Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jesus Can Heal Your Marriage

I am sorry to have to begin this post with a disclaimer but: As I refer to marriage in this post, I refer to God's institution of marriage between a man and a woman according to the Scriptures. Jesus Himself said, "But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man (male) shall leave his father and mother, and the two (male and female) shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Mark 10: 6-8) Again, marriage in this post refers to God's joining of a man and a woman to become one in His holy institution of marriage. As far as this blogger is concerned, Godly marriage is between a man and a woman, joined together by Jesus, our Creator.

If you are a believer in Jesus, and married to one, and you're having marital problems, it is because both of you are not following after Jesus. I'm not talking about just calling yourself a Christian. To follow after Jesus is to follow His instruction and leading concerning marriage. It is also to adhere to His teachings on love and forgiveness. Someone may say (and has a million times), "Oh but Jesus wasn't married. How could He understand marriage?" He does however, understand marriage. He is the creator of marriage. As a matter of fact, He is the Creator of all things! Anything He can conceive of and create, He understands better than anyone else in the universe.

The last time I had a problem with my car, I didn't go to the Chiropractor, I went to the mechanic shop. Why? Because an auto mechanic (a good one) understands cars, how to diagnose problems, and how to fix them. Many folks, including Christians reach anywhere other than Jesus to fix their marriage. Stop that! Go straight to Him! He did it for me...He'll do it for you.

Looking back on how Jesus healed our marriage about 35 years ago, I can see there was one very important stipulation I had to adhere to for healing. That was simply surrendering my life to Him! You see, Jesus can only work in and through a life that is completely surrendered to Him. My marriage crashing at about the four and a half year point compelled me to wholly surrender my life to Jesus. He has never ceased to amaze me since!

Over the years Connie and I have had the opportunity to minister to others concerning marriage. I love to teach on the subject and encourage couples in it. I've counseled many men over the years who suddenly woke up when their marriage exploded due to excluding God. I make it very clear to them that total surrender to Jesus will open the heavens in such a way that He can heal. But I also ask a very pointed question that goes something like this: "Even if Jesus doesn't heal your marriage, will you still follow Him diligently?" Many men have sworn up and down they will follow Him with all their heart from that day forward. I've seen it so many times. Jesus works in their marriage to bring healing. Once things begin to turn around, they drift back to the same old attitudes and lifestyle that brought the problems in the first place. Sadly, many of those marriages never made it.
God used the most important things in my life to get my attention, and to establish the seriousness of my dilemma: my wife and my children. For me that was when I woke up! God may use other things in your life to get your attention. But I can confidently share the fact that Jesus will heal your marriage....because He did it for me. And as they say...and as I already said...if He did it for me, He will do it for you!
I still often become fascinated when I ponder the brilliance of God's institution of marriage. The Scripture tells us that Godly marriage (a marriage in which Jesus is the total and complete foundation, and He is the center of it all) is between a man and a woman. The very anatomy of the two coming together illustrates oneness. God engineered marriage to propagate a clear picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His bride, the church. Again, oneness. And a Biblical understanding of the relationship between Jesus and His bride clearly illustrates the oneness that can be achieved in a Godly marriage among husband and wife!
Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:33 that if one seeks first God's kingdom (domain), and His righteousness (total surrender to Him) all these things will be added. "These things" He is talking about includes all the basic fundamentals of living a blessed life. Simply said, give your life totally to Jesus, make Him the first and highest priority, and He will take control of your life. Connie and I are living proof that Matthew 6:33 applies to marriage!

Finally, Jesus made it clear that marriage is His creation, and that it is between and man and a woman. The result is a oneness, and a completeness that only those who do it God's way will experience. Turn your marriage over to Jesus. Let him heal the relationship between you and your spouse. He can do it. He will do it. He did it for me...He will do it for you!
I would like to pray for you. If your marriage is in trouble, and in need of prayer send me a note through the Contact Me form upper right. All I need is your names. Connie and I will pray for you. Thanks!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Would Happen?

