KAIP TAPTI VIENOS ŠIRDIES

HOW TO BECOME ONE HEART

Karen and I don't have a perfect marriage. We've been through a lot of trials together. But a long time ago—when God healed us as individuals and then began to heal the fractures in our relationship—we decided our marriage would be centered on God. He became our purpose.

More than anything else, that purpose is what has kept us together. We do the right thing because of our commitment to Jesus Christ. That means we bring the problems of our marriage to Him. We rely on Him to keep our marriage alive and working. Our marriage exists for one reason, and that's to pursue God's purpose. We have become one together in God's will.

But if you know Karen and me, you know that we are still very different people. We don't have the same personality. When we first married, I was surprised to discover how stubborn she could be. She was surprised to see how dominant I could be.

Our marriage wasn't that different from most marriages, which are often made up of two people butting heads. We almost divorced as a result.

How do two very different, strongly opinionated people ever come into agreement? How do two individuals ever come together in God's will?

The answer is that, instead of two people butting heads, a marriage should become two individuals submitting to one Head: The Lord Jesus Christ. Karen and I never talk about who the boss of our marriage is because we determined early on to make Him the Boss of our marriage.

Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Paul is giving instructions for marriage. Earlier in this passage, he talks about how wives submit to husbands, and also about how husbands should sacrifice for their wives. But here, he says "submit to one another."

Early in our marriage, when it was at its worst, I didn't know this verse. In fact, I didn't really know any Scripture except the verse earlier in Ephesians about wives submitting to their husbands. I quoted that verse to Karen on a regular basis because she didn't seem to understand it very well.

I finally learned that it wasn't my job to be the boss of our marriage. Karen wasn't the boss of our marriage either. We were supposed to submit to each other. Then, together, we were to submit our marriage to God.

As a result, today there's not one decision in our marriage on which we don't come to complete agreement. Why? Because for many years, we've followed the same process when it comes to decision-making. We talk about it. We pray about it. We seek God's will.

When we discover His will, we don't have to convince each other of anything. We don't dominate or bully each other to get our way. There's no stubborn refusal to give in. We just follow the direction God is leading us.

God's will is perfect. It will guide you into your promised land a hundred percent of the time. Humans have limited wisdom and limited perspective, but God has literally been around forever. He knows exactly the right decisions for us to make, and if we'll trust Him, we'll always make the perfect decision.

When you seek God's will together, the husband doesn't lose. The wife doesn't lose. Both of you gain because when you find God's will, you also find His blessing and His peace.

Who's the boss of your marriage? Making Him the Head of your marriage is an essential step toward becoming one heart.

Jimmy Evans
Founder & CEO of Marriage Today

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ATLEIDIMAS

Forgiveness

Why is forgiveness so important and vital for every believer? What do Jesus and the Scripture Teach about forgiveness?

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."(Mk 11, 25)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."(1 Jn 1, 9)

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”." (Mt 18, 21-22)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Lk 6, 37)

There are many places in the Bible where it is stated that forgiveness is first needed for us, those who are angry or hurt. If we do not forgive those who have trespassed against us, we will not be forgiven ourselves. This means that we will be accused of not forgiving. We only make it worse for ourselves by being angry and unwilling to forgive. But when a friend betrays your trust, someone steals from you or hurts your family in any way, it seems so natural to get angry and want revenge for the injustice caused to you.

To desire justice is one thing, but to carry anger in your heart, which in the long run always grows into bitterness and hatred, is another thing altogether. Some psychologists argue that not forgiving can affect you both emotionally and physically. For example, it can cause an increase in blood pressure, depression or other chronic diseases. And what about the harm that can be caused between husband and wife? The Bible reads,"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”(Ef 4, 32) Often, we hear someone who has forgiven has their physical illnesses healed by God. So, unforgiveness and anger that have been held for a long time are like a poison, it harms us physically.

What does it mean to forgive?

Forgiveness is a gift given to anyone that is hurt or has hurt someone. The Greek word in the Bible translates to "forgive", literally means "let go". Jesus himself prayed on the cross to his father: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23, 34). Jesus realised that people do not always understand what they are doing and what consequences it can cause. He prayed to his Father to forgive us, for he loved everyone, even those who had tortured and abused him. The Bible teaches that the foundation of true forgiveness is selfless love because it does not hold hurt. Forgiveness is a choice of free will, it does not relate to how big the guilt is or how hard the situation is, it is also not related to the feelings of a man or the emotional condition at the time.

Is it easy to forgive?

It does not say anywhere in the bible that you should only forgive when it is easy but when it’s hard you don’t. It is a simple fact that we need to forgive to be forgiven. It seems so easy, but in real life, it’s not that easy to do. However, our pain or loss, should not speak louder than Gods divine truth. When we decide to forgive, we do not look at the pain, we simply choose the correct way out. It is always easier for me to forgive when I have poured out my heart to the Lord in prayer. I try to tell God about all my feelings and in the end, I always ask Him to help me forgive my perpetrators because I know that where I am still weak, He is strong.

