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4 Vital Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage against Satan’s Attacks

Before I got hitched, I used to hear church folk rehash the warning that the devil is after marriages. It left me wondering whether the devil wasn't being accorded more credit than he deserved. But now, having been knee-deep in marriage for 12 years, I get it. Totally. The enemy is indeed in hot pursuit after marriage. He will grab any chance he has to tear a marriage apart. He has a track record of stealing, killing, and destroying, after all.God ordained marriage to reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church. Paul asks wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord whereas husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. Marriage is also where God's instruction for man to multiply and fill the earth is fulfilled.The enemy doesn't take marriage lightly and will do all it takes to sabotage it. When he spots a loophole, he will use it as a launching pad for his attacks. Paul warns us against offering the devil a foothold:“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)The Collins dictionary describes a foothold as a strong or favorable position from which further advances or progress may be made. We may be oblivious of the footholds lurking in our marriages but the devil is not. He is extremely swift at spotting them. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).Here are some things you can do to seal the loopholes in your marriage.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/dragana991

4 Things Christian Marriage Requires of Us Beyond Love

I used to think all that was needed to ensure a healthy marriage was love. And then I got married and quickly realized as Don Henley and Patty Smyth sang in their 90’s hit song, “Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.” Love is our highest aim; it’s as the apostle Paul describes in I Corinthians 13, “the greatest of these.” So, I’m not negating the necessity for love in marriage, I’m challenging the notion that love is all you need to make a marriage thrive.The Beatles sang “All You Need is Love,” but interestingly, Paul McCartney has been married three times, and John Lennon was married twice. Before his death, he confessed to having more than 300 affairs while married to his first wife and multiple affairs while married to his second. If these are the people Americans look to as “idols,” it’s no wonder we have a faulty understanding of how love works in marriage.Love is foundational. It’s like flour to a cake. Your marriage rises and falls depending on how much love is present. However, just as a cake needs other essential ingredients to be palatable and sustainable, so does marriage.Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Nghia Trinh

4 Fun Activities to Do with Your Grandkids

These days grandparents have a lot of competition for the grandchildren's attention. If it's not sports, dance, or other activities that keep the kids occupied, then often, they're glued to their tablets or video games with little time for anything else.But let's face it. Sometimes everyone needs some Grandma or Grandpa time, but finding fun and creative things to do together can be challenging. Children have a litany of interests that vary from personality to personality, but usually, there is something you can find to do. Sometimes you just need a list of suggestions to get you started. I've compiled some tried and true fun activities to do with your grandkids that don't cost an arm and a leg, encourage imagination, and, best of all, help grow relationships.Photo credit: ©GettyImages/DuxX

7 Essential Things the Bible Says about Sex in Marriage

Too often in our culture, the images and portrayals of sex that we see are unhealthy and not in alignment with God’s plan for sex. If we are not careful, we can put too much emphasis on these negative portrayals of sex and miss the beauty of the sexual relationship that God has designed for marriage.Whether you are married, dating, or single, it is crucial to have a proper and healthy view of sex. The truth is God is not a prude, nor is he uptight about talking about sex. What he wants is for his people is to practice it within the bounds of marriage, which is the way he designed it.To help you develop the right mindset about sex, it helps to understand what the Bible says about sex in marriage. Getting this right will go a long way in helping you develop a healthy sex life within your marriage if you are married or will get married, and will help you understand God’s plan for his people even if you remain unmarried.Here are 7 things the Bible says about sex in marriage:Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jacob Rank

3 Beautiful Ways Jesus Demonstrates Self-Care in the Bible

Now more than ever, we are investing our time and money in things such as workout regimens, Botox, massages, manicures, pedicures, diet pills, athletic attire, therapy, life coaching, and all kinds of wellness apps on our phones. We do this all in an effort to improve the love we have for ourselves, right? Self-care is a fancy way of saying to put yourself first or love yourself by caring for yourself first.If you google how to love yourself, you will find endless articles on this topic. Google searches for self-care and self-care products have increased 250% since 2017. Self-care has become a 450 billion dollar market, whereas less than a decade ago, it only had an estimated value of $10 billion. The internet and social media play a massive part in this.The world may promote us loving ourselves as there is a lot of emphasis on always caring for ourselves first and foremost. But as Christians, we must ask whether the Bible actually says anything about self-care.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

