Tag Archives: failure

Building the Marriage Relationship

Today’s message summary of October 2, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Marriage is the foundation of all relationships.  It started with Adam and Eve.

Marriage relationships can change over time.  They can be tough sometimes, and it requires perseverance…and God’s direction.

Every relationship has the possibility of failure with disappointment; however, a relationship with Jesus Christ will assure that He is faithful within the relationship.  He gives the human relationship the ability to remain intact and realize success.

In building your marriage relationship, God (the Godhead) desires that you use His method.  He wants you to follow His will; otherwise, there will be issues and problems within the relationship.

There are others outside the relationship:  friends of you and your spouse, your family and co-workers, who provide support and encouragement through their own relationship with Jesus Christ.  It matters who you allow to be in your life when it comes to your marriage relationship.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.

 

Philippians 2:5

Make you own attitude that of Christ Jesus.

 

Philippians 1:27-28

Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your deliverance–and this is from God.

 

Colossians 3:18-25

Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged. Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism.

 

Relationships are a test of your real character.  You learn to love your spouse to the degree that you allow that person to also hurt you.  In all of this, marriage is a place of growth where you are to trust God.

You learn how to give to others (self-giving and deny self).

Your learning is to achieve the ability to live in a Christlike manner.

A happy relationship involves a much greater challenge than finding a person with whom you live happily ever after because of some strange chemistry that draws and holds two people together.

Are you up for those challenges?  Just when you thought you knew someone–surprise!  You are still discovering more about your spouse.

Marriage is a relationship where two people are making many choices, both good and bad, adjustments in life, as free individuals who make a deliberate choice to work through problems and continually sacrifice personal freedom and self interest for its benefit.

1 Corinthians 6:12

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

 

1 Corinthians 10:23-24

“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.

 

Married couples must not let problems rule their life.  It must be a constructive relationship (a relationship that builds one another up).

Matthew 22:37-40

He (Jesus) said to Him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

 

John 13:34-35

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

The marriage relationship is a declaration and demonstration of love for God.  Biblical guidance is to be at the forefront of the relationship.

There will be changes of circumstances and various events within the marriage relationship.  There may be a fluctuation of feelings experienced.  Things can become overwhelming and there may be feelings of helplessness that will challenge the relationship; however, keeping God as the focus will help the marriage move forward and overcome any issues.

Will you allow the bible to be your guide?

Marriage brings about the challenge of understanding the spouse before God.  It can be the most difficult and yet the most rewarding relationship that a person will ever experience.  You can also face challenges in relationships with other people, as well.  They can sometimes be stressful, but you can overcome all of these issues.

All relationships demand understanding.

No one person can satisfy all of another person’s needs.

All relationships exist with the possibilities of failures and disappointments.  Before entering a relationship, it is important to do the following:

  1. Learn the background of the person
  2. Find out what their primary needs are
  3. Determine what the person’s goals are
  4. Discover if the person is highly driven
  5. Watch the emotional response to various life events

Knowing these things may help you to understand more about that person before you make a commitment to a relationship.

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What John Sees in Heaven – War Ensues (Revelation Chapter 12) – Part 2

Today’s message summary of July 19, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Most people don’t realize that we are in spiritual warfare because they are just focused on the present–just trying to survive. We should pause to reflect upon this, and even ask ourselves what is the reason behind this approach.

The enemies of Christ are the enemies of the people of God. Satan has blinded the world of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though the message is visible, they still do not see it.

When it comes to how man sees things, there will either be the influence of the Holy Spirit or that of a demonic influence.

The first victim to fail in this war was Adam. He was influenced by Satan. Eve was also influenced by Satan. The question you need to ask yourself is this: Who is influencing you?

The word “victim” refers to someone killed, destroyed, injured or otherwise harmed by, or suffering from some act, condition, or circumstance of war. (Websters Dictionary)

Luke 22:31

“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.

 

2 Timothy 3:12-13

In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.

 

First, don’t assume that everyone wants to live a godly life. People want to go to heaven and claim to know God, but they don’t really want to live it out. God still has standards of living that must be met in order to receive eternal life. Living a godly life requires a certain amount of training, and in that lifestyle there will be persecution.

Satan doesn’t know everything, including the fullness of time. He reacts to what God has presented about Jesus and has been attempting to thwart it over time.

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

 

The birth of Christ…

Galatians 4:4

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.

 

Jesus’ death on the cross brought judgment upon Satan.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

When this corruptible is clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal is clothed

with immortality,

then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory,

Death, where is your victory?

Death, where is your sting?

Now the sting of death is sin,

and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lords work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

Hebrews 2:14

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the Devil–and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.

 

1 John 3:8

The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.

 

God will never tempt one to sin. The Devil is the one who makes it possible for you to commit sin.

Satan is continually working on you and I to destroy and ruin your testimony for Jesus Christ.

Romans 16:20

The God of peace will son crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

 

The ascension of Christ is the proof of Satan’s failure.

Acts 1:9-11

After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

 

Not only did Jesus defeat death, but He proclaims that He is coming back. From this, Satan knows that his time is short. He does not know how long, for no one knows the day or hour of Satan’s return.

In Revelation 12, we pick up at verses 4 and 5. John covers the life of Jesus:

Revelation 12:4-5

His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son–a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter–and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

 

Satan was on the watch for the One who would be born in Israel. Satan was in charge of ruling all of the nations, but the Word declares that Christ would rule all of them. Satan has to watch and see what God is doing and then he would react in order to defeat or destroy, or hinder the work of God–but he can’t stop it.

Daniel 10:12-13

“Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.

  1. Abel was killed because he pleased God
  2. In the Great Flood, all unbelievers perished
  3. Nimrod, after the Flood, started the first great rebellion against God (Genesis 10:8-10)
  4. Abraham’s call by God but causes him to mistrust God, resulting in Ishmael (Genesis 16)
  5. The King wants all of the male children to be killed, Moses still emerged (Exodus 1:15-16)
  6. In the book of Esther, Haman wanted to kill all of the Jews (Esther 3:8-9)
  7. Herod made the decree to kill all Jewish children up to two years of age (Matthew 2:16)
  8. Satan tried to get the people to put Jesus to death, but it was not his appointed time to die (Luke 4:28-30)
  9. Satan could not keep Jesus in the tomb; guards were no match for Jesus (Matthew 27:62-66)

In Revelation 12:6, we see that God protects Israel for 3 1/2 years. Israel is fleeing from the Antichrist. All of this is taking place between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.

Revelation 12:6-9

The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out–the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

 

John tells us about the war in heaven (Revelation 12:7).

The dragon (Satan) was hurled down to earth.

Isaiah 14:12-15 reflected Satan’s desire to rule all nations:

Isaiah 14:12-15

Shining morning star,

how you have fallen from the heavens!

You destroyer of nations,

you have been cut down to the ground.

You said to yourself:

I will ascend to the heavens;

I will set up my throne

above the stars of God.

I will sit on the mount of the gods assembly,

in the remotest parts of the North.

I will ascend above the highest clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.

But you will be brought down to Sheol

into the deepest regions of the Pit.

 

He continues his war on earth against God. Satan attacks the church in an effort to hurt God.

Ephesians 5:23-25

…for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

 

Christ loves the church (the saints) and desires to protect them from Satan, who desires to make war against God’s people.

Revelation 12:17

So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring–those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus.


Courageous in Christ

Today’s message summary from Melvin Gaines:

[Last week we discussed the plight of what it means to be a myopic (or nearsighted) believer, and what it takes to overcome it. While we discussed the downside traits of a myopic believer–hidden fruits, complaining and unappreciative, we presented a remedy to grow strong in your faith as a believer. We discussed how important it is to build and develop your IMAGE in order to become more faithful and confident as a believer in Jesus Christ.]

Developing your IMAGE starts with God’s Word:

Investigate God’s Word

Meditate on His Word

Apply His Word

Grow in Jesus Christ

Endure the hardships that will certainly come

 

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Believers in Jesus Christ are reminded by Scripture to be confident in their faith, but often, this is easier said than done. Perhaps you have experienced difficulties or setbacks in your faith because of life’s circumstances. These are completely normal and understandable. You can be a believer in Jesus Christ and experience different degrees of hardship. In these experiences, there is a lack of confidence in your circumstances.

Where does this lack of confidence come from?

  • First, it begins with a loss of focus on Jesus Christ
  • Next, it continues with doubt–something is not right, and now you’re not sure about the outcome of the situation
  • Finally, the loss of focus and the doubt is stirred up with a potion of fear.

