Marriage is honorable. Hebrews 13:4
A Clearwater, Florida, couple decided to get married on the beach. It was a lovely affair, but the good feelings didn’t last long. The couple started drinking, then fighting, and by the end of the day they were in separate cells. “I’d probably say that’s quite bizarre,” said the Clearwater Police spokesman. “I don’t think we have too many calls where you get into a domestic situation on your wedding day. It’s not exactly a good start to your marriage.”
Some marriages begin unraveling with the honeymoon, but some marriages grow stronger and sweeter as the years pass. The difference is Jesus. When both partners are committed to the Lord, they find they’re also brother and sister in the faith; heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; one with God and each other. They are living stones in His temple, fellow citizens in His Kingdom, fellow members of His Body, and fellow servants in His work.
Compatibility in marriage begins with faith, which leads to fidelity, faithfulness, financial unity, and family. Along the way, nothing helps like joining our hearts and minds in daily prayer and weekly church involvement. Yes, marriage is hard work—but it is honorable and pleasing to God.
Find some way, even if it is for a few moments, to read your Bibles together as a couple. David Jeremiah
How sacred is marriage? Hebrews 13:4
My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Lessons on faith can come from unexpected places—like the one I learned from my 110-pound, black Labrador retriever, “Bear.” Bear’s large metal water bowl was located in a corner of the kitchen. Whenever it was empty, he wouldn’t bark or paw at it. Instead, he would lie down quietly beside it and wait. Sometimes he would have to wait several minutes, but Bear had learned to trust that I would eventually walk into the room, see him there, and provide what he needed. His simple faith in me reminded me of my need to place more trust in God.
The Bible tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). The foundation of this confidence and assurance is God Himself, who “rewards those who earnestly seek him” (v. 6). God is faithful to keep His promises to all who believe and come to Him through Jesus.
Sometimes having faith in “what we do not see” isn’t easy. But we can rest in God’s goodness and His loving character, trusting that His wisdom is perfect in all things—even when we have to wait. He is always faithful to do what He says: to save our eternal souls and meet our deepest needs, now and forever.
Almighty Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to always take care of me. Help me to trust You and to rest in Your perfect love today.
Trials will surface in our life. Thankfully, though, we can rely on our Father to help in times of need, as today’s passage from Psalm 121 assures us.
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (vv. 1-2). When frightened about dangers and difficulties that might befall him, the psalmist knew where to turn for help. Similarly, when we encounter uncertainty, fears, or trials, our sovereign Lord will sustain us (Psalm 103:19)—even when others let us down or our own strength fails.
“He who keeps you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:3). With billions of people in the world, it is difficult to comprehend how the Lord could possibly know every detail of our lives—or why He would care enough to number all the hairs on our heads. But this passage confirms that God is alert to every aspect of each life and attentive to our every need.
“The Lord is your keeper” (v. 5). In Hebrew, the word for “keep” comes from the same root as “guard” and “protect.” We use this term when parents ask a trusted person to keep their child while they are away temporarily. The childcare provider is expected to protect and provide for needs. God promises to keep His children, which means that He will defend us, give us what we need, grow us into His likeness, and guard us from evil.
Without these promises, the world could seem dangerous and lonely. But we can face unknowns and difficult times with confidence, knowing that the Lord will keep us and help us.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:7)
The grace that is given (charis) is a distribution by the Holy Spirit of gifts (charisma) to every believer (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Seventeen gifts are listed in Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-10, and Ephesians 4:11, all of them intended by the Holy Spirit to minister to the church and enhance its unity (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:12). Three reasons are cited for these gifts.
The Perfecting of the Saints
This “perfecting” describes a process of making something useful or suitable that is not yet adequate. James and John mended their nets (Matthew 4:21). Paul prayed that he might supply that which was lacking (1 Thessalonians 3:10). The gifts of the Holy Spirit mend that which is lacking in the saints. The
Work of the Ministry
This is a joint effort of service (2 Corinthians 6:1) that recognizes the public visibility of that service (2 Corinthians 4:1-2) and steadfastly displays those gifts so that the “ministry be not blamed” (2 Corinthians 6:3).
The Edifying of the Body of Christ
The building process focuses the use of the gifts on the enrichment and betterment of the local assembly of believers (1 Corinthians 14:5, 12, 26). The goal is to bring all saints to a state of doctrinal unity (the faith) so that our maturity can be compared to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Eliminating susceptibility to “every wind of doctrine,” growing into Him in all things, and building the “body fitly joined together . . . according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:14-16). HMM III
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
I remember James M. Gray, the noted Bible teacher, telling of a Christian brother, a Michigan farmer, whose spiritual life had suddenly blossomed until there was an overflowing of God’s presence. Many in the man’s community recognized the change in his life and personality and sought spiritual counsel from him. Dr. Gray had opportunity to ask the man about the transformation of his spiritual life and witness.
“Dr. Gray, I began to devote myself to the Scriptures for my own need,” the man humbly explained. “Something happened when God opened my spiritual understanding as I studied the book of Ephesians. I cannot really explain what the Lord is doing for me and through me, but it has come through prayerful meditation in the Word of God.”
None of us can expect to get the rich, transforming blessings from God apart from the Scriptures….
Too many of us ministers and Sunday school teachers are content to reach for a commentary on the Scriptures. What we need most is to search the Scriptures for ourselves. MMG047
Deliver me today from the shortcuts, and help me to discipline myself to long, concentrated study of the Scriptures themselves. Amen.
I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His people.—Psalm 85:8.
Now, O my God,
My comfort, portion, rest!
Thou, none but Thou, shalt reign within my breast.
Call me to Thee! Call me Thyself-oh, speak,
And bind my heart to Thee, whom most I seek!
Just as in prayer it is not we who momentarily catch His attention, but He ours, so when we fail to hear His voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening. We must recognize that all things are in God and that God is in all things, and we must learn to be very attentive, in order to hear God speaking in His ordinary tone without any special accent. A man must not stop listening any more than praying when he rises from his knees. No one questions the need of times of formal address to God, but few admit in any practical way the need of quiet waiting upon God, gazing into His face, feeling for His hand, listening for His voice. “I will hearken what the Lord God will say concerning me.” God has special confidences for each soul. Indeed, it would seem as though the deepest truths came only in moments of profound devotional silence and contemplation.
Charles H. Brent.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28
We who are saved find rest in Jesus. Those who are not saved will receive rest if they come to Him, for here He promises to ‘give” it. Nothing can be freer than a gift; let us gladly accept what He gladly gives. You are not to buy it, nor to borrow it; but to receive it as a gift. You labor under the lash of ambition, covetousness, lust, or anxiety: He will set you free from this iron bondage, and give you rest. You are “laden” — yes, “heavy laden” with sin, fear, care, remorse, fear of death; but if you come to Him, He will unload you. He carried the crushing mass of our sin, that we might no longer carry it. He made Himself the great Burden-bearer, that every heavy laden one might cease from bowing down under the enormous pressure.
Jesus gives rest. It is so. Will you believe it? Will you put it to the test? Will you do so at once? Come to Jesus, by quitting every other hope, by thinking of Him, believing God’s testimony about Him, and trusting everything with Him. If you thus come to Him, the rest which He will give you will be deep, safe, holy, and everlasting. He gives a rest which develops into heaven, and He gives it this day to all who come to Him.