Archive for the ‘C3 Global Life’ Category
Read these tips about Marriage
Every time in the Bible you have lust and you have someone talking about burning with passion, you know what the answer is? Just get married. It’s very simple, really. And see, we have made marriage complex. Have you noticed that? All these wheels off websites and all of these conferences and books and all this crap that you have to do just to qualify to get married. If Lisa and I had to have gone through all of that we would have never gotten married. That has got to be some of the most lame brain junk I have ever seen in my life.
It’s not that hard. One man, one woman, following Jesus in covenant. That’s marriage. But we like things hard. Because if it’s hard, it’s complex. And then when I fail, I have an excuse. Marriage is simple, and it solves so much stuff in our lives. And of course I say “our,” I’m trying to draw the Christian single men in because we’re men. And yes, I’m not single, but I’m saying “we, our.” I’m trying to show you the love here. And a lot of you are feeling conviction right now. Don’t look to the right or the left; just look straight at me. Everything is cool. Everything is cool.
Man, the women are smiling right now, but the guys are like, “Oh no. Where are the exits?”
Here is what marriage solves; you never hear this stuff. Marriage solves a lot of the sexual temptation in our lives. Guys, we’re sexual creatures. Women are sexual creatures. And we’re going to have those desires. If you have the desire for the opposite sex it’s a good thing because it’s a God thing. And we’re to practice sex within the confines, within the covenant, within the reef of marriage.
ILLUS: Sex is a Ferrari. If someone gives you a Ferrari you don’t trash it. You don’t take it 4‑wheeling. You take care of the Ferrari. You drive it on the autobahn if you can. You drive it on the freeway when the cops aren’t out. That is what a Ferrari is for. Yet, we have taken this gift of sex, this Ferrari, and we have trashed it and we have abused it.
Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
The math in marriage is one plus one equals one. Oneness is in marriage, two becoming one, two fallen and fallible people becoming one, two self-centered sinners becoming one. And when you have sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife, you have the nature and character of God reflected. You have the feminine aspects being joined together with the masculine aspects. You also have a reflection of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; three in one, one in three.
(The verse continues) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
We have got to get married because we need someone to tell us, “Honey those tube socks don’t go with that suit. Hey honey, your nostril hair is so long you can braid it.”
We need somebody to help us. Because guys, we’re not that smart. I hope you realize that women are smarter than we are. If you don’t, just do some study. Women are smarter than men. I admit it. Let’s receive it and believe it. As Joel Osteen says, “Amen!” Now, we can focus on one or two things better than they can. That’s about it. And God has given us the leadership capital and responsibility to be the kind of man of God, the kind of husband of God and the kind of father of God and the father of kids that He wants.
Now here is what is so weird about it. Women in the age group of 32‑50 don’t isolate themselves. Women have this relational desire. They build relationships of community with other women and they understand that and they feel that and they have that.
So the 32‑50 guys, man we’re weird. But most of the women in that age category are not weird. A few are whacky, but most aren’t. Isn’t that interesting? Women are relational creatures. They buy pets, a dog, a cat, they have these friendships. Then all of the sudden one of the weird single guys will walk in, 32‑50, and the girls are like, “Honey, stay away from him! He’s weird. He has been in isolation for several years.”
It is interesting, the excuses that we give, guys. Anti-commitment. What if something better comes along? What if I just don’t feel it? And what if I have to be totally sure? That dog won’t hunt.
Think about Rome. A Roman man, a normal Roman man would have three women—three wives. One would be his “baby mama.” Another one would be like his intellectual companion. Another one would be his sex slave.
Homosexuality was rampant. A lot of people in the church of Thessalonica were former homosexuals, former fornicators. So there was this sexual wheels-offness going on when Paul said these words.
I Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NIV): “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…”
What does the word “sanctified” mean? It basically means to be set apart. Once we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and he redecorates our lives from the inside out.
