Monday, June 11, 2012

Posts taken from Dr John MacArthur’ book on Extraordinary Women. This is part one on Eve.


Eve must have been a real beauty! The crown and pinnacle of God’s amazing creative work. The first female of Adam’s race was the last living thing called into existence, actually fashioned by the Creator’s own hand in a way that showed particular care and attention to detail. Eve was not made out of the dust like Adam...but carefully designed from living flesh and bone. ADAM WAS REFINED DIRT, EVE WAS A GLORIOUS REFINEMENT OF HUMANITY ITSELF! She was a gift to Adam, a necessary partner who made his existence complete. Additionally, her existence signaled the completion of all creation.

Eve was a marvel...created by God from the living tissue of another creature. God composed a vast universe from nothing, then he made Adam out of nothing but a handful of dirt. But nothing in the whole expanse of the universe was as spectacular as this woman, made from a handful of Adam! If the man represented the supreme species (a race of creatures made in the image of God), Eve was the living embodiment of humanity… glory…God had saved the best for last! Just imagine in her original state, undefiled by any evil, unblemished by any disease or defect, and unspoiled by ANY imperfection, Eve was indeed feminine excellence, magnificent in every aspect. She was the only woman to come unfallen into a curse-free world, she had no equal in grace, charm, virtue, ingenuity, intelligence, with absolute innocence. Physically she must have been full of strength and beauty, the living picture of sheer radiance. Scripture gives us no physical description of Eve. Her beauty is never mentioned or alluded to. The focus of the Biblical account is on Eve’s duty to her Creator and her role alongside her husband. This is significant, reminding us that the distinguishing traits of true feminine excellence are not superficial. Women who focus, on the point of obsession, on image, cosmetics, body shapes, and other external matters have a wrong view of femininity...Western culture, including the church, seem hopelessly confused about this. We need to go back to Scripture to see what God’s ideal for a woman is...the Biblical account of Eve is an excellent reminder of what a woman’s true priorities should be. Eve is obviously a major character in history’s record of the fall and redemption. But we only read her name 4x’s. We have very few details about her, no physical description or how many children she had. We don’t know how long she lived, where or how she died. Scripture tells her story in such a fashion, that we can dwell on the aspects of her life that are the most significant. Even though there are many things about Eve we’d like to know, we will look at what details we have, the account of her creation, her temptation and fall, her curse, and the hope she clung to.

A. HER CREATION…God performed a surgical procedure on Adam. He was anesthetized, not artificially of course, God simply caused him to fall asleep. Considering this was before the fall, in the state of slumber he would feel no pain. Think about the pure, passive restfulness of Adam’s sleep. A beautiful illustration of HOW the grace of God is ALWAYS received. Grace is never set in motion by any effort or activity on our part, but always flows freely from the sovereign will of God. NOTE...there is nothing to indicate that Adam ASKED God for a wife. God Himself initiated this whole event and single-handedly brought it to pass. It was an expression of sheer grace and benevolence to Adam. All Adam did was contribute a rib...but he was asleep while it was done. The work was wholly and completely God’s. Sound familiar??? God took a redundant bone that Adam would never miss and made for him the one thing he lacked...a soul-mate!! He lost a rib, but gained a loving companion, created for him by the Giver of every perfect gift. The Hebrew expression for how God “made (the rib) into a woman” denotes careful construction and design. Literally, it means God built a woman. He carefully assembled a whole new creature with just the right set of attributes to make her the ideal mate for Adam, suited to him in every way. She answered his need for companionship, she was a source of joy and gladness to him and she made possible the procreation of the race. Eve made Eden paradise for Adam. It seems the moment Adam saw her, he loved her...and felt a deep personal attachment to her and embraced her as his own. There are a few crucial truths about womanhood in general in the unique method of her creation. 1. Eve was fundamentally equal with Adam, they shared the same essential nature...she was not different in kind but exactly the same essence as Adam. She was in no way inferior and was his spiritual counterpart, his intellectual equal, his perfect mate and companion. 2. The way Eve was created reminds us of the essential unity that is the ideal in every marriage relationship. God’s plan for marriage was established at the very beginning. Jesus tells us marriage from the beginning of human history was based on the principles of monogamy, solidarity, inviolability. The one-flesh principle is perfectly illustrated in the method of Eve’s creation and where the principle finds its true origin. 3. The circumstances of her creation illustrate how deep and meaningful marriage is meant to be...not just a physical union but a union of heart and soul as well. She was designed to be Adam’s complement, his ideal soul-companion and the intimacy of relationship with her husband derives from her being literally taken from HIS SIDE! Puritan writer, Matthew Henry wrote these familiar words…”the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam, not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.” The symbolism reminds us again how Scripture exalts women. 4. Eve was spiritually and intellectually Adam’s peer, they were both of the same essence, therefore equals in their standing before God. They ranked above al other creatures. There was none the less a clear distinction in their earthly roles...BY GOD’S OWN DELIBERATE DESIGN! Eve was made to fill a void in Adam’s life, he was created first. Then Eve, to fill the void. He was the head, she was the helper. Adam was designed to be a father, provider, protector and leader. Eve was designed to be a mother, comforter, nurturer, and helper. God had ordained these different functions for man and woman. We do not possess equal physical strength, there are bodily hormonal differences and there is a mountain of empirical and clinical evidence to strongly suggest that men and women are also dissimilar in several other ways: socially, emotionally, and psychologically.  CONTINUED NEXT TIME!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

