Celebrate Vyrso’s 10 Days of Love: Get 60% Off 24-Hour Book Bundles!

what_does_love_have*This bundle has expired, although you can still purchase the individual titles.

Throughout Scripture, Jesus calls us to love: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), “love your enemies” (Luke 6:35), “. . . love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10), “Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:8), “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

God is the embodiment of love (1 John 4:16), and as his disciples, it’s our job to share the love and grace he’s bestowed on us by loving those around us and serving as beacons of his good news.

We’re setting aside the next two weeks to focus on love. Every weekday through February 14, we’re offering a new 24-hour book bundle for 60% off. Each bundle includes books that are all about love—loving your spouse, loving your friends, loving your church, and loving Jesus. We’ll also feature guest posts and interviews from some of your favorite Christian relationship experts, in which they share their best relationship advice, talk about their personal struggles with love, and give real-world tips for loving those around you.

We’ll announce a new bundle each weekday, so stay tuned to Vyrso Voice, along with our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages, to stay in the know on all of our 10 Days of Love deals. And don’t forget to share your favorite bundles with the hashtag #10DaysofLove.

Get the Rekindle the Romance Bundle

To kick off Vyrso’s 10 Days of Love, we’re offering our first 24-hour bundle: the Rekindle the Romance Bundle.

This bundle is perfect for married couples who want to reignite the intimacy in their relationship—both emotionally and in the bedroom. This five-book bundle will teach you how to make your marriage sizzle, and answers those intimacy questions you’re too timid to ask your pastor.

Here’s what you’ll get:

* * *

Check back tomorrow for our next 10 Days of Love deal!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

5 Library Must-Haves: This Month’s Top New Books

iStock_000000142982Medium

2014 started off with a bang! Here are our top five picks for the best books released this month:

1. An Infinite Journey: Growing toward Christlikeness by Dr. Andrew Davis

Although this is Andrew Davis’ first major book release, he’s already received endorsements from both D. A. Carson and Tim Challies. This book offers a road map for our internal journey to grow toward Christlike maturity. According to Davis, “I wanted to try to organize major and minor themes of Christian maturity in a pattern that was faithful to Scripture and clear for the reader. I have not seen such an attempt in another book.” Read more about Davis in our special interview with him.

Get An Infinite Journey for only $11.99—that’s 40% off!

2. Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage by Fawn Weaver

Fawn Weaver created the Happy Wives Club with the mission to track down one million wives around the world who are living “happily ever after.” Just four years later, her club has blossomed to 700,000 online members in 110 countries. With connections all over the world, Weaver set out on a journey to talk with couples from different cultures and discover the secrets to wedded bliss.

Six continents and 18 cities later, Weaver has documented all the highs, lows, and new discoveries from her travels in her first book, Happy Wives Club. The book debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and is receiving glowing reviews from fellow Christian bloggers all over the country. This may be Weaver’s first book, but it certainly won’t be her last.

Check out our exclusive interview with Weaver, and get Happy Wives Club for just $10.99.

3. Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message by Michael L. Brown

Michael Brown’s new book is all about the effects of “hyper-grace”—the quickly spreading trend of “watering down the Bible’s true message of grace.” According to Brown, in looking for freedom from legalism, many churches also end up seeking freedom from God’s standards. Using specific quotes and examples from real pastors and believers, Brown dissects this new “reformation” and examines how it’s harming the church.

His new book is already polarizing believers into those who support his assessment and those who think he’s completely off base. You be the judge: download Hyper-Grace for only $9.59.

4. The Dude’s Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits by Darrin Patrick

Darrin Patrick’s new book has already received praise from big-name authors like John Piper, Rick Warren, and Craig Groeschel. Patrick argues that the modern man isn’t given a clear image of what a real man should be, and without such guidance, those around him—friends, kids, wives, coworkers, and others—suffer. Patrick lays out a blueprint for masculinity, saying, “True manhood takes both the strength to stand up against injustice and the softness to hold our children when they’re scared.”

According to Matt Chandler, author of The Explicit Gospel, “Darrin Patrick leans heavily on the scriptures as he guides us into a healthy view of manhood. This book doesn’t beat you down with all the ways we have failed as men but rather lays out a compelling call to walk in God’s good design for us.”

