Posts Tagged ‘Abundant Life’

God is a Life or Death choice…

God is the definition of life. God is all about life. When he created this world He placed life on it and said go forth and be fruitful and multiply. He set a tree of life at its center. Satan came along and struck at the very heart of God by setting death loose. Satan is all about death and decay. Sin is death and decay. When man lives without setting God before Him as God, man is apart from life. Whether you are Christian or not, Muslim or not, Mormon or not, the choice as far as God is concerned, is life or death. God’s way always leads to life. Man’s way always leads to death. LIFE IS A CHOICE!

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land.

Christ is the Life of man!

Jesus said that He is the life, that He is the only way to God the Father. While many of us have come to Jesus Christ to obtain eternal life, many of us have failed to take hold of the LIFE that Jesus wants us to live NOW! It is a life that is not dependent upon your sight, your flesh, your strength, or your wisdom. It is a LIFE that through faith and the Word sees Jesus Christ ever before you, living in you, living through you and living for you.

Galatians 5:25 says that if you have life by the Spirit, then walk by the Spirit!

I want to begin a study toward the end of the New Testament. Today we look at Titus. If the Lord leads we will spend the next two years walking toward Revelation. Wednesday’s we will begin in Genesis and walk through the Old Testament. From time to time we will join the two together, as I will this morning, as I tie Hosea 4:6 to Titus 1:1-4

Destroyed (silenced) for a lack of knowledge

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge[1],[2]; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 

Spoken to the PRIESTS! They were not making sure the Jews were experiencing God in the reality of everyday living! (This knowledge used is that which comes from an encounter and experience. They probably knew scriptures, participated in memory drills, had the scriptures hanging on their walls, but they had long ago stopped having a fresh encounter with the author of the Scriptures.)

The background of their sin was a lack of an encounter with God through His Word. “My friend, if you are a Christian, the minute you get away from the Word of God, you are doomed to failure in the Christian life. Regardless of the number of conferences or seminars you attend that tell you how to be a success in your home, in your business, and in your social life, you will be a failure”.[3]

Man’s way – failure and death

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

My people are silenced for lack of knowing me!
  • (knowledge and discernment which comes from an experience or encounter)
1. The people are lacking in their relationship with God.

Hosea 4:1 …There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;

  • „ Neglect, busyness, priorities, excuses, hurts.
  • „ God is ignored, forgotten, neglected and even spurned.
2. Neglect turns into rejection of God and His ways
  • „The pull of this world system is too powerful
  • Our hearts are too deceptive
  • Our heart gets cold, our faith is stale.
  • We go through our day without a fresh touch from God.
  • We barely hold on to believing faith
  • We live the majority of our lives without Him.
3. Rejection of God leads to Him rejecting you.
  • „ No longer a priest, able to go directly to Him
  • „ You have lost your standing, your voice.
  • „ Your heart has become a barrier to a living relationship with God.
  • „ Your pride has become a brick wall.
  • „ God is a jealous God. He must be first, or He will move on.
 4. You will be Silenced
  • „ Overcome, cut off, made to cease– silenced.
  • „ No longer have a voice
  • „ Doesn’t necessarily mean death-but rather you have lost your significance with God.
  • „ The Jews would lose their voice and blessing from God.
  • „ God left them to their own devices.
5. God will forget your children.
  • „ Through your forgetting of the Law of God in your life and home…
  • „ God will forget your children.
  • „ Your children will not matter with God.
  • „ His grace will not be at work in their lives.
  • „ They will not hear God’s voice.
  • „ They will not encounter God in their lives.

Hosea 4 indicates what happens when we forget Him. Our worship becomes comfortable and convenient. We worship other things. The family breaks down. There is great immorality among the youth. Wives become immoral. Marriage becomes a joke. The family breaks down.

Proverbs 1:29-31 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.

What is God’s Way? – Success & Life!

The major thrust of Titus, while bearing on our relationships, is really upon  personal character and lifestyle which grow out of the truth. God’s Word is to be encountered, for it will change your character. Christ in you will result in a new Jim or Larry or Beth or Mary. God’s Word is never empty, but always leads to LIFE!

True LIFE is never apart from God, but in God!

Titus 1:1-4 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

A. Paul-Focus on the Living Savior

Paul opens the veil of his life. He wants Titus to know the motivation of his life and ministry. He reminds Titus that he has the imprint of two indelible marks upon his life.

1. He is a bond-servant to God

2. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ, personally commissioned by Him.

Everything about Paul’s life bore those two marks. Everywhere he went, people knew that Paul belonged to God, and that he was representing a living Savior, whom Paul personally knew and spent time with. People could ignore the message, but they could never forget the man. Paul belonged to God, and Paul knew Jesus Christ. There was no denying that Paul was not his own. You had to be impressed with the effect that Jesus had on Paul’s life. This message to Titus is all about how the truth of Jesus Christ changes your life. The Life of Jesus impacts your life.

Paul once though he was alive. But he realized he was dead to God.

Eph 2:1 –you were dead in trespasses and sin.

