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Showing posts from February, 2013

Rock Eating, Building Leaping, Devil Worshiper (Sympathizing With the Temptations of Christ) Part 1

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A few weeks ago I preached a sermon on how the temptations of Jesus fit into the Story of God.  Below is an edited version of my manuscript.  It is so long I will have to post it in portions, but I hope you will follow along day by day.  The permeating thought is this.  The Bible says that Jesus is a High Priest who was tempted as we are and as such is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.  I don't know about you, but I find it hard to sympathize with Jesus' temptations (Matthew 4 and Luke 4).  Turn a bread into stone?  Fly off of a building?  Worship the devil to rule the world?  Honestly, this is not my problem.  I know the Bible says that Jesus sympathizes with my temptations, but I have a hard time sympathizing with His.  What good is His sympathy to me?  Yet when we examine the temptations of Jesus faithfully from the Biblical text we are able to sympathize with His temptations and in the end we realize how He sympathizes with our own.  A rock eating, building leaping,

The Great Commission as the Mission of a Man (Men, Avoiding the AWOL Life)

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I want to offer a  series of posts  over the next week or so about the dangers of men living an AWOL life and how they may recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in the Jesus' Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.  For sake of brevity I will need to chop them into smaller portions.  I hope you take the time to follow along.  ( this is part 4) In this command (Matt. 28:18-20) is a mission that will give a man purpose and keep him from living an AWOL life.  How does a man avoid going AWOL? He must surrender all.  (All authority) He must challenge his comfort zones and expand his sphere of influence. (All nations) He must commit to radical obedience.  (All I have commanded you) He must practice the constant presence of Christ.  (With you always) You may object in thinking that the whole thing sounds too “churchy”, as if the only way a man can live a fulfilling life is to become a preacher.  I am a preacher and I can testify to you; there are other ways!

Living Fulfilled (Men, Avoiding the AWOL Life)

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I want to offer a  series of posts  over the next week or so about the dangers of men living an AWOL life and how they may recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in the Jesus' Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.  For sake of brevity I will need to chop them into smaller portions.  I hope you take the time to follow along.  ( this is part 3 ) How did Paul go from AWOL to living a life with a clear sense of purpose and a measurable sense of accomplishment? Paul found his meaning in the same place that 12 other men found meaning.  Yes, the simple Sunday School answer here is “Jesus”, but allow me to take it a step further.  Paul and the apostles found meaning in Jesus’ command.  “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to th

Men Without Mission (Men, Avoiding the AWOL Life)

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I want to offer a series of posts over the next week or so about the dangers of men living an AWOL life and how they may recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in the Jesus' Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.  For sake of brevity I will need to chop them into smaller portions.  I hope you take the time to follow along.  (this is part 2) As I stated before, fewer and fewer men are attending church.  I would also argue, that for the men that do, fewer of them actually embrace what is going on in the church.  What’s the problem? Men are mission oriented.  A man without a mission is a man who will waste his life.  He has no directive, no purpose, no goal, and no measure of accomplishment.  But is it even possible for a man to assess himself as he is, in his current station in life, and to answer with confidence, “So far, have I done what I was born to do?”  What’s a man’s mission anyway? In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul writes to Timothy, “I have fought the good figh

Where Have All the Men Gone (Men, Avoiding the AWOL Life)

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I want to offer a series of posts over the next week or so about the dangers of men living an AWOL life and how they may recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in the Jesus' Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.  For sake of brevity I will need to chop them into smaller portions.  I hope you take the time to follow along. The term AWOL is a military acronym that means Absent Without Leave.  It describes a soldier who has failed to report for duty.  A soldier who is AWOL stands in blatant disobedience to his orders.  By his absence he stands in rebellion against authority. Whether out of intentionality or ignorance, more and more men are going AWOL in every venue of life.  One of the most common examples of men going AWOL expresses itself in the family.  Men are not only leaving marriage but they are failing to take responsibility as fathers.  Even if a man has not physically abandoned his family, many men spiritually and emotionally check out of their home. 

Home Improvement, Avoiding Separating Issues (Part 1)

Home Improvement Part 1 (Avoiding Separation) from Brian Branam on Vimeo . There are three main issues that can foster anger and resentment creating a sense of “separation” in marriage: money, kids, and in-laws. These things, when left out of control, can begin to drive a wedge in the marriage and make you feel suddenly alone. We are to subdue the earth, but if we are not working together these things will subdue you. The union is constantly threatened which can create a sense of separation. Separation takes place long before leaving and therefore we must prepare and protect our marriages in order to keep them strong.