Updated: Jul 28
Interesting enough, Evan Trueborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal. I believe that is exactly what has happen to us. Unlike Evan we have walked into the darkness, while reading the journal/the bible. We have the truth to put us back on track but for some odd reason...we refuse to walk in the light of truth.
Could it be that we have walked so long in the darkness of SIN, that we are temporarily blinded by the light?
(Discipleships through marriage)
The butterfly effect is the idea that small, seemingly trivial events may ultimately result in something with much larger consequences – in other words, they have non-linear impacts on very complex systems. For instance, when a butterfly flaps its wings in India, that tiny change in air pressure could eventually cause a tornado in Iowa.
Opening Statement ( Stay with me I'm going somewhere)
This sounds so familiar to me....As science journalist Peter Dizikes wrote 'innumerable' interconnections of nature, Lorenz noted, mean a butterfly's flap could cause a tornado — or, for all we know, could prevent one. Similarly, should we make even a tiny alteration to nature, 'we shall never know what would have happened if we had not disturbed it,' since subsequent changes are too complex and entangled to restore a previous state."
So, while people often think the butterfly effect means that tiny changes can have big consequences (and we can track this progression to see what change caused what), Lorenz was trying to say that we can't track these changes. We don't really know exactly what would cause a weather pattern to go one way over another.
Christ Jesus teaching made this same analysis. A little leaven leavened the whole lump. — A proverbial expression, see 1 Corinthians 5:6, very aptly applied to those who receive the smallest tincture of false doctrine, relative to the things essential to salvation, which soon influences the whole conduct, so that the man becomes totally perverted.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump is a metaphor the apostle Paul uses to compare the effects of false teaching in the church to the results of yeast in bread dough (Galatians 5:9). Just as a small amount of yeast will make a whole loaf of bread rise, a little bit of legalistic teaching will quickly spread, infiltrating the hearts and minds of individual believers until the entire church is contaminated.
Leaven is any substance (like yeast) used to produce fermentation in dough. It is the main ingredient that causes bread to rise in preparation for baking. The “whole lump” in Galatians 5:9 refers to an entire batch of dough and in Paul’s analogy denotes the whole congregation of believers.
In Galatians 5:1–6, Paul stresses that Christ, by God’s grace and through the inner working of the Holy Spirit, has set believers free from slavery to the outward control of the law. Then he begins to list the destructive consequences of returning to a legalistic bondage to the law. One adverse outcome is stunted spiritual growth: “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is” (Galatians 5:7–10, ESV).
Employing one of his favorite comparisons, Paul likens the Christian life to a race. The Galatians were excelling in the race until false teachers cut into their spiritual marathon. They set up obstacles of legalism, confusing the believers and hindering their spiritual development. The stumbling Galatians had stopped obeying the truth as the influence of bad company corrupted their good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Paul then engages his yeast comparison, emphasizing that a little bit of legalism in the church—like leaven in a batch of dough—goes a long way. “Leaven” here symbolizes wrong teaching that destroys true Christian freedom. Paul quickly communicates his trust in the Lord to keep the Galatians on the track of truth and warns that God will judge the false teachers who had been tripping them up.
Paul uses this same yeast metaphor with the church in Corinth: “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:6–7, ESV).
Here, “leaven” represents sin, and precisely the sin of pride (1 Corinthians 5:2). Paul wants to protect the church from the disastrous consequences of moral corruption. Their arrogant attitude of tolerating an appalling sin in the church posed a severe threat. Allowing one believer to continue unchecked in a blatant transgression would have a devastating impact on the entire church. Paul asks, “Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6, NLT).
How do we Transform into the image of His Son?
(Discipleships through marriage)
Our present state of mind within may of our churches is alarming…We hear the resounding words…Our churches lack a coherent plan for discipleship and spiritual growth. What the congregation is really saying is that…our leaders are interested in just preaching a feel-good message and they lack the holy spirit to build and manage effective programs to help people become fully devoted followers of Christ. Jesus' method of accomplishing life change by investing in just a few people at a time. And he shows how discipleship can become a self-replicating process with ongoing impact from generation to generation.
Matthew 7:24 Jesus said, ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’
- We set ourselves up for blessing when we apply God’s words to our lives.
- It can be compared to a wise man who builds his house on a rock.
- When we face the storms of life, the best place to be is 'on the rock’.
- So, build your life on HIS words and you will stand secure.
Therefore, is an adverb that means “as a consequence,” “as a result,” or “hence.” What does 3 times mean in the Bible? He prayed three times before being arrested, he was nailed to the cross at the third hour of the day and died at the ninth hour which is 3pm.
Stand Therefore, Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girded. The He gives the armor that must be worn. The Roman soldier wore a girdle, breastplate, shoes with iron nails, a helmet to protect his head, and carried a great shield on his left arm which was thrown in front of his body. His weapon was the sword.
