A Good Marriage – Loved and Cherished – Part 1

Marriage is a covenant between two different and unique people that should never be questioned or dissolved. It is a sacred vow before God to be united for life.

 

There is nothing in a marriage that cannot be resolved if both parties of the couple are humble enough to be flexible, to forgive slights – no matter how huge or earth shattering they are – and to lay down our life for one another.

 

If the circumstances are unbearable, a period of separation for the purpose of reconciliation is much better than getting a divorce. We cannot “move on with life”, but we can trust God to bring about a resolution in His perfect way and timing.

 

If our spouse is abusive, we can get a new phone number, and have a friend read his/her mail before we do, if we fear it is abusive. We can change jobs if necessary, and alert our friends to keep our business private. We do not need to live with abuse.

 

However, divorce is a blight on society and a lifelong wound on our life that never heals. It impacts the children of divorced parents and weakens their resolve to continue in their own marriage and to work out issues with compromise and preferring one another.

 

Cherishing one another is the greatest guarantee against divorce. To cherish means to look at one another with affection and loving consideration; we consistently show love beyond measure; adore one another; dote on each other and cherish one another from deep in our heart.

 

Rather than competing with one another, or expecting our mate to function outside of their calling and provision from God, we can discover our mate’s gifts and talents and depend on them for these traits.

 

We can hire a mechanic or handyman, if our mate is not gifted in that area, or engage a housekeeper or share the chores if our wife works too many hours to keep our home to the standard that we like it.

 

Communicating honestly and brainstorming together to find alternative methods, thinking and behavior is a healthy habit, which prevents bitterness from tearing apart our commitment to one another.

 

If both members of the couple are humble enough to make the effort to change our behavior, as well as to communicate more honestly with each other, then a Pastor, a successfully married older couple, or a counselor may help to improve our communication with one another.

 

We all bask in the Sonshine of a heart-felt compliment. Making each other feel loved and cherished is the best gift we could ever give to one another, to our family and to our children’s future mates.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we have a choice each day to build up or to tear down our relationship with one another. Help us to make it our goal to act loving, to quickly forgive slights, and to readily and patiently bear with one another’s fears and foibles. Remind us not to withhold love or approval, so that we do not compound one another’s self-doubt.

 

Give us Your wisdom to stop enabling one another’s insecurities. Help us to help each other to overcome the lies Satan planted in our heart during our childhood. Help us to help one another to feel unconditionally loved and cherished, not only by You, but by each other as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can prevent jealousy and insecurity in our relationship by speaking honestly about what we did with our day, who we were talking to on the phone and why we said or did something with another person in a particular manner that may have appeared as flirting or inappropriate for a married person.

 

God is the Holy One of Israel; yet, He cares for each one of us individually, regardless of our circumstances. He is our redeemer and our strong tower (Isaiah 41:13-14; Psalm 46:1).

 

He actually holds our hand when we are afraid, and He promises to help each one of us. When we allow fear to overwhelm us, we fall into its trap; but when we trust the Lord, He keeps us safe (Proverbs 29:25; Psalm 34:4).

 

We see how Jesus calmed the storms for His disciples, and He abides within us and protects us as well (Mark 4:39-40). The angel of the Lord actually camps around those who honor God with their life, and He delivers us (Psalm 34:7).

 

Even if we are reviled or falsely accused when we are living righteously, God will reward us for it. Regardless of what any person says about us or threatens us with He is our defense (1 Peter 3:14; Deuteronomy 3:22).

 

God places His redeeming hand on our life, encourages us not to give place to fear and reminds us that He is our all in all (Revelation 1:17). He took on the form of a man in order to save us.

 

All He asks of us is to believe in Him (Mark 5:36). In failing to believe, we condemn our self to eternal damnation (John 3:18). In our belief, we accept God’s eternal plan for our life (John 3:6-17).

 

Nothing we do, think or say, or anything that is in heaven or on the earth, can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). We are eternally His child and He loves us unconditionally.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You actually rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). We dwell in the shadow of Your wings and You give us shelter and rest. You are our refuge and fortress in this world of unrest, and we trust in You. Your faithfulness is a shield and strong tower for us. We have nothing to fear in the day or the night.

