Author Archives: Anthony Baker

About Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor/preacher/teacher, musician, and Time Magazine's Person of The Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him!

When Less is More (becoming less white)

When it Bubbles it Foams

Who doesn’t love a good, cold Coca-Cola (or as we say down here in the South – where it was invented – Coke), especially on a hot day beside the pool, after some yard work, or a good workout at the gym? Wow, not that many hands, I see. Hmm.

OK, I get it, Coke is a fun addition to a meal, especially in a big foam cup from a Sonic Drive-In, but it’s not the most thirst-quenching beverage, nor the most healthy. Yet, it’s a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse. And when it comes to their brand image, I’m sure heads could roll if some petty little inconsequential white employee was allowed to make a fool of the execs in Atlanta.

So, when a story began to bubble up about employee training that included a slide presentation suggesting we all be “less white,” the media and the company began to foam, and for different reasons entirely.

You Want Me to be LESS White?

Now, when I Googled the story about the training in question, the first thing that popped up was a Snope’s article decrying the “opponents of critical race theory and diversity training” claiming they had “no real evidence.” Typical.

A screengrab from Snopes.com

However, the non-evidence produced by Karlyn Borysenko (or as Snopes describes her, “a prominent online opponent of critical race theory and many aspects of corporate diversity training“), that of a leaked photo of the slides, clearly confirms what she has reported. And what is that, exactly?

We should all try be be “less white.”

If Less, then More

I am going to skip ahead and pass over the opportunity to discuss the reasons why every person of less pigment should be grossly offended by the obvious inferences. Yes, I am going to choose to tone back the offended victim feelings and look at this from a different perspective.

I’m not that great in math, but let me propose an analogy. Let’s just say we have 100 dollars in hand (which would be nice, wouldn’t it?). How much money would you have in your hand if I reached out and took 99? You’d only have $1 in hand, correct?

Now, what if I had $100 in my hand and kindly, graciously, and typical of WAPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) gave your friend Scratchy $10 when he asked for money to get gas to see his dying grandmother? I would have “less” than $100, wouldn’t I? I would only have $90, but it would be far more than your pitiful, lonely dollar bill, correct?

Both of us would have less, but my “less” would be more than your “less” by far.

Considering the inferences are legit, and if I’m not any of the the negative stereotypes suggested in the leaked slides, then I need to have some of those qualities in order to have LESS of them.

Creating a Monster!

So, I need to be “less” than what I’m not. Therefore, I need to become a total monster of a jerk (I’m avoiding using other descriptors for the sake of propriety) in order to find room to lessen my “whiteness.”

First, I need to become oppressive. How do I do that? Slavery has been outlawed, so I don’t have anyone to beat with a whip (I need to get a whip). I don’t have enough money nor manpower to take over anyone else’s property, so I don’t know how I can force them to dig up the gold in their back yard. I’ll have to think about this one.

Second, I need to become supremely arrogant. OK, that I can do. I mean, I am smarter than those who don’t look like me. The only reason I’m not a wonderful, godly scientist like George Washington Carver; a legal brain like Justice Clarence Thomas; a political genius like Dr. Thomas Sowell; or a musician like B. B. King, is because I have all my servants do my work and study for me. I guess I could do more for myself.

Third, I need to become certain that everything I do and believe is right. I need to be absolutely certain that my way of worship is better than others’. I need to be really confident in all my decisions regarding finances, marriage, family, ministry, etc. That way all I will need to do in order to qualify as “less white” is doubt myself every once in a while.

Next, I need to become defensive and get offended at every time someone accuses me of something just because of the color (or lack thereof) of my skin. Then, who knows? Maybe I’ll write a humorous and slightly sarcastic article, yell at the dog for looking at me funny, or join up with some group who wears black, lifts their fists, and wants to be paid for their great great great great grandfather’s troubles. Then all I’ll have to do is tune it down a little and be loved by all!

The fiph ting I need tuh do is come more da ignorunt. Penceforth i’d b’n upin my noledge wid edumacation. Buh now I gotta go in da re … re … reversssss … reversal, yeah, that’s it! and become stoopid sow I kan be less stupider. Oh, wait, were they simply suggesting that I become more informed? Well, duh, wen u ignorant ju eggspect?