The word “therefore” is an interesting word, and it is often used by the writers of the books of the Bible. The dictionary defines “therefore” as “for that reason” or “consequently.”
If the word “therefore” is used in your life, this moment…what would it mean?
What you choose to do today will be a “therefore” tomorrow. In your interactions with others…it is usually a “therefore” or “for that reason” or “consequently.”
A “therefore” is a reaction or a response to what has happened in the past.
Is it time to make a major change in how you think of another? Is it time to let go and forgive another for a perceived wrong? Indicatives and Imperatives: Order Matters Now often, the indicative is linked with the imperative. It’s a statement of fact with an implication of response. And most often, the indicative is about what God has done and the imperative is about what we must do, or think, or believe in response as a matter of response and obedience.
The order is important here – we respond because God has done. Not, we behave so that God will do. It’s the simple difference between something like “God loves you” therefore you respond, and “I am obedient” so God will love me.
The Entire Christian Life Might Be Built on Understanding One Word: “Therefore”
The link between the indicative statement of fact and the imperative statement of response is the word “therefore.” And again, you find it all over the Bible. That single word has great power because it brings together the work of God and the response of humanity.
You might even say that the entire Christian life is built on understanding these “therefore’
Here are just a few of the examples of this powerful word:
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). This is a command.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship (Romans 12:1).
In the previous eleven chapters, Paul explained the universally hopeless nature of sin. He gave us the pathway of faith. He told us how we were set free from sin and death by the great sacrifice of Jesus, and that there is now no condemnation for us. Even more, that God is working all things together for our good and that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Therefore, we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. We are to give ourselves wholly and completely, and joyfully, over to God. But don’t miss this, Romans 12 is a chapter about the church. That not only us as individuals, but also we together as the body of Christ, should become a living sacrifice in light of the truth of the gospel.
Therefore, write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this (Revelation 1:19). John was taken up in a vision and beheld the glorious Son of God. There was no longer any mistake about his identity as there was when John had previously walked with Him; not anymore. Now He saw not the common looking tradesman-turned-Rabbi from Nazareth, but the ruler of the cosmos before Him. And what was the therefore of that vision?
To write it down because this One, this Jesus, is saying it. And if this Jesus says it, then it’s rock solid. Write it. Record it. Believe it. Come back to it. So that we might come back to it again and again today. Therefore I will give him the many as a portion, and he will receive the mighty as spoil, because he willingly submitted to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet he bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels (Isaiah 53:12).
(Why This “Therefore” is Different)
This “therefore” is different from the others. The context is the great Messianic passage of Isaiah 53, in which we get a true picture of God’s anointed one. The one who would bear our sorrows and sin. The one who would be despised and rejected by men. The one we would consider stricken by God because of the cross. And yet, in a great reversal, God would therefore lift up this chosen one, because of His obedience, and give Him many as a reward.
Our Eternity Doesn’t Hinge on Our Ability to Live Out a “Therefore”
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord that our eternity hinges not on our ability to live out a “therefore” but on Jesus’ righteous life on our behalf. Paul writes “Therefore…by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice…” he is saying something like: “Based upon all that I have written to you so far in this letter…that everyone is bound under sin…that justification comes only through the propitiation of Christ…that justification is by faith not by works…that everyone inherits sin through Adam, but in Christ is made alive…that we died and rose with Christ…that the Law no longer is our regulating principle…that sanctification is through the Holy Spirit…that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ…that Gentiles have been incorporated into God’s plan for Israel…that God is sovereign in all he does…that God has a future plan for Israel……based upon all of this(!), I urge you to present your bodies—your entire selves—as living sacrifices to God. Now let me lay out for you in the next four chapters how it works out in practice.”
That’s the reason the “therefore” of Romans 12:1 is probably the most important “therefore” in the Bible.
The answer you don’t want. Marriage is a sacrament this we have gotten right in our society. It’s not because of our sacred obligation rather because of the unequal opportunity to do it because of the influence of the other. It’s the soul’s opportunity that affirms and affords us the ability to decide. God then helps us to be who we really are supposed to be. One with yourself first, then with your spouse. Not to magnify the best in you but for you, but for the other which will bring the best out of you.
Therefore, remember when you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with.
SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
Stay alert in your spirit. Just as you committed to be the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love the bride fully, love not the world. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
Change is inevitable. You will constantly change. You’re not be the same in three, five or ten years, Change is inevitable. Own each day… because there is No Other Way…then you would have Won.
SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may file the divorce papers and give that heart to someone else. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
Do you see the best in your spouse? What you focus on will expand…good or bad. If you focus on what’s wrong that’s what you will see. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love. If there be any virtue think on these things…research, it.
