How A Smartphone Can Help You Walk In Miracles! by Wayne Sutton

"Pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

While scanning Facebook, LinkedIn, and a few News sites on my phone this morning, I began to think about how much time we truly spend on these devices.

And then it hit me....What if?

What if I decided NOT to pick up the phone?  What if instead of scrolling and tapping the screen, I instead began to seek the Lord?  Truly, what if?

I remember a minister on Sid Roth share how the miracles increased in his ministry, as he began to pray one hour per day in the spirit.

Pray in tongues for one hour?  Sounds nice, yet how could I ever find time?  I'm sure others have felt the same way.  Between family time, counseling clients, studying, and business ventures - how could anyone pray in the spirit for one hour?

So I did some research, and yes on my smartphone - I found out that the average person now spends 128 minutes every day on their smartphone!  That is an average, some spend more!  Over 2 hours a day checking text messages, e-mails, Facebook, etc.  2 Hours a DAY!

Reading that shocking information, I closed my screen, closed my eyes, and spent the rest of the time praying in the spirit.  I am personally committing myself to cutting the phone time DRAMATICALLY, and spending more time praying to my Heavenly Father! Who else is with me?

What if the next time you catch yourself going for the phone, and you will now that you have read this - lol, I invite you to slow down and simply pray.

I have caught myself TWICE in the last 30 minutes going for my phone to "check messages/updates."  Now, I will spend that time praying for my family, the ministry, and yes YOU! 

Facebook update?  What about updating the Father on how you feel?

LinkedIn scan for a new job?  Why not ask the Father for promotion?

Looking at funny jokes and viral videos to lift your spirit?  What about a Glory filled moment from the throne room?  Let the oil of JOY anoint you!

Downloads?  Ask Holy Spirit for spiritual downloads of revelation!

Do you need to walk deeper in the anointing of God and finally see the miracles at your fingertips instead of on YouTube?  Pray without ceasing, and expect the one you pray to, to work through YOU!

Are you to the challenge?  Can we surrender some of our smartphone time with some anointed worship, soaking, and prayer? 

Try for the next 30 days and watch your life become a life of miracles and supernatural revelation!

Identity Network Articles - 

Shyju Mathew - Guarding the Heart Blog - Valentine's Day

This post is important to both singles and the married. Singles need to be aware of the difference between love and lust. It is important to know that lust does not begin with a Big Bang!
Many marriages end up in divorce because what spouses thought was love was
mere lust. Also, the primary problem with lust is that it can never be satisfied, and the absence of real love causes a person to lose interest in the flame of what they thought will last a lifetime.
You will never start off being consumed by lust. In fact, in the initial stage it’s as small (but powerful) as a simple thought.
Appreciation of the other then seeps deeper into the cracks and crevices of a broken or shaky heart to be replaced by admiration.
That admiration earns for attention. The newly formed combination of perfect attention and growing admiration grows roots and becomes poisonous. Like weeds that mingle into good crops, lust begins to eat up the heart and minds, growing faster and more exciting than anything else around.
Then comes a time for the weeds to be exposed and uprooted, and somehow it always seems to affect the real crop no matter how safely it is played.

Here are some of the signs of lust:

1. You’re totally in awe of the person’s features.
2. You’re focused on how ‘cool’ the person’s appearance is.
3. Your conversations are always unreal and flirtatious.
4. You’re obsessed around that person.
5. You’re more like love birds than friends.
6. You’re interested in having sex more than anything else.
7. You’re more drawn to where that person is in life than the heart of the individual.
8. You’re insensitive to everyone else around you and care only about what you can get through that relationship.
9. Lack of attention drives you to be a person you are never proud to be.
10. You place a greater focus on the fantasies than the actual facts and responsibilities of a relationship.

To The Singles:

Don’t jump the gun. Wait for the euphoria to cool down. The majority of young people who don’t wait for marriage prior to being committed to each other physically have ended up getting bored and breaking their hearts. I know; if this is you, you’d be thinking that you are different but that is exactly what the others thought as well!
If the guy/girl is serious about you, he/she would be willing to wait for marriage and honour God and each other by taking responsibility of their beautiful emotions and feelings. That is a sign of respect and seriousness accredited to the relationship.

