If I have found grace in the eyes of God, how can I not see with grace my wife or husband?

Marriage Beatitudes

There is no way you can be married and walk this life together without it being hard sometimes. I realize that in marriage, there are a million different scenarios. I realize that everybody’s life is different, but I’m just telling you there is so much grace when we refuse to quit! Too often we hear the words of Jesus in some kind of black and white, ink on paper kind of way. We should hear the words of Jesus as if they were spoken to us eye to eye.

Imagine hearing the power in the Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-11 as Jesus would say to you:

Blessed are you when you are discouraged in your marriage; when you are poor in spirit, because in that moment yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. You are not alone, you are not abandoned, or without hope for the future.” 

Blessed are you when you mourn in your marriage, when you are hurting in your marriage, because I will be there to comfort you, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you.” 

Blessed are you when you are feeling week and meek in your marriage because you are trusting in me and you are going to inherit everything.” 

Blessed are you when you hunger and you thirst for righteousness, when you just want what is right in your marriage, because you will be filled. I will never leave anyone who comes to me hungry because I am the bread of life.” 

“Blessed are you when you show mercy in your marriage, when you pass on the chance to wound and to do harm to establish your power in the marriage. Blessed are you when you show mercy because I will show you more mercy than you can imagine and I will fill your heart with joy.” 

Blessed are you when you stay on the path of purity in your marriage when somebody else is looking better than your spouse. Blessed are you when you are seeking satisfaction in me and not in something or someone less than me. Blessed are you when you stay pure in heart because you are going to see me."

Blessed are you when you make peace in your marriage, when you work hard for wholeness through my holiness because I’m telling you, you are going to be called my sons and my daughters.”

Blessed are you when you are persecuted for doing the right thing in your marriage, when you live for me and when your spouse does not recognize it or makes your life harder because you are following Jesus. You are not alone, you are blessed because yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Do not buy into the lie of the world that you are going to write your own prescription and walk away from your marriage. You can choose to be “happy” or you can give it up and kick and scream and struggle, but never let go of Jesus. Never leave the power of His presence. Hold onto Him until you have endured and see His grace come. Let His glory and His image be revealed in you. Everything that Jesus has to say is big enough to lead you through a life that is beyond this temporary search for happiness and into a Holiness and wholeness that will echo forever; and it will be enough for you. 

The issue is not your spouse, the issue is Jesus and you and what your heart is going to do with Jesus. You cannot fix, control or save your spouse. The more you try to control the more you are going to mess things up. I’m here to tell you that God is able. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Our God is big enough to work in the pain and in the challenge of your marriage; you just have to believe and never let go! –Dr. Drew Shofner

For God so loved the world.

John 316

When God acts in our lives and works to rescue us, there is a purpose for that. The purpose is that we get to live in His presence. We get to be with God; God rescues us to be with Him! When you are with someone you love, it’s a joyful thing and God’s joy is you! God’s heart is for you, and so He acts, always in history, to bring us to Himself.

The Laws of the Old Testament (the law of the first covenant) taught us that holiness is impossible to achieve in human effort; we couldn’t do it! We are rule breakers, we’re rebels and all that keeping rules does is keep us self righteous when we manage to keep a few rules that somebody else isn’t keeping. Nevermind the rules that we’re breaking, that they don’t know about. 

In the New Testament, (the New Covenant) we have a movement from law, to the Gospel (the Good News) and the good news is that holiness is a gift we receive by faith. It is a love gift of God so that the Old Testament story is still true, (that God rescues us to be with Him) but that in the New Testament, He rescues us by the blood of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says that "God sent His one and only son that anyone who believes in Him would not parish, but would have everlasting life"; if they would just believe!

It is such good news to know that none of us have to fake it ‘til we make it. It is such good news to know that we are all broken inside and that none of us have all the answers, that none of us have to pretend that we’ve got this, because the truth is “we don’t got this!”

If you don’t want to be changed by God, you won’t be, but if you want God, you’re going to get God in abundance. If you have no intention of walking with Jesus and listening to what He says, than stay away, but don’t stay away because you think you’re unworthy or broken. We’re all unworthy and we’re all broken.

