VIDEO “Those Who Wait on the LORD”

Jul 10, 2012

Music Copyrighted by Esther Mui.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Isaiah 40:25-31 (NKJV)
25 ” To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: ” My way is hidden from the LORD,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 Hegives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Is Your Marriage A Desert Or An Oasis

the-desert-process-karinas-thought

There is a great picture of what a marriage should be like in Song of Solomon 1:14. The woman calls compares their relationship to En Gedi. En Gedi is an oasis in the desert near the Dead Sea. Out of nowhere, this oasis, with lush trees, plants, water and even a waterfall spring up.

Yet, this is not what most relationships and marriages are like. Most marriages are filled with stress, pain, nagging, hurtful words, anger, outbursts and even abuse.

It doesn’t have to be this way and couples don’t get married to live in the desert, they get married hoping for the oasis. But how do you make the trip?

Here are 6 simple ways to get there:

1. Stop nagging. Many couples nag at each other, put each other down, get on each other’s cases and are simply mean to each other. This creates an environment no one wants to be in, a family working against itself. This isn’t rocket science, yet so many couples nag, make fun of each other all in an effort to accomplish something. When a couple does this they will say that they are trying to get something done (a project, their spouse to change, wake their spouse up), but what is really happening is pushing them away. Every time nagging happens in a relationship, it comes from a place of brokenness. Sometimes nagging comes from a place of disappointment; either in yourself, your spouse or even where you thought your life and marriage would be at this point. Sometimes in life, you need to grieve that things aren’t going as expected and learn to move forward from that, but that’s another post.

Nagging in relationships comes from a place of brokenness.

 

2. Start talking. One of the best ways to make your marriage refreshing is talking. Opening up to your hopes, dreams, disappointments, sharing your past, your hurts and joys. Many couples who are in marriages that are not refreshing find themselves keeping things bottled up or opening up more to someone they aren’t married to than they do to their spouse. Your spouse should know more about you than anyone else. Always.

3. Start serving. If you look at couples who are in refreshing marriages, an oasis in the desert, you will see 2 people who are striving to outserve the other. Yes, this can be broken and one of you can take advantage of this.

Happy marriage secret: Outserve your spouse.

4. Start pursuing. What made you want to get married was pursuit. You did things together, couldn’t wait to see each other, planned date nights and trips. You pursued your future spouse, which is one reason they became your current spouse. Along the way, the pursuit ended. One of the fastest ways to create a refreshing marriage is to pursue your spouse. Plan date nights (they don’t have to be expensive), do things the other one likes (even if you hate it), participate in hobbies together (even if you don’t like the hobby), and lastly, pursue each other sexually.

5. Start believing. Couples who have a refreshing marriage believe in each other. They believe the best, hope for the best, they believe in the dreams of their spouse and encourage them to pursue them. A refreshing marriage is one where you never have to say, “Don’t you want to have? Don’t you want me to pursue my dreams?” A marriage stuck in the desert has those conversations. Remember, #3? This comes from a place of serving and when you’re serving, you have a willingness to put your dreams on hold if necessary, instead of fighting for them.

6. Begin to set up each other for success. A refreshing marriage is one where spouses try to help the other succeed. They ask, “how can I set my spouse up for success? How can I make them look good to others? How can I help them reach their goals?” A desert couple says, “What about me and my dreams? Who’s setting me up?” A desert couple doesn’t fight for oneness but for themselves.

An unhappy couple doesn’t fight for oneness but for themselves.

 

The reality is, even though every couple wants a marriage in the oasis, we will often choose the desert. It is what we know, it is easier, less work and honestly, the desert allows us to be selfish.

Don’t buy it though. No one lives very long in the desert.

 

Is Your Marriage A Desert Or An Oasis

Faithfulness Through the Ages

Deuteronomy 7:8-10

God is the only One who never disappoints. From the beginning of time, His Word has remained true. Every prophecy is a promise that has been or will be fulfilled.

