The Key to a Godly Marriage – Jesus

Marriage and Family Meditations XVII

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley

250px-calvarychapeldove5 Family Church III

The Key to a Godly Marriage

Jesus

Hi Family, and Friends,

In my last two emails to you, I tried to remind us all that, we are the church. We looked at some of the implications that being the Church (the body of Christ) should have on our lives. It has really been driven home to me more than ever how important our submission and obedience to Christ is.

Colossians 15 – 18 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

As my Creator, God, and Savior, Jesus wants and deserves my complete faithfulness, and submission in love. Jesus Himself told us how important and significant submission to Him is. It is a true demonstration of whether or not we love Him.

Jhn 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments”

Jhn 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “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.

Jhn 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

So if we as the church, individually and collectively, love Jesus, and we are following and obeying Him, loving Him as we should, why do we have so many troubled and broken marriages among those who call themselves Christians?

It is because many are unwilling to obey what the bible teaches, or don’t even know what the bible teaches, about self sacrificial love and respect, about serving and ministering to one another, about confession of sins to one another, about forgiveness and reconciliation.

We see first hand that this is true because by the time most Christian couples come in for counseling they have stubbornly or ignorantly refused to do much of the above.

The truth is that these virtues work even for non-Christians, and the married people especially Christians who have learned and practiced these virtues stand out in this world that has gone crazy and lost all sense of fidelity and family relationships and responsibility.

So can you see, because it is so clear, … loving Jesus, and obeying His commands, by learning what the Bible teaches, and submitting to God’s word, by understanding and practicing His self sacrificial love we find the key to godly marriages.

Loving Submission To Jesus

This is the key that opens the door to godly marriages and protects us from failure.

The Lord bless and strengthen you and guide you in faithfulness In Jesus Vince

Church 2 – Under His Lordship

Marriage and Family Meditations XVI

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

250px-calvarychapeldove6 Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley

Family Church II

Hi Family, and Friends,

Hope that you all found time to read the last “Family Meditation” that was sent out over a week ago now. Several of you have responded back in the past and it has been really helpful, your comments and suggestions are appreciated any time. Your thoughts are encouraging to me and they help me understand whether or not what I am sending out is helping and ministering to your families.

What are you struggling with what do you see today in your marriage that you need encouragement with. God’s word has the answers and “His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,…” It is my prayer that the passages of scripture that you receive will touch your hearts and help draw you closer to Jesus as a family.

Last time we looked at ourselves, “The Church” Christ’s Body, and we were encouraged to meditate on how submitted and responsive we are to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives and families.

Ephesians 5: 30 “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones”.

Something to Meditate on:

Ask yourself, is it important to Jesus Christ that I submit to His word, to His leadership, to His purposes. Am I allowing Him to wash me with His word, to cleanse me, to sanctify me, to be holy and pure in the conduct of this life? Is my life His or my own? Is my body His or my own? Is my marriage His or my own? Am I serving and ministering, responding as an active member of the church, His body…or not?

I pray that as we ask ourselves these questions we will see clearly the truth of our lives and rededicate ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to the cleansing of His word, and to obedience and submission to His sanctifying work in us day by day.

Today as we consider what it truly means to be under His Lordship, to be submitted to Him, and to be properly called His bond slave, (a common identification among the disciples) we must begin to recognize that this calls for a radical change in the way we conduct our lives. Any believer (bond slave) who is being an apathetic, lazy, selfish, or prideful servant, neglecting to read God’s word, pray, and fellowship needs to change! (To some degree this includes us all doesn’t it!!)

We need to begin earnestly, and radically, loving God through His Son Jesus our Lord, by obeying Him. We need to begin loving one another, through obeying Him. All of our decisions need to come under the scrutiny of His word, and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Our responses to the relationships at home, at work, at school, in the church (the body of Christ) all need to be according to the teaching, the guidance, and the direction of the Lord Jesus our Head!

So what shall we say to all of this, how do we proceed, how do we do this? The answer is of course in God’s word. Here are some scriptures that speak directly to this challenge.

