Relationship Balance

So many marriages and partnerships fail today because we run astray of their intent. Marriages and partnerships are negotiated like business deals. Love and commitment only survive as long as the ‘deal’ supports the contract. When situations arise that are not part of the deal, people bail out, unwilling to sit down and work through life’s challenges. I am reading a 6 Day Devotional Plan in Bible.com entitled, What Hinders Answers to Your Prayer by Dr. Michael Youssef, ltw.org.

I married in the early 1970’s when marriage was neither binding or eternal. ‘Shacking’ or cohabiting, going to the justice of the peace, or marrying in a church were one and the same. Relationships were negotiated, the commitment was agreed upon, and partner swapping and multiple partners were embraced as a part of the times. Communal living was part of the acceptable experimental norm. Walking away was written in as an accepted norm.

Our society, the human community, has suffered dramatically from this breakdown. Today, more than 40% of marriages (in the US) end in divorce. In 2012, the average marriage lasted 8 years.

I feel we should all read this devotional study, if for no other reason than referring to it as a reminder of who we are in Christ and the expectations for our lives.

The Delicate Balance
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In the Garden of Eden, God gave the first man an incredible gift: a wife. She was the one who fit him perfectly – custom-designed by God to be his ultimate partner in life. But marriage is not automatic. It must be maintained. Husbands and wives must live out their callings as God intends. Otherwise, things get off-balance, and it’s not only the marriage relationship that suffers.

It’s a delicate balance in a Christian marriage, like a chemical formula. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, and wives to submit to their loving sacrifice willingly. If these two ingredients are not balanced, the marriage relationship gets out of whack. And sometimes a mistake in the formula can burn the whole chemistry set. Peter counsels husbands to guard this delicate balance “so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

It’s not only the marriage relationship that suffers when we abandon God’s design. The husband’s relationship with God suffers, and so does his wife’s.

Back in the Garden, we see this very scenario play out. When Satan spins his lies and tempts Eve to taste the forbidden fruit, where is Adam? The Bible tells us he is right beside his wife (Genesis 3:6)!

Adam knew God’s command and the consequences of their failure. To love his wife like Christ, Adam needed to confront the serpent and his lies and remind Eve of God’s goodness. But Adam failed her. What was the result? They lost the close relationship with God that they had enjoyed in the Garden.

Satan is powerless if we will keep our eyes on Jesus. But if we allow the enemy to gain a foothold in any part of our lives, including marriage, our relationship with God will suffer.

Husbands, are you loving your wives as Christ loved the church? Wives, are you submitting to your husbands, as you do to the Lord? If your relationship is not being lived out according to God’s design, ask for His forgiveness and take the necessary steps to bring your relationship into alignment with His will. As soon as repentance, confession, and restoration of that marriage formula takes place, joy is restored. And you can be confident that your relationship is not a hindrance, but a gateway to communion with your heavenly Father.

Prayer: Father, show me the ways in which I need to nurture my marriage and restore and maintain the beautiful, delicate balance that You have designed. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

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Images – Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Lips Expose the Heart

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The things that proceed out of our mouths are the things of our hearts. These things defile us.

Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fortifications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” Matthew 15:19

Jesus was speaking to the disciples about the Pharisees who questioned Him about the actions of his disciples. They wanted to know why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating bread and why they transgressed the tradition of the elders. Jesus, in turn, asked the Pharisees, why did they transgress the commandment of God because of their tradition.

He further shared with the disciples that tradition is not bad, religious customs and rituals in themselves are not bad unless they take precedence over the clear Word of God. If these things begin to replace the Word of God, they become a problem because they sever the connection with God, who wants our hearts.

When we speak, when our lips move, do they speak of the things of this world that have become our idols, things of our flesh, or do they speak of the things of God: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, products of a Spirit-filled life? (Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23)

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Our lips expose who we are. Our outward appearance may suggest that we are followers of Christ. We go to church, honor our religious rituals and customs, quote scripture, and tell the world we love the Lord, but our lips betray us and expose us to the world. God sees how we behave. He hears what we say. And, is often displeased because all He asks of us is to give Him our hearts, to earnestly and honestly worship Him, and stop displaying actions that express our flesh and not his Word.

Ask yourself, am I more like the Pharisees than Christ? Am I a vain worshiper? Have my lips exposed me? What can I do to change who I am and how I act? Am I willing to repent and turn away from the things of the flesh today, and give my heart to the Lord?

