“The Helmet of Salvation” 4/04/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                   Image result for picture of the helmet of salvation Bible

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”  @  www.Godsmanforever.com

(revised from 1/19/2011)

“The Helmet of Salvation… Part 2 of God’s Armor” 

   (For the first  2 days writing…type 4/02-03/2017, as separate dates into the search window of   www.Godsmanforever.com)

Ephesians 6:17… And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (NKJV)

I woke up this morning, and before I even had a chance to ask God to guide me through this day, I knew what I was going to write on today… I had been writing about scripture in the Book of Romans, but was sidetracked by the Armor of God, each and every Christian should  be wearing as a complete set…all 6 pieces…(Ephesians 6:10-20)   [ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph6%3A10-20&version=ESV ]

In looking at my own weaknesses as a Christian, I am hopeful that others can find out what pieces they are missing of the “Whole Armor of God”, to be able to make a stand against Satan… To be Spirit filled on a more  consistent basis, I believe it’s necessary to be wearing God’s complete set of spiritual armor…   As Christians, any chinks in God’s armor will allow Satan in, and leave a crack in our fragile clay vessel… Our cup cannot be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, if we have any cracks in it…

The apostle Paul tells us in this, in…Ephesians 6:11… “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (NKJV)

The opening scripture talks about “the helmet of salvation”…   Salvation; or being saved by God’s grace, is all about obeying the Gospel of Christ…   We must understand the gospel, and respond to God’s calling…or we will be left to “die in our sins”, as the Apostle John pens this spoken by Jesus, in…  [See 1. Below for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ]

John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  (NKJV)

But once we are “Born Again” Christians, we must keep “the helmet of salvation” on 24/7…   Each and every day, we must be thankful for the grace God has gifted us with, as we have been accepted by Him into His family as a redeemed child of God…

As ambassadors of Christ, we must always look for opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and dying world around us…  This, for sure, was one of my major shortcomings for over 7 years, as I have previously confessed…because I allowed the Holy Spirit to take a back seat in my life…keeping me less than Spirit filled…Ephesians 5:18-20

Heavenly Father, being Spirit filled is what every Christian should strive to become on a consistent, but not perfect basis… Help each and every reader understand that Your complete set of spiritual armor is required, to protect us from Satan… It starts with “the helmet of salvation”… Help us Father to be striving to put on Your protective armor piece by piece…

Help us to realize that any chinks in our spiritual body armor will leave us vulnerable to Satan, and his bag full of tricks to deceive us…   Being Spirit filled is an ongoing, daily labor of love for You Lord, as Your obedient children walk in the Spirit…Galatians 5:16…   Help us Father, to keep our fragile clay vessel filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit…  I pray for this fullness of Christ within each and every one of us, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake I pray…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,   bruce

 

References:

 

  1.  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+the+helmet+of+salvation+Bible&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSpOXs24rTAhVG0iYKHYAKD10QsAQIGQ&biw=1126&bih=686#imgrc=Hvsl7EgqC555oM:

 

 

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“FEAR NOT’ 12/14/2018 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional    

                      Image result for image perfect love casts out fear Bible

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2018/12/13/fear-not-6/

 

FEAR NOT

quote_dec19

Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Don’t worry,

Don’t be afraid,

It’s going to be fine,

Fear not….

How many times have you said those words to someone or even verbalized them to yourself?  We all go through times of fear and worry.  It’s all part of our human make up.  Still its difficult to imagine being out in the middle of nowhere, tending a flock of sheep, when suddenly the heavens are brightened by one single star and hosts of angels join in amazing songs.  Picture yourself being confronted by the angel of God – an actual messenger from heaven – and gaining your composure instantly.  I think the natural inclination would be to be scared out of our wits.

The idea of heavenly visions might seem like hallucinations.or being in another zone or space.  It’s almost unworldly, but the fear remains.  If I as approached by a heavenly being in the middle of a nothing kind of day, my first inclination is not to say, “Hi, angel of God, how’s it going?”  I’d be scared to death, just like most normal human beings are when confronted with the unknown.

It’s funny how God uses these confrontations to actually calm an individual and give them the strength they need to go through what lies ahead.  Zachariah was going about his duties in the temple when the angel approached him to reveal that his wife would bear a son in her old age.  Daniel was protected by an angel when thrown into the lion’s den.  Moses heard the voice of God as he was directed to approach pharaoh and take his people out of slavery.  An angel appeared to Joseph and Mary as they were told that Mary would have a son and He would be called Immanuel.  During each of those encounters, the angel or God Himself would utter the words, “Do not be afraid.”

