Author Archives: Mike

Vital Ministries News

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Thankful for My Spouse

Ephesians 5:25New International Version (NIV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

What is a husband’s responsibility to love his wife well? I think there are 3 components that are crucial for loving our wives well, to love her without selfishness, to love her without reservation, to love her without condition, and to love her as Christ loved the church unto death. (see John 13:1)

It is easy to fall into a comfortable pattern with your spouse and allow ingratitude to settle in. We take for granted to express that, “I love you.” or “You look beautiful today.” Show that you are thankful to have her as a partner in your life.

We try to remember to show our love on anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, or some other special occasion. But how often do we simply tell our spouse, “I am thankful for you.”

I am thankful that my wife loves Jesus more than me. I am thankful when my wife’s life choices do not point to me, but point to Jesus. I am thankful when my wife’s love for Christ is transparent and real in her life. It makes me truly thankful to see that in my spouse’s life. When your spouse loves Jesus more than you, you are the recipient of a spouse who looks at you through the eyes of Jesus and will love you unconditionally. She is your support and helper. She is a treasure.

Men, this is a call to show thankfulness and gratitude to your spouse. Step into the moments with vulnerability and show your wife just how thankful you truly are to have her in your life.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Thankful For God

Matthew 22:37New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

When I read this verse, it always strikes me, “You must.” It doesn’t say, if you can, or if you are willing. It is, “You must.” It seems impossible to obey this command in our natural state as a man. No human being with a fallen nature can truly love God with all his heart.

When Jesus made this statement in Matthew 22:37, he was actually quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ This is known as “Shema”, taken from the first work “hear” in Hebrew.

You will see even today amongst the Jews as they recite the Shema both morning and evening to be one of their sacred duties. They put it in their minds. Some will actually place prayer boxes on their head to keep it as a constant reminder.

As believers in Christ, those who are Christians have been cleansed from sin and have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside us. This helps us have compassion, love, and affection towards God the Father. And over time, we see how God extends his love to us during times of struggle and times of growth in our daily walk with Him.

This month of November is a month of thankfulness. For God’s grace, His provision, His love for each of us. I thank the Father that He sent His Son, because He loved us that much. In return, Matthew 22:37 is not just a law of servanthood but an act of obedience because I am thankful for God, my Heavenly Father.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Silence and Solitude

Matthew 6:6New International Version (NIV)

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Physical isolation? We may cringe at the thought of it in our ever busy lives. In most of our minds we see a monk being alone in a room or sanctuary. We may even think of being on top of a mountain with legs crosses and arms outstretched and thumb to finger in meditation. Does this sound exciting?

This is what Henry David Thoreau says about solitude, “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

We see throughout the Gospels, Jesus getting away from the crowds. He would go to places of silence and solitude in order to make time with his Heavenly Father. We see is especially in the night before the crucifixion as he took 3 of his disciples to Gethsemane. He needed time with his Father.

I think for most of us men, that silence and solitude is a place we have to face ourselves. We need to take time to examine who we are, our fears, our insecurities, and even our sins. You need a place to face yourself.

I have had times of silence and solitude in my life. usually, I am exhausted from life so I sleep, take a nap, and get rested up. When I do that, my mind slows down, and I am ready to listen to what the Holy Spirit has for me. I must say in truth, when I take the time to get quiet and get alone, I always come back refreshed.

I deal with the sin in my life. When that pathway opens up, I am then able to listen to what the Holy Spirit has for me. I get insight from Him, and I get a new perspective on life. 

Silence and solitude are needed. As the poet William Cowper put it, “How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude! But grant me still a friend in my retreat, whom I may whisper – solitude is sweet.”

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Are you plugged into men’s ministry in your community? Calling all men, brothers, husbands, grandfathers, and sons! Vital Men are in 5 different locations in Iowa. Go to vitalministries.org to see the nearest location in your area. As iron sharpens another, so does one man sharpen another. Get signed up to get the daily men’s devotionals and women’s devotionals. Both are very well done and help you to strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Check out the Vital Ministries website for more information.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

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