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Today is the best day of your life. Give your heart to the Lord and enter into a relationship with Him. We must deny your flesh every day and pick up your cross to become more like Christ.   Working to become mature, intentional Christian Warriors is a daily process and often a challenge to put our old man down.

My cousin summed it up – “Wonderful words don’t let your mouth profess one thing and your heart another ❤️”

Images – Google Images

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource – Life Principles Bible. Charles F. Stanley. NKJV

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Related Posts:
YoungChristianWarriors.com
~Use Your Words, June 7, 2018
~God’s Promise – The Lord Determines Our Steps, April 27, 2018
~Thoughts as I work on Part 3, God’s Will – God’s Promises, April 19, 2018
~Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice, February 22, 2018
~Core Values Early In Life, September 23, 2017

Dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com
~Let the Spirit Lead-June 29, 2018
~God is With Us Even When We Feel We are Drowning, June 8, 2018
~The Lord’s Light Shines Through You, May 9, 2018
~Lack o Discipline, Part of Growing Peace and Holiness, May 5, 2018
~Free Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility, April 4, 2018
~Dying To Self, March 24, 2018
~Who Directs Your Steps? March 13, 2018

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Let The Spirit Lead

I read something intriguing today. Romans 8:6-8 can be interpreted as the Holy Spirit controls our life, but in essence, we are participating in His life. Our mind is controlled by the Holy Spirit which in itself gives us life and peace.

This scripture shows two dispositions, that of the non-Christian and the Christian states of mind. Paul describes two different lives, two different mindsets, and two different conditions.

The Non-Christian experiences separation from God, and exists in a state of death because they did not receive the eternal life through Jesus. Christians have eternal life that begins at their salvation. See John 5:24

This scriptural identifier relates back to the conflict between the flesh and Jesus’ life. The law could not be accomplished because of the intervention of Christ. A mindset focused on the flesh reveals the presence of spiritual death. A life that sets its mind on the Spirit introduced Gods love and peace into their lives.

This ties back to free-will. God gave us a choice, live a carnal life, and allow our sinful nature to reign and enjoy what this world offers, or invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, allowing Him to control and guide our journey, and eventually join our Lord in heaven.

Barclay’s interpretation of this scripture reads, ‘be absorbed in the things of the Spirit.’

Clearly, Romans 8:6-8 distinguishes the life of believers and non-believers. But to me, it most importantly explains how we participate in the Holy Spirits’ life. We are more than vessels. We are family. He resides in us, and we are absorbed by the things of the Spirit. We rely on Him, obey the Word and depend upon His presence in our lives.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mindset on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans‬ ‭8:1-11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Images – LAB Photos; Google Images

Scripture – Bible.com

Resources – Precept Austin. Romans 8:6-8; Desiring God, Set Your Mind on the Spirit, Romans 8:6-8; Bible Exposition Commentary, Romans 8:6. Verse-by-Verse Commentary.com (Some text paraphrased or quoted)

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

~Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91
~God’s Divine Influence
~Learn to Thank God As Part of Prayer
~God, Crisis, and Grace
~God’s Unequivocal Love
~Because He’s God and God Alone
~One Step is Enough
~Living Through the Muck and Mire of Life
~There’s more, visit the site.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Time To Come Into The Light

Many of us are afraid to come into the light. We hide in the shadows hoping that our sins aren’t discovered. Our sins are tearing us apart. The sins others have laid upon us are tearing us up, but fear will not allow us to expose them. Our actions are destroying us. We need help. Self-recovery is not working, yet fear and doubt hold us back from seeking help. Many become alienated, lose friends and family, and feel lost in the darkness but cannot navigate through to the light.

What does John 3:20-21 mean to you? Is there anything you need to shed – anger, rage, disappointment, evil acts, loss? What do you fear will be exposed if you seek help, spiritual and/or psychological?

It’s time to stop existing in the dark and begin living in the light. It’s time to take a deep breath, exhale, practice the truth, repent, seek God’s help, go to counseling* and move into the light.

* God created careers and professions. He created doctors, psychiatrists,  psychologists, and counselors to help us work through our darkness. Make today the best day of your life. Take the first step on your knees and the next contacting a professional.

Images – YouVersion.Bible.com

Scriptures – Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

Love Your Enemies

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Loving your enemies is perhaps one of the most difficult commands to obey. Not only are we instructed to love our enemies, but also to pray for those who persecute us.

