Category Archives: Men’s Bible Study: A Band of Brothers

A Band of Brother Week 7

The Battle for Your Kids (Eph 6)

Statistics: Godly Fathers are an Endangered Species

  • More than half (59%) of all children born in the 1990’s will spend part or all of their childhood in a single-parent home.
  • 33% of all children born in 2000 were born to unmarried mothers.  This figure was just 4% in 1940.  This represents a 776% increase in just 60 years.
  • 57% of teens say that they are emotionally close to their mothers, while only 39% say that they are emotionally close to their fathers.
  • Half of all children who do not live with their fathers have never even stepped foot in their father’s home.
  • On the average, America’s fathers give their children three minutes of undivided attention each day.

Statistics: Fathers Make a Difference

  • Kids raised in single parent homes complete fewer years of schooling, are more likely to commit criminal acts, and are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than kids from traditional families.
  • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers.
  • 66% of all High School dropouts grew up without fathers.
  • Girls without fathers are 111% more likely to become pregnant as teenagers and 92% more likely to get a divorce.
  • 75% of all teen suicides are from broken families.          
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Jesus Christ as their savior; the probability of accepting Christ drops to 4% for those who are between the ages of 14 and 18; those older than 18 have a 6% probability of accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.

Introduction:

  • We have moved from Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best to My Two Dads and The Simpsons.
  • The problem is that happiness in Hollywood last about as long as the flavor of the gum at the center of a Tootsie role Tootsie pop.
  • Many do not understand God as Father because they only know an absent or bad father.
  • Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • Duet 6:7-9 provides additional instruction for Fathers. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  1. Godly Fathers are Responsible

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Paul has changed his wording from “parents” in verse 1 to “father and mother” in verse 2 and then here he moves to addressing the “father” who is ultimately responsible.
  • We must teach our children what God has done lest they forsake Him.
  • Teaching about God must be part of who we are and a conscious effort daily.

Application to your life:

  • What have or can you use in everyday life to teach your children about God?
  • Do your house decorations, artwork, clothing, or other visible items keep God before your family?
  • If you don’t have kids or are passed that stage, could you be a father figure for someone who does not have that role model?

2. Godly Fathers are Reasonable

Thoughts from the Text:

  • We can provoke our children by being absent. Perhaps David’s neglect of Absalom by not seeing him for two years let to his rebellion (2 Sam 14:28).
  • We can provoke our children by inconsistency or legalism when enforcing the rules.
  • We can provoke our children by not keeping our word or by lying to them.
  • We can provoke our children by being angry or by being discouraging.
  • We can provoke our children by refusing to let them go.
  • We can provoke our children through favoritism. Remember Jacob and Esau; and also Joseph.

Application to your life:

  • Do you make a conscious effort to spend quality time with your kids? Have you planned some memorable trips instead of just giving gifts?
  • Do you show favoritism or discourage your kids rather than encouraging them to do great things for God?
  • As this relationship changes over time, have you changed to allow your children to flourish on their own?

3. Godly Fathers are Reliable

Thoughts from the Text:

  • We are to rear our children in discipline, and it is the Father’s job to discipline.
  • Discipline teaches a child that actions have consequences and that we will all one day stand judgment.
  • We are to rear our children with instruction.
  • Instruction teaches a child who God is and how to love and obey Him.

Application to your life:

  • Are you clear with your rules and consistent in enforcing discipline with your children?
  • Do you discipline out of anger or with the bigger picture in mind?
  • Do you take every opportunity to teach your kids about God? What are some natural occurrences that you can use to have spiritual conversations?

 

Dear God, my little boy of three

Has said his nightly prayer to Thee.

Before his eyes were closed in sleep

He asked that Thou his soul would keep.

And I still kneeling at his bed,

My hand upon his tousled head,

Do ask with deep humility

That thou, dear Lord, remember me.

Make me kind, Lord, a worthy dad,

That I may lead this little lad

In pathways ever fair and bright

That I may keep his steps aright.

Oh, God, his trust must never be

Destroyed or ever marred by me.

So, for the simple things I prayed,

With childish voice so unafraid.

I trembling ask

The same from thee

            Dear Lord, kind Lord,

Remember me.

 (“A Father’ s Prayer,” anonymous)

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A Band of Brothers Week 6

The Battle for Your Marriage (Eph 5:22-33)

Introduction:

  • This only works if we follow Eph 5:18 which commands us to be filled with the Spirit.
  • Feminist focus on verse 21 so we must address the issue. In general, Feminism says men abuse women, and they may be right. Their response, toughen up women. My response, fix the men.
  • In verse 21 Paul makes a transition and introduces his teaching about authority and submission among Christians. This verse supplies the verb for verse 22.
  • Verse 21 does not establish mutual submission in marriage because the principle would not work in parent/child or master/slave relationship. Also this Greek word has not been shown to mean mutual submission, but always means one submitting to another.
  • hupotasso A compound Greek words – hupo (“to be under”) and tasso (“to draw up in order, to arrange, to designate”).  Originally “a military term meaning ‘to arrange’ or ‘to rank under’ that expresses the relinquishing of one’s rights to another.”

1. Wives are to Submit to Their Husbands

(Eph 5:22-24)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Wives only submit to their own husbands. This does not mean all women submit to all men.
  • Christ initiated and the husband should initiate: in reconciliation, spiritual matters, and physical matters.
  • Love does not just feel things; love does things.
  • Men are not to demand submission, but it is your responsibility to lead and the wife’s to submit. If you love like Christ, this will not be a problem.
  • Wives are commanded to submit to even your bad decisions so be careful with your decisions.

Application to your life:

  • Do you initiate or do you react? In spiritual matters and in physical matters.
  • Have you made decisions that put your wife in a no win situation? This can relate to married or unmarried men. Debt, sexual history, etc.

2. Husbands are to Love their Wife as Christ Loved the Church

(Eph 5:25-33)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Husbands have the harder command to love their wife as Christ loved the church.
  • A husband’s love is not based on looks, body type, or even affection. Christ loved the church when the church hated Him. Our love should be a conscious unconditional decision.
  • Men should be the primary spiritual leader (see 1 Cor 14 for additional support).
  • Husbands are to love their wife as their own body.
  • Giving yourself up means that men have an obligation to protect the wife.
  • Nourishing and Cherishing (1 Thess 2:7) mean to provide for and take care of respectively.
  • Man shall leave his father and mother to become one with his wife.

Application to your life:

  • Are you learning so that you can be the spiritual leader of your home?
  • Are you protecting and providing for your wife both physically and spiritually?
  • Do you harm to yourself? Beat yourself up or yell at yourself? Do you harm to your wife?
  • Have you left your father and mother or do you run to them at every turn?

3. Godly Marriage Displays the Relationship Between Christ

and the Church and Presents the Gospel

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The analogy means that our goal is to present her holy and without blemish.
  • Marriage should display the Gospel.
  • God designed Marriage to help make you holy, not necessarily to make you happy.

Application to your life:

  • Are you leading in family devotions? Do you pray over major decisions? Do you seek God’s word to lead your family properly?
  • Have you asked your wife to do anything which could cause her to be unholy or with blemish?
  • From looking at your marriage would someone see the Gospel or does your marriage look just like the marriages of the world?
  • If your wife were disfigured or handicapped in an accident, would you stay with her and consider her a blessing and not a burden?

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A Band of Brothers: Week 5

The Battle Against Materialism

(Luke 16:19-31)

Introduction:

  • Luke 16:13 says, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
  • Luke 16:14 says, “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him.”
  • The discussion of the Pharisees and the love of money sets the scene for Jesus telling the story of Lazarus and the Rich man.

1. Earthly Possessions are Powerless (Luke 16:19-22)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The rich man had extravagant clothes, extravagant food, and an extravagant home.
  • Lazarus, was laid at the gate, was covered with sores, wanted on the crumbs, and wild dogs licked him.
  • Both men still died. Everyone will. Possessions, influence, or fame can’t stop death.

Application to your life:

  • Which one would you want to be? The rich man or Lazarus? Be honest. We all would prefer to be the rich man up until verse 23, but the question is are you a lover of money or a lover of God?
  • Are you prepared to die?

2. Eternal Destinies are Permanent: (Luke 16:23-26)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • He didn’t call out to Jesus, but to Father Abraham. Perhaps a message to the Pharisees.
  • The Rich man remembered and knew Lazarus. He knew him, but he never helped him.
  • Anguish or Torment is used repeatedly in the description of eternal punishment.
  • Eternal destinies are permanent. Once you leave this life, your destiny is set.

