Sunday, May 23, 2010


In his address for the preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Pope John Paul said “the current year is particularly to the Holy Spirit. Continuing on the path marked out for the whole Church, and after concluding the Christological theme, today we begin a systematic reflection on the One who is “the Lord and Giver of life”. I have spoken extensively about the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity on various occasions. The imminent prospect of the Jubilee gives me the opportunity to reflect once again on the Holy Spirit, to examine with an adoring heart his action in the flow of time and history.[1]

Pope John Paul was delighted to reflect on the Holy Spirit at the turn of the 21st century. On this day of Pentecost it is appropriate for us as a church to reflect on the powerful person who gave birth to the universal Church on this day over 2000 year ago. While writing a book on the Holy Spirit Billy Graham noted, “I became concerned over the misunderstanding or even ignorance in some Christian circles concerning the third person of the Trinity.”[2]

We are comfortable to talk about God, we even pray to Him in the name of Jesus. We hear the teachings and the miracles of Jesus and we even try to follow his commandments but seldom do we talk about the Holy Spirit, why such hesitancy or hostility? Is it because of lack of understanding or because of misunderstanding caused by certain believers in Christ? Is that a legitimate reason for us to neglect the third person of the Trinity? I believe it is imperative for all Christians to know and experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at why and how this power was manifested on the day of Pentecost?


According to the Jewish religious calendar there were three most important festivals where all males were required to gather before the Lord. Deuteronomy 16:16 “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, (Passover) the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.”

The feast of Passover reminded them of their great deliverance from slavery; the feast of Tabernacles reminded them of their journey during the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. “The Feast of the ingathering” or the “Feast of Weeks” was celebrated when the harvest was in. It would take 49 days from the feast of Passover before they celebrate the feast of weeks. Because it fell on the fiftieth it gained the name Pentecost from the Greek word for “fiftieth” The feast of Pentecost was celebrated at the beginning of the harvest.


Many years ago a great Arctic explorer started on an expedition to the North Pole. After two long years in the lonely northland he wrote a short message, tied it under the wing of a carrier pigeon, and prepared to turn it loose to make the two thousand mile journey to Norway. The explorer gazed around him at the desolation. Not a creature to be seen. There was nothing but ice, snow, and never-ending bitter cold. He held the trembling little bird in his hand for a moment and then released her into the icy atmosphere. The bird circled three times, and then started her southward flight for multiplied hundreds of miles over ice and frozen ocean waters until at last she dropped in the lap of the explorer’s wife. By the arrival of the bird, his wife knew that all was well with her husband in the dark night of the arctic North.

Likewise, the arrival of the Holy Spirit the heavenly dove on the day of Pentecost, proved to the weary disciples that Christ has indeed reached his heavenly home and sent another helper to be with them as he has promised before he ascended to heaven. Do you remember, that Jesus said, in John 14:16-18 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

What comforting and caring words of farewell from Jesus to his disciples? Billy Graham in his Book “The Holy Spirit” contrasts His words with other religious leaders, “the founder of Buddhism was bidding his followers farewell he said, “You must be your own light.. With this light you can lead yourself to heaven”[3] Or when Socrates was about to take that fatal cup, one of his disciples mourned that he was leaving them orphans. The leaders of the world’s religions and philosophies were unable to promise that they would never leave their followers

Jesus not only said he will come to his disciples again but he commanded them to wait for his arrival again, this time in the form of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:4-5 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

According to his command a group of hundred and twenty disciples, and women including the mother of Jesus were gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. They were eagerly waiting for the arrival of the heavenly dove. Acts 2:2-4 “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” You may be wondering why the Holy Spirit came in the first place? What was the significance of the day of Pentecost? What is he here for? What has he come to accomplish? Isn’t the Holy Spirit only for the Pentecostals? What is this stuff about speaking in “Tongues”? Let me try to answer these questions.


