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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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Marriage 101: Marriage is a Covenant Pt. 2

(Part 2)

“Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”-Matthew 22:37-39

The covenant model for marriage is best illustrated using the above diagram patterned after Matthew 22:37-39. Each line in the model represents a relationship. You have a relationship with God and a relationship with your spouse. Both relationships are important in marriage, however God should always occupies the top spot! This makes the relationship between you and God and your spouse and God the most important relationship in your marriage. 

In fact, structurally speaking you can remove the bottom line and still maintain structure; but remove a side and the whole model collapses. If our relationships with God are strong they provide a covering for the relationship between you and your spouse. That is why 2 Corinthians 6:14 declares: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” If you do not have a relationship with God, it will be impossible for the covenant model for marriage to stay healthy. 

A covenant, as we defined last week, is an unbreakable commitment between two individuals that provides for the mutual benefit of both. So, how do we benefit from the marriage covenant? The marriage covenant creates a holy space in our relationship. A space where God blesses a couple with divine provision, protection, spiritual intimacy, life-long companionship, godly offspring, and sexual intimacy. 

According to the model, however, we are also in a covenant with God! How does He benefit from our marriage? 

“But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one?
He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”-Malachi 2:15

He desires Godly offspring! He desires for couples to have children and to raise them to God-fearing homes. Offspring, however, are not always biological. This might include adopting, fostering, or even volunteering and ministering to kids in need. In this way we honor God with our marriages. 

Marriage is a sacred institution that we should not enter into lightly. When we marry we are establishing a covenant with each other and with God. A covenant that He fully expects us to honor. God’s word gives us the parameters for marriage; if we choose to establish covenant with our spouse and God, we need also to be prepared to live out His word. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Marriage 101: Marriage is a covenant (Pt. 1)

(Part 1)

Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said:
“This is now 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 mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” -Genesis 2:22-25

There is a very real battle that is taking place in our culture regarding the definition of marriage; one that is threatening the very sanctity of this sacred institution. An institution, mind you, that according to Genesis Ch. 2 was established by God. 

Marriage, which was once accepted as a union between one man and one woman, has been redefined (by our government) as being acceptable between two consenting adults regardless of gender.  Television shows like, Sister Wives, challenge the idea that we should be limited to only one spouse. Thousands upon thousands of couples living together, outside of the bond of marriage, have diminished the value of the marriage bed to where it has become more of a formality than something to aspire towards. Couple those things with the relative ease of divorce and you develop a society that perceives marriage as disposable rather than a lifelong commitment. 

Part of the reason for this downward spiral can be seen in our failure to teach, train and hold to marriage as a covenant. Did you know that your marriage is a covenant? In the eyes of God, marriage is a covenant. A covenant that He personally acts as a witness over.  

What is a covenant? In the minds of many it is simply a binding agreement between two people (a legal union). In contrast, biblical covenants, are treated with greater honor. They were upheld as an unbreakable commitment between individuals or peoples that provides for the mutual benefit of both. 

 In Genesis 9-God established a covenant w/ Noah/and all mankind that He would never destroy the earth with flood water again. In Genesis 15-God established a covenant with Abraham declaring he would be the father of many nations. In Exodus 12-God established a covenant with Israel through the passover, and in Matthew 26:28-God established a new covenant with all believers through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 

 However, the very first covenant God established was the marriage covenant! The Old Testament book of Malachi 2:14-15 declares this: “Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness, between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”

            Malachi confirms for us that we are in a covenant relationship with our spouse. A covenant that was established by God! After establishing all of creation, the first thing God established was the marriage covenant; emphasizing the significance of this sacred God-ordained institution. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Friday, February 17, 2017

Risky Faith: You want to play in puddles or walk on water?

“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”-Matthew 14:28-29

Many of you are familiar with the story of Jesus walking on the water. Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 plus people with two fish and five loaves of bread; when he came to the disciples and made them get into a boat and begin to make their way to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus returned to send the crowds home and then found a place to pray.

