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 88 of 103 1 2 86 87 88 89 90 102 103
AskMe #2849037 03/30/15 06:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Isaiah 53:3-4 (NLT)
3 He was despised and rejected� a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

The prophet, in the close of the former chapter, had foreseen and foretold the kind reception which the gospel of Christ should find among the Gentiles, that nations and their kings should bid it welcome, that those who had not seen him should believe in him; and though they had not any prophecies among them of gospel grace, which might raise their expectations, and dispose them to entertain it, yet upon the first notice of it they should give it its due weight and consideration. Now here he foretels, with wonder, the unbelief of the Jews, notwithstanding the previous notices they had of the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament and the opportunity they had of being personally acquainted with him. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



In May 2009, my family was in Azusa, California, because one of our kids was graduating from Azusa Pacific University. My wife, Nancy, was going to speak at the commencement ceremonies, so she and I were invited to a special gathering of about 50 people�people from the graduating class of 50 years ago and a few faculty members. During the gathering, John Wallace, the president of APU, brought out three students who were graduating that year and told us that for the next two years, they were going to serve the poorest of the poor in India.

These three students thought they were there just to be commissioned and sent out with a blessing�which they were. But then something happened that they did not know was coming. John turned to them and said, "I have a piece of news for you. There's somebody you do not know�an anonymous donor�who is so moved by what you're doing that he has given a gift to this university in your name, on your behalf."

John turned to the first student and said, "You are forgiven your debt of $105,000." The kid immediately starts to cry. John turns to the next student: "You're forgiven your debt of $70,000." He then turns to the third student: "You are forgiven your debt of $130,000." All three students had no idea this was coming. They were just ambushed by grace�blown away that somebody they don't even know would pay their debt. The whole room was in tears. [John Ortberg, in the sermon "Patch 'Em," Menlo Park Presbyterian, Menlo Park, California (preached 5-17-09)]


Isaiah tells us �Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!� Innocent, Jesus carried to the cross the sins that we, the guilty, committed. And there at the cross Jesus died with those sins so that we would have mercy and grace from those sins. Fortunately the story doesn�t stop there for Christ rose back to life, a beautiful eternal life that we can all inherit by a willingness to turn from our sin and placing our lives and our faith in Christ; who will welcome us into heaven when we leave this earthly realm.

AskMe #2849265 04/02/15 07:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Matthew 20:17-19 (NLT)
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 �Listen,� he said, �we�re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.�

A prediction of Christ's approaching sufferings. He took the twelve disciples apart in the way. This was one of those things which were told to them in darkness, but which they were afterward to speak in the light, ch. 10:27. His secret was with them, as his friends, and this particularly. It was a hard saying, and, if any could bear it, they could. They would be more immediately exposed to peril with him, and therefore it was requisite that they should know of it, that, being fore-warned, they might be fore-armed. It was not fit to be spoken publicly as yet. This is the third time that Christ gave his disciples notice of his approaching sufferings; he was not going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the passover, and to offer up himself the great Passover; both must be done at Jerusalem: there the passover must be kept (Deu. 12:5), and there a prophet must perish, because there the great Sanhedrim sat, who were judges in that case, Lu. 13:33. [quotations from Matthew Henry�s Commentary]



There are times when things should be said in private and this was one of those times. Jesus did not want others to know of him impending death. His disciples, however, deserved to hear the truth.

These verses give us the basis for a gospel presentation. Jesus who was innocent was to be betrayed and taken by the religions leadership. Jesus was then turned over to the Romans by this same religious leadership where he was flogged, tortured and crucified until death. Jesus also told them that on the third day he would be raised from the dead. Christ defeats sin and He defeats death so that we can have an eternal life with Him in heaven through faith in Christ, knowing we are sinners and are in need of His redemption.

Jesus Christ gave us the ultimate model of masculine love. Jesus sacrificed himself for others. It doesn't take any special ability to live a self-centered life; but it takes character to sacrifice.

AskMe #2849404 04/03/15 07:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Hebrews 11:28 (NLT)
28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.

