Marriage is not a contract between two people but a blood covenant between God and both marriage partners. (See Malachi 2:14.) A contract can be broken by the consent of both parties, but a blood covenant is for life. Anyone who is not prepared to say the following vows with their whole heart is not ready for marriage: “For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
Every unwise decision in a marriage can be traced to a fear that is based on a lie. It is therefore vital for each partner to not only resolve his and her lies and fears but also to help the other partner do the same. This “soul cleansing” should be done before the wedding and reviewed during marriage, because there are new lies that crop up in the marriage.
Painful memories in the husband will cause him to react in anger to any new situation that reminds him of past hurts. Painful memories in the wife will cause her delicate hormonal system to go out of balance and result in continual physical problems, such as anxiety attacks, adrenal fatigue, depression, pain, etc.
The goal of every marriage should be to gain and maintain one-accord power. This requires loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, with no competing affections. This leads to one mind and one spirit in which there is common agreement when conflicts arise. (See Acts 15.)
Achieving a one-accord power requires humility, and maintaining it requires even more humility. Every day “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). His temptations are strong to look at Internet pornography, carry on secret friendships, or engage in some other sin. This breaks the one accord in the marriage. Learn how to avoid the damage to this vital.
The first need of a wife is to give all her expectations to the Lord. If she expects things of her husband or if he expects things from her, there will be hurts and potential bitterness when they are not met. Thus, David said, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (Psalm 62:5).
The success of a marriage is based on how much of a servant’s heart the husband has toward his wife and how much she has toward him. The husband is to lay down his life for his wife as Christ laid down His life for His Bride, the Church. (See Ephesians 5:25.) The greatness of a wife and a mother is in her serving. Jesus said, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:44).
Most marriage counselors ask each partner to tell their side of the story. This approach only causes anger and more bitterness, because their reports are often exaggerated or thought to be untrue by the other party. A courageous conversation takes a totally different approach. It involves ten questions. When one answers, the other repeats the answer. This brings out an amazing feeling of finally being understood. The questions include practical steps of action.
God withheld a child from Hannah until she came to the place of saying: “O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid. . . . but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life” (I Samuel 1:11). Sons and daughters who know that they have been dedicated to God for His service have purpose and direction for life. A young man who lacks purpose in life tries to find his own identity and purpose apart from God. This brings frustration, disillusionment, and boredom.
How did Abraham receive salvation? By believing the Gospel. “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. . . . And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:6–8). By faith in Christ we are “the children of Abraham” and heirs of the promise of blessing to all the nations of the earth. (See Galatians 3:9, 14–16.) God’s purpose for children is to raise up Godly generations who will carry out His promise to Abraham.
It is now a well-established fact that an unborn child can recognize voices outside the womb and discern what is being said. The unborn child’s mind is not yet fully developed, but his spirit is given at conception and is capable of discernment. This was illustrated in the life of John the Baptist. He leaped for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard the voice of the mother of Jesus. (See Luke 1:41.) He could not have recognized this with his mind, but he discerned it with his spirit. Timothy was a Godly young man and Paul observed, “From a child [brephos–“unborn child”] thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation” (II Timothy 3:15).
The discipline of a daily schedule should begin in the womb and continue throughout life. An effective schedule begins in the evening, because that is when God designed the day to start. This allows the family to prepare to fellowship with God as they go to sleep by quoting and meditating on Scripture. The attitude we have going to sleep will determine the quality of our sleep and set our mental attitude for the rest of the day. The evening is also an excellent time to plan out the schedule of responsibilities for the next day; then, through the night, God gives insights and ideas. “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons” (Psalm 16:7).
The starting point for true wealth is dedicating all our time, energy, possessions and money to God. This affirms the fact that He is the rightful owner and we are simply stewards of that which He entrusts to us. A good steward makes wise investments and returns double. (See Matthew 25:20.) This means seeking wisdom and counsel for every expenditure.
Our purpose in life is not to pursue our own ambitions or wealth but to advance God’s kingdom and His righteousness among the nations of the world and in the Body of Christ. This is done by living out all Christ’s commands and teaching them to be disciple-makers. Jesus promises that if we seek His kingdom first, everything else will be added to us. (See Matthew 6:33.)