As the evening progressed, the wind and waves began to beat upon the boat and tossed it about causing it to end up in the middle of the sea far from shore. Sometime between 3-6 a.m., Jesus decided to go to them walking on the water.

Of course, when the disciples saw Him they began to panic thinking they had seen a ghost. Recognizing their fear Jesus declared:

“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”-Matthew 14:27

It is right then that Peter asked, “Lord if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.” Peter was inspired by what he saw Jesus doing! Have you ever been so inspired by something you read Jesus do that it moved you to crazy faith? Moved by Peter’s faith Jesus said to him, “Come!”

The scriptures tell us that Peter got down out of the boat and began walking on the water toward Jesus, however when he heard the wind howling and saw the waves crashing around him; he became afraid and started to sink.

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”-Matthew 14:31

Peter catches a lot of grief because of that statement, but what about the 11 guys sitting in the boat who never acted remotely interested in walking on water. Out of 12 men in the boat, only one guy was courageous enough to climb out!
The 11 guys in the boat were playing it safe. I equate them with people who like to play in mud puddles.

People play in puddles because they are shallow and safe. You rarely hear stories about people drowning in a puddle or read stories of people who were rescued after spending days stuck in a mud puddle. Seas, however, are deep, vast, and expansive. Remember these guys were not sitting near the shoreline, they were out in the heart of the sea. They certainly were not safe. With puddles you can feel the ground beneath you. In the middle of the sea you cannot. With puddles you can see the safety of the shoreline. In the middle of the see you cannot. You might get a ripple in a puddle, but you have tsunamis in the ocean. In a puddle you can splash around and make a lot of noise; that’s because it’s easy to be courageous when you are only in ankle deep water. The reality is we want to enjoy all the benefits of being in the water, but still be in complete control. However, people who are satisfied to play in puddles will never walk on water.

Eventually, nearly all the disciples, who remained int he boat, would have their own “step out of the boat” moment. They would take the gospel around the world and most of them would go on to be martyred for their faith in Jesus. Nevertheless, doing great things for God doesn’t come from playing it safe. It comes from getting out of the boat!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Risky Faith: When God says go! (Pt.2)

(Part 2 of 2)

“Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”-Luke 9:59-60 

Whenever we make the bold decision to go after God, we should not be surprised by the spiritual hindrances that begin to surface.  Luke records for us the interaction between Jesus and some of the people He called to follow Him. Their responses sound reasonable, but Jesus seems to have His own perspective on their situations. 

In Luke 9:59-60 we have a man who is asking for time to go and bury his father. Jesus’ response may sound harsh, but the greatest spiritual hindrances we face are the excuses we allow ourselves to make for not going. Excuses cause us to remain stuck in the starting blocks. The death of a loved one seems like a valid reason for delaying our obedience to God’s directives, however many of the valid reasons we give turn out to be nothing more than excuses for our own inaction. 

Another spiritual hindrance to our going is procrastination:

“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”-Luke 9:61-61

How often do we drag our feet when it comes to obeying God? How often do we prioritize the mundane and never actually get to the pursuit of God’s will? God told this man to follow Him, but his response was “Lord, let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” Saying goodbye to his family became a greater priority than obeying Jesus’ command. To procrastinate means to delay something. In this case, the man was delaying obedience to God’s Word; and delayed obedience is simply disobedience.

For the most part, excuses and procrastination are the greatest hindrances many will face. However, there will be times that the opposition we face is not from within, but from others:

“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.-Luke 10:1-3

Jesus sent them out two by two to declare the good news of Jesus Christ, but He cautioned them saying “Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Basically, 
He told them to expect opposition! Not everyone is going to be happy with your decision to go after God and in some cases may even to attempt to discourage or dissuade you from going.  

Risky faith means silencing every excuse, refusing to delay obedience, and overcoming the opposition of others in order to pursue the heart of God. 

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church