- Sat Nov 8, 2014
Now observe the church's feelings toward Jesus:
My lover [husband] is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven...
His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my lover, this is my friend...
I belong to my lover,
and his desire is for me...
Let us go early to the vineyards...
there I will give you my love.
The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
and at our door is every delicacy,
both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my lover.
(SONG OF SONGS 5:10-11,16; 7:10,12-13)
Do you sense Jesus's desire for you as part of His Bride?
- Fri Nov 7, 2014
Perhaps you haven't even considered the purposes of God in you marriage in a while. Maybe you're experiencing a semblance of peace at home? After all, if the garage is fairly well organized, the bills are getting paid, and you're able to play a round of golf from time to time, why question things too much?
Well, you should, because a great marriage is more than those kinds of things. Are you bored with your marriage? Do you have a truce in you marital relationship but no deep oneness? Does male leadership in marriage confuse you and frustrate your wife? Is your wife failing to fulfill you sexually?
Great marriages may seem rare these days, but God didn't intend it that way. By God's way of thinking, a vibrant, cherishing, relationship is quite normal and should be quite common because, believe it or not, you already have what it takes to walk faithfully.
- Thu Nov 6, 2014
"Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods," wrote John (1John 2:15,MSG). To this apostle, the world represented everything outside his door that ran counter to his faith. Indeed, the world has a different take on how we should live. Today's postmodern culture believes that all ideas are equally valid, that no one is wrong. The world's way has always gravitated toward those voices that contend, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die."
All of us have heard the siren song of beliefs that suit our tastes, dispositions, politics, and lifestyles. In our culture we're free to believe what we want because, in the name of tolerance and diversity, no one's viewpoint can be dismissed. And while this might help us be liked by others, it is a dangerous approach to take - like making a beeline for a deadly reef upon which we're likely to shipwreck our faith.
Before His departure, Jesus pulled His men in tight to tell them, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you" (John 15:19). His message to them is the same for us: Blending in with the world is not the mark of a follower of Christ.
- Wed Nov 5, 2014
If Christians were consumed by God's purposes, it would first be reflected in our marriages. But the rates of divorce, adultrery, and marital dissatisfaction in the Christian church reveal our hearts.
Very few men are consumed by their marriages, and fewer still by purity, but both are God's desire for you. God's purpose for your marriage is that it parallels Christ's relationship to His church, that you be one with your wife.
When these expectations aren't met, we become grumpy and frustrated. Our will to maintain our outer defense perimeters is eroded. Well, if this is how she's going to be, why should I go through all the effort of being pure? She doesn't deserve it. We retaliate by withdrawing from our own responsibilities, but cherishing our wives includes being sexually pure. If this inner defense fails, the outer perimeters of the eyes and mind can also fail - and quite quickly.
Perhaps you're finding it difficult to cherish your one and only. To cherish means to treat with tenderness and to hold dear, and you want to feel the romantic urge to do those things. But what if you don't feel like it? Something with such ramifications upon your sexual purity and upon the very strength of your marriage cannot be left to feelings alone.
- Tue Nov 4, 2014
Sexual sin may have once stunted your Christian growth and sapped the power of the Spirit in your life, but not anymore. Now you are ready to soar in the power of the Spirit. Every little boy dreams of flight, to rise high above the earth and to be carried by fresh winds to new heights, gazing upon thrilling vistas while far above the fray. It is lovely to be holy!
Jesus came to impart the Spirit of holiness in you, and as you are transformed and as you lose your heart and desires to Jesus, you can stretch the limits of sin's gravitational pull and soar into the sunshine of freedom. As the Holy Spirit takes the Word and makes it powerful in you, everything that presents itself against the obedience and fulness of Christ withers in its light.
You can hold your own through God's grace and the working of the Holy Spirit in you. You can grow, and power can flow. Yes, even in you.