Friday, December 15, 2017

The Bible - It's 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Deuteronomy
And thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2

Deuteronomy means "repetition of the law." It is mainly an address by Moses to Israel, in which he faithfully reviews their history, bringing everything out in the light of God's own glory. He shows in that history not only God's approval of their acts of obedience and His disapproval of faithlessness and disobedience, but also the marvellous grace, patience, and wisdom of God in the ways of His government. So they are to remember that God has led them, and all the way in which He has led them. Far from exalting them in the world, He has humbled them, and put them to the proof as to whether or not they would be obedient. He had allowed them to hunger, and fed them with manna, that they might realize their dependence upon Him and upon the truth and sufficiency of His Word.
The book also confirms and emphasizes the responsibility of Israel to diligently do the will of God in view of giving account to Him. In this way it puts us in mind of the judgment seat of Christ; and being a book of great detail, it reminds us that the details of our lives are far more important than we might like to think, for these will receive close attention when we stand before the Lord in that day.

Joshua
Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread have I given to you, as I said unto Moses. Joshua 1:3

Joshua means "Jehovah Savior," the same name asJesus in the Greek language. This is a book of militant conquest and victory. Israel is seen calmly dependent upon God, not rushing eagerly to battle, but with quiet deliberation taking each step as led by the Word of God. They enter the Promised Land by the divine stepping of the river Jordan, a type of the death and resurrection of Christ as linked with His people. Each enemy in turn must give way to God's power among His armies. Though there were painful setbakcs for Israel because of their lack of faith, yet the general theme is that of taking possession of the land God had given them, and this by disposessing their enemies.

The book compares with Ephesians in the New Testament, for the land of Canaan speaks of "heavenly places," the present blessed sphere into which believers are brought "in Christ Jesus." Our blessings are in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3); our position is there (ch. 2:6); and our conflict is there also (ch. 6:12). And in order for us to take proper possession of our possessions, we must have on "the whole armor of God," by which to resist and defeat the hosts of Satan, who would hinder our enjoying what is rightly ours. Therefore, the Word of God is to be our meditation "day and night" (Josh. 1:8). And Joshua is a type of "Christ in you," that is, in all His saints, leading them in victory over all the enemy's power. By faith let our feet tread in that good land, and make it experimentally our own.

Judges
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25

Judges is a sad contrast to Joshua. It deals with the time in which a succession of judges followed Joshua as governors of Israel in their land. But its main theme is that of Israel's failure to take possession of all their land. Instead, through indifference or weakness (or both), they did not drive out the enemies of God, so that those enemies often and again brought Israel into subjection to them. Again and again, through disobedience to God, they were overcome by enemies*, yet on every such occasion God in wonderful mercy raised up a deliverer for them.

This reminds us of those books in the New Testament, such as Galatians and I Corinthians, written because of the need of serious reproof and correction. Though we may in some degree be enjoying the pure truth of the living Word of God, our inheritance ‑ that great land of the heavenly places with its innumerable blessings ‑ remains very largely unpossessed by the saints of God. Lack of faith, lack of spiritual energy, lack of genuine love for Christ, has left us too indifferent to the precious fulness of the possessions that are properly ours.

The last verse of the book of Judges, quoted, above, emphasizes Israel's unthankful independence in those days, each man doing right in his own eyes. A spirit of insubjection to proper authority will leave any of us just as barren of spiritual prosperity.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Bible - Its 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Exodus
And Jehovah said, I have seen assuredly the affliction of my people who are in Egypt ... And I am come down to deliver them. Exodus 3:7,8

Exodus means "Going out." Deliverance is its great theme. Here we find Israel grown to a great nation, but under bondage to the Egyptians as slaves. After much trouble and anguish, and after God's sending many dreadful plagues upon Egypt, Israel is liberated. First in chapter 12, the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of the houses was typical of our redemption from the guilt of our sins by the blood of Christ. Secondly, the parting of the Red Sea and Israel's safely crossing before the Egyptians were trapped and drowned is a type of our redemption by the power of God from the bondage of sin and of the world, a redemption accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ.

A second section of the book, beginning with chapter 19, deals with the giving of the law and the building of the tabernacle, together with the institution of a special priesthood in Israel. While today believers are in no sense under law, yet the giving of the law symbolizes God's authority being established among a redeemed people. The high priest is a type of Christ, linked with the family of priests, who typify all saints today the Church of God, believer priests who worship God by the Spirit, rather than by carnal forms. But the tabernacle service illustrates beautifully also the grace by which God cares continually for His people, delighting to have them near Himself on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ.

Leviticus
This is what Jehovah spoke, saying, I will be hallowed in them that come near me, and before all the people I will be glorified. 
Leviticus 10:3

Leviticus is named for Levi, whose name means "joined." It is a book that deals with God's holy principles in joining His people to Himself as worshippers. Therefore we are first faced with the offerings necessary for approaching God: the burnt offering, meat offering, peace offering, sin offering, trespass offering all pictures of the one offering of Christ in its various aspects. The priesthood too is prominent. Aaron is a type of Christ, the Great High Priest; his sons are a type of all believers of this present church age who are called "a holy priesthood," and "a kingly priesthood" (I Pet. 2:5, 9).

Various other laws also appear in this book. Defilement would disqualify one from approaching God until such time as the defilement was cleansed away by God's appointed means. The eating of unclean meats was forbidden; this symbolizes the refusal of that which is morally unclean. And leprosy, typical of the corruption of sin at work in an individual, would render him unfit for drawing near to God. So would other ceremonial uncleanness, but only because they are typical of moral uncleanness or spiritual uncleanness. We no longer observe the type, but the reality which the type is intended to impress upon us.

Chapter 23 lists the seven feasts of Jehovah to be kept by Israel, not for their own pleasure, but in the worship of God. All of these point to the greatness of God's own work in His dispensational dealings. The great theme of Leviticus is that of drawing near to God in holy worship.

Numbers
According to the commandment of Jehovah they were numbered by Moses, every one for his service, and for his burden, and numbered by him, as Jehovah had commanded Moses. Numbers 4:49

This book gives the numbering and ordering of Israel on their march through the wilderness. God gave directions for their service and warfare as they were on their way to the land of Canaan. All were given their own particular place by God, whether each of the twelve tribes, whence were chosen the soldiers; or whether Kohathites, Gershonites, or Merarites, the families of the tribe of Levi, who were appointed to serve the priests in caring for the tabernacle and its service. In these details we see a picture of God's great wisdom and care in ordering all the affairs of the lives of' His saints for their history in the world, a world which in experience we find to be a wilderness.

Their history is one of almost forty years of general weakness, failure, complaining, and disobedience. It has been too sadly repeated in the Church today. Yet God's unfailing care and faithfulness shines beautifully above their failure. This is prominent in the history of Balaam (ch. 22 - 24), in which is seen God's defending of His people against every effort of the enemy to put them down.

