Day 13: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Day 13 Thoughts: Intimacy between Husband and Wife is so important. Just as important as communication, there is a bond that keeps you connected.  I wish I could say this is the cure for all marriages that are falling apart all around me, but I know that it isn’t the fact. Sin has wedged its way into marriage making it become a disposable commodity. But as believers, if you stay connected with Jesus, and focus on your marriage, mentally, physically, sexually and spiritual you will have a marriage that thrives. Whoever said marriage was easy obviously wasn’t married very long.

 

25 Feb 15

DAY THIRTEEN

During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. (Luke 1:5-7 MSG)
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said. (Luke 1:23-25 MSG)

Let’s talk about sex. The Bible talks about sex, so why are so ashamed to bring it up. Sex between a married man and woman is a holy thing. God intended sex to be the bond that connects us to our spouse, it not only connects us physically but spiritually.

As we read above Zachariah and Elizabeth were old and could not have kids. But as you read a little further in the chapter it shows that it didn’t stop them from having sex.  It reads they lived honourable before God. He was a priest, and he was intimate with his wife. I can think of many excuses why he or his wife might not have wanted the intimacy in their relationship, or why the passion would be gone; 1) they couldn’t conceive so why have sex, 2) he was a priest and well they shouldn’t live like that, 3) they were old, and old people don’t do that.

They choose to follow God, and live honourable, they took the vow they made to one another seriously and didn’t let the passion die in the bedroom. They didn’t let their age stop them as they understood that the connection sex brings is something honoured by God because they kept the purity of marriage bed holy.

Are you spending quality time with your spouse? Is sex something you enjoy with your spouse on a regular basis, or do you only bring it to the bedroom on special occasions? A healthy sexual relationship with your husband or wife will help centre your marriage, cool your anger and focus your marriages direction. Sex with your spouse, when given freely and not thought of as a chore, will bring you to a place where there will be no desire for another. He/she will be what you long for, and you will put the effort into becoming and amazing partner for them in the marriage bed.

I wonder how many marriages fall apart due to chore sex, and not sex as designed by God.

I pray that today if you are in a marriage and you want to honour God with all you do that you take the time to show your spouse that you are in your relationship 100%. That they are important and you want to connect with them physically and spiritually.

Dear Lord, I know this topic will bring mixed feelings to some, I pray Jesus that who this needs to reach will read it and feel such a burning in their hearts to rekindle the passion for their spouse. Help us to have a desire to have an intimacy with our spouse as you have designed it. Help us who are single to wait to have sex till we are married as to enjoy what You have set aside as amazing for this who commit their lives to one another before You. Please forgive those who may have prematurely had sex before marriage, You forgive all sins and will cleanse all who ask of You. Bless all who read this today. Let our marriages be an example to those who don’t know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen.

Day 12: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 12: We all at some point need someone to meet us at our low points. Travelling those times alone lead us to depression and anxiety, points where we may feel like giving up on God, our families, friends and maybe even our lives. If we go through these times, then it is safe to assume others do as well. We as believers need to use our low point experiences to help others through their times. You experience may deep and hurts but it may be exactly what’s needed to free someone in need.

 

DAY TWELVE

Galatians 6:1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgiving restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Have you ever experienced someone admitting their sin, not from you observing their actions, but confessing something to the church as a whole. Something so big that you feel like you could pick up a stone and just start throwing it at them? Well that’s what they used to do in the Old Testament, Lucky for us we don’t do that anymore, but sometimes our words that follow an admittance of such sin is pretty much the same as throwing stones of condemnation

In Galatians 6:1 it says that we are to save our critical comments to ourselves. Critical comments lead to gossip, it is a slippery slope that will lead you down into sin yourself if you are not careful. Those times where a person publicly admits to adultery, fraud, lying, pornography and a multitude of other things, he or she is calling out for help. They realize they made a huge mistake, they may have tried to fix it on their own, have hit rock bottom and are asking Jesus and their family of believers for help. We as believers really have 3 choices here. The one part of the world says to pick up a stone and hit them while they are down. Another says that if you ignore them they will just go away, not my problem to deal with. But as written above God says to Stoop down, reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s Law, “Love one another as I have loved you.” If Christ can forgive and restore in love then why can’t we. Stoop down means getting off your pew, and going right up beside them, reaching out is to go to where they are, offering help wherever they need, sharing their burdens may mean listening to anything they have to share, not just talking but actually listening and praying.

