Reconciliation

More Than a Feeling

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient and kind;

Paul has just concluded the introduction to this section with the words "...have not love, I gain nothing." In fact, he uses Jewish parallelism to make his point:

    If I speak . . . but have not love, I am just a sound.
    If I have . . . but have not love, I am nothing.
    If I give . . . but have not love, I gain nothing.

I think (and this is simply my own thoughts, not the Word of God) that Paul is trying to say this: Without love, the Christian simply... isn't a Christian. There is no Christian without love.

Setting Aside Our Will

1 Corinthians 13:5a RSV
[Love] is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way...

  • Love is not arrogant or rude.
    • The KJV translates this phrase: "Charity (love) doth not behave itself unseemly." This certainly isn't a phrase that we use much anymore. In fact, to be honest, we're not very concerned at all about behaving in a courteous or seemly manner in our society. To behave "seemly" is to conform one's behavior to standards of conduct and good taste. As our moms used to say, it means simply to behave properly and according to good manners.

      So the scripture here is actually more than just not being arrogant or rude, though I truly believe that rudeness is motivated by arrogance, the idea that it's "my way or the highway." When we are arrogant, we do what we want and say what we want without regard to the effects that it might have on other people. In other words, we simply don't care about anyone else (at that moment), only about ourselves, our rights, our opinions, our own actions.

Restoration Through Making Amends (Part 2)

See: Part 1

In his book, Staying Sober, Terence Gorksi shares a simple exercise that creates a workable “road map” for the process of making amends. On a sheet of paper, draw lines to make three columns. In the left column, list those who were hurt by my drinking/drug addiction. In the center one, list how they were hurt in very specific terms. And, in the right, list what must be done to make amends with them. A final step in the process is to determine who can and cannot be contacted and to develop a chronological list of those who will be contacted.

The second half of Step 9 offers a warning – there are certain people to whom we should not attempt to make amends. This is because doing so could actually be more harmful than doing nothing. In Step 8 the focus in on a list of all those to whom one is willing to make amends. Step 9 involves talking real action to restore relationships. This requires much more discretion. Here are things to consider from the Serenity New Testament:

Restoration Though Making Amends (Part 1)

If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23, 24)

A rescue mission counselor asked me to talk with a man who had returned to their recovery program for the third time. Despite completing their program twice, he was unable to remain sober for more than a few months. Not too far into our discussion, I recognized he had not been able to develop the healthy sort of relationships essential for continued growth in recovery. Fearful of becoming too involved with others, he could not experience the joy of meaningful, fulfilling relationships. I asked him, "Have you ever done the 8 & 9 Steps?” His answer of "No” made perfect sense. Like many newly recovering people, he still carried a load of guilt and remorse from unresolved past relationships. Thus, he could not move forward with confidence to make new intimate relationships. He needed to clean up the residue of his past first.

Adultery Bible Study (Part 2)

See: Part 1

Sexual immorality is a temptation we all must face on a daily basis. God doesn't forbid sexual sins just to be difficult. God knows its power to destroy people's lives physically and spiritually. God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves with immoral desires. Sex outside of the marriage relationship always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we care more about our own lustful and selfish desires than Him.

The key to faithfulness is putting Christ's principles to work in our life and trusting in the Holy Spirit within us with our temptations. When we have temptations and ungodly thoughts we need to put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. We have to communicate our burdens to God through prayer. Only when we put our trust in Him will He help us.

Basing Our Lives on Own Understanding and Wisdom

Adultery Bible Study (Part 1)

See: Part 2

"We have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28

Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament laws, not abolish them. Simply telling someone to not commit adultery is preaching to the choir. We all know that adultery is a sin and yet we still commit adultery. Jesus went a step further then just telling us to not commit adultery; He taught that to desire a woman (or a man) in a lustful way is wrong and is considered mental adultery. The problem lies within our belief system.

What we "do" is a symptom of "how" we think.

Diamonds, Horses & Grass (poem about Marriage Renewal)

If you find yourself losing the joy in your life
And your blessing is more like a curse
And you wonder what's wrong with that sweet little girl
That you've taken for better or worse,

You look at her now and hear yourself say,
"A11 she does is gripe and complain."
But maybe if you took a look at yourself,
You would find what exactly has changed.

Now, you didn't used to call on that girl
With chicken hanging out of your teeth,
Your pants undone and your hair not combed
With whiskers you've had for a week.

You'd take three baths and put on cologne,
Shine your shoes and wax your car.
Then, you'd stand at a mirror and work on your hair
Till you looked like a Hollywood star.

I Just Ain't Got the Time (Do you want to be healed?)

A Study of John 5:1-16

The city of Jerusalem was in full bloom, for it was a religious festive day. Its streets were full of excitement as pilgrims from all over the known world, came to perform their religious duties. Many were in awe as they viewed the majestic temple of that era. I can hear, a parent saying to their son, "My child, the great I AM resides in that building!"

But as the mesmerized masses were focusing on the wondrous

Work build by human hands. God incarnated (John 1:1-4, 14) was entering through the back entrance of the city appropriately called the Sheep gate, for this is where the livestock were herded into the great city. We are told that near this gate was a pool of water called Bethesda (House of Mercy). And it was at this pool that laid a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered. For it was believed that an angel of the Lord would at certain times stir up the water; whoever then first after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well

It was there that Jesus noticed a man who had been ill thirty-eight years.

One can only imagine what was going through this mans mind, when Jesus entered into his little world of shattered dreams. Over the years he had come to terms with his lot in life, and there was no reason to believe this day would be any different from the previous ones. But God has a way of changing one's world in a twinkling of an eye and this day would prove to be the greatest moment of this man's life.

We read that, When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him. "Do you wish to get well?" John 5:6

INTIMACY
Let's not forget that this man was just one of a great multitude, but when Jesus saw him He knew (aware of the truth) that he had been stuck in this

How to Really Heal Your Marriage

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Colossians 3:10

What is Marriage Healing? Marriage healing is about individual inner healing and repairing damage done to the marriage, through the workings of Jesus Christ. We desperately need to understand how all of this works and have faith in God’s love for us. We have to believe that what God says for us is true!

Opening Our Souls to God - The 4th Step

Psalm 139:23-24 KJV
Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if [there be any] wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

The 4th Step, taking one's own inventory, can be quite intimidating. But like many other things in our lives as Christians, it should be approached first and foremost in prayer.

By literally getting down on our knees and praying, much in the same way as the Psalmist did above, several things happen.

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