Lessons on How to Get Along!

We Were Made For Relationship

January 4, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* God + Adam = not good. * God + Adam + Eve = good. * What was missing? Relationship! * This is why we have the ability to communicate - apart from others who are equal to us (human beings) we cannot relate as God relates in the Trinity. * In the beginning God created “adam” (awh-dahm), not the male but humankind. * “It is not good for “humankind” to be alone.” * vs 17-23 - “she was taken out of man.” * This is the “splitting of the adam,” so to speak. * Feminine was taken from masculine. * The two joined together creates the perfect picture of mankind made in God’s image. * vs 24 - this is why God wants men to “cleave” to their wife - to create the oneness required to give the full picture of God’s image. * Man alone is not God’s full image. Neither is woman alone. * It’s the man/woman bond that creates it. * This is why marriage is under attack today - Satan hates the image of God.

Relationships Thrive on Intimacy

January 8, 2014 • Benham Brothers

3 ordinances of God existed before the fall: 1) Sabbath 2) Work 3) Marriage (this was for intimacy) Two foundational truths: Spiritual truths have physical manifestations & Satan tries to mess up what God sets up 1) God created us for intimacy (to be fully known and fully accepted) - it was a desire of His and not a need 2) The PURPOSE for intimacy was LIFE! As we're intimate with God LIFE is birthed 3) God created a physical manifestation of intimacy when He created woman & Satan wants to thwart this intimacy 4) He made the act of intimacy PLEASUREABLE so we would want to do it often 5) Pleasure overtook Purpose (Gen 6:2) - it's like pornography: it seeks pleasure but not purpose, and the result is a lack of intimacy with the woman God gave to you, but maintaining a ravenous apetite for the act of it 6) When a man and woman are intimate LIFE is seeded 7) Children are a physical manifestation of the LIFE that's seeded in us when God comes into us. Our kids are a perfect mix of two different people and are a product of the LOVE that each person has for the other. Trae is a mix of Jason and Tori and his life proves my love for Tori. Spiritually it's the same - the fruit we bear is a product of the love we have for God and is a mix of God and us. 8) Satan hates this life, so going after the seed. He will: 1) Try to stop the life from taking seed in the first place by convincing men that sex is for pleasure 2) Try to kill the life if it's already taken seed by convincing women that the life that's seeded in them isn't really life. 9) Killing the baby is getting rid of the consequence of seeking pleasure over purpose 10) When you don't have consequences then your behavior will never stop 11) Broken Intimacy (Gen 3:7) - they no longer wanted to be fully known Two issues always manifest themselves when a nation kicks God out: Sexual promiscuity & Child sacrifice (killing kids) So now we see sexual promiscuity and abortion at an all time highs - why? Because we have forsaken our purpose - INTIMACY with God! Satan hates our intimacy with God because he knows it produces LIFE, and he hates our intimacy with our spouses because it does the same - the physical union of a man and woman bringing forth physical life is simply a physical manifestation of what takes place spiritually with human beings and God - LIFE explodes! The devil can't stand that so he not only tries to destroy life itself but he also tries to destroy the very process that brings life into being (sexuality).

The Power of Presence

January 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• Three times times in this chapter Abe uses the phrase “Here I am.” • When God called to him to sacrifice his son, when his son called to him, and when God called to him again not to kill his son. • He was so attuned to God’s voice he could here Him and he was ready for what God would say. • He was also attuned to his sons’ voice. • Wherever Abe was he was “all there.” • I struggle with being “all there” with my kids often times. • If Abe wasn’t “all there” he would have mistaken God’s voice for the devils’. • The secret to the great leader is being a great follower. • Abe followed God and therefore he was equipped to lead his family.

Broken Communication

January 10, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* vs 5-6 - The initiative they had begun with a unified heart was extremely successful. * But it was against God’s plan, so He had to break it up. * How? * vs 7-8 - By causing a breakdown in communication. * God knew exactly what would disrupt their unity and knock them off course. * This gives us a clue of what we need to focus on to keep us on the right course - good communication. * ** Good communication starts with understanding that God brought you together (in marriage or any other relationship). * If you don’t start here you’ll abandon each other when the going gets tough. * These folks abandoned each other when they couldn’t understand each other. * ** You then need to understand you’re wired differently (especially in marriage). * God did this on purpose so you would recognize you need each other. * You then need to seek to understand the person (your spouse) in the same way the church is responsible to seek to know Christ. * Why? Because your marriage is simply a reflection of His. * Communication is hard work, but rewarding work and will keep us unified!