The last two things, well, that’s a different story. I don’t have to become more prideful to become more humble; I’m always too prideful, and that has nothing to do with whether I’m white or not. It’s always a struggle to be humble in all things. Unfortunately, God has a way of breaking down our pride.

And when it comes to listening, if I hadn’t been listening, I wouldn’t be writing this, today. If I had not been listening, I would not have become indignant with the insinuations that people of my color are horrible people by nature. If I had NOT been listening, I would have never noticed how a training like the one at Coca-Cola is as racist as anything from the KKK.

I tell you what, how about we all pass on the Coke, drink Perrier, and continue to treat people based on the “content of their heart, not the color of their skin”?

Nothing less.

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Filed under Culture Wars, current events, General Observations, politics, self-worth

Happy 25th, Katie!

There’s not much I can say that I haven’t said before about how much I love and how much I am proud of all my daughters.

Katie, Valerie, Alicia, and Haley

However, today is a particular milestone that I want to share.

25 years ago today was the first time I witnessed live birth. Oh, of course I’ve seen puppies being born, but seeing my daughter, Katie Marie Baker, come out of my wife, well, and I’m using a lot of commas, that was traumatic!

It was nothing like the movies. It was nothing like the Cosby show. It was nothing like anything I had ever experienced!

And it was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

Like Bill Gaither might say, “How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy she gives!” Nothing can truly prepare a man for the feeling of holding his first baby girl in his arms.

Happy, happy 25th birthday, Katie Bug!

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The Cancelling of Dr. Seuss

The Cancelling of Dr. Seuss
by Anthony Baker

I’ve got a cool hat,
I’ve got quite a few.
A red one, a gray one.
Even one that is blue.

I love my cool hat,
I wear it day and night.
Almost every time you see me
It’s never out of sight.

I’m a cool cat.
I’ve got a cool hat.
It’s not a ball bat.
It’s not a rat-tat-tat.

I’ve just got a hat
A pretty cool hat.
Oh, and gloves!
Forgot to mention that!

I’m a cool black cat.
Wait, what did I just say?
“I’m a cool black cat”?
Isn’t that a little ray ray?

I must think this through
Think through this I can.
I will rest my black face
On my white-gloved cat hand.

I have a cool hat.
I have white gloves.
I’m black and make rhymes
That everyone loves.

I’m black and I rhyme.
Black with a white face.
OOOOOOOHHHH, I get it!
It’s all about RACE!

I have a cool hat,
White gloves, and I rhyme,
But because of my color,
My books are a crime.

So, forget what I do,
Forget what I write.
Forget all the the children
My stories put to bed at night.

I happen to be a cat
Who’s black with a face
That happens to be white,
So there’s no safe space.

My hat, my face, my paws
Will be cancelled just because
The ones clearing the shelves
Are racists, themselves.


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Some Places Never Leave You, Even After You Leave Them

This a view from Edwards Point, the mountain bluff above where I grew up and the pinnacle of every hiking trip I made as a kid.

This is the Tennessee River Gorge. Just across the river is Elder Mountain, where my grandfather hid from revenuers.

To the right is Prentice Cooper Game Reserve. The Cumberland Trail weaves its way through there, down from the top of the mountain, down across the creek, then up to where this scene depicts.

I grew up in the community of Suck Creek. Just out of view, just below the rock bluff, the creek would feed the river. Up until a hundred or so years ago, during hard rain the creek and the river would create a powerful whirlpool capable of pulling small boats under and stopping paddle wheelers.

It was only after a system of dams were built along the Tennessee River (operated by TVA), that the river was tamed enough for safe navigation.

This is also where my Cherokee ancestors on my paternal grandmother’s side resided. They were the ones who actually attacked the early settlers of Nashville when their boats were stuck in the “suck.”

The mountains and the river will always be in my blood. The peaceful drift of the water. The fresh air of old-growth forests. The legends and unforgettable scary bedtime stories from the old-timers.

Unfortunately, much has changed over the last decade. Much of where I spent my childhood and teen years are unrecognizable. Time has exacted a heavy toll from both progress and neglect. And where there was family land that outsiders feared to visit, now there’s million-dollar homes where outsiders moved to “preserve” the beauty.

Yet, I still remember. I still dream. I still imagine. That will never change. Time will only make the memories sweeter and the stories even better.

