focus on the family that's what we'regonna be talking about and my voice isgoing and so you'll just have to bearwith me I'm I want to share with yousomething that I heard the other day Godis rock steady it's never moving neverwavering he's the same yesterday andtoday and tomorrow but then he createdman man we try to do right but we dowrong and then we try to adjust toreturn back to him and we still do andso we're as we seek after God we stilldo this and then he created woman and heput them in relationship and that's whata lot of relationships look likesometimes it's yeah and sometimes it'sbooth but the closer we get to God themore those relationships syncronized notonly as husband and wife but as thefamily of God and so we're going to betalking about in our first part of thisseries focus on the family we're goingto be looking at the covenantrelationship of marriage but I don'twant to leave you out if you're not yetmarried or if you've been married andyou've decided you just don't like itI'm kidding but I don't want to leaveyou out so we're gonna be talking aboutthe covenant relationship of marriagebut we're also gonna be talking aboutthe family that's the church and I thinkyou'll see a whole lot of similaritiesthat we'll be able to apply first of allI guess what we've got to do is start bydefining the word covenant what doescovenant mean we hear it it's one ofthose church words that everybody prettymuch assumes that they know but covenantcomes from the Hebrew word bereaved andthe wreath is a derivative of bara whatdifference does any of that make I'mjust showing off that I have access tothat stuffactually the bara means to cut from ifyou can imagine that cowboy riding ahorse and he cutshow from the herd sober ah means to cutfrom brief a derivative of that would beto select or to cut from the herd ofhumanity a person or group of people tobe able to enter into a specialagreement or special relationship withso the word covenant would be to cutfrom humanity a person or a group ofpeople to have a special agreement withnow obviously as a church our firstcovenant is a relationship with Godwe're gonna be talking about that andhow we can have a successful covenantrelationship with each other when wehave a successful covenant relationshipwith God so a covenant though is alittle bit different than a contract wehear about contracts all the time andand this agreement that a covenant hasit's not implying a loose sort of anagreement often when I make anappointment with somebody I'll say ishlike yeah I see you Starbucks are like10:30 ish and I hate this about myselfbut I'm I'm perpetually late and it'snot because I don't care about otherpeople's time and what makes it so muchmore irritating is I hate it when peopleare late to meet me but I tend to overschedule things sometimes and don'tdon't keep track of the time and so Iusually I'll say 10:30 ish and and whenI say that it helps the other personrealize I might be plus or minus 10minutes so they're up on a tightschedule they could say well no no nodon't let's don't worry about that so sothat lets cut the 10:30 ish is a simpleagreement a covenant is something that'sfar more specificit's 10:31 if if I could use that sameanalogy and it's different than acontract we see a contract always has anend date it always has an end date andto renew a contract at that end dateyou've got to go to the nextand to be able to say we're gonna renewthis agreement for this amount of time acontract has an end date a covenant ithas no end date once you make a covenantit's it's forever that's why when I domarriage vows when I ask the person torepeat the vows to their spouse telldeath do us partthat's what ends the covenantrelationship of husband and wifecovenants are not meant to be likecontracts that have an end date also acontract generally involves just onepart of a person for instance a skill ifyou have a contract with somebody to beable to come and paint your house it'snot also a contract with them to be ableto cook you breakfast you're actuallyenter into an agreement for them to do aparticular thing where a covenant meansyou're giving all of you to receive allof somebody else and so my definition ofcovenant forget the Hebrew forget thegreen my definition of a covenant is anagreement voluntarily entered into thatinvolves promising yourself andreceiving that same promise back fromanother person or a group of people soyou can see how a covenant marriage asyou promised all that you have if you'renot yet married or God is maybe you'repraying that God is bringing that personwho else meets that need the body ofChrist you are entering into anagreement to be able to say to the yourbrothers and sisters in Christ I ambringing all that I have and expectingall that you have in return in acovenant relationship obviously the maindifference and really the onlydifference is the intimacy of themarriage bed that's really the onlydifference in the family of God as achurch family and a family that's beenjoined together through the covenant ofmarriage the concept of the Covenant isone of the major themes throughout thescripture in our Sunday School class wedecided to take the book of Genesis andlook at it chatat a time and in Genesis 6 we read thatGod made a covenant with Noah the firstcovenant that's recorded in thescriptures using the word covenant andhe says but I will establish my covenantwith you and you will enter the ark youand your sons and your wives and yoursons wives with you the promise on thetail end is if you enter that Ark whenit's all said and done you'll exit thatArk and so he made a covenant agreementwith Noah all throughout the OldTestament we see in second Samuel 712God made a covenant with David promisingthat his heirs will