How To Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything In Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 3: Understanding Covenant, part I

“That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:21, NAS).”

 If God’s holy people do not understand the covenant that we have in the spirit realm between God and His people, we don’t stand a chance of understanding the covenant between a man and a woman in marriage. This chapter is taken from my first book, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die, chapter 7, “Enter the Blood Covenant.” 

I believe it to be of the utmost importance to help us understand what God has done for mankind. Once we obtain a reasonable concept of spiritual marital covenant, we will better grasp physical marital covenant. Christ calls us to “die daily” spiritually so that our flesh does not impede our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – The Groom. In like fashion, we must “die daily” to our selfish nature to become “one” with our spouse so as not to hinder our relationship with our spouse – our physical bride/groom.  If you’ve already read What was God Thinking? this chapter will simply be a refresher course.

Covenant Protection:

As I’ve already mentioned, I had consigned myself back to Christ in February of 2000, after seven years of angry rebellion. However, too quickly I found myself right back in my fleshly ways resembling that of my rebellion. The result was becoming pregnant by a man that was not my husband. Our relationship was brief because I was quickly convicted (not quickly enough) of my sinful conduct. However, my covenant covering (Holy Spirit) was removed by my own actions of broken covenant.

Although God’s love for me never moved, as a result of my blatant disobedience, His covenant protection was. I was no longer living according to the Spirit but dead flesh. My soul was reactivated in an instant through lustful thinking allowing it to override the voice of Holy Spirit speaking into my spirit. I liken the flesh of mankind as unto a zombie we see in sci-fi movies. Though the person they once were is dead, as a zombie, the body moves at will all the while destroying everything in its wake.

It is of the utmost urgency to know, accept, and understand that one cannot enter into the blood covenant that Christ has freely offered until we choose death to the fleshly nature. Death activates God’s covenant. Disobedience, an act of the flesh, nullifies it.

“For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives (Hebrews 9:16-17, NAS).”

Man’s flesh cannot enter into a covenant because of its cursed condition. Nothing cursed can come into covenant with the pure and holy God. This is why Christ took the flesh of all mankind into the grave with Him –He crucified mankind – so as to allow us free access to the Kingdom of God. As we take up our own cross, we accept death as the only source of entrance into holy covenant. Although we’re technically already dead, it requires our acknowledgment. Because Jesus is the last sacrifice and He shed His own blood, we cannot receive the new blood of Christ until we are purged of the old blood of Adam.

We must, spiritually speaking, give up our old condemned blood (Adam’s) in order to receive the new pure blood (Christ’s). His blood was shed for us so that we may receive it. We are not obligated and we all have the right to keep our own. But, in doing so, we keep death eternal. God says in Deuteronomy that we “choose” life or death, blessing or curse. If we choose to keep our own blood, we choose a curse. We choose life only when we choose His life-giving blood, His covenant of blessing.

It is of the utmost importance to understand “dying to the flesh” so to validate and activate covenant with God. Merely saying the “sinner’s prayer” may grant access to Heaven upon death of the physical body, but if the individual does not accept that he or she must die to his or her natural man and the desires thereof while here on Earth, that person will never truly enter into covenant with Yahweh as intended. To reiterate, Christ crucified the flesh of all of mankind at His death, therefore it is dead. When we live according to the flesh (death), we give false-life to a dead thing causing much destruction.

Forfeiture of Covenant Protection:

When Christ followers walk according to their old fleshly man, they forfeit their covenant protection. Until you realize that you must die to daily rendering the flesh in which you dwell as inactive, covenant promises and protection will elude you while residing on Earth. When a person of Christ sins, they reason “God will forgive me.” Truth be told, that person is already forgiven. Forgiveness was sealed for you and I at the cross therefore it is a non-issue. Breaking covenant with God, however, is the issue.

If you’re wondering what’s going wrong in your life in Christ with all your religious conduct and good deeds, maybe “life” isn’t your problem, but death is. Possibly you haven’t died to self and, more than likely, you didn’t realize that was a requirement for covenant activation. I didn’t know this for way too long.

Are we to continue sin so that grace may increase…How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life… knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ…death no longer is master over Him…consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:1-11 (NAS).

We are called to die with Him in His death. The “newness of life” comes only after we crucify our flesh. It occurs to me through the reading of these Scriptures that when someone accepts Christ as Savior through His blood by repenting of the sin nature, they automatically enter into covenant with Yahweh. Unfortunately, many are saved for a long time before they understand that the covenant has not been activated because they have not died to self or even understand how or that they need to. Some never understand. They continue to have all of the same problems and issues they had before salvation because they have no idea who they are in Christ. It is like having a vault full of billions of dollars, yet it is untapped because they do not know it exists or don’t know they have the key in their grasp. So it is with the average believer; they forfeit for lack of knowledge, therefore perish.

Most people never know their covenant promises. Most have zero understanding of how to tap into the limitlessness of God’s power and authority to overcome all obstacles. They never receive revelation or understanding about how to die with Him, therefore operating within the covenant always eludes them. I was this way until death of the flesh was revealed to me. I say again that there is no covenant activation without death of the flesh. It is the death for which He calls us that ushers freedom from sin.

 

 

 

 

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 2: Questions and Answers

Coming Unglued:

Many years ago, I heard it said that when you glue two pieces of wood together with permanent glue, even if you pry them apart with force, there are remaining fragments of each piece of wood permanently attached to the other. So it is with divorce. One is never completely free from the other because there are fragments of memories that will forever remain.

I am twice divorced; once from an abusive, vile, adulterous husband, and once from a great guy. In my second marriage (the nice one), I was in my own turmoil given the abuse of the first marriage. I am now married to the man for whom God created me before the foundation of the Earth. Even after forgiveness (of self and the ex-spouses) and repentance of my own wrong along the way, there are fragments that will forever remain. This is not God’s punishment, but rather God’s Law in effect. It’s simply the result of having been glued together with someone with permanent glue (covenant vows) and ripping yourselves apart (broken covenant).

