Sermon Transcript: Practical Christian Living 12/8/2019 Jeff Schwarzentraub 40 min read Well, good morning. And thank you so much for choosing to worship with us today. Today is a special day for me. Not only because it's my birthday, but I know I share my birthday with at least three other people in this room. And I wanted to pause in this service because the Bible says to give honor where honor is due. And today my good friend, Lorraine, would you please stand up for one second? Lorraine turns 100 years old today. All right. We praise God for you. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. We're talking to [inaudible 00:00:35] said, "What's it feel like to be 100?" She says, "Wonderful." I was telling the Lord how, especially Lorraine is here every single week sits here. I told our staff, I said, if you come faithfully every single year, when you turn 100, I'll stop the service for you too. All right. So that's the deal that we'll have, but we do praise God. The Bible says, give honor, we're honors due and we're honoring the Lord's work in your life today, Lorraine. So part of my day I'm celebrating my birthday at Lorraine's birthday party. I can't wait to be there today too. So with that, let's go before the Lord. And before we pray, I just want to tell you I often end a prayer before I'm ready to preach and say in God's people said, and have you guys say amen. Do you know what amen means? Amen means, yes. It means it shall be. So it means do the work Lord. It means I'm agree with that. I'm expecting you to do that God in my life. That's why we say amen. And so as you hear the prayer this morning and that's your desire you can say amen with me when we finish the prayer this morning. Let's pray, lord Jesus, we give you all the glory honor and praise for who you are. And Lord our prayer this morning is that you would be majestic in our lives that we would not only hear who you are, but who you are in us. Lord, that you would convict us, mold us, challenge us that you speak Lord to us. And Lord, we would put in practice by faith, the very things that you show us. And so now all God's people who are ready to hear his word, who are ready to respond accordingly and by faith put into practice what the Lord, Jesus Christ shows you agreed with me this morning by very loudly saying the word amen. Amen. Sometimes we'll watch somebody do something and while we're watching them do it, it looks rather easy, but when we try it ourself, it becomes rather hard. Perhaps you've been in a class before where you're watching somebody teach a certain discipline and you think to yourself, I got this, this isn't that hard. And then you get home or you get back to your dorm room and you start working it out. And you're like, I don't really get how this works. I don't understand this, or you ask your friend a question about how to do yourself project. And they say, oh, it's so easy. Let me show you how to do it. And they show you how to do it. And then you get back home and realize that was easy for them, it's not so easy for me. That one happens all the time. Or perhaps it's with cooking or baking, something that somebody else is able to do and even when they show you, it seems really easy to do it. But when it comes to the personal application of it, it's rather difficult. And it leaves you frustrated. Throughout the book of Colossians, we've been talking about the glory of the gospel and being focused on a life centered in Christ and what that looks like that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have life in his name. For those of us who have repetitive of our sins and trusted in Jesus as the Lord and savior of our life, we have Christ who not only is saving us for all eternity. We celebrated in communion today that all of our punishment is dealt with, but he himself comes to dwell on the inside. And that the life of the Christian is not what I'm doing for God. The life of the Christian is what is God doing in and through me. And how does he desire to work all that out? And it's oftentimes when we hear somebody talk about these things, we say, I got it. I think I know how to do it, but we get out there and in our interpersonal relationships or whatever we're involved in, it becomes difficult to live out that mandate. And throughout the book of Colossians, Paul's been talking about this gospel, this hope of Christ in us, and now he's going to boil it down to how that works itself out in specific relationships in our life, starting with the family and going from there. And how is it we can make it work. I want to let you know at the beginning of this message, you will feel conviction in this message. I promise you. And no matter who you are, you'll feel some conviction. Now, when you feel conviction, understand this, that's not the Lord telling you, you're bad, you're lousy, or no good. I hate you. Get out of my family. When you feel conviction today, what you're feeling is Jesus telling you, "Hey, there's an area in your life that's hindering me from living my life through you the way I want. Will you please repent of that because it's possible for you to actually live what the scriptures are teaching." And so the conviction that you're feeling is God's way of showing you how you can and how it is possible to live the life that God require in this area. So let's allow the Lord to speak to our hearts that way. Secondly, let me tell you this. Oftentimes when you come to church and the pastor's preaching on this, you get the idea, well, pastor has this now. Pastor's got this now. And I don't know if I can do it as well as him. Let me tell you from the onset, just studying this text all week, preaching on it two times already. I'm a work in progress just like you. I am not preaching God's word because I perfected it. I'm preaching God's word because he is perfect. And I am wanting to grow into his likeness as well. And so with that as an introduction, let's see how God wants us to live our lives. I invite you to open your Bibles to Colossians 3. We're going to start in verse 18 this morning and go all the way through 4:1, if you don't have a copy of the scriptures, there's one under every other seat. Please take that read along. If you don't have a Bible, take that Bible for yourself, put your name in it, it's yours. We want you to have a copy of God's word in your hand. I'll read this and then we'll take a look at it together. In relationships here's what Paul talks about. "Wives be subject to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Children be obedient to your parents in all things for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose heart. Slaves in all things, obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart fearing the Lord will. Whatever you do, do