This is going to HURT…Your job is to love her as she is, with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
Seek to understand you first. It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad, although she can influence you. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love for her.
It takes two to argue. Never blame your wife. If you get frustrated or angry, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them…when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
Learning to allow each other space and say it’s ok. Listen when she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s OK. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you….DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotions.
Forgiving What You Can’t Forget VERSE: Ephesians 4:32
Do you ever find yourself defining life by before and after the deep hurt?
The horrific season.
· The conversation that stunned you.
· The shocking day of discovery.
· The divorce.
· The wrongful death so unfathomable you still can’t believe they are gone.
· The breakup. The day your friend walked away.
· The hateful conversation.
· The remark that seems to now be branded on your soul.
· The day everything changed.
That marked moment in time.
· Life before.
· Life now. Is it even possible to move on from something like this?
· Is it even possible to create a life that’s beautiful again?
I deeply understand this kind of defining devastation in such a personal way.
When your heart has been shattered and reshaped into something that doesn’t quite feel normal inside your own chest yet, the word forgiveness feels a bit unrealistic to bring into the conversation.
But can I whisper something I’m learning?
Forgiveness is possible, but it won’t always feel possible. It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it?
It’s hard to give. It’s amazing to get. But when we receive it so freely from the Lord and refuse to give it, something heavy starts to form in our souls. It’s the weight of forgiveness that wasn’t allowed to pass through. And for me, that’s mainly because I’ve misunderstood something so incredibly profound about forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t something hard, we have the option to do or not do. Forgiveness is something hard-won that we have the opportunity to participate in. When I wrongly think, forgiveness rises and falls based on all my efforts, conjured maturity, bossed-around resistance, and gentle feelings that feel real one moment and fake the next, I’ll never be able to authentically give the kind of forgiveness Jesus has given me. My ability to forgive others is made possible when I lean into what Jesus has already done, which allows His grace for me to flow freely through me (Ephesians 4:7).
Forgiveness isn’t an act of my determination. Forgiveness is only made possible by my cooperation. Cooperation is what I’ve been missing. Cooperation with what Jesus has already done makes verses like Ephesians 4:32 possible. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Forgiving one another just as Christ forgave you. God knew we couldn’t do it on our own. So, He made a way not dependent on our strength. A forgiving way. A way to grab on to Jesus’ outstretched arms, bloody from crucifixion and dripping with redemption.
He forgives. What we do could never be good enough to make it right. He makes a way for us to simply cooperate with His work of forgiveness…for us to receive and for us to give. That person that caused enough pain for you, for me, and for those around you. You don’t have to be held hostage by the pain. You get to decide how you’ll move forward. If you’re knee-deep in pain and resonate with the feelings of resistance I have felt too, let me assure you over these next few days: forgiveness is possible. And it is good.
YOU HAVE TO RESPOND
What is your initial gut reaction to the word “forgiveness”? How does it encourage you to know that forgiveness is made possible by our cooperation instead of our determination? Spend some time journaling about this today. Invite God into your questions and your hesitations.
Part 2 The Bride/Groom
Now let’s Transform into the Bride of Christ
The Gospel passage opens, “six days later.” Did you notice that? “Later than what?”, I wondered as I read the story. Turns out, that’s an important piece of the picture. You see, just six days earlier, Jesus had begun to talk with his disciples about what lay ahead. He told them that he would journey to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering, that he would be killed, and that he would be raised again on the third day.
As if that hadn’t been enough, Jesus then said to his disciples: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Challenging words – spoken to Jesus’ disciples – those who have left families and jobs behind and followed him. “If any want to become my followers…” That must have puzzled them.
“Am I not already your follower?” “… let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” If I’d heard that, I think I would’ve wondered, “As in, to Jerusalem, suffering, and death?” Now, roll forward. Six days later, as Peter, James, and John ascend the mountain with Jesus, these wonderings must be whirling in the winds of their hearts. As he is transfigured before them – as his face starts to shine like the sun and his clothes become dazzling white – as the bright cloud envelops them – these unspoken questions queue up waiting for answers.
It’s no wonder that Peter, James, and John fell to the ground in fear when they witness Jesus’ transfiguration. God’s voice reverberates in response to their questions… “This is my Son, the Beloved … listen to him!”
Jesus’ call to take up a cross and follow him means that the disciples will be asked to travel where they do not want to go and witness what they do not want to see. But we know the end of the story: when they come from the mountain, they do follow Jesus… through his passion, death, and resurrection and all become martyrs for his sake.
Something happens here on this mountain that transforms Peter, James, and John and enables them not only to respond to the call, but to lead the other disciples to do the same. They won’t do this perfectly: there will be times when they stumble, Peter will deny Jesus three times in the early morning hours on Good Friday, but they will all take up their crosses and follow him.
