Communication involves free open conversation and careful attentive listening. It involves both the sending and receiving of a message. Most often it is a non-verbal expression. We must be attentive to the other person and focus on them. One should not dominate the other. If you talk a lot, give way to the other person who talks little. Remember, talking is not the only way a person communicates. Become a student of how your spouse communicates non-verbally..
A. Is what I am going to say true? Do I have all the facts? Both Ephesians chapter 4 and Proverbs chapter 18 speak to the issue of telling the truth, and speaking after knowing the facts. It is wrong to lie, so don’t tell lies, particularly to your spouse.
B. Is what I would like to say profitable? Will it be constructive or destructive? Both Proverbs chapter 20 and Romans chapter 15 give us insight in these issues. Your tongue should benefit your spouse when you speak to each other. There is power in your tongue that can either give life or death to the one you love, your spouse. This is an understanding that is too often forgotten. We see the fruits of it, but we very seldom think before we talk. We have a choice of using words and expressions that can build up our spouse, or we can use words that destroy our spouse.
C. Is it the proper time for me to say it, or would it be better for me to wait? Proverbs chapters 15 and 25, and Ecclesiastes chapter 3 instructs us that there is a proper time for all things.
D. Is my attitude right? Ephesians chapter 4, I Corinthians chapter 16, and Titus chapter 3 addresses our attitude. You could have all the facts. You could desire to speak for the benefit of your spouse, and the time could be right, but if your attitude is wrong, it will "blow up" in your face.
E. Are the words I use the best possible way of saying it? The Scriptures in Proverbs chapters 12, 15,16, and Ecclesiastes chapter 12 teaches us the importance of the right words.
F. Have I prayed about the matter, and am I trusting God to help me? Proverbs chapter 3, Colossians chapter 4, and Psalms chapter 19 gives us good advice in this area.
This is very much needed for good communication. In Proverbs 12, verse 18 and chapter 16, verse 27 along with James chapter 3, verses 5 to 8 instructs us that our words can be a destructive power. We can inflict wounds with hateful, violent, vindictive, hasty, careless, bitter, cutting words. Your words can cause communication to shut down. Proverbs chapter 18 verse21 says The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. James chapter 3 verses 1 through 12 tells us that if we can bridle our tongue, we can control our whole body. The following Scripture verses are of great help. Read them over. You will find many verses throughout the book of Proverbs about the tongue, lips and the mouth. It seem that true wisdom involves control over our tongues. A wise person will exercise discipline over that small member and receive the blessing of it.
2) Talk With A Charitable, Accepting, Forbearing Spirit
The way we communicate can open doors for real sharing. Ephesians chapter 4verses 29 to 31 instructs us to put off wrongful words and attitudes. Ephesians chapter 4 verses 2,3 and 32 encourages us to put on righteousness and godliness. We should make every attempt to see the glory of God in the other person. Remember whatsoever you do to another child of God, you do it to Jesus.
3) Speak Words That Will Build Up Your Spouse
You have the power and the responsibility to build up your spouse. The words you speak are powerful. If words can cut and hurt, words can also heal and soothe. Your spouse needs kind, gracious words that only you can provide. Because of your place in your spouse’s life, your words carry more power than anyone else. Use your tongue to speak life to your spouse. Even if he or she is not living the way you would like, speak those things that are not as though they were!
Listening is the other part of communication. Listening must be active. We tend to forget most of what we hear. Therefore, it is important that we actively listen to hear what our spouse is saying. Active listening includes paying attention to what is being said..
1) Let the other person speak without interruption
. Proverbs chapter 18 verse 13 states "He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame".
2) Give the other person your undivided attention
.James chapter 1 verse 19 states "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." The important issue here is undivided. It means that you not are watching the football game while your wife needs you to listen to her. Or you are not preparing dinner while your husband needs you to listen to him. Great communication can not take place when listening is in competition with looking at something else, or hearing something else, or your mind is somewhere else. There must be focus and attention.
3) Making sure you really understand what the other person is saying or thinking
. Read John chapter 2 verse 19, Mark chapter 8 verses 15 to 21.
If God has worked the miracle of salvation in you, He has provided everything that you will ever need for an abundant life, filled with success. Those who do not live an overcoming life do so because of not knowing and receiving what God has provided. There are many wonderful truths that we could consider in this regard. Today we want to consider just 10 great truths.
Ephesians 1:3-9 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ
1John 4:9-17 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Romans 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Colossians 1:25-29 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope ofglory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
2Corinthians 4:7-8 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Walking - A step by step movement; it is ongoing walking is present tense; it is right now. It denotes progress; a moving forward as oppose to staying at the same place.
Agree - unity togetherness; the lack of resistance or hindrance
Walking with God as a Saint (A Member of the Body of Christ) Living under the authority of Jesus Christ.
