Archive for the 'Perspective' Category



19
Feb
12

Sunday Recap…2-19-12

It was a great day @ The Ridge Sunday! While attendance was a little low (because of weather and winter break), God really spoke as we began wrapping our Family Matters series. There was a good vibe in our worship gathering today!

The band did their usual great job. Loved the new music today!

SO thankful for our volunteers in our RidgeKidz area! You guys rock! Your faithful ministry week in and week out is much appreciated…and makes a huge difference in the lives of families!

We saw 5 men stand, along with their wives and kids, at the end of our worship gathering and make a commitment to leading their families by making The Resolution, which was featured in the film Courageous. We will be allowing men to make this resolution anytime they feel led by God to do so. We felt that this opportunity needs to be made available just as we do our Family/Child Dedications peiodically through the year. It’s that important! It was also very encouraging to see a bunch of men standing behind these guys who had made that Resolution back in the fall. Pretty pwerful ending to the worship gathering today. What is the Resolution? Check this video out…

Today’ teaching was from Psalm 128 as we talked about “The Result” of walking in the ways of God and in fear of the Lord as a family.

  • When we walk in His will, He provides our needs and we are blessed or happy
  • the next generation will be blessed because of the faithfulness of your family now.

We talked about how we try to play a “quid pro quo” game with God too. Do you know what quid pro quo means? It is something done in exchange for something else. It’s “returning a favor”. We have taken passages like we read in Proverbs in regards to family and used them as quid pro quo with God.  We have misinterpreted them to say that Christian families will experience blessings from God or that He will take things away from us based on what we give Him in exchange for what we expect from Him.  We try to take Proverbs annd make them into promises like some sort of divine guarantee that we can use to manipulate God into doing what we want him to do. That is a dangerous game to play.

Without a doubt, we should look to Scripture for guidance in our homes. God’s Word speaks of family matters in the responsibilities of men (Eph. 5:25–33; 6:4; Col. 3:19, 21; 1 Peter 3:1–6), women (Eph. 5:22–24; Col. 3:18; 1 Peter 3:7), and children (Eph. 6:1–3; Col. 3:20). There are all kinds of examples of positive and negative family stories in the Bible. We should do our very best to follow all the teachings of Scripture. But we should never be deceived into thinking that the future results of our family depends on us.

Here’s The Thing…

The future results of our families depends on God, not you or me. Never take your eyes off of the One who actually holds your family’s future.

If things are going well in your home right now, don’t be fooled into thinking that somehow you have made it that way. Look again: your home is broken beneath the surface because it is full of broken, sinful, fallen people and each of us could fall apart in a moment. So, we should give God the praise and thanks he deserves and pray diligently for His ongoing mercy in the future.

If things are not going well in your home, don’t give up on the hope of deliverance. God loves to show his amazing saving power through people who have nothing left.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says,

 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being[d] might boast in the presence of God.

Whatever the condition of your family may be, turn to the One who holds the future in his hands and ask him to honor himself through your family. Not so that you can have stuff or recognition or anything this world offers, but so that the world might see Jesus Christ in your family…God glorified in and through your home…they might see that YES, when you follow the principles and teachings of God’s Word it does work. If that’s the motive of your heart, then God will honor that. That’s why family matters…that’s the results of following Him and doing the hard work of training yourself and your family in godliness. That is where the hope lies.

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08
Feb
12

The Appeal…Last Sunday @ The Ridge

This past Sunday we had a great time @ The Ridge as we continued our Family Matters series by looking at The Appeal…one of the parental appeals found in the first eight chapters of Proverbs. We focused on Proverbs 4:1-22 and I spoke most directly to the teenagers and kids that were in attendance…but indirectly to everyone, as the principles of God’s Word found in this Appeal apply to all of us at any stage of life. Nevertheless, we did a special set up for the teens. There were counches and beanbag chairs and some cafe tables and stools all set up front and center for them. We even had a cooler full of refreshments for them to enjoy. It was great and I think the kids enjoyed it. It certainly made it easy for me to keep them focused on the message. 🙂

We talked about the doctrine of the two ways as spoken by Solomon to his son in this passage. This one of the core teachings of Proverbs. It says that there are two paths or ways that lie before each of us: the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness and evil. The outcome of our lives will be determined by which way we choose to follow. Here’s a summary of “The Appeal” from this past Sunday. you canlisten to the whole message HERE.

What happens when we hear & heed The Appeal?

  • v. 10-11 – the years of your life will be many if you “hear” and “accept” the words of a wise parent, provided those words are based on God’s Word.(see Ephesians 6:1-3)
  • v. 12 – your step will not be hampered…you will not stumble
  • in v. 5 the father told his son to grab hold of wisdom, here in v. 13 he reminds him to “not let go” of her and guard her…hide it and protect it in your heart…because wisdom IS life. In John 6:63 Jesus says, It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Life is in His word…His wisdom. So, apart from that is what?…death.

