Spiritual Responsibilities of Men and Women in Church (1 Timothy 2)

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

1 Tim current seriesWelcome back to our study of 1 Timothy. Today, we will be looking at chapter 2, where Paul gives instructions for public worship, emphasizing the importance of prayer and order in church meetings.

“Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Cor. 14:40) is a basic principle for the conduct of the ministry of the church. Apparently, young Timothy was having some problems applying this principle to the assemblies in Ephesus. The public worship services were losing their order and effectiveness because both the men and the women members of the church were disobeying God’s Word.

“The church is an organism,” a pastor told me, “so we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on organization. We should allow the Spirit to have freedom.”

“But if an organism is disorganized,” I quickly reminded him, “it will die. Yes, I agree we must permit the Spirit to…

View original 2,184 more words

A Quick Update

Originally posted on Joynpain2:

I know that it’s been a long time since I’ve written, so I figured a quick update was in order.

Let’s see…first of all, I FINALLY got my car back. The first time it went to the shop with a busted radiator and warped head (gasket? The top part of the motor, anyway). I got the car back and the very next day I was stranded on the side of the road again. This time, it was a broken crank shaft. When I got the car back earlier this month I was scared to death that it was going to break down again. I was even scared to go above 60 mph. The other day, however, I had a lot of running around to do, and was all over this city. Now I have a renewed faith that my car really is fixed. I still have to take it to…

View original 658 more words

How To Stand When Everything Else Is Falling

There is a famous quote that says, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” I agree with that statement. It is becoming increasingly
harder to stand for anything that is absolute; which brings us to the question, what does it mean to stand?
First you must establish the premise, where does absolute truth come from, is there such a thing as absolute truth? If you believe there is a God, and that he is the one who establishes truth, then you can surmise that truth begins with God.
When Jesus stood before Pilate and proclaimed that he (Jesus) was the truth, Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Pilate didn’t get it that the truth was staring him in the face.
The reason that establishing what is true is so important is because people throughout history have stood for things that were a lie. It is a terrible thing to be on the wrong side of a debate; especially when it is a matter of life and death: a matter of war or peace,immediate reward or your
eternal soul.
From the Bible, in the book of Daniel, there were three Hebrews who took a stand even when their lives were threatened. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego had a faith in God that was unwavering. I think they must have had an incredible love for God also. When the king gave them a chance to renounce their faith and save their lives, they refused.
The Hebrews said, Our God is able to deliver us, but if he doesn’t, we still won’t bow to your image. They were fully committed to God. and proclaimed ; we bow our knees to no one but God.
Ephesians 6:13 says,”Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, 14) Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth…
Truth is the premise for a Christian’s stand: if we stand for something that isn’t true, we will answer to God for it. And Jesus has called us to truth.
So in  reference to standing, the debates that are now raging throughout the world and the United States in particular ,such as abortion, same-sex marriage, abstaining from sexual relations until marriage will not be resolved by human wisdom or knowledge. If it is left to human beings to decide a moral issue, it will never be resolved. People by nature want to do what sounds or feels good; human flesh never wants to take the difficult path. But God has given us a guide that shows how to stand and keep our integrity in the process.
To be continued…

THE FACE OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

There is nothing more searing and damaging to one’s psyche than emotional abuse.
Where physical scars and pain are visible and treatable with pills or topical medicines, emotional abuse leaves one searching for a solution. In emotional abuse someone is always looking for something to apply to the soul to cure the pain.
I Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” People who suffer emotional trauma can look very well on the outside,from what is visible; yet inside they can be slowly deteriorating. Drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, ceaseless partying can be signs of a person suffering from emotional pain. As destructive as these behaviors can be, to someone in emotional pain, the behavior is reasonable.

My father died when I was  three years old. My mother was left with eight children to raise alone and while she parented me in the best way she knew, she was overwhelmed with the responsibility of daily survival and overcoming her own grief and emotional issues.I was never hugged or kissed affectionately as a child. I was barely talked to either. I remember having this yearning to want someone to pay attention to me, but everyone seemed too busy. While my physical needs of clothing, shelter, food and safety were met most of the time; the emotional void in my life was never filled.

Coupled with my family situation, I grew up in the segregated South of the 1960’s where the forces of racism and legal segregation of the races was the law. As a child of five, I was placed in the center of trying to remove these laws when my mother placed me in a school where only five other Black children attended. Some people might say that putting a five-year old child in the middle of something like this was child abuse in itself: well not really, segregation was damaging enough to a child and children suffered the most from unjust laws. My parents and other parents reasoning was, the children were not going to have a fair chance in life with segregation in place, so they (the children) were the best ones suited to defy the unjust laws. Besides, if adults attempted to do so in many instances they were maimed or killed. Not that many adults didn’t fight in their own way by peaceful protest, attempting to register to vote, and joining organizations in which if found out, they could be fired, beaten or killed. Children had to grow up early in the segregated South, no one stayed young for long, All this is another story in itself in which I will tell later.

