Joshua Adeoye fondly called DAYZ who quickly
became a staple in the Gospel music industry
following his last single which has been the song sang in most christian gatherings has
released a brand new track called “I’M GRATEFUL ”
The song brings us to a point of reference appreciating God for his faithful even in our ungrateful life …
After the official release of Onyeiyeaka (My Helper), Psalmeben as released a new song titled Oba awon oba (King of kings) featuring great minds in the gospel music industry like Mary Okunmuyide, Psalmist Olawale Ayeni, Favour and Mike olas.
Oba awon oba is a worship song for our daily devotions with a great expression of Gods promise to all nations of the world. Gods promise is ever sure, whatever he says he will do, whatsoever God has promised you will come to pass. This song carries a prophetic mantle for fulfillment of God’s promises.
John Glake the healing evangelist who was born in the city of Ontario Canada on March 18, 1870. When he was small his family moved to Michigan, in the United States. While he was still young, Lake attended a Salvation Army meeting and became convicted of his need for a savior, and he invited Jesus to become Lord of life. Lake was incredibly impacted by illness. He was one of sixteen children, and over the course of his young life eight of them died. He grew to hate the sickness, grief, and death that was so much a part of his family life.
THE MINISTERIAL CALL
Lake felt a call to the ministry, and studied to become a Methodist minister. He took to heart the Methodist teaching on sanctification and sought it passionately. When his studies were done, however, he made a decision to go into business and start a newspaper in Illinois. Then he moved back to Michigan and began a career in real estate. He met Jennie Stevens and married her
Sickness still continued to hound Lake. His brother was an invalid, one sister had extensive cancer, another sister had bleeding problems, and his wife had tuberculosis and heart disease. In 1899 the family had heard about John Alexander Dowie, in Chicago, because he was receiving substantial media attention. They took Lake’s brother to the healing rooms in Chicago, and he was instantly healed. Both sisters then went, as well, and were also healed. Finally, Lake had contacted people to pray for his wife in June of 1899, and she was also healed. He opened the scriptures to see Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. (NASB) He saw outlined clearly for himself that Jesus is the healer and Satan is the oppressor of men. Lake became a member of Dowie’s Christian Catholic Church and a branch was opened in Sault Ste Marie, where he was living at the time. Lake became a deacon in the new church. In August 1900 Lake’s wife Jennie was accidently shot by her 4 year old son. Following Dowie’s teachings the Lakes refused medical help and depended on prayer. The event was so startling an article was written up in the Chicago Daily Tribune, which regularly reported on Dowie’s activities.
In 1904 Lake moved to Chicago to work with Dowie. Seeing the power of God, Lake began to cry out for more of the Holy Spirit. He spent nine months seeking a fuller level of the presence of God. Lake went, with another man to pray for a sick woman. God’s presence fell on and over him like he’d never known before. The next six months were marked by conviction, repentance, and heart cleansing. The gifts of the Spirit became magnified, and the discernment and healing giftings increased dramatically. Lake was receiving training under John Alexander Dowie, but did not always agree with his way of doing things. At one point, Dowie listed his accomplishments and told him “If you ever develop constructive qualities, equal to your critical capacity, you will be a greater man than I am.” John Lake knew that he would have to start his own work. He felt called to Africa and went there in 1908, after a short-term pastoring stint in Indianapolis. Over a five year period in South Africa Lake saw 1,000,000 converts, planted hundreds of churches, and raised up over 1000 local ministers. The work was strenuous, however, and his wife died in December 1908. He committed to keep his family together. In 1913 Lake returned to the United States, with his seven children.
There is also renewed interest in Dr. Lake’s teachings, which cover every area of healing. Dr. Lake taught that any Christian should be able to heal the sick, saying, “All that is needed, is for the person praying…to let the tangible Spirit of God flow through them into the sick person.”
Dr. Lake goes on to say, “The Spirit of God is just as tangible as electricity is. You handle it, you minister it to another, you receive it from God through faith and prayer, your person becomes supercharged with it. The old apostle (Paul) took handkerchiefs or aprons, and held them in his hands until the handkerchiefs or aprons were supercharged with the Spirit of God. Then they were sent to the sick, the sick were healed and the demons were cast out of them. Acts 19:12
“It is one of the most difficult things in all the world for people who are not familiar with the ministry of healing to comprehend that the Spirit of God is tangible, actual, a living quantity, just as real as electricity, just as real as any other native force. Yes, and a good deal more so.
