NIGHT LIGHT FOR COUPLES

Set Up For Disappointment

“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” Psalm 146:3

The media continually bombard us with images of broken trust: spouses who cheat on each other; politicians who break promises; corporate chiefs who steal from their employees.

The list goes on and on. People in positions of responsibility should be held accountable to the highest moral and ethical standards. Yet each of these people is a mortal creature with a natural bent toward sin. The minute we begin placing our deepest faith and trust in human beings, we set ourselves up for severe disappointment.

What does this mean for marriage? Even in the best of relationships, husbands and wives may err and break the other’s trust. That’s why we must rely on God’s power—not our own—to lead honorable lives. When husbands and wives commit themselves to live according to God’s ways, a bond of trust develops between them. Though none of us is perfect, we can give our heart confidently to our spouse when we know that he or she is genuinely seeking to follow God and His guidelines.

Just between us…

  • Has someone in a position of responsibility ever broken your trust?
  • Is it ever difficult for you to trust me?
  • Knowing our sinful nature, how can we still earn each other’s trust?
  • How do you think the Lord blesses spouses who trust each other?
  • How might we develop an even deeper level of trust in our relationship?

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are completely worthy of our trust. As my spouse and I commit ourselves to being trustworthy with each other, empower us by Your Spirit. Grant us grace when we fail. And bless us, we pray, with joy and confidence as we make trustworthiness a priority. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sick on the Scenic Route – Crosswalk the Devotional – August 23

Sick on the Scenic Route
by John UpChurch

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“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Philippians 3:12 

On my way home from North Carolina, I followed my impulse to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway that meanders along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. Late spring had hit, and the trees on that slithering byway had burst into color. And if you know me, you know I can’t resist a scenic detour in spring… or summer…  or anytime I’m sure my car won’t get stuck for some reason.

If you’ve ever had the chance to sling along the Blue Ridge, you’ll find it hard to keep your eyes on the road. Gasp-worthy valley vistas pretty much assault you wherever you turn with their seductive greens and purples and blues. The only problem with a wandering gaze, however, is that many of the turns on that road completely bend back on themselves. So, you’re constantly looking out in awe—and then whipping the car back on the road before you become part of that valley view.

In fact, those stomach-churning curves nearly got the better of me. Never before or since have I suffered from motion sickness while driving. But that road, with all its flipping and flopping, beat me up. By the time I finally escaped that tangled beast of a road, I was actually happy to see the interstate and all its rush-hour traffic (well, for the most part). At least those bumper-to-bumper shenanigans meant I’d be going straight.

For many of us, our pursuit of Christ swings us around in much the same way. We whip around curves that seem to take us the long way round, nearly bumble off the road because something shiny catches our eyes, and let the cares along the way nauseate us. It’s a circuitous route, this Christian life, and one that doesn’t move us from start to finish quickly.

But it’s a path paved by the One who made us His own.

Each bend, each switchback curve, brings us closer to the goal He made possible. His mountain climbing 2000 years ago means we can follow Him all the way, no matter how far away the goal may seem. We’re His, and He’s calling us home.

Intersecting Faith & Life: We belong to Christ. He made us His own by dying on a tree. That’s not some partial investment or a half-hearted venture; that’s some serious business. He paid our price in full.

He intends to lead you around the bends, past the vistas, through the gulches, by still waters, and, finally, home. He’ll calm you, guard you, and shield you. But what He won’t do is leave you stranded. (There are no guarantees against nausea, though.)

For Further Reading
Just go ahead and read (or reread) Philippians.
Psalm 119

MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

The Spiritual Search

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Matthew 7:9

The illustration of prayer that our Lord used here is one of a good child who is asking for something good. We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him (see Matthew 5:45). Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. Don’t faint and give up, but find out the reason you have not received; increase the intensity of your search and examine the evidence. Is your relationship right with your spouse, your children, and your fellow students? Are you a “good child” in those relationships? Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? You cannot receive and will have to do without them until you have the attitude of a “good child.”

We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. We refuse to look at the evidence that clearly indicates where we are wrong. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person? Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends? (see Matthew 7:12).

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). For most of us, prayer simply becomes some trivial religious expression, a matter of mystical and emotional fellowship with God. We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives…” (Matthew 7:8). From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Psalms 116-118; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19

 

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Bible does not thrill; the Bible nourishes. Give time to the reading of the Bible and the recreating effect is as real as that of fresh air physically.

from Disciples Indeed, 387 R