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Cohabitation vs. Marriage

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Cohabitation has become very popular in the world in which we live. Some say it is the new norm; believe it or not, it has become highly accepted today. Just in case you don’t know, cohabitation is the practice of living together outside the bonds of marriage. Cohabitation is the reason the divorce rate seems to be falling; not because living with someone before marriage makes a strong marriage but because often people who live together simply separate without the requirement of a divorce. Barna research shows that
the majority of American adults believe cohabitation is generally a good idea. Two thirds of adults (65%) either strongly or somewhat agree that it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before getting married, compared to one-third (35%) who either strongly or somewhat disagree.
 
As a Christian, I have often wondered why or how someone who claims to be a Christian could think that something that is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches to be wrong could ever be a good practice? Barna research also sheds some light on this subject:
 
Though it may seem as though cohabitation would be primarily a function of convenience and cost saving, almost all adults see it as a rite of passage in the path to marriage. The idea that living with one’s significant other before getting married would be convenient (9%), or that it would save rent (5%) pale in comparison to the value of testing compatibility (84%) by playing house before tying the knot. By far, the reason cohabiting couples are shacking up is in order to test the waters before taking the plunge.
 
It is amazing to me how people, due to money, convenience, or secular thinking, could with a clear conscience do something so out of God’s will and still think that their life is pleasing to the Lord. Pray that God will show us the blessing of marriage and burden that sin placed on people as we look at the purpose of marriage this month.

 

Pastor,

Rev. Wayne Marcus 

 



Face the Music

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Many years ago, a man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China even though he could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. He received a modest salary and enjoyed a comfortable living. Then one day the emperor requested a solo from each musician. The flutist got nervous. There wasn’t enough time to learn the instrument. He pretended to be sick, but the royal physician wasn’t fooled. On the day of his solo performance, the impostor took poison and killed himself. The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that found its way into the English language: “He refused to face the music.”

 

Like this man, many people have become accustom to cheating the One that provides from them. The Lord has blessed us with so much and in return we are often tempted to steal or resist the One who has so richly blessed us. If you are not freely giving your tithe and talents to be used of the Lord then you are, according to the Word of God, robbing God. You are also cheating yourself of the blessings that God desires to give you. One of the benefits of being a part of the family of God is having a body of believers to encourage you and work with you, so I pray that you will be encouraged to love God and give, go, and glorify His name through giving yourself and all that you have totally over to His will.

 

Pastor,

Rev. Wayne Marcus



Wisdom for Working

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It is important that we take a look at how we use the provisions that God gives us and work at being all the wiser in how we give, spend, invest, and save in our life. When I was in Brazil last year, I was amazed at the way the indigenous people live their life. They get up every day, go out and find what they are going to eat that day. They gather fruit from the rain forest, catch or kill their daily provision. They don’t have freezers or pantries full of goods. They live each day based on what they can find that day. I was told by the missionary that if you gave them a milk cow that they would kill it and eat it at once; they would not think of keeping it to milk or raising a calf off of it. They were not raised or taught to think ahead to the next day. One might look at this way of thinking as faith, trusting God day by day, yet when we read the Bible, we know that in the book of Proverbs the Bible says,

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest (Prov. 6:6-8). 

It is not a faith to disregard the wisdom that God gives us to be wise in our planning. We also have to be smart in knowing that God wants us to plan but also to be balanced not greedy and not living in fear of the future. We need to know that when God leads us to give that we ought to give, knowing what the Word of God teaches:

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:10-11).

 

May God help us be wise enough to listen and live in obedience to Him in all of our decisions.

 

Pastor,

Rev. Wayne Marcus



How Blessed We Are

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Living in a country as blessed as America, we have to be very careful to not be overtaken with the sin of greed. You would think that if you have more than most people in the world then you would want less but that is not the case. Often people who have a lot end up living their life for more. We think that if we don’t have thousands of dollars, big house and serval vehicles we are poor. I would ask you to compare your life to the rest of the world and understand how blessed you really are. Look at this article I found a few years ago:  

“How Rich We Are”

“From the standpoint of material wealth, Americans have difficulty realizing how rich we are. Going through a little mental exercise… can help us to count our blessings, however. Imagine doing the following, and you will see how daily life is for as many as a billion people in the world:

  1. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blanket and pads for beds.
  2. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.
  3. Empty the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.
  4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.
  5. Take away the house itself and move the family into the tool shed.
  6. Place your “house’ in a shantytown.
  7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because now none of you can read anyway.
  8. Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown.
  9. Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.
  10. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders.
 

By comparison how rich we are! And with our wealth comes responsibility to use it wisely, not to be wasteful, and to help others. Think on these things. [Steve Williams -www.bible.org/illus/]



Made with Purpose

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Have you ever wondered why you were born? Are you just a result of nature, or is there something bigger at play? These are questions a lot of people have, and the answer really does matter. If I am just a result of nature then there is no real purpose or plan for my life, but if I was a created by a sovereign God then this means that I am part of the Master’s plan and have a great purpose. The good news is that you are part of the Master’s plan, and He did create you with a perfect plan and divine purpose. Look at this verse in Isaiah 44:2

“Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.”

 

Did you get that He has made and formed us from the womb? This means that you are the way you are because God created you that way. He has a plan, and you are a part of it.

 

Did you know that when all of those ultra sounds were being taken, and your parents were looking at the gray looking blob they were seeing the formation of a masterpiece? God was uniquely creating you for a specific purpose according to His master blueprint. You were created by Him, for Him, and He is not finished with you yet. He is still creating or crafting you for His grand plan. How does it feel to be a prized creation? This means that you have one of a kind value and worth that is out of this world. That’s right you are special, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. You are special because of the Creator who made you to be that way. Now, get busy finding out what you are created to do with all of your uniqueness.

 

Pastor,

Rev. Wayne Marcus