29. March 2018

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Trouble This Easter?

He is risen but much of the world does not know or embrace this!

We are facing very challenging times. There is trouble in the land.

God's holy, sacred, and ordained institution, marriage, is under direct broadside assault. Perversion is the darling of our culture. Evil is good. Good is evil. Many churches are listing.

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is being attacked and watered down by many. Churches by the droves are faltering and adopting a social justice, human flourishing, humanistic approach to the Christian faith. The Bible, the Word of God, is not looked upon by many as the final, absolute, inspired, inerrant authority: God's timeless Words breathed into human authors without error.

These apostates say the Bible "contains" the word of God but that human error, cultural changes, and knowledge and understanding have replaced humble submission to "that which is written". This is the end times apostate church: Looks good. Smells good. Does good things. But it is evil and deceptive!

These gifted apostate leaders are Ambassadors of Hell.

This should not surprise us. The devil wants to destroy marriage, family, missions, and the local church. These are God's hallowed instruments that he uses to pass on a godly heritage and win, build, and send souls into the world for the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. The devil does not want Hell robbed of souls soon to be going there.  He doesn't want Heaven filled. He wants lost souls to remain lost and damned forever.

The devil also knows that there is no greater tool in God's plan to win lost souls, mend or prepare them, and then send them out to reach others for Christ than His ministering agent: MARRIAGE.   Chuck Swindoll says, “Home is where life makes up its mind.” 

With all the political and moral turmoil, godless arrogance, and nonsense that we see via our national media and offices of political power, Barbara and I are focusing on just a few things:

 

  • This Easter Week we are focusing on Jesus and His Word. Consider this: Read out loud together sections of the Bible's Easter story each day this week. Discuss it. Then pray together out loud. We actually pray each night in the bed at bedtime. We pray out loud and we either cuddle or hold hands. We call it "Cuddle Praying". Most Christian couples, we find, refuse to do this. Amazing! This praying together as one is what the devil hates. He adores isolation. Praying together out loud in humble, teachable love is what God loves and works mightily through! God loves oneness.

 

  • Because the Spiritual Warfare has been intense lately, Barbara and I are focusing on our marriage, not letting anything including family and ministry get in between us.  What's best for your marriage will be best for your children, your work, your in-laws, and your church.

 

  • Finally, we want to focus on and thank God for you and we want to pray for you specifically by name. Please e mail us your chief, confidential prayer requests to  jgrunseth@centurylink.net

 

  • We'd be honored to email you all of our free biblical materials anywhere in the world for you to use, share, copy, translate, and publish at no cost to you. We want to give our lives away for the Lord Jesus! We want to advance toe Gospel.   jgrunseth@centurylink.net

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Barbara and I ask the Lord to bless and encourage you this Easter.

Have a peaceful, blessed time focusing on Jesus. Let your heart not be troubled. He has overcome the world!    John 16:33

 

He is Risen!

 

 

 

 

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Jim & Barbara

Note: By God's grace, we have sent our free biblical materials in PDF format via email all over the world to 175 destinations in roughly 50 countries. We give all permission to print, translate, share, and publish...all free. The recipients are mostly small local churches in the 10/40 window. We also send our children's books to orphanages. Please visit our website: marriageanchors.com

 

 

 

Online giving to our ministry: https://give.cru.org/give/View/0139150
Our CCC donor account number is #0139150

 

Our Prayer:

For God to raise up Hearts and Homes to be Gospel Lights to the Nations!      Matthew 5:14

There is always hope with God.

 

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11. February 2018

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Do You See Him?

Zechariah (written 520 – 518 B. C.) predicted more concerning the coming Messiah than anyone except for Isaiah.¹

 

Are we looking for Jesus today? Are we searching the Scriptures for Him? Do we see Him in the face of the poor child, the homeless mother, the person languishing in prison, or the sick in the hospital?

You know, most people miss seeing Him. Most miss Him all together.

Let’s read what Zechariah wrote

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”   (Zechariah 9:9  ESV)

I believe the main reason most Jewish people in Jerusalem failed to see Jesus, the promised Messiah riding on that donkey during His Triumphal Entry the week He was crucified, was they simply weren’t looking for Him. They had the Old Testament Scriptures. Many of them were taught in school about the coming Messiah. Their hearts were not humble. They were not looking up. They were caught up with the things of this world. Their hearts were hard and cold…self-focused on temporal things.

Let us pray for each other today that we would have eyes that can see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will find Him. Let us be Christ-focused and Heaven-Minded.

 

¹Ryrie NIV Study Bible, Book of Zechariah Introduction, p. 1273.

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10. February 2018

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Who Are You?

 In God's eyes, there is a great distinction between two kinds of people:

 

 

First, there are those saved, forgiven individuals who have been declared righteous, holy, and blameless by grace through personal faith. They have chosen to trust in who Jesus is and what He has done for them on that Cross.

 

 

Second, there are those lost, unsaved, unforgiven people who reject the Lord Jesus as the only provision and hope for one’s forgiveness, salvation, and new, eternal life. Many of these “Rejecters” are visibly wicked people: unrepentant thieves, murders, rapists, pornographers, drug and human traffickers, carousers, drunkards, etc.

 

Many, however, are not visibly wicked. Yet, in God's eyes, they suffer from a wickedness, the stench of which is utterly unbearable to our Holy God. This is the wickedness of the unsaved, lost person’s own self-righteous attempt at being good and impressing God.

 

This person may go to church, serve the poor, give money to charity, and help a neighbor in need. They may think they are saved, and going to Heaven someday, but they are not.

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 ESV)

 

1 … there is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;  there is none who does good, not even one.”   (Psalm 14:1-3 ESV)

 

They, in fact, are already condemned in their own wretched pride and self-worthiness. They are blind to redemption because, quite honestly, they do not think they need forgiveness, repentance, faith, and redemption. They actually think they can gain entrance into Heaven based on their own merits. They don’t need the merits of Christ.

 

Let us pray for not only each other that we might walk in repentance, faith, and complete humility, but let us also pray for those who desperately need Jesus but don’t yet know it.

Your Anchor: Don’t leave port without Him!

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8. February 2018

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Do You Have a Difficult Assignment?

These prophets in the Old Testament had a tough calling from God and a rough road for much of their lives. Once again, our friend, Joel (835 B. C.) had a difficult assignment. Has God given you a difficult assignment? I bet glazed donuts He has!

 

In chapter 2 of Joel, the prophet is required by God to exhort the Jewish people to repent from godless living. They were, indeed, a stubborn and stiff-necked people.

 

13- and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.   (Joel 2:13   ESV bold added)

 

Through Joel, God is commanding these wayward people to “tear”  in peaces their hearts like a wild beast would do or “split asunder” their hearts. (Strong’s 7167 www.BlueLetterBible.org (Lexicon)

God is then commanding them to “repent” or “restore”. The way of the flesh is so alluring. Choosing to turn to or return to the Lord and live by His Spirit in order to walk in His ways according to His Word is seldom easy. But it is best. Let us pray for each other that we would do the same.

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8. February 2018

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Have You Called Yet?

I love the Book of Joel, (835 B. C.) in the Old Testament. It is only 3 chapters, yet, there are some amazing gems in it.  A very famous verse is:

 

“32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”    (Joel 2:32  ESV)

 

 

Notice the Apostle Paul loved it and referred to it in his powerful letter to the Roman Christians in the New Testament.

 

 

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”  (Romans 10:13)

 

Do you know of someone who has not yet, to your knowledge, call on or cried out to the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sin, and eternal damnation in Hell? I most certainly do. Consider praying about copying and sending this and similar devotionals to them. Seeing them receive eternal life is well worth it. Even if they reject you and devotionals like this, at least you were faithful to be an effective witness to them.

Let’s pray for each other.

 

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6. February 2018

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Can You Relate to Prophet Jeremiah?

The prophet Jeremiah (627-585 B. C.) was known as “the weeping prophet”, “the prophet of loneliness” and also “the reluctant prophet”. From before the time he was born, God had chosen him to be a prophet who, “for more than 40 years, faithfully proclaimed God's judgment on apostate Judah, all the while enduring opposition, beatings, and imprisonment.” ¹ His was literally a thankless job: almost no perks, at-a-boys, thanks, or encouragement. The leaders hated what he kept telling them.

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 1:5-8 ESV)

Do you feel like very few people listen to you? Do you minister, witness, share your faith, do your job, but you don’t see much fruit and no one seems to care one way or the other? Are you fearful, at times, of taking a stand for God and the Bible in this “dark ages” culture? I have felt these.

Our brother in the faith, Jeremiah, knows these fears quite well. He can relate to us. May we remember this, however! Verse 8 above is God encouraging Jeremiah and, I believe, us. “There is no need to be afraid. I, God, am with you and will deliver you. That is all you have to focus on. I will take care of the results my way, and in my time.”

(Verse 8 paraphrased) 

 

Let’s pray for each other.

 

¹Ryrie NIV Study Bible, Book of Jeremiah Introduction, p. 1008.

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5. February 2018

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Can You Relate to King David?

Can you relate to King David?

Here is a man chosen by God. He has courage against Goliath.

 

 

 

 

 

Later, he falls into sin with Bathsheba.

At one point, his honor for God prevented him from slaying his pursuer, King Saul. Later, his honor is out the window when he sets up Bathsheba’s husband, General Uriah, to meet his end on the front lines of combat. I can relate: Inconsistent, honorable at times, carnal at other times. Yet, David loved his God and, in general, was honest and authentic with Him. Take in his humble sincerity.

1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!

 

3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,  for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”

(Psalm 31: 1-4 ESV)

 

The Lord does not want us to wallow in the past with its troubles and sins. Once we come clean, He washes all our sin from us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1John 1:9 ESV)

Rather, He desires we look to Him, be completely honest before Him, and then unashamedly surrender our will, our plans, and our very lives to Him. Over all, this was Kind David’s heart. Lord Jesus, may it be ours as well. Let’s pray for each other.

 

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