Ordained Marriage

Hebrews 13:4 says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

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Warning Against Sin (Isaiah 59 NLT)

Warnings against Sin

Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you,

nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.

It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.

Because of your sins, he has turned away

and will not listen anymore.

Your hands are the hands of murderers,

and your fingers are filthy with sin.

Your lips are full of lies,

and your mouth spews corruption.

No one cares about being fair and honest.

The people’s lawsuits are based on lies.

They conceive evil deeds

and then give birth to sin.

They hatch deadly snakes

and weave spiders’ webs.

Whoever falls into their webs will die,

and there’s danger even in getting near them.

Their webs can’t be made into clothing,

and nothing they do is productive.

All their activity is filled with sin,

and violence is their trademark.

Their feet run to do evil,

and they rush to commit murder.

They think only about sinning.

Misery and destruction always follow them.

They don’t know where to find peace

or what it means to be just and good.

They have mapped out crooked roads,

and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace.

So there is no justice among us,

and we know nothing about right living.

We look for light but find only darkness.

We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.

We grope like the blind along a wall,

feeling our way like people without eyes.

Even at brightest noontime,

we stumble as though it were dark.

Among the living,

we are like the dead.

We growl like hungry bears;

we moan like mournful doves.

We look for justice, but it never comes.

We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.

For our sins are piled up before God

and testify against us.

Yes, we know what sinners we are.

We know we have rebelled and have denied the LORD.

We have turned our backs on our God.

We know how unfair and oppressive we have been,

carefully planning our deceitful lies.

Our courts oppose the righteous,

and justice is nowhere to be found.

Truth stumbles in the streets,

and honesty has been outlawed.

Yes, truth is gone,

and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.

The LORD looked and was displeased

to find there was no justice.

He was amazed to see that no one intervened

to help the oppressed.

So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm,

and his justice sustained him.

He put on righteousness as his body armor

and placed the helmet of salvation on his head.

He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance

and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion.

He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds.

His fury will fall on his foes.

He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.

In the west, people will respect the name of the LORD;

in the east, they will glorify him.

For he will come like a raging flood tide

driven by the breath of the LORD.

“The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem

to buy back those in Israel

who have turned from their sins,”

says the LORD.

“And this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!

Extrordinary Exchange

Dear God, thank you so much for this new day. Thank you for stamina, wisdom, and knowledge and thank you for our families, friends and loved ones you’ve sustained and kept alive. In the name of Jesus let us be mindful not to put off for tomorrow those things we can do today. We thank you for motivating us to keep it moving forward toward your plans and purposes in our lives.

We are finite which means we’re limited and of course, God is infinite, unlimited in all things. Because we are finite, we disappoint God ourselves and others. Hebrews 10:14 reminds us that “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.”  You see,[1] Since we are stained by sin and cannot keep the Law of God, then the only one who could do what we cannot is God Himself. Only God can satisfy the Law requirements of a perfect life and perfect sacrifice that cleanses us from our sins. James 1:2-4 ESV reminds us saying “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. [2]A key New Testament verse for understanding perfection in the Christian life is 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” True believers are perfect to the extent that they share in the perfections of Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, throughout the Bible we learn of God’s unique Holiness. He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! (Says Deuteronomy 32:4-5)We cannot be perfect in this sinful body, however, the attribute of perfection or holiness is given to us by God. [3]He exchanged our sins for his righteousness.[4]God laid our sins on Christ and punishes them in him. In Jesus Christ’s obedient death, God fulfilled and justified his righteousness and assigns ( or credits) it to us. Our sin was put on Christ, and his righteousness was placed on us. All our forgiveness, all our justification (or defense), all our righteousness is in Christ. We become perfect once we accept the righteous sacrifice of Jesus Christ who blotted out our sins when they were nailed to the cross. In Christ only are we perfect because he is perfect.

[1] https://carm.org/why-did-jesus-have-die-our-sins

retrieved January 31, 2018

[2] https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/perfect-perfection/  retrieved January 31, 2018

[3] https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-great-exchange The Great Exchange Devotional by John Piper, retrieved January 31, 2018

Hiding? Not Really

Heavenly Father, we are so grateful to have made it to this new Day. Dear God, help us to continue to cling to you, listen to you, and strive to draw nearer to you. Lord, please help us to use the talents and gifts you’ve given us as you intended. In the name of Jesus help us to be a blessing to others and not stumbling blocks hindering others from growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus, we thank you so much for your guidance and protection over us and our families and loved ones.