[The passage continues] …that you should avoid sexual immorality…”
Now this word “immorality” is a very interesting word. In the Greek, it’s pronounced pornia. We get the word “pornography” from it. What does pornia mean? Pornia means premarital sex…yes. Fornication…yes. Adultery…yes. Homosexuality…yes. And a list of other sins. There is no sin like sexual sin. There is no sin like it. If you want your judgment clouded; if you want to be confused and messed up, just get involved in sexual sin. Because it engulfs the totality of who we are. So, we should avoid sexual immorality. That means to stay away from it, to distance ourselves from it.
Verse 4: “…that each of you should learn to control his own body…”
That means we can learn this. It’s a process from the inside out.
Now, our bodies matter. Matter matters. Don’t think it’s like the soul is good, but my body is bad. No no no no. A body is good and our soul is good. Remember, we’re fully physical and fully spiritual. If you want to get more in depth on this, I wrote a book called Rating Your Dating. In this book, I compare our sexuality to a sports car.
This week you will have opportunities to get back at people in your life and God will serve the tortilla of death right to you and to me. Now God is not doing that to tempt us. God does not tempt us. He does that to test us. Because the faith cannot be trusted until the faith has been tested.
God is giving you and me the tortilla of death so we can build the kind of stuff in our lives that he wants us to build. David said no to the tortilla of death. What do you do during those defining moments? What do you do on the freeway? What do you do in the parking lot? What do you do in the Board Room? What do you do in the dating relationship? What do you do when you’re presented with the tortilla of death?
Well, the first thing that the Bible tells us to do is hit the deck and pray. Now I’ll be honest with you because we’re in church right? My first response in the flesh is not to pray when I’m hurt. It’s to strike back or it’s to take the contents of the person’s life put them in a box and garage that and then one day I say to myself, I’m gonna take that box out of my garage and use the contents against that person and when the tortilla of death is served to me, I’m gonna eat it up! (Ed gestures gnawing on a tortilla) And it’ll eat them up too.
That’s my typical response and that’s yours too. But because I’m a Christ follower and because many here are believer’s we can have a supernatural response. Hit the deck! And the first kinda prayer you need to pray once you hit the deck is pray a self-centered prayer.
But I love them enough to say, “You know what? You’re taking up space here at Fellowship Church. We need your seat. Go to another church in the area that’s a highchair church, and you can hang out with all the highchair people. And you can examine your navel and take the lint out of your navel and your neighbor’s navel. And you can study the bible and feed on the bible and it’s not going to change you because you don’t want to change and serve and get off your butt, but you can do that so just, in love, go to another church.”
And when I say that to them it’s like, “Wow, I can do that?” Yeah, you can do that. Love everybody. I love the highchair people, but they need to go to their own deal. But these highchair people can mess you up because they’ll try to mess you up and then they’ll kind of go to this chair and then they’ll go to this chair right here, and then they’ll really, really screw up this chair.
They’ll keep people from coming to the table. We’re not going to have it here at Fellowship Church. We’re not going to go there. We’ve said no to that for 17 years. If you want a dead church, if you want a church for the already convinced, if you want a stained glass fortress, if you want us four and no more, if you want a holy huddle, if you want people flipping off the community and telling them to go to hell using Christian knees, go somewhere else, but don’t come here.
That’s why Jesus said, if you’ll keep reading here in Luke chapter 19, the last verse, verse 10, Jesus says something that totally trashed me.
John 4:32, meanwhile his disciples show up. Here they come back from Whataburger and they’re thinking about food. My stomach is growling. I want something to eat and drink. And they urged him ‑‑ of course they saw him talking to this woman, too. And they said, “Rabbi, eat something.” Some people just don’t get it. And the disciples here, they just didn’t get it.
And that’s okay if you don’t get it. One day you’ll get it. And we’re going to talk about when you don’t get it and when you get it during this series. Because there’s a guy I’m going to talk about in a couple of weeks named Simon Peter. The guy didn’t get it. I mean, he just didn’t. And Jesus gave him a nickname. He said, “Simon Peter, you’re the rock.” And you know everybody around him was like, “Ha! Jesus, the rock? This guy is up and down roller coaster. The rock? Wishy‑washy. He’s hot, he’s not.” But Simon Peter became one of the greatest men of God ever and we’re going to talk about that. So we can all identify with that, can’t we? Sometimes we just don’t get it.
