As the gospel transforms your marriage it will inevitably transform the hearts of your children. How you love, serve, and reconcile to each other is a glimpse—a foreshadowing—of how Jesus loves them.
Your actions and heart change speak a thousand times louder than any sermon they'll hear or understand. And with God's grace, they will respond by placing their trust in Christ.
There are countless ways that the gospel transforms and bears fruit in marriage. Here are a few.
1.) The gospel disarms pride.
In Christ, all are sinners saved by radical grace. This levels the playing field and produces genuine gratitude that says, "how dare I hold their sin against them, when Christ hasn't held mine against me?" This realization allows you to approach each other with grace and love in order to be reconciled -- even when it's difficult.
2.) The gospel is unconditional love.
You are saved, not because of anything you've done, but because of what Christ has done. There is nothing you can do to earn it, and no sin too powerful to nullify it. Marriage is similar: when two imperfect people spend their lives together, conflict will happen. But the marriage covenant binds you together while the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit continues - -while you both grow. Covenant love always looks for ways forward, never for ways out.
3.) The gospel makes your identity secure.
When you know who you are in Christ, everything changes. Your security is no longer dependant on anything or anyone that can fail. Instead, your peace, hope, joy, and satisfaction are secure for eternity. Security in Christ will birth surprising confidence and selflessness that seem ridiculous. The only explanation is Jesus.
Remember: your marriage is the gospel you are preaching to your children. Their faith doesn't ultimately depend on you (only God changes hearts), but your marriage can put them face to face with a living, breathing example of the beauty and wonder of the gospel.
Ryan & Selena
#fiercemarriage #twoasone #love #31daypursuit
I think it's safe to say we've ALL been here. In fact, many of us are there right now!
Even when you take that all important step to follow Christ, it doesn't mean all of your worldly problems go "poof" in the night.
In fact, Jesus warns us of this.
"In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33)
Maybe it's an addiction, problems at work, an illness, loneliness, a marriage, etc., where you've finally said, "Father, I can't fix this on my own, please help me!". But then what do you do? You want to check on God's progress, as if somehow He's going to screw it up or will need your help lol.
When you turn an issue over to the Lord, leave it in His capable hands, and get out of the way. If He wants you to do something, don't worry, He'll let you know.
Even when things don't seem to be resolving as quickly as you'd like, remember this.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;" (Proverbs 3:5)
What God is saying is, "relax, I know what I'm doing, even if it doesn't make any sense to you right now".
God's interest may not necessarily be your issue of the moment, but instead, what's best for you in the long run.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)
If something is going on that you don't understand, be at peace, because He DOES.
Oh, and by the way, here's how John 16:33 ends, and Proverbs 3:"6" .
"But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
"in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:6)
Jesus promises that if you accept Him into your heart and follow Him, He will make ALL things right in the end (regardless of your current circumstances).
Don't get bogged down in the worry of today. Give your life over to Christ if you haven't yet. And if you have, don't be too concerned over the current battle, because you've already won the war!
Trust God to use whatever is going on for your good. He loves you and will see you through it.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Proud to share a Spirit led devotion from my daughter (who is entering into minisiterial studies this fall):
Lately I have really had missions on my heart. Specifically international missions.
I’ve talked to very few people about this but a lot of times I get a similar reaction… “That will be dangerous” , “I’ll be worried” , “You don’t understand what you’d be getting yourself into” the list goes on…
What I have really taken away from this is- if everyone is scared to go and too worried, then who will? If not me, then who?
This doesn’t just go for missions though, this can relate to anyone and everyone.
Maybe you’re too nervous to talk openly about your faith, maybe you don’t want to invite that one person to church because you’re afraid they’ll say no, maybeyou don’t pray in public before eating because you don’t want other people to judge you.
But let me then ask you, if you don’t, then who will?
Someone else might go to Honduras to help the children in the orphange, someone else might talk about their faith infront of that person that you could’ve witnessed to, someone else might invite that one person to church (even if they say no), someone else might pray before they eat (causing conversations to strike up at tables around them).
But how can you be sure?
YOU may be the ONLY Bible someone ever sees.
Lord, help us to be like Isaiah in chapter 6, verse 8.
Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And whowill go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!'”
I know this is easier said than done...believe me.
I walk around a parking lot, a couple times a day at work, feeling bad and repenting of my anxiety, worries, etc. But, you know what? God knows our hearts and struggles and He will not hold that against us. He loves us too much to.
Just acknowledge your stressing, turn it over to Him and move forward with your day. Rinse and repeat.
"But" also, watch for the Lord's encouragements. Conversations, things you see around you (nature, certain numbers, or street signs to name a few), and especially what you feel are "coincidences".
ALL are God's way of saying, "I know what's going on and it's going to be okay."
I may not be a perfect picture of patience, but I try to be.
I know that I'm not rushing out ahead of Him, as I believe if He wants a change, He'll make it obvious to me.
So, I say:
Lord, thank you for all you've done in my life and for being patient with me (not wanting me to perish). I trust your timing for whatever is in store and continue to ask for your hand to steady me until then.
The devil will use your past to keep you in the dark, depressed and angry.
God is in the future and knows your path. He loves you wants you to forget your past.
You have a choice each and every day. You can chose to listen to the enemy's lies or trust what God has in store for you tomorrow and just ENJOY TODAY!
"Don't cry over the past, it's gone. Don't stress about the future, it hasn't arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful!"