The room grows silent at the mention of the name of Jesus.  What makes some people shrink back at the mention of Jesus? Well, John 3:19-21 tell us that Light has come into the world, (that’s Jesus) but men loved darkness (that’s Satan) instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” Since Adam and Eve, mankind attempts to conceal themselves from our Omnipresent God. Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” (Isaiah 29:15)

Genesis 3:8-9 says “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Scoffers (or people who make fun of the Bible) might ask: “If God knows everything, why did he ask where are you?” However, this is actually a good question. My pastor preached on this some time ago. He said God knew where they were, but Adam and Eve did not know where they were. My pastor said that sin placed Adam and Eve out of fellowship with God and therefore they were now lost. I believe that God was actually asking Adam and Eve: “Do you know where you are?”

Brothers and sisters, without God’s presence, and guidance in our lives, we are walking around groping in darkness. We do not know where we are.  Adam and Eve were in the very presence of God, yet they were now spiritually dead. The same problem exists today among devoted church members. These people attend and serve in the church, yet they are doing dark deeds thinking they can hide them from God. They are spiritually dead. Within the darkness are wars, hatred, misery, and strife. Those who are in darkness must come to light because “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Says Hebrews 4:13)

Whinners

Dear God, thank you for this new day thank you for all you’re doing in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. Father God Help us to be patient and wait for you. Let us not become weary when things aren’t going the way we think they should go. Help us to stay strong and keep hope alive and keep doing our part and continue to trust and believe that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord.
Numbers 11:1-4 says, “Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the Lord had burned among them.”
“Philippians 2:14 tells us to “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,.”
All of us grumble and complain sometimes. However, when we catch ourselves complaining, we may as well ask God to help us to shake it off,  to help us see the situation positively and just keep it moving. A grumbler or complainer is someone who is unhappy with their worldly fate or position in life. Some people whine instead of taking responsibility for wrongdoing. Complaining about unfulfilled desires leads to fights and quarrels. Furthermore, if desires are not satisfied, envy and strife are the results

Delighting in the Lord

Lord God, for a brand new day, we are grateful and joyful to be alive! Psalm 4:7 says “You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.” Lord God, we thank you for joy even in the midst of storms. We know that as long as you are with us, we win. In the name of Jesus, embrace the lives of our unbelieving family members and draw them nearer to you. Father, we desire for our loved ones to go to heaven as well. Help us to be your instrument and to plant seeds in their lives so you can grow them in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Thank you for their salvation. Thank you for your joy which is our strength.

When I open my blinds to look outside, I cannot help but smile. I think: “My God, what an artist you are.” Passing people on the streets, noticing how different they are, I think to myself: “Lord, your handiwork in creating us is beyond awesome!” Brothers and sisters, the testimonies I just shared are only a few examples of delighting in the Lord. Delighting in the Lord is a joyful response to the things we know God can do. Delighting in the Lord is a joyful response to understanding the power, majesty, mercy, and grace God provides.
Isaiah 61:10 describes my feeling better than any words I can utter. Isaiah 61:10 says “I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! “For he has dressed me in the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.” Brothers and sisters, Psalm 37:4 KJV says “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” This scripture is always taken literally and out of context. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? God does not grant evil desires. In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Delighting in the Lord is abiding in the Lord. Therefore, when we abide or delight ourselves in the Lord, our desires become His desires. Therefore, God gives us the desires of His Heart!

Cry out to the Lord

In the name of Jesus, please continue to bring healing to our hearts and minds so we can stay tuned in to your plans and purposes.
Always remember, my brothers and sisters, that God is far greater than any of our problems. For those who are in the heat of a spiritual warfare, hold on! Keep your confidence! In Christ, the battle is already won. My brothers and sisters, troubled times are the times when we cling tighter and become stronger in the Lord. Do not to fall apart, give up, cave in nor quit.

There are some of us crying out for justice and relief. Try to remember David’s dilemma, and if this is not what you are facing now, then we must pray for those caught in the devils snare. David, in Psalm 31 cried: “O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. Psalm 31 and do not dwell on what’s happening around you. God not only extends His grace, but God also extends justice to those who try to harm us.