If our marriage IS a reflection of God's love between a husband and wife as Jesus's relationship as the bride/groom with the Church, how are we displaying that message in our relationship to others?
Are we demonstrating a love that is unconditional?
Are we displaying a love of commitment?
Are we serving each other from a position of selflessness?
Are we acting in our spouses best interest?
Are we speaking words of hope, love and truth?
Are we edifying and uplifting our spouse with our words?
Are we choosing to understand?
Are we choosing to put ourselves in our spouses shoes first when we disagree?
Are we protecting them and our marriage at all costs?
Are we making our marriage a priority in our lives?
Are we willing to sacrifice for our spouse?
Are we forgiving our spouse when they wrong us and still choosing to love them?
Are we accepting our spouse for who they are and not making them someone else?
If we can not answer "YES" to all of these questions, we need to ask our spouse for forgiveness as we learn to walk together in a daily reflection of God's love!
Have you ever asked God to teach you something new? When I was in Bible College I began to pray this prayer and remembered to do it on a daily basis for a period of my life. I look back now at those days and see how much I grew emotionally, spiritually, interpersonally, and financially. It reminds me to not forget to ask Him to teach me something new now, because I continually want to grow closer to the person He wants me to be.
It is hard to remember when life gets busy. When work and home demand time and energy that pulls me away from spending time with God each day. But it is in these struggles I choose to get up early and sit in His presence, seeking Him and His ways for my life, and watch Him teach me.
I have learned that this prayer has continued in my conversations with God no matter what I am doing, whether working or working out. Just the other day I asked God to teach me something new while swimming and He spoke to me about something that my husband and others have been encouraging me to do but I have not been able to receive. It took asking God to teach me, that allowed my heart to be willing to listen to what He has been trying to teach me through others.
So my question for you today is, what has God been trying to teach you, and hasn't been able to because your heart has not been in the right place to receive? It's questions like these that challenge me and I want to challenge you with, because we all need God's help to grow, and we all need to learn how to get there. The question is will you ask Him to help you or not? The choice is yours!
While Jesus walked this earth, he called God our Heavenly Father.
Psalm 91:13 MSG says,
"You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you--under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path."
As a Child of God trusting in our Heavenly Father is hard at times. If we come from a family that didn't have a father; or a relationship with a father that was not good; we can project that earthly father onto God and see Him in a way that is not true to HIS character. It is a normal thing to do, but it must be recognized when we do this so we can chose to see God through who He is and not who we think He is.
We must understand how people will associate with God as their Heavenly Father, the way we learn as children to associate with our earthly father. We must understand that our example may lead our children closer or farther from their Heavenly Father when we make mistakes as parents depending on how well we handle them. And we must remember when we mess us how important it is to ask for forgiveness and love the way God loves us. Because God does not expect us to be perfect parents, and neither do our children. But God does want us to teach our children who God is through His Word, and experience Him for who He is!
Psalm 25:14 MSG
God-friendship is for God-worshipers;
They are the ones he confides in.
A prayer I have said most days since the days I went to Bible College is: "Teach me something new today God." I just love how God confides in us when we seek after Him! God has taught me so much, and I continue to learn something new every time I ask.
God is our friend, who leads us, guides us, loves us and is with us!
It is not that God leaves us as children of God, it's that we get distracted with the world around us and forget He is in it. Asking God to be with us each day, helps us remember daily that we don't have to walk this path alone. It helps remind us that God is always going to show us His will for us if we ask Him. It helps us to remember that our strength comes from Him alone and that He understands everything we are going through.
Just like a friend who puts their arm around us and loves us through our pain, insecurities and celebrations, God wants us to remember He wants to do the same. God wants us to experience His presence, His love, His companionship, and His wisdom! He is just waiting for us to see Him as the friend He is and trust Him along the way!
Phil 4:7 ESV
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
One of my favorite things to do is just sit in nature and listen. It is when God's peace fills me with comfort and joy as I sit in awe of His beauty. It is times like these that I go back to when I need to remember His peace and can't find it.
Understanding God's peace is something that gives us strength and comfort, is what helps us in times of trial to move forward with God when we don't have anything left in us to give.
I remember when my mother passed away, I felt so broken. Time stood still. I wanted to comfort my daughter as I saw the pain in her face as well, but I couldn't do anything but mourn for the loss of my mother. I remember leaning down over her bed to give her a hug goodbye, and feeling her body differently as she was getting cold. It was the knowing that I could never hug her again that broke me the most. But it was in this moment of pain that I experienced God's peace that surpassed all understanding.
As I cried over my mother, the hospital chaplain prayed for me. And as he laid his hand on me and prayed for God to give me God's peace, I immediately felt God's presence. It filled me with the warmth I missed from my mothers hug, and a peace that made me know that I would see her again. It was peace that only God can give, when it makes no sense to feel peace. When everything around you is going 90 miles an hour and God's peace makes time stand still. It is only through God's peace that I was able to receive His love in a way that only God could give.
I pray God gives you His peace, and guards your heart and mind with it!
1 John 1:5 ESV
"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
When we ask Jesus in our heart and become a child of God we are filled with God's spirit. The light that God is in us then penetrates every area of our life we allow it to. God lives in us and makes the darkness in our lives disappear. And then we become a light to others who are living in darkness.
When we ask Jesus in our heart to become Lord of our lives and follow His ways, the darkness or sin we had been living in does not just automatically go away. We have to still choose to allow God to heal us. We still have to do our part in acts of obedience, and we still have to surrender to allow God to make us into a new creation.
But when it feels like darkness surrounds us and we can't "feel" God's presence or see Him around us, we still have to trust and believe in the truth that God is with us. It is by God's power and not ours that we break addictions. It is by God's power and not ours that relationships are healed. It is by God's power and not ours that bodies are made whole again. And it is by God's power and not ours that we are transformed into something new.
By our acts of obedience to live our lives as He has directed us to, the darkness and sin in our lives is overcome. When we choose to give up our past pains and sins, and no longer choose to live in them, is when God is able to bring us the healing we seek and desire.
We can't just sit and wait for God to do His part if we are not actively doing ours!
Have you ever heard that God refers to himself as "I AM"?
Ex. 3:14 says, "God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God wants us to know that He is God. To take comfort in knowing that He is the beginning and the end of everything. To trust He is here with you, no matter what the circumstance. To believe that He loves us all so much that He has done everything for us.
When people do not take comfort in, trust or believe in God they question why God would let bad things happen to them or others if He really is God. It is these types of questions that create the position in our hearts to not receive what God has for us in the first place.
God shows us that good things happen to the righteous and the unrighteous, just like trials come to them both as well. The fallen world of sin we all live in is the reason why "bad" things happen to us. NOT BECAUSE GOD WANTS IT, but because He allows it. God allows it because God has allowed each of us the choice to follow good or evil, and without that choice we would not have the free will to choose that He has given to each of us.
So God wants us to know that He is God, to understand that He knows all and we don't have to. To have faith that if we put our trust in God and His son Jesus that He sent for us, He will take care of us no matter what. That if we choose to follow Jesus and His ways that we will become children of God and receive all that a kings heirs would inherit.
But it's not a kingship that is forced on us because we are next in line to inherit his kingdom. But instead it is a kingship that God has chosen for each of us to receive if we so choose, because we ask Him to be Lord of our life. There are no strings attacked, only the love acceptance and peace that comes from knowing the one that calls Himself "I AM".
Is this you?
.Do you want to know God more? Do you want someone to help you do so? Do you want someone to walk alongside you who has been in your shoes? Do you feel alone? Do you want to experience the healthier and happier you?