If you don’t have anyone in your life who would Stoop Down, Reach Out, Share your Burdens or show the love of Christ in your life, I pray today that you take some time to ask God to put some Godly accountability partners into your life. We are all going to sin, we will all at some point in our lives need someone to put down the stone and kneel beside us, wrap their arms around us and just love us.

Dear Jesus, Do I have someone in my life that I trust to talk about anything with? If I don’t I ask Father that you will help me find a friend that can stand by my side in the good times and bad. A true friend who is a follower of You, who will never pick up a stone against me. Who will love me and will always be willing to ask me the tough questions. Help me to be the same for them. Jesus thank you for Your forgiveness and that you love me for who I am not who I need to be. AMEN

Day 10: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 10: Over the past 2 years I have seen some marriages fall apart. I think in a four month period I was dealing with four at work alone. I wish that I have the answers and ways to restore all marriages, but the fact remains it is something between them and God. One would hope that Christian marriages would stand the test of time, but even they are breaking which breaks my heart even more. I pray for marriages built on a foundation of faith in Christ, it is never to late for one to restore what has been broken.

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN

Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christs love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can taken your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. Amen

 

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN
Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can take your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. I want my marriage to reflect your love. That the world will see that they matter to you and they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 9: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 9: Our actions speak louder than words. We say that all the time.It is kinda of ironic if you think about it. Let us stop talking about doing things and actually do them. We want people to know they are loved, great, but let’s start loving them in practical ways.

 

DAY NINE

1 John 3:18 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.

For the purpose of today’s devotional, I will be talking about Love as the Websters Dictionary states as (4th definition in the list) ” unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.

The Bible talks a lot about love. From love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, to love your enemies, to love one another. I ask the question, are we showing that love to those around us? When someone has 12 items in the 10 items or less line, are we grumbling about their lack of following direction and reading skills, or are we loving them? (I’m Guilty) When someone cuts into the parking spot are you ready to snap and confront them with some unpleasant words? (Again Guilty) When driving on a two-lane highway and someone speeds past you because you are behind a slow driver or someone won’t leave the right lane and are going slow does your frustration burn a little? (me again) Why is it so easy to get upset and angry and not as easy to show love?

What can we do in the above situations to show some practical love? I am asking God daily to help me a better person, not to let my anger get control of me. I want God’s love to resonate in everything I do, so that I won’t just talk about love but that it will be seen in me and in all I do. I pray the same for you.

We are saved by faith alone, but once Christ is in our lives we should want to do things to glorify His name by showing others His love with our actions. Helping the poor, helping families in need, assisting in your church, working in your community, sharing your faith with those around you, and so many other amazing things. So, if you are saved by grace, what are you doing to Practice Real Love?

Dear Jesus, help us today to see ways that we can practice real love. We continually say that we want others to see you through us, let what they see be a true reflection of who you are. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 8: Orginal 50 Days of Pray Revisited

DAY EIGHT
Today’s devotional is by Sheldon MacLeod he works at Crandall University as the Assistant Vice President (Students & Enrolment) & Registrar.

Love is one of the things most misunderstood, and taken for granted, within the culture around us. When love approaches marriage, that marriage is increasingly seen as a temporary moment of elation followed by years of drudgery that begins with fingers crossed behind wedding veils and cummerbunds in the faintly inarticulate wish that they’ll be the couple that “makes it”.
When I was in pastoral ministry full time, and even when I’m asked now, performing a wedding ceremony is always filled with mixed emotions for me, but for none of the reasons, one may think obvious. Over the years I have seen the marriage and the promise to God, and their spouse, take a back seat to almost everything else.
Too often the couple pays more attention to the endless details of the wedding than they do the critical preparation for marriage. An inordinate thought is given to the venue and lighting and photography, to the placement of the bridal party, to the little nuisances that will make “their day” special from all others. The world’s values of planning a stunning event creep into the hearts of well-meaning couples who move towards the “big day” like extras on The Walking Dead, staggering through a daze of invitations, floral arrangements, dress and tie colours, venues, meal servings, and where they will seat that awkward uncle. Too often people forget that the big day is followed by a big lifetime of work, and joy, and aggravation, and stress, and blessings, and on and on. Too often people prepare for the big day and forget that the real preparation should both precede and follow the big day, and focus more on life than on the icing on the cake.
This prayer, an adaptation from Dr Louis H. Evans’ Marriage Prayer for Bride and Groom, is a simple yet profound reminder for all of us of the beauty of love. It is an expression for ourselves or for others. It is a prayer for friends to pray excitement, for couples to pray in promise, for the hurting or frustrated to pray in hopefulness, for the broken to pray for restoration, for the single to pray in anticipation. It is a prayer that reminds us of the value of love and the fact that love, in all of its many forms, is a gift from God. It is a reminder that the icing on the cake is actually more about God and another person than it about just the icing on the cake.