I may have left, but it’s never left me.

View from Edward’s Point, Signal Mountain, TN

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Transcript of a Sunday Evening Sermon on Ephesians Chapter 2

If you think the title for this post was long, get ready for some seriously beyond-the-normal word count 🙂

Up until this Sunday evening, I had never preached a sermon or taught the Bible straight from a manuscript. This was the first time.

The only reason I did this was because a shut-in lady requested that I send her written transcripts so that she could take the time to read what I was preaching and be able to make notes and take her time through it. She said that she was really interested in Ephesians and wanted to do more than just listen on Facebook.

So, it took a little while to write it up, but the process, as I expected, was not only refreshing and fun (yes, fun), but it did cause me to hone my focus and build a better foundation for other doctrines yet to be discussed.

So, what I’m going to do for you guys is post the written text of the sermon. However, should you want to actually watch the video on Facebook, you can go to our church’s Facebook page and watch it there. It is @BethlehemBaptistWarthen. Or, I guess I could just go ahead and post the link. Why make it difficult, right?

Just don’t make fun of my singing, OK?

https://fb.watch/3Y-uiekOBi/

No, I can’t talk without using my hands.

Sunday Evening, Feb. 28, 2021
Bethlehem Baptist, Warthen, GA
Pastor Anthony Baker
Ephesians 2, Pt. 1

I have not preached a sermon from this passage, yet. However, since I will be preaching it this coming Sunday night, I might as well do my best to write it down for you. I pray that it is a blessing and an encouragement.

As we begin looking at chapter two of Ephesians, note that it can be divided up into three  or more, maybe even five different word pictures. In other words, the Apostle Paul uses words, he uses illustrations, he draws pictures in our minds with words to help us understand, a little better, at least, the deep mysteries of salvation and the work of the power of Christ in us.

The first section can be seen in verses 1-10. In these verses Paul paints the picture of dead bodies being raised to life, not of their own power, nor by anything good they could do, but by the grace of God.

The second section can be seen in verses 11 and 12, followed by a third in verses 13-18. The second section illustrates the division that Gentiles once had with the Jews and the covenants of God. He does this as he brings up the issue of circumcision. In the third section, Paul mixes metaphors as he illustrates the bringing in of Gentiles through the picture of the “middle wall” being torn down and the making of one body out of two which led to peace with God. We will get to these things in more detail in time.

Then, in a fourth section, Paul references citizenship, followed by comparing us to building blocks in a holy temple built on top of the foundations laid by the holy prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone.

In a sort of humorous kind of way we can almost laugh at the words of Paul in the beginning verses of chapter three when he says that because of all these previous descriptions of such a great mystery, previously hidden from those in other ages (3:5), he has become a “minister” (3:7) to us of the “unsearchable riches of Christ”! Well, hallelujah! I’m glad, Paul! Because a lot of us are already confused. Amen?

But it was important for you to know these things – what Paul is doing with his words – so that you don’t single out one illustration or metaphor and build a false doctrine around it. Again, this is why I always stress context, context, context! Without studying Scripture in the context of the whole connecting passage – in this case, from verse one of chapter two to verse seven of chapter three – we might miss the whole point that the author is trying to make and possibly make a major mountain out of a minor metaphor.

So, let’s now go to the first verse in chapter two:

Ephesians 2:1 KJV – And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Before we do any further reading, it will be very helpful to once again look at some words. If we misunderstand the words that are written here by Paul, but translated into English – and old English, at that – then we could easily misunderstand the meaning of the text and even fall prey to bad theology.

The first word we should look at is the word “quickened.”

Now, what is interesting is that if you are looking at a King James Version you will see that this word, actually several words, is in italics. The reason, as we have discussed before, is that the word is not in the original text, but the translators added it to help clarify the original text. What IS there is simply the Greek word ὤν (spelled “on” in English). All it means is that the “You” being spoken to “are.”

Yes, the Greek word on implies being, existence, and such. So, what Paul was really saying has been better translated in other versions such as the NIV, ESV, and CSB. The NIV reads: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

Of course, this is not changing the Bible; this is what the Bible originally said. What the translators of the King James Version did was try to clue us in to a truth that is mentioned farther down in Paul’s description of those who are saved. It is all the way down in verse 5 where he finally uses the word that is rightfully translated as “quicken.”

