The Joy of the Lord

God gives us several commands throughout His Word to rejoice in Him. When God thinks a concept is worth repeating, it is definitely worthy of our consideration (Psalm 32:11, 35:9, 64:10, 97:12, 104:34; Isaiah 29:10, 41:16; Joel 2:23; Habakkuk 3:18; Zechariah 10:7; Philippians 3:1, 4:4).

When the joy of the Lord fills our spirit, it also affects our body and soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings. It influences our words and actions and how we relate to our self and to other people.

It affects our relationship with the Lord and helps us to sing the praises to Him that He is worthy to receive (Psalm 147:1). We pray about everything and give thanks in everything, even in the negative aspects of our life (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

The Lord puts a hymn of praise, a new song, in our heart (Psalm 40:3). We come before His presence with thanksgiving as we make a joyful noise to Him in song (Psalm 100). His joy is our continual source of strength (Nehemiah 8:10),

God’s Word is living and powerful and teaches us to abide in our spirit rather than in our body and our soul (Hebrews 4:12; John 15:11; Galatians 2:20). He opens the eyes of our understanding to the opportunities we have to walk and live in His Spirit.

God helps us to discern between the desires of our flesh and the leading of His Spirit. We no longer allow the appetites of our body, considerations of our mind or fickleness of our emotions to dictate our thoughts, words or behavior.

Instead we seek the Lord to reveal the root source of any negative impulses we experience and to free us from any dictates of our flesh, any influence of the world and any tyranny of the devil over our life.

Prayer:
Father God, we submit our spirit, body and soul – our every thought, choice and emotion – to Your Spirit. Our union with You consumes our every waking moment, and we want nothing more than for You to live Your life in and through us.

Remind us not to worry about anything, but to seek Your will in ceaseless prayer. We want to live a life of continual joy, prayer and thanksgiving to You through Christ in us (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We thank You for meeting all of our needs, and for giving us Your peace, which is not dependent on our human reasoning and understanding, and which guards our hearts and minds as we live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Philippians 4:4-6; Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord loves us so much that He actually takes delight in us and rejoices over us with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

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Marital Wisdom

The Bible is a complete marriage manual, which God provided for us to use. It covers every little detail and even suggests consequences for a man who fails to follow its precepts (1 Peter 3:7). A man needs to listen to his wife and take her seriously (Colossians 3:19). If she mentions his inconsiderate habits, he can change them (Proverbs 28:13).

 

As the stronger vessel, he can carry heavy items or open the door for her, especially if she has both hands full (1 Peter 3:7).  He assists in the care of their children by helping with homework, enforcing table manners and supervising bath and bedtime (Galatians 6:2). He helps with the laundry, dishes and vacuuming, especially if she also works a full-time job (Ephesians 5:28). Above all, he speak kindly to her (Colossians 3:19).

 

Resentment will foster irritation, anger and impatience in your tone of voice and body language; so keep a short account of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Sometimes you may not even know what is causing these negative emotions, so take time to pray about it. Do not withhold physical attention from one another, except for a consensual time of prayer and fasting (1 Corinthians 7:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:4).

 

Not many men will neglect their own body, and God commands men to care for their wife’s need with as much consideration as they have for their own needs (Ephesians 5:28). A godly husband honors his wife and appreciates all that she does for him and his family. He ministers to his wife’s body, spirit and soul – her mind, will and emotions, in the same way that Christ cherishes His Bride, the church (Ephesians 5:22-23).

 

Leave love notes, phone messages, emails, texts and little gifts to remind your wife that you cherish her. Spend time together having fun. Schedule a date night into your weekly calendar and guard it fiercely. Make one another your main priority. Ask what you can do to help each other every day. Pray together and submit to one another as joint heirs to the grace of life (Ephesians 5:21).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach each husband to shepherd his wife and children as the loving caretaker of their body, soul and spirit, considering his family’s needs above his own, laying down his life for his loved ones as Christ did for His Bride (1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 5:25).

 

Remind all wives to give their full attention to their husband and to listen to him daily and show joy over his victories and concern about his setbacks. Teach her to show respect and appreciation for him for all that he does for their family and home (Ephesians 5:33). Help each couple to work together to raise their children in Your nurture and counsel.

 

Thought for the Day:

Take time in your marriage to nourish and cherish one another. – Ephesians 5:29