Sunday, February 27, 2011


Since its inception 20 years ago the Hubble Space Telescope has both delighted and amazed people around the world through its spectacular imagery. In May 2009 astronauts gave the Hubble Space Telescope what will likely be its final overhaul. They repaired power and control systems, installed a new camera to give Hubble several more years of life and make it more productive than ever. After conducting the repairs, the project scientist Ken Sembach said, “The best times for this telescope are ahead of it.”[1] If you are a scientist or an astronaut this may the most optimistic and hope filled statement isn’t it? In other words what he was saying is that, Hey guys! Get ready for a treat! What you will see in the future will be far more glorious than what you have already seen. The best is yet to come. I am curious to see what the Hubble telescope will unfold about this vastly unknown universe of ours.

When I read that statement I couldn’t help but think about my life as a Christian in this world. Since the time I became a Christian in 1982 all what I have read, heard, believed in, experienced or preached about life, the life after death and the glories of heaven will amount to nothing in comparison to the actual reality that I will get to see and enjoy in the end. Heaven will be far more amazing and totally mind boggling than we could ever imagine. We will be awestruck.

That’s what Peter was communicating through his first letter to the believers who were scattered and endured persecution under the cruel emperor Nero. He wrote this letter to cheer them up. One way he was saying: hey guys don’t give up the fight, don’t loose hope, take courage, look up, smile and trust, your redemption is drawing near, and the best is yet to come.

In I Peter 1:3-5, Peter introduces the main theme of hope by a prayer. Let’s read it. “Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade kept (reserved) for you, who through faith are shielded (protected) by God’s power until the coming salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Peter praised God for His great gift of salvation. It is only by his mercy we are saved. Then he shares three powerful truths that could bring hope to the persecuted believers of his time and subsequently to us. Living by these profound truths can deeply impact the way we live. They are. 1. An imperishable inheritance 2. A reserved inheritance 3 God’s powerful protection.


Wouldn’t you get excited if someone told you that you were in someone’s will to inherit millions of dollars? Most people would. According to the American federal government statistics in subsequent years since 1985, the overall amount of total annual inheritance was more than doubled, reaching nearly $200 billion. By 2050, there is an estimated $25 trillion average inheritance transmitted across generations. Some researchers have attributed this rise to the baby boomer generation. For this reason, Thomas Shapiro suggests that this generation "is in the midst of benefiting from the greatest inheritance of wealth in history.”[2]

It doesn’t matter how rich you may become by obtaining your earthly inheritance, on this side of the earth nothing lasts forever. But we are given an imperishable inheritance which will last forever. Readers of this letter knew the meaning of inheritance.

God had given Israel the inheritance of Canaan the Promised Land. But Canaan was often ravished by alien armies, and its fields were often wasted by insects and drought. Peter was pointing them to look forward to a much better inheritance. Unlike their earthly inheritance the heavenly inheritance will not perish, spoil, or fade. It is the imperishable inheritance. Every born again Christian can receive this inheritance. Jesus made a reference to this in Matt 6:19-20, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

What does this imperishable inheritance look like? By looking at several scriptures we get a glimpse of what we will be inheriting: Salvation(Heb 1:14) Eternal life( Lk 10:25, Mt 19:29), the kingdom(James 2:5) A relationship with our heavenly father(Rev 21:7) The presence of Jesus Christ(I Th 2:19) The reigning with God forever( 2 Tim 2:12,Rev 22:5). That is the living hope we have. Who will receive this inheritance? Is it for everybody or only for a few privileged ones? Peter makes it clear that this imperishable inheritance is not for every one but is only reserved for those who has accepted Jesus as their savior. If you are a child of God it is reserved for you.


A professional singer Ruthanna Mezgar was asked to sing at the wedding of a Millionaire. According to the invitation the reception would be held on the top two floors of Seatle’s Columbia Tower, the Northwest’s tallest skyscraper. Ruthanna along with her husband Roy showed up at the reception place. It was announced that wedding feast was about to begin. At the top of the stairs a gentleman with a bound book greeted the guests outside the doors.

