Month: June 2013

June Daily Devotion: 2 Peter 1:4

“Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” — 2 Peter 1:4

 

Vanish for ever all thought of indulging the flesh if you would live in the power of your risen Lord. It were ill that a man who is alive in Christ should dwell in the corruption of sin. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” said the angel to Magdalene. Should the living dwell in the sepulchre? Should divine life be immured in the charnel house of fleshly lust? How can we partake of the cup of the Lord and yet drink the cup of Belial? Surely, believer, from open lusts and sins you are delivered: have you also escaped from the more secret and delusive lime‐twigs of the Satanic fowler? Have you come forth from the lust of pride? Have you escaped from slothfulness? Have you clean escaped from carnal security? Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the pride of life, and the ensnaring vice of avarice? Remember, it is for this that you have been enriched with the treasures of God. If you be indeed the chosen of God, and beloved by Him, do not suffer all the lavish treasure of grace to be wasted upon you. Follow after holiness; it is the Christian’s crown and glory. An unholy church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church. O Christian, the vows of God are upon you. You are God’s priest: act as such. You are God’s king: reign over your lusts. You are God’s chosen: do not associate with Belial. Heaven is your portion: live like a heavenly spirit, so shall you prove that you have true faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life.

“Lord, I desire to live as one
Who bears a blood‐bought name,
As one who fears but grieving Thee,
And knows no other shame.”

A Prodigal Marriage: A Real and Raw Inside Look (Pt. 3)

At the end of Pt. 2, I talked about generational curses.  Up until about 3 years ago, when I heard someone talk about generational curses, I immediately tuned out and that person lost all credibility with me.  I thought they were one of those nuts who saw satan and his minions behind every bush and in every computer.  But God, in His ‘I’ve got something I want you to know’ way, opened my eyes to what it really means. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so lets continue down the road that lead to my rock bottom meeting with The Lord.

By the year 2010, I’d already had one full blown affair and was moving onto my second, all the while actively attending church and completely deluded in thinking that I was justified in doing so.  (NOTHING justifies sin…)  My husband asked me if I loved him anymore and in an abnormal moment, I answered truthfully.  No, I didn’t.  In my heart of hearts I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t be straying.  I wanted to leave and he asked me to.  The next thing I knew, my plans were shattered and I was circling the drain.  I’d lost my kids, they wanted to live with Daddy in their home.  I didn’t have a car, a job, a hope in the world.  I hated my husband  fiercely for everything, because as usual, I blamed him for my problems that I’d created.  I still went to church every sunday, praying that God would put me back into His Will.  Funny how He listens…

About 2 months after our separation,  I was sitting alone in my home, praying for direction.  I’d finally gotten a car the day before and wanted to finally go for a drive!  I hadn’t been to my father’s grave in a long time, so I decided to head there.  During the half hour drive, I prayed some more.  At the time, God was my only companion, He’d taken everyone else out of my life so He could get me to focus on Him.  That’s how stubborn I was.  My husband began to weigh on my heart while I was reflecting and praying, so without thinking (that’s code for ‘God’s working through you) I sent him a text saying I was sorry and that I still loved him.  In hindsight, that was the moment that set my failed marriage on a collision course with God’s Will…

June Daily Devotion: Isaiah 40:9

“Get thee up into the high mountain.” — Isaiah 40:9

 

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one‐half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.” Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting grey‐haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,” for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get thee up, dear friend, into the high mountain.

June Daily Devotion: Luke 11:27-28

“A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” — Luke 11:27, 28

 

It is fondly imagined by some that it must have involved very special privileges to have been the mother of our Lord, because they supposed that she had the benefit of looking into His very heart in a way in which we cannot hope to do. There may be an appearance of plausibility in the supposition, but not much. We do not know that Mary knew more than others; what she did know she did well to lay up in her heart; but she does not appear from anything we read in the Evangelists to have been a better-instructed believer than any other of Christ’s disciples. All that she knew we also may discover. Do you wonder that we should say so? Here is a text to prove it: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” Remember the Master’s words—“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” So blessedly does this Divine Revealer of secrets tell us His heart, that He keepeth back nothing which is profitable to us; His own assurance is, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” Doth He not this day manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world? It is even so; and therefore we will not ignorantly cry out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee,” but we will intelligently bless God that, having heard the Word and kept it, we have first of all as true a communion with the Saviour as the Virgin had, and in the second place as true an acquaintance with the secrets of His heart as she can be supposed to have obtained. Happy soul to be thus privileged!

June Daily Devotion: Isaiah 54:5

“Thy Redeemer.” — Isaiah 54:5

Jesus, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd’s staff, the father’s rod, the captain’s sword, the priest’s mitre, the prince’s sceptre, the prophet’s mantle, all are ours. Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure‐house.

His manhood also, which He took upon Him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us He gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us He bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of His life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of His character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of His death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us His manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and His Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us. He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as His heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of His life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and He blushes not to acknowledge Himself “our Lord Jesus Christ,” though He is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit! call Him this morning, “thy Redeemer.”

A Prodigal Marriage: A Real And Raw Inside Look (Pt. 2)

Alright, lets fast forward to our second year of marriage. Our son is two years old and our daughter is barely a year old. My husband begins his career as an over the road truck driver. I’m a new(ish) mother with a common but overwhelming case of postpartum depression, feeling very abandoned and lonely. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this road led… Thankfully, in an ‘I’m going to choose to be thankful for something’ way, I didn’t walk too far down the road of adultery. Just stood too close to that fire and burnt my already fragile marriage.

It took years for my husband to forgive me and during that time, our marriage was filled with ups and downs. (More downs, if I’m gonna be honest here…) Looking back, I can see where we took every opportunity to hurt one another out of spite. From fighting over how to take out the trash to fighting about forgiveness (or lack thereof). During those years, we attended church faithfully and even had christian counseling. But God revealed to me that all the counseling in the world wouldn’t work until we both dealt with our pasts, our generational curses…

 

› A Prodigal Marriage: (Part 1)

June Daily Devotion: Psalm 12:1

“Help, LORD.” — Psalm 12:1

The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word “help” is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight‐forward to his God, with a well‐considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them. Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of “Help, Lord,” to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Workers in heavenly labour may thus obtain grace in time of need. Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. “Help, Lord,” will suit us living and dying, suffering or labouring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to Him.

The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord’s character assures us that He will not leave His people; His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and His sure promise stands, “Fear not, I WILL HELP THEE.”