Sunday, February 22, 2015

Morning Cuppa (vol. 1)


The Scriptures show husbands that they’ve been called by God to love their wives like Christ loved the church. That means we love them regardless of their response to our efforts to change them. And the same grace-centeredness is needed for the wives who want their husbands to change.

Getting our hearts into this way of thinking is the hardest thing in marriage by far because all of us tend to love in order to get something in return. (You can tell when it’s not really love you’re giving if you begin to withhold it because you don’t think the response is good enough.) Jesus calls us to a more selfless way, the way of the cross. His way calls us to love purely because it’s the right thing to do, because it honors him and glorifies his Father. Jesus emptied himself in order to love imperfect responders. That’s real love.

Men, have you figured out that you cannot be romantic enough… sweet enough… help around the house enough? You cannot make enough money and buy enough stuff to make your wife a sexual dynamo in the bedroom. Heart change isn’t brought about through leverage like that. In the end, only the Holy Spirit can change your wife’s heart. So we love, we encourage, and repeatedly we turn our wife over to Christ because he can change her heart. He can move in her. He can do things that we can’t.

The same is true of women. You can give all the sex that your man wants. You can cook him all his favorite meals. You can keep the house extra clean. You can give him time alone in his man cave. And God can use all those things, but none of them performed to bring about change will work to change your man’s heart. Only God can do that.

That is what happened with Solomon and his queen. Her heart was transformed and stirred up toward her husband when just a little while ago it wasn’t at all. She was indifferent because she was tired. But then she became sick with love. God did that.

* Have you ever fallen into the trap of leverage? Do you turn your spouse over to Christ, knowing only He can change him/her? Do you realize that He loves your spouse more than even you?

(Source: The mingling of souls, Matt Chandlee)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stay motivated

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, sometimes they are the trials of extraordinary graces

Job 8:7

New International VersionYour beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

New Living TranslationAnd though you started with little, you will end with much.

English Standard VersionAnd though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.

New American Standard Bible
"Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly.

King James BibleThough thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Holman Christian Standard BibleThen, even if your beginnings were modest, your final days will be full of prosperity.

International Standard VersionYour beginning may be small, but later years will be very great.

NET BibleYour beginning will seem so small, since your future will flourish.

Friday, December 26, 2014

C.S. Lewis on the Problem of Forgiveness

C.S. Lewis on the Problem of Forgiveness

C. S. Lewis writes about the problem of forgiveness:

. . . you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart—every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out. The difference between this situation and the one in such you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.

As regards my own sin it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are not really so good as I think; as regards other men’s sins against me it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are better than I think. One must therefore begin by attending to everything which may show that the other man was not so much to blame as we thought.

But even if he is absolutely fully to blame we still have to forgive him; and even if ninety-nine percent of his apparent guilt can be explained away by really good excuses, the problem of forgiveness begins with the one percent guilt which is left over. To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian character; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.

C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: Harper Collins, 2001; Originally published 1949), 181-183 (paragraphing mine).

Credit: Michael Johnson (at
Topics: Forgiving Others

Friday, December 5, 2014

Run This Race

AHHHHHH.... to run. I like how the life mimics the gospel. Why? Because God has not forgotten us nor has he left us. On the contrary, He is there waiting with open arms (for now) beckoning us to trust Him and believe that he is strong enough for our situation. When we get in the way of ourselves we forfeit our own access to His grace. Essentially, we passing up a ticket to the Presidential Ball for take out at In-In-Out. While In-In-Out is AWESOME, our God and his presence is way more AWESOME-ER than the best double-double animal style on earth.

Indeed his word found in Acts 20:23-24 is true. 

Acts 20:23-24New International Version (NIV)
23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Forget me not

“I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15–16).

Perhaps the fury of whatever storm you’re facing dims God’s voice and blurs his presence. You might ask, “God, have you forgotten me?” How can he be present in the midst of your turmoil? But regardless of the storm’s intensity, you remain in the forefront of God’s thoughts. He’s thinking of you, sustaining you, comforting you, giving you strength. He doesn’t mentally check out. Whatever challenge you’re facing isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you. The worst that could happen would be for God to forget about you.
But he hasn’t yet, and he never will.

To Take Away

  • Do you find it hard to accept that God knows your needs and cares for you to the extent that you’re always on his mind? Why?
  • What events in your life have caused you to ask, “God, have you forgotten me?”
  • How can you foster a deeper and more constant trust in the reality that God is always present with you?
Excerpt from NIV Men's Devotional

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Duplicitous x Lessons of Love

prestige - found on tumblr
 I love you LORD. I fall short constantly. Like Paul, I find myself doing the things that I'd rather not do while not doing the things that I should do... Its duplicitous to think that your love (God) would let me fall when everything about you speaks life to my inner being.  I give you my pain for your joy, my disobedience for your grace. my life for your salvation. Let me not LIVE double-mind any longer but be transparent and grateful in all circumstances.

Lord help me to stay focused on the primary goal which is to make much of you so that I do not waste my life on selfish entitlements and lacking gratitude for where you've brought me from.

Steadfast to the End - 1 Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10