Pray For Your Husband: 31 Day Challenge–Day Twenty-Nine

Day Twenty-Nine: That he would approve what is vital

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)

When Paul prays for the Philippians he prays that they would have a love that keeps growing. But it is not any type of love–it is a love that is rooted in knowledge and discernment. Such a grounded love, says Paul, will lead them to approving what is excellent. Another way to say this is that Paul is praying that they would approve what is vital–and this approving will lead to their blamelessness. It is not as difficult for us to choose the really good thing from the really bad thing. What is more difficult is choosing the best thing from a choice of pretty decent option. Today let’s join Paul in his prayer, and pray for our husbands that they would approve what is vital.

Lord, my husband will be given many choices today. Some of these choices will be easy and others will be between equally valid options. Yet, we know that there are some things that are more vital than others. Stir up my husbands heart in such a way with your grounded love, that he would choose the things that are vital. Help him to live a focused and concentrated life with a single-minded pursuit of your glory. Give him the strength to do this in a very distracted and distracting world. Amen. 

Nikki Leake is the wife of Mike and mother of two adorable children. She enjoys decorating, soul-food, elephant-petting, and worshipping Jesus.

Glory – Longing For Home (YWS week 34)

richardsibbessmallWelcome to a year of reading Richard Sibbes together! The reading plan for the entire year can be accessed here. I encourage you to stick with us, allow yourself time to read, and soak in the riches of this gifted and prolific Puritan preacher. You will be edified and encouraged.

If you have trouble with how Sibbes used words, check out the Lexicons of Early Modern English for definitions from the period.

Summary/Engagement

Calling and glory. Some confuse the two with each other, assuming that calling is glory. They glory in work, in a job well done, or the mere title afforded by a position. This is weak glory. This is the glory of man, cheaply attained, and rests on the shoulders like gaudy and fake party jewelry. If your glory is in such a weak calling, then surely you have your reward now.

But what of the Christian’s calling? Are we called merely to title and comfort now to enjoy the benefits of a now once-dominant cultural stance? Is all that we strive for a cheap foil wrapping on hard candy? Fancy looking yet cheap. Sweet, satisfying for a moment, but either slowly worn down or crushed in seconds. Have we been called to prestige in the church and the respect of peers? Is it merely to soothe our conscience as we smile our way to hell, clutching our sins tighter than the Christ, assuming we have him because we know his name yet do not know him?

“Many may know Christ in a sort, but not apprehend him. What is my knowledge, but so much the more misery to me, if I apprehend not Christ?”

No, the calling of the Christian is Jesus Christ himself. We seek nothing less than God to the detriment of our former self. Yes, we celebrate the death of the old man, and live with heads bowed under the cross where Jesus bore the wrath of God for our sins. This is glory. The God who loves us and created us, atoned for all who would believe, and calls them to himself. Our calling is not cheap imitation glory. Our calling is the very glory and righteousness of Christ draped on our broken bodies with a beauty so pure I ache to think of it.

We are called to him. We are called to glory. Where is this glory?

“It is heaven, the proper seat and mansion of all glory, where Christ is.”

Application / Further Discussion

We talk of heaven and glory but we don’t dwell long enough on it. We sinners, we broken and hurting ones, talk very little of the very place where we will no longer sin, be broken, or hurt. Think on that for a moment.

“And so here [heaven] we shall have a happiness beyond that estate of Adam’s innocency; for at the best all he received was but a possibility to stand if he would, but we shall receive an impossibility ever to fall again.”

Adam had a possibility not to fall, but in Heaven we shall receive an impossibility ever to fall again. Ever. What a glorious thought! We all struggle with sin every day. Every single day we are reminded of our depravity and rebellion against the God who formed us and gave us breath. Sins, lusts, desires, idols. We pursue things with great urgency yet have so little concept of what is to come. Christian, you are bound for glory.

For all the talk of heaven that we do, stop and consider it. Consider that we will behold our God face to face. Consider that we will experience unbroken, intimate, sweet, and reverential worship of our God and King. Consider that sin will be removed along with its impurities, deformities, defects, and temptations. Forever. Consider that we will no longer experience heart ache and sorrow as we so deeply and darkly do now. Justice will have been accomplished, sin punished, and our lives redeemed.

Have you considered Heaven being a place of rest? Work will no longer weary us. The curse will be lifted. Worry, fear, doubt, shame; all gone. We will live in perfect peace with the God of peace. Whether I run, walk, crawl, or slide, when the Lord calls me home I will arrive to rest so deep, relief so complete, joy so full that I almost burst now to think of it. Not for a little bit of time, but forever. Eternity. A thought too big to grasp. And even bigger, this calling and election of the Christian is sure. We have already won. So fight, brothers and sisters, strive to enter that rest, because in Christ we have already won.

“No man, we know, how base soever, even the greatest coward that may be, but he would fight, if he were sure, to overcome. What cowards then are we. Every one of us would be reputed stout and valiant; where, then, is our valour, whenas every barking of a dog, as I may so call them, or every touch of a fly, makes us deny our master? Oh, the shame of our profession; what is this temporising but to draw to lukewarmness, and so to denial, that we are ashamed in this or that company for these and these causes of our profession! Well, remember, if we deny him, he will deny us; if we be ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us, Mat. 10:33. In this case, what shall, what can we answer him at that great day?”

Last week, we read The Knot of Prayer Loosed.

Next week, we read A Christian’s Portion.

Pray For Your Husband: 31 Day Challenge–Day Twenty-Eight

Day Twenty-Eight: That he would be blessed and be a blessing

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:2-12

Kevin DeYoung has posted an interesting article in which he asks us to consider what kind of blessing we are. Contrasted to the Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, many of us buy into what Pastor DeYoung calls “the Beatitudes of the World”. May it not be so for our dear husbands!

Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us in your Word about those things that bless us even as we bless others. I pray today that you would impress these deep truths upon my husband’s heart. May he contemplate and embrace your call to meekness, mercy, purity, and peacemaking. May he hunger and thirst for righteousness. May he rejoice and be glad – even when he is persecuted for loving and walking with you. Lord, bless my husband this day, and please make him a willing blessing to others.

An anonymous wife.

Pray For Your Husband: 31 Day Challenge–Day Twenty-Seven

Day Twenty-Seven: That he might have eyes to see

So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. -Acts 9:17-19

We all have areas of spiritual blindness. In this account, the Lord Jesus sent a believer to the most unlikely of converts-to-be. Even Ananias couldn’t believe that he was hearing God correctly when he was told to seek Saul out in order to share the good news with him. What an amazing story of God’s relentless pursuit of sinners like us and the resulting glory of sight restored when Saul submits to the Lord’s healing touch!

Father, sometimes my husband, like me, is blind to the spiritual truths you want to reveal to him. Father, some husbands are even completely blind to knowing and loving you. Lord, I pray for my husband and husbands everywhere – that they might have 20/20 vision for the things you want them to see. I pray, too, for those men who are walking in spiritual darkness – that as you did for Saul, you would remove the scales from their eyes that they might see and come into your light to “glorify you and enjoy you forever.” Amen

An anonymous wife.