Some divorces must happen. Without getting into a debate, this is about the pain of a fallen world and bad choices. In the grand scheme of things, its obvious that few marriages are actually God ordained. Regardless of one’s personal take on this subject, divorce happens. Even when I counsel people and I happen to agree that divorce is necessary, I caution them that divorce is never an easy out. Divorce is never easy. It is both frightening and emotionally draining. The individuals must determine between themselves and God which route will usher true healing. Sometimes it’s working it out through great sacrifice, dedication and seeking the face of God, but unfortunately, other times it is divorce for the sake of being able to truly come back to a place of sanity, safety, and healing, aka peace.

If people who are single (divorced or never married) would grasp the magnitude of the marriage covenant, they would not so readily jump in. Married people, likewise, would not so readily jump out. Even after the pain of wounds has healed, the scars are permanent no matter how far you move away from time and space. No one can dictate who someone should or shouldn’t marry, or who should or should not divorce. That is between the individuals and God.

We must, however, caution all who come for counsel as to the ramifications of both. Every situation is different. There are Scriptures we could all debate and toss around, but it still comes back to the individual and their walk with God. Let us not forget that we all desperately need the free gift of both grace (that which we do not deserve) and mercy (not getting deserved punishment).

Q and A:

I have a dear friend and brother in Christ who posed some very good thoughts and questions. They are as follows:

  1. I have questions about your belief that there’s but one God-ordained person that He wants each of us to find and marry. Rather than that being a comforting thought (that God created someone just for me), in the emotional cauldron of dating/courtship, I’d be terrified of picking the wrong person, knowing that getting it wrong would doom me to a life of marital misery.

Of course we should want God’s perfect will for our lives and need to pray for direction in this most important of decisions. Christians are under orders to marry only other believers; that much we know. And I remember the admonition of my youth leader when I was a teenager: “Don’t date someone you already know you couldn’t marry.” Adhering to that would preclude a lot of needless risk. And I hear what you’re saying about people marrying somebody they’re currently having an affair/living with. What have they gained once they tie the knot? A spouse they already know is more than willing to have sex outside of marriage! What a catch!

  1. But why would God tell Christians to marry only believers, if the choice was not ours to make? Wouldn’t it be more consistent if the Bible said, “Determine who it is that God has created for you, then marry them.” There are so many other issues we consider in choosing a life-partner, variables such as compatibility (what we think is important, what we have in common) and practicality (kids, money, health, etc.). Still, a Christian hoping to marry may find themselves with more than one suitable choice. Could it be that God would bless a marriage to any one of them, as long as we don’t knowingly disobey Him? Can we assume that all marriages that do break up failed because it wasn’t a union with that one, God-ordained person? Or that happy, successful, God-honoring marriages are impossible if we mistakenly choose the one who was not God’s top choice for us?

My response to “fear of messing it up” is this – we must understand that when we draw so near unto the face and heart of God, mess-ups are fewer and farther between. This knowledge should usher peace, not anxiety. Fear comes from punishment, but perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). The more in love with Yahweh we grow, the less room fear will have a place to live and mutate into a state of a spiritual paraplegic.

More often than not, we are looking for a mate rather than looking for the perfect will of God to manifest through our lives. With that frame of mind, we’re already off course. When we do find someone we desire to marry, we generally don’t seek God to answer our question of “Are they right or wrong?” We only ask God to bless the union, regardless of His will. If we spend our time focused on the perfect will of God instead of “Who can I marry,” everything will change. Instead of seeking a mate we should be seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Simply stated, when God’s people seek Him first and His mission He has set before us, we’ll stop focusing on, “What if I mess up? What if I do the wrong thing or want to marry the wrong person,” and begin focusing on the Kingdom, supernaturally-naturally, our ordained mate will be presented and, through Holy Spirit already in full force, in time we will know the difference. Satan will send decoys along the route to throw us off the spiritual scent, but keen discernment from Holy Spirit actively moving within us will allow discernment to kick in and overpower emotions and lusts of the fleshly man. It’s as simple as that. The biggest problem with God’s people is that we have grown as impatient as the world in need of Christ. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the fact remains.

With the question of, “Could it be that God would bless a marriage to any one of them, as long as we don’t knowingly disobey Him? Can we assume that all marriages that do break up failed because it wasn’t a union with that one God-ordained person? Or that happy successful God-honoring marriages are impossible if we mistakenly choose the one who was not God’s top choice for us?”

I personally do not believe that just because a marriage breaks that it was not of God. We have the innate ability to ruin the best of things, marriages included. Also, I don’t believe that God can never bless a union that was not His perfect will. That would imply that something is impossible for God. Everything God has done on the behalf of mankind has been worked around our foolish mistakes. If the two people earnestly desire to be pleasing in His sight, God can work any number of miracles.

Also, I would like to add that there are certain people for certain seasons whether it pertains to marriage or any variety of relationships. A person may very well have two ordained mates, but obviously separately in different seasons. Say someone marries a person that is ordained for them and then they die prematurely. That does not mean that since he or she was their created mate that there won’t be another season (after healing) for their second ordained mate to come along. However, there is also the possibility that there was only one and the rest of their life is to be spent in celibacy as a eunuch. These are very intimate issues that need to be resolved between the individual and God. Again, when the focus remains on the Kingdom of Heaven in every season, there won’t be much room for error.

  1. His next question was: “What are the acceptable reasons for getting married? How does your ‘one ordained mate’ theory square with Paul’s admonition that those who ‘burn with passion’ (to Christ-followers) should go on and get married (1 Corinthians 7:9)?” In vv. 26-28, Paul says that, when it comes to marrying or staying single, we’re to count the cost, choose wisely, honor whatever commitments we’ve already made, then go ahead and decide based on those considerations. He doesn’t seem to have a one-reason, one-person view. If so, wouldn’t it be more logical to say: ‘Pray for God to show you if He wants you to marry. If the answer is yes, ask Him to point out the one’?”

Good question, indeed, and not without an answer. I respond by skipping to vv. 32-35, which read, “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of Yahweh, how he may please Yahweh; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of Yahweh, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to Yahweh.”

With this in mind, for me, it only solidifies the relevance of God-ordained spouses. Paul speaks candidly that if you cannot control yourself in your “burning,” marry, but with the marriage your interests will be divided between Yahweh and your spouse. However (this is a large however), if we conduct ourselves in self-discipline (as we are repeatedly instructed, I Corinthians 9:27) and wait upon the perfect will of Yahweh for our mate, how beautiful a union! In this, both the husband and the wife are focused on God together; hence, no division will occur. Both will be so Kingdom-focused, Kingdom-minded and Kingdom-driven that everything else will fall into its proper place. In this, they have secured undistracted devotion to the Lord while married.

Sadly, as it stands today, we burn, therefore, in the effort to not commit fornication (wrong motive for marriage), we enter a covenant not ordained by God; He merely allows it. Let’s face facts, we live in a world where followers of Christ and non-followers conduct themselves in the same manner leaving us all bewildered and hazy on the will of God. People in and out of the body of Christ are committing adultery and fornication as though it is absolutely acceptable.

Many reason within themselves, “God will forgive me.” But, as I’ve stated in previous books, forgiveness is not the issue at hand. Forgiveness was given at the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Blessings of God, on the other hand, are the issue. When we do whatever we want and then just expect God to bless any ol’ marriage based on the above words of Apostle Paul, we limit His hand of blessings. We forge a mess without even realizing what we’ve done until the mess has fully metastasized in our lives.

Once we finally get on board with God’s perfect will (obedience) verses His permissive will (disobedience), we are left in a bit of a quandary, the preverbal pickle, wondering why God has forsaken us. It does not have to be this way. Granted, God can absolutely bless wrong marriages if both the husband and wife choose submission both to God and one another, but it must be a joint, unified decision which happens next to never. Most just continue to co-exist until death and call it a successful marriage all the while condemning those who “didn’t go the distance.”

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NAS).”

“God loves the individuals who make up the marriage more than He loves the marriage institution!” Stephen Gola, author of Divorce: God’s Will?

Prayer: Father, as I read this book, I pray to understand what You want me to personally apply to my life. I desire to know what You know and understand what You understand. I thank You for helping me move out of the normal thinking of the traditions of man and step into a new dimension of revelation that I may walk in freedom and holiness as You have designed for Your people. Amen.

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 1: God’s Perspective

“When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void – this in addition to all your abominations (Ezekiel 44:7).”     

Understanding God’s View:

God hates divorce; however, we need to clarify what type of divorce is hated. God understands divorce, for God has been divorced as noted in Ezekiel 44:7. To “make My covenant void” is to divorce. He divorced His holy Bride in times past due to her harlotry and deep-seeded wickedness. God wants His people to view both marriage and divorce, not from the perspective of Law, but from His heart. He is Law, but He sent His Son to fulfill the Law that mankind was incapable to fulfilling; therefore, we must look at things as a whole instead of in fragments.

Eunuch for the Kingdom of God:

Marriage is a physical depiction of our spiritual union (marriage) with God. In Matthew 19:11-12, Jesus says, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

A eunuch, by man’s definition, is a “castrated human male.” However, spiritually speaking, since the Spirit is neither male nor female, either gender can be a eunuch in so much as they choose to abstain from sex for the greater good of God’s Kingdom. It could be one who has homosexual tendencies but, for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he or she vows to God to abstain. It could be a sex addict who, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, abstains altogether and so on.

We should be so in love with God that obedience is our desire, not our burden. This comes from trust in who He is, therefore we want to submit because His ways are best. Unfortunately, even when we possess the earnest desire for obedience, we rarely know what true obedience is. We must all keep in mind that not all people are meant to marry, but whether we are or whether we are not, there is always a plan. If the one who is called to be a eunuch can accept it, they should seek Yahweh to give them peace, joy, and understanding of their God-ordained purpose.

 

Divorce Hope:

If on the other hand one is to marry, God specifically creates their mate so that, when the two come together, they perfectly unify with one another and with God. In this, God is honored and the people are richly blessed. There are countless marriages not of God, but of man. To open this first chapter, I have inserted the following excerpt from Divorce Hope so as to lend insight from someone else’s point of view on marriage and divorce:

We have heard this Scripture: “Yahweh God of Israel says that HE HATES DIVORCE” (Malachi 2:16). This is almost always quoted as if God hates all divorces in general. But that’s just not true. We have previously read from the Bible books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, and 1 Corinthians that God is not against divorce. Then why all the confusion concerning why God said that “He hates divorce?” The reason for the confusion is because there are TWO “kinds” of marriages and TWO “divorces” being mentioned in the Malachi 2:11-16 passage.

The “divorces” were not official divorces; they didn’t need to be. They were already previously married and “unofficially” married again. The Hebrew word shalach means “putting away”― a separation, as correctly translated in most Bibles. However, the King James and a number of newer versions have incorrectly translated shalach as to mean: divorce. It never meant divorce and it doesn’t mean divorce. The word was most likely translated as “divorce” to fit what was taught in the church. Shalach is just a common word used throughout the Old Testament which means to: go, separate or to send. That’s it!

