Getting Things Right

In this third part of our series, I Do, we finally start getting practical. In the first part we defined marriage, and last week we talked about its purpose. That’s all good and important to know, but how do we actually get it right? Let’s talk about it starting with a special focus on what husbands need to do if our marriages are going to be what they can be.

Getting Things Right

We’ve talked about this a few times before and will talk about it again in the future, but one of the challenges of being a follower of Jesus committed to the idea that the Scriptures are right and true in everything they affirm is that there are some places that are downright hard to handle. The reasons for the difficulty are sometimes theological, but they are also scientific and cultural and social and relational and even just applicational. For example, the Law of Moses calls for the stoning of incorrigibly rebellious children and at the same time Jesus said that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Unless we can successfully understand Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law to mean that we can disregard commands such as that one, other than a strong temptation on rough days—like, say, day four or five of being stranded inside with three increasingly wild boys…not that Lisa and I know anything about that—we need to get used to the idea of living in constant and open rebellion to the Law given by God to His people.

Read the rest…

A Higher Purpose

This week we continue our new series, I Do, by talking about what marriage is for. Knowing what marriage is (which we established a couple of weeks ago) is great, but knowing what God designed it to accomplish gives us a huge boost in terms of making sure we’re doing it right ourselves. Keep reading to learn the purpose of marriage and what you can do to see that realized in your own life.

A Higher Purpose

I have a little quiz for you this morning. I hope you studied. Some of you who were never very good test takers in school are already starting to get a bit nervous, aren’t you? There’s just one question to this test, though, so you can relax just a bit. Are you ready? What is this thing in my hand? No, that’s not a trick question. Yeah, it’s a hammer. Here’s a bonus question for extra credit: What is a hammer? (And no, saying it’s the thing in my hand is not the correct answer.) In answering that bonus question, you might be tempted to say something like, “A hammer is a tool used for driving nails into wood,” but that is not the correct answer. If you were thinking anything along those lines, no bonus points for you. “Wait a minute,” you might be wanting to protest, “That is what a hammer is!” No, that definition tells me what a hammer is for. I asked you simply what a hammer is. Two different things there. Now, had you stopped after the word “tool,” you would have been more correct, although not terribly specific. Had you wanted to be more specific, you could have said something like, “A hammer is a tool, often made of shaped steel, with a round, flat peen which is often set against a divided claw located at the end of a short shaft made of wood, steel, or some composite material and which serves as a handle.” That’s what a hammer is. See the difference? But, because our brains are wired for purpose and meaning, we often define things according to their intended purpose.

Read the rest…

What Is Marriage?

This week we kicked off a brand-new series called, I Do. For the next few weeks we are going to tackle the topic of marriage. What is it? What should we think about it? How can we practice it well? If we are going to talk about it intelligibly, though, we first have to know where it is. That’s where we start in this message. Keep reading to the end to learn what a solid, Biblical definition of marriage is. Then, come back next week as we unpack what it is for. Thanks for reading.

What Is Marriage?

I figured he could probably say it better than I could. Believe it or not, I’ve done a wedding in which I was asked to start with those lines in character. In any event, we are talking this morning and for the next few weeks about mawwage…er…marriage. In fact, we are kicking off a brand-new series this morning called, “I Do.”

Read the rest…

Celebrate Sunday

Yesterday was Celebrate Sunday in the life of First Baptist Oakboro. We spent the morning celebrating all the great work our faithful God has done in our midst for the past year. It was a fun morning to say the least. This wasn’t about being excited about what we’ve got going on, but rather about delighting in what our God has done and prayerfully seeking to abide in Him so that He can do even more in the year ahead. This all being the case, I didn’t have a regular sermon to deliver, but because I think it’s worthwhile sharing what God has done and because I’m really proud of what He’s doing here, this is what I said. Thanks for celebrating with us.

A Celebration of Generosity

Isn’t it good to just praise the Lord together, to sing His praises among His people? This kind of stuff moves my heart in a way few other things do. I love this Sunday morning. I look forward to this every single year. There’s just something special about celebrating what God has done. This isn’t about what we’ve done. This isn’t about any particular program, this is about celebrating what God has done and what we are looking forward to Him doing more of as we follow Him into the great future He has for us.

Read the rest…

Stay Focused

In this second part of our series, After Christmas, I answer the question I left hanging last week: How do we keep following Jesus no matter what? The answer is found in an episode from out of the life of Nehemiah. Nehemiah accomplished some great things in a fairly short amount of time. His secret is one we can use in our own life to make sure our after Christmas times aren’t the letdowns they so often are. Keep reading to find out what this is and how to implement it in your life.

Stay Focused

Have you ever been distracted?

So, just the other day I was looking at the NFL schedules for next year. Guess who faces off at some point in the season? The Chief and the Panthers. In Kansas City. Boom. We’ll have to have a watching party.

In any event, have you ever been distracted?

Many of you know I enjoy building little metal models. I got some for Christmas this year about which I am most excited. One is this really cool looking blue dragon. They also make a red version. There’s also a grand Chinese gate. There is also a new design line that is various suits of armor. Those are next on my list.

As I was saying, though, have you ever been distracted?

Have I mentioned how excited I am for Celebrate Sunday next week? It is going to be a party. God has done many, many great things around here in the last year and we are going to celebrate them in grand fashion.

But what I really wanted to ask you this morning was if you’ve ever been distracted? Personally, my own focus is like a laser. Do you believe me? It focuses directly and steadily on whatever it happens to be pointed at in a given moment. Did I mention that this laser is actually a laser pointer residing in the hands of a two-year-old? Yessir, my focus is just like a laser…pointer…in the hands of a sugared-up two-year-old…who’s entertaining himself by tormenting a cat. Squirrel! What were we talking about again?

Read the rest…