To The Married:

Statistics indicate the divorce ratio of marriages being higher with remarriages: either the second or third time around. Instead of looking for joy outside, start doing everything necessary to work on the marriage you’re in.
Any desire for anyone outside of your marriage is not love but lust. No matter how undervalued you feel when you value yourself, everything around you changes. [ClickToTweet] The enemy will try to make you think your marriage is no longer as interesting as it used to be.
The only way to overcome lustful passions is not to walk away but flee from it! Just shut your door to sin and go cold turkey! Remember the deceiver wants to deceive you and grass always seems greener till you reach the other side.

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Successful marriage demands hard work
What do you think, why do certain couples who at one time made vows to each other in love, later get divorced? How is it that people who earlier could not live without each other within a short period of time end up hating the very person they previously could not manage without? The reason for this is that when most of them got married, they were not properly prepared for marriage.
Well, where can we learn about it? Who is supposed to prepare us for marriage? The only one who can do that is the One who knows more about marriage than any of us. That is the Creator of marriage, the Lord Himself!
For example, if an inventor has constructed some kind of device, he is the one who understands it thoroughly, far better than any technician or any person operating it. The designer of marriage and founder of the family is God. So we need to learn about right family relationships in the first instance from Him.
If people just go into marriage without even knowing the elementary obligations a husband and a wife have to each other, which are essential for successful family living, then that kind of marriage will break up sooner or later. But more than just knowing what their obligations are, people getting married need to realize that to produce a successful marriage is hard work. It is an enormous task for both the husband and the wife. They need to work together on their marriage and individually on their characters. And it is only after both partners have understood what the essential ingredients of a happy life together are, that their marriage will ever be successful.
Let’s look at the following example. Maybe some of you have eaten borsch (a traditional Russian and Ukrainian beets & cabage soup) at some time, and know that different people make it differently. The way one person makes it tastes more delicious than the way another person does. But what does it depend on? More than anything else it depends on the ingredients used, i.e. what is put into it. If certain basic ingredients (for example, meat, beans or garlic), that are an essential part of the recipe, are not put into the soup, of course it won’t taste as good.
It’s just the same with marriage. If you want to have a successful marriage, a marriage that is based on God’s principles, then it should have all the ingredients of a successful marriage included in it. If you fail to include them, you can hardly expect to have a happy family life.
That is why we need God to teach us how to build a family, in accordance with His Word. When I say that producing a successful marriage is hard work, I mean that a marriage, in order to be successful, has to be worked on by both the husband and the wife.
...Submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh". This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:21–33
Successful marriage is not something that just happens by chance; it is the result of work. Let us consider the essential things to be worked on, and what constitute the basis of a successful marriage.
Before getting married you must be absolutely sure that you are ready to commit yourself to your partner. So then the first component of marriage is commitment. This involves making a decision. I make the decision: "that no matter what happens – for as long as we are both living – to love him (her) at all times. I commit myself to him (her) and ask God to help me keep my commitment". We commit ourselves to our marriage partner in exactly the same way as we commit ourselves to God. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we tell Him: "Lord, I give myself wholly to You: my family and my house, my money and everything I have. You are my God; You are my everything". The same thing happens when we get married. We say: "I devote myself completely to my wife (or my husband)". The decision to commit yourself to your marriage partner in marital union has to come from your heart. Commitment is important in every area. If there is no commitment, for example, in your area of business, you will have lots of disappointments. And it is the same with your family. There may be a lot of reasons for being discouraged in your family, but if there is commitment, you will be able to overcome all the barriers, rise up over all the disappointments and continue loving your marriage partner despite everything.
God compares the relationship between a husband and a wife with the relationship between Christ and the church:
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:23,24
The relationship between Christ and the church is the best example of commitment. Jesus committed Himself to the church to such a degree that He even gave His life for the church – He died for her. He loved mankind so much, and He loved the church so much, that He even endured great suffering for their sakes.
