VIDEO Saving Daddy

Mar 8, 2016

A young father discovers his need for Christ through a series of severe trials. Starring Matt and Donna Crouch, Destiny Crouch, with Elizabeth Crouch, Steven Sewell, Matt Brown, and Eddie Fox. Filmed in Monroe, Oklahoma.

What does God want me to do?
Admit that God has not been first place in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 (NIV)

Believe that Jesus died to forgive you and rose again to reconcile you with God.

“If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Choose to receive Christ and accepts God’s free gift of salvation.

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John 1:12-13 (NLT)

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Enough

They ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord. 2 Kings 4:44

When my husband and I were first asked to host a small group in our home, my immediate reaction was to decline. I felt inadequate. We didn’t have seats for everyone; our home was small and couldn’t hold many people. I didn’t know whether we had the skills to facilitate the discussion. I worried that I’d be asked to prepare food, something for which I lacked both passion and funds. I didn’t feel like we had “enough” to do it. I didn’t feel was “enough” to do it. But we wanted to give to God and our community, so despite our fears, we agreed. Over the next five years we found great joy in welcoming the group into our living room.

I observe similar reluctance and doubt in the man who brought bread to God’s servant, Elisha. Elisha had instructed him to give it to the people, but the man questioned whether twenty loaves could feed so many—one hundred men. He seems to have been tempted to withhold the food because—in his human understanding—it wouldn’t be sufficient. Yet it was more than enough (2 Kings 4:44), because God took his gift, given in obedience, and made it enough.

God asks us to give what we have in faithful obedience.

When we feel inadequate, or think what we have to offer isn’t sufficient, let’s remember that God asks us to give what we have in faithful obedience. He is the one who makes it “enough.”

Lord, when I fear what I have to give is insufficient, help me to give to You anyway and trust You to make it “enough.”

An offering given in faithful obedience is just right.

By Kirsten Holmberg 

INSIGHT

We may wonder about the purpose of the miracle recorded in today’s passage. It becomes a little clearer when we back up a few verses. In verses 38–41 Elisha had performed another food miracle where he made a pot of poisonous stew safe to eat. Because there was a famine in the land, the provision of food would have been one of the top concerns of the people. So both of these miracles—the curing of the poisonous stew and 20 loaves of bread feeding 100 people—are signs of God’s provision. It is interesting to note two key phrases in verses 43 and 44 that address the doubts of Elisha’s servant: “this is what the Lord says” and “according to the word of the Lord.” The power of the Lord is what provides when we have little or nothing to offer.

Reflect on a time when your resources were inadequate. How did God provide?

J.R. Hudberg

Breaking the Sound Barrier

Psalm 46:1-11

If the Lord’s silence is good for us, then how should we respond when we feel as if there’s a wall blocking our access to Him? The only way to break through is to keep on praying. It’s important that we remain on our knees and continue talking to Him.

First, pray to God, requesting that He let you know the reason for His silence. While Jesus was on the cross, He demonstrated that we can approach the heavenly Father with our questions. (See Mark 15:34.) Our Lord invites us to talk with Him about anything because He understands us perfectly. He knows the motivation behind what we’re asking and has an accurate read on where we’re at spiritually.

Second, ask Him to reveal His will for your life and to guide you. Remember that His timing may not match yours.

Third, trust Him. Be still in the Lord’s presence as He works in your life, and believe that He always sees the way clearly, whether or not you do. Be aware that God desires for His children to listen—even when we feel as if He’s not talking, even when we feel like giving up.

Finally, open the Bible and start reading. The Holy Spirit living within you will interpret God’s Word to your heart, and you’ll begin to hear Him speaking to you.

In addition to talking to God, practice being silent in His presence. When you listen carefully, He will satisfy the deepest longings of your heart with a sense of Himself. Then feelings of anxiety will give way to peace.

Yes, Tragic Ignorance

“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)

The Lord had finally acknowledged to the Jewish leaders that He was their promised Messiah, riding into the city on a donkey’s colt in fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-7), but they refused to accept and prepared to crucify Him. Therefore, Jesus wept over the city, for He knew it would soon be destroyed “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44).

There are many other cases of such tragic ignorance in the Bible. For example, “Samson . . . wist not that the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20), and it cost him his great strength and finally his life.

The ungodly sinners in the days of Noah “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). Of the northern kingdom of Israel, it was said: “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:9). These “strangers” were the pagan Canaanites who had turned the people away from the true God.