So why did God angrily say that He “…hated putting away [a separation]?” “…Because you have not kept My ways [concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage] but have SHOWN PARTIALITY IN THE LAW” (Malachi 2:9). The Law specifically stated that when a man got a divorce from his wife that he was to write “…her a CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, put it in her hand, AND [shalach] send her out [put her away]…” (Deuteronomy 24:1). God also commanded them not to marry anyone who did not serve Him ― who served a foreign god (See Nehemiah 13:25-30). Instead, men separated from their wives without ever giving them a Certificate of Divorce and then illegally married someone else. This is why Yahweh said that they were still “their wife by covenant.” The marriage covenant had never been dissolved by the Divorce Certificate.

“Yahweh’s holy institution which He loves…Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth…[and] SHE [STILL] IS YOUR COMPANION AND YOUR WIFE BY COVENANT. For Yahweh God of Israel says that He hates divorce [shalach], [separating without a Certificate of Divorce]…. He has [illegally] married the daughter of a foreign god. May Yahweh cut off…the man who does this being awake and aware.” Malachi 2:11,12a,14b,c,16a

Because these men had remarried illegally ― separated from their wives without giving them a Certificate of Divorce, they were in adultery as Jesus stated: “Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever PUTS AWAY [separates from {apoluo}] his wife, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE. But I say to you that whoever PUTS AWAY [separates and remarries without being divorced from] his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery: and whoever marries a woman who is PUT AWAY [separated without being divorced {apoluo}] commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). (Yahweh never forgot about the Malachi incident when He came to Earth to redeem lost man). The Old Testament Hebrew word shalach and the New Testament Greek word apoluo are equivalent which will be discussed later.

Because these disobedient men still had “un-divorced” wives, Yahweh did not command them to give their illegal wives a Certificate of Divorce, rather, they simply had to “separate, put them away, [shalach].” SO DID GOD HATE DIVORCE? NO! RATHER, GOD HATED THAT THE HUSBANDS WERE SEPARATING FROM THEIR WIVES WITHOUT GIVING THEM A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE WHICH WOULD ENABLE THEM TO GET REMARRIED. THIS IS WHAT GOD HATES!

The men of Israel were SEPARATING from their wives for self-gratifying reasons. God Himself was a “witness” at their original marriage ceremony which was still in effect. The marriage covenant was never dissolved by a Certificate of Divorce. The men remarried outside their own culture and tribe. God considered the children they bore unholy because of the mixed marriages bringing curses into their families (See Ezra 9:1,2; Nehemiah 13:26-30).

Because of these unauthorized marriages, the Word of God came to Ezra and Nehemiah to have the men and women of Israel who had done this thing, to separate from their spouse and even from their children (See Ezra 9:1, 11-12, 10:3, Nehemiah 13:23-27). In this situation, God’s command was to “put them away, separate yourselves from them!” This was NOT the kind of marriage to which God was saying, “I hate divorce!” He was saying loudly, “Get out these wrong marriages!” DIVORCE IS A METHOD TO SEPARATE THE ONE, AND MAKE THEM INTO TWO just as a surgeon’s knife is used to separate the cancerous flesh from the healthy flesh. Both operations are good. Divorce can be used to kill a righteous marriage, just as a surgeon’s knife can be used to kill a healthy person. (end excerpt from Divorce Hope)

Narrowing the Margin of Error:

Whether you agree or disagree, we still must understand that divorce happens to Christians and non-Christians alike. So, instead of passing judgment, let’s find out how to prevent divorce as well as recover from one. It can easily be prevented by understanding before marriage that God does not have 100 people lined up before you and say, “These are all people who love Me. Pick one!” God is strategic in all things. To be “unequally yoked” does not mean that you are forbidden to marry someone of another race, color, nationality or denomination. Rather, it’s about who God created specifically for you to become one with the one that God pre-ordained for you so as to honor Yahweh in the union. This definitely narrows the margin of possibilities!

If God’s people understood this basic truth, we would not allow ourselves be to deceived, led by the flesh and drawn into marriages of the flesh. With understanding, there would be a huge decrease in divorce since there would be a decrease of marriages and more that would actually be “what God has brought together.” People marry for many reasons other than seeking the face of God: sex, physical attraction, money, power, loneliness, rebound, rebellion, loyalty, parent-pleasing, parent-rebelling, pregnancy, to cover homosexuality, to cover fornication, etc – and all of this within the Body of Christ. Even if both people are Christ-followers, that doesn’t mean that the two should marry. We make messes and, when things go wrong, we question why God made such a mess. We need to seek the face of God concerning our ordained spouse…and then wait on God

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything In Between

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How to Get It Right

Introduction

Mere commitment puts you in control; surrender to your spouse puts them in control. With God, this applies so that, through surrender, God is in control instead of self-will. Before you balk at such a statement, remember that in a holy marriage, surrender won’t make you a doormat, but a compliment to the one who equally surrenders to you. Commitment to your marriage can come and go leaving divorce optional based on nothing more than “I’m unhappy.” Surrender one to another leaves no leeway for divorce, only resolution. We are to surrender in marriage one to another. This statement should be an awakening to understanding the gravity of the covenant of marriage. In this understanding, one will be much less likely to marry in the first place and will willingly wait upon their pre-ordained mate. This brings us back to total surrender to God so that you will be spiritually prepared to surrender to the one for whom you have been created before the foundation of the Earth.

When I was young, I had no idea what to expect out of marriage, the meaning of the marriage covenant, how to fall in love with God first, how to discern and hear the voice of God, or that God had created me specifically for one man just as He had created Eve specifically for Adam. None of this was anywhere on my spiritual radar. All I knew was that one day I would marry and that I wanted a house and a few kids. Beyond that, I was totally oblivious! After two failed marriages between the ages of 20 and 30, and now happily married to my ordained husband, I have a few nuggets of sound information I felt compelled to share with those who are willing to read it. I have learned a few things about marriage and what God says about it (as well as what He means) that I believe I would be remiss in not sharing.

