When life's pressures come, will you respond by becoming bitter or better?
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
As separate, single, individuals we were both endowed with God’s Holy Spirit when we accepted Christ as our Savior, and each of us became ONE with God’s Spirit.
He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
However, something changed when we entered our marriage covenant.
We used to be separate individuals, but once we were joined together in marriage, we became “one flesh”.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
The moment we entered our marriage covenant, God’s power within us, His Spirit, and the spiritual authority He has bestowed on us as Christians, became more effective in our lives.
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Instead of one praising God, now there are two. Instead of one praying, now there are two. Instead of one resisting the onslaughts of the devil, now there are two.
As a husband and wife who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord we are in touch with the Life that pulses at the center of the universe in a powerful way that is intensified because we are ONE – one with each other, and one with God.
On a daily basis, we are drinking from the water that He gives us and it is becoming a bubbling and joyful fountain of water that is springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
Friday, June 22, 2012
When someone offends you….
Don’t rush off in a huff to yell at that person.
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. (AMP)
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit.
Don’t go talking to other people about it.
He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a
“out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (NKJV)
Don’t dwell on it and analyze it, thereby making a molehill into a mountain in your mind. Don’t allow offense to fester and take up space in your mind.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV)
Whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Don’t prejudge the other person, trying to analyze why they might have acted or said what they did. You don’t know and their intention might not have been to intentionally offend you. Do not assume that you know the motives or thoughts of the other person.
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. (NKJV)
Deal with any feelings of anger or resentment you might have.
A fool’s wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult. (AMP)
Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (NKJV)
Do go talk to that person alone about it. If it’s not big enough to approach the person about it, then let it go. Approach the other person in humility, realizing that this is not an opportunity for you to vent your anger. If you have anger, you need to deal with that first.
If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
When someone comes to you to complain about another person …
Don’t listen. If someone is dumping their trash on you, it’s because you have your lid open. Is your ear a trash can?
Don’t join in and participate in the gossip, thereby becoming just as guilty as the person venting their anger.
He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
Do advise the complainer to go reconcile with the person who offended them, and if they don’t want to do that, then they need to let it go to avoid sin festering in their heart. (Matthew 18:15)
You can protect yourself from any and all future offense if you …
Fill your thoughts and heart with God’s Word and His presence. If you’re so occupied with walking with God, everything else will seem unimportant.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (KJV)
It's one thing to KNOW the Bible, but it's another to actually KNOW the God of the Bible.
Before laying our requests at His feet today, let's first ask ourselves: "When was the last time I just spend time with God without asking for anything, just enjoying His presence and getting to KNOW Him better, without making any demands?"
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
To announce the arrival of Christ, the Lord, angels declared: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14).
Many believe that this declaration is one bringing the promise of “world peace”, however Jesus said that He did not come to “bring peace on earth”, but that He came to bring “a sword” (Matthew 10:34-39).
The ‘peace’ and ‘goodwill’ the angels referred to was in fact the good news of reconciliation between God and man that would be brought about by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:19
That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
All past, present and future sin have been atoned for in Jesus Christ. The wrath and judgment of God, as evidenced in the Old Testament, has been satisfied. The divide between corrupt, sinful man and the perfect, omnipotent God has been reconciled by Jesus, the only Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
God therefore now no longer judges us. Jesus will be the Judge when He returns (2 Timothy 4:1). God is not angry at us at all and we do not have to live a life of constant self-recrimination. God loves us so much that He was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be in right standing with Him; so that we can be in relationship with Him despite our corrupt and sinful nature.
All we have to do is accept His free gift.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Do not allow your feelings to rule your day. You have received God’s perfect Spirit when you accepted Christ. Continue to bring your flesh and emotions into subjection to His Word by meditating on it throughout the day. “The Joy of the Lord is your Strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
How do you handle destructive distractions in the form of vicious attacks and false accusations from others? A typical response would be to launch a counter attack and start slinging wild accusations in defense of oneself. However, the Word clearly states that God is our Defense, we shall not be moved. (Psalm 62:6) The author of the letter to the Hebrews states that the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Hebrews 10:30).
We can rest assured that God will “judge His own people”, we do not have to take it upon ourselves to retaliate or attempt to defend ourselves, no matter how falsely we are being accused, or how painful it is when a third party who isn’t even involved in the situation starts to attack your family out of left field.
Now the Word does not say we should be silent and allow sinful behavior to walk all over us, enter our home, and affect our marriage and children.
Jesus set boundaries by saying NO to inappropriate behavior:
- Demands. He withdrew from the crowds who wanted him, for one-on-one time with the Father (Luke 5:15-16).
- Abuse. He fought his way through the crowd that was trying to throw him off a cliff for claiming to be the Messiah (Luke 4:28-30).
- Entitlement. He didn’t give in to his mother and brothers who tried to use their relationship with him to pull him away from the crowd he was ministering to (Matthew 12:46-50).
- Baiting Questions. When the religious leaders asked him baiting questions to make him look foolish he answered with incisive questions of his own (Matthew 21:23-27, 22:15-22).
- Cynicism. He said no to Herod’s mocking demand, “Show us a sign that you are the Son of God.” (Luke 23:8-9).
- Manipulation. He said no to Peter and the disciples who had an inappropriate agenda for Jesus to a political king or military warrior rather than a sacrificial lamb. (Matthew 16:23).
- Pride. He didn’t heal those who were too proud to trust Him (Matthew 13:58).
Consequently we have decided to set boundaries in this regard, and we intend to enforce these boundaries by adhering to them ourselves, teaching them to our children, and filtering any influences from others:
- Do not meddle in disagreements between other
people. Remain neutral, do not judge
another person based on the bad report of another.
Proverbs 26:17 “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.”
1 Peter 4:15 “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.”
- Do not use emotional blackmail and
guilt-tactics to get what you want.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
- Guard you mouth and refrain from
uttering poisonous and destructive words.
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit”
Matthew 12:34b “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
- When there is a problem, talk to the
person individually and don’t go gossiping to others.
Matthew 18:15 - “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
Proverbs 20:19 - “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.”
Most importantly, we’re learning that the more we are focused on God, His Word, His will for our lives and staying tuned into our relationship with Him, the less all the external ‘noise’ of the world matters. Jesus did not let anyone, not even His own friends and family, deter Him from His mission and His message. He set clear boundaries, confronted them when He needed to, and remained focused on being obedient to the Father.
"When you’re tuned into God, the noise of the world won’t be a distraction."
Monday, June 11, 2012
I thank God today for...
... the all-encompassing peace and harmony in our home. Though storms are raging around us, we are standing firm on the Lord, our rock and our fortress (Psalm 18:2) as the Holy Spirit guides us in keeping our eye on Him and not allowing anything to move us (1 Corinthians 15:58; Psalm 62:6). How amazing it is to experience the enveloping peace and love of the Holy Spirit!
… and of course freshly baked, homemade bread! Yummy!