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DARE YOU TO MOVE - A Study in the Book of Exodus

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-14-14
 
Dare You to Move: Way Out
Exodus 3-11
 
INTRODUCTION:  We need to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. God invites us to go with him. Jesus invites us to follow him. We are stuck and we need to move. Prosperity and comfort make us stuck. Past sins and failures make us stuck. God hears our cries of desperation but we need to move. When we begin to move, we can expect resistance. Exodus 3-11 shows the struggles that the people of Israel went through to get out from under the bondage of Pharaoh. They experienced resistance to their desire to move. When you decide you want to no longer be stuck, you can expect resistance. You can expect the …
 
INTERNAL RESISTANCE OF THE HEART.
 
*Fear is a natural response to change. Moses looked at his own abilities and became afraid. God promised his presence for the task. 

“The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering…So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, ‘I will be with you…I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Ex 3:7-14).
 
*Change requires effort. The Israelites experienced difficulty and doubted they could escape their pain and slavery. God gave them signs of his presence.

Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped...The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Ex.4:29-31, 5:19-21).
 
EXTERNAL RESISTANCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
 
*Critical conditions do not give the proper perspective. We have to see
things from God’s perspective to understand the situation.

Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all”… God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord… Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God…Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. (Ex 5:22-23; 6:2-9).
 
SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE OF THE DEVIL.
 
*Satan does not want us to follow the Lord and move out of our bondage. Satan will oppose every positive step we take to obey the Lord.

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said” (Ex.7:8-13).
 
*We must resist the Devil and continue to move forward. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:10-11)
 
DIVINE RESISTANCE OF THE LORD.
 
*When we want to get unstuck, God will fight for us and deliver us. It may take time but we will overcome through the power and might of our Lord. God used ten plagues to force Pharaoh to free Israel: Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Livestock, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of Firstborn (Ex 8-11).
 
*The Lord always provides the way out. 

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people)” (Ex. 11:1-2).

Dare You to Move - A Study in the Book of Exodus

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-07-14
 
Dare You to Move: Stuck
Exodus 1-2
 
INTRODUCTION:  “I dare you to move...Tension is here/Between who you are and who you could be/Between how it is and how it should be” (Switchfoot, Dare You to Move). We need to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. God invites us to go with him. Jesus invites us to follow him. Exodus 1-2 shows us some people who were stuck. They needed to move. They needed to no longer be stuck. God dared them to move. Are you stuck? God dares you to move too.
 
PEOPLE GET STUCK IN THEIR COMFORT AND PROSPERITY.
 
*The Hebrew people were content, successful, and spiritually untested.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them (Ex. 1:6-7).
 
*Spiritual dullness and personal ease can lead to sudden snares. Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us.  Come, we must deal shrewdly with them”… So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor…” (Ex 1:8-11).
 
PEOPLE GET STUCK IN THEIR PAST SINS AND FAILURES.
 
*Moses had murdered an Egyptian and failed to deliver his people. He ran from his past and settled into a safe but unfulfilling life.  When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock… “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” (Ex 2:15-22).
 
WHERE ARE YOU STUCK?
 
*Individuals and families can get stuck.  Are you stuck spiritually? Are you stuck in a job or a marriage or a habit that seems more like slavery than the freedom you thought it would bring to you?  Have you lost your vision…hope…faith? Are you bound by fear or guilt? Does the past haunt you? Is your attitude so bad you need an adjustment?  Are your finances out of whack? Is your family in chaos and you don’t know the way out? Are you stuck?
 
*Churches can get stuck. Are we more worried about what people wear than we are about their eternal destiny? Are we more concerned about the type of songs we sing than we are about lifting a song of praise to God in worship? Are we so stuck in the way we do things that we cannot make room for the Holy Spirit to disrupt our agendas and our orders of worship?  Do we fret about the church finances but don’t increase our giving? Do we complain about the attendance but never invite or bring another person to church? Do we substitute our work on church committees for personal growth and spiritual development?  Are we comfortable with the way things are while staff and church leaders beg for volunteers and workers? Are we stuck as a church?
 
