7 Ways You Can Make Relationships the Best Part of Life

Relationships…talk about the ultimate challenge in life.

Learning to get along with another human being is just plain hard. It is an experience filled with heartache and pain and personal turmoil.

Your beliefs get tested and all your inner struggles and insecurities get revealed.

Yet, you power through because you know relationships are the best part of life.

You want to care and to be cared for. You want to know and to be known. You want to love and to be loved.

This just doesn’t happen. Relationships are built. They start with a good foundation and then with the right building materials grow and deepen over time.

Jesus is the foundation. He has equipped you with everything you need to build enduring and fulfilling relationships.

As you trust Him, you will see these seven relationship builders forming and shaping every relationship you have.

  1. Patience
  2. Kindness
  3. Truth
  4. Protection
  5. Trust
  6. Hope
  7. Perseverance

Relationships are the best part of life when they are built on the love of God.

The Best Lesson I’ve Learned About the Christian Life

Christianity is filled with people who think they have it all together. They’ve figured it all out and can speak to every issue and problem. At least, that is what they think. I was one of those guys.

I couldn’t understand why other Christians didn’t have it together like me. All the dots were connected in my mind and everything about the Christian life made sense.

Mind you, I was in my early twenties at the time. I didn’t have a lot of experience to speak of, but I did know what was wrong with the church. At least that is what I thought. Here was my analysis: “The church needs to love more.” Brilliant, right?

I thought the church should be doing more to help people in need. Every chance I got, I railed about what I perceived to be the church’s lack of vision and effort to help the poor and underprivileged in our community.

One day it dawned on me that I should stop talking about the problem and get about the business of loving those in need. Boy was I in for a shock. I quickly found out that I knew very little if anything about love.

I volunteered to be a Big Brother. The coordinator paired me with Floyd. Floyd was 43 years of age with the mental capacity of a second grader. He lived in a group home and spent most of his days at the local community center along with many other mentally challenged citizens. I met Floyd for the first time at this community center.

At first glance, I could tell there was something special about him. I really wanted to make a difference in his life.

I asked Floyd what he wanted to do the next time we got together. Without hesitation, he blurted out, “Bob, I want to go to Six Flags.” I wasn’t expecting this response, but I thought it would be great fun for the two of us.

But something strange started happening in meas the day drew closer. I started to get concerned about what people might think of me? Would they laugh at me, or make fun of me? Would I ever live it down with my friends that I went to Six Flags with a 43 year old mentally challenged “Little Brother?”

I knew I couldn’t back out. The day meant too much to Floyd.

I am ashamed to admit this, but when I awoke that Saturday morning to the sound of rain, I felt a sense of relief. I called Floyd with the bad news, but I promised I would take him the following Saturday.

That next Saturday was beautiful. When I picked up Floyd, he had a big smile on his face. He was ready to experience the best day of his life.

The Log Jamboree was the first ride of the day. The line was long, about a 45 minute wait. Approaching our turn, we marched up several steps and then crossed over a short bridge. While standing on the bridge, we watched those ahead of us taking off for their “white-water” adventure. After a few minutes, we walked down steps on the other side of the bridge and loaded into our log.

The attendant released the lever and off we went, around the bend and under the bridge. Right as we got to the bridge, Floyd ripped off his shirt and raised his hands to the sky. His spontaneous show of emotion turned the heads of onlookers. I felt a thousand pairs of eyes staring right at us. I wanted to hide under the seat. As I looked back, people were pointing and laughing. Floyd was joyfully oblivious to the jeers and sneers. I, however, felt every one.

Lunch was more of the same. Floyd wanted a hamburger with French fries. We got our food and searched for a table. The only one available was right next to the park’s main walkway. Of course we were there on one of the most crowded days of the year. Floyd piled on the ketchup and mustard. He opened his mouth wide and then chomped down on that juicy burger. Ketchup and mustard flew everywhere to the amusement of onlookers. And with each bite Floyd took, a steady stream spewed down his chin and onto his shirt.

I lowered my head and waited for Floyd to finish. He ate every bite. What he did leave was prominently displayed on his shirt. He cleaned up with little help from me, and then off we went to conquer the rest of the park.

At four that afternoon, Floyd was spent. He had given his all and experienced fun beyond his wildest imagination. But he was ready to go home. I was ready to go home, too. Protecting my fragile self-image had taken its toll on me.

