AS GOLD

“These (painful trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” ( 1Pet 1:7)

Today I celebrate five weeks since I fell and broke my foot. It has been five weeks of clear testimony that in all things God Almighty, the God of the Bible, He is my God. I did not chose the way or the timing for the testing of my faith. God did it! This is my committed attitude: Anything God does to me, even if painful, is a privilege. Here I am, passing the test of faith, by His grace, for His glory and for my good! Hallelujah!

This is a spiritual law: Faith must be tried to be proven genuine. Faith must be tried like gold in the fire. Fake religious ‘faith’ cannot survive the fire of God. The Egyptians drowned in the waters of miracles that set God’s children free! But true faith not only survives, but it becomes stronger, purer and more expensive. The impurities of flesh must be burnt off in the heat of God’s judgement. The pure faith will now easily believe that nothing is impossible with God! What a miracle!

As a servant of God, I preach the Cross. I cling to the Cross! I boast in the Cross! The Cross must have its way in my life. It must be seen. It must be felt. The Cross is painful but profitable in all things. It was painful to lose what I thought was a gain. But this purifying of my faith thru the fire rewarded me now with the assurance of my salvation. And that is a great reward no money can buy. Glory to God!

After I fell the doctors did an X-ray and showed me the broken bone. In the same way the Holy Spirit did X-ray for my soul and showed me what needs to change. In the visible realm you can see me falling down the stairs. But in the Spirit realm it was a testing of faith. It was me passing thru the fire of God. What a privilege!

This is my testimony: Thru this testing I completely lost at least two of the ‘impurities’ that plagued and weakened my faith in the past: fear, doubts and impatience. This is so amazing to me… I searched my soul and I have discovered that I am free from the bondage, shame and pain of fear, doubts and impatience. These are no more! Can you believe that? My faith is free! My faith is pure! My faith is in God alone! From now on, my words, my marriage, my ministry, my very life will show forth only Christ Crucified and Resurrected! I will never be the same again! ‘This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long…’

My dear children, thank you for praying for me! Your mother is now free like Zion! Be encouraged today! As a family, as a congregation, we are moving on, faster than ever before! The gates of hell cannot prevail against us! What the devil used against us for evil, God has turned it around for our good! Praise God the Father! Glory to The Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb upon the throne, now and forever! Amen!

As Gold

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LOVING MARRIAGE AMONG THE LILIES (5)

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)

The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better. What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?

5. DO VICTORIOUS SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Marriage is God’s gift and the devil hates it. You should know that! You need to know how to do victorious spiritual warfare in the name of Jesus!

In chapter 5 we find the Beloved and her Lover already married. And they have their first quarrel. It is not something serious but it could have become worst. They wisely defeat the enemy and quickly repair the damage to the relationship.

“I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one…”
“I have washed my feet…
Must I soil them again?”…
I arose to open for my beloved…
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart sank at his departure…” (SS 5:2-6)

This is the story: the Lover comes late at night and wants to enter her room. She is not too happy with his request. She complains that she has taken her bath and does not want to get dirty again. He feels offended and goes away. Almost immediately she feels guilty about her attitude and she goes to open the door. But he is gone. Heart broken she leaves the house in the night to look for him. The watchmen on the street abuse her thinking she is a prostitute. But she is truly heartbroken and ‘love sick’. She is begging them to find her Lover. When the daughters of Jerusalem ask her why does she take such a risk to look for a man in the night, she tells them how wonderful he is and how much she loves him. She looks for him until she finds him. They finally reconcile and are happy again. They are wiser now! The enemy of their marriage has been defeated! They have passed the test of love! Hallelujah!

My husband and I have applied these lessons over the years. What are these?
*Arguments and crises shall come. Learn to show self control! The devil wants you to add fuel to the flesh so that the quarrel will increase. Learn to lovingly withdraw when the tempers flare up. Later, when both of you are calmer, speak love and wisdom to each other. Pray for one another! Learn from mistakes!
*Learn how to satisfy one another sexually. This skill does not come automatically.
*Humble yourself! Be quick to repent! Submit to one another! The devil wants you to be proud and stubborn with your spouse. Reject that!
*Even during times of crises learn to speak only good words to your spouse. Do not insult your lover. The devil wants to use your words to destroy your marriage. He has nothing to lose but you have too much to lose! Do not be foolish. Words hurt more than daggers. Remember the power of the tongue to build or to destroy! Be a builder!
*When you sense trouble coming pray in the Spirit! The devil is a liar! Jesus is Lord!
*Pay the price for reconciliation! Appreciate peace in the home! Be pro active in seeking peace!
*Ask help from others who are more spiritual and wiser than you.
*Enjoy your marriage every day! Be grateful to God! He is on your side! Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning! Remember that morning will surely come!