Ephesians 2:5 KJV – Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Back to the first verse, now. Paul, as we have already seen, is speaking to Christians. He is speaking to those who are “in Christ.” He is speaking to those who had been lost and now are saved. But it is in these verses where he describes what being lost is really like. What it really is.

The next word we will look at is the word “dead.”

Paul said that “you” (you could even apply that to us and say “we’) were DEAD in trespasses and sins. Yet, when we look at verse 2 we see something interesting. He says, that while we were dead, we “walked.” What? Dead people walk? That’s what he said!

Could it be that when Paul was talking about being dead, he didn’t mean it the same way we understand the word to mean, at least when we talk about dead people in the grave? I think it’s important that we think about this, for it makes a huge difference in how we look at other teachings of Paul, especially in the book of Romans, chapters eight and nine.

The Greek word Paul uses in verse two that is translated in English as “dead” is the word νεκρός (nekros). Have you ever heard of the word “necromancy”? Well, that’s what people do when they try to talk to the dead. Halloween kind of stuff. However, if you notice, necromancy comes from the word nekro, which means “corpse.” A necromancer is one who uses witchcraft to reanimate the dead, that is, to bring a dead corpse back to life as a zombie, or something, or to talk with them to discover the future. Paul is telling us that when we were still in sin, before we were saved, we were corpses – dead people – dead bodies. That is why it took the power of God to give us new life, to bring life to these dead bodies, and that’s what he meant when he said that we are “quickened” to new life.

And, by the way, God doesn’t need witchcraft to raise the dead. And I highly, highly doubt any necromancer ever pulled off a genuine Lazarus story.

But that brings me back to verse two, and even verse three… if we were nothing but lifeless corpses, how then did we “walk according to the course of this world” and have a “conversation in times past”?

What we need to understand before we go any further, which is why I bring up these words, is that Paul was using figurative speech. Paul was not trying to say that we were literally dead and lifeless like a dead body in a casket. Yes, he used the term, but it was meant to be a picture of a larger truth: that we were incapable of living the Christian life, the life of the Christ through the power of the Spirit, if we were “dead,” slaves to sin, full of the world’s filth, wanting nothing of the things of God.

Dead people don’t talk, walk, have conversations, or anything like that. A dead body just lies there and rots. Gross, isn’t it? Yet, still, it is only a picture. You and I weren’t dead bodies. However, we were “dead” in that we had not been transformed by the life of Jesus. And as dead people can’t do anything, not even dig themselves out of the ground, neither can the sinner who is “dead in trespasses and sins” work his way out of death into life.

But God… Ephesians 2:4 starts with two of the most beautiful words in all the Bible – “But God.” You see, we were lost and on our way to hell… but God! We were dead in our trespasses and sins… but God! We were rotting away in the filth of the world… BUT GOD, who is RICH IN MERCY, for His GREAT LOVE wherewith He loved us, QUICKENED us together with Christ (verse 5)!

Do you know the song “Love Lifted Me”?

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Buried deeply, stained within, sinking to rise no more. But… But the Master of the Sea… But GOD!… heard my despairing cry! From the waters lifted me, now safe am I!

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! !When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help… when my works, my deadness, my lifeless separation from God, my sin, my dirty, dead self couldn’t help…Love! Grace! Mercy! Lifted me up to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!

Love lifted me!

Before we close tonight’s study, I want to quickly move on to verses 8 and 9, some of the more famous verses we know.

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Do you understand what these verses are saying? It amazes me that they can be so clear, so understandable, yet so many people in Christian churches teach that you have to earn, you have work for your salvation. In reality, that’s NOT Christian. That’s like every other religion in the world. If being saved had any need of us “doing” any work of any kind, other than simply placing our faith in Jesus and accepting the free gift of salvation which He bought with His blood, then we might as well say we could have been there with Jesus on the first day of Creation and said, God, let me help out the Word, because He is not sufficient to bring everything into existence by Himself, you know. He needs my help! What can I do? Do you want me to sell something? Do you want me to visit something? Do you want me to join something? Do you want me to help the Logos, the Word, Jesus with his faith in His own words?

C’mon, God, you know the Word can’t create the universe out of nothing and bring into being what isn’t unless I help! You do know that, don’t you?

