Smart Home

Skip Heitzig

Stop imagining a better home life and start building it. Whether you're single and just surveying the landscape, married and mediating the man cave versus the she shed, or rebuilding your home (and heart) after significant loss, God has a blueprint for you. No home is beyond repair, so join Skip Heitzig and Nate Heitzig for Smart Home and start building the home of your future today.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Psalm 127 Meet the Architect
2 Genesis 24; Genesis 29 Get Prequalified: Finding a Mate
3 1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19 Get Prequalified: The Minimalist Home
4 Ephesians 5:25-32 Following the Blueprint: A Husband’s Love
5 Ephesians 5:22-24 Following the Blueprint: A Wife’s Submission
6 Ephesians 5:15-21 Building Your Future Home with Care
7 Genesis 2; Mark 10 Till Death Do Us Part: What You Need to Know to Make Marriage Last
8 Proverbs 5:15-21 The Master Bedroom: Components of Marital Intimacy
9 Communication Breakdown
10 Genesis 28-31 A Smart Home...with In-Laws?
11 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Money Matters for the Smart Home
12 Matthew 5:27-30 Looks Can Kill: Winning the Battle with Temptation
13 1 Samuel 1 A Mother's Role in the Smart Home
14 Acts 16; 2 Timothy 1 The Single-Parent Family
15 Ephesians 6:1-4 The Fundamentals of Family and Fatherhood
16 Song_of_Solomon 5-6 Patching Holes in the Smart Home
17 Matthew 19:3-9 Divorce: When the Dream Is Shattered
18 1 Corinthians 7 Getting Smart about Remarriage

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Meet the Architect
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 127
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4332

MESSAGE SUMMARY
In this first message of our Smart Home series, we focus on the foundational elements. Let’s meet the Architect of the home and the family—God Himself. His blueprints for the people He creates include satisfying relationships and integrated operation. We should make sure to build alongside of Him so that our homes become satisfying places of refuge, palaces of joy, and platforms for worship. Let’s take a fresh look at Solomon’s instruction.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: July 29, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Meet the Architect"
Text: Psalm 127

Path

In this first message of our Smart Home series, we focus on the foundational elements. Let's meet the Architect of the home and the family—God Himself. His blueprints for the people He creates include satisfying relationships and integrated operation. We should make sure to build alongside of Him so that our homes become satisfying places of refuge, palaces of joy, and platforms for worship. Let's take a fresh look at Solomon's instruction.

  1. The Designer: The Lord (v. 1)
  2. The Builders: God and Us (vv. 1-2)
  3. The Dwellers: Families and More (vv. 1-5)
  4. The Enjoyers: Everyone Involved (v. 5)
Points

The Designer: The Lord The Builders: God and UsThe Dwellers: Families and MoreThe Enjoyers: Everyone InvolvedPractice

Connect Up: Why is it important to understand both the Architect and His design for the family? How is the design intricately related to the Designer? Consider both similarities and differences between the design and Designer. For example, the design is not always lived out perfectly—family life sometimes fails—but the Designer is always perfect.

Connect In: How can Christians help encourage, support, and reinforce God's design for home life? Begin with the vertical relationship demonstrated in Psalm 116: believe in Him, cry out to Him, follow Him, study His Word, obey Him, serve Him, thank Him, and live for Him. Then consider horizontal relationships: be there, express affirmation, build healthy morals and values, discipline with consistency, eliminate stress, communicate well, play together, and love your spouse.1 What can you add to these?

Connect Out: What strategies would you take if you observed a home life that was spinning out of control? How could you reinforce the Architect's plans? What steps could you take to encourage rebuilding? Your answers depend on whether the family members are Christians. How might you help both believing and unbelieving families?


1 Whitney Hopler, "Ten Ways to Build a Healthy and Happy Family," November 17, 2010, www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/10-ways-to-build-a-healthy-and-happy-family-11641140.html, accessed 07/29/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Meet the Architect"
Psalm 127

  1. Introduction
    1. The home is foundational, the heart and soul of any society
    2. Though society needs the home, it is attacking the traditional idea and values of the home
    3. One overarching area Christians struggle with the most is the home
    4. Today's Christians don't have a clear understanding of God's blueprint for the home, so they are looking for answers in the unbelieving world and emulating their worldly counterpart
    5. The Lord is the architect who created the blueprint
    6. In the Old Testament, the word house is often used as a synonym for what happens in the house—family life (see v. 1)
    7. Although Psalm 127 is a song of ascents, it is not speaking of Jerusalem, but of the home (see v. 3)
      1.  The fifteen psalms that are called songs of ascents were memorized by the children of Israel and sung by families on their way to worship in the temple
      2.  Psalm 127 is the poetic expression of a family that depends on God—a smart home
  2. The Designer: The Lord (v. 1)
    1. The psalm begins by highlighting the Lord because He created the home
      1.  "Unless the Lord builds the house" (v. 1)
      2.  Genesis 2:18
    2. Marriage, the family, the home, and society were all God's idea; love also originated with God
      1.  Jeremiah 31:3
      2.  1 John 4:19
    3. It always begins with God; if marriage was man's invention, then man could regulate it, tamper with it, nullify it, and redefine it
    4. Because it was God's idea, it is subject to God's principles (see Matthew 19:6)
    5. The covenant name of the Lord—the tetragrammaton (YHWH)—is used in verse 1 to emphasize that the designer of the home, the heavenly architect, the blueprint maker of the home is the covenant Lord
      1.  The Lord who created a covenant with people out of His love for them designed a covenant for people so that His love can spread on a human level
      2.  Premarital booklet illustration
        1. Triangle with God at the top and the husband and wife at the other two points
        2. The closer you draw to God as an individual, the closer you are to your spouse; strengthen the bond by seeking the Lord
  3. The Builders: God and Us (vv. 1-2)
    1. There are two ways to build a home:
      1.  The not-so-smart way: you build it, you design it, then you ask God to bless it
      2.  The smart way:
        1. Discover the design that the first designer already created; because He invented it, He knows how to make it function at peak
        2. This results in experiencing the thrill of God at work in providing for your home and protecting your relationships
    2. A divine builder and human builders
      1.  "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (v. 1)
      2.  This verse simply states the idiocy of trying to go it alone in life, trying to build on your own
    3. God gives you the energy and the power, but He expects you to work at it; God works in you, but you still have to do the work
      1.  Philippians 2:12-13
      2.  2 Corinthians 3:5
    4. Building alongside the designer, using His design
      1.  You'll never be the husband, wife, or parent you could be without the Lord building with you
      2.  It's not smart to build without the Lord
      3.  Life is lived at its best when you build alongside the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 6:1)
    5. Build and put all that you can into it, but you also need to acknowledge the divine architect; a smart home begins by first recognizing who the designer is
    6. Little is much if God is in it; much is nothing if God isn't in it
  4. The Dwellers: Families and More (vv. 1-5)
    1. A smart person will be all about building relationships
      1. The words house and city (see v. 1) are pictures of edifying, building up, providing for, and giving protection to the home
      2.  Your life at its irreducible minimum is relationships
    2. Children are God's best gift (see v. 3)
      1.  Heritage should be translated assignment
      2.  Parents are meant to shape the destiny of their children, but children are also meant to help shape their parents' personality and destiny
      3.  Children are the only earthly items you can take with you to heaven
    3. God wants to be a part of every part of your life, including your family life
      1.  Have you invited Him into every area of your home?
      2.  When Jesus was with His disciples, He ate with them, cooked breakfast for them, walked with them, fished with them, etc.
      3.  God walked daily with Adam and Eve in the garden (see Genesis 3:8)
    4. The Lord wants you to enjoy life and to enjoy Him in your life
    5. Trust "in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17)
  5. The Enjoyers: Everyone Involved (v. 5)
    1. A smart home makes happy people and produces happiness
      1.  In verse 5, the Hebrew word for happy is esher, which can also mean blissful, contented, satisfied
      2.  Build projects for temporal profit or build people for spiritual, eternal profit, as seen in the contrast between verse 2 and verse 5:
        1. Verse 2: someone investing in activities, but producing anxieties (unhappy and unfulfilled)
        2. Verse 5: someone investing in priorities and shaping destinies (happy and fulfilled)
    2. Happiness begins with the man because he leads the home (see Joshua 24:15), but it's pervasive and includes everyone in the home
    3. A smart home is a happy home because:
      1.  The Lord has designed it, helped to build it, strengthened it, provided for it, and protected it
      2.  Children have been brought into it and have been launched successfully from it; they've hit their target, and they're making an impact, a difference, in their society
    4. Not only is the home happy, but so are the neighbors and the city; it impacts everyone
  6. Conclusion
    1. Our personal relationship with God should affect every relationship in our home and in our lives
    2. "If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for your being a Christian, it is a question whether you really are one" —Hudson Taylor
Figures referenced: Hudson Taylor

Hebrew words: esher

Cross references: Genesis 2:18; 3:8; Joshua 24:15; Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 19:6; 2 Corinthians 3:5; 6:1; Philippians 2:12-13; 1 Timothy 6:17; 1 John 4:19

Topic: the home

Keywords: architect, blueprint, build, design, home, house, relationships

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Get Prequalified: Finding a Mate
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 24; Genesis 29
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4334

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Dating can be exciting. It can also get weird and end poorly. I like the common sense of one who quipped, "Some people are unmarried for the same reason that some drivers run out of gas. They pass too many filling stations looking for their favorite brand!" Though dating was unknown in biblical times, let’s look at five principles in budding relationships to help you prequalify to build a solid, long-lasting, and satisfying Smart Home.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 5, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Get Prequalified—Find A Mate"
Text: Genesis 24; Genesis 29

Path

Dating can be exciting. It can also get weird and end poorly. I like the common sense of one who quipped, "Some people are unmarried for the same reason that some drivers run out of gas. They pass too many filling stations looking for their favorite brand!" Though dating was unknown in biblical times, let's look at five principles in budding relationships to help you prequalify to build a solid, long-lasting, and satisfying Smart Home.

  1. Separation (Genesis 24:5-7)
  2. Supplication (Genesis 24:12-21)
  3. Selectivity (Genesis 29:9-12, 15-17)
  4. Sacrifice (Genesis 29:18-19)
  5. Stamina (Genesis 29:21-28)
Points

SeparationSupplication  Selectivity Sacrifice  Stamina  "I have been taught from my mother's knee, in harmony with the Word of God, that the marriage vows are inviolable, and that by entering into them I am binding myself absolutely and for life. I am not naive concerning this; on the contrary I am fully aware that mutual incompatibility or other unforeseen circumstances could result in extreme mental suffering. If such becomes the case, I am resolved, for my part, to accept it as a consequence of the commitment we are now making and to bear it, if need be, to the end of our lives together. I have loved you dearly as my sweetheart and I will love you as my wife. But above everything else, I love you with a Christian love that demands we never act in such a way as to hinder our prospects of entering heaven which is the supreme desire of both our lives."2

Practice

Connect Up: Discuss the idea that marriage reflects our relationship with the Lord. Read Ephesians 5:21-33. What are some of the similarities and differences between human and divine marriage?

Connect In: If you are comfortable—and are (or were) married—share how you dated or courted. What can people in your Connect Group learn from your dating practice? If it is was successful, why? If not, what could you improve upon?

Connect Out: When reaching out to someone considering dating, what advice would you give? Boundless Ministries suggests that biblical dating: Do you agree? Why or why not? Re-read the letter in the Stamina section. How should this man's heart reflect all believers' hearts?


1 National Council on Family Relations, "Family Relations," 1985, https://www.jstor.org/stable/583577?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents, accessed 8/5/18.
2 James Dobson, Stories of the Heart and Home, W Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, October 10, 2000.
3 Scott Croft, "Biblical Dating: How It's Different from Modern Dating," March 23, 2012, http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2012/biblical-dating-how-its-different-from-modern-dating, accessed 8/5/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Get Prequalified—Finding a Mate"
Genesis 24; 29

  1. Introduction
    1. Dating is a relatively new practice—less than 100 years old
    2. Added to the complications of the dating process is the phenomenon of online dating
      1.  40 percent of singles have dated someone they met online
      2.  25 percent of singles have dated someone their friends introduced them to
    3. There are no dating texts in the Bible
    4. Some Christians disagree strongly with the dating process and are proponents of courtship
    5. There are, however, biblical examples of people engaged in the process of finding a mate
    6. A smart home comes from smart dating
  2. Separation (Genesis 24:5-7)
    1. Abraham sent a matchmaker to find a wife for his son from Abraham's own family (see v. 3)
      1.  The Canaanite belief system was not part of the covenant God made with Abraham
      2.  Paul mentioned this principle in 2 Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers"
        1. The farmer would find two animals that could work together to pull a plow
        2. A mismatch leads to two people headed in two different directions
        3. Believers and unbelievers have opposing masters, worldviews, sources of wisdom, aims in life, and eternal destinies
        4. If a child of God marries a child of the Devil, they're going to have problems with their in-laws
    2. Courtship and marriage are not a private matter
      1.  When people date, they first need to take a step toward God and then a step toward others
        1. Step toward God first
          1. Psalm 127:1
          2. Luke 10:27
          3. You won't be able to love another person well if you don't love the Lord more
        2. Step toward other people
          1. Lean hard on people who know you best, who love you most, and who will be honest enough to tell you when you're wrong
          2. Invite others into the relationship—couples need honest, courageous people who won't be afraid to speak up
      2.  Dating, by its very nature, is isolating
      3.  As a couple grows closer to each other, they grow further away from people who were, at one point, very significant in their lives
  3. Supplication (Genesis 24:12-21)
    1. The whole process should be covered in prayer
      1.  The chapter begins in prayer when Abraham placed his servant under oath before God not to find a wife for his son from the Canaanites (see vv. 2-4)
      2.  The chapter continues with the servant's specific prayer (see vv. 12-14)
      3.  The chapter closes in prayer as Isaac meditated in the field (see v. 63); meditate is best translated to seek the Lord in solitude
    2. A lifelong commitment involves lifelong ramifications; praying and inviting God into that relationship should be the priority
      1.  Pray together; praying immediately raises the dating relationship to the spiritual level—the best level
      2.  When you pray with someone, you receive immediate insight into their relationship with God
      3.  What role does God play in your relationship?
  4. Selectivity (Genesis 29:9-12, 15-17)
    1. There is no perfect person, but there is a perfect person for you
    2. What attracts us to each other?
      1.  Love mapping: the genetic answer to why we are attracted to certain physical or nonphysical characteristics
      2.  According to Helen Fisher, the issue with love at first sight brings up the speculation of biological origin to this phenomenon; another issue is that the infatuationphase of a relationship lasts four years or less
      3.  Proverbs 31:30
    3. Choose well—be discriminating and careful
      1.  The advice of others should be taken into consideration, but that shouldn't be the deciding factor
      2.  Make the right choice for you, not for others
  5. Sacrifice (Genesis 29:18-19)
    1. Jacob was willing to wait for his bride (see v. 20)
      1.  The seven years gave Jacob the chance to get to know her and her family
      2.  It ensured that the relationship was not based solely on pheromones and hormones
    2. Every relationship requires sacrifice: you sacrifice your independence, self-will, personal activities, solo plans, spending money on certain things, and spending time on certain things
    3. Be willing to sacrifice the back door: divorce
    4. If you go from dating to mating, you seal the back door
  6. Stamina (Genesis 29:21-28)
    1. "Love suffers long" (1 Corinthians 13:4)
    2. Deciding too quickly or rebounding too quickly is dangerous
    3. It's much easier to get into a relationship than it is to have to live through a relationship
    4. The risk of marital failure is reduced notably by longer dating periods
    5. A Kansas State University study concluded that "a strong correlation between the length of time spent dating their current spouses and marital satisfaction can be seen"
  7. Conclusion
    1. Christians are referred to as the bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-33)
    2. Relational language, not religious language, is used
    3. God wants to be the central part of your life
Figures referenced: Helen Fisher

Cross references: Psalm 127:1; Proverbs 31:30; Luke 10:27; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:22-33

Topic: dating

Keywords: courtship, commitment, dating, marriage, mate

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Get Prequalified: The Minimalist Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4336

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Should the top priority of a single person be to get married? Can a Smart Home also be a minimalistic home—with just one occupant? Why is it that singleness is sometimes considered less acceptable than marriage? Can the single life be a full, enriching, and positive experience? Perhaps you’ve lost your mate or you’re still waiting to find one. Or maybe you’re happy to stay single. Today let’s consider singleness and celibacy in light of Scripture.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 12, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Get Prequalified—The Minimalist Home"
Text: 1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19

Path

Should the top priority of a single person be to get married? Can a Smart Home also be a minimalistic home—with just one occupant? Why is it that singleness is sometimes considered less acceptable than marriage? Can the single life be a full, enriching, and positive experience? Perhaps you've lost your mate or you're still waiting to find one. Or maybe you're happy to stay single. Today let's consider singleness and celibacy in light of Scripture.

  1. The Single Life (1 Corinthians 7:1)
  2. The Celibate Life (Matthew 19:11-12)
  3. The Sensible Life (1 Corinthians 7:27-28)
Points

The Single Life
The Celibate LifeThe Sensible LifePractice

Connect Up: Consider Jesus as the greatest example of singleness. How did He live and interact with people as a single man? If you're single, how can you imitate Jesus' life of singleness? If you're married, what can you learn from His life of singleness? And what does singleness tell you about God the Father?

Connect In: One writer called singles "the lepers of today's church,"2 as they are often forgotten or made to feel odd. Discuss ways the church can be a more welcoming place for singles. If you are single, share your thoughts and concerns. If you are married, share what you experienced when you were single.

Connect Out: When reaching single people for Christ, the method is the same: a clear presentation of the gospel. But do you think having an outreach specifically for singles could be helpful? What might that outreach look like?


1 Bella DePaulo, "What Has Changed for Single Americans in the Past Decade," September 20, 2016, The Washington Post, accessed 8/12/18.
2 Gina Dalfonzo, "Are Single People the Lepers of Today's Church?," https://www.onfaith.co/onfaith/2014/04/09/are-single-people-the-lepers-of-today/31646, accessed 8/12/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Get Prequalified—The Minimalist Home"
1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19

  1. Introduction
    1. There is a significant movement in American society today: the "tiny house" movement
    2. This movement rejects the idea that bigger is better
    3. This movement correlates to the minimalist home in terms of the single adult household
      1. According to the Washington Post, there are 109 million unmarried adults in the US
      2. 47 percent of all households in the US are single adult households
    4. With this reality comes pressure from friends, parents, society, and the church
      1. It's as if, if you're single, you're less than the married person
      2. This creates the pressure that a single person then puts on themselves
    5. Some are content to be single; some are obviously not content to be single
    6. All of us live as singles for a time, so it must be normal
      1. Happily married people were at one time happily single people
      2. If you're not happy as a single person, you won't be happy as a married person
    7. We need to consider singleness in the light of Scripture; many biblical heroes who were used powerfully by God were single
  2. The Single Life (1 Corinthians 7:1)
    1. The chaos of Corinth's corrupt, morally loose society brought up a lot of questions; Paul wrote to the church in Corinth to answer several questions about:
      1. A new believer who is now married to an unbeliever
      2. Divorce
      3. Celibacy
    2. Paul said that it was good to be single and good for singles not to have sexual intercourse
      1. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (v. 1); this is a reference to the Old Testament use of the word touching
        1. The story of Abimelech, Abraham, and Sarah (see Genesis 20:6)
        2. Boaz told his men "not to touch" Ruth (see Ruth 2:9)
      2. Singleness, as long as it includes celibacy, can be a good thing
      3. Just because you're single doesn't mean you're alone
        1. You don't have to lead a lonely life
        2. Psalm 68:6
    3. Singleness is good, but it's difficult
      1. Because you face certain pressures from society, family, and other Christians
      2. The pressure on a single, celibate life in America is daunting, and not everyone can do it—not everyone is called to it
      3. The pressure from married Christians who take it upon themselves to be matchmakers
    4. Singleness is not just okay, but it can be important and valuable
      1. There are so many practical advantages to being single (see vv. 32-33)
        1. There is a greater flexibility and freedom to follow the Lord's call at short notice
        2. Being married brings with it a certain preoccupation or responsibility: concerns for your spouse (as it should)
        3. You can be wholeheartedly focused on the things of the Lord and what He is calling you to
      2. Many great heroes of the Bible and the modern-day church were single:
        1. Joseph: his greatest feat was accomplished while he was single
        2. Daniel: the third ruler of the kingdom
        3. Amos
        4. Elijah
        5. John the Baptist
        6. Paul the apostle
        7. Jesus
          1. He accomplished salvation for the world
          2. "It is impossible to believe that the same God who permitted His own Son to die a bachelor regards celibacy as an actual sin" —H.L. Mencken
        8. Origen
        9. David Brainerd
        10. Robert Murray M'Cheyne
        11. Corrie ten Boom
        12. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
        13. Rachel Saint
        14. John Stott
  3. The Celibate Life (Matthew 19:11-12)
    1. The celibate life requires a gift
    2. Divorce was rampant, both in ancient Corinth and in Judaism
      1. "She finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her" (Deuteronomy 24:1)
      2. There were two schools of thought concerning what uncleanness meant
        1. The conservatives agreed with Rabbi Shammai—uncleanness must mean sexual infidelity
        2. The liberals agreed with Rabbi Hillel—anything that a husband saw as uncleanness
    3. Jesus told His disciples that "all cannot accept this…but only those to whom it has been given" (v. 11)
    4. There were three categories of celibacy in ancient times
      1. Eunuchs who were born thus
      2. Those who were made eunuchs by men
      3. Those who made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven—voluntary
    5. A life of single celibacy cannot be done without a gift, an enabling from God
      1. Didómi: to bestow a gift to one's advantage
      2. If you have the gift of celibacy, you know that you have this gift
        1. You know either by nature or by choice
        2. God gives certain people the ability to withstand the pressures of this unique lifestyle
    6. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:9)
      1. If you are unfulfilled without the sexual release from a marital partner, you're not called to celibacy
      2. "The Bible does not indicate that either gift is always permanent. Just because someone is single now doesn't mean they'll always be. And just because someone is married now doesn't mean they'll always be" —John Stott
    7. If you can accept singleness as God's will for your life, then accept it; be obedient to God's call
  4. The Sensible Life (1 Corinthians 7:27-28)
    1. Cherish your life as a single person and take advantage of all it affords
    2. Paul recognized the difficulties and pressures that are unique to married people—the pressure that results from two individual personalities coming together (thlípsis)
      1. Conflicts
      2. Demands
      3. Hardships
      4. Sacrifices
    3. Learn to be content in whatever God has called you to do
    4. If you are unhappy as a single person, you will be unhappy as a married person
  5. Conclusion
    1. You must be called by God if this is going to be long-term
    2. You must be kept by God, whether it's short-term or long-term
    3. Just like it's wrong to be married and act single, it's wrong to be single and act married
    4. Throw yourself wholeheartedly into the plan of God for your life; there may never be another time in your life where you have the freedom to serve the Lord like you do now as a single person
    5. Say yes to His will for your life today, whether you're single or married
Figures referenced: Ann Kiemel Anderson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Brainerd, Fred Hartley, Robert Murray M'Cheyne, H.L. Mencken, Origen, Rachel Saint, John Stott, Corrie ten Boom

Cross references: Genesis 20:6; Deuteronomy 24:1; Ruth 2:9; Psalm 68:6; 1 Corinthians 7:9, 32-33

Greek words: didómi, thlípsis

Topic: singleness

Keywords: celibacy, contentment, gift, obedience

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Following the Blueprint: A Husband’s Love
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:25-32
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4338

MESSAGE SUMMARY
To live in a Smart Home, occupants must follow the architect’s blueprint. God, the inventor of marriage, has given roles to husbands and wives so they can live together in harmony and joy. The basic role of a husband is to love his wife. This love is explained and described by the architect in the building documents found in Ephesians 5. This kind of love that a husband lavishes on his wife will enable her to fulfill her role with greater ease and deeper contentment.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 19, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Following the Blueprint—A Husband's Love"
Text: Ephesians 5:25-32

Path

To live in a Smart Home, occupants must follow the architect's blueprint. God,
the inventor of marriage, has given roles to husbands and wives so they can live together in harmony and joy. The basic role of a husband is to love his wife. This love is explained and described by the architect in the building documents found in Ephesians 5. This kind of love that a husband lavishes on his wife will enable her to fulfill her role with greater ease and deeper contentment.

