What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

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Excerpted from the Focus on the Family broadcast “Friendship or Flirtation: Danger Signs for Couples” featuring the Rev. Dave Carder.

19 Dangerous Behaviors

  1. Saving topics of conversation for your “special friend.”
  2. Sharing spousal difficulties with your friend (e.g., “My husband (or wife) never … “).
  3. Allowing the friend to share their relationship difficulties with you (e.g., “My boy/girlfriend always … “).
  4. Anticipating seeing this person more than your spouse.
  5. Comparing the friend and your spouse (“If only my spouse was nicer to me like s/he is … “). Continue reading What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

Divorce and “Blame”

My parents divorced when I was one year old.  I grew up without my father.  My wife’s parents divorced when she was eleven.  We have both been damaged greatly by divorce.  We hate divorce!

But I have to admit it: I must be a wimp; I have never preached on divorce.  In every congregation I have been in there have been people who are divorced.  And I fear I would upset them if I preached on the topic.  I’m not avoiding the topic, but I’m glad that it hasn’t come up so far in the books I have preached on.

Continue reading Divorce and “Blame”

A Scriptural Formula For Holy Living

Aaron Armstrong, author of Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, posted this last week over at Blogging Theology. I found this personally helpful; perhaps you will also.

“In his book Living for God’s Glory, Joel Beeke offers several diagnostic questions based on 1 Corinthians that provide, as he calls it, a biblical formula for holy living before God and man. When contemplating a course of action, he suggests we test it with these questions: Continue reading A Scriptural Formula For Holy Living

A Handbook of Enemy Strategies

Written by John Piper

A wartime mindset must include shrewd knowledge of enemy tactics: , “Take no part in unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Christianity stands or falls with the reality of Satan and demons. Why? Because Jesus spent his whole ministry fighting them. If they are not real he is reduced to a comic figure.

What is Satan’s aim and his strategies?

He is the Father of lies.
His nature is falsehood! He only speaks the truth in order to deceive.

Therefore, his chief enemy is truth – he opposes God’s word.

He casts doubt on God’s goodness.
He destroys the obedience of faith.

Continue reading A Handbook of Enemy Strategies

11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Liar Liar

*Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book, The Day American Told the Truth, says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.

*Our Daily Bread

**The three most commonly told lies.

1. “Gee, you haven’t changed a bit”

Continue reading Liar Liar

70 Resolutions – Johnathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century revivalist, sat down at age 17 and penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. He added to this list until, by his death, he had 70 resolutions. Edwards didn’t casually make New Year’s resolutions with an expectation of eventually breaking them. Each week he did a self-check. He regularly summed up how he was doing and sought God’s help in the process.

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Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one sitting in New Haven in 1722

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.  Remember to read over these resolutions one a week.

1.    Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

2.    Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.

Continue reading 70 Resolutions – Johnathan Edwards

11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation

I’ve recently been speaking with people who are rather complacent about their ‘faith’. They attend church occasionally, but are quick to say they are “not religious“. They then go on to propose what amounts to a “many roads lead to God” theory.

Although I cannot look at their hearts, these kinds of conversations lead me to conclude that, sadly, these are people with no relationship with God.

I then thought about my own faith. What characteristics are indicative of genuine salvation. Are these characteristics evident in my life? I came across the following list which was useful for me to evaluate the health of my relationship with God. Please understand that we are saved through faith alone and none of these indicators are a means of salvation, rather, they are indicative of the work done by God alone in our lives; they are the outcome not the means.

Continue reading 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation

Leading a Balanced Life

Straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Discipline is often frowned upon as a negative concept.

It often conjures images of punishment or oppressive patterns of rigid routines and daily deprivations that lead to a life of misery.

However, we need to look at discipline as a friend, not a foe. How does anyone reach their goals? – Through discipline. An athlete trains rigorously to reach their physical and competitive goals. A surgeon studies and practices for years before obtaining the necessary skills for their specified work.

Through discipline comes reward. For example, physical discipline through exercise and a balanced diet will bring us a fit body, increased energy levels, resistance to sickness, higher concentration levels and an improved self image. Continue reading Leading a Balanced Life

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

Your heavenly Father already knows all you needs, and He will give you all you need from day to dat if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Worry… surely one of the basic banes of humanity. How much time and energy do we spend worrying? Where does it get us? What good does it pose?

Continue reading Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.