Archive for May, 2012
Here is the little hypothetical he gives us. James says, “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes.” This word clothes in the original language is pronounced, “Versace.” Seriously though, back in biblical times, the rich wore very ostentatious and outlandish garments.
For example, most people would wear a ring on every finger but their middle fingers and they would wear these toga type garments with the jewels actually sewn into the fabric. So, when they walked into your church or your meeting place, everyone could go, “Wow, this guy, or this girl is loaded. They have got some serious jack, some scratch, some coin.”
So James says, “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes,” maybe he is prancing around in his Prada shoes, “and a poor man shabby clothes also comes in.” This phrase, shabby clothes, means “hand me downs.” You can kind of spot them.
Some would like to hang out with athletes versus non-athletes. We all have that little list, don’t we? We rarely click on it, but it’s there deep within the database of our mind and heart.
James says, that’s a joke. James says that attitude is a sin. James says that it will not work. It will not honor God and it will not help us to become mature and authentic as believers.
So I want to talk to you about what James says, because James is going to tan our hides. Get ready, hold on to your theater seats, because here we go.
James, chapter two, verse one, here is what he says, “My brothers.” Now whenever James starts out with terms of endearment, you better watch out. He is going to pop us. “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” Is anything fuzzy so far? Does anyone in here need for me to repeat this? I mean, that is it, isn’t it? It’s right there. “Don’t show favoritism.” Don’t discriminate. Don’t do it. Don’t go there.
We all, let’s just be quite honest with ourselves, we all carry around in our minds, I am talking about deep in our data base, a little list of people we like to hang out with and those we don’t like to hang out with. The desirables and the not-so-desirables. I am talking about the counts and the no-counts.
Some of us here would rather hang out and rub shoulders with the rich than the poor. Some of the white-collar people look down their noses at blue-collar people and amazingly some of the blue-collar people here look down their noses at white-collar people. I know some who have gone pretty far down the academic trail, and they don’t like to associate with those who are not on their intellectual or academic level. Some of us, if we are really candid, would rather hang out with thin people than those who are a little bit heavier.
Jesus places the person of the Holy Spirit inside your life and mine. And the Holy Spirit’s full time job is to help you and to help me become a producer of fruit. I am talking about farmer’s market type spiritual fruit.
The Apostle Paul highlighted this concept in Galatians 5. “But the fruit of the spirit….” We can’t manufacture it ourselves. “…is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Those happen to be the characteristics of Christ. Now these characteristics are not optional.
We can’t say, “OK, I will produce love by the Spirit. And I like this patience stuff and gentleness, but the others, self-control and kindness, oh no.” It is a Spirit thing and let me tell you something about the Spirit, I am talking about the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead or the Trinity. The Holy Spirit never calls attention to Himself.
Snow – forgiveness. Birds – God cares for us. I like fruit. In fact, I eat fruit nearly every day. You know I am pretty much a health nut. I love to go to this place called Jama Juice. Five times a week I go to Jama Juice and order a Protein Berry Pazazz. When we think about fruit, we should think about worship.
God has placed fruit in our lives to help us nutritionally but also, I believe, to point us to worship. John 15:16. “You did not choose me, Jesus said, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” Jesus made the first choice, didn’t He? The choice about living a sinless life and dying a sacrificial death and rising again. We have the second choice. We either receive that or we don’t.
And the moment we receive Christ, the moment we apply and appropriate the redemptive work of Jesus on Calvary, what happens?
One of the reasons so many people are whack regarding sex is because the church has been strangely silent talking about what God was not silent to talk about and create. And at Fellowship Church we’re going to change that.
Scripture says the only way a husband and wife should say no to one another is if they both agree to fast and pray. I’ll say that again. It got very quiet just then. Scripture says the only reason a man or woman should say no to one another regarding sex should be if they both agree to fast and pray. Now, sometimes you’re going to say no. But say no with an appointment. “No, tomorrow.” It’s the 24 hour rule. And read about a man’s sexual drive, ladies. I believe husbands need that intimacy at least every three days. Now I’m not trying to say how many times a week you actually do it, but I am saying and quoting various doctors and scholars and theologians about it. Because if that’s not happening at least every three or four days, then so often sexual stimuli becomes overpowering to the man. I’m not giving men an excuse to jump into porn or to lust or to whatever. But I am saying that if both of you are healthy, stop depriving one another.
I might buy this tape myself, this is good! We’re talking about every subject known to man, here, aren’t we? We might be here until 1 p.m. Go ahead and settle in, I’m just getting going!
Husbands, say yes to your wives. Wives, say yes to your husbands. Say yes. When I’m saying yes to Lisa’s needs and she’s saying yes to my needs, we’re hitting on all cylinders. That’s what it is.