reaching the world for Jesus Christ

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

I. Keys to a Successful Marriage

A. Christ at the Center – Stay spiritual, not carnal!

1. Individually make Jesus Lord of your lives.  Now pray, read the Bible, go to church every time the doors are open.

2. Pray together, share spiritual insights and experiences, become comfortable together with Jesus.

3. Establish goals and directions upon the Word of God.

B. Always Build Each Other Up

Never allow criticism, anger and frustration to dominate your communication.  Prince Charming can quickly become a frog.  “Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:31

C. Accept Your Complement

Fully accept your marriage partner as your complement.  The Lord uses the opposite characteristics in our mates to complement, shape and enlarge us.  Men, appreciate your wife’s intelligence and the thoughts she brings to the table as your helpmeet from God.  Ladies, appreciate your husband in his creation and in all he does to hold things together.  You are one and you complete each other.

D. Willingness to Change

Always be willing to make adjustments in attitudes and habits that offend or hurt your spouse.  What’s more important, having things your way all of the time or having a great relationship?

E. Maintain Good Communication

1. Without good communication there will be no companionship or true intimacy.  Below we will share barriers to communication and the following enhancement to that particular barrier.

A. Barriers and Enhancements to Communications

i. Exploding – Reactions of anger and frustration.  Inability to hear reason or to communicate effectively without inducing fear.

Love should be easy to entreat.  Love is patient and kind.  Issues should be able to be discussed without fear of reproach.

ii.Withdrawal – You are so sensitive, that anything that is perceived as a threat or attack, you withdraw within yourself and hide your feelings.  It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on with you.

Sometimes people who have dealt with a lot of rejection in their lives are super sensitive.  Those who are sensitive must seek God for healing and recognize when they are being unreasonable.  Those who are not plagued by this, need to use patience, wisdom and nonthreatening tactics when confronting issues.

iii.Verbal Jabs – When hurt, you react quick to inflict pain.

Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Instead of making a verbal assault on your partner, why don’t you just try to be honest by saying, “Hey, that really hurt me” or “You really just offended me by what you did.”  Get everything on the table.

iv.Silent Treatment – Will not talk in order to work things out.  You pout and withdraw instead of trying to pursue resolution.

Love is not rude or self-seeking.  It is immature to give someone the Silent Treatment.  Seek instead to open lines of communication.  Hear them out instead of shutting them out.  Value what your partner has to say.  If they fear repercussion, chances are you’ll never move to the friendship stage of marriage.

v.Lack of Interest – Will not share common interest.  There must be areas you are willing to share with your spouse in order to build your relationship, even if they are not your interest.

“…but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”  Philippians 2:3.  So what if you don’t like to go shopping or maybe you don’t care for fishing, if it’s what your spouse is interested in, try to do it with them sometime.  Even though it’s not your idea of a great time, it shows them that you do care about what they enjoy.  It says, “Hey, you are important to me!”  Maybe you could even develop a hobby or pursue a project that means a lot to both of you.

E. Creating Romance

“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her and likewise also the wife to the husband.”  I Corinthians 7:3

If the man will inject romance, the woman will respond.  She needs times of warmth, affection and nonsexual touch, the tender touch, the sense of being desired.  Get away alone, as often as you can.  Be understanding of circumstances, physical differences and desires.  Know that your partner may not be as romantically inclined as often as you.  Find your balance.

Ladies, let your mind wander back to when you first fell in love.  See him in that light.  Know that your husband has some definite physical needs.  He’s not possessed, he’s just obsessed with everything about you.  You are his highlight.  What an honor.  Being with you relieves his stress and completes him as a man.  This fulfills the oneness of your relationship.  Look to your private moments together as exciting, an adventure and not as a duty that you must perform.  If he perceives that this is just another job or burden to you, then he may get physically fulfilled but will still be emotionally lacking.  He in turn will want you more to ensure that he is fulfilling your needs.

Remember – what it took to get your spouse is what it will take to keep them!

Ricky Sinclair: What Am I Doing In The Family – Marriage

The Year of the Favor of the Lord

The Power to See

I Peter 3:8-13

What do you see?

To see is knowledge – right or wrong, good or bad.  Life consists of how we see things.  If we see things positively, we release faith and action for good.  If we see things negatively, we release faith and action to bring us down.

What we see is what we get.  How we see is how we live.  Often we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.  Who are we inside?  What kind of person am I on the inside (Matthew 6:22-24).  What we see and how we see it controls our life.  How we see determines our future, perspective of life, influence, investments, time, talents, gifts, relationships and values.

A)  How to have a healthy view of life:

  1. Understand that God has created you with purpose.  You are not a mistake, you are a miracle.
  2. See life gratefully.  Always show gratitude, be appreciative (i.e. woke up this morning, clothed in my right mind, etc.).
  3. See life from God’s perspective; according to His Word, and His purpose and plan.
  4. Understand life is a test.  How we react to pressure, people, problems, prosperity, and perplexity.  God is watching our response, our response reveals to us where we are in our growth.  Everyday we are growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Life is giving us the great opportunity to develop character, demonstrate love and dependence on God.  Our success is determined by how we see life!

B)  The Process of Life:

1) A lot of people hinder themselves by how they see, what they think, what they expect and how they act.

2) What I see is what I believe, what I believe is what I say, what I say is what I do, what I do is what I get in life.  I am not telling you to deny reality; I am telling you to change your reality with your attitude.  No matter how negative a situation is, if you will see the positive within the negative or the lesson that it has to offer, then your great attitude will turn it around.  Even though it may not appear great, it will be great for you because of how you choose to see it.  See yourself as having a great marriage, a great family, wonderful job, spiritual growth and finances in order, good health and relationships restored.  Your consistent, persistent attitude is the beginning of change in your life. 

