Entries by Juanita McKenzie

Accepting God’s Promises

Accepting God's Promises

April 2, 2019

Written by Pastor Juanita McKenzie

Have you been wondering how to activate God’s promises?  The word of the Lord is full of promises to us to assure us that He will never leave us in times of trouble. God will not just make promises, He will fulfill them too because He is more than faithful.

God also honors His word and none of His spoken words will go unfulfilled. Isaiah 55:11 ~ “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Popular Scriptures Featuring God’s Promises

There are countless promises in the Bible for believers. Here are just a few well-known promises:

God said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)


“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)


“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4)

Stay Focused On God’s Promises

The scriptures above are encouraging, yet the journey of life is not smooth.  Focusing is like walking on a very narrow bridge.  Should we look elsewhere, we might lose balance and then fall. To stay focused on the promises of God, we need dedication.  Whatever we do in this life, if we are not dedicated to it, it would be easy for us to lose focus.

The call of God for our lives is an essential one. Therefore, we must remain focused and dedicated to doing the things entrusted to our hands by God. However, so many people have swerved off the course. 1 Timothy 1:6 ~ “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;” This happened to them not because they were not strong but because they did not take heed. 1 Corinthians 10:12 ~ “Therefore let him who thinks he stands to take heed that he does not fall.”

Be Obedient When God Promises You Something

Even though some are still standing on the right path, it’s expected that some will still depart. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

This means that many will still abandon the promises of God and they will go for the vague and empty promises of man. We should do all it takes to stand on the right path, the path of Christ and never swerve. We need to build our love for the things of God.  We need to let love grow daily. Doing this will help us to depend on Him and do whatever He says. John 14:15 ~ “If you love Me, obey My commandments.”

Related: A Call For Obedience

 

Benefits of Accepting God’s Promises

Let’s consider four reasons why we should accept and hold onto God’s promises:

  1. They guide you to take the path of safety.

Oftentimes, there seems to be confusion on which way to go.  It’s at this time, some evil thoughts will come to you and the words of man, which contains empty promises will come to you. They will surely come your way to make you follow them but you must not listen to them.

Proverbs 1:10 ~ “My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.” The promises of God will direct you to the path of safety. They will give you ideas that will help you to discern the way out of trouble. Proverbs 11:14 ~ “Where there is no guidance, a people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

  1. They help you to work according to God’s plan for your life.

This is another importance of accepting the promises of God. If you don’t know and rely on His promises to better understand God’s ways, you can never know the real plan of God for your life. God has a plan for everybody and we confirm that through studying the scriptures. Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

It’s a promise to us. He has plans that will make us prosper with ease and never have to struggle. When you know the plans of God for your life, you will work according to the plan and things will work out for you. They are there also to correct and redirect us whenever we are going away from the plans of God.

  1. Another reason is that they encourage us in Christ.

When you see the promises of God fulfilled, you’ll remember that God surely honors His name. Then you will be encouraged to keep going and never give up. Romans 1:12 NLT ~ “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but also I want to be encouraged by yours.” When we feel like we can’t do things we proposed in our heart or remain afraid of getting things done, God’s promises are always there to encourage us to stand strong.

  1. They help us to believe in tomorrow.

The promises of God give us assurance of a better tomorrow irrespective of what our past might be (Jeremiah 29:11). When we accept the fact that God will make our ending a better one, we will have no worries. Matthew 6:26 ~ “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Conclusion

God makes many promises in the Bible, and the ones particularly pertaining to His children are the ones that we sometimes have trouble accepting! Why is that? Simply put, we are to trust the Lord and obey Him. Yes, God’s promises are available to us if we’ll just believe in faith, obey and keep our hearts soft toward Him. In return, we can know that He will accomplish everything He told us He would do. The faithful Christian will stand strong upon God’s promises. Will you?

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Appointed, Anointed & Commissioned



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Appointed, Anointed & Commissioned

David was a diligent and hardworking shepherd boy who loved God and walked in righteousness. It was this heart of reverence and love for God that caused him to be chosen (appointed – Acts 10:32) and anointed by Samuel as king of Israel in the place of Saul (1 Samuel 16:13). However, after he was appointed and anointed, it took several years before he was commissioned to rule the children of Israel. This goes to give us an understanding that there is a difference between being appointed, anointed and commissioned.  Let’s now define the terms:

Being Appointed

To be appointed means to be put in an office in order to function fully and accomplish a task. This word is used for the expression of a large variety of ideas including “stipulate” (Genesis 30:28), “put into office” (Genesis 41:34; Numbers 1:50; Esther 2:3); “select” (Jeremiah 51:27); “put in charge” (Jeremiah 49:19; 50:44); “assign” (Numbers 4:27; Jeremiah 15:3); “designate,” “select” (Exodus 21:13; Numbers 4:19; 2 Samuel 7:10; Isaiah 61:3); “single out” (1 Samuel 8:11,12; Hosea 1:11); “designate,” “select” (Numbers 35:6; Joshua 20:2; Ezekiel 45:6); “set aside” (Exodus 30:16) and many others.

The spiritual importance focuses on the appointing and consecrating of persons for special service to the Lord and his people.

Being Anointed

To be anointed according to the scripture means to be equipped with the necessary tools to carry out a certain task.  In most cases, this is by the Holy Spirit because God’s work is spiritual and it takes the Spirit of God to fulfill this assignment (1 Samuel 16:13). When people were anointed, God empowered them to accomplish his tasks (1 Samuel 10:6)

Being Commissioned

To be commissioned means to be sent out to fulfill a particular purpose. It rests on a mandate, an instruction in order to fulfill a purpose. An example of this in the Great Commission (John 20:21-23).

As we can see from this, to be appointed comes first, this means being separated and selected unto a certain task.  Being anointed comes next which involves being equipped with the necessary tools to fulfil the mission. Lastly, after these two comes the commissioning, which involves being sent and captures in clear detail the goal of the assignment being given to such individual. The commission is the bench mark by which success will be measured.

Example of the Disciples

The disciples are a good example of this process. We see how they went through these three phases at three different times: They were first appointed as disciples by Jesus (Matthew 10:1–4, Mark 3:13–19 and Luke 6:12–16). Then they were commissioned when Jesus gave them the great commission in these scriptures (Matt 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8).

But despite this, Jesus clearly instructed them to tarry in Jerusalem till they received the power from on high.   He realized that they could not succeed in their appointment and commission without being anointed by the Spirit of God.  Jesus said to his disciples “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, 2:1-15).

Even our Lord Jesus, though He was the Son of God, had to wait for the anointing and empowering of the Holy Spirit to rest upon Him so that He could enter upon and fulfil His earthly ministry (Luke 3:22).

Our Local Shepherd

At Rhema Kingdom Ministries, we have a good testimony. Our shepherd, Pastor Kendal McKenzie has been tested and proven to be a man of great honor. He is appointed, anointed and commissioned to accomplish the purpose of the kingdom.

Just like Moses, he has been given a job to do. God had called him and He appointed to Moses a task. He has dedicated the rest of his life to the accomplishment of that task. He set himself to the purpose and plan of God. Moses had His burning bush but Pastor McKenzie has the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in his heart.

He has also been duly anointed, empowered by God to function in this appointment. Through signs and wonders, the preaching of the word with power, and making disciples of men, God works through him to change lives through His word. God has empowered us to be His witnesses in the world around us. It is through His power that the strongholds that fill the lives of those in this community will be torn down.

Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” This is why he has also been commissioned with a vision, a purpose by which God has called him. God has appointed him for such a time as this, and He has anointed him to do this work: “To be an example of Righteousness, Holiness, and Integrity; endeavoring to achieve the purpose and plan of God for Kingdom growth by developing and nurturing disciples.”

Pastor McKenzie, we celebrate your obedience, anointing and passion. Happy Anniversary!

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The Keys of The Kingdom

The Keys of The Kingdom

March 11, 2019

Written by Pastor Juanita McKenzie

What are the “keys of the kingdom” you ask?  In both the Old and New Testaments, keys symbolize power and authority. Astonishingly, Jesus gives to Peter and the church (that is, to us) ‘the keys of the kingdom.’  Jesus was talking to Peter – “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

So many Christians feel incapable and powerless, lacking in any kind of spiritual authority. They do not seem to comprehend what Jesus has given to them. You are not helpless. You possess the immense privilege of having been given ‘the keys of the kingdom’.  There’s authority given to every Christian upon receipt of the keys.

In verse 18 of Matthew 16, Jesus told Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Accordingly, we have been told to seek the Kingdom first, which is why getting these keys is necessary. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Building His church on Peter meant he would start a church through him. Peter might not be the rock itself, because Jesus Christ alone is the chief cornerstone. However, there were important keys that Jesus gave Peter, which allowed him the authority of binding and loosing (locking and unlocking). Let’s discover how we can obtain these ‘keys of the kingdom.’

Gain Access to God by Salvation

Undoubtedly, this is an important key.  Without this particular one, no one obtains the authority. This particular key unlocks and Jesus confirmed this in John 3:3. He was talking to Nicodemus here about this key and how important it is to get it. He said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Peter confessed and acknowledged the fact that Jesus is the Christ. Matthew 16:16 – “Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The is the basic requirement to be saved given by the scripture. Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is The Way

There is no other way to get these keys at all without Jesus.  He’s the one that gives them to us. James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” These gifts spoken about here called “perfect” are the keys needed. Jesus is God’s gift to mankind and if anyone wants to access the kingdom, must go through Him.

Jesus shared that there is no way to the kingdom of God without Him.  He is the only way and other keys revolve around him. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Receive the Keys of The Kingdom by Faith

For us Christians, faith is essential and without it, we can’t please God.  In Matthew 16:18 Peter lacked boldness and couldn’t open or close the gates to the kingdom because he didn’t yet possess the keys, which God was promising him.  Eventually, Peter grabbed the key of faith and was able to stand and face the crowd. That day, Peter used this key to unlock the kingdom for people to enter. After Peter had spoken, many gave their lives to Christ, which meant they also got the keys. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” ~ Acts 2:41

Realize Your Power and See Lives Changed

When Jesus told Peter that, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” it involved power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” Peter demonstrated the power – the power to speak and the power to unlock the kingdom.

Luke 11:20 – “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (KJV).  Jesus was talking here about the power and the kingdom, which is sufficiently obvious. As the “hand” denotes power generally, so the “finger” symbolizes power in its concentrated and specially-directed energy. Clearly, God was the source of His power to cast out demons.

Study God’s Word

The revelation of the word is key. Jesus told a parable of a man that bought a field. Matthew 13:44 ~ “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy, over it, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” The kingdom is compared to land filled with treasures.  But to obtain this treasure or to locate it, there must be a guide, compass or map.  In this same way, the Bible is like a map to the treasure, which is the Kingdom.  Knowing God’s Word is surely necessary to locate and unlock the kingdom.