The answer lays in the act of learning (discipleship), submitting to, and choosing to obeying, God’s word. I lays in the choice we must make daily to; “present ourselves a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service and to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1

Mathew 7:24; 12:50; 16:24; 10:28; John 14:23; 1John 2:17; Luke 18:29 – 30;

Romans 6:6; 8:13; 13:14; Galatians 5:16 – 24; Colossians 3:5; 1 Peter 4:2

I hope and pray that you are experiencing the joys and blessings of a godly home, marriage, and family. May you avoid the many pit falls that come from sinful disobedience to the Lord. May you be renewed in your love for Jesus and may your loving obedience to Him produce a bounty of the fruits of His Spirit in your homes.

Love in Jesus Vince

Church – What Is It?

Marriage and Family Meditations XV

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

250px-calvarychapeldove7 Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley

Family Church

Hi Family, and Friends,

One of the great misconceptions of the Christian life is demonstrated in the phrase “We are going to Church”. As you think about it I hope we can all see that this is a clear misrepresentation of what “Church” is…

Church is not a place we go. Church is who we are!

(Col. 1: 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is

lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,…)

It would be more accurate and helpful if we learned to say, “We are going to worship at the sanctuary” or the “meeting hall” or “Cornerstone Ministries”. Why is this so important that I would write to you about it, you ask? Well I’ll tell you why I have come to believe it is important. It is because it helps to show us we understand who we are, and reminds us that we never leave church, we are always “The Church”, and under the headship of Jesus Christ, we are His body.

All of our lives, at home, at work, at school, in our recreation, are under the headship of Jesus Christ. Each family and every individual in the church, are called to conduct our lives in an attitude of worship, praise, faith, hope, and love as we serve the Lord Jesus daily. Be encouraged to read Colossians 3:12 – 17

Ephesians 5:25 -33 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (emphasis added)

Each time I teach, or share with a married couple, out of this passage I see a little more of this “great mystery” unfold. It is obvious that Christ’s relationship with the church is revealed in a very intimate and personal way, in the relationship of Christian husbands, and Christian wives.

Can you see the connection here? “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones”. Jesus is the head and we day by day are his body, working, ministering, sharing, loving, caring, serving in the world to build the church and share the gospel for which He came. The degree to which we submit to His Lordship through His loving Spirit and purposes, shows in the fruits of our lives. The measure of our submission is demonstrated in the fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Something to Meditate on:

Ask yourself, is it important to Jesus Christ that I submit to His word, to His leadership, to His purposes. Am I allowing Him to wash me with His word, to cleanse me, to sanctify me, to be holy and pure in the conduct of this life? Is my life His or my own? Is my body His or my own? Is my marriage His or my own? Am I serving and ministering, responding as an active member of the church, His body…or not?

I pray that as we ask ourselves these questions we will see clearly the truth of our lives and rededicate ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to the cleansing of His word, and to obedience and submission to His sanctifying work in us day by day.

May your life and your marriage reflect the Lordship, love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, in all ways.

Love and Blessings in Jesus Vince

Living a Godly Life

This message was sent out to the married couples in our congregation last Easter, and I am now just able to download these messages to the Blog.   Hope you will enjoy the updates.

Marriage and Family Meditations XIV

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I
will be glad in the LORD.

Hi Family, and Friends, 250px-calvarychapeldove9 Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley

Living a godly life

2Peter 1:1 – 4 “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle
of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things
that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

The Bible consistently teaches us that there are two things that determine how we live our lives!

1. If we are captured by the corruption that is in the world through lust then we will live in a manner consistent with selfish, prideful, ungodly behavior.

2. If we have escaped the corruption in the world, having obtained a precious faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, then His divine power has enabled us to live in a manner consistent with godly living through our knowledge of God and His exceedingly great and precious promises.

We are able to “be partakers of His divine nature” ! Wow

No other creature is made in the image of God. Only mankind, male and female bear the image of God. Not fallen man but men and women who have “obtained a precious faith in the Savior Jesus Christ”, and have been born again. Born of the Spirit of God to once again to be empowered to live a godly life. John 3:3 – 7

So how do we live a godly life? Well the answer is in God’s word His teaching, His “exceedingly great and precious promises”. In our “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”.