Discover why so many Christian leaders are praising this book: download The Dude’s Guide to Manhood today!

5. Dating like Airplanes by Caleb Breakey

Caleb Breakey’s follow-up book to his first title, Called to Stay, addresses the question: why just fall in love, when you can fly?

Breakey writes, “This book shows you a new way to do relationships. A way that doesn’t settle for true love’s impostors, but chases after the Creator’s love that never, ever fails. Far-fetched? God only knows how many people told me it was—and they’ll tell you the same. Don’t listen.” By sharing his own personal journey with his wife, Breakey’s new book is witty, realistic, and Christ-focused.

Anyone seeking a biblically based guide to dating in the real world will devour this book. Download Dating like Airplanes for only $7.79.

* * *

Stay tuned to all the latest and greatest books, deals, and authors: subscribe to Vyrso Voice.

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

This Will Radically Change How You Do Relationships

Dating Like Airplanes

Today’s guest post is by Caleb Breakey, the breakout author of Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church and one of Vyrso’s top authors to watch in 2014. Breakey’s latest book, Dating like Airplanes: Why Just Fall in Love When You Can Fly?, offers a fresh perspective on the world of dating. With both biblical insights and real-world examples, Dating like Airplanes is the perfect resource for couples and counselors.

This is the Golden Rule of Dating: give your other what’s needed most before taking what you want now. Or, giving > taking. That’s it. Nothing fancy. Just give instead of take.

This is the example Jesus set for us on the cross. And he commands us to follow in his footsteps in our relationships.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
—John 15:12

I call this act of giving what’s needed most over taking what’s wanted now “flying” because it’s the polar opposite of “falling.”

Flying vs. falling in love

When you fall in love, you’re out of control. There’s no slowing down. Nothing to hold on to. No way to choose where you land—or crash. Gravity pulls you down, and your dominant thought is, “Will I survive this?”

But when you fly, you have stability. There’s gliding and swooping. You’re at once carefree and precise. Flying is graceful, swift, and efficient. And when gravity pulls you down, your prevalent thought is, “Where should I land?

Flying still requires that you take a risk of the heart. But it’s a risk entirely different from that of falling.

Why you should fly

Flying teaches you how to give instead of take. It pushes you to become the love-filled, others-focused person God created you to be. Whereas falling hurts you and your partner, flying grows your soul and moves you toward a Jesus-first, love-filled, marriage-bound relationship.

To date without the end goal of marriage, for instance, is the exact opposite of giving someone what he or she needs most. It takes what you want now and ultimately leaves the other hurt and broken. Your other needs to know that you’re dating him or her to gauge whether or not forever makes sense for both of you.

So before you even begin your relationship, ask yourself, “Is this someone I could spend my life with?” I’m not saying you should come out and say, “I’m lookin’ to marry you, sweet thang,on a first date. I’m just saying that, before long, you need to be perfectly clear about your intentions.

5 key ways you can fly

How else can you practice flying in a relationship? Here are five key questions to ask yourself, adapted from Dating like Airplanes:

1. Purity: How can I give my other what they need most (purity) over taking what I want now (sexual intimacy)?

2. Differences: How can I give my other what they need most (embrace their unique, God-given differences) over taking what I want now (make them more like me)?

3. To know: How can I give my other what they need most (know their interests, goals, habits, values, beliefs, life vision, and mistakes) over taking what I want now (stay in nonthreatening areas of discussion to avoid conflict)?

4. To be known: How can I give my other what they need most (know the real me) over taking what I want now (conceal the truth about myself because I’m afraid he or she won’t accept the real me)?

5. Pointing one another to Jesus: How can I give my other what they need most (fall deeper in love with Jesus) over taking what I want now (be into me more than Christ)?

Start flying today!