May I have your name please? I am Ruthanna Mezgar and this is my husband Roy” He searched the M’s I am not finding it. Would you spell it please? Ruthanna spelled her name slowly. After searching the book, he looked up and said, “I am sorry, but your name isn’t here. Ruthanna replied, “there must be a mistake I am the singer, I sang at his wedding. The gentleman answered, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did. Without your name in the book you cannot attend the banquet. He motioned the waiter and said, “show these people to the service elevator please.” Disappointed, utterly humiliated the couple left passing the beautifully decorated tables laden with shrimp, whole smoked salmon, and magnificent carved ice sculptures. After driving for a few miles Roy reached over and put his hand on Ruthanna’s arm, Sweetheart what happened. When the invitation arrived, I was busy, Ruthanne replied. I never bothered to RSVP. Besides I was the singer. Surely I could go to the reception without returning the RSVP.” She started to weep not only she had missed the most lavish banquet she’d ever been invited to, but also because she suddenly had a small taste of what it will be like someday for people as they stand before Christ and find their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of life.”[3] (Rev 21:27)

What a poignant story, it reminds us of the importance of making sure that our names have been entered the lambs’ book of life. The entrance into heaven, the heavenly banquet and receiving of the reserved inheritance doesn’t depend on how famous, successful, rich, generous, or spiritual you have been on the earth but it all depends on whether your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life or not. Let me warn you there will be no party crashers in heaven like the Salahis who crashed the state dinner at the White House recently. Are you too busy in life that you don’t have time to respond to God’s invitation to surrender your life to Jesus Christ?

This inheritance is Reserved! Fully assured! No disappointment. What the Christian will come into is more significant that what he has already experienced. The best is yet to be.

Peter encouraged the believers to look forward with hope and anticipation to this incredible imperishable inheritance that was reserved for them. Does it mean that only when we get to heaven do we enjoy God’s blessings or can we have a foretaste of those blessings while we are still living on the earth? The answer is a resounding YES!! If you are a born again believer there are many blessings you get to enjoy because you belong to the family of God. One of such blessings that Peter has mentioned here in this passage is God’s powerful protection.

III. GOD’S POWERFUL PROTECTION: Several scriptures indicate God’s powerful protection over his Children. To name a few:

Psalm 5:11, “God spreads his protection over those who take refuge in Him”

Psalm 34: 18, “God protects the righteous and delivers them from all their troubles.”

Psalm 116:6, The Lord protects the simple hearted.

Prov 2:7, God is a shield to the blameless and protects his faithful

God has promised to protect us. There is nothing we should be afraid of. God is powerful to protect us when we call upon his name. I have experienced God’s powerful protection over and over again in my life. Two years ago while our family was travelling to the Berkshires on the high way the front tire of our car burst. Thankfully the traffic was moving slowly and I was able to pull over the car to the side. Praise God none of us were hurt. As I was making a call to AAA a truck pulled over. A man walked up to us and helped changed the tire. Within twenty minutes we were on our way rejoicing. My youngest daughter said, Papa do angels drive cars? I thought for a while and said yes they can and God just sent us one. That reminds me of the beautiful scripture Psalm 91:9-12 “If you make the Most High your dwelling… “he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

What an assuring truth to know that God is powerful enough to protect us from all the known and the unknown dangers. We have the living hope that we have an imperishable inheritance awaiting us, it is reserved and assured and God is powerful enough to protect us throughout our lives. I believe this hope is essential for all of us, and without it life looses its meaning. If that is so important how can we receive this hope? And who can truly give us this hope? Three scriptures will help us in our pursuit of hope. Firstly, In Jesus Christ alone we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.(Heb 6:18). Secondly, sufferings make way for hope. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us,”(Romans 5:3-5) Thirdly, “we receive hope through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures.( Rom 15:4) That is why it is so important that we read and understand God’s word.

In conclusion: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13) Amen

[1] National Geographic February 2010, Page 125


[3] Randy Alcorn, Heaven, Page 31-32

Sunday, February 20, 2011


In Our Daily Bread Dr. M.R. De Haan wrote on the importance of focusing on the ultimate goal of our salvation. "Imagine what the game of bowling would be like if you couldn't see the pins you were trying to hit. In 1933, Bill Knox did just that and bowled a perfect game. In Philadelphia's Olney Alleys, Bill had a screen placed just above the fowl line to obscure his view of the lane. His purpose was to demonstrate the technique of spot bowling, which involves throwing the ball at a selected floor mark on the near end of the lane. Like many bowlers, Bill knew that you can do better if you aim at a mark close to you that's in line with the pins. He proved his point with a perfect 300 game of 12 strikes in a row.”