Joshua and Caleb (ch. 14:6-9) are refreshing examples of unswerving devotedness, however, in contrast to the general disobedience; and they remind us strongly that we need not be failures. A true sense of God's numbering and ordering, and placing us where He sees fit, in whatever service pleases Him, will give us steadfast endurance, whatever others may do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Bible - Its 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Foreword

These brief outlines of the 66 Books of the Bible first appeared on the pages of the "Lord Is Near" - a daily Scriptural meditation calendar - which is available through many Christian Bookstores or from the publishers of this book (Believers Bookshelf).

Leslie Grant has, in his usual concise and straightforward style, set forth the highlights of each book of the Bible. Individuals, Bible students and teachers alike, will find these outlines to be very helpful in gaining an overall view of the Scriptures It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit will use these outlines to stimulate all who read them to a fuller and deeper study of God's Holy word.

Genesis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.'
Genesis 1:1

Genesis means "beginning." It deals with creation and life, giving the seeds of all that is later developed throughout the entire Bible. Genesis beautifully depicts the simplicity of early life upon earth; but the beginning of sin and corruption is also seen there together with God's abhorrence and judgment of evil. Genesis symbolizes the life giving work of God begun in a soul new birth with promise of fruit to come.

The book specially revolves around the lives of seven outstanding patriarchs:

1. In Adam are seen lessons of life and death. He is the figure of Christ, for he was the head of a race; but a contrast to Christ, for death claimed him, whereas Christ is a Living Head.

2. Enoch teaches us of walk and translation. He walked with God, and "by faith was translated," a type of saints to be raptured at the coming of the Lord.

3. Noah illustrates work and salvation. His work was a work of faith, and his salvation was into a new world, a type of those believers saved through the Tribulation for the millennial earth.

4. Abraham tells us of faith and separation. His altar speaks of the first, his tent of the second. By God's call he became a pilgrim.

5. Isaac shows the principles of submission and continuance, for in general his was an obedient, consistent life.

6. Jacob illustrates discipline and anticipation. God's dealings are seen in his life in securing Jacob's subjection and leading him on to worship as death approached.

7. Joseph: suffering and exaltation is the theme of his life. a precious example for faith in all ages.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Ten)

Building Block of Intimacy
In Genesis, back in the beginning we read that Adam and Eve were both naked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed (Gen. 2:25). We also read there in Genesis before Adam’s disobedience and sin enter the world that God commanded them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1:28). Intimacy and mutual physical fulfillment have always been part of the husband and wife relationship.

Hebrews 13:4 informs us that “marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” meaning that within the protective bonds of marriage sex can be enriching and glorifying to God. The husband and wife are to find sexual fulfillment in each other. We have to remember that marriage and everything that comes with it was God’s idea, He was the designer of it. This world has corrupted the intimacy of it, but God has multiple purposes for intimacy within the boundaries of marriage, let’s look at a few of them:

Intimacy within marriage is first of all for procreation. Sex within marriage is the process God gave us to multiply a godly heritage. But He also designed intimacy in a marriage to be protective. This special intimacy is to be reserved for the husband and wife with each other. Paul writes “Because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). When a husband and wife maintain intimacy they are helping to protect each other from a sexually obsessed society. They are protecting their own faithfulness.

Scripture also teaches us that intimacy within marriage is also for the pleasure of the husband and wife. Scriptures like Song of Songs 4:10-12, 5:15-19 and Proverbs 5:18-19 clearly show us that intimacy within marriage is not evil or sinful. It was designed by God to bring pleasure and enjoyment in the relationship between husband and wife.

In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 Paul teach that a man and woman come together in marriage, each can expect sexual intimacy from the other. Paul also teaches there that if one partner decides to abstain, it is first to be agreed upon with the other and then only for a brief time. It is important to note that the Bible teaches that mankind is made up spirit, soul and body. Scripture always presents it in this order! In a marriage there ought to be care and time given to all three of these areas between the husband and wife; His spirit to her spirit, this is caring for one another’s spiritual needs. Soul to soul, this is caring for one another’s emotional needs and body to body, this caring for one another’s physical needs. This helps build and maintain a strong marriage! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Nine)

Building Block of Spiritual Fellowship

The Christian marriage can be seen as a triangle! In one corner is the husband and in the opposite corner is the wife, but sitting at the point above both is the Lord! This is illustrated for us in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” 

The last part of these verses speak of a threefold cord is not quickly broken. This describes the strength of a marriage that is built around the Lord! The husband and wife are not only intertwined together, but they are both together wrap around the Lord and He is at the center of their marriage! This is that triangle mentioned early, both husband and wife growing closer to the Lord who is at the top of the triangle but as each one gets closer to the Lord they actually get closer to one another! This is spiritual fellowship in the marriage!

In Ephesian 5:25-28 we read that just as Christ sacrificed Himself for the church the husband is to love his wife. We also read that as Christ is presently sanctifying the church by the washing water by the Word, the husband is to love his wife the same way, setting her apart from all others! He can also set her apart by spending time in the Word of God with her, seeing to her spiritual grow! Then we see in verse 27 that one day Lord will present the church to Himself holy and without spot! There is such security in this wonderful truth! In the same way the wife should feel spiritual, emotionally and physically secure because of the fellowship with her husband!

Peter refers to fellowship in prayers in the marriage as fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). As the husband understands his wife, giving her honor and seeing her as a joint heir of the grace of life, he will be able to pray with power. If he does not, Peter says, his prayers will be hindered. 

The grace of life here may not only refer to eternal life, but in the context may also refer to the true intimate friendship that belongs only to those who are possessors of God’s most blessed gift in this life, marriage. This is the only time in all of Scripture this expression is used “fellow heirs of the grace of life” and it is use in relation to a husband and wife enjoying fellowship together! Peter seems to be assuming that husbands and wives enjoy the sweet privilege of prayer together as heirs of the grace of life! Husbands and wives are not simply two people living in the same house, but fellow heirs of the grace of life! Enjoy that and develop it more as you prayer and read together drawing closer to the Lord together!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Eight)

Building Block of Respect

In previous sections we have already stated that women respond to love and men respond to respect. But does that mean that husbands should not respect their wives? Of course not! Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us of the attitude all believers should display saying, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” This would include husbands and wives to one another! Speaking to wives, Paul’s said, “Let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph. 5:33). Peter told wives to be submissive to their husbands and even to pattern their behavior after Sara, who spoke to Abraham with respect (1 Pet. 3:1, 5-6). But Peter also goes on in verse 7 to tell the husband that ought to respect their wives as well. He gave three instructions:

1. Husbands are to dwell with their wives with understanding. Husband should know their wives well and respect her feelings. Every husband should make this a personal, he should know what pleases, comforts, hurts and angers his wife. This special understanding shows her that he loves and respects her.

2. Husbands are to give her honor. When a husband gives honor to his wife he is setting the thermostat in the home, setting the emotional and spiritual temperature! The wife is often the thermometer letting him know what the temperature is!

