Jan 26 2010

Love Dare - Day 21

Love is Satisfied in God

 

The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire. – Isaiah 58:11

 

Day 20 was a vitally important day in the Love Dare – and in your life.  You came face-to-face with the glaring need of every human heart.  And perhaps for the very first time, you became aware of how personal this need really is.  You may have realized that nothing in your toolbox of talents and resources could repair the damage that sin leaves, and that Jesus is the only One who can supply what you’ve been missing.  If you’ve received Him by faith and have turned your life over to Him to manage and lead, then His Holy Spirit is renewing your heart.  His wisdom, grace, and power can now be released into everything you do.  Including, not the least, your marriage.

 

But whether this is new territory for you or if you’ve been a follower of Jesus for quite a while, now is the time for you to firm up one thing in your mind: you need God every single day.  This is not a part-time proposition.  He alone can satisfy, even when all else fails you.

 

Your husband may be late coming home.  Again.  But God will always be right on time.

 

Your wife may let you down.  Again.  But God can always be trusted to deliver on His promises.

 

Every day you place expectations on your spouse.  Sometimes they meet them.  Sometimes they don’t.  But never will they be able to totally satisfy all the demands you ask of them – partly because some of your demands are unreasonable, partly because your mate is human.

 

God, however, is not.  And those who approach Him in utter dependence each day for the real needs in their life are the ones who find out just how dependable He is.

 

Can your spouse give you an inner peace?  No.  But God can.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

 

Can your spouse enable you to be content no matter what life throws at you?  No.  But God can.  “In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled … I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

 

There are needs in your life only God can fully satisfy.  Though your husband or wife is able to complete some of these requirements – at least now and then – only God is able to do it all.  Your need for love.  Your need for acceptance.  Your need for joy.  It’s time to stop expecting somebody or something to keep your functioning and fulfilled on a non-stop basis.  Only God can do that as you learn to depend on Him.  But He wants to do it His way.  “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

 

The needs of love, peace, and adequacy are real.  No one is saying you shouldn’t have them.  But rather than plugging into things that are unstable at best and are subject to change – your health, your money, even the affections and best intentions of your mate – plug into God instead.  He’s the only One in your life that can never change.  His faithfulness, His truth, and His promises to His children will always remain. That’s why you need to seek Him every day.

 

Our only reason for not doing this is because we really don’t trust God to supply what we need.  And yet the Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).  When we are seeking Him first, loving Him first, making our relationship with Him top priority, He promises to supply us with what we really need – which, actually, is all it really takes to satisfy us.

 

Jesus once spoke to a woman at a Samaritan well, a woman who had tried getting her needs met through a string of failed relationships.  With both her life and water bucket empty, she had come to this place broken and hardened yet still desperately in need.  But in Christ she found what He called “living water” (John 4:10) – a supply that wasn’t just for quenching temporary thirst.  What He offered her was a drink of soul satisfaction that never quits giving and refreshing.  And that is what’s available to you each morning at sunrise and each night before bed, no matter who your spouse is what they’ve done to you.

 

God is your everyday supply.  Of everything you need.

 

Today’s Dare

 

Be intentional today about making time to pray and read your Bible.  Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day (there are thirty-one – a full month’s supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).  As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you.  This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

 

 

You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.  (Psalm 145:16)

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.   Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

 

 

 

Jan 26 2010

The Fly Lady

We chatted once again with our friend "The Fly Lady".  She's got great insight into more than just cleaning your house, but making it "shine". 

Jan 26 2010

Visiting Orphans

Find out more about their work in Haiti here...

Tags:
Categories:
Actions: Permalink | Tell A Friend! | Comments (7) | RSS comment feed Comment RSS
Jan 25 2010

Love Dare - Day 20

Love is Jesus Christ

 

While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.Romans 5:6

 

The previous day and dare lead to no other conclusion that this.  Thankfully, it’s a conclusion you can live with—today, tomorrow, and forever.

 

Jesus has come “to seek and to save” you (Luke 19:10).  Everything you’ve failed at and haven’t been able to do, every minute you’ve wasted trying to fix things your own way—all of it can be forgiven and made right by putting your life into the hands of the One who first gave it to you.

 

Maybe you’ve never done this.  Then today is your day.  “Now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

 

Maybe you did it years ago, but you’ve wandered far from your spiritual roots.  Then “repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).  Even if you’ve already made Christ your way of life and have never stopped walking in fellowship with Him, the following Scriptures will be a grateful reminder of all He’s done for you.

 

The Bible says we are sinful from birth, from the moment we arrive.  “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5).  “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6).  It’s not as though God sends innocent people to hell.

 

We deserve it.  We simply can’t be good enough to live with a pure and holy God. 

 

However, “God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (I John 4:9).  “Although He existed in the form of god, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant…He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).  “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (I Peter 2:24).  By His death, He made invalid the very idea that you are unloved and devalued.  If you ever feel that way, you’re not looking at the cross.  He proved His love for you there.

 

Love like this cannot be fully understood.  “One will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8).

 

Nor can love like this be earned.  “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

But it must be received.  “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

 

And when you have received this new life and love as your own, you are free to love in ways you’ve never been capable before.

 

“This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…This is His command; to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us” (I John 3:16, 23 NIV).  “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I John 4:8).

 

He was willing to love you even though you didn’t deserve it, even when you didn’t love back.  He was able to see all your flaws and imperfections and still choose to love you.  His love made the greatest sacrifice to meet your greatest need.  As a result, you are able (by His grace) to walk in the fullness and blessing of His love.  Now and forever.

 

This means you now share this same love with your spouse.  You can love even when you’re not love in return.  You can see all their flaws and imperfections and still choose to love.  And though you can’t meet their needs the way God can, you can become His instrument to meet the needs of your spouse.  As result, he or she can walk in the fullness and blessing of your love.  Now and till death.

 

True love is found in Christ alone.  And after you have received His gift of new life by accepting His death in your place and His forgiveness for your sins, you are finally ready to live the dare.

 

TODAY’s DARE

 

Dare to take God at His Word.  Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation.  Dare to pray “Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner.  But You have shown Your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and You have proven Your power to save me from death by Your resurrection.  Lord, change my heart, and save me by Your grace.”

 

Write about what this experience has been like for you.  Even if you are only renewing your commitment to receive and express His love, what has He shown you today?

 

In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them.  (Isaiah 63:9)

 

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.