by Susan Sampson

Falling in love again with our Lord and our husbands.  It is a process isn’t it?:)  The process of sanctification will continue until we go home to be with our Lord.  For now, the fruit of the Spirit is love. And praise be to God, fruit grows.  As the Falling in Love Again with Your Husband study comes to a close here, may the Lord grow all the seeds that were planted in our hearts for His glory!  For the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Praise God that “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8a).  We can rest in the Lord’s faithfulness and love.  It is God alone who brings the growth!  “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6-7). 

In reviewing the lessons, I worked through Lesson Five, “A Fountain of Life” this morning.  The Lord graciously reminded me that He is the SOURCE of all goodness, righteousness, strength, love and holiness.  I am writing to you from San Diego, California.  The hotel my husband and I are staying in is a beautiful oasis in the midst of somewhat dry and dessert like land.  “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).  The flowers here are stunningly beautiful.  There are many gardeners working meticulously to give great care to tend the beautiful flowers.

In this lesson we read Psalm 1 which describes the blessed man as one who is “like a tree planted by streams of water” (v. 3).  We also read Jeremiah 17 which describes the blessed man as “like a shrub in the desert” (v. 6).

There is no flower or shrub in the desert apart from the water.  The water is the source of life.  Day 2 is titled “A Fountain in the Desert.”  Jesus is “the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9).  We must go to the SOURCE.  We must go to the fountain and drink deeply.

Please do not give into the temptation to stop having your quiet time now that Bible study is over.  I can see in my mind the picture of many branches scattered across my backyard right now.  They have no leaves, they are dry and brittle, they have no life.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 

The prophet Jeremiah describes how God’s people turned away from Him.  “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils:  they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:12-13).  They turned to self.

Praise be to God for sending His only Son, Jesus Christ to rescue us!  The fountain of His blood has washed away our sin!!  “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1). 

To be the oasis to our husbands that the Lord calls us to be, we must go to the SOURCE of life. For every believer, the source of life dwells within us!  And He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us!!  Because of the gospel, we must immerse ourselves in His word.  We must saturate our hearts and our minds with the word of life.  Jesus continues to call us to Himself.  He says to each one of us, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). 

Thank you Lord for this study, for our husbands, and most of all for sending your Son to become sin for us so that in Him we could become the righteousness of God!!  May you cause our hearts to worship and adore you this holy week o Lord as we anticipate celebrating your life giving resurrection this Sunday!

by Susan Sampson

Lord, where do I begin?  Thank you for loving me perfectly, knowing completely the state of my heart.  Thank you, Jesus, for clothing me with your garments of salvation and covering me with your robe of righteousness (Is. 61).  Thank you, Father, for declaring me righteous and holy because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Thank you that instead of the wrath I deserve for my idolatry, you have freely bestowed mercy upon me out of your great love and now you look on me in Christ.  “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

Thank you for the wringer, Lord.  I confess my complaining spirit.  I don’t like the wringer.  But you know best.  My son doesn’t like his allergy shots, but the doctor knows best.  You know the idols my heart continues to cling to.  Fear of man, desiring the approval and acceptance of man—wanting others to think I’m good—selfishness, desiring perfection.  Thank you for the grace you have given me enabling me to see these sins.  Without the wringer, I would not even notice all that I cling to that is not Christ.  Thank you Lord for using the wringer to show me my sin as you see it.  It was Job who said after all the suffering that you allowed, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). 

Thank you for the wringer, Lord.  Please use the wringer to cut off everything my heart remains attached to!  I see that I need heart surgery.  Your word commands us to “circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn” (Deut. 10:16).  Thank you, Father, that as we walk forward by faith working out our salvation with fear and trembling, you will accomplish this work in us.  Lord, I thank you for your promise in Deuteronomy 30:6 that says, “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

So how badly do we want the Lord to change our hearts?  Enough to go through the wringer?  How badly do we want to be holy as God is holy? How badly do we want to love our husbands?  The title of our current study is Falling in Love Again with Your Husband.  Our goal is to love the Lord with all our heart and then our husbands!  I can’t love my husband if I’m busy loving my idols.  Thank you, Lord, for the wringer.

