Faith for the Journey Issue No.6 2014 this issue: 2 The Secret to Letting Go The Secret to Letting Go Charles R. Swindoll 7 11 Charles R. Swindoll A Book Review on Abraham When a Couple Prays Together Nathan Potts Dr. Dave Currie You may have someone who means a great deal to you, or you may be clinging to one of your adult children or a grandchild. They may be moving in a direction that’s not your plan, you may be afraid that they will do just fine without you. Either way . . . let go. To give up someone we love often feels like the most senseless sacrifice of all, which only intensifies the pain. Insight for Living Australia — the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll | www.ifl.org.au Perhaps you have cultivated a relationship with an individual, and during that time your relationship with God has declined. Still you cling to that person, hoping your relationship with the Almighty will somehow improve. God may be saying to you, “Choose Me. Sacrifice him/her!” It is doubtful that God will expect you to surrender your life all at once. Instead, He patiently waits for you to sacrifice yourself in small amounts, one decision at a time, one day at a time, one person at a time, so that you might enjoy an ever-increasing intimacy with Him. Why do you hesitate? I’ll never forget the day my brother dropped by my parents’ house before 2 he and his family headed to South America as missionaries. Now, you have to appreciate the kind of man my father was. Look up the word responsible in the dictionary, and I’m surprised his picture isn’t there! To him, risks are for those who fail to plan. Responsible people leave nothing to chance. As far as he was concerned, faith is something you exercise when your three backup plans fall through and you have run out of every other option. My brother, on the other hand, is stimulated by faith. He has lived his entire adult life on the raw edge of faith. To my brother, life doesn’t get exciting until God can get him through some specific challenge. That drove our Dad nuts! After supper, my mother and sister went into the kitchen, leaving my father at one end of the table, my brother at the other, and me sitting on one side. Then it started. “Son, how much money do you have for your long trip?”, “Oh, Dad, don’t worry about it. We’re gonna be fine.” Before he could change the subject, my father pressed the issue. “Son, you’re gettin’ ready to go down to South America! How much money have you got?” With that, my brother dug into his pocket, pulled out a quarter, set it on its edge on his end of the table, then gave it a careful thump. It slowly rolled past me all the way to my father’s end of the table and fell into his hand. Dad said, “That’s all you’ve got?” Orville broke into a big smile and said, “Yeah. Isn’t that exciting!” That was not the word my father had in mind at the moment. After a heavy sigh and a very brief pause, Dad shook his head, looked up with a frown, and said, “I just don’t understand you.” My brother grew serious. Looking Dad in the eyes, he answered, “No, Dad, you never have.” I like to picture my brother and father two ends of a pole used by a tightrope 3 walker for balance. My brother leaned on faith alone and made very few hardand-fast plans. I don’t know how he actually made the trip or how he and his wife took care of all their little kids, but they never went hungry. And they served in South America for more than three decades. My father, on the other hand, was a man who emerged through the Great Depression. He lived in fear of poverty his whole life and never experienced the joy of trusting God in faith—the kind of faith that made my brother smile so big that day. My father was a believer, but he never understood the life of faith. Sometimes balancing these two extremes between faith and fear causes us as Christians some apprehension as we walk the tightrope of life. However, if God requires you to fall off the wire, fall on the side of faith. Resource of the Month A Woman’s Joy: Loving the Life God Gave You It won’t be easy. Sacrifice doesn’t come naturally. It’s a discipline that requires faith—a trust that the Almighty will look after your needs in ways that you will never see until you allow Him the opportunity. By the way, this principle of sacrifice extends into every area of our lives. Consider Abraham, for example. The Lord commanded the old man to sacrifice his only son—the very one through whom God had promised to fulfil His promises. When we read Genesis 22, we see that this faithful servant said by his actions, “Lord, You’re more to me than any relationship ever will be. If You tell me to put the most important person in the world to me on an altar, I’ll do it . . . I’ll sacrifice him.” (184 Page, Paperback Book) Unlike my brother, when Abraham rolled his quarter across the table, as it were, it landed in the hands of One who fully understood—and even rewarded— Abraham’s act of faith. Women have always held a vital place in the body of Christ. The Lord Jesus Himself validated the significance of women in radical ways! That’s why Insight for Living Ministries has put together A Woman’s Joy: Loving the Life God Gave You, written by women for women. $9.00 WJYPB 4 Meeting God in a Familiar Places 5 Bible Companion CD Series (99 Page, Paper back Book) (8 messages on 8 CD) The Light of Home (122 Page, Hardback Book) $22.95 $4.95 MGPDS LOHHB It’s easy to lose our awe of Bible stories we’ve heard since childhood. But delving into familiar Bible passages can unveil fresh wonders. The deeper we go, the more we find we have yet to discover. Meeting God in Familiar Places Bible Companion will help you rediscover God in His intimacy, His majesty ... and His awesomeness. A timeless, much-needed model of love, commitment, faith, and forgiveness shines forth from The Light of Home. Noted family expert Dr. John Trent teams with beloved American artist Thomas Kinkade to offer ten timeless principles to encourage families to reflect the light found in this message of hope and the accompanying radiant paintings of home and countryside. 