Serve Faithfully

Our Daily Bread

Unseen Heroes

Aaron and Hur held [Moses’s] hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.—Exodus 17:12

Stories in the Bible can make us stop and wonder. For instance, when Moses led God’s people into the Promised Land and the Amalekites attacked, how did he know to go to the top of the hill and hold up God’s staff? (Ex. 17:8-15). We aren’t told, but we learn that when Moses raised his hands, the Israelites would win the battle, and when he lowered them, the Amalekites would win. When Moses got tired, his brother Aaron and another man, Hur, held up Moses’s arms so the Israelites could triumph.

We aren’t told much about Hur, but he played a crucial role at this point in Israel’s history. This reminds us that unseen heroes matter, that supporters and those who encourage leaders play a key and often overlooked role. Leaders may be the ones mentioned in the history books or lauded on social media, but the quiet, faithful witness of those who serve in other ways is not overlooked by the Lord. He sees the person who intercedes daily in prayer for friends and family. He sees the woman who puts away the chairs each Sunday in church. He sees the neighbor who reaches out with a word of encouragement.

God is using us, even if our task feels insignificant. And may we notice and thank any unseen heroes who help us. —Amy Boucher Pye

Dear Father, thank You for creating me and gifting me in my own unique way. Help me to serve You and others faithfully and to appreciate those You have sent to help me.

REFLECT & PRAY: Unseen heroes are always seen by God.

Credit: Our Daily Bread

Role Model

When you think about your family of origin, what comes to your mind? What comes to mind when you think about marriage? Did you have good, average, or bad role models? Were there things you promised yourself would never happen in your future marriage? Are there other things that you wanted to bring forward when you married? Statistics tell us that at least 1/2 of us didn’t have good marriage role models.

Think about your life today. Is there a couple you admire? A couple that has a good or even great marriage? What do you see in their marriage that you would like to have in your marriage? Today’s One Thing is for you to do together. Take the couple you thought of and together pick out something you see in their marriage that you would like to build into yours. What part will each of you play?
How will you keep it a priority? Will you pray for God to help you build this? Find something you both desire to have in your marriage and pursue it together This is a big step toward having an Awesome Marriage!

Today’s One Thing: Together pick something from a good role model’s marriage and begin building it into your marriage!

DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!

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Corona Survival Guide for Couples

Healthy relationships were already hard enough.
Creating and maintaining a you-first, quick-to-listen, how-can-I-help relationship took effort and energy like few other things in our lives. For many of us, the daily choice to love our significant other like Jesus loves us was one of the hardest/most beautiful choices we had learned to make.
And then the coronavirus hit.
In just weeks, what already was hard got harder. Couples were squeezed into small spaces, breathing the same air a bit too often. Gone was the high-speed internet of the office, replaced by the plodding pace of our homes’ Wi-Fi, which spun in nauseating circles as she Zoomed with her coworkers and he tried to upload a work video to Google Drive. New questions filled our home-sweet-homes: Who gets to use the comfortable chair for their “office”? Who has to be quiet for whose video chats? Which parent has the responsibility to read all the emails about sixth-grade virtual learning? What does sex look like in a world where the kids can’t leave the house (and we fear the germs carried home on the bodies of essential workers)?
I could go on.

If you’re in a relationship, this is a scary new world. There are new questions, new conversations, and new challenges to work through.
Which is exactly why I wrote this devotion. So here’s my first encouragement—Seek God.

Back in 2003, in the days when corona was just a beer, I stood before the altar with my bride as our pastor painted a simple yet profound picture of a healthy marriage. He said something like, “Imagine a triangle with God at the top and you two down at the lower points. As each of you personally gets closer to God [his fingers followed the angled lines toward the top of his imaginary triangle], guess what happens to you? You get closer to each other. Closeness to him brings closeness for you.”
Brilliant. And experience has taught me that he was so right.

The closer you and I get to God, the more grace transforms our lives. When we seek him in his Word, we find out that our God is loving, gracious, forgiving, kind, patient, holy, humble, good, and glorious. Through quiet times with chapter and verse, we become thrillingly convinced that we are adored by our Father, made pure by our Savior, and filled with his Spirit. Day by day, God becomes enough for us, satisfying our souls and freeing us from the ugly need to get what we want, when we want it.
King David once wrote, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
And that, it turns out, is what makes a marriage good. Especially in seasons like this.
We will dig into this idea in the days to come, but for now, let me encourage you with my pastor’s advice and David’s inspired words—Seek God. Delight in him. Meditate on who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. Schedule and prioritize time away from the to-do list in order to move one step closer to your Father’s heart.
I know that your world has been shaken up. Old routines were infected and now lay on life support. You are probably scrambling just to get through the day. But when you seek God first, you find out that your heart already has what it needs. Through faith in Jesus, you need to be saved—and you are. You need to be loved—and you are. You need forgiveness for your sins—and there is. You need there to be a plan—and there is. You need hope that things will work out—and they will. You need supernatural power to check all the boxes that God has on his to-do list for you—and you have it.
That’s why I am so grateful that you are reading these words. It means that, even in the midst of the madness, you care about your connection with God. Keep reading. Keep delighting in his promises.

Jesus once said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Because seeking the God of love leads to love. Love for Jesus. Love for one another.
And that is what we need to thrive.

Credit: Time of Grace, Mike Novotny

Better than coffee – Bible study Wednesday 7:30 pm
*No Bible Study 5/27/20 due to holiday week*