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Tag: ask

3 Questions to Strengthen Your Marriage

How can you build a stronger marriage that ultimately glorifies God?

Written by Hope on 09/03/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: God, Husband, Jesus, Marriage, Relationships, Wife
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. ” Galatians 5:16

How can you build a stronger marriage that ultimately glorifies God? This week’s questions will guide you toward a stronger godly marriage. And as today’s scripture tells us, it all starts with living in the power of the Holy Spirit.

1. Are We Lovingly Honest with Each Other?
We are called to “speak the truth in love” and grow “in every way more and more like Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15). A healthy marriage is built on mutual trust. Dishonest actions such as keeping secrets, telling partial truths, or hiding information about finances or relationships can hurt your spouse.

If you are concerned or hurt because of dishonesty in your marriage, use the example of Jesus to be lovingly honest with your spouse. Jesus often used scripture to speak the truth to others. Use scripture to remind your spouse of the covenant the two of you made before God and point out the expectations God has for each spouse. By doing this, you aren’t approaching your spouse with your emotions and accusing them, but you are approaching them with the word of God.

2. Are We Forgiving Each Other?
In all close relationships, people will offend each other. But the Bible tells us to “make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.” We must remember that the Lord forgave us, so we must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)

In strong marriages, forgiveness should be asked for and freely granted. We shouldn’t hold a grudge. Holding a grudge will quickly build an emotional wall between you and your spouse, and worse yet, it will invite Satan into your marriage (Ephesians 4:27)!

3. Are We Defending Each Other?
Speaking badly of your spouse to others can hurt your spouse emotionally and have a negative impact on your relationship with them. Make it your goal never to insult, correct or humiliate your spouse in front of others. This is a direct violation of the commands to love and respect each other.

If you must correct your mate, wait until later when you’re alone. In Matthew 18:15, Jesus says "If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense.” Use this example in your marriage by pointing out an offense privately, not in front of other people. Your husband or wife should be able to trust you to be considerate of their feelings.

Pray this week:
That God will help you speak the truth in love.

What are some specific things you can be doing to strengthen your marriage this week? If you're not married, what can you be doing to prepare yourself for marriage? If you're not sure — talk with us and we'll give you ideas!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Find a Church You Can Serve

This is one of the most important decisions in your life.

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 05/03/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChurchChurch And CommunityService


And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Finding the right church where God wants you to grow and serve is a very important decision. You must also understand that not every church is for everyone. Churches are very different in what they believe, in their worship style, and in their spiritual personality, so finding the right church for you is not always that easy!  You want to be very careful and very deliberate in making that decision.  It can impact your life forever.

So how can you find the right church?

First, You have to ask the right questions. For example, “Does this church actually teach the Bible?” Going to a church that does not have a heart for God or His Word would be the wrong place to attend.  There are many churches that are just meeting and going through a weekly ritual without having any spiritual impact. The last thing that you want to do is to be in a church that does not teach the Bible.

What should you look for in the lives those who are attending a church?

You have to discern if the believers are really growing in their faith and commitment to Christ.  Why would a Christian want to go to a church where no one was growing spiritually? One of the primary goals of the Christian life is to become as much like Christ as possible, and a strong church that is anchored in the Bible will help you develop that Christlikeness in your life.

It is important to understand that it is not just what a church can offer you, but also just as much about what you can offer a church. Think of it this way: you want the church to help you grow spiritually so that you can help the church to grow spiritually.  You want to “stir up one another to love and good works.” Just remember that every believer has God-given spiritual gifts that God wants to use in the local church, so once you determine what your spiritual gifts, natural skills, and talents are, then you want to use them in your church.  Jesus said, “The greatest among you shall be your servant.”  (Matthew 23:11).  Being able to use your God-given gifts and skills is one of the primary ways that God helps you to grow spiritually.

What else is important to know?

Never get in a hurry when trying to find a church. Think of it this way — God has a church that He wants you to attend. Seek His guidance to find that church.  He wants you to be a blessing and a servant to all who are there. It does not have to be a big church or a small church. It just needs to be that one church where God wants you to attend.  Be patient when looking.  Then, once you find the church where God wants you to attend, be fully committed to that church.  Every church has spiritual imperfections, so do not demand too much too early from the church you choose.  Just go and learn what it means to be a devoted follower of Christ, and then begin to invest your life in that local church.  Just be a servant to everyone around you, and you will quickly find how much God will use you for His glory.