Spot bowling illustrates part of a wise approach to life which is “focusing on the near actions that are inline with that goal.” What is the end goal of humans? What are the action steps we are to take now in order to reach that goal? A few weeks ago we began a series on “Authentic Christian Living” We have been looking at the letter of I Peter to discover principles that would help us live authentic Christian lives in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances.

If you have paid attention you may have realized that we have hop scotched a little in the book of Peter. We looked at the status of Christians as aliens and strangers in this world from chapter 2 then we learned about the importance of marriage and also keys for a healthy marriage from chapter 3. Today we are coming back to chapter 1 to look at two important Christian doctrines that are often overlooked. These two doctrines are found in I Peter 1:1-2

When Peter wrote to the persecuted Christians scattered throughout the five regions of the Roman Empire he reminded them that they were saved through their faith in Christ and the ultimate goal of their salvation was to 'be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter taught them to focus their eyes on near actions that were in line with that goal. God wants us to live authentic lives so that the world can look at and hopefully learn from us Christians. An authentic Christian realizes the fact that he was saved by the grace of God and he is called to live a sanctified life. Let’s find out what Peter has to say about sanctification. I Peter 1:2“Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace by yours in abundance.” In this verse we are confronted with two difficult words those are predestination and sanctification. Let’s explore what they actually mean.


Traditionally, the word foreknowledge or predestination has caused a great deal of division within the Christian Church. One group attributes to God the absolute determination of who would be saved and who would not. In other words man’s salvation entirely depends on God’s sovereignty and it is decided beforehand by God. Another group believed that salvation depends on man’s free will with which he can either choose to obey God or reject God.

Is salvation based only on God’s sovereignty or man’s free will? Or both? Who is right? If God is going to save some and condemn the others then what is the point in going out to share the gospel? When it comes to salvation there is a part of God and a part of man in it. Predestination means to determine or decree beforehand. This word occurs six times (Acts 4:28, I Cor 2:7, Romans 8:29, 30, Eph 1:5, 11) in the N.T and each time it referred to the actual plan and the purpose of salvation rather than who would be saved and who would be condemned.

The essence of these passages explain that God has decided way in advance how mankind would be saved and once they are saved what would be the goal of their salvation. In other words the point that we must consider is not so much who the objects of this predestination were but what they were predestined to. The Bible makes it very clear that the salvation of man both depends on the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. How does this play out? It was the sovereign will of God that Christ would be crucified on the cross. 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” 1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

The death of Christ on the cross is absolutely the sovereign act of God. Christ paid the price through his blood. His death has satisfied the wrath of God. He died not only for us but for the whole world, but does that mean the whole world is automatically saved or will be saved? No! This is where the free will comes into place.

The Gospel invitation is for all, and therefore all who hear are responsible and without excuse. What does it mean for you today? It means that God loves you so very much and doesn’t want you to die in your sin and be separated eternally from him in hell. He made a way for you in Jesus Christ. It is so important that we get this right otherwise you may sit all your life in church and still be lost for eternity.

Most of us know John 3:16 by heart (For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life). but read a little further Vs 17-18 “For God did not send the Son into the world but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Do we get this? Christ paid the penalty for our sins through his death on the cross. As a result of his death and resurrection, the free gift of salvation is made available for all people. However it still requires individuals to respond in faith and accept this great gift of salvation. Let me illustrate: “ Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall, who concluded that Wilson would have to be executed. "A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged." For some, the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted.

In the same way the pardon for your sin is available in Christ, but you must reach out and accept it otherwise you will have to face the consequences of refusing God’s provision. I think one of the greatest mistakes of this generation is that we seem utterly oblivious and ignorant of the fact that God is not only a loving God but also a righteous and just God and the Judge of all the earth. The Bible says in Heb 9:27-28, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” What comes after salvation? One reason why God has saved us is that we might live sanctified lives.


Peter reminded the believers that it was by God’s great mercy they were saved and that was not by their good works. He also reminded them that by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit they may obey Jesus Christ. What is sanctification? Let me explain. The Greek word for sanctification is translated as holiness, consecration, set apart or belonging to God.

In other words sanctification means living in the realization that we don’t belong to ourselves but live for God and his purposes. It means saying no to the world and its pleasures and saying yes to God. In the OT upon God’s call and command, certain things, places, animals and people were set apart for his purpose. God took great delight in that which was set apart for him. In the New Testament the process of sanctification or being set apart for God begins at the moment when a person is born again and continues the rest of his life. II Thes 2:13, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit.” This scripture tells us that the work of the Holy Spirit is to set apart a man unto salvation but also enabling him to be holy even as God is Holy. What does this mean? It means that the Holy Spirit not only saves but also empowers Christians to live authentic lives. An authentic Christian is the one who is not only saved by the Holy Spirit but also has been sanctified or set apart for the purposes of God. What does a sanctified Christian look like?


In a world where it is hard to tell the difference between fakeness and reality what distinguishes a sanctified Christian? I would like to draw your attention to three marks of a sanctified Christian 1) Lives by the Spirit 2) Serves one master 3) Loves God and people.


Either living by the Spirit or living by the flesh can have a huge difference in our lives. The scripture tells us when we live and walk by the Spirit we may not do the things we please. Paul gives a whole list of the things that a sanctified person would avoid in Gal 5:19-21(I won’t go into that here) but I would like to high light what a Spirit filled person looks like. The scripture says, those who are led by the Spirit of God are called the sons of God. If we want to have victory over sin and live a life that is pleasing to God we need the power of the Holy Spirit. We not only need the power of the Holy Spirit but also the fruit of the Holy Spirit. A sanctified Christian demonstrates the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.” Gal 5:22. The first mark of a sanctified Christian is that they live by the Holy Spirit and the fruit is evident in their lives.


The teen sensation Hanna Mantana promoted a big fat lie called, “The Best of Both Worlds,” part of the song goes like this, “You get best of both worlds. Mix it all together and you know that it is the best of both worlds.” Unfortunately many young people and grown ups too are falling for this deception. They want to enjoy everything this world could offer and at the end of their life’s journey they hope that they will get to heaven. But the truth of the matter is it doesn’t work that way. Just like Oil and Water don’t mix a sanctified Christian doesn’t dance to the tunes of this world. Jesus warns us against this kind of compromised life. In Matthew6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” You can not travel in two boats at the same time in the same way you can not serve God and the world at the same time.

In fact we are commanded not to love the world. I John 2:15-16“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. This can be puzzling for some of you. You may ask: how are we supposed to live in this world then? Do we have to live like the Amish, a totally separate life? The word world in this context does not mean the created world; we can still enjoy all that is beautiful and good in this world. I think that a sanctified Christian has a greater discernment as to what is good and what is not good. Not loving this world here means not having the same self serving attitudes, selfish ambitions and values any longer.


The third mark of a sanctified Christian is that they love the Lord and love his people.

A sanctified Christian has a hunger to know God and to do His will. They have a desire to be used of God to serve people, to bring people into a relationship with God, whether that is through prayer, evangelism or works of service, he no longer lives for himself. They realize that their life communicates a message what they say and what they don’t say. All of us daily have choices at home and at our workplace or school, either to build people up or tear people down through what we say. Gossip, cursing, lying, complaining and negative talk is not the language of a sanctified Christian.

God did what He only could do. If you want to spend your eternity with God in heaven you must believe his son Jesus today. The decision you make today affects your destiny. If you have not yet made this most important decision in your life you can do that today in the quietness of your heart. In Hebrews 2:3 “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? The scripture also warns; if you hear his voice today do not harden your heart.