  1. A Singular Love (v. 25a)
  2. A Sacrificial Love (v. 25b)
  3. A Sanctifying Love (vv. 26-27)
  4. A Sensitive Love (vv. 28-30)
  5. A Shatterproof Love (v. 31)
  6. A Showcase Love (v. 32)
Points

A Singular Love A Sacrificial LoveA Sanctifying Love A Sensitive Love A Shatterproof LoveA Showcase Love Practice

Connect Up: What are some reasons you think God created marriage? The Bible offers several: to not be alone, for procreation, and to provide a picture of Christ's love for the Church. What are some other reasons? Consider how marriage makes each spouse more like Christ. Using 1 Corinthians 13, discuss love's Christ-like qualities in the context of marriage: patient, longsuffering, kind, does not envy, rejoices in the truth, etc.

Connect In: Research shows that fifty-three percent of very happy couples agree with the statement: "God is at the center of our marriage."1 Discuss ways Christian couples can keep Christ at the center of their lives. If you have a healthy marriage, share the habits/reasons behind its success. If you have an unhealthy marriage, share how you might improve.

Connect Out: How do we reach out to and encourage people with troubled marriages? Consider these ten insights from Christianity Today:2Do you agree with these? What would you add or delete?


1 Ed Stetzer, "Marriage, Divorce, and the Church: What do the stats say, and can marriage be happy?," February 14, 2014, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/february/marriage-divorce-and-body-of-christ-what-do-stats-say-and-c.html, accessed 8/19/18.
2 Ed Stetzer, "10 Things I've Learned After 26 Years of Marriage," August 15, 2013, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/august/ten-things-ive-learned-after-26-years-of-marriage.html, accessed 8/19/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Following the Blueprint—A Husband's Love"
Ephesians 5:25-32

  1. Introduction
    1. In our culture, marriage has become an uncertain institution; people are hesitant to marry because they're not sure it'll work out
      1. As a result, the world seeks to create an ironclad way to keep a marriage together—a prenuptial agreement
      2. "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards" —Benjamin Franklin
    2. Ephesians 5 is the Home Depot for the smart home, to build and strengthen the marriage; in it, Paul clearly stated the God-given roles of husbands and wives
    3. There are several prerequisites for building a smart home
      1. We are to be controlled by the Spirit (see v. 18)
      2. We are to be thankful in all things, including the positions and conditions we find ourselves in (see v. 20)
      3. Mutual submission is achieved by fulfilling the roles of husband and wife (see v. 21)
    4. The basic scriptural role of the husband in one word is love; the husband's leadership is to be one of love—servant leadership
    5. Everyone on earth is incompatible with everyone else on earth; it's just a matter of time before you figure it out
      1. We are incompatible because we have a fallen, sinful nature
      2. "In any marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find and continue to find grounds for marriage" —Robert Anderson
  2. A Singular Love (v. 25a)
    1. Love your wife—not anyone else's
    2. Originally, the word husband referred to a farmer/cultivator
      1.  In John 15:1, Jesus referred to His Father as "the husbandman" (KJV)
      2. So, the husband is a cultivator—he cultivates the relationship by placing it in the soil of his singular love for his wife
        1. "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them" (Colossians 3:19, ESV)
        2. A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he marries
    3. The Greek word used here is the present active imperative of agape—the most far-reaching, deepest, highest quality of love in the New Testament
      1. "Go all out in your love for your wives" (Ephesians 5:25, MSG)
      2. Women will naturally respond to that singular love that they receive from their husbands—willing submission
    4. The husband is the head of the home, but if love is lost, the marriage degenerates into a petty tyranny
      1. Loving authority must be mixed with affection
      2. Love is not taught—it is caught; one burning heart will ignite another
    5. A husband is to be a leader, but a lover—and the balance of the two must be reached: a tender warrior and servant-leader
      1. If he's all leader, he's a tyrant
      2. If he's all lover, he's a mushy sap
  3. A Sacrificial Love (v. 25b)
    1. Paul continued with a simile: "as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her"
      1. The cross of Christ is the most selfless, sacrificial act of love in history
      2. Paul took the highest human relationship—marriage—and compared it to the highest act of love in history
      3. Sacrificial is the manner in which the husband's singular love is to be expressed
      4. If a husband is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his wife, he should also be willing to make every other sacrifice short of that
    2. Sacrificial love is not an emotional love—it's volitional, an active love
      1. This is the difference between worldly love and love in a Christian marriage—love that requires us to be filled with the Holy Spirit
      2. The world says, "Let's love each other until our feelings stop"; biblical love is not a flush of emotion
  4. Sanctifying Love (vv. 26-27)
    1. The word sanctify was originally a secular word that meant to take something and set it apart for a particular use
    2. Isaiah 1:18
    3. The husband takes his wife out of the world and never brings it up again
      1. He is willing to forgive her and present her to the Lord and to himself; she is set apart for a particular purpose
      2. When we come to Christ, we are forgiven and cleansed immediately, but we walk every day through the muck and mire of this world
        1. We need forgiveness every day
        2. As Jesus said when He washed His disciples' feet, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet" (John 13:10)
      3. A marriage is simply the union of two sinners, therefore a good marriage is a union between two forgivers
      4. Husbands set the temperature of the home—the temperature of love, forgiveness, and sanctification
  5. A Sensitive Love (vv. 28-30)
    1. A man's wife is an extension of himself, thus he should care for her the way he cares for himself
      1. This will give her security, and she will respond with love and submission
      2. "Flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23)
    2. When a husband takes care of his wife's needs, he develops her sense of well-being
    3. "After interviewing hundreds of wives and daughters, there is one consistent plea. Please be comforting instead of lecturing and criticizing" —Gary Smalley
  6. A Shatterproof Love (v. 31)
    1. Biblical love is shatterproof, permanent
      1. In verse 31, Paul referenced Genesis 2:24
      2. What was true over a thousand years before Paul wrote to the Ephesian church was still true as he wrote to them; what God once said, He still says
      3. The Greek word used here is proskolláō, which literally means to glue to or cleave to
      4. Matthew 19:6
    2. In verse 25, Paul used the present active imperative form of agapeagapâté—which means that biblical love is constant, unwavering, active, and continually present
  7. A Showcase Love (v. 32)
    1. In this verse, Paul provided the why after the what
      1. Biblical marriage ought to be an illustration of how Jesus and His church are one
      2. Marriage should be a horizontal microcosm of a vertical reality, a vertical relationship
      3. The unconditional love we receive from God ought to spread on a horizontal level
    2. A good Christian marriage is a good Christian witness—it makes redemption visible
    3. When you have a husband who lovingly leads by sacrificing, cultivating, and nurturing, and a wife who responds by submitting to her husband's needs lovingly, that is a good witness to the world
    4. Marriage isn't perfect, but in an imperfect sense, it's a reflection of the kind of love that God has for His people
    5. "A Christian marriage serves a threefold purpose: to enrich the lives of a man and a woman, to create a family, and third, to further the Kingdom of God" —Jack Roeda
  8. Conclusion
    1. Husbands are under attack in our culture, portrayed by the mainstream media as oafs who don't contribute to the family in any meaningful way
    2. There is a strategy behind that: To neutralize an army, take out the commander; to ruin a nation's morale, kill the ruler; to ruin the church, destroy the pastor; to devastate a family, take out the leader
    3. To counteract this attack, husbands need to rise up and be strong, tender leaders who love their wives as they are called to do
Figures referenced: Robert Anderson, Benjamin Franklin, Jack Roeda, Gary Smalley

Cross references: Genesis 2:23-24; Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 19:6; John 13:10; 15:1; Ephesians 2:18, 20-21; Colossians 3:16, 19

Greek words: agapâté, agápē, proskolláō 

Topic: husbands

Keywords: cultivating, husband, leadership, love, marriage, nurturing, role, submission, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Following the Blueprint: A Wife’s Submission
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:22-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4340

MESSAGE SUMMARY
When it comes to a family’s roles within the home, the “S” word (submission) can generate controversy. To modern ears, God’s standards can seem out-of-date and even distasteful to some. But I am suggesting that the quickest way to fulfillment for a married woman is to discover the freedom of her role as properly understood in Scripture. So let’s jump in and unpack this role and see how it is meant to correspond to a husband’s loving leadership.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 26, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Following the Blueprint—A Wife's Submission"
Text: Ephesians 5:22-24

Path

When it comes to a family's roles within the home, the "S" word (submission) can generate controversy. To modern ears, God's standards can seem out-of-date and even distasteful to some. But the quickest way to fulfillment for a married woman is to discover the freedom of her role as properly understood in Scripture. Let's unpack this role and see how it is meant to correspond to a husband's loving leadership.

  1. Submission Is Personal (v. 22a)
  2. Submission Is Practical (v. 22a)
  3. Submission Is Purposeful (vv. 23-24a)
  4. Submission Is Provisional (v. 22b)
Points

Submission Is PersonalSubmission Is PracticalSubmission Is Purposeful Submission Is Provisional Practice

Connect Up: How is a wife's submission to her husband a picture of a believer's submission to Christ? Why is submission imperative in our personal relationship with Jesus? The idea of surrendering to Christ is likened to being born again (see John 3:7). As one who is saved by God's grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8), our salvation is secure in the Lord and sealed by the Holy Spirit (see 2 Corinthians 1:22). How does this divine relationship serve as a model for marriage (salvation brings security and a seal of love)?

Connect In:
If you are a married woman or have been married, share the joys and challenges of submission. What can you tell men and women in the church about your successes and failures with submission? (Share only as much as you feel comfortable. If you have experienced abuse in marriage, only share as you are led.) If you are single, consider how submission and applies to your relationship with the Lord and others.

Connect Out: Submission must not be used to berate women or as an excuse for abuse of any kind. How might you reach out to and care for a woman suffering from physical, emotional or spiritual abuse? Ensure that your answers are biblical. Focus on the Family suggests:3Another suggestion uses the acronym LOVE:Do you agree with this advice? What might you add or delete? Why?


1 Johanna Harris Tyler, "Submission to Your Husband is a Dangerous Doctrine," March 8, 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/harris-submission-to-your-husband-is-a-dangerous-doctrine/6290304, accessed 8/27/18.
2 John Piper, "A Metaphor of Christ and the Church," February 12, 1984, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/a-metaphor-of-christ-and-the-church, accessed 8/27/18.
3 Focus on the Family, "My Spouse is Verbally and Emotionally Abusive," https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/relationships-and-marriage/my-spouse-is-verbally-and-emotionally-abusive, accessed 8/27/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Following the Blueprint—A Wife's Submission"
Ephesians 5:22-24

  1. Introduction
    1. The difficult word of this text is submit, because it is hard in a marriage relationship for anyone to give up anything
    2. Submission has become a lightning rod issue in our culture
    3. We should never be frightened of anything found in the Bible; we serve a loving God who has our best interests in mind—He always wants the highest for us
    4. People bristle against the word submit because this text has been abused
      1. Some men have the domestic prowess of Jabba the Hutt
      2. This text does not condone a husband's overbearing attitude
        1. That attitude will cause the wife to shut down, because it crushes her spirit, and she then resorts to silence
        2. This leads to a couple that doesn't communicate
    5. The text is short—as Winston Churchill said, "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words"
      1. Husbands—love (see v. 25)
      2. Wives—submit (see v. 22)
    6. Submission is not oppression, it is not slavery, and it is not a right for someone to abuse another person
      1. The submissive role has been dignified, elevated by Jesus Christ
      2. This text should not be ignored by those who don't think it applies to them; it reinforces the response that we, the church, are to have toward the Lord
      3. Marriage is to be a reflection of that response
    7. These roles, though stated simply, can be difficult to pull off
      1. "As Christ…loved the church" (v. 25)
      2. "As to the Lord" (v. 22)
  2. Submission Is Personal (v. 22a)
    1. The term submission was originally a military term
      1. It means to place oneself under
      2. In the Greek, this is used in the middle voice, meaning the subject acts for oneself
      3. Submission is something you do yourself; it is not forced or coerced
    2. To understand the role of women in ancient times, it's important to consider the background of the New Testament era
      1. Women owe their liberation to the Lord Jesus Christ, not Gloria Steinem or Kate Millett
      2. Jesus gave honor to women in an era and culture in which women were not just sidelined, but nonexistent
      3. In the Greco-Roman culture, the role of women publicly did not exist
        1. Men were autocratic; women were acquiescent
        2. Women were excluded from Roman citizenship and were considered to be on the same level as slaves, children, and criminals
        3. In early Roman law, men had the right to sell their wives into slavery or to have them executed
          1. "Our ancestors made it a rule that women, because of their weak intellects, should have guardians to take care of them" —Cicero
          2. Women didn't even have their own names
            1. The firstborn daughter took the feminine version of her father's name
            2. Any daughters who followed were literally numbered
          3. Marriage was purely contractual; love was coincidental, secondary
      4. Jewish culture
        1. Theoretically, no nation had a higher ideal of marriage than Judaism, but a very low ideal of women in general
        2. According to the school of thought led by Rabbis Hillel and Akiba, a husband could divorce his wife for any reason at all
        3. A woman had absolutely no rights at all, least of all to divorce her husband (unless he became a leper or an apostate, or engaged in a disgusting trade)
    3. Then entered Jesus Christ
      1. Women played a huge role in His life; they were obviously drawn to Him, and none of them had any problem submitting to Him as the Lord
      2. Luke 8:2
      3. Matthew 27:55
    4. Jesus also treated women with grace
      1. The woman caught in adultery (see John 8:11)
      2. The Samaritan woman at the well (see John 4:1-26)
      3. The Syrophoenician woman whom Jesus singled out as having great faith (see Matthew 15:28)
      4. Women were the last at the cross, the first at the tomb, and the first to proclaim the resurrection
      5. In the early church, women were deaconesses and prophetesses, and there were couples who ministered (Aquila and Priscilla)
      6. Paul taught that "there is neither male nor female" (Galatians 3:18)
  3. Submission Is Practical (v. 22a)
    1. The submission of a wife is a practical role; Paul was simply pointing out how the roles of husband and wife differ
    2. Everyone has to submit to someone or something as we go through life
    3. Jesus:
      1. Submitted to His earthly parents (see Luke 2:51)
      2. Submitted to His Father (see John 8:29)
      3. Submitted to other people (see Mark 10:45)
    4. Submission is a part of the Christian's life
      1. In society (see Romans 13:1)
      2. In the church (see Hebrews 13:17)
      3. Children are to submit to their parents (see Ephesians 6:1)
    5. All of us are called to submit, and none of us can fulfill God's purpose for our lives without the attitude of submission
      1. "A man is not far from the gates of heaven when he is fully submissive to the Lord's will" —C.H. Spurgeon
      2. Submission to the Lord has to come before submission in the home
    6. Just because the word submit was used in a military sense does not give a husband the right to act like a sergeant in the home
      1. The word Paul used in the Greek is hupotassó, which means to willingly subject oneself to another
      2. Women are not told to obey their husbands; submission might include obedience
      3. However, when Paul spoke to children (see 6:1), he used the word hupakoé—literally obey
      4. So, husbands are not to treat their wives like children, servants, etc.—a wife is her husband's partner
    7. Submission is not about the superiority of the male; it's about the functionality of the marriage
  4. Submission Is Purposeful (vv. 23-24a)
    1. If the husband leads as Christ leads the church (see 1 Corinthians 11:3), submission is not a hard word to hear—it's a natural response
      1. Husbands who lead their wives in a self-serving, domineering way miss what Jesus has done for the church
      2. Wives who refuse to yield to their husbands' leadership hide how the church should respond to Jesus Christ
    2. The purpose of submission:
      1. Submission enables leadership
        1. Maybe the husband isn't a good leader because the wife isn't a good follower
        2. Leadership requires someone who will yield power and control to a leader
        3. Sometimes a wife has the best husband, but usually, a wife makes the best of the husband she has
      2. Submission points to Jesus
        1. Marriage is an illustration of how Christ and His church are one (see vv. 31-32)
        2. Marriage is modeled after redemption, but marriage points to redemption
    3. Jesus' sacrificial love is a model for husbands; the church's submission to Christ is a model for wives
      1. If a human body does not respond to the direction of the head, we call that a disease or paralysis
      2. The purpose of marriage is to reveal God through people
  5. Submission Is Provisional (v. 22b)
    1. There are boundaries to this submission
    2. "In everything" (v. 24) sounds like submission without qualification; however, there's a context to this submission—something that goes with the "in everything"
      1. "In the fear of God" (v. 21)
      2. "As to the Lord" (v. 22)
      3. "As the church is subject to Christ" (v. 24)
      4. "As is fitting in the Lord" (Colossians 3:18)
    3. Christ is the absolute authority in a marriage, not the husband
      1. "The husband does not replace Christ as the woman's supreme authority. Therefore, she may never follow her husband into sin" —John Piper
      2. 1 Peter 3:1
      3. How does a wife respond to a husband's unwise leadership?
        1. By submitting to that unwise leadership, she's not condoning it; she's saying that she can't deal with it, but God can
        2. When you cannot trust visible leadership, you can trust invisible leadership; where you cannot trust human authority, you can trust divine authority
  6. Conclusion
    1. If a wife rebels against her husband as leader in their home, she is rebelling against God
    2. What seems like the hardest word in a marriage can actually be the healthiest word in a marriage
    3. With a submissive attitude, even toward unwise leadership, a wife's willingness to want to submit to her husband can win him over to obedience, or to salvation, in Christ
Figures referenced: Winston Churchill, Cicero, Kate Millett, John Piper, C.H. Spurgeon, Gloria Steinem

Cross references: Matthew 15:28; 27:55; Mark 10:45; Luke 2:51; 8:2; John 4:1-26; 8:11, 29; Romans 13:1; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 3:18; Ephesians 5:21, 25, 31-32; 6:1; Colossians 3:18; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 3:1

Greek words: hupakoé, hupotassó

Topic: wives

Keywords: authority, leadership, love, marriage, role, submission, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Building Your Future Home with Care
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:15-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4341

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The construction of a house is no small undertaking. After the blueprints have been drawn up and approved, there are a series of steps to take to ensure the building is strong and durable. The verses we are considering today give us the preliminary features necessary to live peacefully with another person. Before the roles of family members can ever be exercised successfully, these considerations come first.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 2, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Building Your Future Home with Care"
Text: Ephesians 5:15-21

Path

The construction of a house is no small undertaking. After the blueprints have been drawn up and approved, there are a series of steps to take to ensure the building is strong and durable. The verses we are considering today give us the preliminary features necessary to live peacefully with another person. Before the roles of family members can ever be exercised successfully, these considerations come first.

  1. The Footings: How Careful Are You? (vv. 15-17)
  2. The Foundation: Who's in Control? (v. 18)
  3. The Framing: What Rooms Are Included? (vv. 19-20)
  4. The Fencing: How Do You Protect Residents? (v. 21)
Points

The Footings: How Careful Are You?The Foundation: Who's in Control?The Framing: What Rooms Are Included?The Fencing: How Do You Protect Residents?Practice

Connect Up: As the architect of family and marriage, why is it important to let the Lord build your home? What truths from Pastor Skip's teaching hit home the most for you?

Connect In: Your own family is important but so is the church family. How do the principles shared in this teaching apply to the body of Christ? For example, people in the church are also called to submit to one another, to sing songs, and to love one another. What other parallels do you find between family and the church?

Connect Out: How would you reach out to a hurting family to help them find a heathy balance in their home? Do you agree with these healthy practices from Faith Along the Way?1Or would you recommend a simple route, such as:
Pray together. A family that prays together stays together.
Read the Bible together during meals or a family devotion time.
Attitude. Your attitude should be like Jesus' attitude: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition" (see Philippians 2:1-4).
You. A family is not about you, but us. Recognize that no person is an island, as the poet John Donne wrote, but a "piece of the continent, a part of the main."2 We are to seek peace for the greater good of the family, looking out for one another in love.