We will go through seasons in our faith journey. Some seasons we'll be standing on top of the mountain screaming God's goodness, and then they'll be others where we can barely open up the Bible or say a prayer. It's okay. Jesus knows this. Remember, He felt some of the same peaks and valleys we do when He came down from heaven to save us once and for all.
"Jesus replied, 'Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Don't "lose" faith, even if you feel it shrinking. Like a muscle, our faith can only grow if it's stretched, exercised and even weakened at times. That's what makes our faith/muscle stronger! And, our Lord is the best personal trainer there ever was! He knows our limits, so don't be surprised to see Him press 'em. As our spotter and helper, God will step in when He sees we've reached that limit and can't take it anymore (just before the weight of it all is about to crush us). But like any good trainer, He doesn't want to see us quit before He steps in and lends a hand.
Keep pushing. Keep going. Keep seeking His encouragement and direction through prayer, reading and spending time with other Christians.
"But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." (Job 5: 8-9)
Do you believe in miracles? I do. I have no idea what, where, why, or when they may take place, but I do know "He" does, and that's good enough for me!
How about you?
Move that mountain that stands in front of you as Jesus said you could. Or better yet, pray to the Lord to get you on top of it, so you can exclaim His goodness and glory for ALL to hear!
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Peace Olukemi Bodune:
DON'T PULL OVER
A lady was driving along with her father. They came upon a storm, and the young lady asked her father, What should I do?"
He said "keep driving"..
Cars began to pull over to the side, the storm was getting worse.
"What should I do."
The young lady asked?
"Keep driving," her father replied.
On up a few feet, she noticed that eighteen wheelers were also pulling over.
She told her dad, "I must pull over, I can barely see ahead. It is terrible, and everyone is pulling over!"
Her father told her, "Don't give up, just keep driving!"
Now the storm was terrible, but she never stopped driving, and soon she could see a little more clearly. After a couple of miles she was again on dry land, and the sun came out.
Her father said, "Now you can pull over and get out."
She said "But why now?"
He said "When you get out, look back at all the people that gave up and are still in the storm, because you never gave up, your storm is now over.
This is a testimony for anyone who is going through "hard times".
Just because everyone else, even the strongest, gives up.
You don't have to...if you keep going, soon your storm will be over and the sun will shine upon your face again.
This story touched me!
I hope it touched you!
Feel free to pass it on to some people you know.
Tell them:"Never give up, because GOD will never give up on you.
◆There are times when God will not get you out of the fire furnace, but like *Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego* He will keep the fire from burning you. *Daniel 3.16:27*
◆There are times when He will not keep you out of the lion's den, but, like *Daniel*, He will shut the mouths of the lions for your sake.
◆Still there are times when He will not keep you out of prison, but, like *Joseph*, He will shower you with immeasurable favour in the prison walls.
◆And there are times when He will not take the cup away but, like *Jesus*, will give you the strength to drink from the cup.
But in all these situations, there's a *calm assurance* : " l am with you always, even to the very end" *Matt 28:20.*
The world has “soft” wired us to try to solve our own problems and create our own happiness. We’ll typically look everywhere around us, searching for answers to what we think we need to make us happy. After all, if we can’t do it our ourselves, then we’re considered “weak” right?
Well, here’s the good news. You can stop trying to do it on your own, because in your weakness, God is strong!
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I made significant mistakes in my life that I thought only I could solve, and believe me, I sure tried to. What were the consequences of trying to solve my own problems? Anger, depression, loss of purpose, and allowing the enemy to rob me of the current day’s joy. Sure, through the numbing effects of worldly placebos, I could escape my troubles from time to time, but those times were short lived. Versus the "soft" wiring of the world, the Lord has ACTUALLY “hard” wired us to seek Him in our struggles. One day, I FINALLY did. It was only through surrendering my life to Christ that things changed. Praise Jesus!
On that day, there was again purpose. On that day, there was again joy.
Does that mean that all our struggles, worries and cares magically disappear? No, but there is now a peace that God is in control and all we need to do is trust Him. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
If you’re tired of trying to solve your own problems, or creating your own happiness, “Let go and Let God”. Our Lord and Savior is ready to help. All you need to do is ask Him.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Only one thing will ultimately bring you peace. He's already completed His part, now it's up to you.
“It’s a small world” is a phrase we often use when we learn something from someone that makes the world seem so much smaller than it really is. But is that the case or is it that our God is THAT big!?!
In these encounters or conversations, we can’t quite believe they are really happening, thus we think they are random or are taking place by chance. In other words, we believe them to be “coincidences”.
Merriam Webster defines coincidence as: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection. Are these occurrences/coincidences really accidents or could it be that God has “arranged” them for our good and for His purpose?
Just think about how many times in your life you’ve said or thought, “what a coincidence!” Personally, I’ve said it so many times since coming to Christ, that I’ve now come to the conclusion there are indeed NO coincidences, but only “God”-incidences! These God-incidences can occur through people, places, objects from your past or even something as simple as noticing certain times on a clock on regular basis.
God has proven to me that these seemingly random events are His way of encouraging my faith and providing me gentle reminders that He’s ALWAYS with me. When you see God, you will see God in everything.
Are you looking? If not, then start.
If you are looking, and you encounter a God-incidence, then stop what you’re doing and immediately give God the glory for it!
For you see, the more you acknowledge God’s work in your life, the more He’ll reveal Himself to you. And the more He reveals Himself to you, the more at peace you will be.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”