I entered a marriage that even though it began with love, ended with severe emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. The more I reached out to love my then husband, the more he rejected and ignored me. Just as in childhood, as the marriage wore on, my husband never hugged me, never kissed me affectionately, and never really talked to me either. I think in 24 years he may have kissed me with any real meaning, maybe once: And that was at the beginning of the marriage. Even in marriage, having sex with someone who you have no emotional ties with feels like being raped: and toward the end,that is what intercourse with him felt like.

Time and space will not permit me to list all the things I suffered in various churches; which is another form of emotional abuse. Yet it is a story that will someday be told. It will be told for the countless number of people who can not name what they are going through and may not even know they are in the middle of it. For years I didn’t know that I was being abused. I took it as business as usual: I didn’t know anything else. But God is gracious, and Jesus himself has given me more love and acceptance than any human being ever could. This is why I love Him; my story continues.

 

Why Love Matters

I recall listening to a sermon preached by a pastor at my former church; most every word she spoke was true and she delivered it eloquently. I thought after she finished speaking , my spirit isn’t receiving this, I can’t accept this.
I couldn’t define it at the time, but I now realize I couldn’t receive her message because it wasn’t delivered in love. I Corinthians 13:1
states, If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love , I am only a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” To preach the Gospel without love is meaningless.
Only God can give us the heart to love, because God is love.
People have many reasons for doing things; including preaching the Gospel. Some people want to minister the Gospel because they love the “glamour” of having people listen to them speak. Perhaps they are in love with the sound of their own words and lifting themselves up above others. Others may be unable to minister in love because they were never shown love themselves.
But the main reason preachers can’t minister in love is because they lack compassion. Being compassionate enables us to put ourselves in the place of others and identify with their suffering. Hebrews 4: 15 says that “we do not have a high priest that is unable sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way-yet was without sin.”
Jesus felt everything as a human being because he was all human as well as all God. He identified with the human condition, and he wasn’t afraid to let his humanity show; even though he was divine. He grew hungry and tired, he became angry and yes, he suffered grief.
In Matthew 9:36 it states , “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus cared as only a loving God could care; which is why he died. He loved us unto death. I can really say that I have been loved to death ,by Jesus Christ.
Not too long ago I was lying in bed listening to the Bible app on my phone. I had suffered great emotional distress this day and I felt the need to hear God’s voice. As I listened to the scripture, I could feel the love leaping from the pages as the reader spoke.
The love wasn’t coming from the reader, but it was from the power of God’s spoken word.
As ministers of the New Covenant who preach the Gospel we must realize our ministering should be done in love. Human love is limited, so when ministering to others we need the love of God. In all that we do in the Kingdom of God: whether in church or out of church , unless done in love it doesn’t matter.

Part II, The Power In Trusting God

     God has given us his word that we can put our trust in him. While the world trusts in “the system of things”, we as Christians are told to put our trust in the Lord.

     I would rather trust in the creator of heaven and earth than put my trust in that which was created. The system of things is in direct opposition to what God’s word says. The system says to put yourself first in all situations, the word of God says to think more highly of others than yourself.  The system creates walls and divisions among human beings; such as segregation, aparthide, caste systems, and the like. When rulers trust in God, they know that out of one blood God created all men. In God’s system all men are truly formed equal in the eyes of their creator. 

     If God puts his word to something, you can trust his word more than you can trust what you see; that is how powerful his word is. After all, by his word alone he created the heavens and the earth. If God has spoken that something will come to pass, you can be sure that it will happen. The universe stands or falls on God’s word alone; for his word to fail, the universe would be at risk.

     When you are consumed with doubt or fear about your circumstance read from Romans 8:31 where it states, ” If God be for us, who can be against us.” There isn’t any enemy, physical or spiritual that can stand in the face of God. When you are faced with discouragement and need someone to take your burdens to, remember that Jesus says to “cast your care on him, for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7.  When you have been abandoned and betrayed by someone who was supposed to love and protect you, read from II Corinthians 1: 3-5 where it states,3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  There is no trusting in God without trusting in his word. It is God’s purpose to use our experiences and suffering to comfort others who are in similar circumstance.

Jesus give us all strength as Christians to be true to our purpose in this life and let our trust in you increase. Even though the longer we walk with you the trials become greater, let our trust and faith in you increase also.