My children, I pray that God will grant you spiritual wisdom and the gift of a strong, happy and successful marriage! To God be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!

Lily 5

LOVING MARRIAGE AMONG THE LILIES (4)

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)

The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better. What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?

4. TRUE LOVE
“He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins,
Refresh me with apples,
For I am lovesick” (SS 2:4-5)

As pastors, my husband and I meet with many couples who struggle in their marriages . We also witness pure holy love that make the marriage strong and happy. There are many books sold in the Christian bookstores written about the secret of successful marriages. Only very few quote scriptures from the Song of Songs. What a pity… In this Book we see how two young people fall in love, date each other, have their wedding, pass thru the struggles and the testings of love and finally come to the place of fulfillment in their marriage.

These days we are inundated with negative images about sex and fleshly passion. Most people, young and old, are ignorant about true love as it is found in the Bible. Let me say this: It is a beautiful thing to to see a man and a woman fall in love in the presence of God! It is a beautiful thing to witness the wedding of a man and a woman who love each other passionately with the Love of Christ ‘shed abroad in their hearts’. God is love and God gives love to be shared among men. Next to your relationship with God, loving your spouse should be the priority of your life!

Here we see true love displayed between a young man and a young woman. Some say that it is the story of King Solomon falling in love with a simple ‘village girl’. First if all it speaks of the love Christ has for His Bride, the Church. It is also a guide to true love in marriage. We can learn so many lessons about love in this wonderful Book.

The first lesson is this: these two people are passionately in love with one another. This attraction and this passion is mutual. Both of them talk. In fact, the Beloved talks more than the Groom. We should come to worship God with words!!! These two are not ashamed of each other or about their love. This is a warning: if love is very strong but it is coming from only one direction, that marriage cannot last. If one of them talks all the time and the other keeps silent to ‘avoid trouble’ that marriage relationship cannot last. A bird needs two wings to fly. Even so love must be mutual and balanced to grow!

We see that the groom brings his bride to the ‘banqueting house’ and decorates that house with a big banner saying LOVE! A banner is like a big flag indicating the identity and the location of the people under that banner. For example, each tribe of Israel had a banner lifted high in the wilderness. In war it gives courage to the people under that banner. There was the banner of Judah, of Benjamin and so on. If a man got lost in the desert, he will look for the banner of his tribe and go there.

The groom openly displays his banner of love so that everybody knows that his Bride belongs to him and that she is safe there under his protection. If a husband is ashamed of his wife in public that marriage is in trouble. If a wife mocks her husband in public, that marriage is falling already. The banner of love shows that what is in your heart is also on your lips and displayed in your actions! You must feel love, speak love and act love for that marriage to grow!

This is a good counsel: if as a prodigal son or daughter you get ‘lost’ in the desert of this world, and you desire to come back, do not look at men’s faces or at your circumstances! Look for the banner of Jesus! God loves you! Go to the Cross and you shall find there the eternal source of all true love!

This is my testimony: I never wake up in the morning with fear that Jesus will ignore of abandon me today. I am sure of His love for me. I do not doubt His love for me. Try to imagine being married to a man who loves me like Jesus! In the past I was foolish enough to sometimes doubt my husband’s love for me. But I was wrong. Thru the study of the Word of God and prayer, we both grew in the security of our love for each other. We do not exchange bad words in our house or in public. We do not threaten each other with divorce. We do not mock or insult each other, not even jokingly! We help and encourage each other to be like Jesus! This is our attitude!