And the disciples didn’t get it. And Jesus said in John 4:32, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
“What,” they’re thinking? And then they said this in John 4:33. This is some Hebrew humor here. “Could someone have brought him food?”
They’re thinking, “Did someone bring him a Chick‑fil‑a sandwich and we didn’t know about it?” Wow.
And then Jesus said in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
You see, we’re nourished not by what we take in. We’re nourished not by just what we take in. We’re nourished not by just what we take in, but also what we give out.
One of my closest friends is paranoid about mice so I won’t call his name out, he is here in this service. Mice are kind of weird and spooky creatures, aren’t they. They have little beady eyes, little teeth, little paws. They were eating up all of my oat bran cereal. I got mad at them. I went to Tom Thumb and bought three mouse traps and I did what a typical mouse hunter would do. I put cheese on the traps.
For three straight nights I set the traps with the cheese, woke up the next morning and looked in the pantry. The cheese was gone, oat bran was gone, these things were making me hot. So I began to talk to some people, some other mouse hunters and they told me that I needed peanut butter.
They told me to put the peanut butter on the trap, which they love and which is rather sticky and chewy and will keep them at the trap. I even went one step further since we live in Texas and I love Mexican food. I put a little bit of tortilla along with the peanut butter on the mouse traps. So I made three mouse fajitas on the three mouse traps and left them side by side. We had been in bed twenty minutes when we heard three loud bangs, the greatest sound in the world for a mouse hunter, I ran in and sure enough there were three of them. Kind of gross.
What happened? They could not resist it. And because it was so chewy, and that Peter Pan peanut butter tasted so good, they couldn’t get away from it. And the traps nailed them.When that snare is there to really seek revenge, to really go after someone, it looks inviting so most of us rush into it and we chew the person out, we just get into it and we get into it too much.
Study the life of David. David was a man of prayer, a man who knew how to talk to God. I believe that when someone hurts us or takes advantage of us, the first thing we should do is start praying for them. Write their name out in our prayer journal and begin to pray.
If we don’t, if we wait, if we let it fester, if we let it churn, then when that person is delivered to us we are going to jump on them and nail them because we have waited too long to prepare. We have waited too long to prepare if we wait until the opportunity for revenge presents itself. We have got to start preparing the moment the person has hurt us. We have to start saying, “God, I don’t want to love this person. I don’t even want to like this person.
In fact, God, this person makes me sick, but Your word has told me I should pray for them.” And when you start praying for the person, God will give you an infusion over time of supernatural love and you’ll begin to love your enemy and that will help you prepare for the snare. Pray about it, then the love will come. And for many of us we are going to have to act like we love the person, because it is much easier to act your way into a feeling than to feel your way into an action. We act our way into the feeling because it is right. It doesn’t feel right but it is right. Prepare for the snare.
Every time I see the word snare I think about a couple of years ago when we had a mouse problem in our house. We had a serious mouse problem. The mice were everywhere.
All of the charges brought against him had been unrealistic, they were from la la land. David was loyal to Saul. Right before David could kill Saul, he did something that was so counter-cultural, so unique, yet so Holy Spirit driven. David, instead of seeking revenge, pulls back and cuts a piece of Saul’s robe off and takes it with him far back in the shadows. Then Saul exits the cave.
A cave was there and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. What a chance for revenge and he didn’t take it. Here is the first principle I want you to grasp in thinking about the temptation of revenge.
Prepare for the snare. Prepare for the snare, because the snare for revenge, the snare to pay someone back is real and it is going to be there and oftentimes God will deliver your Saul, that person who has really abused you, that person who has taken advantage of you, that person who has really messed you around, God, oftentimes will deliver them to your cave and you will have a chance, an opportunity, to really get back at them.
Prepare for the snare. You have got to prepare before you get into the situation where you will be enticed to get that person back. And Jesus tells us how to prepare for the snare. Before I read this next verse, I want you to say this word with me. Ouch. Ouch. Because this verse hurts.
This is a verse that is not popular, this verse hurts me, this verse hurts you because it really cuts to the quick. Matthew 5:44. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus has given us two things to do in order to prepare for the snare, love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. David did that.