Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 52 of 103 1 2 50 51 52 53 54 102 103
AskMe #2586595 01/18/12 07:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Matthew 13:47-51 (NLT)
47 �Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. 48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. 49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, 50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 Do you understand all these things?� �Yes,� they said, �we do.�

Jesus spoke often in parables that were examples meant to give a simple explanation. As fishermen know, the net does not discriminate and catches many things. The contents of the net must be sorted out and that which meets the criteria for the catch is kept and the rest is tossed aside. Jesus makes a statement which should be noted, �Angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace�.



Christianity has the concept of an eternal life that is either spent in heaven or hell. From the Bible�s description heaven is beautiful place. It is a place where people worship and praise the Lord. It is a place where no sadness remains and no tear is shed. It is a place of comfort. It is a place where we are restored to what we were meant to have before the earth fell to sin.

Hell on the other hand is a place of suffering. Painful memories are recalled. Regrets are forever on the mind. It is a place where God�s presence does not exist and without God the pain of sin abounds.

There are religions that only have heaven or an afterlife of peace, but they do not have a hell. If a person is not rewarded with a heavenly afterlife they simply pass into non-existence. As a Christian I wish that were true. I wish those who do not receive heaven did not have to suffer the consequences of hell. I wish there was no required payment for sin, but that is not what the Bible tells us. And as Jesus clearly said above the wicked will be separated from the righteous and thrown into a fiery furnace.

Jesus however paid the price for sin for all those who place their trust in Him. Jesus paid our debt that we might reap the reward of heaven instead of hell. Jesus offers this gift freely to anyone who accepts it. As a Christian it is why it is important to share our belief in Christ so that others may believe in Him too and find the comfort of heaven instead of the pain of hell.

AskMe #2587151 01/19/12 07:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There�s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian church about a specific incident that took place. The incident caused sorrow and pain for several because there was an issue of sin that had been neglected by the church. The church felt regret for not dealing with the sin. But the Apostle tells them there should be no regrets; for the pain and sorrow they experienced brought them closer to Christ.



The Webster�s dictionary tells us regret is a sorrow caused by circumstances beyond one�s control or power to repair. Regret is an emotion that dwells on the past. Regret makes us long for something different and is outside of our control to correct or repair. Regret will keep us bound to the past hurts, pains, wounds, sorrows and other negative emotions. There are many regrets in this world that range from experiencing pain and trauma as a child to making bad decisions as an adult that have severe consequences. The sad part is we cannot change those regrets. We cannot go back into the past and fix the abuse we may have experienced as a child by the hands of an adult. We cannot go back to change a decision that took us down a wrong road. We cannot undo a sin that hurt us and other loved ones in the process. Fortunately we have a God who can change those things because He doesn�t just exist in the present, but instead exists in the past, present and future.

God can take away our regrets and transform our sorrows into useful and meaningful works. For instance a person who abused others said God changed him and now he works to punish abusers and inform others about abusiveness. I have heard the testimony of criminals and how God changed their lives and put them in a position of ministry to serve others. Former drug abusers once addicted to drugs serve as counselors to lead others away from drugs. Abuse victims have used their pain to help others face the same pain they experienced. Cancer patients in recovery give hope to those with cancer. The widowed show others life goes on even in the face of death.

Sorrow may still be present, but God takes away the regret and lets others see how the trials they faced can be transformed into something good. God knew what was happening the past and He planned for good without regret to come from the sorrow. As Joseph said to his brothers who sold him into a miserable slavery, �You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.�

AskMe #2589056 01/23/12 06:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NLT)
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

The Apostle Paul tells us that we should be careful not to avenge ourselves by harming those who have harmed us. We are to forgive as God has forgiven us and not dwell on the wrong done unto us. We are to always promote the welfare of others by doing good unto them and not evil. Our goodness should not just reach out to those who are Christians, but to everyone.



Mark Buchanan in the article �Messy, Costly, Dirty Ministry� wrote �The Tuesday night prayer meeting at Brooklyn Tabernacle felt like skydiving into a tornado, exhausting and exhilarating all at once. I'd read about the meeting in Pastor Jim Cymbala's book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, but nothing prepared me for the event itself: 3,500 God-hungry people storming heaven for two hours.

Afterward, my friend and I went out to dinner with the Cymbalas. In the course of the meal, Jim turned to me and said, "Mark, do you know what the number one sin of the church in America is?" I wasn't sure, and the question was rhetorical anyhow. "It's not the plague of internet pornography that is consuming our men. It's not that the divorce rate in the church is roughly the same as society at large."

