A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert M., Bob, Celeste ACP/MCAC
Associate Pastor Mr. Steve Burzlaff
As we enter this eighth year of ACP, it is starting to appear that we will be doing it without Mac Maguire, my proof reader. Yesterday afternoon Mac was rushed to the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they did emergency surgery. At ten o'clock last night, his doctor gave him 24 hours.
Mac has not only been my proof reader for the last, well, now it's been 20 years, for he started way back in the 80's proofing Article Ten, a monthly conservative, editorial newspaper in Maine. And then just slipped right in as senior proof reader for ACP, first in print and then, starting in 1998, on the net. Mac has also been my closest, most reliable friend since we were about 10 years old.
I have every reason to believe that while Mac is gruff, grumpy and at times a real bear, he is indeed a true Born Again Washed in the Blood of the Lamb Christian. I'm not going to ask you to pray for his healing, that would be selfish on my part, but I am going to ask you to go to the Lord and ask Him to spare Mac anymore pain, to just take him home and let him rest and do what Mac does best, get the place ready for when I get there.
You know, it seems kind of strange having to proof this myself, I guess I've just gotten used to just e-mailing it to Mac, going and getting a cup of coffee for myself and waiting for him to send it back to me. So, if there are errors in this, forgive me, kinda ignore the grammar and just concentrate on the prayer request if you would.
Thanks and the Lord bless you all and spare Mac any pain,
Friday December 31st, 2004
Today is the day for making resolutions for the New Year. How many of you make them and then how many forget them within a few days or maybe even hours? Today I would like to challenge each and every one of you to make a resolution. This year resolve to love your wife. Our foremost commitment for Love is to Love CHRIST, but then where do we go? For many there is money, job, parents, and other outside commitments. We need to merely look at a few verses from the Bible to see what our priorities are supposed to be.
Genesis 2: 24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (KJV)
This is about as straight forward as you can get. How many men are still momma's babies after they get married and continually have their bride taking a rear seat to mom? There is nothing wrong with asking parents for advice, in fact we should honor our parents by asking for it, but when it comes time for making decisions, husbands, you and you alone, are responsible for making them. You are also responsible for loving your wife. Are you still treating her same way you did when you were dating (courting) or when you first married?
Now, let us take a look at Ephesians 5:25-27 to discover the model for genuine love that
lasts a lifetime.
25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave
Himself for it;
26: That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27: That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
"Husbands, love your wives." Ask yourself, this simple question: "What does it mean to love?"
The Christian father should set an example of love for his family as he earns a living, directs the household with concern for each member, and as he fulfills his role as head of the house. He should see to their spiritual development by the life he lives and the direction in which he leads his family.
Your wife is a part of your body - you are a part of each other. For this reason Paul said, "Love your wives." He didn't say, "if you want to."
What is Love? While developing the topic to write about this week, I asked myself that question. I thought maybe her "being happy or content" was the answer. I then started to do some reading and studying, Scripture and C. S. Lewis. Here is a short quote from C. S. Lewis: (The Problem of Pain) "… by Love … most of us mean kindness--the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy." He goes on to say that God is not like that. "God does not govern the universe on such lines. And since God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction."
My concept of love was certainly wrong. I had confused showing kindness with love. I thought that loving my wife meant sacrificing myself and my own desires to make her happy. Love does not involve merely being kind and self sacrifice, they are ingredients, but it doesn't stop there.
How do we really know what love is? Let's go to Scripture and see what Paul has to say. He has told us to love our wives, and now he gives us an example.
Paul says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it." From this example of Christ showing love, we know we must love our wife sacrificially (25b). When I was thinking of the sacrifices I made for my wife, I was always thinking in material terms. That idea needs to go away, we need to die for our wives as a sacrifice. When thinking of dying, remember the cross, and see CHRIST hanging there for your sins. He died for us. That act is to be our example. How do we apply this type of sacrifice? I honestly doubt if any of us will be called to literally die for our wives, but if so, we must do so without hesitation. In getting back to sacrifice in our terms. How do we sacrifice?
To know what sacrifice is we must know what it is not.
Sacrifice is not simply an act of kindness
Too often we think of lists, and lists of "things" to give up in sacrifice. Give up TV and do the ironing, or wash dishes, or clean a room. Like others, I like lists. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment to tick off the things on my "honey do" list kept on the refrigerator. This gives us a feeling of having completed an obligation. But is that completed list really sacrificial love?
Perhaps the answer is in motivation. Is the sacrifice done to minister or to manipulate? In manipulation the husband is doing something because he expects his wife will be happy and will treat him better. Many have the idea that marriage is a 50/50 relationship. That idea is pure manipulation on the part of both parties and is one of the largest fallacies of marriage today. However, if he is doing something for her out of the idea of ministering to her then he isn't doing it for his own benefit. He is doing it for hers. If we continually tell ourselves that we are supposed to minister and not manipulate we are on the right track.
Sacrifice means taking some pain. Think of the pain CHRIST suffered for us. Is the pain you are enduring anywhere near that?
On to verses 26-27.
These two verses have three parts to them that show the purpose of Christ's sacrifice and love. I be like CHRIST so having the same goal is the key to loving like HE did. So what is HIS goal?
To sanctify means we set them apart. When you marry someone you are setting them apart from the world. They are set apart for your protection, care, for attention, for a special purpose.
When you were married, that is what you agreed to do. Take her out of the world and set her apart because you want to devote special attention to her. Look at yourself now. Are you giving your wife special attention or is she just a doorway to walk over and through? Is she the built in cook, chambermaid and overall slave? Or is she there to compliment you and you to compliment her?
The next goal is to present her in glory having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, being holy and blameless.
This is not my idea, nor is it a new one. Look at Ephesians 1:4 which says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" What better way to show how God's love than directing it towards our improvement and making us beautiful. We are to follow the example of God, therefore we are to make our wives glorious in the love we show for them.
The goal of love is not just showing kindness to make your wife happy. The goal you must have is to bring about God's purpose in her.
Guys do you know what God's purpose for her is? 1 Peter 3:7 says "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." In other words get to know her, you must know what her needs are. You need to know what she is good at and also what she is not so good at. Get to know what her talents are and help her develop them.
How do we do all this? By being involved with her. Do things together (go grocery shopping with her, that gives you opportunity to express to her any likes and dislikes you may have), talk about significant things (the news, she has the ability to think and express her opinion, give it to her and take her opinions into consideration on all decisions). If our goal is to be perfecting our wives, there are also going to be times when we need to confront them and help in dealing with problems.
So, we now know the goal of love -- to build her up spiritually help her mature. So what is the problem? Why are husbands so lacking in this area? I believe it is a fear of confrontation.
If you are truthful, you will confront. The purpose of speaking the truth in love in Eph 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" can only be done correctly when in an attitude of love.
Confrontation has always been difficult for me. I am not very quick with words in a debate or argument so I always feel like I lose, even before it starts. I have developed the attitude that I must have all the right answers before I start the conversation and whenever there is a disagreement with anyone, I am usually the one to back down.
Not only does this attitude on my part make me feel like I have no place confronting someone else if I don't have my act together. But it also becomes an excuse for never moving into someone else's life. Those verses about judge not lest you be judged and take the log out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of your brother's eye need to be followed, but not used as excuses to never do anything other than just go with the flow.
One of the biggest reasons for lack of confrontation is self-protection. If we do not have the answer and are not sinless, then there is the fear your wife may become defensive and begin to lash out. That lashing will hurt so we protect ourselves retreating and never dealing with problems. Here is where being the sacrifice comes into play. Remember CHRIST on the cross? HE gave HIS life. Our sacrifice is merely a risk taking to move into your wife's life. We might get hurt, but that is part of the deal.
Let's put some application to this.
Be prepared to sacrifice. Sacrifice means we must be prepared to take a risk with our feelings Meaning, do those acts of kindness like watch the kids for her, clean the house on Tuesday and Thursday. That might free her to pursue things outside of our relationship like attending the Bible study she has wanted to go to for years. That will help her grow spiritually and emotionally in ways we can't touch.
The Exhortation Is to Love Our Wives
The example of love is Christ's sacrificial love for the church. We saw that sacrifice doesn't mean just acts of kindness that end in self-centered martyrdom. It involves giving up your patterns of self-protection. Love is the perfecting of the beloved. We want to be God's instrument for building up our wives. The only way we will be able to do that is if we sacrifice ourselves and are willing to be hurt in loving involvement in our wife's life.
If I got a little preachy, I do not apologize. I meant this to be that way. To get us all to do a little self examination and see exactly what our strengths and weaknesses are in the area of Love to our wives.
This last part is for the wives. You can apply much of what I've said today because we husbands are sure not perfect and there are hurtful things that we do that need to be brought into the open and dealt with, but in a kind and gentle manner. Maybe that is a topic for another week.
Let us close out 2004 and welcome in 2005 with this simple prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, 1928 edition:
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Wishing you and your family a very happy 2005.
Merry CHRISTmas, relax, turn on your speakers and click the link.
Click to open.
And here is a peaceful site to spend a few hours in preparation for CHRISTmas.
... enjoy the USA.
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May the Lord understand the importance of Mac, Cecily, Steve, and Rev. Jim Marstaller to this ministry. Lord I need them both healthy and able to continue to hold up their ends. Lord this cancer of Mac's is starting to get in the way, this ministry needs him whole, just a thought Lord, is all it will take, just a thought on Your part.
There is a young man, a veteran who suffers from some kind of chemical weapon exposure, in a Veterans hospital in Colorado, he is young, and he is Saved, yet his wife just abandoned him. Please pray for him, Lord, help him and deal with her and those who hurt him, we ask this of the Father in Your name Lord Jesus, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with and bless you all, amen.
The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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