your work hardily as for the Lord, rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord, you'll receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong, will receive the consequences of the wrong, which he has done and that without partiality. Masters grant to your slaves, justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a master in heaven." And as the Apostle Paul writes these words under the divine inspiration of the holy spirit, he really gives us practical instructions for Christian living and how we're to live in these different relationships because Christ is on the inside. Now, he's making the assumption by this point in the book that Christ is on the inside. How do you know that Christ is on the inside? It means that you've trusted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. That God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish, but would have eternal life. First, John 4:14 says that, "The father sent the son to be the savior of the world." That the gospel is not what you're doing to get right to God. It's not how you're cleaning yourself up to tell God, oh, I'm perfect now. It's what God has done through Christ in reconciling the world to himself. That God, the father sent his son Jesus to the world who left his glory and became a man who humbled himself, fulfilled the law and became obedient to death, even death on the cross. Therefore God exalted him and gave him the highest place above every name. That at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ Lord to the glory of God, the father. It means through Jesus' death on the cross, he was willing to take all of your sin, all of it that you have and take it for you. And through his resurrection, he validated the fact that he was God's one and only eternal son and that threw him and him alone, we can have life in his name. Which means this, it's not about coming to BRAVE Church and it's not about getting religion. And it's not about going to church at Christmas and Easter. It's about the fact that there's a God in the universe that loves you. And he was revealed in the person of Jesus Christ who died in your place for the punishment that you deserve. So you'd never have to be punished, but that you could have life in Christ name. And by admitting that you're a sinner. And by believing that Jesus is the Christ and by trusting in him alone, you can have life in his name. It's a turn from your life of sin and turning to a life of forgiveness with Christ. Have you done that in your life? I mean, it's a notable time in your life where you went from death to life, where you went from sin to salvation, where you went from enemy to friend, when did that happen for you? And if that hasn't, I want to tell you, you can have life in his name this morning. That the reason God wanted you here today was so that you would know that he loves you. He loves you. He loves you. And more than just him telling you, he loved you. He wanted to demonstrate his love to you by coming and living in you. And for those of you, who've trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior he's in you. And that's what we've been talking about. The glory of the gospel is Christ in you, the hope of glory. And now that he's in you, he's going to give instructions and what his first instructions are, are instructions for all Christian families, all Christian families. If you have the spirit of God in your life, God wants to work on the family. Now why would God want to work on the family? Because here's why, because the family is the most important unit for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So goes the family. So goes the church. So goes the church. So goes the world. You get a messed up family and they go to church now, you got messed up church. You get a messed up church and they go out in the world, you got a messed up gospel that you're sharing. If you want to fix things, it starts in the family. So notice how he starts. He starts talking to husbands and wives. He says, wives, be subject to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. He talks with the marriage relationship. Now why does he start with the wives? Very interesting. In the first century women and were considered little more than property. In the first century, man could divorce his wife, if she burned his toast or he just felt like he was having a bad day, he could just write her a certificate and send her away. What Jesus Christ did when he came to this earth is he elevated women back to their right place of value. Often in the Bible were they're talking Ephesians 5 or in Colossians 3. When Paul begins to address the family unit, he starts with the wives, because here's what he's telling the wives. You have equal value to your husband. You are equal with him. You are valuable and you matter. And this idea of submission or being subjected to your husband is a choice that you have. Now a couple things that you need to keep in mind when we start talking about this and we'll talk about the husbands in a minute. When it says wives, be subject to your husbands, this is not an instruction. Husbands, make sure your wives are submissive to you. This is not an instruction to men. This is an instruction to spirit filled women that want to allow Jesus on the inside of them reflect the goodness and the glory of God. Now some people will say, well, that was just cultural back then. That was a cultural thing. Women were to be submissive to their husband. That's cultural. If that's cultural, then the next verse has to be cultural too. When we say husbands, love your wives. That's just cultural. It's not just cultural, it's the word of God. And why would God set it up this way? You need to understand if you go all the way back to the beginning of your Bible in Genesis 1, you realize that God is the one who created gender in verse 28 and 29. For in the image of God, he created them, male and female. He created them. He created gender. If you were created a female, that's wonderfully valuable. If you were created a male, wonderfully valuable, he created the gender the way that he wanted in Genesis 2:24 and 25. We see marriage. For this reason, a man will leave his father, a mother and cleave to his wife. So you have a man and a woman in marriage and the two will become one flesh. Oneness is the idea that you need to understand before we can even teach on this. See, here's how many people forget. Marriage is not two people that live together like this or like this, or like this. Marriage are two people that are viewed as God as one. You understand what I'm saying? So when we talk about wives being subject to your husbands or wives, submitting to your husband, it's a military word that means to fall into rank. It doesn't look like this, with