As we were walking toward the gate to leave, Floyd put his arm around me, pulled me close and said, “Bob, I love you!”

My chin started to quiver. I fought to hold back the tears. I knew he genuinely meant it, but his words crushed me.

This day was supposed to be about Floyd, but all I could think about was good old me. Floyd didn’t know what was going on inside my heart and mind. For him, the day was monumental. He told his friends at the group home that it was the best day of his life. And it should have been the best day of my life.

It turned out to be one of the most painful. The day exposed my insecurities and fears. Floyd’s words brought them into razor sharp focus. His words also let me know that I knew very little, if anything, about the love of God.

I wanted to love people the way Jesus did, but that day I failed miserably. It took several years to pinpoint the problem. Finally, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I couldn’t love like Jesus because I didn’t know how He loved me.

Maybe, you’ve had a similar experience. Maybe you know the frustration of trying to love someone with the love of God only to end up totally concerned with your own issues. If that is the case, I invite you to step back and take a fresh look at the definition of love. What the Bible tells us about the love of God is life-changing. That’s what we will examine in this book.

Let me say up front. God wants you to know and experience His love more than anything else in life. So much so, He moved Paul to pen this incredible prayer:

I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

This is my prayer for you. I pray you will adopt it as your personal prayer. I guarantee this is a prayer God will answer in ways that far exceed anything you could “ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

Excerpted from Love Is — http://loveisbook.net/

Three Rules for a New and Better Life

Jesus said this; “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).

This is very clear. Obeying Jesus’ commands is proof that we love Him.

But what commands?

Is Jesus referring to the Ten Commandments or the 613 other commands that are listed in the Mosaic Covenant? Or did He have different commands in mind?

The writer of Hebrews stated, “For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.” This verse will help us answer this last question.

The New Covenant is a changing of the guard. The Levites were the stewards of the Old Covenant. They had specific duties and responsibilities all anchored to the Law of Moses. Jesus’ death on the cross ended those duties. He was the once for all sacrifice for sin. He fulfilled the Old Covenant in its entirety.

Today, we live in the New Covenant. Jesus Christ is our high priest, appointed to be so by God the Father. With this change in the priesthood, there was a change of the law.

The new commands are these.

  1. Believe in Jesus Christ (I John 3:23)
  2. Hope in God’s promises (1 John 3:1-3)
  3. Love God and people. (John 13:33-34, Romans 5:5)

Faith, hope and love constitute the law of the New Covenant.

God writes these laws on our hearts and in our minds. This is the first promise of the New Covenant. God empowers us to live out faith, hope and love through His Spirit.

The laws of the Old Covenant were the responsibility of the people to Israel to keep. They didn’t have it in them to do so. Neither do we.

In this New Covenant, God gives us a new heart and His Spirit to mark our lives with the laws that are most important to God – faith, hope and love.

What If…

What if the Old Covenant was God’s final word to man?

what if

What if the Ten Commandments were the only means available to you to gain entry into heaven, or to earn God’s love and acceptance?

Where would this leave you?

What would your eternal fate be?

How would this affect your life here and now?

The Old Covenant was God’s word to Israel. Not His first word to Israel, nor was it His last. But it did define Israel’s way of life as a nation from Moses until Jesus.  And, as Moses explained to the people before they entered the Promised Land, it did have a specific purpose for Israel.

“The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness” (Deuteronomy 6:24-25).

We know they story. Israel did not obey. She did not obtain righteousness through obedience to the law. Instead of being the blessing of life and prosperity, the law issued a curse on Israel’s disobedience. The law judged and condemned the nation.

Try obedience to the law as your means of righteousness. You’ll prove Paul’s words to the Romans: “Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in his sight through obedience to the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20).

So where does the law leave you? – judged, condemned, fearful and dead in sin.

That’s the Old Covenant, a ministry of condemnation and death.

When read correctly, the Law is God’s word about man, the plain, stark truth. It answers these questions: What is the destiny of a people caught in the throes of a lie? What will be their end? According to the Law, the final stop is death, but only if the Old Covenant is God’s final word.

The denouement of this story has a twist. It is revealed on a hill called Calvary, outside the walls of Jerusalem. A man hung there on a cross, suspended between heaven and earth. He was no ordinary man, and the death he died was no ordinary death.

