Just a few weeks from now, we’ll be celebrating Holy Week and the redemptive work that Jesus accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection.

As I read Mark 11 today, verses 8-11 stood out to me. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, some people spread out their coats and others spread out palm branches while shouting “Hosanna!” The word hosanna means save us. The Jewish people were looking for a messiah to deliver them from Rome’s cruel oppression. Even the palm branches they laid out in front of Jesus were a symbol of the last time the Jews were free. If Jesus would set them free from Rome, then all things, in their minds, would be made new.

The only problem was, while Jesus did come to set them free and make things new, it was sin that He intended to conquer and their hearts that He would make new. The fact is that Jesus’ followers set their sights too low for Jesus and didn’t expect enough!

Jesus didn’t come to set them free from the current political power or bring prosperity to their nation. He planned to make all things new, beginning with their hearts! Sometimes I think I’m guilty of expecting too little from Jesus as well. How about you?

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C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, tells the story of when he was a child and would not tell his mom he had a toothache until it was unbearable. Although he knew she’d give him an aspirin to help with pain, he also knew she’d take him to the dentist to find the root of the problem. He didn’t want to go to the dentist because, he too (the dentist) would begin poking around looking for problems that had not even surfaced – give him an inch he’d take an ell, were Lewis’ words. 

Lewis likens God to the dentist. If you give him an inch, he’ll take an ell. Lewis says, “dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some particular sin which they are ashamed of or which is obviously spoiling daily life. “God”, Lewis says, “will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked: but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment… make no mistake.” “God, says, if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through”.

Lewis goes on further to say, “God’s demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your present failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And He knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. You must also realize from the outset that the goal toward which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal.

What does all this have to do with marriage? Is your marriage hurting? Are you in pain? Are you asking God to fix your marriage, your spouse, but not giving Him permission to touch you? Isa. 30:15 reads, "For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In repentance and rest shall be your salvation; in quietness and in trust is your strength…” If your marriage is hurting, it needs the Lord for sure, but He will require repentance, a turning from your own and your spouse's sins in the marriage, it will need rest, time taken devoted to giving your marriage the attention and work needed for healing and restoration and maybe time away for other things that keep you too busy to work on your marriage; it will need quietness, sitting still before the Lord in prayer and His word for counsel and wisdom, for His Holy Spirit to finish the work God wants to do in you; lastly you’ll need trust, believing that without Christ you can do nothing, believing that God does heal and restore.

For how long has your marriage been hurting? In that same verse, God goes on to say, “But, you were unwilling…” Isa. 59:1-2 reads, "Behold (notice with attention), the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you”.

Psa. 32:8 reads, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."

For information on the resources Faith provides to minister to your marriage, please contact Pastor Marc Stern.

God is waiting, will you husbands and wives turn?

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