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Be inspired and uplifted each day as you receive insight into God's Word

Psalm 90:17

July 27

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.

As we go about the good work of building our marriages, we can be assured that the “beauty of the Lord our God” is on us and that He will “establish the work of our hands for us.”

As Nehemiah struggled to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he had to combat several enemies. He and his fellow Jews worked night and day to complete their mission as they contended with their mockery and threats to attack.

In the good work that we are doing to construct Godly families, we may face insults and threats from those who are jealous or do not understand our decisions.

His enemies attempted to divert Nehemiah from his work, to pull him away from the purpose for which God had sent him. They harassed him repeatedly, but Nehemiah worked steadily. He refused to leave his post and would not stop what he was doing to go down to them because he was busy doing a great work (Nehemiah 6:3).

God sees the great work in our marriages and families. When others threaten us with slander, slights, slurs, and snubs, He promises to prosper and protect our marriages. Their words have no impact on our outcome. God has determined our success. His Word is the final word.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. When enemies come against your marriage, continue to do God’s will. Trust that He will prosper you. The battle belongs to Him. He has spoken victory over your family, and His Word is the final word in the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37

New Testament 

Romans 10:13-11:12

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 21:1-13

Proverbs 20:4-6

 

 

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James 5:16

July 26

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Marriage can take its toll in wounds and scars. As two people learn to live together, pain is inevitably inflicted on one another.

When we are hurting, the temptation is to isolate ourselves from others. The reasons vary: protection against ongoing pain, embarrassment over our weakness, fear of rejection, even passive aggression.

Just as Nehemiah enlisted help to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, we must call on those we trust to help us rebuild the damaged walls in our marriages. We must insulate ourselves, surround our relationships with people we can count on to pray, encourage, and counsel us as we build our marriages and families.

Instead of pulling back and hiding alone, today’s verse admonishes us to confess our weaknesses to one another. When we agree together in prayer, our hurt is healed, and our brokenness is restored. The prayers of those who have gone through the battles, who have persevered through trials, and have come out victorious on the other side are powerful and effective.

When troubles come, do not fall into the trap of isolation. Instead, insulate your marriage with those who will assist you in the good work of building a strong relationship and family.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May God bless you and your spouse with those who will pray and encourage your relationship. He will protect you with His might and surround you with the wise counsel your marriage needs to thrive. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34

New Testament 

Romans 9:25-10:12

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 20:1-9

Proverbs 20:2-3

 

 

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Mark 10:9

July 25

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.

The border of marriage stands as a covenant between God, a man, and a woman. More than a binding, legal contract, this covenant emphasizes the spiritual relationship between the three parties.

Ephesians 5 reveals how our marriages are a beautiful image of Jesus’ relationship with His church. The Bridegroom demonstrated His great love for His bride, the church, by pouring out His life as the sacrifice that brought her to His side.

Similarly, God calls husbands to love their wives just as Jesus loved the church. Just as you love and nourish your own body, cherish and protect your wife.

A man leaves his parents to be joined to his wife, and the two become one flesh. Jesus left the Father in heaven, wrapped Himself in flesh to dwell among us, and has joined Himself to the members of His church. Jesus and the Father are One, and we are to be One in them. It is a great mystery!

God calls for wives to submit to their own husbands like they submit to the Lord. When a man submits to God’s authority, a woman can confidently follow his lead. She demonstrates deep respect for him, and he treasures her.

As members of His glorious church, we are raised up to be all that God intended. In the mutual partnership of marriage, we find the love and encouragement to become all that God has purposed. What a holy and blessed estate!

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May your marriage be a beautiful image of the relationship between Jesus and His church. As you submit to the Lord and to one another, may your marriage fulfill the purposes that God has planned for you both. May His will be done through you…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14

New Testament 

Romans 9:1-24

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 19:1-14

Proverbs 20:1

 

 

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Hebrews 13:16

July 24

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Marriage has a way of shining a spotlight on our selfishness. It forces us to consider another person’s feelings and preferences.

It means remaining silent when we want to blurt out loudly, putting it back on the shelf when we prefer to buy it, pitching in to help when we desire a lazy afternoon on the couch. It means putting another person before yourself.

Genuine, loving relationship puts an end to selfishness. In fact, author David Young says, “If marriage doesn’t end your selfishness, your selfishness will end your marriage.”

In its place, Jesus exemplifies sacrificial love towards one another. The very definition of sacrifice tells us that we give up something valuable to ourselves for the sake of something more worthy or important. Jesus gave up His life so that we might come into a right relationship with the Father and be adopted as His children.

Isn’t love for our spouses more important than anything else? Isn’t the health and happiness of our marriages of utmost value?

Choose love above all else. Choose to do good, to share with her, to consider him before yourself, to put an end to selfishness, and to embrace the sacrificial love that marriage demands. It pleases God, and it makes for a happy house.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May God give you strength to make the sacrifices that are pleasing to Him and necessary for a healthy marriage. As you choose love, He will bless all the days of your life together. Amen and amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22

New Testament 

Romans 8:24-39

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 18:35-50

Proverbs 19:27-29

 

 

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1 John 5:14

July 23

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Building a marriage and a family will prove to be one of the most difficult things that we accomplish in this life. And unless the Lord builds our homes, we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1).

When the king saw how Nehemiah, the prophet, grieved over his broken-down hometown, he asked, “What do you request?” He demanded to know how he could help.

We have a Heavenly Father Whose eyes are on us, Who is attuned to our cries, and comes to our rescue. He is especially near to the brokenhearted, to those who are discouraged (Psalm 34:18).

When our marriages hit rough patches or our children make wrong choices, we have an Advocate in Jesus Who lives to make intercession for us. When you and your spouse boldly approach the throne of grace through prayer, He promises to hear and to work on your behalf. He never leaves us to flounder on our own.