You probably know from church history how people were martyred for their faith because they were Christians, but despite all this the church is still standing! In fact, if it were not for those people who gave their lives for Christianity during times of persecution, it is doubtful whether Christianity would have ever survived up until the present day and reach us.
God gives us an example of commitment – the commitment between Christ and the Church. When we go to church we constantly hear the name of Jesus, and we constantly praise the name of Jesus. There is constant fellowship between us. We are committed one to another.
God wants the husband and wife to be committed to each other in the same way. This commitment has to be mutual, the husband committed to his wife, and the wife to her husband.
You must make that firm decision that work and friends will not take the first place in your family, but rather your common interests and love one for one another.
When I was a bachelor, friends who had nowhere to live often stayed in my flat, but when I got married and my wife moved in to join me, my friends still continued to come as earlier to stay with me. I found it inconvenient to suggest to them to find somewhere else to stay. But at the time I had no idea what terrible pain this was causing my dear wife. At that time my friends were taking the place that I should be giving to my wife. My friends and I (we were pastors) knew this was not right, and had taught others not to do similarly, found ourselves in error. I should have sensed, that my wife needed me to be with her, more than my friends and co-workers did. No one should stand between my wife and me. My relationship with my wife always has to take first place.
I would like you to make the decision, not to allow either relatives or friends to come between you and your partner. The Bible says that a man should leave his parents how much more his friends.
To be committed means to move everything out of the way that could possibly come between a husband and wife, so that the two of them can be as close as possible to each other.
If a man vows a vow unto the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Numbers 30:2
In addition to that, marriage partners should remember that bad relationships in the family hinder prayer. God does not hear your prayers, if you don’t relate properly to your partner.
Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
Another component of a successful marriage is self-sacrifice:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it...
Ephesians 5:25
What does self-sacrifice mean? Let me give you an example. I waited to get married until I was 27. I did not get married earlier, firstly, because I loved my freedom, and secondly, because I wanted to serve God and preach the Gospel all over the world, and did not want anyone to stand in my way. I knew that if I get married, I would not be able to do that any more, so I did not even want to pray about getting married. You know, when a man lives on his own as a bachelor, there are certain privileges he enjoys. He can go where he wants, return home when he wants, and spend his money how he wants. He has the complete freedom to do what he wants. But when people get married they cannot retain that freedom. A married person has to fulfill certain obligations.
When a person decides to get married, it means that he makes a conscious decision to sacrifice the privileges he had when he was a bachelor. It means that he is preparing himself for a different kind of life style: – a life where he will be together with a wife, where he will be a family man. That is essentially what self-sacrifice is all about.
Or let me give you another example of self-sacrifice. If before you got married you loved spending your time being out with your friends, you will find that after you get married, this kind of life-style has to change. It then becomes essential to sacrifice your friends, so that you can spend all your free time with your wife. If you are a good family man, you will not be coming home after eleven o’clock at night! That is quite irresponsible. If you really love your wife and want to care for your family properly, then you will do all you can to come home earlier to spend time sharing with your wife, watching television with her and discussing whatever problems you may have together.
If, for example, you decide to have a baby, then you will have to sacrifice your time and sleep. Previously, I never used to wake up at night, but when our son was born, I was forced to get up in the night to help my wife take care of him. We took it in turns, I got up in the night, not because I did not want to sleep, I sacrificed my sleep as a consequence of wanting something better – having a child, and for his sake I gladly sacrificed my sleep.
In marriage there are a lot of sacrifices to make to get a better, a beautiful and a happy marriage.
When I receive money, I hand it over to my wife. I will explain it this way, if my wife and I had decided to buy me a suit, but in the mean time something comes up that my wife needs, I would gladly sacrifice buying the suit, to meeting my wife’s and make her feel pleasant and loved by getting what she needed.
Before marriage, the man and the woman used to do things in different ways, but during the wedding ceremony, when the groom takes the bride’s hand and she takes his, and they make their vows before God to always be together, everything changes in their lives. When God joins these two lives together, these two independent individuals, used to different life became a family.