Understand the Purpose & Power of Prayer

According to the book of Ephesians, God’s desire is for us to pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). 

That is simply because prayer is key for all Christians. It locks and unlocks. When Jesus gave Peter the keys, in order to activate every other key, prayer was required. Accordingly, to open the kingdom for people to enter, prayer must be used. The apostles were all locked up in the upper room praying. Before Peter came out boldly to preach, which led a thousand souls to Christ, he had also prayed.  Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Recognize Your Divine Assignment

God will use you to call people into the kingdom – that’s your divine assignment. The apostles were used in the Bible. Jesus called them unto Himself for the work He had for them.  While Jesus stayed with them, however, the real work started after they left. The people of the world want to see the kingdom of God but they need a key. That’s why they are awaiting your manifestation. Romans 8:19 “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”

You are the one to bring people into the kingdom. 1 Corinthians 3:16 ~ “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

So, the keys of the kingdom are God’s gift to his people to state heaven’s verdict on who will and will not enter the kingdom based on their response to the gospel.  God’s will is that sinners be granted access to heaven through the righteousness of Christ.  Therefore, we must use these keys to unlock the gates of Hades and set people free.

Enjoy Our Recent Articles

Obedience

Discipleship
Kendal McKenzie


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During His earthly ministry, Jesus stressed the importance of being called to obedience. Whatever He says and when we follow it, then we shall have success.


Read More »

Recognizing Your Divine Assignment



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Recognizing Your Divine Assignment

God has a divine assignment for each Christian. Your assignment is any problem that you were created to solve.  These problems are also your doors to rewards.  This is where favor comes in. But how do you recognize your divine assignment?  

God has laid out a road map for you to be successful in His plans. He has also given you His Holy Spirit to guide you to your divine destination. However, if you rebel against your assignment, God may allow painful experiences to bring you to a place of surrender.

How to Discern Your Divine Assignment

Many people believe that whatever you like doing without going through stress might be what God wants you to do. This might be true in some cases. God gave us some gifts that we can use to execute those assignments given to us. The problem might not be on how to carry out these assignments but how to recognize them.

Many of us do one work or the other and we remain confused because we don’t know if that’s the will of God for us. Most of the time we find ourselves failing some simple task.  It may be because we are not in the right place, where God wants us to be. How then do we discover the exact assignment God gave us or wants us to do?

Let us now look to the scriptures to help ascertain our assignment.

Develop A Closer Relationship With God

The only way to be sure of understanding and completing your divine assignment is through constant fellowship with God (Secret Place). You can’t know the plans of the people you don’t know – even if a third party tells us about someone’s plan, it won’t be as true or convincing as hearing it from the person directly. In this same manner, we must build a strong relationship with God to be able to know His purpose.

Firstly, we must know His word. The word of God draws us to Him. We get to know him more and more – what he likes and what he doesn’t like. To be able to grow in Christ daily, we must eat the spiritual food which is known to be the word of God. When we read His word, we get to understand our purpose.

Another way we can build a strong relationship with God is through prayer. Prayer is essential as it links us with God.  He talks to us and makes his plans known to us through prayer. When we pray in the morning before going to work or anywhere, we receive guidance from Him that will direct us through the day.

Simply Listen

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” ~ Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

This may look strange but yet it is important that we learn to be at peace and listen to whatever God has to say to us. After meditating on the word or after praying, we must listen to what God has to say. Listen to know why He has called you – don’t be the only one talking every time. God speaks to our mind and uses our thoughts to speak to us about His plans. Yet, there are different things you must pay attention and listen to, which are;

The Holy Spirit

Seeking the Lord in prayer, meditation on the Word of God and by fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, you will discover the assignment of God for your life. The Holy Spirit talks to us in a still small voice. Hence, we must listen to get what He is passing across to us. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God in man’s heart.

Your Heart

Now that you are in Christ, your heart is renewed and your thoughts are not just ordinary. Your heart is a tool God can use to reveal your divine assignment. Sometimes, you will get to ask yourself some questions about your life. Questions like, “How will I make it in life?” “What is the next in my life?” “How should I handle my family?”  When you ask yourself such questions, God also uses your thoughts to give you an answer. You will then notice you are thinking of possible solutions to the questions you asked yourself.

The Prophets

Listen to the ministers of God. Don’t raise a conflicting spirit against whatever they are saying – they have been anointed to speak the mind of God.

Study the Map (The Bible)

To fulfill your divine assignment, you must know God’s word. The Bible is a book of guidance to the Christian.  2 Timothy 3:16 stated that the Bible was written by the inspiration of God and it is useful for correction.  Does the result of the prayer you are seeing or the voice in your head align with the word of God? God exalts His word more and His word can never change. He can never say anything against what He has already spoken. His word doesn’t contradict. Matthew 24:15 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Follow Clear Instructions

God’s will won’t cause you to be confused – the kind of confusion that causes difficulty in doing the will of God, thereby causing frequent stumbling. 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” The word of the Lord is clear and direct, He will instruct you on the way to go. Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

How Does It Affect Others?

God has told us to love our neighbors but when we are getting something that is contrary to that, then it’s not the will of God. Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

You cannot say because it’s the will of God that you do His work and abandon your responsibility as a wife, a husband, a boss, or whatever position you are in. 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  Doing the right thing for your family and the people whom you love, including the people at your workplace is the will of God.

