I was reading a devotional by Tony Evans and he exhorted the readers to look for God and His character in the Scriptures as you read them. I saw in Jeremiah as I tried to apply this exhortation that God continually pursued His children. He gave relentless exhortations and warnings demonstrating patience as He longed for the Israelites to turn toward Him, longed for them to repent of their sins.  In Jer. 35:14-15, God says, “I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘turn now everyone of you from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers'. But you did not incline your ear or listen to Me.” Reading the consequences of their sin is sometimes hard to read because they were horrible consequences. God is so loving, that even in warning them of what would happen, He offered them life. He said through Jeremiah, their life would be the prize of war if they would go out and offer themselves to the Chaldeans in Jer. 38:2.
God in His mercy and grace still offers us life.  Jesus said…”I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die” Jn. 11:25-26. Jesus tells us, "For the Father Himself loves you dearly because you love Me and believe that I came from God." Jn. 16:27. In Jn. 14:31, He told the disciples, “But I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.” In His prayer in Jn. 17:26 He says, “I have revealed You to them and I will continue to do so. Then Your love for Me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
In our marriages, sometimes a day can be difficult, or days; sometimes it is a period of time or season. In those moments God is pursuing us, warning us, exhorting us, and He is demonstrating great patience as He longs for us to obey, follow, and offer ourselves up to Him in how we relate to our spouse, love our spouse, forgive, serve… and He offers us life in our marriages. “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Jn. 8:12 and in Jn. 10:9-10, He says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”  Jer. 9:23-24
We worship the one true God who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness. We worship the one true God who gives us life, offers us abundant life and who is always with us. And we worship the one true God who wants to use us in our marriages to demonstrate His character to our spouses, our children/families and a watching unbelieving world. Marriages can be hard, but they can at the same time be good, filled with joy and peace because we have the Light of life to help us along the way as we wait for His blessed return.
What has God revealed to you about His character in your reading? In what way might He be asking you to practice that same character in your marriage?

by Patti Calderon

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