! God has been dealing with me in learning to honor our political leaders. I have been praying for our National as well as Local leaders. I have been asking God to build honor for them in my heart. In honoring my social authorities, I have been seeking to honor Jesus Christ and seeking how He would pastor our church. God brought a Debate coach into mind that I had failed to honor in high School. I had always honored and respected him until we got political. We got into a big shouting match during a class and I walked out, in fact I think we both walked out. I never went back.

Well, God brought my forensics coach into my life this past week. I was able to thank her and honor her as I probably never really said so when I was in school. She is going to get Tom Cameron’s number for me so I can call him. I look forward to honoring him after I ask his forgiveness.

This is what the Pathway of Blessing series is all about. It is about seeking to know God’s ways and then walking in His path. God’s path is a path of blessing. God’s path is a path of earthly rewards. But God’s pathway is found only as we honor those authorities and leaders God has placed in our life.

This discourse we are going to look at the Value of Honoring our Mother and Father. In looking at honoring our Mother and Father, we will discover some amazing truth about the promises of God. We will also learn a bit about drama queens or kings and why this growing phenomenon will prevent many people from finding God’s Pathway of Blessing.

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3

honor-father-and-motherHonor for our parents is not a recommendation, it is a commandment. Keeping God’s commandments is evidence of our love for Jesus Christ. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

We also see: “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it”. 2 John 1:6

With God, it is all about obedience to His word: “ keeping the commandments of God is what matters” 1 Corinthians 7:19 (NKJV)

result-of-born-again-lifeIf you habitually ignore the commandments of God, perhaps you have never had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit. God says: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

If the Holy Spirit isn’t producing “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control, then you need to honest with yourself and say I’ve never been born again. The Spirit of Jesus Christ doesn’t live in me. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn 2:4) If you know Jesus in a real intimate way, you will have a heart drive to follow Him.

Let’s review what HONOR is:

Honor: to value, to esteem, to respect, to treat favorably, to have high regard for. If we view our parents through the eyes of honor we will communicate with them in respect and love. Honor is displayed in deed, word and even thought. But all true honor originates in your heart.

dishonor-of-parentsSo if a young or old person speak in a flippant, careless or irreverent way on a regular basis toward their parents or grand parents, they are displaying outwardly their lack of true honor for their parents. Jesus told us: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. (Matt 12:34)

You can display dishonor by your behavior, by the tone of your voice, rolling eyes, disgusted look, dragging your feet to carry out a request, complaining and so forth. I’ve mentioned before a time when I was 12 that I have never forgotten. My mom had said something I didn’t want to hear and I looked at my friend and did this: (crazy sign). My mom saw me out of the corner of her eye and she slapped me so hard I thought my head would pop off. She said don’t you ever disrespect your father like that again.

I learned to respect my parents, but I’m well aware that: Dishonoring our parents has become a normal way of life in America.

dishonor-of-parents-is-funnyWe have gone from “Father Knows Bes”t to Homer “Doh” Simpson! Or Psycho Dad Al Bundy. It is funny to make fun of your parents. It gets big laughs from the viewing audience, from the kids at school. It is expected. “Well Jim, that’s part of growing up. It’s ok to make fun of your parents” But God doesn’t think it is very funny.

“ ‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Deuteronomy 27:16 (ESV)

cursed-are-those-who-dishonor-parentsDo you understand how strong a word “cursed” is? It is the word awrar, and it means to bind, hem in with obstacles, render powerless. The serpent was cursed, when he caused Eve to sin. Does your life feel as if you meet one road block after another? Do you have sins that you feel powerless to overcome, they have you bound up? Perhaps you have dishonored your parents. You may expect that God only curses murderers, thieves, sexual perverts, yet God said more than once that the one who dishonors his father or mother is cursed. To dishonor your mom or dad means to treat them as common, ordinary, or menial. At worst it means to treat them shamefully, even humiliate them.

Consequences of Dishonor

Noah became a farmer after the flood. One day he drank some fermented wine and got drunk, took off all his clothes and passed out in his tent. We can only speculate why he did this, or if he did it on other occassions. What happened next is what we need to take note of. His son Ham, went into the tent, saw his dad naked, and went outside and told his brothers. We don’t know exactly what Ham said but I imagine it was something like this: “Hey guys, you are not gonna believe this, Dad is a drunk as a skunk and naked as a jaybird! You gotta see this!”

they-honored-noahHowever, Shem and Japeth showed honor to their drunken father and grabbed a garment, held it up and walked backward into the tent, covering their dad without looking at him. They did not want to see the shame of their father. When Noah wole up the next morning, he realized what happened and said:

“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” Genesis 9:25

This prophetic word from Noah, the only statement of Noah recorded in the Bible, was played out for several generations. cursed-by-canaanThe Canaanites, the descendants of Ham, were cursed and eventually overtaken by the Children of Israel at God’s command. Ham dishonored his father and brought a curse upon his descendants. Noah’s behavior brought no such curse. In fact, Hebrews 11:7 says that

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)

noah-was-righteous1Ham is not mentioned in Hebrews 11.