Build Your Life Around Your Divine Assignment

God has already placed a specific assignment in your life that only you can accomplish with His help. Your job is to discover that assignment, complete it with God’s help and be a blessing to the Body of Christ.  Your assignment or plans can be found in studying the Word of God. (NKJV) Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  

God’s thoughts and plans for your life are for good and not evil. They are to prosper you!  God’s assignment for you will not fail when you do it His way. Continue to seek Him and He will reveal it to you.

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7 Things to Remember When Hard Times Hit

7 Things to Remember When Hard Times Hit

March 5,  2019

Written by Pastor Juanita L. McKenzie

What do you do when hard times hit? In this life, we are bound to face trials, challenges, and some unpleasant situations that will break us down and make us feel alone. But Jesus has already told us that all these things will surely come.  He told us so that we can brace up ourselves and do the right thing. So, when someone says life is hard, there is no argument to that. We face tough situations in different areas of our lives. Some might be battling with their health, some might be battling with their finances – we all face difficulties.

Going through hard times makes you stronger. Everybody will face his or her own challenges in life. Yet, these challenges serve as a stepping stone to greatness if we face them and fight. In order to overcome these hard times in life, there are things that we must have in mind, things we need to remember.

1. Remember God to Survive Hard Times

If everyone is leaving you alone, family and friends are going, remember God. God will never leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” This is what the Lord has promised us. If challenges come, God will use them to make us great because he will be there to help us fight whenever it seems family and friends are leaving us.

Remember God’s love. If God can send his son to die for us, then are we going to say He has stopped loving us? God has not stopped loving us – his love will show us comfort in hard times. We should not blame God for the bad things happening.

However, many people blame God for their downfall; they blame God for their deteriorating health. God doesn’t want sickness for you, God loves you and he promised to heal. Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”

2. Nothing Lasts Forever

The truth is that whatever you are facing right now will not last forever. Psalm 30:5 “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” There is a time for everything on earth. What you are facing only makes you grow stronger and teaches you to trust in God when hard times come.

It’s not enough to believe that it will be over soon but to know that if it will come again, you will surely overcome it. Since it doesn’t last forever, simply focus on the brighter side, focus on what is good.  Any time I face any situation that is so unpleasant, I learn to adapt and then look into the future because I know God has better plans for me. So, the situation is just there to prepare me for it. It might look like it will not be over but soon it will be over and the tears will turn to joy.

3. All Things Work Together for Good

Are you sad because of what you are going through right now? Don’t let your present situation weigh you down. Paul struggled with his past life and when he received inspiration from Jesus, he came to this conclusion in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Paul wrote this particular verse of the Bible. You can imagine what he was thinking before writing this. This is coming from someone who had faced great tribulation. He endangered his life by the preaching of the gospel. Yet, he wrote that “All things work together for good.”

If you have been weighed down by your past, or what’s happening to you right now, leave it to Jesus. He will turn all into joy and you will receive strength. Do you remember Jabez, who was born in sorrow?  He was poor and weighed down because of his past. His mother had pronounced evil on him (1 Chronicles 4:9). But Jabez cried out unto the Lord and his story was changed.

4. The Promises of God

Don’t blame God for all that is happening to you, but remember His promises. Don’t let what’s happening now hide the promise of God away from your sight. If God promises a thing, He will always do it because He honors His word. Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

God promised a wonderful ending not otherwise, so we shouldn’t think it’s over for us when a little problem hits us but look into the promises. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expected end.”

5. The Name of Jesus

When we are in danger and we need help, what we do is to shout for help. In this same manner, for us to be saved from hard times, we need to call on the name of the Lord. Romans 10:13 “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” When you call on the name of the Lord, He answers and saves you not only from the destruction but also from the guilt of sin.  Also, from temptations, trials, hell, and from the judgment of God that will befall on the wicked ones.

The Lord Himself told us to call Him in times of our trouble and He will deliver us (Psalm 50:15). It’s never too late to call on the Lord. Whatever situation you are in right now, the best thing you need to do is to call on Jesus. Psalm 145:18 “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

The blind man, Bartimaeus, when he heard Jesus coming, he didn’t mind his situation – he called on Jesus. Imagine what he must have gone through with his blindness, frustration, and rejections.   Yet, he couldn’t let this opportunity be wasted – he cried for mercy; he cried because he wanted to be saved. Because Jesus is near to those that call him, He answered him and saved him. Don’t allow anybody to silence you, don’t allow your thoughts to silence you, but instead, cry out to Jesus for help.

6. Remember God’s Grace

You are not better than those that faced the same challenges you are facing but couldn’t get through.  Some have lost their battle with some sickness you survived. You are not better, but it’s just the grace of God you are enjoying. His grace has been there for you and whatever you go through remember that His grace is enough for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

7. Your Divine Assignment

You are not in this world for nothing; you have been created for a purpose. God has chosen you so you cannot let any situation change that. Focus on the purpose, be purpose driven and not situation driven. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Remember the relationship you have in Christ. Whatever God says we are, depends on the type of relationship we have with him. For those that are far from Him, those that don’t obey what He says, He called them “The wicked.” He hates them so much that he will pass judgment on them. 2 Timothy 3:3 “They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” These are the typical characters of the wicked people. This is not your own fate, you have Christ and you have a purpose – remember the purpose and let it take you through the hard times.

Keeping the Faith When Hard Times Hit

Remember that the first step in staying calm and holding your faith when hard times hit is to meditate on God’s Word. Your circumstances are merely a temporary inconvenience and won’t last forever. Surely, all things in the end always work for your ultimate good. 

