Archive for March 2019

Messing delivered at Fervent Prayer Church, Indianapolis.

Mark 9:49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

In our text, Jesus said that everyone will be seasoned by fire. Then he said that every offering will be seasoned with salt. The last thing he said in the text was, “Have salt in ourselves and peace with one another.” Let’s understand these words in context before we proceed. Let’s look at first Peter

1 Peter 1:6, In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7] that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8] whom having not seen you love.

In the Bible, there are basically three types of fire:
1, There is the fire of adverse circumstances
2. There is consuming fire
3. There is refining fire

We need to resist the fire of adverse circumstances,
We need to avoid God's consuming fire,
We need to embrace God's refining fire.

Notice in this text what is most important. Many times we are only focused on the heat and pressure of our trials and tests, but we are not looking at God’s intended outcome.

Verse 7: that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

We know Peter is not talking about a consuming fire because the text says, “Tested by fire.” God’s consuming fire does not come to test, but to judge, consume and destroy. Our focus needs to be on the quality of our faith which is more valuable to you than money and gold. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Too many of us are consumed with fear, doubt, and constant conflict in our relationships. Sometime people are speaking everything other than faith over our relationships

I suggest in our text that Jesus is talking about refining fire. What happens when you put fire on different types of items? as Paul said, would he and stubble or burned up. Precious stones, gold, are refined and made better.

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Love Works, Part 3, Marriage by God’s Book

Insights from, “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman

Ephesians 5:25-33, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 1 Peter 3:7, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding [knowledge], giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker [delicate] vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Proverbs 4:3-4, Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

1 John 3:18My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

 Today’s view of marriage in popular society has changed in ways that we know very well. However, God’s view of biblical marriage, which we call Holy Matrimony, has not changed. For believers in Christ, God’s word is our guide. We live and walk by the high standards and grace-filled principles of the Bible. A lot of what we see in marriages, that are failing at the rate of 50%, is people walking in their understanding and selfish ways. People certainly have the right to not follow God or obey the Scriptures, but true Christians do not have an alternative—nor do we desire an alternative.

Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church."

A mystery is not something hidden. It is something revealed to those who have "ears to hear" and "eyes to see" what the Lord is saying and showing. Jesus is either "Lord of all" or He is not "Lord at all" in your life.

 The husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. What is the revealed mystery  of Christ’s relationship to His church?

  1. He makes holy (special, “other than”).
  2. Provide care and support
  3. Loves us more than we love ourselves
  4. Unified and not divided: One

Summary: However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Respect Defined:A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others 

Anyone who has a leadership position has a greater responsibility before God. That includes husbands. Leadership needs follow-ship to be effective. As the old saying goes: “He that leads and no one follows is taking a walk.”

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LoveWorks 

Part Two:  Cultivating and Growing Your Relationships

Teaching notes and DISC self-assessment tool: http://newcovenant.org/Cultivating_Growing_Relationships.pdf

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

Because attitudes and relationships need to “grow,” we have to pay attention to the “soil” and foundation of relationships. That soil begins with our own hearts and minds. As Myles Munroe taught, the key to being single or being in a relationship is being whole in yourself. My lesson today will look at relationships from the perspective of cultivating our own hearts. We will address the important of having a good attitude or mindset.

“Cultivate” is a farming term. Cultivation is not only about growing plants. It is mainly about preparing the soil and working the ground to raise good crops.

“A good attitude will not always change our circumstances, but it will always change us.” ~ John Maxwell

Attitude is not what people perceive. It is not something we figure our in others. Attitude is your internal disposition. It is something we figure out in ourselves.

Your attitude or mindset determines your altitude, or how high and far you can go. In relationships we learn to navigate attitudes, moods, and mindsets. We should operate at a higher level of relating spiritually, but no one is purely spiritual. 

2 Cor. 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word "attitude" means "an internal position or feeling with regard to something else." Other words often used as synonyms are: "disposition, feeling, mood, opinion, sentiment, temper, tone, perspective, frame of mind, outlook, view, or morale."

Airplane pilots often use "attitude" to describe their relationship the horizon during flight and with the runway for landing.

We have to manage the “version” of ourselves and our spouses and high level relationships.

Ephesians 4:22 NIV, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds." 

Ephesians 4:2-3, TLB. "Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's
faults because of your love. Be led together by the Holy Spirit to be at peace with one another." 

We have to pay attention to personality types, both within ourselves and others.

DISC is a well understood and widely accepted model of behavior styles. The letters DISC stand for:

DOMINANT

INFLUENCE

STEADINESS

CONSCIENTIOUS

DISC measures a person’s natural, hard-wired behavioral style.  It focuses on a person’s natural, most comfortable way of doing things. This model is mainly designed to help each person become self-aware and then to respect the behavior styles of others

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John 15:9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

It is amazing to realize that we have the opportunity not only to worship God, not only to reverence him, and stand in awe of him, but we were invited to be friends with God. I don’t believe that any religion of this world offers such an idea, that one might be friends with the deity, with the God who is reverenced, feared, and worshiped.

What we learn from this text is that Jesus wants a relationship with his followers. Not just a religious devotion, but a loving, sincere, committed relationship. In verse nine Jesus said that as the Father has loved him he also loved us. This makes the relationship between Jesus and father God the example and the pattern of the kind of relationship we should have with Jesus and with one another.

There are four levels of relationship: 

1. There are acquaintances

2. There are colleagues/co-workers/partners

3. There is Christian/Kingdom Covenant with fellow believers in Christ

4. And there are true friends (Including spouse)

KEY POINT #1 - True friends experience a high level of agreement

Matthew 19:19 “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.”

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (KJV)

The sense of the Hebrew text here is interesting. The word agreed from the Hebrew means to fix, appoint, assemble, meet, set, betroth; to meet, to meet by appointment, etc. The sense is two walking in a common direction because they agree to do so. It means agreeing to make an appointment to come together, and from there set out on a journey to a destination together. It is like saying to someone, I’ll meet you at Starbucks and we can go to the restaurant from there. 

KEY POINT #2 - True friends are mutually loyal and dependable

True friends are mutually loyal and dependable. Again, friendship is a two-way relationship where both parties give and receive, not only in fair-weather, when everything is great.  A fair-weather friend is someone who remains a friend only when things are going well but abandons others during times of trouble or difficulty.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

KEY POINT #3 - True friends confide in one another and that confidence is never betrayed. 

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

KEY POINT #4 - True friends speak highly of one another and empower one another, especially in times of uncertainty.

John 15: 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 

Proverbs 27:17 NKJ As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

 

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