Yes, I know that sounds silly, but please bear with me and consider just one more word for tonight: ποίημα (poiēma), pronounced poy’-ay-mah.

Notice in verse 10, “For we are his WORKMANSHIP…” That is the word poy’-ay-mah.

Paul only uses this word twice in all of his letters; here, and in Romans 1:20.

Romans 1:20 KJV – “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,[G4161] [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Can I share with you one more passage?

John 1:1-3 KJV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

God didn’t need us to create the universe and all that is in it. Neither does He need us to save ourselves – lest we boast. Amen!

And, OH, what God has done for us! He has set us up with Jesus in the heavenlies so we can have a high enough seat in the stands to view the entire display of God’s grace! But that parade alone will take ages! Hallelujah!

Dear Father, thank you for your grace! Amen!

The view Sunday morning from where I play my bass.
Selfie time! Or, “Make the congregation wonder about your sanity time.”

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Gender Neutral Potato Head

Today, the company wants to stop leaning so heavily into this traditional family structure. “Culture has evolved,” she tells Fast Company. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists—with the “Mr.” and “Mrs.”—is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

NEXTAR Media Wire via Fox59.com
See linked article for credit.

Have you ever wondered what it would take for the average person to lose his mind? Would it be a tragic loss or overwhelming circumstance that would break him? Torture? Deprivation?

What about the unceasing and incessant madness of the liberal Left and their determination to swab away all cultural norms from the deck of this sinking ship?

Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head are cultural icons. They even walk and talk in the “Toy Story” movies! Yet, because of the desire to let 3-year-old brains shape the future, Hasbro wants to further confuse them with not only a plastic toy potato, but one that can’t even decide which potato potty to enter.

“Culture has evolved,” they say. Tell me, toy geniuses, what is there about evolving that includes the deconstruction of the structural fabric which has been the framework and bedrock of society?

Oh, I get it – it’s a money thing, right? We want to appeal to the little crumb crunchers whose mommies and baby daddies have either ditched their responsibilities and commitments or unstitched and re-stitched their baby-making parts. We want to enable – for the dollar, mind you – a whole new generation of gender-confused part-swappers because leaning too heavily on the current traditional family structure is not good for the brand.

I don’t know how far I am away from losing it, but one thing’s for sure: Hasbro has mashed potatoes for brains.

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America Was Established On God, But Then…

I admire this nation formed by God. I respect the brave men and women, motivated by God, who fought to establish this country. The precise structure …

America Was Established On God, But Then…

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Filed under Abortion, America, Guest Posts, History

Hitting the Brakes

Lots of Deer

If there is one thing about living down here in middle Georgia, it is the abundance of deer. Rumor has it, if you’ve never destroyed at least one vehicle by hitting a deer, then you’re probably in cahoots with them.

No joke, on any given evening there are so many deer out nibbling road-side grass and conversing with each other across the street that it’s nearly impossible to travel a quarter-mile without seeing several.

To give you just one example, last night I was driving home from a neighboring town and saw (there could have been more) 13 deer on an 8-mile stretch of road. I saw probably double that amount on the previous twenty. That’s a LOT of deer!

Locked Down for Deer

All this talk about deer leads no leads me to the story I want to tell you about last night’s trip home.

Like I said, last night there were a lot of four-legged bumper bashers getting reacquainted in the moonlight. Because of this, I was very careful to maintain a slower speed – even slower than the speed limit – in order to give me a longer reaction time.

All of a sudden I saw a family of 4 or 5 (it could have been a club, a harem, or a dance crew…I don’t know) standing and facing each other from both sides of the two-lane road. Then, after a quick glance at me, then back at his/her crew, then back at me the dear decided that the best time to cross the road was right at the very moment I was passing him.

Incidentally, cats do the same thing. They wait until the very last second to cross the street right in front of you. Why do they do that? Why can’t they just wait till we pass? Why does it have to be RIGHT THEN?? It’s like for some reason they think they will never have another chance ever again – EVER!

“Now! Do it NOW, Puss!” cries a flea-bitten rat chaser from across the road. Puss sees the bright lights approaching and realizes he’s already on his 8th life – he can’t die on this side of the road, not tonight! There’s more life to be lived and lost on the other side with Kitten, Mitten, and Tabbytha. So, terrified and desperate, with all the speed he can muster Puss bounds across the street to meet up with his friends and lovers.