The Necessity of Boundaries

January 18, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* In Genesis 2:16-17 we see God putting boundaries in place before sin entered the world. * Proverbs 16:17 - “…..even his enemies are at peace with him.” * Enemies can only be at peace when boundaries are honored. * Genesis 31:51-52 - Laban and Jacob could live in peace so long as there was a boundary. * Clearly defined boundaries bring peace between people and nations. * But only if all parties involved willingly stay within them. * You want peace with God? * Stay inside His boundaries. * You want peace with others? * 1) Don’t cross their boundaries. * 2) Don’t erect too broad of boundaries.

Psalms 71:17 (8/24/22)

August 24, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Psalm 71:17

* Familiarity breeds contempt. * Christ’s hometown. * The result - they lost out on the presence and power of God! * But does familiarity really lead to contempt? * Definitions of familiarity: * “close acquaintance with or knowledge of something.” * “the quality of being well known; recognizability based on long or close association.” * “relaxed friendliness or intimacy between people.” * Shouldn’t we want familiarity in our relationships? YES! But… * Familiarity breeds contempt when COMFORT is experienced apart from CONQUEST. * Contempt - “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.” * Comfort - “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.” * Conquest - “the act or process of conquering.” * Comfort, apart from Conquest, leads to Contempt. * We should approach our relationships like we’re climbing Mount Everest. * But we never reach the top - we simply grow comfortable with the process. * If we reach the top, then we’ll start looking for other peaks to summit. * Imagine if Christ’s hometown would’ve asked Him questions and then studied Scripture in search for knew knowledge concerning Him? * BACKSTORY - David penned this Psalm in his old age. * Look what he says: * Vs 17a - “O God, You have taught me from my youth…” * Vs 17b - “…And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.” * Hebrew for “I still” is “ad-hennah.” But this word is “ve-ad-hennah.” * The “ve” is added emphasis - like, “YO! LISTEN! I STILL…!!!!” * David was still in awe of God after all these years. Why? * Because God’s deeds don’t stop! They’re never ending. * He was on a conquest to know God more. * EX: My wife and I went to Rome and were in awe of the Colosseum. * But the natives just brushed passed by it (probably agitated at the traffic). * Why? Because they’re so familiar. * Comfort, apart from Conquest, leads to Contempt. * Imagine if, however, a native was on a quest to find all the people who’ve written their names and schools on the columns inside? * They’d never stop going! * This is what David is getting at. * As an old man, after all this time, after all the things God has done in the past, it’s so easy to just get used to it.  * But David wants his readers to be tourists - those in constant discovery! * To be overwhelmed by the whole experience of God and men.  * To stand in wonder and praise His benevolence.  * How do you fight off familiarity in your relationships with God and others? * Think in terms of Conquest! * You will never fully conquer, but you are always conquering! * This is why reading the Bible is so important - it’s keeps you moving up the peak!

The First Blessing

January 5, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* The first mention of “blessing” in Scripture was procreation - the ability and authority to be co-creators with God. * This was the first blessing God gave man as well - we can co-labor with God and bring life into the world. * Side Note - in Genesis 9:6 God involved man in the taking of life as well. * God’s blessings are found within God’s boundaries - procreation is a man and a woman within the context of marriage. * When we remove God’s boundaries then blessings are replaced with burdens. * The first curse was that pain would be involved in this blessing - pain in childbirth. * Malachi 2:1-3 - Because the priests dishonored God their blessings became curses. * The greatest blessing is our kids (procreation) - Psalms 127:3. * Our kids can become curses if we don’t honor God in our homes as priests. * Malachi 2:15 - God is seeking “godly” offspring - not ungodly. * This requires parents to honor God’s boundaries.

The Power of Respect

January 4, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* Ephesians 5:33 tells us the core need for a man is respect, especially in marriage. * In the NKJV this verse reads - "but [God] did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." * God gives all people His respect as a gift because we are made in His image. * But it’s our responsibility to keep it. * Cain lost God’s respect because he didn’t give his best. * When he refused to give his best he lost the thing he needed most. * Such is the case for any man who doesn’t give his all in what he’s doing. * Apply this to your work - do your best no matter how small a task and watch how your boss responds. (God will also receive this as worship). * Apply this to your marriage - give your wife and kids your very best at home and watch how well they respond. * Apply this to your body - give your best to be healthy and watch how your body responds. * Apply this to every other area of life. * Note - in Genesis 4:23 we see a man who had no respect for himself or anyone else and therefore he had to prove himself and get respect through threats. * A man with no self-respect is a man who has to prove himself to everyone.