Head/Member Relationship (Absolute Surrender to Christ in ALL Things) Our relationship to Christ as Head
Member/Member Relationship (One Another Relating) Our Relationship to others as members of the Body of Christ
Love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
Receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.by love serve one another.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
But exhort one another daily
consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting oneanother: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
God made us male and female - there is a difference not in our relationship with the Lord. That is the same; we share the same grace; experience the same mercy; know of the same love. He has no respect of persons. He loves and cares for all of us the same way male and female. However, He has setup different functions, roles, responsibilities for men and women. Men are not to become women and women are not to become men. 50 years ago, this would not even be an issue or concern. But in 2007 it is an issue because the world in which we live exerts efforts to erase God's established difference between men and women. Today men want to marry men; women want to marry women; women want to usurp the role and authority of men. Just like any other worldly influence that impacts and seeks to takeover the church, this same influence has begun to major impacts in church life.
Walking with God as a Man of God (A Man under God's Authority) How has God called you to walk with Him as a man? Do you agree with His role, function and responsibilities for you as a man? Are you tempted to forsake your God given place? There are 817 verses of scripture that has a focus on man. 383 of them are about man and the church. What insights could you gain if you studied them by the Spirit? What can you learn about a living vital relationship with Christ from these verses?
Walking with God as a Woman of God (A Woman under God's Authority) How has God called you to walk with Him as a woman? Do you agree with His role, function and responsibilities for you as a woman? Are you tempted to forsake your God given place? There are 98 verses of scripture that has a focus on woman. 42 of them are about woman and the church. What insights could you gain if you studied them by the Spirit? What can you learn about a living vital relationship with Christ from these verses?
If you follow Jesus you will soon find Him saying some unbelievable things. I am sure that those 12 men who followed Him around had to scratch their heads many a time. He said more remarkable things. He made statements that no one else could make. He spoke like no other man had ever spoken before. No on can speak like He spoke. He spoke with authority and continues to speak with authority. His words are spirit and life. His words are life changing. All of what He said is absolutely true. You and I can let His words live richly in us. We can open our hearts totally to Him knowing that He gives us life and it is an abundant life.
What Jesus would say got Him in trouble on many occasions. In fact the very first time He stood up and read from the scrolls, He was driven out of the temple and was near death. They wanted to kill Jesus because of what He had said. You can read about it in Luke 4:18-30. Fascinating story. Church folks were ready to kill the Son of God.
There were other times when what Jesus said went way over everyone’s head and no one really understood what He was talking about. There were times when those who followed Him began to rethink their commitment to Him and many turned and went away. Still there were other times when even those who were the closest to Jesus, His disciples or the twelve, as they were known, were slow in believing what He said. They often missed the point of it all.
Just for a few moments I wanted to call our attention to something He said that affects you and me right now. It’s powerful. Jesus was talking to a large number of people about John the Baptist and said that there was no one born of a woman who was greater than John the Baptist. Now we can handle that with little or no problem. He was a great man used mightily by God. That being true, we may want to suggest that Moses or Abraham, or Isaiah or Daniel or maybe David could be considered for the title of the greatest born of a woman. Do you have any suggestions? I think all of us might. However, since Jesus said John the Baptist was, we all surrender to His statement due to Jesus being THE truth.
Jesus goes on to say something else that is mind-blowing. After saying what He did about the John the Baptist, Jesus went on to say that the least one in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than him, John the Baptist. Can you believe that? Jesus said that whoever is the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist. WOW. That means that if you consider yourself as the least one in the Kingdom of Heaven than you are greater than John the Baptist. He goes on to say let him who have ears to hear let him hear. Are you hearing this?
Have you thought about the magnitude of what God has done for you as a result of Christ’s living in you? Without the faith of Christ working in us, this saying of Jesus would be unbelievable. It would go way over our heads. Some would simply walk away because it is a hard saying. However it is true. It has to be true. I must be true. It is true. Jesus started off by saying TRULY I SAY TO YOU. So Jesus knows how radical of a thing He was about to say, so He gives an intro to it by saying truly I say.
It is one thing to be born of a woman, in fact it is the only way we come into this world is through a woman. however, anyone and everyone born of the Spirit of God is greater than John the Baptist or anyone else born of a woman. Oh, this really elevates the status of all who are born of the Spirit of God. Have you given much thought to your status as a Child of God born of His Spirit? Have you considered and received this truth that you are greater than John the Baptist?
There is so much all around us that works against tnderstanding this kind of truth. The biggest hinderance is found in religion and religious systems. The separation of God’s children into classes of clergy and laity hinders the reality of what Jesus said about all of those in the Kingdom of Heaven. What would happen if all of us understood who we were and understood how God sees us? For one thing we would shake off all man-made religious systems and practices that treat us like we are less than John the Baptist. In fact many religious systems that I have had some contact with treat you like you are just a sinner saved by grace, who needs deliverance or something more. I thought Jesus took away the sin of the world. If He took them away then… Oh that’s another story.