In Matthew 23:4, Jesus states the religious and self-righteous, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” Although we should not be astonished that this is happening today, it is and within the modern-day churches. Leaders and laymen alike set standards of many kinds fraught with condemnation and guilt. So it is with the topic of divorce. It is a raw and misinterpreted area where many refuse to extend mercy and grace, yet all the while they withhold their own iniquities and sin. This book is for anyone single, married, or divorced; currently considering marriage or divorce; or anyone who is happily married or single but may one day consider marriage or divorce. In one sentence, it’s for anyone who desires earnestly to be in the center of God’s will in regards to their present or future mate.

I pray for God’s people to become enlightened in the arena of marriage and divorce so that we can all be free right where we are. There are far too many unholy marriages we attempt to save, and too many holy marriages we are too quick to dissolve. Without a shadow of doubt, there are way too many single people preparing to one day enter marriage and haven’t a clue as to what God has ordained marriage to be, what they are to take into marriage, or what they should expect from marriage. In no way do I claim to know everything, but what I do know, I believe is worth exploring. May Yahweh, our Great God, enlighten us all so that we may better serve, honor and glorify Him!

Foreword

Once in a while you meet someone who can only be described as a person of the utmost integrity and rock solid. The one person that you know if you ask them a question they’re not going to give you an opinionated response but an answer only found by studying and searching out the unadulterated Word of God. Alexys V. Wolf has ‘studied and certainly showed herself approved as a workman that need not be ashamed’.

When Alexys first asked me to write a foreword for another one of her books, first and foremost, I was very excited to be able to read yet another of her manuscripts to be able to dive into her findings and explorations of the heart and Word of God. When she told me the title of “Marriage, Divorce and Restoration,” it was then I felt completely unqualified. Throughout the whole manuscript I never doubted I should be reading the book and learning from her knowledge and candid openness and honesty about her own life and “nightmares” and her depth of truth found in Scripture. You see, I’ve been going through my own outlandish point in time. My own divorce just finalized early 2012. As I read on, I came across something Alexys said that literally summed up my very thoughts. As I determined in my fleshly man to be strong, I was still “nothing more than weakness veiled.”

Don’t wait to be going through a divorce or after the fact to read this book, but pass it on to newlyweds. In fact give it to your single friends. We have to understand His word in regards to all aspects of marriage, grasp the magnitude of the marriage covenant; comprehend and value the vows we so eagerly speak with no understanding or regard thereof. It truly doesn’t matter if we agree with divorce or marriage. Alexys, as always, explores and digs deeply into the Scriptures. You will be challenged in your opinions, beliefs and theologies you’ve created with half truths. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge; marriages are destroyed and, more so, restoration is aborted out lack of knowledge – knowledge of His word and His will.

If you’re like I, you’re already thinking of the Scripture where it declares “God hates divorce” and thinking it shouldn’t take place, regardless. You can’t hate something if you haven’t experienced it. God has experienced it firsthand. Yes, He hates it the same as He hates to see a lot of things. Therefore He can also get you through it. You have not surprised Him. There is a reason why we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant.

Many write on marriage based on opinion, unlived realities, and not looking into intended meanings of Scriptures; however, few dare to seek out the truth of the Word regardless of their own beliefs and relive their own nightmares laying it out so that others may live wholly in certainty and learn from His intended Truths. If only our commitment would first be to Him and seeking His will for our lives instead of allowing ourselves to get caught up in the emotions of marriage or a relationship, our commitment would be first to Truth despite what it might mean for us. Imagine the lives and relationships we could then have.

Today is the day to put down our cultivated half-truths, religiosity, legalism, judgments and closed-mindedness. Hear what the Spirit is truly saying. You’re reading this for a reason. Maybe it’s just so you don’t wrongfully pass judgment on the “Christian family” next door. Maybe it’s to see into yourself to avoid a catastrophic relationship altogether or to give you the strength and assurance to break free from your nightmare with no condemnation. This one thing I know for sure – His Word always gives life. It is a plumb line upon which we can measure every decision. However, the key is understanding and knowing with accuracy what His Word is. We need to give honor where honor is due and truly appreciate God’s ambassadors such as Alexys V. Wolf who won’t settle for misinformation or lack of understanding. Those that insist on knowing what His word really states, setting people free and changing lives.

Thank you, Alexys, for yet another powerful journey into God’s Truth, His will and His intent. ~ Carrie S. King, Ontario, Canada

Philadelphia: A Kingdom Call to Brotherly Love

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Chapter 19: Problems and Resolutions

“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness (Hebrews 5:1-2, NAS).” 

I have narrowed it down to four main problematic areas within the body of Christ concerning love: 

  1. Lacking love for God which would provide surrender
  2. Lacking love for self which would produce growth
  3. Lacking love for the brethren which would produce unity
  4. Lacking love for unbelievers which would produce transformation

The thing which stands out the most about Hebrews 5 is love. Where there are priests, they are for the sake of and help for the people. These appointed priests are to deal gently with those who don’t yet fully understand God’s Word. The priests, post-resurrection, are anyone who is hidden in Christ, not just those with a title. We, men and women of God, are a priest because the Priest lives within each of us.

As for problem #1, above all else, those who make a profession of faith fail to understand surrender, total submission to the King. Loving God is not merely hating Satan. Surrender can only come from total immersion into another being. We can’t truly submit ourselves to someone until we love them through and through. Falling in love with God eludes most. This is primarily due to insufficient teaching from the elders surrounding us. One generation after another, we become weakened in the area of loving God. As a result, each new generation wanes in their love and devotion to God. We first must comprehend we are to fear God. Through such fear, love blossoms. No fear, no love, no surrender.

