Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marriage: To Serve and to Protect...

Day 12: Genesis 3:1-8

As a husband who loves his wife dearly, I think one of the most striking things about this story about the fall of man, is how disengaged Adam was with the activities of his wife, Eve. I have to ask myself the following questions: Where was Adam when his wife was engaged with the serpent and why wasn't he there to encourage her not to sin? Why didn't he insist on doing what was right for the sake of both of them, rather than succumbing to the temptation of sin by eating the forbidden fruit? Why didn't he understand that he was one with his wife and accountable to look after her? As a matter of fact, take a look at Adam's weak response to God in verse 12, "The man said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.'” Adam, Eve was much more than the woman that God put there with you. She was your wife, bonded to you as "one flesh" and your responsibility to take care of and to love as your own body.

It's a reminder to spouses that our actions and activities affect both parties in a marital relationship. Since God makes married couples "one-flesh" it only stands to reason that a sin that is committed by one adversely affects the other. Additionally, husbands have the God given responsibility of taking care of their spouses. Genesis chapter 3 is also a reminder to us men that when something like this happens, God looks to us men for an answer. Ephesians 5: 28-30 affirms, "28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body."

I also believe that God expects us to know and understand what our spouses are involved with. We in turn need to love them enough to encourage them not to sin and be accountable to God for when they do sin to then humble ourselves before God, seek forgiveness together and seek to restore our spouses back for the sake of the "oneness". (either husband or wife)

Lastly, we need to know that Satan is crafty and seeks to destroy what God has created in our marriage. It is vitally important that we understand and anticipate the risk and understand that our enemy and his advances are real. He will seek to destroy ones marriage and couples need to be vigilant to this ever present threat.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunday Service.... as comfortable as going to work

This past Sunday while attending services it came to me; "I attend church as naturally as I get up in the morning for work." I was filled with joy with the sudden realization that I came to church on that morning without thinking twice. The difference between work and church is that I'm attending church not out of some obligation or religious ritual, but rather attending something that I enjoy doing and it wasn't difficult or a burden. In the past, I had this burden to attend church and if I didn't then I felt guilty as if I missed some type of merit in heaven. I have found myself in a place where I thorough enjoy attending church and various church activities throughout the week; and it's not out of obligation but out of a sense of enjoyment and pleasure. If I miss a service now, I feel the loss for missing what I enjoy versus the guilt associated with an obligation. It's a great place to be when I enjoy the presence of the Lord and the brothers and sisters the Lord has brought me to fellowship with.


How important are you to God?

Day 11: Psalm 8 (Genesis1-2)

Yes Mr. Fields, I would be glad to name three things I'm thankful for as blessings from God: the free gift of salvation, the love and devotion of a beautiful wife and wonderful children.

While I appreciate the fact that this is a song of praise, David is noting truths about God that may not be so easily recognized in today's culture. God is noted as using the simple things, like the mouths of babes, to garner praise and "establish stronghold's" against His enemies. In our weakness He is strong. In the simple things of this life, God is magnified. Additionally, at a time when animals are held in higher regard than man, or at least at the same level, this Psalm speaks to me at a level that appreciates the fact that God has placed special value in mankind over all of creation. We are God's special creation created in His image and set to oversee the world and the rest of creation that has been set at our feet. These are simple truths. "LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Thank you for loving us this much.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Oneness as Modeled by God in our Marriage...

Day 10: Genesis 2:7, 15-18, 21-25

Fields points out in today's devotional that at the core of God creating Adam and Eve is the idea that they became "one flesh" (by way of sexual relations as noted in the side bar of this devotion). While this design and model for marriage is important, I also saw another deeper relational model being developed in this concept. The deeper model is the relationship that is made that represents the type of "oneness" experienced in the spirit with God with each of us. In other words, we are united as one with our spouses, and in this way our marriage models a oneness relationship that is representative of the oneness we experience with God in the Spirit.

God provides for us various models in our lives that are representative of His nature; and God reveals attributes through these models that give us a glimpse of who He is. God is one with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and He unites to us through the spirit in oneness when we accept His free gift of salvation. Our marriages are important because we become "one flesh" with our spouses (man and woman), and at the same time model a nature of God which He represented to us from the beginning when scripture states in Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Part of being created in God's image is being united in marriage and in "oneness", and in this small way,we get a glimpse of the nature of God and His "oneness".


Side note: This definition of marriage as one male and one female becoming one flesh is not simply some religious agenda to suppress people's sexual preference but rather a fundamental truth at the core of who God is. Marriage as defined in Genesis chapter 1 and supported in the New Testament, represents an attribute of who God is and our relationship to God as being created in His likeness. The proper definition of marriage properly sets forth a right understanding of God's image to man; His representative to mankind.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

In the Beginning was the Word...

Day 1: Genesis 1:1-2 (John 1:1-5)

I think we often forget John chapter 1 is a creation story that is in line with Genesis chapter 1. Whenever I teach on the subject of creation based apologetics (and my favorite apologetic creation theory being the cosmological argument) I teach not only the creation facts as found in Genesis but also those established in John chapter 1.

I have to disagree with Mr. Fields on his assessment that there are no quick and easy answers to the evolution/creation debate. On the contrary, I think the answers are as simple as they can be; and answered in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. "In the beginning God created..." and "In the beginning was the Word...". How much more simpler can this be? Man comes along makes the debate complex by removing God and creating a fruitless debate. Make no mistake, the debate is important and the beachhead to establish since we're speaking about the foundations of the Bible and the foundations of the Gospel message both at the same time, however, let us not allow the world or our own faith and practices over complicate the simple truth as stated in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. If someone in science or other humanistic endeavor is willing to remove the core foundations of our faith, the Bible or the Gospel message, then the discussion need to go no further. Let us also not be ignorant, however, in providing the answers that the world around us needs to hear (1 Peter 3:15). As it relates to the complex evolution/creation debate, we keep God in the creation discussion because it's properly basic. "In the beginning God created..." "In the beginning, the Word became flesh..."