Tag Archives: relationships

Where does the Supply Of The Spirit come from? (you may be surprised)

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The supply of the Spirit is largely governed by the relationships with other Christians in our local assembly. 

Ephesians 4:16 talks about the body being knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working of every part.

           Take note that it is the joint that brings the supply, not the body part. Think about a joint in a physical body. The joint is the relationship between the parts. The place where two or more body parts meet. When the joint is healthy, and the adjoining parts are healthy (doing their part) it dramatically increases the overall abilities of every part. 

          When Christians give themselves completely to the betterment of  the other parts. It enables the Holy Spirit to come alongside and make you exceedingly more than the sum of all the parts.

Colossians 2:18-19  Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

          The level of supply, nourishment and unity experienced through horizontal relationships, is a reflection of our vertical relationship. If we don’t have a healthy growing relationship with our Father, we won’t have healthy relationships with others. It is imperative we spend time with our Father, beholding Him so we can be more like Him.

are2          We are instructed in the Bible how to behave toward others so that spiritual empowerment would be available to all parties. We know from scripture that natural things must come before spiritual things.

1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 

Spiritual supply comes from natural behavior.

          Imagine all the body parts are sharing their strengths and abilities with all the adjoining parts, bringing their supply if you will. There is something in that exchange that honors God and invites the Holy Spirit’s involvement.

          When the parts share in the work of ministry, something supernatural occurs in the relationships between the parts, inviting the Holy Spirit to provide what is needed for growth and edification. Sounds a lot like Grace doesn’t it?

          Think about an knee joint. If the joint is healthy it helps the entire body walk, run, carry heavy loads, etc. But if that joint is hurt or strained, it hinders the mobility, progress, and overall function of the rest of the body. Relationships in our Church are the very same way.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

This passage describes the Christian’s model for existence: LOVE! A life free of selfish behavior toward others. All Human behavior is either an act of love, or a cry of need for love.(selfishness)

Spiritual supply comes from natural behavior. So….. behave

Start Where Jesus Finished

          What does that phrase mean, “Start where He finished?” I heard a minister say that some months ago and the phrase stuck with me, although I wasn’t quite sure what it meant. After some meditation on it, I believe I understand.

 cross2         Jesus was on the earth for approximately 33 years. His intent and focus was singular. To restore mankind back to his original created purpose. To do this He had to show the greatest act of love ever known to man. He paid a terrible price and laid down His life for us so that we could be restored. I remembered that on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.”

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

          What was finished? He still hadn’t descended into hell to pay the price for our sins. He still hadn’t ascended to the Father and presented His blood on the mercy seat. The Holy Spirit had not yet been restored to man. So what was finished? The act of love necessary to fulfill all those things previously mentioned. He laid down His life to obtain all that for us. cross

          That my friends, is where we must start, where He finished, laying down our life and picking up our cross. This is the only road that leads to full Kingdom authority. This is what it takes for our relationship with the Father to be completely restored. Jesus did his part, now its our turn.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 

John 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 

To live this Christian life successfully, to its fullest, we must start where He finished, at the cross. This is the only way we truly overcome in this life.

Revelations 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

JC

How You Love Determines How You See.

Love for God’s word brings the abiding presence of God into your life and gives you Heaven’s perspective.

John 14:23  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

          Love for truth opens your eyes to more truth, and changes you perception of reality. You move from a worldly perspective to Heavens perspective. We must fight every day to maintain heaven’s perspective.

Love for people changes yours, and other peoples perception of yourself.

John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

          How you treat others not only effects how others see you, but it greatly effects how you see yourself. How you see yourself greatly effects you ability to believe.

Love for God changes your perception of Him because He manifests His love to you.

John 14:21 …”He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Nothing solidifies your faith more than God manifesting Himself to you in a personal way. You move from “believing in Him” to knowing that He is real and He loves you.

Love for God and people empowers your faith.

Galatians 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

         Love is to faith, as gasoline is to a car. Love supplies the dynamic energy to make your faith become a reality in your life.