Discover the truth about dating and finding your soul mate: get Breakey’s witty and relatable Dating like Airplanes for only $7.79!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Rick Warren Exclusive Interview: Why Your Health Needs to Change—Today

Rick Warren Headshot

Today’s interview is with Rick Warren, lead pastor of one of the largest and most well-known churches in America—Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Warren is also the New York Times bestselling author of the hugely successful book, The Purpose Driven Church, and The Purpose Driven Life—which has sold more than 30 million copies, making it the best-selling hardcover book of all time. In Warren’s latest book, he partnered with some of today’s leading health experts to design The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, which offers an innovative approach to healthy living that includes five key areas: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.

1. In the first chapter of The Daniel Plan, you mention you were not setting a good example for caring for your own well-being. What role does a lead pastor have in the health of his or her congregation?

I grew up in a churchgoing family, went to a Christian college, and attended two seminaries; yet, I had never heard a single sermon on the importance of staying fit. So I started studying the Bible to learn what God had to say about health. One of the teachings is that God made my body—it’s a gift. I’m supposed to take good care of it. The Bible says God made your body, Jesus died for your body, and so he expects you to take care of your body.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says Jesus went into every village preaching, teaching, and healing. I say that preaching is evangelism, teaching is education, and healing is healthcare. Jesus didn’t only care about getting people into heaven. He cared about spirit, mind, and body, and we, as pastors, should too. To me, healthcare isn’t simply helping the sick get well, but helping the well not get sick. Through The Daniel Plan, we are repositioning health as a spiritual stewardship.

2. Saddleback Church lost a combined 250,000 pounds last year. What was it like to take part in and lead that kind of transformation?

The concept for The Daniel Plan all started after I was baptizing over 800 people over a four-hour period. As I lifted each person in and out of the water, I realized that so many people are overweight, including me! If I wasn’t prioritizing my health, how could I ask my congregation to do it? I decided to do something about it. I stood in front of my congregation the next Sunday and confessed that I had been a poor steward of my health and asked for forgiveness. Although I only gained two to three pounds a year, I had been their pastor for 30 years! I invited people to join me and get healthy. I thought maybe a couple hundred people would respond, but was blown away when over 12,000 people signed up that very day!

Working with Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, we created The Daniel Plan and implemented it at Saddleback Church in 2011. The initial results were amazing—throughout the first year of The Daniel Plan, over 15,000 people collectively lost over 250,000 pounds. Beyond my church congregation, people from over 190 countries participated online. I believe the response was so large because The Daniel Plan provides you with all you need to become healthier in body, mind, and spirit. Beyond food and fitness, you’re offered a gracious approach to health, along with practical resources to get well spiritually in your relationships, and in your mind—mentally and emotionally.

3. You use the term “secret sauce.” Can you give a brief description of what the recipe is?

The Daniel Plan is a healthy lifestyle program founded on biblical principles and focused on The Essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. The essentials of Faith and Friends are what we call the secret sauce that makes The Daniel Plan so effective. The program benefits are accelerated when done in a supportive community of friends because God designed us to thrive in relationships. With the support of God and your group, you have far more than willpower helping you to make positive changes so you can be consistent and sustain your new healthy lifestyle.

4. Do you see The Daniel Plan as a book only for Christians, or do you think this can be a book used for evangelical purposes?

While we may have different motivating factors, everyone wants to be healthy. There is no doubt that faith is a primary component of The Daniel Plan, but the program has factors anyone can implement.

We have seen great results at our own church but it can also be used by a variety of religious congregations. Most people don’t realize that every weekend, as many as 130 million people go to church. That’s more than a third of the nation. There are 335,000 churches in America. Imagine the potential impact if health became an issue in even a ­portion of them.

5. For anyone who reads The Daniel Plan, what’s the most important thing you hope they learn?

My ultimate goal is for all individuals to live the life they’re intended to live. People drift through life and let things happen to them, or go by design and say, “This is what I’m intended to do.” The Bible is very clear that God has a purpose. But even if you know that purpose, you can’t fulfill it if you’re out of shape.

* * *

Learn to honor God with your body, and start living a healthy lifestyle: get Rick Warren’s latest book, The Daniel Plan, on Vyrso today!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Get 45% Off a Jimmy Evans Book & Register for His Becoming One Conference!