Ricky Sinclair: The Power to See

The Year of the Favor of the Lord

A Positive Attitude Accesses the Favor

Numbers 12-16

Israel is now fighting the hard battle called life.  The honeymoon stage of the relationship is far passed, now comes the everyday grind of life in the wilderness.

  1. Criticism and Confrontation come with the territory (Numbers 12:3-14)
    1. Maintain your humility (v3).
    2. Face criticism and understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism (v4).
    3. Recognize that good people get criticized and if God be for you, then who can be against you (v6-9).
    4. Keep yourself in shape spiritually.  Pray for your criticizers (v13).
    5. Restore them when appropriate and focus on your mission (v14).
  1. Positive Attitude vs. Negative Attitude (Number 13:1-14:10) – Moses sent out twelve spies to investigate the promise land. 
    1. Ten returned with horrible attitudes and bad reports concerning the mission.
      1. Disobeyed God.
      2. Believed they would have no future in the land.
      3. Displayed cowardice based on fear.
      4. Ignored God in their report and misunderstood their mission.
      5. The ten naysayers spread anxiety, fear, and doubt which poisoned over one million people who in turn never received the promise.
      6. Korah was influenced by this negative report and in Chapter 16, he and many who followed him were swallowed up underground.  Two hundred and fifty other men were burned by the fire of God (Numbers 16:31-35). 
    2. Two spies based their report on God’s track record.
      1. Obeyed God.
      2. Insisted on possessing the land.
      3. Displayed courage and assurance.
      4. Saw themselves in relationship with God.
  1. Positive attitude makes all the difference.  Without a positive attitude we will never make it into the best God has for us.
    1. Our attitude determines our approach to life.
    2. Our attitude determines our relationship with people.
    3. Our attitude is often the only difference between success and failure.
    4. Our attitude at the beginning of a task will affect its outcome more than anything else.
    5. Our attitude navigates us through problems and circumstances.
    6. Our attitude determines our perspective.
    7. Our attitudes are not automatically good just because we belong to God.

I pray that you will keep a good attitude and stay positive and focused on your God-given mission.  Complaining will only bring a curse and kill the promise land blessing of God.  Always guard your heart.  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Ricky Sinclair: A Positive Attitude Accesses the Favor

The Year of the Favor of the Lord

Intimacy with God

Luke 10:27

We must first understand that God loves us and wants our heart.  We are successful because we have God, not because we have this or that. Our success is based in God, not on things.  Stop looking for success in the world you’ll only find pressure, disappointment and burn out.  Receive God’s love and give it back to Him.  Now you are successful and nothing else matters because you have God.

  1. Religion vs Relationship
    1. Religion
      1. Religion is a form of spirituality that is rooted in what one does outwardly, rather than what one believes inwardly at the heart level.
      2. Religious people rely on what they do as a means to find favor with God.
      3. Because so much energy and effort is exerted toward external behavior, the heart becomes spiritually weak and bored – burned out, basically dissatisfied with God, disillusioned. This leads to compromising, disregard for truth, finding pleasure in sin, ending in religious hypocrisy.
    2. Relationship
      1. God is seeking for true, spiritual worship from us in order for us to relate to Him properly (John 4:23-24).
  1. Intimacy with God
    1. It is how we receive.
    2. Cultivate
    3. Grow in our awareness, perception and experience of God’s affection for us.
    4. Intimacy awakens and sustains our love back to Him.
    5. Intimacy moves us from conceptual understanding of God’s love to an experiential one.
  1. Aspects to Intimacy
    1. Knowledge – A growing understanding of the love of God. “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3).”
    2. Choices – Making a conscious decision to obey God.  “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments (I John 5:3).”
    3. Feelings – Enjoying the feelings of God’s love. “You give them drink from the river of your pleasures (Psalms 36:8).”
  1. What is our image of God
    1. Our image of God is what we project He’s like to others. What is our perception and experience of Him?
    2. Is your God mostly mad and sad?  Or is He mostly glad?
    3. Do you feel you are a sinner trying to love God or a lover of God who struggles with sin?
    4. As we receive God’s love and understand His glorious nature and sovereign leadership we learn to trust and rest in Him, our image and perception of God will be right, allowing us to walk in God’s fullness for our lives.

Today is the Day!  I encourage you to let go of the world, really seek God with all of your heart.  Without God you will go through the motions but will be empty.  You will burn out and become disillusioned.  Remember, life is about God.  Put Him first and everything else will be added – Matthew 6:33.

Ricky Sinclair: Intimacy with God

What color are your eyes?

Matthew 6:19-24
1. Why does a single eye light the whole body?
2. Why does a evil eye fill my body with darkness?
3. Do I see master money or master God?
4. A good example of an evil eye is in Matthew 20:1-15.
A. Jesus teaches us his mercy and grace by saying the one who works one hour receives the same as the one who worked all day.
B. A bad eye sees master money and not merciful master God and grumbles and complains that they are being done wrong. They agreed to the wage. Matthew 25:2.
C. A bad eye does not see the mercy and blessings of God upon another as good.
D. A bad eye sees money above people.
5. What is a single eye or good eye?
A. A good eye sees God and his ways as the great treasure in life not money.
B. A good eye values God and his ways.
C. A good eye discerns God’s heart. It does not see just white and black, true and false. It’s sees with the heart of God and God’s perspective.
D. A good eye sees God as beautiful as it’s treasure.
E. A good eye leads the way to the light of God.
6. Remember how you see is what you get, what you see is your reality, life is what I make it, your perspective is either good or bad, light or darkness.
7. Two masters in life-Master God or master money-now you get to choose who is your master.
8. I encourage you to choose God and sell out to Him right now.

Ricky Sinclair: What color are your eyes?