Tag Archives: marriage

1 Chronicles 13, 14; James 1; Amos 8; Luke 3

But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you. But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. Such doubters are thinking two different things at the same time, and they cannot decide about anything they do. They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5-8 (NCV)

As I think about the word wisdom, I am struck that wisdom is so much more than simply being intelligent. I can be educated, well-studied, but that doesn’t mean that I am wise. I can have common sense, street-smarts as it were, but it doesn’t mean that I have wisdom.

Wisdom is defined as the ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight in a situation. It is using the education I have received through schooling and through life experience in the context of the circumstances I am living through right now. But it shouldn’t start there; it should start with a conversation with the Lord; it should start with His Living Word.

This verse in James reminds me that if I need wisdom in any situation, all I need to do is ask God and believe that He will give it to me. I need to trust that He will give me the wisdom that I require in every circumstance. He is all-knowing, all-seeing and desires to help me through all of the events of my life. He has all of the answers and is just waiting for me to ask Him for help.

David asked God, “Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, I will hand them over to you.” 1 Chronicles 14:10 (NCV)

Soon the Philistines attacked the people in the valley again. David prayed to God again, and God answered him, saying, “Don’t attack the Philistines from the front. Instead, go around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then attack. I, God, will have gone out before you to defeat the Philistine army.” David did as God commanded, and he and his men defeated the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 1 Chronicles 14:13-16 (NCV)

Throughout David’s life, he consistently looked to God for wisdom and God gave it to him. He asked God for help. He asked God what he should do, what steps he should take. And, when he asked, God gave him instructions, detailed directives in everything, from how to slay Goliath when he was a youth to how to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem after he became king. Repeatedly, David asked for wisdom in how to defeat the Philistines in battle, and God never failed to share with him the way to gain victory over Israel’s enemy.

In Luke, as John the Baptizer began paving the way for Christ, he brought conviction to the hearts of the people. As John preached about changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins, the people began looking to him for answers. They asked him, “What should we do?” and because of His dedication to God, he was able to give them godly counsel to demonstrate their transformation.

The Lord God says: “The days are coming

when I will cause a time of hunger in the land.

The people will not be hungry for bread or thirsty for water,

but they will be hungry for words from the Lord. Amos 8:11 (NCV)

In Proverbs it shares that ONLY God gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. I can look to a book, to education, or to another person, but the One who IS Wisdom, is the only one who can impart strategic wisdom for my specific situation. And I can receive that wisdom by asking Him and then listening to and obeying His response.

As I remember to look to God first for wisdom in every aspect of my life, He will help me apply the earthly knowledge that I have by giving me better understanding of the state of affairs by giving me directions, by guiding me in each step I need to take.

Yesappa, Thank You for providing for ALL of my needs, especially my need for Your wisdom for the various circumstances of my life. Lord, I ask for wisdom in what steps to take in managing my home well. I ask for wisdom in my relationship with my husband, my marriage. I ask for wisdom in parenting my children. I ask for wisdom to help me survive and thrive each day, to not feel overwhelmed in the day to day of life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Joshua 11; Psalms 144; Jeremiah 5; Matthew 19

Jesus answered, “Surely you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, ‘he made them male and female.’ And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.’ So there are not two, but one. God has joined the two together, so no one should separate them.” Matthew 19:4-6 (NCV)

This verse resonated with me so much today – the verses Jesus chose to repeat concerning marriage…the two will become one, a joining made by God.

After being apart for a year, my husband and I were reunited this week. More than 24 hours of travel over half of the world towing two children, eight pieces of luggage, two carry-ons, two personal items, two car seats and a double stroller; I felt a little bit like Noah, but my ‘ark’ was an airplane. It was brutal, and yet as I saw my husband’s face, the reactions of seeing his youngest daughter for the first time and hearing his oldest say, ‘There’s Daddo’ and offer up hugs and kisses, the journey to be reunited was  worth every moment. My anxieties dissolved in those moments of reconnect.

So far over these past two days, as we have been readjusting to the time difference, the heat, the food, the cultural differences, etc., God has been supernaturally rejoining us together as husband and wife and as family. He has helped me understand more fully how the miracle of His joining us can withstand so much as long as He is our focus. Our joining has withstood more time apart than together, and yet despite the distances, our spirits have never been apart.

This joining is much like the link between me and Christ – a connection that will never be broken even when the circumstances of life try to separate us. When Jesus died for my sins and I made the choice to believe, an unbreakable bond was formed. We are no longer two, but one – He in me, and I in Him.

