Taken from a sermon last year. Emphasis mine.
The authority of a husband is not absolute. No human authority is. There is nothing here to indicate that Abigail was in the wrong, and much to show that she was in the right. She honored the lawful authority of her husband in much the same way that David honored the lawful authority of Saul—while knowing that God was going to change everything shortly. She honored Nabal more than Nabal did, which is how David treated Saul. She is a feminine counterpart to David. Biblical submission prohibits rendering to any creature the absolute submission that belongs only to God. And beware of men who demand absolute submission beneath them, and are scofflaws toward the authorities above. There are many men who want to reserve to themselves the right to be blockheads, and they also think biblical submission means that their wives are required to not notice.
Takeaways from Sunday’s sermon on Ephesians 4:
1. Don’t give the devil a foothold in your family. When we are ugly to one another by means of anger, bitterness, malice, etc., we grieve the Spirit and invite the devil in.
2. A refusal to forgive is the way of the old man.
3. We are to keep the unity of the Spirit, no matter what denominational differences we have. Two members of the same church may be at one another’s throats, while two people from entirely different churches can get along great. The first is not preserving the unity, while the second is.
4. The not-yet kind of unity is the kind that we are all growing toward, and God will give us this unity when we eventually all come to “the unity of faith” or “the perfect man.” God doesn’t mind denominations, but He hates denominational arrogance. Humility preserves the unity and helps the body to grow.
5. When Paul gives ethical instructions (stop lying, etc.) he is speaking to the regenerate. The unregenerate cannot obey ethical instructions. If they do, it is like water on a hog, and soon the hog will return to the mud. When the regenerate hear ethical commands, it is food to the sheep. They respond and are nourished by the instruction.
Yesterday my husband finished preaching through 1 Samuel, and we came to the close of the book as well as the close of Saul’s life and reign. The final conclusion was an exhortation to us all regarding envy. James says that our spirits veer toward envy. And if you think about it for a minute, you have to agree. Our spirits naturally go there. And if we think we are free from envy, it may be because we know others envy us. There really are no exemptions. It affects all of us some way or other.
Envy is a deadly sin. It destroys households and friendships and marriages. Saul envied David. That envy didn’t destroy David, but it did destroy Saul in the end. When we nurse envy, we are nursing a viper. When we tolerate envy, we are giving it a hand in our own self-destruction.
Envy, like all sin, doesn’t make sense. So rather than trying to understand it, we should simply repent of it. Envy is a universal sin. It is not whether we will envy, but what we will envy. It is sneaky. It creeps in easily.
We can’t reason with envy because it is unreasonable. The only thing we can do with envy is crucify it, and we can’t even do that. But we can take it to the Cross where Jesus dealt with envy once and for all. We can’t crucify our own envy, but if we are in Christ, He crucified it for us. And that is good news!
This morning’s sermon included a quote from Thomas Watson: God scatters pardons. It almost makes me want to add willy nilly.
It’s true. God is lavish with His mercy toward us! He is the ultimate Gift-Giver, and His central gift to us is His unbounded mercy. What a lovely thought for the week. As we begin another week, built on the foundation of worship, let us all contemplate His mercies. When we wake up, when we go about our duties, when we sit down at the table, when we finish the day and lie down to sleep. Mercies crowd us on every side.
When we recognize God’s mercies, we can only respond with gratitude. And if our eyes are at all open to even a fraction of these mercies, we will be busy being grateful all day long. Imagine the consequences of such a day, busy with gratitude.
And when we overflow with gratitude to our good and gracious and gift-giving God, it follows that we will extend that grace and mercy to others — lavishly. We can do nothing else.
Yesterday’s sermon was on the theology of gift giving. It’s easy to slip into the expected Christmas rush with all the stress of shopping like a maniac and we can forget what it is we are doing. So here’s why we Christians can celebrate Christmas like no one else on the planet. We really do have a reason for all this.
First, the Magi brought Jesus gifts. And they brought Him expensive gifts. Matthew calls their gifts treasures. So gift-giving has always been associated with the story of the Incarnation.
Second, the overwhelming message of the New Testament is that God gives to us so that we Continue reading ‘Why do we give gifts anyway?’
Yesterday’s sermon, in preparation for our Thanksgiving celebrations, contrasted the virtue of gratitude with the sin of covetousness. God doesn’t mind us wanting stuff, but He cares about what we want (not our neighbor’s stuff) and how we want it. Righteous wanting is ordered and in submission to God. Ungodly wanting is disordered and covetous. But the Good News is that with our regeneration comes the death of disordered wanting and the birth of ordered wanting. When we are born again in Christ, our covetous wanting is put to death, and thanksgiving is born. Covetousness is thanksgiving’s mortal enemy.