This week I believe the Lord showed me how I still think worry & fear are just parts of who I am, just part of my personality.  This is a lie I’m believing.  Fear and worry are sins.  R.C. Sproul called sin “cosmic treason” in his book “The Holiness of God.”  My fear and worry nailed Christ to the cross.  Praise be to God Most High for His glorious gift of the gospel!  “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).  

My dear sisters, let us return to the Lord.  Let us believe the glorious truth of the gospel and confess our sin, confess our idolatry and turn in repentance and faith to the Lord, our Redeemer!  May the Lord have mercy on us because He is merciful and give us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to obey the truth of His word.

THIS WEEK – Let us STOP & truly LISTEN to what the Lord is saying to us through our husbands and may God’s grace move us to respond in humble adoration and obedience.  Praise God for our husbands!!

Listen to God’s promise to us –

“I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon” (Hosea 14:4-7).

Praise be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

by Angie Thomas

Worry.  It is one of the most insidious sins.  It seems natural, mature.  Children don’t usually worry much, but we blame it on their naivety and innocence.  We think, “When they grow up and understand life, they will have much to worry about.” Really, we are the ones that are naive.  Mariam-Webster defines worry as “to choke or strangle, to torment.” Wow, not exactly the innocent personality trait we want to frame it as.  We have to look at this sin seriously and ask God to get to the root of it so we can dig it out of our hearts.  The challenge is that it is seeded and twisted with so many other sins: pride, fear, jealousy, coveting, idolatry.  It is often a manifestation of these other sins.
If you think back to your childhood, when did you begin to worry? For me, as I began to gain independence and make decisions for myself, I began to worry.  Was I making the “right” decision, what decision should I make, how will it affect my life?  That is also when I began to worship the idol of our culture: self.  I wanted my life to go a certain way. After all, even the church often tells us, “You can be anything! Pursue your dreams!”  Yet Jesus’ words to His disciples is so different, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it(Matt. 16:24-25). We worry because we fear being out of control, of things not playing out the way we want.  If we trusted the Father and believed—even when we have trials and our life doesn’t end up the way we want—that our life will still be the most satisfying life we could live, we wouldn’t worry.  We have to plead for God’s grace to give us childlike faith and belief in His goodness and love for us and take our hands off of our lives.

I will share from personal experience, being a wretched worrier, that it requires constant and vigilant tending of our thought life.  2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” The devil’s argument is that we cannot trust God completely and that He does not have our best interest in mind.  But that is a lofty opinion that is raised against the truth of God’s word and who He is. His love and affection for us are found throughout the Bible, You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off, fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:9b-10).

God’s word tells us in Philippians 4:6 to NOT BE ANXIOUS about ANYTHING.  I didn’t check the Greek but I think anything probably means ANYTHING.  That means we are not to be worried about our finances, our job, our relationships, our plans, our dreams…NOTHING! I can share from personal experience as you try to walk this out in different areas of your life, it will feel foolish.  Not worry about my money? That is irresponsible.  Not worry about my job? That is immature. The list goes on and on.  Notice I am not suggesting you don’t give attention to these things, I am only commending that you follow God’s Word.  Philippians 4:6 continues, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” Prayer and supplication with thanksgiving is quite different than obsessing or dwelling on our concerns for hours or days.  We must stop the thoughts and go to prayer, taking all of our concerns before Him.

So how can we combat this strangling, choking attribute of worry?  Surrender your life, minute by minute, to the Lord. Believe that He loves you regardless of your circumstances. Lay all your concerns before Him daily; don’t minimize or suppress them. Thank Him despite your lack of control.  Trust that He is Sovereign and always in control and is always good and faithful.  As the worry loses its grip on your heart, there is ABUNDANT LIFE and JOY that well up within you by the power of the Holy Spirit!

I am praying that we can all put to death this nasty sin of worry.  It will be an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel as those around us see the peace of Christ, that surpasses understanding, overflowing from our surrendered hearts!