The Mosaic laws of tithing have been upgraded by Jesus to the laws of sowing and reaping. A sower has two bank accounts: one for his personal needs, which he keeps as minimal as possible, and the other to give away. God promises to meet the basic needs of a sower “and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (II Corinthians 9:10). When we give, God prompts others to give to us. (See Luke 6:38.)
Expectations of other people destroy relationships, because even the closest friends will fail. We also damage relationships by demanding our rights—Jesus laid aside all His rights in order to provide our salvation. When we give all our rights to God and He gives them back, they become privileges for which we are thankful.
To covet is to want something that God has withheld from us. Scripture points out that coveting is idolatry, because we look to what we covet for what only God can give, such as security, fulfillment, pleasure, etc. (See Colossians 3:5.) When we covet, we also cut off our way to escape temptations and fall into sin. (See I Corinthians 10:13–14.)
Successful businesses are based on a desire to benefit the lives of other people with goods or services. The more necessary the goods for living and the better the service is, the more successful the company will be. In order to serve others we must find out what their needs are. This means meeting people and asking the right questions
The secret of being a successful provider is not in taking care of our own needs and desires but rather in meeting the basic needs of others. The first and most important need that people have is to establish an intimate relationship with our powerful God. People are searching for the god whom they perceive as the most powerful. For this reason, Jesus declared: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:18–19).
There are four clear purposes for money. None of them is for security, yet most people today are building up retirement funds for future security. If we try to use money for our future security, we will subject ourselves to fear, worry, insecurity, and the disciplines that come from the love of money, which is “the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10). By using money as it was designed, we will have true freedom and joy.
A slothful man will never be successful in life; however, the problem is that he does not believe that he is slothful. He can find many reasons for not working: “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason” (Proverbs 26:16). There are seven major symptoms of slothfulness that we must recognize and overcome. If we fail, God gives us a final remedy for slothfulness in II Thessalonians 3:10.
Piling up debt on a credit card is a way of life for millions of people, but by so doing they have become voluntary slaves, for “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). When we borrow to buy needed items, we bypass faith and rob God of providing them for us in answer to prayer. There are at least ten Biblical reasons for not borrowing money. One of them is that by doing so, we presume upon the future, and as James warns, such presumption is evil. (See James 4:16.)
Many believers ask for needed items and do not believe that they received them because they failed to take the next steps: “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:8). There are several reasons that would hinder God from hearing our prayers. These need to be identified and resolved.
Jesus promised a special reward for those who prepare a dinner for the poor and handicapped. (See Luke 14:13.) By learning about the needs of the poor and disabled, creative ideas are developed on how to help other people with similar circumstances. This process has been the catalyst to begin prosperous ventures.
A growing number of very clever people make their money by cheating other people out of their money. Their schemes are very enticing, and even the most intelligent people have become their victims. What are the “secrets” of their success? How can we identify them? What can we do if we have been swindled?
Advertisers are skilled in getting people to buy things that they do not need or can get along without. They employ two basic human motivations. Do you know what they are? Do you know how to build up mental and emotional defenses against sales pressures? If we really need something, there is a series of questions we should ask before we buy it. Do you know what these questions are?
It is common for friends to ask us if we can loan them some money. They explain their unexpected hardships and assure us that they will pay us back in a short while. If you give in to this appeal you will lose your friends, because they will suddenly become servants since “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). There are much wiser ways of responding to the request of a friend who sincerely needs some money. We need to find out what these are and faithfully apply them.
Jesus commanded us to be perfect. (See Matthew 5:48.) He was referring to the way we greet people: “If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew 5:47). A perfect greeting is giving the same warm enthusiastic smile to a stranger that we would give to our best friend. This must happen the moment we make eye contact.
People are controlled by the ones who praise them. Husbands and fathers who do not understand this will lose their wives and children. People long for praise and approval. If they do not discern between praise and flattery, however, they will be in danger from unscrupulous predators.
The professor at a graduate school demonstrated “instructive listening” while a student explained his proposal for a project. By using nods and smiles— or the lack of them—during each point, the student knew which ones were good or bad.