MarriageTodayQuote2

Join thousands of couples from around the world for an exciting annual event: the Becoming One conference, hosted by MarriageToday! Join marriage experts Jimmy and Karen Evans as they talk about strengthening your marriage emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

“In my 16+ years at Logos, I have spoken at hundreds of marriage conferences, and the MarriageToday conference is simply one of the best. You don’t want to miss this event!” —Scott Lindsey

The Evans’ show broadcasts to more than 100 million households in North America, and they have more than 25 years of experience coaching couples and equipping them with the skills they need to have a happy, healthy marriage.

The conference takes place Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14–15, in Southlake, Texas. Can’t make it to the main event? Not a problem—watch the simulcast!

Register for the Becoming One conference today!

Save on Jimmy Evans books

To help kick-start the conference, we’re offering two Jimmy Evans titles at big discounts! Get 45% off When Life Hurts: Finding Hope and Healing from the Pain You Carry and 25% off The Mountaintop of Marriage.

When Life Hurts: Finding Hope and Healing from the Pain You Carry

Regularly $21.99—get it for only $12.09 (that’s 45% off!)

Don’t let emotional pain and devastation overwhelm your life. In this powerful book, Evans shows you how to remove and resolve negative life events so you can live free from your past and pursue your God-given destiny. Discover true inner peace, and learn to let go of the pain from your past: download When Life Hurts for only $12.09 today!

The Mountaintop of Marriage

Regularly $9.99—get it for $7.49 (that’s 25% off!)

This practical 40-page guidebook shows couples how to map out their marriage priorities and family values over an entire year. With thought-provoking questions and a 12-month planning calendar, this resource will help you record family milestones, marital goals, and more.

Register for the Becoming One conference, and get your discounted Jimmy Evans books today!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Get 10 Amish Love Stories under $3!

the-wonder-of-your-love

For a limited time, choose from 10 of Beth Wiseman’s Amish love stories for less than $3 per title! Wiseman is a bestselling author, renowned for her Amish romance novels. Through February 3, get these 10 best-selling books for an amazing price—just $2.99 each!

1. The Wonder of Your Love

As a young widow with a newborn, Katie Ann is forced to develop a thick skin. The passing of her husband has filled her life with unresolved hurt and crushed her desire to marry again. She becomes determined to serve as both the father and mother to her young son.  But then Eli visits Colorado, and everything changes. Is Katie Ann ready to open her heart to another man—something she vowed to never do again? And is Eli willing to take on a future that he thought he left behind?

For less than $3, get The Wonder of Your Love, and see how God’s wondrous love always provides—even in the most unexpected and uncanny ways. Download your copy today!

2. His Love Endures Forever

Unplanned pregnancy and rejection have left Danielle with nothing but confusion, hopelessness, and a broken heart. Just when she thinks her situation will force her child’s father to commit to her, she finds out that he has other plans. As Danielle’s dreams begin to crumble, an unlikely friendship with another Amish man, Levi, develops. As her feelings for Levi become more significant than friendship, big decisions have to be made. Will Levi leave his Old Order community to create a fresh start with Danielle and her child?

Read this inspiring story of love, faithfulness, and seeking God’s will. Get His Love Endures Forever for just $2.99 now!

3. Seek Me with All Your Heart

Read the exciting saga between two Amish families who cross paths while moving to Colorado. Both families carry secrets from their past—especially Emily and David. Can David and Emily trust each other with the events from their pasts?

This page-turner will keep you guessing until the end. Don’t miss your chance to get Seek Me with All Your Heart  for only $2.99!

Check out more Beth Wiseman titles for less than $3:

 This deal is only here through February 3, so get your copies now!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

One Woman’s Global Quest to Find the Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Happy Wives Club

Today’s interview is with Fawn Weaver, the founder of HappyWivesClub.com, which has twice been named the #1 marriage site by About.com, and has created an online community of over half a million women across 110 countries who want to share the sunny side of marriage. Weaver recently traveled across six continents and 18 cities in search of the secrets to a happy, healthy marriage. Her first book, Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage, recently debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, and includes an inspiring collection of love stories and marriage secrets that span across cultures. Weaver also made Vyrso’s list of the top authors to watch in 2014.

1. Since you founded the Happy Wives Club several years ago, over half a million wives have joined—what about the club are you most proud of?