Has the Holy Spirit always been there or has he only visited the earth on the day of Pentecost? If you are an ardent reader of the Bible you can not but notice the Holy Spirit in almost every page of the Bible, because “All scripture is inspired by God” 2 Tim 3:16. In other words from the beginning to the end of the Bible we see the work of the Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Rev 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

If the Holy Spirit has always been there then what is the significance of him descending on the Day of Pentecost? Well there is a lot of significance to that day. Firstly, the day of Pentecost connects the OT and NT by fulfilling a prophecy in Joel 2:28-29, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” So this was the day of the fulfillment of God’s promise.

Secondly it brings an end to Christ’s physical presence on the earth. In the OT, God spoke to people mostly through his prophets and sometimes directly. In the last days He spoke through his Son Jesus Christ. Now God will communicate through His Spirit. Thirdly the day of Pentecost is the beginning of the first fruits of the ingathering of the harvest of souls which gave birth to the universal Church. This is the era of the Holy Spirit. What are the works of the Holy Spirit? In three areas we see the Holy Spirit is at work; the World, the Church and the believer.


Jesus explained to us in John 16:8-11 “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” According to this scripture the work of the Holy Spirit is three fold in the world. He convicts the word in regards to sin, righteousness and Judgment. Let’s look at it one by one.

The Bible teaches that all have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God, (Rom. 3:23). It means without any exception all of us are born sinners. But how many of us realize that fact? David had this realization when he said, Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” No matter who you are we all have inherited Adams fall therefore we all have sinned. If you are born into a Christian family and attend church you may have heard about sin, but many don’t even know what sin is. My daughter’s friends one is from a Buddhist background and another one is from a Hindu background and they have no clue about sin, so how would they ever know that they need to be saved? Who convicts them that they are sinners? It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of its sin.

He not only convicts people of sin, but also convicts them that Jesus is the righteousness of God. He shows them that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through Him. Romans 3:22 “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict sinners of their own sinfulness by pointing them to Jesus Chris and his righteousness. He not only convicts the world of Sin and righteousness, but also in regards to judgment. Why judgment? Whether we realize or not every one in the world will be judged one day by a righteous judge. Whether you like it or not one day you will be brought before God for judgment. Several scriptures point to the fact that judgment on the world is coming sooner than you expect and no one will escape it.

Job 34:22-23 “There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evildoers can hide. God has no need to examine men further, that they should come before him for judgment.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

Romans 2:5-6 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done."

Hebrews 10:30-31 “For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Revelation 14:7 “He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."

Thank God for the Holy Spirit. God did not leave us ignorant of what he is about to do to in this world. Who could stand before this righteous God without guilt? If it was not for the grace of God all of us would be condemned for ever. How could we escape the wrath of God and his dreadful judgment? We will have to again rely upon the work of the Holy Spirit.


If you have attended a Catholic Church or a protestant Church you may be familiar with Baptism in water but what about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? Does such a thing exist in the Bible? Isn’t it that every believer has already received the Holy Spirit when they became born again? Do they have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit all over again? According to the scriptures there is no doubt that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people in the first place to repent of their sins. Therefore in one way when we get saved, along with the father and the Son the Holy Spirit also comes to reside in our hearts. However there is a need for all believers to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which was promised by Jesus to live a victorious life over sin and be effective in ministry.

The disciples of Jesus were already saved weren’t they? But they needed to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, which was what John the Baptist meant when he said, in Matthew 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” That was exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit baptized the disciples as he descended upon them in the form of fire and they were never the same again. This is also called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which takes place after we are born again.

Another incident was where a group of people who were saved but hadn’t been Baptized in the Holy Spirit Acts 8:14-17 “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

There is much more to be learned about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the believer’s life. For today it is enough to know that the Father loves to give this gift to his children. Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

If you haven't yet received the Holy Spirit, you may want to take time and ask your heavenly father to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Amen

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MARRIAGE MATTERS: (Four Views of Marriage)

Henry Jenks, pastor of the rural Irish Grove Presbyterian Church, had just married a young farm couple. "God bless you both," Pastor Jenks told them, "You're at the end of your troubles. "A year later, the groom ran into the minister in the Wal-Mart store, stopped him, pulled him aside and said, "It's been a terrible year since my marriage, Pastor Jenks. And you promised me we'd be at the end of our troubles." "Yes, I did, son," the preacher said. "But I sure didn't tell you which end."

