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Jesus’ Faith in People

When Jesus called Matthew the tax collector to be his disciple, he expressed a profound faith in a person’s ability to change. Tax collectors in Jesus’ day were political traitors, notorious crooks, and complete outcasts in respectable circles. Nonetheless, Jesus was a constant friend to them and even called one to be among his apostles. After Matthew became a follower of Christ, he wrote the gospel of Matthew—the most widely read book in the world. He used the same skill and pen he had used in his ledger books to write the story of Christ.

Matthew is a good example of the change Christ can make in a person. 

Before Christ can change someone, he must acknowledge his sin and repent of it. When Henry Thoreau lay dying in his home, a relentlessly pious neighbor paid a bedside call and asked primly, “Henry, have you made your peace with God?” Thoreau whispered, “We never quarreled.” 

There may be a person here and there who has never quarreled with God, but I know there has never been a person who did not ignore God. That is the greatest of all sins. When any person repents and puts his faith in Christ, his life can be wonderfully changed. 

They say that Longfellow could take a worthless sheet of paper, write a poem on it, and make it worth $6,000—that is genius. Rockefeller could sign his name on a piece of paper and make it worth millions—that is capital. A machinist can take a piece of metal worth $5 and make a tool worth $50—that is skill. An artist can take a 50-cent piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth $1,000—that is art. But God can take a despised tax collector, wash him in the blood of Christ, put his Spirit in him, and make him a blessing to humanity—that is salvation. What Christ did for Matthew, he can do for you. 

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Attitudes in Marriage

The solution to most of the marital discord in today’s home is found in one line from the Bible. It is, “Take heed to your spirit” (Malachi 2:15). If our attitudes and dispositions are right, then we can live in love and peace in any relationship, including marriage.

What kind of spirit do we need to develop and maintain a good marriage?

1. A trusting spirit. A good marriage is built on faith and trust. Therefore beware of jealousy. We are empowered with certain protective emotions. Fear is one—it makes you careful as you cross the street. Anxiety is another—it makes you prepare carefully that speech you have to make. Jealousy is a third—it makes you watchful over the relationship upon which your security and happiness depend. These are all perfectly good and natural when kept within limits. But when jealousy becomes too strong, it can make life miserable for all concerned. Behind irrational jealousy there is always insecurity. If jealousy is your problem, seek help. Don’t let it ruin your marriage.

2. A sacrificial spirit. The Bible urges that we live “in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. Sacrifice is at the heart of such love. Avoid a selfish spirit. It is marriage enemy number one. Instead of being selfish, seek to please one another.

3. A reasonable spirit. Don’t expect too much of one another. Allow for some mistakes and failures by your partner. Avoid a critical and nagging spirit. When polls are taken to discover what unhappily married men and women object to in each other, nagging on the spouse’s part almost always heads the list. No one can continue to feel affection toward a spouse who nags them. It only produces coldness and hardness.

4. A forgiving spirit. It is not possible to avoid disagreements in marriage, but they need not canker into resentment. Avoid a grudging spirit. “Let not the sun go down on your wrath,” says the Bible (Ephesians 4:26). Learn to say “I’m sorry” and “You are forgiven.”

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