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 Restores Our Wounded Heart

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in the circumstances of life? They overpower us and drag us down in the pit of despair. My best recourse during times like these is to praise God for who He is, regardless of what I do not see Him doing in my life at the moment.

He has His plans for us and His perfect timing. He often allows trials to drag on and on and cause us discomfort, financial loss, relational discouragement and mental and physical exhaustion.

We struggle with melancholy emotions and fight against bitterness and anger. God always rescues us out of the deep waters of trials, because He delights in us (Psalm 18:16-19).

He may take a while to deliver us, in order to build our faith so that we trust in Him alone, and that we do not rely on our human understanding or resources.

During this time, God also helps us to rise above the “grouchies” and the “mulligrubs”, and to be pleasant to our family and everyone He brings our way, even if we do not feel like it.

One aspect we encounter during tough times is Satan’s lies, which he plants in our soul all of our life. We believe these lies, and allow them to cripple us with depression and despair.

Satan’s lies may even cause us to doubt God’s love, His sincerity in keeping His Word to protect us as our Heavenly Daddy, and that He cares about us enough to allow negative circumstances to come against us.

We may revert to a life of sin and addiction in order to escape the pain we feel – temporary though this carnal reprieve may be. We prolong our agony and suffering by turning away from God to the world, the flesh and the devil.

Instead, we can read God’s Word, which He will use to encourage us through the hard times. He will use it to restore our wounded heart and fill us with His peace and joy.

Prayer:

Father God, we often struggle with the horrific pain of life on this sin-cursed earth. We forget that it takes faith to embrace Your authority over our life, and to reach out to You in our times of need. Help us to continually pursue Your Agape love, regardless of how we feel or what we are going through.

Remind us that others will treat us as we allow them to relate to us, and that we do not have to believe the lies which Satan prompts others to tell us. We often allow them to heap blame on us for what is not our fault, and they control us through their behavior and attitude toward us. Help us to believe the Truth of Your Word and to reject the lies that Satan uses others to hurl at us.

Thought for the Day:

No one can make us feel worthless, because Christ died to show us that we are valuable to Him, His Kingdom and eternity; He reached down from Heaven and chose us before the creation of the world so that He can love us with His everlasting love.

God is Our Vigilant Support

We all have people in our life that abuse us and make us feel small. They attempt to define our value, condemn our short-comings and even blame things on us that are their fault, not ours.

They manipulate us to make them feel bigger in their own eyes. This all stops when we realize that our worth comes from Christ in us, not from other people, and not from any good works of our own.

Jesus is our support and He rescues us from our abusers. He brings us out of places of abuse and delights over us, as He plants us in bright, spacious spots in the earth where He can best use us for His purposes.

Our Heavenly Father created us, because He has a specific plan for our life (Ephesians 2:8-10). He takes our broken lives and transforms them with His love. He heals our shattered heart and strengthens our weaknesses with His righteousness (Psalm 18:16-19).

God draws us out of our own mind, heart and purposes and teaches us to surrender to His will. He gives us reasons to rejoice and sends little hugs to us throughout the day.

He gives us ways to nurture His work in our soul and to make us aware of His presence and Spirit within us. We are never alone again and we have His constant vigil over our life.

Through the years, we develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him and we have less of a struggle as He purges our flesh through His sanctifying work (2 Timothy1:3-14).

Prayer:

Father God, help us to develop a clear understanding of Your Word, divine nature and perfect plans for our life. Lead us by Your Spirit each new day so that Your character takes precedence over our fleshly, carnal nature.

Thank You for loving us for who we are in you, and for over-looking all of our idiosyncrasies and short-comings. When we doubt our value in life, remind us to see our self through Your eyes and to reject Satan’s lies which are buried within our soul.

Thought for the Day:

We can lean on the Lord for strength and support through all of our struggles; as long as we do not allow the busyness of our normal schedule to overpower our connection to Him.

 

A Prophetic Nature

A person, like me, with a prophetic nature is usually honest and true. You can trust us to live in harmony with God’s Word and to always tell you the truth. I may not always do so in love, but I am learning how to do that.

 

I do not have a mean spirit or intend to hurt someone’s feelings; but my words may be sharp, blunt, untactful and not wisely chosen. Prophetic people tend to “tell it like it is” and I do not usually “pull my punches”.

 

What you see is what you get. I do not put on airs or hide behind a mask, try to impress you or flatter you, or attempt to be someone I am not.