What would happen if God's people committed to living Matthew 5:16? "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Wow! People giving glory to God because of your "living out loud" for Him! Something very significant is going on when people give glory to God.
What would happen if parents lived for Jesus every minute of every day? A generation of children who lived for Jesus, every minute of every day. What would happen if parents prayed regularly, in front of their children, and with their children? A generation of children who understand the power of prayer, therefore a generation of children on fire for Jesus.
What would happen if folks committed to live "counter-culturally" for Jesus? (To live for Jesus in these days is to live counter-culturally.) What would happen if Christian folk, committed to denounce Hollywood for the rest of their lives, and pursue the pure things of God such as prayer and the Word of God? What would happen if there were generations of believers more knowledgeable of God's Word than Hollywood, sports, secular entertainment, and the latest tech trends? Can you say "impact"? Or even "eternal impact"?
What would happen if Christians had an understanding of how the "other" 3/4 of the world lives, and a genuine heart for the nations? Let me venture to say there would be revival in those well as our own!
What would happen if believers committed to forgiving those who have offended them? One word..."freedom"!
I could go on and on for days on this but let me just ask: What would happen if Christians committed to seeking FIRST God's kingdom and His righteousness? Unlimited! And what would happen if followers of Jesus diligently followed after Jesus? The answers to the above questions are positively mind-boggling. So...what would happen?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

God Only Uses Imperfection

How do you think God sees you? Yes, I know He died for you. He bore your sins on the cross. He paid the price for your sins. Yes, I know He loves you so much that He did all the previous for you. But how do you think He sees you?

To some folks that's a silly question. But to a whole lot of others, it is a difficult question to answer. Why is that? Because many born again people tend to see themselves the way they see themselves, not the way God sees them. Or their view of themselves is the product of what others have said about them. The way we see ourselves should line up with the way God sees us. The way God sees us is documented and confirmed in His Word.

The Word of God is the absolute truth. Jesus said if we genuinely follow Him we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. What an incredible promise that is yours from following after Him. In this post I want to share the truth with you about how God sees you, directly from His Word. My prayer is that you will be set free to be who and what He has already ordained you to be.

One of my favorite Scripture passages is from Romans 4:18-22, and is about Abraham. Paul says Abraham through strong faith, considered God would keep His promise to give Him a son, even though he was 100 years old, and Sarah's womb was dead! Paul states that Abraham and Sarah gave respect to the promise by not wavering at all with unbelief, but instead, grew stronger in their faith. Paul further stated that Abraham had so much faith, he was fully assured God could, and would perform what He had promised him. According to the Apostle Paul, Abraham and Sarah were considered the righteousness of God through their faith. Question: Was Paul telling the complete truth about Abraham and Sarah?

According to the Old Testament, the story seems to be a little different. Abraham did indeed waver in his faith. After God had promised him a son (even at his old age) Sarah talked him into going in to his servant Hagar so that she would bear a son to them. (See Genesis Chapter 16) Waver? I think so. When 2 angels visited them and announced " this time next year I will surely return to you; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son", Sarah laughed in disbelief. (See Genesis Chapter 18) This doesn't sound like unwavering faith to me! How about you?

Let me tell you what it sounds like to me. It sounds like God accomplished what He had promised because Abraham and Sarah made themselves available to Him. When all was said and done, God's Word to them came to pass...just as God said it would. Even though Abraham had faith, He couldn't see himself the way God saw him. But even in spite of this, God made Abraham into the man He created Him to be. Looking back from this side of the cross, Paul saw Abraham and Sarah the way God saw him them...a mighty man and woman of God.
The writer of Hebrews listed several people from the Old Testament in what we call the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11). But a closer look at their lives from the Old Testament reveals that some had no courage, some had no faith, some were scoundrels, and some even ran from God. In spite of their imperfections their names are listed in the great Hall of Faith because they were available to God. Looking back from this side of the cross the writer of Hebrews sees that God did indeed use them mightily to accomplish great feats.
That's the way God sees you and me. Mighty men and women of valor. But understand, we are that way only through His work on the cross, and only according to our surrender to His incredible destiny for us. You must seek out and study the Word of God to know and understand who you are in Christ, and how He sees you. The key to Abraham's success was obedience. He and Sarah didn't obey God without fault. They panicked and tried to help God bring forth His promise instead of trusting Him for it. But nonetheless, they were obedient. And God saw them complete and perfect in Him. That's the way He sees you.
Know that you are an awesome creature in the sight of our God. You may not be perfect in your own sight (if so you need to deal with pride), but you ARE complete in Him...just like Abraham and Sarah. So...I challenge you to begin to expect God to do great things in and through you. He has already ordained you to do so! See yourself as God sees you.