the husband over the wife. It's not a boss relationship. It's in the context of the unity of oneness and how that looks wives, be subject to your own husbands. And notice the back part of this verse super important. It says be subject to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. It means do it for the sake of the Lord. Now, why did God design it this way? Two ways. Two reasons he designed it. First was the order of creation. The order of creation, not just do you read in Genesis 1 and 2, but if you go to 1 Timothy 2:13, you'll see it like this in 1 Timothy 2:13, when he is talking about women's role of teaching in a church and how it should be done. He says for, it was Adam who was first created and then Eve. So part of the reason for this deals with the order of creation that God created men before he created women. So part of it is an order issue. The second is this, not only of creation, it's the order within the Godhead. If you study the father, son and holy spirit, you will realize that the father sent the son that the son submitted to the father, that the holy spirit submits to the father and the son. It doesn't make Jesus less than God, Jesus is God. Doesn't make the holy spirit less than God, the holy spirit is God, but there's divine order in the Trinity where the son is always submitting to the father, even in his earthly ministry. We see, I only do what my father is doing. In the garden of Gethsemane what was he doing? He was submitting dad, not my will, but your will be done. So we see it in the order of creation. We see it in the order of the Godhead. It has nothing to do with value. It has nothing to do with equality. Women and men are both equal and men and women are both valuable. It has to do with God's divine order of authority and God's divine order of creation. All right. You can write this verse down too. It's first Corinthians 11:3. The last time I got hate mail was when I preached on this. So let's read it again. This is God, by the way, I didn't write this book. This is God writing this. I'm just speaking on his behalf this morning. He said, "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man. And the man is the head of a woman and God is the head of Christ" There's divine order the way God established it. And so wives, spirit filled women, spirit filled daughters of Eve who happen to be in the marriage context. What are you called to do? You're called because of your love for Jesus to subject yourself or submit yourself or to fall under your husband's leadership. Why? Because in Ephesians 5, and you can write these verses down and study them on your own Ephesians 5:22-33 it's says, "For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church. Therefore women submit to your husbands in everything." Now, when I say everything, I mean everything, except the circumstances that the Bible say you don't have to because Colossians three says, as it's fitting in the Lord, it means this wives. You don't have to submit to your husbands, if he's asking you to break the law, like, "Hey baby, if you cheat on taxes, we'll get more money back." You don't have to submit to that. You don't have to submit to your husband when he tells you can't go to church or you can't serve Jesus. And certainly because abuse is huge in our culture. Let me just be crystal clear from this pulpit. This is not a scripture to belittle women or shame women that says if you're in an abusive situation, talking physical abuse, emotional abuse, being put down consistently every single day. This is not the Lord saying, "Hey, submit to that." You submit as is filling in the Lord. If you have an abusive husband, you tell people about it at the church so that they can help intervene and help you. Am I being crystal clear? This scripture is not a way to belittle women. This scripture is designed as a way to empower wives so that they're due what God wants. Now, what would be the benefit of submitting to your husband? Ladies, just listen to me. When you do things the way God wants you to do things, then God can go to work. Submitting to your husband does not mean I'm saying that he's right. He's always right. He's always the smarter one. He always makes the best decision. That's not submission. Submission also does not mean that you don't have a say. It means women, you talk to your husbands, you tell your husbands, "I don't want to do that. That sounds like a bad idea." I mean, that's good. Any husband worth his salt will get to the husbands in a minute. So sit tight. Any husband's worth his salt will listen to his wife, because my experience is my wife's usually right about 95 plus percent of the time. And here's the truth. Like ladies, it doesn't mean that when you submit to your husband that it's the right thing that God wants. It just means when you do, God will take care of you. "Yeah, but you don't know my husband, he's a total buffoon. And if we go that way, it's going to ruin our whole family and all, no," when you're not submitting to him, you're submitting to the Lord and therefore Christ is showing you submit to that. Here's what the Lord says. I'll take care of him. I'll take care of that. Wives submit to your husbands. Notice in the context here, it doesn't say if he's a Christian. Notice in the context, it doesn't say if he always makes the right decisions. Notice in the context here, it's not qualifying this. This is a call to spirit filled women of God who love Jesus, who want to do things Jesus' way who happen to be married to say, how do I best honor my own husband? So what's the application. The application is spirit filled. Women that get in front of the presence of God and say, God, I want to do things your way. Is there any way in my life that I am not submitting to my husband and being subject to him? Is there any way I'm trying to boss him or bully him or do something that's not pleasing to you or another way to pray that Lord, is there any way that I could be a wife that's more reflective of your life in me? Because that's what I want to be. And by faith, I'm willing to take that step. It's a challenging thing. It's impossible apart from the spirit of God. But we do it because of the oneness that we have with Christ and our desire to live out the gospels. So ladies, take a deep breath. We'll move on to husbands. "Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them." Again, the call here is not for wives to beg their husbands to love them. This is a call for spirit filled men of God who happened to be married, to love their wives. This word love this verb is a continuous action. It means you continually love your wife. Now, what does it mean to love our wives? Now Ephesians 5 says it like this. "Love your wives Just as Christ, loved the church and gave