We are excited to announce some new features to the blogsite. As more and more readers are viewing from foreign countries we have added the translate feature to the site. Our readers can also now choose to have the blog emailed to them, and they can search the blog by keywords on various topics. We hope that this makes the site more manageable for you. God Bless.

Hear current audio messages by Pastor Scott Burr at:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

“Sacred Marriage-Honor & Respect"

(part 2 of 2)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

The problem we often face, in regard to honor in marriage, is that the more familiar we become with others weaknesses and failures, the harder it is for us to show respect. In fact, the more we focus on these weaknesses, the easier it is for contempt to set in. Showing respect is an act of maturity on the part of a believer that understands the work of grace in people’s lives.

Respect- focuses on the fact that people are created in God’s image and likeness and consequently looks for evidences of God’s grace.

Contempt- focuses only on the weaknesses and failures of others.

Respect requires much more on an effort on our part. Unfortunately many people find it easier to develop contempt for those who do not respect them than it is to build a life worthy of gaining it.

In marriage, if we are quick to point out our spouse’s flaws and slower to recognize their strengths…they will certainly not feel respected. If I am quick to point out my spouse’s flaws and never honor them…they will certainly feel contempt.

Gary Thomas wrote: “Contempt is born when we fixate on our spouse’s weaknesses. Every spouse has these sore points. If you want to find them, without a doubt you will. If you want to obsess about them, they’ll grow-but you won’t!”

God’s expectation for us to honor and respect is counter-cultural to say the least:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

Respect takes into consideration that we were all created in God’s image and likeness. We were created with tremendous potential. Loved by God! And although we may not agree with people’s decisions we can respect their person (dignity, emotions and liberties). If there is a lack of honor and respect in your home can I leave you with this thought taken from Luke 6:38:

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

(This marriage series was developed from principles taken from the book “Sacred Marriage” by author Gary Thomas.)

Pastor Scott Burr

Thursday, October 20, 2011

“Sacred Marriage-Honor & Respect”

(part 1 of 2)

“However, each one of you also must love his wife, as he loves himself, and the wife must RESPECT her husband.”
Ephesians 5:33

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with RESPECT…”
1 Peter 3:7

God’s Holy Word has a lot to say about respect! Leviticus tells us to respect our parents and the elderly. Malachi tells us to respect God and His Name. Ephesians 6:5 tells us to respect our masters (employers). Ephesians and 1Peter tell us to respect our spouses. Ultimately, 1 Peter 2:17 sums it up nicely:

“Show proper respect for everyone.”

I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t want to be respected. Yet, respect in our society and in many of our homes is a rare commodity. Husbands and wives, alike, want to be respected. Therein lies the struggle! When we have people, who live in close relationship, each focused on “receiving” respect, it is inevitable that they are going to hurt one another. Our failure is that we have become so focused on “receiving” it that we have overlooked the two most important aspects of it- gaining it and giving it!

I have found, in my life, that if I am not respected it is usually because I am failing in one of these two areas, both of which are dependent on my response. If I am not respected in my marriage, by my children, or in my community, it is usually not because people are withholding it from me. I am not respected because I have not gained it or given it!

The problem with “gaining it” is that it takes work! How many know it is easier to receive your paycheck that it is to earn it! Respect is gained as we live lives pleasing to the Lord:

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Respect is not built on a one-time event but garnered by living a consistent life.
However, this is only half the equation. We also fail to receive respect when it is evident that we do not “give” or “show” it to anyone else. Often, the reason we do not show proper respect is because we have taken on the responsibility of determining who “deserves it”!

Respect is defined as being “deserving” of high regard. The question then is “Who gets to determine who is deserving of it?” Does the person giving it determine who is worthy of it? Does the person wishing to receive it get to determine if they are worthy of it? According to 1 Peter 2:17, God says that everyone should be shown proper respect! This means that our directive to “show respect” is not contingent on what others are doing to earn it!

(This marriage series was developed from principles taken from the book “Sacred Marriage” by author Gary Thomas.)

Pastor Scott Burr

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

“Sacred Marriage-Forgivness”

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:12-13

There may be no spiritual discipline harder to learn in our Christian walk than the ability to forgive. Even though, it is fundamental in our salvation and at the very root of our faith, forgiveness proves to be difficult to extend to those who have hurt us. Yet, God instructs us to “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Over the last couple of weeks we have been exploring how God uses the marriage relationship to build His character in us. We began by looking at love and what love really is. Today we will focus our attention on forgiveness.

Forgiveness, like love, is not an emotion. Forgiveness is an action. An action, that daily, we must choose to exercise. Marriage provides the perfect setting to develop in the discipline of forgiveness.

Sin in marriage (on both the husband’s and wife’s part) is a daily reality, an ongoing struggle that holds many couples in bondage. Those “seemingly perfect people we marry” will eventually hurt us, sometimes even on purpose, making forgiveness a necessity in our marriage relationships.

Forgiveness, simply stated, is to “cancel a debt.” It is to release someone from having to pay what they owe you. Matthew 18:21-35 gives us a vivid picture of forgiveness from this perspective. One day the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-time seven times.”

I think I like this passage so much because it communicates the difficulty of forgiveness right from the beginning. Peter wants to know where the “forgiveness” line is drawn. How many times must I forgive them? If we are honest with ourselves, we all enter into relationships with an idea of how much we are willing to take from this person. If I only see someone once a year at a family reunion, the threshold is set pretty low. Those we love deeply, we will set the threshold a little higher… “Up to seven times!” Even then we limit our forgiveness!

Jesus, however, put no boundaries on His forgiveness. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:8 that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He chose to forgive us when we at our very worst! When humanity was at its worst…crucifying Him, mocking Him, and despising His very name. He cried out in Luke 23:24: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

In marriage, we have the opportunity to see the very best in a person. We also have the opportunity to see the very worst. So we must settle the issue of forgiveness in our hearts right from the beginning. We must choose daily to “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

(This marriage series was developed from principles taken from the book “Sacred Marriage” by author Gary Thomas.)

Pastor Scott Burr