Jim named two or three other candidates for the worst sin, all of which he dismissed. "The number one sin of the church in America," he said, "is that its pastors and leaders are not on their knees crying out to God, 'Bring us the drug-addicted, bring us the prostitutes, bring us the destitute, bring us the gang leaders, bring us those with AIDS, bring us the people nobody else wants, whom only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole.'"

I had no response. I was undone. He had laid me bare, found me out, and exposed my fraudulence. I was the chief of sinners. I had never prayed, not once, for God to bring such people to my church. So I went home and repented. I stopped sinning. I began to cry out for "those nobody wanted."

And darned if God didn't bring them. But then I found out why nobody wants them: they're messy and costly and dirty. They swear at you, lie to you, steal from you. Worse, they make you love them, and then often break your heart.�

Love usually costs us something. The Bible tells us in John 3:16, �For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.� God loved us even in our sin that He gave the life of His Son Jesus Christ to pay our messy debt of sin.

AskMe #2590033 01/26/12 05:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Titus 3:4-5 (NLT)
4 But��When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul writing to Titus explains how great God�s love is towards us. God�s redeeming salvation is not given to us because of what we do, but instead it is given to us because of who God is. God is merciful and He desires for our sins to be removed so that we may receive Christ into our lives to live the hope of present and eternal life free from sin.


Too many Christian�s constantly walk around feeling guilty about their sins. They become a burden and if carried long enough will bring about shame. God�s forgiveness is greater than any sin we can commit. Christ has already paid the debt for all of man�s sin. So who are we to place ourselves above God and say, �Surely God can�t forgive me for what I have done.� The truth is God will forgive, He does forgive and He forgets. It says of God in Hebrews 8:12, �And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.� Stop carrying the burden and shame of sin. Confess it to God knowing God will put it in the past forever.

AskMe #2592217 01/31/12 04:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Luke 8:17 (NLT)
17 For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

Jesus was preaching to nearby towns and villages when he told the parable of the Lamp. The full parable reads as follows. �No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.� God has given each of us talents and purpose. Those talents and the purpose for which we are to use them should not be put away, but instead brought forth that we might glorify God.


It was 1965 a soft spoken man walked into the first public TV station to pitch a show to convey life lessons to children. For this man to be there was amazing for he disliked television due to much of the slap-stick comedy that demeaned others. Fearing this type of programming would become normative over time he decided he wanted to make a difference. He had a choice - he could be negative and against TV or he could create his own show and give TV a purpose. Fred Roger chose the latter and for over thirty years Fred Rogers ministered to children through the third longest running show on PBS, Mr. Rogers.

Fred Rogers could have hidden his light, the purpose and gift God gave him to minister to children, but instead Mr. Rogers shared his talents with others. Mr. Rogers was a devote Christian that rarely talked about his faith on the air, but you could see his Christ like ways. He would end the show saying, �You've made this day a special day by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are." Just like Christ tells us, Mr. Rogers was telling these children they were special, they had a purpose and there was no one else created like them.

AskMe #2592669 02/01/12 05:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
James 1:5-8 (NLT)
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

In these verses James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us God is generous to give us wisdom when we ask for it. It�s not a request God turns down, but is a promise He keeps. There is a condition to our request. The condition is we must place our faith alone in God and not waver from it. We cannot be divided between God�s wisdom and the wisdom of the world.


We all have someone in our lives we love and yet they can do some small thing that makes us feel rejected. I love my mother. She is a kind and very sweet person. However, there are times when she will call for my advice, then go on to ask the advice of others and then make her own choice. I acknowledge most of us probably do the same thing. We seek out knowledge; then we reject sound ideas and choose something of our own pleasing. I remember a car my mother was purchasing. She called me with the details and asked my opinion whether it would be a good purchase. I enjoy researching so I found out everything about the car. The car was rated well, it had a great expected service life, and the asking price was below average. I called my mother and said it would be a really good purchase. Later on she calls me back to say she got the car. I�m feeling good I was able to give her some wisdom; but that feeling didn�t last long. She informed me it was a different car, not the one she called me about. She tells me about the used car she just bought. Then she asks, �Do you think it was a good purchase?� All I could say was, �I have no clue mom.� I didn�t know anything about the car, its reliability or its price. When I went back and looked everything up I had to tell my mom she could have gotten a new car for the price she paid for a used car. She got a good car, but the price was unreasonable. It was an �as is purchase� so the car was hers. She missed out on the knowledge I passed onto her.

