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 One Thing She'd Change About Marriage to John 

 By Lisa Bevere

  Recently, John and I did a joint question-and-answer session on marriage. As the session closed, this big question came up. "After more than thirty years of marriage is there anything that you would have done differently?" This one fell to me to answer. I took a deep breath and confessed, "I would have allowed John the right to make more mistakes, and I would have loved him more fearlessly."

  It was as though a ripple traveled through the crowd. From where I sat I saw men and women hurriedly wipe away tears; there were many deep sighs and silent nods. Fear is the greatest rival of love ... equal in intensity and deadly in its capacity to corrupt.

  I refused to love John fearlessly because I was afraid. In an attempt to protect myself, I began to reclaim large portions of the real estate of my heart. In the first few years of our marriage, I learned that John had brought a struggle with porn into our relationship. (John and I have been very open about this.) Forgetting how merciful John had been with me when it came to my past, I pulled away from him. Somehow Jesus' admonishment to forgive as we have been forgiven had disappeared with the revelation of John's sin.
  I lived in fear and shamed him as he struggled to get free with little or no support from me. This was not approached as our challenge ... it was his. Part of the reason I did not help was because I was beginning to feel the weight of my own past bear down on me and consequently believed I didn't deserve any better than what I was experiencing. On some level judging him made me feel safe. If he didn't change, I didn't have to forgive him.

  One night in all of my anger and brokenness I cried out to God, "I will forgive him when he changes."

  As far as I was concerned, all trust was broken between John and me, and I didn't want to be disappointed yet again. God answered my declaration with a question:

  "Do you trust me, Lisa?"

  "Yes."

  "Good. I need you to forgive John so he can change."

  He even gave me the words to say: "I believe you want to change and I forgive you."

  This was in stark contrast to my normal script, which read, "I will believe you are sorry when you change."

  This way of thinking was so far removed from anything I had known that I knew it was God leading me. When I extended this unconditional mercy to John, the healing began for both of us. He was able to move out of the darkness of shame and into the light, where he found freedom from his bondage. This shift in perspective was a turning point. I could trust the unchangeable God.

  Fearless love is not based on the performance of a person but on the loving faithfulness of God. When I confess my sins and struggles to the Father in Jesus' name, I am never shamed. He believes my future will be better.

  God is love. Love is eternal. Love never fails. Nothing entrusted to love is ever lost, and nothing birthed out of love well ever die. But there are some places that love does not grow; love cannot flourish in the company of its rival, fear. Fear has an end - actually, fear is a dead end. Fear is an ungodly spirit that leads to torment. Fear advises from its seat in the shadow of doubt, while love draws its wisdom from the light of faith. If you heed the counsel of fear for too long, you will fail.

  Perhaps you've struggled to love those around you despite their shortcomings. If you're like me, it can sometimes be a struggle to give love until you see change. But I want to encourage you to give love before it's deserved or warranted. It is only when we embrace God's fearless, undeserved, unfathomable love for us that we are changed - and it is only when we extend this fearless love to others that we give them room to do the same.
  Beloved, embrace the unrivaled love of God and watch your world transform around you.'

from www.charisma.com

Watch an interview with Lisa Bevere about her new book, "Without Rival"

 
Click Here

Book Review
"Without Rival"
by Lisa Bevere

Looking Fruitful Or Being Fruitful 

  "Without Rival" by Lisa Bevere is a marvelous book looking at what it means to be a woman of God without rival. I always enjoy Lisa Bevere's books as, not only are they full of godly truths, but also full of common sense. Lisa Bevere talks about things that I really should know but need reminding of.

  Lisa talks about how God does not love us equally but uniquely. If we were equally loved, it would mean we were replaceable - and we're not.
  "I don't love my children equally. I love them uniquely." As earthly parents we love our children uniquely too, none of them are replaceable. To quote St Augustine "God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us."

  We also need to know whose we are. If we know that we belong to God, we can feel secure, knowing we are loved without rival. It is not just enough to know about God, we need to know Him. We also need to remember not only to talk to God but to be quiet and listen to Him.
  "There is a vast difference between talking about God and listening to a God who talks to you."

  There is a section on dreams. We are never too old to dream. If God places a dream in your heart, chase after it, pursue it. Never be put off by man. "It is far better to know God than to be known by man."