Marriage transfers the exclusive rights of the man to the woman and the exclusive rights of the woman to the man, and they belong to one another. Both lost their right to do things their ways. When a man marries, his life is divided into two halves, One half of his right and his very self is given to his wife, and in place he receives her half. The same happens with the wife, this takes place in the spiritual realm during the wedding ceremony.
Every marriage partner makes a sacrifice; this should not bring any regret, because as he gives a part of himself, he receives a part of the other partner. Self-sacrifice is an inherent part of marriage. For Jesus, in loving the Church sacrificed his own self for her sake. Be prepared to make sacrifices for one another in the family, and your marriage will become a success.
Mutual understanding
How can mutual understanding be reached in a family? Every one wants to be understood. This is especially true of women who often talk a lot in order to get others to understand and sympathize with them. It is very important in the family for a husband to understand his wife, and for a wife, in turn, to understand her husband. If the husband comes home from work and wants to share his cares and problems with his wife, she should listen to him attentively, and only after that tell him about her day. Caring and attentive marriage partners will always try to understand one another; this is possible as they cultivate the habits of putting themselves in another person’s position.
The Bible says that we are not to please ourselves, but first to seek the benefit of the other person.
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
1 Corinthians 10:24
This principle has to function in the family, this will enhance mutual understanding between couples which leads to understanding each other.
Understanding, of course will never come if the husband and the wife are not learning to listen to one another. Our wisdom should teach us that learning to listen to each other is essential in attaining mutual understanding. We need each other. So, if the wife begins to tell her husband about something, he should listen carefully to her, even if he already knows what she is going to say, until she has finished, without interrupting her. This is a frequent problem in families – this inability to listen to one another. But if the husband and wife don’t solve this problem, their family life will never become a success. If you sow lack of understanding in your family that is exactly what you reap after some time.
Mutual trust
You cannot live without trust in the family. Trust is required at all times in everything. The husband has to make the decision to trust his wife in every area. There are husbands who never tell their wives anything. Two people live together, and the wife does not know what her husband is doing and the husband does not know what the wife is doing. For example, the wife does not know how much money her husband is earning, and the husband does not know what his wife is spending the money on. If you want to have a successful marriage, make up your mind to trust each other in every area. That may not happen overnight, but pray and ask God to help you. The wife might object by saying: "How can I trust my husband, if he has been betraying my trust?" But if you keep on trusting him, you will help him to become worthy of your trust. It will help him to change.
If your husband has shortcomings, you can use your trust to help him overcome them. That way he will understand that despite what he is not doing quite right, his wife still has trust in him. He would want to justify her trust and will surely change. Proclaim what you are expecting him to become, what you will like to see in him: "I believe you will not be unfaithful to me; I believe God will set you free; I trust you and believe God will change you". And believe me, God’s Word will change him. The power of confession will change him.
It is very important for a husband and wife not to have deficit in fellowship and communication. God created the family for fellowship in the first place, He does not want man to be lonely or not to have somebody to talk to, or get depressed. This is the reason; God gives a wife or a husband for companion, fellowship and support to one another.
Marriage partners need to learn to talk things out with each other, they need to tell each other about themselves and about their problems. While doing this, husbands should remember that women are more sensitive, and have a more refined psychological make-up; hence they so have a greater need to share things with others.
God made a woman in such a way that it is absolutely essential that her husband is by her side, and that he is her friend and companion in everything she does. Therefore it is very important that husbands give more attention to their wives, to spend more time sharing together with them.
Husbands and wives must make time for being together. They should talk to one another about all kinds of different things, but especially about the running of the household and budgeting of their finances. The husband needs to know how much money his wife is earning, and the wife needs to know how much her husband is earning. They should be open and sincere with each other, trust each other and understand what the other is trying to say. Why do I talk about money? This is because many families have serious problems in this area.