“If we could make the world understand the pregnant vitality of the Spirit of God, men would discover that healing is … a perfectly scientific application of God’s Spirit to man’s needs.”
John Lake had a remarkable ministry. His legacy includes not only his books and writings, but also a foundation of thought that has played an important role in the growing presence of divine healing in our world. He helps us understand that even ordinary believers can consecrate themselves to God and learn to minister the gifts of healing.
On Good Friday, we celebrate the death and the cross in history.
Blood streamed down his face. Massive thorns stuck to the head of their Maker. Groans of agony came from the mouth of him who spoke the world into being. The soldiers beat him. They flogged him. They tortured him.
As he inched through the streets of Jerusalem, his cross pressing into his lacerated back, many shuddered at him. The face of God, which Moses could not look at and live, could no longer even be recognized as human (Isaiah 52:14). Women hid their children from the bloody mass of flesh before them. Men taunted him. Soldiers clubbed him. Angels shrieked in horror.
Every prophecy about his suffering was being fulfilled. By judgment and oppression, he was taken away. His sheep scattered when their enemies struck him. One of his own sold him and betrayed him with a kiss. He found no rest as they beat him, spit on him, and mocked him through the night. In the morning, he gave his back to those who struck him, his cheeks to those who plucked his beard.
He stepped forward to Calvary as a lamb to the slaughter.
His Love Was Rated-R
I remember the first time I watched The Passion of the Christ fourteen years ago. The sight of Roman ninetails sinking their claws into his back seemed to pierce my soul with Mary’s (Luke 2:35). The blood. The screams. The anguish. I could never again thoughtlessly tell others that Christ died for them. The scene forbade cliché. It was grizzly, ghastly, gruesome — rated-R.
I rarely cry, but as I watched Jesus shed his blood all over the Roman courtyard, I could not help but weep. As they held the nails over his hands and feet — his mother watching him — every swing of the hammer pierced my heart. Only the heartless could watch unfeelingly. Has there ever been a more tragic scene?
I did not consider his wounds enough. I did not weep over his suffering as often as I felt I should have. But how does Jesus respond to me, and people like me, who take Good Friday to grieve over his unbearable sufferings? Two thousand years ago he said to those weeping for him that day, “Weep not for me; weep for yourselves.”
Silence on the Set
Of the many horrors of Calvary, one that was especially acute was the shame of it all (Hebrews 12:2). His was a public execution. The condemned usually were naked. To add to this, the prophecy reads, “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads” (Psalm 22:7). It is one thing to suffer; another to do so before a whole nation as they ridicule you.
But mockery was not the only sound made on his behalf. A host of women trailed behind him, lamenting the expiring prophet. They followed Jesus’s drops of blood — as so many of us do today — with drops of tears.
But upon hearing their sobs, Jesus, battered and broken, turned his face towards them and spoke these gracious, yet shocking words: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28).
This part of the passion didn’t make the movie.
On that first Good Friday, Jesus turned to his loudest sympathizers — those who are not cursing him, mocking him, but wailing on his behalf — and silenced them. He commands their tears escort him no further. He opts to press into the night without their mourning.
Weep Not for Me
Jesus did not need their tears two millennia ago, and as unpopular as it may be, Jesus does not need our tears today. And this fact owes to us seeing his passion through the eyes of faith.
Weep not for me, he said. As if to say,
I am saving my people. I have prayed, tender souls, and know my Father’s will concerning this cup — shall I not drink it (John 18:11)? My hands willingly grasp this wood because my food is to do my Father’s will (John 4:32, 34). And his will is glorious: he sent me to serve and give my life as a ransom for my people. My body is broken, and my blood is spilled for you (Luke 22:19–20). Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Do not weep over the labor pains that give birth to your salvation and unshakable joy (John 16:20–22).
Weep not for me, as if to say,
I am not a helpless victim. I am a warrior-king with thousands of angels at my beck and call (Matthew 26:53). One word from me and this horror would end. One word from me and Rome would be destroyed. One word from me and all would be eternally condemned. But I was sent to save the world, not condemn it (John 3:17). Trust that no man — or army — can steal my life from me. I lay it down of my own accord, and I will take it up again (John 10:11–18).