 

I am honest, upfront and unguarded. A sensitive person will shy away from someone with a prophetic nature, because although I speak what someone needs to hear, my timing is not always sensitive.

 

I usually have discernment and I really care about people. I want to be helpful and to set the world in right order. People think that I always want to be right, but I just call it like I see it – right or wrong.

 

I rarely plan what I am going to say, I spontaneously speak “off the cuff”, and I may make more enemies than friends. Prophetic people are often loners, but we are happy to spend more time in prayer than with people.

 

As a prophetic person attempts to bring about a new way of thinking and doing things, we try to get to the root of the truth. We are often destructive before we can be constructive.

 

A person with a prophetic nature will deal with rejection, arguments and disagreements. Truth in its first form is often rejected, because people do not like change.

 

Yet, the seed for the truth is there in the words fitly spoken, and will fester in the heart of the hearer until the words bring about spiritual maturity in the listener.

 

A prophetic person, especially me, must learn and then attempt to convey the heart of God along with the facts that I see are true. I need to acquire the ability to build up in love as I tear down false concepts, and also to encourage at the same time that I exhort.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to walk in the Spirit before we pull down, uproot and destroy false beliefs, mindsets and attempt to soften hardened hearts. If we are in the flesh as we endeavor to speak Your heart, we stand the chance of leaving behind a string of wounded hearts (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

 

Teach us to practice speaking Your truth in love, seasoned with mercy and grace. Remind us that it is well worth the time and effort this will take. These changes will make our words more acceptable and more easily digested by those we want to help. It will convey Your true heart to the hearer and make more positive changes in more lives.

 

Thought for the Day:

The prophetic person swims upstream and goes against the flow of conventional or modern thinking; but we must learn to edify and to give constructive criticism rather than to boldly criticize the status quo.

 

God’s Power, Purpose and Provision

Jesus is with us, even to the end of this Church Age, when He will come to gather His Bride prior to the Great Tribulation. His main concern during our time here on earth is that we make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:17-20).

 

The benefit we have in doing this is that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us. We have the advantage over Saints of old who did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.

 

The Spirit anointed various Saints throughout the ages to accomplish various ministries for which God called each individual, but the Holy Spirit was not in complete union with them as He is with those of us in the Church Age.

 

Therefore, we do not have to act as the Israelites did throughout centuries of time. They were inconsistent in their times of obedience and did not always walk in God’s ways.

 

We do not have to vacillate in our devotion to God, or wander in the depths of sin into which they constantly slipped back. We can walk in union with Christ on a daily basis.

 

We experience eternal life each moment of the day, getting to know God more intimately as we surrender our flesh to His sanctifying process.

 

God’s power, purpose and provision for us are our focus in our life now. Christ in us is greater than the devil who is the god of this world (1 John 4:4). We have nothing to fear and power over him in Jesus’ name as we walk close to God (James 4:7-8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You humble those who walk in pride and refuse to defer to Your plans for their life (Daniel 4:37). You, the Ancient of Days, sit in the glories of Heaven, listen to the intercessions of Jesus for His Church, and send out Your Spirit into the heart of every authentic Believer.

 

We look forward to being counted among the ten thousands times ten thousand who stand before You in worship when You open Your books in Heaven (Daniel 7:9-10). We will stand holy before You, because of the blood of Jesus that washed us clean of all of our sins and gave us His righteousness in exchange.

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s Kingdom is everlasting and will never pass away or be destroyed; He made Jesus King over all of the earth and Jesus shares His inheritance with every authentic Believer who humbles Himself and believes in Christ as his/her Savior. – Daniel 7:13-14; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 3:16-18

 

The Invisible Thins of This Earth

Underwater Photography of Blue Ocean

Everything we see in our world today was made from invisible matter and orchestrated by God (Hebrews 11:3). Scientist tout the wonder of the invisible axis which holds our tilted earth; yet they criticize and scoff at our invisible God.

 

We can see, hear, smell, touch, and enjoy the marvels of this world, which we can see; but we cannot see the invisible chemicals and vibrations, which make up these visible wonders. Yet these are still widely accepted as real and true.

 

Skeptics call our faith “blind”, but we have more proof for our faith than they do for many of their beliefs. We enjoy a whole world of visible signs that point to a benevolent Father God (Romans 1:20).