Didn’t we all have a rosy picture of marriage before we ever got married? It didn’t take that long for us to realize that the person we have married was not the same person when we were dating. Now you are stuck with this person for the rest of your life. Marriage is like traveling on a free way without turns and without exits. It is a life long journey. We have often heard said, it takes two people to work through the differences in a marriage? Right? No doubt it does take two to work through the difficult issues in marriage, but in some cases couples part ways because of so called “irreconcilable differences” for me that is a cop out.

Who can really make a marriage work? I believe in order to create a happy and lasting marriage it takes more than two, just like a braid appears to contain only two strands of hair. But it is impossible to create a braid with only two strands. If the two could be put together at all, they would quickly unravel. Herein lies the mystery: What looks like two strands requires a third. The third strand, though not immediately evident, keeps the strands tightly woven. In the same way in a Christian marriage, God's presence, like the third strand in a braid, holds husband and wife together. In Eccle 4:12 “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” A marriage bond that is intertwined with God can not be easily broken.

Barnett Brickner notes, “Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” If your marriage is falling apart and you want it to succeed check whether it is centered on God. When God is at the centre he can work in each of you to become the right mate in your marriage. I would like to share with you four views on marriage from both secular and scriptural point of view.

FOUR VIEWS ON MARRIAGE: The first view of marriage is: Contract Vs Covenant

I. Contract Vs Covenant: The dictionary definition of marriage is, “A compact, (contract or agreement) entered into by a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife.” This traditional view of marriage has come under severe threat by a section of people as they try to redefine marriage. In the secular world many enter into marriage as if they are entering into a contract. A couple would agree on certain terms and conditions and they pursue a marriage alliance. It often takes place in front of the Justice of peace. After following certain procedures and meeting certain requirements you can get your marriage license or certificate.

According to the scriptures marriage is more than a legal certificate it is a covenant. The Jewish view of marriage is a contractual agreement between two people with legal rights and obligations. A Ketubah is a marriage contract that explains the basic material, marital and moral responsibilities of the husband to his wife. It is signed by the groom, as well as two witnesses, and given to the bride during the wedding ceremony. It is forbidden for Jewish couple to live together without a Ketubah.

God views marriage as a covenant. Malachi 2:14-15 “You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Therefore breaking a marital covenant is a serious matter before God. The second view is Convenience Vs Commitment.

II. Convenience Vs Commitment
The secular view of marriage is a matter of convenience. It is to meet certain physical, emotional, and social needs. Some celebrities marrying rich old people is a matter of convenience as it was assumed in the case of 26 year old Anna Nicole Smith marrying 89 year old billionaire Howard Marshall. When it is a matter of convenience then nothing really matters as long as this person gets what she or he wants.

Scripturally marriage is a commitment. It is not to say that secular couples are less committed than Christian couples. In fact many Christian couples are less committed than their secular counterparts. In commitment, there is an entrusting and trusting of each other. You give yourself whole heartedly to each other to love, to live, to embrace, to serve, satisfy and for the overall welfare of your spouse as long as both should live. Isn’t that what you have agreed on when you walked through the isle and made those wedding vows? Saying “I, take you to be my wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'til death do us part: and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness.”

I wonder how many take those vows seriously these days. On the other hand many would rather live together for convenience sake than enter into a marital covenant relationship because it is costly and requires a lot of commitment and people are afraid to make such commitment.

Dr. Nancy Moore Clatworthy, sociologist, has been doing research on "living together" for 10 years. When she began her research, the idea of living together before committing yourself to marriage made good sense to her. Now, after scientifically analyzing the results of hundreds of surveys filled out by couples who had lived together, she opposes living together in any form.” Her analysis make a power full Christian point: Only a fully committed marriage relationship is really suited to working out the best possible relationship. Third view: Procreation Vs Companionship.