“Catch us the foxes,
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes” (SS 2:15)

Love is like the tender grapes. Love is like a baby. Both the husband and the wife need to care for that ‘baby’ so that it matures into a strong and fruitful son. The little foxes of foolishness, greed, lust, quarrels and ambitions can damage the roots of true love and spoil the vineyards, destroy what love can be. Careless words hurt the relationship and forgiveness is so difficult to find. You must be jealous with the testimony of your passion. If not, the tender love displayed at the wedding day fails to mature into a vineyard of sweet harvest in the old age.

My children, please, do not take love for granted! Do not misuse God’s gift of marriage! Do all you can to protect it from internal and external enemies! This is my prayer and my wish for you: May your marriage be strong and happy to the end! In Jesus name, amen!

Lily 4

LOVING MARRIAGE AMONG THE LILIES (3)

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)

The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better. What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?

3. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
Moral character refers to the qualities of a person that make him spiritually mature, responsible and loving. This person may look ‘ordinary’ but is considered a true leader, a hero and an inspiration to others. This person is born again and filed with the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit is clearly manifest in his or her life: ” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). You need these fruits in your lives to have a happy and successful marriage. Nothing else compares with these.

In the Bible a person with good moral qualities is said to have ‘a name’. In Hebrew, the word ‘name’ means identity, character, reputation and fame. If a man falls into sin they say he has lost his name.

Read this:
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your NAME is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!” (SS 1:2-3

In Song of Songs we see that the first thing the Beloved appreciates about her Lover is his name, or his character. The Bride falls in love with the Groom because of the way he behaves towards her and towards the others! That is why she wants to kiss him! Even the other girls appreciate his good behavior! At the very beginning of their interaction she is not impressed so much by his beauty, strength or wealth. It is his character! She appreciates his name, his fame! Everybody knows that this man is wonderful in behavior! Beauty is fleeting and money may fail. But a good character will sustain any marriage any time!

This is a reminder of the power in the name of Jesus. Even before we knew His promises and miracles, we were attracted by His wonderful name! Jesus!!!

Any person who does not have a good character cannot have a successful or happy marriage! It is also a warning to the young people who are getting ready for marriage! Dear children, Please pray for wisdom!

OUR TESTIMONY
We are married for 42 years! The older I get, the more I appreciate my husband’s character. Below is a partial list with my husband’s qualities that I have discovered over the years. My husband is:
*A true man of God!
*Loving, generous, compassionate and kind!
*Honest, truthful and open; he does not lie, steal or cheat!
*Courageous, doing what is right even in the presence of rejection or danger!
*Willing to sacrifice himself and his money for the work of God and helping others!
*Controls himself; he stays calm under provocation, temptation or stress!
*Just and fair; he does not discriminate!
*Good citizen; he abides by the laws of the country!
*Spirit of excellence; he does his best and he is happy with his work!
*Keeps his promises; is dependable and trustworthy; he hates to disappoint others!
*Respects others; he honors their rights, dignity and freedom! Hates to hurt them!
*Responsible; he does not shift blame on others!
*Patient; he knows that good things take time to achieve!
*Forgiving; he is able to leave hurtful things behind; does not seek revenge!
*Peace Maker; he is able to talk things without being violent!
And so on… And so on …To God be all the glory!

Now you know the secret of our happy and strong marriage! May God grant you the blessing of a wonderful marriage! In Jesus name, amen!

Lily 3

LOVING MARRIAGE AMONG THE LILIES (2)

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)

The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better. Please read on…

My husband and I are married for more than 42 years. We got married as unbelievers. Then one by one we got saved. Now we are in full time ministry helping others to live godly lives. We are sinners saved by grace. We made many mistakes along the way. But the grace of God who brought us together when we were young shall keep us together to the end. This morning, being inspired by the Word of God and also from our experience as a married couple, I want to help and challenge the younger believers to make their Christian life and their marriage a great success.

What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?

2. Contentment
Contentment is having peace of mind and rest in your soul. It is defined as a state of peace, joy and satisfaction. It means to be free from worry, restlessness and impossible ambitions. It means to be satisfied and grateful with God’s provision for your life. A born again believer should be satisfied when his life’s basic needs are met, he has a good and happy family and attends a good church.