Problems  number 2 & 3 go hand in hand. If God’s people would become aware of the fact we are priests under the headship of the High Priest, Christ, then we would begin an entirely different journey. We would allow ourselves to yield spirit, soul and body to the One True God. That would spring forth being able to more readily love ourselves because we would know we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Once we recognize we are not to loathe ourselves, our appreciation for the life God has granted would allow room to love others as we love ourselves; not with a vain love, but a brotherly, unconditional love. With such love, unity would prosper.

Once we resolved issues 1-3, we would not be so short with the ignorant as so many of us are. We would not be quick to pass judgment on others who don’t comprehend things as do we. We would be far less prone to gossip about sister-grumpy-pants or brother-too-slow and much more apt to function in patience, kindness, longsuffering, and more. Once we achieve the first three hurdles, we will then be positioned so as to love the unbelievers who mock, scorn and hate people of God. In this, problem #4 is also resolved. We would witness more transformations from the world into the Kingdom of God.

To hate a fellow servant of God is to hate ourselves. We desperately need to fall in love with God so as to cease the self-loathing which will stem into falling in love with the Body of Christ and the human race at large. Love, not as the world views “falling in love” as it relates to sex, but rather a falling in love with mankind as God loves us.

Fitted and Held Together:

Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all…as a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here  and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Ephesians 4:1-6, 14-16).

***

How strong is your curtain rod of love? How deep is your Philadelphia? How earnestly are you in love with your fellow bondservant of the Most High? How far are you willing to “give whenever asked” as Christ directs? How forgiving, merciful, kind, magnanimous, gentle, benevolent, and selfless are you?

This is not for me to judge but to cause you to judge yourself. 1 Corinthians 11:31 says, “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” I encourage you to judge yourself with righteous judgment, not with pride or self-abasement. Be honest, repent if necessary and go and sin no more. Be a cheerful giver; one who desires to be so driven by the supernatural love of God you can’t help but give.

Philadelphia will cause you to stop caring about being used by people. It will stir in you such a giving spirit you can’t be used, per se; you’ll be too busy giving freely. After all, if you’re giving your all, there’s no opportunity to be “used” by anyone. In the Kingdom of God, Philadelphia is a pre-requisite – it is not an option. May the Lord bless you with such profound love you will go out making disciples of many nations through the love of Yahweh.

Philadelphia: A Kingdom Call to Brotherly Love

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Chapter 18: The Curtain Rod of Love

In 1 John 2:18-19 which closed chapter seventeen, many professed to be of Christ, yet they were liars. Remember I John 3:11-12: “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.” Also, recall I John 4:8 which proclaims emphatically, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Let me try to explain this simply. Many profess Christ, yet do not love. We witness this often, but not exclusively or in every case, in people who can quote Scripture, go knocking on doors, preach, pray, teach, and proclaim loudly they are followers of Christ. In these scenarios, their actions do not back their testimony. This ilk is contradictory in nature as they are quickly angered when someone disagrees with them, they walk away from people who don’t align the moment they believe they should and they are impatient, unkind, mocking of others they deem “less than” themselves, gossips, slanderers, faithless and even murders.

I mention murderers because clearly the Word reads that he who hates his brother is a murderer. All these are characteristics of a person lacking God’s supernatural love. Every good thing of God hangs on love, just as curtains hang from a rod: without the rod, the curtains cannot stand. With the rod, on the other hand, the curtains, shades and attachments hang effortlessly in harmony. Without love, peace, patience, kindness, and so on, we have no base of operation; no stabilizing rod which manages its offshoots. Without the rod of love, all else falls to the ground as waste.

When a person is in Christ, love will manifest; it’s inevitable. If it does not, God is not present (I John 4:9). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” I John 4:11 states with great assurance. I remember having a conversation with my husband years ago where I made the comment, “I am so in love with people.” He laughed and replied, “How ironic since you used to hate people!” He was so right. Even when I began to really walk with God, I still had disdain for the human race, namely Christians who thought themselves better than everyone else.

For example, at the time of that conversation, I had been in prison ministry quite some time; I loved those women and was very patient with them. Then I had the opportunity to teach in a Sunday school class. The people who had been Christians a long time didn’t seem to want to grow. I, to my surprise, became very impatient with them. In my heart, I wanted them to be set free from the baggage of life, but I displayed impatience and a ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that, though I had come a long way in love, I still had prejudice (hatred) of which I needed to shed myself. And so I did. Because of love, when sin is revealed to me, I immediately deal with the issue. I don’t ever want to be like Satan; I want to be like Christ. That may sound extreme but, when we get down to the brass tacks, this is what is ‘of God’ and what is ‘of Satan.’ With that insight, life is simplified and it becomes much easier to rid self of the things not of God. By “things,” I am referring to attitudes of the heart as well as physical items which distract from a Kingdom mindset.

The more I mature in Christ, and it is an endless process, the more I see humans as does Christ. I see them as someone who has been hurt and damaged somewhere, someway, by someone or something. By seeing them through God’s eye (single vision), I now find it difficult to criticize or ignore them. Where there was a time when my flesh would thoroughly enjoy criticizing someone in my mind, now I can’t even begin to do it. Even with fellow Christians who reject this way of thinking, I still love them. Because of the love of Christ, I find it strangely simple to disagree with my fellow brethren and still be unified. That’s what all of this is about: learning to be unified despite our differences. The love of God exclusively can accomplish this otherwise daunting task.

It should go without needing to be said, but we do not unify with those of the world; rather we are still to love them. I cannot stress enough that it is the love factor which will change a heart, not how many Scriptures we quote or by walking away from them in condemnation. Shaming someone does not draw them to Christ; it merely pushes them further and further into darkness.