In friendships, questions are to communication as food is to living. In counseling, questions are like arrows in the quiver of a wise archer. If one question does not “hit the mark,” he will select another one. Wise and insightful questions let people know that we understand them. Over the years we have developed two questions that are 100% effective in transforming juvenile delinquents in three minutes; they illustrate the power of precise questions.
Every conversation should be a three-way connection: the other person and I, and the Spirit of God and I. Often God will bring to our mind key questions that we never would have thought to ask. Peter demonstrated this by asking Ananias how much he sold his land for. There are several ways that we can become familiar with the voice of God.
Every culture has its own set of social rules. For example, when a Chinese businessman presents his card to you, it is important to bow and receive it with both hands at the lower corners. If we are to be effective ambassadors, we certainly must not violate these cultural rules, or the people will not be very responsive to the message we have to share with them.
When we want to share vital truths with other people, it is very important to first discern if they are ready to hear them. If we try to instruct a person who scorns God and His ways, he will not only reject our wisdom but distort it and then attack us. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6).
Paul’s ultimate life goal was to bring every person to full maturity in Christ. (See Colossians 1:23, 29.) One of the most successful motivators in business was Frank Bettger. He stated, “There is just one way to get people to act: find out what they want and help them see the best way to get it.” This is the essence of the verse: “Let your speech be always with grace [desire and power to do God’s will], seasoned with salt [creating curiosity], that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
Words have power. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21.) If we are to be persuasive we must learn the precise meanings of words and carefully choose every word we use.
Every person should be a writer—it makes us alert to what is going on around us. However, if we want to persuade people, we must be passionate about what we write. Our passion must come from the vision that God has given us for our life calling. We must be willing to die for our vision, because if we have nothing to die for we have nothing worth living for.
A person who has learned to think precisely and write passionately will be able to speak powerfully. Powerful speaking is based on an understanding of human nature, a grasp of Biblical truth, and moving illustrations from personal experience and history. Most people are afraid of speaking in public and need more training in public speaking.
Six words will usually get the attention of any audience: “Let me tell you a story.” People love stories, and stories shape thinking and emotions. The Bible is a continuous biography of people’s lives, and Jesus taught important truths with stories.
You will probably be surprised at how many lies you have believed. We believe many because they are partially true, such as “I can never measure up,” “I am not good enough,” “I am not attractive,” etc. Finding out why these are lies and how to respond to each one with truth is vital, because lies produce fears that lead to unwise decisions. These decisions result in painful memories and deadly stresses.
Knowledge puffs up a person and makes him proud, but wisdom teaches a person how to live. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge and comes from seeing life from God’s point of view rather than from our perspective. By understanding this cause-and-effect relationship, we are able to resolve most interpersonal conflicts. This information gives a valuable foundation for problem solving and conflict resolution.
Some of the most difficult questions in life can best be resolved by understanding that we were designed with three parts: spirit, soul, and body. By learning the functions of each part and how they interact with each other, we can have a whole new perspective on some of the most painful experiences that people have, especially understanding why God let things bad things happen to them in earlier years.
“If you had the power to change something about your appearance would you use it?” The vast majority of people who have been asked this question have said “Yes!” However, since we cannot alter our ten unchangeable features, we go on in life rejecting our self-image and often assume that others will also reject us. Thus, fear of rejection is one of the major problems today, especially among youth.
The first command that Jesus gave to all the world is “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). God “commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). But what are we to repent of? We are to confess our sins. (See 1 John 1:9.) However, we are not a sinner because we sin; we sin because we are a sinner. It is that original sin that we repent of. Do you know what that sin is?
Most people assume that they are a body that has a soul and spirit. Actually we are a spirit that is in a body with a soul. This explains what happened in the Garden of Eden. God warned Adam that he would die if he ate the forbidden fruit. He ate it and his body and soul continued living. However, he died because his spirit died, and he passed on that death to all his descendants so we are all born dead. The only way to become spiritually alive is to be born again in our spirit.
Jesus taught forty-nine commands. They contain the secrets of wisdom and success in every area of life. They transcend all countries, nationalities, religions, and political systems. They teach practical ways to love God and one another. The more we understand them, the more we will know God in an intimate way. (See John 14:21.)