“…many are called, few are chosen…”

I’ve been a Believer for many, many years, lost count of how many times I have read through the Word but that particular verse always made me stop andwonder/think…what exactly does it mean. I thought perhaps it meant God calls many to serve, but not all respond. Another thought was that salvation was “free” to all, not all would respond.

In April this year as I was again reading through, I read a commentary by Dr John MacArthur that presented this as the answer to my years old query:

Matthew 22 is the scene. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is portrayed, vividly telling how the King invited many to the feast for His Son, all made excuse. Then He sent his couriers out to invite less prominent persons who also declined. Then the King told His servants to gather in common folks, street people, just ordinary folks…THEY came. Dr MacArthur puts the finishing touches on this wonderful parable of the Lord…the common folks did not have time or the means to dress for the wedding supper, so the King  and the Bridegroom, His dear Son, clothed them all!

However, one man appeared with the guests improperly attired in the provided garments and was put out! And the story ends with the guest being sent to Hell!!!! Applying this scenario to us, ALL are offered the Gospel, not many accept the offer of the Father’s provision, only the elect/chosen are clothed for the marriage supper in the righteousness of Christ as our wedding garment. The one not properly clothed, “crashed the party,” and was thrown out. He was not a recipient of the righteousness of Christ. The early verses of the story speaks of the past centuries of Jewish history…using the Pharisees and Sadducees as representative of all Jews and the burning of the city in vs 7 speaks of the victory of Titus in 70AD!


Friday, June 8, 2012


Do you have goals for your life? I was pretty amazed in my teaching time at Southern, that most inmates had no goals at all, and in fact had never given it any thought! In my material, Healing For Damaged Emotions there are two chapters on setting goals and how to go about it. It even speaks to why we all should have goals for life. I really cannot think of a time in my own life when I did not have some goals…they may not have been consciously thought of as goals but they were there, and I was working toward them. I had an old friend who use to say, “you can’t get lost if you don’t go anywhere…” It is kind of a silly statement but when reflected on, true. You won’t get lost, but you also won’t accomplish anything. Human beings need goals, we need to be reaching for something, and some of our time with the Lord should be spent on asking and listening for Him to show us where He wants us “go.” When we neglect that dedicated time, we risk not hearing His direction.  James tells us “if any among you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally.” It doesn’t get much better than that…direction from God Himself.

So why don’t we seek answers from Him? I think primarily because we really are afraid of the answers!!!!! What will He want from me? Where will He want me to go? What kind of ministry will He direct me to? And apprehension sets in and we close our minds and hearts to His voice. Some times we do not ask Him early enough, we end up in a bad relationship, or a lot of debt or some other situation we do not think we can get ourselves out of. True, in many cases we cannot get ourselves out of situations, but if we are sincere and willing to follow, God will show us a way forward. He never will deny a willing heart. In the Old Testament, He tells us “God’s eyes roam to and fro, searching for some that will follow His lead.”