I’m proud of so many things. In 2010, I set out on a journey to find one million happy wives around the world, and at the time, that goal didn’t seem in the least bit realistic. And yet, here we are, with close to 700,000 women who’ve joined our online community and a chance at reaching that milestone later this year.

But more important than the numbers is how this amazing group of women, this movement, is changing the conversation about marriage worldwide. We’re balancing out all the negativity out there and encouraging one another to shut out the noise that is society and to work on creating a marriage—and family—that stays together.

2. What sparked the idea of traveling around the world and talking with wives from different cultures?

On the Happy Wives Club Facebook community page, the main place we all gather to share encouraging words, I post various questions for the women. For instance, my question the other day was, “What is one thing you’ve learned over the years that you wish you would have known in your first year of marriage?” Close to 800 women replied with answers that will undoubtedly help those currently in their first year of marriage.

I’ve posed questions like this to our community for years and I was always struck by how similar those who were happily married for 25 years or more sounded. Although they differed in backgrounds, cultures, socioeconomic status, race, and religion, when I posed this simple question, “What is the secret to your happy marriage?” I noticed they all sounded alike. It was as if they lived in the same country, were raised by the same family, and shared the same values. Yet, I knew this couldn’t be true because those answering this question were doing so from all over the world.

This led me to ask myself, Is it possible there is a universal secret to a happy marriage? And the only way I could answer that question was to travel around the world and interview couples happily married 25 years or more, on their turf, with no preconceived notions.

3. How much do relationship dynamics and marriage advice vary between cultures?

Very little. That was one of the things I personally found to be so fascinating. From an arranged Indian marriage to a traditional Israeli marriage to a very liberal culture in Australia, what made a marriage great was consistent from continent to continent and from culture to culture.

4. What was the most powerful experience you had during your travels?

My times in Rome and Croatia were very personal. God stripped me down to the very core of who I am and what was holding me back from the wife and mother I longed to be.

5. How did you choose which wives to visit and interview?

As a former hotel general manager and hotel director of sales and marketing of one of the largest hotel chains in the world, I’m fortunate to know people all over the world. In the hotel business, it’s not uncommon for a person to take a job on the other side of the world. For instance, when I took over as director of sales and marketing for a particular hotel, the person I was replacing, Atalie, was returning to her home of Perth, Australia.

So when I decided to begin this journey, I reached out to Atalie and asked, “What couple in your community has been happily married for at least 25 years, and who around them vouch for them being genuine and in love for all these years? Who are the couples you most look up to and whose relationships you’d like to emulate in your own marriage?” I asked her to point me to those couples, and then I hopped on an Australian-bound plane to interview them.

I did this in every country where I went. It was important to me that the couples I interviewed weren’t ones I’d met online, but rather those in which the people in their community would all say, “They are the couple you should meet.”

6. What was the most surprising thing that happened on your journey?

In Rome, I didn’t expect that the “happy wife” I’d be interviewing would be me—that such an intense internal dialogue about what was holding me back from being the wife I most longed to be would occur. That took me completely by surprise.

7. How has writing this book changed your perspective of love and marriage?

I now believe a happy marriage is possible for anyone and everyone. I truly believe it is a moment-by-moment choice and every interview further cemented that view.

8. What’s your number-one piece of advice for maintaining a happy, healthy marriage?

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and that extends, especially, to your spouse. Every other piece of advice I’d give falls under this “golden rule.”

9. What’s next for you?

I hit the road in just a couple weeks for a 12-city Coffee Talk Tour where I will meet face to face with members of the Happy Wives Club for the very first time. And I will have an opportunity to meet with women who have already been impacted by this book.

* * *

Learn more about Weaver’s amazing trip around the world and discover the secrets to a happy, healthy marriage: download Happy Wives Club for only $10.99 on Vyrso!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

The 10 Most Important Relationship Laws

The People Factor

Today’s guest post is by pastor Van Moody, author of the new book, The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose. Known as a “people scholar,” Moody’s advice on building healthy and enduring relationships has been featured in Forbes, in The Wall Street Journal, and on Fox News, and he serves as a trainer for John C. Maxwell’s global leadership initiative. Moody is also the founder and pastor of The Worship Center Christian Church, which has grown to 9,000 members in the last seven years.

