Our Daily Bread
We were . . . buried with him……..Romans 6:4
For twenty-nine years after World War II ended, Hiroo Onoda hid in the jungle, refusing to believe his country had surrendered. Japanese military leaders had dispatched Onoda to a remote island in the Philippines (Lubang) with orders to spy on the Allied forces. Long after a peace treaty had been signed and hostilities ceased, Onoda remained in the wilderness. In 1974, Onoda’s commanding officer traveled to the island to find him and convince him the war was over.
For three decades, Onoda lived a meager, isolated existence, because he refused to surrender—refused to believe the conflict was done. We can make a similar mistake. Paul proclaims the stunning truth that “all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” (Romans 6:3). On the cross, in a powerful, mysterious way, Jesus put to death Satan’s lies, death’s terror, and sin’s tenacious grip. Though we’re “dead to sin” and “alive to God” (v. 11), we often live as though evil still holds the power. We yield to temptation, succumbing to sin’s seduction. We listen to lies, failing to trust Jesus. But we don’t have to yield. We don’t have to live in a false narrative. By God’s grace we can embrace the true story of Christ’s victory.
While we’ll still wrestle with sin, liberation comes as we recognize that Jesus has already won the battle. May we live out that truth in His power….By Winn Collier
REFLECT & PRAY:
Jesus, I know You’ve won the battle over evil and darkness. Would You help me to live this out?
It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride. — John Ruskin
Have you ever noticed that 1 Corinthians 13 tells you two things about what love is:
Love is patient, love is kind. (13:4a)
And it tells you five things regarding what love is not:
[Love] does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking. (13:4-5a)
The list continues; but if we pause there, it’s easy to see that love doesn’t put self first. It’s our new marriage mantra: In love, choose to lose.
Through years of providing marriage counseling to couples, I’ve noticed pride exists in most marriages—through one or both spouses. The word Paul uses for “pride” is the Greek Physioō. Physioo is having an inflated view of your own intellect and reason.
If you were a physioo man, you might think, Wow, she’s so lucky to have me! A physioo woman might say to herself, I wonder what would have become of him if he hadn’t hooked up with me? Physioo men and women both struggle with the words, “I’m sorry.”
If that’s you, then practice them this week in the mirror. Start simply. Just move your mouth; make the muscles work. Practice and repeat; practice and repeat. You’ll soon find that there are very few sentences that have a more powerful impact on a marriage than “I’m sorry.” For a more advanced version, you can add the words, “And I was wrong.” And if you want to take it all the way, sincerely and humbly add, “Please forgive me.”
Baby steps, my friends, because even baby steps take you places. If you desire to have a marriage that breaks out and grows, then pride must go.
God, I pray the language of repentance that ushered me into Your Kingdom would become the native language of my marriage. You promise that when I lack the words, Your Spirit will give them to me; when I struggle to speak, Your Spirit will make me bold. I ask that my apologies would be bold and often—that these apologies would be poison to any pride in my character. Amen.
1) Where can I let my spouse win in our marriage?
2) Is there anything I need to apologize for to my spouse?
3) In what way can I serve my spouse this week?
Do you know someone struggling in their marriage?
Most of us know at least one couple who is struggling in their marriage. Many of us know more than that. I talk a lot about the epidemic of infidelity in marriages and the harm it causes. Some of you have gone through it; some may be going through it now.
Infidelity saddens me, but I’m encouraged to see more couples than ever fighting to save and rebuild their marriages after an affair. I believe those of us whose marriages are healthy today have a two-fold calling: (1) We are to serve as marriage “lights” in this dark world, and (2) we should come together to pray for those whose marriages are struggling. That’s what I would like for us to do today. If your marriage is good today, join me in praying. If your marriage is struggling, join us in prayer—and know that we are also praying for you!
Today’s One Thing:
Pray together for miraculous healing in struggling marriages today!
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