Paul saw Jesus Christ on that road to Damascus. When he saw Jesus as the Christ, his life was forever changed.

B. Paul-with a Message of Life

1.    For the sake God’s elect

a)  For their faith

b)  For their knowledge of the truth

Paul desires us to see God, to see Him at work in our lives. This only grows through fresh encounters with the Word of truth.

What are you facing in your life that has you boxed in? Instead of your problem driving you to God’s word, you spend your time arguing, your sleeping time frustrated. There is no peace. Faith opens your eyes to see God in whatever situation you are struggling with. Without the Word of truth, your eyes will be shut.

2.    For the hope of Eternal Life

a)  Promised by God

b)  God never lies

God has always focused on LIFE God is jealous for me to experience life! Not a frustrated, defeated life, but a victorious, joy-filled life!

Look at God’s Love for LIFE!

  • In the Garden of Eden

„ God guarded against all that which of Life would destroy life.

„ After the fall, God had to guard life by casting man out

  • The Tree of Life will be in heaven-yielding fruit once a month

„ Sin has been dealt with

„ Only those who know life through Jesus will be allowed to eat.

  • Cain and Able

„ Blood cries from the ground

„ Cursed Cain for taking life

  • Noah

„ Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

„ You will never gain by taking a man’s life. You will lose

  • Enoch

„ Walked with God and had life

  • Abraham & Isaac

„ Isaac must come into death so death can be destroyed,

„ God’s purpose is that death is past, and not future.

„ God wants us to always have life without fear

„ In Christ, death is past, life is now and in the future

  • Job

„ Satan: “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.”

„ God: “… Only spare his life.”

„ Controversy for life is the theme of Job

„ Satan could only indirectly try to take Job’s life: Satan’s indirect method is to move Job to break with God by cursing Him, so that his life is forfeited and destroyed

„ With God is life, even from trials.

„ Trials with God always lead to increase!

„ Trials always lead to Revelation 22

Revelation 22:1-4 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

  • The Exodus

„ Life in the face of death

  • Levitical Laws of Life

„ Always about protecting life and health

„ Guarding the life of the family and nation.

„ Don’t drink blood…

Life Is Sacred To God, And He Is Intensely Jealous Over It.
God wants us to LIVE, but LIFE is in GOD! In order to know true LIFE, we must die to our self and LIVE to God through Jesus Christ! This way, death will be past. There is no more fear of death, for we will experience God’s LIFE forever!
Sin And Death Always Go Together Just As Righteousness And Life Go Together

There is a way that seems right to a man.

I was asked to go talk to a step-father-in-law by one of the gals at EBC. He was a KS Highway Patrol officer, close to retirement, whose job it was to investigate accidents. He had seen every imaginable thing-gory, bloody and horrendous. He was a functional alcoholic. It was 9:30 Saturday morning, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. We started talking about God in his front yard, where he was doing some yard work. He very quickly turned the conversation to his standard answer-God is everywhere. God is in the trees, in the flowers. He felt close to God when he was working in his yard.

When asked about his relationship with God’s Son, he said that he has God and that is good enough. In reality, while he though God was all around him, God had forgotten him, and life was escaping him. Death was his life now, for he did not know God in reality. His sins had not been forgiven. The pain of his life was being drowned out by alcohol. He was fooling himself. His ways seemed right, but they were the ways of death. He had been deceived.

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Satan is a deceiver. Eve ate because she wanted to be like god. Instead she became like the serpent, cursed and with a death sentence upon her.

Chose life or chose death. You may think you have life, even surround yourself with life, but you are deceived. You are facing death.

There is only one who faced death and conquered it. There is only one who defeated sin, and satisfied the righteous demands of our Holy God.

Jesus Christ, the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Life of God but through Him!

If life is in Christ, don’t you want to know more of Him?

If you are not satisfied with your life, you need to know Jesus Christ in a living way! Christ is the Life of Man!

[1] daʿat̠: A feminine noun meaning knowledge, knowing, learning, discernment, insight, and notion. The word occurs forty of its ninety-one times in Proverbs as one of the many words associated with the biblical concept of wisdom. The root meaning of the term is knowledge or knowing. In Proverbs 24:3, 4, it is the third word in a chain of three words describing the building of a house by wisdom, the establishment of that house by understanding, and finally, the filling of the rooms of the house by knowledge.

The word is also used in the sense of knowing by experience, relationship, or encounter. For example, Balaam received knowledge from the Most High who met him in a vision (Num. 24:16); the knowledge gained by the suffering Servant of Isaiah justified many people (Isa. 53:11); and to truly know the Holy God leads to real understanding (Prov. 9:10). This moral, experiential knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to the human race in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9, 17). Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 245.

[2] The word meaning “knowledge” in Hebrew is daʿat, a noun coming from the root of the verb yadaʿ, “to know,” “to experience,” “to acknowledge.” This key word in the Old Testament includes both intellectual and experiential knowledge. The noun for knowledge, daʿat, also has this range of meaning.. Carpenter Eugene E. and Comfort Philip W., Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 106.

[3] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Chapter 4”.


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….


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-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.