July 2016 - Grace Church San Antonio

The Lord is my Shepherd

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Psalm 23:1-6 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

In writing “The Lord is,” David was referring to the God who was, the God who is, and the God who will always be.  As we face difficulties in life we need to remember that “God is.” When David called Him “my shepherd” he was describing God as our personal savior.  Whatever the circumstances, David learned to lack nothing.  The shepherd walks the field with the sheep, taking care of their needs. Whatever trials we face, God helps us to find rest and refreshment by leading us to green pastures and still waters. When we stray God brings us back into the flock, so we can have another chance at a personal relationship with Him.

David had no fear as he walked through the darkest valley.  He knew God would be with him and protect him.  As we walk in the darkest valley and we find ourselves cut and bruised, we can let Jesus pour His anointing oil on us to protect us from being infected by the negative circumstances that the devil uses against us. Do we know the Good Shepherd, and are we known by Him (John 10:11). We can have the same confidence that David had, knowing that we will be in eternity with the Good Shepherd taking care of our every need.


Pastor Robert

Fear, Worry, and Doubt.

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Read Job 2:1-7

We can learn many things from Job about how we open the door or give the devil a foothold in our life (Ephesians 4:27).  We also can learn how to go through trials, tests and temptations and come out victorious.

Once Satan has attacked us through stressful circumstances, he will begin to bombard our minds with fear, worry and doubt.  Satan will so fill our minds with negative thoughts that we become so bound we are unable to release our faith. As fear grips our minds, we begin to worry about our circumstances.  Night and day our minds are in a constant state of turmoil. Satan then has us in a deadly grip…a cycle of defeat…that paralyzes and hinders us from receiving what we need from God.

The cycle of defeat is as follows:

  1. Satan attacks our circumstances (which brings…)
  2. Stress
  3. Fear
  4. Worry
  5. Doubt
  6. Weariness
  7. Discouragement
  8. Depression
  9. Back to stress

Satan’s strategy is to fill our minds so full of fear, worry and doubt that the Word of God becomes ineffective in our lives because it is not mixed with faith.  Satan knows that we can confess the Word until we are blue in the face, but it will not become effective in our lives until we speak it in unwavering faith. Meaning we believe whatever we speak will be done.

One of the greatest truths God has taught me that has enabled me to face satan’s attacks in my circumstances in victory, is to refuse to keep my eyes on my circumstances. At a time in my life when the challenges before me seemed impossible, God spoke to me some words that have changed my life.

Don’t look to the bigness of your need, look to the bigness of your God!



Pastor Robert.

Role of the Wife

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Perhaps more than at any other time in history, women today need a clear understanding of how they should relate to their husbands. In fact, the significant social changes brought about by the women’s movement over the last few decades have led to such confusion that the very idea of “roles” is repugnant to some. They feel as if somehow they lose their identity and their freedom if they adhere to some type of “outdated standard.”

It’s important for us to look clearly at what the Bible says on this subject. And while the Bible doesn’t apply our modern word “role” to marriage, the Scriptures are clear about the unique responsibilities God assigns to a wife.


#1: Be a helper to your husband. 

While all of us are called to be helpers to others, the Bible places a special emphasis on this responsibility for wives. Genesis tells us that God realized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and that He decided to make a “helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). It is interesting to note that the Hebrew meaning of the word helper in this passage is found hereafter in the Bible to refer only to God as He helps us. The fact that this same word is applied to a wife signifies that we women have been given tremendous power for good in our husbands’ lives. God has designed wives to help their husbands become all that God intends for them to be.

#2: Respect your husband.

In Ephesians 5:33, Paul says, ” … the wife must respect her husband.” When you respect your husband you reverence him, notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, and esteem him. It means valuing his opinion, admiring his wisdom and character, appreciating his commitment to you, and considering his needs and values.

Your husbands have many needs. The macho man who is self-contained, independent, and invulnerable is a myth.