Pray with faith and continue to focus on the promises of God. And when in danger, call on His name. God’s grace is sufficient for us. Keep renewing your mind and building up your faith in God for you were created with a great purpose. Nurture your spirit, soul and body and continually offer praise and thanksgiving unto your Heavenly Creator. Following these tips will help you to deal with the hard times when they eventually hit.

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Obedience

Discipleship
Kendal McKenzie


A Call For Obedience

During His earthly ministry, Jesus stressed the importance of being called to obedience. Whatever He says and when we follow it, then we shall have success.


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The Prayer of Persistent Patience



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The Prayer of Persistent Patience

Why does God require persistent patience when you pray?  Truthfully. prayer can be one of the most difficult disciplines to do consistently and persistently. Yet, you’ve waited forever for God to answer your prayer, but nothing is happening. Does God really expect you to keep on praying?  One important analogy Jesus gave in reiterating the place, power and relevance of persistency in prayer is found in Luke 18:1. The opening verse has become a reference verse for many discussions on prayer.

The Persistent Widow

1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: 2“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

4For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or respect men, 5yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’”

6And the Lord said, “Listen to the words of the unjust judge. 7 Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? 8I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

The text tells of God’s unwavering desire for His people to keep an unbroken, persistent, persevering prayer with Him. This noble demand, nonetheless, stands even in times of difficulties.

Difficulty Has A Purpose

For everyone of God’s children, God is intentional about all that happens to them. The nature and character of God do not accommodate accidents or coincidences. Every event in the lives of those who love God serves a higher purpose. These include difficulties or hardships.

God has always employed difficulties to strengthen the character of His children, and to invite them into deeper relationships with Him. God’s chastisement is an expression of His great love for us, for the scripture rightly says

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”   (Hebrews 12:6, ESV)

So, difficulty serves the purpose of love – God loving us. This show of love is to develop in us godly character. By it we are conformed to the image of Christ. It is like pruning a flower; though its many leaves may be trimmed off, the flower becomes more beautiful after the exercise. The writer of Hebrews writes that God disciplines us for our good. Though the process produces momentary pain, it later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  (Hebrews 12:3-11, ESV).

If we arm ourselves with this truth, going through difficult times would come with much ease, and clear purpose.

Persistent Prayer – God at the Center

Prayer is cardinal in every believer’s life. It is one way Christians express their dependence on God. It is one means of deepening and strengthening our relationship with the triune God. Because prayer is a relationship between God and man, it is expedient that the Christian devotes his/her attention to God. He desires wholehearted worship. Thus, an efficient prayer is one which revolves around the character, majesty, power, glory and beauty of God.

An efficient prayer keeps God within its gaze. It starts with God, continues with Him and ends in Him. A prayer that perseveres is fixated on God, and not on the difficulty. Such prayer reinforces God’s ability above the seeming power of the difficulty. A prayer such as this is sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit, thus the praying Christian is able to be patient, and persevere. It is this kind of prayer that overcomes difficult situations.

Persistent Patience – The Character of Overcomers

The story of the persistent widow reinforces the power of perseverance – persistent patience. Perseverance is a patience that is persistent, that does not give up or give in. The widow’s situation was quite difficult. She was requesting an action which is alien to the godless judge. It’s akin to demanding justice from an unjust king. Hers was a difficult situation – she was helpless, and had, as last resort to justice, a judge who had no fear of God.

With her perseverance, the seemingly impossible situation turned out possible. The hardhearted judge could not withstand the power of her never-say-die spirit. She was aware of what she was up against, yet she persevered. She persisted in her quest for justice. She kept knocking on the door. Though helpless, this widow received justice.

How difficult is your present situation? Jesus, in his usual signature parable, has taught us to not faint nor grow weary in prayers while in the midst of difficulty. Winners don’t quit. Overcomers don’t give up on God. Perseverance is the character of overcomers. Hear Jesus’ consolatory remark:

“7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?  8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.” (Luke 18:7-8a, ESV).

Wrapping Up

Have you become weary in prayers? Does it seem like you’re at the end of your rope? Is there such thing as praying too much? There’s no such thing as praying too much. Prayer is often our last resort, the final step in a hopeless situation. We refer to it with such phrases as “he doesn’t have a prayer,” or “there is nothing left to do but pray.”

We encourage you to remain persistent in your prayers even when you don’t get an answer!  Why? Persistent prayer focuses your attention. Persistent prayer clarifies your request. Persistent prayer tests your faith. Persistent prayer prepares your heart for the answer.

Hang on in there! Don’t quit yet. Keep praying to God (remember He loves you). Be patient. Persevere. The God you’re praying to said He’ll give you justice speedily. He does not lie. Trust Him. Remember, “God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20

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Obedience

Kendal McKenzie


A Call For Obedience

During His earthly ministry, Jesus stressed the importance of being called to obedience. Whatever He says and when we follow it, then we shall have success.


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Falling in Love With God



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Falling in Love With God

One of the most popular scriptures in the world is found at John 3:16 ~ “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

While many know of the love of God, only a few have responded to that love. We complain sometimes when we are in love with someone and they do not feel the same way about us.  Yet, that is what we do to God every day. It is important that we reciprocate the love of God towards us.

We as Christians, who have tasted of the salvation of God despite being so undeserving of it, have one priority to God which is love and worship. How can we claim to know God or understand the magnitude of His redemptive work on the cross if we don’t love Jesus who died for us. “When the kindness and love of God appeared. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3: 4-5).

“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 5)

All these scriptures clearly point out to the endless and vast love of God for us.

Our Savior must remain dear to us at all times and under any circumstances. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8: 35). However, how can we show love to a God we cannot see?

How to Love God

Jesus gives us the simple code to loving God, and that is by obeying him.

  1. Obeying God’s Commandments: Those who love God seek to please Him at all times regardless of any surrounding circumstances. The will of God is paramount and supreme on their priority list. This is the attitude of God’s children. Jesus mentioned that “whosoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (John 14: 21).

    When you love someone, you will always want to do what pleases them, and what pleases God is obeying Him, not as the commandments, but as a sign of your love and passion for Him.

  2. By Loving Others: John 13: 34- 35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Loving others, being kind, patient and forgiving is an act of devotion and worship to God. We read in Matthew 25: 31-46 how Jesus reveals that the little kindness or hatred we do to others are done to Him and how we will be rewarded for all we have done or said to others as though they were done to Him. 1 John 4: 8 puts it in plainer terms this way “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

All men are created by God, and God loves all men so much, that is the whole purpose of the death of Jesus. Likewise as men who love God, we must love what and who He loves. One way to prove this is by showing kindness to others and reaching out to lost souls because they are primary in the heart of God.

It is a dangerous disposition of the heart for a man not to feel a thing for God. Christ is supposed to feel us with that inexplicable sense of awe and adoration as not just our Savior or Lord but as our Friend and Father. If you realize that you are consistently unmoved by the things of God, then there is no other time better than now to bow in humble contrition and sincere penitence asking God for grace to love Him more than ever before.

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Never Forget Your First Love



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Never Forget Your First Love

Do you remember how you felt when you first gave your life to Christ? Those many nights of prayers and days of fasting, the ceaseless bible studies and the way you love going to the house of the Lord. Have you taken time to ask yourself what then could be wrong now that you can no longer stay at ease in the place of prayer?

When was the last time you studied His Word alone in your secret place? How is it that this feeling is dissipating and it appears you cannot do anything against it? Our hearts are gradually going back to the ‘Egypt’ we left behind. The awful things we once renounced are beginning to appeal to us once again with their false sense of worth. We are now permissive and liberal with the things we once condemned and God is asking: ‘have you forgotten your first love?

Hear the words of the Master as He reaches out in love and enduring grace to the straying child:

“I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, expect thou repent” Rev. 2: 4&5

Remember Your First Love

There are many things that steal our heart from our first love, many distractions that we have substituted as our new love. For some it’s money, some a job, some a spouse or even children. While this is normal to be distracted, we must not allow the devil to overcome in his plan to distract us by ensuring that we focus on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1 says we should set aside every weight that easily weighs us down. Paul also advises us not to worry about the troubles in this life, we are to take them to God in prayer. Jesus is our first love, and in Him is the provision for all our worries and fears, don’t be deceived by the devil that there is an answer outside Jesus.

O Christian comrade, do not be discouraged or faint at heart. Long might be the journey of your faith, trying might be the rising storm, the future sometimes looks bleak and gloomy and you are easily carried away by the dissuading rage of the enemy. Just when you are about laying down in defeat for the tide of this world to work its bidding and the enemy of the cross to plunder in victory, take one bold step to God in faith.

Tell Him how weak and sorry you are. There is a God in heaven that cares about the lot of His own. He is willing to draw you closer in love and in mercy. To pull you closer to Himself and fashion you into His battle axe with which He can wreck havoc on the camp of the wicked. In the words of Jesus:

“Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22: 37)

This is not a word of condemnation to those who have forgotten their first love, but a word of admonition to you and also encouragement to those who are struggling or still staying on. Jesus is waiting with open arms to take you back and help you love Him forever.  Just reach out in your heart and He will answer you.

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7 Tips To Buіld A Quality Relationship



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7 Tips To Buіld A Quality Relationship

Hоw solid іѕ уоur marriage? Hоw rеgulаrlу do уоu mаіntаіn уоur relationship wіth уоur раrtnеr? Iѕ уоur rеlаtіоnѕhір on a ѕmооth rіdе оr a bumpy ѕurfасе? Building a healthy rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth уоur ѕроuѕе is thе key tо a lasting marriage.

The mаrrіаgе hаѕ tо be mаіntаіnеd permanently. A lаѕtіng marriage саnnоt bе асhіеvеd оvеrnіght. Couples ѕhоuld work еvеrу dау to make thеіr mаrrіаgе ѕtrоng and hеаlthу. Cоuрlеѕ ѕhоuld continue to nurturе thеіr rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ іn оrdеr tо sustain thеm реrmаnеntlу аnd tо ѕurvіvе the different ѕtаgеѕ of mаrrіеd lіfе, іn thе fасе оf the growing needs оf married lіfе аnd thе аrrіvаl оf children.

Happy Marriage is approved by God as the Bible teaches in Gеnеѕіѕ 1:27-28: “Sо Gоd created man іn hіѕ оwn іmаgе, іn thе image of God he сrеаtеd hіm; mаlе and female hе сrеаtеd thеm. And Gоd blеѕѕеd thеm. And Gоd said tо thеm, ‘Be fruіtful and multiply аnd fіll thе earth аnd subdue іt аnd hаvе dominion over the fіѕh оf the ѕеа аnd оvеr thе bіrdѕ of thе hеаvеnѕ and оvеr еvеrу living thing thаt moves оn thе еаrth.