This truth that Jesus spoke needs to be spoken over and over again. We need to hear what Jesus says about us. We need to hear how God feels about us in light of Christ living in us; in light of us being the very Body of Christ; in light of us sitting together in heavenly place with Him; and in light of us being sons and daughters of God. I earnestly believe that more understanding is needed about the magistry, glory and wonder of the new birth. More is needed about the richness of the life of Christ that is in us, and what His life in us makes us to be. Not something that we shall be, but what we are right now. I know that we shall be a lot more than what we are right now, but I believe that many are lacking a fuller understanding of what we are right now. As Paul stated there is a glory of what we are right now and there is a glory of what we shall become. But there is a present time, right now glory that Jesus has given to us. Every one of us born of His Spirit has it. Paul’s prayer for the church was that they would have wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the hope of God’s calling, of the richness of their inheritance, and of the exceedingly greatness power of God’s towards them. I thank God and I am excited that many are coming once again into a fuller understanding of Christ in them the hope of glory.
We could pray that we might know that we are greater than John the Baptist and how we might live with that understanding as the greater one Christ Himself is in us right now. Please pray that for me and for those who we gather with us here at Christ’s Church in Maryland as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In my last post, the question of who is this Christ in us was asked. It is extremely critical that we come to know the Christ that is in us. This is an important journey for each one of us, to know Him, to know who Christ really is that is living not with us , but IN us. Paul after many years of being used as an apostle and knowing who he was and the purpose of his life, still had this burning desire to know the Christ that was in him. He said “that I might know Him”. I hope that is a burning desire of yours.
At our church family we have been considering the fact that the mystery of God is Christ in us the hope of glory for the last few years. This has been and still is an awesome fact that we are not able to get our minds around without the help of the Spirit of God. Now that we have at least received and delighted greatly in knowing this revealed mystery, we now are moving on to desire to know the Christ within.
Knowing the Christ within is absolutely needed in order to know ourselves. Since we are made one with Him, we must know Him. Since we are as He is, we need to know Him in order to be who He is in this present world. This is at the center of alot of confusion in my opinion. If we do not know Him, we do not know who we are in this present world. This ignorance makes us easy prey to misrepresentations of Christ, ourselves and the church, the Body of Christ in so many, many ways. We can get caught up in the externals, the little things that do not matter, rather than His life within us.
With this blog called “Christ In You Roundtable”, I hope that you and others will add to our understanding of knowing the Christ within by adding your comments at the end of this post.. I would like to really encouraged our older, mature brothers and sisters in Christ who can help those who are younger in understanding who our older brother Jesus Christ is as our indwelling Lord and life. Please feel free to share some of your journey that has open to you a further knowledge of the Christ within us.
I have been considering our Lord’s childhood in that the written accounts leaves us with ideas that He was like any other child, teen, young adult. He fit in with everyone around Him. He did not look any differently; He did not dress any differently than His peers. The thing that made Him different was His ongoing growing relationship with God His Father. He knew God. No one else knew God. Because He knew God as His Father, He knew who He was, and lived with this understanding that grew as He grew.
He saw the workings of God His Father. He could look at the birds and know that His Father fed them. He heard His Father speak to Him. He shared a life with His Father that no one else knew about and therefore could not share in. His knowledge and shared life with His Father had profound impact on His total life. It affected what He did , how He did what He did, when He did what He did. He grew to delight in His Father. His meat, what sustained Him was to do the will of His Father. He had no other goal or desire in life outside of His Father. He loved His Father to the point that He was willing with joy to suffer death on the cross so that the Father’s will and desire to take away our sins and the sins of the world would be accomplished. This was the height of His love for His Father. He had come to deeply enjoy the presence of His Father, and just the thought of Him being separated from His Father as He became sin for us meant agony for Him. Yet his relationship of love with His Father, made Him say not my will but your will be done.
This is who is in us!! Yet this is only a small part of who the Christ is who is in us. Again it will take your input and my input along with all of what we read in the scriptures and still others until the end of time to fully describe the One who is within. For we are told that the world could not contain the number of books that would be needed if all of what Christ did was written.
Yet we are encouraged to grow in grace AND the knowledge of Christ. So our journey as the Body of Christ must continue as we together come to know the Christ within. What has been written is to be experienced by us as the Word again becomes flesh and lives within us. I expect that since all of scripture really centers on Him, we will be continuing to grow in our knowing of Him.
I am looking forward to other saints, other sons of God, other believers to share what they have been taught and what they are learning about the Christ within. I say this not looking for book facts and head knowledge, but rather heart and spirit connections with the Christ within, and the tutoring that only the Holy Spirit of God can reveal. After all it is His glorious work to take the things of Christ and show them to us; to open our eyes that we might see what already is and has been true about the Christ within, and most importantly to enable us to walk and live in His life, to come to the place of knowing that for us to live is Christ!
Please share with us. This is Body work that only the Body can do, as each joint supplies nourishment which it has received from the Head, Christ who is within. We would love to hear from you and invite you to pass this on and encourage others to read and share.