always sit on thethrone of Israel Genesis 17 10 God madea covenant with Abraham that he would bethe father of many many nations inExodus 24 God made a covenant with thenation of Israel and on Mount Sinai forSamuel 18 David and Jonathan made acovenant with each other because theyhad such a strong brotherly love foreach other but I guess the mostimportant covenant that God ever madewas the Covenant he made with all ofhumanity that new covenant that covenanta salvation that comes through grace byfaith that whosoever whosoever willmight be saved and so that's the mostimportant covenant that the Bible talksabout but we see these covenants all thetime as a matter of fact in the book ofMatthew 26 is Jesus is eating the LastSupper with the disciples he said hetook the bread and gave thanks and brokeit in Matthew 26 26 and he said take andeat this is my body then he took the cupand gave thanks and offered it to themsaying drink from it all of you this ismy blood of the Covenant which is pouredout for many for the forgiveness of sinso when we're talking about a covenantrelationship we're talking about acovenant family whether it be a familythrough marriage or a church familywe're talking about an agreement betweena person or a group of people whereyou're saying I'm giving everything I'vegot and you're saying you're givingeverything you've got and together we'regonna do this thing called life and Godsays this God said I'm going to bethe author and the perfecter of thatlife I'm gonna step down througheternity because I see your need for asavior I'm gonna live a sinless life I'mgonna die on the cross paying your sinof the penalty for your sinand I'm gonna make a way that you can berighteous in God the father's eyesbecause without that righteousnesswithout that right living before God youwill not will not will not be successfulin the Covenant relationship in marriageor in a church family it's impossible tobe able to do that so covenants comebetween God and people or to people butif it's between two people God's got tobe right smack in the middle of it sofor our purposes this morning on thisfirst part of focusing on the familywe're gonna look again at thisrelationship of marriage and also thefamily of God through the church inGenesis 2:24 it says therefore shall aman leave his father and mother andshall cleave unto his wife and theyshall be one flesh it's not just talkingabout the marriage bed when talks aboutone flesh they will be in one Accord Ithink it's interesting that as God wascreating humanity and and at the end ofevery day the scriptures say and Godsaid that it was good I'm always askedthis so I just go ahead and say that alot of people will say well brother Rondo you believe that creation was sixliteral days or do you believe it waslike and then they usually quote were aday is like a thousand years to God athousand years to a day so do youbelieve it was a long time frame or sixliteral days and this is just free withthe price of admission the Bible saysthere was evening and there was morningand that was day one that's a prettyspecific reckoning of time isn't itthere will be today and then there willbe tonight and then there'll be tomorrowthere won't be this morning and thiseveningand a thousand years from now tomorrowit's morning and evening and that's dayone so if it didn't have that phrase inthe Bible then I would say well sure itcould be over a long period of time butthere's a specific reckoning of time andpeople will say well that's impossiblethen I went this one on them all thingsare possible through Christ whostrengthens me if he can save a wretchlike me he could create a planet in sixdays you hear meso marriage was was a covenant that Godestablished also the Covenant of thechurch in Matthew 16 verse 18 the secondhalf of verse 18 says on this rock Iwill build my church and the gates ofHades the gates of Hell will notovercome in I will give you the keys ofthe kingdom of heaven whatever your bindon earth will be bound in heaven andwhatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven so we have thiscovenant relationship of marriage and ofthe church family so we've kind of setthe stage of our very first conversationin Ecclesiastes and I'm gonna have somany scriptures here and I realize forsome people that's a little troublesomebecause you'd like to be able to followalong we have copies that you can watchthis on youtube you can look thesethings up you can write the scripturereferences now because I'm reading offmy iPad I could be making this stuff upstuff up that's why you need to study tomake you make sure that what I'm sayingis in fact found in God's Word and soyou could jot these things down or ifyou want to I can email you these thingsbut but look them up to make sure thatyou that you are understanding whatGod's Word says and Ecclesiastes 4 9through 12 it says this two are betterthan one because they have a good returnfor their work if one Falls his friendcan help him up but pity the man whofalls and has no one to help him on alsoof to lie down together they will keepwarm but how can one keep warm alone theone may be overpowered two can defendthemselvesa quart of three strands it's notquickly broken and you might think toyourself well brother Ron that'sobviously talking about at least one ofthose is talking about the marriage bedyou know if to lay down I mean if onelays down by themselves how can theystay warm if they're to land togetheryou've obviously not camped in FortCarson Colorado in the military duringsnow time listen I could care less howmuch hair you had on your face if wewere sleeping at a tent together we'resnuggling you hear me we're sharing bodyheat so it's not just talking about thecovenant relationship between husbandand