Hopefully you can see God�s point in this story. If we are going to ask for His wisdom, His advice, His Knowledge we need to be ready to accept and follow it. We don�t need to be looking elsewhere and end up with something less than God planned for us.

AskMe #2593073 02/02/12 07:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
John 8:31-32 (NLT)
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, �You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.�

Matthew Henry tells us the following about the verses above. �The truth and certainty of the promise, the liberty which the Jews boasted of was an imaginary liberty; they boasted of a false gift; but the liberty which Christ gives is a certain thing, it is real, and has real effects. The servants of sin promise themselves liberty, and fancy themselves free, when they have broken religion�s bands asunder; but they cheat themselves. None are free indeed but those whom Christ makes free.�



People often use John 8:32 incorrectly. How many times have you heard someone say, �The truth will set you free� and they are implying telling the truth will somehow relieve you of the consequences of sin. I want to say telling the truth is the right thing to do, but telling the truth is not a get out of jail free card. Telling the truth will begin to bring healing into your life, but the damage has already been done.

I remember a Cops episode on TV where the officer was telling the suspect if he would tell the truth it would set him free. Actually, when the suspect told the truth he was placed in a patrol car and arrested for theft by taking. The man may have felt a sense of freedom by telling the truth, but the consequence for stealing was still there.

You see telling the truth after a sin is not what Jesus is talking about. Jesus was telling us knowing the truth about sin, knowing the truth that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and knowing the truth about the promises of God will set you free. Jesus wants to keep you free from sin before you fall prey to it!

AskMe #2594182 02/06/12 05:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Galatians 2:11-16 (NLT)
11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn�t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter�s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, �Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? 15 �You and I are Jews by birth, not �sinners� like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.�

The Apostle Paul recounts his confrontation of Peter, a pillar of the church, a strong leader, who gave into the peer pressure instead of relying on his faith in Jesus Christ. Peter made an error in allowing his thoughts to be guided by the criticism of others instead of being guided by Christ.



All of us are going to make mistakes in life. Most of us have a tendency to not want to admit our mistakes. We feel admitting our mistakes will make us less than perfect. The truth is we are less than perfect and the best thing we can do is admit our mistakes as soon as we are confronted. We need to express our regret, take responsibility, make restitution where restitution is due, and ask forgiveness. The last thing we want to do is cover up our problem, blame someone else or get angry when we are confronted. Adam and Eve attempted to handle their sin this way. They tried to hide from God, they tried to blame one another, and they resented being confronted. I wonder what might have happened if Adam and Eve had been honest, had admitted their sin to God, and taken responsibility for what they did. Instead they denied their sin and blamed God.

There is a saying that half of being smart is to know what half of you is dumb. Be willing to reach out for help and ask for guidance. Allow God to work in your life and show you how you can learn from your mistakes.

AskMe #2594528 02/07/12 06:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)
14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

The Apostle John starts this chapter with a call to continue keeping our faith in Jesus Christ. It is through our faith in Christ that we find our victories and win the battles we face in life. Through Christ we are given the bold ability to come to God with our honest and earnest requests. When we are humble, sincere and ask of God in accordance to His majesty and glory - Christ takes up petition for us with The Father. Knowing we want to give God the glory, knowing we desire to seek His will, and knowing Christ speaks for us gives us the confidence God will hear us and give and answer to our prayer.



In life there are certain expectations you come to believe in. If someone asked, �Has your wife ever misplaced her pocketbook� I could answer with a definite yes. After almost 33 years of marriage I would believe and expect that my wife has either left her pocketbook in the car, on the kitchen table, on the counter next to the stove, on the couch, or on the furniture in the bedroom and that she will spend some amount of time looking for that pocketbook. I have an expectation after looking she will find it in one of those places because that is where she usually leaves it.

Last night my wife ordered dinner out and was going to pick it up. As she would normally do, my wife went to look for her pocketbook in the above mentioned spots. This time however there was no pocketbook to be found. She started to become frantic looking under the cushions of the couch, looking in the trunk of the car, and looking just about any place where she thought she might have left it. All of us joined in the search, still 15 minutes later - no pocketbook. Since she was still looking I suggested I would go pick up the dinner she had ordered.

