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Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Happily Ever After" is a bumpy road

Hebrews 12a: "Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

Do you know what love is?
Love grows. The love verses in 1 Corinthians 13 speak way more than the mere words on the page.
Love is not to be rushed into.
Love can blossom
or it can grow stagnant.

Effort on each one's part must be put forth. When you decide to marry, it does not then become a "happily ever after." There is nothing that easy. There are many bumps, uneven paths, turns and curves along the way. No matter what your age, young or old, maturity comes through obedience to Christ, not what we want, what we feel, what we desire.

Divorce exists. Couples separate.

Marriage, according to God, is between one man and one woman one time forevermore.

But there are couples everywhere, Christian and non, who marry and divorce, marry again and divorce. A continuing cycle to nowhere.

When do you know when to stop running and looking for that prize that is forever it seems just beyond your grasp?

Is it not when you finally admit God is in control, not you?

When you realize God knows better than you what you need, when you need it and will provide for you?

When you finally reach out to Him and seek His will, His guidance?

When you become willing to wait for Him to lead you?

When you realize all self thoughts that enter your mind is Satan trying to gain control and convince you there is something better elsewhere?

Satan's plan is to prevent you from living for Christ. He is all about self pleasure, living only for yourself, not for another.

We must be willing to put aside the self-doubt thoughts that take over our being and patiently build up each other, not tearing one another down, not relying on yourselves, not giving up, but relying on God, striving for oneness with each other and Him.

1 Corinthians 13 from The Message:
"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love."

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6