5 Stories of Sacrifice in the Bible to Reflect on Lent this Season

No one likes to sacrifice. God understands this. The Son of God experienced it firsthand in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew the reward set before him, that his Father was good, and that the pain and suffering wouldn’t be in vain.Yet still, Jesus struggled to submit to death willingly. He even asked if there was another way. But this was the way forward to greater reconciliation and joy. With that joy, he laid his life down for us.God asks us to sacrifice, as well. In Christ, we participate in his sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). When we do, we also gain great reward. God isn’t a sadist. He isn’t asking us to be masochistic and enjoy pain. He offers an eternal weight of glory, which more than makes any sacrifice worth it (2 Corinthians 4:17).During Lent, we willingly give up something like food or entertainment for 40 days before Easter. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, this is a time of prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor, preparing us for the celebration of the mighty work of God through Christ. As we choose to participate in Lent, we can look back at characters from Scripture to encourage us with hope.Here are five stories of sacrifice in the Bible to reflect on Lent this season.Photo Credit:Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

7 Ways to Bless Your Adult Children without Overstepping

As parents, we still want to bless our children even after they become adults. But since God has unique plans for each of our adult children to follow in their lives, it’s important to find ways to support them without overstepping boundaries. This delicate balance requires love, wisdom, and an understanding of both our role as parents and their need for independence. I’ve learned in my own journey of raising two children who are now adults that the Bible offers valuable guidance on how to bless adult children. As you aim to bless your own adult children, you may be stressed by the transition from parenting children to encouraging adults. It may feel scary to see your adult children step out into the world without the safety net you had underneath them when they were young. But just as God is always there for you, he is always there for your adult children. The more you trust God, the more you encourage your adult children to do so – helping them build faithful and successful lives as adults. Here are seven ways to bless your adult children without overstepping.Photo Credit: © Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

7 Symbols of Holy Week Explained in the Scripture

With Easter approaching, the decorations are brought out in our homes and churches to celebrate the amazing and pivotal event. Through the recognition of Holy Week, the week leading up to the cross, Christians worldwide collectively remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, how he paved the way and opened the door for complete and full reconciliation with the Father.However, many modern churchgoers may be less aware of what these symbols mean. More and more Christians weren’t raised in church, and the rate of people growing up “unchurched” rises every year. These symbols may be new or not explained very well to some Christians.Yet these symbols have background and meaning behind them. That meaning doesn’t carry an impact if we aren’t aware of the explanations. These symbols are powerful and worth exploring to celebrate this revolutionary event properly.Here are seven symbols of Holy Week explained in the Scripture.Photo Credit:©GettyImages/RomoloTavani

10 Things Your Husband Wishes You Would Say to Him

Chances are, you’ve said words to your husband that you wish you hadn’t. Words that slipped out. Words that you regretted. Words that might’ve even hurt him deeply.In Scripture we are told “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" (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). In the Contemporary English Version, the last part of that verse reads: “help others by what you say.” In the Message, it reads: “Say only what helps, each word a gift.”That’s a great guideline for how to talk to our spouses. I’m sure you’ve heard that your husband needs your respect just as much as you need his love. You can convey your respect to him through your gift of words, carefully chosen and lovingly spoken.After asking my husband – and several other husbands who have been married anywhere from 5-50 years – what phrases would be considered “gifts” from their wives, I came up with this list of the 10 things your husband wishes you would say to him. (By the way, this is the G-rated list. If you want to know his preferred pillow talk, I’ll let you get that list by asking him yourself.)
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

5 Subtle Ways the Demons from Our Past Are Controlling Us

While researching and writing The Masterpiece about two deeply wounded characters, Roman Velasco and Grace Moore, I noticed five ways our past can hold us back:1. You focus on what has been done to youFocusing on what has been done to us keeps the experiences alive in our mind, stirring up emotions, reviving hurt, fanning anger and hunger for revenge, as well as making us see ourselves as “a victim.” Thus, we label ourselves as a casualty, a person duped or tricked, a loser and fool, quarry for sacrifice, a scapegoat for another’s sins. Putting on those identity markers is crushing to spirit, and can keep people from taking the first frightening step toward recovery. If we see ourselves as “survivors”—people who suffered greatly, but came through with body and soul alive, heroes who found strength to cope and rise above the sins done to us—we can move ahead.Photo courtesy: ©Pexels

