Robert Keena, Author at Grace Church San Antonio - Page 2 of 5

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!

 

Blessings,

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 They feel as if somehow they lose their identity and their freedom if they adhere to some type of “outdated standard.”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.

Blessings,

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.

Blessings,

Pastor Robert

Faith and Hope

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James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Our relationship with God should be one of great intimacy and utter dependence. We are asked to no longer live for ourselves but for Him. Normal people do not enjoy trials. In fact, most of us do everything possible to avoid the trials of life. However, James is writing to people who were well acquainted with the pain and the challenge of trials. Most of these Christians had faced severe trials even to the point of losing their homes, their jobs, and their security within a community. They had to flee literally for their lives to a strange place. Many of them faced not mere inconvenience, but the very survival of life itself.

The good news is that every human on earth has a capacity for world changing faith built into them. Faith is believing and speaking the word of God and respecting it as the highest standard of truth. Faith has been called the eye that sees the invisible, the ear that hears the inaudible, the hand that feels the intangible, and the power that works the impossible. Faith comes, not by praying, but comes by a continual feeding upon spiritual food of God’s Word (Romans 10:17).

Hope is for the future, but Faith needs Hope to give it something to bring substance to. Hope empowers Faith to produce a result in our lives. We can say it this way that Hope gives Faith a target. Don’t be afraid to build your hope up, but base your Hope on the Word of God. The scripture should be our foundation for our hope and faith.

Blessings,
Pastor Robert.

Love Revealed

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2 John 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Loving God means obeying Him. When we love God, we desire to walk according to His commandments, meaning that we want to obey Him. Our obedience reveals our love for Him. Love for God doesn’t focus just on feelings, although feelings are included, it’s about what we do. We obey Him not because we are trying to outweigh bad deeds. We obey because we love God and desire to please Him.  Obedience requires an abandonment of self and a dependence upon Christ.  Sometimes Christ requires more than we are willing to give. Sometimes He leads in a direction where we do not want to go.  Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son because of his love and firm belief in God. He believed that God would fulfill all He had promised.  Because we love God, all though not always easy, but difficult, costly and demanding, we must walk in obedience to Him. Stay focused on the love you have for God and not the cost.  

Blessings, Pastor Robert

Faith is Essential

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Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

God has given man and woman a remarkable place and a one of kind responsibility.  Man and woman while subject to genetics and instincts were given the uniquely challenging capability of choice. Faith is a choice for all of God’s children, we have to choose to believe and trust in Him and His word. Faith is the essential principle of the kingdom of God.  The fall of the human race began the moment they listened to satan’s insinuations, “Did God really say.”  The recovery of the human race commences the moment the soul begins to trust its God.  This is why Faith has been made indispensable to the reception of the gospel and the salvation of the soul.  Faith is the gateway of prayer.  There must be a believing recognition of God’s personal existence, and also of His goodness and graciousness and that He does hear and answer prayer.  

God is bringing Restoration

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Deuteronomy 7:6 (AMP) For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be a people for His own possession [that is, His very special treasure].

God is setting us apart through restoration and He is blessing us above the nations of the earth to be a mighty witness for Him.  Lets look at a definition of the word restoration – the act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc. an act of restoring or the condition of being restored.

Regardless of what is going on in our life, wars, famines, financial crises and turmoil, we have nothing to fear.  God’s hand is upon us. The world is going to see His protection, His power and blessings upon our lives.  While everything around us is shaking and falling apart, we are going to stand strong and immovable because our foundation is built on that which cannot be shaken…the impregnable, infallible Word of God.
During this time of restoration in our life, God’s power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are going to flow through His people for a witness to the world around us.  Then the world will know through our witness that God is who He says He is.

Be Alert

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Mark 14:38 (NIV) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We must utilize our weapon of prayer and use it as an offensive weapon to be on the alert.

the Spirit of God is raising up Christians who know how to use their powerful weapon of prayer as an offensive weapon to tear down satan’s strongholds and release the power of God throughout the nations of the earth.

God has given us this powerful weapon, but we must spend time building our relationship with Christ.  We need to come in a spiritual union with Him and a full and accurate knowledge of Him.  Allowing Him to reveal Himself and His will to us, so that we will see and hear in the Spirit what He wants us to say and do.

We must prepare ourselves for battle by praying and humbling ourselves through fasting and prayer.  We must allow Him to be our strength instead of relying upon our own power.  Persevere in prayer and bind the power of the enemy and release the power of God.

Blessings,

Pastor Robert

True Knowledge

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Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).

The book of Proverbs starts out with a purpose statement. Chapter one versus two, three, and four, describe who will benefit the most from studying the proverbs. Solomon tells us about the kind of attitude that will receive the most impactful result from the wisdom of God. This attitude is called “fear of the Lord.” The fear that Solomon is talking about is a humble, high respect, and attentive position toward God. The result of this fear will make us ready to benefit from God’s wisdom. The word fear means an attitude of awe and respect, a holy reverence. Without this attitude we will probably not be in a proper position to receive what God tells us.

the rest of this verse tells us, people who do not have this awe and respect of God end up despising His wisdom. But people who make it a habit to highly respect or have reverence for God and practice His wisdom, will find that life makes sense. Then we seem to work in accordance with the way God designed our life. As you follow wisdom, you get the most out of life!

Pastor Robert

Confessions & Declarations

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Father, I’m excited about today. This is a day You have made; I’m rejoicing and being glad in it. For this is going to be a great day. I’m receive all that you have for me today. Father, I know You reward those who earnestly seek You, so I thank You in advance for Your blessings, favor, and victory in my life today.

Father, thank you, for you are guiding and directing my steps. I thank You that You’re causing me to be at the right place at the right time. You are bringing wonderful financial opportunities my way. Your favor is surrounding me. Your goodness and mercy are following me. I’m excited about today!

Father, I thank You, that You called me to be the head, not the tail. I’m above and not beneath. You said that I will be able to lend money and not have to borrow. You said that whatever I put my hands to do shall prosper. So Father, I thank You that I am blessed, and I cannot be cursed.

Father, I thank you, That I am enthusiastically serving other people. That I am doing something great. That I am excelling in my career. That I am a person of influence. That I have favor with influential people. That I am breaking out of the mold of wrong mindsets, and attitudes. I am rising to new heights.

Father, I thank You that I have Your favor. Your favor is opening doors of opportunity. Your favor is bringing success and increase into my life, and my finances. Your favor is causing my body to be healed and healthy. Your favor is causing people to want to help me.

I declare that in the name of Jesus I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and I have clear direction for my life.

I declare I am blessed with creativity, courage, ability, and abundance.

I declare I am blessed with a strong will, self-control, and self-discipline.

I declare I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favor, and fulfillment.

I declare that I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion, and divine protection.

I declare that I am blessed with an obedient heart and a positive outlook on life.

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me, in the name of Jesus, that curse is broken right now.

I declare I am blessed in the city! I am blessed in the country! I am blessed when I go in! I am blessed when I come out!

I declare that everything I put my hand to is going to prosper and succeed!
I declare I am blessed!

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