Saturday, February 25, 2017

5 Things Every Harlot Needs


Hebrews 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Why didn’t Rahab perish with all the rest of her friends and neighbors in Jericho? Rahab was special. What made Rahab special? Rahab had the:

5 Essentials Every Harlot Needs to Be Her Best
        In order to truly succeed in life every harlot needs:
1.   A call of God on their life.
·        Of course, all harlots, and all people for that matter, have a call of God on their lives which was given before the foundation of the world.
·        Every person is special to God and every person is called of God.
·        Responding to your call is the first critical key to your success.
·        What else will it take for you to be at your best? Just like Rahab -
2.   A willingness to change.
·        Nothing changes until something changes.
·        Most people who fail would not have if they had only changed.
·        The biggest reason people don’t change is because they are unwilling.
·        Change begins in the heart and mind and then is proven through actions. James demands corresponding actions to prove faith.
·        Rahab changed sides during a war. Rahab believed it was better for herself, her family and her future to ally herself with Israel than it was to stand by and go along with her own people.

Joshua 6:17  Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

3.   An Anti-Fragile quality of life.
·        While stress poisons some people, those with this anti-fragile quality end up gaining strength from chaos, disorder or stress.
·        More than the ability to endure, this anti-fragile quality is the ability to make gain in the face of uncertainty and adversity.
·        Instead of needing a room set aside for adult coloring book time in order to cope with the untenable results of a national election, anti-fragile people excel in volatility and gain from the adventure.
4.   A Benevolent Benefactor chosen by God.
·        Like Ruth needed Boaz
·        Like Rebecca needed Isaac
·        Like Mary needed Joseph
·        Like the Church needs Jesus
·        We all need a benevolent benefactor who is strong and capable enough to shepherd, cover and care for us and to whom we can submit above our own strengths. Whose benefactor are you?
5.   An ability to outlive the past.
·        Outlive, Out Last and Out Distance the past …
·        Moses, Ruth, David, Peter, Mary Magdalene, Paul, and Mark and Rahab are but a few Bible examples of people who outlived their past.
·        Your future is not determined by your past but by your God. Don’t allow the past to be your god.
·        Today you should begin writing the last chapter in your life.
·        Only the decisions you make today will determine if you will be remembered as a hero or a zero. Will you be a lying harlot scheming to save your own life or the heroine of Jericho who made a decision to change your life.
·        Rahab ultimately became a grandmother of Jesus!

Refuse to allow your past to determine your future.
1.   Recognize the call of God on your life. It’s not just wishful thinking – God has a plan for your life and He is speaking to you every day.
2.   Be willing to change – after a while, others will see that you did.
3.   Begin building your anti-fragile outlook on life. (2 Corinthians 4:17ff)
4.   Seek out and submit to the benevolent benefactor God has called to care for you.
5.   Begin writing what you want to be the last chapter of your life. When you are gone, what do you want others to say about you?

Hebrews 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Well Lived Life


Our study of God’s Word today will come from the Old Testament Book of Ruth. Ruth lived during the time between Joshua’s leadership and that of the first king, King Saul. This was sometime during the 400 year period known as the period of the Judges. Most likely Ruth lived around the time of Gideon. While some of you turn in your Bibles to the Book of Ruth, allow me to share some American history to go along with our study this morning.

91 years ago a noted scholar and historian named Carter G. Woodson publically recognized the disparity in the American experience between the historical accounts of Blacks and Whites. Since Blacks had been greatly disadvantaged they were not in any position historically to share in the accounts which shaped the education system and thereby studies in American history.

It was well documented that certain facets of our American history received great attention while other facts were all but buried and forgotten. Woodson began publicizing an annual observance of a Negro History Week in the year 1926. 50 years later, in 1976 during America’s bicentennial celebration, the US government under then President Gerald Ford joined in and set aside the month of February each year as Black History month in efforts to highlight the often neglected historical contributions made by Black Americans.

Today however, 91 years later, we continue to see disparities championed in select areas of our American experience. For example there is a concerted push to all but destroy the primary and vitally important roll which Christianity played in the founding and in the continuing preservation of our nation.

As well, the valuable contributions made by women have always been marginalized; the growth, strength and leadership provided by Black Americans is still minimized; and the dependence of our nation on Almighty God continues to be viciously maligned every day. Women, Black Americans and Christians … Prejudices have made it more difficult than it need have been and even today it takes greater strength and more stamina from these vital segments of our society for many of them to keep showing up each day for that day’s tasks let alone trying to do your best, be appreciated in your field or excel even when gifted in some area of life. This has not been every individual’s experience but it has been the common American experience for many. If you are Black you’ve had to work harder to prove yourself; if you are a Christian you’ve had to be better, kinder and less opinionated; and if you are a woman you might as well get used to the jokes and being left out of the conversations and just go make some coffee.