 

You give Your angels charge over us to keep us. Even if we fall, they are there to sustain and guard us. Since we love You, You rescue us, and You protect us when we walk in Your will and ways. We call on You and You answer us, deliver us and give us honor in any sort of trouble (Psalm 91:1-16).

 

Thought for the Day:

Since the Lord is with us, there is no reason for us to feel fear. Man can do nothing to us if God is right there with us, helping us and delivering us from every sort of evil. – Psalm 118:6-7

 

 

No longer a Sinner – Our Great High Priest

The devil, the flesh and the world are in the constant business of tempting us to sin. These three sources of temptation play on our human needs and desires, which are given to us by God.

 

They seek to pervert our needs and to tempt us into gross immorality. However, Christ in us enables us to withstand any temptation by giving us a way to escape it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

Thankfully, we have Jesus, our great High Priest, who can empathize with our humanity. He lived on this earth and was tempted, suffered and died with circumstances similar to, but much worse than ours (Hebrews 4:15).

 

The initial sinful thought, which enters our mind, is not sin. It is merely a temptation to sin. Satan whispers the destructive idea in our mind, and we have a choice to entertain or to dismiss that thought.

 

Temptation influences us when pride and rebellion lurk in our heart and cause us to rely on our self, and draw us away from having faith in God’s faithfulness to provide for us.

 

The sins, which easily lure us away from holiness, are strongholds in our life. These expose us to demonic attachments, which hold us in bondage. Also the abuse we receive in life will encourage us to believe Satan’s lies.

 

We are freed from spiritual strongholds by confessing them as sin, surrendering our life to Christ and obeying His Word in our every thought, word and deed, trusting in His Spirit’s direction for our life.

 

Christ promises to fulfill all of our needs according to His glorious riches. We do not have to trust anyone or anything else to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus was tempted to meet His own needs, but He used Your Word to put Satan in his place (Matthew 4:1-11). Help us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we do not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).

 

Remind us that we are crucified with Christ; and now we live in Him and by His faith (Galatians 2:20). Thank You for accepting us into Your family (Ephesians 2:19) and filling us with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our great High Priest increases in us as we decrease in our dependence on our self and others and trust only in Him.

– John 3:30

 

 

 

Keepers at Home

Younger women in today’s modern church are too busy with their feet running to and fro in order to spend much time in their own homes (Proverbs 7:11). Careers along with raising children and events such as Girls Night Out is the phenomenon that causes much of this.

 

The Bible advises the “older” women to teach the “younger” how to excel as a keeper at home (Titus 2:4-5). It is definitely a lost art in this contemporary society.

 

“Apples of Gold” is a wondrous ministry promoting this concept ( http://www.applesofgold.org/home.shtml ) Several years ago, the ladies in our church went through this program with uplifting and lasting results.

 

The younger women were so grateful to the older ladies who mentored them – giving them skills and wisdom, which their moms were never able to share with them for one reason or another.

 

There is no Biblical precedent for Girls Nights Out, or Women’s Conferences that take up a whole week-end of a wife and mother’s time, as well as eating into the family budget to pay for the whole event.

 

Single women often have the time and financial resources to participate in this type of fellowship with other singles, but married women can avail themselves of the teaching and ministry of their local churches.

 

Books, Videos and CDs also give us a chance to learn women’s related issues on our own or in a local church class. We can even learn Biblical truth by teaching or assisting in a children’s class.

 

Fellowshipping as couples, and even families, promotes strong church ties and deep friendships with spiritual people in every age group. The best way to learn as a couple is in a class where the spouses both hear the same information.

 

This gives us something to discuss in our private times, opportunities to hold one another accountable for what we learn, and resources that we can research together to teach us to deepen our relationship to one another and to Christ within us both.

 

The Pastor’s Bible studies on Sunday and Wednesday evening are full of Biblical principles for every Believer’s life; yet, so few people avail themselves of this rich and valuable opportunity to grow in Christ and to mature spiritually.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your plan and desire for women is to love our husband and children, and to make them our priority in our life. You state in Your Word that we can learn to live self-controlled and pure lives; so we will not discredit Your reputation by our words and behavior.

