Scripture says a lot about who you spend your time with. It matters. Very often you will hear me say that someone is either a ministry or minister. Those two categories divide up your associations into what is acceptable. People who are a ministry are those who welcome scriptural help, either as an unbeliever listening to the gospel or as a believer for his edification or spiritual growth – teaching, correction, reproof, instruction, encouragement, and comfort. As long as someone is listening to scripture, he is a ministry. You can spend time with that person. Then you have those who will help you, because they are living a righteous, obedient life, that is a great example and challenge to you. These are not people who will drag you down spiritually, but will lift you up spiritually. Your life is short. You are redeeming your time, trading for what is eternal. What is eternal is about God and the souls of men. What is about the souls of men is evangelizing and edifying others and being edified by others. If it is not that, then it is trading your life for something temporal. It is not pleasing to God. Spend your time with those who will listen to God’s Word and with people who will challenge you with God’s Word.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” As a Dad, I’m thinking about the seasons of life, because this is a season. My wife and I are very happy about the marriage of Julia and Derek, the whole process leading up to the wedding at noon on Thursday at the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park in Berkeley. What scripture teaches, they’ve done. It’s been wonderful. It’s better than the wrong thing. They’ve done everything that we’ve wanted them to do, and I have to report that I’ve been watching them. Everybody would know that I would be watching them, even if I’m trying to act like I’m not. Sometimes we call it, keeping your eye out. I appreciate the Wilhite family and Derek in particular for this. I’m thankful for Julia, because she’s wanted to do right. This has been a blessing to my wife and I. I haven’t seen anything that I’ve disapproved of. They’ve honored God in this. They have a few days to go, but it will be worth it. I’ve waited to say anything, but this is close enough that I think they’re going to make it a few more days. More than anyone, I want to thank the Lord, because it wouldn’t have been possible without Him.
[Julia and Derek were married on January 11, 2018. This was written before the wedding.]
I usually preach a goal sermon on this Sunday night, and I’m not going to do that this year, so I’ll write a brief message about it here. The word “goal” isn’t in the King James Version, but the concept is in many places, and normally I point to Philippians 3, because the concepts are there. The idea is within the content of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, when in Matthew 6:33, He proclaims the goal to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. How do we seek first the kingdom of righteousness? “First” communicates priorities. If someone is seeking the kingdom of God first, then He is putting the kingdom of God above other things, which means His goals revolve around the kingdom of God. In Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil.” We are trading in our time for something, redeeming it. The goal would be to trade in something temporal for something eternal, which gets a higher value out of life. In Philippians 3:14, Paul instructs to press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The mark is the goal. The high calling of God is when believers are called up to the platform, like at the end of the race, to receive their reward, which is in Christ Jesus. Our goals should revolve around Jesus Christ.
Deadbeat dad. You’ve heard the term. Would anyone want to be known as that, a deadbeat dad? I don’t think so. Dads are supposed to take care of things, a lot of things if they are doing what they are supposed to do. Can men still be known as deadbeat dads if you take away their authority? I say, take away, but if men have authority, then they are abdicating their own authority. What is a man, who is not a deadbeat dad? What is he doing? Is a breadwinner? Is he providing? Is he taking care of things? I mean, really, we can’t have it both ways, can we? If he is not deadbeat, then he is providing. That means a man is the provider, and if he is, he should have authority as well. He can rule in a home. I don’t want to be a deadbeat dad, but I also want to get the credit for not being one, which will include authority. I have authority in my home. Our home is going to do it my way. That does assume a biblical way, but I can get that accomplished. God requires a man to provide. He should. He should be expected to. Along with that, He gets authority. What I see today is that men are deadbeats if they don’t provide, but they also don’t get authority. Let it not be.