himself up for her." Now the clear understanding, well, how much did Jesus love the church? Well, he was willing to die for the church. I mean, that's the clearest expectation, but it's even more than that, because think about how much did Jesus love the church? He left all glory and he came into earth to demonstrate love to his bride. That rejected him. That spit on him. That cursed him. That yelled crucify him. And what did he do? Just loved that bride to death. Husbands, listen to me, is this an area we can all grow in? 100% yes. Why? Because the church was the object of Jesus Christ affection so much so that we see it tangibly in everything he does. Our wives should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the objects of our affection. More than our personal glory. More than what we're going after. More than anything that our wives would know that they are first place, that we are pursuing them, that we are letting them know that we love them. Which means when I'm doing counseling for a couple and the husband who will often say something. Yeah, but she never responds. And she never does. And look at what she says and she does this. Then my response is, "Hey, you get to be more like Jesus, you get to love her. Like so what that she's like that." So now you guys are like, "Well, I'm not going to Pastor Jeff for counsel. I'm going to go pick somebody else." I mean, the point is here's when you can stop loving your wife, you get to stop loving your wife when Christ stops loving the church, that's what scripture would teach. So we grow in that for the rest of our lives. Now notice what he said, love your wife. Husbands, love your wife. Not called to love everybody else's wife. I'm called to love my wife, which means I have to learn my wife because everybody experiences love in different ways. So what might feel loving to me may not feel loving to my wife. So I've got to pursue her. I got to get to know her. I got to understand what is it so that she knows that she's the object of my affection? Well, I've learned my wife over time. I know her better today than when we first got married. Like when we got married the first 50 days that we were married, I was on the road traveling. She was traveling with me for some of those days while I was going to speak. Some of those days, she was home. I remember trip I was gone for 13 days. Now for me, I'm a words of affirmation person. You tell me I'm a good person, you affirm me. That feels really, really good to me. That's all I need. So keep in mind. I'm preaching. I used to do that as a single guy. Now I got a wife at home. That's my cheerleader telling me how awesome it is to be married to me and go do it and I'm praying for it. I mean, I'm like living the lap of luxury. I wait to get home and see my wife. 13 days later, I roll into town, go to see my wife. And it wasn't like she was playing hail to the chief when I got home. I mean she was mad. She seemed upset and distraught and I couldn't figure it out like, "Hey, what's going on?" She's like, "Well, you've been gone for 13 days." I'm like, "I know when we've been talking, it's so great. And we're home now. I'm like, you get all of me. I mean, how much better can it get?" and she just didn't seem to respond that way. And what I've understood over time is my wife is not words of affirmation. Telling my wife she's awesome doesn't really fill her tank. Spending time with my wife is what fills her tank. Now, I didn't even know this was a love language to when I got married. Apparently time looks like this when she just has all of me with no phone, no kids, no TV, no distraction that fills her tank. Even if we're sitting there like doing nothing, it's like very refreshing to her and I've had to learn that, hey, that's what fills my wife's tank. So just the other night, we went on a date. It was just a simple day. It was like dinner and a movie, no big deal. And I had my phone with me and my friend called during the meal and he's always challenging me to give my wife time. So I didn't answer the phone. I just quickly hit decline. And I text him, said, "Hey man, I'm on a date." My wife's like, "Who are you texting? Give me your phone." I got it grounded for my phone, for the rest of the date, because time involves attention. It means as husbands, we should be pursuing our wives in such a way that they know that we value them more than anything. More than our work, more than our money, more than our relationships. More than our social time that our wives would know that they're the object of our affection in the same way that the church knows that we are the object of Jesus Christ affection. Again, this is not for wives to nudge their husbands. You're terrible at that. Are you listening? Pay attention. This is not that. This is husbands, if you're filled with the spirit, husbands, if Jesus is on the inside, this is what you're called to do if you are married. Wives, this is what you're called to do, if you are married. And notice he goes on to give us instruction husbands, he says this, "Husbands love your wives and do not be embittered against them." It means that you don't let a root of bitterness grow in your heart when things don't go your way. Unforgiveness in a marriage is a cancer to a marriage. Well, you never, and you never, and you always say, and you do it like this and you always, you never. Do not do that to your wives. When you forgive it's over. You get to start fresh again. You get to continually love them. And you continually show how you can do a better job at loving them. This is what he's called us to do, don't be harsh. Don't be bitter. Don't be critical. Don't be angry. All those things that as men we tend to do. Now, here's why that's hard for us. Men and women, listen to me, women, listen, we'll let you know a little secret. As men, our number one problem is our head. It's our ego. It's just how God made us like wives you can tell us we're awesome all the time. And we will never ever get tired of it. I mean, my wife can tell me great sermon best ever. I'm sure Billy Graham would be jealous if he was still alive. You know I mean? And she could tell me that all day long and by night I'm like, "Hey, how come you don't encourage me?" She's like, "I can't." It's our head. You can't respect us enough. You can't stoke our ego enough. Men listen to me for your wife it's her heart. For a woman's knowing that she's cherished and that she's valuable and that she's worth pursuing. And that she's quality. And that if you could do anything, you'd want to spend time with her. And that's why when two people get married, we as husbands, we try to treat our wives like us and we try to stoke their ego and it doesn't work. And wives, you try to be compassionate to your husbands and