The Power of Obedience

January 5, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* Matthew 2:19-22 - When God spoke Joseph moved - he didn’t sit around and ask why, when, or how. * Notice the angel didn’t tell Joseph the specific city he was to go to. * God downloaded the specific city to him after he obeyed. * When we obey one command God gives us another - He gives light as we obey. * If we balk at one point we forfeit His further instructions. * When God speaks we move, but we pay attention to our natural inclinations as Joseph did when he was afraid (vs 22). * God used Joseph’s healthy fear for the protection of his family to help guide him where he was to be. * The key is to WAIT ON GOD - wait for Him to speak. * Genesis 8:13-14 - Noah was in a new place and his family could not wait to get off the boat. * But he didn’t leave the boat until God told him to, but it took time. * It took 57 days for the ground to fully dry. * During this time God was preparing the ground for Noah and his family to flourish. * When God brings you into a new place it takes time - be patient and don’t get ahead of Him. * If Noah left early before God spoke then he would have gotten stuck in the mud.

Broken Intimacy

January 10, 2014 • Benham Brothers

Gen 3:7 - Sin divided Adam from Eve - it also divided both of them from God. Sin is a divider The formula for how Satan got through to Eve and how he tries to get through to us as well: 1) Distract - he wants to distract us from what God wants for our lives 2) Deceives - his temptations are lies 3) Divide - sin divides us from God and from those we love - it breaks intimacy 4) Destroy - satan wants to rob, kill, and destroy Gen 3:12 - When intimacy was broken God became the problem Just like when Martha blamed Jesus for why Mary wasn't helping her - when we do things for the wrong reasons then the very people we're doing them for become the problem Gen 3:16-17 - Two Curses Adams' work would be hard / Eve's labor would be difficult Both of these things (work and reproduction) were a part of the original plan and therefore would be ways that God would relate with man, but now it would be hard to do both of these things, thus making the path to God narrow Gen 3:21 - The age of grace! So begins the story of God pursuing man and setting him right - it's called redemption and God did it as a gracious God He covered Adam and Eve and didn't kill them - this was mercy and the clothes represented grace

Tell Your Kids the Truth

January 17, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* Isaac knew the promise was with Jacob. * But he lied to his son Esau when he claimed Jacob stole “his” blessing. * Isaac tried to outsmart God because he wanted the blessing to go with his favorite. * God overruled him, this is why he shook violently (vs 33). * Parents struggle sometimes telling their kids the truth. * Isaac could’ve told Esau the truth when he was young and then helped him work through it. * But he went the easy route. * Parents - if you don’t tell your kids the truth it will create a distance between you and they will end up despising you. * Esau despised his dad (Gen 28:6-9). * Telling the truth could have kept their family together.

Four Phases of Parenting

February 3, 2019 • Benham Brothers

God our Teammate (Exodus 33-34) • Exodus is a book on RELATIONSHIP - “the state of being connected, or bound.” • ** the key to relationship is to remember (re-member is to re-attach). • Exodus shows us how God and the Israelites would be able to connect with each other and stay connected (bound). • Throughout the book we see the Four stages of parenting: • 1) Babysitter - God watched over the Israelites for 400 years in Egypt. • A babysitter says, “I’ve GOT you!” • 2) Referee - God gave them the law and rules by which they could live. • A ref says, “I’ll PUNISH you.” • 3) Coach - God equipped and inspired them for victory in their new life. • A coach says, “I’m FOR you.” • 4) Teammate - God came alongside and chose to dwell among them. • A teammate says, “I’m WITH you.” • EX: Ronnie Littleton - 6th grade babysitter & ref (cut the hair), 7th-12th coach, now teammate (in our weddings). • KEY: A spirit of HONOR moves you through the first three stages to become a teammate. • The teammate phase is where we truly get to KNOW the person. • John 17:3 - “Now this is eternal life: that they KNOW you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” • Eternal Life isn’t just about being saved, it’s about KNOWING God. • The teammate phase is powerful cuz of INTIMACY - fully known and fully accepted. • PROBLEM - the Israelite’s behavior kept bringing God back to referee. • Backdrop - Moses was delayed on the mountain getting the 10 commandments. • The Israelites made a golden calf - God wanted to kill them all, but Moses interceded, so God relented. • vs 33:1-3 - But God wouldn’t go to the PL w/them - He’d be their babysitter, ref, and coach, but not a teammate. • vs 33:12-13 - Moses intercedes again, “You know me, but I want to know you! Let’s be teammates!” • vs 33:14 - God responds, “I’ll go with you.” • vs 33:15 - Moses responds, “I don’t want to go unless you’re WITH us.” • ** This is the key to the teammate phase - you’re fully PRESENT, no matter the location or condition. • Quote - “We were together. I forget the rest.” • EX: My son wants to go to a Duke game and I buy him two tickets for he and a friend, but he says he doesn’t want to go unless I go.” (that touches the heart of a dad) • vs 33:17 - God responded that He would go because He knows Moses by name. • vs 33:18 - Moses goes for broke - “Show me all of you!” • The Reveal • vs 34:1-4 - Moses has to replace the tablet he broke and then God would reveal Himself. • vs 34:5-7 - This is the first time God ever described Himself in the Scripture. • Ten Characteristics of God: • 1) Lord - He’s in charge (like a landlord). • 2) Compassionate - He feels for us, has positive emotional response when He thinks of us. • 3) Gracious - He gives us more than we could ever deserve. • 4) Slow to Anger - you can rile Him up, but it won’t be easy. • 5) Abounding in lovingkindness - His love is revealed by His kindness toward us. • 6) Abounding in truth - love is compassion w/standards. • 7) Forgiving - He won’t hold our sins against us. • 8) Punisher - He will not let us get away with our sin (Jesus took our punishment). • 9) Generational - He blesses or curses generations depending on how we behave. • 10) Jealous (vs 14) - this was mentioned in the context of covenant, which is mutual commitment. • Bad jealousy is about ME. Good jealousy is about WE. • Do you want God as a TEAMMATE? Then you need to KNOW Him. When you do you will discover these ten things about Him.

True Mom

April 13, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* Deborah arose a “mother” in Israel (Judges 5:7). * Notice what she then says in this verse. * “My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, the volunteers among the people….” * The motherly spirit is a warrior spirit and wants men to step up and fight! * True mothers want fathers to protect their kids. * True mothers in culture want fathers to rise up and protect the family of God.

Parental By Example

April 19, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* An angel showed up to Manoah’s wife and announced the birth of a son. * Samson’s dad asks what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work. * Essentially, “how can I raise my kid the right way?” * The angel responds with a command to the child’s mom: * vs 12-14 - “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her…” * He was to be a Nazarite, but she had to live like one first. * Essentially, the angel said, “Model the type of behavior he should have, like that of a Nazarite, and that will be enough.” * What is “caught” by kids is far more impactful than what is “taught” by parents.

The Danger of Occupational Thinking

June 11, 2020 • Benham Brothers

* Occupational thinking may make you money, but Relational thinking gives you meaning! * This passage is for all the wives out there who get frustrated at their men for not understanding them. * Backstory - Jesus is with the disciples at the last supper (they didn’t know this was their last meal with Him). * Vs 21-25 - sets the stage. * Vs 26-27 - could His answer be more obvious than this? * Vs 28 - they didn’t get it. * They were just like so many other men who just don’t get it no matter how clear it is. * Why? * Vs 29 - They were thinking OCCUPATIONALLY. * They were thinking in terms of Judas’ job. * Men are often experts at work but bafoons in relationship. Why? * Because they’re thinking is stuck in the occupational zone. * Occupational thinking is concrete, logical, and involves fixing things. * Relational thinking is dynamic, emotional, and involves feeling things. * Occupational thinking is single-channeled. * Relational thinking is multi-channeled. * When a dude comes home from work he’s been in the occupational zone for most of the day - this helps him make money. * But if he wants meaning, then when he comes home he has to learn to switch from occupational to relational. * HOW? * ** Husbands: * 1) Be fully present. * Marina Abramovic - “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art - 8 hours a day 6 days a week for 3 months. * 2) Listen beyond the words (Jesus - “beware the Leven of the Pharisees). * Listen for feelings, not facts. * Feelings are all about approval. * Facts are about fixing. * ** Wives: * 1) Preparation - In the same way you prepare a meal. * Your husband is great at relationship, but he needs training! * Men, open yourself up to this training. * Tori has spent 22 years training me! * 2) Patience - Jesus responded to His disciples with patience! * When you’re preparing a meal you don’t rush through it (Tori is Italian and would never dream of doing that!). * Think of your husband as you think of your son - he’s someone else’s son, so treat Him with patience. * Men, she’ll be patient if she knows you’re trying! * Ultimately the disciples got it, but it didn’t happen until the Holy Spirit came upon them months later. * Husbands - this is where it all starts - your relationship with God. * Then let God use your wife to train you! * Occupational thinking may make you money, but Relational thinking gives you meaning!