The account of this we have in Ex. 12:13-23. Though all Israel kept this passover, yet it was by Moses that God delivered the institution of it; and, though it was a great mystery, Moses by faith both delivered it to the people and kept it that night in the house where he lodged. The passover was one of the most solemn institutions of the Old Testament, and a very significant type of Christ. The occasion of its first observance was extraordinary: it was in the same night that God slew the first-born of the Egyptians; but, though the Israelites lived among them, the destroying angel passed over their houses, and spared them and theirs. Now, to entitle them to this distinguishing favour, and to mark them out for it, a lamb must be slain; the blood of it must be sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop upon the lintel of the door, and on the two side-posts; the flesh of the lamb must be roasted with fire; and it must be all of it eaten that very night with bitter herbs, in a travelling posture, their loins girt, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand. This was accordingly done, and the destroying angel passed over them, and slew the first-born of the Egyptians. [Matthew Henry Commentary}



Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

For Christians the following except was continued in Matthew Henry�s Commentary:

(1.) Christ is that Lamb, he is our Passover, he was sacrificed for us.
(2.) His blood must be sprinkled; it must be applied to those who have the saving benefit of it.
(3.) It is applied effectually only to the Israelites, the chosen people of God.
(4.) It is not owing to our inherent righteousness or best performances that we are saved from the wrath of God, but to the blood of Christ and his imputed righteousness. If any of the families of Israel had neglected the sprinkling of this blood upon their doors, though they should have spent all the night in prayer, the destroying angel would have broken in upon them, and slain their first-born.
(5.) Wherever this blood is applied, the soul receives a whole Christ by faith, and lives upon him.
(6.) This true faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement.
(7.) All our spiritual privileges on earth should quicken us to set out early, and get forward, in our way to heaven.
(8.) Those who have been marked out must ever remember and acknowledge free and distinguishing grace.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God�s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God�s glory. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

AskMe #2849595 04/06/15 06:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 John 3:16 (NLT)
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Here is the love of God himself, of him who in his own person is God, though not the Father, that he assumed a life, that he might lay it down for us! Here is the condescension, the miracle, the mystery of divine love, that God would redeem the church with his own blood! Surely we should love those whom God hath loved, and so loved; and we shall certainly do so if we have any love for God. [Matthew Henry Commentary]




In the early 1990s, gang violence erupted in Boyle Heights, a section of East Los Angeles. Eight gangs were in conflict in the parish around the Dolores Mission Catholic Church. Killings and injuries happened daily. A group of women who met for prayer read together the story of Jesus walking on water �. Then one of the mothers, electrified by the text, began to identify the parallels between the Jesus story and her own �.

That night, seventy women began � a procession from one barrio to another. They brought food, guitars, and love. As they ate chips and salsa and drank Cokes with gang members, [they began to sing traditional songs together]. The gangs were disoriented, baffled; the war zones were silent.

Each night the mothers walked. By nonviolently intruding and intervening, they "broke the rules of war." The old script of retaliation and escalating violence was challenged and changed. It is no accident that the women christened their nighttime journeys "love walks."

As the relationships between the women and the gang members grew, the kids told their stories. Anguish over lack of jobs; anger at police brutality; rage over the hopelessness of poverty. Together they developed a tortilla factory, a bakery, a child-care center, a job-training program, a class on conflict-resolution techniques, a school for further learning, a neighborhood group to monitor and report police misbehavior, and more.

And it began with the challenge "Get out of the boat" and "walk on water." [James Bryan Smith,The Good and Beautiful Life (InterVarsity Press, 2010), pp. 131-132]

AskMe #2849715 04/07/15 06:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
2 Samuel 11:2-4 (NIV)
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, �She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.� 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.

This is the beginning of King David�s affair with Bathsheba that eventually led King David to place Bathsheba�s husband Uriah on the front battle lines where he would be killed. The affair started with a look of desire and became an obsession David could not release himself from.



The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, �We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.� In other words we are to take our thoughts captive, examine our motives and sift through our captive thoughts to understand if we are disobeying Christ and fighting against God.

David did not even hesitate in his thoughts to take Bathsheba as his mistress. Not once did David wonder is this going against God�s will. His only thoughts were about his desires. He did not capture those thoughts and wrestle with them until he was sure of what he was doing. Instead he followed his desires, which eventually led to the murder Bathsheba�s husband Uriah.

In life we have to be very careful. We face temptations every day that could lead us in a wrong direction. In order not to take the wrong direction we need a plan. The Apostle Paul has given us a start on that plan by telling to examine our thoughts and motives to ensure they align with God�s plan for our lives.

Maybe there is an area of your life you are battling. Take captive every thought and make them obedient to Christ. If we don�t hold our thoughts captive we may find our thoughts holding us captive.