Another important question that has to be discussed by marriage partners is their sexual life. Young people should know that Christians do not have sex before marriage, because this is sin. A sexual relationship is permissible only between a husband and a wife. God created sex, and the Bible tells us about the beauty of sexual relations marriage partners should be enjoying. This is something that is designed to bring joy into their life.
Since God gave the commandment to procreate before sin came into the world (Genesis 1:27,28), sex cannot in itself be anything sinful. Neither is it something to be ashamed of or something that can never be talked about. Sexual instinct is a gift of God that man should learn to enjoy.
By having sexual relations, two people who love each other are joined together, and express their mutual commitment and faithfulness towards one another.
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:4,5
It is essential that a husband and wife discuss sexual issues freely and without embarrassment. The husband should know how to satisfy his wife sexually; he should know what arouses her and what gives her pleasure. Likewise the wife should know the same. If you fail to discuss this area, you won’t have a fully healthy family life. One of the marriage partners may be satisfied but the other not. One may experience orgasm, but the other may have no idea at all what it is. But we are Christians. We are building our families on a basis of sincerity and honesty. So then, never be embarrassed to talk to one another about your sexual needs.
Marriage partners should also discuss each other’s behavior in the family. The wife should tell her husband what she dislikes about his behavior and actions or what irritates her, and the husband should tell his wife the same.
Each marriage partner should be aware of his or her respective duties. For example, the husband and wife should agree on who will do the washing-up, who will do the ironing, who will do the house-cleaning. The majority of divorces take place because of trivial things like: "you always put the toothpaste in the wrong place", "you didn’t do the washing-up the right way", "you didn’t buy bread", "you didn’t fix supper on time" and so on.
It is indispensable that loving spouses learn to be above all that. They should openly discuss their lives together right down to the most trivial details, and try to change the things they don’t like.
Another important question for couples to discuss is their children’s upbringing. The husband and wife should frequently discuss their children’s lives, plan their futures for them and pray for them.
Getting married presumes a readiness to take responsibility for the family, a willingness to develop a deep relationship with the person of your choice, and an ability to show love.
The most important thing in the family is love. Without this feeling of love, it is not advisable to get into marriage. There can be no marriage without love, for love is the foundation of marriage.
It happens that people live together for many years, and later ‘fall out of love’ with each other, not knowing what to do again. It is true, when people live without God, even a few years of life together is enough to inflict each other with deep emotional wounds. They hurt each other to such a degree that their love just vanishes without trace. Of course it is possible to ‘fall out of love’, but when we come to Jesus, God can help us to overcome our difficulties, thereby renewing the very source of love in our relationship.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who was given to us.
Romans 5:5
The moment you come to God, He gives you the Holy Spirit, who is the only one who can replenish this deficit in love. When we come to the Lord He begins by His Holy Spirit pouring out a fresh love into our hearts – God’s love. If you feel that you have lost the love you once had for your partner, make a conscious decision to love that person again, and then God will give you His love. He will rekindle that love you once had, and make it stronger than before. God’s love has already been poured out in you, it has been shed abroad in your heart, and it is springing up, like a fountain, towards that other person, more so if that other person is your former husband or former wife. God will give you the strength and ability to love again in a new and real way.
So if you have ‘fallen out of love’ with someone, don’t be in despair: repent, receive Jesus and God will give you a new love for that person. It is very difficult to live without love. You know that love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If you are growing in God, then you will have the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of them is love, so that means you will be able to love people.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Galatians 5:6
What does ‘ which works by love’ mean? It simply means that when we believe in God, our faith will only work if exercised in love. So if, for example, a husband does not love his wife in the way that is expected of a Christian, his faith will not work, God will not hear his prayers. He will be surprised and wonder why God is not answering his prayers. But really the answer is very simple: he is not walking in love. Real faith in God will only be activated when you have love. God’s faith only works by love.
For example, I came here to the Ukraine. However, if I won’t love the Ukrainian people, I can pray and fast for as long as I like, but I will get no results. My faith will start working when I learn to love this people. That is what it means: in Christ Jesus faith works only by love. If you don’t learn to love, it will hinder your prayers, it will hinder your faith and it will hinder your Christian walk.