 Is forgiving the same as forgetting and living as if nothing has happened?

No not at all! Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. By forgiving, we do not expect what has been lost to be restored but trust must be rebuilt. If a husband or wife has lost trust in one another, that trust must be restored by taking very specific actions and putting in a conscious effort. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Pat 28, 13). It is not enough to confess your guilt alone; you need to stop making the same mistake. My forgiveness does not mean that I continue to let someone mistreat and exploit me.

Forgiveness does not mean:

  • To accept inappropriate behaviour. Those who call evil deeds harmless or justify them are condemned in the Bible (See Isaiah 5, 20).
  • Pretend that nothing happened. Although God forgave King David's sins, He did not protect him from the consequences of the sinful behavior. The consequences of David’s sins was Gods will and are remembered to this day (see 2 Samual 12, 9-13).
  • Let people exploit you. For example, if you lend money to someone, but they waste that money and has no way of giving the money back to you; you forgive them and forget the debt, but this does not mean you should borrow the money again in the future (Psalm 37, 21; Also 14, 15; Galatians 6, 7).
  • Forgiving made up grievances. It is hard to admit that sometimes the pain and anger that we feel has no foundation. The Bible says, " Don't become angry quickly, because anger is foolish." (Ecclesiastes 7, 9).

We need to forgive almost every day sometimes even a few times. It is no secret that if we do not forgive, we harden our hearts and the state of our heart is important to God. When we close the door to our heart to a person, we also close them to God, and when we forgive, we open our hearts again. Anger and resentment stop us, it prevents us from moving forward, we end up stuck in one place ceasing to mature and rejoice in the things that surround us. When we accept our neighbor as they are with all their faults, it is easier to be more forgiving. If we focus on what others did wrong, it is very easy to forget what they did that was good.. Do we want to be like that? Remember, nobody is perfect, you are not the exception. Let us be sensitive and forgiving spirits, and let God be the judge.

Jūratė Kapačinskienė

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AR KRIKŠČIONYS TURĖTŲ ŠVĘSTI HALOVINĄ?

Should christians celebrate halloween?

The air is getting freaky. The days are getting shorter. Halloween is around the corner. Americans are expected to spend $9.1 billion on Halloween. Costumers will spend $86.13 on average to gear up. According to World Book Encyclopedia, “Halloween developed from an ancient pagan festival celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago in the area that is now the U.K., Ireland, and Northern France. The festival was called ‘Samhain’ (pronounced SOW ehn), which means ‘summer’s end,’ and it marked the beginning of the dark winter season. It was celebrated around Nov. 1. In the ninth century, the Catholic Church established a new holiday‚ All Saint’s Day, also called All Hallows. ‘Hallow’ means ‘saint’ or ‘one who is holy.’ The evening before All Hallows was known as All Hallow’s Eve, which was eventually shortened to Halloween.”

The founder of the church of satan, Anton Szandor LaVey, who is now deceased said, “Two major holidays, HALLOWEEN and Walpurgisnacht are celebrated by the Church of Satan. I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween.” Wiccans celebrate 8 holidays. Most important one is Samhain (Halloween). Those who practice voodoo and other witchcraft see this event as sacred. What Easter and Christmas are to Christians, Halloween is to the occult world.

After seeing people get delivered from demons on a regular basis and the damage demons cause to people, I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind can celebrate that.

Why don’t I celebrate Halloween? Because it…

  • Promotes fear. As Christians, we celebrate faith. We are believers. We belong to the household of faith. We have a spirit of faith. We have the gift of faith, and are called to live lives of faith! Perfect love casts out fear, not celebrates it!
  • Promotes darkness. Jesus is the light of the world. We are called to be a light to this world. The Word of God is Light. Nothing about Christianity is darkness! Heaven will never be overshadowed by night.
  • Promotes death. The only death we remember is Jesus’. It defeated the grave and death. We believe in the cross, not a skull!

If we imitate the world, we lose our distinction; if we isolate from the world, we lose our influence. Christians need to engage the culture if we expect to make an impact but the Bible is clear about not conforming to our culture.

Pastor Vlad Savchuk  

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PABUSK

WAKE UP!

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
(Ephesians 5:14)

How long we are sitting every Sunday on church pews with pious feelings? How long have we been in bible lessons, in prayer meetings, or maybe in chorus as well? And what are the results? Only some kind of edification to uplift oneself on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday? Is that all?
What is going on in our churches? When Jesus did speak to us last time? When I have I lead a person to Jesus?
There seems to be a complete standstill since years! But the worst is: The first love for Jesus is forsaken, has been replaced by theological-systematic thinking. One checks whether the sermons are according to the bible word and not whether they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
That’ s why Jesus called such churches dead. Why all the Christian communities, founded by Paul, vanished? What will happen with our churches?
Therefore Jesus says: Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead! Today, when you hear His voice, wake up! See your hard heart, your pride and repent! Ask for forgiveness! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with new love. And then go into your little room daily to find out by prayers how Jesus can use you.Tell Him that you are willing to follow His instructions. And when you receive them, carry them out! He wants you to be a blessing for many. And be not irritated if at first there are little things that Jesus ask you to do. He tests you and great things will follow. He is the Doer!
So take off your glasses of tradition and read the Bible as a child. Then He can speak to you again through these words. And do what He is telling you. Then He will be the Light again for you, give you new life. Yes, wake up!

Oh Jesus, You are life and not a dead doctrine! Let flow new love in my heart, fill me with Your presence which gives me new strength. Thank You, You are with me. I trust You!

Frank Lauermann

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RAMYBĖ JO ARTUME

IN HIS PRESENCE

None of us can endure stress without negative consequences! The reason for this is because God designed us to function in an atmosphere of peace. His presence is the only place where we can live happily and successfully.

When I look back on the first thirty-three years of my life, I can’t believe I survived the stress I was under at times. I had physical stress, marital stress, financial stress, work stress, and other types of stress as well.

I was a young pastor with a growing church, a young family, and had a small salary on top of other stressors in my life. I was thankful the Lord was using me to help people and that our church was growing, but at the same time, I was consumed by the stress.

God used the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah, chapter nine, to heal my heart and lead me to a life of peace. “And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end…” (Isaiah 9∶6-7a NKJV).

Here is a simple truth that changed my life and ended the stress that was consuming me: The more Jesus rules our lives, the more we live in His peace. The more we rule our own lives, the more stress we experience. Yes, I was a believer and a pastor, but there were many areas of my life that I did not fully submit to the Lord. As a result, I was self-navigating and paying a high price for it.

And the same principle works in marriage. The more access you give Jesus in your marriage, the more peace you will encounter! God desires for your marriage to be happy, secure, and intimate. God loves you and desires to bless you, but His blessing resides under His wing!

 

Jimmy Evans
Founder & CEO of MarriageToday

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IŠDRĮSKIME BŪTI SAVIMI

Let's dare to be ourselves

So often we give in to temptation and compare ourselves with others: Who is more successful, who is more out-spoken, who is richer, whose car is better; who bought and sold what, whose house is more welcoming, who has a better job, whose children are smarter; who is healthier, and whose photos are more attractive on social media... There is no end to it and there won’t be. Even with the good things, if we look at others and compare ourselves with them, this will create an obstacle to living the life God has gifted to us.

When God created you, he implemented everything necessary to fulfill your calling. He deliberately to the smallest details thought out everything; your characteristics, creativity, appearance and even the sound of your voice. He created you like no other, you are unique. He has given you everything you need in this life.

When God created the universe and all the plants and animals within it he "saw that it was good", but when he created man, he saw that "it was very good." – this means there is nothing to add, there is nothing missing, you cannot create anything more superior.

When we see another person's talents, abilities, resilience or appearance, we often think we lack those qualities, while at the same time not appreciating our very own talents and abilities given to us. When we try to be someone else, we just make our lives harder it's as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. This is more applicable to those who have not yet found themselves. God only pours anointing onto us when we do what He created us to be — this is when God’s greatest miracles occur — even if we have to work on more than one area of ourselves, we become fulfilled, happy and bless the people who surround us.

I would like to tell a pastors story. He loves to jog in the mornings to keep fit and healthy. Whilst on his morning jog, he notices another runner about one mile away. So, he decided to catch up with him and run past as if he was running a non-existent race. A few minutes later, he caught up to the runner, satisfied as he overtook him, however, as he ran for a few more minutes he noticed that he had missed his turn and had to run back in order to finish his intended run on time.

Does this not happen to us sometimes? When trying to run someone else’s race, do we not waste our own strength and time? In the end, we must go back to our intended path. The only contender with whom it is really worth racing is ourselves – only we can overcome our challenges and reach the end goal, as best as we can –let us be the best version of our ourselves because that is how God created us. We should not look at the people around us, they are not our competitors. It is normal for others to be more successful in an area that you may not be, everyone has their own unique given gifts.

King Saul wanted the same grace that God gave to David, so much so that he even tried to kill him more than once. Because of this Saul, himself lost what he had – power, the throne, his loved ones and the respect of the nation. This, in the end, killed Saul just because he wanted to please others and disregarded the favor God gave him, jealousy of David cost him his sanity.

All of us need to learn from the bible stories, to take the wisdom of God, be grateful, and to enjoy the gifts that God has given to us; this way we make history and bless the people around us. Let us dare to be unique, to be ourselves.

Jūratė Kapačinskienė

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