We need to set some short term as well as long term goals. Short term could be getting your affairs in order, perhaps getting  little more training or education. It could be a matter of spending some time serving in your local church to gain some experience. And, it helps to have Christian friends and mentors that can give you godly advice. Long term goals could be purchasing a home, or getting married, or going to college for the first time. All of these things are important and needless to say, they go along with seeking God’s input for your future. Another thing to ponder…goals are not set in stone, so be willing to be flexible, and do not be fearful of change. Lots of people do not like change at all, but it is an ongoing thing in life. If you resist it too much, you may really stunt your growth, so give it some thought…and good Providence!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Perhaps the better question is WHOSE are you? After many years as a believer, studying the Word, counseling men in prison…I finally have come to understand that obedience to God is a matter of will, not tears and emotion or even the desire to be faithful to Him. It is a matter of turning the will over to Him and meaning it, realizing He will never require something of us He is not prepared to do through us. The primary hang-up as I see it is that we seriously want to do our own thing, most of us do not want even God to tell us what to do! Consequently, our faith and trust level stay about the same. God’s desire is that both of those qualities grow in us. Philippians 2:12-13 says this, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you to will and do for His good pleasure.” That says tons!!!! But, what always hung me up was the beginning, “work out your own salvation.” Understanding came slowly as I studied and applied…it had nothing to do with our involvement in our salvation but everything to do with making our belonging to Christ real in our lives…that takes time, but primarily willingness to be obedient to what He teaches us. Oswald Chambers says this: “You have to work out with concentration and care what God works in; not WORK your own salvation, but work it out, while you base  resolutely in unshaken faith on the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposed will to God’s will, but one completely in line with the Father’s will and your life becomes one as natural as breathing.” And, the greatest part of all, God is in me working out the meshing of my will and His. Those who have that “obstinate” streak in them end up wasting a lot of time. Sooner or later, if one is faithful to learning all that’s possible about the Lord we serve, the dawn will break and understanding will come. Then we/you will want to kick yourself in the pants for wasting time. But…remember, God is in no hurry, He wants totally committed soldiers and ambassadors. He will wait. He is a good God, wonderful Father, who loves us enough to wait for us…to catch up! So…WHOSE are you? The choice is yours, use that will to make a decision now!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

FIVE KINGS…from a devotional article

Israel was at the “door” to the Promised Land…interesting words God used, Promised Land, promised by Whom? Promised by God Himself, and we would do well to remember that these days. On the other side of the “door",” were five kings with their armies, determined to stop them. God led them to victory and the five kings ran and hid in a cave. Joshua told his men to go and bring the kings out and put their foot on each of their necks. God had a special word to His people that day, and it beautifully applies to us also. He told them, “Be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight,” Jos 10:25. What an outstanding promise…think about it! Are the forces of the enemy taking up residence in your mind today? Your mind is the control tower of your life you know, and every event in your life begins in your mind…are you fearful, doubting, overly cautious, afraid to step out, etc., etc., and are these factors keeping you from moving out into the life God has planned for you? Don’t feel like the lone ranger…we all go through this, usually much more than once. Well let me tell you, with God, victory is assured, but you have to take part in the solution…each of us most do what those Israelite soldiers did, go into that dark, smelly cave and bring each king out place your foot on his neck and put them to death. These five kings represent our five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, and God do not want us to live according to their dictates. We must remember our senses are susceptible to every kind of negative thing going on around us but our faith can lift us above it and bring victory. We cannot be passive because that gives them the right to rule, and they can only have as much power as we give them…so we must put your foot down and destroy them! Another interesting word God uses here is “dismayed…” it indicates being torn down by fear and falling apart. Our enemy delights in tearing us down, filling us with fear, destroying our joy and confidence, all the while trying to make us fall totally apart! Satan works through our five senses but God has given us another sixth sense: faith. Remember, the Bible tells us “we walk by faith not by sight,” and faith tells us in spite of what I am “feeling,” all will be well as God is with me! Our senses are faith-killers! Put them under you foot and don’t let them steal your dream and shatter your confidence. Emotions are problem driven, but faith is purpose driven. And God’s in the drivers seat!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I remember a time when I was a young Christian and having a difficult time with my circumstances. I do not remember what they were but I do remember I was not a happy camper. I knew enough Scripture to know a bit about trust and faith, and that I should be trusting the Lord in this matter, but I just could not get past being a gloomy gus. I was reading in one of my favorite sections of Scripture, John 13-17, and I came across this verse, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27. That statement from the Lord blew me away! He was hours away from the cross and all the suffering that would go with it and He was concerned about the peace of His followers. Later in John 17 He made it clear that He was not praying for only those closest to Him at the time, He was praying for us…those who would come after, in verse 20. As I thought about His situation then, and that He did indeed have peace, I was ashamed of myself since I was facing nothing like He was and I was acting like a wet dishcloth. Now I have talked about peace, when the topic is joy…can we have joy without peace? I would say yes and no…no because it is very human to lack peace and feel sad with no joy when your circumstances are lousy. BUT…look at the situation Jesus was in and He was talking to His disciples (and us) about peace, and joy..BOTH…and in the same teaching session, His last. And I say yes because He had it in the face of HIs own death. A verse from Nehemiah came to mind, “the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, 1:9. The Psalms are full of statements of joy from David the King, most of them when he was facing adversity. David always seemed to find strength to endure by being joyful about His God and His God’s love for him. I think we can do no less…take joy in God Himself! Someone once told me that the difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is controlled by our circumstances, joy is a gift from God! In thinking about that, we must be joyful and appreciative of God’s great love for us and all the wonderful promises in His Word. One fact can stand out in great difficulty: “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Character quality of self-control…

I always found it interesting that the very last “fruit of the Spirit” which is the character of Christ…was self-control. Possibly because it so difficult to understand and “do.” ????  I have given this item a lot of thought because it seems to be such a difficult quality to master. Webster’s defines it as restraint over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires. Not everyone has restraint…I have had a LOT of inmates describe to me how they believed they had no “restraint” or control over their actions and their incarceration showed they knew what they were talking about! Another word the dictionary used was will…will power, self-control, self-constraint…self-self-self! Well I’ve discovered after years of Biblical counseling with any and all types of persons, it’s not self-anything that controls us, it’s God! SPIRIT CONTROL!!!!! No more, no less! All through the New Testament God speaks to us of Spirit control, of yielding to Him, of “taking up your cross to follow Him…” which means to give up our right to ourselves and our own life, to Him. In doing that, we are also doing something very important, giving over our will. We can give up to Him by an act of our will, based on our very real desire to do so. Not an emotional decision but a thought-through, deliberate yielding of the will…and the life. I know from my own experience we tend to “forget. “ But let me reassure you, He will remind you. And also, let me tell you you will not ever be sorry.

My journey to total yieldedness started in the 70’s, had a disagreement with someone important to me and reached for the phone to call my pastor for advice, and I sensed a voice speaking to me internally, “and immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood…” and stopped, dead! I had no idea God could speak to you in an non-audible way but very strongly. Strong, yet as Scripture says, “in a still, small, voice.” I was overwhelmed at such a thing happening to me…God Himself had let me know and understand His desire for me at that particular moment. Needless to say, I sat down and quietly spent some time with Him to find out what He wanted me to know…and He did! It was an awesome experience, one I will never forget, (as you can tell) and I have had others since. But that one was special, and I’ve wondered what would have happened had I NOT listened and obeyed? Do not even want to think about that!

Before I close this blog, let me say to whomever is reading this, do not be afraid of yielding and asking the Lord to Spirit-control you. He knows everything about you, all of your wants, needs, desires and even your “dreams” for the future. And best of all, He can bring them about if it is within His plans for you. But no matter what, He will give you a happiness you never dreamed possible, a sense of contentment that surpasses anything you could desire. And thinking eternally, the best is yet to come!