Father in Heaven, thank You for this husband, ______, and wife, _______, and their commitment to Christian marriage. As we look ahead, we pray that their future will never lack the convictions that make a marriage strong.
Bless this husband, ______. Bless him as provider and protector. Sustain him in all the pressures that come with the task of stewarding a family. May he so live that his wife may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Bless this wife, ______. Give her a tenderness that makes her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a strong faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of a soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that her husband may be pleased to reverence her in the shrine of his heart.
Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two people uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, knowing that You will sustain them through all of life’s challenges.
May they minimize each other’s weaknesses and be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths. Bless them and develop their characters as they walk together with You. Give them enough hurts to keep them humane, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough of success to make them sure they walk with You throughout all of their life.
May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, “Out of all this world, you have chosen me.” Then, when life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still very proud, still thanking You for each other.
May they travel together as friends and lovers, brother and sister, husband and wife, father and mother, and as servants of Christ until He shall return or until that day when one shall lay the other into the arms of God. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Great Lover of our souls. Amen.

Rev. J. Sheldon MacLeod
February 2015

Day Seven: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day Seven: Since I wrote this I have become more aware that God does truly love the world as he stated John 3:16. It is not just a catchy verse we love to quote but the truth behind it is what we need to reinforce in our lives if we want to change the world and the people around us. God Loves the world. He loves the people, he wants to have them realise this and love him back, accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made so there can be the redemption of sin that separates.

19 Feb 15

DAY SEVEN

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:11-12 NIV

I started the 50 Days of prayer two weeks ago with the original purpose of praying longer than 50 Shades of G, was in theatres. I have no doubt that we will reach that, but I am praying that God will reach people with this challenge and change lives.

Today I bring a devotional about love. God’s Love is complete. And as it states in the verse above it reads God Lives in us. His love is made complete in us. So that tells me that if I don’t have God living in my life that his love is still there but is incomplete. That is why so many people in the world are looking for something to complete that love. They fill it with so many corrupt things and avoid the one thing that will give them the wholeness they desire. How do we share this love that we have found to the people who seem so eager to ignore the love of God for things of this world that ultimately don’t satisfy their need of Gods love? Especially when you see every day a new post online arguing against who God is, or claiming the bible isn’t real or that Christians are confused and mixed up.

Jesus taught us to love on another. Love your enemies. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and body. Be the example. Work hard at not being a hypocrite when it comes to your beliefs. What you do on Sundays must carry on to every day of the week. We need to be teaching our Children to do the same. Setting an example for them. People will see who we are by what we teach our children.

So I challenge you to Love one another as God has loved you.

Dear Jesus, help us to be the example of your love. Help us to share your love. I pray that everyone who reads this today will be given a clear opportunity to share the love of Christ to someone today. Help us to see others as you see them and that they matter to you, so they should matter to us. Amen

Day Six: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day Six. If you aren’t from Canada, check out what is happening here. I remember growing up in church and even recently hearing that we are glad to be living in a country where there is no fear in sharing about our faith and worshiping God openly. With all that is happening and the laws that are being pushed I wonder how much longer those freedoms will be around. Don’t give up though, TRUTH will always trump evil, there will always be those who want to see past the lies and desire to experience Truth no matter the cost.

18 Feb 15

DAY Six
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Psalm 27:14
Ever notice that every couple of years a movie comes along that is so against what Christians believe in that it causes seemingly worldwide panic, that “this movie” is going to shake, break, or destroy Christians. I can think of 50 SOG, Showgirls, or DaVinci Code. But in the end, they come make some noise yet in the end when was the last time you read an article about DaVinci Code?
This is what I see, anything that Satan tries to do that is evidently evil is a high show stopper, quick fry in the pan, looks good to start, but eventually rots away and hides. The reason you don’t hear about it anymore is because it wasn’t lasting truth.
Why is the Bible still around? Why is God the same as He was back in the days of the bible? Because He is TRUTH. TRUTH endures. Gods love flows through all His creation and is consistently all around us.
The bible says not to be taken in by every new fad that comes along. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I quote the Psalms once again, Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Dear Lord, help us to not be drawn into every new fad that stirs our heart. Help us to stay with God, even when the world tells us it isn’t important. Help us to read your word and write Your truths on our heart. Let our lives reflect this Truth, let our actions match our words as to be examples to those around us. They need to see you through us. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen