"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Staying Together Is a Choice

Love suffers long and is kind…
[love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4, 7-8

Today I know a couple who is going through a rough time in their marriage. I won’t name them or give away any clues as to who they are, but this post is for them.

Over the last few months, I have come to know about a very wise and influential couple. Neither one of them have ever met me. They do not know my name or have any clue that I know theirs. However, God has been using them in a great and mighty way in my life. Here is what their daughter recently had to say about their marriage of nearly forty years:

My parents would NEVER want me to say they had the perfect marriage. No one does. It’s how they handled the bad WHEN it came. And believe me, it came to our house on more than one occasion.

It was the CHOOSING love and grace when anger and walking away was more logical. In our society today, we hear the question “why get married?” For my parents, it was a commitment they made that enabled them to stay together even when times were tough. And 40 years later, we can look back and learn from this strong commitment.

I am thankful I was able to learn so much from them. They demonstrated love in the most beautiful ways. In the most quiet ways. At the end of my Mother’s life, I have never seen such love between 2 people, and it had nothing to do with flowers, cards, or dates. It was the “being there” when nothing was left but the bad. It was one taking care of the other in the most humbling of ways. It was one depending on the other with as much faith as she had. They are love personified, and it is a privilege to say I have been there to witness it.*

I may not be married myself, but I have been around the block enough to know that staying together is a choice. It is a mindset. “It [is] choosing love and grace when anger and walking away [is] more logical.”

The couple who makes staying together their only option will stay together until death separates them for only a little while. That is not to say that they will never have problems. They will have problems. As my friend has said, it is how we handle the bad when it comes. Our problems may be too big for us to fix on our own, but God is still in the restoration business. It has always been His goal to restore relationships; not tear them apart or throw them away. If we will take our problems to Him, He has promised to fix them. But we have to listen. We have to trust. We must obey Him.

Maybe you’re here today and you are walking through the valley of the shadow of divorce. Maybe your face is so close to the wall that you don’t know what color it is. If that’s the case, I can’t help you. I’ve not been there. I don’t have that kind of experience. But Jesus knows what you’re going through. He knows you better than you know yourself. And He is calling to you, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Don’t run away. Don’t part. Rather, cling to the one whom you vowed to love, honor, and cherish till death do you part, and cling also to Jesus for He is the only one who has the power to sustain you and save your marriage.

If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know the hope that I have spoken of today. However, there is a way for you to know that hope today. Two thousand years ago Jesus died on an old, rugged cross for your sins and for mine. Three days later He rose from the dead, defeating Hell and the grave. It was that same restoration power that He wants to use to restore and heal your broken home. Will you trust Him today? If you will simply turn from all sin and trust in Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jesus, the Door

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
John 10:9

A door can mean many things. Doors serve as entrances. Doors serve as exits. But more importantly doors serve as protectors. In the summer doors keep out the heat. In the winter doors keep out the cold. During storms doors keep out the wind and the rain. Doors also keep out all those pesky critters—including the human variety—that would invade our homes in the event of their absence. I am convinced that when Jesus said, “I am the door,” He was thinking of all of the above and more. My friend, Jesus is the ultimate door—He is the door to life.

What a wonderful thought it is to think of Jesus as “the door.” And I can never think of Jesus as “the door” without thinking of the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. When Joseph was tempted, he did not stick around to work things out. No. He literally ran for the door, leaving all else behind. And that is what we can do with Jesus. He is the door out of tribulation and into a beautiful haven of rest.

Today, you may be struggling, but Jesus is saying to you, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). No matter what you are facing in this life, I promise you that, if you will go to Him, He will shelter you.

Maybe you’re here today and you have never given your heart and your life fully over to Jesus Christ. If that is the case, you need the door of salvation. My friend, Jesus is that door. He promised that, “if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” So what are you waiting for? If you will simply turn from all sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.