Weep not for me, as if to say,
I am conquering. You see my heel being bruised and you mourn — but look through the eyes of faith and see the serpent’s skull trampled (Genesis 3:15). Although I walk as the Lamb, I conquer as the Lion — the predator, not the prey, will hang on the cross (Revelation 5:5–6). I am a King who shall rule the universe from a tree. And I shall make this cross my scepter. As they lift me up, I thrust my enemies under my feet as a footstool (Psalm 110:1). My triumphal entry is followed by a triumphal exit. Why should you weep over my hour of glorification (John 12:27–28)?
Weep not for me, as if to say,
Sunday is coming. I have said repeatedly that in three days I shall rise (Matthew 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:18–19). Although today is full of unutterable darkness, unimaginable pain, unthinkable terror, Sunday is coming. My Father’s perfect hand is crushing me, evil men are murdering me, my disciples have fled from me, but truly I tell you, Sunday is coming. Joy is set before me and empowers me to endure. A crown awaits me. An endless celebration awaits me. My blood-bought people await me. Eternal glory awaits me. My Father awaits me. Weep not for me.
Weep for Yourselves
Jesus does not stop their tears completely but redirects them: “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” God’s wrath will soon visit the people for their sin. The nation that rejected her Messiah — not Jesus — is to be pitied.
“Behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” (Luke 23:29–30)
“Weep for yourselves,” as if to say,
I can bear my cup, but you cannot bear yours. Rome will kill your children before your own eyes. The beast you conspire with today will surround you tomorrow. Your anguish will be so severe that it is better to collect these tears in a bottle to save for that dreadful day.
My sufferings will end at death; yours may not. Many of you will cry for the mountains to cover you, but that can only spare you from the judgment of Rome — it cannot spare you from the judgment of God. The hounds of his justice do not stop at death. He is God of both the living and the dead (Acts 10:42). Vengeance is his; he will repay (Hebrews 10:30). And it is a fearful thing to fall unshielded into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).
Weep for your sins. Gentle daughters, useless are the tears that fall on my behalf because of suffering but never fall because of sin. Many weep over my suffering, but not the sin which caused it. The horror you see before you is my becoming sin for my people and bearing the wrath they deserve, that they should have my righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you weep, better to weep over the lust that hammers the nail deeper, the lie that sticks a thorn in the brow, the cowardly duck that makes a gash upon me, the prideful strut that keeps me upon Calvary’s path.
It Was My Sin
I watched The Passion of the Christ each year for four years — being moved every time to tears — all while I was not truly born again. And I thought myself better for crying, as if my sins would be passed over if I had tears painted on my doorpost. It did not take a regenerate heart to weep over the sufferings of Jesus — our world is full of unbelievers who cry over sad things — but it did take a regenerate heart to mourn over what I rarely really mourned over: my sins (James 4:8–10).
And those who witnessed Jesus’s execution two thousand years ago didn’t see their sins in the cross either: “Who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?” (Isaiah 53:8). The horror stayed “over there,” while they remained innocent bystanders. They missed the point and beauty of the cross. They cried and cried, but had not love. Until we can truly sing, “It was my sin that held him there, until it was accomplished,” we weep for him in vain.
We should weep indeed at the foot of the cross, but not with pity. With faith. Those tears don’t dry up the Monday after Easter. Those tears mourn over the sin that nailed him there. Those tears sing over him as our conquering King. And those tears celebrate his death until he returns.
Are you worried you might never get married? Or if you’re married, that your marriage may never get better? Are you afraid of failing at work or losing your job? Do you have fears about your health, what illness you might have or how you might die? Do you worry regularly about your children — their health, their relationships, their faith? When are you afraid?
What you fear most may be exactly where Satan is targeting you most. He preys on insecurity, anxiety, and distress. He pours the gasoline of lies on our fears — trying to persuade us that God is powerless, indifferent, or distant. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, asks, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalms 13:1).
God is not powerless; his power is immeasurably great (Ephesians 1:19). God is not indifferent toward you; he cares for you as a Father for his child (1 Peter 5:7). And God is not distant; he is “near to all who call on him” (Psalm 145:18). But he can feel far away when we are afraid.
Sometimes God feels far from us in trials because we have put ourselves out of earshot from his word.
Every Reason to Fear
David wrote Psalm 56 when he was seized by the Philistines while running from Saul’s army. David thought he might find refuge there if the Philistines had forgotten who he was, but some servants of the king soon said, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” (1 Samuel 21:11). So they seized him.