Application to your life:

  • What missed opportunities will we remember after life is over?
  • What type destiny are you preparing for? A destiny in torment or a destiny in heaven?
  • What are you using your wealth and influence to accomplish? Things that will pass away or are you laying up your treasures in heaven?

3. Additional Evidence if Pointless: (Luke 16:27-31)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The Rich man’s concern turns to his five brothers whom he doesn’t want to share his fate.
  • Perhaps the rich man is making excuses by saying if he has seen someone rise from the dead, he would have repented.
  • Jesus states in the story that even if someone goes to them (lovers of money) from the dead, they will not repent.
  • Jesus also indicates that Moses and the Prophets are sufficient for salvation. This means we do not need additional evidence.

Application to your life:

  • If you could spend five minutes in Hell, how would your life change?
  • Are you seeking harder after earthly possessions than you are after reaching lost souls for Christ?
  • Do you constantly seek more evidence or do you recognize the Bible as sufficient?

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Band of Brothers Week 4

Proverbs 7: The Battle with Lust

The Road to Hell is Paved with Desperate Housewives

Introduction:

  • To those who have committed sexual sins, my purpose is not to bring a sledgehammer of condemnation. Our Lord offers grace that is sufficient for any and all sins. What I want to do here is offer an ounce of prevention to keep you or others from bearing the scars of sinful folly.

1. Prevention: (Prov 7:1-5)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • In order to keep God’s words, you must know them. Read and study, but also obey.
  • The visual image is given to “treasure up” God’s commandments. We must memorize Scripture.
  • The apply of the eye 7:2 is the pupil or dark part of the eye where you see the reflection of what you are staring at; same word is used for the “dark of the night” in 7:9.
  • We should set up reminders of God’s law in our lives…not tefillin or phylacteries but reminders

Application to your life:

  • What do you “treasure up?” baseball cards; guns; money; time with family
  • What is the “apple of your eye?” Where the eyes go the body follows so what are you looking at?
  • The eye is one of the weak point so what are doing to protect it? Even a speck can be dangerous.
  • What are the reminders of God’s law that you have established in your life?

2. The illustration: (Prov 7:6-23)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • “Young men” (lit. “sons”) is one who “lacked sense” identical to Proverbs 6:32 “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.
  • The young man is at the wrong place (near her corner) at the wrong time (near twilight).
  • This woman’s dress indicates the craftiness of her heart. She goes all over town and lies in wait.
  • Like woman folly she is noisy (7:11; 9:13) Her feet never stay at home. They rush to evil (6:18).
  • Three enticements follow: the delicacy of meat (7:14); pleasure of love (7:16-17); and security (7:19-20). She also uses smooth words, and seductive dress. The trap has been fully set.
  • A man in the heat of passion never thinks of the consequences so resist from the beginning.

Application to your life:

  • Do you hang out in the wrong places or entertain temptation at the wrong time?
  • What is your weakness? Sight, food, pride, lust? What are doing to safeguard that weakness?
  • Her bedroom is no ballroom, but a battlefield where fallen bodies of soldiers rot in the stench of their own sin.
  • Illustration: Ever been on a duck hunt? Does this trap sound familiar? Don’t let sin deceive you like the decoys deceive the ducks.

3. The Warning: (Prov 7:24-27)

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The plural “sons” now comes in. Listen and be attentive. The wisdom of Solomon and the words of God our Father come to all of us.
  • Do not let your heart or your passions drive your actions by turning aside to sin.
  • This is the path to destruction. The promise of happiness is an empty promise.
  • Many men of valor in battle have been taken down by a wily woman.

Application to your life:

  • Do you notice sin arising in you? Do you immediately go to Scripture at that point?
  • Do advertisements appeal to you or do you recognize them for what they are?
  • Illustration: Barry Bonds homerun ball will always have an asterisks. Will your life have an asterisks?.

Principles to Remember

1.     Treasure the Word of God above all.

2.     Avoid being alone more than is healthy. When you struggle, do not be alone–find a brother.

3.     Avoid placing yourself in locations where temptation is stronger. Internet, bars, clubs,

4.     If you are married, never be alone with a person of the opposite sex other than your spouse—lunch, car ride, closed room, etc.

5.     Make sure someone, especially your spouse, has the passwords to your email, Facebook, and other online accounts. Remember God sees all.

