Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Live Long and Prosper...

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.   (3 John 2).

Okay – I’ll admit it...I was a 'Trekkie' back in the day. 

I loved watching Star Trek each week as Captain James T Kirk and First Officer Spock explored brave new worlds in far-away galaxies aboard the Federation Starship Enterprise.

Set the in 23rd century, their galactic adventures centered around the United Federation of Planets and its interaction with both friendly and hostile alien species.  Each week the show featured the young crew facing life and death decisions as they navigated through difficulties and dangers.

Mr. Spock would, on occasion, give a blessing of sorts to someone with whom he had respect for or to whom he paid homage to by saying, “Live long and prosper”.  A caveat here: in my opinion, Gene Roddenberry likely had 3 John 2 in mind when he crafted that famous line.

To prosper is to become strong and flourishing – successful or thriving. It also refers to succeeding in an enterprise or economic activity. 

Genesis 39:5 and 39:23 refers to Joseph’s prospering under God’s mighty hand.  Verse 3 tells us, “And his mater saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”  Later in verse 23 we see, “The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s hand, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”

Prosperity can relate to the physical, the mental, and the spiritual state. What does prosperity look like to the Christian? It is proof of God’s working within the daily circumstances of a believer’s life.  It can be an economic surplus, or it can be a physical advantage.  It may manifest itself as an emotional boost, or it can become a spiritual fountain.

Prosperity to me is an indication of inner joy working itself outward in a Christian’s life that is so evident to others that it can only be attributed to God.

Psalm 1 tells us that that the blessed man [woman] delights in God’s law and meditates on His precepts.  Verse 3 says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Psalm 35:27 tells us the Lord has pleasure in the prosperity of His servants.  Psalm 122:6 declares those who love the Lord will prosper.  Even the Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church to “…lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

Biblical prosperity opens the door for the Christian to share their abundance with those in need.  It is never to be hoarded and wasted.  Even King Solomon warned us in Ecclesiastes 7:14 that God brings both prosperity and adversity – that we might be joyful in the one, and mindful in the other.

3 John 2 was written as a greeting to John’s dear friend Gaius, who most likely supported traveling teachers and missionaries.  

John commended him for his steadfast adherence to God’s Word.  He prayed for him to have good fortune and good health – that his everyday affairs would prosper and flourish as his soul did.  John was happy to hear the good report concerning his beloved student of truth.

In biblical times good health and longevity were a rarity.  Thus, this saying was frequently used to bless someone and to bestow God’s favor upon them by proxy. 

Our Vulcan friend might have exuded little to no emotion while giving his blessing, but we can all agree it is a benediction of sorts nonetheless.  

Live long and prosper definitely has its roots right here in Scripture.

Right on Mr. Spock… good job!

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.   Visit  http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com

 If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

If God Sent You a Valentine...

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentines didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840's by Esther A. Howland. (courtesy Wikipedia)

If God were to send you a Valentine what would it look like?

That is not a difficult question to answer if you are a Christian, for He has already given you one...  God's Word is His Valentine to you and me.  Not just any Valentine - but one that transcends our ability to grasp it's full impact.  God's Love Letter is given to us for all time and for all circumstances.  It is not limited to a special holiday.

God's requirement for us as His beloved is that we make Him our "first love" - wholly committed to Him. Our heart represents our core being.  Loving God with our whole heart means our affections must be focused foremost and fully on Him first. Only then can we love others with the love He loves us...

Love is the highest form of affection.  Agape love is the highest form of love according to God's Word. In your spiritually uneven marriage God wants to love your spouse through you, and that means even when you don't feel like it. 

It is the volition of your will that will direct your emotional response. Decide now that you will show your love by your actions.  Remember your vows:  to love and cherish, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health...  Loving your husband needs to be unconditional and intentional.

When I write these posts I can honestly say I am reinforcing my own need to hear this.  I write and read these blog articles for my own admonishment and encouragement! I too struggle with emotions and the up and down feelings that accompany any marriage - especially when you are spiritually mismatched.  There is often a disconnect - a drifting apart that occurs with regards to spiritual intimacy.

This Valentine's Day do something special for your mate. .Sure - give them candy hearts and a card. Make them their favorite meal and spend quality time together.  Then give them something unexpected..

Give them a look in the eye honest thank-you for all that you have been through together. Men desire - no, men need our respect and love. Tell them that you’d marry them all over again – that they are just what God designed for you! Reinforce that through your marriage, children, family issues, parents' deaths, surgeries, illnesses, moves, remodels, and lots of other LIFE events, that you are totally committed to them!

What has touched my heart more than anything else over the years has been a consistent hand-written note in every Valentine card I receive from my husband, telling me that he loves me, and thanking God for me. This is a gesture of love coming from a man who has yet to make Jesus Christ the Lord of his life. How blessed I am!

In the book of Ephesians Chapter 5 commands us to walk in love towards one another. The Apostle Paul is teaching on submitting to one another in the fear of God. Husbands are admonished to love their wives just as Christ loves the church. Wives are taught to respect their husbands. 

This portion of Scripture is not just for Christian marriages - but for all marriages. Our submission to Christ in our marriage is key to pleasing Him and our spouse.  You can visit a previous post I wrote on the subject of submission HERE .

Give your husband a Valentine straight from God's heart... give him love abounding from a grateful heart established in God's Word - full of peace and grace!

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Visit  http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com

 If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.



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