Even in struggles, if we continue to honor each other and to recognize one another as co-inheritors of God’s grace, nothing can interfere with our prayers. And when you and your spouse agree together in prayer, our Father will give you the answer.

Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Our King of Kings is eager to know: “What do you request?”

Blessing: 

Precious Jesus, thank You for interceding for my marriage. Teach our family to walk in faith and to honor You in every way. In Your name, we ask…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

New Testament 

Romans 8:9-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 18:16-34

Proverbs 19:26

 

 

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Romans 14:19

July 22

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

As we live intimately with a spouse, we find that marriage brings out the best – and the worst – in us. We can choose to respond in ways that promote peace and unity.

Our verse today encourages us to concentrate on harmony and on the things that build others up and promote their spiritual growth. It is easy to major in the minor irritations that every relationship experiences. Instead, the apostle Paul urges us to not say or do things that would interfere with the free exchange of love.

While it is tempting to spew harsh words in the heat of the moment, they only cause hurt and division. Paul encourages us to speak words that are a gift of grace to the person who hears them (Ephesians 4:29).

Instead of arguing, treat one another with deep affection; prefer one another in love (Romans 12:10). Focus on ways to promote and honor your spouse.

Even when our spouse “rubs us the wrong way,” remember that person may be the very “sandpaper” that God will use to knock off some of our rough edges. He refines us in relationship. He speaks to us through our spouses.

He knew that marriage would create many opportunities to practice sacrificial love and service. We can speak cruelly or kindly, strengthen or weaken, lift up or tear down. We choose how we build.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Determine to build your marriage in ways that please God. Pour out His sacrificial love to your spouse through every word and deed. May your marriage prosper in the name of Jesus and for His glory!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 6:14-8:10

New Testament 

Romans 7:15-8:8

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 18:1-15

Proverbs 19:24-25

 

 

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Nehemiah 2:18

July 21

And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work.

Building a healthy marriage is much like a construction project. Whether you are praying to meet God’s choice for you or have been married for a while, certain principles hold true for the border of marriage.

Nehemiah, the prophet, returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonians destroyed the city. He encouraged those Jews struggling to live in the devastated city.

He let them know that the hand of God was good upon him. And God’s hand is still good upon us today. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Architect of our marriages. When we follow His plans, we build on a sure Foundation.

Every construction project begins with a dream and a blueprint. Nehemiah had King Artaxerxes’ letters. The King of kings has spoken His direction for our marriages. In humility, we first submit to Jesus, and then to one another. In sacrificial love, we lay down our lives in the same way that Christ laid down His life for us.

With the hand of God upon us, we confidently rise up to set our hands to this good work. Hand in hand with Jesus, we will build loving marriages that stand the tests of time.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Pledge to do everything in your power to follow God’s plan for a sacred marriage. Build on the sure foundation that is Christ Jesus to enjoy a marriage that endures and glorifies His name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 4:1-6:13

New Testament 

Romans 7:1-14

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 17:1-15

Proverbs 19:22-23

 

 

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Luke 19:10

July 20

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

At the core of our beings, we long to be completely known and understood… accepted and loved. Also lurking inside of us is the fear that true transparency – the revelation of our flaws and frailties – might result in humiliation and rejection.

Here at this intersection of utmost longing and unspeakable fear, we find Jesus. He is intimately acquainted with us. He knows our thoughts and our very motives. He has counted the hairs on our heads. He knows when we wake and when we lie down to sleep.

He knows our past and all the secrets we conceal from others. He breathes life into our present and goes before us into our future. He understands our weaknesses and mourns our apathy.

Best of all, in spite of it all, in the middle of it all, He loves us – deeply, fully, irreversibly, and eternally. Nothing we do causes Him to flinch or abandon us. Nothing we do can cause Him to love us any more than He already has at the border of the cross of Calvary.

We are accepted in the Beloved. He takes the risk out of transparency when we stand in His presence – fully known and fully loved. No more hiding. No more fear. Oh, how glorious to be found in Him!

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, giving you His peace. You are completely known and completely accepted by a loving Heavenly Father. He has forgiven your past and goes before you to bring down every mountain. Live loved under the shadow of His wings!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17

New Testament 

Romans 6:1-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 16:1-11

Proverbs 19:20-21

 

 

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Psalm 107:14

July 19

He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.

At the border of the cross, we find freedom. The weight of the world can crush the life out of us, can make it hard to breathe. Jesus has come to break away those chains and set us free indeed!

Bondage and chains can come in many forms – depression, broken relationships, ingrained habits, addictions, financial debt. While we may feel shackled to these things, God’s Word is not chained (II Timothy 2:9).

God sent Jesus to proclaim freedom to the prisoner. He sent Him to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18-19). For those who were under the dominion of darkness, He has called us into His marvelous light. For those bound in affliction and irons, He brings us out of the blackness – even the very shadow of death – and He breaks our chains in pieces (Psalm 107:14).

Remember Paul and Silas, bound in prison for preaching the gospel of Jesus. In the midnight hour, they lifted their voices in prayer and songs as the other prisoners listened. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the very foundation of the prison. Every cell door flew open, and every single chain fell off of every single prisoner. Salvation and celebration broke out!

Jesus has come to shake the very foundation of the prison where you are bound. He will cut the bars of iron in two. He will break your chains in pieces. He will set you absolutely free.

Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, giving you His peace. Celebrate the fact that Jesus has broken all of your chains in pieces! The cell doors have flown open, and He has proclaimed freedom to the prisoner! You are free indeed in the mighty name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30

New Testament 

Romans 5:3-21

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 15:1-5

Proverbs 19:18-19

 

 

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