6.     When courting, set your boundaries and do not cross them. If you can’t demonstrate will power to remain godly in courtship, then your spouse will rightly doubt that you have the will power to be faithful in marriage.

7.     Be careful who you carry on personal conversations with.

a.     Singles do not date a non-Christian. You may think you can change him or her, but you can’t change them…only God can.
b.     Do not date, court, or spend excessive amounts of time with a person that is not your spiritual equal.
c.     Do not carry on conversations with past girlfriends on Facebook or anywhere else that your spouse doesn’t know about it. In fact, I cut the Facebook chat off on my account. Have Facebook messages sent to your email that your wife has the password to.
d.     When you get married, you should not have close friends of the opposite sex. Break those relationships off. Your spouse should be your best friend.
e.     Don’t counsel someone of the opposite sex, talk about intimate matters or have a conversation with a person of the opposite sex about which your spouse does not know.

8.     Your dress says a lot about the condition of your heart. (for your daughters or granddaughters)

a.     Does your dress indicate you are bearing your brother’s burdens or being a stumbling block.
b.     If you pick clothing that draws attention to your body and away from your face, you are directing guys to the wrong enticement and one that fades with age so what will keep him around then?

9.     Remember one day you won’t be the youth in the street, but you will be the parent in the window.

a.     How you treat someone else’s daughter may be how yours is treated.
b.     Your kids will ask if this is how you did it. So act the way you want your son or daughter to act.

10.  Wear you wedding ring. This is the equivalent of binding God’s commands around your finger. If you can’t wear it at work, then put it in the car and put it on then.

11.  Protect the apple of your eye. When you see something tempting or inappropriate do you linger or do you quickly look away? Commercials, billboards, etc.

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Band of Brothers Week 3

Psalm 127: The Battle of Building or

Labor that Last

Introduction:

The key to unlock the unity of this Psalm can be found in a Hebrew word play. The Hebrew words for “build” (banah), “house” (bayith), and “sons” (banim), form a literary device of similar words that are woven throughout this Psalm. Beginning with two references in verse 1 “build” and “house” follows with “sons” which is translated as children in verses 3-4. This word is a thread woven throughout the fabric of this Psalm demonstrating that unless the Lord builds the house, and unless the Lord builds the family, then all labor is in vain.

FUTILE LABOR

Psalm 127: 1-2 1Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The word house here has enough ambiguity for us to apply this principle to the building in the family, in the church, or in society.
  • The writer presupposes that we will be busy working so laziness is not an option. The question is do we rely on God or our own power while building, protecting, or providing.
  • God should be our only hope for protection and not human might. We do not trust in horses or chariots, but in the strength of our Lord.
  • Solomon makes the connection to vanity. Perhaps this is his outline for the book of Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity,” says Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He continues, “The conclusion of the matter is ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.’” Ecc 12:13-14

Application to Your Life:

  • Do you seek the Lord first or rely on your own might when building your house, your church, or your business?
  • By the way you spend your money, what would an outsider assume you are putting your trust in? Insurance policy, retirement fund, government, possessions
  • Are you working too hard and eating the “bread of anxious toil”?
  • What is it that has kept you awake at night? Do you not trust God enough to turn it over to Him?
  • Understanding that all is vanity, what lifestyle changes should you make to put increased emphasis on God.

FAITHFUL LEGACY

Psalm 127:3-5: 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Children are a blessing from the Lord so our attitudes toward children should reflect that in every area of our lives.
  • We must recognize the responsibility for good or danger that comes with directing a child’s path and sculpting a child for life. A warrior can use an arrow for evil or good. The analogy corresponds to how we train and equip our children.
  • God’s design is that one day your children will take care of you…perhaps to the exact same degree you have taken care of them. Have you abandoned them through nursery, daycare, or the school system? If so, will you reap what you have sown by being abandoned to the retirement center, or nursing home?

Application to Your Life:

  • Does your attitude reflect that children are a blessing from the Lord or that they are burden on your life?
  • How are you developing your children into an arrow for God’s purposes? Are you spending time with them? Guiding them spiritually? Are you shepherding them or forcing them to fulfill your lost dreams? What about your grandchildren?
  • Will your children be your defender or your accuser?
  • Is it possible that by aborting our children, we have aborted our future? Will this lead to the demise of the economy, social security, and possibly euthanasia?

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