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Evil at Work

Why do men continually do wrong when they could do right? We are hard put for an explanation unless we accept that of the Bible. The Bible is very clear that there is an evil force at work in our world and it is headed up by Satan. Satan is a real person and his existence is sustained by scripture. To deny his personality is to deny scripture. It is his work and missi...

We Don't Have to Yield to...

1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, say...

Temptation

A young man once asked me about temptation. He said, “There are times when I find myself wanting to do things that I know that I shouldn’t do. How am I to handle that?”  His experience is perfectly normal. Satan is going to see to it that we are tempted. He is going to place wrong desires in our minds. He is going to try to lead us astray. Her...

Pride Is King of Sin

The king of all sins is pride. It is the sin that made a devil out of Satan. As English author John Milton once wrote, “He would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.” Not only was pride the devil’s problem, it is also our problem. We all face the temptation to strut around before God and to look down our noses at other people.  Pride asse...

Rumors Aren’t Reliable

There is one thing that you can rely on—rumors aren’t reliable. People mix stories, tell half-truths, and misunderstand what they hear. The results? A story distorted beyond recognition. Let me illustrate. A number of people in our church once attended a state softball tournament in Wichita Falls. One morning two tables of sponsors were having breakfast i...

We Can’t Buy God Off

A man came to me years ago distressed over his marriage. He had been unfaithful to his wife and she had discovered it. They were trying to put their marriage back together again and I was helping them. At the close of our initial conversation he told me that he had just bought his wife an expensive diamond ring for Christmas. And he wondered if he should give it to he...

Refusing Evil

There are times when, in the face of a temptation or an invitation to do evil, there is no substitute for an absolute, resounding “no.” The word no is one of the smallest yet hardest of all words to say. Youth especially have trouble saying it. We have trouble with it because we all want popularity, success, and happiness. To say no increases the poss...

How to Handle Temptation

For more than 20 years as a minister, I have been trying to help people with troubles. Very often they are in trouble simply because they don’t know how to handle temptation. Temptation is universal and as old as the Garden of Eden. Much of your happiness depends on your ability to handle it instead of letting it handle you. Here are four rules that will help y...

The Secret to Victorious...

Joe Louis complained to his manager, Mike Jacobs, when he lost the world’s heavyweight boxing title: “You can’t do it when you don’t got it.” It’s as true in living the Christian life as it is in boxing—you’ve got to have power to be successful. God never intended you to live the Christian life in your own strength. I m...

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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