This is a real danger facing many church and parachurch organizations of the end times, typified by the church at Laodicea. The Lord says to such churches, “I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:16-17).

May God deliver each of us from tragic ignorance of our need before Him. We should pray with the psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). HMM

The Lord hath chosen Zion

Psalm 132

This Psalm fitly closes the active life of David and introduces us to his last thought and care. He longed to see the temple erected upon that spot which had been consecrated by the feet of the celestial messenger when the plague was stayed. He rehearses the story of his former longing to build a house for the Lord, and then dwells upon the covenant which the Lord, in infinite mercy, made with his servant. Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions: Many of these afflictions were endured for the Lord’s sake and in defence of the Lord’s worship, therefore the psalmist dwells upon them; he begs especially that God would remember David’s longing to build a temple.

Psalm 132:1-6

In his earliest days, when he dwelt at Bethlehem Ephratah, he had heard of the ark and loved it, and, at last, he found it at Kirjath-jearim, the forest city. Happy are they who love the cause of God in their youth, and are resolved to find out his church and people, even though they should be as much concealed as if hidden in a wood.

Psalm 132:7

Wherever God’s worship was, there David resolved to go. Be ours the same holy vow. If the saints be few, poor, and despised, we will sooner worship with them than with the great congregations of the worldly rich.

Psalm 132:8

This was the song of Israel when the ark was moved from place to place. We may use it in these days when we are pleading for the presence and power of the Lord in his church.

Psalm 132:9-10

Be this our constant prayer, that the church may prosper and the Lord glorify himself in the midst of his people, for the sake of Jesus our greater David, whose face is ever fair in the sight of the Lord.

Psalm 132:11-14

What God has chosen let us choose, where he dwells let us dwell, and where he rests there let us rest. The church of God should be very dear to our hearts. It should be our anxiety to unite with those who follow the Lord in all things; and when we are joined to their fellowship we should, both by our prayers and efforts, seek to build up the church. What precious promises are those which follow!

Psalm 132:15

The gospel is our food, the Lord give us grace to feast on the rich provision, and make us poor in spirit that this heavenly bread may be sweet to us.

Psalm 132:16

None are so full of joy or so much in a mind to show it as those who dwell where God abides.

Psalm 132:17

The glory of Jesus, the Son of David, is great in his church, and in her midst he preserves the light of truth among men.

Psalm 132:18

Jesus shall reign. Oh, to be found among his friends! Who would wish to wear the garments of shame?

 

Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, city of our God!

He whose word cannot be broken,

Form’d thee for his own abode:

 

On the Rock of Ages founded,

What can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

 

Husband, You Need To ‘Dwell’ With Your Wife!

1 Peter 3:7

One of the meanest tricks in the world occurs when a man romances his future bride and treats her like a princess as they are courting—but then once they get married, everything suddenly changes! Before the marriage, the man held her hand, walked with her, opened the door for her, called her on the telephone, wrote her romantic notes, sent her flowers, and took her to dinner. He treated her so royally that she viewed him as her “Prince Charming” and felt like she was his queen!

Unfortunately, upon returning from the honeymoon, many new husbands suspend all those romantic gestures that made their future brides feel so special. These men begin to act as if they have forgotten how to show their brides the tenderness to which they had grown accustomed. As a result of this change in behavior in their new husbands, young brides often feel disappointed, let down, and deceived. They inwardly ask themselves:

  • Where is the Prince Charming I fell in love with before I got married?
  • Was that all an act?
  • Who is this man I have married?
  • Who is this man who rarely calls me, who rarely treats me to a date, who seems to have
  • time for everyone except me, and who shows very little tenderness in our relationship?
  • Where did the man go who once treated me so nicely?

Men are often unaware that they are becoming insensitive and neglectful of their wives. Perhaps they get busy at work, or their minds are heavy with details, or they are mentally and physically exhausted. These may be some of the contributing factors that explain why men do the things they do. But regardless of what a husband is feeling or going through at work or in his financial affairs, his wife needs his attention and affection. She married him because she wants to be a part of his life. She has a need to feel cherished by him and to know that he wants to include her in his life.

This is precisely why Peter in First Peter 3:7 told husbands that they are to “dwell” with their wives. The word “dwell” is the Greek word sunoikeo, a compound of the word sun and oikos. The word sun always carries the idea of partnership and cooperation. When the word sun is used in the New Testament, it always connects two or more people into a very vital union. The second part of the word, oikos, is the Greek word for a house. When these words are linked together as they are in First Peter 3:7, it means to share a house together or to dwell together in one residence.