be like, it's going to be okay. It's going to be all right. And it's kind of like, oh, we have a communication problem. Well, of course you do because you have different needs. Women, you can't respect your husband too much. And husbands, you can't love your wife too much. It's just the way God designed. It's just way it is. Like guys, you can't love your wife too much. There'll never be a time where you pour too much in your wife. She's like, "Hey, that's is way too much. Go love somebody else." That will never, ever happen. Women there's no time you stroke your husband's egos and say, "Hey, I know I'm awesome. Just go tell somebody else, because I'm just tired of hearing it." That'll never happen. that's the beauty of the way that God designed it. Here's the other beauty, the way God designed it. Oftentimes what I find in married couples that get married and you think you're exactly the same. And then you get married and you realize, not only do you have differences with your heart and your head because of your gender, but you have differences in how you experience love. And however you experience love likely your wife or your husband does not experience love the same way you do. And that's why even when you try to show love, it doesn't connect the same way. That's why we spend a lifetime being committed to and covenanted to one another. But this is so important because as families, we have to have husbands and wives that are committed to doing this, which to the singles, I would tell you this, it's good to be single because it doesn't take nearly as much work. I mean, Paul said in Romans 7:32, he goes, "I want you to be free from concern. The one who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he can please the Lord. But the one who is married is concerned about the things of this world. How he may please his wife." If you're single, it's you and Jesus. How do you please Jesus? That's it. I mean, if you want to go to a movie tonight at midnight, go, it's no big deal. You want to take a vacation wherever you want, go. You want to spend your money any way you want, go. But when you're married, you have other responsibilities. How do I please my spouse? How do I please them? How do I preference them? How do I put them for... Everything changes. Singleness is not bad. As a matter of fact, it's a great option for many. Marriage, great option for many, but in marriage, it's different because it's no longer just about you. And so as spirit filled men and women of God who happen to be married, here's what it says. Husbands love your wives and wives, respect your husband. That's it. Ephesians 5:33, sums up the entirety of everything I'm teaching saying it like that. You can't respect your husband too much. And husbands, you cannot love your wives too much. Now when we get the family unit with the husbands and wives, good, then we start talking about children. I try to get my kids to memorize this verse this week. It says, "Children be obedient to your parents in all things for this is well pleasing to the Lord." It's a great place for an amen kids. Amen. Thank you. "Children should be obedience to your parents for this in all things for this is pleasing to the Lord." Now why would God say it that way? Because God designed families for the purpose of propagating the gospel and in obedience to your parents, you are signaling to the Lord that I'm willing to be under the authority that you gave me so you can entrust me with greater responsibility. Just so you know kids, your parents had parents too. And your parents thought their parents made decisions that were dumb some times too. Being obedient to your parents does not mean that your parents have always made the right decisions or are doing things that should be done, right. You're not obeying your parents because they're awesome. You're obeying your parents because you have Jesus on the inside and you want to honor him in all that you do. You want to help God work through your life. You honor your mom and you honor your dad by being obedient to what they say. Being obedient means that you hear them and that you respond accordingly. It means dad or mom ask me to do this. And so I'm doing it. I may not even like doing it, but I'm going to do it with a cheerful spirit because Christ is in me and he's the authority over this family anyway. And I want to honor or Christ in such a way that he'll open up new levels of responsibility for me. Children obey your parents in all things. Again, the same responsibility, applies and works that you know, kids of your parents are asking you to break the law or do something that goes against God, you don't have to do that. But at the end of the day, even if you have non-Christian parents, you will submit yourself to their leadership then you have opportunity for God to work in your life. There's also a promise in kids being obedient to their parents, the 10 commandments in Exodus 20, it's the only commandment with a promise Exodus 20:11 or I'm sorry, 20:12 says honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land, which the Lord, your God gives you. I mean, length of life, prosperity in life, all of those things, God is watching how you honor your parents and God makes a promise to those who do. As a matter of fact, child discipline and kids being obedient to their parents was so important in Israel. I mean, listen to these verses, you can write them down Exodus 21:15 and 17. Just hear the sincerity and severity of these Exodus 21:15, "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Exodus 21:17. "He who curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death." Now we got no biblical application that I can find of any kid it that was killed, which means kids were obedient to their parents. They took it serious. That's why in the new Testament. And even throughout Proverbs, we see that kids are to be disciplined, to stay within the family that it's God's design for that. But kids, if you know Jesus Christ being honoring to your mom and your dad, by being obedient to them, demonstrates that the life of Christ and the love of God is in your hearts. Why is this so important? Because one of the signs of the end times is kids being disobedient to their parents. I mean, think about 2 Timothy 3:2, "For men will be lovers of themselves. Lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful and unholy. Do you see any kids today that are disobedient to their parents? Do you ever seen that? I'm asking a question. Did you ever see that? Oh, yeah. I mean, we're in the end times. They began with Jesus rose from the dead they'll end when he returns, but we're in the end times and the closer we get, the more disobedient kids are. Christian parents, you have a responsibility to bring your kids