JC

 

 

 

People Flourish At The Place Of Their Assignment

          God is committed to who you were created to be, not necessarily who you are at the moment. Change and growth are a vital part of the Christian walk. We are to be ever growing into what He paid for us to be, which is the express image of His person.

          The problem I see many Christians fall into is not finding, or staying in the place of their assignment. God has a specific place He has called you to be, a specific body of believers he has called you to assemble together with, a specific group of people He wants you to be in relationship with. When you find the place He has assigned you to, you will flourish in your spiritual development.

Hebrews 10:25  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

          God’s grace functions best in the place of your assignment. When you try to be, or do something you shouldn’t, you frustrate the grace of God. This includes being in the wrong place and connected to the wrong assembly of believers. I heard a pastor say it this way:

“If you’re out of your place, you’re out of your grace, and you’ll fall on your face!”

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          Relationships can be messy. Still, God wants us to engage in community, specifically, the community He’s called us to. It is the tension and challenges these relationships bring that develops us spiritually and pushes us to change for the better.

JC

 

Loving God, What Does That Look Like?

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When was the last time you came to God  just love on Him and be close to Him?

          I have three sons of varying ages who are completely different from one another in their personalities, likes, and interests. Each one is unique and I thank God that, He made them that way. I love each one equally and show no partiality to any one of them. They all know that I love them and I know that they love me. This is an understood fact and we all express that love to each other all the time. We live with an awareness of that love and we are conscious of the fact that the love we have will never change. There comes a time though, as they walk through their day-to-day life that the knowledge of that love is not enough.  They need to experience it.

          They need one on one, face-to-face interaction. They need a loving touch, they need to share thoughts and emotions and spend intimate personal time with me. They need to know that they are special to me and that my love is for them is real. There is a wonderful exchange that takes place in these times. I become sensitive to their needs and desires and reaffirm my love for them. It solidifies our bond and their faith in me as a loving father. It enriches and strengthens the relationship that we have.

          Each of my children likes to experience this love in different ways. As they age and their interest changes, our time together begins to look different also. My 13-year-old likes to go to the gun range and I teach him about shooting techniques, safety and responsibility, preparing him for manhood and the challenges that are ahead of him.

          My 10-year-old likes swimming, nature  and art. We enjoy each others company and I see the joy in his face when we are alone together. I encourage him to develop his gifts and artistic talents. My youngest, the 6-year-old, likes to crawl up in my lap and play silly little games. These games may seem insignificant to some, yet to this child it is one of the most important parts of his day and if we miss that time together he tells me about it. This time together is very important to him … It is also very important to me.

 lov2         As believers we need this intimate time with our Father, God. It is not enough to walk through life just knowing about the Love of God, we must experience it. The most important relationship that we have is with our creator. If we invest in this relationship, it pays dividends in all other relationships, making them richer and stronger.

          These times I described with my kids are all very important to me. Your personal time with God is very important to Him too. Is it important to you? As you grow as a Christian these intimate times with God will change and evolve to match your level of maturity and the life lessons that God knows are important to you at the time. No matter where you are in your walk with God, always approach Him as a child. Don’t take for granted that the most amazing thing available to you through Jesus sacrifice is your ability to stand before God like a child with no guilt, condemnation, or shame. Jesus made fellowship and intimacy available through His shed blood. His sacrifice was made so Father – Son relationship could be restored.

Luke 18:17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.

         lov5 I think we tend to get in rut with our “devotional” time and make it mechanical and impersonal. We come to God with a list of prayer needs and a plan to study, or read a certain amount of scripture and we never connect with Him personally. We go through the motions with a legalistic, works mentality, believing that its the right thing to do in order to be a “good Christian.” The truth is, very little fruit comes from actions like these. This is not relationship, and it does not promote growth and change, instead it perpetuates a legalistic mentality which quenches the grace of God and hinders the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

~Godly Men Need Godly Men~

~Godly Men Need Godly Men~

As men who have given our lives to Jesus, we may have second thoughts and doubts from time to time, but none of us wants to go back to the garbage we were redeemed from. One thing we’re sure of is that we have chosen the best thing possible to give our life to.