But there’s more to this than simply sharing a house together. The fact is, there are many husbands and wives who live in the same house, who eat at the same table, and who share the same bed, yet who don’t really “dwell” together. They are like two ships that occasionally pass each other. Although they share the same residence, they live separate lives, never really connecting with each other.

Because the first part of the word sunoikos (“dwell”) is the word sun, which always conveys the idea of partnership and cooperation, this lets us know that Peter is urging husbands to share their lives with their wives. This is a great challenge to men, who often want to be quiet when they come home after a busy day at work. Many men would rather sit down in front of the television and flip the channels all evening rather than communicate with their wives.

Husband, learning to share your life with your wife is a skill that must be developed. This is why Peter goes on to say that husbands are to “dwell with them according to knowledge.” The phrase “according to knowledge” implies that you must gain understanding of what blesses and distresses your wife. First, you must seek to obtain that knowledge by reading the Word, by reading a good book on marriage, by attending a seminar on how to be a better husband, by listening to a teaching tape on the subject, and so on. Then you must apply what you learn to your marriage if you want to have a happy wife.

For instance, what do you do, husband, when you come home from work in the evening? Perhaps you’re one of those husbands who walks in the door, plops down on the couch, turns on the television, and begins to flip mindlessly through so many channels that it is impossible to focus on any single program. Meanwhile, your wife has been waiting to talk to you all day long, so she sits next to you as you flip from one channel to the next and wonders, Why doesn’t he turn off the television and talk to me instead?

The truth is, you’ve talked to people all day long, and you probably don’t want to talk anymore. But you have a precious wife who needs you at that moment. She has cleaned the house, taken care of the children, cooked your evening meal, and faced her own challenges throughout the day. After an entire day of caring for the children, she needs some adult fellowship. Even more importantly, she wants fellowship with you because you are the one she loves and needs the most.

Why not turn off the television, take your wife by the hand, and ask her to take a walk with you? Or why don’t you sit at the kitchen table with your wife and let her tell you all about her day over a cup of coffee or tea? And after she is finished telling you every nitty-gritty detail of her day, take the time to tell her about your day! She wants to know what you did, whom you talked to, what they said, what happened next, and so on. She wants to know all about you and your day.

Also, instead of spending most evenings and Saturday with the guys or with other people, send a powerful signal to your wife that she is important by scheduling time to be only with her. That’s right, husband—spend quality time with your wife! Take her out to dinner or a movie. Do things together that you both enjoy so you can keep your relationship fresh and alive.

You need to treat your wife like she is the most central, significant, and important partner in your life. This doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with the guys. Certainly you need fellowship with Christian brothers. However, if you spend every free minute with them and never schedule any time with your wife, you are communicating that your male friends are much more important than she is. Is this the message you want to send to your wife?

As you learn to treat your wife with tender care, it will pay off big dividends in your life. If she is assured that she is a top priority in your life and feels secure in her relationship with you, she will gladly follow you and help you wherever God leads. But if she doesn’t feel valued or secure in her position as your wife, she will find it much harder to follow you with a sweet and submissive heart. She may be afraid that if she follows you, she will ultimately find herself abandoned and uncared for. Thus, how you care for your wife greatly determines how easy or difficult it is for her to follow you.

In my own life, my wife and I actually schedule our times to be together. We plan those moments when we will go for a walk together, go shopping, go to a cafe to have a cup of coffee or tea, or share a special meal with each other. Like most people, our schedules are very busy. We have found that if we don’t plan these times together, all the other responsibilities of our lives and ministry consume us, and in the end, we don’t spend enough quality time together. But because we both consider our marriage relationship to be the most important relationship in our lives, we treat it like it is important and make certain that we spend quality time together on a regular basis.

Husband, I urge you to make the decision that you are going to do more than just share the couch, share the table, and share the bed with your wife. Share your life with her. Open your heart to her; talk to her like she is your best friend and most important confidant. “Dwell” with her and do everything you can to let her know that no one else is as important to you as she is.

If you’re wondering what your marriage will be like if you fail to treat your wife with this kind of tender care, just ask those husbands who have made the mistake of ignoring their wives. They will testify how they hurt their wives, and many husbands will have to admit that they were a big factor in their wives becoming bitter and hardhearted.

