He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
God specializes in good things. Moses told the Israelites, “So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house” (Deuteronomy 26:11). Joshua told them, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken” (Joshua 21:45). Psalm 34:10 says, “Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” Psalm 84:11 adds, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Paul told Timothy, “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit” (2 Timothy 1:14).
According to Proverbs 18:22, having a husband or wife is a “good thing,” but we must guard the relationship committed to us. The foundation of a good marriage begins with knowing and loving God. As we grow in Christ, He gives us the spiritual resources we need to bring patience, joy, and faithfulness into our home. Marriage is really a three-way friendship between a man, a woman, and the Lord. We must be zealous to guard that.
Galatians 4:18 says, “It is good to be zealous in a good thing always.”
Men, you’ll never be a good groom to your wife unless you’re first a good bride to Jesus. Timothy Keller
As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon…, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. —Luke 23:26
If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.
When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).
A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.
Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. Not Knowing Whither, 903 R
If you’ve ever had a newborn baby in your home, you understand the concept Peter is conveying in today’s passage. A baby doesn’t care how pretty mom is or how delightfully the nursery is decorated. There is one thing a newborn wants above all else—milk.
Is that how you feel about God’s Word? Do you long for it so that you may grow spiritually mature? Is hearing Scripture explained and taught at church something you look forward to with eagerness? Or have you lost your appetite and gotten used to digesting only on Sundays?
Often, right after someone has come to faith, there’s an initial hunger to read the Bible because everything about salvation is new and exciting. But as time passes, the novelty wears off, the problems and daily pressures of life continue just as they did previously, and passion for the Word may be replaced with the cares of this life.
If someone has truly been saved, a hunger for the Word should be evident. That’s because as believers, we have tasted the kindness of the Lord and, therefore, long to know Him more fully. Habitually nibbling on Scripture doesn’t do much to stimulate our appetite. God’s Word is an acquired taste, and the more we consume it, the greater our hunger for it will become.
If you’ve lost your desire for the Word, ask the Lord to restore your appetite, and begin reading every day. As you become more familiar with Scripture, you’ll notice your understanding and desire for it increase. Best of all, your love and devotion for your Savior and will grow as well.
“. . . whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” (Ephesians 3:7)
In the New Testament, the words for gift and grace are closely related. Charis is usually translated “grace,” and charisma is most often rendered “gift.” The twice-born are to use their gifts with one another as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
When God gifts us with faith so that we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are then “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). This “new man” is granted the potential to understand the “exceeding greatness of his power” (Ephesians 1:19) and to participate in the divine nature so we can escape the corruption pervading this godless world (2 Peter 1:4).
When we preach the gospel, we use “the power of God” that will result in the salvation of those who respond (Romans 1:16). Right after the Day of Pentecost, the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in a demonstration of that power so that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). The message, the power, and the grace of God are inseparable.
When our lives radically change in response to the new man created in us by God, we do so by “the grace of our Lord,” which is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14). When we access the strength to rise above infirmities or difficult circumstances, we experience the Lord’s grace that is sufficient to deal with or overcome whatever may be hindering us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we “work out” the salvation God graced us with, we can be sure that God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III
As me hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen. POG020
“I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” Amen.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.—Psalm 25:14.
Then shall my days be Thine,
And all my heart be love;
And joy and peace be mine,
Such as are known above.
Come, Holy Spirit, quickly come,
And make my heart Thy lasting home.
It is a sign that the soul is living in God, if it maintain calmness within through the consciousness of His Presence, while working for Him in active ministrations. Such restful-ness will show itself in the commonest ways, in doing common duties at the right time, in preserving a sweetness and evenness of temper in the midst of ordinary interruptions and disturbances, in walking to and fro quietly on the day’s varied errands, in speaking gentle words, in sweetly meeting unexpected calls.
A calm, restful temper grows as self is learning to lose itself in God. Such grace tells gradually on the daily life; even the minutest detail may be brought under the power of God, and carried out in union with Him.
“And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.” Gen. 9:14
Just now clouds are plentiful enough, but we are not afraid that the world will be destroyed by a deluge. We see the rainbow often enough to prevent our having any such fears. The covenant which the Lord made with Noah stands fast, and we have no doubts about it. Why, then, should we think that the clouds of trouble, which now darken our sky, will end in our destruction? Let us dismiss such groundless and dishonoring fears.
Faith always sees the bow of covenant promise whenever sense sees the cloud of affliction. God has a bow with which He might shoot out His arrows of destruction; but see! it is turned upward. It is a bow without an arrow or a string; it is a bow hung out for show, no longer used for war. It is a bow of many colors, expressing joy and delight, and not a bow blood-red with slaughter, or black with anger. Let us be of good courage. Never does God so darken our sky as to leave His covenant without a witness; and even if He did, we would trust Him, since He cannot change, or lie, or in any other way fail to keep His covenant of peace. Until the waters go over the earth again, we shall have no reason for doubting our God.
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