AskMe #2849796 04/08/15 07:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Romans 5:10 (NIV)
10 For if, while we were God�s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

The apostle tells us we were enemies of God. We were traitors and rebels against our benefactor; and our enmity towards God is also a mutual enemy against ourselves. God provides reconciliation and redemption through His Son Jesus Christ. If we are provided this saving redemption as enemies of God, what a great salvation we have been offered through the eternal life of Jesus Christ.



Bryan Chapell writes in Holiness By Grace (Crossway Books), An old tale speaks of a man who died and faced the angel Gabriel at heaven's gates. The angel said, "Here's how this works. You need a hundred points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you have done, and I will give a certain number of points for each of them. The more good there is in the work that you cite, the more points you will get for it. When you get to a hundred points, you get in."

"Okay," the man said, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."

Gabriel replied, "That's wonderful. That's worth three points."

"Three points?" said the man incredulously. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my money and service."

"Terrific!" said Gabriel, "that's certainly worth a point."

"One point?" said the man with his eyes beginning to show a bit of panic. "Well, how about this: I opened a shelter for the homeless in my city, and fed needy people by the hundreds during holidays."

"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," said the angel.

"TWO POINTS!" cried the man in desperation. "At this rate the only way I will get to heaven is by the grace of God."

"Come on in," said Gabriel.


Because of God�s love for us we are provided with His redeeming Grace.

AskMe #2849868 04/08/15 08:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 968
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 968
^ I love this story! Such a clever explanation of grace. smile

Thank you, by the way, for this thread. I enjoy these.


Happily remarried to wonderful woman who I found using the guidelines in "Buyers, Renters, Freeloaders"
2 baby boys, working on #3 and couldn't ask for anything more.

When my ex's affair happened: BH 28, Ex-WW:29
Married: 7 years
Together: 8 years
D-day: 10/5/2014
D filed: 1/22/2015
D Final: 6/4/2015

My story
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Originally Posted by axslinger85
^ I love this story! Such a clever explanation of grace. smile

Thank you, by the way, for this thread. I enjoy these.


You are more than welcome. I pull the Bible verses and stories together as much for me as I do others. Thank you for your encouragement!

AskMe #2849882 04/09/15 06:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Proverbs 9:12 (NLT)
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

We must remember we are tempted, but ultimately the choice we make comes from wisdom or the lack of wisdom. Wisdom is beneficial to us in that we see the consequences ahead of our actions. We understand what our choice means and that we are willing to accept the responsibility. Unfortunately there are times we disregard wisdom and make ill-advised choices. It is these unwise choices that lead us to suffer. We face the consequences we have earned and yet because of the negative consequences we often deny our own failures to listen to wisdom.



In the movie Crimes and Misdemeanors, written and directed by Woody Allen, Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is an esteemed husband and father in a desperate situation because of his adultery.

Judah, an eye doctor, is in his clinic checking the ailing eyesight of a rabbi. With a strained expression on his face, he says, "I'm in such trouble, Ben. I need to talk to someone. We've known each other many years. You're a religious man. I'm not. We differ on many points, but you're somebody I do respect. May I confide in you?"

"Of course. Go ahead. Everything is confidential."

Judah stands up and begins to file away some papers. "I've done a foolish thing. Senseless and dumb. Another woman. Maybe I was flattered. Vulnerable. Maybe because she was helpless and alone. I don't know, but now my life is about to go up in smoke."

"Can't you break it off?"

"The woman won't allow it. She's young. She's very unstable. She's vindictive. And it's my fault. I instigated it. I prolonged it. Many times I tried to break it off, but I was too weak. But I promised her nothing. Or did I? I don't even know anymore. In the heat of passion you say things. All I know is that after two years of shameful deceit where I led this double life I awakened as if from a dream and realized what I'd be losing."

"It's called wisdom. It comes to some suddenly. We realize the difference between what's real and deep and lasting versus the superficial payoff of the moment."


James 1:5 tells us, �If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.� True wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are His.

AskMe #2850064 04/10/15 05:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Proverbs 10:10 (NLT)
10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.

A wink is usually given as a confirmation to someone. In this case there is something wrong taking place and another person gives a wink or a nod to the actions. What a better purpose would have been served if another had rebuked the sinner in such a way as to bring about peace with God.