Those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation are called for sanctification by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is a process, it is not an instant thing, we are not yet perfect, from time to time we fail, falter or mess up but we can always come back to the Highway of Holiness if we are willing to repent or say sorry to the Lord for our sins. By faith we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to become obedient to Christ. I invite you to make the most important decision in your life and accept Christ as your Savior if you have not yet already done so and if you have been a born again Christian to rededicate yourself to live a God honoring and sanctified Christian life. Amen

Sunday, February 13, 2011


A speaker at a woman's club was lecturing on marriage and asked the audience how many of us wanted to "mother" our husbands. One member in the back row raised her hand. "You do want to mother your husband?" the speaker asked. "Mother?" the woman echoed. "I thought you said smother." This is how certain women feel about their husbands. How do certain men feel about their wives? “A young couple went back to the minister who married them. They were on the verge of breaking up. The minister reminded the husband, “But you took her for better or for worse,” “Yeah,” he replied, “but she is worse than I took her for.”

Many enter marriage with a rosy, romantic picture and a set of high expectations. When their expectations are not met they become disappointed, dissatisfied and want to throw in the towel. If you are currently married what do you want in your marriage? Are you enjoying your marriage or simply enduring it? Do you want God’s best in your marriage? God’s best for your marriage is that it is healthy, vibrant and lasting. Barnett Brickner notes, “Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.”

Are you trying to change your mate or are you being the right mate in your marriage? A few weeks ago we started a series on the authentic Christian life based on the Epistle of Peter. Authentic Christian living means that we live in right relationships with God and people. Today we will look into how to live out the covenant relationship of a husband and wife. The Apostle Peter shares several KEYS in I Peter 3:1-7 that can unlock health into your marriage. Remember that the dominant theme of the letter of Peter is hope. It is not the wistful optimism that in the end things will turn out all right. The hope found in Peter is the strong hope that rests not on man but on God, the living and the loving God who is known by his mighty acts. So there is hope for your marriage. (Read I Peter 3:1-7)

I. SUBMISSION: (I Pet 3:1, 5, and 6)

In these seven verses we see six of them addressed to women and only one verse to men. The reason? The lives of women were much more socially difficult than men. Many of these women were living in unpleasant circumstances. The first key is submission. Vs 1, “In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.”

The Message Bible, reads, “The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your Holy beauty.” An unbelieving man is won for Christ not by preaching at him but by living a life that is exemplary. When women hear the word submission they cringe don’t they? I don’t blame them, because over the centuries many Christian husbands, leaders and pastors have used I Pet 3:1 to keep women under subordination.

What did Peter mean by “you wives be submissive to your own husbands? Was he saying that wives must become slaves to their husbands as it is done in certain eastern cultures? Or was he suggesting a forceful submission? If you think Peter was harsh, wait until you hear the marriage expert the Apostle Paul. In Eph 5:22-24, “Wives be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church…But as the church is subject to Christ so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”

What can we understand from these two passages? Firstly, these scriptures are not directed towards all the women in general but to the married women. Secondly, submission was to their own husbands not to other men. Thirdly submission is voluntary never forceful. Fourthly, the husband is the head of the wife as Christ was the head of the Church.

In marriage two people constitute a single unit and yet in that one body there are two personalities. These two, if they are going to be united, must have a headship and the head is the man according to God’s creation and ordination. The scripture tells us that there is safety and lack of fear when wives submit to their husbands. But the reality is that some women are terrified of their husbands and don’t want to live with them any more. The other day I watched Dr. Phil’s show on “Bossy Husbands” I was surprised how some husbands can be so bossy, controlling and abusive of their wives. One woman shared how her husband controlled her for 15 years by nitpicking everything she did. He told her what to wear, how much she should eat, and even used a GPS to track her whereabouts! She was fed up living with this overly abusive husband and is ready to throw in the towel. I don’t blame her for thinking that way. If a husband behaves like that, it makes it hard for any wife to submit. But regardless of how hard it may be the scripture tells wives to submit to their own husbands.

When it comes to submission Christ is our model. He submitted to the will of the father and said, “not my will but let yours be done. We realize that submission doesn’t come to us humans naturally isn’t it? It has to be learned. Even Christ being the son of God needed to learn submission through what he suffered. When wives learn to submit to their husbands there is healing, protection, security and they can live without fear. Wives how do you know that you are in submission to your husbands? You are submitting to your husband when you consider his opinions better than yours, respect his authority, let go of your point of view in order to accommodate his, fit into his plans instead of your husband fitting into yours. Are wives the only ones commanded to submit? No! All of us are commanded to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.(Eph 5:21).The second KEY for a healthy marriage is Respect & Love.