Noah’s moral failure became a test of honor for his three sons; it revealed their true heart. Note: Ham was accurate in his report. His father was drunk and naked, yet Ham was wrong in principle. You could certainly justify his reaction. He was being truthful. Yet the principle of Honor and Kingdom authority says he was wrong. Have you passed God’s Test of Honor for your Life?

Dishonor Grows Over Time

jacob-loved-rachelDishonor for parents is like a disease. If left untreated it grows over time. Case in point: Most of you are familiar with the story of Jacob, how he was tricked into marrying Leah and finally got Rachel after working 14 years for her. Well, what you may not remember is that Rachel and Leah had an ongoing feud over who Jacob loved more. Leah kept having babies. In spite of the babies, Jacob loved Rachel, but Rachel was barren. Leah felt unloved, even though she was the one bearing Jacob all the children. She thought that her children would cause Jacob to love her.

leah-and-rachel1“The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.”

Rachel devised a plan to get back at her sister. She let her handmaid Bilhah bear children for her.

And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali. Genesis 30:7-8 (NKJV)

Reuben, being the firstborn, grew up with all this strife. He had to have felt for his mother, and resented the way his dad loved Rachel more than Leah.

He got personally involved one time. He went out into the fields and found some juicy mandrakes. He brought them in for his Mom. Rachel saw her eating these juicy delicious mandrakes, and desired to have some. So Leah made a bargain with Rachel. “I’ll have Reuben get you some mandrakes if I get Jacob for the night”

The fact that Leah had to pay to have Jacob sleep with her meant that most nights he spent with Rachel. Evidently Reuben had a dishonor for Jacob that grew and grew the more he saw him neglect his mom. Finally, when Rachel died in childbirth, Reuben committed the ultimate dishonor to his father, he slept with Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah. Jacob didn’t do anything at that time, but when it came time for Jacob to die, he gave Reuben’s birthright to Joseph’s two sons. Reuben is not even listed in the genealogical records as Jacob’s firstborn son.

The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son. 1 Chronicles 5:1 (NLT)

Jacob’s actions were wrong, in that he neglected Leah for Rachel. Reuben saw his father accurately. However, the bitterness he had in his heart poisoned his whole outlook on life. He let go of the honor a child naturally has for his parent and embraced an attitude of resentment that fostered dishonor. It grew to the point where he could justify his behavior toward his dad. He lost his birthright. Hannah honored Eli and received her full reward. Reuben dishonored Jacob and lost his reward.

wrong-behavior-not-affect

Don’t Allow Someone Else’s Wrong Behavior to Affect You

Moses: Moses had one of the hardest jobs you can imagine. He had to herd Three Million Drama Kings and Queens across a desolate desert.

What is a “Drama Queen or King”?

no-drama-queens1

People (mostly girls – but boys play their part) who like to blow everything

totally out of proportion because they either :

a) Want to seek attention

b) Have some emotional dysfunction and it’s their duty to make life harder for everyone around them

c) Just simple can’t get over it. (Urban Dictionary)

“The term “drama queen,” or less frequently, “drama king” is usually applied to someone who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents. A drama queen often views the world in absolutes, and only has two settings on her emotional control button; zero and ten. Psychologists might describe a drama queen or king as a neurotic personality with histrionic tendencies, meaning they tend to become needlessly dramatic whenever order is disrupted.

In literature, the character Scarlett O’Hara from Margaret Mitchel’s “Gone with the Wind” would be considered a drama queen by today’s standards. A drama queen is notoriously self-centered and self-absorbed, often viewing friends and relatives as lesser beings assigned to take care of her personal needs. A drama queen’s worst enemy is solitude, so she tends to be very outgoing and sociable, although many of her friendships tend to remain at surface level. Others who have experienced the drama queen’s sudden outbursts in the past may have a feeling of walking on egg shells around her, not wanting to be the person who delivers upsetting news or offends the drama queen in any way.”

spoiled-bratsWhen I was growing up we didn’t call people “Drama Queen’s”. We called them spoiled brats. If I acted like a spoiled brat my Dad would take the board of education and deal directly with my seat of knowledge. Now I don’t mean to make fun of what happened to the Hebrew Children, but Moses must have felt like he was dealing with a bunch of spoiled brats. Or “Drama Queens” in modern language. Because of their fear about going into the Promised Land, He was forced to wander in the desert for 40 years. For 40 years he had to babysit all those Drama Queens.

