Posts tagged 'relationship with the lord'

  • Life Essentials—Communication

    Besides Jesus, who makes everything better when He is a part of our daily lives, there is a very important element that permeates pretty much everything we do—communication. This essential medium comes in many forms, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 4

    —Nurturing Mental and Emotional Well-being

    It is wonderful to know that no matter what is going on in our lives, we can trust Jesus and look to Him to establish our thoughts and guide our steps. The Bible says ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 2

    —Finding Comfort in Times of Loneliness

    When we find ourselves in one of the difficult seasons of life, this can often be accompanied by loneliness or a sense of being alone in our struggles. Feeling alone and isolated ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Way He Sees You

    A friend who I’ve known for many years wrote me and asked for my help in answering a prison inmate named Jay who she was ministering to. He had written, saying:

    I struggle with anxious worries about my purpose. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Anointing at Bethany

    In John chapter 11, we’re told that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.1 As a result of this miracle, the chief priests and the Pharisees agreed that Jesus needed to be put to death, and they ordered that anyone ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Perfect Peace

    Biblical principles are timeless, because no matter what our circumstances or our age or the times we live in, they hold true as much today as ever. The Bible says that God wants to give us His perfect peace ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • An Excellent Gift

    What can you do to honor the King of the universe? What can you say to the King of our lives? What is a fitting gift to give the One who has given all to us? We know from many years of hearing His Word ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Life Balance Check, Part 1: Time with the …

    We all know that time spent with the Lord is of paramount importance, but because we are so familiar with the concepts of “Word time,” “devotions,” and “prayer time,” they can sadly become cliché. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Martha, Martha

    Three times within the Gospels we read about Jesus’ interaction with two sisters and their brother who were His close friends—Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Jesus was particularly close to this family, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Soaring Above

    If you ever feel guilt, remorse, condemnation, or self-blame in any way, the following message may offer you hope.

    As you read this, remember that you are loved unconditionally, no matter what your situation. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Light

    After Jesus rebuked those of His generation who were seeking a sign and told them they would receive no sign,1 He proceeded to speak about light in three short sayings. He started with a reference to physical light, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Love

    In the book of 1 John we read that God is love1 and that in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.2 While the phrase God is love ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Waiting Servants, Mark …

    Within the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus spoke of His return in two different parables. While they’re somewhat different from each other, they both make the same point, so it seemed fitting to cover both together. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Vine

    Jesus’ final “I Am” saying, like His statement I am the way, and the truth, and the life, was spoken on the night before He died. Judas, who betrayed Him, had left the gathering, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Praising God

    Giving glory to God is a key component of our life of faith. He is our Creator, Savior, King, and God, and is worthy of our praise, adoration, and worship. I often fall short of praising and honoring Him as I know I should, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Good Shepherd

    In the first part of John chapter 10, Jesus stated:

    Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers …

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Faithfulness and Honesty

    Faithfulness

    Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, much is said about faithfulness. By definition, faithfulness expresses the concept of being unfailingly loyal ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Unconditional Love

    When I think about how to sum up who God is in a single phrase, “unconditional love” comes to mind. Of course, God is many things and cannot be confined to one phrase or term, but as we know ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Uncovering My Treasures

    I don’t know about you, but I have times when stresses related to my work and other challenges are trying to grab an inordinate amount of my thoughts. They seem to be tumbling around me, screaming for attention, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • A Blessed New Year

    Dear Ones,

    To me, each New Year’s Day feels like the beginning of a journey. It’s a time to think about how I’ve fared during the previous year’s journey which just ended, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Hope

    When we read the Gospels, it’s apparent that Jesus knew beforehand that He was going to suffer and be killed, and also that He knew He was going to rise from the dead. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Compassion

    When we read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, something that becomes abundantly clear is that Jesus showed compassion to others and taught that His followers should be compassionate as well. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: The Call to Forgive

    Within the Gospels we read of Jesus being whipped, beaten, and then nailed to a cross. As He hung there, waiting to die, some of His last words were “Father, forgive them.”2 Forgiveness was His response to an unjust trial, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Kindness and Goodness

    When the apostle Paul was writing about living a godly life, about living in and being led by the Holy Spirit, he listed what he called the “works of the flesh,” which included things like enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, and envy.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Gentleness

