Leaders–God’s Plan–Titus 1 part 1

Paul was preparing Titus, another young preacher, for leading a church.  Crete, Titus’s hometown, was a wild place.  So, Paul for priorities sake, hits on a critical issue–what should your leaders look like? Paul knew that the leadership would set the tone for the people in the church.  Paul knew leaders needed to be above reproach, committed to their families and gracious to others.  He knew that to best lead others, the focus for the leader needed not be clouded by life issues.  He made no judgement of folks that did not qualify–he simply pointed Titus to people that lived simple lives–to deal with the issues of the church community.
In our world, we all have issues. I have counseled many couples on the fact that everyone has some baggage, the trick is making sure the baggage you and your spouse have fits in the closet. If Christians look for perfect people to lead in the community–there simply will be no leadership.  
But, if we look for people that are gracious, love their families and live a life above reproach–well then, the baggage will fit, and the community will be blessed.  God used Noah–the drunk,Moses–the killer, Samson–the cocky, self-absorbed troublemaker, David–the adulterer and murderer, Peter–the lair and chicken, and Paul-the persecutor of Christians; to lead his people–all had major issues in their walks with God–still, upon reflection, they all qualified because they trusted him to lead through them–That should also be our goal!
God Bless You

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable,one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

God’s Plan is Always Right–Acts 16 Part 1

So Paul and Barnabas split.  Paul and Silas started off for a second journey. Soon into the trip, Paul met up with a young man named Timothy.  It became apparent to Paul that God had a plan for young Timothy, and therefore, Paul prepared Timothy and took him on the team to help with ministry. Timothy would go on to become Paul’s right hand and dear friend.  Timothy took ministry seriously and while young he became a pastor and led many to Christ–but, hold the phone…

What if Paul would have agreed to take Mark and he and Barnabas would have set out as originally planned? Would Paul have taken on a new young man to mentor? So much of what we do day to day can have real impact on the kingdom of Heaven.  The problem is that often those things that have the impact are not readily apparent. That is why it is the job of those that follow the Lord to remain faithful and simply keep moving forward.

God can often times even use our knuckleheaded moves to advance his kingdom.  We simply have to trust that he has a plan for us. We daily rise with the intention to follow him closely and humbly. As we travel through our day, we remain focused on the prize and honor him with our lives.  Finally, he takes our daily journey and uses it to conform us into his image; and, in that process we influence others to know and follow Christ.  There is never a short cut, but there is always a path to an abundant and amazing journey.

God Bless You

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Matthew 19 part 1–The Pain of Divorce

The more things change, the more they remain the same.  The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus with one of those real controversial issues of then and now—Divorce. Since Adam and Eve–marriage has remained under attack.  The enemy used sin to divide husband and wife at the beginning and continues to do so today.  The enemy has used strife, sexual immorality, social relativism and “tolerance” to so skew the lines that today as in Sodom and Gomorra, Greece and Rome the world has scrapped what a family is and replaced it with what people wish it to be.

Divorce inside and outside the church has broken many great people.  Praise God that he can restore the broken hearts.  He can bless new families that are committed to following him. As in Moses time, God allowed divorce then and does so now—but he hates it.  It is devastating and life altering.  He would rather see us cling to the covenant in all circumstance. He does continue to love his kids even after they have been broken.

As husbands, we need to love our wives and be the servant leader called for in Ephesians 5.  We need to be faithful in both word and deed. Our kids need to say of us—My dad loved my Mom and he loved us! Dads must be centered on God and his word and in prayer daily for wives and kids.  Wives must hold the family together as the chief of operations.  They have to turn the unruly group into a family and the house into a home. Most importantly, couples have to think and act as one. They are a united front against the world, its culture and the trials of parenting, finances and health.

Thank You, Lord for my wife—help her to remain secure in your love, my devotion and the plan you have prepared for us.

God Bless You

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’[a]And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’[b] Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?”[c] they asked.

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful