Love Letters

Our life is God’s love letter to the world. He uses us to communicate to our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors that He cares about them (2 Corinthians 3:3).

 

If we do not take the time to reach out to these significant people in our life, we deprive them of the love of God through us.

 

We may even shut up the Kingdom of Heaven to them and their blood will be on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18-20). It is important that we at least plant a seed of God’s love in everyone we meet.

 

It is easy to do this. We can give them our church bulletin and invite them to join us the next week. Offering them a ride to the grocery store or to church is another easy way.

 

We can hand them a tract with spiritual truth that they may otherwise never know. Starting a spiritual book club or Bible study in our neighborhood is another great way to reach out.

 

There are retired women and men in our church who would gladly teach such a study if we ask them; or there are great study guides in the Christian bookstore to use as a text.

 

We can bake a cake for a bereaved family, give a homemade card to a sick neighbor, or baby sit for a young couple to have a date night.

 

The possibilities are endless, if we listen to God’s Spirit and follow His directives. God equips us to walk in His will through Christ in us (Hebrews 13:20).

 

With Christ living within us, we experience rest for our soul (Matthew 11:29). We stop striving to perform for God, because Christ works through us (Psalm 46:10; Matthew 6:28-33).

 

This eternal rest is only available if we take our focus in life off the temporal aspects of our existence and place it squarely on eternal matters instead (2 Corinthians 4:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave us Your eternal life, which no one can take from us (John 10:28). We are joined to You, and we are beneficiaries of Your divine nature (1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4). We have constant fellowship with You, the Son and the Spirit (1 John 1:3, 9; Phil 2:1).

 

You placed us in Christ Jesus and we are seated in heavenly places in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 2:6). You provide every spiritual blessing for us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Help us to share Your love with those You put into our life. We want to give You all the honor and glory for everything we think, say and do each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

The love and integrity of the testimony of our life for God may be the difference in someone believing in or rejecting Jesus as their Savior.

 

 

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Dealing with Holiday Depression

The holidays bring huge doses of depression with them. People with no family, a dysfunctional family, a long-distance family or a disharmonious family feel the separation more acutely during these traditional times of family gatherings.

The commercial hype and unrealistic expectations for our personal Santa to read our mind and to get us exactly the gift we anticipate puts undue pressure on our significant others to perform beyond their human capabilities.

God already gave us His antidote for these poisonous expectations. He provided us with both a nurturing family and the best gift the world ever received. We are members of His Body, children of the King and recipients of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Nothing this world offers can compare. Moth and rust will destroy any earthly gift. They break down and wear out and must be replaced. However, Christ’s gift of His everlasting peace and joy are gifts that keep on giving all year long and on into infinity.

We drink of His living water and never thirst again (John 4:14). We walk in His Spirit and abide in true happiness which never wanes (Galatians 5:15-25). Our loving heavenly Father knows best, provides for our needs and never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

So, when you think of Christmas shopping this year, make God your priority. Attend a Christmas Eve or Day service and enjoy your church family. Read God’s Word which offers eternal life as well as wisdom for daily living.

While contemplating your New Year’s resolutions, include church attendance, prayer, Bible study and Christian service in your list. Put them at the top of the list and make them a priority. You will find true comfort and joy.

Prayer:
Father God, we humans are so materialistic. We work so hard to move up the ladder of success, abandoning our families and making the almighty dollar our idol and priority. We want more money to buy more things for our children without realizing that we are failing to give them what they really want and need most – our time and attention.

Help us to make You our priority in our life and to follow Your wisdom and precepts as our guiding light for true success on this earth. We not only reap greater rewards now, but we store up treasure in heaven for eternity (Matthew 6:19-21). Help us to bring as many people to heaven with us as will humble themselves under Your mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6-9).

Thought for the Day:
The best way to sidestep holiday depression is to appreciate all that God has given to us and to do random acts of kindness for those less fortunate than we are.

How to Prevent a Divorce

When people, joined by God in marriage, choose to divorce, there is understandably an immense amount of pain and brokenness, which affects both lives. Even the person who initiated the divorce will suffer trauma. Financial, physical and employment setbacks occur in both lives. Even the emotions in both parties are traumatized.