A loss of focus is a huge distraction in your walk of faith.

Doubt is the opposite of faith.

Fear creeps in when faith is absent.

In order to get back to a place where faith can be placed at the forefront, you need to overcome the greatest obstacle that perpetuates doubt, and that is fear.

Fear comes from the available information, or a lack of information, which leads to a perception or anticipation of a negative outcome.

There are many different ways that fear become manifest in the life of a believer. Here is a top ten list that encapsulates how fear can overshadow a person’s life:

10. Losing your freedom

09. The unknown

08. Pain

07. Disappointment

06. Misery

05. Loneliness

04. Ridicule

03. Rejection

02. Death

01. Failure

Fear is a real emotion, but it is debilitating to your faith.

The result of fear, in your doubt and lack of focus, is a believer who is outside of the place where God wants you to be. It’s a place that is unsettling at best, and dreadful at worst.

Fear is not a switch that one can turn on and turn off. In our flesh, there is no such thing as an absence of fear. Fear is like a wound that needs ointment and a bandage in order to promote healing.

In order to overcome fear, which allows us to combat doubt and regain focus on Jesus Christ, there is a remedy. Fear must be suppressed with a reliance on God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Fear must be met with courage.

Courage is the essence of a believer that drives the necessary change to promote growth of your IMAGE in Jesus Christ and the ability, in spite of any life difficulty or circumstance, to proclaim the good news for the Great Commission.

God reminds you of the importance of being courageous. It takes your mind off of the things that you are fearful of. He gives us many reminders and words of encouragement throughout Scripture.

2 Timothy 1:6-7

6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:9

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

Fear is anxiety and can be driven by impatience. God wants you to be patient.

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.

 

God wants you to experience rest and comfort as you rely upon the Spirit to overcome fear.

John 16:33

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

 

Fear is the absence of trust. God reminds us to trust in Him. Leave the results of your anxiety at His feet.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom should I be afraid?

 

There’s no need to go it alone. There’s strength and courage in numbers. Stay in a fellowship.

Philippians 1:27-28

27 Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, 28 not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your deliverance—and this is from God.

 

Trusting God in your fear leads to confidence that there will be a good result…but even more than this…that God will be glorified.

Daniel 3:15-18

15 Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

What amazing courage! But make no mistake about it…your courage is far from your own strength. God provides the ability for you to overcome fear and be strong in Him.

Philippians 4:11-13

11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Proverbs 3:25-26

25 Don’t fear sudden danger

or the ruin of the wicked when it comes,

26 for the Lord will be your confidence

and will keep your foot from a snare.

 

Isaiah 41:8-10

8 But you, Israel, My servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

descendant of Abraham, My friend—

9 I brought you from the ends of the earth

and called you from its farthest corners.

I said to you: You are My servant;

I have chosen you and not rejected you.

10 Do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be afraid, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you; I will help you;

I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.

 

God offers Himself to you for comfort, healing, preservation and love, which overcomes all fear. He is your confidence. He is our confidence that we will succeed in any difficult situation or circumstance.

His love overcomes fear.

1 John 4:17-19

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


Sunday School Today: Little Faith

Matthew 14:28-33

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” “Come!” He said.  And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”

While Peter thought he was firm and confident in his faith, he learned that he still had room for growth…he was a man of “little faith.” After Pentecost, he became a spiritual giant.

When Jesus asked Peter to come to Him on the water:
1. Peter did the impossible thing–he walked on the water, by faith.
2. Next, Peter did the conceivable thing–he saw the storm, and had a second thought–he doubted. For a moment, he lost sight of Jesus. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is essential to our focus on Him. “But Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God'” (Luke 9:62). “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a). See also Hebrews 10:22.
3. Then, Peter did the natural thing–he feared destruction. Doubt always breeds fear.
4. Peter did the expected thing–he began to sink–he failed.
5. Then, Peter did the right thing–he prayed, “Lord, save me!” In response, Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand and caught him. Once more, Peter made contact with Jesus by faith.
6. Peter then did the impossible thing–he walked on the water with Jesus, to the boat.

In this lesson, we see the success and failure of “little faith.” Doubt can overshadow your confidence in faith.

Your faith needs to be greater that the outside elements (circumstances) that can drag you down to defeat. You can have great faith by exercising prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:17-21) and by feeding your faith on the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Your faith can truly move mountains.