Relationships

healthy relationship b

Bible passages to know: Psalm 23:6; Romans 12:9-10; Ephesians 5:15-21; Colossians 1:9-14

 

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10

 

Life is all about relationships, to the people around us, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, career, to those we will meet, and of course to Christ as Lord. From the time of our birth, we are in them deep, totally dependent on our Mother unable to do anything, let alone feed ourselves or wipe our rear without an interpersonal relationship. Our need for relationships will span all of our lives and then into eternity with our Lord God. So, we should do all we can, to make them happen well to our best ability.

The problem is, most of us are not very good at them. We have been hurt, so we hurt others. We then become fearful, so we push people away. We can be too needy or not discerning and take on the wrong people who hurt us. And so forth. Nevertheless, God desires us to have fantastic, fulfilling relationships, ones that benefit one another filled with love and joy. Though, in our brokenness, we will either to embrace others with eagerness, or become fearful and alone. One path may make us content; the other, bitter. These trepidations are a natural defense mechanism warning us away from dangerous situations. But, we get stuck in them. Added to that, is our personality and uniqueness. Further on, is our background and fears are all the various attitudes of our culture and the desires of our will, all diverging and converging with one another, causing chaos and conflicts. Meanwhile, Christ is seeking us, beckoning us to follow Him onto a path of solid, lasting relationships. Where there is love and Fruit so we can develop close friendships, understand and give real authentic love. In so doing, build great friendships that last, find the right spouse, and even develop a healthy marriage, family, and legacy.

Consequently, relationships are very important. Yet, there are other activities and goals that preoccupy us in life, such as our careers, cars, hobbies, education, money, pets, and having fun. And there is the artificial relationship building of social media. Consider this thought: when you are at the end of your sojourn on this earth, what will you have received from it? What will you take with you? Will it be that successful career? What about that hobby that took all of your time? Would it be the wealth that you accumulated? I am not saying these things are not important to pursue; rather, they are just a few of the various means to do what really is important, and that is, building relationships! The reason for, and meaning of life is, and God’s Will is, relationships—with God and then with each other!

Therefore, we need to reformat the hard drive of our mind and will, by seeking what Christ has for us, and less focus on our hurts and fears. More on Him, less of me. And we do this in prayer and being in His most precious Word. Then, we will have the right way to proceed into developing our friendships and significant others. So, we can be prepared to come through life, not only with the right decisions, but with the tools, character, listening skills, and ability to make godly, Christ-centered relationships work, filled with God’s blessings and purpose! Even if you have done it all wrong, so to speak, God can, and will turn it around when your attention becomes focused upon Christ, His precepts, from His Word (John 3:30; Eph. 1:8; 4:13; 5:1; Col. 3:2).

I urge you to seek God’s Will by recognizing God’s love for you first. That you are special and deeply loved by Christ, He lived and died for you. In that way, you will be able to apply Biblical principles to help you with a proper perspective, we are to have is a desire for what God wants, not just what we want. Our focus is to be with Him, because He has the best plan for us! Our plans will only lead us to make the wrong decisions and miss out on the best opportunities and situations He has for us (Prov. 8:17; Rom. 5:8; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 3:1).

Additionally, if you are married, you can use the principles of His Word to spruce up your marriage with a romantic makeover through self-discovery and character with love and respect in action. You can take a look at what you may have done wrong, and then correct it by removing your false thinking and bad behaviors (1 Cor. 7:1-11; 39-40).

The goal—from finding friendships to finding and keeping the “love of your life”—is to live in undivided surrender and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Lord, meaning that He is in charge of all areas of our lives. He is our first and primary love! That means your life must reflect the supremacy and glory of God, and serve as an example in a world of temptation and evil. Since He represented us in life and death, and imparts to us His grace, this is our driving force, our number one reason in life and in eternity to come. Because of what He has done for us, we should have the desire to assemble our lives to glorify Him. That means to also strive toward our best in the fullness of relationships. We have to be willing to take this to heart: His Will supersedes ours; His Way is the best, whereas our will and desires are limited in our understanding and knowledge. By surrendering our Will to His Will, we can build a foundation of trust, reliance, and obedience. These actions become the foundation upon which to build the rest of the house of character, values, and fortitude, of all of who we are to be, and where a Christ-centered relationship can live and grow (Phil. 3:1-14).