When you invest in your wife, you are investing into your own life. You see, if you have a happy wife, you can be sure that you’ll have a partner who is with you all the way. So I urge you today to learn how to dwell with your wife according to knowledge. Make sure that from this day forward, you treat your wife like she is a top priority in your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You to forgive me for not spending enough time with my wife. I know that she needs me and that I haven’t done what I should do to show her the love and attention she deserves. She does so much for me. She loves me and our children and serves us with her whole heart. I am so sorry I’ve been so selfish and haven’t been the husband I need to be for my wife. I repent for my self-centeredness, and I make the decision today to reverse my actions. I want to love her as I should and to do everything I can to communicate that love. Please help me, Lord, to become all I need to be for my wife!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly confess that I am a loving, caring attentive husband. As God’s Spirit works in me and transforms me more and more into the image of Jesus Christ, I am becoming a better husband to my wife. Because I love her deeply and regularly show my love to her, she feels secure and confident in our relationship. As a result, she is willing to follow me wherever God leads and is supportive of my decisions. Investing in my life partner is the best investment I can make in my own life. Therefore, I choose this day to invest love and attentive care into my wife—the most important person in my life!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Husband, how much time in a week do you think you spend using your remote control to mindlessly flip through the television channels?
  2. How much time do you spend talking to your wife and letting her talk to you? Do you have scheduled times when the two of you sit down together to discuss what is happening in your lives so you can stay vitally connected to each other?
  3. Husband, what can you eliminate from your schedule so you can spend more time with your wife? Are you sending her the right message when you never have time for her, but you somehow have time for everyone else? Don’t you think it’s time for you to reevaluate your list of activities and make schedule changes to reflect the fact that your wife is more precious to you than anyone else?

 

The Ripple Effects Of Sin

Yesterday, a close friend shared the living hell in his marriage, and the constant pressure he felt to seek companionship elsewhere. Over the years he has made a noble effort to salvage a tragic situation. But to no avail. Every instinct within me says, “Leave. You dont deserve this. Find someone who will love you and help you raise your children in a sane environment. Get a life!

 

Then in my devotions this morning, I read of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Amazingly, at that juncture, David was at the apex of his career: Powerful. Loved by his people. Magnanimous. And lounging instead of warring. (2 Samuel 9:1-10:1, 2a; chapter 11)

 

What really caught my eye in the narrative was the number of people affected by David’s sin:

  • Bathsheba – Morally corrupted; lost a husband and baby. (2 Samuel 11:26; 12:24)
  • Uriah – Bathsheba’s husband whom David had killed in battle. (2 Samuel 11:6–21)
  • David and Bathsheba’s baby – Whose life God took. (2 Samuel 12:19-21)
  • Abimelech – Died unnecessarily in battle alongside Uriah. (2 Samuel 11:21)
  • David – Committed adultery and murder. Hypocritical. Suffered multiple family tragedies. Weakened as a leader. (Psalm 32; 2 Samuel 12:19-21; 13:23-29, 37-17:29; 15:13-19a)
  • Joab – David’s Chief of Staff: Corrupted; committed murder. (2 Samuel 11:6-21; 18:14, 15)
  • Nathan – The Prophet, whom God commissioned to expose David’s sin. (2 Samuel 12)
  • Tamar – David’s daughter, who was raped by her brother Amnon. (2 Samuel 13:1-22)
  • Amnon – Murdered by Absalom’s men for the rape of Tamar. (2 Samuel 13:23-29)
  • Absalom – Committed murder, insurrection, and fornication. Was estranged from David. Murdered by Joab. (2 Samuel 14,15,18; 16:21, 22)
  • Ahithophel – Bathsheba’s father: Rebelled against David. Committed suicide. (2 Samuel 16:20–17:23)
  • David’s wives, concubines and children – (2 Samuel 5:13-16; 16:21, 22; 1 Samuel 25:42-44)
  • David’s fighting men – Humiliated and weakened. (2 Samuel 19:5-8)
  • The Nation – Weakened, and ultimately divided. (2 Samuel 19:9-15a, 40-43; 20:1, 2; 1 Kings 11, 12)

Little did David realize the price tag for his adulterous action. In his delusion, he thought he could cover it up, failing to realize the Scripture’s warning, “You may be sure that your sin will find you outA man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction… ” (Numbers 32:23b; Galatians 6:8a)

 

Perhaps a worthwhile exercise for us would be to jot down the names of the people who would be adversely affected if we were to fall into sin. Then we should ask the question as to whether the immediate gratification would be worth the long-term consequences? I rather doubt that it would! What do you think?

 

 

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