Posts Tagged ‘God

04
Jan
10

all the married ladies… put your hands up!

Please read… and after you do, can I get an amen?! How many times do we fail? Over and over and over and over and over and over again…

Written by: Melanie Chitwood

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 (NAS)

Has there ever been a time when you thought that marriage is harder than you expected or more challenging than you want it to be? My marriage of 18 years to Scott has been a roller coaster of ups and downs this week, and today I’d prefer a whole lot more of the ups, or least some steadiness. We’ve argued about how often we’re physically intimate and how often we have intimate conversations. We’ve argued about who works harder and who’s giving more to the relationship right now. We’ve argued about really basic issues.

In the private place of my mind and heart I’ve had questions about my marriage. I’ve questioned how two people who are so different can be content to be married to one another. What will con tinue to sustain us and to create a stronger marriage through the years?

And to top it off, I think to myself, “Melanie, you write about marriage. Shouldn’t you have this marriage thing figured out? What on earth am I doing writing about marriage?” Deep down inside, however, I know that’s exactly why God asked me to write about marriage. I don’t have all the answers, as that has been glaringly obvious this week.

But I know the One who does. I know the One who created marriage. I know the One who blesses my marriage. I know the One who holds my marriage together, as today’s key verse reminds us.

This morning as I talked to God about me and Scott, I prayed, “Lord, I don’t want to be at an impasse with my husband. I want us to find peaceful ground. I want us to find oneness. I want to help him, not hinder him.” As I turned to God with my heart held in my hands offered up to Him, God changed me.

God answered my simple prayer in the most practical way. I prayed, “How can I please you today in my marriage?” God’s answer to my heart was, Bring Scott lunch today. Make him a big, delicious, healthy salad because that’s his favorite lunch.

“Really, God? Don’t you think Scott and I need to talk through our issues?” And then I sensed God saying, There will be time for that, but for now, I want you to obey Me.

You see, time and again I’ve seen that as I let God mold my heart and as I respond in obedience, God’s floodgate of love and power covers my marriage, leading us to the place He wants us to be. There will be time for more conversations between us, but for today God wants me to take one step of obedience.

Okay, God, I’m on it. I’m off to make a salad.

Dear Lord, Thank You for my marriage and thank You for my husband. Thank You for holding us together through the ups and downs of my marriage. Keep me focused on You, Lord, so I can honor You and be a blessing to my spous e. Lord, when we need to communicate, I pray we can do so honestly and peacefully. When we need to forgive, I pray we will both freely and readily forgive one another. And when we have misunderstandings, Lord, bring us quickly to a place of understanding. Where we need to extend each other grace, let us do so because You have so lavishly covered us with Your grace. As I trust You with my marriage, let my marriage bring You honor and glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Do one thing today to show your husband you love him. Here are some ideas:
– Give him a smile and a really big kiss when he comes home at the end of the day.
– Call, email, or text him to say how much you appreciate his hard work.
– Fix his favorite meal.
– Don’t be too tired tonight for intimacy.
– Hold your tongue. Don’t say those harsh words you’re thinking about your husband. Instead, talk to God.
– Promise not to bad-mouth your husband to your friends.

Reflections:
Consider the attitude of your heart and the actions of your han ds in your marriage. Is there anything you need to confess to the Lord? Do that now. Remember that acknowledging your sin doesn’t mean that you and your husband don’t have issues you need to talk about and it doesn’t mean that your husband doesn’t have sin in his life. It means that you are seeing yourself clearly and that you are willing to do what God wantsyou to do. It means you’re trusting your marriage to God and inviting His transforming power into your marriage.

Power Verses:
Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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05
Oct
09

what do you need?

Do you think there are times when God gives us exactly what we need yet, we are too foolish to realize it? Then, the times we do realize it, why are we too scared to reach out and take what it is we need? We’ve therefore missed His gift.

What do you need? Do you think God has tried giving it to you? Do you think it’s right in front of you now? Are you scared? What’s keeping you from reaching out and taking His gift? Do you care more about what others will think than you do about His plan for your life? Is it too hard to take the step? Oh ye… Where’s your faith?

He IS with you. Trust in Him. Acknowledge Him. He will direct you. He WILL provide.

Get ready and expect the unexpected! His gift may come in a form you don’t anticipate…

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:11

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father… James 1:17

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed… Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

04
Jan
09

how big is your GOD?

i am signed up for a monthly  e-newsletter from a company called marriage missions. it’s been quite amazing to me over the past year how pertinent these emails are to me when i receive them. every single time, it never fails, i am dealing with, reading or praying about the exact topic in their email. recently i have been reading through genesis and the creation story; thinking about just how big GOD is and how small i am. how he took the time to create me, out of nothing, and put me here on this earth. it’s baffling and quite humbling. he allows me to go through hard times and to struggle because he knows that i will be able to support, encourage, and understand someone else’s pain in the future. kinda the whole “his pain, my gain” idea. he uses us, every single fiber of our being for his glory! me… little me. wow!

i was pleasantly surprised, yet again to receive their email… here is an excerpt from their most recent email called “how big is your GOD?”