Women; Black Americans; Christians … What if you were all three in a burgeoning new nation dominated by old white men! Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for a young woman in early America who was Black and had the dream to become a great preacher of the Christian faith? Such was the case in the historical life account of:

Jarena Lee

Jarena Lee was a Black woman born on February 11, 1783 in Cape May, New Jersey. Jarena was born the same year the American Revolutionary War ended, two years before George Washington accepted his first presidency and six years before the Constitution of the United States along with the Bill of Rights was ratified. What a pivotal moment in history.

Prior to the early 1800’s the American Colonies were mostly populated by slaves, convicts from Great Britain and indentured servants from India, Africa and all across Europe. In 1700 fully half of the total population of America was Black. The census of 1790 revealed that 75% of the population of Kentucky were indentured to a company or in some way owned by another person. As I said, these were people who had come to America either as slaves, convict laborers or indentured servants. Jarena Lee was none of these … Jarena was born free.

Jarena Lee was raised by parents who were not God conscious people and therefore she was taught nothing about Him. However, in her early twenties Jarena came under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit while attending the African Episcopal Methodist Church in Philadelphia. During one meeting she fell under such conviction of sin and she gave her life to Jesus and, moved by His Spirit, began testifying and exhorting others to repentance and salvation.

Some time after her conversion Jarena heard a voice speak to her and say, “Preach the Gospel”. She considered that it might be the devil speaking to her since she saw no way in which this could ever happen. She finally petitioned her pastor who told her that he just did not know if this was even a possibility within their denomination or within scripture for that matter. Soon afterwards Jarena married Joseph Lee, Pastor of a small congregation on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

Somewhere near 1815, Jarena’s husband died leaving her with two small children. She was 32 years old at this time. It had been 8 years since she had first heard the call to preach. During those 8 years Jarena continued to petition the Reverend Richard Allen, who had now become the Bishop of his denomination, to license her and release her to the ministry.

One Sunday during the morning service Jarena was so moved by the Holy Spirit that she interrupted a visiting minister and began to exhort the congregation with power and conviction. Bishop Allen stood and made a public confession that after eight years of constant petitioning, he believed that she was truly called by God to preach the Gospel. He therefore sanctioned her and released her to minister. Jarena’s persistence had paid off!

Over the next many years Jarena Lee became known far and wide for her powerful preaching and missionary work which she traveled great distances to accomplish. She was indeed hindered both by her color and her gender and encountered great prejudices. Nonetheless, empowered by the Holy Ghost, she preached and the conviction of God fell on all those who heard saints and sinners alike.

There was no where she would not go and no one she would not speak to. In 1827, for instance, she traveled 2,325 miles and delivered a total of 178 sermons calling sinners to repentance and a new nation to righteousness. Jarena Lee stands tall as one of the founding mothers of Christianity in American History.

When I recount the founding fathers and mothers of our nation I look at Jarena Lee and see qualities which can only be understood in light of the Gospel of Christ. She didn’t fight for her country and she didn’t’ die for her country but she certainly lived for her King. I’ve come to realize that at times when:
·        Fighting won’t fix it …
·        Dying won’t change it …
·        Victory demands a well lived life.

Now let’s get to our Bible character for this morning, Ruth the Moabitess.

I don’t know how many of us have taken into account how Ruth looked so let me show you a couple of perspectives. The first one is Hollywood’s depiction of Ruth.

Next we can take a look at early American Bible pictures inserted by publishers to help shape our minds around the Bible stories.

Now perhaps you would like to see a more accurate depiction of a woman of Moab.

There’s just a little difference in the images depending on who presents them and why. Often it is perhaps from ignorance and innocence while at other times we are fed something we can identify with in order to sell tickets and still at its worst there are sinister plots to color the truth and minimize the impact of the facts that might not agree with the current agenda of those in charge.

At any rate, Ruth was also a young woman of color but what of it. Everyone she knew was a person of color. The prejudices in those days were not drawn along the lines of color but rather along the lines of wealth, power and religion. So, fast forward 3500 years to 2017 and it seems not much has changed for the better. Life is still filled with prejudices which make it hard on various groups of people. And – according to the Bible in Acts 10, it is still a sin to prejudge people.