When I left she gave up looking and prayed for God to lead her to find her pocketbook. As I drove to the restaurant I prayed God would reveal the location of the pocketbook. I believe in prayer, but I must be honest and admit there are times when maybe I�m not so confident about the result.

I picked up our order and returned home. As I drove into the garage, hanging eye level straight before me from a shelf on the wall in the garage was my wife�s pocketbook. If I had asked someone I could not have asked them to put that pocketbook in a more obvious place. I walked in with it in my hand and my wife asked where did I find it and I said, �Right where God put it.� Three of us had walked by that spot several times to look in the car where we thought that pocketbook might be, but we never saw it. God listens and He hears our prayers. We just need to stop, pray and look forward to His answer. Most of all we need to have faith and believe.

AskMe #2595306 02/09/12 06:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Luke 9:22 (NLT)
22 �The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,� he said. �He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.�

After Peter confirms Jesus is the Christ, Jesus says the words above. Just affirmed and accepted by Peter as the Son of God, The Savior of men - Jesus says He will be rejected by those who should know God. He says the elders, leading priests and teachers will reject Him.



Rejection is a tough emotion to deal with. When someone rejects you there is a negative flood of emotions. You begin to wonder if you are good enough. Some people even start trying to change what they are to meet the others expectations. The issue -More than likely the other person is the problem.

Look at the life of Jesus. He ministered to people. Jesus had compassion for people. Jesus met the needs of people. Yet Jesus was rejected by those who should have known Him.

There are those who should know you, but have rejected you. They have said things that hurt and strike at the core of your heart. When that happens, remember Jesus. Jesus endured it all for our sakes. Jesus continued to be who He was. Jesus still reached out in compassion and love. Even today Jesus waits to give the gift of salvation to those who place their faith in Him. There are many who still reject Him and yet Jesus still loves them too, but He has to wait on them to come to Him.

AskMe #2596835 02/14/12 05:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Genesis 6:5-6 (NLT)
5 The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

Our creator, our God, our Lord, looked down on mankind and saw how sin had taken hold of man�s heart. Man�s thoughts and imaginations were forever looking towards evil. It broke God�s heart that He ever made man and was sorry He had made man that man would fall to sin.



There is a statement that says �The rain falls because the cloud can no long hold the weight. The tears fall because the heart can no longer handle the pain.� There is nothing heavier and sadder than a broken heart. A person with a broken heart is devastated with sorrow. There has been someone who has caused disappointment and caused great despair. Love never walks away; it is a person who walks away and abandons their love. Man abandoned God�s love and it broke His heart.

It may be that someone has abandoned you and broken your heart. It may be that you are still feeling the pain of a damaged relationship. David said in his psalms, �Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me.� Jeremiah upon looking at the sins of Israel said, �My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken.� In Lamentations God spoke of the people and said, �I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken.� Many have understood the pain of a broken heart.

If the God of the universe can have a broken heart, let me assure you the Lord understands your pain. God wants to heal that pain. Throughout the Bible God says, �Let their hearts return to me and I will heal them.� God heals broken hearts and restores the joy it once had.

On this Valentine�s Day give your heart to God and He will give His heart to you.

AskMe #2597491 02/16/12 05:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Romans 7:18-20 (NLT)
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can�t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don�t. I don�t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don�t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

The apostle explains the corruptness that lives within all of us is called our �sinful nature� or as some Bible translations say, �the flesh�. The apostle believes there is nothing good which can come from us alone. He sees the struggle in that God has given him a desire to do what is right and he wants to do what is right - but he doesn�t. The opposite is also true, he wants to avoid what is evil, yet he finds himself doing the very thing he desired not to do. The apostle acknowledges that sin dwells within him and it is sin causing him to act against the desires of God.



When the Apostle Paul was writing the words above he was already a Christian. Paul knew he was a sinful man. Paul desired to walk away from sin, which showed his repentant nature. Paul had complete trust that Jesus died for his sin and that he would be reconciled with God to live an eternal life in heaven. We see that even though Paul was a Christian - Paul struggled with sin. Paul was not perfect and the truth is there are none of us who are.

For those who do not know Jesus Christ, I want you to know Jesus Christ loves you no matter what you have done, no matter who you are, no matter what sin you have committed. JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU! Jesus desires to give you the same gift of eternal life as he gave Paul and every other Christian.