 

We enjoy His blessings each and every day; but many people refuse to believe in His existence as the Intelligent Designer of all that we relish.

 

He loves us so much that He gave us the earth and all of its fullness to enjoy while we traverse this land; and then He shares with us the bounty of His Heavenly realm once we join Him in eternity.

 

God wants to live in union with every human being ever born; but we must be Born Again to have this privilege. The stumbling stone is that we must first admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior.

 

However, most people refuse to admit that they do anything wrong or are in need of a Savior, that they cannot live life on their own and that they are not as wise and self-sufficient as they think they are.

 

Prayer:

Father God, humble us in Your sight and teach us about our desperate need for You in our life. We want to enjoy eternity in Your presence, but we want that union to begin while we are still occupying the earth until You come. We want to praise and honor You with our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Your Kingdom is an eternal dominion, which endures forever and ever. You are the true and only King of heaven and earth. Your ways are just and righteous and we have no reason to question either Your motives or actions (Daniel 4:17, 34-35).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is the Lord of all, and He does not change. – Malachi 3:6

 

Molded by God’s Grace

Persecution and trials are an inevitable part of living in this world. We cannot control much of what happens to us on a daily basis; therefore, Paul recommends that we consider everything as a joyful experience – even the negative events (James 1:1-2).

In order to see trials as something joyful, we need to adjust our focus. Rather than seeing how much we are suffering, we look at the positive side of the events. We rejoice in the Lord’s love for us, regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:4).

If we ask the Lord to influence our thinking about our trials, He often reveals a seed for a miracle hidden within every negative circumstance.

God does all things beautifully in His time. He comes through for us at the last minute; that is why we refer to Him as “the God of 11:59”. In reality, God is rarely early, but never late.

All of His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). People may reject us, which causes us to doubt our self as well as God; but we never have any real cause to doubt Him.

God may not answer our prayers as we want Him to; but He always answers it in a way which is best for us. Peace and contentment come only when we totally surrender our will to God’s will.

God’s intention for every Believer is that we trust and obey Him; this is how we prove our love to Him (John 14:15). He wants nothing less, and nothing more from us than our very best.

Prayer:

Father God, we thank You for Your grace, which transforms and molds us into a vessel of honor for You. You show us what You require of us: to be honest and upright; to show mercy to others as You shower us with mercy, which we do not deserve; but mostly to walk humbly before You (Micah 6:8).

We trust in You with our whole heart, and we do not lean on our own understanding. We consult You before we do anything, so that You can direct our thoughts, words and actions (Proverb 3:5-6). We look forward to Your next divine appointment for us.

Thought for the Day:

We always receive God’s fullness as we trust in Him; He gives us grace for grace, and we are complete in Him.

– John 1:16; Colossians 2:9-10

Who Is Really in Control?

Attempting to control life is an impossible task. Panic attacks, endless worry, attempting to manipulate people and events, and using anger or condescension or guilt to control people’s responses and behavior are all exercises in futility.

 

Controlling also alienates us from the affections of our loved ones. They either cringe when we come around, avoid us or tune us out to protect themselves from what they perceive as emotional abuse.

 

This all stems from a deep seated fear in our soul that life will overcome us and we will drown in despair. Leaving life in God’s capable hands is the only way to face life with confidence and victory (Exodus 14:4; Psalm 127:1; Hebrews 11:6).

 

Living with the knowledge that we truly are incapable, frail and powerless, we thrive in a life of praise for God’s bountiful provision for us in every area of life – physical, financial, emotional, spiritual and mental (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

 

We are confident of His divine presence, power and majesty in our spirit, which conforms our soul by the sanctifying power of His Holy Spirit until we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

We come to the end of our self and God reveals to us that we are no longer separated from Him, but living in union with Him to the degree that we will allow Him to function in and through us by His Holy Spirit.

 

He fills us through all of our being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). We represent Him in our world, because He keeps us, teaches us and showers us with His love, unity and grace (Psalm 121; Jude 24, 1 John 2:27, 4:17)

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for providing each of us with a breaking point in our life that allows us to leave this earthly realm by Your Spirit and to see and hear the heavenly realm right here in our world. We see things from the perspective of Your heart and we walk in the power of Your might; not lifted up with human pride but motivated and empowered in meekness by Your sacred heart (Matthew 5:5).