Throughout history God has given three law systems with a common foundation of loving God and one another. One was given to Adam for his family, the second was given to Moses for his nation, and the third was given to us for all nations. By knowing this, many perplexing questions are cleared up in the Bible. All three law systems were discussed when the Pharisees argued about divorce. (See Matthew 19.) It is Christ’s law that we are to teach to all nations.
One of the most important definitions in Scripture involves God’s grace. Is it simply His “unmerited favor,” or does it also include God’s enablement to live above the lusts of the flesh? Those who “rob” grace of its power turn grace into a license. (See Jude 4.) “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under [the power of ] grace” (Romans 6:14).
A further way of exercising the power of grace is by the laying on of hands. Paul said to Timothy: “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God [grace], which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:6–7). This is a foundational principle of the Gospel of Christ. (See Hebrews 6:1–2.)
Another way of developing the power of God’s grace is by discovering and using our spiritual gift. Every believer is given one for his profit and to benefit the Body of Christ. Knowing and using our spiritual gift is an important factor in increasing our sense of self-worth and being accepted by other believers.
Every person has an inborn desire to fulfill seven basic needs. One need is to do great works. Because God created us in His image and He is a great God who does great things, our basic needs do not change, but our way of fulfilling them can change. Meeting them the right way brings joy and fulfillment; the wrong way brings a life of disillusionment, destructive emotions, and despair.
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4). What greater motivation do we need to learn how to fear God? There are three levels of fearing God. The first is fearing natural consequences. The second is fearing damage to our reputation. But the third and highest level is to fear destroying an intimate relationship with God. This objective is absolutely essential for personal success.
“All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28), and those who love God cannot even imagine the marvelous future that God has for them. (See I Corinthians 2:9.) But how are we supposed to love God with all of our heart and at the same time love other people? God wants to be loved with no competing affections. What are competing affections, and how can we get rid of them?
This was the secret of the first-century Church’s power. Only when believers were “in one place and in one accord” did the Holy Spirit come upon them with supernatural power. When the disciples prayed in one accord, “the place was shaken where they were assembled together” (Acts 4:31). By such prayer, miraculous things take place. This one-accord power must be the goal of every group of believers.
It only takes one person to break the one-accord power of the whole group. The example of this among the covenant people of Israel was Achan. His secret sin caused God’s power to depart. The purpose of the Lord’s Table and Communion is to ensure that all secret sins are confessed and forsaken in order to maintain one-accord power.
Much of our praying lacks the fervency that God requires for getting results. The Phillips family in Florida prayed for five years that God would give them a little girl. Then they learned about the power of crying out. Two days later Mrs. Phillips conceived, and nine months later their little girl was born. God promises, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
The guaranteed secret of prosperity and success is given to us by God Himself: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). This guarantee was repeated in Psalm 1 and David testifies of further rewards in Psalm 119:97–99. Meditation is using Scripture to express our thoughts, emotions, and will to God.
The conflicts between teenagers and their parents are rampant in our day. They result from a clash of wills and the teenager wanting to be on the same level of authority as his parents. However, all power comes from God and is delegated to human authorities. Through this channel, God provides protection, direction, provision, and instruction to our lives.
The principle of delegated authority is so important that God has given us many analogies, examples, and pictures of it in Scripture. By learning about these types we can understand how to cooperate with God in order to achieve success, wealth, health, and joy. We can also understand why this principle has been under severe attack by Satan from the beginning of time.
This is the first command with a promise: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother . . . that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1–3).” God distinguishes between obeying and honoring. If parents ask us to do evil, we cannot obey them, but we can still honor them with words and attitudes. To dishonor parents is to invite God’s judgment. (See Proverbs 30:17.)
All government leaders are called “ministers of God.” (See Romans 13:6.) They are to praise those who do well and punish those who do evil. (See I Peter 2:14.) To be successful, they need the prayers of God’s people. Our reward is having a life of peace and the potential of all men coming to repentance (See II Peter 3:9).