For those who have placed their complete trust and faith in Jesus Christ, I pray you have the same desire as Paul to do well and to turn away from evil. As a Christian, sin is always present in our lives, but sin does not control us unless we give it control. 1 Corinthians 15:57 tells us, �But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.� The Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, but we receive God�s promise of freedom by believing in Jesus Christ. We had a passion for sin, but that passion was nailed to the cross when Jesus died. Our flesh still wants to rise up against us. As Paul put it, �I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from being proud.� We have to fight the temptation that comes at us, but we need Jesus to do it.

Maybe you have slipped and fallen into sin. Jesus can help you recover. Maybe sin has a tight grasp on you. Pray for mercy and grace and ask Jesus to take control. Maybe you want to do what is right and good but you are struggling. Ask Jesus to lead the way.

May God bless you, keep you close and pour His mercy and grace freely upon you.

AskMe #2597977 02/17/12 09:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Matthew 9:9-11 (NLT)
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector�s booth. �Follow me and be my disciple,� Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, �Why does your teacher eat with such scum?�

Here we find the account of the Apostle Matthew being called by Jesus to be His disciple. Matthew left his place of business without hesitation to follow Jesus. Then Matthew invited Jesus to his home where he called friends and work associates to come dine. Many of these people considered disreputable sinners and yet Jesus dined with them while the religious leaders criticized his actions.



The Pharisees were critical of the people Jesus was dining with. They referred to them as disreputable sinners. Tax Collectors of the time often took advantage of others by collecting additional funds for their own follies. While the Pharisees would have never allowed themselves to associate with such people we find Jesus dining, having conversation and enjoying the company of those around Him.

The Pharisees in no way wanted to associate with the people they considered sinners. They would look from afar, passing their judgment and speaking critically of them. They made no attempt at friendship. They made no attempt to tell them about God. Instead they tossed them aside like trash.

Unlike the Pharisees Jesus was right there in the midst of the sinners. Jesus did not hesitate to be in an intimate setting to converse and share the love of God. These people were able to observe Jesus and get to know him. These sinners could see Jesus was different and they enjoyed His presence and took interest in Him. Jesus took interest in them because He knew the needs of their heart.

This is a lesson for Christians � We need to be like Jesus and not like the Pharisees. We need to hold firm to God�s word, but we need to share His word with others. If it takes dining with those who are different; for all sakes dine with them. If it requires taking time to talk with people who are not following God; stop and talk with them. Let your presence be the light of Christ in this world. Glorify Christ that others may see the hope of your salvation and the joy in your life.

I want to offer a word of caution - We all can fall to temptation especially when we are in setting where sin is bountiful. We should never place ourselves in a situation where we know there is a great potential to fall o sin. For if we fall we give reason to others to see sin as a freedom and that hurts the cause of Christ. So reach out to sinners, but be aware of your boundaries in doing so.

So with that said tell others about the love of Jesus and share His Good News of salvation. Reach out in love as Jesus would have done.

AskMe #2598962 02/21/12 05:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Matthew 10:32 (ESV)
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven:

As Christians it is our duty to confess Jesus Christ before men. We should not be ashamed of our relationship with Jesus, our expectations of Jesus or our faith in Jesus. Through our words the name of Jesus Christ is glorified and we edify others by teaching them about Christ. However our stance for Jesus is not without exposure to the rejection Christ received. We too may be rejected, but the rejection is not of our fault or making, but of man who does not understand the love of God and Christ. When we acknowledge Christ before men, Christ acknowledges us before God in heaven.



Many of you are probably aware the famous singer Whitney Houston passed away. She had a beautiful voice that was loved by many. Whitney grew up in a Christian church where she learned about the love, the grace and the mercy God offers through Jesus Christ. Speaking to Oprah, Oprah asked Whitney, �Who do you love?� and Whitney responded, �The Lord!� The last song Whitney sang in public as a spontaneous act was, �Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.� Whitney loved The Lord. Whitney acknowledged Jesus. But we know too that Whitney struggled in life and occasionally fell to the temptations of addiction. It is during a fall away from Christ we are less likely to speak the name of Jesus because we fear bringing discredit to our Lord and to ourselves. So it is for that reason we must always keep Jesus close, avoid temptation and do what is right in His eyes.

