Random Rant: Liberalism, Parenting, and Political Correctness


I believe that many on the “right” have a misled animosity towards society when it comes to the issue of PC culture. The problem with PC culture is not that liberalism or mainstream media is trying to over-protect children.

The problem is that parents aren’t equipping their children with the courage and confidence needed to protect themselves from the realities of the world, so society feels like it has no choice but to soften everything around children in order to protect them.

Liberalism didn’t create “snowflakes”. Parents did. Liberals are just doing what they think is necessary to protect them, as crazy and illogical as their methods are.

It shouldn’t be a TV station’s responsibility to make everything as PC as possible to build kids confidence. It shouldn’t be a Little League’s responsibility to give kids participation trophies to build confidence. It shouldn’t be a school responsibility to have nonsensical award ceremonies to build confidence.

It’s the responsibility of parents, and the only reason liberals do these ridiculous things (as useless as they may be), is because clearly, the jobs not being done at home.

So, parents, do society a favor. Empower your children. Encourage your children. Tell them they’re awesome, beautiful, capable of anything, but also human and imperfect with room for growth and improvement, but with lots of time to figure that all out.

Give your kids the courage and confidence they need to tackle the world so that society doesn’t feel like they have to bend over backward to do it for you.

And if they still do; who cares! Your kids will be fine. If they stink at baseball, take the participation trophy away, and make them earn it next year. They’ll understand.


Sermon Transcript – “Missing Out”

Missing Out

Acts 10:9-16

Open Bibles. Tonight, I want to talk about missing out on God’s opportunities. Few things in life hurt more than missing out.

I’m sure we’ve all had bad memories throughout of lives of missing out on things like weddings, sporting events, and birthday parties.

One thing I’ve learned about missing out on opportunities is that is always hurts more when it’s our fault. When we miss out on things that are out of our control, it’s not as hard to let go of those things.

I remember three years ago; the teen went on a Missions Trip and I couldn’t go because I was needed to help with things here at church.

While I did wish that I was there, I wasn’t upset or hurt because I knew it was out of my control. I had to miss it. It wasn’t my choice not to go. If it was, then things might’ve been a different story.

I’d probably still regret it to this day because God presented me with an awesome opportunity to do ministry with the youth and have a great time with these guys, but I choose to miss it for some reason.

While some may disagree with what I’m about to say, I want to start tonight by stating that Christians can miss out. I know what you might be thinking. How can we miss out if God is sovereign?

I believe according to scripture, that while God is sovereign, our choices can cause us to miss out on opportunities. They won’t stop God’s plan, but they can keep us from the blessings on the way.

I remember during Sunday School, Bro. Tim illustrated the Christian life as a bike race. The race had one beginning and one ending, but there wasn’t always one designated path the cyclists had to run.

You could choose to stray from the path and it wouldn’t disqualify you from the race, but it would hurt you. The thing was, usually, the tracks are designed to be the fasted way to get to the finish line.

It’s not always the easiest, but it is the best. Not only because the path was more direct, but the path was also filled with these pit stops that we reserved only for the racers who were staying on the path.

The pit stops were where the cyclists could get food and water to sustain them through the race, and in a 200-mile race, they’re needed!

What does this have to do with missed opportunities? See, while God’s sovereignty ensures we will get to the end the race, it does not guarantee we will always run well or catch all the rewards on the way.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on any of the special opportunities that God has placed in my path just for me.

Tonight, I want to look into a rarely preached on passage from the book of Acts to see an example of Peter’s missed opportunity, and how God’s sovereignty was able to provide Peter a second chance.

READ. Tonight, with the rest of the time we have together, I want to preach a message I’ve simply entitled, “Missing Out”. PRAY.

While it might not be preached on often, I genuinely believe that Acts 10 is a major turning point for all of us as gentile believers.

Unless you’re Jewish by nationality, then we all owe a lot of thanks to God for inspiring Luke to write Acts Chapter 10.

The reason why is that Acts 10 is the first moment when we finally see in clear writing that God is not a respecter of persons, and that the gospel is equally meant for all people, nations, colors, and creeds.

Until Acts 10, a casual reader of the scripture might be under the impression that God had meant salvation to only be for the Jew, which God obviously had the right to do, but thankfully, He didn’t!

Three gentiles came knocking at Peter’s door, and thankfully, Peter didn’t miss out on the opportunity to preach the gospel to them!

However, when I look at scripture, I like to not only see the main events that everyone remembers, but I also like to see the preparation that God puts them through before they get to the main event.

I don’t just look at David killing the giant. I look at how he first killed the lion and the bear. I don’t just look at Gideon’s 300 soldiers. I look at the trumpets that were blown to call the first 10,000 soldiers.

The main event of this chapter was that Peter preached to the gentiles, but the preparation was that God saw him miss out on the opportunity to kill and eat the beasts that God prepared for Him.

God tested his obedience through a vision, and in his vision, Peter failed the test and missed out on God’s opportunity to obey and eat.

For the rest of the time we have together tonight, I want to see four lessons we can learn from Peter’s missed opportunity. First, we see:

  1. A Presence of Desire

The first lesson I want us to see was that Peter’s reason for missing out on God’s opportunity wasn’t for a lack of desiring the rewards.

Acts 10:9-10 (KJV) 9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

Peter didn’t miss out on God’s opportunity to eat because he wasn’t hungry. Peter was starving! Peter missed out because he didn’t obey.

I need us to understand tonight that desire alone doesn’t yield results. Desire is great, but it needs to be paired with obedience and action.

No matter how bad you want it, no matter how bad you want to see a revival in our church and in our city, just wanting it isn’t enough.

We saw we want it, and I don’t doubt that you do, but why aren’t we out on the streets and parks handing out gospel tracts?