The primary needs most men have:

  • Self-confidence in his personhood as a man.
  • To be listened to
  • Companionship
  • To be needed 

Meeting these needs is what respecting your husband is all about. To bolster His confidence, for example, Try to encourage him by being his Number One fan. Every husband wants his wife to be on his team, to coach him when necessary, but most of all to be his cheerleader. A husband needs a wife who is behind him, believing in him, appreciating him, and cheering him on as he goes out into the world every day.

#3: Love your husband.

Titus 2:4 calls for wives “to love their husbands.” A good description of the kind of love your husband needs is “unconditional acceptance.” In other words, accept your husband just as he is—an imperfect person.

Love also means being committed to a mutually fulfilling sexual relationship. I realize there is a whole lot more to love than sex, but we are looking at how to fulfill God’s command to love your husbands. Therefore, you must look at love from their perspective, not just our own.

Surveys show that sex is one of a man’s most important needs—if not the most important. When a wife resists intimacy, is uninterested, or is only passively interested, her husband may feel rejection. It will cut at his self-image, tear at him to the very center of his being, and create isolation.

Your husband’s sexual needs should be more important and higher on your priority list than menus, housework, projects, activities, and even the children. It does not mean that you should think about sex all day and every day, but it does mean that you find ways to remember your husband and his needs. It means save some of your energy for him. It keeps you from being selfish and living only for your own needs and wants. Maintaining that focus helps you defeat isolation in your marriage.

#4: “Submit” to the leadership of your husband.

Just mention the word “submission,” and many women immediately become angry and even hostile. This controversial concept has been highly debated and misunderstood.

Some husbands and wives actually believe submission indicates that women are inferior to men in some way. I have known women who think that if they submit they will lose their identity and become “non-persons.” Others fear (some with good reason) that submission leads to being used or abused.

Another misconception is that submission means blind obedience on the part of the woman. She can give no input to her husband, question nothing, and only stay obediently barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

What does God have in mind? Here are two passages from Scripture:

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them (Colossians 3:18-19).

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body(Ephesians 5:22-30).

These Scriptures make it clear that a wife should submit voluntarily to her husband’s sensitive and loving leadership. Therefore, as you voluntarily submit to your husband, You are completing him. You are helping him fulfill his responsibilities, and You are helping him become the man, the husband, and the leader God intended him to be.


Building oneness in marriage works best when both partners choose to fulfill their responsibilities voluntarily, with no pressure or coercion. To become the servant-leader God has commanded him to be, your husband needs your gracious respect and submission. And when your husband loves you the way he is commanded to, you can more easily submit yourself to that leadership.

You should do this with an attitude of entrusting yourself to God. In one of his letters, Peter told us that even though Jesus suffered terrible pain and insults, He did not retaliate “but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). When you entrust your life to the Father, it’s much easier to be the wife of an imperfect man, particularly when you may have disagreements.

A special note: Some of you may live with abuse or in excessively unhealthy and destructive conditions in your marriage. At times, it may be inappropriate or even life-threatening for you to apply unquestioningly the principles of submission. For example, if you are being physically or verbally abused, you may need to take steps to protect yourself and your children. You may need to say to your husband, “I love you, but enough is enough.” If you are in that situation, please discerningly seek out your pastor or someone wise who has been trained to help with your specific issue.

Loving, forgiving, and submitting do not mean that you become a doormat or indefinitely tolerate significantly destructive behavior.


Pastor Robert

The Role Of The Husband

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Leadership in the home is no laughing matter. During the last few decades our culture has redefined the meaning and responsibilities of man and woman in society and in the home. Many men are confused and insecure. Many do not know how to act in the home. Growing up, they lacked a good model for leadership at home and have no mental picture of what it means to lead a family. Consequently, they do not lead effectively, or they do not even try.

Increasingly, many men are becoming passive in the home. They’ve decided that the easiest thing to do is nothing. The simplest thing—with the smallest risk—is to stay on the fence with both feet firmly planted in mid-air and let the wife do it. When a man is married to a strong wife who will take over, he often lets her do just that.

Fortunately, there is an answer. The Scriptures clearly give us the model for being a man, a husband and father. I call that model the “servant/leader.”

I hope that the concepts I share will help you understand the biblical role of a husband more clearly than ever before. When correctly interpreted and applied, these concepts not only result in freedom for the husband and wife, but also help you work better as a team to combat isolation and conflict in your marriage.

