Sunday, May 22, 2016


“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 1:6-7

There are times in life that you just feel like every day is a Monday, ya know? It’s like from every angle of your life there’s something to worry about, something to fear or be down about.  We have two options when we get to this spot in our journey.  We can let it break us, or we can let it make us.
You can let it break you by concentrating on the problems.  Sometimes they are mountains and you just cannot find a way around them.  Health issues, financial issues, relationship issues – they can all create worry and stress that just seem to have no end or solution.  It’s like your life has become a horror movie, and you just don’t look away.  When you don’t look away it just gets worse and worse, and your head fills with doubts, and those doubts grow into possibilities, and those possibilities start to keep you up at night until you are broken.

But God tells us in the above passage that these times come to us not to harm us, but to grow our faith, to make it genuine, to make it more valuable than gold.  It comes to allow us opportunity to praise and honor God.  We’re told in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT seen”.  In order to grow that faith, we have to stop concentrating on the problem, and start looking at the solution God will craft from our faith.  If you keep looking at the problem, you’ll be broken.  But instead of doing all your thinking on the problem, start thinking of the solution God will provide.  Looking forward to what is not yet seen will grow your faith.  It will give you hope.  It will make you stronger instead of breaking you. 
Friend, concentrate on the blessings of the past, the times He has brought you through the fires and storms of life.  He has a great plan for each of us.  We just need to remain faithful, remain streadfast, abiding in Him.  There is nothing in this life that is too big of a problem for Almighty God.



Monday, May 9, 2016

Unequally Yoked - Picking the Right Spouse

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—  from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.  For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.  Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.  So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,” – 1 Kings 11:1-9

We often hear at marriages that “two become one”, and don’t fully understand the meaning.  When you marry, your spirit is intertwined with your spouses.  You share life together in such a way that you become like each other, finishing each other’s sentences, often dressing alike, and even saying the same things.

God’s warning to Solomon came from His knowledge of what marrying those that are not Christians would do to his relationship with God.  If you marry someone who has no relationship with Christ, their lack of faith and desire to serve Him will affect your relationship with God.  You will be torn to love God, and love your spouse with their own selfish desires. 

While Solomon’s wives went after false gods, today’s non-Christians will go after false gods of a different type.  Today’s non-Christian may go after wealth, popularity, power, and the Amerian dream.  They may let their children become their idols, or their own physical appearance.  Regardless of what it is that they bring into your life as a non-Christian, it will diminish your relationship with God if you aren’t strong enough to bear it.  And the truth is, if you are strong enough to bear it, these things will prevent you from being attracted to that spouse, if not before you marry, then sadly during the marriage.

When picking a mate, look beyond the hair, eyes, and skin.  Look beyond their acts of love toward you. A strong marriage begins with strength of faith.  God commands us to look for those that are of the same faith, so that we can be “equally yoked”.  Not only do you not yoke an ox with a mule, but you don’t yoke an ox with a calf either.  If their faith is not strong enough to be the head of the house, ladies, you may end up walking off path with them.  If their faith is not as important to them as yours is to you, young men, you may end up feeling like your faith is a conflict because you cannot share it with her.  Choose wisely, because “two become one” in flesh, and in spirit. 

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:  “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18