Partnership in Marriage – Out of the Wreck I Rise

Partnership in Marriage

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

If you’ve sewn a button on a shirt, you know how thin a piece of thread is. And if you’ve ever looked at the giant cables on a suspension bridge, you know how thick those cables are. But you may not know this: Giant suspension bridge cables are made up of thousands of tiny strands woven together in midair by a machine invented by a French engineer in the mid-nineteenth century.

But the idea of weaving tiny strands together to make a stronger rope or cord is not new. Solomon wrote about it in the Old Testament. He applied that truth to human relationships: one person may be overwhelmed, two can withstand trouble, and three together can withstand anything. Solomon’s metaphor of cords fits marriage beautifully. The two-fold cord of husband and wife is far stronger than either alone. But add Christ to the marriage and you have a three-fold cord that is strong and secure. Marriage is a partnership between spouses—and between spouses and Christ.

Don’t go it alone in marriage. Be a partner with your spouse and allow Jesus to knit your hearts together.

A Single Thought: Each stage in our life has a purpose—embrace where you are and allow God to use you for His glory.

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Out of the Wreck I Rise

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? —Romans 8:35

God does not keep His child immune from trouble; He promises, “I will be with him in trouble…” (Psalm 91:15). It doesn’t matter how real or intense the adversities may be; nothing can ever separate him from his relationship to God. “In all these things we are more than conquerors…” (Romans 8:37). Paul was not referring here to imaginary things, but to things that are dangerously real. And he said we are “super-victors” in the midst of them, not because of our own ingenuity, nor because of our courage, but because none of them affects our essential relationship with God in Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.

“Shall tribulation…?” Tribulation is never a grand, highly welcomed event; but whatever it may be— whether exhausting, irritating, or simply causing some weakness— it is not able to “separate us from the love of Christ.” Never allow tribulations or the “cares of this world” to separate you from remembering that God loves you (Matthew 13:22).

“Shall…distress…?” Can God’s love continue to hold fast, even when everyone and everything around us seems to be saying that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

“Shall…famine…?” Can we not only believe in the love of God but also be “more than conquerors,” even while we are being starved?

Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it— the love of God in Christ Jesus. “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.

We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God. We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be. Conformed to His Image, 354 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Worth The Wait

Isaiah 57:10

Yesterday, we saw that Abraham didn’t wait for the Lord to provide him a son. Instead, he took matters into his own hands. His decision not to wait for God’s time and method revealed several things about him.

First, it showed that he was impatient. Second, he doubted God. Though he believed the Lord would give him a son, as time passed he sensed he was losing the opportunity. Third, he was prideful. Abraham wanted it done according to his own schedule and assumed that his way should be good enough. Finally, he was selfish. By acting without the Lord’s leading, Abraham showed that he expected God’s will to revolve around him. In reality, he was stepping out of the Father’s plan.

When we choose to manipulate circumstances or timing, these same things are revealed about us. Instead, we should wait for God’s purpose and path, which flow from His love and wisdom. He is certain of what is best for our lives; our role is to seek His guidance and depend on Him.

Sometimes we know what the Lord is going to do but are unclear about when He will act. Other times, we’re unsure of the outcome. Regardless, we can be confident that God is loving and all-powerful. The more we understand who He is, the better we will be able to trust Him. And when we are trusting Him, we’ll be able to wait for His perfect timing.

The Lord makes a promise, faith believes it, hope anticipates it, and patience waits for it. Do you trust God enough to be patient for His way and His time?

Sowing and Sleeping

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:42)

When a believer’s soul and spirit leave the body and return to the Lord, it is significant that the New Testament Scriptures speak of the body not as dead but as sleeping. For example, Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep” (John 11:11). This state is not “soul sleep” as some teach, for “to be absent from the body, [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). The body is sleeping—not the soul.

Similarly, when the believer’s body is laid in a grave, Paul speaks of this act not as a burial but as sowing! “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body” (1 Corinthians 15:35-38).

Just as a buried grain of wheat brings forth a fruitful plant, so the old, sin-corrupted, aching body of human flesh, sown in the ground, will some day come forth “fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21), in which “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4).

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). When a believer’s body is sown in the ground, God will soon reap from it a body of glory which will last for eternity. HMM

There You Have God

LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. —Psalm 90:1-2

Shake your head to get all the wheels going and try to stretch your mind all you can, then think, if you can, about the past. Think your hometown out of existence. Think back to when there wasn’t anything here but some Indians. Then go back and think all those Indians away, back to before the Indians got here. Go back before that and think away the North American continent. And then think away all this earth of ours. And then let’s go back and think that there are no planets and no stars dotting the clear night sky; they have all vanished away and there is no Milky Way, no anything.

Go to the throne of God and think away the angels, the archangels, the seraphim and the cherubim that sing and worship before the throne of God. Think them all away until there is no creation: not an angel waves its wing, not a bird flies in the sky—there’s no sky to fly in. Not a tree grows on a mountain, there is no mountain for a tree to grow on. But God lives and loves alone. The Ancient of Days, world without end, to the vanishing point back as far as the human mind can go—there you have God.

Lord, before the foundation of the world You knew me and chose me to be Your child. I praise You today. Amen.

When Pentecost Did Come

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

As we read the New Testament, we find a very simple and very plain and very forceful truth—the Holy Spirit makes a difference!

Consider the early disciples—Jesus Himself had taught them for more than three years—the greatest Bible school! But still He had to caution them and encourage them not to depend on their own wisdom and strength: “Tarry ye… until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49b). He promised that they would receive the Person of the Holy Spirit to carry out His plan of world evangelization.

After Pentecost, the Spirit brought them a new and vivid consciousness of the actual Presence of God. He gave them the gifts of divine joy and peace. He gave them great and continuing delight in prayer and communion with God!

Finally, we recall that before Pentecost the disciples could only ask questions. After Pentecost, throughout the record in the book of Acts, they stood in the authority of the Spirit and answered all of the questions of the people concerning God’s plan of salvation through the crucified and risen Christ!

Weaving of the heart into Christ

Consider the history of the Redeemer’s love and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design the weaving of the heart into Christ and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus. Nearness of life towards the Lamb will necessarily involve greatness of love to him. As nearness to the sun increases the temperature of the various planets, so close communion with Jesus raises the heat of the affections towards him. This alone is the true life of a Christian—its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word—Christ Jesus.