3. When a husband does not respect and honor his wife it will affect the spiritual side of the home! If communication is not right between the husband and wife, communication with the Lord will be affect as well, prayers will be hindered!

Mutual respect is a very simple concept. It means that you treat your spouse or partner in a thoughtful and courteous way. It means that you avoid treating each other in rude and disrespectful ways! We should never engage in name calling, and do not insult or demean your spouse or partner. It also means that you do not talk sarcastically to, or ignore or avoid your partner. How we treat our partner in public, will affect how she/he treats you in private!

Here are a few questions to ponder over in this matter of mutual respect:

1. Are you a partner or a competitor with your spouse?
2. Are you helping your spouse in their walk with the Lord?
3. Are you occupied with the outward shell or the inward person?
4. Do you seek to understand your spouse?
5. Are you sensitive to the way you speak to one another?
6. Do you pray together?
7. Do you enrich your mates life or do you rob one another of God’s blessings?

Tim Hadley Sr.

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Seven)

Building Block of Communication

Words give life into any relationship and words can kill. God desires for us to use our mouth to speak life to everyone we communicate with especially our spouse. Proverbs 18:20-21 inform us “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Matthew 12:36-37 stresses to us just how important our words are to God, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

As a husband or a wife, I need to understand the power of my words. We often think that words simply evaporate, but words having a lasting impact that may affect us for years. Words spoken reveal the heart, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our words can never replace genuine and sincere actions! The tongue is a powerful tool that makes a profound impact (James 3). If a marriage is going to be built on solid ground the concrete that helps hold things together is communication!

It is no secret that for the most part women need detailed communication, much more than men! Men and women hear through our different needs. A woman hears through her primary need for security and love. A wife needs to know her husband is tuned in, when she sense that her husband is tuned out she is hearing insecurity! A man hears through his primary need for honor and respect. For him to open up and talk the husband has to feel honor and esteem. This type of communication takes work, we need to make sure the communication lines are open and that the signals are not getting jammed! What are some signals of communication we can send to our spouse?

1. Show that we Care by the way we communicate, by our body language, our eyes, our tone of voice and even posture. We need to give eye contact to our mat when they are speaking and respond kindly.

2. Give Praise by using a positive tone. Just as the Psalmist entered into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise, we too need to enter into one another’s hearts with praise (Psalm 100:4)! We need to work on saying negative things in a positive way because negativity destroys marriages!

3. Be truthful. Honesty is an essential foundation of intimacy and trust. We are instructed to “Let not mercy and truth forsake you” (Prov. 3:3) and to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Marriages that have lost this element are on a slippery lope!

4. Have faith in God. We have to believe that the Lord is able to work in the heart our spouse. The Lord is able to change the heart of any of us, but he may want to use your behavior to do it in your marriage. Peter speaks of a woman who communicates from the heart, from a “hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which a very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4). We don’t have to be the enforcer in our marriages, we only need to be the channel that communicates love by how we say what we say!

5. We must surrender our mouths. We must decide that our mouth is going to be God’s mouth and dedicate it to Him. We can begin to do this by what we put into our hearts for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Six)

Building Block of Mutual Submission

Usually when we think of submission in marriage, we think of Ephesians 5:22, “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” But it is important that we read the verse in its context. This actually follows a verse that is addressed to all believers which says, “Submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord” and it is in a section of verses that go back to “do not be drunk with wine…but filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). The idea of being submitted to one another is one of the evidences of a Spirit filled life!
There is no contradiction between mutual submission and a relationship of leadership and response. Mutual submission in marriage doesn’t mean that both partners must submit in exactly the same ways. Christ submitted himself to the church in one way, by a kind of servant-leadership that cost him his life. And the church submits herself to Christ in another way by honoring his leadership and acknowledging His headship. 

The question might be asked, “How can a husband fulfill his role as a spiritual leader and "head of his wife" and be mutually submitted? We only have to look at the Lord Jesus to see this demonstrated. In John 13 He washed the disciples' feet and then asked them, "Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:12-14). In essence, Jesus was saying that if all believers, including husbands and wives, really loved one another as He has loved us, we will be willing to die for one another. John later explains this when years later he wrote: "This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16). Just as the Lord Jesus submitted to the will of Him who sent Him and served His disciples and even serves us today, we should submit to one another.

Submission and love go together. We know that God is love and we see that love through the great humility and submission of the Lord Jesus when He went to the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). In Christian marriage, the husband and wife ought to submit to what the will of God is for each of them. If both partners have the mind of Christ in them, this will produce mutual submission, which will help them fulfill the roles in their marriage that the Lord would have them live out!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Building Strong Marriages (Part five)

Building Block of Unconditional Love

A strong marriage is built on unconditional love! Unconditional love is a till death do us part, not until we get tired of each other or until things get rough and then we jump ship! A husband and wife are to love each other unconditionally and unreservedly through sickness or health for better or worse! The husband is specifically instructed to love his wife in Colossians 3:19 and Ephesians 5:25. Likewise the wife is also to be instructed to love her husband as Titus 2:4 tells us. 

This kind of love doesn’t happen overnight and this type of love is really not possible humanly, but through Christ all things are possible! This is love from God Himself, the Bible calls it “Agape Love”! The Spirit of God dedicates a whole chapter of what this kind of love looks like! 1 Corinthians 13 defines this love that God has poured out in the heart of the believer that ought to be displayed in the life of the Christian, especially in the Christian marriage and home! Take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 13:

• Love is patient: Think of how patient you need to be a husband and wife need to be with one another, two lives coming together, constantly adjusting.
• Love is kind: looking to help one another, looking to give and not take in the marriage.
• Love does not envy: this means that the husband and wife does not resent the other in any area such as time spent at work or with friends.
• Love does not boast: about what they do better than their spouse.
• Love is not proud: humbling admitting when wrong.
• Love is not rude: in the way you speak to your mate.
• Love is not self-seeking: Looking for opportunities to serve the other.
• Love is not easily anger: not raising your voice, even if your spouse does.
• Love keeps no record of wrongs: not bringing up the past mistakes.
• Love does not delight in evil: does not pressure your partner to do wrong.
• Love rejoices in the truth: by acknowledging reality and changing when needed.
• Love always protects: never criticizing your mate in the eyes of others.
• Love always trust: causing the marriage to be a safe harbor.
• Love always preserves: securing the home from all adversity.
• Love never fails: even when youth, health and energy may fail.

Marriage is not 50/50; marriage is me giving 100 percent even if my mate is not! This is impossible in our own strength. But this kind of love comes from the Lord who empowers us as we. This is the kind of love He displayed toward us when He loved us and gave Himself for us on the Cross, even while we were sinners and didn’t deserve His love. This kind of love is unconditional and unreserved and it will strengthen your marriage!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Building Strong Marriages (Part Four)

Building Block of Well-defined Roles

There is such an attack of marriage today, that our society has re-defined the roles in marriage. The world we live in has sought to change not only the meaning of marriage but even the roles within a so called traditional marriage of a man and a woman. But what is the standard that we can build marriage on? Too bad we don’t have a marriage manual to guide us as to what the roles are within a marriage! Oh wait we do have such a manual; it is the Word of God! Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about the roles of a husband and wife.