David, running for his life from one murderer with an army of soldiers, runs into the arms of another jealous and dangerous enemy. Those are his “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) when he writes,
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. . . . All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. (Psalms 56:1–2, 5–6)
He lived each day wondering not just if he might die that day, but if today might be the day someone would kill him. Yet, more than once in this psalm, he says, “I shall not be afraid” (Psalm 56:4, 11). How can he say that when he is on the run and in captivity?
When I Am Afraid
David could face horrifying trials because he knew where to turn in horrifying trials.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3–4)
He begins by saying, “When I am afraid . . . ” He acknowledges that the danger, the trial, the fear is real. He does not deny being afraid in Philistine confines. Or in hiding from Saul. “I am afraid,” he confesses.
But for not long. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. . . . in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” I am afraid for the moment, but I know where to turn when I am afraid. And when I cast my fears on him, he casts away all my fears. “I shall not be afraid.”
Anytime you see someone move from “I am afraid” to “I shall not be afraid,” you should ask how. Knowing David overcame fear might mysteriously inspire someone who is afraid, but unless he tells us how, his story will not help us face our own fears.
How to Trust in God
What happened for David between “I am afraid” and “I shall not be afraid”? He put his trust in God. So, put your trust in God when you are afraid? Yes, but does David say more about what it looked like to trust in God in the caves, in captivity, running for his life?
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3–4)
When David put his trust in God, he put his trust, even his praise, in God’s word. He didn’t pray vague prayers of hope, but anchored his pain and longing and fear in specific promises of God. When I am afraid, I cling to you in your word. Instead of dwelling on the terrifying mountains in front of me, I set my mind on what you have said to those who love you. Suddenly, the threats no longer seem threatening because they’re being drowned out by a louder voice.
The Word on the Word
If you want to know what it looks like to treasure God’s word in the ups and downs of life, linger in Psalm 119. Nowhere else is Scripture exalted and celebrated like it is in Scripture’s longest chapter. Maybe most precious of all in those 176 verses, though, are when the psalmist talks about the power of God’s word to calm our fears and carry us through sorrow.
“My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!” (Psalms 119:28).
“I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!” (Psalms 119:107).
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word” (Psalms 119:114).
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words” (Psalms 119:147).
“Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words” (Psalms 119:161).
Princes persecute me without cause — I suffer for no reason — but your words are still sweet to me. When I don’t know what to say because the trials are so heavy, I cannot get enough of your voice. My only hope for healing and strength and protection and help and deliverance is written in your book. My heart stands in awe of all that you say.
God Is for You
David almost repeats himself near the end of Psalm 56:
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:9–11)
What does it mean to trust in God? It means to trust what he says. And what does God say in his word? I am for you. And if God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? What can man do to you?
When fears come — and they will come, even today — you know where to turn. You know the voice you need to hear, the voice that instills a peace that surpasses all understanding. And he says to you, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And because you are in him, and he lives in you, through faith, you have overcome the world (1 John 5:4–5).
You can say with David, “I shall not be afraid.”
Marshall Segal (@marshallsegal) is a writer and managing editor at desiringGod.org. He’s the author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness & Dating (2017). He graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary. He and his wife, Faye, have a son and live in Minneapolis.
The greatest damage to the Christian faith may be a mindset that crept in where we now think “there exists a short-cut to reality.” This mindset is the cause of an upsurge of “miracle meetings” where people think without any real walk with God or fellowship with Him, we can show up at these meetings, get empowered and get results instantly circumventing every form of process.
There is a place for supernatural encounters with God and empowerment but it must be seen as a part of the process and not an end in itself. It is like a great outburst of rain that may make a farmer happy but he does know that a singular event in itself cannot bring the harvest. He must daily apply himself in the fields if he is to get results at the end of the day.
This mindset may have ruined the concept of discipleship, developing the customs of the Spirit of God through which Christian character is formed causing the grace of God to manifest itself in the habits of our life. It almost now sounds like the one who went through a process and applied himself diligently to put himself in a position where they are “qualified” doesn’t really understand “unmerited favour”
There was something in the Scripture I had wondered about for years. Jesus said all one required was faith as a grain of mustard seed to do the impossible yet at the same time, He reprimanded His disciples for their unbelief saying “o ye of little faith.” If all that was required to do the impossible was faith the size of a grain of mustard seed which was the smallest of all the seeds in Israel at that time, why then condemn our little faith?
First, the mustard seed faith which gets the impossible done.
Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Then the little faith which he reprimanded.
Matthew 14:31 “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Matthew 8:26 “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
It was Dr Creflo Dollar who showed certain things from the scriptures that further opened my eyes to this. The little faith doesn’t speak to the size but the length of time. It means you simply had a momentary outburst of faith which wasn’t sustained. It’s like a man who comes for a service, shouts and screams but by Tuesday morning when the “rubber meets the road” you wonder where all the shouts disappeared to.
The mustard seed faith speaks not to the size. Though it may seem small at the moment the person understands he has to plant that faith by speaking God’s words(revealed will) and then stay with it as a farmer stays with his seeds, watering and nurturing them to fruition. The seed will go through a process and through different seasons as it matures and manifests itself in getting the impossible done.
Somewhere we have allowed the lure of the instantaneous draw us away from true scriptural living into false enticements of short-cuts where we are enmeshed in a whirlwind of ever changing feelings drifting away from scriptural facts that form the basis of our faith.
It was our first date. I wasn’t even completely sure she knew it was a date. We met at a wedding, and then talked on the phone once a week or so for a couple of months. I asked if I could take her out, and she conceded.
I bought a couple board games, chose a trendy new taco joint, and found a non-chain coffee shop to hang out in after lunch. Coffee said I’m interested and serious, but not desperate. Board games said I know how to laugh and have fun, but that I’m here to win. I don’t know what tacos said, but I like them.
It was a great date. The conversation was a sweet mixture of serious and silly, of storytelling and good follow-up questions, all of it filled with our shared love for Jesus. A few hours went by really fast. Feeling confident, I told her how I felt about her, and asked if she wanted to begin dating.
“I had a great time today, too. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you. I’ve really enjoyed our conversations, and the way you’ve pointed me to Jesus. . . .” Everything I wanted to hear. “You’re a nice human being . . .” Wait, what does that even mean? “. . . but when I think about a relationship, my heart is cold.”
What went so wrong? What should I have done differently? It all seemed so comfortable, so exciting, so right, so sure. But when the day was done, she was colder than a Dairy Queen, and I was just “a nice human being.” It had started to feel like this might finally be my last first date. Of course, I guess first dates had felt like that before. Either way, here I was back where I began. Roller-coaster rides like these were enough to make you want to give up on marriage.
Your Last First Date
What was your last first date like?
Did it go well, and lead to more? Or did you leave never wanting to go through that again — thinking, Maybe marriage isn’t worth all of the pain, confusion, and heartache we endure to have it?
“If we want to be married, it should be because we want more of God.” Tweet Share on Facebook
Many among the not-yet married need the reminder that marriage is spectacular and needed in our society, and that’s because it belongs to God. God may call you to a lifetime of satisfied and fruitful singleness, or your next first date may be the first step of decades of enjoying him with a husband or wife. If we want to be married (and are willing to make ourselves vulnerable again in dating), it should be because we want more of God.
Is Marriage Worth It?
When divorce rates remain high, and the surviving marriages around us seem broken, messy, and unhappy — and when plenty of other good things keep us busy — lots of young men and women in their twenties and thirties are giving up on marriage, or at least discounting it in their plans and dreams.
Some of you have tried dating and been burned — confusion, rejections, sexual failure, breakups, or whatever else plagues our relationships. Others are sons and daughters of divorce. You were ripped apart, and left in pieces to be traded back and forth. With all the pain, failure, and friction, it simply can’t be worth it, can it? I can be known and loved in other ways. Marriage isn’t necessary for my happiness or significance here on earth.
That last sentence is true and important. You do not have to be married to be happy. But are we overlooking some significant things about what marriage really is, and why, at least for many, it’s worth all the time, patience, and even heartache?
What Demons Say About Marriage
Two thousand years ago, people were already questioning whether marriage was worth it. The apostle Paul says, “Some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). What lies were they believing when they left the faith? What were the demons saying? They “forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3).
“Compatibility may make for a good honeymoon, but only love for Jesus will keep a marriage healthy for a lifetime.” Tweet Share on Facebook
When we forget the goodness and beauty of marriage, we belittle something good and beautiful God is doing. Why? “For everything created by God” — including marriage — “is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4). God made marriage, and he meant for us to enjoy it with thankful hearts. He calls it good, even today.
To say otherwise is to say something about him.