We say we want it! We say we want revival! We say we want to say lives changed! We say we want to see pews filled! I believe you want it, but the question we have to ask tonight, is what are we doing?

1 John 3:18 (KJV) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Desire alone did not kill the beast and feed Peter! He was hungry. We long to see souls saved, but if all we have is desire, we will miss out!

  1. A Personal Demand

Next, we see that not only did Peter have a desire, but we also see that God had given Peter a very personal and specific set of instructions:

Acts 10:13 (KJV) And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

God said rise! Get up! Stop sleeping! Then He said, “Peter!” He spoke to Peter specifically! He had a calling for Him! Then He said I need you to go and kill these beasts so you can eat and fill your hunger!

God had a direct, personal command for Peter, and Peter heard Him loud and clear, yet he still missed the opportunity to obey and be fed.

Church, can I say tonight that God has a personal demand, a specific command for you and me tonight, but some of us won’t ever hear it.

The reason why some of us don’t hear it is because some of us are too afraid to listen. We prefer that God would only speak to us in generalities. We prefer that God keeps it simple, broad, and general.

“Be ye holy” “Go ye into all the world” “Love thy neighbor”. We like broad commands because we can sit in our pew and hope someone else does it, but we’re afraid that God has a calling that’s just for you!

God’s saying “Rise!” He’s calling out your name and saying, “Go tell your co-worker about me!” “Tell your parents about me!” “Be a missionary!” “Go to a Bible school!” “Go into full-time ministry!”

It’s easy to accept the general commands, but when they become specific, we become afraid of our responsibility, and we miss out!

We’re missing out on God’s calling in our lives because we’re not even looking for it! We’re afraid. We’re so consumed with writing our own planned destiny that we can’t hear God’s personal demand.

We need to stop letting the devil convince us that we’re not destined for anything bigger, that God doesn’t have a bigger plan for us, and that our destiny is to just be another warm body sitting on a pew.

We need to accept and embrace the fact that God has a plan for you! God has a unique calling just for you! God wants to move mountains through you! God wants to do great and might things through you!

1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I believe that God has a plan with your name on it, and if God has a plan with our name on it, I hope we don’t want to miss out on it!

Some of us need to pray tonight when we get home and ask God, “What is your plan for me? What are you trying to do through me?”

  1. A Prideful Decline

Despite the fact that Peter had a desire and God had a demand, Peter still chose to decline. Originally I wrote “disinclination”, but I know that some of us might not know what that means, so I simplified it

Despite everything that Peter had already been through with Christ, he still declined Him. Peter is one of my favorite characters because it’s comforting to know that someone so flawed can still be so used.

Acts 10:14 (KJV) But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

Not only did Peter decline, but Peter had the most prideful and legalistic reasoning for why he didn’t want to follow Christ’s demand.

“That food is dirty! We’re not supposed to eat dirty food! That’s for the gentiles” See, under the Jewish law, Jews weren’t supposed to eat certain unclean meats, especially if they came from rare animals.

What Peter forgot, was that when Christ came, He came to shed His blood and form a new covenant, not to abolish the law, but bring understanding to the spirit of the law above the letter of the law.

Let’s look at the passage and see how God replied to Peter when Peter tries telling God that the meat was unclean and uncommon.

Acts 10:15 (KJV) And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Peter should have known that God cannot contradict himself! He should’ve known that if God was telling him to eat the meat, it was okay! Peter didn’t decline out of holiness. He declined out of pride!

Peter allowed his prejudice and his legalism to cause him to miss out on the opportunity that Christ was giving him, and sadly, many Christians are doing the exact same thing and we don’t even know it.

“Share the gospel with them? Invite them into MY home! Take them to my church in MY car? But they’re dirty! They’re drug addicts! They’re homeless! They’re Muslim! They’re gay! They’re atheists!”

We are no different than Peter trying to convince God that the animals God wanted him to kill and eat were “too” unclean.

God is saying, maybe some of the gentiles might be unclean, they might be unholy, and they might be wicked, but there is no soul on this earth too unclean for the blood of Jesus Christ to make whole!

We need to stop trying to spiritualize our apathy! No matter how many verses can we can try to manipulate to fit our agenda, it will never excuse us from the fact that God has commanded us to go!

When the Spirit leads you to tell someone about Jesus, just do it. We can’t sit around wondering if it’s okay for us to do it. Did you know that this is exactly why God gives us eternal security in the first place?

In the book of Galatians, Paul address Christian liberty, the fact that we can’t lose our salvation because many Christians thought the purpose of liberty was to have a “license to sin”, but Paul said:

Galatians 5:13 (KJV) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

See, God gave us liberty so that we don’t have to be afraid if we’re accidentally committing “sin” while we try to love and serve others.

I’m not saying to not be holy, but I am saying that if our holiness is preventing us following God’s calling in our lives; we might not actually be as holy as we think. We’re confusing holiness with pride.

Peter’s pride and prejudice deceived him into thinking that he was exempt from following God’s word, and as a result, he missed out.

  1. A Persistent Denial

Acts 10:16 (KJV) This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Even after God had explained to Peter that the meat was clean, Peter still continued to deny Christ, and sure enough, the opportunity left.

Here’s the sad reality church. While God is sovereign, God can only give us so many chances to receive His blessings before He finally decides to take the opportunity away, and we simply miss out.

There might be someone in this room today who knows that God has called them to a certain path or ministry, but we keep holding off because we think the opportunity is always going to be there. It’s not.

The truth is we can never know how long that co-worker who we know needs to hear about Jesus might be around for until their gone.

We can’t wait until it’s too late. We can’t keep missing out. We need to stand up and say, “Today is the day that I will rise up and obey!”

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

We can’t keep saying no to God and be expecting that God will keep asking! Isn’t that what we tell people when we witness to them?

