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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quiet Time: The Wife of My Youth

The Wife of My Youth

He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14"Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
– Malachi 2:13-14

When I pray for Deseri, I often use the term, “The wife of my youth”. It helps me remember how long we’ve been together (friends since 4th grade) as well as, our covenant marriage relationship (this September makes 30 years).
I hate being sideways with her, and according to this scripture, God doesn’t like it much either.
Honestly, no one likes to be at odds with their spouse; that means, GUYS, treating our wives as if they are anything other than cherished companions will keep God from receiving our worship and may even hinder our prayers ( 1 Peter 3:7) Further more it gives satan an undeserved foothold toward taking down the relationship (Ephesians 4:27)
An older friend once told me, after he and his wife ended their marriage of forty plus years, “Doug, when you put God out, you let the devil in.”

Guys, may I step on your toes?
Do not go to worship today without getting things right with your wife first; and, going forward, get things right, right away.
Cherish the Treasure - Steve Greene

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Quiet Time: An Excellent Wife

An Excellent Wife
No Pushing Please
An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
– Proverbs 31:10

Behind every man is a good woman pushing him out the door.

My pastor friend likes saying that, and to a point, it’s kind of true; that’s what makes it so funny.

But, one thing I love about my wife is how she nudges instead of pushes me when I overlook the obvious. I call her, “My Other Conscience”, because she often helps me refocus on righteousness with a quiet word or a gentle touch.

For example: when I’m in a conversation and I cut off the person who’s talking, Deseri nudges me ever so slightly to let me know that I’m being rude. Or, if I’m watching a movie (I like action movies) that has foul language, she’ll let out a little, “Oh!” and that’s my cue to find another movie to watch.

I don’t think an excellent wife is found; she is given – by God, and she helps her husband gather the treasure that truly matters.
Check out this old song by Buddy Greene "A Virtuouse Woman"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quiet Time: Help My Unblief

Help My Unblief

Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief."  - Mark 9:24

Why it is that one person has the faith to believe in the Christ while another does not?

Do some people not have faith because they are more skeptical, analytical, or worldly wise than others?

History proves this not to be so. Many skeptics have come to know Christ in a real and personal way.

Some of the better known former skeptics are C.S. Lewis, Professor Antony Flew, and Dr. Hugh Ross, not to mention, of course, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Alister Mcgrath, and Ann Rice. All of these people are more intelligent and critically sharper than the average Joe; but that doesn’t answer my question.
I went back to the bible to see what it had to say about how a person actually gets “saved”.

Here are a few verses that came to mind:

·         God draws.  (John 6:44) No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

·         The Holy Spirit convicts.  (John 16:8-10) And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;…

·         The Word speaks. (John 15:22) "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

·         Man Understands.  (Romans 1:20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

So God draws a person to Jesus, The Holy Spirit convicts the person that Jesus died for his sin, the Jesus confirms what the Spirit convicts, and the man understands (even without the bible, if I’m reading that right) to the point that he will be judged in accordance with his understanding without excuse.

Simply put, I see that the question of why one believes and another does not as boiling down to God’s sovereignty to draw and man’s ability to accept or reject.

How God’s unconditional love is juxtaposed with His holiness and righteous judgment for all humanity is beyond my feeble comprehension, but it is not beyond my ability to trust His omniscience.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quiet Time: Bragging Rights

Bragging Rights

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips. – Proverbs 27:2

 I loathe political ads.
In most cases, the ads convey the candidate’s message, “I’m super but the other guy stinks.”

Ironically, if we have to tell others how good we are, then, we’re really not that good.
The Christ follower lives not for the commendation of men, but of Jesus alone.
(John 5:41) "I do not accept glory from human beings, (2 Cor. 10:18)"For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends."
A daily quiet time, especially in the early morning, is a critical component in our walk with the Lord.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:147) In a practical sense it is like we're giving our day over to God before it even begins.

I wonder what would happen if a political candidate determined to serve in his position for Jesus alone? One thing is sure; his political ad would be dramatically different from those we see today.
Reality is, I can’t do anything about negative politics, but one thing I can do, is spend each day getting to know my Savior better so that His presence affects my present.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – (Matthew 5:16).