Ask any employer and he will affirm that one of his most difficult tasks is to find diligent and honest employees. Dream employees would be those who have initiative, creativity, wisdom, enthusiasm, and diligence. God explains that we can get these qualities if we picture ourselves as actually working for the Lord rather than a human employer. (See Colossians 3:22–25.)
Being obedient to an authority certainly does not mean that we do everything he says. That is blind obedience. Many times, authorities need to have those under their care come to them in a spirit of obedience and wisely point out why their decisions will not work. Then, if possible, give them potential alternatives. This is what Daniel did when his captors ordered him to violate the Word of God.
Most parents and other authorities tend to have character flaws and deficiencies. Those under their authority assume that these will not change, so they either try to ignore them or react to them. God has a better idea: employ the power of a verbal blessing! There are three reasons why a verbal blessing will impart the power to an authority to correct his character flaws. This course will explain why and how to give them.
The founding of the United States resulted from the passion of Pilgrims to establish a nation that was built on the laws of God. It was upon the laws of Scripture that the three central branches of government were formed and the articles of the Constitution were written. Patrick Henry stated: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”
Paul likened the Christian life to a race and he wants us to win, but that means laying aside weights and sins. Weights are anything that slow us down. We need to recognize what these are and lay them asside so we can run with patience and win the prize of the high calling of God. (See I Corinthians 9:24 and Hebrews 12:1.)
It is one thing to know the importance of having a clear conscience and quite another matter to actually follow through in gaining one. This means contacting all those whom we have offended, acknowledging where we were wrong, and asking them to forgive us. There are certain guidelines that are necessary in order to be effective. This course will explain them.
Guilt is a major cause of stress and disease. It is usually the result of unwise decisions. Every experience we have is filed in the limbic system of our brain. If it is a painful memory it will cause hormonal imbalance, whether we are thinking about it or not. Soon, physical symptoms will develop and require treatment. Drugs will only mask the root problem of guilt.
Adam’s first response to guilt was to blame God and his wife. Blaming is judging, and if we judge another we expose the same root cause in ourselves. If we judge rather than restore, we lack genuine love. Thus, God declares, “For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Romans 2:1).
One of the most powerful ways to help people conquer bitterness is to ask the question: “Why did God let it happen?” There are benefits that can be listed for any “tragedy” that a person goes through. However, in order to identify these benefits we must learn the ways of God so we know what questions to ask. This approach has transformed those who have used it.
This step should also be taken before trying to forgive an offender. When someone damages us we experience negative emotions. By asking God to bless the offender with the positive qualities that he or she is missing, we neutralize the painful emotions and impart the power of God’s grace to change. Thus we are to “bless them which persecute you” (Romans 12:14).
When someone offends us, we must forgive them. However, if he has broken a law, we cannot pardon him. Forgiveness and pardon are distinguished in this study. Forgiveness involves releasing an offender emotionally and choosing to live with the scars. This is what Jesus did for us when He chose to put the scars from His crucifixion back into His resurrected body.
After learning benefits and blessing our offenders, we are ready to go to them. However, we should never tell anyone else about the offense until we have first discussed it privately with our offender. Otherwise, verbal “fires” are started that make reconciliation impossible. Thus Scripture commands, “Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone” (Matthew 18:15).
Being ridiculed for doing good is one of the most effective weapons that Satan has to discourage us and get us to “give up.” Jesus stated, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad” (Matthew 5:11–12). Learn what these rewards are that will cause rejoicing.
Human love is totally inadequate to carry out this command, because it is based on receiving love in return. The only way to truly love our enemies is to be a channel of God’s love to them. God’s love meets basic needs without expecting anything in return. We must distinguish two types of enemies: those we have made, and those who are enemies of God. “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).
The Jews hated the Romans and their law that allowed them to force any boy twelve or older to carry their heavy military pack one mile. Thus, it was a shock when Jesus said, “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:41). An unexpected reward awaits us on the second mile, which transforms our whole attitude toward our enemy.
Billions of dollars are being spent on organically grown foods, whole grain breads, vitamins, nutrients, and many other food supplements. However, they are of no avail if we have bitterness. Bitterness directly affects our entire digestive tract and causes deadly sicknesses and diseases, including cancer, because the food turns toxic in our system. That is why Solomon said, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:17).
Why do some people believe that a certain activity is morally wrong, while others argue that it is perfectly acceptable? The answer is revealed in where each person is in the development of reprobation. God identifies three categories of lust and warns that if we have any of them His love is not in us. (See I John 2:15.)
Courtship is asking permission of the girl’s father before winning her affections. It affirms the Biblical right and responsibility of her father to check out the qualifications of the young man. The goal is to get the full blessing of all parents for the pursuit of the daughter, who has the final word on the matter. Many potential marriages have been stopped when the parents learned of moral failure in the fellow’s life.
Scripture warns, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The basis of this guarding will be the vows that we have made for personal purity, the meditation on Scripture, and having the fear of the Lord. The ultimate answer to guarding our heart is to fill it with the commands of Christ. David testifies, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
Jesus promises that if we fast secretly, He will reward us openly. (See Matthew 6:18.) One of the rewards of fasts of three or more days is a decrease in sensual drives. Scripture states, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free” (Isaiah 58:6).
Adam’s temptation was to put his intellect in charge so he could decide for himself what was right and wrong. This resulted in death. When Jesus spoke of denial, He stated, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Luke 9:24). The word life in the Greek is psuche (soul). It is a daily exercise to take our soul off the throne and walk in the Spirit. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
God is a Spirit. He has no body. Satan is also a spirit and has no body. They both want our body. Satan wants to destroy it, and God wants to do great works through it. If we do not dedicate it to God, Satan controls it by default. Therefore Paul wrote, “I beseech you . . . that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). The moment that we dedicate our body to God it becomes holy.
Many people try in vain to break bad habits. They are unsuccessful because they are dealing with an “unclean spirit.” We have many accounts in the New Testament of unclean spirits. They exercise power over a person’s mind, will, and emotions. This can be broken only by the power of God. There are also several important steps that a person must take in order to gain and maintain daily victory over sin.
Leaven is almost always used as a symbol of evil. Paul warns that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, every bit of leaven has to be removed from the house. Similarly, we need to cleanse our home of all items that would draw us into sin. We are to “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof ” (Romans 13:14).
The diet of the mother has a significant effect on the appetites and health of her children. Mothers who want to raise up Godly sons and daughters must be aware of this. The angel said to the mother of Samson, “She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing” (Judges 13:14). Godliness in children begins with discipline in parents.
There are many unwise and counterproductive procedures that are being done to expectant mothersin hospitals, which account for the present 31.8% -C-section rate across the U.S. In contrast, a hospital in the North Bronx of New York accepted all high-risk patients and had a C-section rate of only 3%. The hospital was staffed only by experienced midwives. This hospital was eventually taken over by the “establishment” and turned into a teaching hospital with a high C-section rate.
The physical bonding between parents and a newborn child is very important. It establishes an ongoing relationship between parents and child and builds basic immunities in the baby. How is bonding done? God gives us a demonstration of bonding after He created Adam. He “breathed into his nostrils” (Genesis 2:7). Jesus followed the same example after His resurrection. He called His disciples together and “he breathed on them, and . . . [said] unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:21–22). It is significant that the definition of the Spirit is “air in motion.”
We communicate various attitudes with "Body Language" and we communicate ideas and information with our mind, will and emotions. However our most effective communication is with our spirit to the spirit of another person. This is true because our real person is our spirit. We all are a spirit in a body that also has a soul.
Our spirit is the home of our conscience. It has the capacity for faith, wisdom, discernment and creativity. It is also the source of genuine love, joy, peace, etc. With our spirit we are able to communicate directly with God's spirit (Romans 8:16) We are also able to communicate with the spirit of other people (I Cor 2:11)
Children need to have boundaries in their lives. They will tend to test these boundaries by pushing against them. If they are firm, the child will experience a sense of security. If the boundaries move, the child will become insecure and possibly develop behavioral problems by not recognizing when his boundaries end and and his neighbor’s begin. God has established boundaries for nations, private property, and people.
The debate over feeding by demand or feeding on a schedule is intense. Mothers who train their child to get on a feeding schedule the first or second week after birth enjoy a good night of sleep, which they need for recuperation. Mothers who feed on demand need to consider the axiom: “Feeding on demand is to raise a demanding child.” Mothers also need to know the health benefits of the mother feeding her child rather than feeding by a bottle.