“Don’t wait to get saved! You never know when today might be your last day on earth?” Why does that principle only apply to salvation?

Why can’t we say, “Don’t wait to start soul winning!” “Do wait to go on the mission’s trip!” “Don’t wait to start serving!” “Don’t wait to get baptized!” “Don’t wait to tell your loved ones about Jesus!”

I’m not going to ask you to say amen because I know why we’re not saying amen, it’s because a lot of us are still sitting and waiting!

It feels good to say amen until the sin becomes our own. I’m not calling out the congregation! I’m including myself into everything I’m preaching. It’s hard to get excited when we know we’re all guilty.

We can’t keep persistently declining the will of God and expect the doors to stay open. We can’t continually reject the conviction of God, and expect God to keep bring us opportunities to be convicted.

Proverbs 29:1 (KJV) He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

The opportunities won’t always be around, so don’t miss out! We have to be sensitive to every impulse of the Holy Spirit! We have to be quick to obey, and slow to question. We have to follow Christ!

Now listen, because we’re almost done. While there are few things that hurt more than missed opportunities, here’s the good news:

Even after missing God’s given opportunities, because of His grace and His mercy, God still wants to provide us with new opportunities.

Peter might have failed God’s first test of obedience in his vision, but aren’t we thankful that because of Christ, failure is never final! Failure is just preparation for the main event. It’s just the pre-game warm up!

Perhaps a few of us in this room are sitting here thinking, “Pastor is really letting me have it! If he doesn’t stop reminding me about my missed opportunities, I’m about to start missing the offering plate!”

No! That’s not what this message is about. See, while Peter missed out on the opportunity to eat the animal meat, his conviction after his failure was preparation for the real opportunity God had in mind.

When Peter saw those gentiles knocking at his door, he thought about his failure with the animals, and we knew right away that he had to bring those gentiles in and preach the gospel to those sinners.

We might fail during the dress rehearsal, but thankfully, we still have a chance to get it right before the big show! We might drop the ball during the warm ups, but we can still get it right before the big game!

I don’t know what opportunities you might have missed out on in your life, but the fact that you’re here today and still breathing means that God still has some bigger ones in store that we can’t miss out on!

This message isn’t condemnation for the mistake of our past. This message is hope for the opportunities God has in our future!

I’m not here to preach defeat! I’m here to remind us that there’s still time for victory! Don’t miss out! Don’t let it pass you by! Don’t be like Peter and try to justify why we can’t follow! Rise up, and go!

It’s not enough to just want it! God has a plan for you, and we can’t be too prideful to follow! The opportunities won’t always be around forever! We have to rise up, and we have to obey! Let’s pray.

Contacting the Maker


A few weeks ago a piece fell off my guitar that I really needed in order to play, so I started doing some research to find what was the easiest and cheapest way to replace it.


First I looked online and found good prices, but then thought, “What if it’s the wrong size? I’ll spend 5 dollars on a piece that doesn’t fit, and can’t be returned”.


So then I started going to local guitar stores. Sure enough, every place I went to either didn’t have it, or said it would cost too much to order. However, every store I went to did make the same recommendation; “Why don’t you just contact that maker?”, which in this case, was Ovation.


I couldn’t explain it, but for some reason, my human instinct was to avoid calling Ovation. I still can’t tell you exactly why I didn’t want to do it. Maybe it was the embarrassment of contacting such a big, busy company? Maybe it was stubbornness? Maybe it was pride? Who knows! Probably all three.


For some reason, I just insisted that it would be better for me to find a replacement on my own with my own money, but after two straight days of searching, no one had a reasonable solution to my problem.


Finally, I caved in, swallowed my pride, and called Ovation. Surprisingly, they weren’t as busy as I thought. They sent me to a direct line, and I spoke directly to the head of customer service. He asked me what the problem was, what my name and address was, then told me he was going to send the piece over the mail the next day, free of charge. I was amazed how easy it was.


What’s the lesson here? Well, what problems are you going through in your life that you’re having a hard time trying to find the solutions to? How many places have you gone to searching for answers, but have just let you down?


Isn’t it funny how we as humans have such a hard time just contacting the maker. He has a direct line, and He’s definitely not too busy for you. Instead of insisting on finding your own solutions, just swallow your pride, and give it to Jesus. You’ll be amazed how much easier He can make things.


Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

_______ Lives Matter?

Black-white arm wrestling

In light of the stories on my Trending News tab, I thought I’d weigh in on my opinion on the whole “Black Lives Matter” vs “All Lives Matter” controversy. Feel free to disagree, but it’s just my take.

I’ll be honest. At first, I didn’t understand the heart of the statement “Black Lives Matter”. At first, to me, it seemed like an angry, hate filled, racist statement that uplifted one race over another.

After a lot of conversation and listening, I’ve realized, for many people, that’s not the heart of “Black Lives Matter” at all. The way I see it now, the statement is simply a reminder to people that in a world where racism still clearly exists, we can’t forget that black people’s lives still matter as much as everyone else.

This statement doesn’t imply that every police officer who has killed a black man was racist or in the wrong. It doesn’t imply that black people are superior. It’s simply a reminder to people who don’t value black lives, to remember they do truly matter.

However, is that the heart of many people who claim to be in this movement? Unfortunately, no. At this point, you can call me a racist if you want, but I’m just stating that in my opinion, many people have distorted the use of the term “Black Lives Matter”.

While it isn’t what “Black Lives Matter” stands for, people have used this phrase as a rally cry to spew hatred and anger towards non-black people for “assumed racism” without any form of research or evidence. People have used this phrase as an excuse to lash out their hatred through everything from rioting in streets, attacking police officers, resisting arrest, destroying businesses, to even burning American flags.