For centuries, marriage was a mystery, until God began unlocking its long-hidden meaning with the gospel. Paul quotes Moses, “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). Then Paul says, “This mystery is profound” — it’s been hidden since God gave Eve to Adam — “and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32). The mystery isn’t mysterious anymore. What makes marriage profoundly beautiful, meaningful, desirable, and powerful is that it acts out God’s love for us. We get to relive the greatest love story ever told.
The Beauty of the Best Marriages
What makes marriage worth having? The beauty and joy of Christian marriage is not compatibility. Compatibility may be the rare jewel we’re hunting for in all our dating relationships, but relationships and marriages don’t stand out, thrive, and last because the two of us make sense together. No, the beauty and joy of Christian marriage is Christ, shining in our joyful and unwavering commitment to each other, even when we’re less compatible and least deserving of each other’s love. Passion, infatuation, and compatibility may make for a good honeymoon, but only a mutual love for Jesus will keep a marriage healthy for a lifetime.
The best marriages will be the hardest to explain — not because you are so different (you might be), but because you’re still loving each other so patiently, sacrificially, and passionately after years of inconvenience, conflict, and giving up so much. How do they still love each other so much? Well, because we have been loved like that and more.
“You’re not standing together at the altar to say, ‘I really do love you,’ but to say, ‘I really will love you.’” Tweet Share on Facebook
Paul says, “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . . God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6, 8). He didn’t die for us because he finally found the love of his life. We were not marriage material when he met us. No, he died to make us the love of his life, despite how little we deserved him. A love like his makes a marriage worth wanting, and it makes a marriage worth keeping.
What Are Wedding Vows?
“Wedding vows,” writes Tim Keller, “are not a declaration of present love, but a mutually binding promise of future love.” Marriage is mainly a love declared, not a love discovered.
Have you thought about your wedding day that way? The promises you will make before God, and before all your friends and family, have little to do with what you experienced and enjoyed in your dating relationship — and everything to do with the uncertain and uncontrollable months and years ahead.
You’re not standing there together before God, family, and friends to say, “I really do love you,” but to say instead, “I really will love you” — whatever it takes, however hard it gets, whatever happens, however much I want to leave. That kind of love will stand out in the world, and it will last long after many have given up and walked away.
The Big Goal in Dating
All our desires for dating should spring from a big vision of what marriage is and why it’s worth wanting. In all of your dating, keep your last first date in mind — your first date with your future spouse.
I definitely didn’t know it at the time, but mine was over trendy tacos, coffee, and board games. The Dairy Queen slowly warmed over the next few months. Two years later, she became my wife. In the meantime, we both had a big picture of what God designed marriage to be in front of us. We had no idea if we would get married, and we never assumed we would. In fact, we intentionally dated as if we were going to marry someone else, to keep us from idolizing each other or going too far too soon. But we knew the only thing worth dating for was a marriage — a lifelong, life-on-life love like Jesus’s love for us.
“Marriage is mainly a love declared, not a love discovered.” Tweet Share on Facebook
God’s idea of marriage is the only vision big enough, strong enough, and worth enough for all the risks we take in dating. Nothing else is worth all the risk we take when we begin to share our hearts with someone else. Nothing else will protect us from diving in too quickly or jumping ship when things get hard. Nothing else will stand out enough from the world around us to say something significant about Jesus.
If you want to date well, keep a big, sacred, breathtaking picture of marriage in front of you.
FIVE LAWS OF GROWTH IN RELATION TO CHOIR.
1. Discipline: The great Structure any choir has in this world is based on discipline.
2. Constant Training: There must be a frame work that will help the Church music minsters to input special session of training in their activities. At the long run guest instructor must be called for check and balance.
3. Constant Programs (Monthly worship concert and also quarterly Choir Fiesta): Growth begins when an external party comes to any of our well organized program, what they see might make them stay to be a full time member of the church. As it were constant programs increases the growth of a church.
4. Rehearsal: Constant rehearsals helps every music team of a church, it helps and it gives the team a better strength
5. Prayer: a key note to every successful being is prayer in any form. We have inherited the supernatural grace of God through Christ Jesus to pray and to receive answers. It is very paramount for every choir member to be subjected to Fasting and prayers which is our strength has Christians.
In 1677, twenty-seven-year-old Henry Scougal wrote this to a friend: “The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love” (The Life of God in the Soul of Man, 20). It is among the most penetrating sentences in the English language (or any language).