The Role of a the Husband
The Bible tells us that the husband is the head of the wife, “I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3) and again in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is head of the wife.” These verses have been abused in so many ways, we must have a proper understand as to what this means. It does not mean that the husband is to Lord over the wife in a dictator fashion. What it means is that He is to lead her. Headship here has nothing to do with equality; in Christ all are equal before God! Headship is about function in the divine order laid out in Scripture!

If we go back to 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman and God is the head of Christ.” Notice the order in this verse; God, Christ, man, woman. There is an order of function not an order of equality, we read in other Scriptures that the Father and Son are equal (John 10:30, 14:9, Colossians 1:15, 2:9), but we know their function is different. We see in New Testament that Son willingly submitted to the Father’s headship (John 4:34, 5:30, 6:38, Mt. 28:18). Just as the Father and Son are the same in essence and equality but have different functions in their roles so do the husband and wife!
The husband is not only to lead his wife, but he is to love his wife! A careful reading of the instructions for husbands in Ephesians 5:21-33 will show us just how we are to love our wives! Peter challenges the husband to honor his wife (1 Peter 3:1-7). Honor her by the way he treats her and by how he views her! Paul reminds us that the husband is to support and provide for his wife and family (1Timothy 5:8). Job gives us an example of a husband and a father who was the spiritual leader in his home (Job 1:1-5). This is not to be left up to the wife; it is the husband’s responsibility! 

When a husband fulfills his role the marriage is strengthen and the family is able to be a testimony for Christ! 

The Role of the wife in the Marriage
This can be a very sensitive subject in our society today! Women have been oppressed in many ways in the past and even now, but that is not biblical and it is not our intent! But it is good to look at the biblical views of the women’s role in marriage.

Submission is often seen as a dirty word today! But this word has been brought to a very high standard because the Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ was submissive to the Father’s Will (Phil. 2:5-8). As we have stated submission is not about equality, it is about function! The instruction for wives to submit to their husbands is given in several places Scripture (Eph. 5:22, Col. 3:18, 1 Pet. 3:1). The word used for submit means “to arrange under.” Submission is to place oneself willingly under the authority of another in keeping with the ultimate responsibility you have under Christ. 

Peter also instructs wives to respect their husbands (1 Pet. 3:1-6) and Paul also mentions the need of respect in Ephesians 5:33. In Titus 2:3-4 we read that older women are to admonish the younger women to love their husbands. It goes on there to describe the role of a wife and mother as the domestic engineer! “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” The word used there for homemaker is “stayer at home” or “domestically inclined.” The phrase “manage their households” in 1 Timothy 5:14, comes from a word that means “ruler of the house.” This literally means to “occupy one’s self in the management of a household.” It does not mean the women cannot work, we can read Proverbs 31 and learn of a women that was extremely busy working, but we also she managed her home as well! 

When we build our marriages according to God’s blueprints found in the Bible well will have solid marriage the will stand the test of time and the storms of life!
Tim Hadley Sr.

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Three)

Building Block of Absolute Faithfulness

Along with these first two building blocks of a lifelong commitment and shared identity, marriage must be built on absolute fidelity on both the husband and the wife! Listen to Proverbs 6:27-29, “Can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent.”

The Bible is very clear and uncompromising on the issue of faithfulness, sexual faithfulness, emotional and mental faithfulness! In Titus 2:4-5, Paul exhorted older sisters to teach the younger women “to love their husband, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste.” As both the woman and the man enter marriage they are to be total committed to one another only! This goes back to Exodus 20:14 where we read in no uncertain terms “You shall not commit adultery.” Our hearts, our thoughts, our comfort and our time must be dedicated to only one! No one else should come between the husband and wife in any of those areas! Emotional and mental has been called the silent killer of marriages.

Emotional unfaithfulness is very dangerous because it not only takes away time and energy from the marriage, but it can lead to sexual infidelity and possibly divorce. Emotional infidelity may also take place online via social media, chat rooms, on cellular phones through sexting and texting, and by time spent with someone in secret and building a “friendship” and eventual emotional connection. Another way of looking at emotional and mental infidelity is that the betrayal is a symptom of the problems that already exist within a marriage, perhaps unmet needs. 
Here are a few things that should be avoided if we are to build strong marriages that will honor the Lord:

• Establishing a relationship with someone of the opposite sex that is private from ones spouse.
• Excessive texting, calling, or online communication such as social media, chat rooms, or instant messengers.
• Lunch or dinner dates that are secret in nature (without the spouse’s knowledge).
• Talking on the phone in private, leaving the room, or closing down computer screens when one’s spouse enters.
• Disclosing personal information about a marriage, especially if one is unhappy, to strangers of the opposite sex.

Tim Hadley Sr.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Two)

Let’s look a little deeper at this beginning stage of the home, the marriage. Let’s look at some of the building materials; I want to call them Building Blocks of a Marriage.

Building Block of Lifelong Commitment

We have already established that the foundation for a good solid marriage is to build this relationship on the Lord, to use another analogy the Lord is to be the third strand of rope that the husband and wife are wrapped around (Eccl. 4:12).

The Bible makes it very clear that God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman for a lifetime. We see this in Matthew 19:4-6, “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” The Lord Jesus goes there to respond to the question of divorce saying, “He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Except for the serious exception of material unfaithfulness, the marriage vow is a lifetime commitment, a vow to God and to each other (Eccl. 5:4-5). Marriage is for life! Even in cases of unfaithfulness God would desire repentance, forgiveness and restoration!

Building Block of Shared Identity

When we go back to the blueprint of God’s Word we learn of another stone added to the structure of a good strong marriage, that is, the two shall become one! Once married neither the man nor the woman is to live for themselves! This is clear in Adams words in Genesis 2:23-24, “This is now “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” While the husband and wife both have different habits, different backgrounds, different parents, different education, different personalities and even different baggage coming into a marriage the Bible sees them as becoming one!

The man and women are brought into a union and blend their lives together as one. It is once for all and yet it is a lifelong process that must be worked on and developed! It takes time, patience, and forgiveness to bring this shared identity of marriage into maturity! They are still two very distinct people yet they become one, they have a shared identity. This is even seen in the fact that Adam gave Eve her name. He first called her woman meaning out of man and then latter called her Eve meaning mother of all living. He gave her a name and she took the name he gave her. Even in this we see them as one!

This oneness is marriage is another building block leading to a strong marriage.