up in the love and admonition of the Lord so the gospel can be propagated correctly. It's a number one responsibility we have as husbands and wives. And that's why when we go back to this chapter in Colossians 3, he's going to talk to fathers. Notice what he says in verse 21, "Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose hearts." That's interesting because this word fathers here is translated in Hebrews as parents and it can be done so, but oftentimes not only in the Old Testament, but in the New. Fathers are given prominence in the home because the men are the head of the house in Joshua 4, after they crossed over the Jordan, after waiting for 40 years and they pulled out stones to make a Memorial and they were saying, what is this about? He said, hey, build this. So that someday, when the children, father, what do these stones mean? You'll be able to tell them. Why would children now ask their dads what the stones mean? Why? Because dads are the spiritual temperature in the home. Dads, it's your responsibility and wives are called to help with that. But men, we are not called to subjugate out the spiritual vitality to of our home, the discipline of our home, all the tough things in our home to our wives. That is our number one responsibility. If discipline needs to happen, dad, you should be taking the lead in that. If things need to be set and a ground needs to be set for what needs to happen, dads, you take the lead in that wives. Wives were called to help our husbands and be part of that as one and do it together. But you have a spiritual responsibility in leading your family well. And how do we know we've done? Well, he says, "Do it in such a way that you don't exasperate your children so that they don't lose heart." It means you don't wear out your kids where they have no hope where they know there's nothing they can ever do right. It means you're not provoking them. You're not nagging them. And there's all sorts of different ways that we as men can fail at this. I mean, we can be too critical. We can be overbearing. We can be completely neglectful. We can show no affection. We can show no affirmation. We can be too strict. We can be too permissive. I mean, there's all sorts of ways that we can mess this thing up. Now I happened to be a youth pastor long before I was a pastor, which meant when I was 24, most of the kids in my youth group were about six years younger than me. Eight years younger than me. I wasn't much older than they were. And so I remember thinking I was an expert on child rearing at the time before I was married and had my own kids. But I remember this, I would hear stories about kids that had families and how strict they were and kids had families and how they could do whatever they wanted and kids that had, I mean, all these different things. But one thing that I saw consistently in all families where kids were living for the Lord and had a high value of who Christ was in their life was this, they knew they were loved by their mom and their dad. That's right. Amen. Strict parents that love their kids. Kids turned out okay. Permissive parents that love their kids, they turned out okay. Love, what's the motivating factor behind every kid I saw grow up and it's why this, I don't care what age or gender you are. If you're 10 years old or you're 100 years old here today, there's a heart inside of all of us that wishes that our dad would look us eye to eye, grab us by the shoulder, let us know. I value you. You're significant. You belong to me and I'm so proud of you. God blessed me with you. And if you didn't get that, your heart craves that. If you get that your heart craves that it wish it would've been more often and deeper. Why? Because only the father in heaven can fill that need. And if you didn't get that, the father in heaven can fill that need. But dads, while you have opportunity, give that to your kids. Well, my kids are all grown now. I guess I messed. If they're still alive, you can still do it. Yeah, but my kids are 50 now. Then call them on the phone and make a trip and go see them and pour your heart into your kid and tell them how special they are, because they're still craving it. Amen. Amen. And don't wear them out. That's why you got to know each of your kids differently. And I'm learning my kids. I have three. They're all different than one another. Your kids are different than my kids. They have different needs. They have different expectations, different things connect differently with them. And I'm constantly learning from my kids. So I have a 12 year old, a 10 year old and a six year old. And my six year old, my daughter, we went to see Frozen II the other day with another family. And we were coming out of the theater and I have an older daughter and she's here. I mean, we're affectionate. She doesn't embarrassed by me or anything. My six year old comes out of the theater and I went up to a hug her and she's with all of her little six year old friends. And she did one of these. She was like, she's like [inaudible 00:37:53] me and started walking away. And so I was talking to her about it later. And I'm like, what was that all about? And I she's affectionately referred to me as shorty. That's what I call shorty, what were you doing? She's like, dad, that was so embarrassing. And I'm like, you're six. Okay. I mean, what was embarrassing? Dad, I knew you wanted to hug and kiss me in front of my friends. And there's just no way. And I'm like, well, can I hug and kiss you at home? She's like, yeah, but just not in front of friends. I'm like, well, what can we do? She's like, well, mom and I fist bump. So she taught me how to fist bump. So now we're going to fist bump, because that feels loving to her. At the end of it, what feels loving to your kids? What empowers your kids? Your kids should know that you believe in them more than anybody on the planet. Your kids should understand that when they're dealing with stuff and they're struggling with stuff, they can come home to mom and dad and you're going to pour into their lives in such a way that you believe in them. By the way, believing in them means you're also willing to discipline them. You're called to discipline your kids. Short-term pain now, long-term gain. I mean, the consequences of not discipline now have a harder consequence in the future. We're called to do that. That's what the Bible teaches. And these are instructions for all Christian families. Now here's what you're going to say. Well, then what do I do specifically? There's no formula for this. Every time I've read a Christian book on marriage, most, every time on marriage or parenting there's like, formula, check this book, do this, do this, or how to have a baby and how to you. I don't like formulas because I don't think they work for everybody. There's no formula. Here's the truth. The spirit of God is inside of you. And if you're a mom or you're a dad or you're a husband or you're a wife or you're a child and you seek the Lord and he's in, you say, Lord, how do I best serve you? How do I need to change? What is it? Is there anything in me that needs to reflect more of you? The holy spirit will show you. And then by faith as you repent and say, yeah, I hadn't done it right, Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you that I can begin to walk in your ways. That's how God begins to work. And that's instruction for all Christian families that please the Lord. Secondly, we want to talk about instructions for all Christian servants. There's a lot of overlap here, so we won't spend a ton of time. But for all Christian servants, notice what he says, "Slaves and all things, obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord." Now keep in mind, he's not talking about slaves like we've had in our American history. That was completely sinful in every single way, how racism's wrong in every sinful way. Paul is addressing slaves in the first century, 85 to 90% of the people were considered slaves. Many were well educated, many got paid well, but majority of the culture was slaves. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, "If you can gain your freedom, go ahead and do so." Nothing wrong with that. But got to understand that the biblical writers were writing in such a way for whatever in life is, how do you reflect the glory of Christ in that? So slaves would be those that would have a master over them. So what's the application here. Think about your area and your life, where you have somebody over you. Maybe you're an employee and you have an employer. Maybe you're an athlete and you have a coach. Maybe you're a student and you have a teacher. There's someone that God has put authority over your life in, then how are you to treat that person that's in authority? And this is instruction for all Christian servants. Here's what you're called to do, obey them in all things. Not with external service, as those who merely please men sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. It means not as an eye pleaser, like when my boss is watching me, when my coach has seen me, when my teacher's going to give me an exam, no. At all times I'm living for Christ in this situation. So that those over me know that I'm living for Jesus and I'm treating them with the same love that Jesus has loved me. That's what it means. It means I don't get the privilege as a Christian to talk bad about my teachers, about my coaches, about my boss. It means that I can't do all that stuff. It means that if they're an authority over me, I have to love them with the love of Christ. Did Jesus do that during his earthly ministry? I mean he submitted to death, even death on a cross by those who falsely accused and falsely tried him. And all he had to do was snap his fingers and myriads of angels would've come out of heaven and taken him all away. But he submitted to that. He showed the love of God to everybody that was there. Even the religious Pharisees that hated him, he showed love. It means servants, whatever you're in and you have anybody over you show love and respect to those who are over you in authority. The same is true. When you're over authority of another notice, 4:1, "Masters grant to your slaves, justice and fairness." That's being equitable with them knowing that you two have a master in heaven. It means if I'm a boss, or a coach, or a teacher, I want to treat every single person that I'm over as if it's Jesus Christ himself, that's serving. It means every athlete on my team when I'm a coach, that's Jesus reporting back to his dad how I treated him. Every student in my classroom that's Jesus, he's reporting back to his dad how I treat him. Every employee in my organization, that's Jesus, how I'm treating him, he's reporting back to his dad tell him what a good job I'm doing. And both those things work hand in glove. As Christians oftentimes when we're in the underside, we're like, man, I can't wait till one day, I'm on the overside. But then you get in the oversight and you're like, man, I liked it so much better when I was on the underside. I mean, we, we oftentimes don't like our lot in life. Here's what it means. If somebody is over you, it's got sovereign grace that they're over you. So treat them the way you would, your heavenly father. It means if you're in a position where you have authority over some people honor them in the way that Jesus Christ would live his life in and through you for them. It means in whatever circumstance that you're in, you're living for the Lord, Jesus Christ. And he's doing the work in and through you. And as you live your life, there's going to be oftentimes where this ebb and flows. And sometimes you have authority over others and sometimes others have authority over you. And either way, we're called to let the spirit of Christ live in and through us. And then finally he gives instructions for this, not only instructions for all Christian families and all Christian servants, he gives the most important instruction and it's for all Christian motivation. Why do we want to do any of this stuff? Because if you're listening to this message today, if you're allowing the spirit of God to talk to you today, you're feeling conviction. Just by show of hands here today, I mean, how many, just on something, maybe the Lord just prompted you about something today. I mean, if you're hearing this, this is conviction from the Lord. And so why bother? I'm going to heaven anyway, who cares? I mean, to change is hard. Why don't want to do this? He gives us the motivation. Notice what he says in verse 23. He says, whatever you do, do your work hardily as for the Lord, rather than for men. Why do you want to do this? Because you're not working for the Lord. You're not fixing your marriage because you want it to be better. You're not fixing your parenting because you want it to be better. You're not changing your work attitude because you want... You're doing all these things because you yourself are pleasing the Lord. To work hardily means from a soul level. It means I'm giving my best effort in all these things, because this is what the Lord's asking me to focus on. And this is what I'm giving my intensity too. It's doing my best. It's for the Lord. Now, do I know if what I'm doing is for the Lord? I'm been pondering calling just a lot lately and in 1 Peter 5:10 meditating on this verse 10, he says "After you've suffered a little while, the God of all grace knows what he does. Who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself perfect confirm, strengthen and