As a result, now we have people responding in haste with, “No! All Lives Matter!”, to which many people have taken a great offence…

Let’s put the pitchforks down for a second and think about this. I understand what “Black Lives Matter” really means today, and I’m all for it, however, I didn’t always understand it. Unfortunately, many people don’t, and be honest… can you blame them?

I know they say to not judge the heart of a movement based on the actions of a few, but can you really blame people for turning on the news and seeing a person stomp on an American Flag while yelling “Black Lives Matter”, and not want to respond with a hasty response like, “NO! ALL LIVES MATTER!”

So here’s my suggestion. Look past the slogans, and look into the hearts of the people. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

We will be amazed how many people on opposite sides of the “Black Lives Matter” vs “All Lives Matter” movements actually agree, if we could just be willing to look past the slogans, and have real intellectual conversations.

What’s the deal with Christians & Halloween?


Let me begin by saying, I don’t celebrate Halloween. I in no means think that makes me a good person, and have no judgement towards people who do. I have never thought less of someone who does celebrate it, and I hope I never will. I just don’t celebrate it because it’s a personal conviction.

Many Christians don’t celebrate Halloween. Not because the Bible tells us that people who do are evil, but because a lot of the principles of Halloween contradict a lot of the principles we choose to live by. I feel like it’s a day that many people see as a celebration of fear and death. I choose to spend my days celebrating peace, love, and life.

However, I will say, that while Halloween as a holiday is something I disagree with, I don’t think that this means Christians can’t have fun during this time of the year. As Christians, we don’t need to waste our breath protesting and hating Holidays. The Jehovah Witnesses have that taken care of. Just because the idea of Halloween is something we disagree with doesn’t mean we have to hide in our homes and crawl into seclusion until it’s all over.

I believe there are plenty of ways Christians can have fun during this time of the year without compromising personal spiritual convictions. First of all, candy. There’s nothing wrong with candy. I don’t trick or treat because I don’t like the origins of the idea, or the sense of anarchy that many young people have while they do it, but there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids have a little extra sugar during this time of the year.

Also, costumes. I know that the “Celtic pagans wore costumes to scare away the demons”, but I don’t think the Celtic pagans were dressed up as Iron Man and Elsa. I think it does more harm than good for a young Christian kid to be told that while all their friends are having fun wearing cool costumes, they can’t do the same because “God doesn’t like it”. I also don’t think their unchristian friends are going to think very highly of Christianity if when they ask their Christian friend why they don’t want to dress up, and they hear that it’s because “my mommy and daddy think what you’re doing is evil”. I might be wrong, and I’ll answer for myself in heaven, but I’m pretty sure God is okay with kids dressing up like superheros and princesses. We don’t have to do these things on the day of Halloween, but I don’t see a problem with having a special day of candy and costumes.

If you’re a Christian parent, I challenge you; form a strong spiritual conviction about Halloween, and teach your children why you believe what you believe. Don’t just tell them they can’t because “you said so” and “God hates it”. Be spiritual. Pray about it. Talk about it. If God puts it in your heart, then be confident enough to explain why you believe what you believe. Also, don’t be afraid to let this time of the year still be fun for your kids. Don’t let the world have a monopoly on the idea of fun. If atheist can still enjoy the Christmas season, why can’t we enjoy the fall season?

I remember hearing an interview with the famous magic group, “Pen and Teller”, where they were talking about how they promote atheism in their home. One of the magicians (I forgot which one) said, “I’ve never forced my children to be atheist. However, every year, while all their Christian kids are having fun with their presents during Christmas, I always promise to give my kid an even better gift if they choose to stay atheist.”

Christian kids are losing interest in church at an alarming rate, and a big reason why is because, “the other kids get better presents”. I’m not suggesting compromise. I would never suggest to compromise a Biblical principle to please man, but what I am suggesting, is to reconsider your idea of what’s really “evil”? If you pray about it, and still feel in your heart that candy and costumes are of the devil, then that’s okay. Just don’t let me catch you snacking on a Snickers bar or dressing up at a Comic Con. Otherwise, have a blast! Organize something for your church to have fun during the fall season. Harvest Festivals, Game Nights, Hallelujah Nights, all of these are great ideas to make sure that our kids knows, serving God is not only rewarding, but it can be fun too!

Sermon Transcript: The Model of His Majesty

The following is a transcript from a sermon I wrote and preached at First Baptist Church of Spring Valley last month. Like most transcripts, there might be a few grammatical mistakes scattered throughout, so please forgive me if you stumble upon any, and feel free to let me know if anything doesn’t make any sense. Thanks for reading!

Model Majesty

If you have your Bibles with you today, please go ahead and turn with me to the book of Ephesians, and were going to be reading from chapter. Ephesians, Chapter 5.

While you turn there, I know the theme of this month here at First Baptist Church of Spring Valley is the family. Now, as many of you know, I don’t have a lot of expertise in this area, since I don’t have a family of my own yet. No wife. No kids. I do have a 4 year old dog, but I don’t even know where he is half the time.

However, while many of us may not have experience in the area of raising a family, I’m thankful that despite of my inexperience, and lack of knowledge in the area of raising a family, God has provided us a perfect guide through the words of His scripture.

Ronald Reagan once told a story about a newspaper photographer in southern California. One day the editor called the photographer and gave him an assignment to get aerial pictures of a wildfire to show the scope of the damage.

The editor had arranged a plane, and all that the photographer had to do was go to the airport, and find it. So the photographer went to the airport and found a plane with its engines running sitting on the runway, and immediately jumped on board and they took off.

When they reached about five thousand feet above ground, he told the pilot to take him over the fire so he could start taking pictures. The pilot was quiet for a moment and asked, “Why would we fly over the fire?” The photographer answered, “That’s what we paid for you for! I’m the photographer that you’re supposed to fly over the fire so we can take pictures of it for the newspaper!”