Tim Hadley Sr.
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Building a Strong Marriage (Part One)

Psalm 127 and 128 have often been used as a blueprint for raising children for the Lord. These two Psalms are part of the fifth-teen Psalms know as Psalm of Ascent which were sung by the children of Israel as they journeyed up to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts. Both of these Psalms show the importance of the Lord in the home. In Psalm 127 we read of a Satisfied Home and in Psalm 128 we learn of a Sanctified home.

Together these two Psalms give an overview of life together in the home. In Psalm 127:1-2 we see how a home must begin, the foundation for the family and the establishment of the home. Then in 127:3-5 we learn of the building of the home on that firm foundation during the child bearing. This is of course is followed by the child raising years in Psalm 128:1-4, which ought to be the blessing in the home as the fear of the Lord is displayed. Lastly we see in Psalm 128:5-6 real beauty in the home, forging ahead in what we often hear described as the empty nest period of life! So these two Psalms cover the whole spectrum of married and family life. There is much to learn in these Psalms as we dig into them so we will take some time to learn home to build a strong Marriage and a strong family that honors the Lord.

The Beginning of the Home- The Marriage

A satisfying home depends on a satisfying marriage, which depends on God’s blessings! But God cannot bless a marriage or a home that is not built on Him. Just like with anything that is built to last there must be a good foundation! But He is not only to be the foundation, He is also the builder! “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” Notice in the first two verses the word vain is used three times. It an empty pursuit to seek to build a home and leave the architect and designer out of the equation! Solomon lays out three principles about seeking the Lord’s blessing in our homes:

1. We must learn the principle of grace found in v2, which is what we have we have by the grace of God. We didn’t deserve the wife or the children that we have. It is all by His abundant grace!

2. We must understand the balance between faith and work. He is not saying that we should not guard and protect our marriages, our families or our homes. We should always be vigilant in all of those areas, but if we do not depend on the Lord all our own efforts will be in vain! This is why prayer must be the cement that holds our marriages together, that seals and protects our children and binds our homes together!

3. We must also learn the principle of balance between career and the home. As men we can get so busy and pre-occupied trying to be good providers for our wives and families that we lose sight of our wives and our families. 
Tim Hadley Sr.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

What Type of Love is in Your Marriage?

There are four Greek words for love that are important for Christians to understand. They are agape, phileo, storge, and eros. Three of them appear in the Bible. Since love is the foundation of relationships it is important for us to understand what these words mean and how they differ.

Agape is the very nature of God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-12, 16b). We are accustomed to thinking of love as a feeling, but that is not the case with agape love. Agape love is unconditional love; it is love because of what it does, not because of how it feels. Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word phileo is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13. This type of love can only be displayed through the Spirit of God, but when it is shared it establishes a substructure for a good strong marriage!

Phileo love refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. The friendship of David and Jonathan is an excellent illustration of phileo love: “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. . . . And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1-3). Such friendships are rare but ought to be seen amongst the people of God! Since phileo love involves feelings of warmth and affection toward another person, it ought to be part of every marriage.

Eros is Greek word for sexual love or passionate love. We get English word “erotic” from this Greek word. When eros was used as a proper noun, it referred to the Greek god of love, whom the Romans called Cupid. The Greek word eros does not appear in the Bible, but we understand it to be the love of passion, excitement and sex. This is also part of marriage.

Storge refers to family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon defines storge as "cherishing one's kindred, especially parents or children; the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands; loving affection; prone to love; loving tenderly; chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children."

The word storge appears in the noun or verb form with the preifx “a” and therefore negates the love, and means without this type of love. It is translated in Romans 1:31 and 2 Timothy 3:3 as “unloving” (without natural affection). In Romans 12:10, storge is compounded with philos and is translated “devoted” (kindly affectionate).

There are many examples of family love found throughout the Bible and certainly this type of love should be in every marriage!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Four Pillars of Marriage (Genesis 2:24-25, 1 Cor. 7:3-4)

1. The Pillar of Priority
Marriage is designed by God to operate as the top priority in your life! Out side of your relationship with Christ your marriage is to be your top priority. If your marriage and your relationship with your spouse is not your priority, your marriage will suffer! Your career, the house, even the children are not to be the priority. All are important but will not be as good as they could be if you prioritize your relationship with your spouse. 

This takes SACRIFICE- be willing to give up something for your spouse. It will take TIME- quality time is needed to make a good marriage a great marriage! It will take ENERGY- to meet their needs spiritually, emotionally and physically. It will take the right ATTITUDE- ask the Lord to give you the desire to make your mate your priority! All of this will need to be constantly protected from good things becoming your priority!

2. Pillar of Pursuit
Marriage is work! You must work at this relationship. Before we are married we work hard at pursuing our mate, but often after we are married the pursuing stops. It is too easy to drop out of the relationship when hard times come, but very same hard times might be there to bind us together, but we must work at it! Sometimes over the years our emotions for one another may change, but we must be in control of our will. God's love is based on a decision not based on emotions!

3. Pillar of Possession
Adam and Eve became one! The Lord created marriage for you and your spouse to share eveything. What is yours is hers.

4. Pillar of Purity
It is interesting to note that the Lord design marriage to function in an atmosphere of total nakedness, physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.When there is purity in our marriage there is trust. Our spouse should be a safe place for us! we ought to be able to shareour hearts with trust! But where there is not purity trust will be hinder!

There may be other pillars that we could add but these four give strength and stability to marriages. When these pillars are set up on the foundation of Christ the marriage will be a successful mariage. If one tries to set these up any other way the marriage will fail! Psalm 127:1 reminds us of this declaring "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."

Tim Hadley Sr.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What is the Most important thing in Marriage?

When read the story of the woman at the well in John 4 we often use it for an example of witnessing to someone, and for sure the Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect example of how to share the gospel! Many use this story to teach worship, which is certainly mentioned here. But as we carefully read it we can learn several things as to the Lord's perspective on marriage.

The first thing that stands out is that the Lord Jesus has compassion for those who are struggling or have failed in marriage. An over all principle to remember is that marriage was created by God and is only successful when it honors His plan and includes His presence. So the most important issue in marriage is whether you have a personal relationship with God the Father through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ!

We have four basics needs: Acceptance, Identity, Security and Purpose. Let's look at each one briefly.

Acceptance means "I am loved and accepted for who I am." Most people love us based on what they don't know. God is the only one who knows your every thought and will always love you no matter what! Read Romans 8:35:39!

Indentity means "I am special, unique and significant." Read Psalm 139 to see just how unique each person is. God has planned every day of your life before you were born. He is the only one who knows why you were created.

Security means "I am safe and secure from harm." Take a look at Psalm 91. When you understand how secure your relationship with the Lord is, it does not matter what is going on around you, because your security is in Him (John 10:27-28).

Purpose means "I have a significant purpose and there is a reason for my life." Looking at Jeremiah 29:11-14 we can see pertains to Israel, but we can apply it here to each of our lives! God's purpose for your life will fulfill the desires of your heart. He won't lead you to do something that He hasn't prepare you to do.