My mom has a friend who read my first book, What was God Thinking: Why Adam had to Die. The woman, a professing Christian, told my mom that she so disagreed with my thinking that, if she knew me, she would stop speaking to me. Oddly, this same woman’s life is in shambles. It’s devastating to the body of Christ as well as the lost how the most staunch, religious people seem to have the most problems absent of resolve or peace. Again, it was the devoutly religious that hung Jesus to the cross. Be wary of the religious; they generally do not have an ear or heart for truth.

Encouragement for Parents of Chronically Ill Children

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Question #4: Being a primary care giver of a chronically ill child is difficult on a marriage because I now have separate rolls and it can be very lonely. What do I do?

Yes, indeed, this is a common problem in marriages with anyone caring for a chronically ill, handicapped, or otherwise disabled child. We can become so consumed with caring for the child that we completely neglect our marriage. Speaking for myself, I had to purpose to make time with Michael, not only intimately as in “time alone,” but in allowing him to help. Eeeekkk! When he helped, I generally didn’t like the way he did it (just being honest here). One time Sophia had a long stay at the hospital two hours away and Michael took off work to come with us. Generally, when she was admitted, he didn’t come with us because he was always working and could not take time off. This became intensely annoying and I don’t often get irritated with him. I couldn’t figure out why I was so annoyed as I usually appreciate any time with him. I discovered quickly that I didn’t like him having any say in my interaction with the doctors, mainly because I had all the information needed and could spit it out in my sleep. When he jumped in, he didn’t know and would have to think hard to answer and, as you would conclude, still had to look to me for the appropriate response. This definitely rubbed me the wrong way and Sophia too.

Unfortunately, whoever is doing all the caring tends to get in such a routine that, when our spouse tries to help, it’s more frustrating than helpful as it interferes with the status quo and overall flow of things. Over time, I learned to let him help with Sophia even when he was slower to the draw than I because:

  1. He needed to be an active participant
  2. I needed a break from the daily pressures
  3. It allowed us to bond over the situation instead of being pulled apart

I’m sure there are other valid reasons, but these are the top three. We as women (sometimes men too) tend to be so focused on helping our child that we lose all sight of helping our marriage. We can be, at times, controlling. I’m sure it isn’t you, but it was definitely me. It wasn’t that I needed to control for the sake of control, it was because I knew I had everything down to a science and could do it faster and better than he. However, if you want to maintain or regain a healthy marriage, you must, of necessity, allow your husband to take the lead even when you may have to secretly go behind them and do it correctly. I have found that caring for Sophia jointly was far more productive and easier than going it alone simply because “I do it better.” Sophia also had to learn to allow him to do things for her because she knew I did it all so effortlessly. Letting Michael take the reins from time to time strengthened our marriage and it swept away the loneliness. Truly, working together, even though I still do the lion’s share of the caring, helped in the area of not feeling so alone and altogether by myself in this quest to aid my child.

After all, we must keep in the forefront of our minds and hearts that we entered into covenant with our husband, not our children. If we don’t do whatever is necessary to strengthen our marriage, everyone involved will inevitably lose in the process of trying to gain something else (a healthy child). The more we as followers of Christ begin to gain knowledge and understanding of “covenant,” we will be better equipped to be strong in our marriages all the while caring for our child.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

Philadelphia: A Kingdom Call to Brotherly Love

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Chapter 17: Falling in Love with the Human Race

So, those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:12-14).

Whatever we as Christ-followers do, whether good or bad, we represent Christ; unfortunately we do not always present God in our actions. When we do not conduct ourselves in love, we are conveying to people that God is unloving. When we operate with impatience, we are saying God is not patient. We need to become very aware of how we come across to others so that we do not give Christ a bad name. Perception is reality and it is, indeed, God’s name on the line, not our own.

I was speaking the other day to a dear friend who is not a Christian. He commented to me that he has been tossed aside by many “Christians” when they felt like he was a waste of their time; meaning, when he did not convert to Christianity, they walked away from him. That is one of the saddest things I have ever heard, yet I hear and see it all the time. In my past, I too have been guilty of this as well. It is unfortunate that Christians, unknowingly, push people away from Christ. That is not their intention, I’m certain, but it happens all the same.

We need to begin to fall in love with the human race just as Christ Himself is in love with us. Once we begin this process, ministry and witnessing will come with much greater ease. We will realize that the work of getting people to come to Christ is not our burden, it is God’s. Only God can change a heart; it is His completed work extended through His people.

Our part, contrarily, is to walk in a genuine love for people no matter from whence they come or their external appearance; no matter if they come into the Kingdom of Christ or not. Our job, as it were, is to walk in supernatural love. It is love which will woo them to Christ, not browbeating them and condemning them for not believing when and how we think they should. We never know when the moment will come where someone will admit that Jesus is real, valid and vital. Who are we to say, “You’re taking too long. I’m done with you”? In fact, if we are in tune with Holy Spirit as we ought, God will instruct us as to when and if we are to part ways with someone.

We Christians seem to be on a mission to convert people instead of on a mission to love people. Love will usher conversion, not our attempts to persuade them by force. I recognize most mainstream Christians have not been taught how to love with the supernatural love of Christ. Love is certainly a choice and it is something that must be taught through the discipline, instruction of and surrender to Holy Spirit. Children love naturally and automatically, they do not need to be taught. Nevertheless, as children begin to grow, love does not come so readily.

We become a people wounded and bruised by the world in which we live. Because of this, even though we become a born-again believer, we must learn how love looks through the perspective of God instead of the eyes of the world. The world’s love is conditional and superficial; it’s the kind we see in movies and hear in songs. It comes and goes like the wind. The world’s love is fluid, God’s is concrete.

