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How to Live, How to Die

Philippians 1:20-26

George Sanders, the cynical and sinister film star for over 30 years, took his own life in 1972. In his characteristically simple way he explained in his suicide note, “I am leaving because I am bored.”

Increasingly, there are people who are either so bored with life or so pressed down by the circumstances...

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Ordinary People

Philippians 2:19-30

There is a movie currently playing entitled Ordinary People. While I have not seen the movie, the title of it struck my imagination. That, joined with a sermon I heard on tape from a pastor friend, caused me to want to speak to you today on the subject of “ordinary people.”

I’ve be...

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Jesus Is Lord

Philippians 2:9-11

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said of Jesus, “His name is not so much written as plowed into the history of the world.” One evidence of this is the fact that historian Arnold J. Toynbee devoted more space to Jesus of Nazareth than to any other six men combined who have ever lived—including Muhammad, Buddha, Caesa...

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The Real People of God

Philippians 3:1-3

In his book Life Sentence, Chuck Colson tells about trying to win a Jewish lawyer friend to Christ. He had tried again and again to find an opening—a way to introduce the subject of Christ so he could share the Lord with this Jewish lawyer friend. Finally one night at a dinner engagement the opportunity ca...

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The Enemies of the Cross

Philippians 3:17-21

Many years ago, philosopher Francis Bacon said, “It is not what we eat, but what we digest that makes us strong. It’s not what we gain, but what we save that makes us rich. It’s not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned. And it’s not what we profess, but what we practice that gives u...

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Moving on to Maturity

Philippians 3:1-21

One of the greatest athletes who ever lived was the legendary Bobby Jones, the golfer. One of the things that characterized him was his absolute honesty in playing the game. In fact, on one occasion in a crucial match, he accidentally moved the ball as he was addressing it with his club. Though he moved it just a fraction, an...

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Tranquility without Tranquilizers

Philippians 4:6-9

About a year ago, I was visiting with one of our ladies whose husband was in the hospital dying of cancer. He had entered the hospital just four days after she had returned home from surgery herself. She said that when she learned of his illness and his hospitalization, she became a bundle of nerves.

She could not eat...

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Foundations for Giving

Philippians 4:14-19

Some years ago I was preaching on stewardship and there sat in the service two men who had two entirely different responses to the sermon. One of them was angered and incensed and the other one was moved, blessed, and helped by it. The first man, the one who was angered and incensed, went out the front door and he stopped rig...

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Today's Devotional

Togetherness in Marriage

Celebrated English poet John Milton said, “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good.” There is a loneliness in us that only God can satisfy. But there is also a type of loneliness—a longing for togetherness—that only another can satisfy. We all need the togetherness that only another human can provide. Ruth expresses the kind of togetherness I am talking about when she said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).

This was Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law, of course. But it is equally a statement of the complete togetherness that is to characterize marriage. In marriage we need to be together in the following ways:

1. Physically. “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” God’s plan for marriage is that we leave our father and our mother and be with our mate. This leaving is to be total so that the new relationship can be shared totally. You should leave your parents geographically (get out of their house), leave them economically (get out of their pocketbook), and leave them emotionally (get out of their hair).

2. Emotionally. “Thy people shall be my people.” Marriage is more than the blending of two lives, it is the blending of two families. You do marry a person’s family. If life is shared in the deepest sense, it must include a person’s family also.

3. Spiritually. “Thy God shall be my God.” There can be no complete togetherness without a sharing of your faith. Spiritual unity (i.e., being committed to Christ) is more important than denominational unity (i.e., being in the same church), but it is best when both are shared. Marriage is best when you can say, “Our Father, our house, our children, our church.”

4. Permanently. “Where thou diest, I will die.” Every day the distance time-wise between the marriage altar and the divorce court gets shorter and shorter. This ought not to be. It is God’s plan that two people be committed together for life. It is only when this is true that we find our highest fulfillment in marriage.

We should all work to strengthen togetherness in marriage. It is one of life’s greatest blessings.

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