The pilot replied “Wait! I thought I was the one paying you! Aren’t you supposed to be my flight instructor?” It’s always safer when we trust in something that’s proven. While I might not have much to say as man, I’m not here to preach Pastor Joemel’s take on family, but I’m here to preach instruction from the infallible word of God.

If you have your Bible open to the book of Ephesians Chapter 5, please turn with me as I read from verses 22-27. Ephesians 5:22-27.

The Word of God says:

Ephesians 5:22-27 (KJV) 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

From the very beginning, when God first instituted the family, God’s intention, was for the family to be a perfect illustration of His love for mankind. Today I want to preach about how our families ought to be a Model of His Majesty.

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do as a kid was assemble plastic models. Around Middle School, late elementary school, my dad would come home from work, and bring me these plastic models that he would let me assemble. Sometimes it was an airplane, maybe a sailboat, or an aircraft carrier.

I loved them! Not just because I thought they were fun to build. They were a hassle and I messed up a lot, which is why we never kept any of the models I built, but the reason I loved them so much was because I realized that those models were possibly the closest I was ever going to get to seeing any of those things up close.

I’ve seen some F-14s and A-1 bombers at airshows, from thousands of feet away, but never as up close and personal as I could when I built those models. Those models were almost identical representations of the real thing; every door, every gun.

Now, I don’t remember anything about them now, but I remember back then, I knew a lot about those planes and those carriers thanks to those models. When I was old enough to go to the Navy Base with my father and see the ship yard, I recognized everything!

Not because I’ve seen them before, but because of those models, I felt like I was around them my whole life. Now why am I talking about model airplanes and navy boats? Here’s why.

According to the Washington Post, since 2005, the amount of people in America who deny the existence of God has gone up over 500%. What’s more troubling is that this Gallup poll survey was done in 2012. Experts believe the number could have as much as doubled since them. Statistics show by the time our children in our nurseries are done with college, the majority of America will either be atheist, or Muslim. The effects aren’t hard to see.

No need for graphs and charts to see that crime is on a rise. Teen pregnancy is on a rise. Abortions are on the rise. America is becoming a Godless nation. Now the golden question is why?

Why is America falling so far from God? Why are we so addicted to sin? Why are we so consumed with violence? Why is that we are so quick to hate and accuse, and so slow to forgive? Has God left us? Has God given up on America? Has God disappeared?

I refuse to believe that. My Bible tells me He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. My God hasn’t forgotten about us. Our nation has forgotten about God. However, before we point fingers and blame atheist for destroying America, we must have sympathy, and realize that there’s a reason for why they believe the way they believe. Why they’ve given up on God. It’s simple!

We’ve lost our model. The same way that those small plastic snap together airplanes were my model to show me exactly how an F-14 looks like from every angle, the Bible tells us that the traditional family was designed to be God’s perfect model for mankind to see exactly how God works. It was meant to be our way of seeing God.

The Apostle Paul told the church of Ephesus in verse 23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

God designed fathers to be loving, strong, faithful, and compassionate leaders, to show children exactly how passionately and unconditionally Jesus loves you and me! He designed mothers to be kind, gentle, submissive, and caring helpmeets, who were meant to be loved and protected, and NEVER meant to be hurt, abandoned, or mistreated; a picture of how valuable we are to God.

Unfortunately, that model has been broken. The reason why America has forgotten about God is because we have no idea how God is supposed to look like. By God’s grace, we need to change this! We need to bring the family back! We need revival of the home! We need to change our future before it’s too late.

For the rest of the time we have together, I want to share three ways that we as the children of God need to mold our families to be a model of God’s majesty for our children, and for our society to see exactly who God really is. First of all, we see in our passage:

  1. A Total Submission (22-24)

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV) 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Now I know what all the men in the room are thinking. “Amen Pastor! You tell ‘em!”. Don’t worry ladies, this point will be short.

I’ll save the majority of the message for the men because last time I checked; there are more ladies here than there are men, amen?

Here’s the thing. The Bible is telling us here that when wives submit to their husbands, children learn two things. First they see:

a. An Explanation for Submission

When a wife submits to her husband and allows him to lead, children learn the importance of obedience to God in the face of confusion. Allow me to explain what I mean.

Oftentimes, as hard as it is to admit, women are usually smarter than men. Amen ladies? I know for a fact that my girlfriend is a lot smarter than me! Some may disagree, but a lot of times, it’s true!

While God created women with equal value and worth to men, when children see their fully capable, strong, and independent mothers submitting to their often imperfect father’s they realize, sometimes, even when dad doesn’t make sense, you have to listen.

This sounds a lot like how we need to follow God; Choosing submission and obedience despite our logic and reasoning. Thankfully, unlike in the home, our heavenly father is perfect!

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Oftentimes the reason why people have such a hard time obeying God is because we try to over reason with Him. We try to debate and argue with God over why He wants us to do every little thing He’s trying to tell us to do, and we always think we know better.

Ladies, I know this isn’t easy to hear, and trust me, this isn’t easy to say, but whether your husband is right or wrong, God’s Word tells us to try your hardest to learn how to submit to them, so that our children can see what it means to submit to God, even in the face of adversity and confusion. Secondly, not only do they learn the explanation for submission, but children also learn about:

b. The Extent of Submission

Not only do children learn why they need to obey God, but they also learn how sincerely they should be willing to serve God. When a wife is willing to do anything to serve and please her husband, children learn to be willing to do anything for God.

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

A lot of people are familiar with this verse, but the problem is that most people don’t understand it. When the scripture says to “wait” upon the Lord, He’s not saying to stand around with your arms crossed waiting. He means we ought to wait upon God the same way a good waiter or waitress at a nice restaurant waits upon us.

