Have you ever felt despondent? Have you ever felt like nothing really matters anyway, there actually is no hope. No one really cares what I do?
Have you ever felt unimportant, or insignificant? And when you feel this way I bet you think: “I need a change, any change, maybe a new hobby, or a new house, or a new career, or a new husband. Maybe I need a holiday”.
We think that somehow, changing something will revitalize and re-energize us to give us more purpose. Somehow, we think that everything we do now, is nothing but flogging a dead horse, and it’s surely time to move on from such a pointless existence.
If you are feeling like this, you are not alone. This is in fact, nothing more than an age-old trick the devil keeps up his sleeve to get us Christians to be ineffective. Sometimes it is exactly these changes that result in you missing what God wanted you to accomplish in the first place, right there in the situation you were in.
This un-immersion tactic of the devil’s is one he’s even played on the Corinthian Church!
Let’s see what Paul instructs the church to do in these situations in 1 Corinthians 7:17…
In a meeting this week, a fellow brother in Christ, both bravely and vulnerably, admitted to a group of us that his wife had decided to divorce him.
The atmosphere was instantly changed.
It is not uncommon these days for us to hear of, or be directly involved in a situation concerning divorce. In fact, as I looked around the room my gaze fell on a colleague, nearly in tears with compassion, having personally experienced this horror. It is especially devastating to us when this practice affects a Christian marriage.
Divorce ruins families. In an age driven by revolutionized technology providing an unnatural sense of instant gratification – divorce has now become a go-to fix for the most trivial of circumstances couples are faced with.
One study claims that 4 out of 10 marriages end in divorce before their 10th wedding anniversary. Among the many reasons, coming out at the top of the list was a lack of communication, financial pressure and infidelity. While the reasons for divorce shape-shift over time, the contrast between working at a marriage past the honeymoon phase, and throwing in the towel is an age-old practice.
Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 7:10 to see how Paul addressed this subject to the Church in Corinth…
Earlier this week, while preparing for this morning’s message, I quite by accident came across a social media post that still has me quite deeply disturbed.
This post was put up on a closed user group, created for a specific community with approximately 26 000 members, and it contained a short video clip of a Pastor who received a word of wisdom and then proceeded to pray for healing for a recipient. While the video itself was nothing out of the ordinary for us sitting here – the 286 comments attacking the validity of its content – had me completely mortified!
You see I realized this week – that people, in general, are incredibly mistrusting of other people. We are alive in a time where people have become so cynical and hard-hearted to the things of God – so much so, that those who do believe in miracles are perceived to be of a low IQ and are mocked for their faith. Much to their own detriment – they have no idea the tremendous price they pay to be able to operate out of what they think is self-preservation. This may not seem like something shocking but it really hit home for me – this specific social media group – was created for residents and ex-residents of a town that I spent nearly 5 years of my childhood in, while my family spent well over 20 years in. A place we call our hometown. A place where we once freely walked to Church on a Sunday morning, has now become a place where being a Christian, makes you foolish.
But, there is nothing that is really new in this world – and so thankfully, the Bible shows us exactly what this looks like, and what the implications are for the people who fall into this trap.
When it comes to sex it is quite strange that the church is so silent about it, because the Bible certainly is not. The fact that so many Christians avoid this matter is proof of the tremendous damage that has been done, it is proof that Christians are carrying a lot of shame when it comes to sexuality, and this needs to be undone.
I remember the day I had this conversation with my Dad, I asked him when I was about 5 or 6 the infamous “Where do babies come from” question. He said I had to wait a little while before we could speak about it. Then one afternoon, after school when I was 7, while at the lunch table I asked him again. After lunch, my dad sat me down and explained everything to me. I remember my dad being so uncomfortable, clearing his throat a few times as he was preparing to share the secret of the birds and the bees with his eager boy. Today I am so grateful for his approach. Not all children were as blessed as I was: some were given a book and were told read it and ask questions when they were done, while others still had absolutely no input from their parents, and it was left up to all the wrong people to describe, often through practical experience, what goes where.
So this morning we are going to see how Paul addresses the question about sex in the Corinthian church. Turn with me in your Bible to 1 Cor 7…
In South Africa this very morning, there are 17.3 million Christians, who have professed to believe in Jesus, but will not be found in Church.
2.9 million people of these 17.3 million are from the city of Johannesburg alone.
Why are so many Christians not found in a body of believers today? Why aren’t Christians, not in their place of worship?
Studies have shown, that the number one reason, more than 40% of Christians are not in Church, is because they have been hurt by others in the Church.
The very place where broken people are meant to find love, care, strength, and comfort – is the place they were instead bruised and wounded. And instead of confronting their offenders, in an attempt to resolve the issue – they chose to rather slowly drift away.
See people don’t know that they will be listened to. Some even believe that its just easier if they leave or walk away from the relationship, but this morning we are going to discover what the Bible has to say about this subject.
Baker’s Encyclopedia defines the word psychopath as someone who is unable to feel guilt or remorse. Someone, whose heart or conscience, has been seared. A person with the ability to do something wrong, and not feel guilty for it afterward. The worst part is that we think that it could never happen to us.
Did you know…
4 out of 10 Americans believe that it is morally acceptable to commit adultery. 1 out of 3 men and 1 out 4 women on the planet will commit adultery.
50% of marriages overall are affected by adultery.
When the same survey was conducted within the Church they found:
1 out of 10 Christians in the year 2000 claimed that it is morally acceptable to commit adultery. I would imagine the statistics would have escalated in the last 18 years.
In 45% of Christian marriages, 1 of the 2 spouses, have done something sexually inappropriate and 23 % have admitted to having extramarital.
These are just the people that are willing to confess.
Do you think its possible that their consciences have been seared?
Do you think its possible that our consciences have been seared?
Foundations Church is currently going through the letters that Paul wrote to The Church in Corinth. This week we have John D’achada minister to us on the subject of Spiritual Fathers. What it means to be one, and the importance of having one. Take a listen here…
Coincidentally, the greatest story-teller of all time is God himself. The Bible is very much a story, and a story format is particularly beautiful because it is so engaging and helps take you along on the journey as you read along.
This morning we’re going to tuck into one of the incredible stories of the Old Testament.
We’re going to discover, that very early on in God story, He begins to show us His method of sending help to His children when they cry out to Him.
I just love weddings! I am yet to meet a Christian who doesn’t too and the reason for this, is that weddings were first God’s idea. Before any other sacrament was instituted, God sovereignly decided that marriage is the way to go for two people in love. God is the one who decides how we engage in each and every relationship, and He is the one who decided that a man and a woman should come together in marriage.
In Gen 1 we see that men and women were both created in God’s image,
We all love animals, but in the mind of God there is a massive difference between animals and humans. Humans whether male or female, all reflect the image of God.
This was how we are separated from the rest of creation. The rest of creation is wonderful, but only humans have this unique privilege, to be copies of God on the earth…and just as God is three different equal persons, so in one marriage there is two different equal persons that form a union that can only be separated by death.
Let’s read in Genesis 2 how he institutes this glorious covenant of marriage…