Pray this week:

Lord, I thank you for already having a church for me where I can both grow and serve spiritually.  My deepest prayer is that you will lead me and help me to find that church.


Would you be willing to find some other genuine Christians near your home, and ask them to help give you some meaningful guidance on some good, Bible teaching churches near where you live?  It is best to grow where you are already planted.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Forgiving Others in the Church

How can I forgive someone who keeps hurting me?

Written by Ruth on 21/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Church And Community, Forgiveness, Reconciliation
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32
Is this true for you? — someone at the church you attend bothers you so much that sometimes you would just rather stay home from church! 

Does an “enemy” keep you away from church?
The day before He died, Jesus told His disciples that the most important command He was giving them was to love each other (John 15:12-17). During the whole final evening with them, He was preparing them for life after His death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven (John 13-17). He had kept them together as His disciples for the past three years, and now they needed to know how they could remain together even though they would be spread to different parts of the world. Jesus’ answer was love for one another, which would unite them.

We also need help in loving each other, even when there are disagreements among us in the church. The disciples had missed Jesus’ point so often, argued with one another and hoped to gain advantage over one another. (Luke 22:24-30). Without Him walking with them, would selfishness and bitterness divide them? Not if they listened to what He said. He told His disciples they must always forgive each other, and this is what we, too, must do. We must not allow anger and bitterness to grow. When that happens, we become ineffective witnesses for Him.

How am I to forgive another Christian who hurts me?
Jesus was committing His disciples to one another as an eternal family. This means a few things:

First, it's pretty much impossible to avoid offending others in this life, so we should not pretend we're never offensive. Siblings don't always get along. But they never stop being family. What does it take to maintain peace? You have to go to someone who feels wronged—even if you don't know what you did wrong. Jesus even gave this priority over our worship in Matthew 5:23-24.

Second, because we know we've done things that give others reason to be offended, forgive others. They may not even know what they did wrong. Go to them. Be persistent and patient. (Matthew 18:15-22) Jesus never runs out of forgiveness for us; we have to be the same way.

Why should I forgive, even when they are not sorry?
One of my dear friends was the victim of a conspiracy in her family. Divorced and raising two children on her own had made life a struggle, but then her father and younger sister agreed to bypass her in the inheritance of some family property. It caused her to curse and forsake her family for years. She even emigrated to another country in order to make an irreversible break in her family relationships. 

But then, something happened to change her mind. She found Jesus. It was a few years before she reconciled with her family. They didn't recompense her for the lost property or years of hard work. But when God changed her life, He gave her first the desire, then later, the actual power, to forgive. Looking back, she now sees clearly how unforgiveness is really what hurt her and cost her the most. It really wasn't until she released her hold on it that she herself was free.

When Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 that we cannot be forgiven if we do not forgive others, He was telling us two things: 1) not forgiving someone is disobedience to Him, and 2) we cannot see our own need for forgiveness if we keep anger and bitterness in our hearts. In essence, forgiving someone is more about our relationship with Jesus than with that person. 

How do we forgive when we do not feel like doing so? Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. We must choose to obey. It may be that we must say to Jesus, “I do not want to forgive because that makes what they did right, and it was not right! But I want to be near You more than I want to keep this anger, so I choose to forgive. Help me, Lord Jesus!” Then, the next time you remember what they did or you see them at church or anywhere else, you can simply say to Jesus, “I have given this to You, I will not take it back.” It will not be long before you realize you are free from the slavery of what this person did. You are free from anger and bitterness. You are free to do or say whatever Jesus asks you to say to them with peace in your heart (Philippians 4:7, and Luke 12:11-12).

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, I have trouble forgiving ___ in my church. I choose to obey You because I need Your peace more than I need proof of being right or even worldly justice. I give this situation into Your hands; help me to leave it with You. Help me also to speak Your words to them so we may be reconciled to each other for the work of Your kingdom.
 

Who do you need to forgive and reconcile with?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member