1 Abi Craig, "Seven Characteristics of a Strong Family," https://faithalongtheway.com/characteristics-of-a-strong-family/, accessed 9/4/18.
2 John Donne, "No Man Is an Island," https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/no-man-is-an-island/, accessed 9/4/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Building Your Future Home with Care"
Ephesians 5:15-21

  1. Introduction
    1. God's will for our relationships, our families, our homes is to blossom in a field of weeds
      1. "We are surrounded by foreign, hostile, and home-shattering influences in our world today. The supported elements of our society no longer feed and shade us. The Christian home must blossom in a field of weeds" —Howard Hendricks
      2. Our focus should not be the house so much as the home—not the edifice, but the relationships that bloom in that house
    2. Most teachings from this passage of Ephesians begin at verse 22; that is unfair relationally and out of context theologically
      1. The first mention of submission in the passage is in verse 21—"submitting to one another in the fear of God"
      2. The thought begins grammatically in verse 18; two commands followed by four examples of what it means or looks like to follow those commands
      3. The context can be found where the paragraph begins—with verse 15
    3. In this passage, Paul was telling the Ephesian Christians how to live as children and ambassadors of light in a dark world
      1.  Generally, then specifically as the passage continues
      2. The rest of chapter 5 through 6:9 expands on that message and individualizes it
  2. The Footings: How Careful Are You? (vv. 15-17)
    1. The footings are where the home meets the soil; they will eventually hold the weight of the house
      1. Must be calculated very carefully—deep enough, wide enough, etc.
      2. What happens in the house depends on what happens in the ground first; the structural integrity begins with the footings
    2. Circumspectly—from two Latin words literally meaning to look around carefully
      1. As you launch into any new relationship with a person, watch where you're going; be careful about the choices you make
      2. Walking circumspectly through the world today is like walking a tightrope, staying connected to God while watching every move we make
      3. Early dating experiences should be the footings, setting the perimeter and the parameters
    3. Two qualifications of walking circumspectly
      1. "Not as fools but as wise" (v. 15)
      2. "Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (v. 17)
        1. Wisdom is not knowledge; sometimes when it comes to relationships, it's easy to act unwisely
        2. Believers should be marked by wisdom
  3. The Foundations: Who's in Control? (v. 18)
    1. Everything inside the house rests on the foundation
      1. The foundation holds up everything and everyone in the home
      2. The foundation controls the future well-being of that house; the unseen supports what is seen
    2. Why do so many Christian marriages fail?
      1. Often it comes down to a control issue: the Holy Spirit is not allowed to control both spouses
      2. Unless we yield to that which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is around us
      3. Are you yielding to the Holy Spirit or the unholy spirit (yourself)? Or worldly ideals?
    3. Paul gave two commands
      1. The negative: "Do not be drunk with wine" (v. 18)
      2. The positive: "But be filled with the Spirit" (v. 18)
      3. Paul made the comparison to point out the superficial similarity between the two
      4. Perhaps Paul simply said it because of his audience (Ephesus was wine country; the temple of Dionysus was in Ephesus)
      5. Paul's message to the Ephesians was this: rather than lose control to alcohol, allow the Holy Spirit to control you
    4. The Greek word used here is pléroó—to fill something to the brim
      1. Instead of water filling a cup, think of it as a hand filling a glove; without the hand, the glove is powerless
      2. Wind filling the sails of a ship
      3. Sometimes it's used of control, as an emotion can control (see John 16:6); so, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to allow Him to control your life
    5. There will always be a void in a relationship if Jesus Christ is excluded from it
  4. The Framing: What Rooms Are Included? (vv. 19-20)
    1. The Music Room: "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns"
      1. When you are filled with the Spirit, you have a worshipful heart
      2. When the Holy Spirit of God is controlling a marriage, there will be joy in that relationship
      3. What kind of music fills your home?
    2. The Meditation Room: "Singing and making melody in your heart"
      1. The proof that the Holy Spirit is controlling you is the peace and contentment you have in your heart, and that is a result of what you meditate on (see Philippians 4:8)
      2. The question of how much joy is in your home can be answered by how much joy is in your heart
    3. The Mood Room: "Giving thanks always for all things"
      1. The attitude of gratitude needs to be in your home
      2. The tough part is "always for all things," but on the other side of the difficult circumstances of life is a God who can change those things
      3. When you find yourself at fault, you can be thankful that He is forgiving
      4. How much gratitude is in your home?
      5. A home filled with complaining is incompatible with the Holy Spirit's control
        1. If He's controlling you, but you're complaining about His control, there are problems in your relationship with Him
        2. Psalm 103:1-2
          1. When we forget His benefits, thanksgiving does not come out of our mouths, but complaining
          2. When we remember His benefits, we start thanking Him
  5. The Fencing: How Do You Protect Residents? (v. 21)
    1. "Submitting to one another in the fear of God" (v. 21)
      1. Hupotassó—to arrange yourself underneath something or someone
      2. The filling of the Holy Spirit makes a person humble, not haughty; the filling of the Holy Spirit creates a submissive attitude
      3. The evidence of the Holy Spirit is a humble attitude
    2. Submission is mutual, not to be done just by one, but by everyone
      1. Verse 21 is a transitional verse: a principle is given, then four examples of that principle are given in the following verses (the wife's role of submission, husband's role of submission, child's role of submission, parent's role of submission)
        1. The husband's role of submission: "as Christ also loved the church" (v. 25)
        2. There is no greater act of submission than Jesus' obedience to His Father in sacrificing Himself for us
        3. The husband gets underneath the wife to help bear the load she carries
      2. The best way to avoid a collision in your marriage is through mutual submission
  6. Conclusion
    1. Let the Holy Spirit fill you in the midst of the darkness of the world
    2. Don't worry about those around you; watch what the Spirit will do with you when you allow Him to take control of your life
Figures referenced: Howard Hendricks

Cross references: Psalms 103:1-2; John 16:6; Ephesians 5:22-6:9; Philippians 4:8

Greek words: hupotassó, pléroó

Topic: the home

Keywords: building, care, foundation, Holy Spirit, humility, submission

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Till Death Do Us Part: What You Need to Know to Make Marriage Last
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2; Mark 10
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4343

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Is a lifetime commitment to a spouse even reasonable? Does permanence have to become a goal if it means a couple just has to grin and bear it? What if a marriage hinders one’s personal growth and self-fulfillment? Today I want to make a case not just for getting married but also for staying married. Let’s go back to the divine architect’s original prototype to understand what He had in mind when coming up with this idea of marriage.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 9, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Till Death Do Us Part—What You Need to Know to Make Marriage Last"
Text: Genesis 2; Mark 10

Path

Is a lifetime commitment to a spouse even reasonable? Does permanence have to become a goal if it means a couple just has to grin and bear it? What if a marriage hinders one's personal growth and self-fulfillment? Pastor Skip makes a case not just for getting married but also for staying married. He goes back to the divine architect's original prototype to understand what He had in mind when coming up with this idea of marriage:

  1. Understand What Marriage Is (Genesis 2:24)
  2. Understand What Marriage Does (Genesis 2:25)
  3. Understand What Marriage Needs (Mark 10:9)
Points

Understand What Marriage IsUnderstand What Marriage DoesUnderstand What Marriage Needs Practice

Connect Up: Why do you think God invented marriage? As Pastor Skip noted, there is a physical, spiritual, and material union. Can you think of other reasons (a picture of love, etc.)? How does a good and godly marriage reflect the Lord?

Connect In: As Pastor Skip said, marriage within the church is attacked, with people and evil wanting to tear it apart. Share stories of how you pursue the four areas in the acronym LAST: laughter, absolve, study, and time.

Connect Out: What advice would you give someone whose marriage is falling apart? Furthermore, what advice would you give to someone whose parents, children, family, or hobbies are tearing a marriage apart? Though each area needs a specific answer, is there one unifying answer? To put it in Skip's words, what is at the heart of what is tearing you apart?


1 Hampton Roads Legal Services, "What Are The Statistics On Divorce In America?" https://www.hamptonroadslegal.com/faqs/facts-on-divorce-in-america.cfm, accessed 9/9/18.
2 Rachel Feltman, "Is cheating more 'natural' for humans than staying monogamous? It's complicated." August 20, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/20/is-cheating-more-natural-for-humans-than-staying-monogamous-its-complicated/?utm_term=.b48f93363a2b, accessed 9/10/18.
3 Russell Heimlich, "Marriage Is Obsolete," January 6, 2011, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2011/01/06/marriage-is-obsolete, accessed 9/9/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Till Death Do Us Part: What You Need to Know to Make Marriage Last"
Genesis 2; Mark 10

  1. Introduction
    1. Why is it that so many people who begin a marriage relationship so well end up so miserable?
      1. The permanence of marriage can feel very heavy, especially in comparison to the failure of marriages around us
      2. There is one divorce every thirty-six seconds in the United States—nearly 2,400 divorces every day and 16,800 divorces every week
      3. The average marriage that ends in divorce lasts about eight years
    2. Because the trend toward divorce continues to worsen, it causes society to question whether marriage is reasonable
    3. Most marriage research is about failure—all the reasons it doesn't work; the good news is that though marriage is on the endangered species list, it is not doomed
    4. Healthy, vibrant marriage doesn't just happen—it's the deliberate result of determined people willing to make it work through God's grace and strength
    5. Marriage is the only game in which both players can win, but to do so, they have to understand what a marriage is, what a marriage does, and what a marriage needs
  2. Understand What Marriage Is (Genesis 2:24)
    1. The first poem in the Bible is found in Genesis 2:23
      1. In English, this poem does not sound romantic—the emotional element to it that is captured in the Hebrew is lost when translated to English
      2. John Calvin translated it this way: "Now, at length, I have obtained a suitable companion, who is part of the substance of my flesh, and in whom I behold, as it were, another self"
    2. There are three aspects of marriage:
      1. Leaving
        1. Marriage begins by severing one relationship in order to solidify another relationship
        2. The couple has to cut the cord of dependence on their parents and establish a new first loyalty
        3. This is illustrated by the ceremonial giving away of the bride by her parents
      2. Cleaving
        1. Marriage requires a deep, determined commitment of permanence
        2. The Hebrew word is dabaq—to cling to or to follow hard after an indissoluble union
        3. The idea of permanence is all but gone; humans have changed God's blueprint in order to add a back door: divorce
      3. Weaving
        1. "And they shall become one" (v. 24)—the becoming takes a lifetime; it's not instantaneous
          1. Basic level: the physical, sexual union
          2. Deeper level: everything is shared
            1. Bodies (see 1 Corinthians 7:4)
            2. Possessions
            3. Insights
          3. "It is the type of relationship that is shared with no one else other than one's mate. It is a partnership in every area of life, for as long as both partners live. In other words, there is absolutely nothing about which one spouse can say to another, that's none of your business. The wife has complete and unfettered access to every area of her husband's life, and so, also, the husband to every area of his wife's life. There are no locked doors or secret hiding places" —Wayne Mack
        2. Continue to add points of strength to the marriage relationship; this produces longevity and makes the relationship immovable
        3. A marriage is not held together by chains; it is held together by threads—tiny threads woven together every day, every week, every month, over years
        4. That makes it absolutely immovable and strong over a lifetime
  3. Understand What Marriage Does (Genesis 2:25)
    1. Leaving, cleaving, and weaving produces intimacy
      1. The idea of intimacy is symbolized by Adam and Eve's nakedness—open and unashamed before each other in an open and unguarded relationship
      2. This is not just a physical intimacy; this is the deep and rewarding connection between a husband and wife physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially
    2. Marriage is infinitely rewarding at its best, but indescribably oppressive at its worst; what makes the difference is intimacy
  4. Understand What Marriage Needs (Mark 10:9)
    1. Jesus linked a human experience with a divine covenant
      1. Marriage is more than just a piece of paper
      2. When a couple gets married, they need to understand that their decision to be joined invites God into the process, who Himself then joins them together
    2. God elevates the commitment of marriage and transforms it into a covenant
      1. Marriage is a sacred union
      2. Marriage needs this recognition—it's a covenant (see Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14)
    3. Marriage needs to be protected
      1. From outside forces or people who would want to tear it apart
      2. Don't let anything or anyone drive a wedge between you and your spouse
        1. Lovingly set boundaries with parents
        2. Don't shelve your marriage for the sake of child-centered parenting
          1. Child-centered parenting produces narcissistic children with no coping skills
          2. Puts a strain on the marriage, because the children have been placed above the spouse
      3. Every other relationship in your life has to take a back seat to your marriage relationship
    4. Marriage reprioritizes everything and everyone in your life
  5. Conclusion
    1. How to make your marriage last:
      1. Laugh—laughter needs to be a daily part of your marriage; couples who laugh are couples who last
      2. Absolve (forgive)—marriage is a union between two sinners who need to be relentless forgivers
      3. Study each other—discover each other; discovery is better than trying to change the other person (see 1 Peter 3:7)
      4. Time—marriage takes time; marriage takes top priority of your time
    2. For better or for worse
      1. More couples will survive if they understand that the better may come after the worse
      2. Do the hard work, because it will get better
Figures referenced: John Calvin, Wayne Mack

Cross references: Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14; 1 Corinthians 7:4; 1 Peter 3:7

Hebrew words: dabaq

Topic: marriage

Keywords: divorce, husband, intimacy, permanence, relationship, union, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: The Master Bedroom: Components of Marital Intimacy
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 5:15-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4345

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Being intimate with your spouse involves more than just sex (though it certainly includes that). Intimacy is a sense of caring and affection in which one can be totally vulnerable with someone without the fear of being hurt or misunderstood. The physical/sexual factor should only enhance that. Intimacy is essential if a marriage is going to thrive. Let’s recover four components of marital intimacy.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 16, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Master Bedroom: Components of Marital Intimacy"
Text: Proverbs 5:15-21

Path

Being intimate with your spouse involves more than just sex (though it certainly includes that). Intimacy is a sense of caring and affection in which one can be totally vulnerable with someone without the fear of being hurt or misunderstood. The physical/sexual factor should only enhance that. Intimacy is essential if a marriage is going to thrive. Pastor Skip taught four ways to recover components of marital intimacy:

  1. Intimacy Begins with Commitment (v. 18)
  2. Intimacy Grows with Enjoyment (v. 18)
  3. Intimacy Includes Allurement (vv. 15, 19-20)
  4. Intimacy Is Part of Covenant (v. 21)
Points

Intimacy Begins with CommitmentIntimacy Grows with EnjoymentIntimacy Includes AllurementIntimacy Is Part of CovenantPractice

Connect Up: How can intimacy reflect our relationship with the Lord? For example, various emotions in an intimate relationship correspond to those Christians have with the Lord. Discuss the following: love, care, knowing, trust, honesty, real communication, actively present with each other, and being oneself—open and sincere.

Connect In: Though uncomfortable at times (and considered taboo within some denominations), how can a church help teach and cultivate more intimacy between a husband and wife? One way is, as Pastor Skip demonstrated, teach it from the pulpit. What are other avenues that can strengthen and encourage marriage relationships within the church?

Connect Out: In a day and age where sex is promoted in ungodly ways in our society, how can Christians help people overcome a nonbiblical view of sex, helping people find the Lord and help for sexual addictions?4What are some of the more prominent sexual addictions (e.g. porn)? Discuss biblical remedies (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 7:24-25).5

1 P.S. Williams, "Christianity & Sex," 1998, http://www.leaderu.com/theology/williams_csex.html, accessed 9/16/18.
2 Baylor Media Communications, "Baylor Study: Cellphones Can Damage Romantic Relationships, Lead to Depression," September 29, 2015, https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=161554, accessed 9/16/18.
3 The Wall Street Journal, "Couples on Different Sleep Schedules Can Expect Conflict—and Adapt," September 9, 2014, https://www.wsj.com/articles/couples-on-different-sleep-schedules-can-expect-conflictand-adapt-1410217854, accessed 9/16/18.
4 According to Medicine.net, "Sexual addiction is a condition that involves the sufferer becoming excessively preoccupied with thoughts or behaviors that give a desired sexual effect."
5 Some suggestions by Ed Young: https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/overcoming-sexual-addiction-1328796.html

DETAILED NOTES
"The Master Bedroom: Components of Marital Intimacy"
Proverbs 5:15-21

  1. Introduction
    1. The Bible has a lot to say about physical intimacy within marriage; the master bedroom should be an important consideration in the smart home
    2. Proverbs 5 is essentially a father giving advice to his son about life, especially sexual temptation
      1. Verses 1-14: the disastrous results of sexual promiscuity, the dangers of immorality, and those who have been destroyed by it
      2. Verses 15-23: the delightful results of marital intimacy
    3. Intimacy is much more than sex, though certainly sex is part of it
    4. Some have been raised to believe that sex is dirty; they are uncomfortable and uneasy talking about it
    5. Consequently, as parents, they don't train their children in the fundamentals
      1. Sex is like soil—dark, rich, nutrient-laden soil is great, in its proper context
      2. Sex is like fire—when in the right place, it's a good thing, but outside of that context, it can be dangerous
    6. The smart home will have a master bedroom that is a sanctuary—a place of refuge
      1. "The inner sanctuary of the temple" (2 Chronicles 5:7)
      2. The master bedroom should be a sacred place for the husband and wife
      3. There should be firm boundaries to protect that sanctuary—that's where they will be able to reconnect and recalibrate their relationship
  2. Intimacy Begins with Commitment (v. 18)
    1. Intimacy requires a commitment—a monogamous, lifelong relationship
      1. Where commitment is firmly in place is where intimacy can truly flourish; commitment creates a safe place for intimacy to grow and flourish
      2. Biblical examples of commitment:
        1. Ruth's commitment to Naomi (see Ruth 1:16-17)
        2. God's commitment to His people (see Hebrews 13:5)
    2. Commitment has been sidelined in our culture; couples become tire-kickers—they test out living together before committing to marriage
      1. Research shows that those who enter into marriage with a sense of permanence and real commitment are more likely to be successful than those who do not
      2. Based on fifty years of data, couples who live together before marriage are 50 percent more likely to divorce than those who don't
      3. These couples have stolen a level of intimacy that is not warranted at that point, nor has it been validated by their commitment to each other
  3. Intimacy Grows with Enjoyment (v. 18)
    1. Living joyfully is one thing on the honeymoon, but quite another issue as the marriage continues
      1. In verse 18, the Hebrew word translated as rejoice is samach, which literally means to brighten up
      2. Used similarly in Ecclesiastes 9:9
    2. A successful couple works to maintain the friendship, cultivate the companionship, nurture the relationship, and enjoy it
      1. The most successful couples are those who continue to bond
      2. The challenge is how to continue to bring enjoyment into the relationship so that a couple can enjoy being with each other
      3. It takes work to make marriage enjoyable; anything worthwhile takes work
    3. You don't have a good marriage because you say that you have one, want to have one, or know how to get one—you have one because you work hard at it
      1. Often, sexual problems in a marriage are symptomatic—indicators of deeper problems
      2. "Conflicts, quarrels, bitter words will in time have an adverse effect on sexual harmony. One reason why it appears that sexual adjustment is difficult to achieve is that failure in any one or several of the other major areas of marital life is reflected in physical relationships. Generally, a couple which has achieved a satisfactory co-operative framework in which to face all of their problems will find a minimum of difficulty in coming together sexually" —James Peterson
  4. Intimacy Includes Allurement (vv. 15, 19-20)
    1. Sex wasn't invented in Hollywood or Las Vegas, but in the loving heart of a loving God (see Genesis 1:27)
    2. Several words to notice throughout Proverbs 5 are cistern, well, streams, fountains
      1. These are all places of refreshment and sustenance
      2. Metaphorically, these words are used to speak of a couple's sexual delight and satisfaction
      3. Solomon used similar terms in Song of Solomon 4:15
      4. Another word used in Proverbs 5 is enraptured (v. 19); this word means to be intoxicated with, to swerve, to meander, to reel
    3. God made every part of your body; you were designed by the Creator to enjoy sexual stimulation
      1. In Hebrews 13:4, bed in the Greek is koité—literally sexual intercourse
      2. Song of Solomon 5:10-16; 7:1-9
    4. There are three biblical purposes for sex:
      1. Babies—"Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28)
      2. Bonding
        1. Sex is more than the physical act; it is a bond that brings the couple together emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
        2. Sex is a means of getting to know each other in the deepest possible way
      3. Bliss
        1. To bring pleasure, satisfaction, and release
        2. The sexual impulse is God-given, and it must be God-guided
  5. Intimacy Is Part of Covenant (v. 21)
    1. God has promised that He'll be a witness to the vows that you share with each other
      1. "The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord" (v. 21)
      2. God needs to be involved in our relationships
    2. Bring God into your marriage and keep Him there; you'll have a better marriage
      1. You will have greater intimacy and higher sexual pleasure if you keep God at the center of your marriage
      2. According to two Family Life seminar researchers, Christians generally experience a higher degree of sexual enjoyment than non-Christians
  6. Conclusion: tips
    1. Leave technology out of the bedroom—don't enshrine technology to the detriment of your marriage and spouse
    2. Go to bed at the same time—couples who don't have a less satisfying intimate relationship
    3. Give a blessing to your spouse—let the last words they hear before they fall asleep be words of praise, prayer, or thanksgiving
 Figures referenced: James PetersonCross references: Genesis 1:27-28; Ruth 1:16-17; 2 Chronicles 5:7; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Song of Solomon 4:15; 5:10-16; 7:1-9; Hebrews 13:4-5Greek words: koitéHebrew words: samach

Topic: intimacy

Keywords: bonding, commitment, husband, marriage, relationship, sex, spouse, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Communication Breakdown
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4349

MESSAGE SUMMARY
God’s plan for the family is to build, strengthen, and protect it. But Satan has declared war on the family as he seeks to undermine, weaken, and destroy it. The statistics are staggering: the divorce rate has risen over 700 percent in this century, and there is one divorce for every 1.8 marriages. Since communication is key to oneness in marriage, Nate Heitzig examines the Scriptures to find how to deal with communication breakdown in a marriage, both how to prevent it and how to repair it.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: September 30, 2018
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "Communication Breakdown"
Text: Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Path

God's plan for the family is to build, strengthen, and protect. But Satan has declared war on the family, wanting to undermine, weaken, and destroy it. With divorce rising over 700 percent in this century and one divorce for every 1.8 marriages, the family is under brutal attack. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig talked about how to deal with communication breakdown in a marriage:

  1. Preventing Breakdown
  2. Repairing Breakdown
Points

Preventing BreakdownRepairing BreakdownPractice

Connect Up: If "God is love" (1 John 4:8), then love should characterize a Christian marriage. Love is best seen in the person of Jesus. It's also defined in 1 Corinthians 13. Using that passage, discuss how the following characteristics should influence marriage, giving examples—good or bad—from your experience: patience, kindness, not envious, not boasting, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeping no record of wrongs, rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. If you are not married, how can these love truths help form a healthy relationship?