The following illustration was adapted from an article by Michael Wheeler, a professor at Harvard Business School.

According to Major David Dixon, recently retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, from Day 1 every Marine is taught to live a life worthy of a Marine. They're also taught to hold one another accountable to that standard of excellence. Dixon says,

If the Marine next to you is falling asleep in class, you must have the moral courage to wake him up and motivate him to stay awake. If you are caught sleeping in class at boot camp, not only do you get in trouble for laziness, but the Marine to your left and to your right get in trouble for lack of moral courage because they should have corrected you when you were in the wrong.

There's a graphic example of this principle from a unit of British Marine commandos. During the war in Afghanistan, a unit came across an insurgent, badly wounded but unarmed. One of the British Marine soldiers, seething with rage, pointed his pistol at the man. He told the man to die and then pulled the trigger. The Marine's parting words were "It's nothing you wouldn't do to us." The solider then turned to his fellow commandos and said, "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention." But word did get out in the following days, and that commando was found guilty of murder.

Could anything been said or done to prevent the tragedy? Some military experts believe that the murder could have been prevented if just one other Marine in that unit had the courage to confront their fellow-soldier and hold him accountable. It would have taken only four simple words: "Marines don't do that."

God�s word to us is power in that it speaks to our hearts and examines us and convicts us as needed. Our words to others are also powerful in that we may be able to bring them back from a state of sin to a state of righteousness. Let us take the time to boldly and gently correct others when their actions go astray. May we not wrongly give approval, but seek to help them in doing what is right.

AskMe #2850283 04/13/15 06:36 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
ROMANS 3:23-24 (NLT)
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God�s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Here the apostle points out that everyone has sinned; they have fallen short of God�s standard of righteousness. Yet, while we were still sinners God freely and graciously, out of His love for us, declared that we are righteous because of His Son Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life and died as a sacrifice for our sin. It was Christ who paid the debt we owed for living a sinful life.



Dan Meyer, in his sermon �Why we remember the passion?� said this: Years ago I traveled to Ecuador and spent a couple of weeks traveling in the mountains. The Quechua Indian people I met there lived amidst the most mind-numbing squalor. The disease and disfigured bodies were heartbreaking. The bugs and stench were everywhere. People were living in a hole in the ground and calling it a house. They were feeding on rotten food and prizing garbage as possessions. But they didn't know it. Why? Because everyone lived that way. They had never been given a picture of what it means to be a genuinely healthy human being. They did not know what an abundant life truly looked like.

That is our problem, too. It's the reason we think of ourselves as largely innocent people�people who have little to do with bringing about the Cross of Christ. We don't get how sick and undeveloped we are spiritually. In Psalm 14, David says that the one fully-healthy Being in the universe views the human race as we might view those Quechua villagers�only the gap between his life and that of our village is so much larger. "The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. But all have turned aside. They have together become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one." In other words, we are condemned, and we don't even know it.


Isaiah 53:6 says, �All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God�s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.�

AskMe #2850435 04/15/15 06:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Proverbs 15:12 (NLT)
12 Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise.

There are those who defy others, even God. They cannot come to terms with their own conscious or allow themselves to become subjected to correction. They cannot endure the advice and admonitions of friends. They will not go to the wise for in doing so they may hear wise counsel that proves them wrong.




Can you imagine what it would be like to lose three generations of your family in one blinding moment? How would you survive? That happened in 1991 to Jerry Sittser, a professor at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

He, his wife, Lynda, their four children, and his mother, Grace, had been to a Native American powwow in Idaho. As they were returning home, a car with a drunk driver going 85 miles an hour swerved and crashed into them head-on. In an instant Sittser lost his mother, his wife, and their youngest daughter.

In A Grace Disguised, Sittser describes with searing honesty what it was like to be a single father, a teacher, a counselor to others while he himself was a man bereft and torn, slipping into a black hole of oblivion and often simply wanting out.

One night he had a kind of "waking dream." The sun was setting, and he was frantically chasing after it toward the west, hoping to catch it and bring it back. But it was a losing race. Soon the sun was gone, and he "felt a vast darkness closing in."

Shortly after this, his sister Diane told him that the quickest way to reach the sun is not to go west but instead to head east, to move fully "into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise."