But I was no dummy, I tell you! I could tell what Bambi was about to do, so I applied pressure to my brake peddle. Then, just as I expected, he waited until almost the last second to jump in front of me!

I stood on my brake peddle and the 2-ton 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis’ anti-lock brakes did their job flawlessly.

And everything in my front and rear seats, including everything UNDER my seats, came to the front floor of my car.

That’s when I made a surprising discovery! I found my lost coffee mug!

Sudden Blessings

What’s the moral of the story? It’s pretty simple, really.

Sometimes it takes a sudden, unplanned, emergency-slamming-on-of-the-brakes kind of stop to help us find things we thought were lost forever. 

I’m thankful I didn’t hit that stupid deer. But I’m also thankful that I now have my favorite mug back on my desk and doing its job.

All it took was hitting the brakes for just a moment, slowing down, and re-evaluating the circumstances, such as was this trip really necessary?

Have a great day, guys! Be safe. Stay faithful.
Anthony

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Filed under animals, Humor, Life Lessons

Valentine’s Day Sermon to Pakistan Church

In just a moment I will be sharing this sermon, word for word, through a translator to a congregation in Pakistan. May God bless His Word and may the Church be edified.

Good morning, everyone! I am very happy to be able to worship with you again!

First, I would like to say that you are always in our prayers.

Second, I would like to thank you so much for your prayers and your friendship.

I would also like to tell you that our church here in the United States, in the state of Georgia, will pray for you in our services later today.

And one more thing before we look at this morning’s Scripture. The Church in America may need a Revival, but it is not dead. We are strong and will continue to encourage the Church in the rest of the world.

Please allow me to pray…

Last night I spoke with your pastor about the subject of this sermon.

He told me that last year he preached from 1 John 4:19.

Well, that’s the passage I want to start with this morning.

Please read 1 John 4:19.

Today is Valentine’s Day in America. It is a day when many, many men spend a lot of money on flowers and chocolate candy.

Valentine’s Day is the day when we celebrate love, especially the love men and women have for each other.

In many cultures marriages are arranged, but that rarely happens here in America.

In our culture, marriage comes after a man and a woman fall in love with each other and want to spend their lives together.

Of course, as you can imagine, the love of people grow cold, because the love they felt was not real love, only affection, maybe only lust.

Regardless, Valentine’s Day is a day when women are treated very, very special. Because they ARE!

Now, you may be wondering how 1 John 4:19 relates to how special women are.

It is because when the Bible says we love Jesus because he first loved us, we are reminded of the marriage relationship.

All throughout the New Testament the Church is pictured as the Bride of Christ.

The Apostle Paul spends most of Ephesians chapter 5 talking about how Christian marriage is to be a picture of Jesus and the Church.

And one thing should be obvious when we read Paul’s letter – men are to treat their wives with honor, respect, and unconditional love.

In Ephesians 5:25 Paul tells men, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it.”

What does that mean?

For one thing, it means that women are valuable! It means that they are to be loved! It means that wives are not slaves!

How did Jesus love his Bride, the Church? What did he do for her?

Yes, he “GAVE HIMSELF.” What does that mean? He gave his own life for the Church.

And do you realise that Jesus loved us before we were even lovable? He loved us while we were even sinners!

Romans 5:8 says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ DIED for us!”

Jesus had pity on us. Jesus knew we needed true love, not just emotion or lust.

Let me give you 5 reasons the Love of Jesus is better than the love of any human.

  1. It doesn’t matter what we look like.
  2. It doesn’t matter how old we are.
  3. It doesn’t matter if we know how to talk to each other.
  4. It doesn’t matter if we have money or land.
  5. It doesn’t matter about our past.

The Book of Isaiah, Chapter 64, says that our righteousness is like filthy rags. There is nothing righteous or holy about us without Christ.

But Jesus doesn’t care what we look like – He still loves us.

So, men, you should love your wives as Christ loves the Church! If she isn’t more beautiful now than she was when you married her, don’t blame her – blame yourself!

Jesus loves us no matter how old we are. In other words, He loves us even when we cannot do anything to contribute.

Even the old, the wounded, the crippled…. Jesus loves you!