These are a few of the lessons that come out when we look into the story of the woman at the well. These things were missing in her life and no wonder her five marriages failed! Are these four things missing in your life? Is your marriage struggling? If so turn to the Lord today allowing HIm to accept you as you are! See yourself the way He sees you throught the finished work of Christ! Realize that your relationship with Him is secure in Christ and live from that truth! Fulfill the purpose that you have been created for which is to walk daily with Him! When we live out these four principles it will beging to affect our own lives, our marriages and the lives of all those around us!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Apologize to One Another or Confess Your Faults One to Another?

The question came up, “should you apologize to one another?” Someone said, “The word apologize is not in the Bible.” Webster dictionary defines the word apology as, “an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret a public apology.” The Greek word apologia means “to defend oneself against a charge of doing wrong.” The word apologia is actually used 17 times in the Bible, as a noun and as a verb and every time it is translated either defense or vindication, never to say “I’m sorry.” Often times when people “apologize” they rationalize and justify themselves, while they seek to put an end to the confrontation. They say “I’m sorry, but you hurt me” or “I only did it because you…”

The biblical model for true apology is for the wrongdoer to express sorrow, confess the fault, repent, and then ask for forgiveness. Whether or not forgiveness is received, the offender needs to change their behavior! My father used to tell us “If you are really sorry you’ll change your ways!” If there is not the admission of any real wrong doing, an apology can lack authenticity! In Numbers 5:7 we read of the offender not only confessing the wrong, but making things right by restitution and even paying penalty of one-fifth (20%) of the damage so that the wrong actually costs something. The acknowledgement of wrong doing frees us from the offense and shifts the responsibility to the offended to forgive. It then rests on the person offended to do what God expects of him or her. Forgiveness is a choice we make to cancel the debt, never bringing the matter up again to the offender. So while the word apology is in the Bible, it would be best to confess our faults one to another, doing all that we can to make things right!

As Christians, we must seek peace and pursue it (Rom. 12:18, 14:19, 1 Pet. 3:11) and be willing to confess our sins and forgive one another so that we may “endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” The standard for forgiving one another is set very high, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” 

It has often been said that we are never more like God than when we forgive!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Abundant Joy in Our Lives

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

One of the results of abiding in the Lord Jesus is having His joy flowing into our lives. This expression “full joy” was a favorite of John, he uses it four times in the gospel (3:29, 15:11, 16:24, 17:11-13) and twice in his epistles (1 Jn. 1:4, 2 Jn. 12). 

What we learn in all of these verses in joy comes from a life that is attached to Christ, dependent on Him and enjoying being in His presence! The world often speaks of finding true happiness, but it has rightly been said that, “happiness depend on what’s happening around us.” But joy is the result of being attached to Christ and enjoying Him! We can have inner joy in spite of the circumstances around us! Joy isn’t primarily an emotion, it is a conviction. It is the inner contentment of the soul that is actively responding to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We cannot produce joy apart from Christ! If you cannot find joy in your life stop looking for it and start looking to the Lord Jesus Christ! Joy is found in abiding and obeying Him and bearing much fruit. 

Think for a moment of the joy of the Lord Jesus. It was the joy of uninterrupted communion with the Father (Jn. 4:31-32).His joy was to accomplish His Father’s will (Heb. 10:7, Ps. 40:6, Lk. 22:41).He went to the Cross anticipating the result of this great work (Is. 13:11, Heb. 12:2).

The Lord Jesus desires that we enter into joys of fellowship, obedience, hope. When we become a believer we have experience this joy, but the Lord Jesus wants our joy to be overflowing! It is a paradox; but the Christian, though sorrowful, is always rejoicing (2 Cor. 1:3-6, 2 Cor. 6:9-10, Phil. 2:17, Phil.4:4). The joy that comes from abiding in Christ can never be taken away (Jn. 16:22). The only way His joy is not experienced, is if we are not abiding in Him. Be occupied with Him today and experience His joy!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Complete Obedience

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10

The Lord Jesus emphasizes the relationship between obedience and abundance. In our verse He explains what He means by remaining in His love: it is indicated by obedience to His commands. Obedience and love are inseparably linked and are mutually dependent upon one another. 

We see this truth illustrated in the life of King Saul. After defeating King Agag, Saul thought it would be a shame to destroy the good along with the bad animals despite the direct command of God. He spared the Almalekite King, in order to bring him home as a trophy of triumph. He also spared “the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them” (1 Sam. 15:9). When the prophet Samuel came to meet Saul on his triumphant return, Saul said, “I have performed the commandment of Lord.” (1 Sam. 15:13), since he had killed the despised and worthless animals. Saul deceived himself thinking partial obedience would be acceptable to God. Saul thought that the Lord would be pleased to have the best of the animals as sacrifices. But Samuel declared, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord...” (1 Sam. 15:22-23). 

In contrast, we read of the Lord Jesus, “Though He as a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and having been made perfect, He became unto all them that obey Him the author of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5: 8-9). Paul wrote, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). 

The perfect Servant could say of Himself, “I do always the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29). The Lord Jesus reminds His disciples and us of this obedient love and informs us of the necessity of complete obedience to Him, which is a demonstration of our love for Him! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Love of the Father

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9

The Lord Jesus moves from the picture of the vine and branches to the personal relationship that this illustration speaks of. We read of this wonderful love that we are love with! It is one thing to appreciate the Lord Jesus as the resource and supplier of all that God has for us, but it is another thing to enjoy the love of the Blesser and not simply love His blessings! 

How has the Father loved the Son? We read on seven different occasions, in this gospel, of the Father loving the Son. In John 3:35 we read of Him as the spring and source of every blessing found in Christ, “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” In John 5:20 we are told, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” The Father holds nothing back from the Son. Then in John 10:17 the Lord declared, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.” The moral beauty that was displayed in our Lord drew forth the Father’s love in a special way. 

The last three are found is John 17:23, 24 and 26, and emphasize this wonderful love that we have been brought into. “…You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world… And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” 

Pause and praise His name and abide in that love!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Monday, May 15, 2017

My Father Glorified

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:8

How do we know if we are disciple of Christ? A disciple is a follower who is a learner. The Lord Jesus spoke much of this in Matthew, Mark and Luke, often connecting following Him with denying one self. But throughout the Gospel of John we learn that a true disciple of Christ learns to continue in His word (Jn. 8:31), and they demonstrate His love (Jn. 13:34-35). In our verse today we see another indication of following Christ! A true disciple has a genuine concern for the glory of the Father! This is why we are to bear fruit! The fruit is for the Vinedresser, not for the branch!

We glorify the Father by yielding ourselves to Him, allowing Him to lift us up and to prune us. The Father is glorified when we abide in His Son, walking close to Him, and daily becoming more like Him. This is the fruit the Father is looking for in our lives! Peter writes, “If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God maybe glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). Paul said, “whether we eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). The power to live for the Lord comes from Him and is for His glory not ours!