For one reason or another, Black, White, Asian, Latino, Man, Woman, Teenager, Republican, Democrat, young, old, blonde headed or red necked, you may at some point find people unfavorably judging you before they know you. You may never erase some hatred or educate some of the ignorant however a life well lived is not about all the injustices, it’s about you. What are you going to do in the face of other people’s problems?

Jarena Lee could not change what others thought of her but she could decide how she would see herself and live accordingly.

Ruth 1
15  “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”
16  But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
17  Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
18  When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

Ruth 3:11  Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman.

Ruth was from Moab and as such would not be respected or well received among the Jews. The people of Moab were not the best kinds of people or good neighbors to Israel. On top of that Ruth was a widowed woman who remained barren after 10 years of marriage. However, Boaz and all the people living in and around Bethlehem observed the way Ruth lived her life. Everyone knew that she was a virtuous woman who exhibited kindness, patience and persistence. She was a prize catch for any man.

If the lessons from Black History in America teach nothing else it is a solid and continuing testimony to what kindness, patience and persistence can accomplish through a well lived life.

I assure you that you can make it without the approval on anyone else except One – His name if Jesus!

Success in this life, true peace and joy and life eternal awaits those who will put their faith in Jesus and live right. There is nothing a person cannot outlive, out last or out distance if they will only put their trust in God and live each day to please Him. When:
·        Fighting won’t fix it …
·        Dying won’t change it …
·        Victory demands a well lived life.

We cannot determine what we go through in life but we can decide how we are going to go through it. I pray you have decided to follow Jesus. He knows what you are going through and He has the victory waiting for you.

Turn your life, your prejudices and problems over to Jesus!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Vanities and Victims


Jeremiah 2:13  "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water.

All throughout history man has attempted to prove himself and many times people imagine they have gotten where they are and achieved what they have all by themselves, acting as though there was no God. Some people believe they don’t need the help or the interference of a Supreme Being. They consider themselves wise and self sufficient. These thoughts are foolish and mankind has become the victim of their own vanities.

The Bible is filled with people who foolishly imagined they needed no God.

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (KJV)

At what point in Jonah’s life did he come to this conclusion?

Jonah 2  NKJV
7  "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.
8  "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

What did Jonah do as a result of realizing his need for God?

Jonah 2  NLT
7  As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.
8  Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
9  But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.”

Jonah decided to praise the Lord and turn his life over to God in the midst of his problems. At this point Jonah stopped seeing himself as a victim and became the victor.

10  Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

You see, it is Almighty God, the One and only God of the universe Who commands the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air and the beasts of the fields and Who rules over the affairs of man. Jehovah Almighty! My God!!!

Generations have struggled with lying vanities since the beginning of time. People have misdirected their allegiance and loyalties to such vanities as:
·        Graven images & Idols of all kinds
·        False gods to whom they worship and sacrifice and pray
·        Lying spirits speaking vanities in the ears of the deceived
·        Empty promises sown as weeds in the lust filled minds of feeble men
·        Foolish fears that hold the hearts of silly women captive
·        Carnal appetites which lead a life astray from the narrow path
·        Delusions of grandeur and deceptive dreams which lure minds from the will and way of God
·        The Wisdom of this world masquerading as the Wisdom of God

Sad to say these vanities so often promise riches, success and fame only to lead the person consumed by them to the brink of destruction. Flattery, false promises and empty dreams can never satisfy the longing of the soul. Nonetheless people love to hear how wonderful they are, how much they are loved and how their enemies are hated. It is vain to imagine you can have success without godliness or happiness without obedience to God’s rule. People often become just like the god they are following.

Jeremiah 2:13  "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water.

The prophet went on to say:

Jeremiah 5:31  The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?

People most often end up becoming miserable by their own election. Such was the case for:
·        Jonah – Jonah 2:8
·        King Saul – 1 Samuel 15:22ff
·        The Young Rich Ruler – Matthew 19
·        King Ahab – 1 Kings 18
·        Queen Jezebel – 2 Kings 9
·        The Prodigal Son – Luke 15

These ended up miserable by their own election. We all need God and most often the worst enemies we face are the lies we have been told or worse yet, the lies we tell ourselves. What can we do when we realize things aren’t getting better but rather they seem to be getting worse?

Take a page from the life of Jonah …

Jonah 2  NLT
7  As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.
8  Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
9  But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.”

Don’t live another day expecting things to change until you change. Nothing changes until something changes. Most often the change that is needed is first in you. Do you feel life slipping away? Well if or when you do …
1.  Stop blaming others.
2.  Continue the sacrifices of Prayer; Praise and Worship
3.  Do everything you promised God you would do.

Stop playing the victim and become the victor!

