Romance & Marriage

by David Cook

R&M 01

Maybe you’re in the midst of a college romance.  Perhaps you’re twenty-something or thirty-something, regardless of your age if you’re single and desirous to find a relationship where you can be fully known and fully loved this may be worth your time to read.  It may even spare you some heart ache if you take some of this to heart.

This article was not written for wimps. If you are afraid of the “C” word (commitment) you may just as well avoid this article just like you avoid commitment in a relationship.

Then the LORD God said,

“It is not good for the man to be alone;

I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 2:18 NASB

The marriage relationship is a divine original, it was God’s idea for a man and a woman to be united in love in a covenant relationship.  Is it God’s will for you to be married?  If so, how do you know?  And how do you find your match made in heaven?

Maybe you’re in a relationship with someone you were introduced to by a friend.  Or you’re interested in someone you saw on an online dating site.  Maybe it’s someone you’ve gotten to know over time, on a mission trip or someone you sang on tour with.  Or it could be a friend who is singing as a featured artist on your new album and a spark ignites.  Maybe you started a summer romance that sent you to cloud nine and you’re wondering…is this someone I should get serious with?  Or perhaps you met a billionaire’s heir in a garage sale in answer to a prayer.  It’s hard to say, regardless sparks begin to fly and you may think you’re about to die from a romantic heart attack.  You’re falling head over heals in love.  But are you falling in love with the right person?

What happens when a good girl, who loves her momma and Jesus meets a bad boy; who is a player?

Infatuation…

People begin romantic relationships for different reasons.  Some people are marriage minded and looking for “Mr. Right” (or “Mrs. Right”).  Sometimes people know from the get-go that you’re not the person they’ll marry but think they would like to have a relationship with you until the right person arrives on the scene.  Some people are looking for a romance that quickly leads to a sexual relationship without a marriage commitment. Sometimes this is referred to as FWB — “Friends With Benefits”, a casual, no-strings-attached relationship.  The Bible refers to this as fornication and is forbidden by God. Have you ever wondered why God forbids having sex with someone unless you are married to them?

It’s important to find out if what you are looking for in a relationship is the same thing the person you are attracted to is looking for.  Have you started out a romance and thought; “Baby you’re so good for me!!”  And the further down the road you traveled together you think; “Baby you’re no good for me!!!”  I have.

How can a relationship go from “Baby you’re so good for me!” to “Baby you’re no good for me!?!”  This is just one of the reasons why it is much wiser not to get too physically involved with someone you hardly know and are very infatuated with.  It is better to pray, wait a while, spend time together in different situations and get to know someone before you commit your heart, soul and body.  Some people the more you get to know them the more you like them.  Other people the more you get to know them the more you wished you didn’t know them.

Making wrong choices in relationships are full of pain and regret.  It can leave you in a pool of your own tears and in deep depression.  God desires to protect us from the consequences of wrong choices by helping us make good choices.  Living a holy life style.  Living a pure and righteous life as a child of the light…not so easy to do in a fallen world that is morally bankrupt and spiritually dark.

Lara Landon relates in her book Beloved, “I was in the middle of tying to rid myself of a destructive relationship…Every time I made up my mind to never look back, I fell right back into it, harboring those same old feelings again.  So I begged God to break my heart and burn all of the bridges back to the feelings I wanted to let go of.” [1]

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Messiah Yeshua;

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:9-20 NASB

Paul wrote to the church of Corinth and said that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God”.  People who practice fornication or adultery will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Fornication is sexual intercourse between two singles.  Adultery is sexual intercourse with a married person.  [2]

Paul wrote that some of the believers in the church at Corinth had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” [3] These individuals had been living an unrighteous lifestyle but then they heard the gospel of Christ and turned away from their sins and put faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and they found God’s love, forgiveness and eternal life!

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:[i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  Galatians 5:16-26 NASB

Is the pleasure of having sex with a person you’re not married to worth giving up your virginity for?  Is it worth giving up your dignity for short term pleasure and the shame that eventually will follow? Is it worth giving up your eternal inheritance for?  Is sexual pleasure outside of the marriage relationship worth giving up eternal life in the kingdom of God?

Giving up you birthright for a bowl of beans is a bad trade. [4]  Don’t give up all that your Father in heaven has to offer you for the short term pleasures of sin that the Devil may try to entice you with.  I’m talking to myself here as well as anyone else who may read this.