The question then becomes, what do we do when the world pulls us one way and our faith another? We can pray, and that helps, but rarely do we get an instant, emphatic answer that God loves us and everything is fine. We can read the Bible and learn from people like Joseph, John the Baptist, and Paul. That encourages us too, but sometimes it is just not enough.

We must also trust in those relationships that we have with other men who have the courage, and love us enough to give us a swift kick in the rear if we need it. If you don’t have that kind of relationship …. you need at least one. You should have men in your life that will hold you accountable to walk the walk.

Men can get uncomfortable baring their soul and being brutally honest with other men, exposing their weakness and being humble enough to ask for help. This has been a hinderance in the body of Christ, and I believe, has prevented the church from walking in the fullness of the Spirit.

The bottom line, as always, comes down to trust in Jesus Christ. Is He the way, the truth and the life, as He said, or not? Did He save us from our sins because of His tremendous love for us? Is He the best possible choice you can make on this planet, while the world offers only a shallow, temporary promise of enjoyment?  … You know the answer to those questions.

It can be hard for men to trust other men with personal things. When we do that we become vulnerable and open ourselves up to the possibiliy of being hurt and betrayed. That is just part of relationship. These feelings come from fear and pride. To trust in Jesus is to trust in His body, to believe the best of others, to honor the relationships by letting them function as they were designed, in true fellowship.

1 John 1:7 ~ But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

JC

~ Fellowship Brings Joy To Relationship ~

Fellowship is relationship in action.

Fellowship is not just hanging out, although hanging out can be fun and have some value. You must be intentional and deliberate about connecting with people. The goal is not to have a thousand friends. You can be friendly, but maturity moves you from quantity (amount) to quality. You should have some people in your life that you can have quality fellowship with because fellowship adds value and brings joy to relationship. We need one another, and we are called to “community.”

The Bible says it’s not good to be alone. We were made for fellowship to enhance relationships. This is true with your relationship to God, and part of your relationship with Him involves relationship and fellowship with other believers. Your gifts, talents and abilities are not just for you; they are to be shared with others, especially with those in the body of Christ. When we bring all of those gifts and abilities together we experience God on a level that we would never enjoy being isolated. Christianity cannot be practiced in isolation. If you do, it will become irrelevant.

Fellowship cannot just be “programmatic.” It must be “organic,” it occurs naturally. Don’t expect the church to meet all of your needs for fellowship. You must bare some of the responsibility. You must actively pursue Godly interaction with other believers. Fellowship must be intentional and it requires investment on your part. Scripture makes it clear: Mark 12:33, John 13:34-35, Acts 2:42, Romans 12:10, and Hebrews 10:25.

New Testament scriptures teach mostly about how we treat one another and live together. It tells us to: live in harmony, love one another; accept one another; instruct one another; greet one another; serve one another; bear with one another; make allowances for one another; be kind and compassionate to one another; speak to one another; admonish one another; encourage one another; spur one another on; offer hospitality; and edify one another. That’s just a part of the list!

You are going to have varying levels of fellowship. You cannot be on the same level as everybody and that is ok. No matter where you are spiritually, you have the ability as well as the responsibility to contribute to the fellowship.

When you are in fellowship with somebody, you should be adding value to that person. Those people who do not add value to your life do not belong in your life. People will fit into one of four categories. Adders, multipliers, subtractors and dividers. If you are in a group with all subtractors and dividers, you need to find another group!

Above all, fellowship is to be God honoring. Do not mess around with things and borders that could potentially bind you or make you fall.

None of us is a whole body. We are all “parts” and we need one another… or it just doesn’t work. You should have friends that are not believers so that you can be salt and light, but you have to limit what you share together.

We are called to and we need true fellowship. Be deliberate about this! Ask God, who directs traffic, to put “valuable” people in your life to fellowship with.