Indееd, having a ѕuссеѕѕful mаrrіаgе іѕ ѕоmеthіng mоѕt соuрlеѕ wоuld wаnt after mаrrіаgе. But іf marriage іѕ challenged with additional priorities ѕuсh аѕ сhіldrеn, nеw hоmеѕ, еduсаtіоn, finances, and utіlіtіеѕ, it mау bе a bіt оf work, to mаkе the fіrе burn іn the relationship. Lеаrnіng hоw to hаvе a happy mаrrіаgе not juѕt іn thе fіrѕt months of thе unіоn, but throughout уоur lіfе саn indeed bе a сhаllеngе. 

Whеthеr уоu аrе just married or in a dеtеrіоrаtіng mаrrіаgе, hеrе аrе 7 tірѕ thаt could hеlр you build a happy mаrrіаgе, avoid dіvоrсе, keep the ѕраrk іn уоur rеlаtіоnѕhір оr brіng іt bасk.

Building A Quality Relationship

(1) Improve Marriage Communication

In еvеrу rеѕресt, еffесtіvе communication is thе kеуwоrd. When you hаvе tо overcome thе ѕtrеѕѕ thаt is developing negatively bеtwееn you аnd уоur partner, уоu ѕhоuld lеаrn tо hаndlе уоur соmmunісаtіоn well. Yоu ѕhоuld bе able to communicate whаt уоu іntеnd wіthоut misunderstandings.

A сrumblіng mаrrіаgе іѕ оftеn thе rеѕult оf nоt being able tо соmmunісаtе well wіth уоur раrtnеr оr соmmunісаtе hеаlthіlу. Lack of effective communication can indeed put your mаrrіаgе tо thе test, but the practice саn bе a good fіrѕt step іn hеlріng you find a happy mаrrіаgе.

(2) Strengthen Your Marital Commitment

Couples whо рlеdgе to bе реrѕіѕtеnt dеѕріtе difficulties аnd to tаkе саrе of еасh оthеr are bоund tо lаѕt. In buіldіng a hеаlthу rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth уоur spouse, уоu muѕt bе соmmіttеd tо уоur mаrrіаgе аnd lіvе up tо your promise.

Remember that соuрlеѕ hаvе vowed to lоvе еасh оthеr fоr rісhеr аnd рооrеr rеgаrdіng dіѕеаѕе and hеаlth. Commitment is a bоnd that can kеер a mаrrіаgе іntасt.

Divorce is оn the rіѕе, which mеаnѕ that mаnу couples аrе unable tо lіvе their lives due tо lack of соmmіtmеnt. If соuрlеѕ are соmmіttеd tо еасh оthеr, dіvоrсе саn bе рrеvеntеd.

(3) Listen To Your Partner

Yоu nееd tо lеаrn аnd absorb thе аrt of lіѕtеnіng tо уоur раrtnеr. Your spouse muѕt bе able tо know thаt you аrе lіѕtеnіng whеn hе/ѕhе ѕреаkѕ tо уоu. You should mаіntаіn eye соntасt wіth each other whіlе lіѕtеnіng.

Listening is оnе of thе mоѕt іgnоrеd ѕkіllѕ thаt іѕ аlѕо very іmроrtаnt іn building hеаlthу аnd open communication with your spouse. Lеаrn tо listen more, аnd уоu’ll notice mаjоr сhаngеѕ іn your соmmunісаtіоn.

(4) Become Intentional About Handling Marriage Conflicts

It іѕ normal fоr соuрlеѕ tо еxреrіеnсе соnflісtѕ аnd рrоblеmѕ іn mаrrіаgе, but іt іѕ nоt thе аbѕеnсе оf соnflісt thаt ѕtrеngthеn rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ, but thе wау couples handle соnflісtѕ іn their marriage. Common mаrіtаl рrоblеmѕ are problems with money, lасk оf time, рrоblеmѕ wіth еасh other’s jоbѕ, jеаlоuѕу аnd parenting рrоblеmѕ.

In buіldіng a healthy rеlаtіоnѕhір with уоur ѕроuѕе, уоu nееd to know how to ѕоlvе уоur mаrrіаgе рrоblеmѕ іn wауѕ thаt wіll mаkе your marriage ѕtrоngеr. Yоu ѕhоuld knоw hоw tо fіght fаіrlу, make compromises, and hоw tо resolve thе соnflісtѕ in your marriage with уоur spouse аnd kеер thе rеlаtіоnѕhір lasting.

Argumеntѕ аrе unаvоіdаblе in any rеlаtіоnѕhір. It is a means tо understand problems frоm the perspective оf оthеr peoples. But how wеll you ѕоlvе the аrgumеnt is a measure of how hеаlthу thе rеlаtіоnѕhір wіll bе.

(5) Work Regularly On Your Sex Life

Fulfilling ѕеx life іѕ indeed аn іmроrtаnt element оf a hарру mаrrіаgе. If уоur ѕеx lіfе hаѕ become routine, уоu mіght want to look fоr ways to make уоur lоvеmаkіng a little dіffеrеnt. Of course, do some research, and уоu will find hundrеdѕ оf ways tо рlеаѕе уоur раrtnеr іn bed.

Rеаd what рrеfеrеnсеѕ men and wоmеn wаnt tо have іn lоvеmаkіng. If you are оnе оf thоѕе whо ѕееk a “ѕеxlеѕѕ mаrrіаgе,” уоu may want tо brіng back the luѕt and аttrасtіоn that уоu once hаd. Cоmmunісаtіоn рlауѕ an іmроrtаnt rоlе in thіѕ раrtісulаr area.

