Let His promises protect your relationship - statement #5 from Jesus

  1. Let His promises protect your relationship John 15:5 (Part 1 - the critical importance of intimacy with Jesus) “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
      • “What prompts Jesus to use this image? His figures (shepherd, bread, water, light) all came from ancient Jewish traditions. If Jesus left the Upper Room in 14:30, he may have stopped at the temple to teach and to pray. At the entrance of the Holy Place (west of the altar), steps led to a linen curtain covered with purple, scarlet, and blue flowers. Solid gold chains hung alongside the curtain from the door beam. Above the curtain (beneath the roof line) grew a gigantic grapevine of pure gold, representing Israel. Wealthy citizens could bring gifts to add to the vine (gold tendrils, grapes, or leaves), and these would be added by metal workers to the ever-growing vine.  Josephus claims that some of the...
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Hold on for dear life - statement #4 from Jesus

'Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”' John 8:31-32

The NT stresses the need for believers to remain in Christ. The reality of this close personal relationship with Jesus Christ is expressed in obedience to his word and is essential to effective discipleship.

How do you abide in Jesus?

  • Hold to his teaching (1 John 2:24)
  • Obedience to him (John 15:10)
  • Live like Jesus (1 John 2:6)

But this is not accomplished without

  1. Communion (John 6:56)
  2. The Spirit’s anointing (1 John 2:27)
  3. By faith (Ephesians 3:17-19)

How does this help your relationship?

  • Fruitfulness (John 15:4-5) The picture of “bearing fruit” may cover many aspects of Christian life but it includes that of developing Christian character, effective Christian service and mission. These result, not from human effort, but from abiding in Christ.
  • Answered Prayer...
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The cost of freedom - statement #3 from Jesus

(Part 1 - the critical importance of intimacy with Jesus)

“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Come, follow me.’” John 1:43

Our theme so far has been to not just believe, but obey. To respond and don’t waste time doing what Jesus desires most. That is where we find freedom.

Today is about the cost of following Jesus
Your family (Matthew 10:37-38)
Your own life (Luke 14:26-27)
Your pride (Mark 8:34)

In essence, it will cost you anything you value more than Jesus.
We must accept and follow Jesus’ leadership, command and guidance.

How does this help your relationship?
Freedom.
When Jesus is #1, you can’t help but react to that person who matters most to you in a fruit of the spirit! “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the...

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Repent - statement #2 from Jesus

'From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”' Matthew 4:17

  • A true disciple is not first a learner or reader of his words.  You are a doer. In v19 Jesus says, “Come follow me”.
  • The first command of Jesus’ public ministry was, “repent”.
    • Jesus wants an inward change because nothing else will stick if you don’t first address YOU
  • Your actions need to be immediate
    • v20 “Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
    • A friend’s wife was giving a sermon where she shared this same advice, because it’s what she did.  Drugs, alcohol, miserable. Meets a janitor at the church who tells her to repent and go and tell everyone that she now believes in Jesus.
    • Repent is “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.”

'Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great...

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The transformational power of Jesus' words for your relationship

  1. The transformational power of Jesus’ words John 14:23

"Jesus replied,“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”  John 14:23

  1. If you really love Jesus, you’ll do what he says!
    1. Get to know his commands
      1. All his commands are either about loving God or loving others.
      2. “The first thing to notice is that loving Jesus is not the same as keeping his commandments. It precedes and gives rise to keeping the commandments. Keeping his word is the result of loving him, not the same as loving him.” John Piper
      3. Love is the root, obedience is the fruit.
  2. God responds to our love and loves with a unique, personal, intimate, affectionate, caring, committed love that belongs only to those who love his Son.
    1. We get the Holy Spirit
    2. We get Jesus.  He will give us what orphans need: they need protection and provision and guidance.
    3. If you love me and keep my word, my Father and I will...
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The best marriages have GRIT [replay]

Great relationships have grit: Passion and Perseverance

GRIT: firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck (dictionary.com)

Passion
An intense desire or enthusiasm for something. strong and barely controllable emotion. A thing arousing enthusiasm. The suffering and death of Jesus.

Perseverance
steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Other words for perseverance: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, steadfastness, purposefulness…

What does this mean for your relationship? Everything!

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Your Dream Implementation - Married on Purpose

  1. What is your dream statement
    1. To honor God and others by relentlessly pursuing authentic relationships, valuing hospitality, self-awareness, diversity, adventure, joy and freedom in Christ.
  2. Validate each other’s dreams
    1. Your official Dream Statement should be a healthy combination of both your desires.
    2. Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
  3. Ask what we can do to further develop and encourage each other’s dreams.
    1. What do you think would be the best way for us to pursue authentic relationships?
    2. What kind of adventure would be fun or exciting for you?
  4. Decide on a win/win for your statement
    1. What does a win/win mean and is it biblical?
    2. 'Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear...
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Married on Purpose - The Game Plan

  1. Without a clear and defined purpose (which we will from now on refer to as your DREAM) how can you expect your marriage to be all it can be? If you do not know where you are headed together as a couple, or what kind of legacy you want to leave through your children and moments of your marriage, then how can you expect to truly enjoy your marriage. Spending day after day in a bottomless pit of indecision, confusion, and lack of a dream will (or already has) take a huge toll on your marriage happiness and enjoyment.
    1. “A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past.” (P.K. Bernard)
  2. Praying together about your Dream Statement
    1. Prayer is an important element to this study being a successful experience. Prayer is also important on a global level as well for your relationship. Without prayer, your relationship is missing out on God's direction and encouragement. Prayer is our intimate time with God and it WILL draw you...
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Bright Tomorrows - a story about mental illness and two psychotic breaks

Tim and Nancy's story should inspire anyone about what it takes to stay committed to each other through "sickness and in health"!

Tim wrote:

Since 1979 I have lived with the consequences of a brain-based mental health challenge called bipolar disorder. Through these years I have experienced episodes of extreme mania, protracted periods of dark depression, as well as eruptions of psychosis.

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a leading authority and herself a diagnosed bipolar, clearly expresses the effects of this brain disorder in her book, “Touched with Fire.” She wrote that bipolar illness “encompasses the extremes of human experience. Thinking can range from florid psychosis, or ‘madness,’ to patterns of unusually clear, fast, and creative associations, to retardation [slowing down] so profound that no meaningful activity can occur.”* This very succinctly and accurately describes how I have often experienced bipolar disorder.

Hear their story through...

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Relentless Community - a special sermon from South Africa

  • Hebrews 10:23-25 “23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
  • Live your life each day with a purpose, to stir one another to acts of love and good works.
  • Why do you wake up each day? If you don’t ask yourself this question, you are purposeless which is like lifelessness.
  • Community isn’t a story, it’s an experience and filled with story after story after story. It’s why I came here for my surgery.
    • I knew I would be
      • Loved
      • Not judged
      • Encouraged
      • Filled with hope
  • God’s plan for your life is to wake up each day and…
    • Choose hope (v23)
      • Because he is a promise keeper, and there is nothing we need to fear
      • But this isn’t the kind of hope...
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