Many wrongly believe that money is the real source of happiness. America in particular, gives the impression that materialism produces satisfaction in life. The truth is that material wealth helps to have an easier life generally, better health and a good education. But the happiness that comes with wealth is limited. It stops at a certain point and cannot increase from that level on. Rich wise people have discovered that happiness comes with being generous with your wealth. It is this flow of ‘give and take’ that makes a man happy. Greedy people who hoard their money for future happiness can never be satisfied. This is a very good advice: Simplify your life! Money should be your servant and not your boss! Do not buy things just because you have the money! Pray about all your purchases! Do not compete with others in dressing and fashion! Be simple! “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Tim 6:6-8)

In marriage you also need to practice the attitude of contentment. You have to decide that your spouse is God’s gift to you. Until death do you part, there is no other! Marriage is not a market place! You should be satisfied with your husband or your wife. You will always see others who are younger, stronger, more beautiful or wealthier than your spouse. But you chose to be are satisfied with your own. Learn to appreciate your own! Kill any desire to love a stranger! You should not compare your spouse with others. Before you marry, you ‘seek’ your life partner! From the day of the wedding you stop ‘seeking’! Put a stop to it!

Contentment also applies to the level of wealth or social standing your spouse is able to provide. Do not desire more than that! As you can see, contentment is not an achievement to boast if, but a spiritual attitude that needs to be cultivated thru prayer and the Word of God. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content… In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philipp 4:11-12)

“I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment” (SS 8:10). In Song of Solomon the bride is seen as a wall and her breasts are like towers. This is symbolic prophetic language. It reveals the type of woman she is. A wall represents strength, help, faithfulness, protection and stability. The picture of her well developed breasts means spiritual maturity and readiness to be fruitful. This is how the believer in Christ should be. The bride is not weak, ignorant, foolish or a push around. She knows her identity in Christ and pays the price to be like Him. She is content with her Lover and makes Him happy! This should be our desire too! Pray about this…

Lily 2

LOVING MARRIAGE AMONG THE LILIES (1)

 
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)

The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better.

My husband and I are married for more than 42 years. We got married as unbelievers. Then one by one we got saved. Now we are in full time ministry helping others to live godly lives. We are sinners saved by grace. We made many mistakes along the way. But the grace of God who brought us together when we were young shall keep us together to the end.

This morning, being inspired by the Word of God and also from our experience as a happy married couple, I want to help and challenge the younger believers to make their Christian life and their marriage a great success. Dear children, please read on…

What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?

1. Commitment
To be successful a marriage needs commitment from both husband and wife. Commitment is defined as a vow, a promise to do or give something; to be loyal to the end. It is the attitude to work very hard to the success of marriage. The vows you made to each other on your wedding day need a life time of commitment. God is a covenant keeping God of commitment to His promises.

As a believer in Christ you must be like God! Success in marriage requires a willingness to spend time and energy to make it work. Lazy, careless, greedy, worldly, irresponsible or foolish people end in divorce. Commitment means that you are not free to waste your time and emotions in things that do not build your marriage. Even if these things are good, if they do not help my marriage, I shall ignore them. It is my responsibility to avoid close friendship with people who dishonor their spouses. I can pray for them and counsel them but they cannot be my friends. it is my desire to make friends with women who are better wives than me so that I can learn from them. This is my strong life time commitment to pray and to do everything that is necessary to make my marriage a success. So help me God!

THE SEAL OF LOVE
‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, it’s jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it will be utterly scorned’ (SS 8:6, 7)

A seal is a visible stamp applied with fire proving that the object is original and intact. The seal is upon the heart, in the most intimate place where strangers cannot enter. It is also on the arm, the strength openly displayed to others. First of all, as a husband and wife, our love must be sealed in the most intimate emotions. We must guard our hearts! We must protect our Spirits! We must be gentle with our words! Also, our love for one another must be displayed in actions and words for others to see. Our love displayed means love protected. Be jealous over the testimony of your marriage!

What God has joined together let no one put asunder! Any man or woman who tries to destroy our love shall be burnt by the fire of the same love. This love is not for sale. Our love is priceless for Jesus died to give it to us! To bribe for love is an abomination! Love in marriage is God’s gift to us and must be so to the end. Our love for one another is a testimony that Christ indeed loves the Church. We must be jealous over our love and protect it from strangers or wicked spiritual parasites! This is our commitment to one another in the presence of God! May the seal of the Holy Spirit placed on our hearts and arms speak for itself! In Jesus name, amen!

Lily 1