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In Death: Christ Is the Design Star for My Future Home

John 14:1-4 (NASB)

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.

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Refreshing Honesty: Evidence of Real Cleansing

I John 1:5-8 (ESV)

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

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A Heart to Talk

John 15:1-2 (KJV)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every brankch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

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Christ and “Into-Me-You-See"

Philippians 4:11 (NASB)
I Corinthians 15:10 (NASB)

“I’ve learned in who I am to be content”

“I am who I am by the grace of God”

By way of review – Relationship is where two people narrate their lives (relate) with one another. That is, I willingly listen to someone speak freely about what they think, feel, believe, fear, hope, and desire. When two people “disconnect” and a relationship crumbles, it’s because the foundation of Christ “as my source” has been destroyed, and one other than God has become my idol, albeit my fallen, faulty idol.

To always hit “reset” when I’m in a relationship that’s gone south, I must learn to say to the one I’m in relationship: “You are neither the source nor the solution for the trouble or pain within me,” and be willing to lovingly say: “I am neither the source nor the solution for the trouble or pain within you.” When we have those two foundational principles present in relationship, then we are ready to move on to a third principle that becomes the source of meaningful personal relationship with another person.

  1. Intimacy is to relationship what milk is to butter; you really don’t have one without the other.
    “Into-me-you-see” – transparency, letting your partner/friend see you as you really are – the good, bad, and the ugly, the freedom to share what is within you. The opposite of intimacy is pretension. Pretension is simply “into me you cannot see.” “Pretend” or “pre”–“tension” simply means that there is a tight wall before me that prevents someone from seeing in me. It is hiding what is really “in me.” A pretender never says what he really thinks, really feels, really desires, or really wants out of fear of the possible reaction of the one he loves. There are several things that inhibit intimacy:
    1. Fear that I will not be loved or accepted if I were truly known.
      This fear begins to disappear when I understand the significance of my relationship with God.
    2. Expectations that I place on the other person which go unmet.
      Why do I struggle with expectations? Because I believe we will be happier if our spouse is a certain way. It is a form of control and it leads to the very opposite of intimacy. When I expect or demand another person to be a certain way, I squelch intimacy in relationship.
    3. Past hurts or painful experiences that cause me to be reserved.

  2. Pretension is natural, but intimacy is supernatural, so there’s a taste of heaven in intimacy.
    Intimacy occurs by God’s grace by knowing who I am and throwing away all expectations.
    1. Unmet expectations cause anger; a red flag that expectations have not been met.
    2. Expectations cause your significant other to lie and hide.
    3. Expectations hinder a spirit of freedom and spontaneity.
      Intimacy is a gift reserved for covenant relationships or those with whom I wish to spend time. Jesus had 12. Paul had his Timothy. We have our spouses, and hopefully other significant friends.

  3. Though intimacy is a gift, it takes practice to develop the joy of intimacy.
    How can you develop intimacy in a relationship with a significant other?
    1. Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings. (I feel; I think; I believe).
    2. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruptions (feelings are amoral).
    3. Learn to support one another, not “fix” one another; affirmation, acceptance, approbation.
    4. Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements in establishing intimacy.
    5. Offensive language has no place in a Christ-centered relationship (hurt people, hurt people).
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A Dream That Becomes a Nightmare

Jude 8-10 (KJV)

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Ye Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts; in those things they corrupt themselves.

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Birthright for Living

James 1:18-21 (KJV)

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

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Ministering Women

Luke 8:1-3 (NASB)

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.

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The Soul At Rest: Let Us Fear

Hebrews 4:1-6 (NASB)

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

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