2 Peter 1: 5 – 11

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Here Peter expresses how important it is for us, in seeking to live godly lives, by exercising diligence in pursuing and practicing the virtues that God is teaching us. If we neglect our responsible to pursue these things (walk after the Spirit), and are not careful learners and disciples of Christ, then we can fall back into sinful destructive behavior.

Living a godly life builds and nurtures
our families!

This week as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let the joy of His great and precious promises and the knowledge of His life given  for us, resurrect in us a new zeal, diligence and excitement in living a fruitful life full of godly virtues.

May our homes (by God’s Spirit) be
filled with godly love,

joy, peace, patience, kindness,
gentleness and self-control.

Blessings and Love in Jesus Vince

Death and New Perspectives for Life

Marriage and Family Meditations XIII

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley250px-calvarychapeldove10Death and New Perspectives for Life Part II

Hi Family, and Friends,

Proverbs 14:27 “For fear (reverence) of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death”

Another way that the bible teaches us about death is by relating it to how we live. There is God’s way of life lived in the reverence of our Creator God, according to His word, and there is the “world’s way,” which the Bible describes as “the law of sin and death”.

One of the more obvious areas of life where the contrast between life and death, light and darkness can be seen today is in the intimate relationships of marriage and the family.

The Bible teaches us that Marriage is a good thing and it was created by God in the very beginning so the bible describes it as a special and holy union, a covenantal relationship between a man and woman and the Lord Himself.

Genesis 2:18 “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him.”

Pr. 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.”

Heb. 13:4 “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

In counseling with Christian married couples I see how some conduct their lives and how their relationship with our Lord brings such great joy and love into their home. Their reverence and humble service to the Lord springs forth with the Spirit of Life, that overflows their family. As husbands and wives walk after the Spirit they blossom and produce the fruits of the Spirit that shine forth from their lives with the light of life in Jesus. They exercise the self sacrificial love and ministry of the Spirit to one another and to their children, to their church family and many others around their circle of influence. Many of these families are not rich in material possessions or worldly wealth, but they are rich in spiritual life, and have God’s word dwelling in them richly truly singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3: 12 – 17

In other “Christian homes” by contrast we all too often see “The snares of death” taking hold of the marriage. Lack of fear (reverence) for the Lord, leads them to indulge in the sinful “snares” of the world and the flesh. Selfishness, pride, greed, and indulgence in life dominating sin demonstrate their unwillingness seek God’s kingdom and pursue righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Bit by bit they bring destructive behavior into their relationship until they bring death to the marriage. The destruction of marriages in the Christian community stems from one or both partners choices to follow after, to indulge the flesh rather than following and obeying the spirit.

Galatians 5:16 –26 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Romans 6:1 – 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

How is your family living? What are the fruits? We are free to make the choice! Let’s Choose the Spirit!

Love and Blessings in Jesus Vince

Marriage, Death and Life

Marriage and Family Meditations XII

Psalms 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.

Hi Family, and Friends, Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley

Death and New Perspectives for Life

1 John 2:15 – 17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

We go through times in our life when things seem to take a new perspective. One of those times for me is when death comes into focus.

As I sat next to my dearest old friend and wept, and laughed, and grieved to see him so fragile, and weak so helpless and lost without hope, I became more keenly aware of how short life is. We tried to talk about the good times, camping and water skiing, and the wonderful family times we shared, and how good life has been to him and his family to me (we were like brothers). But… in all of our conversation there was one overriding urgent thought in my mind and heart and that was to some how open his eyes and heart to the wonderful hope, and promise of eternal life in Jesus. Nothing else mattered, no other concern took precedence I could not let go of my friend until I knew that he had been restored to God and had a place in His kingdom.

Yesterday, after we prayed together asking Jesus to forgive his sins and to accept him into His kingdom, to grant him eternal life, I sat with him and he slept. He was in pain and had to take some codine so I lost communication but I drove the 2 hours home knowing that while he didn’t live his life for Jesus, in the process of dying he received Christ’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life and the healing of his soul. I believe all is well with his soul and now the tears flow from joy.

The Bible teaches us to look at the world and ourselves through God’s eyes, to understand what in this life is important and what is not. Death is a reality and everyone is dying, everyone and everything will return to the dust, but the “good news” is that Jesus is alive and in Him we can have life eternal.

