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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Role of a Godly Wife (Pt. 3)

(Part 3 of 3)

“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good and be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the world of God.” -Titus 2:4-5

The role of a Godly wife is not defined merely by submission. Titus teaches us that women are also to love their husbands. This may look different in every home dependent on your spouse’s love language. It’s important to discover what make’s your husband feel loved. My husband feels loved from receiving words of affirmation. I could bake him a cake and wash his car and although he may appreciate it, it doesn’t communicate love to him. If you want to love your husband you must discover what makes him feel loved. 

Titus also teaches us that a wife should also strive to live self-controlled and pure lives. I am the only person who controls what I look at, what I listen to, what I think about and what I say. Am I honoring God with how I present myself? Women are screaming to be valued, yet many (not all mind you) are flocking to the movies and throwing money at the devaluing of women in movies such as 50 Shades Darker. What are we saying? If we want to be valued, we must first value ourselves my maintaining a pure heart before God. 

Godly wives are also industrious at home. In some seasons of life being busy at home looks like changing diapers, feeding babies, and just trying to maintain the crazy. At other times it looks like running teenagers from one event to another while trying to provide some fashion of a healthy meal and clean clothes in the midst of it. The key is to be involved in the life of your family regardless of how busy or crazy life gets.  

Another key component of being a Godly wife is to be kind and do good. When I think of this I am reminded of Proverbs 31:23: 

Her husband is well know at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.”

What a powerful truth regarding a true woman of God. That she lives her life in such a way that her husband is respected because of how she carries herself. Her love, industrious nature, purity, and respect communicate the strength that she brings to her family. 

A Godly wife understands the importance of respect in a marriage. When I respect my husband, I give value to him, to his thoughts, his ideas, his wishes and desires. I never devalue him in the eyes of others by bad mouthing him or undermining his decisions, because I know that God has called me to demonstrate respect towards him:

“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”-Ephesians 5:33

Finally, a Godly wife is concerned about developing her inward beauty:

“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.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4

There are so many ways that a wife can bring insight and value into a marriage; but one of the most important ways she can contribute to the health of her marriage is by learning to develop within her the nature of God in its unfading beauty. 

Tandy Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jesus broke the chains of sin

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you.”-Isaiah 59:2

This passage of scripture, recorded for us by the Prophet Isaiah, communicates the seriousness of sin. Today there is a movement to distract, diminish, and ignore the significance of sin. However, if sin keeps me separated from God; then sin is a serious problem that I must address.

The word for sin, most commonly used in the Bible, means to miss the mark or to go beyond the limits. Although there is no singular definition of sin found in the scriptures, when you link together the passages regarding sin you begin to get a feel for the scope of sin. Sin is described as lawlessness (1 John 3:4), wrongdoing (1 John 5:17), and unbelief (Romans 14:23). James 4:17 takes it even a little further when he writes:

 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Where did sin begin? Some would contend that sin began with Adam and Eve. However, sin had its start before Adam. Adam was the gate by which sin entered humanity, but sin began in heaven with an angel named Lucifer. Lucifer became full of pride and ultimately wanted to ascend above the throne of God (Isaiah 14:12-15). This act of defiance became his downfall. He, then, entered the Garden of Eden and tempted Adam and Eve with the same temptation. He encouraged them to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil so that they too could know right from wrong and be like God; even though they had been instructed by God not to eat from that tree.

Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all generations of mankind. We, as Adam’s descendants, have inherited a sin nature (Romans 5:12). The cost of that sin nature being death (Romans 6:23). This means that we are not simply sinful in practice, but by nature. We are born into sin (Psalm 51:5). This is why the Apostle Paul declared in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

According to 1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” How then can we be saved?

There is only one person in the history of the world who did not have a sin nature: Jesus! His virgin birth allowed Him to enter our world while bypassing the curse passed down from Adam. Jesus then went on to live a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21); which allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 1:19).

It is through Christ that we are born again! John 3:6 declares:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”

When we were born we inherited Adam’s sin nature; but when we place our faith in Christ we are born again and we inherit a new nature:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, and the new is here.”-2 Corinthians 5:17. 

Although Jesus breaks the chains of sin off of our lives, the struggle does not disappear. In fact the Apostle Paul wrote about the inward struggle that remains in Romans 7:15-20 when he dialogued about how he continues to do the things that he ought not do and fails to do the things he knows he should. Although God has given us a new nature, the old nature (which has had total control of your life for so long) is not going to go away quietly. We were slaves to sin. We were destined to be separated from God, forever. We had no other option until Jesus came along. He made a way for us through His own death that we may have a chance at life. He broke the chains of sin off of our lives and gave us hope for a future. Sin is no longer our boss! We are under new management and no longer have to be subjugated to sin:

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.”-1 Peter 2:24 

Through His finished work on the cross, Jesus satisfied the wages of sin and through His resurrection provided believers with victory over their sin nature!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Role of a Godly Wife (Pt.2)

(Part 2) 

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”-Genesis 2:18

To understand the role of a Godly wife we have to look back in Genesis to discover God’s heart in the creation of Eve. When we casually read this verse, the word “helper” can carry with it a connotation of weakness; like she is suppose to be the Robin to his Batman. However, in reality, as a wife I am not my husband’s sidekick, but his partner. I am more like the Wonder Woman to his Superman; each of us using our gifts, talents, strengths and interests to move forward together, as a team. 