Jonah 2:10 Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

Salvation came when Jonah stopped observing lying vanities, stopped forsaking his own mercies, and got back on track with God.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

And The Door Was Shut


Matthew 25  NKJV
1  “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2  "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3  "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4  "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5  "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6  "And at midnight a cry was heard: ’Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
7  "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8  "And the foolish said to the wise, ’Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9  "But the wise answered, saying, ’No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10  "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”

Whether or not you are familiar with this parable it nevertheless holds a truth. There are doors which are open to you today that will one day be shut forever.
·        Doors of opportunity
·        Doors of education
·        Doors of relationship
·        A Door of salvation
o   Not only for yourself but also for those whom you love and others you influence.
o   The rest of the parable …

Matthew 25:11 Afterward …
·        There is an afterward … after the door is shut …
·        Some doors shut but not without fair warning …
·        It might be wise to consider this a fair warning.

Even for those who aren’t Believers and those unfamiliar with the Bible most have nonetheless heard of Noah and the Ark of his salvation.

The Bible gives an account in the early chapters of the Book of Genesis how that mankind ceased to serve God and the inhabitants of the world became so evil that God decided He would destroy the earth and save only those who were doing what was right in His eyes.

God then went about giving fair warning while trying to change the minds of men. He sent Noah to preach a message of repentance for 120 years while Noah prepared an Ark to save those who believed.

The Bible paints a picture of a world that was prospering but without God. People were marrying, (Matthew 24:37 & 38), and carrying on business and all seemed safe and secure in the midst of the evil which surrounded them. Scriptures tell us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, (2 Peter 2:5), who had only one message, “Get right with God!” After 120 years of preaching and reaching out with the truth Noah’s only converts were his wife, his three sons and their wives.

No doubt it was on a day just like any other day when people least expected. They were happily going along blinded by their false sense of security and their unwillingness to change; supposing they had all the time in the world. That day something happened that had been preached for 120 years … something they had heard over and over again … something extraordinary and something never before seen … It began to rain.

I imagine flashes of the messages Reverend Noah had preached on Sunday mornings came to mind. As waters gushed forth from the belly of the earth like boundless fountains and the skies unleashed torrents of rain dropping water faster than the earth could swallow, everything quickly began to flood.

When the waters first lifted the Ark there is no telling how many people ran to see if they could get themselves and their families inside. However, as we understand from Genesis, 7 days earlier God had already shut the door.

Genesis 7:16  … Then the LORD closed the door behind them.

How terrible would it be to realize that you waited too late and the door had already been closed? The Bible tells us that God opens doors which no man can shut and shuts doors which no man can open. Both in the days of Noah and in the parable Jesus taught in Jerusalem 3000 years later, doors close – but not without fair warning.  

The truth remains the same for us today. There are some doors which are open to you today that will one day be shut forever.

There is an open invitation for everyone today to come to Jesus. Some don’t know about it and you may the only one who can make sure they hear. There are other doors open today which you should consider taking very seriously. These doors will not always be open to you – one day they will shut and many of them without further warning.
·        The Door of Repentance from Sin
·        The Door of Forgiveness Towards Others
·        The Door of Fostering a Good and Godly Relationship with Your
o   Parents
o   Spouse
o   Children
o   Friends
·        The Door of Service for the Cause of Christ
o   Make a Living
o   Make a Life
o   Make a Difference

Today, open the door of your heart to the will of God while you still have time. Don’t put it off another day.

I close with this scripture from the passage in:

Matthew 25:13  “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Get right with God and come on in …

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Number One


Today is Super Bowl Sunday and before the day is over we will know which NFL Team is “Number One” in the nation. Will it be the New England Patriots in white or the Atlanta Falcons in red? The Falcons have never won a Super Bowl. We put a lot of stock in who will be “Number One”.

·        More than 80,000 fans will pack the NRG Stadium in Houston today to cheer for their team. Among the crowd will also be 5,000 journalists who all want to be first to report the winner.
·        Houston is currently the 4th largest city in the US and yet expects an estimated 1,000,000 additional visitors this weekend. These visitors will spend an average of $400 per person per day not including the money they spent on flights or for the tickets to the week long event.
·        The average price paid for a ticket to Super Bowl 51 is $5,216.
·        Think the seats are expensive? Think again! 30 seconds of national advertising on FOX during the game are 5 to 5.5 million dollars each.
·        An estimated 1.5 million people will call in sick at work on Monday. Many due to the estimated 325 million gallons of beer which will be consumed today.
·        The more than 110 million Super Bowl fans watching the game by television today will consume:
o   14,500 Tons of Chips
o   8 Million Pounds of Guacamole
o   4,000 tons of Popcorn
o   2 Million Pizzas from Pizza Hut alone
o   $237 Million in Soft Drinks
o   51.7 Million Cases of Beer
o   1.23 to 1.33 Billion Chicken Wings (600 to 700 Million Chickens)

During this 3½ hour contest, which will be preceded by a 7 hour pre-game show today, everything will be aimed at deciding who will be the “Number One” NFL football team in America. No Super Bowl has ever gone into overtime. The winners today will be paid $107,000 each while the losers a consolation award of $53,000 for the day’s play.