It was a counterintuitive insight that helped Sittser find a road to recovery: "I discovered in that moment that I had the power to choose the direction my life would head�.I decided from that point on to walk into the darkness rather than try to outrun it, to let my experience of loss take me on a journey wherever it would lead, and to allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think I could somehow avoid it." [Leighton Ford, The Attentive Life (Multnomah, 2008), p. 162]


We become wise ourselves when we listen to the wisdom of others. �We ought not only to bid the wise welcome when they come to us, but to go to them, as beggars to the rich man's door for an alms; but this the scorner will not do, for fear of being told of his faults and prevailed upon to reform.� [Matthew Henry]

AskMe #2850550 04/16/15 06:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Jeremiah 10:10 (NLT)
10 But the Lord is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King.

But the Lord is the true God, the God of truth; he is God in truth. God Jehovah is truth; he is not a counterfeit and pretender, as they are, but is really what he has revealed himself to be; he is one we may depend upon, in whom and by whom we cannot be deceived. [Matthew Henry�s Commentary]



The world we live in often deceives, but The Lord will never deceive us. In the Matthew West song, HELLO MY NAME IS, regret and defeat are given a persona of one who would deceive us. God tells us we are forgiven, but regret will not let us forget our wrongful actions of the past. The Lord tells us we are victorious, but defeat calls out that we will just be dragged down again. Here are some of the lyrics to HELLO MY NAME IS by Matthew West:

Hello, my name is regret
I�m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I�m the whisper inside
That won�t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I�ll drag you right back down again
�Til you�ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I�ve been saved, I�ve been changed, I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King


In the chorus we are reminded we are children of The Lord. The Lord has extended His grace towards us and provides salvation that we may be set free from the traps of sin. Don�t let the things of this world become your god, but do as the apostle said in Hebrews 3:13, �You must warn each other every day, while it is still �today,� so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.�

AskMe #2850664 04/17/15 07:15 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NLT)
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our joys. By his death we live. This is what Paul preached, what all ministers should preach, and what all the saints live upon. [Matthew Henry Commentary]




In the book, Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, author Jonathan Dodson writes, "The resurrection is a dividing line�a parting claim." Here's how he illustrates that "dividing line":

The resurrection is like a river that parts a road. People are on the road approaching the river. Arriving at the river of the resurrection, you look across it to where the road continues and see quite a few cars are there. In your doubt, you can't imagine how people got to the other side of the river. How did they get across? How can rational people come to the belief that Jesus died and rose from the dead?

Faith is the unnoticed ferry, lying hidden near the bank of the river that can take us from the riverbank of doubt � to the other side of belief in the resurrection. [But] it's not blind faith � You don't cross by closing your eyes and wishing Jesus' resurrection was true. No. You cross with your eyes wide open. This is an informed faith, faith in a historical plausible resurrection, attested by hundreds of witnesses, one proven to be worth believing.


Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, wrote: The plan of redemption unfolded as Almighty God sent His Son to earth on a mission to die, to �give his life as a ransom for many� (Mark 10:45, NIV). And not simply to die, but to die on a cross in punishment for our sins so that we might be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.

To many, that sounds like nonsense. But the Bible says, �The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God� (1 Corinthians 1:18).

AskMe #2850909 04/20/15 06:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NLT)
55 �Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?�
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In these verses the apostle asks the rhetorical questions to death, where is your power and where are your pains? For the apostle knows that God through His infinite love, mercy and grace gave man the power over sin; through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.



A boy and his father were driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon, when a bumblebee flew in the car window. The little boy, who was allergic to bee stings, was petrified. The father quickly reached out, grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand, and then released it. The boy grew frantic as it buzzed by him. Once again the father reached out his hand, but this time he pointed to his palm. There stuck in his skin was the stinger of the bee. "Do you see this?" he asked. "You don't need to be afraid anymore. I've taken the sting for you." We do not need to fear death anymore. Christ has died and risen again. He has taken the sting from death. [Adrian Dieleman, Waupun, Wisconsin. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 1.]


We have a Father in Heaven who took the sting out of death. For we can know that when our earthly bodies die; we will live an eternal life in heaven.