You will then be able to make healthy and wise decisions because of the Lord, through His Word and the Holy Spirit, is your Guide. As opposed to what the media, friends, your passions, emotions, and a smartphone may dictate. Because you are seeking His truth, you will be able to discern how to go about your life, your direction and plan, even who is right for you. Following these timeless Biblical precepts will help you make the right decisions, and avoid making the wrong ones. If for some reason, you decide God’s ways are not for you, be forewarned; as you lose yourself into the jungle realm of wrong decisions, you may never receive what He has and what is best for you. Thus, you may face the unpleasant prospect of venturing into a life of misery and strife. So, why do that?

If you are thinking, wait, I might get hurt, or, I have been rejected after I spent so much of my time and energy on, or I am not good at making friends, and so on. Well, take to heart this valuable point; you did not waste your time. And yes, we will be hurt, because we live in a sin-filled world. So, instead of repeating our previous patterns, or turning into an old grump, or throwing the proverbial pity-party, we can move forward. Receiving God’s healing, getting professional help if needed. Giving love and time to others, even when we do not get anything back or even if we get hate thrown back at us, is never a waste of time. Emulating and fostering real love is never a waste, because we follow Christ and His example! Love is not about our conditions or sensations; it is about Christ working in us. Remember, God has born your hurt, too! And your witness is at hand, seen by people you may never know about!

Take heed of this: When actual love is well practiced, our relationships are certain to succeed. When we practice real authentic love, we are both trusting and obeying our Lord, doing His prime will. God’s love must be our model for life!

So, how do I do this?

Brace yourselves, it is not hard! It is about, get in, then trust and obey. Get in His Word, know what it says, and apply it. It is that simple. To really work this: Do not merely get into God’s Word, allow His Word to get into you! Carefully read, know and seek to memorize these passages. Write them down on cards and keep them with you. Read them into your voice recorder and play over and over. Do this one passage at a time. This will be your template to reset your relational operating system:

Bible passages on building healthy relationships: Psalm 23:6; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:2-3; 5:15-21; Colossians 1:9-14; 3:12-14; 1 Peter 3:8; 5:6-7; 1 John 4:7-11

The first thing we must see is that God does care, and has a plan for you, even when you cannot see it. So, be willing to learn and develop your Fruit and character. Study the Word, seek wisdom, be prudent, and lean on the strength of the Lord! These things do not come to you by chance; they come from knowing and following Christ (Philp. 3:10-14)!

So, be challenged to search the Scriptures and see what Christ has for you. First look up the passages above. The focus is on timeless values that last, and that work. Remember this: without the right attitude and perspective on life, without glorifying God and following His Will to unfold in and through you, you will not find or build real, quality relationships in your life! You will only find misery and loneliness that leads to anger and bitterness. You will be taking a big gamble on what is priceless and precious.

For deeper insights and self-study, after you look up these passages and thoroughly digest them, ask yourself or in a small group: 1. What does this mean? 2. How can I be changed because of these precepts? And… then do it! 3. How will these precepts affect and effect my life? 4. What gets in the way of His Way? The Bible holds the truth for life today, including how and with whom you should be building a life with.

Questions to ponder:

  1. Read Galatians 5:16-26; notice there are two sets of Fruits. How has the first set, the rotten ones, affected your life? How has the second set, the ones from the Holy Spirit, affected you and others around you?

 

  1. Carefully read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Then, read it and replace the word “love” and “it’ with your name. How did it make you feel? Motivate you? To convict you? What would this mean to your close significant others if you did this more and better?

 

  1. What are some ways you can take the precepts from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 to “affect” (impact) you to become a greater “effect” (result) to you and those around you?

 

  1. Keep reading the above passages, asking our Lord, what do I need to learn and apply from this?

 

May the Lord richly bless and keep you in His loving arms, and bless you in your relationship to God and others!

© 2004, 2017, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Discipleship Tools, http://www.intothyword.org, http://www.churchleadership.org, http://www.discipleshiptools.org, http://www.heartafterchrist.org

 

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Keywords of the Christian Faith

New topical sermon, devotional and Bible study series.

keywordsWe will look at Relationships, Strength, Attitude, Trials, Hope, Suffering, Love, Joy, Anxiety, Grace, Anger, Fear, Faith, Justification, Prayer, Purity, Discernment, Forgive, Parenting, Sin, Satan, Temptation, Grief, Study, Death, Encouragement, Devotion, Worship, Courage, Loss, Witnessing, Renewal, Refuge, Prayer, Thanksgiving to name a few….