A waiter doesn’t wait for you to serve them. A good waiter is supposed to wait for every possible opportunity to serve you in any way that he or she can, and it’s a mother’s responsibility to teach children how to serve God, by serving their husbands.

Now I know in today’s liberal society, everything I’m saying sounds a little outdated and old fashioned, and maybe I’m an old fashioned guy, but I believe God’s truth never changes.

A wife ought to be willing to serve her husband in an old fashioned way, and enjoy it. A wife should enjoy cooking her husband dinner when he gets home from work. A wife should enjoy cleaning up after his mess. A wife should enjoy serving her husband..

Now I know a lot of younger girls hear this and think, “Well, what if the guy I want to marry someday doesn’t deserve those things? What if he’s going to take advantage of me? What if the guy I marry is abusive or rude?” I have a secret for you ladies…

If you think the boy you want to marry has the potential to not deserve any of these things… then don’t marry him! You don’t have to marry the first good looking guy that thinks you’re beautiful. Marry the kind of man you can see yourself enjoying to serve and obey for the rest of your life, and you don’t settle for anything less! God’s daughters deserve that, amen?

The reason why it’s so important for young ladies to wait and find the perfect husband is because you are going to be your children’s best model for what it means to have total submission. Your children’s ability to submit to God depends on mothers.

Ladies, strive to be the example your children need you to be. Not only does our passage show us that mothers teach children total submission, but now for the men. Secondly, we see that the family can model God’s majesty by simply:

  1. A Taking on of Sacrifice (25)

Ephesians 5:25 (KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Love your wives! Can I get an “amen” from the ladies? Sorry men, but it’s the Bible. The same way Jesus loves us, and was willing to give Himself, and lay down His very life for us, we need to be willing to do anything, and sacrifice anything for our wives.

Husbands love your wives! Can I get an “amen” from the ladies? Sorry men, but it’s the Bible. The same way Jesus loves us, and was willing to give Himself, and lay down His very life for us, we need to be willing to do anything, and sacrifice anything for our wives.

Whether it’s a sacrifice of time, money, or just emotions, everything we have and everything we are belongs to them.

There are so many ways Christ shows us that we can sacrifice, but today I want to cover two of them. First of all, we see that one way we can take on sacrifice the same way Christ did is to:

  1. Sacrifice though Suffering

One of my favorite jokes that Pastor RJ says is the one about the three rings every husband must have. The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and of course, the suffering.

I don’t know how much the ladies of the church like that joke, but there is a sense of truth to it. No matter who you are, or how perfect or imperfect you think your marriage is, there will be suffering. It’s an inevitable part of marriage.

When you take two completely different people, from different homes, different upbringings, and different personalities, and stick them in a house together and tell them to stay together forever, it’s a guarantee that they won’t always get along.

It’s natural that over time, families have the tendency to slowly start to naturally unravel and fall apart, but the Bible tells us that it’s the responsibility to the man, the father to hold it together!

Colossians 3:19 (KJV) Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

1 Corinthians 13:7 (KJV) (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Men! Our willingness to suffer in order to keep a family together is what separates a boy from a man. Any boy can have a baby. I read an article recently about a 12 year old father.

Any boy can have a baby, but it takes a real man to be the father who keeps his family together. The Bible is telling us that we need to be the man our family deserves, and suffer for them.

Why is it so important for fathers to suffer for His family? Because when a child sees their father put up with suffering for his family, they realize how much Jesus is willing to put up with us.

Men, you have to make sacrifices. You have to put up with your wife and love her, even when she’s completely wrong, because when we love our wives through their imperfections, children understand that God loves us despite of ours.

Men, you have to sacrifice your time. Don’t be one of those dads that expect the television and the computer to raise your children while you hang around with your friends and go fishing. How will children realize that God wants to spend time with them if their own fathers don’t try to spend time with them?

Men, you better provide for your wives. If your wife is smarter than you, and makes more money than you, that’s fine, but by God’s grace, don’t let her work harder than you, amen?

Men, you better protect your wife! Don’t let your children feel like the police are the only people who are going to protect your family if someone tries to hurt them. The same way God is our protector, you need to be the protector of your home.

I might sound like a real red-neck right now, but a father ought to own a gun and know how to use it, amen? Forget what these liberals are saying. Gang bangers don’t care if you know karate.

Your children should look at you and see a hero; a man who’s willing to fight, and die, and kill to protect his family. When I was a child, I remember my father showed me a bullet from his rifle.

He showed me how sharp it was. How powerful it looked. Then he took that bullet and pointed to himself, and he said “Son, do you realize how many of these I would be willing to take to protect you and your mother, and this country?” By the way, fathers, teach your children to love America. Teach them to be patriots. Don’t raise a bunch of country hating liberals. There’s enough of them!

But he said, “Do you know how many bullets I’d take for you?” I didn’t know what to say. He told me “as many as it takes to make sure you’re safe, and I hope someday, you become the kind of man who would do the same thing to protect your family”

I’m not saying I’m tough. Honestly, I’m a coward. I’m afraid of heights, rollercoasters, and horror movies. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to shoot anyone. I don’t want to die! However by God’s grace, I know for a fact that there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my God, my country, and my family. That’s what my father taught me.

Never once in my entire childhood did I ever feel afraid for my life; like there was a threat that could hurt me or my mom or my sister, because I knew my father would protect me, and God willingly, I’ll do the same thing for my wife and my children.

Not only did I never doubt my father would protect us, but because of him, I also never doubted that my God would protect me when my father wasn’t there. God’s Word tells us:

Psalms 121:7 (KJV) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

Psalms 28:7 (KJV) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Men, are we willing to suffer for our family? God did. Are we willing to fight for them? God did. Are we willing to provide for them?  God did. Are we willing to die for them? Our God did.