GOD DELIVERS THOSE WHO CRY OUT TO HIM.
 
*God loves us and longs to honor his relationship with us. God will rescue us when we get desperate for help and cry out to him. During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them (Ex. 2:23-25).
 
Are you stuck? Only God can set us free.

The 3 C Triangle

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   08-31-14
 
The 3 C Triangle**
Acts 2:37-47
 
INTRODUCTION:  Santa Fe College and the University of Florida have had their convocations this week. The leadership gathered the faculty and students to challenge them to reach new goals and to work together to build a successful school year. Convocation means “to call together.” I am calling us together today to rally us to our cause, to remind us of our common purpose and goals. I want us to remember our reason for being. Why are we here? What are we called to do?  The 3 C Triangle of Growth will show us why we are here and what we need to do. The 3 C Triangle shows us how we can move people into our fellowship and become committed followers of Jesus. The 3 Cs of Contact, Connections and Consistency will lead us to grow. Acts 2:40-47 describes the 3 C Triangle at work.
 
CONTACT – BASE POINT ONE
 
*Principle: The more people you reach, the more people you retain. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:37-41).
 
*Our motivations for outreach are the Great Commandment and the Great Commission:
 
  • Love God and Love Others - Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-40).
  • Make Disciples – Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
 
*The basic functions of the church spring up from the two commandments:
Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship, Ministry, Missions and Worship.
 
*A healthy church constantly looks for ways to make contact with others.
 
CONNECTIONS – BASE POINT TWO
 
*Principle: Connected people stay. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need (Acts 2:42-45).
 
*The process of growth requires Making Disciples, Maturing Believers, and Multiplying Ministries. People will stay when they connect to a small group and make lasting friendships. People will stay when they serve a common cause. People will stay when someone cares for them.
 
*A healthy church helps people connect and build relationships.
 
CONSISTENCY – THE UNIFYING TIP
 
*Excellence breeds loyalty. Regular, reliable and stable programs create an atmosphere of trust and commitment. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:46-47).
 
*The steady process of growth will lead to Numerical Growth, Spiritual Transformation, Ministry Expansion and Kingdom Advance.
 
*A healthy church consistently brings people in, builds them up, trains them for service, and sends them out.
 
Let’s agree together this year at Parkview Baptist Church to contact people, connect them to small groups and consistently provide them with opportunities to be renewed and to serve.
 
 
**based upon Kingdom-Focused Church Model and Process (Mims)
 

THE BOOK OF ESTHER

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/03/14
 
 The Importance of Ritual
Esther 9
 
INTRODUCTION: A rite is a formal procedure in a religious or solemn observance.  A ritual is the prescribed action or words of the rite.  Ritual is the way of doing things to observe the rite. In rituals, symbolic meanings are enacted. The ritual is a symbolic action. For instance, in baptism, the ritual of immersion conveys the meaning of the action done by Christ in conversion.
Anthropologists tell us that we use ritual actions to bring order, continuity, and meaning to our existence. Birthdays and Christmas celebrations are rituals. Sunday dinners and weddings are rituals. Holiday celebrations are rituals. Weddings are elaborate events because they signify and give significance to the love of the couple forming a new home. Religious rituals pass on the meaning and the experience of the faith. Christian rituals enable us to express our love to God and allow God to express his grace to us. Esther and Mordecai established a day of celebration, Purim, which Jews still practice to this day. Let’s use Purim to see why ritual is important.
 
RITUAL BRINGS ORDER OUT OF CHAOS.
 
*Purim was founded after a time of chaos and confusion for the Jewish people. So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction… (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur)(vv. 23-26).
 
*Yearly and weekly rituals enable us to mark time, rest, and celebrate life.
 
RITUAL MEMORIALIZES IMPORTANT EVENTS.
 
*Purim forever marks the days of the Jews’ deliverance. On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them…The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them (vv. 1-5).
 
*Passover marks the exodus. Christmas marks Christ’s birth. The Lord’s Supper marks Christ’s death. Easter marks Christ’s death and resurrection.
 
RITUAL UNITES A COMMUNITY TOGETHER.
 
*Purim is a custom observed by the Jewish community every year around the world. The Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants (vv. 27-28).
 
*Christians can become closer through regular observance of weekly and yearly rituals.
 
RITUAL BRINGS JOY AND CELEBRATION.
 
*Purim is a designated time for the Jewish people to enjoy God’s providential care and rejoice in their victories. Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor (vv. 20-22).
 
*Christians need a time to celebrate God’s goodness and break from the mundane and routine cares of this world.
 
Rituals open the door to experience God in fresh ways.

ESTHER

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 07/27/14
 
 Preservation
Esther 6-10
 
INTRODUCTION: God governs the affairs of men and women, all nations, and all creation. God is in control! We call this invisible guidance from God “providence.” We make choices; God directs them to do his will. The story of Esther shows us that God’s providence prepares us for his purposes. We left chapter 5 with Mordecai about to be hanged and the Jewish people threatened with extermination. Esther has hatched a plan to save her people. How will her people and her father be free of the wicked Haman? Today we discover that God’s providence preserves us through life’s problems.
 
THE STORY (Chapters 6-10):
 
  • Chapter 6 – Xerxes rewards Mordecai and Haman is humiliated.
  • Chapter 7 – Haman goes to the feast and Esther reveals his plot to kill the Jews and her family. Xerxes has Haman hanged.
  • Chapter 8 – Xerxes promotes Mordecai and allows the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies.
  • Chapter 9 – The Jews win a great victory and celebrate with joy.
  • Chapter 10 – Mordecai is honored by the king and his people.
 
MORE PRINCIPLES OF PROVIDENCE IN ESTHER:
 
*Evil is real. It has a human face. Then Queen Esther answered…”For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated”...King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?” Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!” (Esther 7:3-6).
 
*God protects and delivers his people from harmFor the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them (Esther 8:16-17).
 
*One person can change the course of historyMordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews (Esther 10:3).
 
God’s providence is always at work so we can rest in his care.
 

ESTHER

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 07/20/14
 
 Preparation
Esther 1-5
 
INTRODUCTION: God governs the affairs of men and women, all nations, and all creation. God is in control! He may not be visible to us but he steadily guides this world toward his desired ends. He arranges the events, decisions, ambitions, and will of people to bring about his purposes. He maintains and sustains his creation. He raises up nations and let’s them pass away. We call this quiet, invisible guidance from God “providence.” Providence comes from the Latin word “provideo” which means “to see beforehand” (pro=before; video=to see). God sees things before they are going to happen. He directs the course of the world events to fulfill his plans. Proverbs 16:9 states: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” We make choices; God directs them to do his will. God’s providence prepares us for his purposes. Like Esther, we need to be ready to do his will.
 
THE STORY (Chapters 1-5):
 
  • Chapter 1 – Queen Vashti displeases the king and is removed
  • Chapter 2 – Esther pleases the king and is made queen
  • Chapter 3 – Haman is promoted by the king and plots evil
  • Chapter 4 - Mordecai mourns the king’s edict and seeks help
  • Chapter 5 – Esther makes a meal and sets a trap for Haman
 
THE PRINCIPLES OF PROVIDENCE IN ESTHER:
 
Key Verse: Mordecai told Esther: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14).
 
  • God can use any circumstance to accomplish his purpose.
  • God can use any person to accomplish his purpose.
  • God can use any moral climate and culture to accomplish his purpose.
 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who
love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
 
What is God preparing you to do?  Are you ready?
 
 

THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/22/14
 
 Spiritual Warfare
Ephesians 6:10-20
 
INTRODUCTION: All of us can identify with the struggles of life that come our way. We recognize that we must endure sorrow and suffering as well as joy and fellowship on this journey with our Lord. The Book of Ephesians has provided the basics for completing the journey. Chinese pastor Watchman Nee wrote a book on Ephesians entitled Sit, Walk, Stand. The three words describe the outline or divisions of Paul’s book. Christians are to sit in the provision of Christ. They are to walk in the ways of Christ. They are to stand against the enemy of Christ, the devil. Ephesians 6:10-20 reveals the way we are to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). God has equipped us with everything we need to stand for Jesus in this life.
 
GOD WANTS US TO STAND STRONG FOR HIM.
 
* We are in a spiritual battle. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10).
 
*We must persevere to the end. It is an unending battle. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph. 6:11-13).
 
GOD WANTS US TO KNOW THE NATURE OF THE BATTLE.
 
*The conflict is a wrestling match. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” (Eph. 6:12).
 
*The enemy has an organization designed to defeat us. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12).
 
*We must know our enemy and prepare against his attacks. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11).
 
GOD WANTS US TO USE THE RESOURCES HE HAS GIVEN.
 
*We have to consciously put on the armor God has given us for the fight. “Put on the full armor of God” (6:11).  “Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…” (6:13).
 
*Our armor is the entire wardrobe of our salvation experience:
 
  • Truth and righteousness – “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…” (6:14).
  • Readiness to share the gospel – “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (6:15).
  • Faith – “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (6:16).
  • Assurance of salvation and effective use of scripture – “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (6:17).
  • Pray and watch – “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (6:18).
 
We are in a never-ending battle with the devil until Christ returns. In the meantime, we have everything we need to stand strong and resist the devil’s attacks.
 

THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/15/14
 
 Family and Work Relationships
Ephesians 6:1-9
 
INTRODUCTION: Followers of Jesus develop good relationships in their marriages, home lives, work demands, and daily contacts. The main ingredient for good relationships is “submitting to one another in the love of Christ” (Eph. 5:21). Mutual submission out of reverence for Christ is the key to all good relationships. This kind of humility and respect needs the power of the Holy Spirit to make it happen (Eph. 5:18). This approach to relationships works in family interactions and in employer and employee relations. Paul explains this in Ephesians 6.
 
PARENTS AND CHILDREN HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE HOME THAT CREATE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS.
 
*The responsibility of children: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (6:1-3).
 
*The first duty of the child is to obey: “obey your parents”
  • It is the Christian thing to do: “in the Lord.”
  • It also is the “natural” thing to do: “for this is right.”
 
*The second duty of the child is to honor: “honor your father and mother”
  • The practical reason for this is that the Bible promises long life to a child who obeys his parents. “so it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth”
 
*The responsibility of parents: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (6:4).
 
  • A negative to avoid: “do not exasperate your children”
  • A positive to affirm - nurture: “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”
 
God uses the family to fire the bricks that build the foundation of a strong society.

THE CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES OF WORK CREATE BETTER WORKERS, BOSSES AND RELATIONSHIPS.
 
*The responsibility of workers: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free” (6:5-8).
 
*If you work for someone, obey them:
  • With respect (5).
  • With commitment (5).
  • With Christian devotion (5).
  • With sincerity (6).
  • With a good attitude (6).
  • With proper motivation (7).
 
*The primary sin of the worker is a lack of honest effort: “Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart” (6).
 
*The cure is to work for Jesus as your boss and not your employer or a paycheck:  “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free” (7-8).
 
*The responsibility of employers: “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him” (9).
 
*If you employ someone or supervise someone, treat them with:
  • Respect and integrity (9a)
  • Christian devotion (9a)
  • Compassion (9b)
*The primary sin of the employer is to abuse the position of authority. The cure is to remember God is your boss and treats you the same way he treats your workers.

THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/08/14
 
 Marriage Relationships
Ephesians 5:21-33
 
INTRODUCTION: Followers of Jesus develop good relationships in their marriages, home lives, work demands, and daily contacts. The main ingredient in a good marriage is “submitting to one another in the love of Christ” (Eph. 5:21). In fact, mutual submission out of reverence for Christ is the key to all good relationships. This kind of humility and respect needs the power of the Holy Spirit to make it happen (Eph. 5:18). Depending on the Spirit and Christ’s love enables us to truly drop our own agendas and work to deepen the relationship. A marriage built on mutual love and respect endures. The marriage blends diversity, unity and humility to create a bond that is flexible, strong and undivided. Each spouse must take responsibility for the lasting relationship to succeed:
 
THE WIFE AIMS TO SUPPORT AND RESPECT HER HUSBAND IN THE SAME WAY SHE LOVES THE LORD.
 
*The rule for the wife in the marriage relationship is: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” (5:22).
 
*The reason is for the rule is that the husband provides leadership and cherishes his wife: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (5:23).
 
*Therefore, wives should support and honor their husbands just as the church follows Christ’s lead. “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (24).
 
THE HUSBAND SEEKS TO HUMBLY CHERISH HIS WIFE IN THE SAME WAY CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH.
 
*The responsibility for the husband in the marriage relationship is love and sacrifice: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (5:25).
 
*The husband needs to learn to look out for his wife just like he looks out for himself. He is to care for her, encourage her dreams and goals, and provide the best for her physically and spiritually.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church…” (5:25-29).
 
THE UNITY IN THE MARRIAGE IS TO BE A PICTURE OF THE HARMONY BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.
 
*The oneness of marriage is like the union of Christ and his church. “For we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” (30-32).
 
  • Marriage requires the spouses to leave their families.
  • They cleave to one another and form a new home.
  • The two become one flesh in purpose and unity and body.
 
BOTH WIFE AND HUSBAND WORK TO LOVE AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER IN THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST.
 
*Both spouses have the responsibility to make the marriage work. Both spouses have their unique contributions but both must humble themselves to make it happen.
 
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (5:33).
 

THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS

Gregory C. Magruder  Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/01/14
 
 Heaven’s Prescription for Good Relationships
Ephesians 5:18-21
 
INTRODUCTION: Jesus changes the way we live. Followers of Jesus choose to embrace the new life they have in Christ. Paul says we are to put off the old way of life and to put on the new way of Christ. The basis of this new life is love (Eph. 5:1-2). This means that we must live as children of light instead of children of darkness (5:3-17). Followers of Jesus develop good relationships in their marriages, home lives, work demands, and daily contacts. Good relationships arise out of spiritual power and voluntary cooperation. How do we get to that place in our spiritual lives as Christians?
 
NURTURE THE SPIRIUTAL SIDE OF YOUR LIFE (5:18).
 
*Let the Holy Spirit stimulate your life and actions. Avoid competing stimulants. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…” (5:18).
 
*The first step to good relationships is to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
 
*Develop a relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit and do not leave him out of your life and associations. “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
 
It takes spiritual power to live a life of grace and love.
 
PRACTICE THE PRINCIPLE OF PRAISE (5:19).
 
*Singing is a way to express joy to God and encourage one another. This includes scripture songs, congregational hymns, and personal spiritual songs.  “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit…” (5:19).
 
*The source of our singing is joy in the Lord. “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord…” (5:19).
A person of praise and joy encourages people to have hope.
 
DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING (5:20).
 
*Thanksgiving is an attitude of gratitude. “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:20).
 
*Thanksgiving does not depend upon the circumstances. It is a pre-determined choice. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).
 
An attitude of gratitude looks for the good in others.
 
COOPERATE WITH OTHERS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE (5:21).
 
*The practice of “mutual submission” is the second step to all good relationships. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”(21).
 
*”Submitting” is an attitude of respect for and cooperation with others in our relationships. The principles of mutual submission:
 
  • Have the courtesy to let me be myself.
  • Have the decency to include me in your plans.
  • Have the humility to share your problems with me
 
Jesus lived his life this way:
 
Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:26-28).
 
Respect and cooperation build bridges to strong relationships.
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