wife when it talks about laying downtogether to be able to share body warmthwe've already talked about God realizedthat it was not good it was like goodfor man to be alone and when he createdman before he declared that it is goodbefore he declared it was evening in themorning and that was the last day he sawthat it was not good for the man to bealone and he created for him they helpedme and so as we study in the book ofGenesis we see this idea that Godcreated man and gave him jobs gave himspecific tasks gave him gave him a senseof purpose gave him a sense of of ofpriorities but he saw that Adam wasn'tgoing to be able to do it alone hewasn't going to be able to do it byhimself and so he created for Adam ahelped me that word help mate is theexact same word that God uses of himselfwhen he describes his relationship witha nation of Israel God says I am ahelpmate of Israel and if God can be ahelp mate then that helps you understandthat the relationship between a a wifeto a husband to help me God said Adamcannot be all he's been created to bewithout the relationship I'm gonna formwith he and Eve now again if you're hereand you're not married I don't want youto feel left out because God has saidI'm going to give you a familyI'm gonna give you brothers and sistersthat didn't come from the same mom anddad I'm gonna give you children that youdid not bear I'm gonna give your momsand dadsdid not birth you I'm gonna put you in acovenant relationship in the body ofChrist so you can experience all thesethings except for the sexual intimacythat is found in the relationship ofmarriage so God created for Adam Eve Godcreated for me Janet and in our covenantrelationship she's my best friend she isabsolutely my best friend I would not beable to be Who I am with without her andthere's some principles that she followsthat are outlined in the book ofProverbs that helps me to be who it isthat I am I may assure this story withyou before and I'll probably be just asinappropriate now as it was when I firstsaid it forgive me my very first sermonJanet said Ron I know you got to be youand I know you got to talk the way yourtalk and I know you got to do the wayyou do but if I could suggest you notuse the term butt-naked from the pulpitagain I think that would probably be agood idea well I said when you use thatterm everybody knows exactly what yousaw him out don't they especially let'scountry folks right but she followsthese principles that are outlined inProverbs for instance she exposes to memy blind spots so that I could have thewisdom about things I can't see proverbs1523 a man find joy in giving and afterreply and how good is a timely word seemy wife was able to see in me thingsthat I did not yet even understand aboutmyself she was able to see in me the manthat God was going to create before Iever even understood that and sheencouraged me with timely words thecovenant relationship of marriage of thecovenant relationship of a church familyenables people to see in you that whichyou have not yet discovered for yourselfand it's timely word these little babiesdown here that sit down right hereone day they're going to be pastorsthey're gonna be pastors why's theregoing to be Sunday school teachers anddeacons and they're gonna be senatorsand congressmen and Congresswomen andthey're going to be bankers and lawyersand they're going to be all these thingsright now we just see them as littlebitty babies but if we sow into them andthe covenant relationship of a churchfamily we give them a timely word yescorrect them when they're acting up andthen encourage them when they're doinggood that's why we want them to bringtrophies that's why we want him to bringmedals that's why we bragged on Isaiahwhen he got his driver's license becausewe want to be able to celebrate inproverbs 25:11 a word aptly spoke islike apples of gold in settings ofsilver see Janet doesn't avoid I meanJanet will say the right thing at theright time not the wrong time becausethe right thing at the wrong timedoesn't encourage at all does it adiscourage --is the right thing at thewrong time discourages but like an appleof gold and settings of silver the rightword at the right time stands out inthis noise of the world today listen letme just give you a tip Facebook that'sthe best of somebody's life now youfollow some people and you think that'sthe best of your life oh heavens youknow how to pray for that person don'tyou but it's just the best of somebody'slife and often people will sit back andthey'll look at Facebook and they lookat Instagram and and they look at thebest and they look at the smiles andthey look at the thing nobody evervideotapes an argument they have withtheir spouse and posts it on Facebookyou don't do that you don't get up inthe morning with your hair all this withyour gorilla breath that it take apicture of yourself in the mirror andsay yeah well this is what it looks likefirst thing in the morning nobody doesthat right and so I want you to knowthat the right word at theright time it's like an Apple thatshines in the silver life isn't Facebooklife happens every single day and to bein a covenant relationship with a personthrough marriage or a church familyhelps you to be able to shine like anapple and a world full of silver theworld is great but gold is better thansilverJanna speaks the truth in love even whenshe knows and may hurt my feelingsthat's a tough one right thereeven if she knows it's gonna hurt myfeelings I don't know if you realizethis but I like talking I've actuallysaid to her before sweetie if I dominatethe conversation just give me some sortof a sign hit my leg do somethingbecause see where most people think youknow when there's a pause in theconversation they call it an awkwardsilence