    One aspect of Christlikeness which is less frequently focused on than most is gentleness. Somewhat surprisingly, we find it mentioned throughout Scripture in reference to both Jesus and His Father. It is also included in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Peace

    Peace, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, plays an important role in our becoming more like Jesus. It is rooted in our being in right relationship with God, which is possible because of His gift of salvation. Peace is also the outworking ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Life Worth Living

    Christians have experienced persecution from Jesus’ time to the present. Our Lord explained in the Scriptures that this is a part of our lives as His followers. He said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus: Patience

    In the book of Exodus, we’re told that when Moses was on Mount Sinai, God revealed something of His character:

    [Moses] rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai … The Lord descended in the cloud ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Self-Control

    In Galatians chapter five, the apostle Paul listed nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, beginning with love and ending with self-control. Part of building Christian character, of becoming more like Jesus, is having the ability to control ourselves ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Humility (Part 2)

    As touched on in Humility part 1, Jesus’ example of humility is something we are encouraged to emulate. When referring to Christ’s humility, Paul wrote that Christians are to Have this mind among yourselves, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Humility (Part 1)

    One key element in our pursuit of Christlikeness is emulating the humility of Jesus. By “putting on” humility, and “putting off” pride in doing so, we strive to become more like Jesus. In the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Joy (Part 2)

    While studying about Christian joy, I found it interesting to see that joy is intimately connected to faith, hope, and gratefulness. As I mentioned in the first article on this subject, for a believer, joy ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Joy (Part 1)

    As we try to model our lives after Jesus and His teachings, joy plays an important role in our efforts. While Jesus only specifically mentioned His joy twice in the Gospels,1 joy permeated the events of His life ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 4)

    Gratitude is a mindset that enables us to see our circumstances through the lens of our thankfulness to God and to act in a manner that reflects our gratitude. Some of those actions, which were addressed in previous posts, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 3)

    In the previous article we looked at how “putting on” contentment is an important part of gratitude. Now we focus on three gratitude “killers” we’ll want to jettison from our lives to increase gratitude. These killers are ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 2)

    We read in the New Testament and throughout this series that growth in Christlikeness calls for “putting on” and “putting off.” Gratitude is a key element in becoming more like Jesus, so learning what steps we can take to develop gratitude, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 1)

    Becoming more Christlike is about becoming a better Christian through a more committed application of the teachings of Scripture coupled with the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit. This application of Scripture cuts two ways: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • 2017—Reflections

    As the old year is being ushered out and the new year is arriving, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, committing to pursue plans which will improve their lives in some way. I’ve done this myself in years past, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Christian Character (Part 2)

    As we saw in the earlier article The Foundation of Christlikeness, becoming more like Jesus requires devotion to God, which is rooted in our reverence of God and our understanding of His love for us as individuals. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Christian Character (Part 1)

    A key factor in becoming like Jesus is developing godly character. Every individual has character, which is defined as the qualities that make up who someone is; and it’s reflected in how they feel, think, and behave. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: The Foundation of Christlikeness

    In our pursuit of godliness or Christlikeness, a key factor is that being more like Jesus can only be built on a right relationship with God. Godliness can be defined as a personal relationship with God and the actions which emanate ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 4)

    In Holiness parts 1–3 we’ve seen that God is the standard of goodness and holiness. He has revealed His moral will through the Bible, and His will as presented through Scripture is an expression of His character. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 3)

    (This article is based on key points from the book Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen.1)

    As we saw in Holiness parts and 2, Christlikeness or godliness comes from transforming our will to be in alignment with God’s will. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 2)

    (This article is based on key points from the book The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges.1)

    As we look for ways to be more like Jesus, it’s important to examine what God’s holiness means and how we can partake of it. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 1)

    (This article is based on key points from the book The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges.1)

    One of the key Bible passages quoted in this series is Ephesians 4:22–24: Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Renewal Basics

    As touched on in the last two articles, In God’s Likeness parts one and two, becoming more like Jesus calls for a renewal of our inner being—our heart, will, emotions, mind (conscious and subconscious), soul, and spirit—which then causes our actions to reflect our renewed inner self. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Fellowship with God (Part 2)

    As we saw in the previous article (Fellowship with God, Part 1), having fellowship with God is key to becoming more like Jesus. It’s within this fellowship that we develop our relationship with Him, nurture our love and intimacy, and truly get to know Him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Pots and Pans