10 Biblical Warnings You Need to Stop Ignoring

In the gospels, we frequently encounter Jesus warning the crowds about the destructive teachings of the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20, 16:6). Jesus’ disciples following in His footsteps by providing further warnings to believers in the other portions of the New Testament. While warnings might not always provoke positive thoughts or feelings, they often serve to spare us from unnecessary hardships and pain. In fact, the act of warning others is actually a demonstration of familial love and care for our neighbor. If we know that a particular action or practice is harmful, then the most unloving thing that we could do is to fail to warn others about it.Here are 10 warnings from the Bible that we should heed and share with others: Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/ChaiSoda

The 4 Most Powerful Names of God from the Book of Isaiah

Names have meaning.When I was born, my mother put a great deal of thought into my name, Matthew Britton. They mean “gift of God” and “kingly one,” respectively. Since I was a surprise pregnancy, the “gift of God” was particularly interesting and intentional. She envisioned my name on a desk in an office, like a CEO. She realized quickly I was more creative than businessman, so she sees my name on the cover of books.God gives people names in the Bible, speaking purpose and character over these men and women. Therefore, my wife and I prayerfully considered what to call each of our children. Our third, a girl, was also a surprise to us, and even though we had a name picked out, God told us that her name was Hosanna. And the name fits her perfectly.God also names himself. These declare and describe his identity and character. Yahweh came from God’s first self-declaration, a form of the I AM. The book of Isaiah includes many prophecies about the Messiah and an apocalyptic future, so the Lord also shares other names along the way.Here are God’s four most powerful names from the book of Isaiah.Photo Credit:©GettyImages/Marinela Malcheva

5 Great (and 5 Terrible) Reasons to Attend Church Weekly

Being Christians, we hear it all the time: go to church. And we should. But there are great and terrible reasons to attend church weekly.Motive matters to God. Yes, he wants us to obey him for our good, but he also wants us to take right actions with the correct motives. As Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 9, God doesn’t want us to give money from obligation or force. He desires a cheerful heart that understands sowing and reaping.Looking at God’s character, he makes intentional choices based on his identity. He is love, so his plans and choices are loving. He is perfect, so what he does is righteous. As we are his children, he requires the same integrity and whole-heartedness from us.Therefore, we can do religious acts that count for nothing. We can do all the charity in the world, but it profits us nothing if we do not have the right motivation.Regarding church, the same principles apply. Here are five great and five terrible reasons to attend church weekly.Photo Credit:©Getty Images/Rawpixel

7 Questions to Ask Before You Leave a Church

Being a Christian for any length of time, we have all changed churches. What are the questions to ask before you leave a church?People leave a church for all kinds of reasons. Some are good reasons. Perhaps individuals are called to another ministry position. Or perhaps a family moves to another state.Others are unhealthy reasons. Perhaps people leave because of an offense or conflict. Maybe there’s been betrayal or other serious issues within the leadership. Churches are full of human beings, and we are all still learning to be more Christ-like in our thoughts and actions. We’re not perfect yet, and people can be challenging.If you’re about to exit a local fellowship, here are seven questions to ask before you leave the church.Photo Credit:©GettyImages/People Images

7 Historical Things to Know About the Last Supper

Three of the four Gospels include Jesus’s final meal with his disciples before his death on the cross. This intimate moment recounts the Passover dinner with the men Jesus counted as his closest friends and followers. We call this meal the Last Supper. The Last Supper is a central moment in the Christian narrative of redemption. This moment contains layers of cultural, historical, and theological significance.At the same time, Jesus shares this eternal, complex meaning relationally and personally. Jesus brings the epic to the intimate as he does with his followers today.This Easter, let’s take a few moments to explore some of this complexity with seven historical things to know about the Last Supper.Photo Credit:©Unsplash/JamesColeman

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