I call it an opportunity so ifthere's a lull in the conversation Ijust thought I just think well that mustbe my turn we were at a party one timeand I'm talking to talking to talkingand she's hitting my leg and hitting myleg and hitting my leg and I turnedhonest-to-goodness this happen I turnwhen I said I know honey but I justcan't help it and I just kept talkingshe speaks the truth even when she knowsit may hurt my feelings proverbs 27:6wounds from a friend can be trusted butan enemy multiplies kisses and acovenant relationship and a churchfamily in a marriage you have somebodythat's gonna they've agreed to give themall of them to you and to be able to sayI love you enough to tell you the trutheven though I know it might hurt yourfeelings that doesn't give youpermission to be rude just kind of aside there when Janet speaks to me outof the truth of our covenantrelationship there's an aroma of greaseand proverbs 27 9 perfume and incensebring joy to the heart and thepleasantness of one's friend Springsfrom his owncouncil she isn't gonna join in withothers who give me false flattery she'sgonna tell me what it is that I need tohear proverbs 28 23 he worried he whorebukes a man will in the end gain morefavor than he who has a flatteringtongue as a pastor people often and Iplease this go sound arrogant at firstbut people often will give me praiseoh brother on good sermon I rememberthis there's a man that used to be amember of this church he's home with theLord now I still won't call his name I'msorry I'm struggling with that same signof saying the breads of Jamie mentionand the second I would get up to preachhe fall asleep not only would he fallasleep he would kind of tuck into thecorner of the Pew like this you I mean Iwould ask him I asked him one time whydon't you just bring a pillow on ablanket just stretch right on out youcould tell that he got his nap everytime I got a treat but you know what hewould say every time leaving the doorall brother on the screen sermon onetime I said you liar you didn't hear aword I said you were sleeping the wholetime people give you false praise allthe time they'll flatter you all thetime all the whole brother on I wish Icould share my faith is noble easyoh brother on I wish I could makefriends just like oh brother on I wishmy husband listened to me like youlisten brother around I wish my wifewould understand me the way youunderstand me oh poor the wrong withwrong by the ROM brother ROM brother onif you're not careful it gets pretty bigbut Jamie and I talk about this all thetime we try to keep each other groundedbecause if we don't after a whilebrother Jamie birth Jim bill rompersrano you go oh you guys you guys allthat flattery well a covenantrelationship that you have with a churchfamily or with the spouse the cruciblefor silver and the furnace for gold butman is tested by the praise he receivesthe crucible for silver the heat that'sapplied to silver purifies the furnacepurify a gold but a man is tested by thepraise he receivessometimes I'll get in the car and I'llsave who I'd knock that one out of thepark and generally mmm-hmm welleverybody is on the way out said what agood sermon well here's some things youprobably could have done different andthat's great because they're thecovenant relationship you have thatagreement it's okay to do that it's okayto be able to do that the reason thatGod put together this whole idea of afamily whether it's through husband awife or a church family is so that youcan have an intimate ally good graciousis at the time ought to finish thislaterthe best definition of the word intimateI've ever heard is intimate in to meintimate if you're intimate withsomebody you allow them to see into meit doesn't necessarily mean sexual butyou allow them to see into me anintimate relationship how is an intimaterelationship achieved in church it's notin this setting because let's face itthere's you you might be just close tothe person next to you I miss sittingbeside Janna and worship service andbeing able to hold hands with each otherthat's about the most intimate you canget in a church setting but there'scertainly not a whole lot of intimacyhere because I'm talking and you'rehaving to listen and a small group setin a Sunday school you said well I hatewait wait a minute wait a minutewell what about this and what about thatin a in a home group setting you couldsay well this is what's going on in mylife and when you have a prayer partnerto be able to call up and say I need youto be praying for my husband or my wifeor my kids for this particular reasonwhen you have a small group Bible studyand you're able to unpack God's Wordthat's where the intimacy comes in in achurch setting we have to do thiscorporate sort of a thing this is kindof the pep rally right here but theintimate relationships are always forgedin the small group setting always formedin a small group setting you have anintimate ally in the small group settingyou allow people to see into youand in return they allow you to see intothem in the covenant of marriage you'reable to allow you have somebody's anintimate ally let me just very quicklymove through the rest of these and Ipromise I'm not going to keep you longwe see intimacy revealed truthfully inGenesis 2 where it says the man and thewoman were both naked and they felt noshame they felt no shame Adam looked inthe mirror and he thought he was sexybeast and then Eve came along and therewas no shame at all and then we seeintimacy that's false when they sinnedand they hid and tried to coverthemselves with leaves and then we seereal intimacy again re-established inEphesians 5 for this reason a man willleave his father and mother be united tohis wife and the two will become oneflesh this