Whitney�s death did not go without purpose. On Saturday for four hours her funeral was covered by national news networks. For four hours praise was lifted up to God and Christ as the life of Whitney was honored. For a period of time the actor, playwright, director, producer and songwriter Tyler Perry stood before a congregation of people and boldly spoke about the love of Jesus Christ and how it was present in Whitney�s life. Tyler was not ashamed speak about Jesus. Others sang beautiful songs that glorified Christ and God. As a remembrance to the last song Whitney sang, �Jesus loves me this I know� was sang to a nation of viewers.

One of Whitney�s songs was, �I will always love you.� Jesus Christ is always calling out to you saying that He will always love you. Are you showing your love to Jesus by telling others about Him and speaking His name proudly?

AskMe #2599541 02/23/12 06:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 Samuel 25:29 (NLT)
29 �Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch!

David was known for his love of God. God loved David and in the Bible called David a man after His own heart. In these verses we find Abigail, the wife of Nabal, telling David his life is safe and secure in the care of The Lord. God had a close, intimate relationship with David and watched over him and protected him. We find in the book of Psalms David often opens his heart to God and speaks honestly to The Lord. David felt safe and secure in the arms of The Lord and others took notice of that.



Intimacy is when a person feels they can be open, honest and expressive and feel safe and secure at the same time. The idea can apply to emotional or physical intimacy, but let�s focus on the emotional aspect. Emotional intimacy is what David felt in his relationship with God. David could be expressive and feel safe and secure in the arms of God.

An important part of emotional intimacy is a need for honesty. When someone is open and honest with us it gives us a sense of security. We can understand what they desire, what they like, and what they dislike. It allows us to gain a sense of who they are and what they want. In a relationship most of us want to know the other person, what is taking place in their lives and what has happened in their past that might have affected them. This honesty brings us closer together in an intimate way.

Honesty and openness is a good thing for a relationship because it brings intimacy. What happens though when honesty is missing? When a person is not open and honest it begins to undermine a relationship. Dishonesty quickly destroys the feelings of being safe and secure. Those insecure feelings interrupt intimacy because the foundation of the relationship has been shattered. We can no longer trust our feelings about the other person because we no longer have a true sense of who they are.

There are many reasons why people may be dishonest. Sometimes it is what they learned from their parents. Sometimes it is because they are immature and don�t want to deal with reality. Maybe they have experienced dishonesty themselves so they learned to guard their feelings by being dishonest. Some may have been hurt in the past by their honesty so they choose to remain silent, which is a form of dishonesty. People will become desperate because of sin and they will start lying and deceiving to cover their tracks. There are some who are insecure and admitting to the truth heightens their insecurity. So there are many reasons and most reasons are the result of sin.

A person must accept the responsibility of being honest for themselves. A person must decide they will have integrity and tell the truth. We can however help in our relationships by ensuring we listen carefully and provide a safe and secure way for the other person to express themselves. If we ridicule, hurt, disregard feelings, putdown, belittle or we also are dishonest -- it is going to hinder honesty from the other person. Look to God to see how to make your relationship safe and secure just like God provides safety and security for you. Look to God on how to be honest, for God Himself cannot lie. God tells us throughout the Bible what is good about honesty and what is bad about dishonesty. Read His words of encouragement.

Let other others take notice of your intimate relationship for it honors your spouse and God.

AskMe #2599788 02/24/12 06:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

In this verse King Solomon relates to us the issues of indulging in alcoholic drink. While intoxicated, some speak of things probably best left unsaid. They find themselves not holding personal opinions to themselves. At times they even toss insults to the innocent. The higher the level of drinking -- a person finds themselves out of control. They want to argue and cause strife. Some even go as far as starting a physical altercation. King Solomon finishes the verse by saying that a person who is led astray by the temptation of alcohol is not wise.




In 1 Corinthians 10:13 the Apostle Paul writes, �No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.�

There are many addictions in life common to man including alcoholism. Like any other addiction alcoholism destroys the life of a person. Families are often torn apart by the actions of the addict. My father was an alcoholic. My mother divorced my father shortly after I was 2 years old out of fear for my life and her life. My father�s drinking caused him to mock others and say horrid things. My father would start fights and became involved in fist brawls. My father would beat and abuse my mother because of his uncontrolled drinking. King Solomon was right on when he said the person who is led astray by alcohol is not wise.