And what about our communication skills? What if we don’t know how to say the right things?

According to the Bible, that’s what the Holy Spirit is for! He speaks for us when we don’t know what to say! Isn’t the love of God wonderful?

What about money? What about property? Did Jesus demand a dowery to love us? Of course not! He paid it all with His blood!

And do you think your past is too bad for Jesus to love you? It’s not!

Do you realize that Jesus knew you before you were born, for as David said, “He knit me in my mother’s womb.”

Yet, even then, He could see your whole life in front of you. He could see all the sin you would commit. And yet he still said, “Come unto me!”

Ladies, Christian men should treat you as Jesus treats the Church. Like the woman of Proverbs 31, if you fear the Lord, you should be praised!

God never intended the Church, the Bride of Jesus, to be a door mat for men to wipe their feet on.

Jesus never beat us or whipped the Church when she sinned. No! He took the beating and the stripes for us! He bore our shame on the Cross!

So, isn’t the love of Jesus wonderful?

We love him, not because we wanted to, but because we can’t help it!

And men, husbands, the Bible tells you to LOVE YOUR WIVES. If you love them like Jesus loved the Church, they will love you, too!

Dear sisters in Christ, you are so special in the eyes of God!

Jesus loves you and died for you the same as He did for any man.

You are daughters of the King of the Universe! You are also co-heirs with Christ, adopted into the Royal family of Heaven! You are princesses!

Do you realize that the Bible never puts women down? It never says they are less valuable than men. It never, not once, says that men are better than women.

Who carried Jesus in her womb? A young woman. Mary.

God didn’t send Jesus in a chariot of gold, but he trusted a young girl to carry Jesus when he was tiny and weak. He didn’t trust the baby Jesus to a general in an army, but a simple, young woman!

Who was the first Christian in the Western world? It was a woman, Lydia?

Who did the Apostle Paul trust to deliver the letter to the Romans? A woman, Phebe! That’s in Romans 16 verse 1 and 2.

Who helped fund the ministry of the Disciples and even Jesus when he was on earth? Women of means, women with wealth. In other words, there were business women in the Bible, like Lydia, the seller of purple, who helped the Church.

Dear sisters in Christ, you are loved by God. You are valuable. You are special. Don’t ever let the world tell you different.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

End of sermon.

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Best Wife, EVER!

Hey, guys! Just taking a moment out from some sermon prep (gotta preach to the Pakistani church at 1 a.m.) to let you know what I think about my wife.

She is the BEST WIFE EVER!

How do I know this? How can I make such a bold and absolute claim?

Because it’s the truth.

You see, it’s obvious she the best wife ever because she loves me. Not only does she love me, but she has continued to love me since June of 1996! She has loved me, remained faithful to me, and only once or twice thought about having me committed.

That’s no joke.

Proverbs 18:22 – Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

I’m the “whoso.” I might have been a so-and-so many times over the years, but my wife stuck with me.

Yesterday was her birthday. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day (for which she was named). Do you know what she did for me? She ordered a selection of 8 high-quality cigars! Why? For my health? NO. Just because she loves me.

By the way, don’t hate on my cigars… I only have one a year, or so. One would be more likely to get cancer from a chest X-ray.

Valerie loves me, and here’s the proof:

  • She cooks for me.
  • She takes care of the bills (because she’s an accountant)
  • She still laughs at my jokes.
  • She still thinks I am handsome.
  • She tells me she loves me, like ALL the time.
  • She takes care of me when I’m sick or injured.
  • She looks out for my best interests, even at the expense of her own.
  • She never talks bad about me, not even to her mother.
  • She takes notes when I preach and even thinks I should be on Blue Letter Bible! I don’t know where she gets that idea, though.
  • She makes sure I take my medicine.
  • She makes all my doctor appointments.
  • She not only washes and dries my clothes, but she folds my underwear and puts it away.
  • There’s a sparkle in her eye when she looks at me, especially when I come home.
  • She loves it when I sing, especially to her.
  • She loves to play games with me, even when I play to win.
  • When she makes me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich she takes the time to cut it in half.
  • She wishes she could be a better wife.

So, you ;may think you’ve got the best wife in the world, but I’ll support your right to be wrong.

Valerie, thank you for loving Jesus and for loving me. I love you, too.

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