Yesappa, Thank You for becoming one with me. Thank You for joining my husband and I together and keeping us connected even when we have been separated by a half a world. Thank You for reuniting us and for blessing our union. I pray for your continued guidance, wisdom, grace, and love in our marriage, that our marriage will be a testimony for Your glory and goodness. Let no one separate us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Num. 9; Ps. 45; Song 7; Heb. 7

Yesterday was sunny as I smoothed the sheets and blankets over the bed. First my side, then my husband’s. And as I fluffed and arranged his pillow, I thought of a woman whose husband recently died after 50+ years of marriage. Thought of her making her bed that morning, and of her lingering over the spot where her beloved once lay just a short time before–gone now, for the rest of her days.

Psalm 45 and Song of Solomon 7 speak to me of love and celebration. One of a king and queen.

10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
    Forget your people and your family far away.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord. Psalm 45:10-11 NLT

Another of poetic and binding love.

10 I am my lover’s,
    and he claims me as his own. Song of Solomon 7:10 NLT

Numbers 9 has celebration–of the second Passover. The passing over of death. God makes a way for everyone to celebrate–from the unclean to the foreign.

He makes that way for us still–we who are unclean and foreign.

24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever. Hebrews 7:24-28 NLT.

Jesus, thank you–thank you for interceding on our behalf, for taking our sin to save us from an eternal death. Thank you for love stories, and faithful brothers and sisters. Thank you that you are with us in suffering.

Courtney (66books365)

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Nehemiah 4-6; Revelation 17

What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall…Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble–burned as they are? ~ Nehemiah 4:2

 The story in Nehemiah chapters 4-6 is about rebuilding a wall. By replacing the word “wall” with “marriage” then Nehemiah’s battle is no different than what many married couples face today: opposition from the enemy.  After being married 8 years and doing marriage counseling for 4, I can attest that the enemy uses similar lies against marriages.

In Nehemiah 4:1-2, it’s easy to see that when we obey God’s call to take a stand for our marriages, the enemy will attack us full-force, trying to cause us to doubt our spouses’ intentions and to eventually quit.  Instead, we should follow the words of Nehemiah, “’Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for…your wives and your homes.’ When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work,” (4:14-15)  When we are aware of the enemy’s schemes, we can more easily fight through it and return to rebuilding and strengthening our marriages.

Father God, I pray that marriages would be strengthened, that couples would stand with each other against their real enemy.  It’s when our spouses are at their weakest that they need our love, encouragement, and support all the more.  Help us all to see past the lies of the enemy and to take a stand for our gift from God: our spouse.

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” ~ Nehemiah 6:9

Heatherpotts5

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1 Chronicles 7, 8, 9; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40

“I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (MSG)

This group of verses stood out to me in today’s reading, mainly because I have been struggling in the area of family distractions a lot over the past 2+ years since I got married and birthed my first child. At times, when I am feeling as dry as a desert, I have looked back to my past and yearned for what was – an abundance of time to spend in the Word and to pray for hours at a times, corporate prayer and worship, face to face time with my Almighty, silence to hear the still, small voice, etc. I look back on the closeness I felt with my Father, an intimacy that I miss deeply right now. I remember the lushness of that time as if it was an oasis in the middle of a wilderness.

During that time in my life, I lived out of personal experience and belief more based in tangible knowledge and involvement. It was just me and God. I could wrap my schedule around His little finger and had nothing to take me away from spending as much time as I wanted resting and being filled up with His presence. It was a time when, despite the normal fatigue of living life, I always had the energy to give to others from the abundance that I was constantly walking in.

Recently, I have been living in that place of faith in what is not seen or felt. I have to moment-by-moment choose to trust that God is there looking after me, protecting me, providing for me, and loving me in such a way that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I have to believe that when I complete my day-to-day tasks, honor my husband, and care for my daughter as unto the Lord, it is as incense to the Lord in the same way it was when I had the time to worship for hours playing the guitar and making a joyful noise. And as I pray minute-by-minute, I must have confidence that He will hear and answer my prayers as the prayers of fervent woman who could spend the whole day in the prayer room.

Now…don’t get me wrong…I would never want to give up being married to my loving husband, miss out on watching my beautiful 18 month old explore the world that God created with His words, or not have the opportunity to be anticipating the soon-coming of my second bundle of joy. But, what I hope and pray for is the divine wisdom to figure out the perfect balance of those two worlds – my past and my present – to be in an even deeper relationship with my God in the future.

Holy Spirit, thank you for Your grace and comfort. Please, be with me and guide me. Give me the wisdom I desire in how to carve out time for You in my hectic, exhausting, distracted days. I want more time with You. I want more of You. I want my relationship with You to be increasingly intimate. I want to feel Your tangible presence with me all the time. I want to more and more abide in You and You in me. In  Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Stateside

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