Dec 7, 2014 - Marriage    4 Comments

MARRIAGE: FINAL DESTINATION

 

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! It’s been such an encouragement to me this past week as God has had people share with either me or my wife how much they love Wade in the Word. I am so thankful that God has given me this ministry and that it is reaching people with God’s Word!

I want to conclude this little series on Marriage a Work in Progress with the idea I left off with a couple weeks ago – marriage is about the journey not the destination. It seems like posts on the topic of marriage are particularly popular. I think it’s because most people who are married- myself included- face challenges as we try and walk this life together with the person we’ve committed to live our life with.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

As a pastor I have counseled many married couples. I can’t tell you the number of times a married couple, while sitting across from me, have said, “HOW DID WE GET HERE?” The answer to that question is usually simple … they are living together but really apart. My heart goes out to the other married couples who never reach a pastor or counselor’s office and instead find themselves sitting across from each other in a divorce lawyer’s office asking, “How did we get here?” Or, there is the husband and wife who find themselves taking their youngest off to college and as they are driving away, look at each other like, now what? Thinking, “How did we get here?” Others may find themselves saying, “We bought the dream house and all we do now is fight about it!” Asking, “How did we get here?” Perhaps you know someone facing these situations or maybe you are like one of these coupes I’ve described.

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THANKSGIVING: GIVING THANKS TO GOD

This Sunday, while driving to church with my wife and daughters, I started to look at the houses in the community in which we live. I’ve looked at the homes in our community before, but for some reason I was taking a closer look then in times past. Perhaps it’s because we’re getting a new garage door. Isn’t it funny how our attention can be drawn to something, when previously it seemed unimportant, but it’s now more relevance to us? I guess that’s what got me looking at all these houses.

What impacted me the most was how Jesus used this moment to cause me to reflect back on my childhood growing up in the inner-city of Rochester. I remembered as a child, I would on rare occasions ride my bicycle through the suburbs. I remembered seeing all the lovely homes and thinking, God these people living here must be rich. I thought to myself I would love to live in a neighborhood like this someday.

Well, Jesus pointed out to me that that day had come. “Are you rich?” Is the question that came to my spirit, “No!” I said, “Well, neither are they,” was what I felt The Lord speaking into my spirit, “You are only truly rich when you have a relationship with me.” Wow! My old perspective was shaken in a new and fresh way. As a child growing up in the inner city, I thought that owning your own home meant that you were rich. But now, thanks be to God, I see so differently what it truly means to be rich.

I started to think about this upcoming Thanksgivings and how much I have God to thank for. The Lord has given me a wife, children, health, a beautiful home and so much more. When I meditate on all that He has done for me there is never an excuse for me not to give praise. There is no greater lesson that mankind can learn than to be thankful to God for all that we are or will ever become. For apart from The Lord, we can do nothing.

THANKSGIVING: A HEART TRUSTING AND OBEYING GOD

In the passage of scripture below, Moses instructs God’s people on how they should conduct themselves. Moses wrote Deuteronomy over two thousand years ago and it is just as applicable now as it was then. Deuteronomy chapter eight, should prick your heart and give God’s people reason to be filled with thanks. I guarantee that once you read these verses with an open heart and an open mind, you’ll have no excuse for not being filled with Thanksgiving.

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Nov 23, 2014 - Marriage    4 Comments

MARRIAGE: A WORK IN PROGRESS PART II

Last week’s post was an encouragement that marriage is hard work. I ended with a reminder, to us all, that marriage is a work in progress. So what is progress? I took this definition from the Webster Dictionary: the process of improving or developing something over a period of time. And what does work have to do with progress? A lot! You can’t have one without the other. Work is the effort that you put towards developing your marriage over time, period! It’s until death do you part.

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2 Corinthians 3:3-6 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, describes to them how the Old Testament law revealed the condition of the human heart … the failure to keep man’s end of the contract. But at the right time God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins on Calvary’s Cross. What was once written upon stone, then ink and paper, is now written upon the Christian heart. Praise God we are no longer bound to a contract we are unable to keep. Thanks be to Him we are under the new covenant of grace! And shouldn’t that be how it is in marriage?

God ordained marriages to be a covenant not a contract. A marriage contact is binding so long as the both keep it. A marriage covenant binds both until death. This covenant is held together through grace, by grace and in grace … the grace God gives to us and the grace we give to each other. This covenant resides in the dependance on Jesus, through faith, to keep us together as we become one. God’s covenant calls for the two hearts to beat as one … learning from your mistakes which will cause you to grow together. You also learn from your successes and you celebrate them. This, in turn, keeps the momentum of hard work going. But most of all, you both are trusting and seeking Jesus’s help at all times. A covenant is based on a promise and a commitment that’s between God, the husband and his wife.

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