Summary: 1st in a series. Uses the parable of the wise and foolish builders.


Part 1-Starting Right, Starting Again

Ephesians 4:17-24

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Mother’s day video-Tim Hawkins on mothers

This past week I went up to visit Oscar Norris. Oscar, who is blind, has been keeping really busy. He lives with his niece who loves to quilt and weave. Everything is made truly by hand. She makes her own dyes from nature. She takes wool from sheep and spins her own yarn. In years past Oscar has woven cane-bottom chairs and done weaving on traditional looms. He helps his niece now and I was curious about how he was doing.

The secret is, of course, that Oscar doesn’t need to see, he only needs to become familiar with the tools he uses and follow the routine and pattern to produce beautiful work. His niece sets everything up and Oscar simply throws the shuttle back and forth and works the pedals and a rug is made. It is time consuming but the finished product is worth it.

It’s funny how much families are like a piece of fabric. They are intricately woven together but it doesn’t take much to mar them. A stain here, a picked place there, a little unraveling and frayed around the edges and the beauty fades. People would say mom is the crucial thread that holds it all together…and they certainly work the hardest. But the truth is, God’s precepts and principles are what holds the family together.

The God-given institution of family has been under attack for nearly half a century in our country. It should be no surprise that the media reported just a few weeks ago that census figures showed for the first time 2-parent married households were less than 50% of households in America. Has the family been redefined? No, but it has been devalued. God defined the family with Adam and Eve. And Satan has been trying to weaken its influence ever since.

Matthew 7:24-27

Ephesians 4:17-24

House on Sand House on Rock

I can’t think straight (v.17) Embraces truth in Christ (v.21)

I don’t realize how far Action oriented (v. 22)**

I’ve drifted (v.18)*

*Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness. I’m a lonely soldier lost at sea. Drifting with the tide—never quite knowing why. Sometimes it makes no sense at all. (Styx, “Man in the Wilderness)

**In May of 1846 an evangelist, now mostly forgotten, named “James Caughey” (pronounced “coffee”) visited a chapel in Nottingham England and preached a sermon on the words recorded in St. Mark, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Caughey preached that the key to this verse was to learn to desire God’s desires, and that God’s foremost desire was that we develop the character of a servant, to help the poor, and to spread the gospel that souls might be saved. A gangly young man was present at this service. He’d been saved for two years but had been drifting. But that day in May, God spoke to this gangly young man through evangelist James Caughey. The Holy Spirit gave the young man a passion for desiring servanthood. The young man acted on God’s direction, and he devoted himself to starting an organization committed to the salvation of souls and service to the needy. A sermon on “desiring servanthood” inspired the young, gangly William Booth to fulfill his destiny and found the Salvation Army.

I’ve lost my defenses (v.19) I put my armor on (v.24 & 6:10-18)**

**The renewal of our natures is a work of great importance. It is not to be done in a day. We have not only a new house to build up, but an old one to pull down. — George Whitefield

I’m addicted to what’s I’m addicted to what

killing me! (v. 19) builds me up in God. (v. 24)**

*4 Steps of Negative Addiction

1. Enticement & Thrill

2. Remorse

3. Rationalization

4. Desensitization

**4 Steps of Positive Addiction

1. Brokenness

2. Confession & Repentance

3. Consecration

4. Action

Two images of what our homes could be:

Picture of tornado tearing apart a rickety old barn

Picture of lighthouse solidly built upon a rock at the edge of perilous waters.

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