We cannot add to His glory! But as we abide in Christ, in fellowship and dependence on Him, we will display His life in us and through us, this we will bear fruit which will glory the Father! This type of fruit bearing is not about “what can I do for God”, but it is about living out His life through mine. To glorify the Father is to express the riches of the divine life as we abide in the vine. This is a life that is reliant on the Vine in which the Vinedresser is refreshed by its fruit! This is the life by which the Father is glorified!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Ask what you Desire

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

The branch is ever dependent on the vine, relying on a constant flow of sap in order to be healthy, strong and productive! The same is true in the life of a Christian! If we are to have a healthy Christian life we must be ever dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ! How? Notice two conditions the Lord gives here. 

First, “if you abide in Me…” there must be a constant and consistent abiding. This speaks of daily communication, dependence and intimacy with the Lord. This is the only way to maintain the constant flow of the sap to the vine. In the life of the believer if the Spirit of God is grieve because of sin or quenched because of self, it will hinder Him from empowering the Christian to bear fruit.

The second condition the Lord gives for open channels in prayer is, “and My words abide in you…” This is connected to the importance of being in the Word and the Word being in us! His words abiding in us, means that we are governed by the instruction of the Word of God! The Christian who is abiding in Christ is and is controlled by His Word is not going to ask anything against God’s will, he wants what God wants! The Psalmist put it this way, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). When we delight in Him, He implants within us the right desires and then fulfills them. His desires become our desires and transform our will to conform to His will!

We may wonder why our prayers are not answered, and in some cases they may be answered and we just don’t like the answer! But here in our verse we see two perquisites for prayer, abiding in Him and His words to abide in us! If we are not fully abiding and seeking His mind we are not fulfilling these two perquisites. May we cultivate these in our lives that we may bear fruit even in our prayer lives!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Withered Branch

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6

A branch that has been attached to the vine can wither and become useless for the vinedresser. The reasons for withering can be a break somewhere in the branch, a disease or insects that has infected the branch. The sap from the vine is not reaching the branch and the branch loses its vitality and begins to wither.Many look at this withered branch as a picture of a false professor who first gives a profession of faith but goes back into the world. In the context of this John 15, the Lord is speaking to His disciples on fruit bearing not on salvation. The Lord had also told them they were clean already and in Him indicating, true believer. 

There are some who believe this withered branch pictures a true believer who commits apostasy and loses their salvation and is lost forever. Again the focus here is on witness and testimony; it is not on our salvation. The loss here is bearing no fruit to the glory of God. Lot is a picture of such a branch. He first pitched his tent toward Sodom, a type of a low hanging branch that ends of on the ground. Next we read of him in the gates of Sodom meaning he had become a prominent member of the community, yet we do not read of him bearing much fruit while there. In Sodom we can see Lot as a barren branch, when he attempted to witness to his sons-in-law they did not take him serious and we read, “to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking” (Genesis 19:14. He had become a barren branch with no fruit and no outward testimony with those close to him! But “the Lord knows those that are His” and in 2 Peter 2:8 we read “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” 

How do we avoid being barren? Abide in the Vine! The result of abiding are three fold; the promise of answered prayer, abiding love and fullness of joy (John 15:7, 10, 11). This sounds better than being barren! Let us be those who abide in the Vine today!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I am the Vine, you are the Branches

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

This is the second time the Lord has declared “I am the Vine.” Why would He need to repeat this statement? The Lord Jesus would have us to understand that the only way to obey the command to “abide in Me” is to have our eyes and heart fixed upon Him! He is the true Vine and has such He bears, strengthens and supplies each branch with everything it needs to thrive for Him. How soon we forget that Christ is the Vine of God’s planting and we are a branch of God’s grafting. We simply stand before God in Christ, without Him supplying the grace upon grace we need we will be able to accomplish nothing for the glory of God!

The Lord Jesus sought to re-emphasize this truth to us by repeating it because He knew that we are so prone to rely on our own strength! But just as a branch does not bear fruit through its own self-effort, neither can we! A branch draws life from the vine and so must we for “without Me you can do nothing.”

The apostle Paul learned this truth as the very secret to confidence and contentment in the Christian life. In Philippians 4:13 he could declare, “I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me.” In spite of poverty or prosperity Paul realized that the strength was not in him-self, but it was the power of Christ within him that gave him spiritual contentment and confidence! Knowing this truth and acting on it helps us to be ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within us! We will be able to do everything God asks of us through His power and not ours! 

We need a fresh realization that we are only a branch! The character of a branch is, its strength, and the fruit it bears depend entirely upon the Vine. Our life, our fruitfulness depends completely on what and who the Lord Jesus is! His is our source and strength. As we abide in Him we will be healthy “branches” who will able to bear, not only fruit, but much fruit!

Tim Hadley Sr.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Abiding in the Vine

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4

I am told that when a graft is placed in a vine there is a twofold process that takes place. First, the new graft shoot it’s forming roots and fibers down into the stem and the stem grows up into the graft. Then the second aspect of this process is when the sap of the vine enters the new graft and flows up into its shoots affecting its leaves and fruit.

No doubt this is what our Lord had in mind when He said, “Abide in Me and I in you.” “Abide in Me” has to do with our responsibility of obedience and trusting, detaching ourselves from everything else and relying on Him. While we are abiding in Him, He is in us! He is strengthening the inner man by the Spirit of God. 

This truth of “Christ in me” is the hope of glory for the believer (Col. 1:27). It is a truth that is found in Colossians and even in Galatians. Paul knew that God had called him through His grace to reveal His Son in him (Gal. 1:15). He could declare, ” I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Paul was willing to labor with the believers there until Christ was formed in them (Gal. 4:19).

This is the purpose of our abiding in Him that it may be evident that He abides in us! Abiding in Him is to realize that “our life is hidden in Christ in God” (Col. 3:3-4)! Our life is taken up into His; we are in Him and He in us! The power and victory for living the Christian life is in this wonderful truth. It is about abiding in Him and letting His life in me control all I do or say. The secret to fruit bearing is not about doing more for Christ; it is about being in that love relationship with Him and allowing His Spirit within me to have full sway. The new grafted branch cannot live independent of the vine. If it is to bear fruit it must abide in the vine and allow the vine to have control! The new grafted branch must surrender to the power of the vine! 

This is the question for each of us, am I surrendered and abiding in Christ? 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Cleaning and Pruning of the Branch (Part Two)

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:2-3

Recently I watch as a man was pruning his tree. He took real care with the tree, handling each branch gently. This man knew where to put the pruning knife and how much to cut off. He knew the difference between the wood on the branches that were still alive and the wood that was not capable of bearing fruit. To many the pruning process looks cruel and wasteful, but to the Vinedresser he knew just what was needed! Branches that do not bear fruit are drastically pruned back. Ezekiel 15 informs us that wood of the vine is good for nothing, the only purpose for the branch was to bear fruit, so the Vindresser looks for fruit and when He does not find any He prunes the branches!