Every relationship you have influences your life. There are no neutral relationships; each one lifts you up or weighs you down. It moves you forward or holds you back. It helps you or it hurts you. Only by knowing which is which, and knowing how to turn the tide on those that are negative, can appropriate actions be taken—actions and decisions that will make the difference between a great and happy life, or one riddled with disappointment, failure, and regret.

Relationships are an art, and most of us lack the skill and mastery to help break—or all together avoid—destructive patterns, disrespect, and deception. Here are 10 fundamental principles for living and interacting with others in the complex and ever-changing dynamics of today’s culture that, if adhered to, can best assure relational success in all aspects of life—at home, in social circles, and in business.

1. You’ve got to be you. You cannot have honest relationships without being honest about yourself. “The Law of Being Real” is about being straightforward and sincere in order to develop true intimacy.

2. Healthy relationships must be win-win. Too many times people are trapped in relationships that aren’t good for them. “The Law of Mutual Benefit” is about being in a relationship that creates positive synergy.

3. You can’t be friends with everyone. The people who are in your life right now are setting the course of your next week, next month, next year, and possibly the rest of your life. “The Law of Selection” is about requiring a process of qualification and selection, understanding that the only way to get the right people around you is to disallow the wrong ones.

4. Everybody has to give. When we think about what we can do for others instead of what they can do for us, we get to the very heart of healthy, successful relationships. “The Law of Sacrifice,” means everyone involved must enter into and remain in a relationship with a willingness to give, not to take.

5. What you don’t know can hurt you. Secrets are one of the biggest barriers to intimacy and one of the most destructive forces in relationships. “The Law against Secrets” is about not being reluctant or hesitant to investigate people thoroughly before developing relationships with them.

6. The most valuable people in your life aren’t always the most visible. People of true value bring fulfillment, not frustration, to those with whom they are in a relationship. “The Law of True Value” is about realizing the people you may take for granted or be tempted to overlook are the ones who save your life or launch you into your destiny.

7. Know when and how to end an unhealthy relationship. When someone who was once valuable in your life is not able to accept a change in the status or direction of your life, is not loyal and stable under pressure or in the face of challenge, or had once been dependable but now is unreliable, you have strong clues that your relationship may need to end.

8. Know how to have healthy relationships with unhealthy people. Don’t be afraid or reluctant to leave a relationship if it becomes unhealthy. Don’t let feelings of misplaced guilt or sympathy keep you from making a good choice for yourself. Realize that every relationship you have affects other people in your life and that the relationships they have affect you.

9. Understand the process of great relationships. Every relationship is a journey. It must go through certain places and learn from certain situations in order to be healthy. Resist the desire to try to skip or race through any set of circumstances necessary for a great relationship. Even if it is painful, embrace it, knowing that it serves a good and healthy purpose in the big picture of a relationship.

10. Our relationship with God is the cure for lovesickness. Lovesick people need to realize that people who do not want to be inconvenienced or who are uncomfortable in relationships do not qualify as good candidates for great relationships. A relationship with another human being will never be an antidote for lovesickness. The only way to cure a lovesick heart is through a deep, personal relationship with God.

* * *

Start building happier, healthier relationships today: get The People Factor for only $10.99 on Vyrso!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

3 Ways to Be a Better Disciple

multiply-disciples-making-disciples

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” —Matthew 28:19–20

Jesus’ command often falls on deaf ears. Even in evangelical churches, the command to make disciples can sometimes become second rate to curriculum and ministry programs, which means churches are bringing in new people, but failing to make disciples. This can also negatively affect the congregation, because the congregates lose personal responsibility to spread the gospel, and once personal responsibility is lost, the church can become sick or stagnant. The body of Christ becomes weak and insists that the paid staff (pastors, teachers, preachers, and elders) do the grunt work of making disciples, while the majority of the church sits idling by.