They were always complaining about this about that. The slightest thing would get them going. Nothing was ever good enough for them. God would do something to stop their complaining, part the red sea, drown Pharoah and his army, make manna fall from heaven, send quails, make a pillar of fire, but nothing God did ever satisfied them. They went from one big drama to another. Moses left them for just a few days and you would have thought the whole world was coming to an end. The made a golden calf and startted having a worship orgy around their new “god”.

You will never learn to honor your parents if you are a drama queen or king. Because life is all about God and what He wants you to do. And he wants you to get over yourself and realize you must learn to honor your parents, honor your teachers, honor those authorities in your life if you are going to grow in your trust of Him!

moses-was-angry-at-drama-queensYou could tell Moses was starting to crack even then because when he came down from the mountain, he saw what was going on and he threw the tablets of stone down, breaking them in pieces. Another time they were complaining because there was no fresh spring water. All the bottles of Evian were gone and they simply knew they would all die of thirst. So God told Moses to speak to a rock and then water would gush out of it. But at this point, Moses was so fed up with these “Drama Queens” that he gathered them together and said:

“Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out.

Now Moses let their bad behavior affect his good judgment. He struck the rock twice. God told him:

Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” Numbers 20:12

Psalms 106 explains what happened:

They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips. Psalms 106:32-33

We cannot blame our wrong behavior on the bad behavior of others.

blame-gameReuben’s father was not honorable toward his mother, but that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward his father. God says to honor your father and mother, regardless of how good or bad they are in our eyes. Or how honorable of dishonorable their behavior is. Jacob had a terrible unloving attitude toward Reuben’s mother. But that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward Jacob. Noah did a terribly stupid thing, but that did not justify Ham’s disrespect toward his father.

I know most of you are thinking “What about when they…?” There may be times when you have to take a stand. But you never take a stand against your parents unless it is from aplace of Honor and Rspect. While you are to honor them, you may decide that to obey would be contrary to God. It could be asking you to lie to a teacher, or something much worse, involving some kind of abuse. Respectfully you must decline and make them aware that you mean no disrespect, but you will not violate God’s law in such and such. You may have to get your civil authorities involved if the situation of abuse or drugs is destroying your life. Many teenagers disobey their parents in the name of Jesus, when there is an underlying attitude of disrespect and even rebellion. Disobedience in the name of God is only powerful if it is done from a deep seated sense of respect and honor for your parents.

Believe me, they know the difference.

I have known youth directors who encouraged their youth to disobey their parents and come to youth meeting when the parents have grounded them. But what the yout pastor doesn’t realize is that dis-respect and disobedience is probably the reason they were grounded in the first place. Having them disobey to come to church is going to drive a wedge further into the relationship.

TWO FOLD REWARD

two-fold-rewardEphesians 6 said that there are TWO rewards when we honor our mom and dad. First, that things would go well with you. You will experience success in life the way God values success, peace, joy, love, self control. Your path will be clear. Second, you can live a long life.

You may be saying, “But I know someone who honored his parents and … Why didn’t this promise apply to them?”

The Power of Praying the Promises of God

Who found a wife for Isaac?pray-gods-promises

Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’–let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”Genesis 24:12-14 (NKJV)

God brought Rebekah forward that day. Isaac was promised many descendants because he was the son of Abraham. But Rebekah was barren. What was God up to? What about the Promise? Isaac had to pray the promise. “Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived”. Genesis 25:21 (NKJV)

Spiritual Truth: We Must DECLARE It!

must-declare-gods-wordSimply because God has given us a promise in His Word does not mean it has become OUR promise. We must claim it for our own! Scripture says God’s Word is established in Heaven, but Jesus says we must pray that God’s WIll is established on Earth as it is in Heaven! Our prayers are the Track that our powerful God moves upon!

  • Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. (Ps 119:89 )
  • Teach us to Pray: “Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
  • By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. (2 Cor 13:1)
  • You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you. (Job 22:26)
  • Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (James 4:2,3)
  • Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matt 18:18-19)
  • I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

You don’t have to chose death, it is already working. But You DO Have to Chose Life

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Prov 18:21)

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Lamentations 3:37 (ESV)

prayer-lays-the-trackThis command is the word “(t)sawa”. It pictures the enjoining of one with another in order to carry out a charge. It also pictures says that the one giving the command provides the power and the means to accomplish the charge.

God has placed His Commands in this BOOK. They are the Commands that will bring Life. He is looking for people to join with him and declaring those commands and promises, and thereby seeing them come to pass. Thee is this giant Locomotive loaded with all kinds of power and provisions, and we are the track upon which this Locomotive travels. We speak it, We pray it and God does it, when we enjoin ourselves with Him!

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Have you honored your mother and father? It is never too late. If they have passed on, you can repent before God and honor them in your hearts.

Have you claimed the promise of a “well” and long life? Go ahead, provide the track for God’s Power. Speak it and it will be so, for God has commanded it!