Oh No

Teri was aware of our morning, wake-up alarm sounding, but I wasn’t stirring to turn it off. She hopped out of bed to turn the ceiling fan off. When she returned, I hadn’t yet rolled over to turn the alarm off and the light on, which would have been my norm. She waited a bit with the alarm now sounding its loudest. She decided she would gently try to wake me by patting my exposed arm. She touched my arm. Still, no movement and my arm felt cold! Could her worst fear be true?

Brothers, death is a part of life and inevitable. When one in a marriage is gone, memories remain. I understand that regrets tend to push their way in quickly. If only I’d have been more loving, patient, gentle, affirming—an endless list. 

Then there are those marriages where a spouse is broadsided when the other leaves declaring, “I’ve had enough. It’s over, and I’m not coming back.” 

Brothers, the best time to improve a marriage is now—not tomorrow. Invest in your wife, love her, in Christ lead her. Be dead to irritating things she does or doesn’t do. 

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28). 

Who Is He?

If only everyone had the right answer to: “Who is Jesus Christ?” Jesus is the Messiah, God incarnate, the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God, Son of God. It is a great question when you engage someone new. If you hear a textbook response then ask: “But Who is Jesus to you?” (Luke 9:20) Knowing Who Jesus is theologically, is important, but not enough, compared to knowing Him as one’s personal Savior and Lord (2 Peter 3:18).

Obviously, we want the right answers (read relationship) from our children. What are you doing to facilitate that? Hopefully, your family is attending church. That is good, but are you leading your family in a quality, Bible time every day? That is vitally important to disciple our children in their relationship with Jesus. We must also be living out the example of life in Christ before them. If Jesus is in our thoughts, and we are abiding in Him, He will be in our speech through praise and thanksgiving over the course of the day. Brothers, we have nothing and are nothing aside from Christ. 

If our answer to “Who is Jesus?” is simply a textbook response, and our lives aren’t different from the world, that is scary. Maybe we don’t know Him. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Waiting

I imagine each of you has been in a season of waiting at some point in your life. Have you learned and grown through that season, or have you become disillusioned and maybe even bitter? 

Our daughter, Sarah, who is 40 years old just finished a long season of waiting—22 years to be exact. Sarah wanted to get married and have children as soon as she finished high school. Through the years, there were young men who came who were interested in Sarah. But with each one, time proved they weren’t right. 

Then, Kory came along, and Sarah knew quickly that this was the man God had for her. She got married last month to this godly, biblically grounded man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart and is more than Sarah dreamed she would have in a husband. Neither of them have been married, and each feels they were waiting all this time for the other. The wait was long for Sarah (and Kory). Many times it was discouraging when a hoped-for relationship didn’t work out.

In Sarah’s season of waiting, it was hard for Steve and me too. We knew how she longed for marriage. She had a happy, busy life filled with opportunities to serve the Lord, but always there was that desire for marriage. We wanted it for her as well, and we continually prayed alongside her for a godly husband.

The waiting may not be for a spouse. It could be for a child, for healing from an illness, for restoration of a relationship, for a particular job, for finances. There are many ways to be in a season of waiting. 

God gives us encouragement and direction concerning waiting in His Word: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalms 27:14). When we wait, we are not to live in fear that what we are waiting for won’t come to pass. We are to keep our focus on trusting the Lord through it.

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (Psalms 37:7). We are to have a quiet heart in waiting and do it with patience. 

‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (Psalms 62:5). That word “expectation” actually means “thing that I long for” in the Greek according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Our hope is to stay steadfast on God through seasons of waiting. He is the One Who will give it, if it is to happen.

When waiting, we pray. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” And my top favorite: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

If as we wait, we focus on ourselves and our lack of the thing we are waiting for, then self pity, frustration, and bitterness will likely be the result. Isn’t it possible God wants to withhold something from us for a season or forever because He has a purpose in that? Hasn’t He promised us: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)?

Through the years of waiting, each disappointment was an opportunity to go back to the basics of a relationship with Christ. Who is sovereign and in charge? Can I trust Him? Am I walking in faith or in fear? Are my expectations in God or in the thing I desire?

God withheld a husband from Sarah for a long time. Now her wait is over. Many of you have prayed for a husband for Sarah, and you will rejoice with us over God’s goodness to her. We wanted you to know her joy. 

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Nobody Likes Them

If you are in the practice of sharing your faith, someone likely has told you he didn’t want to be a Christian and be like the other hypocrites who say they are Christians. Hmmm. Let’s consider that thought. 

Let’s say I TRULY believe that Scripture says unless someone repents of the hell-bound path they are on and trusts solely in Jesus’ shed blood on the cross (propitiation, Romans 3:25) for the remission/payment for their sins, they will spend eternity in hell. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). 

Or I believe Scripture says you can’t be saved (or kept) by good works as many churches/religions teach.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If I truly, truly believe those things and don’t make sincere, constant efforts to lovingly engage those I encounter and share with them the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, wouldn’t you say I was worthy of being called a hypocrite? How could I sincerely love people who are headed for eternity in hell and not seek to turn them?

Brothers, is it any wonder this country, full of professing Christians, is throwing off everything of Christ in the pursuit of evil? Is your hand to the plow my brothers or the TV remote, gameboy, fishing pole, or whatever your pleasure might be? “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).