I John 2:6 (NAS) states, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” That is a powerful statement! Jesus walked in love whether He was correcting, healing, encouraging, serving, teaching or being crucified for sins He did not commit. Jesus walked in supernatural love from Heaven. As mentioned earlier, even Jesus’ correction was filled with love, for He purposed to help someone come out of sin, not to make them feel guilty and condemned.

God’s supreme supernatural love is forever, enduring, unconditional, steadfast – it never changes. “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us: but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us,” 1 John 2:18-19 tells us. Without Philadelphia, brotherly love, we have nothing and are nothing in God’s sight. We will all be known by our love.

 

Encouragement for Parents of Chronically Ill Children

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Question #3: Financially, having a chronically ill child is a burden and, when I have so many appointments and need to be with my child, I leave my job to care for a child. How do I deal with feeling like I am not contributing to the financial need as I struggle?

This is a tough one for anyone dealing with the financial burden of a chronically ill child. Personally, we would have gone bankrupt many times over had it not been for the grace of God moving through family and friends. Not only was Sophia ill ten years, I too had to deal with my own physical illnesses centering around autoimmune disease, which of course compounded the financial dilemma. Even when I wanted to work (and I love working!), it was out of the question. For one thing, I could not leave Sophia, and the second thing, I could not have done the work even if I had someone to care for her needs and get her to and from doctors’ appointments. It is a huge strain feeling as though you have nothing to contribute.

My solace and resolve with the matter came when I finally released the burden to the Lord. It sounds like a trite thing to say as though “Oh, just give it to God” is an easy thing to do. It is, in fact, not. It isn’t a matter of faith, or at least it wasn’t for me. Rather, it was feeling like I was utterly useless in the arena of contributing to the welfare of the family. Michael was left working ridiculous hours in the attempt to make ends meet. I would be embarrassed that family and friends, of necessity, would have to pitch in to help financially. That alone was disturbing to me, not that we had to accept charity as I’m all for charity, but that we had to receive so much of it. Once I looked at things differently, I was at peace.

I had to stop looking at things as, “Poor Michael, he’s so put upon with the burden of a sickly child and wife who cannot contribute.” I began to see through the single vision of God. I allowed Him to help me get over myself and recognize His grace and mercy through it all. Michael didn’t feel the way I did, so why should I? I could finally see that Michael was appreciative that I would give my time to properly nurture our daughter, to forfeit making more money for the purpose of meeting our child’s needs. When people would give to us, it wasn’t because they felt obligated, but because they love us so much that they willingly gave of their own so that we would not do without. This is biblical! I had to completely alter my fleshly way of seeing so as to become awakened to a heavenly perspective. God’s hand has been upon us since the beginning. I had to learn to value my role in taking care of our family. Michael was fine with dealing with the financial end while I stayed home taking care of everything else.

A mother, or in some cases, a father, grandparent, or other caregiver, must allow themselves to see their own worth and value their contribution to the family unit instead of feeling “less than” simply because they do not directly contribute financially. It’s all about our vision.  It’s all about perspective and perception. Just because we see it one way does not make us accurate in our limited assessment. We must get over ourselves, get over feeling sorry for ourselves as though we don’t matter or that we are not as valuable to the family as the financial contributor. It’s actually very self-centered, prideful in fact, to feel sorry for ourselves and feel less than worthy. If we are doing what we need for our child, we are doing our part. In fact, we are freeing the non-primary-caregiver to go and make money so that they are not burdened with what we do.

Hebrews 13:3-6 reads, “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them. And those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body…make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’” Look at it this way in accordance to Hebrews 13: your child is, in a sense, the prisoner in his or her own body. They are ill-treated by their illness. In this, we must be free from the love of money so that we can join them in their imprisonment so as to aid them. It is more important to help than to make money. “Do not be afraid,” is our direct instruction, because the Lord has not abandoned us. Our rest and our peace is in the hand of the Lord.

Philadelphia: A Kingdom Call to Brotherly Love

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Chapter 16: What Are You Giving?

Are we emitting a scent of love or hatred, kindness or brutality, gentleness or harshness, forgiveness or grudges, mercy or mercilessness, grace or guilt, honor or guile? If we do not love our brother, stranger, family and enemy, we are not of God. We are the only people who get to choose what we permeate toward a person or group of people. We are the only ones who can determine our eternal fate; after all, God has given us free will. Neither God, Satan, nor our offenders can set our destination; that’s all on us. God has laid an unshakable foundation for us and we choose what structure we build upon it.

Yahweh has withheld nothing from us. All tools are at our disposal so as to allow us the opportunity to make good choices despite the climate. What we decide to do with His instructions, commands, warnings, armor, and blessings is all on us. Choose wisely. If we’ve acted foolishly, change course. Give mercy to the merciless, forgiveness to the unforgivable, grace to the graceless, love the hateful, and grant gentleness to the harsh. God has a way of moving in the hearts of the worst of people. Allow His grace to be sufficient.

Have we diligently and regularly asked ourselves, “What am I giving?” Asking ourselves questions on a consistent basis and answering ourselves honestly will allow us to realign when needed. We tend to excuse bad behavior with “it’s just this one thing”. Unfortunately, that “one thing” becomes “two things” and, inevitably, those one or two issues invariably multiply becoming a mountain of disaster. Resentment, bitterness, guile, anger, vengeance, hatred, impatience, unkindness, and so much more of this ilk are not what is of God. These are not good traits and they will destroy many in the end if we do not purposefully eject them from our inner man. What are you giving?

***

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love (I John 4:7-8, NAS).”

The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes (I John 2:10-11, NAS).”

“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8, NAS).”

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:12-14 (NAS).”

“The godless in heart harbor resentment…(Job 36:21, NAS).”

“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart (Matthew 18:21-35, NAS).”

“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation (I Thessalonians 5:8, NAS).”

“…show them the proof of your love…(II Corinthians 8:24, NAS).