What are you worked up about - statement #7 from Jesus

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32

“Little flock” refers to believers who belong to God’s kingdom and live under God’s loving care (vv. 22–31). This image recalls the Old Testament's depiction of God as a caring shepherd of His people (e.g., Psa 77:20; Jer 13:17; Mic 4:8).

Elsewhere the NT presents Jesus as the fulfillment of the OT’S promise of a true shepherd of God’s people (see Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34; John 10:11–18; compare Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:11–31, 34:23 and note). (Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 12:32). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)

The true disciple is not afraid because of a sincere trust in God. The true disciple doesn’t draw their security from things, or people, or places but from God. This makes you...

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The love language of Jesus - statement #6 from Jesus

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”

When he makes this statement, it was a big evening for Jesus.  It’s his formal farewell to his disciples, his friends.  And his friends are freaking out! They are scared. How does Jesus decide to comfort them? He promises the Holy Spirit - the great comforter. The one who would guide, teach, encourage, empower, and mediate on behalf of the believer. Ultimately he was giving them the comforting presence of himself - Jesus.

The provision of Jesus that will bring about this relationship is declared to be the indwelling Spirit (vv. 15–17)

Holy Spirit has two new names: 

  1. the Paraclete (NIV Counselor, v. 16)
  2. the Spirit of truth

Paraclete (Gk. parakletos) is unique to John (elsewhere 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; 1 John 2:1) and expresses the Spirit’s strengthening, equipping role. 

A parakletos was a judicial advocate (cf. Matt. 10:16–20) and here Jesus says that Christians alone can enjoy his aid...

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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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