 

You stripped us of our self-sufficiency and taught us that we cannot ever control life or manipulate people enough to feel safe in this world. Once we realize our insufficiency, You are our sole sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5). Life may still make us nervous and the unknown future may still shoot a bolt of terror through our heart, but You teach us to entirely place our every care on Your strong shoulders, because You always care for us.

 

Thought for the Day:
No concern of ours is too small or complicated for God to use to shower us with His blessings, once we totally surrender to His will in all things – whether we suffer deprivation or we rejoice with every good and perfect gift, which comes only from God.

 

But for the Grace of God

Helplessness is not a characteristic any modern person wants to admit. In our do it yourself mentality, we feel that others expect us to be like the unsinkable Molly Brown of Titanic fame; we never give up, we’ve got this, we just do it.

 

We shudder to think of anyone considering us “less than” or incompetent or that we may need help with something. Yet with God, humility and lowliness of mind is considered a blessing. He created Eve as a helpmate for Adam, and stated that it is not good for man to be alone.

 

He put all authentic Believers in a Body with Christ as our head, and adopted us a co-heirs with Jesus of His Kingdom. No one is an island; we are not good alone. When we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).

 

Coming to the end of our rope is good place to be, because we can let go of our struggles, and let God be God. We end our war with our flesh, the world and the devil and we submit to God instead.

 

There is no pat answer, secret formula or magic carpet that will whisk us out of our trying circumstances. God’s Spirit delivers us from our fight with the flesh described in Romans 7 and sets us free into the fullness of Romans 8:1-2; no condemnation and the liberty of a child of God.

 

We run out of self-effort and fall broken and spent at the feet of Jesus. The only way to look is up…up into His compassionate face of love. His forgiveness fills our heart and His confidence floods our soul.

 

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of how hard we try, we cannot achieve any lasting results in our life without You. Empty victories and short-lived success just does not bring the satisfaction that we gain from a life hidden with Christ in You. We realize that only when we are truly broken can we do all things through You.

 

Remind us that only as we serve You and accomplish Your perfect will for our life can we ever hope for any lasting fruit in this world (Romans 7:21). Help us to see that we may build a tower and put our name on it, but it can fall the next day by one aggressive act of nature or terrorism.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are no longer slaves of unrighteousness, because Jesus Christ Himself set us free from the Law of sin and death (Romans 5:15-25, 8:1-2); we no longer dwell in this carnal world with the concepts and principles at play that attempt to control our life; when Jesus sets us free we are free indeed (John 8:36).

 

Tuning in to God’s Spirit

During our walk with the Lord, He proves to us His love and faithfulness. He shows us that we can place our cares into His capable hand, because He truly does care about each and every one of us, regardless of the burden of our sins and the willfulness of our past.

 

Each new day, our soul is more fully persuaded that His ways are perfect and that our human plans and goals are a mere waste of our time. We dedicate our body, soul and spirit to His will.

 

It is God who actually gives to us the desire and the ability to please Him with our life (Philippians 2:12-13). We escape so many trials when we stop making our own decisions that lead to destruction and deprivation in our life.

 

We learn to rely on God alone and to stand in complete surrender before Him. We stop wasting time on pointless activities and start walking by His Spirit through each moment of our day.

 

We realize with abandon that God is in complete control of the chaos in the world around us. As we walk on His straight and narrow path, we miss the switchbacks, the steep precipices and the rocky road of the broad way.

 

Time is no longer an enemy, but it flows smoothly around us as we walk in God’s ways. We develop Godly habits, thought processes and priorities, which clear our path of any pitfalls.

 

We surrender all to God, and He gives us all things in return. We live in His abundance. We even count tribulation, which may manifest in physical deprivation and struggles, as joyous occasions to see God blossom a miracle from the seed within every trial.

 

We learn, as Jesus did, that without God, nothing is possible; but with God, all things are possible (John 5:19, 14:10). We, like Christ, are the physical manifestation of God to this lost and dying world around us (1 John 4:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to walk in the Spirit and to no longer allow the flesh, the world or the devil to hinder our walk with You. Help us to rise above the carnal, earthly plane in which our body lives in order to abide in You in our soul and spirit.

 

You make all the difference in our life and You turn us into difference makers in the lives of those You bring into our life. Help us to maintain a heavenly focus instead of keeping our eyes on this earthly plane of existence. Use us to perform Your works in the world around us all of the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in God’s Spirit prevents us from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh that attempt to pull us back into this earthly realm of existence.