V. 14-15 tells us how to avoid falling into sinful situations:

first of all v 14 says don’t even enter there…don’t walk that way…then v. 15 gives us 4 verbs that will help us avoid pitfalls and sin…

  1. avoid…the sinful situation
  2. travel or walk…as far away from it as you can…stay as far from the edge of the cliff as possible
  3. turn…away from sin…repent…change directions…don’t go there…
  4. pass…just walk on by…escape it 2 Tim 2:22 says, 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

So we hear God’s Word…from those who are older, wiser, have been down the road…we hear it for ourselves from God’s Word…we listen to the still small voice of the HS…we apply wisdom…then we avoid, travel far from it, turn, pass it by.

God’s Word changes our perspective…reveals sin…gives us wisdom…shows us the path to take. But unless we “hear & heed” we’ll continue down the path of foolishness & sin which will lead us to destruction.

Here’s an illustration I used with the teenagers (and adults) of how wisdom…hearing and heeding God’s Word…has changed someone’s perspective…

Kylie Bisutti is a model. She, at age 19, had it all. She had just won a modeling contest which gave her a contract with the top internationally known lingerie company in the world. It was everything she wanted and had dreamed of. She was having fun and making money, yet she was becoming uncomfortable. Here’s what she said in an article on Foxnews.com:

Mike & Kylie Bisutti

I’m Christian, and reading the Bible more, I was becoming more convicted about it.”

The California native, now 21, said that in the wake of baring her body as an Angel, she was also hosting parties, posing for men’s magazines, and craving more and more attention. But she was not feeling good about herself.

“My body should only be for my husband and it’s just a sacred thing,” said Bisutti, who had gotten married just before winning the 2009 modeling competition. “I didn’t really want to be that kind of role model for younger girls because I had a lot of younger Christian girls that were looking up to me and then thinking that it was okay for them to walk around and show their bodies in lingerie to guys.

“It was pretty crazy because I finally achieved my biggest dream, the dream that I always wanted, but when I finally got it, it wasn’t all that I thought it would be. Especially being married I just wanted to keep my marriage sacred because divorce rates now in America are pretty high, and I just want to do everything I can to keep my marriage special.”

 “It is a very hard industry to be in without falling into things you don’t want to do,” she said. “I’ve fallen into many things that I wouldn’t have wanted to do, it’s a very tempting industry.”

“My goal is just to be a better role model for the youth, I just want them to see me as somebody that they can look up to and somebody that’s going to be dressing appropriately and I’m not going to get into things that I wouldn’t want them to be getting into,” she added. “I want to go over the top because I don’t think enough people go over the top about how serious all this is. I just want people to see something different about me because I have that faith and I think it’s so important for everyone to have.”

What changed her perspective? The Word…as a believer, the HS lived in her. She had chosen a path of foolishness…and it was fun for a time…but God convicted her as she read the Bible more. The HS spoke to her through the living and active Word of God and convicted her, made her uncomfortable, changed her perspective and led her in a path of wisdom. She heard it and heeded it. And God gave her the strength to stand…

What happens when we don’t hear and heed and walk in the path of wisdom and righteousness?

v. 16-17, 19 tells us that the path of foolishness creates a hunger that is never satisfied and leads to destruction. the further you go down that path the more unsatisfying it becomes…which leads you to continue in the destructive path further and further…never being satisfied…[look back at Kylies’s story… she was “craving more and more attention”]…because the only place you can get true satisfaction is in Christ. The path of wisdom, the father here warns, is the only place to find satisfaction. That wisdom comes from God and in His Word.

He also says that those on that path will stumble in the darkness. The contrast of the path of foolishness and wickedness is one who stumbles through life in deep darkness. You think if you stumbled around in the dark you’d eventually get hurt? You’d have all kinds of wounds and scars and you might even get killed. Why? because you can’t see anything…duh! That’s the picture of the way of the wicked and foolish.

What does the path of the believer who hears & heeds the Appeal of Wisdom look like? v. 18

Increasing light… The path of the righteous…those who are “right with God” (and how are we made right with God? only in Jesus Christ) is a path of ever-increasing brightness. It gets brighter and brighter as we walk in His ways. We come to a better understanding day by day. It becomes clearer day by day. We make wiser decisions when we walk according to His word and those become easier to see as we walk day by day. That’s how you do it.

Here’s The Thing…HOW do I attain wisdom? …a change of perspective? 

I cannot walk this path on my own. It is impossible for me because the natural desires of all of us is in the way of foolishness and sin. We will always stray that way if we are trying to please God on our own and if we are walking in our own wisdom. (talking about that next week)

How do I walk then? I walk with Jesus…following in His footsteps…even allowing Him to carry me…I walk hand in hand with Him. I don’t know they way, but He IS the way!  I read, memorize, apply The Word…and I walk according to it…because Jesus is the Truth. I will then be led down a path not to destruction and stumbling, but to life…because Jesus is the Life. He is the Light that guides our path. HE is the one that perfects our path, not us. Because we can’t. You see you can’t do this apart form Him. If you try you’ll stumble for sure. If you try to do all the right stuff and please God on your own, you’ll fail. Why? because you are bent toward sin and you are not righteous. The Bible says none are righteous…we all fall short of the glory of God…but thanks be to God for grace that enables us to walk the path of wisdom because of Jesus and with Jesus. That’s the only way. He IS The Way! That’s how you attain wisdom. That’s how you walk the path of righteousness.




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