Connect In: Share some ups and downs of communication within your marriage (or another close relationship, if you're not married). What have you learned from them? How did you deal with a communication breakdown? How did you restore communication? If you are not married, what principles of communication do you think a marriage should entail?

Connect Out: How would you reach out to a person struggling with communication problems in their marriage? Focus on the Family encourages using the acronym DEAL:1 "Don't take the bait. Explain the impact of the behavior and express your needs and expectation. Ask questions to draw your spouse into dialogue to gain understanding. Let go of the need to manage your spouse's behavior. Manage your own." Do you agree with these tactics? What would you add?


1 Deb DeArmond, "4 Steps to Deal With Conflict in Your Marriage," 2018, https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/4-steps-to-deal-with-conflict-in-your-marriage, accessed 9/30/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Communication Breakdown"

  1. Introduction
    1. Satan has declared war on the family
      1. Because God's plan is to build, strengthen, and protect the family, Satan's desire is to undermine, weaken, and destroy it
      2. Over the past decades, we've witnessed the slow destruction of the American family and family values
        1. Over the past century, the divorce rate has increased by 700 percent
        2. Every year, over a million children are involved in a divorce in the US
    2. The reason cited for many divorces is "irreconcilable differences"—but differences are a part of life, especially marriage
    3. A successful marriage requires effort on the part of both spouses
      1. For a marriage to work, the couple must commit to an obedience of God and His Word, as well as laying aside this world's distorted concept of marriage
      2. It takes a lifetime of pursuit to find out what oneness is all about; marriage won't work out unless we put work into it
    4. Communication is the most vital area in every marriage
      1. Don't let anything or anyone cut off that lifeline
      2. A marriage is either made or broken by communication
      3. Without strong communication, no relationship can survive
    5. Your spouse should be your best friend
      1. Malachi 2:14: a companion is one with whom you are united in thoughts, goals, plans, and effort
      2. 1 Peter 3:7
        1. Dwell means to be aligned to
        2. Honor means to give maintenance to
      3. If we have a breakdown in communication with our spouse, we will have a breakdown in communication with God
    6. Your marriage should be your priority
      1. "[Leaving]…father and mother" (Genesis 2:24) also means giving other things a lesser priority—career, house, hobbies, even church work
      2. We need to learn how to communicate biblically
  2. Preventing Breakdown
    1. Don't lie to your spouse
      1. Honesty is the first thing you need in a relationship; without it, there is no foundation for your relationship
      2. Deceit creates distrust of the relationship as a whole and causes us to question our relationships
      3. Satan is the Father of Lies, and if we begin to live a life of falsehood, we will soon forget what is actually true or false; we'll begin to create lies to cover other lies, and that creates an unstable foundation upon which nothing can be built
        1. Psalm 101:7
        2. Revelation 21:8
      4. Deceit includes more than just outright lying
        1. In the ESV translation of Ephesians 4:25, lying is replaced by falsehood; this includes exaggeration and flattery
        2. Another form of falsehood is making excuses—not owning up to your own mistakes, but shifting blame for them
    2. Don't use the truth for the specific purpose of hurting your spouse
      1. Truthfulness does not demand saying everything we know and think without regard for the impact of our words
      2. As Christians, we should rely on God to deal with our feelings—for God to remove them—and not use them to destroy or tear someone down in the name of truth
      3. Always speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15)
    3. Don't avoid conflict, but don't use conflict as a weapon
      1. It's okay to get angry and frustrated, but we have to temper that anger and frustration with patience
      2. We shouldn't avoid conflict; it's okay to fight
      3. Conflict can lead to greater intimacy, shared goals, and mutual respect and honor
      4. Conflict can be healthy, but when it leads to outbursts of anger, it can become a very destructive force
        1. How we respond to anger and conflict is important (see Proverbs 18:19)
        2. There's nothing wrong with conflict, but there are rules (see Ephesians 4:26)
      5. No one can wound you the way your mate can, and no one can wound your mate the way you can; when you purpose to hurt your mate, you're being self-destructive
      6. When we refuse to settle conflict in a godly manner, we are allowing Satan to speak lies into the heart and life of our spouse—we are becoming a microphone and a megaphone for Satan into our spouse's life
        1. Know when and where to deal with conflict; pick your battlefields wisely
        2. Be patient (see 1 Corinthians 13:4); love's patience is the ability to be inconvenienced, or taken advantage of, over and over
    4. Don't be selfish
      1. Marriage cannot survive if selfishness exists within it; the basic principle of marriage is relinquishing your rights to another person
      2. Build your relationship on selflessness, not selfishness
      3. Don't look at your spouse and say, "You need to be better"—look at yourself and say, "I need to be better" (see James 4:1)
      4. Love doesn't take—love gives; the great barrier to this is self
      5. Conflicts and communication breakdown in the home are the result of people who are motivated and directed by selfish desires rather than spiritual ones
      6. Marriage is a mirror
        1. It reflects
        2. If you don't like the way your marriage looks, don't blame your spouse—they're simply showing you a reflection of yourself
      7. The love Jesus spoke of is a love that turns the other cheek; its primary concern is for the welfare of others, not itself (see Matthew 5:38-39)
  3. Repairing Breakdown
    1. Communication isn't just about what you don't say; it's also about what you do say
      1. Love is active, not abstract; it doesn't just talk—it walks
      2. Love is fully love only when it acts
      3. Love doesn't make you feel something—it makes you do something
      4. Love is a verb (see 1 John 3:18)
    2. Speak kindness
      1. Use your words for good, not evil
      2. It's not enough to just not criticize—you need to build your spouse up
      3. Don't say something to get something, but to simply encourage
      4. If patience will take anything from others, kindness will give anything to others (see Matthew 5:40)
      5. When your spouse takes something from you or hurts you, don't respond in kind—respond with kindness
      6. If love is only learned and not lived, it is a lie
      7. Don't become so comfortable in your marriage that you forget to compliment your mate; it's amazing what a kind word can do in breaking down walls and leading to forgiveness (see Romans 2:4)
    3. Trust each other
      1. Love believes the very best of every person (see 1 Corinthians 13:7)
      2. Because you love your spouse, you'll stick up for them
    4. Guard against bitterness (see Ephesians 4:31)
      1. This is important for preventing breakdown as well as repairing breakdown
      2. The danger of a breakdown in communication is that it can lead to bitterness in your heart
        1. Bitterness is a settled hostility that poisons the whole mind
        2. If we fail to communicate properly, bitterness and resentment will settle in and spread until it destroys that relationship
        3. We need to empower each other, not demean each other
          1. We need to amplify love and silence bitterness (see Hebrews 12:15)
          2. The Greek word for bitterness springing up speaks of a thorn in a garden—a continuous, torturous pain that you inflict upon yourself and others
      3. Roots of bitterness grow in gardens left unattended, and each day they grow a little deeper and a little harder to uproot
  4. Conclusion
    1. Love refuses to give up, to surrender, to stop believing or hoping; love will simply not stop loving
    2. There are two ways to defeat bitterness and endure all things:
      1. Consider the people in your life through the eyes of Jesus: as He was dying, His concern was for His murderers rather than Himself (see Luke 23:34)
      2. Compare the people in your life to yourself—think about your own sins and realize that your list outweighs theirs

 

Cross references: Genesis 2:24; Psalm 101:7; Proverbs 18:19; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 5:38-40; Luke 23:34; Romans 2:4; 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7; Ephesians 4:15, 25-26, 31; Hebrews 12:15; James 4:1; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 3:18; Revelation 21:8

Topic: communication

Keywords: bitterness, family, husband, kindness, love, marriage, relationships, spouse, talk, trust, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: A Smart Home...with In-Laws?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 28-31
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4351

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Every wedding creates a blended family. Marriage not only joins a man and a woman, it blends the extended family of mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law. The odds for dysfunction run pretty high. Today we consider the roles of God, parents, in-laws, and married children doing life together. How can in-laws be prevented from becoming outlaws? Four principles apply:

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 7, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Smart Home...With In-Laws?"
Text: Genesis 28-31

Path

Every wedding creates a blended family. Marriage not only joins a man and a woman, it blends the extended family of mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sisters- in-law, and brothers-in-law. The odds for dysfunction run pretty high. Let's consider the roles of God, parents, in-laws, and married children doing life together. How can in-laws be prevented from becoming outlaws? Four principles apply:

  1. Parents Must Release Their Children (28:1-5)
  2. God Can Rule Their Children (28:10-15)
  3. In-Laws Should Reinforce Their Children (29:18-28)
  4. Children Should Respect Their Parents (31:2-7)
Points

Parents Must Release Their ChildrenGod Can Rule Their Children  In-Laws Should Reinforce Their ChildrenChildren Should Respect Their ParentsPractice

Connect Up: As our Heavenly Father demonstrates, what characteristics should parents and in-laws strive toward? Use Psalm 103:1-10 as a starting place for discussion: forgiving (v. 3); healing (v. 3); loving and tender (v. 4); provider (v. 5); seeks righteousness and justice (v. 6); merciful (v. 8); slow to anger (vv. 8-9); compassionate (v. 10). What other qualities and characteristics can you think of?

Connect In: People within the church may struggle with in-laws as they do in other relationships. If you are married, what advice would you give a newlywed couple concerning in-laws? If you are in-laws, what insight can you share? What have been some good or difficult lessons learned?

Connect Out: What advice would you give to someone struggling with their in-laws? Do you agree with what Focus on the Family advises below?1
1 Phillip J. Swihart, "In-Law Relationships," www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/inlaw-relationships/what-do-i-owe-my-inlaws, accessed 10/8/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"A Smart Home…with In-Laws?"
Genesis 28-31

  1. Introduction
    1. Your in-laws are the family you get when you get married
    2. "Perhaps the most difficult of all relationships to deal with is the in-law relationship. It's true that you marry the family" —Jay Adams
    3. There are many examples of healthy relationships with in-laws throughout the Bible
      1. Moses and Jethro (see Exodus 18)
      2. Ruth and Naomi (see Ruth 1:16-17)
      3. Peter and his mother-in-law (see Matthew 8:14-15)
    4. There are four necessary roles that can make the in-law relationship work:
      1. The parents
      2. God
      3. The in-laws
      4. The children
  2. Parents Must Release Their Children (28:1-5)
    1. One of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child is prepare them to leave and stand on their own before God
      1. God established this principle in Genesis 2:24, when He told Adam and Eve, who did not have parents, to "leave"
      2. Isaac released Jacob
      3. As Christians, we understand that children are lent to us by God
      4. They're not ours; we are stewards over them
    2. Leaving doesn't mean deserting, but developing—parents are developing their children for a shift in allegiance
      1. For that young man, the dominant female figure in his life up to that point was his mother; for that young woman, the dominant male figure in her life was her father
      2. Unless this release happens, the couple will not reach the fulfillment, the pinnacle, the potential that God has for them in marriage
    3. After children have left the home, parents must learn to regard them as independent adults who are charting their own course
      1. An empty nest can produce a full heart, if the release is done well
      2. Leaving doesn't just mean moving out of the house—it also means cutting the cord of dependence and leaving emotionally and psychologically
    4. As a young married couple, there is a need to affirm the release in front of your parents by commending your mate, not complaining about your mate
  3. God Can Rule Their Children (28:10-15)
    1. The reason for the release of your children is that God can rule your children—He can manage where you left off
      1. Jacob's father said "go," and his heavenly Father said "come"
      2. Psalm 27:10
    2. Daily release your worries about your children's choices to the Lord
      1. God is more than able to get a hold of and shape lives
      2. If a young married couple, the parents, and the in-laws are all seeking the Lord's will for that marriage, life will be a lot easier
    3. God affirmed His will for Jacob to get married and raise a family (see vv. 4, 15)
      1. God established a priority grid for Jacob: God first, family second
      2. Ephesians follows this grid and elaborates on it
        1. Chapters 1-3 focus on the priority relationship—our relationship with God
        2. Chapters 4-6 focus on the secondary relationships—our relationships with other people
          1. Chapter 4: general principles of relationships
          2. Chapter 5: specifics of family relationships
          3. Chapter 6: employer/employee relationships
      3. The same outline is also used in Colossians and 1 Timothy
      4. If you don't keep with God's pattern, life will be out of whack
      5. The best thing you can do for your wife or husband is pursue God with all of your heart—showing them that you love them, but that you love God most
      6. The best thing you can do for your children is pursue God and your spouse before your relationship with them
  4. In-Laws Should Reinforce Their Children (29:18-28)
    1. In-laws should support, or reinforce, their children
      1. Laban is an example of what not to do—he was very divisive and manipulative
      2. Laban was completely self-centered and motivated only by his own gain
      3. Laban revealed his heart in Genesis 31:43: "All that you see is mine"
    2. Life is too short to live with broken relationships
      1. Do your part to ease the tension in your relationships
      2. You don't have to agree with them, but you should love them
    3. Laban refused to reinforce the choices that his daughters and son-in-law had made
      1. He never really released his daughters into Jacob's care, which further reveals his selfish heart
      2. His error was in failing to see that the husband-wife relationship supersedes the parent-child relationship
      3. Once that young couple says, "I do," there's a shift that happens, and the husband-wife relationship then supersedes the parent-child relationship
    4. Parents should accept their child's mate as they would their own child
      1. As God saw them as "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24), so should the in-laws
      2. The rule of thumb for giving advice to married children: never give advice unless it's requested—and don't resent them if they choose not to follow your advice
      3. Reinforcing your children and their choices is much better than resenting your children and their choices
  5. Children Should Respect Their Parents (31:2-7)
    1. Instead of staying to fight with Laban, Jacob decided to follow God's command to return to his homeland
      1. In doing this, Jacob honored Laban
      2. Although he could have interposed his own will by continuing to fight with Laban, Jacob chose to honor him by focusing instead on God's faithfulness in spite of Laban's shortcomings
    2. God commands us to honor our parents, which implies honoring our parents-in-law
      1. This commandment has not been rescinded or amended
      2. Paul quoted it in Ephesians 6:2, and it can be found in several other books in the New Testament
    3. Accept your in-laws as they are; it's not your job to try to change them
      1. As parents can trust their children to God's rule, you can trust your in-laws to God's rule
      2. Don't criticize your in-laws in front of your mate, because that makes it harder for your mate to honor his/her parents
      3. 1 Timothy 5:1
  6. Conclusion
    1. Just as you will never find the perfect spouse, you will never find the perfect in-laws
    2. Our model to follow is Peter in the New Testament (see Luke 4:38-39)
      1. Peter brought Jesus to his mother-in-law
      2. Bring Jesus to your parents-in-law through your words, attitude, and respect—it will help your relationships flourish rather than fail

 

Figures referenced: Jay Adams

Cross references: Genesis 2:24; Exodus 18; Ruth 1:16-17; Psalm 27:10; Matthew 8:14-15; Luke 4:38-39; Ephesians 1-6; 1 Timothy 5:1

Topic: in-laws

Keywords: children, honor, in-laws, leaving, parents, release, respect, trust

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Money Matters for the Smart Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4355

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The issue of money in a marriage is a primary source of conflict and worry, so much so that this conflict often leads to collapse. How can a married couple handle their finances so the marriage relationship isn’t damaged? Using an example of the apostle Paul’s plan to raise funds for the Jerusalem church, let’s get some solid pointers on the believer’s (and hence believing couples’) relationship to finances. Like it or not, money matters.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: October 21, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Money Matters for the Smart Home"
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Path

The issue of money in a marriage is a primary source of conflict and worry, so much so that this conflict often leads to collapse. How can a married couple handle their finances so the marriage relationship isn't damaged? Using an example of the apostle Paul's plan to raise funds for the Jerusalem church, let's get some solid pointers on the believer's (and hence, the believing couple's) relationship to finances. Like it or not, money matters.

  1. Realize the Source (vv. 8, 10, 14)
  2. Restrain Yourself (vv. 8, 12)
  3. Reach for the Stars (vv. 12-13)
  4. Regard Your Soulmate (vv. 6-15)
  5. Regulate Your Spending (v. 6)
  6. Remember to Share (v. 7)
Points

Realize the Source: Restrain Yourself:Reach for the Stars: Regard Your Soulmate: Regulate Your Spending: Remember to Share: Practice

Connect Up: As Pastor Skip said, it's the refusal to share wealth that impoverishes the Christian. True wealth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with trusting our loving and generous God—enough to obey His commands about money. List some ways that God has been generous with you. What are some ways you respond to His generosity?

Connect In: God is really after your heart, not your money. With that in mind, holding back your heart from Him by failing to tithe or give cheerfully hardens your heart. Consider how generosity begins at home with your spouse and children practicing responsible spending, saving, and consistent giving. In God's economy, giving leads to spiritual and relational wealth. When have you seen the benefits of giving generously to God, His church, and those closest to you?

Connect Out: What guidelines should govern our giving outside of the church? Read Matthew 13:8, 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 4:2; and Titus 2:1. What should our goals and purposes be as we share resources with others? Consider financial honesty (open books about money received), priorities (in line with God's desire to win hearts), and how God can lay different needs on different hearts.

DETAILED NOTES
"Money Matters for the Smart Home"
2 Corinthians 9:6-15

  1. The number one source of conflict in a marriage relationship is money
    1. Sixty-seven percent of all couples worry regularly about money
    2. Eighty percent of couples who divorce cite financial problems as the leading cause for their divorce
      1. "Everything, from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle, can strain a marriage to the breaking point"—Marriage.com
      2. The stress of getting married and adjusting to married life is hard enough, without having to also deal with the stress of being constantly bombarded with the consumerism and commercialism of our culture
    3. If you're going to have a successful marriage, there must be a financial agreement
      1. The Bible does not speak directly to managing money within a marriage
      2. 2 Corinthians 9 provides principles regarding money that apply with everyone, single or married
      3. How do we deal with money so that it doesn't damage the marriage relationship?
  2. Realize the Source (vv. 8, 10, 14)
    1. In this passage, Paul is trying to convey to the Corinthian church the magnanimity of God's generous heart toward His people, and that He is the source of everything
      1. God supplies the resources from which we live, and the resources from which we give
      2. Isaiah 55:10
    2. Paul links God's gift with their gift
      1. God's "indescribable gift" is sending Jesus Christ to this earth to die on a cross; Paul links God's gift with their giving, because God's gift in sending Jesus is the basis for our giving
      2. "For God so loved…that He gave…" (John 3:16); if we love, we will demonstrate that love in giving
    3. As a married couple, realize that whatever resources you have, it's all from God
      1. 1 Corinthians 4:7
      2. Deuteronomy 8:18
  3. Restrain Yourself (vv. 8, 12)
    1. To restrain yourself, you have to think of needs, not greeds
      1. The context of the entire paragraph is having needs met
      2. God has promised to supply our needs (see Philippians 4:19)—not satiate our greeds
        1. Luke 12:15
        2. We have to learn how to make the distinction between needs and greeds
    2. There are three categories:
      1. Needs—essential for survival/life
      2. Wants—things you would genuinely enjoy and enjoy having (see 1 Timothy 6:17)
      3. Consumerism—unwise spending based upon impulse or very attractive advertising/marketing
    3. We should be content in just knowing that God is with us
      1. We can rest in the fact that God, the creator and supplier of all things, is with us
        1. 1 Timothy 6:6-7
        2. Covetousness is what leads to discontentment
      2. Many people spend too much because they shop too much
        1. The average American spends six hours per week in shopping-related activities
        2. Wise shopping is one thing—searching for the best deal to save the most money is wise spending
        3. Nine out of ten people don't shop carefully—they shop impulsively
      3. Spending without restraint is like driving without a fuel gauge—if you live life without a spending gauge, you'll run out of finances
        1. Live within your income and try not to live with debt
        2. Proverbs 15:16-17
  4. Reach for the Stars (vv. 12-13)
    1. Aim for the glory of God—use your finances to give God glory
    2. The church in Jerusalem had been very skeptical and hesitant about non-Jews becoming believers in the Messiah (Acts 11:1-18)
      1. Those Gentile believers were now helping to provide for the believers in Jerusalem
      2. The Corinthian believers were given an opportunity to create a new reputation for themselves—generosity rather than immortality
    3. Learn to look at your finances as a means to worship God and bring Him glory
      1. The Greek word used here for service is leitourgia—worship
      2. Giving is an opportunity for worship
    4. One of the ways you can glorify God in your finances is to try to get out of and stay out of debt (see Proverbs 22:7)
      1. The more fluidity you have with your income, the more opportunities you can act upon
      2. The average US household's credit card debt is $15,611
      3. Only forty percent of American families can spend less than they earn
  5. Regard Your Soulmate (vv. 6-15)
    1. The marriage relationship is the amalgamation of all the pieces of two lives
      1. I must be replaced with we and yours must be replaced with ours
      2. Every dollar that comes into the household is a dollar that belongs to the whole household
    2. According to Dave Ramsey, one of the mistakes that couples make is to commit financial unfaithfulness
      1. One spouse will hide purchases made from the other spouse
      2. Couples need to recommit to a shared goal
  6. Regulate Your Spending (v. 6)
    1. Plan Ahead
      1. Paul uses the illustration of farming
      2. The farmer, when he plants, doesn't plant impulsively—he plans well in advance
      3. Couples need to make financial plans, but be flexible in making them
        1. "Man plans and God laughs"—Jewish proverb
        2. James 4:13-15
        3. If we don't regulate our spending, we will overspend (see Luke 14:28-30)
    2. Keep records, because there are four things you need to always know, in order to plan and regulate your spending:
      1. What you owe
      2. What you own
      3. What you earn
      4. Where it's all going
  7. Remember to Share (v. 7)
    1. Our giving should be done purposefully
      1. Plan your giving
      2. Give joyfully, not grudgingly, or out of necessity
        1. The Greek word used here for cheerful is hilaros
        2. Exodus 35:5
      3. Give expectantly
        1. The more seed you sow, the bigger the harvest
        2. If a farmer is miserly in his sowing, he'll be lacking in his reaping
        3. It's not the sharing of wealth that impoverishes a Christian; it's the refusal to share it
      4. Give according to your income
        1. Proverbs 22:9
        2. Acts 20:35
  8. Conclusion
    1. Our trust in God should be declared by our nation's couples—our families
    2. Husbands and wives should trust God in every area of their lives, especially with their finances

 

Figures referenced: Dave Ramsey

Cross references:
Exodus 35:5; Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 15:16-17; 22:7, 9; Isaiah 55:10; Luke 12:15; 14:28-30; John 3:16; Acts 11:1-18; 20:35; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:6-7, 17; James 4:13-15

Topic: finances

Keywords: commercialism, consumerism, finances, giving, home, marriage, money, needs, plan, regulate, spending, wants

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Looks Can Kill: Winning the Battle with Temptation
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:27-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4357

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Many have heard the saying, "If looks could kill…" The truth is, looks can kill, spiritually speaking: temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death. In this teaching, Pastor Nate Heitzig examines two admittedly uncomfortable topics: temptation and adultery. In light of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:21-31, two strategies emerge for how to stop temptation before it starts, and how to stop temptation once it starts.

