Daily Devotions #101+

  • Devotion #101
    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV The plans for your life are declared by God. The plan for your spouse and for your marriage are declared by God. As I pause and meditate on those thoughts, I’m overwhelmed at the awesomeness of our God. The God who created the universe, who… Continue Reading →
  • Devotion #102
    Our stories have already been included in the greater redemption story of this world. God has a plan that is bigger than just us.
  • Devotion #103
    If we want to find the good God promises in our most difficult struggles, we have to stop focusing on our solutions to the problems, and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control.
  • Devotion #104
    Embracing God’s sovereignty should draw us to a place of complete humility and submission. It is in that humility that God can show up to grow an unshakable confidence in His faithfulness.
  • Devotion #105
    God’s plan is to grow us continually toward perfection. We may not like His plan for accomplishing that perfection, but I know with certainty that is His plan.
  • Devotion #106
    God doesn’t call us to do good when it’s easy for us. We need the reminder when it’s hard because He knows the good it will bring to us and to our marriage.
  • Devotion #107
    When we open up about where God has us, when we become transparent about the trials or the sin issues in our hearts, we often find others who have walked similar paths sitting in our presence. That’s God.
  • Devotion #108
    God is watching you, and He wants you to succeed at the Christian life. He wants to claim your marriage as a victory for Him.
  • Devotion #109
    God calls us to live in communities because He knows our need to encourage and support each other in our deepest and darkest valleys and to teach each other what we have learned from Him on the path.
  • Devotion #110
    God will provide a way of escape when we are walking through trials. The problem is we often miss the way of escape, and so our trials continue.
  • Devotion #111
    God promises to always provide an escape, and it’s very rarely an end to the marriage. His escape is almost always a promise to trust that He has a plan for your good if you walk through the struggle and not around it.
  • Devotion #112
    The Bible has a lot to say about complaining. We learn from reading Scripture that faithless complaining is called grumbling and vehemently warns us against it.
  • Devotion #113
    We are to raise our voices to God and tell Him of our troubles. He wants us to be raw and real, and He wants it to be out loud in fervent prayer.
  • Devotion #114
    God is never wrong, and He never wrongs anyone. His ways are right, and He is sovereign over every aspect of your life—even, and especially over your marriage.
  • Devotion #115
    God promises to be our refuge forever. He is a firm rock on which we can stand. He never shifts, He never crumbles, He is solid. He will provide you with everything you need to find joy and peace in this world.
  • Devotion #116
    When we sit down in prayer with God about the struggles in our marriage, we can confidently look to a future day when He will rescue us. He will provide what we need, He will heal our hearts, He will restore our bonds. We can trust God to rescue us.
  • Devotion #117
    We all love imperfectly because we all try to love others in our own power. We need to continually hold up God’s definition of love against what to world teaches us to find and fight the discrepancies.
  • Devotion #118
    Love always comes out on the other side of the challenge, it suffers through the conflict, it waits through the struggle so that it can celebrate in the change.
  • Devotion #119
    What is the difference between jealousy and envy? People tend to consider these two emotions synonymous and use them interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same.
  • Devotion #120
    God calls us to a life of humility, one where we are consistently putting others before ourselves. Our job to become keenly aware of where we fall short so that we can surrender our pride in confession and repentance.
  • Devotion #121
    Love does not insist on its own way. It takes a flexible mindset to be able to see things from another person’s perspective, to consider another person’s experiences, or to lay down what you think is best.
  • Devotion #122
    God doesn’t keep track of our sins against Him, we should not keep track of others. He chooses to show us grace. If we are to love like He does, we must choose to show grace in the same way to others in our lives.
  • Devotion #123
    Jesus didn’t just stand and weep when He encountered the wicked—He took a stand against unrighteousness. We are to respond in the same way.
  • Devotion #124
    The mark of a truly loving person is someone who will not wince or falter under pressure, but will lean in to brace the relationship when sufferings and afflictions hit. The enemy seeks to destroy and divide.
  • Devotion #125
    God’s Word challenges us to keep moving forward. There is such freedom in letting the past go and focusing on today. The past can bring discouragement, but there is hope in what lies ahead.
  • Devotion #126
    Regret over our actions allows us grieve the sin that exists in our hearts, and it can lead to transformation. Regret can humble us and lead us to repentance.