#1: Be a leader.

The Scriptures provide a clear organizational structure for a marriage. Following are a couple of typical Scriptures:

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body (Ephesians 5:22-30).

In his commentary on Ephesians, William Hendriksen points out that God “… placed ultimate responsibility with respect to the household on the shoulders of the husband . . . The Lord has assigned the wife the duty of obeying her husband yet … this obedience must be a voluntary submission on her part, and that only to her own husband, not to every man.”

“Head” does not mean male dominance, where a man lords it over a woman and demands her total obedience to his every wish and command. God never viewed women as second-class citizens. His Word clearly states that we are all equally His children and are of equal value and worth before Him. As Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The teaching of the New Testament clearly shows that women are to be respected, revered, and treated as equals with men. Unfortunately, many husbands have not gotten the message. They degrade their wives by neglect or with insensitive and abusive treatment. One cause of the feminist movement may have been that men abandoned God’s design. When God presented Eve to Adam in the Garden, Adam received her as a gift of great value to God and him. When husbands, particularly Christian husbands, do not treat their wives as a precious gift from God and helpmate, they can cause those wives to search for a way to find significance and value as persons, often outside God’s will.

Are you a leader? Men who are “natural” leaders have no trouble answering the question, yes. They know how to take over, control, guide, and get things done. Some men are not strong or natural leaders. How can they lead in the home?

Paul says the same to everyone. God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Your wife may be resisting you, fighting you, and spurning your attempts to lead, but it makes no difference. I believe our wives want us and need us to lead. You are not demanding this position; on the contrary, God placed you there. You will not lead her perfectly, but you must care for you wife and family by serving them with perseverance.

Scripture does more than assign leadership in a marriage to the husband, however. Those same passages you just read also provide a model for that leadership. The Apostle Paul says that the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. “This comparison of the husband with Christ reveals the sense in which a man should be his wife’s “head.” Hendriksen writes, “He is her head as being vitally interested in her welfare. He is her protector. His pattern is Christ Who, as head of the Church, is its Savior!”

Let’s look more closely at two responsibilities that flow out of proper leadership.

#2: Love your wife unconditionally.

Ephesians 5:25 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Your unconditional acceptance of your wife is not based upon her performance, but on her worth as God’s gift to you. If you want to love your wife unconditionally, always be sure her emotional tank is full. One of the best ways to do that is to affirm her constantly. Let her know verbally that you value her, respect her, and love her. I have discovered that I simply cannot do that enough.

There is no question that words communicate love, but so do actions. You need to do both. As the Apostle John wrote in one of his letters: “let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). One of the missing ingredients in male leadership in homes is sacrificial action. When was the last time you gave up something for your wife—something you genuinely valued, like your golf game, a fishing trip, or your hobby? Sometimes you need to give up something you enjoy so your wife can have a break and see your love for her.

#3: Serve your wife.

According to the New Testament, being head of your wife does not mean being her master, but her servant. Again, Christ is our model for this type of leadership. Jesus did not just talk about serving; He demonstrated it when he washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). Christ, the Head of the Church, took on the very nature of a servant when He was made in human likeness (Philippians 2:7).

One of the best ways to serve your wife is to understand her needs and try to meet them. Do you know what your wife’s top three needs are right now? If she is a young mother, she has a certain set of basic needs. If your children are grown and gone and you are in the empty nest, your wife has a different set of needs that you should try to meet. What is she worried about? What troubles her? What type of pressure does she feel? Learn the answers to questions like that, and then do what you can to reduce her worries, her troubles, her pressures.

What do you know about your wife’s hopes and dreams? I bet she has plenty—do you know what they are? Are you cultivating her gifts? If she has a knack for decorating, do you help her develop that?

Another way to serve your wife is to provide for her. This provision first involves assuming responsibility for meeting the material needs of the family. 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Providing for your wife also means taking the initiative in helping meet her spiritual needs. You do this by modeling godly character, by praying with her, by spending time together in God’s Word, and by looking for ways to encourage her spiritually.


Pastor Robert

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