Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Divorce "for just any reason?"

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Tuesday, January 28, 2014:  Matthew 18:21-19:12

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”  And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  Matthew 19:3-6 (NKJV)

Getting Harder to Stay Together

Divorce is one of the most persistent and painful problems facing America today.  Few of us are untouched -- whether directly or indirectly.  It's always been that way, but the frequency is growing. 

The U.S. Census Bureau tells us:

In 1920, there was one divorce for every 7 marriages.   ... 14%
In 1940, there was one divorce for every 6 marriages.   ... 17%
In 1960, there was one divorce for every 4 marriages.   ... 25%
In 1972, there was one divorce for every 3 marriages.   ... 33%
In 1977, there was one divorce for every 2 marriages.   ... 50%

Today the divorce rate is even higher.  Fifty percent of all children will watch their parents separate and divorce!  The trail of pain that follows marital breakup is epidemic. 

Divorce "for just any reason"

Jesus always addresses the deepest human needs.  It is therefore not surprising that the Pharisees threw "the marriage problem" at Him.  Jewish marriages were falling apart -- based on an interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1.  There we read "If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house," (NIV)  Old Testament verses such as this were used to subvert the integrity of marriage "for just any reason."

In similar fashion, it seems today couples divorce for the most frivolous of reasons.  If one "displeases" the other, the marriage is over.  It reminds me of someone changing coats.  When you get tired of one, just lay it aside and get another -- "for just any reason."

A Bible Basis for Divorce

Every bad marriage seems to be a unique, never-before-seen challenge that requires unusual treatment. Jesus cuts through the confusion.  He points to God's original plan.  Marriage is more than a temporary merging of fickle friends.  It is the joining together of one man and one woman into one flesh -- one entity -- one new being.  Divorce sunders that which God has put together.  It is a tragedy.

At question here is the basis upon which God grants a divorce.  Forget man's reasons.  We could come up with a million "good" reasons to end it.  The real question is when does God allow divorce?  The only concrete answer Jesus gives seems to be adultery or sexual misconduct (see vs. 9).  But in vs. 8, He refers to "hardness of heart."  What does that mean?  Is this the loop-hole by which anyone can exit the marriage "for just any reason?"

Frankly, most of the divorces today fall  into this category.  It's called "no fault divorce" or "irreconcilable differences."  But, what does God say about that?

Jesus is completely compassionate with our failings and frailty.  He sums up His views on marriage by an appeal to ORIGINAL PURPOSE.  To paraphrase, He says,

"Listen, many divorces happen because this harness of heart thing causes so much bitterness and hatred that the marriage has no future.  In such cases, it is just plain sad.  It is wrong.  The only recourse is to seek God's forgiveness and try to put the pieces back together.  But," He says, "just remember this:  From the beginning, God never wanted it this way.  He ordains marriage and He upholds marriage.  If you can't  cut it, He will forgive you and He will heal you.  There will be a future.  But this was never God's good plan.  He wants husbands and wives to LOVE one another -- despite their differences.

A Loss of Character

I believe perhaps the greatest reason divorce has grown in our day is the LOSS OF CHARACTER. Young couples have never learned how to tough it out. They don't know about commitment for life.  The "ME GENERATION" wants to keep its options open.  Their wedding vows have been changed from, "so long as we shall live" to "so long as we shall love."

There is so much more that should be said.  But, I will close with a re-statement.  The secret ingredient for a successful marriage is CHARACTER.  The ability to make a commitment and keep it.  The dedication of give yourself to someone else and pay the price for a God-filled, God-blessed life.  The restoration of committed marriages is not only central to a successful life, it is foundational to a healthy nation. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stopping the Power Outage

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Monday, January 27, 2014:  Matthew 18:1-20

18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:18-20 (NKJV)

The Amazing Possibilities of Prayer

Three verses in Matthew 18 are favorites when we think of prayer power.  There we learn about AGREEING.  We read about BINDING AND LOOSING.  Jesus promises special PRESENCE "in the midst" of those who harmonize in prayer.