Perhaps the greatest of these foretellings were the ones that told of the Messiah, and throughout the ages, believers longed for His coming. Prophets spoke about the Anointed One (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Isa. 7:14; Isa. 9:6; Dan. 9:25 NIV; Micah 5:2). Although there was no further prophecy on the subject during the four centuries leading up to Christ’s birth, when the time was right, Jesus came to reconcile mankind to the Father.

Surely, people must have questioned whether the Savior would ever come. After all, 400 years is a long time to wait without any word. But, as history proves, God never falls short on His promises. He is trustworthy, even when His timetable differs from what we hoped.

Knowing this, we can read Scripture’s assurances with expectation. For instance, if we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior and choose to follow Him, the Bible promises our salvation. We can rest assured that we are forgiven and redeemed. What’s more, nothing can separate us from God’s love (Rom. 8:38-39), and we can trust that He will provide everything we need to accomplish His purpose in our lives.

These are but a few foundational promises; the Word contains many more. Consider God’s faithfulness throughout the Bible and in your own life, and realize that He will be steadfast in the future as well. By living obediently, you can have full confidence that He will do all He has promised.

The Delightful Law

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” (Romans 7:22)

To many people, the law of God is harsh and cruel, consisting of an unreasonable list of “thou shalt nots.” But Scripture teaches that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). The “old man”—that is, the natural man—“is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22), and therefore it is written, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10).

No natural man could ever truthfully say, “I delight in the law of God,” and in our modern world it is even probable that most people have broken at least most of God’s Ten Commandments and often delight in doing so. But the “old man” becomes a “new man” when he accepts Christ as his Savior, for “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made [the] curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Thus, the “inward man” can thenceforth “delight in the law of God,” as our text says. Not to earn salvation (which we could never do) but because we love to live for Him who died for us.

God’s law (and we can understand this now to include even the entire Word of God) indeed becomes our delight. We can say with the psalmist, “Thy law is my delight” (Psalm 119:77). Every one redeemed of the Lord should now find that “his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

The old covenant said, in effect, we must keep the law to live. But now, “this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16). No longer are the commandments written “in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3), and we delight in them. HMM

Jesus Is Victor!

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:57

The two major elements present in the Easter story are the fact and the meaning of the fact.

That Christ arose after He had been put to death by crucifixion is the fact; the true historicity of the event is too well established to require proof or even comment today. The meaning of that resurrection, however, must be rediscovered by each believing soul and by the Church age after age till our Lord returns to earth again….

It is, of course, necessary to preserve the theology of the resurrection and to guard the truth well and carefully; but that is not enough. We must know what it means to us as pilgrims and strangers. That He “rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” is the biblical foundation for our faith in a risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15:4). But love and faith would go further; they would devoutly seek to experience the present riches of His Easter triumph.

Jesus is Victor! That is the truth His resurrection proclaims. Now it remains for us to allow Him to be victor in us, thus multiplying the glory of His triumph in the hearts of His trusting people.

Lord, thank You for the victory that is mine through the resurrection of Your Son. May I claim that victory in experience throughout the day today. Amen.

Family of God

I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

There is an important message for the believing family of God in the Bible: next to God Himself we need each other most!

God’s ideal is a fellowship of faith, a Christian community. He never intended that salvation should be received and enjoyed by the individual apart from the larger company of believers.

With that, it also needs to be said that to live within the religious family does not mean that we must approve everything that is done there.

But God has so created us that we need each other. We may and should go into our closet and pray in secret, but when the prayer is ended we should go back to our people. That is where we belong.

No one is wise enough to live alone, nor good enough nor strong enough. From our brethren we can learn how to do things and sometimes also we can learn how not to do them!

Our Lord who is the Great Shepherd has said that we are the sheep of His pasture and it is in our nature to live with the flock. Best of all, the Shepherd always stays with His flock!

You have not the making of your own cross

You have not the making of your own cross, your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it. This day Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to His easy yoke. Jesus was a cross-bearer; He leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if He carries a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the way of safety; fear not to tread its thorny paths.

It is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of Sorrows tried the load. Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon love it.