Maintaining Good Marital Communication

The secret of good marital communication in marriage lies in two people applying the principle embodied in this verse: And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Luke 6:31 Here is a workable formula. And amazingly, it is easier to carry out than to try to figure out the other person and treat him accordingly. Scott and Ann found this out. Like practically everyone, each longed to be appreciated and have their viewpoint respected. They discovered that the rule Jesus gave is just as effective today as when He spoke it. Scott sought counsel because he was puzzled over his unhappy marriage. He and Ann, his wife, never exchanged harsh words. He kept his complaints against her to himself. He had looked at her personality and her idiosyncrasies from all angles … [Read more...]

Spiritual Inventory #3—The Struggle with Self

Do you struggle with self? The answer for us all? Yes! Over the past years God has spoken strongly to me about a matter in which everyone (including me!) has a struggle at some time(s) in their life. Some struggle more than others in this area of life. What is it? SELFISH AMBITION! While reading through the book of Genesis, God impacted me in the eleventh chapter. The Scripture states: Now the whole earth had one language and one speech...and they said, “Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Inventory #2—Temptations Trials

Temptation is one of the great trials of life. Taking spiritual inventory of this issue is absolutely imperative! Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:13-16 NKJV What is temptation? Smiley Blanton, noted psychiatrist, offers a good definition: Every day of your life, no matter how sheltered you are, you face some choice in which the wrong action is so seductive, so plausible, so pleasurable that it takes a conscious effort of will to reject it. Temptation is … [Read more...]

It’s Time for A Spiritual Inventory! (part 1)

A new year calls for a spiritual inventory! When was the last time you had a spiritual checkup? Maybe this week, or has it been a month or more? A spiritual checkup allows you opportunity to check your relationship with God. Need improvements? There is no better time to begin the process than right now. I pray this article will give you the needed motivation to examine any area in that needs a little work to help you grow closer to God! In 1973, Dr. Carl Meninger wrote a book entitled Whatever Became of Sin? In it he noted that in 1953 (20 years before he wrote the book) President Eisenhower quoted Lincoln as part of his declaration of a day of prayer: It is the duty of nations, as well as of men to own their independence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and … [Read more...]

What Are the Worst Sins?

Just what are the worst sins a Christian can commit? Would you say it would be to call someone a liar? Maybe it is for a married person to commit adultery. Or, what about deceiving others? Could it be that the worst of all is to murder someone? We know that all sin is an offense against God. All sin cost God the life of His Son Jesus to provide redemption for a people who could not help themselves. Sin is unquestionably the great reproach against God. But why are there lists of sins in the Bible? Are some worse than others? Are they listed so that we can be more aware of them in our lives? Could you list all the sins in the Bible and then rank them according to what you think are the worst ones, or maybe make a Top Ten list of sins? Of course you could do that. What I find … [Read more...]

Two Forms of Patience: Human and Spiritual

Two forms of patience reside in the believer–human and spiritual. The spiritual patience residing in every believer is the power of the God Himself! If that is so, then as long as you are in right relationship with God, the spirit of patience will control you. The question is not whether or not patience is available, but will you experience the patience that resides in you. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  1 Thessalonians 5:14 The focus in this passage is to be patient with all–not most. Do you need to learn more patience than you are currently experiencing? Most of us would say yes but we do not want to go through the process required to learn patience. Spiritual attributes described in Scripture, … [Read more...]

Good or Godly Wisdom?

Have you ever made a decision and then wondered if it was good or godly wisdom that motivated you? Maybe you carried out an action plan based on the decision, and then discovered new information that made you wish you had never made the decision? You thought it was a good decision at the time, but it turned out not to be the best decision. There is a vast difference between having good human thinking and godly wisdom. If you are not walking in the Spirit your thinking will simply be the best human thinking possible at the moment. What Kind of Wisdom? The world has all kinds of wisdom and much of it works. The question should not only be does it work, but is it godly wisdom. One man said, “A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountaintop.” While that … [Read more...]

Decision Making and the Will of God

Decision making is approached differently depending on the condition of your spirit at the time. What do you do in moments of loneliness and worry? Do you become alarmed, distressed, or maybe overthink the situation? Do you call a friend, talk it out with a counselor, or agonize over the situation by yourself? How do you react when you have a huge decision to make? Do you stall, become active, or just sit and contemplate the decision for hours on end, only to emerge without a solution? Do you make decisions each day knowing that God is present and that God is watching? The decisions you make are a reflection of your relationship to God. Think for a moment how the apostle Paul felt in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to … [Read more...]

Grace Illustrated

Do you need grace? Have there been times when you needed others to share grace with you? Grace is a gift from someone who give us something we don't deserve. Mercy withholds from us what we really do deserve. A local newspaper carried an article called “Road Rage” that demonstrated a need for grace. A motorist cut into another driver’s lane so abruptly that the other motorist had to apply his brakes to avoid collision. Both drivers became angry enough that one of them threatened the other with a gun. No shots were fired. Police arrested the gun-wielding man as he came off the interstate: The first man had called the police from his car phone. The gunman resisted arrest and had to be forcibly extracted from his car. This is a sobering picture of the human heart straight from a local … [Read more...]

Sick, Sinful, or Both?

Are we sick, sinful, or both when we hurt? Medical researchers have recently expressed the opinion, that destructive emotions are caused by a chemical imbalance in the body. But I ask the question, is it possible that a chemical imbalance in the body could have been caused by destructive emotions? It seems obvious to me that since sin is so easily cleansed, the presence of sin should be explored first. A pastor questioned me about this issue. Someone in his congregation had suffered from severe anxiety attacks. His physician prescribed a drug that corrected the problem. After three years of treatment, it was clear that the patient was fine as long as he took his pills. Was I implying that the cause of these attacks was sin? (I had used the term "destructive emotions.") I asked him, … [Read more...]

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