In late seventeenth century Josiah Franklin had seventeen children from his two wives and one of them was Benjamin Franklin. Susan Wesley the mother of John Wesley was the 25th child and she had nineteen of her own Children. These two examples give us a glimpse of how the early puritans viewed marriage. Certain eastern cultures view marriage in the same way. It is a wonderful thing to have Children. In fact God is the giver of Children.

Several scriptures indicate that God is the giver of children: The first mother said, “with the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man (Genesis 4:1) Sarah realized that, it was the LORD who kept her from having children.(Gen 16:2). God closed every womb in Abimelech’s house hold (Gen 20:17). Jacob was angry with his wife’s complaint of not having children and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?"(Gen 30:2) Children are a gift from God; however marriage is not only for procreating but also for life long companionship.

To some God gives the gift of children and to others he withholds for reasons we may never understand yet these couples often go on to fulfill other great purposes. When we have children it is a blessing however there is a subtle danger in deriving our identity and satisfaction solely from them. When a couple’s whole and soul focus becomes the children their marriage can suffer and it can lose God’s intended purpose of companionship.

We hear it all the time, open any women’s magazine or watch a talk show; the last child leaves home for college, couples that have been married for 20 to 30 years look at each other and the wife says to the husband: And who are you? As long as the routine of ensuring the well being of the teens was in place all kept going. The moment the nests is empty, there seems to be nothing that keeps these two individuals together, they have become strangers to each other.

Either with or without children, scriptures encourage couples to enjoy one another. Eccl 9:9 “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-- all your meaningless days.” Song of Songs is a beautiful book to read to discover how a husband and wife ought to enjoy each other. Song of Solomon 1:11-17 “We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.

When you have a happy marriage, you will have a secured home. When a couple truly enjoys each other there will be no place for an extra marital affair. Therefore it is important that couples work at cultivating an intimate relationship with each other from day one.

How are you nurturing this most important relationship? A simple advice for parents with young children, Mom’s and Dad’s please work on your relationship today. Mom it is OK to say to the kids “Dad and I are needing 15 minutes to have a coffee and catch up” Yes you are there for the kids, you love them to pieces and do most anything for them but before they ever came into this world you both committed yourself to love and cherish each other. If you have lost the spark, do all you can to rediscover each other! You can’t do your children a greater favor than to show through your day to day life that you are committed to enjoy and love each other.

IV. LIBERAL VS ORTHODOX: (Progressive Vs Authoritative)
The sexual revolution and the invention of the oral contraceptive in the 60’s have damaged the institution of marriage. To an extent that men and women can get involved in sexual relationships without thinking of the consequences. These days many take a liberal or progressive view on marriage. They argue, “You can marry any one you like, you can have multiple wives, same sex marriage is normal, you can live together without marriage. As a result divorces and cohabitating couples have increased. According to one survey, “Over the last several decades, marriage in our nation has declined, while cohabitation, divorce and unmarried childbearing have increased. From 1960 to 1998, the number of unmarried, cohabiting couples increased nearly tenfold, from 439,000 to 4.2 million”

The scriptures take an orthodox or authoritative view on marriage. God’s intention of marriage has always been and will always be “between one man and one woman.” God never changes so is his word. 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.”

Jesus and the apostle Paul have reiterated the same words, Matthew 19:5-8 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Eph 5:31) Jesus had some stern words to the Pharisees who argued with him about divorce, Mat 19: 7-8 “Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” So divorce is not an option. For God holds marriage in high esteem. Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.”

For Christians the scriptures make it even harder, 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? In other words Christians are advised against marrying non believers because it is between a believing man and a woman and it is a life long commitment to each other.

In conclusion, Marriage is God’s ordained institution. Those who have been married, or want to be married, never been married or no longer married, doesn’t matter who you are and where you are in life’s journey please take note of these four views: Marriage is not a contract but a covenant. Marriage is not for convenience but requires commitment. Marriage is not only for procreation but for life long companionship. Marriage can not be taken lightly but should be viewed in high honor. With the help of God we can make our marriages better.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

THE RECIPE OF A HAPPY HOME:(Reflections on Prov 31:10-31)

The top ten reasons why God created women.
10. God worried that Adam would be lost in the Garden of Eden because he wouldn’t ask for directions.
9. God knew that someday Adam would need someone to hand him the TV remote. (Parenthetically, it has been noted that men don’t want to see what’s ON television, they want to see WHAT ELSE is on.)
8. God knew that Adam would never make a doctor’s appointment.
7. God knew that when Adam’s fig leaf wore out, he would never buy a new one for himself.
6. God knew that Adam would not remember to take out the garbage.
5. God wanted man to be fruitful and multiply, but he knew Adam would never be able to handle labor pains and childbirth.
4. As “keeper of the garden,” Adam would need help in finding his tools.
3. Adam needed someone to blame for the Apple incident, and for anything else that was really his fault.
2. As the Bible says: “It is not good for man to be alone.” And the Number One reason of all….
1. God stepped back, looked at Adam, and declared: “I can do better than that!!”
These are humorous reasons why God created women. There has been a lot of misunderstanding in the world regarding the role of women. Some view women as objects of man’s lust and sex symbols which earns multi billion dollars in the adult entertainment and sex industry. Others restrict women only to homes where all they can do is give birth to children and meet the needs of husbands. Some others view women as second class citizens who have lesser worth and value then men. But according to the Bible what was God’s reason for creating women? What is the value of a woman? What is their role at home, in the world and in the Church?
Let me introduce you to an unnamed woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 who created a happy and stable home, whose husband was successful and children were blessed. She defies every stereotype of how a woman should be, and what she can or can not do. A happy home? Um… Does such a thing exist? Maybe because of past painful experiences you are skeptic about such a thing as a happy home. Among many other roles of women, I would like to high light the role of a wise woman at home.

You may say why home? In a society where marriages and homes are falling apart like a pack of cards don’t you think it is about time we rediscover the ageless biblical principles of home making found in Proverbs 31 Chapter. This passage gives us a recipe on how to build a lasting and happy home.

Throughout the book of Proverbs we find nuggets of teaching on what makes a woman succeed as well as what makes a woman fail. It compares the nagging wife to a persistent leak (Prov 19:13), a contentious woman to a bad companion, (Pro 21:9) and also about the role of a mother as a teacher of the children in the home. A great deal is mentioned about wicked women who allure men and young men to commit sexual sin, (Ch 1-9, 22:14; 23: 27). The book ends with the description of an excellent wife in Chapter 31:10-31. I see two primary roles a woman as a helpmate to her husband and a home maker.
Vs. 10-12 “An excellent wife who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil, all the days of her life.”

The Bible says, “He who finds a wife finds happiness; it is a favor he receives from the Lord.”( Pro 18:22). It is not that hard to find a wife these days, but finding an excellent wife is a tough call. Where can we find an excellent wife? It is a gift from God. Prov 19:14, “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents but a prudent wife is from the Lord. Thank God I found one.

After creating man God said, it is not good for the man to be alone I will make a helper suitable for him. So out of Adams ribs God fashioned a woman to be a helpmate. That was one of the roles an excellent wife which is to be “a helpmate to her husband and not to be a hell mate.” The Prov 31 wife is called an excellent wife who is far more valuable than jewels. She does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. She is a trustworthy woman. She puts the interests of her household and her husbands above her own interests. Not only is she trustworthy but also hard working and shrewd manager of resources and assets. Therefore her husband trusted her with his business or farm. As a result of her hard work ethics and clever management her husband was successful and even became a prominent leader in the community (Vs 23) Her husband praises her in front of others saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all”

Ironically these days the roles of husbands and wives are being reversed. Instead of wives serving their husbands they expect their husbands to serve them. Husbands and wives fight over money and sharing of responsibilities at home. Nancy Leigh Demoss notes, “In today’s evangelical world, it is “politically correct” to challenge men to go home and serve their wives. However, it is not “P.C” to talk to women about their responsibility to serve their husbands.
The truth is that God did not make the man to be a “helper” to the woman. He made the woman to be a “helper” to the man.” Of course, this does not mean that men are not to serve their wives and children. But if we as women focus on what we “deserve” on our “rights” or on what men “ought” to do for us, we will become vulnerable to hurt and resentment when our expectations are not fulfilled.”