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.  Hebrews 12:16 NASB

I Do Not Condemn You, Go And Sin No More

We read of the grace and forgiveness of Christ in the gospels;

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”  John 8:1-11 NASB

Lara Landon sings of God’s love and forgiveness in her song, “There Is Grace”.

lara-landon in nature

Lara Landon at www.LaraLandon.com

Each person has their own list of what is important to them in a relationship.  Things like physical attraction, chemistry, a great personality, a good sense of humor, shared values, hardworking but obviously each person’s list is different and may change over time.  Not only may your list of what is important to you in a relationship change over time but people change over time.

As you continue on the search for the love of your life here are some questions to consider;

Is she (or he) single?

Is she (or he) saved?  (Is she a royal?  Is she a child of the King?)

Is she (or he) sanctified?

Is she (or he) self-centered or other centered?

Is she (or he) someone who has std’s, lot’s of baggage, who has left a trail of X’s with a broken heart?

In the list above, only is she (or he) single and is she (or he) saved are clearly mandated for a believer in Christ when considering someone to marry.  Is she (or he) sanctified and living an other-centered life is written of in the scriptures.  God asks His children to live a sanctified life and to live not just for yourself but for others.  The final question just makes sense; do you want to marry someone who has std’s, lot’s of baggage, and has left a trail of broken hearts?  Do you really want to marry Elvis?  (Granted Elvis was good looking and could sing.)  But do you really want to marry a player (or a playette)?  If you do, your heart may be the next broken heart he (or she) breaks.

Sometimes opposites attract

other times its two peas in pod

who are on the same page.

 

Is she (or he) single?

“You shall not commit adultery.” 
Exodus 20:14 ESV

It is not God’s will for you to begin a relationship with a married woman (or man), this is breaking God’s law.  We read in the Torah; You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14 ESV  Sometimes a woman is separated from her husband and wants to begin new relationship with another man, even though she is married.  So guys be sure she is single! Girls be sure he is single before you begin a romance.  Sometimes men don’t wear their wedding ring and are looking for an extra marital affair.

Is she (or he) saved?  (is she or he a royal?)

It is not God’s will for a believer to marry an unbeliever.  It’s God’s will for a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to marry a believer.  The apostle Paul wrote about this to believers in the city of Corinth;

Do not be bond together with unbelievers.
For what partnership is there between righteousness and unrighteousness?
Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 

2 Corinthians 6:14 HSV

Is she (or he) a believer?  Is she living in the light of Christ Jesus?  Is she saved?

Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 NASB

Anyone who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved!  If you have never called on Jesus to forgive you of your sins and save you today is good day, now is a good time.  He can hear you when you pray!

Is she (or he) a royal?

But as many as received Him,
to them He gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name,
John 1:12 NASB

The apostle John wrote that when a person receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and believes in His name then that person is given the right to become a child of God.  That person becomes a part of the forever family of the King of the Universe  You become a member of the royal family by God’s grace and putting your faith in His Son Yeshua (Jesus).

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in the city of Corinth and gave this relationship advice;

A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 7:39-40 ESV

In this scripture Paul is clear that if widow decides to marry after the death of her spouse to be sure the person she marries is “in the Lord”.  That is be sure she marries a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rapunzel 02

Maybe you feel like Rapunzel, locked away in your tower…lonely and isolated.  You may think; “When will Mr. right ride in on his steed and rescue me?”

Is she (or he) sanctified?

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification:

that you abstain from sexual immorality;

that each one of you know how to control his own body

in holiness and honor,

1 Thessalonians 4:2-4 ESV

Paul wrote to believers in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) that it is the will of God for a believer to be sanctified.  An important aspect of sanctification is living a holy life, abstaining from sexual immorality.  So why does God ask His children to abstain from sexual immorality?

God desires to protect His children from;

Lost virginity and related shame.
Emotional scars.
Std’s (sexually transmitted diseases.)
Unwanted pregnancy and avoid temptation to have an abortion.
Guilt, remorse and depression.
A broken heart and a hardening of your heart.
Difficulty to Trust Again.
Difficult to bond after several bad relationships.

You may be in a relationship with someone who is saved, sanctified, selfless and you’re singing “Lucky One” along with Amy Gant!

Is she (or he) self-centered?

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy a young leader of a church about some of the attributes of people prior to the return of Jesus Christ coming back on the clouds;

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.    2 Timothy 3:1-7 NASB

Is she (or he) narcissistic, a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God?  Is she (or he) self-centered or other centered?  Does he exhibit living a self-centered or an other centered relationship.