  • Devotion #127
    God is working on all those who believe at a different rate. If your spouse is a believer, you can bet that God is working on their hearts to reveal their sin to them, and He is using the very incident that caused you pain to do it.
  • Devotion #128
    It is only to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ that we can begin to release the past and find a way to live in the present. There is a grace available to you that frees you from living in the past.
  • Devotion #129
    The fight for God-honoring Marriage is a life-long battle. As a younger couple, you may look at more mature marriages and think they have “arrived”; that they are somehow closer to perfection, but you would be wrong. They still struggle with the flesh every moment of every day just like you do—the only difference is they know how to put on their battle gear.
  • Devotion #130
    Reliving hurtful moments brings us to a dangerous state of mind, and opens up an opportunity for the enemy to attack. Sins we have moved past or hurts we have forgiven suddenly become larger than life again, and we can develop a victim mentality focusing on all the things that have gone wrong.
  • Devotion #131
    God never looks at us and tells us we’ve been struggling too long with the same sin; He never throws His hands up because we’re struggling with a temptation that He thinks we should just get over; He never says that one sin is too great to forgive.
  • Devotion #132
    God designed marriage as a way to refine us, to sanctify us, to help us grow in His image. He knows the deceptive nature of our hearts won’t allow us to do that on our own, so He created marriage as a way to reveal our sin to us.
  • Devotion #133
    God designed marriage as a way to refine us, to help us clearly see our own hearts. We need our spouses to hold us accountable, and we need them to confront us with the truth about what’s in our hearts. Without that exhortation, we will not grow in the ways He calls us to grow.
  • Devotion #134
    Our relationship with Christ is broken when we are caught in sin. We grieve the Spirit living inside of us when we sin, making it more difficult to respond in a way that glorifies Christ.
  • Devotion #135
    We need to guard our hearts from the temptation to sin when approaching our spouse about their sin.
  • Devotion #136
    In order to fulfill the law of Christ, we must bear our spouse’s burdens. We are to help carry what weighs them down, but first, we need to understand their struggles.
  • Devotion #137
    We are warned to protect our hearts throughout scripture. This is because a sinful, unbelieving heart causes us to become insensitive to God. It is like cancer that slowly eats away at our ability to trust and rely on Him.
  • Devotion #138
    In order for us to exhibit the kind of life-altering patience it takes to save our marriages; we need to have faith in the power of God.
  • Devotion #139
    Our emotions can be windows into our hearts—they can reveal what our hearts cling to and worship. If we dig down beneath our strong emotions, we will find our idols.
  • Devotion #140
    God wants you to lean in to that difficult relationship and work toward peace—for that you will need to be strengthened by His Spirit. You can’t do it alone.
  • Devotion #141
    Marriage is hard. It is a constant battle and there are difficult people and difficult situations all around us. God never meant for us to do this in our own power.
  • Devotion #142
    We must start by understanding God alone is the source of love. He is the only kind of love that truly satisfies, the only kind of love that meets the hunger of our hearts.
  • Devotion #143
    God designed marriage because He knew putting you in a relationship with one person for the rest of your life would eventually break down the barriers that keep you from seeing your sinful heart.
  • Devotion #144
    True sacrificial love means we lay down what is important to us in favor of what is important to our spouses. We give up our point of view, our beliefs, our comforts, our expectations and we pick up theirs as valuable.
  • Devotion #145
    If we are to love as God loves us, we need to love our spouses unconditionally. We need to love them without any expectation of return and whether or not they deserve it.
  • Devotion #146
    When you love your spouse with the kind of love that can only come from God, they see Him in you. And when they experience God in this way, their hearts are softened and prepared for change.
  • Devotion #147
    If we are trying to define what love in our marriage should look like, we must start here: God is the very definition of love. We must look vertically before we can ever look horizontally to find the love our hearts desire.
  • Devotion #148
    We will never be able to love our spouses well until we remember how love was first demonstrated to us. Love is action.
  • Devotion #149
    Loving someone who fails to love you is significantly more challenging, but it’s what God calls us to do. It’s what He did for us.
  • Devotion #150
    If your desire is for your unbelieving spouse to accept Jesus as Savior, or for your spouse to grow in their small faith, then you need to love them with your actions.
