Staying When You Feel Like Leaving – Part 2
in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11
Recognize who the real enemy of your marriage is. On those days when you think, ‘I can’t spend another moment in this relationship,’ it’s easy to lose perspective and focus on the wrong things. Marriage was God’s idea. He planned it as the foundation of His earthly kingdom. That makes marriage one of Satan’s prime targets. It’s why he poisoned the perspective and confused the thinking of the first couple. He deceived Adam into believing that Eve was his problem, blaming the fiasco on her (Genesis 3:12). But both of them were deceived by ‘…the father of lies’ (John 8:44). Satan knew he could undermine God’s plan by driving a wedge between the first couple, creating antagonism, blame and self-interest, and his methods haven’t changed. It’s why we ‘keep tabs’ on each other’s shortcomings, identifying our mate as the problem and refusing to show grace. Paul helps us understand how to overcome Satan’s strategy. ‘…I have forgiven in the sight of Christ…in order that Satan might not outwit us…we are not unaware of his schemes’ (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). Then he counsels us further by saying that ‘…love…doesn’t keep score of the sins of others…’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). That doesn’t mean love lives in denial, but that it chooses to practice self-denial! So rather than keeping score of your spouse’s worst qualities, choose to look for their best ones and show your appreciation. Nothing melts resentment and hardness like expressing appreciation for each other.
Heavenly Father, help me look for the good qualities in others and show appreciation of them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Staying When You Feel Like Leaving – Part 2 – May 24, 2016 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Staying When You Feel Like Leaving – Part 1
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9
Not every relationship can be saved. When physical, mental or emotional abuse threatens your child’s safety, or your own, you may be forced to leave. Failing to do so could lead to tragedy, but where a workable resolution can be found, a troubled relationship can become a source of shared joy and fulfilment. Here are some keys to make staying worthwhile: Adopt God’s perspective on sin—yours and your spouse’s. One of the major problems is the way we classify sin—especially our spouse’s. You’re understandably overwrought and anxious because they’re incorrigible and selfish. They’re the willful sinner—you’re the offended saint. They need a major overhaul, and you’re responsible to see they get it. Things like being critical, nagging and controlling seem like small things compared to a spouse who swears, drinks and visits porn sites. From God’s perspective, sin is sin—yours and theirs! It’s all harmful to relationships. Stop ‘classifying’ sin and try to discover the relationship-transforming power of handling the situation the way Jesus taught. ‘How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye’ (Matthew 7:4-5). You’ll be amazed at how God will cause your spouse to acknowledge and deal with ‘their’ problem when you get honest and deal with ‘yours’!
Heavenly Father, help me see that sin is sin and to look at my life first and deal with my “sin” issues. Help me Father, in Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Staying When You Feel Like Leaving – Part 1 – May 23, 2016 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Defeated By Attitude
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
Recently I read an article that said “I don’t have to be defeated by the attitudes of this world.” Have you ever considered how both consciously and unconsciously you are allowing the attitude of this world to shape your behavior and negate your witness for Christ? Have you even been around people where the prevailing attitude was one of criticism, complaint, and negativity? It can be exhausting and if you are not careful, you will find yourself dragged into the Sport’in-a-Tude Club. Your outlook and testimony for Christ will take a nose dive like a cannon ball in quicksand. Before you know it, you begin to look, speak and act like the world, becoming another statistic in this crooked and depraved generation. For a Christian this should never be. We have the best news in the world….JESUS!!
Never let the naysayers, complainers and grumblers of this world rob you of your joy. Scripture reminds us that “the joy of the Lord will be my strength.” (Psalm 27:8). This world does not and should not ever control your attitude. We are told to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5) Wow! Can you even imagine what would happen if we adopted the attitude of Christ? It would revolutionize this world and open the flood gates for the Gospel.
Take a moment today to read Philippians 2:1-18. We are given clear insight into the attitude that we as Christians are to have. Jesus had an attitude of: 1) Humility- Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (vs.2) 2) Servanthood- rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (vs.7) 3) Obedience- And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (vs.8)
We are called to “shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” (vs.15-16). We never want our labor to be in vain but rather we should desire to emulate Christ in order that our witness (attitude) would compel a watching world to see Jesus. Therefore, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Father thank You for giving us such a clear example in Your Son, Jesus. We long to have the right focus and attitude that we might be faithful servants of Your grace to a watching world. We give You permission to make any attitude adjustments necessary so that we may be a trustworthy reflection of You. In the power of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Before, Behind, Beside
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
Some years ago our family visited Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Known as the world’s longest cave system, there are more than 400 miles of caves waiting to be explored. We went on the Wild Cave Tour. I should have known by the name that this was probably a demanding exploration, but hey, the family was excited so I decided to be brave. This cave was all about facing the darkness. A Guide led our small group through some physically demanding areas of the cave. We had to climb, crawl, squeeze, and move through dark spaces where even the cave dwelling creatures (spiders, scorpions) were environmentally albino due to the lack of light. (Did I mention there were also bats?) I have to admit, I was very apprehensive, which is an adult way of saying, “I was freaking out!” I kept reminding myself that all I needed to do was keep my eyes on the Guide in front of me, trust the Guide watching the group from behind, and remember that when passages widened, I would be able to see my husband beside me again; and I was relieved.
Our Father in heaven promises us that we are never alone. He goes before us, behind us, and walks beside us along this journey we call life. “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5. When life overwhelms us and is seems like we are sinking into the dark confines of a cold, dreary cave, His Word reminds us that there is nowhere we can go that He is not there; loving and leading. When you are faced with life uncertainties and times of darkness, it is good to remember:
The Lord goes before me: Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
The Lord goes behind me: Isaiah 52:12 “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
The Lord stays beside me: Acts 2:25 “King David said this about him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
Are you struggling today? Do you feel like you are overwhelmed in darkness, unable to see even inches in front of you? Cry out to Jesus. “For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Thank You Father that I am never alone. You will watch over me and keep my mind in perfect peace as I fix my eyes on You. You uphold me and strengthen me according to Your Word; I simply need to take hold of Your hand. Jesus, You are my Rock and my Salvation and it is in Your name, that I pray. Amen.
On The Home Front
I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 1 Samuel 2:33
Being the high priest in Israel was a prestigious job, and Eli seemed suited to it. Yet he failed badly on the home front. ‘…His sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice’ (1 Samuel 8:3). As a result, God told Eli He ‘…would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed against God, and he failed to restrain them’ (1 Samuel 3:13). As a parent and leader you need to answer this question: If God applied the same standard to you as He did to Eli, how well would you do? Eli ended up losing his credibility, his children, his career, and eventually his life. He missed the mark because he made some critical errors. Let’s look at them and see what we can learn: 1) He had the wrong emphasis. He emphasized the Word of God to the people in his congregation, but not to his own children. 2) He had the wrong expectations. He thought his children would ‘get it’ because they lived under his roof and worked in the church. But it doesn’t work that way. 3) He set the wrong example. Eli failed to live at home what he taught at work. He had 20/20 vision when it came to his profession, but where his family was concerned he was blind to his own weakness. Leadership on the home front isn’t about power and control; it’s about ‘giving yourself’ to the people who should matter most (Ephesians 5:25). So, how are you doing on the home front?
Heavenly Father, help me to be an example on my home front and to live out what I believe. Forgive me when I do not. In Jesus’ Name, Amen