The bar is set pretty high for a believer in Yeshua the Messiah;

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…  Philippians 2:3-9 NASB

The apostle Paul wrote to believers to “Do nothing from selfishness…regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Is she (or he) some someone who has std’s, lot’d of baggage, and a long line of X’s?

Has this person left a trail of broken hearts behind them?  Are they a player?  Are they offering romance and love in exchange for sexual pleasures?  Does he (or she) have std’s as a result?

How much baggage does this person have (everyone has some) from their childhood, family, friends, work and past relationships?

What about the X factor?  If this person is single and never married do they have people they dated in the past who they were sexually involved with who may be like a revolving door?  They may want to come back after they get over the anger they had for unresolved issues when they broke-up.  Or after they break-up with the person they are currently with they may want to get back with the person you are currently dating.

After a romantic breakup it’s good to hang with your girl friends (or guys with guy friends) and family to recover.  Problem is a common thought is, “I need to go out and find someone I can hookup with to boost my ego from the pain of the breakup” (regardless of who broke up with who).  Normally you feel pain, loneliness, disconnected, rejection, and a good case of the blues.  But jumping out of the frying pan into the fire is never a good idea.  Will you go out and drink a little too much and do something crazy you will deeply regret tomorrow?  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Does finding a shallow, self-absorbed person to have a quick fix sexual encounter with really fix your low self esteem?  Or will it just make matters worse?

If the person is single but divorced should they actually be trying to reconcile with their X-spouse?  Do you want to be in a relationship with someone and then find out it is God’s will for them to reconcile with their X-spouse?  If their divorce was for “irreconcilable differences” or was just “complicated” most likely they should be seeking counsel, working on their issues and attempting to reconcile with their former spouse. [5]  If their spouse committed adultery then they are free to divorce and remarry. [6]  Or if a believer in Christ (a Christian) is divorced by a non-believer (non-Christian) the scriptures said let them go. [7]  So in this case if there is a divorce allowed in the scriptures then the believer is free to marry someone new.

Finding real answers to these five questions and being honest with yourself should help you eliminate some potential pitfalls and a broken heart.  So we begin to see why it is a good idea to get to know more about someone before getting too romantically involved.

What if you fall in love someone and are contemplating marriage and then find out they are bisexual and you are heterosexual and want to marry someone who is monogamous?  Or what if you find out the person you are married to is heterosexual but you find out they want an “open marriage” and you want a monogamous marriage?  Having conversations about important moral values is important to see if you are on the same page before you marry.  Also, making observations about a persons actions and attitudes on issues may give you insight to a persons moral values (or lack of moral values).  Where there is smoke, (normally) there is fire.

This is not to say that someone who was immoral in the past cannot have a change of heart, be forgiven by God and live in a new and different way.  Consider rap artist Lecrae and the transformation of his life.  If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things fade away and all things become new.

But sometimes people backslide and struggle walking a holy lifestyle.  When someone backslides and “cheats” it breaks trust and makes building a romance and marriage extremely difficult and many times ends the relationship.

Brooke Fraser Holy Jeans

Brooke Fraser at www.BrookeFraser.com

When you hear the phrase “living a holy lifestyle” you may think of living in style wearing holy jeans like Brooke Fraser.  Brooke sings about living a holy lifestyle in her song, “Love Is Waiting”.

It is God’s will for single men and women to save their bodies for their future spouse.  If you are a virgin you have a real gift to give away to your love on your wedding night.  If you’re not a virgin, receive the grace of God and begin to live today the way God desires. Today is new day, leave yesterday behind you and move forward in faith and hope.

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
1 Thessalonians 4-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Prince on his steed 04

Prince and Rapunzel 05

rapunzel-styled-21

Prince & Rapunzel 06

Rapunzel Photos [8]

Sometimes the vow to love one another until death do us part works out.  Two people continue to be for each other and for the marriage relationship through life’s ups and downs, both the good times and the bad.  Sometimes a marriage ends in a divorce and can be painful for a husband and wife regardless of who is at fault.  People bring both their good and bad into a marriage, their strengths and weakness, their assets and liabilities.  And if they were blessed with children it is painful for the children to go through a divorce as well.  It may take everyone involved years to sort out and question their value and are they still able to give and receive love.  Sometimes a spouse dies and passes from this life into the next from cancer or a heart attack.  Sometimes this happens early in a marriage from a car accident or tour of duty in war.  Sometimes a spouse loses a spouse after twenty-five or even fifty years of a good marriage and then are grief stricken, questioning why God allowed their husband to be taken away.  And children question why God allowed their Dad or Mom to be taken away.

