"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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Marriage: A Journey of Faith

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

If you are here reading this today and you are not already married, my guess is that you probably would like to be at some point in the future. If that is you, my goal in writing this blog post today is to challenge your reasoning for wanting to get married. If you want to get married simply because you don’t like the idea of spending the rest of your life alone, my friend, marriage is not the answer to loneliness. No. Marriage is first and foremost a journey of faith—two people coming together to serve God together in a way that they never could apart from one another.

In the beginning, when God created the first marriage, He said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:8, emphasis added). Notice there that God said that he would make for Adam a helper; He didn’t say lover. Most people today fall in love over moonlight and roses and think, “Oh, we’ll get married, and everything will be just hunky-dory.” However, once they get married, they find out that everything isn’t hunk-dory at all. That’s because that’s not how marriage works, folks. Marriage is when a man and a woman come together with the purpose of serving God and each other every day for as long as they both shall live.

Having said all that, you may be thinking, “Well, how do they do that”? First of all, they do it by illustrating the love of Christ for His church, the husband representing Christ and the wife representing the church. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Likewise, Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” That’s what marriage is. It is a reminder to the world of how much God loves His people and how we are to honor Him as our Heavenly Father. It is for this reason alone that God hates divorce.

Secondly, God calls husbands and wives to train up the next generation. Not only did God tell Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply,” but He instructs us in Proverbs 22:6 to “train up a child in the way he should go, [that] when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is why I will always believe that becoming a parent is so much more than a biological process. Simply put, parenthood is a calling. When God gives you a child, He expects you to bring up that child in His Word. If you don’t do that, you have failed as a parent.

Adrian & Joyce Rogers
Lastly, when God brings a man and woman together in marriage, He creates a ministry. Those two people are to minister to one another, growing closer to each other as they grow closer to the Lord. They are to pray together, study God’s word together, and serve others together. If you are married, you ought to be thinking of ways that you as a couple can reach this world for Christ. I will never forget hearing Adrian Rogers tell how he and his wife, Joyce, got down on their knees together on their wedding night and committed their marriage to the Lord. When God brings two people together in marriage, He brings them together for a purpose. It is up to you to find out what that purpose is and start working to fulfill it.

Maybe you are here today, and nothing I have said makes sense to you because you have never acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. If that is you, it is my earnest prayer that you will give your heart and your life to Him before it is eternally too late for you. Simply turn from all sin and trust Christ alone to save you. If you will do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Family After God’s Own Heart

And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king,
to whom also He gave testimony and said,
‘I have found David the son of Jesse,
a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
Acts 13:22

Today being the day after Valentine’s Day, I really wanted to write something concerning love, marriage, and family; however, as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t seem to find the words to say. Therefore I thought that I would post the below video of Jim Bob and Michele Duggar sharing their life-story. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve no doubt heard me say many times that marriage is first and foremost a journey of faith—two people coming together to serve God together in a way that they never could apart from one another. I’ve not encountered a couple yet who illustrates that concept and lives it better than Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

When it comes to marriage, there are two points in this video that really caught my attention. The first one is that Michelle realized that it was God’s will for her to marry a man who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and who talked about Him in such a way that revealed his overwhelming love for Him. Secondly, Jim Bob realized that it is God’s will for the husband to be the spiritual leader of the home. If you are thinking about marrying a person whose very presence does not cause you to hunger and thirst for the Lord Jesus and His Word, I can promise you on the authority of the Word of God that it is not God’s will for you to marry that person as they are.

When it comes to parenting, there is one major point that I got out of this video. That one point is that parenthood is a special calling; not something that just happens out of the blue. The Bible makes it plain that every child is formed by the hands of God with a very specific plan and purpose to fulfill. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” As God has a plan for all children, He also has a plan for all parents to “train up a child in the way he should go: [that] when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

When it comes to life, the one thing I took away from this video is to “cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). Michelle suggested that we let the joy of the Lord be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and I couldn’t agree more. Philippians 4:4 says to “rejoice in the Lord always.” God has blessed each and every one of us beyond measure. Even in our darkest moments, we can still praise His name, knowing that He will see us through.

Please take the time to watch this video. I get something new out of it every time I watch it. I’ll even let you in on a little secret—I’ve often said that I want to marry Michelle Duggar’s much younger twin. When you watch this video, I believe you’ll see why. The Duggars truly are a family after God’s own heart. I know you’re going to be blessed by their testimony.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Animal Crackers Were in Her Soup

Shirley Temple-Black
To this day, I remember very well the scene with a young Shirley Temple bouncing around a dining room full of kids, singing, “Animal crackers in my soup. Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop.” You see, my grandmother loved Shirley Temple and, on more than one occasion, forced me and my cousins to watch her films; although I can’t say that we ever really minded watching them. Today, in fact, I’m rather glad I can say that I’ve seen a Shirley Temple film or two, even though I can only remember one scene from one movie. Shirley Temple-Black is an American legend, and rightly so.

It has been said by former child actor Darryl Hickman that “Shirley’s gift to show business, to the United States, and to the movie-going public was a revelation of the creativity and the sense of joy and fun of childhood that is in each of us.” He then added, “I don’t think any child ever did that better than Shirley Temple.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt was even noted for saying, “As long as we have Shirley Temple, we’ll be alright.”

Shirley Temple, with her famous curls, brought hope to American movie-goers during the Great Depression. She later went on to serve her country as United States Ambassador to Ghana, Chief of Protocol of the United States, and, in 1989, she became the twenty-seventh United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. For over eighty years, Shirley Temple-Black served her country well.

Sadly, the lady once known as “America’s little darling” is no longer with us. Shirley Temple-Black passed away Monday night at the age of eighty-five. She is one of those very few Hollywood celebrities that we can say spent her life well, leaving this world with no known scandal attached to her name. As her mother often encouraged her to do, Shirley Temple truly sparkled. It is for that reason that I plan on sharing Shirley’s movies with my children, and I pray you will do the same.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

He Will Meet You Where You Are

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…
John 1:14

Have you ever put any thought into the fact that the King of Glory came to earth to trade streets of gold for roads of dirt and gravel? Have you ever put any thought into the fact that the God of the universe would trade eternal bliss for hunger, for thirst, for sorrow, for pain, for suffering, for temptation, etc.? The Bible says that Jesus was fully God and fully man. He didn’t allow Himself to be exempt from the struggle that we all face here below. And I can only ask myself “Why”?

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” That verse says it all, really. God is not some distant ruler who seeks to be appeased by outlandish rituals. He knew that our sin kept us from coming to Him, so He came to us, wrapped in flesh. He became one of us that we might become like Him.

He walked and He talked among men. He knew them personally. He knew them intimately. He was known as a friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). He touched the untouchable and loved the unlovable. He sought out the despised and rejected. He came “that they might have life,” He said, “and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

The woman at the well found that, when we are unwilling to search for Him, His is willing to search for us. My friend, no matter where you are in life, Jesus wants to meet you where are. You don’t have to get cleaned up. You don’t have to build an altar. All you have to do is acknowledge His presence right where you are, and He will meet you there.

Do you know the Lord today? I mean, do you know Him personally? If not, He gave His life that you may do so. Only through the shed blood of Jesus can we know Him. If you will turn from all sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever. Thank God He is a personal Savior!