Of соurѕе, іt can be vеrу helpful tо соmmunісаtе openly with уоur раrtnеr about уоur ѕеxuаl nееdѕ. But rеmеmbеr tоо thаt it’s nоt juѕt about уоur needs аnd desires. Yоu аlѕо hаvе tо consider thе nееdѕ оf уоur раrtnеr.

Your rеlаtіоnѕhір іѕ as good аѕ уоur іntіmасу іn bed. Yоu hаvе tо hаvе tіmе fоr sexual intimacy as often as уоu can. Fаіlurе wіll result іn suspicions frоm уоur ѕроuѕе. Yоu knоw whаt that mеаnѕ in a relationship, dоn’t уоu? Remember уоu hаvе a responsibility tо your ѕроuѕе tо ѕаtіѕfу hіm/hеr sexually.

(6) Give Time For Each Other

Take time to еnjоу each оthеr’ѕ соmраnу. Before mаrrіаgе, lоvеrѕ uѕuаllу ѕреnd tіmе together tо еnjоу еасh оthеr аnd talk tо еасh other аlmоѕt еvеrу dау. Aftеr marriage, hоwеvеr, most соuрlеѕ ѕреnd less and lеѕѕ time together, реrhарѕ bесаuѕе оf the grоwіng rеѕроnѕіbіlіtу fоr fаmіlу еduсаtіоn and the grоwіng demands оn thеіr work.

Even wоrѕе, соuрlеѕ оftеn іgnоrе each оthеr, even іf they share thе same space. Tо build a hеаlthу relationship wіth your spouse, you nееd tо ѕреnd more tіmе аlоnе. If уоu spend more tіmе tоgеthеr, you саn strengthen уоur marriage. Mаіntаіn a соmmоn іntеrеѕt or find ѕоmеthіng that уоu both lіkе tо dо аѕ a hobby оr ѕроrt.

Crеаtіng аnd ѕhаrіng new еxреrіеnсеѕ and mеmоrіеѕ is іmроrtаnt іf you wаnt tо kеер your mаrrіаgе hеаlthу. It is аlѕо important tо ѕеt a rеgulаr night. It іѕ a bіg mіѕtаkе fоr соuрlеѕ tо ѕtор dаtіng bесаuѕе thе аbѕеnсе оf romance іn mаrrіаgе саn mаkе thе rеlаtіоnѕhір bоrіng аnd unstable. Althоugh the priorities оf mаrrіаgе can іnсrеаѕе, іt is important nоt tо fоrgеt to gіvе уоur раrtnеr hіgh-ԛuаlіtу tіmе.

It іѕ іmроrtаnt nоt tо tаkе еасh other fоr grаntеd. Onе of the соmmоn mіѕtаkеѕ оf mаrrіеd реорlе іѕ tо tаkе their раrtnеrѕ for grаntеd, as they often think that lіvіng under thе same roof is ѕuffісіеnt fоr thеm, оr that they ѕіt tоgеthеr аt dinner is еnоugh. Tо wоrk on a hарру mаrrіаgе, уоu nееd tо mаkе sure thаt уоu occasionally lаugh tоgеthеr. Sреnd tіmе tоgеthеr, just as a соuрlе, оr even support еасh оthеr, еѕресіаllу whеn уоu nееd іt urgеntlу.

No mаttеr hоw ѕhоrt, уоu need tо bе together, so make ѕurе іt’ѕ regular. Yоu саn gо fоr a walk together in thе еvеnіng, hоld hands аnd talk about thе іntеrеѕtіng аѕресtѕ оf the dау. Plаn tоgеthеr fоr thе hоmе, fоr thе education оf уоur сhіldrеn, fоr thе hоlіdауѕ, еtс. Yоu wіll bе аmаzеd hоw сlоѕе уоu bоth wіll bе. Be creative in уоur dіѕсuѕѕіоnѕ аnd avoid gеttіng bоrеd. Tаkе time to lеt your spouse knоw how you fееl.

(7) Become A Bette You – Grow Individually

Whіlе it is truе that іt is hеаlthу fоr thе rеlаtіоnѕhір tо ѕhаrе соmmоn іntеrеѕtѕ, it іѕ еԛuаllу important to grow individually. We аll nееd tо bе оur own and grоw аѕ an individual tо соntrіbutе mоrе tо оur relationships. Of course, in еvеrуthіng уоu dо, you must take into ассоunt thаt уоu are mаrrіеd, аnd there аrе lіmіtѕ to be rеѕресtеd.

Growing іndіvіduаllу in a relationship mеаnѕ lеаrnіng mоrе about уоurѕеlf аnd оthеrѕ аnd exploring thе world whіlе respecting уоur mаrrіаgе. To love уоur ѕроuѕе, you also hаvе tо lоvе yourself. It іѕ also іmроrtаnt that the rеlаtіоnѕhір supports thе іntеrеѕtѕ оf your ѕроuѕе. Whеn buіldіng a hеаlthу rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth уоur spouse, it is important fоr you tо allow your ѕроuѕе to grоw individually.

Wake Up Call

Above all: always pray together “the family that prays together, stays together.” Remember in whatever action you take in your relationship, your spouse should always be your priority.

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Obedience

Kendal McKenzie


A Call For Obedience

During His earthly ministry, Jesus stressed the importance of being called to obedience. Whatever He says and when we follow it, then we shall have success.


Read More »

Exuma Churches

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