 

A biblical exposition of the topic, related passages, application and questions for personal and group interactions. There will include the main material for a 1 1/2-hour small group lesson or Bible study. Or a 20+minute expository sermon. Add the definitions of some of the keywords for an exegetical sermon, and if you add illustrations you are up to 25-30 minutes…. Just look them up at our Bible studies for the word definitions and additional exegetical information at http://www.intothyword.org.

 

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TEN WAYS TO IMPROVE Relational Skills

  “Faithful to my Lord’s commands, I still would choose the better part; Serve with careful Martha’s hands And loving Mary’s heart.” John Wesley

Romans 12:1-3; 1 Peter 5:6-7

Relationship rocks

1. SPEAK TO PEOPLE. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting!

2. SMILE AT PEOPLE. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.

3. CALL PEOPLE BY NAME. The sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of one’s own name!

4. BE FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL. If you would like to have friends, then, be friendly!

5. BE CORDIAL. Speak and act as if everything you do were a genuine pleasure! (If it is right and good, it really should be.)

6. BE GEUINEIY INTERESTED IN PEOPLE. Empathy means involvement!

7. BE GENEROUS WITH PRAISE and cautious with criticism!

8. BE CONSIDERATE WITH THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS. It will be appreciated.

9. BE THOUGHTFUL OF THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS. There are three sides to controversy, yours and the other fellows, and the right one!

10. BE ALERT TO GIVE SERVICE. What counts most in life is who we are in Christ and then what we do for others!

(c) 1980  www.intothyword.com

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What Happened to the Ark?

Ark b

 

The Ark of his Covenant represents the presence of God, His faithfulness, and atonement in keeping the covenant He made with His people even when they disobeyed Him.

 

 

The Ark refers to the main Jewish icon, the box chest, made of acacia wood, and overlaid with gold, which held the tablets of the Ten Commandments and was placed behind the sanctuary curtain in the inner sanctum where the presence of God dwelt. It was meant to display God’s dwelling and power and our reverence of Him. This image also represented the Ark going to war. It went missing after “Nebuzaradan” (meaning: “the captain of the guard” who invaded and Captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple for Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5).

A legend stated that Jeremiah hid it under the Temple Mount in a cave or gave it to an Ethiopian trader to hide it before Nebuchadnezzar could steal it, according to 2 Maccabees 2:1-4 and the Dead Sea Scrolls, “Copper Scroll” found in Qumran Cave 3, and testified by Rabbis Shlomo Goren and Yehuda Getz’s and hinted in Scripture, (2 Chronicles 35:3; and Jeremiah 3:16), which are the last 2 references in the Bible. Thus, the Levites, then nor today do not have it, nor is it in the Americas or in Hill of Tara in Ireland or in a secret government warehouse or any other legend for that matter.

Why did it leave? Because of disobedience!

God is committed to His people, to their betterment, spiritual formation, healthy relationships, healthy living, and wants us to excel in all things of faith and life, to know Him and continue to make Him known. Now was time for His judgment–a “time out”–for their unyielding disobedience. The discipline was to correct a wayward nation, to reboot them to be better and stronger for His glory. They were warned by God’s Word and Prophets to repent or face their consequences.

Here are the consequences. The Promised Land is left behind, and the majority of the peoples are taken into captivity for 70 years in Babylon. They left their Temple, the centrality of their religion and life, they left their homes, farms, business, synagogues, community–all they have known and felt secure and had confidence in. They must learn their lesson, then they will be brought back. Meanwhile, the land rests, and they discover how to better connect with God and others, because God was still at work and His plan was restoration, as God wants His people to continue.

For the Christian, the Ark is meant to remind us of a display of God’s dwelling and power and our reverence of Him.

Now, it is Christ, who paid for our sin, with whom we have our covenant (Ex. 25:10-22; Lev 26:11-13; Duet 10:1-2; 2 Kings 25:8-10; Matt. 27:51; Heb. 9:23; 10:19-20; Rev. 3: 10-13; 4:6-8).

So, it is either under the Temple Mount in a cave, or it is in Ethiopia, or it is in Heaven (Revelation 11:19).

 

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A Tutorial on Pastoral Ministry and Care

pastoral-care

A help for those in #church #leadership or ministry or serve as a #pastor or who serve as a #Chaplain……

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36

#Helping people deal with #life’s #hurts, even our own. For visitations, hospital calls, crises care, Hospice and grief counseling.