  • Devotion #151
    God is visible when we sacrifice something to demonstrate love; when the gain is only for the other person, never for ourselves.
  • Devotion #152
    The mind has great power to remember what God has said about Himself and about us—that’s how we encourage His Spirit to grow within us, that’s how we find hope, that’s how we find love.
  • Devotion #153
    Remembering the love God has for us can soften our hearts toward our spouses when we’re caught in those trying moments.
  • Devotion #154
    Is there evidence of God’s Spirit in your marriage? He has given you of His Spirit—He has given you love and truth. Does His love and truth pour out of you?
  • Devotion #155
    Every single word we say, every single action we take, represents God to the witnesses around us. Even when we are sinned against, we must keep this truth in the front of our minds.
  • Devotion #156
    If we want to demonstrate the kind of refining love in our marriages God calls us to show, then we need to come back to this truth over and over again—we are a broken people in need of a Savior.
  • Devotion #157
    Because we have come to know and believe that the love God has for us is unwavering and relentless, constant and unchanging, unconditional and foundational, we can love our spouses well.
  • Devotion #158
    Perfected love is not a feeling, it is action. So, if the Spirit is moving within us, we see it in action toward our spouse.
  • Devotion #159
    Fear of the wrong things will keep you from becoming all God intends for you to be, and it will keep your marriage from becoming all that God intends for it to be for you. It will limit your potential and it will destroy your union.
  • Devotion #160
    When one spouse is controlled by an irrational fear, it dominates conversations and impacts decisions. This takes a toll on the receiving spouse, breaks down communication, and causes relational strife.
  • Devotion #161
    Biblically facing anxiety starts with identifying your fear and understanding the source. Most fears can be broken down into two categories—fear of something happening to us or our loves ones and fear of man.
  • Devotion #162
    Fear has the ability to destroy our peace of mind, so it has the ability to destroy the peace in our marriage. When your mind is consumed with a controlling fear, it can’t possibly be focused on serving the other person.
  • Devotion #163
    Living outside the parameters for which God created us will dissolve our confidence and increase our anxiety because we have taken the reigns from our Creator.
  • Devotion #164
    It is impossible to love others as God loves us without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We simply cannot put them first the way He calls us to love—our hearts are just too self-focused.
  • Devotion #165
    Consider how God wants us to love others well, consider how we can become the most loving person that all the people in our lives know, most especially our spouse.
  • Devotion #166
    Our response in every situation is to be love. When we don’t know what to do, we are to love. When we’re struggling with a decision, we are to love. When we are seeking advice about how to handle a difficult situation, we are to love.
  • Devotion #167
    Biblical love is returning harshness with kindness, neglect with compassion, betrayal with forgiveness. That’s the kind of love God showers on us every single day, and that’s the love He expects us to show His children.
  • Devotion #168
    God created us to be relational beings. From the very beginning, God created us to live in community—that means the relationships He allows in our lives have a transformational purpose. Even those difficult ones.
  • Devotion #169
    Forgiving our spouses when they have hurt us deeply is one of the most difficult things to do in our walk with Christ. How do we forgive offenses that cut us deep to our heart and soul?
  • Devotion #170
    Conflict demonstrates where we are not yet in line with God. In other words, the conflict in your marriage doesn’t only point to your spouse’s sin, it points to your sin.
  • Devotion #171
    The power love has to break down barriers, to change lives, to shine light into darkness is powerful. It is supernatural.
  • Devotion #172
    Biblical love is not a delight in who a person is, rather it’s a deeply felt commitment to helping the people in our lives be what they ought to be—a loved child of God.
  • Devotion #173
    Sacrificial love understands that God works on all of us in different ways and at different times. Sacrificial love doesn’t have any expectations for the way a person is supposed to behave, but rather focused on how we are supposed to behave.
  • Devotion #174
    If we are to love as God loves, we need to understand His love for us, and use that as a yardstick to ever deepen our love for our spouses.
  • Devotion #175
    Grace can be a hard thing to understand, and an even harder thing to give. The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process rather than a few dramatic events.
  • Devotion #176
    God wants us to be people who fervently love God and fervently love other people. Every single thing God teaches us in scripture flows from these two commandments—love Him and love each other. How can we not give them top priority?