(John 3:14 – 16; 3:36; John 5:24; John 17:3; Romans 5:12)

So what should our perspective for living be ?

How should we live while we are here on this earth, in this world? Should we live in pursuit of what is dying,

( the world and ourselves )or… should we live for and Him who is eternal and life giving?

Should we be striving and burning our energies up accumulating worldly things and seeking to earn worldly recognition… or should we be focused on God’s purposes, teaching our children, our families, and our friends, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Are we serving God or ourselves,…how much of our lives do we actually spend in sacrificial service to Jesus, praying, reading His word, fellowshipping, ministering, giving and seeking to bring life to a dying world.

I suspect you all know the right answer to each of these questions!

Now the challenge to us is to take this fresh perspective and let it motivate us to change. As I looked upon my friend dead (without Jesus) and dying, I was compelled pray for him and speak to him about Jesus. Now I see that all around us is dying and I pray that that same urgency and zeal I felt for my friend will motivate us all to speak of and live the good news faithfully with our children, our neighbors and friends, we could loose them at any time. Let’s not be late, we have some good news to bring to our loved ones!

Proverbs 14:27 “For fear (reverence) of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death”

Love and Blessings in Jesus… Pastor Vince

Does Your Marriage Measure Up?

Measuring Marriage by God’s Word

It is my hope that you are being encouraged to think about, and meditate on, the passages of scripture that God uses to speak directly about marriage and family. It has been my observation and experience that often we read through a passage in the Bible and neglect to pause to reflect on how it should impact our thinking and conduct.

As you read the following passages I pray that you will take time to reflect on your marriage and your relationship with your spouse. Consider first how Jesus has taught us to submit to God, by His loving sacrifice for our redemption. (Read 1 Peter 2: 21 – 25)

A Word to Wives
I Peter 3: 1 – 7 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
A Word to Husbands
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Consider how your family sees you and how they would describe your conduct in the home.

    As a wife, would your children and your spouse see you in the description here in Peter’s epistle? Do they see a woman who supports and encourages her husband and children, serving gladly from the heart, with a gentle and quiet spirit? Is your family being drawn into a relationship with our Heavenly Father, by observing the purity of your conduct, motivated by loving reverence of your heart for God?

    As a husband, how does your family perceive you? Are you dwelling in the home, participating, interested and actively leading, listening and seeking to understand your wife (and children)? Are you their protector, full of the loving grace of Jesus, and a man of prayer and intercession for your family?

Asking ourselves these kind of questions based on the biblical mandates and calling on our lives is definitely humbling and challenging! This is perhaps why Peter in his second letter at the beginning reminded us, “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

In his letters Peter acknowledges the struggle, the pain, and the need to be reminded of our faith in a Savior that loves us, heals us, understands us, empowers and enables us. He also clearly admonishes us and encourages us to be who God has called us to be. May we never cease to look at ourselves and commit ourselves to obedience in honoring Jesus, honoring one another, and submitting to one another in the love of our Lord.

Finally remembering this that “…we are His (God’s) workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

May Your Married Life be a Good Work in the Love of Jesus

Pastor Vince

Do Not Grieve The Spirit, Part 2

Do Not Grieve the Spirit (Part 2)

Speech that Grieves–Speech that Heals and Overcomes

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I shared with you some passages of scripture that revealed the extreme importance of how we speak to one another. Our habitual patterns of corrupt communication, what we say and do, reveals our hearts and dramatically affects our lives and the lives around us.

This is what Jesus taught in the scripture from; Luke6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

How we speak to one another as Christians certainly has vital and significant impact on our homes . What ever grieves the Holy Spirit and gives place for Satan, is a terribly destructive problem in our lives.

Ephesians Chapter 4 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

The bible has a lot to say about how we talk, what form of speech we employ to express ourselves. Many passages contrast evil, ungodly speech, speech which defiles, and corrupts, verses speech which is righteous and godly, which edifies, builds up, and encourages, which brings conviction not condemnation. The evil speech coming from the heart of flesh, contrasts to godly speech under the control of and in accord with the Holy Spirit. It is abundantly clear from these passages that God expects us to guard our hearts and our tongues in obedience to Him.