AskMe #2851306 04/22/15 06:56 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Proverbs 22:24-25 (NLT)
24 Don�t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, 25 or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

It is the law of friendship that we accommodate ourselves to our friends and be ready to serve them, and therefore we ought to be wise and wary in the choice of a friend, that we come not under the sacred tie to any one whom it would be our folly to accommodate ourselves to. Thought we must be civil to all, yet we must be careful whom we lay in our bosoms and contract a familiarity with. And, among others, a man who is easily provoked, touchy, and apt to resent affronts, who, when he is in a passion, cares not what he says or does, but grows outrageous, such a one is not fit to be made a friend or companion, for he will be ever and anon angry with us and that will be our trouble, and he will expect that we should, like him, be angry with others, and that will be our sin. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



Mike Cosper in The Stories We Tell (Crossway 2014), pages 48-49 writes: A few years ago I met with a church member who was struggling with sexual sin with his girlfriend, as well as a porn habit. We talked through a variety of means for him to prevent and resist temptation�certain habits of prayer, adding content monitors to his computer, committing to less time online, moving the computer out of his bedroom, not taking his girlfriend to his apartment when no one was home�and he sincerely, earnestly made all of these commitments.

As the conversation was ending, he said, "Are you going to see such-and-such movie this weekend?" It was a gritty new film that featured gangsters, prostitutes, and strippers, and if the advertising was to be believed, would be sexually charged. I searched for words for a moment, until, "Are you kidding me?" fell out of my mouth. My friend seemed surprised at my response, and began to replay the question in his mind, wondering why I was frustrated.
"We've just spent an hour talking about ways to reshape your life so that you aren't in a place of sexual temptation, and you're going to see that movie?"

"Oh," he said, relieved. "It's fine, man. Movies don't affect me like that."

I shook my head. I had a genuine, but limited, sympathy for the guy. � Most porn addicts take a slow path toward stuff that's hard-core, and in comparison to his drug of choice this movie seemed downright tame. What he failed to see�and what many of us fail to see�is that our consumption of media has cumulative, life-shaping effects.


The Bible tells us not to befriend people or associate with hot-tempered people for they will lead us into danger. The truth is we must always be on guard who and what we associate ourselves with in life. For unless we carefully guard our hearts we have a tendency to follow others into danger. Jesus told us, �Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.� So be careful of your associations and who you are willing to follow; for the wrong choice can lead you places you don�t want to go!

AskMe #2851616 04/24/15 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 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

The Apostle Peter reminds us that we inherited a sinful nature due to the sins of Adam and Eve and it was God who paid the ransom to redeem us from those sins. The random was not of earthly materials such as gold or silver. Instead we were redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ who lived a holy and sin free life. It was Jesus who willingly became the sacrificial Lamb of God.




Tim Keller preached in his sermon, �Suffering�, saying: What does Paul mean when he says, "The Resurrection is going to swallow up the suffering and evil you're going through right now"? Here's a very imperfect illustration from my own life. Many years ago I had a horrible nightmare. I'm not sure if the dream came from something I ate or a movie I'd watched, but I usually don't retell this dream with many details because it was really an awful dream. I dreamt my entire family had been slaughtered. But then I woke up, and my entire family was right there. I really love my family, and when I went to sleep that night, before the nightmare, they were all around me. But when I woke up after the dream, the nightmare in which I thought I had lost them, I got them back again. I couldn't even look at them without crying�for sheer joy.

What had happened? Having gotten them back after losing them, made the experience of having them infinitely greater. It's almost like the experience of losing them had been swallowed up by the experience of having them, so that it was infinitely more precious.

That is a dim hint of what the resurrection of Christ means to us. If his resurrection happened�and it did�that means our resurrection's going to happen. And that means that everything sad and horrible is going to be brought up into our future glory and resurrection and make it infinitely better than it would have been if we had never had any of those experiences. And that's the final and ultimate defeat of suffering and death.


When we have something and loose it that can be devastating. Adam and Eve had the choice of living an eternal life free of sin, but instead they chose a life of sin, because of their desire to be like God. They listened to a lie from Satan and gave up the perfect life. However, God in his infinite love, mercy and grace restored to us Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. What was a bad nightmare is now a glorious dream of redemption. Christ has defeated the suffering and death we knew and has given us something infinitely more precious � eternal life with Him in heaven.

AskMe #2851898 04/27/15 06:15 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Luke 19:10 (NLT)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.

Jesus met a tax collector named Zacchaeus and he went to his home to enjoy fellowship and dinner. Towards the end of the meal, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, �I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!� Jesus responded, �Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.�



Putti Sok told her Christian college friends, "Leave me alone and quit praying for me." Putti described herself as a "Cambodian Buddhist girl," even though she was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in Dallas. "I figured I was Buddhist because my parents told me I was Buddhist," she said. "I thought Christianity was just a religion for Americans." Eventually Putti came to consider herself "an evangelistic atheist," challenging others to prove that God exists.

