No Longer Infants: Growing Up in Christ

Ephesians 4:13-16 (KJV)

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


In Business: Christ Becomes Master Over My Material Things

Matthew 6:19-24 (NASB)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for youselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or stea; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.


Ministering Women

Luke 8:1-3 (NASB)

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.


Moving from Fantasy to Reality

Psalm 11:3 (NASB)

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Before we begin, let’s talk a little about what to expect in this series.

  1. We’ll be talking about principles that help us in relationships, principles which apply to all relationships, not just marriage.
  2. Grace takes us where we are, never showers regret on where we’ve been.
  3. We all speak as learners, not masters.

Definition: A healthy relationship is when two individuals relate to one another in a healthy manner.

  1. The word relate means “to narrate.”

    A relationship at its core is “the narration of one’s story.” When you know how someone feels, what someone thinks, where someone struggles, and love like Jesus loves, there’s a healthy relationship. Narration is telling one’s story to a willing listener and listening to one’s story by a transparent teller.

  2. A relationship crumbles because the foundations of that relationship are destroyed.

    In Psalm 11 David is surrounded by the enemy. He is “tempted” to “flee like a bird to my mountain.” But “in the Lord I will take refuge” for “when the foundations are destroyed, what can I do?” (v. 3). What is the mountain of your creation that causes you to leave relationships (shut down; cease to relate to, turn your back on, or reject another person)? Disconnection is the death of relationship.

    When I want you to only focus on me and the narration of my story, I am disconnecting from you. When all I care about is my story, I don’t relate well to you. I can say I am listening, but am I really hearing? If I’m only concerned that I’m heard, the foundation of my relationship begins to crumble. People full of love are connected people. People who love are more interested in another’s story. The root of a real relationship is being present with another person and intentionally creating a safe environment where one can take risks and reveal thoughts, feelings, and dreams without rejection.

  3. There are reasons why I become disengaged and my relationships begin to crumble.

    There are always two foundations in any relationship, two stories. Am I very interested in your story? Let’s identify a few odorous toxins that eat away at the foundations of our relationships with others.

    • My Fantasies – I always had an image of what the other person should be and I am disappointed.
    • My Fears – I can’t handle the pain of reality, so I’ll flee to a hiding place of my own creation.
    • My Faults – There’s no way I can risk being seen as imperfect, and I can’t accept your weaknesses.
    • My Faith – is not in Christ and His performance, it’s in my and another person’s performance.

  4. Relating to Jesus well is the primary source for relating well with others.

    It’s no accident that in the 10 Commandments, the first four are vertical, and the last six horizontal. You and I will never relate well with one another until we relate well with the One who created us. Throughout this series we’ll point you to the God of all grace: For graced people live gracious lives. We encourage us all to move from fantasy land to reality. Any healthy relationship requires work.

Anger Mis-Management

Genesis 4:6-16 (KJV)

And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.


I Am Chosen

Philippians 4:1-11 (KJV)

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are hones, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.


From Hiding in Fear to Speaking with Confidence

Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

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