Tough Relationships


“…Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14.


We were created to be in relationships. First and foremost, with God, then with others. However, relationships are not always easy. At times we may find ourselves in messy situations where it is difficult to navigate what our next step should be. It is important to remember that our goal is to glorify God with our words and actions despite the situation. There may be times where we find ourselves going round and round with the same arguments, which can cause discouragement and make us want to give up. But before giving up, I have learned to step back and take a “time out” in silence. When you remove yourself from a heated conversation, you prevent yourself from saying something in anger that you shouldn’t have said. Sitting quietly with Jesus, away from the emotions and frustration, is many times just what we need to untangle the mess.

During the time of silence at Jesus’s feet, we can ask God for wisdom and for clarity to understand the situation. We can humble ourselves and ask for God to show us our part in the problem, and for direction on our next action. Understanding that each person is in different seasons of life and spiritual growth can help produce patience and gentleness as we choose how to speak to them. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that, “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I can tell you from experience that whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was lying! Words can leave invisible wounds that are hard to heal. Therefore, it is important to choose our words wisely as we seek to solve conflict.

After spending this time with God, we can be sure that He is in control, and he will make the solution clear. When we make every effort to handle conflict well, it takes the pressure off of having to make everything turn out well. Many relationships grow stronger through times of conflict, as they learn to understand and appreciate the differences. Other relationships, however, will come to an end. The only person we can control is ourselves, so as long as we are acting in love and seeking God’s guidance, we can leave the outcome up to Him. We can rest knowing that God is working good things in us and through us.

Suggested prayer: Lord, during difficult situations I ask that you help me remember to step back and spend some quiet time with you. Help my words and actions be glorifying to you and help me trust you with the outcome. Replace my anxiety with your peace and give me wisdom in all things. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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Serving God – Serving Others

Luke 10:2

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Today I want to take a look at serving God and serving others. In the life of most churches – there is a sad statement that is common knowledge in the church world! It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times – this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the workload. At times – it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often – it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing else (online or in person)? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – Bible studies – etc. – and not giving anything back? In essence – are we a taker without being a giver? Do we take more than we give?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something – what you put into it. I wonder what our church would look like if everyone associated with our church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of our church? What if everyone in our church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right?

Here are some ideas and suggestions. What if everyone who came to worship at a particular church personally invited others – often – even weekly – to attend with them? What if those who used a particular ministry – children – youth – Bible studies – Small Groups – worship – counseling services – etc. – offered to help in another area of the church’s ministry? The 20% would be excited – even tickled – that others were entering the harvest field with them!

Did we know that most all of the ministries in our church could use more help? What would it look like if 80% of the people were involved in the ministry of the church? What if we all helped in some capacity – making the load lighter for others and enabling us to do more for Jesus? Although 20% of the people do 80% of the work – they cannot do that 80% well – because they are so stretched. I would imagine – if 80% were involved in doing the labor of the Lord at our church – the amount of work and the quality of the work would increase and improve. It just makes sense! Right?

So – where are we helping our church? Do we feel like we just don’t have the time to help? Do we feel we just don’t have the abilities to help? If these fit us – what about being a generous giver so that we might hire others to do what we feel we don’t have the time or abilities to do?

Did you know that a tithe of a $40,000 annual family income is $4,000 or about $77 a week in offering? Of course – a tithe on a family income of $80,000 would be $8,000 or about $154 a week in offering. You can easily figure out your tithe. Just saying. (By the way – we are all called to tithe and even sacrificially offer to God and we are all called to serve in some capacity.)

Luke 10:2 – He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Today – I ask the Lord to increase the workers at our church – to enable us to harvest the fields around our church for Jesus! Will others step up and say Lord – here am I – use me? We are in the first month of a new year. Where is God calling us to serve? We are called to go out into the mission or harvest fields – around us – to send out people to serve Christ. This is not always outside the church – but often inside as well. What gifts has God given us to be used to His glory? If you would like to serve but can’t find a place – contact me please. We can find a place for you to work in the harvest fields for sure! Serving Jesus is what we are all called to do!

What about helping us start the contemporary worship service? We need musicians – singers – ushers – sound and computer techs – greeters – prayer warriors and more. How can you serve Jesus and our church as we begin this new ministry?

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.


Sing to One Another

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19 
Paul wrote two parallel verses about the use of songs and hymns for the edification of believers: Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. In Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” But in Colossians, he used the stronger word “admonish”—“admonishing one another.” “Speaking” in Ephesians, but “admonishing” in Colossians. One thing is the same in both: “one another.” There is great power in spiritual hymns and songs that contain biblical truth. When we sing (speak) together and give attention to the words, they can instruct and admonish us just as they can when we read them in the Bible or biblically-based books.
This is yet another reason to be a singer of spiritual songs, especially when worshiping with others. Let your heart follow the words and be shaped by them.

