"Take Time To Be Holy!"
Words of Encouragement: Pastor Patrick Neil Addison, Sr.
My beloved brethren in Christ, there is much you can do to support the church of God. God has given us all the grace to be contributing members to the body of Christ. Every saint has something to offer; therefore, every saint should be involved in particular with the local church God has placed them in- to do service and/or be equipped for service. I know when I communicate in this fashion your flesh may think on ‘great works of service,’ but in fact we can greatly increase the effectiveness of the local church if we do the little things. One such ‘little thing’ is keeping your marriage alive. You may say that is not much, but I beg to differ. Christians who have been gifted with marriage positively impact the church when they keep their marriages dynamic and fruitful; whereas, Christians who marry and divorce or live in antipathy with their spouse bring disharmony to the body of Christ. In the former case, the married couple can be effective ministry prayer partners; and, in the latter case, they can do much to hinder the effectiveness of the ministry by their shameful conduct. If you want to be a blessing to your local church as a married saint, remember that you owe service to your spouse. This service is both spiritual and physical. Married couples should not deny one another Christian love or sexual fulfillment. When couples deny one another either of these they put their spouse in a tenuous position. It seems some Christians understand that they need to show spiritual love to their spouses but the importance of carnal love seems to be lost. However, sexual intimacy is very important: Stealing from one another sexually is one of Satan’s major tools to weaken the victim of such crime in marriage in order to seduce them into adultery (whether it be outwardly or inwardly). When reflecting over this remember that according to the grace given to you as a child of God, you can be an effective support for the church of God!
Devotional reading for today: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise a wife to her husband. 7:4 It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife. 7:5 Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a specified time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then resume your relationship, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NET)
Devotional reflection for this week: Does the obligation for spiritual service negate our marital obligations? Are the gifts of grace granted to us by Christ for the disunity/detriment of the body of Christ? Is one just in God’s eyesight if he/she denies their marriage-honoring spouse sexual intimacy except by mutual agreement for a stated time? Is it righteous to put your spouse in the fire of temptation through withholding of sexual intimacy? Are you fulfilling the whole of your marriage contract with your spouse? Do you make time for spiritual services, work projects, children, etc…, but find you make no time for coming together with your spouse?
Devotional prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, help me to remember that while I am called to give service to the body of Christ that does not exclude my service to my spouse. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
May Jesus bless you as you honestly think through the questions raised in the devotional reflection for this week.
Pastor Patrick Neil Addison, Sr.