I must say, to those of us who have or who would be tempted to lash out with the tongue, in a fit of anger, disappointment, or in the heat of a disagreeable situation in our homes STOP!! Repent!, ask forgiveness from God and from your spouse and children. Confess that you have no right to ever indulge in such corrupt and hurtful and destructive speech!!

Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

(The light of Christ will overcome the darkness of evil and unrighteousness)

The only way to overcome evil that has been done by ourselves to others, or by others to ourselves, is to replace the evil done or to overcome the evil done with good!

We know that the Bible tells us that “God’s ways are not our ways”, yet if we obey God in this area of our lives we have His promises of healing and reward.

Colossians 3:23 – 25 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done and there is no partiality.

In the Grace and Love of Jesus our Lord

Pastor Vince

Do Not Grieve The Spirit, Part 1

Do Not Grieve the Spirit (part 1)

Ephesians 4:25 -32 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Have you given thought on what it takes to grieve to the Holy Spirit of God, how our lives can be conducted in a way that causes Him (the Holy Spirit) to offended and sorrowful?

Paul, in this letter to the Ephesians is exhorting them to help them understand a very important godly virtue. He is telling us how important it is to control how we communicate with one another. In our communication we can give place to the devil and we can grieve the Holy Spirit, or we can do the opposite and close out the devil and exalt the Lord by how we communicate.

James the brother of Jesus in his epistle wrote the whole third chapter about the tongue and how powerful it is. I encourage you to read the chapter and sit together and discuss how your family communicates and expresses themselves. Is it godly expression, kind and tenderhearted, good for necessary edification, and imparting grace to the hearers??

Or… is it as James describes here in the sixth verse?

Jam 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

In my counseling with Christian married couples over the years there is one thing that has stood out to me more than any other factor. Harsh, ungodly critical words, corrupt communication which demeans, and harsh criticism spoken in anger is very devastating and destructive, eating away the foundation in any marriage. This kind of communication is hard to recover from and leaves terrible consequences with the affected spouse (s) and does harm to the children. This is why it so truly grieves the Holy Spirit by whom we are sealed for the day of redemption.

Jesus said;

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Let us consider how we speak to one another and how we communicate with words. Let’s allow God to change our hearts and fill it with His good treasure. Let’s take James advice and bridle (take control of) the tongue by the power of the Holy Spirit. “And what ever we do in word or deed do all as unto the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17)

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Blessings and Love in Jesus ,

Vince

Christ and the Church, Part 4

Marriage – Christ and the Church, Part 4

Husbands and Wives in Christ

As a final word before we move on to other passages about Marriage I wanted to share this thought that I wrote for our bulletin this week. How much more clearly and explicitly can He communicate His love and His expectations of us His bride His church.

The Personal Intimacy and Love of Christ and His Church

Eph 5:28 -30 “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.”

This is such a graphic and inspiring explanation of how the Lord Jesus (our Creator) loves each of us and all of us as He loves himself, how personal and how intimate we are to Him as His own body. The greatness, the depth of His love we have only begun to experience.

As we continue to grow in oneness with our Lord, our Friend, our Husband, may our marriages truly reflect the self sacrificial love of Jesus.

So what about in the mean time?

While we are being transformed, while we are struggling with our flesh, while we are learning to die to ourselves and to walk after the spirit. What happens when the wife blows it and doesn’t submit to the husband or the husband is harsh and selfish and isn’t loving her as he does his own body?

This is when we must, in faith, believe in God’s word and choose to trust and obey Him, holding on to the promises that He has given us. We all sin against the Lord and against one another but God’s word tells us that we are no longer slaves to sin and (we are now slaves of righteousness). We have no obligation to sin, but every obligation to the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 6) We must each choose to obey Him.

We need to have the attitude of David; Psa 139:23 -24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

There are three parts (a trinity) to every marriage when both partners are Christians and even when only one partner is a Christian. The Holy Spirit is there and making intercession for us even when we don’t know how to pray. ( Romans 8:26 – 28) Each of us has a responsibility to do what God has instructed us to do regardless of the sinful actions and attitude of the other.

We know that God is doing His part and fulfilling His promises.

Let us take heart, knowing that God can bring good out of all situations and even the most difficult of circumstances !

Blessings and Love,

Vince