establish you." What has God called us to? If you're a believer, what has he called you to do? God has called you to his eternal glory in Christ. It means for every Christian, we should live in light of the moment, we're going to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to give an account for everything we've done, because God's called us there. I don't if you're going to get an inheritance. I don't know if I'm going to get an inheritance. Everybody in my family tends to live to be 100. It probably won't matter. We're part of the eternal inheritance in Christ. We are coheirs in all of his riches. It's who we are in light of that, everything I'm doing on this earth should be motivated by where it is that I'm going. I grew up thinking, just pick a job you love and then just do it. If I just picked a job, I love and do it, I would be a football coach. That's what I love. And every Sunday when I watch sports, I'm like, I know I could do this better. I'm good at this. I mean, I just know it, but in light of my calling to the eternal glory in Christ, I don't want to present to Jesus football teams that I coach. I want to present to Jesus, the glory of the gospel and what God did through preaching and discipling people that came into the kingdom of God and multiplied his kingdom around the world. That's what it's all about. So all of us have been called to his eternal glory, which means, well, I'm just a stay at home mom. You're not just in any thing. You've been called to his eternal glory in your position as a mom, to love who he's put in your charge for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And you'll be greatly rewarded for that. I mean, we're living our motivation for seeing Jesus and knows what he goes on to say, "Knowing that the Lord will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." There's rewards in heaven. Now I know some people say, well, I don't need to do a reward. I'm just glad that I'm saying praise God. I don't want to live for rewards. That's so selfish. Actually you do. And here's why, because the rewards that you get, it's going to give you opportunity to present those at the feet of Jesus. Say, here you go. Here's how you were able to use my former wretched life and what I can give back to you. You don't want to go to the eternal party and have nothing to bring. I mean, certainly all your sins are forgiven, but it's embarrassing to go to a party when everybody else is bringing a gift and you didn't bring anything. It means in light of eternity, when we're living, our motivation should be, "God, I want to bring you something." And if the only thing you put me on the earth to do is work on my marriage and work with my kids and work as a boss or work as an employee. I want to do that for you so I have something to bring to you someday that I know you work through me and you're proud and here you go, Jesus. And then he gives this sobering text at the end, because keep in mind, God will bring just compensation for all that we do. You don't need to worry about this life. God will bring it. And verse 25. I mean, he's been talking to Christians throughout this entire book, verse 25, doesn't change that we want to say, oh, this is for, non-believers let at the spirit of God, use this verse in your life to motivate you. Listen to this Christian, "For he who does wrong, will receive the consequences of the wrong, which he has done and that without partiality." Read it again, "For he who does wrong, will receive the consequences of the wrong, which he has done. And that without partiality." God's not going to show favoritism. Now I think we can be clear and I've been clear this whole service today, as we took communion, that the penalty of your sin is gone. It's washed away. Nobody's going to kick you out of heaven, but there are consequences for how we live. Please don't live your Christian life with the false notion that well I'm saved. I can do whatever I want. And I can just Walt into heaven someday and God's never going to say anything to me about it. You won't find that text anywhere in scripture. What you'll find in scripture is if you are a Christian, allow the spirit of God to convict your heart about the areas where you're not living for him. Because if you'll do that, there'll be times in your life that you'll say this, "I better make this right. I need to change this. I need to get this thing, because somebody I'm going to be in front of Jesus. And I don't want to have..." That's the part of what the package is. That's the spirit of Christ living in you. Not because you would be damned for all eternity because once you're Jesus', no one can take you out of his hands, but how bad would it be to know that God's calling you and leading you to do something that you just neglected and said, "Forget you, I'll live my own way." There's consequences for that. And so what he's telling us to do here, whether it comes to husbands, or wives, or children, or parents, or servants, or overseers, whatever in life is, here's what we're responsible for in the season that we're responsible for, because why? Because it's the Lord Jesus Christ that we're serving. It's the Lord Jesus Christ. And if it's not for the Lord, what differences it make anyway. It's all for Jesus. It's all for him. And God put this in his word because he knows for us, those are some of the most challenging areas to live out our Christian faith. This is when we look at other people like how come their marriage is so good and how come their kids are always obedient. How come has nothing to do with anybody else? Again, the instructions are for the individuals. If you find yourself in that place in life to say, "Lord, I know you and I love you. And what are you shaping in me so that I can allow you to live your life through me in a way that brings you the most glory. That's what it's all about. It's Christ in you. The hope of glory being worked out in the most intimate relationships that you have. Amen. Amen. Would you stand with me as we pray? Lord Jesus, as we hear a message like this Lord, sometimes it's hard, but Lord, I pray there be just conviction of sin, not condemnation. I pray through convict of sin, there be a lift through repentance and freedom for all of us, because Lord, there's not one person here that's a perfect wife and not one person here is a perfect husband and there's not one perfect kid and there's not one perfect set of parents and there's not one perfect employee or employer, Lord, all these areas in our life or areas you're sanctifying. So Lord have your way with us. Lord, speak to us and Lord individually, as we hear you and collectively, as we hear you, Lord help us respond according to your great glory in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.