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The Keeper of the Keys

As we approach another New Year we are again aware that the future holds many mysteries for us. Will it be a year of poverty or prosperity? Will it be a year of happiness or sorrow? Will it be a year of life or death? Who knows? While we do not know what the future holds, we can know who holds the future. The future is in God’s hands.

The Romans named January for Janus, the Roman god of portals. He was depicted as a two-faced, one-headed being who could look forward and backward at the same time. In his hand are keys for according to their superstitious mythology he is in charge of all doors, entrances, and gates.

If they had only known it, the Keeper of the Keys is not Janus but Christ. In fact, the Bible often describes Christ as “He that hath the keys.”

Christ holds the keys of life and death. Your life is continually in his hands. He alone has the power to give life or to take it away.

Christ holds the keys to heaven and hell. He alone has the power to open to you the door of eternal life. No person reaches heaven except through him.

Christ holds the keys to future opportunities. It is Jesus who is “He that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.”

If the English word for doorkeeper “janitor” is a derivation from Janus, why not Christianize the idea this January by making Christ himself the "janitor" of our lives at the opening of every day and every door of the year? 

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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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