It is a devastating sentence. It lays us bare. For, as John Piper says,
The soul is measured by its flights,
Some low and others high,
The heart is known by its delights,
And pleasures never lie. (The Pleasures of God, 4)
Pleasures never lie. We can fool ourselves and others in many ways, but pleasure is the whistle-blower of the heart, because pleasure is the measure of our treasure. We know that what we truly treasure is what we truly love because Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). So it’s “not what we dutifully will but what we passionately want [that] reveals our excellence or evil” (The Pleasures of God, 4). Pleasure is the joy we experience over a treasure we love that makes us willing to sell everything else to have it (Matthew 13:44).
Henry Scougal was wonderfully, devastatingly, biblically right: the object of our love, the treasure we passionately want, measures the worth and excellency of our souls.
Search Me, O God
If we agree with Scougal, his penetrating sentence forces us to do some soul-searching. What do our pleasures really tell us about what we love? What do our loves tell us about the condition of our souls? What do we passionately want?
These are necessary questions, but the truth is, our own introspection and self-evaluation are typically not enough. We are usually poor physicians for our own souls, often failing to see the root causes or symptoms clearly. We swing from thinking far too highly of ourselves one moment to beating ourselves down with condemnation the next.
What we really need is to allow — to invite — Jesus to search our souls. We need the diagnosis and treatment of the Great Physician. We need to come to him and say with David,
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23–24)
What Jesus Asks of Us
Jesus is the master soul-searcher. It’s what he did with Peter after their post-resurrection seaside breakfast (John 21:15–19). Just days before, Peter had tragically failed to love Jesus, denying that he even knew Jesus three times. And so that morning, after lovingly serving him a meal on the beach, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” He asked this question three times.
Jesus accomplishes so much in this brief, but life-altering conversation. We watch him beautifully restore, commission, and prophesy over Peter. But we also see him expose Peter. Peter’s denials were real and horrible failures. Jesus repeating his question three times wasn’t merely to allow Peter to affirm his love for every denial. He was also probing deep into Peter’s soul, into the painful place of shame, and calling forth a love stronger than before, one that would endure the future opportunity for Peter to fulfill his pledge to lay his life down for Jesus (John 13:37). I think Peter’s grief after the third question is evidence that Jesus was hitting home (John 21:17).
Have We Lost Our First Love?
And we, like Peter, have also failed to love Jesus. Perhaps we have denied him publicly at times. We certainly have denied him thousands of times privately, choosing to pursue other treasures because we believed they held greater pleasures. These failures are real and horrible — worse than we might realize.
The question is, how true is this now? Are we living in failure, allowing the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of sin to choke out our love for Jesus (Matthew 13:22; Hebrews 3:13)? Have we grown accustomed to talking abstractly and dutifully about loving Jesus while passionately wanting and pursuing other things? Have we given ourselves permission to consider our lack of love for Jesus to be normal because lots of other Christians seem content living this way?
If so, if our pleasures are blowing the whistle that our hearts are not enthralled with Jesus, that we don’t love him supremely, it’s time to come to him and repent and invite him to search our hearts and ask us his probing question, “Do you love me?”
Whatever It Takes, Lord
The wonderful thing is that we don’t need to be afraid, for Jesus knows exactly where we’re at, just like he knew where Peter was at. He knows our failures to love him. He knows that they are sin. But he also knows his death and resurrection purchased the full forgiveness of those sins and the power for us to be changed from lukewarm to white-hot lovers of God. And he wants this for us — he’s eager to give it to us!
Our Lord Jesus,
We confess our horrible failures to love you. Our pleasures have not lied, and they reveal how we have not pursued the triune God as our greatest treasure. We don’t want another day to pass allowing our love for you to languish in a tepid place in our hearts.
So we ask you, Great Physician, to come search our souls and know our hearts. We present them to you; address every grievous way in us. Ask your probing questions. We will hold nothing from you. Do whatever it takes to revive our love for you! We do not want to give our souls rest until you are our first love (Revelation 2:4).
We want this more than anything: to love the triune God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Matthew 22:37). We believe the greatest affection is love, and we believe you are the greatest object of our love (1 Corinthians 13:13). And we believe we’ll never be happier and the excellence and worth of our souls will never be greater than when we love you supremely. For you are the wellspring of all that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19; John 14:6).
So we ask you to revive our love for you, O Lord, whatever it takes. And we ask it in your name, Jesus, and for your glory, Amen.