Let me explain how this is playing out in our family. My wife and I love each other very much. In our fifteen years of marriage we realized that if we want to have a happy marriage we need to give up certain rights so that there is harmony at home. We both are committed to each other’s well being. How do I know my wife is committed to me to do good and not harm? She tells me often that she is killing me if she cooks food with too much sodium or fat. Though I resist it at times, over the years I have learned to appreciate her wisdom and trust her with my life. If am still alive today and healthy it is partly because of my wife. The Prov 31 wife is not only a committed and trustworthy wife but also a home maker.

II. A HOME MAKER: (Vs 14-15, 21 28)
Prov14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” I like the application of this scripture as a wise woman building her home or family. She has been given the “raw material” of marriage and children and a place to live. How is she going to build these precious gifts into a cohesive home? How is she going to build her home in such a way that it will be like a magnet for her husband and her children? A home is a place where the husband wants to return after a stressful day at work, and children want to return after challenging peer situations at school. Home is where they are refreshed, restored and recharged to take on life’s challenges again.

Home in the Bible times was supposed to be the center of spiritual formation. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Thank God we have Sunday school where the children are taught God’s word, but home is really where it all should start. It takes a wise woman to create such a nurturing home. My wife and I have sought to be consistent in teaching God’s truth to our children especially during their formative years. Wilma always read a story from the Bible to our girls before she prayed and tucked them in the bed. Building a godly and happy home takes time and a wise woman sees to that she is indeed building her home.

Proverbs 31 woman was a wise woman. How did she build her home? Let’s pick up the qualities that aided her in building a home where her husband and children were blessed.
Diligence, hard work, care for her household (Vs 15, 22, 27)
Integrity and clever management of resources (16-19, 24)
Delegation and careful planning for future (15, 21, 24)
Wisdom in speech and faithful in instruction (26)
Personal grooming (22)
Compassion and generosity towards poor (20)

Above all else she was a woman who feared the Lord. (30). You may be saying good for her! But you don’t understand the present culture. Of course I understand the difference between “the agrarian (farming) culture” of those days and the modern day culture. In those days, the husbands used to work in the fields and the wives used to run the household. But now both parents have to work two jobs in order to maintain the household.

Is it absolutely necessary to work two jobs? While getting extra income is nice so that you can buy the extra car, pay towards the mortgage or go on vacation, but is it really worth when it is disrupting the family?

Nancy Liegh Demos quotes in her book, “women have been liberated right out of the genuine freedom they enjoyed for centuries to oversee the home, rear the children and pursue personal creativity; they have been brainwashed to believe that the absence of a titled, payroll occupation enslaves a woman to failure, boredom and imprisonment within the confines of home” This absolutely a lie from the enemy. Your true worth as woman doesn’t come by holding a job or becoming successful in life, but it comes by living a life that is honoring to God.
On the contrary a foolish woman with her own hands tears her home down. In other words a foolish woman becomes “a one woman demolishing squad.” It is not the physical breaking down of a house but the woman who through the destructive power of her mouth causes the break down of her family. How did a foolish woman tear down her home?

Proverbs 19:13 “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.”
Proverbs 21:9 “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 21:19 “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.”
Proverbs 27:15-16 “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.”
Women are great influencers, either for good or for bad. With their influence either they can build a home which is filled with cheer, hope, forgiveness and a general pleasant atmosphere or they can destroy their homes through their whining, complaining, grumbling, quarrelling and nagging. Either to build are to destroy a home is in the hands of a woman.

Edith Scheaffer, in her book; “What is a family” calls the family a laboratory for human relationships. The home is meant to teach us mainly through modeling what love and forgiveness is. The family is God’s perfect design for the formation of the crown of his creation. Through the nurture of loving and committed parents children are to grow in godly character and able to respond to their creator. To create such a home where peace, love and happiness dwell is a huge challenge because we live in a fallen world, families are not excluded from the results of the fall.

There is no perfect family. In all our imperfection as parents we are called to model God’s love to our children and to live a life in which Christ is the center. Our family like any other family is far from perfection. We loose our patience, we get annoyed, things go wrong at times, and there are disappointments, quarrels and disagreements. But one thing we have learned to say “I am sorry that I blew up over that please forgive me” The other day I raised my voice against my eldest daughter over a small thing and I had to say sorry and ask her forgiveness for blowing my top. It is important that we are transparent before our children by taking responsibility for our failures.

In closing my prayer is that the deceptive voices of feminism will not cloud out the common sense approach to healthy family life that we find in the Bible. To the degree that any of us for that matter whether married, unmarried or no longer married, obey God’s design for life we find peace and fulfillment. On this mother’s day as we honor our mothers let’s thank God for all the women in our Church.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, tells a parable of a theater where a variety show is proceeding. Each show is more fantastic than the last, and is applauded by the audience. Suddenly the manager comes forward. He apologizes for the interruption, but the theater is on fire, and he begs his patrons to leave in an orderly fashion. The audience thinks this is the most amusing turn of the evening, and cheer thunderously. The manager again implores them to leave the burning building, and he is again applauded vigorously. At last he can do no more. The fire raced through the whole building and the fun-loving audience with it. "And so," concluded Kierkegaard, "will our age, I sometimes think, go down in fiery destruction to the applause of a crowded house of cheering spectators."

Like the audience in the theater many seemed to amuse themselves with what the world has to offer but do they recognize the obvious signs of the end of the world? Unlike many, Christians don’t have to be ignorant of the signs; we are warned in the Bible. We need to pay close attention and get ready, because the time is short. Whether you like it or not the world we live in will come to an end sooner than you expect. In Matthew 24:1-14 Jesus gave several signs to his disciples to warn them about the end of the age and of his glorious return.

We will study a few signs from Matthew 24:9-14 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,.. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,.. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Jesus, during his teachings challenged his disciples, following him meant they were to deny themselves and pick up their cross and follow him. He wanted them to walk in his footsteps of suffering. He indicated that they will be persecuted for their faith. He said in John 15:20-21 “Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” In Matt 24:9 Christ gave his disciples “persecution” as one of the signs of the end times. Vs 9. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

After this statement, the first one to be martyred for his faith was Stephen. He was stoned to death by an angry mob. Steven’s death unleashed a great persecution on the Church. Acts 8:1-3. “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”

The persecution that began on that day has continued throughout the centuries even until today. Study tells us all the eleven disciples were martyred for their faith except Judas. Over the centuries many were killed for their faith. One of The early church fathers Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”As a young Christian my faith was deeply challenged when I read “Tortured for Christ” the biography of Richard Wurmbrand, who said, “Faith is never passive. It demands a response. It asks for a mission. It demonstrates the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit.”

Statistics show that an estimated 150,000 Christians are martyred every year for their faith. More than 200 million Christians are restricted from living out their Christianity. There is a growing onslaught on Christianity world wide. It will only increase. We live in a country where we can freely believe, practice and propagate our faith, but that is not the case in many countries like, Sudan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and China where Christians are being persecuted in great numbers.

Because of our relative ease and comfort, persecution may be a difficult concept to understand. Now I understand that some of you face subtle or sometimes outright opposition in the work place because of the clear stand you take as a committed Christian. But is what we face in America at this point anywhere near to what the early Christians have endured and many Christians are enduring around the world? Looking at what Christians have endured over the years for their faith puts whatever we go through today in perspective.

The writer of Hebrews gives a window into what the early Christians have endured while defending their faith. Hebrews 11:35-38, “Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them.

The challenge of Paul to young Timothy is applicable to all Christians. 2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” So if you are being persecuted for your faith, don’t be surprised our Lord was persecuted first before you.


