9 Ways Marriage Glorifies God among the Nations

Is it actually a legitmate idea that our marriages can help spread the glory of God around the world?  A Christ honoring marriage can only be brought about by those who truly love Christ.  It could be argued, in fact, that a Christ honoring marriage can only be brought about by Christ Himself.  With this thought in mind, and with the hope that my marriage is one that glorifies God among the nations, here are 9 ways marriage can glorify God among the nations.

  1. Husbands, loving your wife as Christ loves the church provides a beautiful picture of the gospel.
  2. Wives, loving your husband as the church loves Christ provides a beautiful picture of the church.
  3. When Christian marriages last they provide a beautiful picture of covenant relationships.
  4. When Christian marriages invest together they provide a beautiful picture of service.
  5. When Christian marriages celebrate together they provide a beautiful picture of joy.
  6. When Christian marriages weep together they provide a beautiful picture of mourning.
  7. When Christians marriages are fruitful and multiply they provide a beautiful picture of discipleship.
  8. When Christian marriages aren’t able to have children they provide a beautiful picture of contentment.
  9. When Christian marriages love their neighbors they provide a beautiful picture of hospitality.

5 ways to know God

Do you want to know God?  Here are 5 ways in which we, as believers can know God more intimately.

  1. Read the Bible.
  2. Study the Bible.
  3. Listen to the Bible being taught.
  4. Meditate on the Bible.
  5. Memorize the Bible.

I realize that this seems foundational and maybe too basic.  But, the truth is, it is foundational and it is basic and yet many of us fail to do it!

9 Quotes on prayer

 

  1. “Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer.” – ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE
  2. What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer. – EM BOUNDS
  3. Prayer – secret, fervent, believing praying – lies at the root of all personal godliness. A competent knowledge of the language where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, a heart given up to God in closet religion – these, these are the attainments which, more than all knowledge, or all other gifts, will lift us to become the instruments of God in the great work of human redemption. – CASEY’S BROTHERHOOD, SERAMPORE
  4. You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it. – SIR THOMAS BUXTON
  5. Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother; pray, pray, pray. – EDWARD PAYSON
  6. If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication. – CHARLES SPURGEON
  7. If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers – had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them – they would have been much more in the way of success. – JONATHAN EDWARDS
  8. Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray. It is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for. – EM BOUNDS
  9. If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith. – MARTIN LUTHER

Patient Caution Part 2

In the Part 1 of this post I made it appear as though, as believers, we needed to pray to receive patience.  While, in fact, as believers, we already have been given patience through the Holy Spirit.  I mean, think about it, Galatians 5 tells us that the the fruit of the Spirit includes patience.  Acts 2, at Pentecost, we are shown that all believers receive the Holy Spirit and therefore receive all He has to offer.

I am so thankful for faithful friends who will help me see things like this in my writing, preaching, or even simply in conversation and will draw from the Word a point of correction.

With that being said, pray not that you would receive patience but instead that you will recall that you already have it and simply ask God to help you put into action what He has given you already.

George Washington, Faith, and Freedom

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America, called the father of the country.  So, on this independence day let’s look and see what set him apart.  Here are some things said about Mr. Washington.

“Mr. Lewis said he had accidentally witnessed [Washington’s] private devotions in his library both morning and evening; that on these occasions he had seen him in a kneeling position with a Bible open before him and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.” – Jared Sparks

“We know that the Washingtons tried to practice anonymous charity even when it would have been politically expedient to advertise it loudly.  Washington’s secretary, Tobias Lear, recorded hundreds of individuals, churches, and other charities that, unbeknownst to the public, benefited from presidential largesse.  Even leftovers from the executive mansion were transferred to a prison for need inmates.” – Chernow

“[Washington’s] example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read.” – John Adams

These truths spoken of this man are significant in regards to his moral behavior and his spiritual disciplines.  Use this day as a reminder to pray for our governmental leaders that they might choose to follow through with these same sort of behaviors.

3 Reasons Churches should Plant Churches

There are probably multiple reasons that churches should plant churches.  However, there are three specific reasons that come to mind.

  1. It’s biblical.  We see in Scripture that as the church expanded it multiplied.  It multiplied by establishing churches in surrounding communities as well.(Honestly- if this is reason number one do we even need more than that?)
  2. It’s challenging.  As people from one church step out to help plant a new church we find that they often leave leadership vacancies in the sending church.  This forces less active members to get more involved and step into those roles.
  3. It’s evangelistic.  Statistics tell us that a church has some of its most fruitful evangelistic work within its first couple years of life.  This is most often the case because of the great urgency that is felt by those charter members.

A patient caution

My Grammy is one smart lady.  She knows the Lord well because she knows His Word well.  She has often offered incredible wisdom to me and given me much to think about over the years.  One of the most poignant statements she made to me was this, “Don’t ask for patience if you don’t want to have to use it.”

I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that but the more I thought about it the more it began to sink in.  If you ask the Lord for patience and then get frustrated when we get put in situations that require for us to use our new found patient attitude we don’t really want patience.  What we really want is less situations that make us have to be patient.

So when you ask for patience expect for God to grant your wish and then provide wonderful opportunities for you to give Him glory through your patience, your gift from above.

Hope without the heartache

I recently read a post from a guy right after he had left a church service.  He was frustrated with the fact that the entire service was focused on having hope during hardship.  He went on to explain that he didn’t want to always be reminded of the difficulties going on in the world, he didn’t want to hear about the struggles, persecutions, and tragedies.  Instead, he said, I want to simply hear about the hope without all the heartache.

This thought led me to wonder about my own feelings.  Isn’t that how I act sometimes.  I want the hope of what is to come without having to experience the heartaches, the difficulties, the tragedies, and the hardships that come with life.  Interestingly enough Paul speaks to this when he writes in the book of Romans that for us to fully experience the hope we have as adopted children of God we will experience the sufferings of Christ as well.

This is hard for us to acknowledge and it is certainly not what we long for in our own daily lives. We are longing for hope that is guaranteed for all of us that are called according to His purpose.  The hope that tells us that nothing separates us from the love of God!

The truth is that there will be a day when we have the hope without the heartache.  The day when there will be no more night, no more weeping, no more sorrow.  But until that day we must feel the pain so that we can feel the joy on the other side.  We must experience the struggle so that we can enjoy the pleasure.  In order for us to embrace the light we have to know the difficulty of the dark.