It is frankly amazing and challenging how unflinching Jesus is in His comprehensive promise of answers to prayer.   He says "whatever you bind" and "whatever you loose" ...  "WHATEVER!"  He declares that when two agree in prayer, "anything they ask ... will be done!"   This is both exhilarating and depressing -- at the same time.  It is exhilarating in that Jesus would grant such unbridled possibilities.  It is depressing in how far we fall short.  Our experience simply does not match our potential. 

The Change God Wants

God wants to change that!  We are too often like the prayer gathering in Acts 12 that prayed for Peter's release from prison and then were shocked that God actually did it!  We practice prayer but don't always expect much to come from prayer.

Matthew 18:18-20 describes prayer power.  But, these verses have a context.  The 3 verses prior at tied to them.  Our power outages flow out of our broken relationships.  Matthew 18:15-17 are some of the most important verses in the Bible concerning church life.  They are also some of the rarest in terms of obedience by God's people. 

15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’  17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.  Matthew 18:15-17 (NKJV)

Here is what Jesus commands:

1.  "Go to Him"

If a brother offends you (sins against you), GO TO HIM!  GO TO HIM!  Go and "tell him his fault between you and him alone."  It is my experience that people rarely obey this Scripture.  They talk to everyone else.  They don't usually go to the brother who offended them.  As a result the offense grows.  It festers. 

Why do we rarely go to those who sins against us?  Usually we don't because we are just plain mad at them.  We don't care to be reconciled.  We run from conflict.  We cringe at confrontation.  We fear that our words will only make thing worse.  As a result, the small offense remains in place for years. 

2.  Don't Stop

Don't stop with the first try.  Jesus says that if you don't succeed in your first attempt to win back your brother, take one or two others. 

Most of our efforts at reconciliation are half-hearted.  We give up so easily.  If the lost brother doesn't respond correctly, we conclude that we have done our part and can now move on.  But, the Holy Spirit calls us to keep seeking forgiveness and unity.  This is the heart of Jesus.

3.  The Last Resort

When relationships fall apart, the whole church suffers.  We may not know why or where.  We just see the power failure.  When Jesus says "tell it to the church", He is not saying publish your problems.  He is saying bring the love and heart of the entire fellowship to bear on solving this primary concern.

If we knew how much power can be released through prayer, we would pay any price to walk in it.  If we knew how much the unity of the church affects our prayer power, we would stop at nothing to heal the hurt.      

A Climate of Harmony

The wonderful results of answered prayer is realized when we walk in unity.  That's the message of the three great prayer verses.  When we agree, it's like a sonic boom that rattles the world.  It is the power of the Kingdom of God. 

The hidden obstacle to effectiveness is unreconciled offenses.  They are like the out-of-tune string in a grand concert.  One small member fouls a beautiful performance.

May we be tuned together to make a world-changing sound.  It is both upward to God and inward to our brothers and sisters.  It is then outward to speak to a lost world of the harmony, peace, and love of our great God.  To Him be the glory.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

WHAT DO YOU WANT?: "Resources for the Journey"

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church, Sunday, January 26, 2014.  Second message in the series WHAT DO YOU WANT?, entitled "Resources for the Journey".  If you desire to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

What Do You Want, Part 2                                                               Sunday, January 26, 2014
 “Resources for the Journey”

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.  Mark 10:51-52 (ESV)

Three Words for the New Year

Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.  Romans 1:10 (KJV)

“Here are kingdom revelations, words to live by, and words of wisdom given to empower you to reign in life,” Written as proverbs by Israel’s King Solomon, David’s son.  Proverbs 1:1 (Passion Translation)

Reign in life does not mean you are arrogant or into a control mentality.  Rather, everything that happens to you in life is inferior to what’s happening inside you.  The dimension of God’s grace and power in you is greater than that which confronts you outside you.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  I John 4:4 (ESV)

Ambition:  to have everyone so manage and handle their finances that they become a source of liberation rather than bondage – they become a means of blessing rather than burden. 
That means having your debt under control.  That means being debt free.  That means everyone have their lifestyle in sync with their income.  That means excelling in fruitfulness to the point that you are productive.