Get it right today, don’t try to be right on your own. Just let Jesus rescue you so that you can be with Him. Be broken, be honest, be humble, be repentant; the only sin that is unforgivable is the sin that is unconfessed. –Dr. Drew Shofner

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God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called!

God doesn't call the qualified

There is a race that God has marked out for you, and it is a run to glory! You have to choose to get off of the easy chair and out of the lazy boy; off the couch and run the race marked out for you! Your race isn’t somebody else’s race, your gifts aren’t somebody else’s gifts, your call isn’t somebody else’s call!

It is very personalized by an amazing God who ponders the thoughts of six billion people and calls each one of us into a life that is choice based, spirit driven and Christ revealing. We are called to grow as individuals, we are called to grow as a church. Our growth, His Glory! Do you get it? -Dr. Drew Shofner

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You are the Salt of the Earth.

Salt and Light

We can’t find our identity in this world. My identity is not as a white man. Your identity can’t be as a black man or a white man. Your identity can’t be based on your socio-economic class or your knowledge, your power, your ability, or your presence. Your identity is based on Jesus. That you are His and that you have bought into the light that has come into the world and that every day you live to share the light. Jesus said "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?" Salt has two primary functions; it is a seasoning and a preservative. For centuries during Jesus' time, salt was worth more than gold; pound for pound. 

There is no reason for any of us to live confused about our identity. There is no reason for any of us to live in darkness, or down on ourselves, or having a lesser view of who God made us to be. We are a preservative and our actions and our lives can literally save situations and turn life around. It can keep marriages from falling apart, it can take children who are on a crash course and give them a new direction; it can change life! But here's the deal, salt has to be in contact for it to have any affect as a preservative or seasoning. You can't take salt and keep it in a shaker; and that's really where it is in the modern church. 

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” The reason why the cross is such core theology is because everything old ends on the cross. When you and I bear a cross, we die to our world based identity and we receive a new life. Jesus said in John 10:10I came that you might have life and that you might have it to the fullest." That ‘full life’ is living with a purpose; helping other people find their purpose! Jesus doesn't take those who are expected and those who are trained and who are all educated, Jesus takes the people He chooses and He gives them a completely new identity.

In the name of Jesus, I want to call you out of small living. I want to call you to offer God your most beautiful interpretation of what it means to be salt and light. There are too many of you looking in the mirror thinking, I got nothing, I am nothing; that is a lie from hell. You are the light of the world…You are! Not earn it, will be, might be, could be…no! You are the salt of the earth; you are the city on the hill! In the name of Jesus, will you start living large? Will you find your identity in your call in Christ? -Dr. Drew Shofner
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Run Your Race!

Hebrews 12

There are two approaches to a spiritual life; passive or active. Most of us take a passive approach to our spiritual journey and we just kind of assume that it will happen. Can I just say how crazy that is! What “just happens” that is good in your life all on its own?

How good does your yard look with a passive approach? If you can’t grow a garden by pulling up a chair and watching dirt, then how in the world do you think you can have a life of spiritual growth by being passive and doing nothing; waiting for it to happen?

Do you know what you are going to get with dirt if you just wait for stuff to happen? WEEDS! Do you know what you’re going to get in your own spiritual life if you just wait for stuff to happen? 

This is true in all areas of life; everything takes effort, action and intention. If we just did what we felt like doing, how many of you would go to work every day? I mean, it seems like all of life takes work doesn’t it? If it’s true that everything in life takes intentionality; from tying your shoes, to going to school, to being a faithful husband, or a God-honoring wife, then those things take choices that are deep from the heart; and it’s work!

The things that you are not proud of in life are the things that were easy and the things that you are the most proud of, in the best sense of the word, are the things that took effort and intentionality and were a courageous choice!

I want to challenge you today to choose to actively approach your spiritual life in such a way that you bring glory to God by actively living out of an obedience that is aggressive, faithful and responsible. The word responsible means able to respond! My prayer is that we would hear God speak to us in a way that will transform life forever.

God has spoken into us this truth that life is to be a day by day experience; a journey of growth. Your story is to be an upward story, not a downward spiral! Your story is not to be a story of increasing brokenness, addiction, or despair. Your story is not to be a story of decrease; it is to be a story of increase. We are running a race that ends in Glory! Do you realize that? Now you have to step back and think, “How will I run it?” –Dr. Drew Shofner

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