God the Father, as the divine Vinedresser, carries out this work of pruning in each of our lives; to many this discipline or training might seem like affliction, but it has a purpose (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75). We must understand that this pruning process is something the Father administers to those branches (believers) attached to Christ, the True Vine. This pruning is for the purpose of causing us to bear more fruit. His desire is that we, His children, become more like His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, which is one of the ultimate goals of salvation. 

Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us that whom the Father loves He disciplines. This training may come in the form of rebuke (v5) which may be verbal or it may come as chastening, which may be more severe training (v6). Thirdly, scourging or whipping is mentioned, which is even more severe (v6). But the underline purpose is that “No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11). If you are experiencing the pruning process realize that you are in the hands of a wise and loving Father who knows what is needed for you bear much fruit and become more like His blessed Son! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

The Cleaning and Pruning of the Branch (Part One)

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:2-3

These two verses together are very interesting! What does “take away” of the branches and pruning the branches have to do with being clean? This word “take away” (airo in the greek) occurs 102 in the New Testament. In over 40 places it is rendered “lift up” or “take up.” Through the Bible and even in Greek literature I am told that “airo” never means “cut off.” In the context, the vinedresser lifts every branch that is in the vine off the ground in order for it to bear fruit! This reminds us that as Believer’s our natural environment is not this world, but our home is in the heavenlies, as we learn throughout the book of Ephesians. If we lose this perspective we can never be effective fruit bearers, so we must be “lifted up” away from this earth as we read in Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

If a branch is down in the dirt, the air and light cannot get to it as very easy. When the heavy rains drive hard on the branch causing them to drag on the ground, they become muddy and full of mildewed, making it of no use in this condition, so the vinedresser lifts it up out of the dirt away from the earth! When the pressures of this world become heavy burdens weighing us down our Vinedresser, our loving Father desires to lift us up, through the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the people of God. He reminds us that this is not our home. In His High Priestly prayer we touchingly hear the Lord Jesus pray, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as I am not of this world” (John 17:14). If we desire to be fruitful branches and to be effective witnesses we must remember that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Monday, May 8, 2017

What is the fruit we are to bear?

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2

The Greek word used for “fruit” is “karpos” and it refers to the fruit of vines or trees. In the Old Testament fruit can refer children which are born in the family. In the case of bearing fruit for the Christian, it specifically means to be producing something similar to what the attributes of the tree or plant is. For example, a vine can produce grapes and the fruit that is born is of similar nature and quality of the plant from which it comes. Here in John 15 it is clear that the Lord Jesus expects those that follow Him to bear fruit and here in this chapter it is referring to our lives bringing glory to the Lord Jesus and to the Father.

But as we read through the New Testament we learn of many types fruit that we are expected to produce. The Holy Spirit seeks to produce within each of us the Christ like character of “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” In Romans 6:21-22 Paul asks “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Here we learn a holy conduct that ought to be displayed in our lives which Peter also mentions (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Paul mentions another kind of fruit in Romans 15:26-28 and Philippians 4:15-18, this is the fruit of giving and meeting the needs of others. We read of the fruit of our lips in Hebrews 13:15, we would be the fruit of praise and worship! Paul also looked at seeing lost souls coming to Christ as fruit (Colossians 1:5-6, Romans 1:13, 1 Corinthians 16:15).

The Vinedresser desires fruit from all lives. This fruit comes in many different ways. It should be our desire to glorify Him in area of our lives that we may bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. What is truly done for His glory is the fruit that remains! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Why is fruit bearing so important?

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2

When we carefully read John 15 we discover that the Lord desires productivity from the life of every one who is attached to Him. Why is this productivity so important?

First, bearing fruit is a mark of genuine faith. Some Christians bear fruit, some bear more fruit and others much fruit, but all should bear fruit! Fruit is the evidence that we belong to the Vine and it is the natural and normal result of being attach to Him. In Matthew 7:15-20 the Lord Jesus spoke of knowing individual by the fruit they bear, the same is true of each one of us. People will know that we are attached to the Lord when we bear the fruit of love toward one another (Jn. 13:35). 

It can also be said that fruit is the measure of our walk with the Lord. John 15 is all about abiding, in the apostle John uses the word abide about 43 times throughout the gospel of John, and 1 & 2 John. It is used as a command and a warning, as an invitation to a deeper love relationship, as an assurance and an exhortation to godly living. To abide is to obey, to continue on, or to stay close to. 

Fruit bearing is important because it is the motivation behind God's training in our lives. Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us that whom the Father loves He discplines or trains. As the Vine dresser lifts the branch up off of the earth in order to clean the branch (15:2). He also prunes the branch, cutting out that which is hindering the branch from being fruitful. The vinedresser is never closer to the branch then when He is pruning it! When the Father prunes (disciplines) us it is not to hurt us but to help us be more fruitful for His glory! 

Fruit bearing is also the method of touching the lives of others. It is always first for the Father, but other benefit from the sweet fruitfulness of a life attached to the Vine as we see in Psalm 1:3 "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."

Lastly, fruitfulness is important because it is the manifestation of Christ to this lost world, "you shall bear witness..." (Jn. 15:27). The Lord Jesus reminds us that "By this My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit…" (Jn. 15:8). This cannot happen if we are not abiding in the Vine, because earlier He said "without me you can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5). Tim Hadley Sr.

The Fruit

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away...John 15:2

The concept of fruit bearing flows throughout Scripture. In fact the main word used for fruit appears over 100 times in the Old Testament and about 70 times in the New. The idea of fruit bearing appears in 24 of the 27 books in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul speaks of the importance of bearing fruit in every book he wrote. So we see the importance given the Christian bearing fruit!

Many read John 15 as a call to bring others to Christ, but this really isn't the idea of fruit at all here. Bearing fruit for Christ is not only my witnessing for Him but it would include my work, my worship, my entire walk here on earth ought to be for the glory of God!

It is interesting that Titus 3:14 draws a parrallel to bearing fruit and doing good works, "Let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful."

In Galatians 5:22 we read of the fruit of the Spirit, which is the inward character of Christ being form in the life of the believer. We are able to bear fruit outwardly when we allow God to work in our hearts and through our lives!

John 15 speaks of no fruit, fruit, more fruit, much fruit and fruit that remains. As followers of Christ, we have been created for abundance! The key to abundance in the Christian life is abiding (15:5) and the key to abiding is obeying (15:10) and the key to obeying is loving (15:9, 10, 15). These three things, abiding, obeying and loving are peppered throughout these first seventeen verses of John 15. They really are the secret to bearing fruit that is for the glory of God and that will last.

It is important that we see fruit bearing not as something we "do" but as something we "are"! Fruit bearing is not about "doing", it is about "being"! It flows out of enjoying our relationship with the vine and the Vinedresser, with Christ and with the Father.

Tim Hadley Sr.