Translated from the original Hebrew the word helpmeet can be broken down into two parts:  the word helper implies: one who has power or strength to give help and the word meet translates as like or equal to. Thus husbands and wives were each created equally in the image of God, with our own set of strengths to lend to the other. 

In our marriage we work together, as a team, to pursue God’s will, plan and calling for our life and our family, but I still have an individual part to play. As a wife I have responsibilities, not mandates established by mankind, but a pattern for my life established by God’s Holy Word. 

The first responsibility that I have is to initiate and nurture my own relationship with God. We read in Genesis Chapter 2 how God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep while He created Eve. So there was a period of time before God presented Eve to Adam that Eve was alone with God. We don’t know how much time that it was, only that it was enough time for her to establish an intimate bond with her Creator. As Godly wives we too must seek our own personal relationship with God. We cannot expect our husbands to carry us along on his coattails, but we must get in the Word, get in God’s presence, and find out what He is saying to us personally. 

As a Godly wife I also have the responsibility to understand God’s established order in our home. 

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”-Ephesians 5:22-24

The topic of submission in marriage is always a sensitive subject. Even though Ephesians 5:21 states that we are to submit to one another in the fear of God, it seems that the topic of submission focuses primarily on wives.  That is why it was important to reinforce the value and strength of a Godly wife in a marriage relationship. However, in any relationship whether it be work, military, political or family; someone ultimately must carry the responsibility of the decisions made. If a decision is an epic failure, the responsibility can sometimes be shared but other times it must rest on someone’s shoulders. So, how does biblical submission look in our home? Whenever we are facing a big decision, my husband and I carefully discuss and talk through the details. He shares his thoughts/opinions and I share mine. Sometimes it may be an area that he knows I have more knowledge and experience and he defers to me; sometimes it’s the other way around. However, there are times that we reach an impasse, where we, for whatever reason, cannot reach a mutual agreement. This is where I look to God’s Word for direction. In those moments I yield to his discretion and to the authority God entrusted to him as the spiritual head of our home (1 Corinthians 11:3). Together we pursue what he believes is God’s direction for our family. I may not always like it, but I always trust him because I know he has sought God in prayer over it; and I trust that if I honor God’s Word; God will be faithful to us. 

Tandy Burr

Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Role of a Godly Wife (Pt. 1)

(Pt. 1)

“Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.”-Proverbs 31:30

There are so many voices declaring what womanhood should look like that generations of women are greatly confused about what it means to be a godly woman. The world says that women should aspire to its image of physical perfection, even at the risk of harming yourself. The world says that you’ve got to be pushy to get ahead, regardless of how you may have to demean yourself to get there. The world says that you, as you are, simply are not enough.

Sometimes, however, the church isn’t much better. The church has, at large, become so focused on teaching young women to be meek, pure, and modest that it has forgotten to teach them first and foremost to find out who God says they are and let that be the guide for their actions, behaviors, and decisions.

There are so many roles that I have, such as a wife, mother, administrator, teacher counselor, and mentor; but the first role, the first title I ever received was that of a daughter. Genesis 2:21-22:

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and He brought her to the man.”

Before any relationship that a woman has, she was created to have a relationship with God. We have no idea the amount of time that Adam was asleep; only that Eve had time to form her own relationship with God before she became Adam’s wife.

This is the message the church needs to communicate to women; pursue your relationship with God, understand your role as a daughter, and when you are secure in that then every other role, married or unmarried, will flow out of the confidence of knowing who you are in Christ!

When a young girl is raised to believe that she is loved, she has value, she has gifts, talents and strengths; when she is confident that she is whole simply because of her relationship with Christ, then she is prepared for more!

Perhaps the “more” awaiting her is out in the workforce as a CEO, a nurse, or pursuing a job in law enforcement. It also may include being a wife. They key is to equip them for more! We need to teach them to live a John 10:10 life:

“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy My purpose is to give life in all its fullest.”

Life in all its fullest! What does “life in all its fullest” look like in marriage? What does God have to say about being a wife? Does He actually care about my marriage? He does a lot actually!

Sadly, a large percentage of society believes that the Bible sums up the biblical role of a wife in one verse:

“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”-Ephesians 5:22

A sad testament to our understanding of the Bible and the biblical role of wife. Next week, we will go back the beginning, back to creation to discover God’s heart in the creation of Eve.

Tandy Burr
Dayspring Community Church.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Biblical Role of a Husband (Pt. 3)

“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”-Ephesians 5:28-29

Unfortunately for many families, husbands have adopted a philosophy; that if they bring home a paycheck then they have fulfilled their duty as a husband. They trumpet their role as provider and protector as being their exclusive responsibility towards their family. Although providing for our family is of utmost importance (see 1 Timothy 5:8); it is curious that God does not place a lot of emphasis on it here in Ephesians Chapter 5. 

In the above passage, feeding and caring correlate to providing and protecting. In the book of Genesis we read how God gave Adam a job to provide for himself. So bringing home a paycheck for his family did not begin when Adam got married. He was already doing that before he had a wife. That is why God spends very little time addressing “providing and protecting” in this chapter; because as men we should already be doing this. 

However, becoming married does create a new relational dynamic that we, as husbands, must embrace and take seriously. That is the dynamic of spiritual headship:

“But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”-1 Corinthians 11:3 

Most mane embrace the idea that the head of the woman is man, but neglect the rest. They tend to forget that the head of Christ is God and more importantly the had of man is Christ. Ultimately it is not knowing who you are leading that is important, it is knowing who you are following. You must know what it means to submit to the headship of another if you expect others to follow you. 

So who are you learning headship from? If it is not Jesus, you will struggle in your marriage. There is a lot to learn from Jesus that can help us lead our families: Jesus didn’t bark out orders, demand selfishly, or expel to be waited on hand and foot. He demonstrated headship by donning and apron and washing the disciples feet. 

He spoke words of comfort and encouragement, laid hands on the sick, prayed for peoples needs, taught them the word of God, fed them, protected them, and who it was tax time…He did that too! Why?

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”-Matthew 20:28

The “I’ll do as I please attitude,” that prevails in so many homes is not the example provided by Jesus:

“So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.-John 5:19

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. As husbands we ought to be only doing what we see Jesus do. Who we learn headship from will have a huge impact on our marriages. As husband our primary responsibility is to sacrifice and serve our wives and families. Although we are not to neglect caring for their physical needs, we have been given an even greater responsibility to nurture the spiritual health of our families. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Biblical Role of a Husband (Pt.2)

(Part 2)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”-Ephesians 5:25-28

What is the Biblical role of a husband? In the eyes of many men, their primary responsibility is to provide for and protect their family. However, according to Ephesians 5:25-28; the first thing that husbands are instructed to do is to love their wives, as Christ loved the church. This is not a call for provision, but instead a call to sacrifice. Romans 5:8 declares:

“But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Christ demonstrated His love for us by sacrificing His life for us. We, in like manner, are admonished to demonstrate love by giving ourselves up for our wives. This means that we may have to give up some of what we want in order to accomplish the will of God for our marriages. The objective of this sacrificial expression is holiness:

“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.”-Ephesians 5:25-26 (NLT)

A Biblical husband lives sacrificially to see their families set apart unto God! To be holy means to be set apart for God’s purposes. Christ, gave Himself, so we as believers would be set apart unto God; so we as husbands must take an active interest and role in our wives’ pursuit of holiness. How does a husband do that?

Christ cleansed the church by the washing of water through the word. We then, like Christ, must also bathe our wives and families in the Word of God. As Biblical husbands we must be concerned about the spiritual condition and atmosphere in our homes. For, according to Mark 8:36:

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?”

We carry the responsibility of priest and prophet, in so much as, we are to talk to God about our families as well as to speak to our families about God. We must have a firm command of the Word of God so that we can direct our families spiritually.

Jesus understood that the church, when presented, would be a direct reflection of His love and sacrifice; so Christ wanted to present to Himself a radiant church-one without stain, wrinkle or any blemish. The extent He invested in her would be immediately noticeable. As a Biblical husband, is your love and sacrifice noticeable in your wife’s life?

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Biblical Role of a Husband (Pt.1)

(Part 1)

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”-Genesis 1:26-27

God has much to say about the role men are to play in a marriage relationship and most of what you read, over the next couple of weeks, is going to go against what is culturally accepted. The mere fact that I would even mention that there are gender roles in a marriage relationship will cause many to consider God’s position on marriage archaic and obsolete. However, God’s word is unchanging and His instruction for husbands remains the same as it did thousands of years ago. So let’s look at what it takes to be a Biblical husband. 

Becoming a great husband begins, not on our wedding day, but rather before marriage. God began the work of grooming Adam in anticipation of bringing him a suitable helpmate. So before there was Adam and Eve; there was just Adam. Genesis Ch. 1 tells us that Adam was created in God’s image and likeness; meaning that He was a child of God before He became a husband. King David recognized this when he penned Psalm 139:13-14:

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Before Adam could have a relationship with Eve, he first had to know how to have a relationship with His Creator. I cannot emphasize enough that a man’s relationship with God is the most important relationship he will ever establish. It is this relationship that gives a man his identity; which is foundational to every relationship he will foster throughout his lifetime.  

It was shortly after this that God gave Adam something else:

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”-Genesis 2:15

After God established Adam’s identity, he gave Adam a job! He gave Adam the ability, strength, and direction to provide for himself. Here is a bit of advice to you unmarried men; you don’t need a wife until you have a job. You cannot provide for a family until you’ve proven you can take care of yourself. 

Another interesting thing that God gave Adam was a free will:

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”-Genesis 2:16-17

God gave Adam the freedom to choose right from wrong; to follow His commands or to disobey. Essentially, God was preparing Adam to lead a family. It was only after all these things that God entrusted Adam with a helpmate. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church