II. RESPECT& LOVE: (I Pet 3: 5-6)

I Pet 3:5-6, “For in this way in former times the holy women also hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” In this passage we have examples of the holy women who not only submitted to their husbands but also respected them. If any one had a reason to disrespect and rebel against her husband it must have been Sarah, because Abraham couldn’t give her children, provide the security of a home, he kept wandering in the land, he was fearful and told several lies, twice he couldn’t protect her from the hungry men of the land, in spite of all that Sarah went to an extent of calling “Abraham lord.” In the Message Bible it reads, “My dear husband” Now that is truly respect.

Men let’s be honest with ourselves, don’t we all thrive when our wives respect us? I do when my wife respects me at home and in the public. A popular saying goes, “Give respect and get respect” however in marriage it is “give respect and receive love” According to Dr. Emerson & Sarah Engrich an expert on male-female relationships, “Love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. They asked 7,000 people this question: when you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected? 83% of the men said "disrespected." 72% of the women said, "unloved."[1] Another marriage expert Gary Smalley says, “Man hungers for sincere admiration and respect; he will gravitate toward those who admire him.”[2]

Wives! Please take note of this need of your husband. When he is respected he will do anything for you. But if you constantly put him down at home and in the public when some other woman admires and respects him there is a danger that he might gravitate towards her. That is often how affairs develop. How can a wife know when she is disrespecting her husband? Kerry Clarensau gives a few pointers: Wives disrespect their husband when they: “Contradict or question him in front of others, openly criticize him, belittle his work or abilities, complain, constantly remind him of unfinished tasks; compare him negatively with others, respond with rudeness or sarcasm, withhold information, and ignore his needs and desires.”[3]

The key of respect opens the door for affection and love from your husband. Wives please stop criticizing your husband it is demoralizing. In Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” Husbands you are commanded to love your own wives not others wives. Wives please see to that you respect your husbands. Love and respect is not a one time action but it must be repeated again and again.

The more you respect your husband the more love you will receive, the more love you receive the more respect you can give. That is how simple love and respect functions..


In a world where beauty and glamor seems to rule, women, even Christian women come under tremendous pressure to live up to media’s expectations. Some women spend a whole lot of time in front of a mirror worrying about their looks. I tell this by experience I have four women in my house. How about men, are they any different? There is absolutely nothing wrong with personal grooming, but it is wrong when we are obsessed with it. Peter is not against the outward appearance the styling of hair, wearing make up, jewelry or the branded cloths dresses, but he was concerned about the inner beauty. In Understanding your Mate, Cecil Osborne” talks about eight traits of a neurotic wife. One of them is the narcissistic wife. Osborne says, “A narcissistic person is one who has an inordinate self-love. She is unduly preoccupied with her face, her body, and often with her own interests.”[4]

No matter how beautiful you are or try to look, the outward beauty doesn’t last forever. That is why Peter encourages women to cultivate inner beauty the gentle and quite spirit which is imperishable and of greater worth before God. George Wood notes, “When a wife has a difficult husband, she may let her inner beauty fade by becoming argumentative, hostile, aggressive in an unwholesome sense or domineering. Her attempts to change her husband denigrate into nagging. The more she nags the more he resists.”[5] The wife needs to calm down and have a quite spirit. A quiet spirit doesn’t mean a doormat personality nor does it mean silence it means a spirit at rest. When the woman is at rest with in herself she creates a warm and friendly atmosphere at home. So far we talked about the KEYS that wives should use, how about KEYS that husbands should use?


Peter addresses both wives and husbands with an identical phrase “like wise or in the same way.” Whose example should they follow? It is the example of Christ (I Pet 2:21) Husbands, how are we to follow Christ’s example? Peter gave three strong commands for husbands: live with your wife, know your wife and honor your wife. We are to live with our wives, not with some one else’s wife. I understand, that after a days work when husbands come home they want to have some down time. Watching a bit of TV, surfing the Internet for a while is OK but watching the late night shows, or staying up all night on the Internet is never justified. Your wife needs you and you need adequate sleep to be fresh the next day at your work.