My father passed away several years ago. I went to the funeral and it was the first time I had ever seen my father. It is odd seeing a person you know to be your father and yet you don�t recognize him or know much about him. I do know my father was married several times and the marriages ended the same way -- in divorce due to his drinking. I was contacted by a social worker once while my father was alive. He was found homeless on the streets. His uncontrolled drinking had left him disoriented. His clothing was tattered, he was without shoes and his feet were raw. More than likely he had been in a fight and lost by the condition he was found in. He was in a city where he did not live. He wasn�t lucid and could not provide details about himself. Oddly, he knew he had a son with the same name as his. It wasn�t difficult for the social worker to track me down, since my name isn�t common. Sadly I had to tell the social worker I knew knowing about my father, but I could put her in touch with one of his brothers or sisters. She then shocked me with her next question, �Could you tell me how I could locate your brother Luther?� It was the first time I knew my father had another son. There may even be more siblings, but I don�t know who they are.

The consequences of an addiction are great. The addiction affects the person, the family and friends. The person loses control of their life and it is handed over to the addiction. I can testify my mother lived out of fear. I can testify it was difficult growing up without a father. It was difficult when my mother repeated her mistake by marrying another alcoholic who left when my brother was born.

Yes, addiction has consequences and destroys people. If you know someone who has an addiction or if you face and addiction yourself, seek out help. May God be with you in your struggle and provide a way of escape.

Yesterday would have been my father's birthday.

AskMe #2600942 02/28/12 06:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Ephesians 4:25 (The Message)
25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

In this verse the Apostle Paul sums up the point he is trying to make to Christians. Stop lying to people. Stop trying to pretend you are something you are not. Be honest with those who are closest with you. For if you are not honest with others you will find yourself believing in your own lies.



I have known people to lie about all kinds of things. They lie to stay out of trouble. They lie because they don�t want to admit the pain in their life. They lie because they are struggling with sin. They lie because of pride. They lie because they are afraid.

You may have heard a Christian say, �I use to have a life where I did nothing but tell lies, cuss, drink, etc., but thank God Jesus changed all that.� I do believe Jesus changed that person and gave them freedom over those sins. I believed Jesus died to set each of us free from sin so that we might have a more abundant, fruitful and joyful life. I believe when we turn our lives over to Jesus and give Him complete control we are set free from the sins that controlled us.

I want to share a sobering thought; Christians will find themselves lying when they aren�t allowing Jesus into all areas of their life. I�ll give you an example. Let�s say you are struggling with sin or facing an overwhelming problem. You haven�t turned those problems over to Jesus. What happens when you pass a friend and they ask, �How are you doing?� In reality you are not doing well are you? But often the response will be, �Oh, I am doing great, thank you!� What did you just do? You lied, maybe you consider it a small lie, but still it was a lie.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to give up the lies and be honest with those around us. When we lie we might opportunities for help. When we lie we begin to believe we are ok, when we are not. I pray God would bring people into your life that you will be honest with. I pray God will let you share your heart with people who can help you with your struggle. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.

AskMe #2601649 03/01/12 07:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Mark 9:24 (NLT)
24 The father instantly cried out, �I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!�

A father brought his son to be healed by Jesus from an evil spirit. The boy would fall to the ground with what would be described in modern terms as a grand mal seizure. The father explained how the boy at times would fall into the fire or water from this problem. The father desperately wanted his son healed. He said to Jesus, �Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.� Jesus asked him, �What do you mean, �If I can?�� Jesus went on to say, �Anything is possible is a person believes.� At this point the father cried out, �I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!�



Blaise Pascal was a great philosopher and mathematician. Pascal questioned whether he should believe in an eternal life with God so he set out to prove an answer to his question. Paschal found his answer and today it is known as �Pascal�s Wager�. Pascal said the following about believing in God, �Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He (God) exists.�

Pascal put his doubt about God aside by noting that by believing there is a gracious and merciful God he would gain the rewards of his belief. For Pascal knew the Bible told him belief in Jesus Christ would allow him to live an eternal life in heaven. If Pascal chose not to believe in Jesus then he would lose all benefits God was willing to grant him. However if he believed and he was wrong he lost nothing. So why not put aside doubt when there was a greater benefit to believe than not to believe.

There are people today who do not believe in God or do not believe in Jesus. They are cheating themselves because God offers eternal life in heaven for believing in Jesus Christ. Why would one forfeit such a great gift offered so freely?