How will our children understand how much God does for us, unless we’re willing to do the same for our families? Secondly, not only do we sacrifice though suffering, but also, we must:

b. Sacrifice through Stability

Just as important as it is for us men to be willing to suffer for our families, we also have to be there. No child should EVER have to grow up without a dad. No mom should ever have to teach their son how to hit a baseball, catch a fish, or shave their face.

When a father stays faithful to his family, his children realize how faithful our God is to us. When children see their father stand by their side; they find comfort, value, and purpose.

However, when a dead beat dad gets a girl pregnant, and walks away, then children will feel like God can do the same thing. They lose their comfort. They lose their value. They lose their purpose.

Children without fathers are likely to feel incomplete. Boys without fathers are more likely to become violent, end up in jail. Girls without fathers are more likely to sacrifice their purity and not respect their own bodies. Worst of all; children without fathers have a tendency of not believing in God all together.

When children grow up without a father, they have a hard time understanding and believing in God’s promises, like when He said:

Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV) Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

When a child is left and forsaken, it’s hard for them to believe that they have a heavenly Father who will never leave us or forsake us!

As many of you know, God has blessed me with the unique and challenging responsibility to be a youth pastor in an inner-city. A lot of people ask, “Pastor Joemel, what do you think is the root problem with our inner-city youth in America today?

Is it the public schools teaching evolution? Is it the LGBT community? Is it the rise of Islam?” I’d say no. It’s none of that.

The root problem in our country today is that children don’t understand who God is, because they don’t have a father to model who God is supposed to be in their lives.

Until you sat down with a young man, and tried to explain to him how much God cares for us, and how unconditional God’s love is for us, and hear them say, “No! That’s impossible! No one could ever love me that much! My own father didn’t love me that much!”, then you’ll never understand just how serious this really is!

I know there’s no point in beating the dead horse, but this is something that’s very serious to me. I know that most of the men who are here today and listening to me preach have been there for their children, but let me just say to the young people:

I hope you boys promise to God right now that by His grace, the only woman who’s ever going to tell you she is pregnant is going to be your wife who you’ve committed to be with forever.

Now for the men who are here with children, don’t you ever for one second think that they might be better off without you.

Maybe you’re not a perfect father; no one is. Maybe you’re not the most spiritual father. Maybe you’re not financially or emotionally stable, but children need to know that father’s never give up.

Third and lastly, not only do we as families model God’s majesty through our mothers teaching us how to submit, and our father’s teaching us how God sacrifices, but finally, we see:

  1. The Teaching of Sanctification (26-27)

The final responsibility of the family in modeling God’s majesty is in the area of us teaching our children holiness the same way our God teaches us how to be holy, and separated.

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV) 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The first thing we learn about sanctification for the family is the:

a. Method of Sanctification

Verse 26 makes it clear. We sanctify the family through the washing of water by the word of God. In order to teach holiness, we need God’s Word, and that starts in the home!

It starts with mothers and fathers taking their children, pulling them away from the TV, telling them to stay at home, making them sit down together at the family table, telling them their not allowed to go upstairs and eat by themselves, opening up God’s Word, and teaching your children straight from the Bible.

Men! Listen. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in theology to be the pastor of your own home. Just use the book God gave you, and let the scripture speak for itself. Stop expecting them to learn lessons from your wise words of wisdom. I know every dad thinks that they have it all figured out, and they just understand life.

We have to acknowledge that the responsibility to raise a God fearing child in a God hating world is way above our league, and stop trusting ourselves, and start trusting in God’s Word.

Psalms 119:105 (KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Sometimes we feel like our family is just too messed up. “Pastor, my family is too hard headed. We’re too cold hearted. I don’t think a few verses are going to be enough”. Remember the Bible says:

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Jeremiah 23:29 (KJV) Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

We may have some callused hardened hearts in our homes, but greater is He that is in thee, than he that is in the world, amen?

We just have to learn to depend on the scripture. Not only do we see that the family must learn the method of sanctification and holiness, which is through the scripture, but finally, we learn the:

b. Measure of Sanctification

The question every family asks themselves, is exactly how holy does God really want our families to try and be? How much is too much? When have we done enough? Well our passage shows us that God desires our goal to be perfection. Verse 27 say “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”

God doesn’t desire anything less than perfection from each and every one of us, so why should we settle for anything less than perfection for our families. Don’t give up on holiness!

1 Peter 1:15-16 (KJV) 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Leviticus 11:44 (KJV) For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So often we get caught up in the sin comparing our families to other people and around us, and we get content with how holy we are, and feel like there’s no room for improvement.

We say, “Well, my son isn’t in a gang, and my daughter isn’t pregnant, so I guess I’m doing okay!” and don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we’re all doing a great job, but don’t just settle for “okay”.

My father always told me that “A man never settles for anything less than their absolute best”. Growing up, I’ll be honest. I was mostly a straight A student. My sister on the other hand, she wasn’t. Sometimes there were times my sister would come home with a B+, and my dad would hug her, and praise her.

I would come home with a B+, and my dad would yell at me, and scold me, and get mad, and I didn’t understand it. I cried, “Dad! What’s wrong with this! Everyone else got a B+, why are you do mad that it’s not an A! Why is this not good enough?”

He told me, “I know that B’s aren’t bad, but why would I be happy with you coming home with a B, if I know that you’re capable of an A, but you just aren’t trying hard enough.”

Listen, God knows we’ll never be perfect Christians, but if God loves us as much as the Bible says He does, then why would we let us settle for being less than He know we can be? If we really love our families, then why do we settle for anything less than what we know they can be for the Lord? Why do we give up so easily?

Fathers! Mothers! Let me encourage you. Let me challenge you. Don’t stop fighting the good fight. Don’t stop striving for holiness. Don’t stop correcting your kids when they’re being rebellious.