STUDY GUIDE
Looks Can Kill: Winning the Battle with Temptation - Matthew 5:27-30 - Nate Heitzig

Start building the home of your future today. Smart home.

Lord God, we come before you right now. And as we do, we come with expectant hearts believing that you want to speak to us, believing that you want to change us, believing that you want to transform us. And Lord, we know that the primary way by which you bring about life change is through your word. And so as we open up your word, we pray that you would open up our hearts and our minds and that we would leave this place better than when we came, that you would unearth some things that might be painful for us to talk about, but it would be with the purpose of change in our hearts. In Jesus' name we pray, and everyone who agreed said, Amen.

Hey, I want to talk to you today about a subject that honestly really stinks. It's a subject that many of you will be uncomfortable with, that's going to be difficult for many of you to hear, but it's a message that needs to be looked at both scripturally and honestly. And I'm warning you up front, this is going to be one of those messages that you're going to sit there and the whole time you're going to be thinking, is he talking directly to me? Did he follow me around this week? This is one of those messages that you feel that tug, you feel that uncomfort where you just kind of want to squirm and you wonder if the person next to you knows things about you that they shouldn't know.

It's going to be one of those kind of messages. But I want to let you know that's a good thing because that feeling is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit's purpose, and desire, and role within your life is to transform and to change your heart. And the primary way that he does that is through the word of God. And so we're believing for some great things this morning.

The area we're talking about is an area that is devastating families all around us. And sadly, not even the church is immune from its reach. And that subject that we're talking about today is temptation and adultery. Anyone ever heard it said, if looks could kill? Anyone ever heard that phrase before? Come on, I know you guys have. There we go, thank you. Are you guys alive today? I hope so.

I want to let you know looks can kill. Not only can they kill, looks do kill. Every single day, millions of people's lives are destroyed because of one look, because of one glance, because of one decision, one path that they choose to go down. And so today our message title is Looks Can Kill, subtitled is Winning the Battle with Temptation. And today we're going to see two strategies that God has given us in order to battle and to win the battle with temptation. And number one, that is stopping that before it starts. And number two, stopping it once it starts.

See, temptation is so dangerous because temptation leads to sin. And sin leads to death. Looks can kill because so often in our lives it doesn't stop with a look, it leads to something else. It leads to a sin. And that sin leads to death, both spiritual and sometimes even physical. Now you might say, well Nate, I would never fall into such a sin. This is a great message, I'm sure a lot of people need to hear this, but I have a great marriage. My spouse and I have an ideal marriage. I'm a good Christian, I grew up in the church. Look, I want you to know that it doesn't matter if you grew up in the church, if you go to church, if you work in the church, if you serve in the church. If you went to Lifetrack, it doesn't matter.

Samson worked for the Lord and yet he fell into sexual sin with Delilah. David worked for the Lord, and yet he murdered a man because he knocked up his wife. Peter worked for the Lord, and yet he denied Christ publicly. Just because you grew up in the church, you go to church, or you work at church, it doesn't mean that you're exempt or immune from temptation and sin. As a matter of fact, I would you know that it actually simply makes you a bigger target for it.

If you are walking with the Lord, if you're serving the Lord, if you're active in the church, you have a bigger target on your back than those who don't. Because when you become a threat to Satan, Satan wants to threaten you. When you become a threat to hell, to the gates of hell, Satan's desire then is to bring the gates of hell to you. It's to make your life hell. Because he realizes that as long as you're walking with God, as long as you're effective in your relationship with Jesus, you are a threat to Satan.

And so his desire is to neutralize that threat. It is to take you down. It is to make you fall. And so he will bring you even greater temptation. And the effect of giving in to that temptation can be absolutely devastating. Because by giving in to temptation, you can lose in a moment what it took a lifetime to build.

See, we're all in the business of building legacies. We want to build a legacy for our family, want to build a legacy for our kids, want to build a legacy for our business. And when we give in to temptation, in one moment we can lose what has taken our entire lives to build. All those walls, all those bricks, all that effort, all that work can come crashing and tumbling down.

So think of today as preventative maintenance. Oswald Chambers said, an unguarded strength is a double weakness. So I'll let you know if you have a strong marriage, this message is especially for you. If you have a strong relationship, you need to hear this even more. Because if you have a strong marriage but you stop doing preventative maintenance, you stop guarding it, if you have an unguarded strength, it will become your greatest weakness. And it will become the area in your life that Satan most targets, that he most pursues, that he most desires to destroy. So we need to constantly be making sure that we are preventing that breakdown.

Now, although sexual temptation has been with us since the fall of man, I think you'd agree with me in noting that its destructive power and its reach are more widespread today than, I think, ever before. Lust and temptation seem to drive the economy of our generation. Historians will no doubt look back on our civilization, on our culture as one that was obsessed with sex. All you have to do is look at the media to see how these two things are driving our economy.

I took a look at some past and present hit songs, and I wasn't surprised to find that many of those songs have to do with sex. Anyone remember the hit song from this past year called Despacito? So catchy, right? (SINGING) Despacito, you don't know any of the words after that. But it's a really catchy song. Well, that song, all those lyrics that you can't understand, well, that song is saying despacito means slowly. And the song is saying slowly I want to undress you in kisses slowly. And then it goes on to say a whole bunch of things that I can't really talk about a church.

Ed Sheeran's Shape of You says I'm in love with your body. And last night you were in my room, and now my bed sheets smell like you. Every day discovering something brand new, I'm in love with your body. Taylor Swift, she seems innocent, right? She has a song called Dress that says, I only bought this dress so you could take it off, so take it off. Carve your name into my bedpost, because I don't like you like a best friend. I only bought this dress so you could take it off.

And of course, Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven, says I'm born again. That's good! Wait. I'm born again every time you spend the night, cause your sex takes me to paradise. I don't think Bruno quite understands what being born again and what paradise really are, does he?

The age old adage, sex sells, has never been more true than it is today. Case in point, if you want to wash your hair and have millions of models hunt you like an animal, simply get Axe body spray. It makes dirty boys clean. Hey, if you want to eat a hamburger, why not eat the hamburger with the half nude model taking a big bite out of it on TV? Which by the way, can I just say is disgusting? Seen anyone naked eat food is just gross. And I don't care how pretty your face is, I don't want to see a closeup of anyone's mouth biting into a hamburger. It's just disgusting. I don't want to watch you eat. Please don't do that.

If you want to buy a website, why not buy a website from the company that uses naked women to sell their websites? I mean, this is literally what society is telling you, that if you buy these things you're going to have more sex. You're going to have more relationships. You're going to have-- I mean, it doesn't even make sense, right? How would buying a website from a company make you more appealing to women? It doesn't make sense. And yet society uses it to sell products.

Time Magazine Online says that when the sexual freedoms of the '70s were challenged by a rising moral militancy in the '80s, people believed that the sexual revolution would be rebuffed. But Time noted, and it said, "the sexual revolution has not been rebuffed, it has merely been absorbed into our culture."

Isn't that true? Our culture now has this innate sexual perversion. I found some interesting statistics on sex. Adults aged 20 to 59 have an average of five to six sexual partners during their lifetime. 2/3 of college students have been in a friends with benefits relationship. The average male loses his virginity at age 16. The average female loses her virginity at age 17. Here's a crazy one. The average American TV watcher now views 14,000 references to sex in the course of one year.

What is that doing to us? Well, there's a movie that came out recently called Don Juan, and it's about John Martello, who is a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy. His buddies call him Don Juan due to his ability to pull a different woman every weekend. But even the finest fling doesn't compare to the bliss that he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Couldn't that be a biopic story of so many of the youth today, of so many men today? I read a startling statistic, and it said that now the average age that kids both male and female are first introduced to pornographic images is between 8 to 11 years old. The first exposure to pornography.

The world has changed. Sexual perversion and temptation are everywhere. So the question is, can temptation be resisted? Well, the Bible says that it can. And the Bible says that it should. And the Bible promises a special blessing to anyone who does. James 1:12 says, "blessed is the man who endures temptation. For when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him."

Church, that's what we're all after, isn't it? To finish the race well for the crown of glory, for eternal paradise. Look, sex doesn't take you to paradise, but Jesus does. Jesus does. And when you're born again, and you begin to walk in that relationship with Christ that he intended you to do, if you do that properly, if you resist temptation, the reward is the crown. Is a prize in heaven.

And so let's open up the word of God and let's see how Jesus deals with temptation. Matthew chapter 5 verse 27, let's read it together. "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'you shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell."

Here in this text, Jesus illustrates the importance of a change in heart and what that has to do with adultery. Now, this passage isn't focused so much on the actual act of adultery. Rather, it's focused on the desire behind it and how we can have deliverance from it. Jesus goes beyond the actual act of adultery to the root of it. And look at verse 28, that's where we see our first points, where we see the root of the sin. It says, "I say to you, whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery in his heart."

Our first point is stopping it before it starts. Now, before Jesus tells us how to deal with temptation, he gets to the heart of the matter. And the heart of the matter is just that, it's our heart. Because if our hearts and our attitudes are right, then our actions will be also. Now, I've seen so many people that get this whole entire thing backwards, and they do it even for church. Some people say that they need to get back to church, they want to go to church, but their lives are just too messed up. And so they need to fix their life before they come back to church. They need to solve their alcohol addiction, they need to solve their drug addiction, they need to get rid of their gambling problem, they need to have a better marriage, and then they'll come to church. Because they feel that they can't be accepted by God until their life is an acceptable thing to receive.

And that's getting the whole entire idea backwards. We don't need to start with the actions, we need to start with the heart. People feel shame. They think they need to get their act right, but it's the opposite. You need to get your heart right, and then your actions will get better. You need to focus on what's inside before you start looking at what's outside. You need to focus on your relationship with Jesus before you focus on your relationship with others. Come on, somebody.

Amen.

You need to focus on what's really important. And by the way, this universal. I was just in Brazil. I got back yesterday, and I was in a village. And we were working with a missions organization that does relief work. And we went to a home of a child who is sponsored by this relief work. We were talking to the mom and the mom was saying, you know, I know I need to go back to church. But my husband and I, we have a drinking problem. We drink way too much. And I just know that I need to fix that before I come back to church.

And we were talking to her and saying, no, no, you've got it wrong. You need to come as you are. You need to come exactly where you're at. Don't fix yourself before you come, come and let God fix you. Because he's going to do a way better job fixing you than you ever could fixing yourself. You don't need to fix yourself before you come to church. You need to come to church and let God fix you. You need to let him fix your broken heart and then your actions will be better.

Let's stop getting the cart before the horse. Let's start getting it in the correct order. Let's allow God to fix the broken pieces of our lives, because he's going to build us into a way better masterpiece and picture than we were even before we fell into whatever sin we're in now. So let's get to the heart.

See, sin isn't just a matter of actions and deeds, it is something within the heart that leads to the action. And what we have to really concentrate on isn't so much the sins, plural. What we need to focus on is the sin, singular. See, sins are nothing but the symptoms of a disease called sin. Sins, the plural, are symptoms of the disease sin, singular. And it's not the symptoms that matter as much as the disease. Because it's the disease that kills, not the symptoms.

So I want you to know today that if you're here and you struggle with temptation in any area, if you came through these doors and you feel a little out of place, you feel like you don't belong here, I want to let you know that you're exactly where you need to be. If you struggle with the temptation to drink alcohol, welcome to the club. If you struggle with the temptation to do drugs, welcome to the club. If you struggle with the temptation for pornography, or the temptation for gambling, welcome to the club. Because guess what? We all deal with temptation. We are all sinners. We are all lost. We are all destitute and depleted without the saving power of Jesus Christ.

And so when you're here, you're family. When you're here, there's no judgment. There's no ostracisation. You are here and this is a safe place. And God loves you, and God desires to do a heart transplant in you. And you don't need to fix yourself. You don't have to try to be something you aren't. You need to come as you are and allow God to turn you into something that you can be. That's the essence, that's the basic truth of the gospel.

So some of us come in here, we're trying so hard to fix this one thing. We have this temptation, we have this addiction. And all of our focus, all of our energy is spent focusing on this one thing. I just got to fix it, I just got to get better. I just got to-- I just got to stop looking at pornography, I just have to stop gambling, have to stop drinking. And we have all of our energy focused on this one singular thing, this symptom. But you need to know that you're focusing on the wrong thing.

The thing that you need to focus on isn't outside, it's inside. If you focus on your heart, if you focus on your relationship with Jesus, if you allow that to grow, if you nurture that, I promise you, I promise the things on the outside will naturally begin to go away as you focus on what's inside.

See, sin deceives me into thinking that because I haven't done the actual deed I'm all right. As long as I don't do it, I'm OK. But the question isn't did you do it, the question is, why didn't you do it? Was it out of pure motives or impure motives? Did you not do that sin because you genuinely knew it would grieve the heart of Jesus? Did you not do that sin because you built up safeguards in your life, biblical truths in your life, and when that sin came, you knew it was a lie from Satan so you were able to rebuff Satan and walk in the accounts of the godly? Or did you simply not do it because you didn't have the courage? Did you simply not take that step, did you simply not fall into that sin because you were just scared of getting caught?

What's the motive, what's the reason behind it? See, if I still want to do it, my problem still exists. The root is still there. This is what the pharisees did. They majored on external things, thinking that actions were more important than attitude. Jesus spoke to them in Luke 16:15. And he said, you are they which justify yourselves before men. But God knows your heart. That's powerful, right? Hey you made your actions, all these things, but God knows your heart. That's like one of those, uh, come on, girl, God knows your heart. That's like the ultimate Jesus juke, right? These people think they got it all together and Jesus said, uh-uh, God knows your heart. For that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Whoa. Makes me question and wonder what I esteem. I want to make sure that I esteem the right things, right? That I esteem that which is godly, that which is honorable, that I esteem that which is true, pure, undefiled religion, caring for widows and orphans, caring for the oppressed, caring for those who are in need, caring for the destitute and the downtrodden.

Look, mankind, human beings, we esteem that which is really great. We esteem the juggernauts of industry. We esteem money and stock markets. And we esteem all these outward great things, God esteems the heart. He esteems what's inside, he esteems what you can't see, what you can't judge, what you can't look at.

Jesus addresses this very trait when he shows the Pharisees observe the letter of the law, but they completely missed the point. So Jesus here in the Sermon on the Mount deals with the attitudes as opposed to the actions, because he knows that you can be sinning in your heart without ever actually committing the sin outwardly. And I'll let you know, that kind of sin is more spiritually destructive than any other kind because it's hidden. Because no one knows. Because you can sit here and listen to a message and say, Amen, that's good. And you can nod your head. And all the while be thinking, man, I hope the person next to me doesn't know what I'm really doing. I hope the person next to me doesn't know the sin that's really in my heart.

And we can hide it. And we can pretend that we're righteous just like the Pharisees. But inside we're destitute. Because Jesus also knows that in practically every act of adultery there was first, before the act, the thinking and fantasizing about it that ultimately led to the actual act. So many of us are affairs waiting to happen.

What do I mean by that? Well, when you sow a thought, you reap an act. When you sow an act, you reap a habit. When you sow a habit, you reap a character. And when you sow a character, you reap a destiny. See, it starts with your thoughts, starts with your mind, it starts with your heart. And if you're not guarding your heart, you're just destruction waiting to happen. You're just waiting for that ignition, and it's all going to blow up.

So Jesus starts with the look. He says, whoever looks at a woman. Now, this doesn't just mean a casual glance. But in the Greek it refers to the continuous act of looking. In this usage, the idea isn't that of incidental or involuntary glance, but of intentional and repeated gazing. Come on, guys. There's a difference between noticing and gazing, isn't there? Maybe your wife's caught you in this before when a girl walks by and your head moves and they have to elbow you. Hey, stop it.

There is a difference ladies, we know this. You guys-- we know this like I'm a lady. We know this. No. Ladies, you know this, right? There's a difference between a look and a gaze. There's a difference between a glance and a gaze. Jesus isn't speaking of unexpected and unavoidable exposure to sexual temptation. Rather, Jesus is speaking of the person who intentionally puts themself in a place of vulnerability. The person who, if they're exposed, they give the devil a foothold by letting it infiltrate their thought processes.

Martin Luther put it this way. You can't stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair. I like that, right? You can't stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair. Look, it's not your fault that the world around you is sinful. You can't help it that TV, and songs, and music is overly sexualized. You can't help that.

But also it's not your job to be the morality police. It's not your job to walk around and say, well, I struggle with lustful thoughts, so hey you, put some more clothes on because that's just inappropriate. It's not your job. No one cares what you think. That's not what you're supposed to do. It's not your fault that there's 16,000 sexual references that you're going to see on TV this year. But guess what? You can turn the TV off. You can't control the TV, but you can turn it off. You can't control other people, but you can control yourself. And that's the gist of this passage. You are responsible for your actions. You're responsible for your eyes. You're responsible for your hands. So keep yourself from sin.

You can't control what the world does, but you can control what you do. It's why Job set in Job 31:1, I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. If my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes-- my heart has been led by my eyes-- or if my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and made my crops be uprooted.

See, David wasn't at fault because he happened to see Bathsheba bathing. He couldn't have helped noticing her. You know, and also on that same point, one has to wonder if Bathsheba knew that he would be there, and if she intentionally put herself in a place where she would be seen. I mean, come on. Who bathes on their roof in the middle of the day?

Look, I live in a neighborhood where the homes are kind of tiered and you can see down into the backyard of the person's home in front of you, and I don't bathe naked on my lawn. That's just weird. Who does that? See, we got to realize that it's a two way street. If lustful looking is bad, then those who dress and expose themselves with the desire to be looked at and lusted after are no less guilty.

David's sin wasn't seeing her, it was continuously looking at her. And then it was dramatically acting on those impulses as he misused his considerable power as king and had her brought to his chambers. David was an affair waiting to happen. See, David wasn't a young believer. He obviously knew better, but he lowered his guard. When he should have been leading his troops into battle, he was idle. There's no mention made of the harp in this season of David's life. David was known as a worshipper, as a songwriter, but he's not writing songs during this period of his life. He's not worshipping. He's not doing what God has called him to do.

Some also believe that David was around 39 years old at this time, which simply means that David had been a great warrior, he had his glory days, he had done great things for the Lord. But oftentimes at this time in life, many men are realizing very quickly that time is marching by. Perhaps they haven't accomplished the goals that they've set out for themselves. Maybe some well-placed temptation of a young girl who thinks that this guy walks on water finds a receptivity within that man's heart. He was an affair waiting to happen.

This is why a man and a wife need to continue to communicate. Look, the greatest strength that you have to fight the battle of temptation within your marriage is intimacy. The best way you can fend off Satan, the best way you can fend off temptations between you and your wife or you and your husband is by fostering intimacy within the relationship that God has given you. Foster relational and communication intimacy.

Your spouse should be your best friend. Remember, we talked about this a few weeks ago. Malachi 2:14 says, "the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth to whom you have been faithless although she is your companion and your wife." Remember, what does companion mean? It means one who you are united with in thoughts, goals, plans, and efforts. That's relational intimacy.

When we're companions with our spouse, Satan can't get between us because we're connected, we're united. We should also find intimacy in romantic and sexual fulfillment, as well. To be intimate. Now, you need to write this down, because this is huge. This could change your view of temptation within your marriage. Because you have a role to play in guarding your spouse from temptation. We like to think that it's personal, that I'm responsible for temptation, but you have a role to play in guarding your spouse, your significant other, from temptation.

Write this down. A lack of marital intimacy in the bed and at the table is a breeding ground for temptation. A lack of marital intimacy in the bed and at the table is a breeding ground for temptation. Now, I can hear all the guys are cheering in their heart and they're like, that's right Nate, come on, tell my wife we need to have more sex. That's right. Guys, you're missing what I'm saying.

I said in the bed and at the table. In the bed and at the table. This is so crucial. This is so important. Guys, intimacy isn't achieved when you have sex. It's not. A lot of guys like to try to trick girls into thinking that it is. Oh, can we just be intimate? What does that mean to you? You just want to have sex really quick? You want to come home when your wife wants to talk, you say, I don't want to talk, I've had too long of a day. I don't want to have a discussion. But then three hours later you ask for sex. And when she doesn't want to, you wonder why?

Because there's no intimacy. Because all you care about is the sexual gratification, not true intimacy. When you have true intimacy, it can make sex much better. It can further strengthen intimacy. But intimacy is achieved through conversation. And predictably, Satan's going to hit you in your perceived area of vulnerability. He's going to size you up, he's going to hit you where he thinks he can bring you down. So therefore, victory over temptation comes from being prepared for it.

Jesus said, keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation. Satan's going to hit you where he knows you're weak. So if you don't have a healthy sex life, Satan's going to bring someone into your spouse's life who promises them sexual fulfillment. Maybe not someone, maybe it will be something. Maybe you'll be a well-placed pop-up ad that will get your spouse's mind turning. Maybe it'll be a cute young thing on Instagram that follows them and they think, oh, maybe I got a shot.

They'll bring something that promises them what they feel is lacking. If you don't have a healthy conversational life, and you never communicate to your spouse, I promise you Satan is going to bring your spouse someone who listens to and affirms them, and compliments them, and tells them they deserve so much better. Husbands, wives, date your spouse or the devil will. Date your spouse or the devil will.

Look, Satan's got it out for your spouse. He thinks they are phat, pretty hot and tempting. He wants all of them. He wants to pursue them. He wants to be intimate with them. Satan wants to whisper sweet nothings into their ears. He wants to let your spouse know you deserve so much better. He wants to let your spouse know, you deserve a better sex life. Your wife's not giving you the sex life you deserve, you deserve a good sex life. You know what, since you deserve it, why don't you take it?

He wants to whisper to your wife, you know what? You deserve someone who listens to you. You deserve someone who cares about you. You know what, your husband's not giving that to you. Why don't you talk to that guy at work who's been complimenting you each day for the past week? Just do it. You deserve it.