is a profound mystery but I'mtalking about Christ and the churchso when Christ came to establish thechurch he used marriage to be able toidentify the intimate relationshipbetween Christ and the church theintimate relationship between husbandand wife is married it is is an image ofwhat Christ and the church is supposedto look like so if you don't have anintimate partner God has designed thechurch to be your intimate ally thechurch to be able to be your intimateally covenant relationship in conclusionhelps us do three things that helps usto love God well by holding each otheraccountable I can say all day long Ilove the Lord I can say all day longthat I hate the sin but I love thesinner in a church atmosphere and acovenant relationship in marriage youcan say to somebody okay you say youlove the center how are you loving thecenter if you say you love the centerand you hate the sin how are you lovingthe center how are you doing it I'mgonna talk about what you think aboutthem or how you pray for them what areyou doing to show them that you lovethem we have to be able to haveaccountability partners and in thecovenant relationship it helps us tolove Godwell by doing what we say we're going todo we can stand up all day long and waveour hands and victory in Jesus I heardan old old story we can praise the Lordabout all these things but when we leavehere if our attitude of praise isn't thesame as it is in here then we're notloving God well and God has created theinstitution of the family church familymarriage family to help us to love Godwell also the second thing that anintimate relationship a covenantrelationship allows us to do is to loveothers well even those who are unlovableI share with you before I have a pastorfriend who told me one day so there'snever gonna be any kids sitting in thefront pew my church with their hairsticking all up in earrings everywhereand I said you're right brother therewon't ever be anybody like that at yourchurch we got a love others well we gotto love others like Christ loved us hmmand then finally a good covenantrelationships it's gonna help you loveyourself well for on your bad days whenyou get up and you look in the mirrorand you think to yourself where did theprime of my life go I look in the mirrorand I see my dad I'm like weird thatstrapping 19-year old handsome fella goand my wife will pass by and say youstill look good to me all I need to hearone out of boy from her will dispel allthe negative remarks conversely onenegative remark from her well wipe outall the Atta boys and sometimes that'sjust as necessary a covenantrelationship helps you to love God wellhelps you to love others well helps youto love you well would you say you havea covenant relationship with the membersof this churchhave you given an are you given all ofyou and expecting and return all of themand if the answer that is no and you'rea part of this church today you can getthat straightmaybe you're here with your spouse ormaybe your spouse is at home and I askyou this are you given all of yourselfto your spouse and are they given all ofthem to you and if the answer that is notoday's the day you can get thatstrained God created us to be in theCovenant relationship so that we couldlove him well we could have loved otherswell and we could love ourself well I'llend with this the Bible says that theworld will know that we are here by theway we love one another you in covenantyou given it all you got to get allsomebody else has for the honor andglory of the Lord that's what it's allabout let's pray father I thank you Lordfor the opportunity to be able to sharethese words the Lord the time just seemsto fly sometimes and so I'd ask that youwould help these words to be able tojust sink in to be able to simmer as agood soup with simmer on the stove allday long that if suppose folks reflectback on what it is that they've heardand they would be able to ask themselfthe tough questions am i sowing thetruth in love do I give a good word atthe right time am I am I there like acord of three strands am I there to beable to keep others warm to be able topick them up am I in and encourage herand my one that works alongside so toodoes better than one am I am I in acovenant relationship with Mother Churchfamily with my with my marriage familyand Lord as we contemplate that as weask ourself that question there might besome areas that you've revealed to ourhearts and our minds that we need towork on or Lord you might have revealedto us another marriage that we might beable to sowinto another relationship that we mightneed to sew into and so Lord as we singthis final song we we'd ask that youwould help us to be mindful of what itis that you've told us that we ought todo in response to the reading of yourword maybe maybe some folks need to cometo this altar and just kneel here atthis altar area not to pray for theirrelationship necessarily just to be ableto pray for the churchmaybe another church for anotherrelationship maybe for the wrong maybethey need to make a few in front of themtheir altar where Lord there might besomebody here that's never made acovenant relationship with you and maybefor the first time they realized whytheir relationships with everybody elseisn't working because they haven't givenall of themselves to you and you havenot yet given all of yourself to thembecause they haven't asked for that soLord there may be somebody that needs tobegin their journey today in thecovenant relationship with you and asthey grow with you you'll make all theirother relationships blossom fatherwhatever it is that we need to do inresponse to this message give us thefreedom to respond we pray these thingsin Jesus name Amen
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