“Jesus gave his followers a command: ‘Follow Me.’ And a promise: ‘I will equip you to find others to follow me.’” —Francis Chan

It’s time to make a change and start living out real discipleship. Here are three ways to be a better disciple of Christ:

1. Stop just believing—begin following

Francis Chan’s book, Multiply, is designed to eliminate a fruitless ministry by replacing it with a ministry focused on true discipleship. But what is a real disciple? The majority of the church believes the word means to follow Christ, as if it’s simply believing he lived, died, and rose from the dead. This is true, but it also excludes the most important concept of being a disciple: disciples are students of God. Chan pushes disciples to imitate Christ, carry on his ministry, and become more like him in the process. The results of becoming a disciple of Christ—in taking on the full meaning of the word—change the way you think, the way you live, and how you love.

2. Build stronger relationships

If being a disciple means we imitate Christ, it means we must be intensely relational—just like Jesus. Building relationships is actually one of the subjects Jesus talked about most often. Specifically, he spoke about two relationships: one is found in the greatest commandment between us and God, and the second is found between us and our neighbors. So instead of skipping your small group or ignoring your daily devotions, you need to build a real relationship with Christ, and grow closer to the friends, family, and strangers around you.

3. Make more disciples

Chan puts it brilliantly, “Making disciples is far more than a program. It is the mission of our lives. It defines us. A disciple is a disciple maker.” This is the most difficult part for me. I can believe in Christ and all that he was, is, and will be. I can study the Bible, love others, and love God, but ask me to lead others to Christ and it’s like pulling teeth. If you’re like me and the majority of Christians, you’ll understand when I say it’s uncomfortable (to say the least).  Nevertheless, Jesus commands that we make more disciples and spread the gospel. This is your calling, and this is why you were made—to become a disciple who makes disciples.

Want to learn more about following Jesus’ command in your life? I highly recommend Francis Chan’s Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples. And I’m not the only one—this book was one of Vyrso’s best-selling books of 2013. Download it today! 

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Make Your Marriage Matter: 3 Covenants to Redeem Your Marriage

marriage-matters

There’s no doubt that today’s culture has reassociated the covenant of marriage from joy and togetherness to pain and selfishness. Divorce rates are skyrocketing and many marriages only remain together for children, finances, or convenience. Why is it that marriages begin with such joy, happiness, and hope, but end in divorce?

Tony Evans, a pastor and author, wrote his new book, Marriage Matters, to help you safeguard your marriage. Beyond that, he wants your marriage to thrive, to be intimate, and to reflect Christ. Evans claims, “Our marriages today are deteriorating at such a high rate, not because we no longer get along, but because we have lost sight of the purpose and prosperity of the marriage covenant.”

Here are the three covenantal keys, adapted from Marriage Matters, that establish a firm foundation and purpose for your marriage.

1. Transcendence—God is transcendent over marriage

Transcendence means God’s in charge. Your marriage is a covenant, and all covenants should be set according to God’s rules. According to Evans, “Covenants can never operate without the ongoing involvement of God. Biblical, spiritual, and theological covenants assume God’s integration into every aspect of the covenantal relationship in order for that covenant to work.” Simply put, God needs to be a major part of your marriage. Pray together, worship together, and join a small group together—put God first in your relationship.

2. Hierarchy—God implemented a chain of command

Marriage needs a chain of command, just like many other things in life. However, it cannot just be a random assortment of leadership. This key must “function in God’s ordained order.” There are many ways a marriage can succeed, but the only way to assure success is to follow the instructions God ordained through Scripture. As you pursue marital success, it’s important that you follow God’s Word on marriage, specifically the different responsibilities he places in the hands of the husband and wife, both individually and collectively.

3. Ethics—God commands love and respect

In your marriage, it’s also important to consider God’s rules. Evans guides you through a condensed version of God’s rules in Ephesians 5:33. Here, all rules are boiled down to two: love and respect. The passage challenges you to love as Christ loves—humbly and sacrificially, putting your spouse above yourself.

Make your marriage matter!

Learn more about what it takes to redeem and strengthen your marriage: get Tony Evans new book, Marriage Matters, for only $3.93! Then check out our other marriage resources, like Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage, Emerson Eggerichs’ Love and Respect, and others on Vyrso.

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Copyright 2014 Logos Bible Software. All rights reserved.