Paul misses his friends.

by Don Merrit

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and […]

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Who Is My Neighbor?

by ThePreachersWord

“Few parables challenge us more than this simple story, commonly known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan,” opined Dennis Allan in yesterday’s Florida College Lectures.

This parable basis was Jesus’ response to a Jewish religious leader who was testing Jesus and trying to trap him.

“What shall I do to inherit eternal life? he questioned Read more of this post

Christian Relationships

In this section, Paul gives insight to how Christians should behave in the major personal relationships of daily life.  In 3:18-19, he speaks of husbands and wives, in 3:20-21 he speaks of parents and children, and from 3:22-4:1, masters and slaves, or today we would say employers and employees.  If you think about it, we spend most of our waking lives in one of these relationships, at least most of us do.

We can easily sum up all of these relationships by saying that in each, we are to put others ahead of ourselves. This is certainly true in Paul’s instructions to husbands and wives, even though he uses language in verse 18 that isn’t modern.  That wives should put their husbands first may not sound contemporary, but husbands are also to put their wives first.  This might be a little clearer in the parallel passage in Ephesians 5:22-33.

The same thing is true of the relationship between parents and children.  Both are to put the other first, giving honor where honor is due and giving love and nurture where they are due.  In the case of master and slave, or employer and employees, we have again the idea that both are to consider the other, with workers doing their very best always “as working for the Lord” and the boss is told to always do what is fair and right “because you know that you have a Master in heaven.”

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Unity in Christ

Colossians 3: 5-14

In the last section, we saw Paul tell us how to live our new lives, by setting our hearts and minds on the things that are above, and not on the things of this world.  In this section, he expands on this theme by listing items which are of the old life, and certain items that are of the new life in Christ.  In verses 5-10a we get a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we are to “put to death” in our lives; these are all from our “old selves” and they include… sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry. He says we must rid ourselves of things like anger, rage, malice, slander, lies and filthy language. I’m quite sure that there is no need for me to elaborate on these things, other than to say that when our attention is drawn to any of them, it’s time to set our minds on higher things.

Verses 10 and 11 move in transition to the next part by pointing out that we are to move away from those old practices into a new way of living where there is no Jew, no Greek, nor circumcised or uncircumcised… and no other social or ethnic distinctions: only Christ. Verse 12 provides a summing up and conclusion in an interesting way:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


Be an Influencer

Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 

The new era of social networking has given an old word a new meaning: influencer. Traditionally, an influencer was someone who influenced others. That’s the new use of the word as well, but in a new context: social media platforms. Influencers are mostly young people who can sway lifestyle trends by their endorsements, videos, product placements, brands, and appearances. Influencing is a neutral idea—it all depends on the goal of the influence.

The apostle Paul seems to have thought of Christians as influencers. In his description of the Church as the Body of Christ, he viewed all Christians as being connected, as having influence on others. Indeed, 33 times in his epistles (63 times in all the epistles), the phrase “one another” occurs. The New Testament expects believers to (1) be in proximity with one another and (2) to stimulate and influence one another to become spiritually mature. Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts Christians to meet together to “stir up love and good works.”

Are you living in close proximity to other Christians? It’s the only way we can influence one another to strive for spiritual maturity and Christlikeness.

The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world next to the power of God. 
Blaise Pascal

from David Jeremiah

Quotes (From Our New Book) to Help You Heal in Your Relationships

In moments of unexpected relationship stress and frustration, an uplifting reminder can make all the difference in your mindset. And that’s exactly why I’m sharing the quotes below—tiny excerpts from our NEW BOOK that just hit store shelves today, “1,000 Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships”. These quotes collectively serve as a healthy point of reference for life’s inevitable interpersonal disappointments. Truth be told, Marc and I personally reference them on a regular basis to bring perspective, shift our mindset, and cope with the unexpected conflicts we can’t control. And although this practice is indeed a personal one, it’s also been vetted by its extensive use in hundreds of successful one-on-one (and two-on-one) coaching sessions that Marc and I have administered with our course students and coaching clients over the years. Perhaps they will help you too.

1. If you don’t allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your present and future through that same dirty lens, and nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. Realize this! What you do now matters more than what happened yesterday.

