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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cardinal in tree in our front lawn 1/20/19 (Photo by Ester)
"Holy Marriage"

Message summary: Today let us consider the Biblical, God-ordained design for marriage, the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for a lifetime. Today let us again remember that, "Marriage should be honored by all".

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"But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2). "Marriage should be honored by all" (Hebrews 13:4).

Yesterday we engaged in a conversation with a young man who had just completed a 30 day drug rehab program for opiate addiction through Teen Challenge. He now lives in a half way house and is working as a temp in a company we serve. We sought to encourage him by sharing several of what we have seen as helpful and even essential keys to keeping on the right path and staying faithful.

Like so many we hope he will overcome. This brought to mind those we have seen overcome for the long haul. Today we share an example:

Photo of Wayne and YvetteBrooksyne saw a post on her Facebook page celebrating the anniversary of a wedding I had conducted in January 2006. In fact the post had a rather unbecoming photo of me at the service. Yvette had been a part of the church we served in Massachusetts who had a very hard life. (We have a link to her story below.)
The wedding service was very special. Yvette and Wayne had both been associated with Teen Challenge where they first met. Family, friends from church, and a large contingent of friends from Teen Challenge made up the witnesses to their wedding ceremony.

Teen Challenge was originally so named due to its outreach to teens back when it was founded in the late fifties by David Wilkerson. But soon after the ministry started it began to reach out to people of all ages who are trapped in various addictions.

The message remains "Jesus is able to save and deliver" and through the years scores of men and women all over the world have experienced miraculous and long-lasting deliverance. I served on the board for the New England Teen Challenge and have many friends who went through the program going back all the way to my college days when I met Sonny Oliver. (We also have a link to his story below.)

The Teen Challenge folks sure made up an interesting group at the wedding. They tend to be socially less restrained than many (in a good sense in my view); not impolite, just very expressive. As the service progressed one of the groomsmen was very concerned that I had forgotten the "You may now kiss the bride" part and gestured to remind me. I whispered (but inevitably loud enough for all to hear since I was using a microphone), that it was coming up.

Toward the end of the ceremony it seemed that practically everyone thought I would miss it and there was an anticipatory rumble throughout the congregation and even from Wayne and Yvette. At the appropriate time I said, "Wayne, you may finally kiss your bride." As I introduced the new Mr. and Mrs. the congregation erupted into earnest applause as the couple departed down the aisle.

The kiss was anticipated in large part due to a commitment that Wayne and Yvette had made during their dating period. They knew the effects of immorality and had made a commitment to refrain from physical intimacy during their courtship, including kissing, deciding their first kiss would be their wedding kiss!

The Scripture's forthright statement in the daily text is just as needed today as 2000 years ago, perhaps even more: "But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2). *

Indeed there is so much immorality in our world (unless we merely redefine immorality as many are doing). But using God's standards as expressed in the Holy Scripture we clearly see that there is so much immorality. Thus "each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband". This is a reinforcement of the Biblical, God-ordained design for marriage, the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for a lifetime. Today let us again remember that, "Marriage should be honored by all".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how grateful we are for the union of a man and a woman in holy marriage. You designed the family unit to work together, play together and support one another as they go through the celebrations and difficulties of life. Help me to be absolutely committed to my marriage partner and to the family You have chosen for me. May I bring vitality and blessing to my family this day. In Your name I pray. Amen.

* 1 Corinthians 7 also teaches that some have the gift of celibacy.

When I had last conducted a wedding ceremony in Massachusetts in 2000 prior to our move to Pennsylvania the Massachusetts marriage license designated the couple with the traditional titles bride and groom. Massachusetts was the first state to pervert the definition of marriage and this happened shortly before I conducted Wayne and Yvette's wedding. At that time Massachusetts designated the couple on the state issued marriage license as party A and party B!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

We wrote a story about Yvette many years ago titled "No Hopeless Cause"

A message about Sonny Oliver.

"He Can Take It"  Video  Brian Free and Assurance

"Chainbreaker"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"In Heaven's Eyes"  Video  Sheila Walsh

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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