A poll of women, when asked why they were unfaithful-- surprise, wasn't sex. 10% responded it was for lust, but 21% said it was for the thrill of romance. Guys, girls, we need to be careful about the standards that we're setting for ourselves. We have two areas of this camp, and I think both are equally as destructive. Pornography, that's obvious, right? And chick flicks. Romantic comedies. I think these two things are incredibly destructive into the lives and into the views that we look for within men and women that we are going to date and that we're going to marry.

One's obvious, the other one's not so obvious, is it? You think, what's so wrong with a romantic comedy? Well, we begin to get into this place where we see this guy, and he's so handsome, he's so nice, and he's so romantic. I mean, sure, it helps that he has a six pack and he happens to have an Australian voice. That's just icing on the cake. But man, the way he proposed to her, he ran down the jet way. He didn't even care there was security there. He got on one knee, he proposed, but she still left him. She went to France and then two years later they met in a coffee shop in New York City. And it was just meant to be! And he spends four hours listening to her talk every night.

And we say, man, it's just too good to be true. Yeah, it's too good to be true. It's not real. They're actors. It's fake. It doesn't exist. And so we begin to look at it and say, well, honey, why don't you ever do those things? You proposed to me at an Italian restaurant on a Tuesday night. And we begin to judge the other person.

And then guys with pornography, we see pornography and it seems so exciting, and thrilling. And they're trying all these new things. We look at our wife and we say, well, you know what? Why don't we ever do those things? Why don't you ever do that? Why aren't you like that? Why aren't you exploring our sexual intimacy?

Because it's not real. Because it's fake. Because it's not reality. We're building up for ourselves these false views of what guys and girls are supposed to be, and your spouse can never live up to it because that is not reality. That is fake, that is false. They are actors. They are paid.

That's why Proverbs 5:15 says drink water from your own cistern. Running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares, let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Church, don't drink the Kool-Aid. The water's fine. The world wants to trick you and say, water, who needs water? It doesn't even taste good, it's so old and-- Gatorade, that's what you need. Gatorade, that's the thirst quencher. And look how pretty the bottle is, it's way sexier than water.

No, water is good. You need water. Drink the water from your own cistern. Don't allow the world to trick you into needing-- making you think that you need it from somewhere else. Drink water from your own well. A husband and a wife need to keep one another from temptation by remaining physically, sexually, emotionally, relationally, and conversationally active with one another. So before you decry your spouse for falling into temptation, ask yourself, am I doing everything I can to help my spouse? Am I doing everything I can to keep my spouse from falling into temptation?

See, with Satan, there are always strings attached. There's always strings attached. Nothing is ever free. For sin, there is always a price. So he wants to bring it to you and make you think that there is no strings attached, that there's no consequences, that you can get away with it for free. He just says, hey, it's fine, just indulge. Just look at that website. You can erase your internet history later. Hey, it's fine. Just have a conversation with that guy via Facebook Messenger. You can just delete the conversation and pretend it never existed. Hey, it's fine, it's just a one night stand. It doesn't mean anything. You don't actually love them. No one has to know.

But there's always a price. For Jesus, the price was worship. For Samson, the price was his strength and his eyes. For David the price was his son and his testimony. For Judas, the price was eternity. The thing is that Satan will never tell you the cost of your sin before you do it. He'll always let you know after hey, by the way when you did? here's the payment, and it's demanded right now in full. He'll never tell you the cost before, only after.

He won't tell you that the cost of sex and lust is emptiness and a lack of self-worth. He won't tell you that the cost of addiction is helplessness and slavery. He won't tell you that the ultimate cost of your sin is your eternity. It's why we are always better off to obey God and to trust in his provision than to impatiently and selfishly provide for our own needs in any way that would cause us to disobey or compromise his word.

Philippians 4:8 says, "finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--" you get the gist? A lot of good stuff. All these good things, anything that is excellent or praiseworthy think about those things. Put into your heart what is good and push out what is bad.

The first strategy to winning the battle with temptation is to avoid placing ourselves in tempting situations. It's easier to manage a fire in a fire pit than it is in a forest. But sometimes that fire gets out. When that fire gets out, it can burn trees, it can kill people, kill firefighters, kill civilians, burn down houses. It can bring immeasurable destruction. We've got to keep the fire in the pits. We can't let it get out. Temptation will destroy your family, will destroy your loved ones, it will destroy your home. It will leave a wake of devastation.

But sometimes the fire does get out, doesn't it? David couldn't help but see Bathsheba, and that fire started. So now Jesus gives us his solution to the problem of lust. Look at verse 29, our second point is stopping it once it starts. Verse 29, "if your right eye causes you to sin pluck it out and cast it from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell."

Here, Jesus points out the way of deliverance from this sin. Now obviously, Jesus isn't speaking literally. If the problem is in the heart, then what good is it to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand? If the right eye were gone, the left one could still look lustfully. If the right hand were gone, the left one could still carry on sinful acts. But in the Jewish culture, the right hand represented a person's best and most precious facilities. The right eye represented one's best vision, the right hand one's best skills. Jesus' point here is that we should be willing to give up whatever is necessary to keep us from falling into this sin.

What does that mean for you? Maybe it means giving up your job. Maybe it means giving up your phone. Maybe you got to go back to a flip phone. But guess what? Your relationship with your wife, your conversation with your husband is more important than text messages. Maybe it means giving up friendships so that you can invest in the friendship that really matters, your friendship with your spouse. Maybe it means giving up your computer. Anything that morally or spiritually traps us, that causes us to fall into sin and stay there should be eliminated quickly and totally.

It's a matter of the heart. That is, in essence, how Satan always operates. He promised Eve that by eating the forbidden fruit, she would not die as God warned, but that she would, in fact, become God herself. Satan tempts us. Why do you set your standards so high? Don't be such a prude. Don't be so legalistic. You can get what you want by cutting a corner here, by shading the truth there. Sometimes he'll even make it sound spiritual.

Well, you know what? If you were just not quite as high and mighty, if you would get off your high horse, you could witness to people better. If you were just a little bit more like them, you'd have more of an open door into talking to them about the gospel. And he shades the truth. This same temptation no doubt came to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Just bow. You don't have to mean it. Just have sex with her. You don't have to mean it, you don't have to love her. Doesn't matter if you don't love them. Or Daniel knowing that if he prayed as before that his fate could be death. But he realized it was better to die than to face compromise.

Compromise is the most lethal trap that Satan has. It's perhaps his greatest and most effective tool, just lowering your guard a little. Dropping your standard a notch. Satan never come to you and offers you the whole kit and caboodle package. Hey, I've got an offer for you. Do you want to get addicted to drugs, lose your job, lose your home, end up on the street with no money, and then five years from now you can die of an overdose?

No, he doesn't make offers like that. Never comes to you says, hey, I've got an offer for you. You want to have sex with this girl, get her pregnant, lose your family, lose your wife? Your kids are never going to talk to you again, you're going to go through a bitter divorce filing, you're going to have to split up all your things, and you're going to be miserable for the rest of your life with somebody that you don't love?

No, no. He doesn't offer that. He offers you just a little bit. Just drop your standard a little bit. It's a temptation to lower our standard in order to extend our reach. It's a sin to endanger our integrity in order to enlarge our influence. What we have to do is to the best of our abilities guard our minds. If a scene comes on in a movie that offends us, get up and walk out. If something sexually suggestive comes on TV, turn the channel or turn it off. If a conversation with a member of the opposite sex becomes sexually suggestive, end it.

Because Satan realizes that a little compromise today can mean a big one later. That one little lustful look can lead to an adulterous relationship. That one night stand can lead to a lifetime of regret. That one hit can lead to addiction. And just so you know, it's always one of whatever it is. People always say, it was just one drink, it's just one joint, it's just one kiss. But guess what? It's always just one of whatever it is, and it's always just one joint that eventually leads years later to a drug addiction. It's always just one kiss that leads later on the next morning waking up feeling dirty and defiled. It's always just one look at porn that leads to being addicted and depressed. And you might say, Nate, how could this happen? The answer, slowly.

See there's no such thing as a quick one night fling. When you cross that line of protection that God has erected around you and your spouse's life, you do so at your own peril. The repercussions of it can go on for months, years, or even a lifetime. And if you've ever tried to cross that line, you know that it's not easy. Because the Bible says, "whom the Lord loves, he chastens." So he makes it hard for you. When you make a decision you know you shouldn't do, you feel a check in your spirit.

And you might say, well Nate, it's easier than you think. I couldn't help myself. I just fell into it. It's not my fault. It might seem that way. But what about the weeks, even months, or perhaps years that you allowed your mind and imagination to be polluted with impure thoughts as you fantasized about this prospect? And after a while, that didn't do it for you anymore so you cross a new line. And you begin to flirt and spend more time with this individual. And then that doesn't satisfy any longer. And so soon you start having long talks with them, baring your soul. And then somehow you become justified in your heart that this is all right. And you make that leap into adultery.

And then you say, that's it, it's over. I'm never going to do it again, it's done. I'm going to cut it off. But it's not that easy. Because if you choose to not tell your spouse, now you have to live with the fear that this thing's one day going to surface and that you're going to have to deal with the consequences of it after that.

And so the guilt eats away at you for months, for years as you try to cover your footprints, as you try to pretend that it never happened. How did it start? Slowly. First it began with apathy. Apathy for where God has you, apathy for your marriage. You say, man, we don't have the fireworks like we once had. We're just not as in love with each other anymore. We don't talk to each other anymore. Our sex life isn't as great as it was. And you become apathetic.

And that apathy leads to atrophy. Because you're apathetic, because you don't really care about your marriage anymore, you stop investing in it. You stop building into it. And any muscle that you don't use eventually atrophies. And so your marriage begins to break down and atrophy, wasting away your spiritual state. And then comes the agony. The agony of being stuck in a state of sin.

Now as we close, I want to leave you guys with four things. Four things that if you're currently stuck in a state of temptation or you see inclinations in your heart leading you to a place you don't want to go, four things that if you do will build up your resistance to this area of attack. Number one, this is always the most important, walk with God.

We started before. It's the heart, not the action. So focus on your heart. If an individual is truly walking with God, it will give them, like Joseph, the power, the will, and the resources to stand up against temptation. David failed to do this, and instead he was spiritually idle, and thus vulnerable.

Number two, walk with your spouse. Spend time aggressively developing friendship and romance in your marriage. The best defense is a good offense. If you don't date your spouse, Satan will. So aggressively spend time walking with your spouse. Third, don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Avoid at all costs relationships and friendships that are flirty. Avoid friendships with those who would encourage such activity. Flee those relationships, and instead walk with people who are godly. Get plugged into a connect group, find people who can keep you accountable, people who know your temptations and can help you battle them.

And then fourth and finally, count the cost. Guys, count the cost. Find someone who didn't and ask them. Count the cost. Remember some of the warnings that we brought up. These, along with an intense love for God and your spouse, will see you through the rough waters of sexual temptation. So may God help us. May He change our hearts and our minds. May He help us be good stewards of what we program into them. May He help us finish our race well, and may He help us resist the subtle trap of temptation.

As we close, just want to speak really quick to those of you who might be in here and you're saying, Nate, I wish I would have heard this a year ago. I wish I would have heard this message before I made a big decision, before I made a step across the line that I can't get past now. I wish I would have heard this before I lost my marriage. I wish I would have heard this before I lost my kids.

To you I want to tell you that God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten. Though your sin is great, his sacrifice is greater. He can wash your dirty soul. He can bring sight to the blind. He can loose the captives free. He can take the bondage and the weight of sin, the shame and the guilt you feel, and he can make them as far as the east is from the west. You might feel like you're down, but you are not out. You always have a do-over with God. With God, there is always another chance. You have a chance right now. So you choose this day whom you serve. You don't look at the past, you look at your future. Because your future is what awaits you. So you look to Jesus today and you realize that there is still a plan for you. God still has a place for you. If you receive it, God's got it for you.

And I also need you to know there is a place for you here at this church. The people you're around, you might feel like, man, this isn't where I should be. Maybe you feel like that lady in Brazil, you feel like you just don't belong. You've got to clean up your act. I want you to know that you're exactly where you need to be. You're exactly where God wants you.

Because we're all sinners saved by grace. Every one of us. The person next to you, they've gone through struggles you don't even know about. And just as much as you want to hide yours from them, they want to hide theirs from you. I struggled for years with a pornography addiction. I struggled for years looking at women lustfully. Thank God he brought me through it. Thank God I have a stronger marriage and relationship than I ever could have imagined. But the church is a place for you. There is a place for sinners in the church. There's a place for sinners at the foot of the cross. God restores our soul, he washes us white as snow. But it's got to start with your heart.

If you don't have a relationship with Jesus, if your heart's not right, all these tools, all these resources, they're not going to help you. Because you're just going to be striving to fix actions when your heart still doesn't have a relationship. So as we close, I wonder if you're here today and you don't have a relationship with Jesus. Maybe you never have. Maybe you've been faking it for a long time. But you really want to see growth in your life. You really want to see that next step happen in your marriage. You need to give your life to Jesus today.

Maybe you're here, and you made a big decision and you ruined your life, you ruined your family's life. And you just desperately want to know what the next step is for you. The next step for you is to walk towards God. The next step for you is to rededicate your life to Him. The next step for you is to choose this day whom you're going to serve, is to this day begin to walk with God.

Lord, we thank you, we praise you for your word and the work that it does in our lives. Lord, I pray that you would keep us from temptation. I pray that you would guard our hearts against the snares of the enemy. And Lord, I pray that you will lead us and guide us in paths of righteousness for your name's sake.

Lord, I pray right now for anyone in here this morning who doesn't have a relationship with you. Lord, maybe they've never had one, or maybe they've walked away from you. But Lord, they realize at this moment they need you. They realize that they need forgiving. They need grace, they need peace. Maybe they're stuck in some addiction. Maybe it's drugs, maybe it's alcohol, maybe it's gambling, maybe it's pornography. Maybe they're in an adulterous affair. Maybe they're just dealing now with the effects of their sin, and they just need something.

Lord, help them to realize what they need is you. They need to cling to you. And this is a safe place. If you're here this morning, you're willing to admit that you're a sinner in need of saving, if you're willing to admit that you need Jesus Christ in your life, if you want to know beyond a shadow of doubt that your sins are forgiven, both past, present and future, if you want to know that your eternal destination is heaven, then right now where you're at, I just want you to raise your hand and say, Nate, I need Jesus. Pray for me.

This is a contract you're making with God. This isn't between me and you. I see your hand over in the family room. Anyone else, just raise up your hand. In the middle to my right, raise it up. Amen. To my right over here, raise it up high. If God is speaking to you in this moment. Several of you here to the left, another one over here to the left. If God is calling you right now, you respond. He's throwing out a life preserver. But you got to reach out and grab it.

Amen right here. Lord, I thank you for all these hands across the sanctuary, Lord. Too many than what I can see. I pray that you would give them courage. Lord, I pray that you'd help them to stand and walk with you. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. Hey, would you stand? We're going to close and we're going to sing a song. But I'm going to ask that as we do, if you raised your hand up acknowledging your need for Jesus, that you get up for where you are right now and you come down here and say a prayer to accept him into your heart. Even as I'm talking, you come right now. You don't be afraid, you say, Nate, I'm all about raising my hand up in a dark room, but I don't want to stand up for Jesus.

Look, if you can't walk with Jesus in the council of the godly, how are you going to do it out there when you're around the ungodly? This is your opportunity. You can cement your faith. You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your sins are forgiven. You can know that today you have a new chance, you have a new lease on life. God's not done using you yet. There is still more for you. There is still something for you here in this life.

You come right now, give your life to Jesus Christ. In this moment, I promise you you won't regret it. And maybe you're sitting there thinking about what the person next to you thinks. Guess what? It doesn't matter what they think, it only matters what He thinks. They didn't die for you, Jesus did. And you're getting your life right with him. So you come right now. We're going to sing this chorus one time. And as we do, you get up from where you are and you come say this prayer. You come, come on.

[MUSIC - "RECKLESS LOVE"]

(SINGING) Oh, the overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I'm found, leaves the 99. I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it. Still, you give yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.

Yes, Lord, yes, Jesus. Lord, we thank you that you come after the-- you leave the 99, you come after the one. When we're lost, when we're destitute, you seek us, you come to us. And so Lord, I pray right now as we're closing with all these people who've made this courageous decision, Lord, I pray for the one. I pray for the person who's sitting out there right now and they feel the Holy Spirit speaking to them, and they're pushing him away.

If that's you, don't push him away. I said at the beginning of this message, there's going to be a message that you're going to feel like God's speaking to you. If God is speaking to you right now, that is a good thing. Don't push him away. If you feel even a shadow in your heart that you need to do this, get up. Have courage. Have faith. You are joined by people who will celebrate your decision, who will rejoice with you right now. Push aside the lies of Satan. Grab onto the promises of God. Anyone else right now in this moment you know you need to be here, you come. You are welcome here. Anyone else before we pray?

Amen. Well for those of you who have come forward, I'm going to lead you now in a prayer. It's a simple prayer to accept Jesus Christ. There's nothing magical about this. You're not going to say this and start floating or get Yoda powers. What you are going to get is a knowledge that your sins are forgiven. That the things that you have done that you know have hurt the heart of God, that those are forgiven. And that here today in this place, you have a new life in Him. And that if you were to die, you're going to go to heaven.

So what's important that you say these words from your heart you say them to Jesus. Repeat after me. Say, Lord, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that I've done many things that have hurt you. But I believe you died for those things. And I believe you rose from the dead. So come into my life, fill me with your Holy Spirit, help me to live for you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Come on, let's give them a round of applause.

We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

DETAILED NOTES

"Looks Can Kill: Winning the Battle with Temptation"
Matthew 5:27-30

  1. Introduction
    1. The Holy Spirit's purpose and desire for your life is to change your heart and transform your life
    2. Looks do kill—every single day, people's lives are destroyed because of one glance, one decision, or one path that they choose to follow
    3. There are two strategies we can use to battle temptation:
      1. Stopping it before it starts
      2. Stopping it once it starts
    4. Temptation is dangerous because it leads to sin, and sin leads to death—spiritual and sometimes physical death
    5. No one is exempt or immune from temptation; your involvement in the church actually makes you a bigger target for temptation
      1. As long as you are walking with God, you are a threat to Satan and his plans, so he will bring temptation to you
      2. When you give in to temptation, you can lose in a moment what it took a lifetime to build
      3. "Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness" —Oswald Chambers
    6. Although sexual temptation has been with us since the fall of man, its destructive power and reach are more widespread today than ever before
      1. Lust and temptation seem to drive the economy of our generation—a generation obsessed with sex
      2. Our culture has an innate sexual perversion; the sexual revolution has been absorbed by our culture as a whole
        1. Adults aged 20-59 have an average of six sexual partners during their lifetime
        2. Two thirds of college students have been in a "friends with benefits" situation
        3. The average male loses his virginity at sixteen—the average female at seventeen
        4. The average American television watcher now views 14,000 references to sex over the course of one year
        5. The average age a child is first exposed to pornographic material is 8-11 years old
    7. The Bible says that temptation can and should be resisted and that God will bless those who do (see James 1:12)
  2. Stopping It Before It Starts
    1. Jesus illustrated the importance of a change in heart and what that has to do with adultery
      1. This passage doesn't focus on the act of adultery, but on the desire behind it and how we can have deliverance from it
      2. Jesus went beyond the act to the root of the problem—before He told us how to deal with temptation, He got to the heart of the matter
    2. If our hearts and attitudes are right, then our actions will be also
      1. You don't need to start by fixing your actions—start by getting your heart right
      2. Before you focus on your relationships with other people, you need to focus on your relationship with Jesus
    3. You don't need to fix yourself to come to church; you need to come to church and let God fix you
      1. Allow God to fix your broken pieces and the rest of your life will follow
      2. Come as you are and allow God to turn you into something you can be
    4. Sin isn't a matter of deeds and actions; we need to focus on sin rather than the sins
      1. Sins are a symptom of the disease—sin
      2. It's not the symptoms that matter—it's the disease that kills
    5. If all of our energy and attention are focused on the symptom, we're focusing on the wrong thing
      1. When you focus on your heart and your relationship with Jesus, the things on the outside will naturally fade away
      2. Sin deceives us into thinking that as long as we don't do it, we're okay; the question is, why didn't you do it?
        1. Pure motive: you didn't do it because it would grieve the heart of God
        2. Impure motive: you didn't do it simply because you didn't have the courage—you were scared of getting caught
    6. If the desire to sin is still present, the problem still exists—the root is still there
      1. The Pharisees thought that actions were more important than attitude (see Luke 16:15)
      2. God knows your heart
    7. Jesus focused on the attitude rather than the actions because He knew that you can sin in your heart without ever committing the sin outwardly
      1. This kind of sin is more spiritually destructive than any other kind, because it's hidden
      2. With practically every act of adultery, there was the thinking and fantasizing about it before any action was taken
      3. If you're not guarding your heart, you are destruction waiting to happen
    8. Looks is the continuous act of looking—not an incidental or involuntary glance, but intentional gazing
      1. Jesus wasn't speaking of unexpected and unavoidable exposure to sexual temptation, but of the person who continually and intentionally puts themselves in the place of vulnerability
      2. You are responsible for your actions, but no one else's (see Job 31:1)
      3. If lustful looking is bad, then those who dress and expose themselves with the desire to be looked at and lusted after are no less guilty
      4. David's sin wasn't seeing Bathsheba; it was continuing to look at her, then dramatically acting on those impulses and misusing his considerable power as king of Israel to do so
    9. A husband and wife need to communicate; the greatest strength that you have to fight the battle of temptation is intimacy in your marriage
      1. Your spouse should be your best friend (see Malachi 2:14); when you are companions with your spouse, Satan can't come between you
      2. You should also seek intimacy in romantic and sexual fulfillment in your marriage; you have a role to play in guarding your spouse from temptation
      3. A lack of marital intimacy in the bed and at the table is a breeding ground for temptation
    10. Victory over temptation comes from being prepared for it
      1. If you don't have a healthy sex life, Satan is going to bring someone or something into your spouse's life that will bring them sexual fulfillment
      2. If you don't communicate with and listen to your spouse, Satan is going to bring them someone who listens to them, compliments them, affirms them, and tells them that they deserve better
    11. We need to be careful about the standards we are setting for ourselves and our spouses
      1. We need to avoid unrealistic standards that come from pornography and chick flicks that we use to judge our spouses
      2. Proverbs 5:15
      3. A husband and wife need to keep each other from temptation by remaining physically, sexually, emotionally, relationally, and conversationally active with each other
    12. There are always strings attached when it comes to sin—nothing is free
      1. Satan will never tell you the cost of your sin before you do it, only after
      2. We are always better off obeying God and trusting in His provision than to impatiently and selfishly provide for our own needs in any way that could cause us to disobey His Word
      3. Philippians 4:8
    13. The first strategy to winning the battle with temptation is to avoid placing ourselves in tempting situations
      1. It's a lot easier to manage a fire in a fireplace
      2. Unimpeded temptation will destroy your loved ones
  3. Stopping It Once It Starts
    1. Jesus pointed out the way of deliverance from this sin
      1. In Jewish culture, the right hand represented one's best and most precious facilities
      2. We should be willing to give up whatever is necessary to keep us from falling into this sin
      3. Anything that morally or spiritually traps us, that causes us to fall into sin and stay there, should be eliminated quickly and totally
    2. Compromise is the most lethal trap in Satan's arsenal—his greatest and most effective tool
      1. He never comes at you with the whole picture; he gets you to drop your guard a little at a time until you get stuck in the sin
      2. Compromise is a temptation to lower our standard in order to extend our reach, a temptation to endanger our integrity in order to enlarge our influence
      3. How does it start? Slowly
        1. It begins with apathy
        2. Apathy leads to atrophy
        3. Atrophy leads to the agony of being stuck in a state of sin
  4. Conclusion
    1. There are four things you can do to build up your resistance to this area of temptation:
      1. Walk with God—it's the heart, not the action
      2. Walk with your spouse—spend time aggressively developing friendship and romance in your marriage
      3. Don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly—avoid relationships and friendships with those who are ungodly at all costs
      4. Count the cost
    2. If you are stuck in this sin, God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten; He is greater than your sin, and He still has a place for you

 

Figures referenced: Oswald Chambers

Cross references:
Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:15; Malachi 2:14; Luke 16:15; Philippians 4:8; James 1:12

Topic: sexual temptation

Keywords: battle, compromise, desire, husband, obedience, pornography, sexual, sin, temptation, strategy, victory, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: A Mother's Role in the Smart Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 1
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4358

MESSAGE SUMMARY
A mother's love is great—it sets the standard of unconditional love. God has done and continues to do great things through women. The Bible records numerous faithful and spiritually fruitful women, such as Jochebed (Moses' mother), Ruth, Esther, Elizabeth, and Mary. In 1 Samuel, we meet Hannah, a woman whose faith modeled three powerful truths about mothers.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 4, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Mother's Role in the Smart Home"
Text: 1 Samuel 1

Path

A mother's love is great—it sets the standard of unconditional love. God has done—and continues to do—great things through women. The Bible records numerous faithful and spiritually fruitful women, such as Jochebed (Moses' mother), Ruth, Esther, Elizabeth, and Mary. In 1 Samuel we meet Hannah, a woman whose faith modeled three powerful truths about mothers.