 

Teach us to manage our homes well and to live as co-heirs with our own husband. Help us to share with him our opinion, wisdom and leading from Your Spirit, but to ultimately submit to his decisions for our family. If he is rebellious against Your Word, we can pray for him to submit to your Word, strengthen our own ties with You, and attempt to find areas where we can agree as a couple.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is never a good reason for divorce, because with mutual submission we can always find a third alternative with which we can both thrive as individuals, as a couple and as a family; as keepers at home, we uncover God’s fulfilling role for our life.

 

 

Spectating or Serving

The church is the Body and Bride of Christ, commissioned to carry the gospel into all the world, and especially in our local community. We reach out with the gospel of Christ to friends, relatives, work and hobby associates and neighbors (Mark 16:15-16).

 

We serve in one ministry in our local church as the Lord calls us to assist, working in an area in which we are interested, and remaining faithful to that calling until God directs us to serve in a new direction in our church body (Romans 12:4-5).

 

When we see a need, or something that is blocking the growth of our church family, rather than complaining, ridiculing and looking for another church, we put our hand to the plow and help to change things for the better.

 

This may require that we increase our financial giving, spend more time supporting the church leadership and ministries, taking the initiative to ask the leadership the ways in which we can be the most help to the Body and allowing them to equip us for this ministry.

 

We do not expect our church to have the personality, ministries, outreach and worship identical to every other church in town, because God gives each congregation His own unique flavor to meet the need for which He designed our particular congregation.

 

We faithfully pray to the Lord of the Harvest to bring workers into the field; and we serve as an example of a loving, outreaching, soul-winning, hardworking member of the local church where God calls us.

 

When we do this, we see God’s hand faithfully supplying all the needs in our life and in the life of that congregation; and we feel blessed to be a part of His work in our community as we partake in the ministries of the family of God meeting in the facilities which God provided and for which we care and contribute towards.

 

Prayer:

Father God, raise up congregations across the nation that are committed to one another as Your family. It is so easy for a person to divorce a congregation and go across town to find one that better suits their needs, with no regard to Your will for them in service to that original congregation. Help us to covenant together in faith and to fellowship around the Gospel instead of the worship or preaching style, the size of the bulletin or the amount of lights and instruments used on the stage.

 

Teach us to agree on the central truths of Your Word and to live by these truths rather than by our personal preferences and carnal desires. Inform us about the true meaning of our spiritual gifts and help us to find a place to use those gifts for the mutual edification of the Body in which You call us to serve.

 

Remind us that contrary to popular belief, the church is not a gathering of spectators called to criticize the music, minister and ministries of a particular congregation. Before we were even conceived, You called us and placed us in a certain church in order to serve the Body in any needed ministry to which you call us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not discriminate in the fellowship of the church, but we include every race, nationality, dialect and personality; however, we do insist on members adhering to the primary principles of the scripture and living according to its dictates rather than the liberal, all-inclusive attitude of the world today; everyone is welcome to attend, but God only offers membership in His family to adherents of Biblical Truth.

 

The Color of Noise

Scientists discovered that there are “colors of noise” in our world. They are separated by their spectral density over different frequencies of sound. (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/colours-of-noise)

 

It starts with White noise, which has equal amount of energy in all frequency bands. Then it proceeds through the spectrum of colors to Black noise, which refers to silence with occasional spikes of sound.

 

Every band of White noise has equal energy per cycle and is completely flat. It is synonymous with white light. It has the ability to cut through the background noises and promote sleep; yet it can also produce percussive noises such at cymbals and drums.

 

Black noise is White noise that is silent, and can be defined as pure silence or negative noise.

 

Green noise is mid-point of the White-Black noise spectrum. It is the background noises in the world in which we live. It is averaged over a long length of time in several outdoor sites around our world.

 

Pink noise has equal bands that get proportionately wider. It is the same as our human hearing and has the same energy as the octave above and below it. It is useful in testing amplifiers and loudspeakers, radiation output and DNA sequences.