Don’t stop making your children eat dinner with you every night and tell you what they learned in school. Don’t stop telling your children to go back upstairs and change their clothes because your boy looks like a thug or your girl looks too revealing. Maybe you might think this is crazy, but my father never let my sister leave the house with anything higher than her knees. No short shorts.

I know what you might think. “What?!”, “That’s ridiculous!”, “That’s so sexist!” You can call it whatever you want, but I’ll tell you exactly what it is. It’s a father than believes his daughter is a child of God, and is too valuable to be looked at like anything less.

“Well, isn’t she going to become bitter at him for being so repressive and controlling” You could ask her. She’s thankful, and so am I. I’m thankful my father got on me for getting B’s. I’m thankful my father made sure I was home every night.

Parents! Don’t back down just because your liberal friends at work are telling you that you’re being “too much” or “too strict”.

Your family is too important for you to just “relax” and “back off”, just because a few unbelievers tell you too. Parents, fathers, mothers, hold on to your family, and don’t settle for anything less for them, than God’s absolute best, because your family is the model of God’s majesty and perfection in this world.

You’re family needs to be the picture of God’s love, and God’s grace. In this dark and ever changing world that we live in, our families need to be a firm constant in the face of evil.

Whether you’ve been married and have had kids for 40 years, 20 years, 5 years, you just got married, or you’re not even dating yet; make a commitment to God to say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

Not my way, or some other families way, or Oprah’s way, or Dr. Phil’s way, or the rest of the world’s way, but God’s way, according to God’s Word, and God’s pattern, say that I’ll follow His design for my family, to be the perfect model for His majesty. Let’s pray.

Smarter than God?

I recently saw a video on YouTube entitled “My Reasons For Not Believing in God”. I watched with an open mind, and carefully examined to see if I could counter each point with a logical and reasonable rebuttal. This wasn’t too hard considering most of the arguments were pretty weak, however there was one that stuck in my mind. Not because I thought it challenged my view of God, instead it was because it reminded me about how great and amazing my God is!

His point went something along the lines of:

“If God is the smartest being in the universe, then why doesn’t He just make Himself publicly known directly to His people”.

I thought this was hilarious for multiple reasons. First of all, he gives the hypothetical assumption that God is the smartest being in the universe, then suggests what He should do. This statement therefore puts himself, as the smartest being in the universe. This is bold claim for anyone!

This would be like me saying, “If Phil Jackson was really the best NBA coach of all time, he should have played a zone defense with Michael Jordan at center”. Wouldn’t it be something interesting if my random statement was right? What am I doing in ministry! I should be coaching the Lakers or something?

However, I’m not the greatest NBA coach of all time. Phil Jackson is (or arguably Greg Popavich, but let’s not digress). So for our atheist friends, the first problem with this argument is that if there is an all-knowing omniscient God, then we can’t possibly challenge His work with our logic or reason without thinking we are smarter than God. I’m not belittling you or your belief system. I’m just stating that this argument simply doesn’t carry that much weight. If there is an intelligent designer, we have to accept that His ways are most likely higher than ours. Otherwise, why aren’t we out there creating planets out of nothingness?

Secondly, there’s a perfectly reasonable and dare I say, beautiful reason for why God chose not to just send an angel or write out the gospel in the clouds. It’s not because He’s incapable or “not smart enough to think of that”.

God chose to prove His greatness and perfection by using the imperfect and incapable means of human instrumentation. God chose to take the unable, and make them able. He chose the hard way, not because He’s crazy, but because as the creator of the universe, He deserved the greatest glory possible, and that could only be achieved by doing the seemingly impossible, and making it possible.

Some may say, “If God loves us so much, then why doesn’t He just reveal Himself in the most obvious way possible so that people won’t reject Him”. Well, we do know that God made Himself obvious to many people throughout scripture, who STILL choose to reject Him. Oh ya. I forgot. I can’t use the Bible to defend the Bible. Logical fallacy right?

How about the Holocaust? People still deny the existence of that, right? I’ll even make fun of my own. How about the existence of dinosaurs? There are tons of crazy Christians who still believe those never existed. It took a while for everyone to figure out the world wasn’t flat right? Let’s face it. If someone doesn’t want to surrender to something, nothing will change the mind of a stubborn person. God coming down and saying, “Hey guys! Look at me! I’m real!” might change the hearts of some, but we know that not everyone in the world will be as reasonable.

Also, what would the point of that even be? Would it even change that many people’s minds? Despite the fact that atheism is growing, don’t forget that it’s still the small minority of people. The majority of the world recognizes His existence without a public appearance. Why would God change the way He’s been doing things for thousands of years just to help convince such a small percentage of people in the world? Even if He came down, people are still going to hate Him just as people have hated the truth for centuries.

While many people have a misled interpretation of who He is and how He feels about us, that’s why He chose to use imperfect and sinful Christians to share the word, and change lives. God said in:

John 15:16 (KJV) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

If God just sent angels or wrote the gospel in the clouds, then what would be the purpose of His children who believe in Him? What kind of life would that be? As a Christian, helping the world understand who God is and how much He loves us is what drives me every morning, and is what drives most Christians to live their lives to their fullest potential.

God chooses to use imperfect Christians to share His truth, not because He doesn’t love the world, or want to see the world come to His saving knowledge, but because He recognizes that most people acknowledge His existence just by looking outside and seeing the logic of intelligent design, and because He wanted to give a greater purpose to His children than to simply live life for themselves and their personal gain.

Paul said about the ministry in Acts 20:19–21:

“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God uses us to share the gospel in order to give us a life of greater purpose, and not just temporary pleasure. That’s the beauty of serving a God that knows much more than we ever will. God shows us that even the most incapable and uneducated people can make a legitimate difference in the lives of others. Now that’s what I call amazing!