Just this weekend Wilma and I were out at a Pastor Spouse retreat without the children One of the things I learned is how important it generally is for wives to have undivided, quality time with their husbands. We need to give thought to this as husbands. Ask your wife what would bless her on a daily and weekly basis in your marriage? What would fill your wives love tank? Wives are usually reasonable, they won’t ask you for a cruise to the Bahamas all they may ask you is to help clear up after dinner, have a coffee together or play a game together or just let her share her heart.

Secondly, we are to know that our wives are weaker vessels or weaker physically. In Greek the word for weak was never used with the meaning of moral weakness but only in a physical sense. In other words they are strong in their determination but physically they are weak compared to men. Though the modern women may object to this phrase but in its obvious sense it is true. Therefore husbands treat your wives with dignity and tenderness. Thirdly we are to honor them as the fellow heirs of God’s grace. Women are no different when it comes to receiving God’s grace. They are equal partners with us in life, running of the family and in ministry. These keys are available for every couple. The health of your marriage depends on how frequently you will be using them. Amen


[2] Kerry Clarensau, “Secrets: Transforming Your life and Marriage” Page 64

[3] Kerry Clarensau, “Secrets: Transforming Your Life and Marriage, page, 66

[4] Cecil Osborne, “ Understanding Your Mate” Page, 201

[5] George Wood, “ Enrichment Magazine” Winter 2009 page 18

Sunday, February 6, 2011


If you have been married for a while you may agree with me in saying that the wedding is one thing but marriage is totally another thing. Right? What is the difference? The wedding is a celebration when a man and a woman exchange their vows of commitment and love for each other in the presence of God, the family and friends. However wonderful and glamorous that day may be, it doesn’t last for a long time. What you and your spouse make of it together after that day onwards is called marriage. It can either turn out to be a happy and fulfilling one or a disaster. As a popular idiom goes, “Marriages are made in heaven” but they require a lot of hard work in order to succeed on earth. It all depends on both the partners.

Many, these days are threatening and undermining the validity and the importance of the divine institution of marriage. According to a Census Bureau report in 2008 and a report from market research there are 10.8 million single parent homes include 2.5 million singled dads with custody of their children and 8.3 million single mothers. About 12 million adults are living with an unmarried partner, while some 47 million unmarried Americans are living with relatives.”[1]

If these numbers mean any thing, they may mean that the dignity and the respect that once used to be held towards traditional marriage is surely but slowly eroding. How can we reverse this trend? In the midst of these eroding trends I attempt to make a strong case for marriage and discuss the importance of marriage. How does God look at marriage? And what contributes to a healthy marriage? If you are currently married you should be asking the following questions: Is my marriage thriving or at the verge of collapsing? Am I satisfied in my marriage or merely tolerating and enduring it? How can I make my marriage succeed? If there is one thing worth fighting for it is our marriage.

I am a firm believer and strong advocate for healthy marriages. A healthy marriage contributes to the health of a Church, society and a nation. There are several people who are fighting to restore and preserve the age old custom. As we talk on this important topic of marriage the week of February 7-14th each year has been set aside both nationally and internationally by the “Coalition for Marriage and Family” to celebrate the tradition and the sanctity of marriage. Let’s begin by finding out why marriage is so important?

I. Why Marriage is important?

Among many reasons, the primary reason why marriage is important is simply because it is initiated by God and it is his order. In an age where many pundits are trying hard to redefine the traditional marriage, it is important that we understand how God views marriage and the importance of it. Before we look into scriptures let’s look at the excerpts of a joint report issued by sixteen top scholars on family life that highlights the importance of marriage. A healthy marriage or lack of it has a huge impact on children, men, women and the society at large.

About Children: Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than children in other family forms. The health advantages of married homes remain even after taking into account socioeconomic status.

About Men: Married men earn between 10 and 40 percent more than single men with similar education and job histories. Married people, especially married men, have longer life expectancies than otherwise similar singles.

About Women: Divorce and unmarried childbearing significantly increases poverty rates of both mothers and children. Married mothers have lower rates of depression than single or cohabiting mothers.