Decide that you are going to forgive everybody, love everybody and respect everybody, and then you will find it easier to get on in life. Making a decision like this is particularly important, if there is a problem in the family.
Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
God wants husbands to respect their wives and treat them as weaker vessels. When this happens, you can count on your prayers being unhindered, and you will have no problems with God.
You know already that love has been given to all Christians; therefore a Christian is capable of loving anybody, if he decides to. Our capability to love is dependent on this one condition: making the decision to love. After you have made the decision, God gives you the ability to love.
Besides that, you know that true faith can only work where there is sincere love. If there is no love in your family that will hinder your faith and God will not hear your prayers.
There is also one more truth that will help you in your marriage:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18
Wives should submit to their husbands. Disobedience is no credit to a woman, nor does it add to her beauty; it only abases her. The Bible tells us that the husband is the head of the family, and the wife is required to submit to him. When the wife loves her husband she will submit to him. This same principle also applies to the husbands:
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
Colossians 3:19
There are some husbands (even believers and pastors), who try to control their wives to such a degree, hence becoming bitter towards them. They speak harshly to their wives as though they are their servants. This kind of husband needs to be reminded that his wife is not a servant, she is not even a personal secretary, she ranks a lot higher than that, and that is why the Bible tells husbands to love their wives and not to be bitter against them.
Honor your wife and love her. God says that our wives are heirs together with us of the grace of life. God honors them, so that gives us no right to put them down.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
Proverbs 10:12
‘Hatred stirs up strife...’ If there is a conflict in your family, it means that there is no love. I have lived eight years with my wife and we have never fought once. Some people might object and say that eight years is too short a period of time to make any valid assessment of one’s family life. But when Dr. T.L. Osborne was in our church, he mentioned that he had never fought with his wife, and they lived together for 54 years. All those years their hearts were knit together in love. There was never hatred between them, and so there was no divorce. Ask God to fill your heart with love for your husband or for your wife.
Love covers all sins. That is what the Word of God says, but in some families, when the husband does something not right or not on time, his wife almost certainly starts reproaching him for it. It happens vise versa too. When the wife does something wrong, her husband also reproaches her for her weaknesses. And so this becomes the reason for a disagreement or a conflict. God tells us this kind of behavior is not a demonstration of love. Love covers everything. Even if one of the marriage partners sees weaknesses in their partner, it should be taken care of with tolerance and sensitivity. This is how true love should operate in marriage relationship.
Love covers all sins; love forgives, and helps a person to overcome all his problems. True love defends the wife, protects the husband, and helps both marriage partners work out their problems together.
Mutual forgiveness
There is no point in even thinking about marriage without mutual forgiveness. Right from the time you start making plans to get married, you need to make that decision to be a forgiving husband or wife. Make a conscious decision not to pay any attention to any of those things that irritate you or that you don’t like in your partner.
As a rule, unforgiveness is the main reason for divorce.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32
‘And be kind to one another...’ – this is God’s commandment. Kindness is an integral part of Christian marriage. You need to be kind and tenderhearted to each other. To be tenderhearted means to feel whatever your spouse is feeling. It means to understand one another to such a degree that you are willing to go through every circumstance together.
"...Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). If Jesus had not forgiven us, we would not be a part of the church, furthermore, if God had not forgiven us, we would not have a chance of getting into the Kingdom of Heaven and have eternal life. Thanks to God’s forgiveness, which we have in Jesus Christ, we can inherit the Kingdom of God and go to heaven after we die. Isn’t that wonderful?
God has forgiven us, and our life is no longer without hope. We are no longer afraid of death, because we know that after death eternal life in paradise is awaiting us.
I know that after death I will embrace the One who is dearest of all to me – I will embrace Jesus. I will embrace Him, and He will say to me: "Well done. You have overcome; you tried hard and did not give up. I know, when things were really hard for you and I prayed for you not to give up, that you did not give up. Well done. Enter into thy Father’s rest!" Isn’t that wonderful? Can you imagine what a sight it will be, what a breathtaking event, what a celebration it will be! And all this will happen because of His forgiveness.