This may make no common sense; but in matters of the soul, it makes perfect sense. Our soul is divided into our mind, will and emotions, and all three are negatively affected by a divorce. We also have three ego states in our mind, called the Inner Parent, Inner Adult and Inner Child. The Inner Child of the person initiating the divorce will also experience shock and distress.

Even if the person really wants the divorce for various reasons, their Inner Child will still feel victimized. Their childlike nature, which needs nurturing, feels abandoned by the partner they are divorcing. They will often suffer feelings of rejection and abandonment right along with the person, which they no longer want to live with.

There are many unresolved issues in a relationship, which cause the marriage to dissolves into divorce. Years of underlying problems, formerly swept under the rug, are hanging in the air between the two parties. They blame each other, and some spouses are not willing to take any responsibility for the breakdown in the marriage.

We all have failings and idiosyncrasies, which may cause our partner to get weary and to wander. If we address these concerns instead of just giving up, we can find alternative methods of action. An equitable solution that is agreeable to both people will always improve the relationship. In humility, both partners can resolve the problems and allow God’s love to heal their wounds.

Truthfully, prior to any divorce, both partners need to forgive and to ask for forgiveness for the slights and issues they caused in the marriage. Mutual forgiveness will heal many injures, and may even prevent this drastic, unnecessary divorce. Then, there will be no more desire to separate, and the couple will joyfully end up growing old together.

Prayer:
Father God, our true fulfillment is found through service to You in our church and community, as well as in our marriage. We can serve our mate regardless of how we feel about them. In fact, we are serving You by serving them. This way we put our marriage in Your hands, relying on You to change us and our partner. You hate divorce and are not pleased with anyone who obtains a divorce without Biblical grounds for it (Matthew 19:9). Help us to bear one another’s burdens and to fulfill Your plans for our life (Galatians 6:2).

Thought for the Day:
Divorce divides us from the one, which we thought would share our hopes and dreams and grow old with us, and it forces us into the death of a relationship once birthed in love.

The Eternal Marriage

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the connection between Jesus and the Church in a marriage. A husband is exhorted to love his wife in the same manner that Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus literally laid down His life for the Church. How many husbands actually do that for their wife? Most of them get frustrated with their wife’s idiosyncrasies and opt out of the marriage?

 

There is not a problem in a person or a marriage that cannot be resolved with intentional counseling and mutual submission. Except in life or death situations, no reason is good enough to justify divorcing one’s mate. It is a lazy, superficial, self-centered person who files for divorce. They are unwilling to work at becoming one flesh. A time of separation and a forgiving heart will help to iron out even the worst marital issues.

 

Reserving nothing for Himself, Jesus gave His life for His Bride before we even knew or loved Him. His love is unconditional, regardless of our behavior, attitude or expressions. He will never, ever leave or forsake us for any reason or in any way (Hebrews 13:5). Spouses are to follow suite and care for one another’s physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual needs despite the reception we receive from our mate.

 

The husband honors the wife as the weaker vessel, and he protects her from the pain and confusion of the world (1 Peter 3:7). He listens to her and cares about what she cares about. The wife respects and encourages her husband. She keeps his home and cares for his children. She supports him even when she disagrees with the direction he is going. Although she does have the option to separate for a time if she feels threatened in any way.

 

There is no man or woman alive who does not grab his/her toe when it is stubbed, or jerk away from something hot or cringe from a hand raised in anger. We are to protect one another in the same way that we love and protect our self (Ephesians 5:28-33). We care about each other’s needs, often anticipating them before the desire is even expressed. God will help us to work out every negative issue in our marriage if we totally surrender our will to His.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You give us a perfect example of loving a flawed mate. Israel failed You over and over; and yet, You continually loved her and honored Your commitment to her. Remind us to feel each other’s pain and confusion as if they were our own and never to break our marriage vows to one another, even when we do not like one another very much!

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no one that loves us better, or cares for our welfare more than Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer. – Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 1-4