    Recently I was contemplating the topic of wrong choices, after having made a few myself, and was feeling a bit discouraged. Do you ever struggle with how to look at wrong choices you have made in life? ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus: Fellowship with God (Part 1)

    When we desire to become more like Jesus, it’s helpful to find foundational principles we can build on. While Christlikeness is manifested in the decisions we make and our outward actions, it stems from who we are internally. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Sleep: A Life Essential

    Have you ever been frustrated that you have to sleep so much, when it seems like all those hours of sleep are “cheating” you of the time to do the things you want or need to do? Have you ever wondered why God made our bodies to need so much sleep? ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • More Like Jesus: Introduction and Background (Part 2)

    The first part of this introduction to the More Like Jesus series touched on the concept of being godly and Christlike, as expressed in the Old Testament and the Gospels. In this part, the focus will be on Christlikeness as expressed in the Epistles.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Introduction and Background (Part 1)

    One of my all-time favorite songs is “I Want to Be More Like Jesus.” Whenever I hear or sing it, I’m reminded of a key aspect of living my faith. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Feeling Unsettled?

    I read an article the other day which said that the most popular verses in the Bible are Philippians 4:6–7. In those verses, the apostle Paul instructs the church: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Three Reminders

    It’s a challenge to live as a follower of Jesus in today’s world, but when our thoughts, actions, and days are guided by godly principles, it becomes easier to navigate our course. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Slay the Dragon!

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.1 

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Thoughts on Identity—Part 2

    To follow up on part one of this topic of our identity in Christ, I’d like to offer you a more extensive, although by no means exhaustive, list of some of the many wonderful privileges, benefits, gifts and abilities that when ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Who's a Fool?

    April 1st is commonly known as April Fool’s Day in a variety of countries around the world.1 My outlook on April Fool’s Day and who was the real fool changed when I was quite young. One year, my older brother played an April Fool’s joke ..

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Thoughts on Identity—Part 1

    What is our identity in Christ?

    Many Christian speakers and writers have discussed the topic of our identity in Christ. There are differing opinions on what the definition is of our identity in Jesus. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Up Close and Personal

    “A rule I have had for years is to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”—Dwight L. Moody ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Making a Christmas Masterpiece

    When the life of a follower of Jesus is lived as Jesus intended it to be, it becomes a thing of beauty. Being a Christian and having a relationship with God should be something that permeates our daily experiences, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: In Conclusion

    We’ve come to the end of the series on the Spiritual Disciplines, having covered 15 disciplines which are generally listed by authors who write on the topic.1 My purpose in writing this series ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Celebration

    The last of the disciplines covered in this series is that of celebration. It’s a fitting one to end on, as it’s a result of practicing other Spiritual Disciplines. The purpose of engaging in the disciplines ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • When Waiting Won’t Work

    The other day a complete stranger contacted me seeking my opinion on a hormonal specialist. A mutual friend who knew that I had visited this specialist had given this woman my phone number. I welcomed her questions, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Journaling

    Do you regularly stop and reflect on your relationship with God? Are there times when you evaluate how you are progressing in your spiritual life, its vitality and robustness, and how you are growing ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Rewards

    Throughout the Bible, there are numerous promises of the rewards that will be given to the faithful, both in this life and in the life to come. But what is the essence of these promises and what is the purpose of these rewards? ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Learning

    Learning is something that we do throughout our lives and it enhances our lives in various ways. We learn through studying, as well as experience. Schooling in our younger years teaches us the basics ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Confession

    A familiar Scottish proverb tells us that “Confession is good for the soul,” and so it is. When we are looking to deepen our connection with the Lord, to live a God-centered life, confessing our sins ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Formula of Five: Spiritual Growth

    He set himself to seek God ... and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.

    If you want to be physically fit, you have to eat right, exercise, and put some ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Making Godly Decisions, Part 2: Taking Responsibility for …

    Have you ever been faced with important decisions and needed explicit direction, only to feel as if God was in silent mode?—Right when you would most like Him to give a ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Making Godly Decisions, Part 1: Finding the Will …

    One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Prayer

    The Spiritual Discipline of prayer is a key component in our relationship with God, as it is our main means of communication with Him. It is in prayer that we are able to converse with our Creator. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Bible Intake

    Christians who desire a flourishing relationship with God and who are interested in spiritual growth recognize that spending time taking in and absorbing God’s Word is of utmost importance. It is within the pages of the Bible that we learn ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Introduction

    Trying to live according to the teachings of Jesus and to be more like Him is a personal goal for me, as I know it is for many of us. We want to follow His example of being loving and compassionate, generous, forgiving, kind, prayerful, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Christmas Pep Rally!