 

Red/Brown noise (Brownian noise) sounds like a low roar and is used in climatology to describe regime shifts.

 

Blue noise is at the other end of the spectrum from Brownian noise. Our retinal cells are arranged in Blue noise patterns and they provide good visual resolution. Violet noise increases per octave over the frequency range and can mask high frequencies, which helps many tinnitus sufferers.

 

Grey noise helps when noise occurs in both high and low frequencies, but very little in the range of normal human hearing. It is useful in studying hearing difficulties and differences from the normal range of human hearing.

 

Orange noise has a few bands eliminated entirely and reveals sound that is off key and out of tune, because it is not exact musical notes.

 

In a world where even light makes noise, we are called upon to adjust our “headphones” to hear only the voice of God. We block out all of the fleshly, worldly and satanic static in the chaos of life swirling all around us.

 

We rise above the dissonance of our concerns and we enter a new realm of the peace and joy, being led only by the Spirit of God. The full power of Christ’s divine nature infuses the body, soul and spirit of each authentic Believer (John 8:12).

 

 

Prayer:

Father God, awaken our sleepy soul and raise us from spiritual apathy and death. Remind us that Christ lives as a light within us, showing us the way You would have us to walk in this world. Help us to pay attention to how we live, so that we use Your wisdom in all that we say and do.

 

Remind us to make the most of the time You give us and not to foolishly use it for our own selfish gains. Help us to hear the way in which we should walk and to lift up our soul to You alone (Psalm 143:8). Show us Your will for our life and help us to keep in step with Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:14-17). Teach us to block out all the “colors of noise” bombarding us, and how to give You our direct attention through each moment of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Let us live life in full awareness of the immense potential available to us though our union with Christ; every negative circumstance, which life throws at us, can be overcome by faith in God through Christ within us.

Resisting the Truth

Can you imagine someone who would actually resist knowing or believing the truth? It happens all the time. In fact, people say that truth in its first form is always negative. We often react negatively the first time we hear a truth.

 

This occurs especially if the truth is contrary to what we were taught, or have heard all of our life or falsely believed in our past. We may resist or reject the person speaking the truth as well as the truth itself.

 

Timothy knew people like this. He described them as men of corrupt understanding and reprobate in the area of faith (2 Timothy 3:8). People in the 21st Century have this same problem.

 

We want to escape judgment or punishment, so we tell a lie. We cause other people to believe lies; and in the process, we often prevent them from knowing the truth. We tell a lie so many times that we start to believe that it is actually true.

 

We resist the truth of God’s Word because Satan already polluted our mind with his lies. Even books, novels written for entertainment, are used by the devil to prevent people from believing God’s Truth.

 

In today’s world, comedians make a living poking fun at truth and touting lies as the more logical belief. They convince the weak in heart and mind to believe these lies as if they were truth (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

 

Some people regard godliness as a mean of gaining material wealth. They go into the ministry as a job rather than a calling. They pretend to have an intimate relationship with God, but their actions deny any authentic union between them and our Savior.

 

They are devoid of God’s truth and do not devote the hours of service required by the position of pastor or teacher, but do the bare minimum of work and spend the rest of their time in leisure (1 Timothy 6:5). They are actually detestable, unfit for the ministry and disobedient to God’s Spirit (Titus 1:16).

 

Even if we have to apologize or admit that we are or were wrong, it is worth walking in the light of God’s Truth. God has a place for liars in the pit of hell (Revelation 21:8). Resisting His Truth determines our eternal destination (John 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is easy for humans to lie to maintain our false image or to justify our actions. Your truth tends to convict us, and many people run from conviction. They avoid admitting their faults and resist walking in Your Truth. They manufacture reasons to excuse their sin and to convince themselves that they are righteous.

 

You call us to walk in Your Truth in order to gain Your blessings (1 Kings 2:4). Help us to walk in Your Truth, so that as we fear You more than people, we will walk in Your ways (Psalm 86:11). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit at all times, and we will never resist Your Truth (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Thought for the Day:

We delight in knowing that our children are telling us the truth and know that we can always trust them when they do; God feels the same way.

– 3 John 1:4