What happens when you deliberately ignore a “No Trespassing” sign? You may be punished for it. Right? Since the fall of man we all have broken God’s laws. Paul writes in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The Bible calls sin lawlessness. In other words when we break God’s law or commandments we sin. Jesus warned that in the end times Lawlessness will increase in the world. Isn’t that what we are seeing these days all around us? Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, and conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power…always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

When I look at this passage I look straight in the face of contemporary culture. We have noticed that in the past 100 years morality in the Western world has been in a downward spiral. Our culture is far removed from the Biblical truth. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing our culture! Culture: says Andy Crouch is what we make of the world. People come up with inventions that literally changes the way we live and function some of those things are not bad in themselves. However the sum of what we have come up with has by and large removed us from
God’s intentions.

The current of our culture is downward and many people just drift along with the moral flow. Living as Christians in today’s world is like rowing upstream in a white water rafting. It’s very hard to paddle upstream. The entertainment industry constantly pumps out 24/7 programs, reality shows and movies to convert our thinking. For example, take Romance and marriage.

The media promotes pre marital sex, spouse swapping; cohabitation, same sex marriage and immodesty as the accepted norms. Are you not amazed at how our morals have been degraded? Traditional marriage has come under attack, divorce rates have increased, school violence and usage of drugs is rampant, millions of innocent lives never see the daylight because of abortions, homosexuality has largely become an accepted norm. Healthy family life has become an exception rather than the norm. Rudeness and rebellion in children seems to have become acceptable.

How do we look at this in our lives? Have any of these attitudes slipped into our lives? Is being boastful, arrogant or ungrateful not a big deal to us? Are we given to gossip? Do we lack self control? Are we brutal and rude? Do we carry an attitude of ‘so what’ as long as I get what I want, who cares? In the midst of increased lawlessness is our love for God growing cold? Are we becoming hard? Do you replace seeking a deeper relationship with God with an endless pursuit of video games, sports, music, shopping, parties and pleasures? Do you find it hard to live out your Christianity?

In the midst of all these devastating trends we are called not to give up our faith instead we must stand firm and zealously protect our faith. If we give up, God is not pleased with us. Hebrews 10:35-39 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere…for in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” No matter what happens don’t quit we must endure till the end, only then we will be saved.

When will be the end of the world? We are seeing many end of the age signs such as false prophets, wars, earthquakes, Storms, famine, persecution and increased wickedness happening right in front of our eyes in an increased manner. Then where is the promised end? Christ gave one sure sign that is “this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations and then the end shall come.” The one sure way we can hasten the second coming of our Lord Jesus back to the earth is through world evangelization. That is the reason why we exist. That is why we do evangelistic outreaches, pray and support missionaries and mission work.


Jesus gave one sure sign of the end of the world. Matt 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. After Jesus rose from the dead he appeared to the disciples and said “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. (Mk 16:14-15). The disciples did not take this commandment seriously at first until the great persecution which compelled them to go to the ends of the earth. Then they began to spread to the four corners of the earth and wherever they went the preached the good news of the Kingdom. As a result of the faithful witnessing of the disciples and other missionaries Gospel has made a great impact in the world.

It is estimated that every day another 74,000 people are coming to the faith in the world. An average 3,500 new churches open every week. From 1990-2000 the number of believers have doubled in the world. Does that mean that now we can relax and just wait for the Lord to come back and take us to heaven? NO! There is a lot more to be done. More people still need to hear the good news of the Kingdom.

According to missiologists from the Joshua Project there are 16,349 people groups in the world (distinct ethnic groups) out of those 6,644 groups have not yet been touched with the good news of the gospel. The world population stands at 6.70 billion and the unreached comprise 2.75 billion which makes 41.0 % of world population have not yet heard the good news. This is staggering to the Christian who longs for the return of Christ, it almost makes me want to pack my bags and leave for Bhutan, Morocco or the unreached tribes of the Amazon how about you?

The Bible says, the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are so few. The few laborers that are in the field are struggling because of lack of resources. Are you one of those who eagerly wait for the Lord to return? I have disappointing news for you. He will not return until the good news of the Kingdom is preached to all ethnic groups. God doesn’t want any one to perish but every one to come to repentance. The time is short. We have a goal to accomplish and a job to complete.

Let's rise up and get busy with the work of the Lord. Give our money generously to missions, pray earnestly for missionaries and work tirelessly in spreading the good news of the Kingdom throughout the world.