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When we stop loving our enemies, we fall into the hands of Satan. We have observed the world in flux, chaos reigns. It is time for us, deliberate Christians, Christian Warriors, to love our enemies more than ever before. Our love will turn the tide of hatred. The more we hate, the stronger Satan’s army becomes. The more we love, the stronger the Lord’s presence in the world will be felt.

Warren Wiersbe summarized Matthew 5 by saying,  “we must measure ourselves not by others but by our Father. This includes our words (vv. 33-37), our responses to injuries (vv. 38-42), and our dealings with our enemies (vv. 43-48).”

To quote Francis Bacon, “in taking revenge, a man is but even with the enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.”

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Today, I challenge everyone to pick up your cross, obey our father, and begin loving our enemies. Once we accomplish this, we will begin to experience the fresh air of freedom, absent of strife, and chaos. We will begin to breathe deep breaths and exhale misery and turmoil. We will be obedient followers of Christ, standing on the front line in the face of adversity hand-in-hand with our Lord.

Images – Google Images; YouVersion, Bible.com

Resources – Nelson’s Quick Reference, Chapter-by-chapter Bible Commentary. Warren Wiersbe. 1994

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Rejoice in the Midst of Challenges, Trials and Tests

The Message Version reads,

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” Romans 5:3-5 MSG

You may ponder, why should we rejoice during life’s challenges, temptations, and tests? It is a matter of choice. We can either be overwhelmed by the challenge, trial, or test and feel defeated, or we can rely on God’s Word to see us through. We can rejoice because we are the victors.

We rejoice because as we go throughout life’s challenges, we mature in the Word. We are no longer bound by sin. We have been freed of sin. We still have a sin nature, but we choose to sin. It’s a matter of choice, of free will. Do we choose to live life in a humanistic way, walking in our flesh, or do we choose to walk in the spirit? We choose how we wish to live life. Is it a temporal choice where we have to strive for earthly riches at all cost or strive to receive our riches in heaven, meaning our actions are dictated by the Word of God? Galatians 5:1 NKJV, says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

We rejoice because we know that the challenges help us become mature Christians. If we remain present in the moment, we can use the scriptures as our weapons. We can endure the moment. We can rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us through the challenges and trials. We become stronger in the Word and quicker to respond because our spiritual arsenal becomes better equipped; we do nor run out of ammunition. When we endure the challenges and trials our character strengthens as we forge ahead. We begin to experience God’s peace in the midst of the fire. We become confident as we experience our salvation, our deliverance from sin and their consequences.

 

Salvation, as explained by Kenneth Copeland, includes the deliverance from evil, temporal and eternal. It is the deliverance from danger as well as pardon, restoration, healing, wholesomeness, and soundness in spirit, soul, and body. We have been delivered from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:9).

Salvation provides a life of freedom because we have been born again and have the power to live a holy life. This statement harkens back to Galatians 5:1.

Salvation protects us against earthy dangers such as sickness, disease, famine, earthquakes, and other calamities. Salvation promises a long satisfying life and delivers us from any kind of trouble that comes our way, though this part is conditional, Read Psalm 91.

Jesus purchased our salvation. Don’t give up. Don’t give in, persevere, learn and rely on the Word, have faith that the scriptures are activated when we pray them back to God. Call them out loud as God’s promises, because that is what they are promises to keep us and protect us from the wiles of the evil one, see Ephesians 6:10-18.

“Stand up for everything salvation has offered you. Focus on the Lord and his word. Stay in constant communication with him through prayer. Experience all that is available to you through Jesus Christ!”

Lastly, Salvation is by faith, not works. According to Charles Stanley, “Salvation is more than mental agreement with the truth. It includes an acknowledgment that Jesus is the son of God who died for our sins, as well as a recognition of our own sinfulness. We become sorrowful under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and desire a changed life. In Luke 5:32, Jesus states “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” If we do not repent, we will stop turning away from sin, we will stop growing and stay infants in Christ”, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.

Key – Rejoicing during challenges, trials, and tests is the process of elevating our maturity as Christian Warriors.

Images – Google Images; YouVersion.Bible.com

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com, NLT, MSG, NIV

Resources and Quotes – The Way of Salvation. Charles Stanley, October 18, 2018. http://www.InTouch Ministers/blog/way to salvation, 6/11/2018

What does “Salvation” What does Salvation Really Mean? http://www.Salvation.kmc.org/real-help /salvation. 6/11/2018

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.