  Lisa Bevere shows the importance of us all pulling together. If we see each other as rivals and there is no unity, then we are doing the devil's work for him. "The more we do his (Satan's) work, the less he has to do." Work with other Christians and not against them.

  There is a section on the importance of being a woman. Women were never meant to be second class citizens to men. God created man and woman to be equal but different. Lisa Bevere gives stories of brave Christian women, including the woman at the well. Their stories inspire the reader. We should not fear man but we should have a healthy fear of God who has the power over life and death.

  The book discusses the depth of our faith. Do we have a deep faith? Or a wishing well faith? Are we drawing closer to God? Or just paying lip service?

  We are all subject to attacks from the enemy. We are all in a spiritual battle. If the enemy can get us to focus on our past, then we will not be looking forward into the future God has planned for us. We need to learn from the lessons of our past and remember that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

  There is a chapter on love as described in 1 Corinthians: 13. We are to love like that. We are never meant to judge people. We are meant to love them and leave any judging or changing in God's hands.

  Once again Lisa Bevere has produced a fabulous book designed to help the reader in their walk with God. At the end of each chapter are some questions to help the reader look inside themselves and to draw closer to god in their own personal walk.

  A wonderful read. Highly recommended.

from www.christianbookaholic.com

 

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LISA BEVERE
"Without Rival: Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison"

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You are a daughter without rival, serving a God without rival, called to a destiny without rival. It's time to step forward into a life...without rival. In Without Rival, you'll learn how to make the deep connections you long for with your Creator - connections that hold the promise of true identity and intimacy. With biblically sound teaching filled with prophetic insight for our day, Lisa uses humor and passion to challenge you to:
* Flip rivalry so it brings
out the best in you
* Stop hiding from conversations
you need to be a part of
* Answer the argument that says women are unfit
* Dismantle gender rivalry and work with the men in your life
Includes questions for personal reflection and small group discussion, plus additional questions designed for use with Insights to a Life Without Rival video sessions.

LISA BEVERE
"Girls With Swords"


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Be empowered to live confidently by returning to the biblical model of feminine strength! Drawing on the many references to swords throughout Scripture, Bevere reveals a paradigm that will impact every aspect of your self-identity, spiritual awareness, relationships, and life mission. Equip yourself to boldly face the challenges in today's world! Softcover.

JOHN BEVERE,
LISA BEVERE
"The Story of Marriage"


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God designed marriage to be a loving, lifelong covenant that joins together a man and a woman. Have we lost touch with his original plan? Inviting you to rediscover the divine story of your sacred union, John and Lisa Bevere share personal insights, daily devotions, discussion questions, and tools for building your dream relationship.

JOHN BEVERE
"Driven By Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today and Forever"

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How would you live if you discovered that the next 24 hours would determine your future? Would you intentionally direct your actions or let the chips fall where they may? In this 6-session study, Bevere blends allegory with Scripture to show how the choices we make today have an eternal impact. Includes discussion questions.

JOHN BEVERE
"Good Or God? Why Good Without God
Isn't Enough"


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Do you yearn to be more godlike - or merely good? Urging engagement with the Lord on a level that transforms all of life, John Bevere will solidify your resolve to quit settling for anything less than the heavenly Father's best. He discusses absolute truth, our "internal GPS," motivation, parameters, discernment, and more. Includes devotions and discussion questions. 288 pages, hardcover from Messenger International.

JOHN BEVERE
"Holy Spirit"


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The Holy Spirit is often the least understood---and most ignored---person of the Trinity. Who is he? What is his mission? And how is he involved in your life? Bevere's interactive study reveals the personality of the Spirit, his language, three levels of relationship with him, and more. Includes daily devotions and discussion questions. 232 pages, softcover from Messenger International.

JOHN BEVERE
"The Bait of Satan
20th Anniversary Edition"


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Are you ensnared by bitterness, seized by anger, or held captive by resentment . . . all because someone has offended you? Bevere shows you how to escape Satan's grip, avoid a victim mentality, practice forgiveness, experience reconciliation, and remain free in Christ. This special edition features testimonies from readers whose lives have been changed. 288 pages, softcover from Charisma.

 

 

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