June 15, 2012

Fathers Are Co-creators with God and Women

The Readings (1 Sam. 15.34-16.7; Mark 4.26-33; and 2 Cor. 4.6-15) give us good teaching on the role of Fathers as co-creators with God, wives and friends, of the Kingdom of God on Earth. This is a spiritual kingdom based on love and faith where men are judged by what is in their heart, not by outward appearances. The two agricultural images of reaping what we sow and taking responsibility for sheep, help us understand what God expects men to do in our time.

1.     Many men have lost their identity and authority in our time
Men and women were given their identity and authority by God. In Genesis 1.28 we are taught they are to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’.
The rest of the Bible is the story of how men and women have struggled to fill the earth and subdue it over the last 4,000 years. In our time there has been a serious loss of male identity and authority:
·         Many men have not had fathers who taught them how to be a man and a father
·         Many men have not read, been taught or studied the Bible
·         Many men have either lost their faith or never had a faith
·         Separated from God they have lost their identity & direction
·         Separated from God they have lost their authority as priests to the family and become self-centred and isolated
·         Women have shamed men and often replaced them as the spiritual authority in the family in our time
·         Good news is that many men are now beginning to realize that they need to attend a church and join a Bible Study group to re-discover their identity

2.     God judges men and women by the character of their heart

June 2, 2012

I Believe In the Holy Spirit: The Trinity in 15 Minutes

This is a Creedal statement we make every Sunday. It is part of our affirmation of Faith in the Trinity. The difference is that unlike the Creedal statements about God the Father and Jesus the Son in the Apostles Creed; nothing is said about what it is we are supposed to believe about the Holy Spirit. This is deliberate. The point is we are to believe in the Holy Spirit so we can be led by the Holy Spirit into a deeper and eternal relationship with God. This process of developing a deeper spiritual life is called being born again.

1.    The Holy Spirit is the part of a God who is with us in our lives
a.    Trinity Sunday is a good time to learn how God works in our daily lives as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
b.    The Holiness of God is something we sometimes forget
c.    God the Father is the creator who creates a holy world
d.    God includes freedom of choice in His creation
e.    Rebellion -à Sin à Guilt à un-holiness à separation
f.      Like Isaiah we have unclean lips and need healing
g.    Cannot be in the divine presence until we are clean
h.    Fire burns up un-holiness, old self dies, new self born
i.      God intervenes as Jesus, Redeemer to pay the price
j.      Again freedom of choice on Jesus part and ours
k.     God also intervenes by coming as the Holy Spirit
l.      Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier who makes us holy
m.   Helps us see our sin and decide to repent to Jesus
n.    Holy Spirit is the Comforter who teaches and heals us

2.    Belief In is more than acknowledgement