***

How big is your God? Do you recognize Him as the “Creator of heaven and earth” — the One who with His “own hands stretched out the heavens”, “marshaled their starry hosts”, “established the sun and the moon”, “laid the earth’s foundation”, “set all the boundaries of the earth” making “both summer and winter”, “every living creature” and “created mankind upon it”? How big is your God — Does He know and see you?

Pastor/Evangelist Louie Giglio answers that question this way: “He’s big enough to breathe out stars, yet intricate enough to fashion together the trillions of cells that make up every facet of who you are. The God who spoke the universe into existence made you, too, and knows everything about you. From the smallest molecule to the situation you find yourself in right now. He’s aware of your circumstances and is intimately acquainted with everything you do. He cares about you and promises to carry you through.”

He goes on to say, “He will hold onto you and hold you together, giving strength to those who hope in His unfailing love. He is the everlasting God.” Do you believe that? How big… how great is the God you perceive Him to be when it comes to helping you?

It’s a question I can confess that I personally struggled with for many years. I wondered whether God really did create the Heavens, the Earth and every living creature including human beings, instead of it all originally bursting forth and evolving somehow as many scientists propose. I struggled to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that He is “the only way” to having a personal relationship with God. I questioned whether the truth of the Bible (because of so many arguments I’ve heard to the contrary). But time and again, God has revealed Himself to me in so many personal ways, that even though all of this still tries to eat away at my faith, I know that I know that I know, Who He is, and that my faith in Him is not misplaced.

Yet even though I eventually believed God to be the Creator of the Universe and every living creature, including me — I still struggled with knowing Him as my Heavenly Father — One who truly saw and cared about my life and marriage.

I saw God answering the prayers of others but didn’t see Him answering mine to the same degree. I would find myself feeling that He is a great God and one that answers prayer –but not mine. What has made it especially difficult has been having adult prodigal sons who left their faith in the exclusivity of Christ being the only way to relationship with God– with one son now claiming to be an atheist. It has been years and years of praying, struggling to keep believing, and continually longing for their Christian fellowship that especially chinks away at my faith.

Other circumstances I’ve prayed for have also shaken their fist at my faith as I’ve received either “no” answers or silence. But as I’ve sought Truth, eventually I remember that God’s ways are not my ways. He is God and I am not. I cannot begin to know all He does. I keep forgetting that. Yet through it all, God is patient and reminds me that I am not responsible for the choices of others, including my sons, to accept or reject Him. I am solely responsible for the choices I make. I find I can and must trust His heart and love for me and everyone else. It’s difficult at times, but it’s also sweet when God has comforts in ways that He knows I understand.

I share this with you because I want you to know that you are not alone in your “doubtstorms.” We all have vulnerabilities and go through times of temptation and struggle. Steve and mine are just different than yours. But none of us escapes “trials” and “tribulations” as we live in this fallen world. Don’t allow the enemy of our faith to fool you otherwise (see: James 1:2-5; John 16:33; Matthew 5:43-45; and 1 Corinthians 7:28). “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). How can we exercise faith if we see and understand everything?

And how could we relate to others who are suffering if we don’t suffer? For this reason, “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Beyond your hurts of today, there may be someone God will point your way so you can help and comfort them with compassionate understanding.

Through all and despite all, we can be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (see Romans 8:37-39). That is why we are continuing with this point this week. As God’s children we should not underestimate who we are to God and what He can do in and through us. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, and love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Once we comprehend who we are in Christ and Whose we are as children of God, we can approach the throne of God with boldness (see: Hebrews 4:14-16), knowing that He hears our prayers and is a “rewarder” of those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

It’s important for us to recognize how big and great our God is — yet embrace that He knows us in personal ways. He knit us together and knows everything about us. Our problems do not escape His sight. Once we really grasp this, we will look beyond our immediate circumstances with hope towards what God will do in and through us — not walking around or conducting ourselves as if we are defeated.

We pray this will help you in your Christian walk and your marriage to confidently trust God for all things.

Cindy and Steve Wright

P.S. If you think of others who may benefit from these weekly messages, please forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe to this FREE ministry. To subscribe, go to our web site, www.marriagemissions.com and click on “Subscribe” and fill in the necessary information. Every week we add new articles to the web site, so return often because you’ll find other helpful marriage information. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can send an e-mail to subscribe@marriagemissions.com and write “Subscribe” in the subject line. NOTE: If you receive our messages at work, be sure to ask the Administrator of the e-mail accounts to add Marriage Missions to their list of acceptable IP addresses, otherwise your company’s SPAM filter may prevent our Marriage Message from reaching you.




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