  1. Mothers Have Great Problems
  2. Mothers Keep Great Priorities
  3. Mothers Make Great Plans
Points

Mothers Have Great ProblemsMothers Keep Great PrioritiesMothers Make Great PlansPractice

Connect Up: In the Bible, many attributes and descriptions of God are masculine, however some are feminine. Look up the following verses and discuss how God is both fatherly and motherly: Deuteronomy 32:18, Psalm 17:8, Proverbs 4:13, Isaiah 42:14, Hosea 11:1-4. Discuss how the following typically feminine characteristics reflect a nurturing God: forgiveness (see Psalm 103:12), gentleness (see Isaiah 40:11), kindness (see Jeremiah 31:3), compassion (see Matthew 8:1-17), patience (see 2 Peter 3:9).

Connect In: Pastor Skip mentioned the importance of women to God; He did create them, after all. In what ways can a church reach out to women? What types of ministries do women care for and are concerned with? If you attend she Ministries, discuss how she helps equip and sustain a woman to be a Proverbs 31 leader, considering these virtues: faith, marriage, motherhood, health, service, homemaking, and time. What more does Proverbs 31 have to say about womanhood?

Connect Out: Pastor Skip mentioned that many women face infertility problems. How can Christians reach out to those struggling with barrenness? Baby Center recommends, "Realize and accept that you will have some ups and (most likely) many downs as you deal with your fertility problem. Reflect on your commitment to becoming a parent, and read our top coping strategies to help you get through this trying time. Consider joining a support group if you decide to go ahead with treatment, and connect online with others."1 What more would you add?


1 Baby Center, "The Emotional Impact of Fertility Problems," February, 2017, https://www.babycenter.com/0_the-emotional-impact-of-fertility-problems_3933.bc, accessed 11/4/18.

DETAILED NOTES

"A Mother's Role in the Smart Home"
1 Samuel 1

  1. Introduction
    1. Mothers set the human standard for unconditional love—nobody loves you the way your mother does
      1. "You have a face that only a mother could love"—an insult, but also testament to a mother's love
      2. No matter what you look like or what you've done, your mother will always stand by you
    2. We relate to our mothers differently at different stages in life
      1. From "Mom can do anything" to "Mom is out of step with the times"
      2. From "Before we decide, let's ask Mom" to "I wish I could talk to my mom once more"
  2. 1 Samuel 1
    1. This book begins not with a mother but with an infertile woman
    2. Your value to God is not based on your ability to reproduce
      1. God loves you because you're His
      2. Some of the most noteworthy women in the Scriptures were infertile at one time
        1. Sarah
        2. Rebecca
        3. Leah and Rachel
        4. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist
      3. Three possible reasons for infertility
        1. In His providence, God's not giving you children yet
          1. He's still preparing you for the time when you will have a baby
          2. Not now doesn't mean not ever
        2. You may never be able to have a biological child, but maybe you're meant to foster or adopt
        3. The Lord wants you to be available for a very specific task that would be impossible if your time was focused on raising children
    3. Hannah was eventually able to be a mother
      1. Every parent should live with a grid of priorities, as Hannah did:
        1. God
        2. Spouse
        3. Child/children
        4. Everything else follows
      2. Hannah's priority grid can be seen throughout this chapter
        1. God (see vv. 7, 10, 12)
          1. This world owes a lot to praying mothers and grandmothers
          2. "No man is poor who has a godly mother" —Abraham Lincoln
        2. Her husband (see vv. 5, 8)
        3. Her child (see v. 21)
          1. Wean would be better translated to deal fully with
          2. This context implies a spiritual training process
    4. Hannah launched her child (see vv. 24-28)
      1. The background of this chapter is moral relativism (see Judges 21:25)
      2. God launched Samuel as His prophet into that black hole of immorality to guide Israel and to anoint Saul and eventually David
  3. Conclusion
    1. None of that would have been possible without a godly woman named Hannah
    2. If God wants to do a great work, He'll choose a man; if He wants to do an extraordinarily great work, He'll choose a woman
    3. G. Campbell Morgan attributed his love for the Bible to his mother
      1. He married a woman who equally loved Scripture
      2. All of his sons became preachers

Figures referenced: Abraham Lincoln, G. Campbell Morgan

Cross reference: Judges 21:25

Topic: mothers

Keywords: children, godly, infertility, love, praying, spouse, unconditional, woman

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: The Single-Parent Family
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16; 2 Timothy 1
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4360

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Some of the most struggling and lonely people in our congregation may be those who are single parents. They may be moms, dads, divorced, or never married. They may be young teenagers; they may be older grandparents—but they all have this in common: they are raising children by themselves. Does the Bible speak to this? Are there any clues for Christians to understand so we can help bear the load of single parents among us? Yes, there are. Let’s take a look at them.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 11, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Single-Parent Family"
Text: Acts 16:2; 2 Timothy 1

Path:

Some of the most struggling and lonely people in our congregation may be those who are single parents. They may be moms, dads, divorced, or never married. They may be young teenagers, they may be older grandparents—but they all have this in common: they are raising children by themselves. Does the Bible speak to this? Are there any clues for Christians to understand so we can help bear the load of single parents among us? Yes, there are.

  1. The Cultural Reality (Acts 16)
    1. Yesterday's Ancient Culture
    2. Today's Modern Culture
  2. The Caretaker's Role (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15)
    1. The Role of the Parent
    2. The Role of the Grandparent
  3. The Community's Responsibility (2 Timothy 1:2)
Points

The Cultural RealityThe Caretaker's RoleThe Community's ResponsibilityPractice

Connect Up: Look up Genesis 1:26. The text states, "Let Us make man in Our image." This verse is the basis of God's triune interrelationship ("Us," "Our"), as well as humanity's interrelationship with God and others (we are made in His image). Because God is a community of Being (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the Lord likewise created humanity to reflect community: family, church, etc. How does community give insight into the triune nature of God? Why do you think God values community, be it family, church, or society?

Connect In: Think about this: to be is to belong. Being human means we belong to others: God, family, friends, our community and the world. What core characteristics should a church community adhere to in order to support all people (single, married, young, old, etc.) in their journey with Christ? For help, look up Philippians 2:1-4. Notice key characteristics, such as comfort, love, fellowship, affection, mercy, like-mindedness, etc.

Connect Out: Pastor Skip mentioned that part of the church community's responsibility to single parents is to provide assistance, availability, and mentoring. Take a moment and discuss the implications of this challenge within the local church. What practical things can you do today? Learn to LOVE: Listen to them, Offer help, Value them, and Entrust them to the Lord through prayer. Take some time to pray for the single parents you know, asking God how you can assist them.


1 Susan Pollet, Esq., "Single Parent Households: Are the Children Growing Up in Them Really Alright?," December 17, 2013, http://ww2.nycourts.gov/sites/default/files/document/files/2018-09/ArticleSingleParents.pdf, accessed 11/12/18.
2 Thom S. Rainer, "5 Fascinating Facts about Single Parent Families," May 27, 2014, https://www.ouramericanvalues.org/5-fascinating-facts-about-single-parent-families, accessed 11/12/18.

DETAILED NOTES

"The Single-Parent Family"
Acts 16; 2 Timothy 1

  1. Introduction
    1. The single-parent home is the fastest growing family form in North America
    2. Three aspects of the single-parent home are:
      1. The culture
      2. The caretaker
      3. The community (the church)
  2. The Cultural Reality (Acts 16)
    1. In Paul's second missionary journey, he revisited several cities and added a few others
    2. Paul probably met Timothy when he revisited Lystra
      1. Timothy was the son of a mixed marriage—his mother was a believing Jew and his father was a Greek
      2. Timothy's mother and grandmother may have become believers as a result of Paul's first journey through the area (see Acts 14)
      3. The name Timothy is a combination of two words—timaó and theos, which means one who honors God, a name probably given to him by his mother
      4. Timothy's father may have left the family, but it's most likely that he died—the text uses the imperfect tense rather than the present tense when referring to him
    3. Yesterday's Ancient Culture
      1. Single parenting is not as unique to this generation as one might think
      2. For the first 520 years of the Roman Empire, there is not a single recorded case of divorce
        1. The first recorded case was in 234 BC
        2. Spurius Carvilius Ruga divorced his wife because she was infertile
      3. Why is it that after hundreds of years without recorded divorce, this case came up, and afterward there was rampant divorce in the Roman Empire?
        1. Rome conquered Greece militarily, but Greece conquered Rome morally
        2. After conquering Greece, Rome adopted all the values, immorality, and cultures of Greece
        3. This change in Roman culture began to create a large number of single-parent families
        4. Added to that culture shift were the various wars Rome was involved in and the large number of men who died in war
    4. Today's Modern Culture
      1. Single parenting is not new, but the extent to which it has grown in our present day and age is unprecedented
      2. Factors behind the exponential growth of single-parent homes:
        1. The divorce rate has increased
        2. The amount of out-of-wedlock births is continually increasing
      3. Single-parent families raise one quarter of our nation's children
        1. Three out of ten families with children today are headed by a single parent
        2. Half of all American children under the age of eighteen will live in a single-parent home at some point in their lives
      4. Single-parent families are now one of the largest segments in our society
        1. 88 percent of single-parent homes are headed by a mother, although the number of single-parent homes headed by a father is growing
        2. Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend in our culture today
        3. "The United States is becoming a fatherless society. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with his or her father. Today an American child can reasonably expect not to" —David Blankenhorn
      5. Some of the greatest people in history were raised in single-parent families
        1. Isaac Newton
        2. Alan Greenspan
        3. Dr. Ben Carson
  3. The Caretaker's Role (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15)
    1. The role of the caretaker is to exemplify, live out, and pass on genuine faith to their children
    2. Although Timothy learned a lot of his faith from his mentor, Paul, he received the foundation of that faith from his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois
    3. The Role of the Parent
      1. The primary role of the parent is spiritual heritage; if this is the only thing you pass on to your children, you have given them everything
      2. Single parents have an overwhelming number of things that need to get done, but do the most important thing first—impart your faith to your children
      3. No one's prayers are more important than anyone else's, but God has shown His love for those who are brokenhearted
        1. Genesis 21:17-18
        2. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
        3. Psalm 34:18
        4. Psalm 68:5
    4. The Role of the Grandparent
      1. Could it be that Lois was the first to respond to the gospel, since she was mentioned before Timothy's mother in the text?
      2. Grandparents play a key role in the single parent's support system
      3. Today's grandparents are raising their grandchildren
        1. Custodial grandparents
        2. The chief reason for this in our culture is opioid addiction; there are six million children in this category
      4. The role of the grandparent is to share their faith as they support the single parent
  4. The Community's Responsibility (2 Timothy 1:2)
    1. Paul became a spiritual father to Timothy (see 1 Timothy 1:2)
    2. Timothy joined Paul and eventually played such a key role in Paul's life that he became Paul's right-hand man
      1. Paul mentioned Timothy twenty-four times in his epistles
      2. In Philippians 2:20, Paul said that Timothy was "like-minded"
        1. Paul used the Greek word isopsuchos, which means equal soul
        2. This did not just happen—it was intentional: Paul invited Timothy onto his team, invested in him, trained and mentored him, and then sent him out
    3. The church is to be the extended family for the single parent
      1. Our responsibility as the church is to come alongside the single-parent family and support them
      2. Psalm 68:6
  5. Conclusion
    1. There are three practical things all believers can do for the single-parent family:
      1. Assistance—help out around the house with things that aren't caught up
      2. Availability—to provide adult conversation, and offer counsel
      3. Mentorship—when a spiritually strong believer steps into a relationship to offer direction and guidance between a single parent and a child, it can be very beneficial
    2. You can't return your kids, but you can rescue your children from an unfulfilled life
      1. Through strong relationships with grandparents
      2. Through strong relationships within the body of Christ
      3. Making the best of the situation with the resources God has given you
    3. As a single parent, don't expect perfection from yourself; do what you can, and make sure that what you can do is the very best—impart a spiritual heritage to your children

 

Figures referenced: David Blankenhorn, Dr. Ben Carson, Alan Greenspan, Isaac Newton, Spurius Carvilius Ruga

Cross references: Genesis 21:17-18; Deuteronomy 6:5-7; Psalm 34:18; 68:5-6; Acts 14; Philippians 2:20; 1 Timothy 1:2

Greek words: isopsuchos, theos, timaó

Topic: single parenting

Keywords: children, church, community, father, grandparents, mentor, mother, responsibility, roles, single parents

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: The Fundamentals of Family and Fatherhood
SPEAKER: Nate Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 6:1-4
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4362

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The American family is in crisis, and children are among its many victims. Evidence of the effects of broken families on children is everywhere: 12 million teenagers are drug addicts, teenage suicide has risen over 400 percent, and 1.5 million teenage girls will become pregnant out of wedlock (650,000 of those pregnancies will end in abortion). According to the Los Angeles Times, the most reliable predicter for these behaviors is family structure. If there has ever been a time for a godly upbringing, it is now. In this teaching, Pastor Nate looks at the fundamentals of a healthy family, including parents’ responsibility to their children and children’s responsibility to their parents.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: November 18, 2018
Speaker: Nate Heitzig
Teaching: "The Fundamentals of Family and Fatherhood"
Text: Ephesians 6:1-4

Path

The American family is in crisis and children are among its many victims. Evidence of the effects of broken families on children is everywhere: 12 million teenagers are drug addicts, teenage suicide has risen over 400 percent, and 1.5 million teenage girls will become pregnant out of wedlock (650,000 of those pregnancies will end in abortion). According to the Los Angeles Times, the most reliable predicter for these behaviors is family structure.1 If there has ever been a time for a godly upbringing, it is now. Let's look at two biblical fundamentals for a healthy family:

  1. Children's Responsibility to Their Parents (Ephesians 6:1-3)
  2. Parents' Responsibility to Their Children (Ephesians 6:4)
Points

Children's Responsibility to Their Parents Parents' Responsibility to Their ChildrenPractice

Connect Up: Discuss or make a list of the qualities that characterize our Heavenly Father (loving, compassionate, forgiving, righteous, etc.). How and when should parents use these qualities with children? How should God's attributes influence the responsibilities parents have in raising children?

Connect In: What is the church's role in helping raise a child? Should a church interfere or interject itself when poor parenting is evident among church members? Why or why not?

Connect Out: If you were to begin an outreach for parents, what type of ministry would it be: classes, counseling, or compassion (such as babysitting)? If you are a parent, discuss your needs. If not, share the positive or negative things you find in your parents. What did they do well and in what areas might they improve?


1 Jonah Goldberg, "Why Family Matters, and Why Traditional Families are Best," October 27, 2015, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1027-goldberg-family-structure-20151027-column.html, accessed 11/19/18.
2 Gretchen Livingston, "Most dads say they spend too little time with their children; about a quarter live apart from them," January 8, 2018, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/08/most-dads-say-they-spend-too-little-time-with-their-children-about-a-quarter-live-apart-from-them/, accessed 11/19/18.
3 Skip Heitzig, "Fractured Families, Broken Lives," January 27, 2008, http://www.calvaryabq.org/teachings_view.asp?ServiceID=548, accessed 11/19/18.

DETAILED NOTES

"The Fundamentals of Family and Fatherhood"
Ephesians 6:1-4

  1. Introduction
    1. Ultimately, the victims of family erosion are the children
      1. Half of all high school students will experiment with drugs, and over twelve million teenagers are drug addicts
      2. Suicides among fifteen- to nineteen-year-olds have risen over 400 percent in the last decade; over 1,109,965 teens attempt suicide every year
    2. Two of our nation's most serious problems are crime and teenage pregnancy
      1. The most reliable predictor of these behaviors is family structure
      2. Pregnant teenage girls and teenage boys who engage in criminal behavior tend to come from a fatherless background
    3. Practicing family values and proper fatherhood are vital to the health and well-being of our children
      1. The initial point of the attack on families today is the father; Satan attacks fathers because he realizes that its his best chance at causing kids to fall
      2. Fathers are tempted to divert themselves from their wives and their children by pursuing their own desires—feeding their own egos
    4. One of these temptations is success
      1. Success isn't bad, but if it becomes your chief desire, it then becomes an idolatrous desire
      2. Parents must simply stop thinking about themselves and consider the impact their actions have on their children
      3. It is possible to be successful both at work and in the home; it's all about prioritizing
    5. Fathers must be actively involved in the leadership of their homes
      1. If you're not there for your children, someone or something else will be
      2. The best thing you can spend on your children isn't money, education, or possessions—it's time
      3. The impact of godly parents is immeasurable
        1. Adolescents in a close family unit are those most likely to say no to drugs, premarital sex, and anti-social behaviors
        2. They're also the most likely to adopt high moral standards, develop friendships, embrace religious faith, and involve themselves in helping activities
  2. Children's Responsibility to Their Parents
    1. Like the wife's submission, this can depend on the father's involvement—on how the child is raised
      1. Paul called parents to foster within their children the heart and the desire to be obedient
      2. What makes children obedient is proper and consistent training
    2. Why children should be obedient
      1. "That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth" (v. 3)
      2. This was literal in ancient Israel—children who proved to be beyond correction were put to death
      3. When kids are obedient, the likelihood of them coming to harm drops, the likelihood of them becoming involved in the wrong crowd drops, and their likelihood of success increases
    3. The only time obedience is not required is if the parent violates God's law and tells the child to do the same
      1. Will your children obey you unto life? If your children do everything you do, will they obey you unto the Lord?
      2. Matthew 10:34-36
      3. Children should strive to aggressively obey their parents up until the point that obedience causes them to disobey God
        1. Romans 12:18
        2. Proper obedience could lead them closer to Jesus
    4. Paul addressed fathers, not parents
      1. Fathers are the visible link that children have to their Father in heaven
      2. A failed relationship with your earthly father could lead to a faulty view of God
      3. We should live a pleasing life not to gain God's approval, but because we already have His approval
  3. Fathers' Responsibility to Their Children
    1. Fathers have to take up the biblical mantle of fatherhood and the responsibility for leadership in the home
      1. "The Western world stands at a great crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence or absence of masculine leadership in millions of homes" —James Dobson
      2. Mothers have been forced to step into the role of spiritual leadership out of necessity
    2. Fathers should seek not to anger their children
      1. As parents, we should not discipline our children in order to vent our frustration or anger
      2. Colossians 3:21
      3. A father's words can either build up the spirit of a child or break the spirit of a child
        1. This can become an ongoing pattern of treatment that builds within your child a deep-seated resentment and hostility
        2. Favoritism will also break a child's spirit; that child will become discouraged, resentful, withdrawn, bitter, and depressed
        3. Children who are never complimented or encouraged by their parents are bound for destruction
      4. A father's job is to find what God has naturally gifted his children with, then to foster and encourage those gifts
    3. Discipline
      1. If parents don't discipline their children, their children will punish them and everyone else around them
      2. Part of a parent's problem is not understanding why discipline has to be applied in the first place
        1. It's not optional (see Hebrews 12:6)
        2. It removes foolishness (see Proverbs 22:15)
        3. It will rescue them from judgment (see Proverbs 23:13-14)
        4. It provides wisdom (see Proverbs 29:15)
        5. It brings joy and rest to the parents (see Proverbs 29:17)
        6. It reflects God's character (see Hebrews 12:10-11)
      3. Discipline is simply following the perfect example of our Father
        1. Discipline should be combined with positive initiative
        2. Isaiah 1:19-20
      4. Discipline must be consistent
        1. Proverbs 13:24
        2. First give a warning, then always follow through
  4. Conclusion
    1. We are to nurture our children
      1. Nurturing means to nourish by example
      2. Proverbs 22:6
    2. Parents must set an example for their children in the home
      1. First you show them, then you tell them
      2. In the process of leading your children to Christ, you have to first be following Christ
      3. Develop your own fellowship and relationship with God
        1. Nothing can really happen through us until it's happened to us
        2. Lead not just by word, but by example

 

Figures referenced: James Dobson

Cross references: Proverbs 13:24; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14, 24; 29:15, 17; Isaiah 1:19-20; Matthew 10:34-36; Romans 12:18; Colossians 3:21; Hebrews 12:6, 10-11

Topic: fatherhood

Keywords: children, discipline, encouragement, example, fathers, honor, mothers, nurture, obedience, parents, responsibility

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Patching Holes in the Smart Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Song_of_Solomon 5-6
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4366

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Most marriages are marked by periodic skirmishes, but did you know that disagreements can actually strengthen your marriage instead of weakening it? A lot will depend on how you patch the holes left by a disagreement. Conflict resolution is an essential skill that will minimize permanent relational damage. Let’s take a look at Solomon’s marriage to his Shulamite bride, the first fight they had, and their final reconciliation.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 2, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Patching Holes in the Smart Home"
Text: Song of Solomon 5-6

Path:

Most marriages are marked by periodic skirmishes, but did you know that disagreements can actually strengthen your marriage instead of weakening it? A lot will depend on how you patch the holes left by a disagreement. Conflict resolution is an essential skill that will minimize permanent relational damage. Let's take a look at Solomon's marriage to his Shulamite bride, the first fight they had, and their final reconciliation.