Knowing the birth-order tendencies of your children is very important for sibling harmony. Jacob’s conflict with Esau, Ishmael’s conflict with Isaac, and the prodigal son’s conflict with his older brother can be understood by the different birth-order tendencies.The firstborn is more responsive to authority and tends to react to the secondborn, as Ishmael did to Isaac. The secondborn tends to be more competitive and seeks approval, as illustrated in Jacob’s competition with Esau. The thirdborn tends to be more sociable and persuasive. Each one in the family should know and appreciate the birth-order tendencies the others.
This training is of utmost importance for every child! If a child does not learn to fear the Lord, he will soon not fear his parents either. Neither will the child turn away from doing evil things, for “by the fear ofthe Lord men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Many parents today are shocked and grieved when their older teens turnaway from the Lord and follow the ways of the world. The reason is that they learn to fear their parents, butnot the Lord.
Many parents assume that their children are believers because they go to church or raise their hand during a salvation invitation. These responses are not sufficient, because God requires a belief in Christ from the heart and a confession from our mouth that we are repenting of our sin and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. (See Romans 10:9–13.) One of the most effective ways of explaining salvation is to point out that we are a spirit in a body with a soul, and because of Adam’s sin, our spirit is born dead. Therefore, we must be born again in our spirit.
The secret power of a verbal blessing is not just saying "God bless my offenders". It is identifying the specific character qualities that the offenders are lacking and asking God to bless them with grace - the desire and power to develop these qualities. We are commanded to bless those who curse us. This is an opposite response to our natural inclinations, but we must obey it because it is so easy for bitterness to spring up and destroy our opportunities, our relationships, and our health.
Thousands of teens have been asked, “Do you think your father loves you?” and 98% said yes. Then they were asked, “Do you think your father understands you?” and 95% said no. When they were asked for a reason, the teens said, “Because he does not listen to me.” This is the purpose of a bonding session.The father meets with each son or daughter personally and asks fifteen questions. Based on their answers, he can design projects with his sons and daughters and write personal letters that will be treasured for life.
The myth of adolescence will damage your teenagers. There is no gap between childhood and adulthood. When a boy completes his twelfth year of childhood, he becomes a young man. This event should be marked by a ceremony and celebration. Teenagers tend to respond to the way that they are treated; if you treat them like children, they will act like children. Treat them like adults and they will act like adults.
The biggest challenge that parents have today is controlling the music that their sons and daughters listen to. Unclean music invites unclean spirits, which bring addictions that control and destroy lives. In a shopping mall, gangs of teenagers loitered around and frightened away customers. Shop owners found a solution: they played melodious music on a loudspeaker and the gangs all disappeared.
As teenagers get older, they will see no purpose for higher standards unless they are leading people to Christ and discipling them with the commands of Christ. Their disciples will hold them to a higher standard. Leading people to Christ should be the primary purpose of our life, and making disciples is obeying the Great Commission that Jesus gave to us.
Can you imagine Satan complaining to God that he cannot do any damage to a person or his family or his finances because God has put a hedge of protection around him? This was precisely the case with Job. Satan said: “Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” (Job 1:9–10). Every dad needs to learn how to put a daily hedge around his family.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Oscar Burke, head of the U.S. Patent Office, stated, “Everything that could have been invented has been patented.” By being alert to needs and finding creative solutions, there is no limit to creating goods and services. Our goal in Embassy University is to train every young man how to support a family by the time he is sixteen years old.
The foundation of business success is being able to negotiate the best price. Wise negotiating is a win-win for buyer and seller. The buyer learns how he can help the seller be more successful in exchange for giving him a lower price. This skill opens up great opportunities to make money. Negotiating requires special skills and takes time, but the rewards are great.
“First impressions” are extremely important. We have only one opportunity to make them. The people who see us will form quick impressions of how attracted or repulsed they are toward us based on their perceptions of our appearance. We need to learn what responses people will have to the things that we wear. Many job opportunities have been offered to those who are well-dressed, reflecting good character.