Week of January 16, 2011

Are You Making Progress?

People make progress regarding things they want to accomplish. If they want to lose weight, they may measure their progress by the scales or how their clothes fit. If they may want to run faster, they may use their stopwatch to measure their progress. Jesus says "If you love Me, you will obey what I command". Followers of Jesus love Jesus but obeying Him can be a process. You may understand that Jesus teaches us "Yes, if you forgive others for the things they do wrong, then your Father in heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong". We can know in our hearts, if we forgive others. Do you have anyone who you have not forgiven or that you resent when you think about them? Some will tell you whom they have not forgiven. Others will claim they have forgiven everyone but when they talk about a person, it becomes obvious that there is unforgiveness present. Unforgiveness can be very obvious to the listener and we may need to listen to what we say. If we want to measure our progress in forgiveness, we may realize how we forgive by how we feel when we think of the person1.

Jesus quotes God when He says, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". Also Jesus says, "Love your enemies". Wow that can get difficult because it appears we need to love everyone. If we desire to measure our progress on these commands, we just need to be sure we feel love for everyone. Many of Jesus' commands are easy to accomplish, like "This… is how you should pray"2.. You will know if you are praying the prayer Jesus taught daily or not. But when Jesus says, "obey My Father in heaven" it becomes more difficult to measure our progress. Yes, we can know if we are making progress obeying the 10 commandments or tithing but what about many things you do or say that are not covered by what Jesus or God instructed. Jesus said that God guided Him on what to "say" and "do". Jesus talks about how blessed we are if we "hear" what God says and "obey". Some will say, "I don't hear God". Have you asked God for help hearing? Jesus says, "with God all things are possible". For anyone to do what God wants, it is important to "put aside his own desires and conveniences" or deny yourself. Be encouraged to turn away from everything that is not of God and do what God wants all the time3.

1. Jn 14:15 (NI); Mt 6:14 (IC)

2. Mk 12:31 (Lev 19:18); Mt 5:44; 6:9 (TE)

3. Mt 7:21 (TL); Jn 12:49; 14:31; Lk 11:28; Mt 19:26 (NI); Lk 9:23 (TL)

note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations

A Psalm for reflection "I will instruct you and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress" . Ps 32:8 (TL)

Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).


To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop

"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."

One time I stated that I consider it was a bad witness for me if I go to places that promote alcohol, like when they have "Bar" in their name. A man at church complained to me saying, "You will miss out on lot of good food". That's my problem not his. If a wife is late to work, that is the wife's problem not her husband. If a husband doesn't like to play golf and his wife think he should. That is the husband's concern not the wife. We need to be careful how we talk to our spouse. When we marry someone we marry them as is, we don't marry them to change them. It is good to consider who really owns a problem before complaining. It is important how we talk to our spouse. Avoid character assassination that implies things can't change. For example instead of saying to your spouse, "You are a slob" it is nicer to say, "It bothers me when you leave your dirty underwear hanging on the door knob". Avoid saying harsh words to your spouse. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 (NIV) "…anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." When you have trouble with name-calling or character assassination, it may be a good time to call time out and discuss the subject using the Speaker Listener Technique.

The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage. Jesus said, "all things are possible with God", Mark 10:27 NIV). As the spouse that is trying to make your marriage better, you can be careful not to tell your spouse what you think they ought to do. You can say how you feel with out name-calling or character assassination. Remember Jesus encourages us to "Treat others as you want them to treat you" (Luke 6:31 TLB).

Hi Followers of Jesus,

Recently I was able to add a new picture to my Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, please give me (Ed Lindgren) a friend request. I think the picture is great because it has the right perspective with Jesus being many times larger than me. People tell me how some people in ministry express their personal opinions. Isn't it better to share what Jesus and God think?

Enter Eternal Life NOW!

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