The man whose hands and feet were pierced was the Lord Himself, the unblemished Lamb of God. His death was in place of ours. Live out the full story of the Law and it ends at the foot of this cross. Look up and see God’s final word to man – Jesus.

Death is not God’s end for man, it is Jesus. In Him we have forgiveness of sins, righteousness and a new way of life defined by the New Covenant.

What if you truly believed that Jesus was and is God’s final word to man?

Where would this leave you?

How would it affect you here and now?

The New Covenant answers – in Jesus fully alive!

Four Promises that will Change Your Life

This is an astonishing claim. But it’s true. I am talking about the four promises of the New Covenant.

These promises are better than any other promise that is out there.

They are laid out for us in Hebrews 8:10-12. I’ve numbered them for ease of reading.

  1. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
  2. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
  3. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
  4. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

These are better promises because they satisfy our deepest needs. We need power and the internal motivation to live out the Christian life. We need  assurance that we belong to God and that He loves us. We need a personal  relationship with God, to genuinely know Him. We desperately need to know that our sins have been forgiven once and for all.

On all of these points, the New Covenant provides. Jesus’ finish work guarantees all of these promises to be true. I’ve juiced each one down to one word. In this New Covenant we have

  • Power
  • Assurance
  • Relationship
  • Forgiveness.

The world, religion and even the flesh make outlandish promises, but they never deliver. But not Jesus. In Him, you have everything you need.

Take hold of these four promises and your life will never be the same.

Don’t Look Back

I like the word “new.” I’ll bet you do too.

It is an exciting word, especially when it is attached to things like cars, houses, gadgets and even the New Year. We all like “new” things and we want “new” things.

But it is also a scary word. “New” sometimes means that we need to break free from the “way we’ve always done things.” It can also mean moving into unknown and unfamiliar territory.

Think about how you felt the first day on a new job, or at a new church. Uncomfortable is the word that describes how I felt. How about you?

It is hard for us to change, to let go of all that is familiar and comfortable. It is hard even when we know that the “new” is better.

This is why the Gospel is a frightening proposition for many. Spiritual birth ushers us into the new. Paul made this point clearly: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Are you in Christ? If so, for you the old has gone and the new has come.

  • A new life – Romans 6:4.
  • A new identity – John 1:12.
  • A new self – Ephesians 4:24.
  • A new heart – Ezekiel 36:26.
  • A new covenant – Hebrews 9:15.
  • A new command – John 13:34.
  • A new way – Romans 7:6.

You might not know what this new life in Christ will look or feel like. And at first, it may seem a little awkward or strange. But here is the good news — the “new” that Christ has for you is better than anything you could ever dream or imagine.

There is nothing to fear with this “new.” Jesus’ love for you has taken the fear out of moving forward. And besides, Jesus Christ is with you, empowering you to this new life to the full.

As a believer in Christ, the only way is forward in the newness of life. It is time to let go of the old, to stop looking back, and to embrace the new.

Christian Do You Know?

I love Christmas music. My wife, Jeanna, loves it more. I think she would listen to it year round. The words and music of all the great Christmas classics connect us to a sense of hope and wonder. They have a way of touching us deeply.

When you listen to Christmas music, have you noticed the lack of new Christmas songs that convey the true Gospel message? Very few are being written today. But of those that have been released, one stands out — Mark Lowry’s beautiful Christmas song, Mary Did You Know. It is hard for me to listen to this song without shedding a tear.

Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

There are so many wonderful lines in the song. The one that affects me most deeply is this: “Did you know your baby has come to make you new?” And then, there is the chorus: “When you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.”

Did Mary know?

The angel told her that her baby would be great, that he was the Son of the most high, that he would occupy David’s throne and that his reign would have no end. The angel told Joseph his name would be Immanuel which means “God with us.” And he told the shepherds that Jesus was the Savior, Christ the Lord.

Still, you have to wonder, did Mary know that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh? Did she know that when she kissed Jesus, she had kissed the face of God?

The question the song asks of Mary gives rise to a question for us – Christian, do you know?

Christian, do you know that Christ has made you new? This truth escaped me for many years. I looked at Christianity as the ultimate self-improvement program. Christ did not come to make us better. He came to make us new. Paul said it best. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

But how are we made new? By grace through faith, Jesus makes us alive “through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). In his letter to the Colossians, Paul describes this truth as “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Jesus Christ, God of the universe, lives in you. He is with you right now. He is bigger than any problem you may be facing and He has promised: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you ” (Hebrews 13:5).