2. Always be kinder than necessary. What goes around comes around. No one has ever made themselves strong by showing how small someone else is. Everyone you meet is learning something, is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something. Live by this! Be extra kind today.

3. Forgive yourself for the bad decisions you made, for the times you lacked clarity, for the choices that hurt others and yourself. Forgive yourself for being young and reckless. These are all vital lessons. And what matters most right now is your willingness to learn and grow from them.

4. Some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay detached and broken. Take a deep breath. Inner peace begins the moment you challenge your attachments and decide to not let them control your emotions.

5. Be careful not to dehumanize people you disagree with. In our self-righteousness, we can easily become the very things we dislike in others.

6. Being kind to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake. It means you’re mature enough to control your actions, and strong enough to calm your emotions.

7. People tend to be more thoughtful and kind when they have found a little happiness and peace of mind. And this speaks volumes about the people we meet who aren’t very thoughtful and kind to us. Sad, but true. So let’s just wish them well today, and be on our way.

And of course, if you’re struggling with any of these points, know that you are not alone. We are all in this together. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives and relationships on track. This is precisely why Marc and I wrote our new book, “1,000 Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships”. It’s filled with concise guidance on how to do just that. With actionable steps for bouncing back from tough times in your relationships and getting back on the road to happiness and success, “1,000 Little Habits” is a guide to spark sustainable positive change. Sharing never-before-published stories and strategies, the book shows how to harness the power of boundaries, calmness, kindness, and more to shift our perspective—and our actions—as we interact with the people around us.

Please order it today on the book’s birthday (this helps us tremendously), reply to this email, copy and paste your receipt information (the finalized order details from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you choose to order the book), and then send it to me. Marc and I have prepared two exclusive bonuses for all first-day orders: a 3-week live streaming book club (via Zoom) and a “daily reminders” book (I guarantee you’ll find immense value in these bonuses).

Tap the image below to check it out and pre-order on Amazon:

One Another Texts: Care for One Another


The assembly must edify one another

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29)

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another…pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 15)

These verses teach that we are to build each other up. The Greek word for edify (oikodomé) means “to build.” It’s the same word for building a house. We build up the house – the assembly – through mutual edification.

The assembly is the place where you should be finding your encouragement and comfort, because the assembly is your spiritual family, your spiritual and heavenly house. Just as you share things with your families at home and you help one another, so it is to be in the assembly.

How do we edify one another? Edification can occur in many ways. It includes giving thanks to someone for things they do for the church. It includes complimenting each other, praising someone’s good works, or encouraging people in specific callings they have. Words like that impart grace. They let the person know that you care and that they are making a difference. It is important in any family unit to know that you are a valued member – no less than in the church family! Find ways to thank and compliment your assembly-members.

Edification includes lifting someone up when they are in despair. Imagine that you go to worship and ask someone, “How are you?” They respond honestly: “Things haven’t been so good.” In that moment, they need to be uplifted and you have the opportunity to speak words of comfort to them. How can you do that quickly and easily?


8 “Unrecognized” Ways The Enemy Attacks . . . Which We Must Help Each Other See

The enemy we face is a subtle schemer (Eph 6:11). He certainly operates in our secrets, and he also finds victory in areas we don’t even recognize. It’s these latter areas I focus on in this post. Because we don’t always recognize these areas, we need other brothers and sisters in Christ who help us see these “unrecognized” concerns:

  1. Unrecognized unforgiveness. We sometimes are convinced we’ve forgiven someone else . . . until somebody pushes the right button that brings to the surface again all our pent-up bitterness.
  2. Unrecognized stagnation. That is, our spiritual life has been on hold for some time . . . neither hot nor cold . . . lukewarm . . . which Jesus spoke clearly against (Rev 3:16). It’s just that we’ve been stagnant for so long it’s become the accepted norm.
  3. Unrecognized self-dependence. We don’t usually recognize this problem until we face an issue we can’t resolve on our own. As long as we can fix it, though, we seldom turn to God.
  4. Unrecognized prejudice. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who said, “I just know I’m prejudiced toward others.” Many of us don’t recognize our prejudice for what it is until somebody else points it out to us.

The rest are at: