Jesus Is the Center of It All

II Corinthians 3:15-18 (NASB)

But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

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Some Objections to the Doctrine of Election Considered and Answered

Romans 9:10-16 (KJV)

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

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Moving from Fantasy to Reality

Psalm 11:3 (NASB)

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Before we begin, let’s talk a little about what to expect in this series.

  1. We’ll be talking about principles that help us in relationships, principles which apply to all relationships, not just marriage.
  2. Grace takes us where we are, never showers regret on where we’ve been.
  3. We all speak as learners, not masters.

Definition: A healthy relationship is when two individuals relate to one another in a healthy manner.

  1. The word relate means “to narrate.”

    A relationship at its core is “the narration of one’s story.” When you know how someone feels, what someone thinks, where someone struggles, and love like Jesus loves, there’s a healthy relationship. Narration is telling one’s story to a willing listener and listening to one’s story by a transparent teller.

  2. A relationship crumbles because the foundations of that relationship are destroyed.

    In Psalm 11 David is surrounded by the enemy. He is “tempted” to “flee like a bird to my mountain.” But “in the Lord I will take refuge” for “when the foundations are destroyed, what can I do?” (v. 3). What is the mountain of your creation that causes you to leave relationships (shut down; cease to relate to, turn your back on, or reject another person)? Disconnection is the death of relationship.

    When I want you to only focus on me and the narration of my story, I am disconnecting from you. When all I care about is my story, I don’t relate well to you. I can say I am listening, but am I really hearing? If I’m only concerned that I’m heard, the foundation of my relationship begins to crumble. People full of love are connected people. People who love are more interested in another’s story. The root of a real relationship is being present with another person and intentionally creating a safe environment where one can take risks and reveal thoughts, feelings, and dreams without rejection.

  3. There are reasons why I become disengaged and my relationships begin to crumble.

    There are always two foundations in any relationship, two stories. Am I very interested in your story? Let’s identify a few odorous toxins that eat away at the foundations of our relationships with others.

    • My Fantasies – I always had an image of what the other person should be and I am disappointed.
    • My Fears – I can’t handle the pain of reality, so I’ll flee to a hiding place of my own creation.
    • My Faults – There’s no way I can risk being seen as imperfect, and I can’t accept your weaknesses.
    • My Faith – is not in Christ and His performance, it’s in my and another person’s performance.

  4. Relating to Jesus well is the primary source for relating well with others.

    It’s no accident that in the 10 Commandments, the first four are vertical, and the last six horizontal. You and I will never relate well with one another until we relate well with the One who created us. Throughout this series we’ll point you to the God of all grace: For graced people live gracious lives. We encourage us all to move from fantasy land to reality. Any healthy relationship requires work.
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Go Tell It To the World: Opposition Will Come

Genesis 24:29-33; 49-58 (KJV)

And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him. And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

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Open Your Eyes to a Brand New World

Genesis 8:1-14 (KJV)

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

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Make Thee an Ark

Genesis 6:11-22 (KJV)

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

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