Let’s look more closely at Matthew’s account of Jesus’ transfiguration. I want to suggest that we will find not just one, not two, but three transfigurations in this text. Matthew tells us Jesus’ face shone and his clothes became dazzling white… that he was transfigured. But Jesus was not the only one. In the Greek manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel, the word that we translate transfigured” is a form of the verb metamorphic. That’s where we get our word “metamorphosis.
The Oxford Dictionary defines metamorphosis as “the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form.” This helps us to understand what happened when the disciples saw Jesus shining with the glory of God and heard God’s voice revealing Jesus as God’s Son. They, too, were metamorphosed… their faith, their understanding, their commitment all was transfigured.
They transformed from immature would-be disciples to cross-bearing, self-denying followers of the Son of God. Of course, the disciples’ transformation was not as immediate as Jesus’. Their first response was fear. But let’s look back at the text. When they fell to ground, Jesus came to them, touched them, and said, “Do not be afraid.” Of all the accounts of Jesus touching people in the Gospels, this may be my favorite.
1. Jesus touches people to heal them!
2. When Jesus touches a man with leprosy, the leprosy is healed.
3. When Jesus touches Peter’s mother in-law who is sick with fever, her fever is healed.
Here, Jesus doesn’t judge the disciples’ fear or cast them aside as too weak to move forward with him. He touches them and heals their fear. He equips them to move forward. When they look up, they see nothing except Jesus himself alone. They have been metamorphosed: their fear is gone, and their focus is solely on Jesus. Their fear is gone. Their focus is on Jesus. It strikes me that this kind of transformation is what God desires from all of us who wish to be Jesus’ disciples.
Paul picks up on this in his second letter to the Corinthians (chapter 3, verse 18 if you want to check me). He writes there, “all of us … are being transformed” – that’s our word … metamorphosed – “into the image” of Christ. God seeks nothing less than our metamorphosis – our total transfiguration – from mere believers who show up on Sunday mornings to cross-bearing disciples. Our transformation will be more gradual than Jesus’ … and likely more gradual than it was for Peter, James, and John on the mountain.
Important Point to Ponder
We are all at different stages of that transformation. Over the past several years we as husband and wife, have journeyed together through a series of reflections on stewardship that hopefully have helped transform the way we steward our time, talent, and treasure in Christ. This has been a moment of metamorphosis for each of us along our path to Christian discipleship.
The Gospel Message
The Good News as we face this challenge is that Jesus, is God with us - Emanuel. He understands our human fears, touches us, and says: “Do not be afraid.” Like Peter, James, and John, we can be utterly transformed, can bear our crosses of self-denial, and can follow Jesus. And our Gospel passage today gives us valuable information about how we can participate with God his work of transfiguring us:
Matthew tells us to:
3. Cling and
The first step, Jesus took the three disciples with him to a high mountain by themselves. This is the first step: transformational experiences like this one do not happen when we are surrounded by great crowds of people as was so often the case for Jesus and his disciples. Rather, like a worm inside a cocoon – like disciples on the top of a mountain – metamorphosis takes place when we escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. To cooperate with God’s transforming work, we must withdraw to a quiet place where we can be still and hear God speak. Then, God speaks to the disciples: “This is my Son; listen to him!”
The second step, of our metamorphosis requires that when we withdraw to a quiet place where we can hear God, don’t be surprised to hear what the disciples heard that day on the mountain. God will say to us – just as He said to them – listen to Jesus. Listen: when he asks us to deny ourselves. Listen: as he asks us to give more than we think we can. Listen: to the myriad ways in which he calls to us to follow him. Next, the disciples fell to the ground in fear. Listening to the voice of God, undergoing metamorphosis … is not easy at all. When Christ makes a call upon our lives – calls us to self-denial and self-giving discipleship – he does not promise that it will be easy. When we hear his call, we may be overcome with fear and doubt.
The third step, of our transformation is to cling to the Good News that Jesus is our Incarnate God. Even in his transfiguration on the mountaintop in which his divinity is revealed, Jesus is fully human. He understands our human responses of doubt, fear, dismay… you name it! And tenderly, compassionately, lovingly, he comes to us, touches us, and heals us. To participate in our transformation, we need to cling to the promise of this touch. At the end of the mountain top experience, the disciples look up and see “nothing except Jesus himself alone.” We will know that our lives have connected with Christ’s transfiguration and with that of the three disciples in our Gospel passage today … we will know that our metamorphosis is well underway when our sight has become so focused that we see nothing but Jesus himself alone.
Withdraw, listen, cling, and focus. These are the keys that unlock the third transfiguration in our Gospel passage today: OUR OWN IT. Let us pray: O God, who before the passion of your only begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be metamorphosed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
NOW, Why Now?
Because there is No Other Way. OWN It when you do you would have WON.