When Putti started her college education at the University of Texas in 2008, one of her goals was to build deep relationships. She succeeded in that, but some of her new friends were Christians who were active in a student ministry. During her sophomore year, Putti "hit a wall." "I began to see that everything I was doing was becoming meaningless," she said. "If what I was doing didn't have eternal meaning, then it was all in vain." She began to think, "If God is real, he should be able to hear my prayers." Each night she began to pray that he would help her understand what she had been hearing from her friends because it seemed like foolishness to her.

Then one day Putti entered a closet in the student ministry building that had been turned into a prayer room. Inside she found a bowl filled with pieces of paper with the names of students' friends. One after another she looked at the slips of paper and found her own name written on the slips.

She knew how strongly she had urged her friends not to pray for her and yet they had faithfully loved her and prayed for her anyway. She burst into tears that day in the tiny prayer room. "God was softening my heart then," she said. The next night she felt that God was asking her for a specific response, so she finally prayed to receive Christ.

"All of a sudden, I had a desire to go and share with people," she said. "God is real, and he has changed my heart." Putti is currently studying in preparation for full time ministry. [Adapted from Michelle Tyler, "Ardent atheist becomes passionate Christian evangelist," Latest News from Southwestern, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (3-25-14)]

AskMe #2852142 04/29/15 06:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Job 19:25 (NLT)
25 �But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.

There is a Redeemer provided for fallen man, and Jesus Christ is that Redeemer. The word is Go�l which is used for the next of kin, to whom, by the law of Moses, the right of redeeming a mortgaged estate did belong, Lev. 25:25. Our heavenly inheritance was mortgaged by sin; we are ourselves utterly unable to redeem it; Christ is near of kin to us, the next kinsman that is able to redeem; he has paid our debt, satisfied God's justice for sin, and so has taken off the mortgage and made a new settlement of the inheritance. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



In January 2000, leaders of Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, "We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you." So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, "I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of each passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his other pocket. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat by him. He couldn't find it. The conductor said, 'Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.' Einstein nodded appreciatively.

"The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry. I know who you are. No problem. You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one.' Einstein looked at him and said, 'Young man, I too know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going.'"

Billy Graham continued, "See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm wearing. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am, I also know where I'm going." [John Huffman, "Who Are You, and Where Are You Going?" Preaching Conference 2002]


If you want peace of mind, the Scriptures are very clear on that: �Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ� (Romans 5:1). In 1 John 5:13 The Bible tells us, �I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.� With faith in Christ we have confidence in knowing where we are going.

AskMe #2852402 05/01/15 06:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
A
AskMe Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,088
Hebrews 11:5-6 (NIV)
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: �He could not be found, because God had taken him away.� For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The apostle proposes a question, how can a person please God who does not believe God exists to begin with? For it is impossible to please someone that you don�t believe exists - for you would not know where to even start as to conceive an action to do something pleasing.




In the fall of 1999, I taught a Bible study course on the Psalms. It became clear to me that I was barely scratching the surface of what the Bible commanded and promised regarding prayer. Then came the dark weeks in New York after 9/11 when our whole city sank into a kind of corporate clinical depression, even as it rallied. For my family the shadow was intensified as my wife, Kathy, struggled with the effects
of Crohn�s disease. Finally, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. At one point during all this, my wife urged me to do something with her we had never been able to muster the self-discipline to do
regularly.

She asked me to pray with her every night. Every night. She used an illustration that crystallized her feelings very well. As we remember it, she said something like this: Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine�a pill every night before going to sleep. Imagine that you were told that you
could never miss it or you would die. Would you forget? Would you not get around to it some nights?

No�it would be so crucial that you wouldn�t forget, you would never miss. Well, if we don�t pray together to God, we�re not going to make it because of all we are facing. I�m certainly not. We have to pray, we can�t let it just slip our minds. [Tim Keller, Prayer, Penguin Group, 2014).


If we don�t believe in God how can we muster the desire to pray to God for our own needs. We have to pray, we can�t let it just slip our minds. And we must have faith in God to know He is listening and responding to our prayers.

Page 88 of 103 1 2 86 87 88 89 90 102 103

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 17 guests, and 45 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