There will be laughter, tears, hard fought battles based on well planned strategies, angry supporters, cheering crowds, anxious gamblers and millions of armchair quarterbacks yelling at the TV saying how much better they could do it they were out there. Money will be made, careers ended, contracts awarded and friendships lost today, all based on who ends up being “Number One”.

When it comes bedtime tonight many will be unable to sleep because they are so elated their team won. Others will lie awake devastated because they lost. And yet a few billion people who can’t even tell you which teams played in Super Bowl 51 will find themselves in similar situations not because of decisions made by Brady or Ryan, but because of decisions which they will make in their own personal lives today that determined whether they ended the day with a win or a loss. And, it’s all based on who or what they choose today to be “Number One” in their lives.

Reality is we all end each day with something or someone in that “Number One” place in our lives. Sometimes the day can be a hard fought battle but in the end, when you lay your head on your pillow at night, someone or something is going to have triumphed and that will be your “Number One” for the day. It will occupy your thoughts, demand your money and either warm you or weigh you down. Perspectives and Priorities are a choice. There is only one place for the number one and if that gets messed up, everything can get messed up.

The Bible has a lot to say about things which are number one. You may not realize it right now but before we are finished this morning we will discover that we get our competitive nature from God. He ascribes priorities and ranks everything in creation in its perfect order. God is a God of order and we inherited our desire to put things in some recognizable order of importance from Him.

This year God is committed to helping us establish priorities in life and put first things first. Today you can begin to set your life in God’s perfect order.

When the Bible refers to people and things which are “Number One” it often uses the word “Chief” to describe that priority position.

In fact the word Chief is mentioned 328 times in the KJV indicating the importance of knowing who and/or what is “Number One”.

The Bible makes a point to describe:
·        Chief Priests
·        Chief Musicians
·        Chief Captains
·        Chief Fathers
·        Chief Princes
·        Chief Rulers
·        Chief of the Officers
·        Chief of the Guards
·        Chiefs of Asia
·        Chief Singers
·        Chief Elders
·        Chief of the Governors
·        Chief Tax Collectors
·        Chief of all Nations
·        Chief of the House
·        Chief Butlers
·        Chief Bakers
·        Chief Stewards
·        Chief Estates
·        Chief Rooms
·        Chief Seats
·        Chief Ointments
·        Chief of all Spices
·        Chief Adversaries
·        Chief among the devils
·        Chief Men
·        Chief Women
·        Chiefs of the People
·        Chief of the Levites
·        Chief of the Congregation
·        Chief Friends
·        Chief Places
·        Chief Joys
·        Chief Things
·        Jesus is even known as the “Chief Cornerstone” and “Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our soul”

And then the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said:
·        1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Not one of the Apostles began life as the perfect picture of a disciple. Each one encountered their own set of temptations, trials, tests and tragedies. Even after being called by Jesus they made a few bad decisions and some costly mistakes. Life is tough on everyone. Nobody gets it right every time. However, God’s Word is plain when it instructs us to:

1 Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

Your life does not have to be limited by what you did with your yesterdays but rather by what you are willing to give to God and put first in life today. It goes without saying that we need to acknowledge God as Number One in our lives daily and also pay close attention that we establish and commit to living our lives in accordance with His priorities. What are His priorities?

A Life in Order
  1.   A growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2.   Family – God ordained the family as a first priority. Depending on the age, stage and situation of your life currently, you owe allegiance to your family above others.
a.   If you are younger – it may be limited to parents and siblings
b.   If you are married – it includes spouse and children
c.   Trust, Respect, Provision and Support
d.   Not only do I trust and respect them but can they trust and respect me … Looking not only for their provision and support for me but rather at my support for them. What do I add to my family? Can they depend on me? Are they my priority?
  3.   Church – The Family of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and as such hold a special spiritual family relationship with other Christians. The Bible says we should do good to all men but especially those who are of the household of faith.
  4.   The Lost
  5.   The World

Matthew 6:33  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”