Today's Word for Pastors...
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Building Godly Marriages and 'God Kids'
In our culture today there is a monumental clash of opinions concerning the institution of marriage. The church needs to be aware of it; Christians need to be taking it very seriously!There are those, speaking from a purely secular point of view, who insist that human beings, over the course of many centuries, have devised different ways of organizing society.
Moreover, these different ways have quite naturally evolved; and somewhere in the process, something that we now call marriage appeared on the scene. But these people say that marriage, as it now exists, clearly is not working! They cite, of course, the high incidence of divorce; and as we all know, many people who don’t divorce are locked into a marriage that is loveless and joyless. But, they cheerily add, “Don’t worry about it because, as we know, over the centuries, better solutions to human dilemmas have evolved, so we can expect to see alternative lifestyles evolving! We should embrace them because they will be a marked improvement!”
A lot of people probably could not articulate this theory, but they are certainly learning to put it into practice! Divorce has become normative, multiple marriages are not at all unusual, and large numbers of people are not getting married at all—and these “improvements” are being heralded as sociological advances. Many children are being born “out” of what we used to call wedlock, and that which was regarded with disfavor not too long ago is now accepted by a large segment of our society.
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In his book Directions, author James Hamilton shares this insight about listening to God: "Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.I closed the door,'' the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.''Often the question is not whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough and quiet enough to hear. Yes, Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father always listens to us, but do we really listen to God? Do we follow the instructions of Psalm 46, "Be still, and know that I am God"?
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