In our human way of thinking, we would wonder what was going on.  We might think we’re crazy or had a bit too much wine, or we’re simply overworked, but if we were in the presence of God and His holy angels, it would be difficult not to be afraid.

Still those words of consolation and encouragement allow us to accept what is about to happen without question.  I think that’s what God wants from us – complete submission and dependence on Him.  Of course He’s given us a free will.  We can still make our own decisions and feel the natural fear that comes along with such and event.  Fear gets the adrenaline pumping and you have the energy to complete God’s plan for your life.

When we tell our children not to be afraid, we’re assuring them that,

we have their backs,

we love them and don’t want to see them suffer,

we wish to give them confidence in their own abilities, but also remind them who is in their midst and in charge.

God in his wisdom and might, does the same thing for all of us.

If we remember that God is in complete control of our destiny, we have absolutely nothing to fear.  As the perfect Father, we know that He will never let us down.  Even though the situation may be difficult to understand, we know that our God is at our side and will never forsake us.  Don’t be afraid.  God has this!

 

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&biw=1050&bih=876&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=YaETXP60EYSyggfsxY3YBQ&q=image+perfect+love+casts+out+fear+Vible&oq=image+perfect+love+casts+out+fear+Vible&gs_l=img.3…11813.26449..26914…0.0..1.119.2773.38j3……1….1..gws-wiz-img…….0j35i39j0i8i30j0i30j0i67j0i5i30j0i24.y2ksbKuB5uk#imgrc=dcef4vRJMoIt7M:

 

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“God’s Ways are Everlasting” 12/13/2018 Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”  @  http://info.truthforlife.org

Original post @  https://info.truthforlife.org/devo-dec12-2018?ecid=ACsprvt6R7mmb43L1TCUV4Op25HeYnBoq4h7WCkopxV3Phooe241TeWSuJiDFg5gjCD6Nt_ODH7o&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=68225152&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–LSmvvBLirerStIA4-XmxhHUEFYDZXxWi5ze14cSr5nmedUeJ2NoZVH-kQ1jNscjut3c3F08JgjUmmNcH2rAuVgqroIMKLWKG8Cfh-VDTkgIu3qgg&_hsmi=68225152

DAILY DEVOTIONAL DECEMBER 12, 2018

God’s Ways are Everlasting

 

They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord.
Hosea 5:7

Believer, here is a sad truth! You are the beloved of the Lord, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on your way to heaven, and yet you “have dealt faithlessly” with God, your best friend; faithlessly with Jesus, to whom you belong; faithlessly with the Holy Spirit, by whom you have been born again to life eternal! How faithless you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember your love in the early days, that happy time, the springtime of your spiritual life? How closely you held to your Master then, saying, “He will never charge me with indifference; my feet will never grow slow in the way of His service; I will not allow my heart to wander after other loves; in Him is blessing I could ever enjoy. I give up everything for my Lord Jesus’ sake.” Has it been so? Sadly if conscience speaks, it will say, “He who promised so much has performed so little. Prayer has frequently been slurred—it has been short but not sweet, brief but not fervent.

Communion with Christ has been forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been earthly preoccupations, foolish vanities, and evil thoughts. Instead of service, there has been disobedience, instead of fervency lukewarmness, instead of patience petulance, instead of faith self-reliance; and as a soldier of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree.”

“They have dealt faithlessly.” Faithless to Jesus! What words shall be used in denouncing this? Words are cheap: Let our penitent thoughts condemn the sin that is so surely in us. Faithless to Your sacrifice, O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be faithless to Him who never forgets us, but who to this day stands with our names engraven on His breastplate before the eternal throne.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?q=image+God%27s+ways+are+everlasting&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiC4cHZ4JvfAhUQUt8KHQGBCSEQsAR6BAgEEAE&biw=1258&bih=761#imgrc=Q4ZSSWPQLR1eAM:

 

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“Joy must be experienced” 12/12/2018 Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House”  @  https://melwild.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://melwild.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/joy-must-be-experienced/

 

Joy must be experienced

Here’s the crazy thing. I’m using words to explain something that’s non-verbal. I’m talking about joy. Our “joy center” or joy receptor, if you will, resides in the right side of our brain (technically, the right orbital prefrontal cortex), which is the non-verbal part. Words may lead us to joy, but joy itself can only be experienced. 

Where we experience joy, where our brain thinks about what is “me,” is not formed at birth. This part of the brain gets developed during the first 24 months of the baby’s bonding process as the mother bonds with the child through smell, taste, temperature regulation, touch, visual, voice tone, which are all non-verbal. As Dr. Wilder said in his lecture “Developing Joy Strength“:

“All of this is interpreted on the right side of the brain. And words are interpreted on the left side of the brain. If you’ve ever heard someone say to you, “It wasn’t what you said but the tone of your voice…”, what they are saying is that our voice tone didn’t make them feel that you were glad to be with them. Bonding is based on voice tone (or sparkle in our eye), not on words.  This is the only thing that motivates children under one year old. This is the difference between the left and right brain interpretation.”

You’ve probably heard about studies done concluding that most communication is non-verbal. The popular figure quoted is that 93% of communication is non-verbal. Regardless of the actual number, these studies, along with our understanding of where joy effects the brain, made me think about how God usually communicates with me. It’s usually a split-second impression of inspiration which I will attempt to put words to afterward, oftentimes very inadequately.

So, I wonder, did God actually download words into my verbal left-brain or did He simply impress something in my right-brain “joy center” and I attempted to use words to describe the experience after the fact? I would say upon reflection that the latter oftentimes seems more true. Now, I believe God can use actual words to communicate with us, but I think the deepest and most inspirational things are non-verbal because our identity and joy centers are much deeper and non-verbal in nature (more on that next time).  As the psalmist tells us….

11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

This is also why the Bible text cannot simply be read to be properly understood. We must undergo Scripture. In other words, we let the Bible study us by applying it to our hearts which is brings about revelation and leads to our transformation.

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor.4:6 NKJV)

So, my point is this: joy must be experienced. You will not know the fullness of joy and pleasure found in the presence of the Lord unless you’ve actually opened your heart to the possibility and pursued it until it becomes your experience. As Paul said, it’s with the heart one believes. It’s only afterward that we use words to confess what we already know to be true.

10 The heart that believes in him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth gives thanks to salvation. (Rom.10:10 TPT)

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“The Coming King” 12/11/2018 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                    Image result for image who is this King of glory

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://davidkitz.blog/2018/12/11/the-coming-king/

 

The Coming King

(Verses 7-10)
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The L
ORD strong and mighty,
the L
ORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The L
ORD
 Almighty—
he is the King of glory 
(NIV).

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Mackenzie King Estate, Gatineau Park, QC — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Are you ready? The King is coming.

All of Psalm 24 is a psalm of anticipation. David, the shepherd king, is anticipating the arrival of the LORD. The LORD is coming to His city—to His temple. Have you prepared your heart and your mind for the moment of His arrival? Are you ready to receive Him as your King? He often shows up at the moment we least expect Him.

Undoubtedly, David, the warrior King, was reflecting on his own triumphant entry into the city after the defeat of his enemies in battle. But here in this psalm, he projects the victorious arrival of a much greater monarch—the King of glory.

There is a prophetic expectancy to this psalm that forms a very natural bridge to the Palm Sunday triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Jesus, the long anticipated King, came suddenly to His temple. Some were ready for Him; most were not. This should infuse our preparations for the King with an element of urgency. We can miss his appearing. Earlier in this psalm David asks, “Who may stand in his holy place?”

Purity of heart and action are essential. Blessing and vindication awaits those who seek His face. Again I ask, “Are you ready?” God can show up in your life today in an unexpected way. Will you recognize Him? Or like the busy people of Jerusalem will that moment pass you by? Will you be too caught up in buying and selling and the commerce of our times? Will you be too distracted by social media to recognize the medium of the Holy Spirit?

Lift up your head. Open your eyes. Take your attention off the mundane things of this world and focus the eyes of your heart on the Lord. Seek His face in your daily routine. The King of glory may be passing by today.

Response: Come, Lord Jesus, come. I open my heart and my mind to you. I want to see you at work in my daily circumstances. King of Glory, help me to anticipate your appearing in my life today. Grant me a pure heart so I can recognize your coming. Amen.

Your TurnHas the King of glory appeared in your life recently? What are you doing to prepare for Him?

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?q=image+who+is+this+King+of+glory&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiXvJb-4JffAhUJUt8KHdfSA7UQsAR6BAgEEAE&biw=1258&bih=761&dpr=0.8#imgrc=ZqMnMP6xT_Hx0M:

 

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“Faith In Action – Blessed are Peacemakers” 12/10/2018 Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                                       Image result for image mat 5:9

Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog”  http://afriendofjesus2013.com/

View original post @   https://afriendofjesus2013.com/2018/12/09/faith-in-action-blessed-are-peacemakers/

 

Faith In Action – Blessed are Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
~ Matthew 5:9 ~


And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
~ James 3:18 ~

Reference scriptures to Matthew 5:9 (Hebrews 12:14)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
~ Hebrews 12:14 ~

Reference scriptures to James 3:18

The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.
~ Proverbs 11:18 ~

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
~ Isaiah 32:17 ~

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
~ Matthew 5:9 ~

Being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
~ Philippians 1:11 ~

It’s amazing to see the similarity across scriptures. Praise The Lord.

Make it a great day!

©Ann V Friend, afriendofjesus2013Blog, Aug 2013 to present.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=image+mat+5:9&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjEkbPUn5XfAhXqRd8KHTKyDFUQsAR6BAgGEAE&biw=1137&bih=877#imgrc=AZBGLrhZyfQ3EM:

 

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“Husbands and Wives” 12/09/2018 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

       Image result for image Eph 5:32-33

Posted by Don Merritt  for “The Life Project” @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/husbands-and-wives-3/

Husbands and Wives

Ephesians 5:21-33

With these verses, Paul moves from the general instruction about a Christian’s life to a more specific instruction, beginning with the relationship of marriage, a subject that he writes about in more than one letter, as you know. To be perfectly honest, these aren’t my favorite topics to blog about, for it’s easy to get the wrong impression about where this is headed; a post on this text tends to run a bit long as a result; even so, let’s try the short version today.

The main point to keep in mind as you read this, (ladies in particular) is that the relationship between husband and wife isn’t even Paul’s main point. Gentlemen, I think it is also very important that we recognize right off, that historical and cultural attitudes of the past might color our view of some of this, for over the centuries in male dominated societies, our forefathers sometimes ignored the rules of context here, preferring to seize upon certain verses to impose upon their wives some pretty idiotic ideas, ideas that are entirely in opposition to Paul’s teaching.

Yep, one of these days, I’ll do a series of posts, maybe a whole book on Biblical marriage; that’s probably what it would take to it justice. Biblical teachings on marriage aren’t what most people think they are, at least in my view, for they are always really about our relationships with God more than anything else.

Context: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (verse 21) Did you catch “to one another”?

Verses 22-24 are historically our favorite verses in the entire Bible to quote out of context: Yes sir, wives should submit to their husbands in everything! Ladies, please bear in mind that I usually refer to my wife as “She Who Must Be Obeyed”! Paul is using a cultural attitude from the first century Roman Empire to illustrate the relationship between Christ, represented here by husbands, and the church, represented by wives. He is not authorizing husbands to mistreat their wives, for that would be a violation of the marriage covenant.

Verses 25-31 are instructions to husbands, who are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church… “and gave Himself up for her.” Jesus gave up His very life on the cross for the church, and likewise, Paul is telling husbands they should give up their very lives for their wives. Most of the time, husbands don’t need to give up their physical lives for their wives, no it’s more like their will, ambitions and “self”. Thus, for a preacher to teach, and a Christian husband to assert domination over wives is purely a perversion of the text.

Wives give up self by submission, husbands give up self by devotion, and the result is a partnership, not domination; everybody wins.

Consider this: Isn’t this what we’ve been saying all along? Giving up self and serving others? Sounds like love doesn’t it?

The final two verses were seldom quoted in days gone by, and they aren’t always mentioned now either:

This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:32-33

You see, this whole conversation is about Christ and the church; marriage is supposed to be the illustration of that relationship, an illustration that we all recognize and understand, but thanks to the sinful nature of this world, it requires a lot more explaining than perhaps it used to in Paul’s day.

Oh yes, and by the way, husbands really should love their wives as they love themselves, and wives really should respect their husbands.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Pre-Marital Abstinence Makes the Married Heart Grow Stronger” 12/08/2018 Posted by Pastor Jim Lee for “THE DOMAIN FOR TRUTH”

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Posted by Pastor Jim Lee forThe Domain for Truth” @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/pre-marital-abstinence-makes-the-married-heart-grow-stronger/#more-21622

 

Pre-Marital Abstinence Makes the Married Heart Grow Stronger

Have you heard of the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”

For the Christian a related corollary would be “Pre-Marital Abstinence Makes Married Heart Grow Stronger.”

Christians who are in courtship: I want to encourage you to continue pursuing godliness even as you battle temptation.

Remember Pre-marital sex is a Sin

First off we must remember the Bible is clear: Pre-marital sex is a sin.  And for the Christian that means abstinence from sexual activities if one is not yet in the covenant of marriage.  Hear God’s Word: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6).

Packed in these verses are a lot of sobering truths.  Even as you wonder what God’s will is for your life, of whether the person you are courting will be your husband or wife don’t be so caught up looking for God’s will according to your expectation that you miss altogether what is God’s will laid out very clearly for you: God desires “that you abstain from sexual immorality” (v.3).  In case the readers need to know exactly what God means Paul goes on in verse 4 to say “that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” and this means being “not in lustful passion” (v.5).  Lest we think these are mere suggestions or no big deal there’s a reason given why this command is to be taken seriously: “because the Lord is the avenger in all these things” (v.6a).

Again sobering words.  For those of you who are Christians and are single and/or are courting someone: Is purity important to you?

Motivation: Negative and Positive Consequences

Yet I want to go on and make the point that obedience to God in this area does have its blessings.  We live in a time where only five percent of women are virgins before their wedding day.  It can be discouraging for both Christian men and women to go against the grain in the sex-crazed world that we live in.  But sometimes knowing that obedience does bring about blessings is an additional motivation for us to pick up our cross and follow Him, even in the hard areas of live such as purity and holiness.

Negative Consequences with disobedience

Let’s begin with the stick before the carrot.  I like how the King James phrased Proverbs 13:15: “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.”  Note that the way of a sinner is hard.

For decades now there are countless studies that has confirmed that Premarital Sex and Greater Risk of Divorce.  For instance a 2011 study found that “females who first had sex in their teens had roughly double the risk of divorce later in life compared to women who had their first unmarried sexual experience in their adult years.”  These studies over various decades do confirm that the sinful lifestyle of fornication does have consequences as Proverbs 13:15 stated.

Positive Consequences with obedience

At the same time those who have no other sex partner besides their spouse have a lower risk of divorce in marriage.  Again multiple studies have confirmed this finding.  It isn’t just marriage not ending in divorce; studies have also confirmed “In general, couples who wait to have sex later in their relationship report higher levels of marital quality.

It’s true: Pre-Marital Abstinence Makes Marriage Longer and Stronger.

Explanation

Various explanations have been given by those making these studies.  For instance concerning the quality of marriage being at a higher level for those who refrain from sex in their relationship this possibility is given: “some people who are already more likely to struggle in romantic relationships—such as people who are impulsive or insecure—are also more likely to have casual sex.

Here is also another interesting attempt at an explanation:

How can these findings be explained? It’s easiest to make sense of the low divorce rates of people with minimal sexual experience prior to marriage. Obviously, one of the most common reasons for premarital abstinence is religion, and NSFG data support such an interpretation.2 Figure 2 shows that women who marry as virgins are far more likely than other women to attend church at least once a week. It’s also noteworthy that virgin marriages increasingly became the domain of religious women between the 1980s and 2000s—and during the same years, the divorce rate for virgin brides continued to drop. These findings make sense in light of the fact that people who attend church frequently have lower divorce rates than do non-participants.

Notice the recognition of the dimension of religious beliefs at play.  I think the religious dimension must not be dismissed.

There’s many more explanations being offered than I can cover in this blog post.  But I like how many of these explanation note it isn’t just pre-marital abstinence miraculously making marriage stronger and longer.  Much more background factors is at play.

For the Christian I think there’s another aspect to all of this of when two Christians choose to abstain from sex before marriage.  Let’s be honest the temptation is real.  Yet when two Christians commit to the goal of resisting temptation there is a sense in which both have forgo putting themselves first (selfishness) and put God as first in their life.  Obviously selfishness is a poison to marriage but when couples display selfishness in courtship with the hard things such as sexual temptation that virtue of putting others first (God, their partner) before self is going to help that marriage.  I also believe that theology is important here.  As I have talked about elsewhere God is the most easiest Being to love.  So if someone truly loves God he or she is able to see the good (that is, virtues) in others.  That’s a plus in marriage when someone looks at their spouse and has reasons to be thankful and not just complaining.  He or she is not only thankful for that person but is further thankful to God and their thankfulness to God further fuel their motivation to love their spouse since the spouse is a gift from the Lord.  Furthermore if one loves God there are various attributes of God and God’s work through the Gospel that further fuels the spouse in lovingly obeying God to love and serve their spouse even when their spouse is being difficult.  While not easy there is the joy in the Lord for even Christians in a difficult marriage.

Does “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”  I think sometimes it does.  Yet abstinence makes the heart grow fonder too.  That is abstinence before marriage makes the married heart grow fonder and stronger which also means when all things are constant the marriage last longer too.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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