Here’s the simple outline:
1.      Everyone employed – receiving the income they need for the next steps of their life – for advance
2.      Out of debt – manifest wisdom
3.      Break the cycle of impoverishment


Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Ephesians 4:28 (NKJV)

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!  “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”  Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!
   Haggai 1:5-7 (NKJV)

Not what is called the LOTTERY MENTALITY.    Do stupid things hoping for a great breakthrough.
Instead learning the ways of wisdom.

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV)

House.  Bayith in OT.  Oikos in NT.
House of Israel – nation
House of David – family, legacy
Calling, ministry, occupation, business, community, city, nation

3 Wise people are builders – they build families, businesses, communities, and through intelligence and insight, their enterprises are established and endure.  4 Because of their skilled leadership, the hearts of people are filled with the treasures of wisdom and the pleasures of spiritual wealth.  Proverbs 24:3-4 (Passion Translation)

Deuteronomy 8

“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers.  Deuteronomy 8:1 (ESV)

And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.  Deuteronomy 8:2-5 (ESV)

So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Deuteronomy 8:6-10 (ESV)

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18 (ESV)

God wants to give us the ability to overcome.  This is not simply some supernatural intervention although that’s wonderful when it happens.  It is also to ability in God to bring into visible manifestation that which you see and know to be God’s will for you.

So what does God want for each of us?
1.      To be out of debt
2.      To have the job God wants for you
3.      To have your needs met.
4.      To have the ability to meet the needs of others

Derek Prince:
Essentially, abundance means you have all you need
plus something to spare to give to others. It is when
there is no need in your life and you have more than
you need to give to others. Abundance suggests always
that you are lifted above the level of your own needs
and are thus able to reach out to the needs of others.


We are believing God for JOBS AND BETTER JOBS.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.  Deuteronomy 28:12 (NIV)

Randy Stephens
George Pate
Benji Aymond

We are believing God for BLESSING UPON BUSINESS

Frederick Huenefeld

We are believing God for BREAKING A SPIRIT OF POVERTY

We are believing God for DEBTS TO BE PAID OFF

We are believing God for RELEASE OF RESOURCES

Friday, January 24, 2014

4 Areas of Discernment

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Saturday, January 25:  Matthew 16:13-17:9

Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  Matthew 16:1-3 (NKJV)

Four Areas of Discernment

There are four dimensions of DISCERNMENT  that are vital.  They are incredibly important for anyone who seeks to walk a biblical, God-centered walk in this world.  These four dimensions are outlined in the 16th chapter of Matthew.

DISCERNMENT 1:  Knowing the times  (Matthew 16:1-4)

DISCERNMENT 2:  Avoiding bad teaching (Matthew 16:5-12)

DISCERNMENT 2:  Seeing Jesus (Matthew 16:13-20)

DISCERNMENT 3:  Recognizing Satanic activity.  (Matthew 16:2-23)

Discerning the Times

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for being out of touch with current culture.  He said that they could forecast the weather, but they couldn't see the "handwriting on the wall" about their own culture.  They had lost effectiveness because they had no clue what was going on around them.

I do not think Jesus said they should sell out and become culturally acclimated.  No way.  But, He was saying that they needed to break out of their closed system.  They needed to get in touch with the world around them and become "salt and light" (Matt. 5:13-14). 

The Pharisees and Sadducees were busy building their own fiefdoms while the entire nation was going down the tubes.  This is a clarion call to the church of our day.  We MUST wise up and speak up.  The world at its worst need the church at its best.

Discerning Bad Teaching

Jesus warned His disciples against "the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees" (Matt. 16:12).  This is a notable moment.  These two segments of Judaism (Pharisees and Sadducees) were normally at war against one another.  Now they were united.  The Pharisees represent the conservative element.  The Sadducees are liberal.  Conservatives (fundamentalists) and liberals were UNITED against Jesus.  That's worth pondering for a moment.

I am not one to throw stones at bad teachers -- even though they abound in our day.  There is a cottage industry today of picking apart the heretics of the church.  Don't get me wrong.  I believe sincerely that sound teaching is essential to the health of the church.  But, the basic problem is not bad teachers (they will always be there).  It is the gullibility and shallowness of the Body of Christ.

I realize that I am not being specific here, but time does not allow the full discussion now of the crazy streams lose in the church today.  I am not saying that I am pristine pure.  I am only saying that sanity is rare and we need to lay hold of truth -- true truth (as Francis Schaeffer would say). 

Discerning the Lord

Nothing takes the place of a one-on-one relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps the highest moment of New Testament revelation is the moment when Peter declared, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). 

As the passage makes clear, this is not an intellectual accomplishment.  It is not the result of rational deliberation.  The recognition of the Person of Jesus is a matter of divine revelation.  It must be spiritually discerned (I Co. 2:14).   

This is an initial (born again) acknowledgement of Jesus, but it is also more.  We initially accept Jesus because we SEE Him.  But then, we begin a walk in which we strive to stay always in touch -- in sight of His power and presence.   

Have you ever been in a time in which you could not "see" the Lord?  At such times, it is easy to resort to rule-keeping.  Just play the game.  But, we need daily contact and interaction with Jesus.  This is vital.  We need to discern the Lord.

Discerning the Voice of Satan

The last area of discernment is with respect to the devil.  Peter had just uttered the consummate revelation of the New Testament.  He had declared the deity of Christ.  Yet, in short order, we find Peter speaking devilish opinions. "Far be it from You, Lord; this (the Cross) shall not happen to You!" (Matt. 16:22)  Appropriately, Jesus rebuked him soundly.

Satan uses common sense and public opinion to negate the wisdom of God.  He always seems so logical, but he is WRONG.  How many times have we faced circumstances that seemed to defy the Word of God, yet we are called to continue to believe?

Satan stock-in-trade is lies and deception.  It is imperative that we operate in divine discernment.

Open Our Eyes -- Soften Our Hearts

These four areas are essential.  I am so thankful that God takes care of us despite our weakness and frailty.  He will cover us even though tough times surround us.  He is good to us and makes a way through a host of challenges. 

But, each of us needs to pray for increased ability to SEE.  That's really what discernment is in the first place.  It's like the control panel on an airplane.  We need God's guidance system.  It's called discernment. 

In addition, may God keep our hearts soft despite all that we see.  It can be tough to see the way things really are and still stay pliable.  We tend to recoil and react.  But, we are called to be like Jesus.  And He always remains faithful.  He is full of faith for the path ahead.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How Unworthy People Get Their Prayers Answered

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for January 10, 2014:  Matthew 8:1-17

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”  And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”  Matthew 8:5-7 (NKJV)

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!  Matthew 8:10 (NKJV)


Isn't it amazing how often Jesus had to scold His disciples for unbelief?  Whether in a boat crossing the Sea of Galillee or meeting Thomas in the Upper Room, it seems Jesus constantly faced a lack of faith.  Unbelief robs us of God's blessings.  It hides His face from us.  It limits His miracle power so that we are like His hometown of Nazareth,  "He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief."  (Matt. 13:58)

Because of this chronic unbelief, it is significant those rare times Jesus COMMENDS someone's faith.  There are only two people that Jesus ever says have "great faith."  Both are Gentiles!  The first is the Roman centurion we read about today (Matt.8:10).  The second is a Syrophoenician woman (Matt. 15:28).

What constitutes great faith?  What is it about these two that elicited praise and even amazement from Jesus at how they trusted Him?


Both being Gentiles, we can only assume that neither had much knowledge of Israel's Law.  In fact, both ackewledged their own unworthiness to even ask Jesus for help.  Yet they cried out in DESPARATION.

There is no hint in the centurion or the Syrophoenician woman of DEMAND upon Jesus based on legal rights.  In fact, they knew He has not in any way OBLIGED to hear their prayer.  Yet they threw themselves on the mercy of God.