About Society: Marriage appears to reduce the risk that children and adults will be either perpetrators or victims of crime. [2]

Isn’t it ironic that the social sciences now seem to have woken up to educate men and women not to live alone, while all along God and his people have been stressing the need and the importance of marriage? Where and when did the institution of marriage begin? It began way back in the Garden of Eden. When God looked at his creation he kept saying it was “good” for the first time we hear God saying something not being “good” and that was in regards to man being alone. Did you ever think why it was not good for man to be alone? By the way what does the word “good” mean? The Hebrew word for good here has a whole range of meanings: It means: good, pleasant, beautiful, convenient, joyful, fruitful, cheerful, happiness, kind and it may refer to practical or economic benefits. In other words God must have meant all of the above when he said “it is not good for man to be alone. It does make a lot of sense isn’t it?

It sure made a lot of sense to me. I was seventeen when I accepted the LORD and decided to live and serve Him for the rest of my life. I was twenty when I joined YWAM and began my career as a missionary. On one hand I was fulfilled in serving God but on the other hand I felt incomplete and not fully happy. I was twenty five when I lost my mother whom I loved very much. Then for the first time I noticed how lonely and miserable I was.

One day while walking through the hills in India having my quite time my eyes noticed a typical sight. It was a poor family living in a make shift house. I saw the man resting on a rock, his wife next to him cleaning the rice and their daughter sitting in the dust quietly playing with stones. They looked complete and together. A thought flashed through my mind! Wow what a happy and contented family. Here I am supposedly serving God, preaching and teaching every where, helping people in their struggles, but yet feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. I somewhat envied the simple and uncomplicated life of that poor family. I started questioning what I was doing and who I was doing it for? Four years latter I was married.

True happiness is not found in things but in meaningful relationships. After meeting Jesus my marriage is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My wife is a gift from heaven, a God sent. When we discuss a sensitive topic like marriage we can have mixed emotions and reactions to it. I am aware of the societal changes that have occurred over the last 60 years and that today we have more adults living as singles than ever before in history. This is today’s reality and the church has to come to grips with this reality and deeply care about the challenges faced by singles. Yet, in the midst of changing times and trends it is absolutely crucial that we as God’s people know, appreciate and respect the design of God. God loves people (full stop)……….

Do we ever stop to think why it is that God insists on people loving each other? People are made for love, God designed people to thrive in a climate of love which means a climate of kindness, patience, truth, the absence of rudeness, selfishness and envy. God designed the family to be the safe circle were a husband and wife practice faithful love so that when children arrive they can thrive on the nurture of their parents love and instruction. God’s design is good and perfect but as fallen people marred by sin we meddle with it and therefore we experience brokenness, hurt and failure. None of us entirely goes untouched by any of this, it is all around us. That‘s were the glorious gospel brings us hope, a hope for the broken and hurting, whether single or married.

As you listen to why marriage is so important some of you may be thinking that I am over romanticizing or glorifying marriage. I realize that when it comes to marriage we may carry painful baggage which can distort our view on marriage. All the more reason to look at what God’s word has to say about marriage.


There are a number of scriptures that convey the heart of God towards marriage. He is concerned for marriages today more than any one of us because he initiated and performed the first marriage in the Garden of Eden. He brought Eve and Adam together and said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” With that God laid a pattern for generations to follow. According to scriptures marriage is only between a man and a woman and this is my personal conviction and stand on marriage. Monogamy for a lifetime was and is God’s original divine plan. The Lord Jesus reemphasized this enduring principle in Matt 19:3-9.

Throughout the Bible the marriage relationship between a husband and a wife is a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and the Church. In Jeremiah 31:32, God says "The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand and to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant though I was a husband to them." Notice that God made a covenant with his people and then states that He was their husband linking the covenant between God and His people to the marriage covenant between a man and a woman.

In Revelation 19:6 we read, “the wedding of the Lamb, (which is Jesus), has come and his bride, (the church), has made herself ready. What a glorious day that it will be when the bride (the Church) finally meets her groom the Lord Jesus. This is sufficient for today next week we will look at what contributes to a healthy marriage. Amen

[1] Enrichment Magazine, Summer 2009 page23