AskMe #2602633 03/05/12 07:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Ephesians 6:12; 18 (NLT)
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. --18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

The Apostle Paul gives a warning to the church of Ephesians. The warning � our fight is not with the flesh-and-blood enemies of this world. Our fight as fearful as it might sound is against dark, evil, high powers which we cannot see. The Apostle then goes on to say in verses 13-17 what we must do to be prepared for this battle, �Therefore, put on every piece of God�s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God�s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.� Prepared with righteousness, truth, peace, faith, and God�s promises we must persist in praying on every occasion for those who stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ.



In a 1960 Twilight Zone episode, �The Howling Man�, an American seeks shelter from a storm in a home belonging to a society of monks. Reluctantly the monks take the American in, but their reluctance is not without cause. In the home David discovers the monks are holding a prisoner locked behind a wooden door. The prisoner claims Brother Jerome is insane and is holding him captive. The prisoner pleads with the American for his release. The kind face and gentle voice of the prisoner eventually wins the confidence of the American. The American confronts Brother Jerome, who declares the prisoner is Satan, �the father of lies,� held captive by the Staff of Truth. The allegation convinces the American that Brother Jerome must be mad. Seeking an opportunity the American releases the prisoner who immediately is transformed into a hideous, horned demon and vanishes in a puff of smoke! The stunned American is horrified at the realization of what he has done. Brother Jerome responds sympathetically, �I am sorry for you, my son. All your life you will remember this night and whom you have turned loose upon the world.� �I did not believe you,� the American replied, �I saw him and did not recognize him,� to which Brother Jerome solemnly says, �That is humankind�s weakness and Satan�s strength.�

We cannot recognize the powers at work against us for they exist in a dark place, hidden from our eyes. There is a battle taking place in this world. It is a battle against that which is good. It is a battle against God trying to keep the world from knowing the truth about Jesus Christ. Unlike the Twilight Zone episode it is Satan who wants to hold us bondage to sin, but it is Christ who died on the cross and rose to life to release us from that bondage. Listen to the Apostle Paul�s words and take a firm stand in your faith.

AskMe #2603274 03/07/12 07:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Luke 6:27-28; 37 (NLT)
27 �But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. -- 37 �Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

These are the words of Jesus spoken to a multitude of people who had gathered to listen to His teachings. They were not words just for those who would come to believe in Jesus, but universal words that applied to all people. In these verses Jesus is speaking on two topics, love for your enemies and not passing condemning judgment but instead forgiving.



Let�s take a moment to grasp these words Jesus spoke concerning how we treat others -- Love your enemies. The Greek word used for love is agapao which means doing and caring for others in such a way that you express a deep love for them. In John 3:16 the Bible says, �For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.� The word love used in this verse is the same type of love we are to express. We are to love our enemies, those who are against us, those who we know, and anyone else -- just as God loved us. How did God love us? God showed us love, mercy and grace by giving His Son Jesus as a payment for our sin - that is how God loved us!

What about judgment of others? Are you able to put away judging condemnation and instead provide forgiveness as God provided forgiveness for us? When the Jewish leaders arrested Jesus and took Him before Pilate, Pilate said to them, �Take Him away and judge Him by your law.� Pilate was telling the religious leaders to take Jesus to judge and condemn Him by their laws, their beliefs, and their rules. This is exactly what Jesus told us not to do � we are not to judge and we not to condemn.

Jesus associated himself with all types of people. Jesus ate with sinners. Jesus talked with prostitutes. Jesus talked among the poor and the sick Jesus gathered common people as His disciples. Jesus did not hesitate to take up for others who committed a sin, while at the same time lovingly telling them they should sin no more. Jesus protected the adulteress from bodily harm because He knew her sin was no greater that those who wanted to punish her. Jesus spoke to people about sin and how to live, but Jesus never condemned them. Jesus always loved.

Jesus did not go out into the crowds of sinners to point out an individual who was committing sin. Instead He spoke against sin and had His own boundaries against sin. You can have a boundary that says you won�t allow sin into your life, but you cannot impose that boundary upon others. You can speak to people about sin, but you should never judge or condemn them for their sin.

Too many people today whether Christian or non-Christian think because they have an opinion if another person doesn�t agree then they have the right to judge and condemn. Jesus spoke to all people and said this was unacceptable. Put away your judgment and condemnation and instead reach out to others in love just as Jesus did.

Page 52 of 103 1 2 50 51 52 53 54 102 103

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 24 guests, and 68 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
IrishTurtle, Sanvi9, TempName, ChellyAlicia, DagnyDrew
71,753 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,555
Posts2,322,901
Members71,753
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5