  • Devotion #177
    God wants to bring His love to the world, and He promises to do it through you. When it seems like you should just give up, like you just can’t take another day, hang on to His love.
  • Devotion #178
    Nothing exposes the darkness of our hearts quite like being called to love. The reality is we fail at it every single day.
  • Devotion #179
    Our flesh has boundaries—we can only love so far and then we’ll quit. If your marriage is struggling, check your relationship with God.
  • Devotion #180
    Our God is a jealous God. He wants ALL of our worship—ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, and ALL of our mind. There’s no room for a divided heart in the word ALL.
  • Devotion #181
    In order for us to love God with all of our heart, we need to treasure Him above all else. We need to value our relationship with God over all our earthly possessions, over all our accomplishments and our accolades, over all our relationships.
  • Devotion #182
    Your marriage is a gauge for your love of God. It is the very evidence of your devotion to the Lord. Your spouse should experience the love of God through your every interaction.
  • Devotion #183
    Loving God with all of our minds means we are making new discoveries about Him all the time. We should be investing energy every single day of our lives learning more and more about our Father in Heaven, and filling our minds with His truths.
  • Devotion #184
    When Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves, that’s a pretty challenging command. He’s asking us to love our spouse as much as we love ourselves, to think about them as much we think about ourselves.
  • Devotion #185
    Love for others really begins, continues, and is daily motivated by our love for God. Marriage is how God puts this on display for you; it’s how He holds up a mirror to your love for Him.
  • Devotion #186
    The single greatest apologetic is relationships and community. Your marriage is either confirming or denying the existence of God to the watching people in your life.
  • Devotion #187
    Having the ‘Christian club card’ was never meant to be a pass from the struggle—we don’t get to just pray away the hardship. God’s not our genie in a bottle, and when we approach Him that way, we’re going to be sadly disappointed.
  • Devotion #188
    We are told we can find joy even in the most difficult struggles, and we can. We have to stop focusing on the solutions to the problems and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control.
  • Devotion #189
    Rather than running, if we only learned to stop and open our eyes in the moments when the trials seem to be the greatest, we would find the supernatural power to transform our hearts. We grow a little more like Jesus in those moments, and we find His peace and His joy.
  • Devotion #190
    God designed marriage as a way to chisel away at the self-centered nature of our hearts. His desire is for us to love others as ourselves. He wants us to put the needs of our spouses before our own instead of demanding our needs are met.
  • Devotion #191
    We get anxious, we get overwhelmed, we even get angry, but the difference is we do it with the hope of things to come. Our response as believers to those difficult emotions should distinguish us from the world as we have something different at work in us.
  • Devotion #192
    God wants us to choose joy in our struggle because He desires for us to know steadfastness—this is the state of a refined heart. When we are steadfast, we are not easily provoked or angered by difficult situations.
  • Devotion #193
    Doubt is a lack of confidence that God will keep His promises, and faith is an active confidence that God’s promises are always true.
  • Devotion #194
    Far too often in life, we inform God of our direction rather than patiently allowing God to inform our decisions.
  • Devotion #195
    God’s purpose for the struggles in our marriage is to grow us to be more like Him. He wants our hearts to be sacrificial in our love for others, to be abundant in our grace and mercy.
  • Devotion #196
    Biblical wisdom does not necessarily help us decide which college to go to, which job to accept, which house to buy. It’s true that His wisdom may have an influence on those decisions, but the reality is if the decision doesn’t conflict with Scripture in any way, then the choice is yours to make.
  • Devotion #197
    God generously gave us all the wisdom we need to manage the unforeseen and chaotic moments in our life, and he gives it to us without reproach, without any shame or disgrace.
  • Devotion #198
    A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways who receives nothing from the Lord. Nothing. No blessing, no wisdom, no comfort, no peace. If you’ve wrestled with double-mindedness, you know this to be true.
  • Devotion #199
    If the focus of our attention is on our bank account or our material possessions, whether they are many or they are few, we will not experience God’s blessings in our marriage. He wants our focus to be on Him. He wants our pursuit to be of Him.
  • Devotion #200
    The first step in healing financial strife in your marriage is understanding your attitude toward money. The second step is understanding the biblical principle of stewardship.

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