Great faith is based on radical, nacked trust in the nature of God.  It never relies on worthiness or rights.


Much more can be said about both of these Gentile believers.  The centurion understood the nature of authority.  He knew that Jesus couuld "just say the word" and the work would be done.  The Syrophoenician woman was persistent despite immense discouragment.  Jesus seemed at first unwilling to even ackowledge her, then referred to her as a "little dog!"  (Matt. 15:26-27)  But both received what they asked for.

True faith focuses on Jesus; not on us.  Great faith is built on a great God.  Sometimes it takes people who are far from God to teach us what it means to trust God.  The world is not changed by good people.  It is changed by godly people.  And the most godly person is the one who trusts God most.  "The just shall live by faith."

Saturday, January 18, 2014


One Year Bible
New Testament passage for January 9, 2014:  Matthew 7:15-29

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

One of the most sobering passages in all of Scripture is found near the end of the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus describes PROFESS-ers who are not POSSESS-ers.  These are people who profess to be followers of Jesus, but who really do not possess a relationship with Him.  Wow!

This is a mind-blower.  These fake followers actually pull off some pretty amazing feats.  They prophesy; they cast out demons; they have supernatural manifestations surrounding their ministries.  They do all this "in the Name of Jesus."  Yet Jesus Himself says "I never knew you."

Some cessationists (most notably of late, Pastor John MacArthur) seize on this passage to say that the miraclous has passed away, and all who claim to minister in the supernatural are charlatans.  This is ludicrous since the entire Book of Acts lay ahead of Jesus at the time he spoke these words.  He certainly was not condemning the apostolic witness that would follow Him.

The issue is not the miraculous.  It is rather the reality of FALSE DISCIPLES.  The key truth is simple yet profound.  No amount of good works can take the place of a heart relationship with Jesus.  He is looking for surrender more than service.

Of course, He desires us to serve Him fully.  But, if that service does not flow from a heart submitted to Him, it is of no use to Him.  It does not advance His kingdom, but only enflates our ego.  No amount of good works can win God's favor.  Lordship is the foundation of all true service.  All else is actually rebellion.

The first step in a fruitful relationship with Jesus is SURRENDER -- full surrender.  When we call Him Lord, this more than just a generic title.  It means King -- Master -- Ruler.

It to this kind of relationship that Jesus calls us.  We lay down our wills before Him and find the greatest power and peace on earth.  Jesus is Lord!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WHAT DO YOU WANT?: "Relationship with God"

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church for Sunday, January 12.  If you would like to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

What Do You Want?, Part 1                                                           Sunday, January 12, 2014
“Relationship with God”

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.  Mark 10:46-52 (ESV)

Three Words for the New Year

11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.  Deuteronomy 11:11-12 (NKJV)

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.  11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, Colossians 1:9-11 (ESV)

Relationship with God
Oval: GOD
Oval: ME

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.  Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  Colossian 3:16 (ESV)

So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.  James 1:21 (Amplified)

This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I have what it says I have.
I can do what it says I can do.
Today I will be taught the Word of God.
I boldly confess:
My mind is alert,
My heart is receptive.
I will never be the same.
I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, everliving seed of the word of God. .
I will never be the same -- never, never, never. .
I will never be the same. .
In Jesus’ name.

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.  Psalm 119:97 (NIV)

162 I rejoice in your promise
    like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and detest falsehood
    but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
    for your righteous laws.
165 Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble.
167 I obey your statutes,
    for I love them greatly
.  Psalm 119:162-167 (NIV)

6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Your strength is tied to your love for GOD’S WORD and for PRAYER.
Relationship with “One”
Oval: GOD
Oval: ME
Oval: “ONE”

So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.  II Corinthians 5:20 (Amplified)

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  II Corinthians 3:2-3 (NIV)

Relationship with God
Oval: GOD
Oval: GOD
Oval: ME
Oval: “ONE”

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.  I John 1:3 (ESV)