Christian, do you know?

Who Do You Say that He Is?

One of the most interesting places in Israel is Caesarea Philippi. Philip, the son of Herod the Great, built this city on the southern slope of Mt.Hermon near the headwaters of the Jordan River. I think this is a significant fact. Let me explain.

Jesus visited this city along with his disciples. At this stage of Jesus’ ministry people were extremely curious about his identity. His miracles and teachings had everyone talking. “Who is this man?” they wondered. So Jesus asked his disciples what people were saying about the “Son of Man.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

I think this is the most compelling question ever asked. It takes us right to the heart and soul of Christianity, Jesus Christ himself. He is the source of life and faith.

Peter stood and answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This new life of faith we have in Christ begins here.

Now, most of us think of this question in terms of apologetics, defending the faith. The question, however, is much broader in scope. The answer has continuing effects in our day-to-day lives.

“Who do you say that I am?” is not a question to be asked and answered merely once in a lifetime. We should circle back to it time and time again.

Our faith, to have value and substance, must be tied to an object. Without an object, faith is a meaningless word. For Christians, the object of our faith is Jesus Christ Himself. As our knowledge of Christ grows, our faith in Him expands within our souls.

This faith is a dynamic word that is lived out in trials and tribulations. Yet, sometimes in the trials of life, we carry on as if we had never come to terms with the truth of Jesus’ identity.  However, it is in those times, we need to come back to this most significant question: Who do I say that He is?

Jesus is God and he is living in you. What does that mean? As God, he is fully capable of working the situation you are in right now for your good.

Do you need hope? Jesus is the source.

Do you need wisdom? Jesus is your wisdom.

Do you want peace today? Jesus is the answer.

What about you? Who do you say that Jesus is right now?

42 Truths That Will Help You Give Thanks In All Things

Sometimes life is tough. It can hit us hard and hurt us deeply. In those times, it’s hard to give thanks. But that’s what God calls us to. As Paul wrote, we are to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

If you are struggling right now and feeling overwhelmed by life, here are 42 hope-filled truths that will overflow your heart with thankfulness.

Loved by God

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10 ESV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

Chosen by God

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4 NIV)

Saved by Grace

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Made Alive in Christ

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24 ESV)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved– (Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV)

Born Again

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3 ESV)

Indwelt by the Holy Spirit

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27 ESV)

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”– so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14 ESV)

Made into a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

Made into a New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

Named a Child of God

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 ESV)

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2 ESV)

Adopted as a Son

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 ESV)

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 ESV)

Reconciled to God

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10 ESV)


In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)

Totally Forgiven

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12 ESV)

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses (Colossians 2:13 ESV)

Totally Cleansed

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV)

And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:8-9 ESV)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 ESV)

Made Holy and Blameless

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…( Colossians 1:21-22 ESV)

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2 ESV)

Saved Completely

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25 NIV)

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13 ESV)

Dead to the Law

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4 ESV)

An Heir of the New Covenant

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7 ESV)

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:10-12 NIV)

Translated out of Darkness into Light

 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8 ESV)

Baptized into Christ’s Body

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NIV)

Raised and Seated with Christ

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1 NIV)

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6 NIV)

Hidden with Christ in God

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 ESV)

Clothed with Christ

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27 ESV)

Sealed in Christ

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV)

Made Righteous — Justified

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 ESV)

Saved from the Wrath of God

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9 ESV)

Made at Peace with God

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 ESV)

Freed from Condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 ESV)

Sanctified (Made Holy)

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 ESV)

Made Perfect

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14 ESV)

Totally Accepted

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7 NIV)

In Fellowship with God

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV)

Access to God

This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3:11-12 ESV)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

A Citizen of Heaven

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20 ESV)

Anchored by Hope

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV)


Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:32 NIV)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)


What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:31, 37 ESV)

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5 ESV)

Made into a Holy Priesthood

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6 ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Complete in Christ

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10 NLT)

Blessed with Every Spiritual Blessing

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NLT)

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3 ESV)

Know God

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3 NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 NIV)

Equipped to Share His Life and Forgiveness

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV)

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV)



The Break Out