  1. Conflict Is Normal (5:1-6)
  2. Collaboration Must Be Careful (5:7-9)
  3. Conciliation Is Essential (6:3-4)
Points

Conflict Is Normal Collaboration Must Be Careful Conciliation Is EssentialPractice

Connect Up: Satan hates marriage. Why? Because God created it and it furthers His agenda in the world (see Genesis 2-3). How does marriage help promote God's principles? Discuss these ideas from Genesis 2-3: spiritual and physical union, procreation, stewardship, help, and service. Look up 1 Corinthians 13. How does love help shape God's agenda in the world through marriage? (Key descriptors: longsuffering, kind, not envious, doesn't parade itself or behave rudely, is not puffed up, etc.) How does marriage help reflect our union with God?

Connect In: Pastor Skip recommends communication, collaboration, and conciliation when dealing with conflict. Share any other means you have used to reconcile with your spouse. Marriage Ministry recommends these ten steps:4Do you agree with this list? What more would you add?

Connect Out: How would advice from a counselor differ when directed toward a Christian couple verses a non-Christian couple? What might you change in your counsel of a non-believer? How does having the Holy Spirit living inside you affect the process of marriage communication, collaboration, and conciliation?


1 Diane Sollee, "Teaching Couples How to Fish," October, 2000, http://www.smartmarriages.com/fish.html, accessed 12/3/18.
2 Gary Smalley, "Anger in Marriage," http://globalchristiancenter.com/christianliving/marriage/33110-anger-in-marriage, accessed 12/3/18.
3 Kyle Benson, "The Magic Relationship Ratio, According to Science," October 4, 2017, https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/, accessed 12/3/18.
4 Roy Milam, "Ten Steps to Restore Your Marriage," https://www.marriageministry.org/ten-steps-to-restore-your-marriage/, accessed 12/3/18.

DETAILED NOTES

"Patching Holes in the Smart Home"
Song of Solomon 5-6

  1. Introduction
    1. Two are better than one (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
      1. This is obviously something that every couple who comes to the altar agrees with
      2. However, two are also more difficult than one
        1. Two opinions
        2. Two ways of doing things
      3. After marriage, life becomes more complicated, and that creates conflict
    2. Most couples enter into marriage with underdeveloped conflict resolution skills, and marriage is where you get either really good at conflict resolution or really bad at it
      1. If you're going to have a fight, fight to win the relationship, not the fight
      2. Fight for the marriage, not to win the argument
    3. The Song of Solomon was written by Solomon for his wife
      1. The original title—The Song of Songs—was superlative
      2. Solomon wrote 1,005 songs (see 1 Kings 4:32), but this was his best
    4. The Shulamite bride
      1. She was from a small village called Shulam, or Shunam
      2. Many scholars believe this was Solomon's first wife; if so, this is an example of God's original design (see Genesis 2:24)
  2. Conflict Is Normal (5:1-6)
    1. Solomon referred to his marriage as his garden—a delightful, peaceful place
      1. However, in chapter 5, we see the result of an unresolved conflict between Solomon and his bride
      2. Solomon made a sexual advance while things were still unresolved and made the situation worse
    2. Every couple goes through different stages of the relationship:
      1. First phase: attraction
      2. Second phase: infatuation
      3. Third phase: passion
      4. Fourth phase: accommodation
        1. This phase begins as reality starts to set in
        2. Compromise is a vital aspect of a growing relationship
    3. You can't merge two strong personalities without resulting conflict
      1. It's like the convergence of two independent currents
      2. Two people are merging their lives, and the accommodation required in that creates pressure
    4. Conflict is normal, and discord will come to every marriage, no matter how spiritual or idyllic the marriage is
      1. 25 percent of the Song of Solomon is about conflict and conflict resolution
      2. We have conflict because:
        1. We are human
        2. We are different—different backgrounds and different ways of doing things
  3. Collaboration Must Be Careful (5:7-9)
    1. Who you collaborate with to resolve conflict can become an issue
      1. The quickest way to turn your in-laws into outlaws is to involve them in your conflict
      2. When you involve your parents in your conflict, they will instinctively side with you
      3. The problem with involving your friends is they're only getting one side of the story
      4. In taking her conflict public, Solomon's wife was now misunderstood
    2. You have to be very careful about who you inform, involve in, or counsel with about your disagreement with your spouse
      1. Psalm 1:1
      2. Advice is like medicine—it has to be the right kind, and it has to come from the right source
      3. "He who builds according to every man's advice will have a crooked house" —Danish proverb
    3. We must never take a public, verbal swipe at our spouses
      1. These remarks will disparage your spouse
      2. These remarks will also damage your reputation
        1. If this is how you treat the person you should be valuing the most, how are you going to treat others?
        2. This makes others around you not want to get closer to you
  4. Conciliation Is Essential (6:3-4)
    1. Some type of reconciliation has to be reached; the direct communication that follows in chapter 6 indicates reconciliation
    2. The goal of a conflict is not to win the fight, but to win a friend
      1. It's not to fight with each other, but to fight for each other
      2. If one wins the argument, both lose; both have to win at the resolution in order to produce reconciliation
    3. Most couples do not fight until after they are married
      1. Everything is voluntary before you get married; everything afterward is compulsory
      2. When people date, they are often acting—putting their best foot forward
    4. The more quickly you resolve conflict, the better
      1. One of the most deadly enemies of marriage is unresolved anger
      2. "When we bury anger inside of us…it's always buried alive" —Gary Smalley
      3. If you let anger grow, you're giving Satan opportunity; if you give Satan a foothold, he will make it a stronghold
      4. Ephesians 4:26
  5. Conclusion
    1. When you're resolving issues with your spouse, your choice of words is crucial (see Proverbs 18:21)
    2. Researchers found one important predictor in determining which couples stay married for the long haul—a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments must be maintained
    3. It's possible to walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye; but for that to happen, there has to be accommodation and resolution

 

Figures referenced: Gary Smalley

Cross references: Genesis 2:24; 1 Kings 4:32; Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 18:21; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Ephesians 4:26

Topic: conflict

Keywords: argument, collaboration, conflict, couples, fight, marriage, reconciliation, resolution, spouse

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Divorce: When the Dream Is Shattered
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 19:3-9
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4368

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Not every smart home stays intact. Infidelity, as well as other factors, can shatter the dream of happily ever after. To be honest, this message today will not be an easy one to deliver nor will it be easy to hear. Jesus must have shocked His audience by His answers here to their questions. But my heart goes out especially to those in our flock who have been hurt by these things, and my prayer is that healing will come your way.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 9, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Divorce: When the Dream is Shattered"
Text: Matthew 19:3-9

Path:

Not every smart home stays intact. Infidelity, as well as other factors, can shatter the dream of happily ever after. To be honest, this message today will not be an easy one to deliver nor will it be easy to hear. Jesus must have shocked His audience by His answers here to their questions. But my heart goes out especially to those in our flock who have been hurt by these things, and my prayer is that healing will come your way.

  1. Divorce Is a Practical Issue (v. 3)
  2. Divorce Is a Biblical Issue (vv. 4-6)
  3. Divorce Is a Controversial Issue (v. 7)
  4. Divorce Is a Moral Issue (vv. 8-9)
Points

Divorce Is a Practical IssueDivorce Is a Biblical Issue Divorce Is a Controversial Issue Divorce Is a Moral Issue Practice

Connect Up: Why is it important to go to God when trying to understand practical, moral and controversial issues (as Jesus did in the text), and not to culture or human law? Why is it important to recognize that there is a law higher than human law? How does having a higher law affect how we live in the world in terms of justice, morals, law, etc.?

Connect In: If you were to counsel a Christian couple contemplating divorce, how would you proceed to share with them in a loving way while keeping truth intact? How would you communicate both the truth of Jesus' teaching and the biblical mandate against divorce?

Connect Out: If you are a child of divorced parents, share your experience (if you are comfortable). What did you learn from the process? If you know someone who has been through a divorce, how did the people involved change? What were the effects?

How would you reach out to a non-Christian couple considering divorce? Here are some considerations:
Pray. Pray for the couple.
Answers. Help them find answers to the issues leading them to divorce. Remember the greatest need for a non-Christian is to receive Christ. Share the gospel, but don't beat them with the Bible. Be a listening friend.
Institute. Help institute a plan for recovery. Point the couple to wise counsel, advice, and a godly influence.
Need. Express the need for them work it out. Divorce is not a remedy, it's the result of something that went awry in the marriage. If children are involved, address how kids need two parents working in harmony and love.


1 Kasey J. Eickmeyer, "Generation X and Millenials Attitudes Toward Marriage and Divorce," 2015, https://www.bgsu.edu/ncfmr/resources/data/family-profiles/eickmeyer-gen-x-millennials-fp-15-12.html, accessed 12/10/18.

DETAILED NOTES
"Divorce: When the Dream Is Shattered"
Matthew 19:3-9

  1. Introduction
    1. Marriage begins as an ideal that can soon turn into an ordeal, and that's when people start to look for a new deal—divorce is in their sights
    2. Broken homes produce broken lives that produce broken homes
      1. Millennials are waiting much longer than previous generations to get married while enjoying the fringe benefits of the marriage relationship without any commitment
      2. Two out of five people in Generation X and the millennial generation said that marriages have failed for most of the people they know
    3. Matthew 19 is the conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders of Israel about the issue of divorce
      1. The religious leaders intended to use a controversial issue to discredit Jesus
      2. Jesus gave them a direct answer without skirting the controversial nature of the question itself
  2. Divorce Is a Practical Issue (v. 3)
    1. The religious leaders brought up this question because divorce was a common issue in Israel
      1. The Pharisees were hoping to trap Jesus with this question in order to discredit Him in the eyes of the people
      2. Divorce was a topic of heated debate among the Jews
    2. Theoretically, there was no nation on earth that had a higher standard of the covenant of marriage than the nation of Israel; in reality, women of that day and age had no legal rights and could never divorce their husbands
      1. Marriage was regarded as a sacred duty
      2. There was a saying that the only reason for a man to be exempt from this duty was to devote his entire life to the study of Torah
      3. If a man refused to marry and have children, it was said that he was breaking the positive commandment to fill the earth and that he had slain his posterity
    3. There were many positive sayings concerning marriage
      1. Unchastity causes the glory of God to depart
      2. Every Jew must surrender his life rather than commit idolatry, murder, or adultery
      3. The very altar itself sheds tears when a man divorces the wife of his youth
    4. The basis for this question was pulled from Deuteronomy 24:1-4, which is the only passage in the Old Testament that refers to divorce
    5. There were two opposing viewpoints as to what this passage meant
      1. One was more conservative, perpetuated by Rabbi Shammai, who interpreted the clause in Deuteronomy to mean only adultery
      2. The more liberal view was adopted by Rabbi Hillel
        1. Hillel defined uncleanness in the widest possible way
        2. Rabbi Akiva later widened this view even further, saying that if a man found another woman more attractive than his wife, he could divorce his wife and marry the other woman
      3. By the time of Jesus, there was rampant no-fault divorce taking place
  3. Divorce Is a Biblical Issue (vv. 4-6)
    1. Jesus' answer took them back to the beginning of marriage
      1. He answered indirectly, with a question: "Have you not read?" (v. 4)
        1. Genesis 1:27
        2. Genesis 2:24
      2. Jesus expects you to know your Bible
        1. How can you ever obey God if you don't know what God said?
        2. How are you ever going to know what God wants if you never read what God wants?
    2. The Pharisees wanted to talk about divorce, but Jesus took them back to the beginning
      1. If you want to understand the issues within something, you need to understand the concept itself first
      2. Jesus affirmed four important aspects of marriage
        1. Marriage was God's idea
        2. Marriage is between a man and woman
          1. Blurring the lines between genders presents the biggest danger to marriage in our culture today
          2. God made man and woman—not one man and three women, just in case Eve didn't work out
        3. It was God's plan to create oneness through marriage
          1. This is the process of leaving, cleaving, and weaving
          2. "One flesh" (v. 6)
          3. It's impossible to divide one into two; it just becomes two halves
        4. Marriage was designed to be permanent
          1. God's intent was that marriage would be permanent and lifelong
          2. Divorce was not in God's original blueprint for marriage, though He permits it in limited circumstances
  4. Divorce Is a Controversial Issue (v. 7)
    1. The Pharisees' misconception can be seen at the heart of the question
      1. Did God ever, through Moses or anyone else, command anyone to divorce?
      2. They turned a divine concession into a divine command (divorce is a divine concession to human weakness)
    2. God hates divorce
      1. Malachi 2:16
      2. God hates divorce, but He loves divorced people
    3. A careful reading of Deuteronomy 24 reveals that it's not teaching about divorce or the certificate of divorce—those are incidental
      1. It concerns remarriage and focuses on protecting women
      2. What does the term uncleanness refer to?
        1. It cannot refer to adultery—the Old Testament punishment for adultery was not divorce, but death
        2. Whatever the uncleanness was, it did not warrant a divorce (see Deuteronomy 24:4)
      3. The text did not advocate divorce
        1. It was meant to protect the woman from her first husband
        2. The adultery was the fault of the first husband, who divorced her
  5. Divorce Is a Moral Issue (vv. 8-9)
    1. Jesus presented them with the correct interpretation
      1. Divorce always includes a hardening of the heart
      2. "Divorce tells us the truth about man. It tells us nothing about marriage" —Terence Kelshaw
    2. The exception clause
      1. The Greek word for "sexual immorality" (v. 9) is porneia
      2. The verb tense used here indicates a continual, unrepentant pattern of behavior—the only allowable reason for a Christian to initiate divorce
      3. Matthew 5:27-32
      4. What Jesus required with the exception clause was more than the religious leaders required, but not more than Moses required
  6. Conclusion
    1. To those struggling with the weight and pain of a divorce:
      1. God understands
      2. Let forgiveness rule the day—God specializes in forgiveness
    2. God speaks so strongly about divorce because He was divorced
      1. The people of Israel committed spiritual adultery over and over again
      2. Jeremiah 3:8
    3. Any divorced person you know needs all the love and encouragement you can give them
Figures referenced: Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Hillel, Terence Kelshaw, Rabbi Shammai

Cross references: Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Jeremiah 3:8; Malachi 2:16; Matthew 5:27-32

Greek words: porneia

Topic: divorce

Keywords: adultery, biblical, controversial, forgiveness, husband, marriage, moral, pain, practical, wife

 


 

SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Getting Smart about Remarriage
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 7
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/4370

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Three-fourths of divorced men and two-thirds of divorced women will eventually remarry. That’s the present reality of the American relational landscape. Some of you have walked through the pain of such a breakup. The question for us is always a scriptural one: Are there biblical grounds for remarriage? Yes, of course. When a divorce occurs for one of the following reasons, a remarriage is appropriate.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 16, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Getting Smart about Remarriage"
Text: 1 Corinthians 7

Path

Three-fourths of divorced men and two-thirds of divorced women will eventually remarry. That's the present reality of the American relational landscape. Some of you have walked through the pain of such a breakup. The question for us is always a scriptural one: Are there biblical grounds for remarriage? Yes, of course. When a divorce occurs for one of the following reasons, a remarriage is appropriate.

  1. When a Spouse Dies (vv. 8-9, 39)
  2. When Divorced Prior to Salvation (vv. 8-9)
  3. When an Unbeliever Deserts the Marriage (vv. 10-15)
  4. When Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed (vv. 10-11; Matthew 19)
Points

When a Spouse DiesWhen Divorced Prior to Salvation When an Unbeliever Deserts the MarriageWhen Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed Practice

Connect Up: The book of Hosea is a dramatic illustration of God's love for unfaithful Israel, comparing that relationship to Hosea's unfaithful wife. Hosea means salvation. Think about how faith and salvation are tied together. Why is it important that we remain faithful to God first and foremost, and then to the principles God established in the Bible (including marriage)? How would you reconcile the fact that believers are commanded not to marry unbelievers with the fact that Hosea was commanded to marry an adulterous woman?1

Connect In: There are many people within the church who fall within the remarriage guidelines Pastor Skip set forth. However, some may be considering a divorce for unbiblical reasons. How would you counsel someone in that situation? In the case of an unbiblical divorce, why is it important to balance truth (speaking candidly and biblically) and love (counseling with understanding and compassion)?

Connect Out: If you are remarried and only if you are comfortable, share your story. How can you use your experience to help reach out to others who've gone through divorce and are considering getting married again? Share three things you learned—both pros and cons—through divorce. If you have not been divorced or remarried, share insight you've gleaned through the remarriages of family or friends.


1 Norman Geisler, "A Popular Survey of the Old Testament," Baker Books, 1977, page 245.

DETAILED NOTES
"Getting Smart about Remarriage"
1 Corinthians 7

  1. Introduction
    1. The Holy Spirit knows exactly where to tinker in our lives, even when we don't
    2. Think of God's principles as protection
      1. These are not prohibitions to make your life miserable
      2. They are meant to protect what God invented and designed for your benefit
    3. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians for two reasons:
      1. To address problems in the church
      2. To answer the new believers' questions
    4. The New Testament principle: all those properly divorced can get remarried
      1. A biblical divorce brings with it the biblical permission to remarry
      2. When a divorce occurs for the following reasons, remarriage is legitimate:
        1. When a spouse dies
        2. When divorced prior to salvation
        3. When an unbeliever deserts the marriage
        4. When sexual immorality has prevailed
  2. When a Spouse Dies (vv. 8-9, 39)
    1. "Till death do us part"
      1. Once death has occurred and they are parted, then they are free to get remarried, with one caveat—"in the Lord" (v. 39)
      2. There is a biblical precedent for this: Abraham and Keturah (see Genesis 25:1)
    2. Every human, especially the Christian, longs to be loved and to love someone
  3. When Divorced Prior to Salvation (vv. 8-9)
    1. The Greek word Paul used for unmarried is agamos—which literally means without a marriage
      1. This word is used only four times in the New Testament, and all four references can be found in this chapter
      2. It could mean someone who has never been married, but Paul also used the word virgin to refer to someone who is young and unmarried
    2. Paul used this word to refer to those who were married and divorced before salvation
      1. Until we know God, we don't know God's will for our lives
      2. Whatever is in your past, when you come to Christ, you are made new—kainos
        1. 2 Corinthians 5:17
        2. Romans 8:28
  4. When an Unbeliever Deserts the Marriage (vv. 10-15)
    1. Not all of the Corinthian believers fit into those first two categories
      1. After becoming believers, many found themselves unequally yoked with an unbeliever
      2. 2 Corinthians 6:14
    2. Verses 10 and 12 can be misinterpreted
      1. In verse 10, Paul said, "Yet not I but the Lord"; this is a reference to the fact that Jesus had spoken directly to this issue
      2. In verse 12, he was simply saying that Jesus didn't directly teach on this particular issue
    3. There were apparently unsaved spouses who were upset that their partners had come to Christ
      1. Some unbelievers wanted out of those marriages
      2. Romans 12:18
      3. Matthew 10:34
    4. The unbelieving spouse is not automatically saved because they're married to a Christian
      1. The believing spouse is the influencer for salvation
      2. Just one saved person in the home can start a chain reaction; the gospel has now penetrated that household
      3. The conversation between God and Abraham concerning Sodom
        1. Genesis 18:16-33
        2. Thousands of evil people would have been spared for the sake of ten sanctifying people
    5. The best thing for an unbeliever to have is a believing spouse as an influence, although it's not easy for the believer in that situation
  5. When Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed (vv. 10-11; Matthew 19)
    1. This refers to continual, unrepentant sexual immorality
      1. Matthew 19:9: the exception clause
      2. Every state in the US, except South Dakota, allows for no-fault divorces; people are getting divorced for any reason
      3. Stay married, work through the problems, and you'll show the world that God's plan for marriage works
    2. If you've been divorced without the presence of unrepentant sexual immorality, there are two options:
      1. Stay unmarried
      2. Reconcile with your spouse
    3. Even when sin prevails, God's highest heart is reconciliation
      1. Hosea and Gomer
      2. God used this as an example of what He was doing with regard to His relationship with prodigal Israel
  6. Conclusion
    1. If you are involved in a sinful relationship or have had an unbiblical divorce:
      1. Remember what we are dealing with—the gospel
      2. Psalm 103:8-12
    2. God is faithful to forgive
      1. 1 John 1:9
      2. The past is the past—accept His grace and forgiveness and move forward
    3. As a married couple, decide to work things out, to honor God through your marriage
Cross references: Genesis 18:16-33; 25:1; Psalm 103:8-12; Matthew 10:34; 19:9; Romans 8:28; 12:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 6:14; 1 John 1:9

Greek words: agamos, kainos

Topic: remarriage

Keywords: couple, divorce, forgiveness, marriage, partner, spouse


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