A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing.
Augustus M. Toplady

  • David Jeremiah

Joseph – Impacting Others

by Claude Mariottini

Joseph’s experience in the house of Potiphar was both rewarding and disappointing. His experience was rewarding because he was able to make an impact on the life of Potiphar, to such an extent, that Potiphar put Joseph in charge of all he had. In addition, Potiphar could see that Joseph was a man dedicated to […]

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The Grammar of Love

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 
Sometimes Greek grammar can illuminate our responsibilities as Christians—as in 1 John 4:11. When the Greek word “if” is followed by a certain kind of verb form (in this case, “loved us”), the “if” condition is assumed to be true. So we could translate the verse, “If God so loved us”—and indeed, He did—then we also ought to love one another in the same way. “So loved us” forces the question, How did God love us? The answer is found in the preceding verse 10: He sent His Son into the world to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Putting verses 10-11 together, we see our responsibility. God loved us sacrificially. If God loved us sacrificially—and indeed, He did—then we also ought to love one another sacrificially. Our responsibility, then, is to love one another the same way God has loved us. God sacrificed His Son to love us—what have we sacrificed to love others? Have we sacrificed anger, pride, resentment, material goods, time, self-interest?

Greek grammar makes our responsibility clear. Since God sacrificed for us—and indeed He did—we ought to sacrificially love others as well.

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. 
Isaac Watts, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”


  • David Jeremiah

5 Reminders About Making Good Pastoral Care Visits

The Importance of Fellowship

by raymcdonald

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. A men’s ministry I was blessed to work with in years gone by used a very similar passage as their base Scripture – Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. […]

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The Doctrine of Followship: We Need to Do More Than Believe Jesus…We Need to Follow Him

by Roland Wrinkle

Well-Worn Sandals

Apparently, we have a peripatetic savior…and not a cross-legged guru on a hill. In the three short years narrated by the gospels, Jesus of Nazareth walked well over 3,000 miles. He was a man on the move. And he was a man of imminency and intention. Remember: “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9.51) and Mark’s notorious use of “immediately” (euthys or eutheos) (Mark uses this word more times, incidentally, than any other gospel account from his more long-winded brethren.)

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Balancing Liberty in Christ with Brotherly Love

By Frank King 

Salvation in Christ delivers us from the bondage of legalism. We are not saved by rules of dos and don’ts, but we are saved by grace through faith in what Christ did on the cross for us.

I often say that the book of Leviticus is perhaps my least liked book in the Bible. It’s got all kinds of rituals, sin offerings, trespass offerings, offerings for when you touch something that’s unclean, etc. On the other hand, when we read the book of Leviticus as a Christian, you will appreciate even more the fact that Christ has delivered us from the legalism of the Law.

Actually, our liberty in Christ is two-fold. One, we are liberated from the legalism of the Law. And two, we are liberated from the bondage of sin. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

We must be careful, however, not to become lifted up about our liberty in Christ. For not everything that’s lawful is expedient (1 Cor. 10:23). In other words, something may be lawful or permissible but not in the best interest of the gospel. Accordingly, sometimes, brotherly love is far more important than the expression our liberty in Christ.

To drive this point home, Apostle Paul uses a simple example involving two divergent views on the foods we eat. He writes:

“I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Romans 14:14, NASB).

Liberty in Christ vs Brotherly Love

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Imagine If, We Loved Like Jesus (“Shrunk Sermon” on 1st John 2:7-11)

Imagine if, Cain had walked a path of love. Imagine if Cain had loved Abel instead of hating him. Imagine how things would have been different, for Abel, for Cain, and for Adam and Eve.

Imagine if, the people of Noah’s day had walked a path of love. They were known for their violence and that violence led to the flood. Imagine if they had love for each other instead of hatred. Imagine how things would have turned out different.

Imagine if, Pharaoh had walked a path of love, loving the Hebrew people instead of making them slaves. Imagine how the exodus story may have turned out differently.

Imagine if, the inhabitants of the promised land had walked a path of love. They were in the habit of sacrificing their children among other atrocities. Imagine if they had more love for their children than their false gods.

Imagine if, the people of God in the Old Testament had walked the path of love, loving God and each other. They were called to be a light shining in darkness. Imagine if they had kept God’s commandments and had taken care of the poor, sought justice for the oppressed, and had refrained from following the practices of the former inhabitants, like worshipping other gods by sacrificing their children. Imagine how things would have have turned out differently in so many ways including the avoidance of the consequence of their behaviour, the fall of Jerusalem and the exile.

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