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10: 35-36

A tutorial on #Pastoral#Ministry#Care …>

 

https://heartafterchrist.org/pastoral-ministry/

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“I remain confident of this…”

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

Going through times of stress, hardships, health issues or confusion. I have written a lot on this subject here: http://www.intothyword.org/pages.asp?pageid=53502

Here is a take Mary and I found today, Laura Story and her song “Blessings,” based on an application of Psalm 27. Perhaps you will be blessed by this as we were….

psalm-27

Lyrics:

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQan9L3yXjc

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What if God were one of us?

ggod-were-one-of-us

When the fullness of the time came, God sent his Son born of a woman….” Galatians 4:4 

A few years ago a secular singer named Joan Osborne wrote and sang a popular song, “One of Us,” which asked the question, “What if God were one of us?”

I found this song riveting.  Although the theology was way off, a plea was made, seeking to know why we exist.  Where is God in all of this life, and what if He lived my life?  The answer of course is yes, Joan, God is one of us, or at least was.  That is what the incarnation is all about.

The incarnation simply means God came to be a man.  He was fully man while remaining fully God.  That way He could identify with our plight in life.  As He lived a normal human existence for over 30 years, He experienced all that we experienced, including all the emotions, relationships, and temptations.

He drove nails as He worked with His earthly father.  He obeyed His earthly mother when she asked Him to take out the trash.  He played, He worked, and He lived the life of a man, a human being, with all that we have in our makeup that makes us human.  He went to sleep at night, and awoke to a normal life with all of the stresses and opportunities a human could have in the first century.

Therefore, we can never say to Him, Hey, God, You do not understand my situation or me!  He does indeed understand.  He has indeed been where we are.  He may not have gone to high school in Burbank, driven a car, programmed a VCR, or held a job in a cubical with an annoying boss, but He has experienced all that is important in life that we experience and wonder about!

        We need to have a grasp on who we are in Christ, and who Christ is. This is the foundation of being a Christian.

Who is He?  What did He do for me?  What is my role and purpose?  These themes stand out as we celebrate Christmas, because Christmas is the celebration of what we call the incarnation, that is, that Christ, being fully God Who created the universe, Who always existed, chose to come down to us, to be one of us.

Consider what you may have learned in school, especially in science, since science demands that every event must have a cause. Science demands the classic if/then statement in logic and reasoning. If it is raining, then it must be cloudy.  If you are a Christian, then you have been saved.  That event had a cause.  If you sinned and you are saved, then you received some kind of a miracle.  The cause of sin itself (original sin as well as our willful disobedience) creates the ultimate need of our salvation.

Then comes the other cause of our being a Christian, and that is a Redeemer Who was necessary to save us.  God, Who was one of us, lived in this world and in its sin.  Yet, Christ remained sinless.  He did not concede to the temptation thereby enabling us to be saved so that we would not be lost forever. Then, comes the if of the logical equation of we humans in temptation, and sin, which is in need.  The if is the presence of a sinless man in the midst of a universally sinful human race. It all comes down to the cause for which we celebrate, which is the Christmas miracle.  That miracle happened, the incarnation happened, for our salvation.  So, why have the Incarnation? Why have a Virgin Birth?

        Because such a person as Jesus Christ demanded it!  This was a special birth that, as the Gospels record, showed us His Divine nature.

The HOW of the birth becomes believable when the WHO of the birth is taken into account.  We, as humans, are all born into, and with, original sin.  By skipping the original sin, Christ became the second Adam (more precisely the first, since He is preexistent).  As Adam represented all of humanity in the fall, Christ represented all of humanity in the redemption.  Christ needed to be isolated from the original sin so it would not affect Him, so He could do what Adam could not do which was to remain sinless.  If this had not been so, then the unique Jesus, who was born as one of us, would have created an unapproachable hurdle without the Virgin Birth.  He would be unable, as we know it, to overcome the original sin that plagues us all.  Would not the pre-existence of Christ necessitate such a miracle birth?  Perhaps He could have come in some other way.  We just do not know all of the options. But, if He had, then He would not have been one of us!

         However, if we do not accept that Jesus was born special and unique, then we cannot accept that He is God.  The incarnate Son of God is pure and holy and thus cannot touch sin.  If He did, then He would be corrupted and unable to take our place by living a sin free life. He would be unable to save us.

More here: http://70030.netministry.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=32333&columnid=3844

(c) 2001 Rev. R.J. Krejcir

       Have a very merry Christmas, and do not forget the Christ in the Christmas!

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