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Labor to Exhaustion

The whole temperament of the world is to get away from our bodies making any kind of sacrifice. Our goal is to make our bodies comfortable. The health and wealth syndrome is predominant in our world today. We want to take care of the body and make it last forever. While we are making the body comfortable, Paul tells us to make our body a living sacrifice. Do we know w...

Don't Waste Time Defendin...

Jesus didn’t try to write a theological treatise to defend his messiahship. He didn’t send John a list of all the fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament to prove that he was the Messiah. He said to John’s delegation, “Go back and tell John that the blind can see, the deaf ear, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the dead are raised....

The Curse of the Church

God has not put us here just to enjoy the luxury and the wonder and the splendor of this town and this complex. We are here as his missionary people. We must get on with that mission. The Christian army is the only one that trains its justice chaplains and its band directors. The curse of the church is the eternal childhood of believers. Most pastors are little more t...

Egg Washes Off

We never test the resources of God until we attempt the impossible. That always involves risks of failure. When we tackle any undertaking such as “Great Day in May,” there is the chance that we may fail. So the leader winds up with egg on his face. However, I have discovered two things about that. Number one is that the egg washes off. Number two is that e...

Kicking and Screaming

When Peter the Great, the eighteenth-century czar of Russia, came to power he determined to modernize Russia and bring it out of the dark ages. So he traveled incognito throughout Europe learning as much as he could from other countries. When he returned to Russia he said to his people, “I will drag you, kicking and screaming, into the modern world.” ...

A Pastor with No Authorit...

What, then, is the authority of the pastor? There is none! Except that which is given to him by the church or the power of his influence. There is no authority inherent in the office, and there is none invested in it by a religious hierarchy.  When it comes to authority in my church I feel like the man who was approached by a committee that said, “We are l...

Leaders Learn from Mistak...

In the old Amos ’n’ Andy show on radio, Amos once asked the Kingfish why he had such good judgment. “Well,” said the Kingfish, “good judgment comes from experience.” “Then, where does experience come from?” asked Amos. “From bad judgment.” Good leaders learn from their own mistakes and from the mistakes of...

Face the Opposition Optim...

There is an old saying, “A pessimist sees a difficulty in every opportunity, and an optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty.” Good leaders focus on objectives, not obstacles. They are like a good hurdler. The hurdler doesn’t focus on the hurdle, he just sees the finish line. He looks at the destination, not at the obstacles to prevent his ge...

Really Knowing the Bible?

I heard about a young preacher one time who was interviewing for his first church. He had never pastored a church before and the pastor search committee had invited him to come for an interview. As he was being questioned by the committee, the chairman asked, “Son, do you know the Bible?” He replied, “Yes sir, I really know the Bible.” The chai...

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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