Immanuel – Christ is with us during divorce pain at Christmas

Are you hurting due to divorce, separation, or estrangement from your spouse during the holidays?  Greg Laurie’s message “Immanuel” speaks the truth that Christ is with us and knows first hand the pain and loneliness of estrangement.

Listen to Immanuel (MP3) > Greg-Laurie-God-Is-With-Divorced-and-Lonely-People

God leads us into impossible situations

With all the relationship trials and other tribulations, you are no doubt looking forward to God bringing you out of the trials.  But did you know he brings us into trials?  But God will have a victory, and your testimony of faith is what he wants.

James MacDonald looks at the famous story of how the Israelites were brought out of Egypt right into a situation where they were blocked between the might of Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.  God lead them right into a dead end, before he delivered them with a miracle.  The fact of the matter is God leads us into our problem as part of His plan.  It is a hard thought that a good God would lead us right into trouble, but it is our faith and trust that he wants.  He is in complete control and will lead us out in His time.

Audio – James MacDonald – I am your victory

 

Putting on the full armor of God – everyday

My friend LA Marzulli has a great mini-sermon about taking seriously a critical element of the Christian life – putting the full armor of God.  We are living in a fallen world, full of all kinds of influences and attacks, physical, emotional, and spiritual.  Keeping Ephesians 6:13-17 in mind everyday is critical, and having peace in the daily chaos is possible!

Listen to this brief audio- LA Marzulli on putting on the full armor of God (mp3 – 4 min.)

 

 

 

Breaking the illusions we have of others

We have to trust people everyday.  For example, we trust that airline pilots, bus drivers and other auto drivers in traffic will do the right thing.   Beyond this more temporary trust, do we really trust people to never make mistakes or disappoint us?

Our unrealistic expectations – The truth is, many of us have built up unrealistic expectations of people.  When we first meet someone, there is that new excitement of a relationship and we expect him or her to live up to the imagined view we have of them. People, including us, cannot live up to high expectations.  They may feel the crushing pressure we put on them to live up to our illusions.  Also, over time, people inevitably do things that hurt us and we experience the deep pangs of disappointment.

God’s realistic expectations – We know from the word of God that all people, including ourselves, are broken, fallible creatures capable of sin and hurting others.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9

Does that mean we should become cynical and bitter towards people?  Not at all.  Christ gave us the model:

Christ understood people, so he did not entrust himself them. But he Loved them.  In John 2:24, as Christ looked over the multitude of people in Jerusalem, it says “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.”  What does this mean?   Jesus knew the fickle and sinful hearts of people, so his expectation was realistic.  Jesus decided ahead of time not to have illusion of people.  Yet Jesus loved people so much that he died and suffered beyond what we can ever know to save them.   He was never cynical; he trusted his father God.

Only God can meet your expectations.  Have people let you down?   Then trust the only one who will never let you down – God through Jesus.   Focus on God.  Be grateful and let the Lord fill you with his love and forgiveness.

See  James MacDonald – When it’s hard to trust

 


Don’t take the easy way out

The Lord spoke a strong word tonight via a  sermon he directed me to.  David Wilkerson’s “Standing Steadfast in Christ” spoke about not seeking the easy way out.  As the Lord shows us in scripture through nature, those who choose to avoid conflict, people and the inevitable fires of life will suffer spiritual apathy.  It’s clear my trials at work and at home most be met head on with the grace of Christ.  So “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” combined with the fact Christ will see me through my storms outside and my emotional pains within is absolutely necessary for me to grow.

And growing means not focusing on my own self but on how I can serve Christ and others.  Wilkerson reminds us of Peter, who after he returned to the Lord and the risen Christ told him “Do you love me?  Feed my sheep?”

Lord, help all who read this know that we must face life with your grace to grow and bear fruit for you.  Let us not shrink from the spiritual battles at home and at work, but let us focus on helping the least and the lost of this world, in Jesus name.

Listen to Standing Steadfast in Christ>>

End of Your Loneliness

Loneliness is pervasive and deeply painful for many, no matter if they are divorced or married.  Ironically, the lonely are a great company.  John T. Cacioppo of the University of Chicago found that almost 25% of Americans feel chronically lonely.  Above this authority, God Himself so identified the pain of loneliness it was the first thing in His creation He saw as flawed.  In Genesis 2:18 He says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Gary Wilkerson of the Springs Church in Colorado says there can be an end to your loneliness.  Listen or watch.

When the Ship Sinks by David Wilkerson

In “When the Boat Sinks” David Wilkerson talks about when Paul’s ship to Rome sinks.  The Lord will sometimes allow the thing we fear to happen – the divorce, the health crises, the death of a loved one.  Yet like Paul’s ship, the very breakup is a vehicle the Lord uses to spread His salvation.  From Paul’s ship sinking came a series of miracles: no people on the ship died, they all made it safely to shore, and they and many on the island where the ship sank saw miracles of healing in their midst through Paul.

So in our crises, the breakup between with our spouse can result in many testimonies for Jesus as we stand for restoration – no matter how long it takes.

When the Boat Sinks-David Wilkerson (mp3)

God Will Restore All Your Wasted Years by David Wilkerson

You have wasted years.  These may be years spent with the pain and regrets of broken relationships, years wasted in drugs or alcohol, or years wasted where you were far from God and not the husband or wife you should have been.  Within these wasted years your life was eaten up by worms of sin, addiction, sadness, and brokenness.

Joel 1:4 What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.

When you come to Christ and repent, and let Him fill you up with His life, He will more than make up for these wasted years by an ever increasing Love from and for him.  This will fill you up and will flow over to others, including prodigal spouses and broken family relationships.  God can and will restore you and heal your broken relationships!

Joel 2:25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.

Listen – David Wilkerson-God Will Restore All Your Wasted Years

For more information on David Wilkerson and his ministry please visit World Challenge >>

Faith in the Waiting Room by Alistair Begg

Waiting for God to reconcile a relationship, to change another’s heart, to save a lost loved one, or to heal a sickness can be the most trying experience of your life.  It is compounded by the voices of “reason” which are all around you among family, in the church.  They say “Why wait?  Get on with your life.  Move on.  Did God really tell you that he will restore?”

God wants more than anything to have your faith and trust.  The age-old pattern is for God to have us wait upon him.  In his wonderful Scottish brogue, Alistair Begg reviews the truth of faith that is shown in the lives of Abraham and Sarah. You may be pressured to take matters into your own hands, but the lesson is we will make a mess of things.  Wait upon God, He will always be faithful and His outcome will always be best.  Years may pass, but God’s word always comes true.

Listen- Alistair Begg-Faith-in-the-Waiting-Room

For more on Alistair Begg’s teachings, check out TruthforLife.org

Is Your God Big Enough? Stand Firm by Charlyne Steinkamp

If you have accepted Christ as your salvation, you are trusting Him to save you from death. But are you trusting Him with your life?  You may say “There is no hope for my marriage – my spouse just keeps on rejecting. It is impossible. If you could only see how messed up things are” This is a lie.  The word of God clearly teaches that God loves marriage, hates divorce, and can do the impossible, but we need to stand in faith.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mar 10:27

Please listen to the Charlyne Steinkamp’s message “Stand Firm.”  Charlyne and her husband lived through separation, divorce, and so many marriage problems even the pastors in their church gave up!  But God brought Charlyne back from hopelessness and she stood for her marriage and believed in the word the Lord gave her.  God restored their marriage beautifully.  God can heal broken marriages – just believe in what the word says and have faith:

Listen- Stand Firm – Charlyne Steinkamp

Please visit the Steinkamps ministry site Rejoice Marriage Ministries for so much more . . .