So, God has forgiven us, the Bible tells us, He has forgiven us so that we might forgive one another. The Lord asks us to forgive one another and especially so in marriage. For if a husband and wife don’t forgive one another, their family life will soon become hell on earth.
Everyone who wants to succeed in their marriage should learn to forgive their partner, regardless of what has happened or what the other person has done.
...Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:13
The Bible says that forgiveness should be two-way. Do not wait for the other person to forgive you before you forgive them. Forgive first. Be the first to forgive. Forgiveness is like a seed that you sow into your family. If you planted a seed, sooner or later it will produce fruit. It will be so with the fruit of your forgiveness. The person, who does not forgive, harms himself more than anyone else. Unforgiveness is a trick of the devil, if you don’t forgive; it means that you choose to remember the wound somebody has caused you. It is the same as treating a physical wound. You know when somebody gets wounded; he tries to treat his wound as quickly as possible. Unforgiveness is also a wound, except that it is a spiritual one. Unforgiveness is like a festering wound in a person’s soul. If you are not able to forgive somebody, you will have constant spiritual turmoil and distress, simply because you have not forgiven.
And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him.
Luke 17:4
If you act in this way and forgive like this, then you will have a clear conscience and peace in your life.
But you might protest and say: "Well, I keep forgiving and forgiving. How many more times must I forgive?"
Let us see what the wisest Book of all has to say about this:
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus says to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven".
Mathew 18:21,22
"...but up to seventy times seven..." that means that seventy times seven is 490 times a day. God is simply telling us that forgiveness is always essential, regardless of whether our offenders asked for forgiveness or not.
Unforgiveness causes pain, distress and unbearable suffering, but far more to the person who does not forgive than to the person who has not been forgiven. Unforgiveness is one of the biggest deceptions of the enemy. He tries to use it to smite and destroy a person. It is particularly horrendous in marriage.
Why is forgiveness so essential in family life? Often people whom we love the most hurt us the most. What will happen then, if we fail to forgive those who are dearest and closest to us? They do things that offend us, not because they are necessarily bad people, but because they were brought up differently and see things in life differently. That is why love, above all is forgiveness. There is no love without forgiveness. This is why it says in the Bible that love covers a multitude of sins. Love gives you more capacity to forgive than to hold on to your hurts. If you are unable to overcome unforgiveness in your life, then your marriage will never grow.
So it is necessary to be able to forgive. But it is of no lesser importance to be able to ask for forgiveness. It is spiritual babes that don’t know how to ask for forgiveness. They are held back by pride, they are somehow afraid of humbling themselves. In fact, when a person is not able to ask for forgiveness, he is simply showing his own spiritual immaturity, bad manners and bad education.
The ability to forgive is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and unforgiveness is a work of the flesh. If we have overcome the flesh and the devil in our lives and are filled with the Holy Spirit, then we shall only have the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us, we will not be able to hold on to hurts and feel offended or upset.
This feeling of getting angry is not a part of Christian character. Christians don’t harbor malice against anybody, more so, at the husband or the wife. In the world people get upset about the President and the government; their enemies and neighbors upset them, but Christians don’t get upset about or offended by anybody. Instead, they pray for their enemies. If we will all learn to forgive, we will live in peace. Forgiveness is the key to living in peace; forgiveness is the key to having a happy life.
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:25
There is a direct link between forgiveness and prayer. When you stand praying – forgive, and your prayer will be effective and your Heavenly Father will hear you.
"Be angry, and do not sin not". Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Nor give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26, 27
It is important to realize that there comes a time when anger can become sin. If anger remains in your heart for 24 hours or overnight you cannot forgive that person, then it has become sin. If you are in a situation like that, then don’t go to sleep, but spend the whole night in prayer. "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath", Nor give place to the devil. ‘And in your wrath don’t give place to the devil’. Through wrath, that is to say irritation, anger, hurt and bad temper, the devil has power over you. And God says that we should not allow wrath to lead us into sin, but rather purge our lives and our families of it. Husbands and wives, take note of these things and remember — forgive one another, that you may be happy in your marriage together.

CopyRighted - Pastor S Adelaja book  Successful Marriages Takes Work  - Chapter 3

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