So there are times when we look at both sides of love, past and present, what was for better and what was for worse.  Pleasant memories and difficult ones.  What was an illusion of love and what was real love, this is not always easy to do.

It seems as early as the first crush in grade school we attempt to define too much of our worth and sense of self on the thought, “since I’m loved by someone that I and my peers respect and value; therefore I’m loved and valuable.”  Problem is, people are fickle and flawed (since the fall of mankind). [9] Selfishness motivates so much of what most us do. It is better if our foundation of self-worth comes from the One who made us, we are created in His image. [10]  And if by His grace we were chosen by Him before the foundation of the world to be His beloved children then we can know we are valued and will be loved now and forevermore. [11][12]  Our Father in heaven gave what He valued most (the life of His dear Son) to bring us back into a relationship with Him and call us His beloved. [13]

“If your definition of ‘love’ stresses affectionate feelings more than unselfish actions,
you will cripple your ability to maintain and grow strong love relationships.
On the other hand, if you stress the action of love over the feeling, you enhance and establish the feeling. That is one of the secrets of living life.” ~ Tim Keller

Maybe we need to redefine the word love. [14]

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails…   1 Corinthians 14:4-8 NASB

[1] Beloved by Lara Landon, “Let It Go” page 111;

[2] Fornication: Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fornicator  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB and “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” Galatians 5:19-21

[3] Sanctified: Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:11 NASB

[4] A bowl of beans for a birthright: Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.  Genesis 25:34 NIV

[5]  When a Christian couple divorce they should either remain single or reconcile and remarry (unless their spouse commits adultery, in such case they are free to forgive and rebuild trust and the marriage or free to forgive and divorce.);  10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.  1 Corinthians 7:10-11 NASB

[6] When a spouse commits adultery; free to forgive and rebuild the marriage or free to forgive and divorce the spouse.  Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9.

[7]  A Christian is divorced by a non-Christian; Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.  1 Corinthians 7:15 NASB

[8] Rapunzel Photos, http://greenweddingshoes.com/the-story-of-rapunzel/

[9] The fall of mankind, Genesis 3:1-24 and the effects of sin continue from Adam to people on earth today, Romans 5:12-21.

[10] People are created in the image of God, Genesis 1:26.

[11] Chosen by God to be part of His beloved family before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 3

[12] To those who receive and believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God as their Lord God gives the right to become children of God.  John 1:12.

[13] Reconciled to God, justified by the blood of His Son: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved [f]by His life.Romans 5:6-11

[14] Redefine the word love, http://31kings.com/redefining-love-audio/

Kings & Queens

By David Cook

  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1 Peter 2:9 NASB

Sometimes the lines seem to blur between living in reality and living ones dreams.  Is it possible for the King of the Universe to give you storybook realities that exceed your dreams while you’re chasing down today, tomorrow and forever?

In the Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis presents a fantasy world were average young citizens of England with childlike faith enter into another world where they find that they are in fact, prophetic royalty that have come to play a strategic role in the fight against evil.  They relate to and eventually find themselves in a relationship with a Lion named Aslan who is a benevolent King of the realm of Narnia.

The Biblical narrative presents similar realities for followers of Messiah Yeshua who is Himself the KING of kings and LORD of lords.  The Apostle Peter spent over three years with His Majesty here on earth before Yeshua offered His life as a sacrifice for our sins.  Peter was a disciple of the Messiah who will rule the earth as the KING of kings when He returns to set up His millennial kingdom on earth.

What did Peter want believers in Messiah Yeshua to understand about their identity?

1.     A member of a chosen race.

2.     A member of a royal priesthood.

3.     A member of a holy nation.

4.     A member of God’s People.

Why did God do this?

 “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”   
1 Peter 2:9 NASB

Peter wanted God’s people to understand who they are.  Their real identity, not just for time on earth; but their identity during the millennial reign of King Messiah on earth and throughout all eternity.

Let’s read this scripture in 1 Peter chapter two in context with the whole chapter and discover practical Christian living counsel that Peter gives for living this new life in Christ here and now.  In the comments below I’d be interested to know any insights you see for believers in Yeshua on how to live in this present reality on earth.

1 Peter Chapter 2

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+2&version=NASB

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.   1 Peter 2:21-25 NASB

  

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, 
fear God, honor the king.
– the Apostle Peter

1 Peter 2:17 NASB

Savior & King

by David Cook

Jesus Is Our Savior

God’s beloved Son Jesus is the Savior of the world.  He left His home in heaven with His Father and came to earth to die on the cross to save us from our sins.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Colossians 2:8-15 NASB

Jesus is the King of Glory 

The Savior of the world is also the King of Glory.  He will return to earth, set up His kingdom and judge all people; both the living and the dead.

Christ Jesus—who will someday judge the living and the dead 
when he appears to set up his Kingdom— 
2 Timothy 4:1 TLB

I Will Never Leave You

By David Cook

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God

janis_joplin

JANIS JOPLIN

Have you ever felt useless?  Have you ever wondered why you are here on earth?  Have you ever asked the question; when will I find somebody to love, who will really love me?  When will I ever know someone on a deep level and be deeply known?

Have you ever wondered if the Lord Himself would leave you all alone?

Evidently, Janis Joplin could identify with some of those same questions since she recorded the song “Work Me, Lord” written by Nick Gravenities.  Janis closed out her performance at Woodstock in 1969 with this song.

Are you pushing, trying to move forward in life but you feel like something is moving you in the wrong direction; backwards?  Like something has a hold on you, that you just can’t shake?  Have you thought about what it would be like to be a new and different you, but mistakes from your past haunt you and then just repeat what has been?

larry_norman_only_visiting_this_planet

Larry Norman wrote about this inner struggle in his song;
Walking Backward Down The Stairs“.

Being loved and loving begins by beginning a relationship with God, who is the source of love.  Knowing the true and living God and being fully known by Him is where life begins.  Making peace with God through His Son Yeshua (Jesus) is the place to begin.  Finding forgiveness of all sins and being declared righteous by God is what the free gift of salvation is about!

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26 ESV

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

 Hebrews 13:4-6 ESV

 

He Names The Stars

White River, Ozark Mountain Sunset
Sunset in the Ozark Mountains on the White River.

By David Cook

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
 His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:3-5 NASB

As the sunsets each night, something spectacular happens in the heavens above.  We see the vastness of outer space and the stars hung in the night sky.  The Maker of the heavens and earth counts all the stars and He names all of them.  This same One, heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  The Lord of hosts is the maker of the heavens and earth, His understanding is infinite. [1]

Starry Night by Alex Ruiz
“Starry Night” painting by Alex Ruiz [2]

Dark Starry Night

I gave my heart to the One who made the sky full of stars!  Today, if you hear His voice speaking to you; don’t harden your heart.  Open up your heart, and ask Jesus Christ; the maker of the heavens and the earth to be your Savior and Lord!

[1] Jesus is the Lord of hosts who is the maker of the heavens and earth, Isaiah 48:1-16, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-16.

[2]  Starry Night, painting by Alex Ruiz; http://fineartamerica.com/featured/starry-night-alex-ruiz.html

Love One Another

by David Cook

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”  –Yeshua the Messiah
John 13:34-35 NIV

 Jesus is the Light Of the World

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”
The gospel of John 8:12 NASB

Light From Above

Jesus is the “Light Of the World”, He brought light and truth to set us free!  When someone turns to Him and takes a step of faith out of the darkness into the light of Christ they find the “Light of life”!

jumping_joy

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36 NASB

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
–Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Living God
John 14:6 NASB

The Bible“Son of God” Movie [1]

Love God with Your All and Love Your Neighbor

Yeshua the Messiah was asked; what is the most important law that was written in the Torah by the prophet Moses?

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36-40

[1] “Son of God” movie, directed by Christopher Spencer.  The life story of Jesus is told from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

The Gospel

St DC a royal in KC

by David Cook

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God that brings salvation
to everyone who believes:
–Saint Paul

Romans 1:16 NIV

Hip Hop artist Lecrae grew up without good role models while living in the hood. He grew up with a single mom, and spent time watching rap videos at his grandmother’s house searching for significance and real manhood without his Dad around.  Lecrae wrestled with insignificance, and never met his father and endured a life of abuse and neglect. He looked for acceptance and a place to belong, attempting to fill the void by hangin’ with gangsters in the neighborhood.

It wasn’t long before Lecrae was trapped in a world filled with drugs, theft, alcohol and gang activity. “I didn’t fit in anywhere. I was just a misfit of a person,” he said.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
 the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!  
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Little did he know that his view on life would soon be rocked, opening his eyes to the One who knew he was significant.  The One who cared enough to die for him.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”   –Saint Paul
Romans 1:16-17 NIV

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.    2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NIV