    I was thinking about Christmas and what God had in mind when He allowed this one event to become so prominent, even though the example Jesus set was to make our faith something that permeates every day of our lives. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • TFI’s Core Values: Discipleship

    And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

    By this all people will know that ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • TFI’s Core Values: Pursuing God’s Spirit

    His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • TFI’s Core Values: Passion for God

    I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.

    As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Pharisee and the …

    The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is only recounted in the book of Luke, chapter 18, verses 9–14. Among other things, this parable touches on the basic ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Secret of Joy

    Quotations of faith and hope in the midst of suffering

    It’s easy to see why we need happy experiences and times of joy, peace, and contentment to encourage us through this life. But it can be a dilemma ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • My Encounter with Phoebe

    Less than two months ago I had an unexpected but very special experience. I was on a trip to the U.S. and traveled to San Antonio, where a TFI couple, Keith and Caryn, had offered to help me with anything I might need, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    Effects of Sin

    As human beings with sinful natures who universally sin, we all suffer the effects of sin. Sin affects our “legal” standing with God, in that we stand “guilty” before Him. It also affects our relationship with Him, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Fear of God

    I recently came across a topic that piqued my interest—the fear of God. The Bible speaks a fair bit about fearing God, and one can come away with the impression that we’re supposed to be afraid of God in the sense of being terrified ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Omnipresence

    When God created the universe and the world within it, He created matter, energy, time, and space. The world we live in is a three-dimensional material world, and we are limited ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

    When I think about Valentine’s Day, a day that’s best known as a time when people give special love gifts to each other, I think most of all of God’s great, sacrificial gift to us in the form of His son, Jesus. Then I think of how all the love that ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Conclusion

    In speaking about the four elements of being a disciple—Love Him, Live Him, Preach Him, Teach Him—my focus has been on the principles of being an active Christian, a disciple of Christ. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 3

    In this article we continue looking at some of the principles which are connected to Live Him.

    The Forgiveness Principle The Forgiveness Principle is of great importance ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 2

    We are continuing our discussion of the Live Him element of being a disciple. We’ve covered three principles already—the Abiding Principle, the Love Principle, and the Unity Principle ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 1

    In the last article we covered the first element of being a disciple: Love Him. In this one we move on to the second element: Live Him. Part of the definition of a disciple is ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Love Him

    In the first article of this series I explained that I’m approaching discipleship through four basic elements to being a disciple—Love Him, Live Him, Preach Him, Teach Him—and I ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    The Living and Personal God

    In this series of articles, we are looking at a number of aspects of God’s nature, being, and character. We’ll start with looking at how God is alive and God is personal, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love in the Parking Lot

    You know, parking lots at midnight can be very romantic. I bet a lot of you know that from experience. But in this instance I’m not talking about what we used to do when we were teens in our cars in the parking lot. I’m talking about ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Be Like Jesus

    Every so often I like to think and pray about the application of Jesus’ teachings in my life, as I feel it’s a wise thing to do. Recently I was meditating on how to more effectively apply my faith in my daily life. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Forgiveness and Salvation

    In two previous posts on the topic of forgiveness I wrote about 1) forgiving others and 2) avoiding the need to be forgiven, by doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. In this post I’ll address how principles ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • A Scary Thought

    When I was doing some research for a writing project, I came across something that jolted me. It was a familiar Bible verse which I’ve read, heard, and even quoted hundreds of times, but when meditating on ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Faith in the Real World

    People have often told me I have a lot of faith. But how does that play out in the real world? What tangible benefits does faith provide me with? I like this quote that says, “Faith will beget in us three things: vision, venture, victory.” ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • More from My Faith Treasure Chest

    I recently wrote in “Three Items in My Treasure Chest” about three things that help me to stay focused on faith and that help me to find encouragement in tough times. They were: ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • How Much Does God Care?

    Recently, within the span of a week, I heard three different people say three different but connected things which got me thinking about God’s interaction and participation in my life. Person one said that he didn’t know if God ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam