Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Week In Review

“Why are you feeding the dead?” (Part 5)
March 25, 2007
Preached in Wisconsin by Jewel D. Williams

Singles, I am not leaving you out. The world tells you because marriage is so bad it is best to just shack up with a person first, because then you won’t be caught in a bad marriage, you can test it out first. It seems the right thing to do. I don’t care how right it seems in the world’s eyes, it is not before God. Sex is made for marriage, period and that is the end of that story. There is no way around it, it doesn’t matter how much in love you are, it is not permissible. And God knows you are a sexual being, because he made you. But he also says this desire is to wait to be fulfilled in marriage. So if God tells you to wait, then he will strengthen you to do so. That means God does not want those that are calling themselves children of God, succumbing to sexual sin. When you succumb to sexual sin of any kind, God says to you, stop eating out the garbage. Stop eating that which will kill you, come instead and eat from my bounty.

God says stop listening to those that tell you evil is good and good is evil, and convincing you that the garbage you are eating is really good for you. That relationship you are in is really a good one, when God says, its garbage. If you need to read every scripture about purity, holiness, righteousness and being victorious over sin, then do so until you are full. So when the temptation comes, you will be able to avoid it, because the spirit man is strong and not weak and anemic. Remember these are the people Paul was address in his time, and the message is still of importance today.

Why was Paul giving this message? He was doing so that the people of his time could be conquers over the sin that entangles. He was doing so that not only could individuals live a successful life here, but also that they would be able to reap heaven. So we need to see if everything we do lines up with the spirit or is it lining up with the will of our flesh. Anything that has selfish motives is of the flesh. Paul sums up what our spiritual pursuit should look like in (READ Roman 12).

So I leave us with this today, stop feeding a dead body, church. Do you hear what God is saying to the church, stop breathing life back into that which Jesus came to do away with, the control of sin over our actions and thoughts. This may not seem to be a message of encouragement, because it doesn’t feel good, but it is. It is one to encourage you to release yourselves completely into the hands of God. When we live by the flesh we offend God because we are rejecting his provisions for our lives and are dumpster diving for our food. Let me say to the unsaved, you are losing this battle all the time.

It doesn’t matter how it looks to you, if you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you stand before the Lord and are found guilty of sins against a holy God. Paul’s letter told us that in the beginning that every man when compared to a holy righteous God is found lacking. Their destination is total damnation. Yet there is hope today for you, because there is no more condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. You must first confess you are a sinner before a holy God, repent (which is to turn from all unrighteousness, which is anything that goes against God). And then you must believe by faith that he has saved you. Now you must allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead you in all your actions and thoughts.

For those that are saved, Paul’s message did not exclude you. He spoke to the Gentiles and the Jews who had the law of God. As children of God we must turn from following after the flesh and turn to walking in the Spirit. God is calling us to come and take advantage of all the provisions that he has for us. Let us stop offending him in the things we do, say or think. Stop offending him in our marriages that should be a witness to those coming behind us. Stop offending him by saying with our mouths one thing, but our actions speak differently. Stop offending him by calling ourselves one of his children, but acting like an enemy. Stop offending him in our singleness when we tell others by our actions we cannot control ourselves, when in fact we can have control through the spirit of God. Let us stop offending in everything we do.

So today I invite you to come to a place of repentance. First, to repent of whatever you have done that offends God. And then for what you have done to others. When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me. When we have treated others wrong, we also have done it unto God. Is he pleased with our actions, our words, or our walk? If not, then we need to come to a place of repentance. Then when we come, we come to receive from God a renewing of our hearts and mind. Create a clean heart in me, and renew the right spirit within. God promises us that he will revive us if we come and turn from our sinful ways.

If you want a different walk this year and years going forward, then you need to come releasing everything you are holding on to. If you haven’t heard anything I said today, remember this, God says it is time for his children to start following him with their whole hearts. God does not want us offending him anymore with our actions. For those going through a hard place, know that you can completely depend on God and he will see you through, but it calls for you releasing your control into his hands. Let him have the complete control of your life. I stand here today to tell you, I have made up my mind, that nothing is going to separate me from the love of God. I am more than a conquer. And who shall separate me from the love of God? Nothing will, not hardships or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? So no matter what the devil brings I will be more than a conquer. So your situations, your circumstances, your children not acting right, your friendships disappointing you, your marriage falling apart, your job gone, none of these things can separate you from the love of God.

In order to walk in the fullness of this we must stop selling ourselves back into bondage to sin by following the pursuits of our flesh. We must release our will into God’s capable hand and he promises to make us more than conquers because we are trusting, following and leaning on him. Let God be the one that controls your life. I end as I always do with a poem I wrote about 16 years ago.

The Week In Review

A woman that seeks – marks of a virtuous woman

So what are the marks of this virtuous woman, any virtuous woman for that matter? Or another word for marks, is what characteristics does this virtuous woman in scripture show us today, that can help us be successful in our assignments as wives and mothers? The first characteristic is:

A RIGHTEOUS WOMAN MUST HAVE COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD: Even though verse 30 is almost the last one in the list of characteristics about this woman, it is the most important. In order for any of us to be a righteous wife and mother, we must put our trust in the Lord. When we give ourselves completely over into the hands of God, he is the one that equips us to carry out the tasks of our lives. Something we must understand is this woman is not righteous because of her own doing, for none of us are righteous in ourselves. What makes this woman righteous is the same thing that makes you or I righteous, our relationship with God. For when we accept Christ as our savior, his blood paid the cost of our sins and replaced our sinful nature and scarred lives and replaces them with his nature and his righteousness. So let us remember we cannot boast if we are a good wife or mother as if it is in our own power, because it is our relationship with Christ that equips us to fulfill these assignments of wife and mother.

Many times we have problems in our assignment because we are doing things from our own understanding and ideas. That’s why when our marriages are not as they should be or when our children are misbehaving, we are discouraged and ready to give up. Yet, if we take nothing from this scripture, and understand where this woman’s success came from, it was her trust and obedience to God. And we are already victorious if we are children of God. Paul says we are more that conquerors in Christ. So we don’t have to go through our situations beaten down, broken down and defeated. We can come across the finish line of the assignments we have in joy, peace and triumphantly.

A RIGTHEOUS WOMAN IS NOT AN IDLE WOMAN: The righteous or virtuous woman is at work because she understands the importance of redeeming the time and not wasting any. Scripture says, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:14-17. The righteous woman takes care of the needs of her family and of her mission for God. We know she has an assignment because in vs. 20 she is cheerfully feeding the poor and taking care of the needy. This let’s us know that even as mothers and wives, we still have a place and a purpose given to each of us by God that he wants us to fulfill. As a wife and mother first yes, for that too is a mission, but he also calls us to work within the kingdom. Sometimes trying to manage home and church can seem to be overwhelming, but that is why you must seek God for his direction on what to do and how to do it. Plus it doesn’t hurt that this woman was in shape (vs. 17). In other words, she took care of herself so that she would be able to accomplish the things she needed to. You know how tiring it can be to handle all the things in your day so wisdom should say to you, care for yourself so that you are able to do what is required of you.

Wisdom says, “Eat well, rest and exercise”. And I have to tell you personally I hate to exercise, but I hate feeling bad more, so I get up most times 5-6 days a week and exercise. I starting doing that because I said, Lord, I want to be able to go when you say go, and do when you say do. I had some problems almost 3 years ago, and I was well over 200 lbs. and I was not able to get up in the morning and stand on my left foot. But when I realized that God wanted to use me, I not only asked him to discipline me in the word for service, but to show me how to discipline myself in how to take care of my self. I’m not talking about any of those crazy fad diets that might kill you. I’m talking about simply taking the best care you can of yourself and disciplining yourself to stop over eating. Now I no longer have the pain when I walk, I can get up in the morning and walk or whatever I need to do. So we must take care of ourselves, otherwise, how will we be able to take care of others if we are not well ourselves?

Another thing I have heard, and I have had to laugh about this statement was, “Okay, I see all that she is doing, but what is her husband doing?” I guess this statement from many women is, why does this woman have to do all the work, or so it seems so? What we have to do is look at this scripture in this way; it does not focus on the man, because it is talking about the virtues of a righteous wife. And do not feel men are getting off easy as husbands. I did a study for myself about the role of the husband, and I said, Lord thank you for not making me the head of the house. Men do have more requirements upon them, whether they do them or not is another story. It is really the man’s responsibility for the spiritual growth of his family. It is the man’s responsibility for providing for his family’s needs (spiritually, emotionally and financially). It is the man’s responsibility to learn his wife’s moods and live with her according to that knowledge, now that is a task in itself, because there are certain times that I really don’t even like myself.

Scripture also says if men are not taking care of these responsibilities such as loving his wife, for example, then his prayers will not be answered or that this hinders his prayer life. So God is holding men responsible as well for what they do. So don’t read this looking for the lack of the man’s responsibility, this is not about him. The other point you can glean from this is, does it really matter what kind of man HE is, or does it matter more that you are obedient to God or not? What I am saying is this, I don’t think much is said about the man because then we would look at this and make the conclusion that we only have to be this kind of wife, if we have a certain kind of husband. If he isn’t acting right, I don’t have to do any of these things. Not so. If your husband is not as he should, that is God’s responsibility to get him straight. Your responsibility is to be a righteous woman in every situation and circumstance. And when you do, you can pray and ask God to work on your husband and family situations.