6 $24.00 $14.95 Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith Charles R. Swindoll When I reflect on the writings of Chuck Swindoll, I consistently gravitate to what I think are Chuck’s “legacy” writings. Chuck has written many great books, but I consider the nine biographical portraits of significant biblical characters as timehonoured treasures. The most helpful quality of these books is the well-defined and perceptive applications that are drawn from biblical principles. Chuck provides invaluable insights into the lives of characters such as Moses, David, Paul, Esther and Job. These characters wrestle with trusting in a sovereign God and his promises. The applications are purposeful, encouraging, challenging and applicable to everyday life. Chuck consistently uses the failings and triumphs of these biblical characters to challenge readers to live lives that yield to God’s will. After nearly six years since the publication of his last character book Chuck has recently released a character book titled Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith. The release coincides with the global broadcast teaching series beginning August 2014 and concluding in November 2014. Front Book: Abraham, 262-page Paperback, Bible Companion (22 chapters). Back Book: Abraham, 288 Pages, Hardback Book. 7 Abraham was the father of the nation of Israel and the father of all who believe God’s unconditional covenant promise to Abraham (Rom. 4:16). This covenant underpins God’s dealings with his people, both in the past and into the future. Through Abraham’s seed, Christ our redeemer was born, died and resurrected and one day will return to reign on earth. Abraham was a man of faith. However throughout his life he faced many challenges. As Chuck says “the Bible doesn’t try to paint its heroes as anything but real people with real flaws”. At times Abraham doubted and yielded to his own temptations but God in His grace continued to be faithful to His promise. Through God’s leading and guidance Abraham learned significant life lessons. He walked by faith and is an example to us all. Readers will find this book and series challenging as well as encouraging. As we strive to serve the Lord within our culture we can learn from the life of Abraham and apply the timeless principles of how to walk by faith. This resource is now available and I encourage you all to get a copy and take some time meditating upon the truths presented and to “slow down and grow deep”, marvelling at God’s love and His willingness to guide your steps. God is ever faithful and gracious and by his Spirit, He is developing our walk of faith. by Pastor Nathan Potts Insight for living Australia 8 (205 Page, Hardback Book) (14 Messages on 14 CDs & Workbook) $4.00 $34.95 CGFHB FSFDS God called Abraham to be His friend. Henry Blackaby uses the example set by Abraham to show how God uses difficult events, traumatic circumstances, and trying life experiences to lead us to spiritual maturity. Readers will learn how God interacts with His people to transform them into men and women He can call friends. In Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives: Rediscovering Some Old Testament Characters, Chuck Swindoll reveals the crucial roles played by a number of lesser-known Old Testament characters. From Achan to Uzziah and through incredible victories and destructive defeats, God’s sovereignty shines through these lives. When A Couple Prays Together By Dr. Dave Currie praying with her that night. The next morning he said, “I heard her heart. I know it will allow me to get closer to her. I am so excited.” That’s the truth. 2. You’ll face your stresses together at the deepest level. Whether it’s life or family problems, admitting them and asking God for wisdom and help is a good thing. We are called to give Him all our worries and cares because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). It’s called crisis intimacy. You’re in this together. 3. You’ll keep heading in the same direction as a couple. Unity is a good thing. Build according to His plan, maintaining a shared commitment toward a better marriage. “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it…” Psalm 127:1. 4. You’ll have a better chance of staying close to the Lord. A soft heart is a responsive heart. A sinful heart separates you from God. By keeping surrendered to Him, you can more easily hear and do what He wants you to do as a partner, a parent, and a person. Hebrews 3:12 calls us to watch out for each other for “a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” What does a couple praying together look and feel like? Couple prayer is a husband and wife who, being honest with God and with each other, join together regularly, in spite of their marital imperfections or personal brokenness, to humbly reach out to Him for strength, direction, and perspective. They go to God as one. They want His will for their lives and family. 11 THE BENEFITS OF PRAYING TOGETHER Let me try to convince you to start with my top 10 benefits of praying together. Here’s what it could do for your marriage. 1. You’ll hear and understand the heart of your spouse. It will bring you a growing emotional connection. I met a man in his sixties who had never prayed with his wife. He took my challenge to start 5. You’ll show love for your spouse as you pray with and for him or her. You know your spouse’s needs and concerns. Love is lifting them up to the Lord and in so doing, helping to carry the burden (Galatians 6:2). 6. You’ll enjoy the sense of being anchored to God with your lives. There is something bigger going on than just the two of you. God is with you. He’ll never leave you and knows all you are facing. Let Him be the anchor for the soul of your marriage, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19). 7. You’ll have a softer, more forgiving heart. Face it. You can’t expect God’s forgiveness if you won’t extend it to your spouse. Go to God either relationally connected or asking Him to help you reconnect. Since you can’t play games with God, why not quit playing games with each other. If you walk in the light of the Lord, you’ll have fellowship with each other (1 John 1:7). 8. You’ll keep humble as people and as a couple on your knees. We do need God to make sense out of life. Tell Him so. Fight your human nature that strives for independence from God. Remember, prayer is the two of you as creatures humbly kneeling together before your Creator. He is sovereign. 9. You’ll defeat the enemy who wants to divide you. The Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for a couple to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Through your sincere and alert prayers together, you unleash the power of God in your lives and marriage. The enemy cannot touch you with his schemes. 10. You’ll prevent your own divorce. Couples with a shared faith and common spiritual values are amongst those who enjoy a longer, more satisfying marriage. Research from a 1997 Gallup Poll by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement showed that couples who pray together daily have less than one per cent chance of experiencing divorce. Go figure. God does have a plan—pray together. “A family that prays together stays together.” This may appear to be just an old familiar saying but could it be true? It seems so. Dr. Dave Currie Founder & President of Doing Family Right 12 KIDS One Story a day - all year round (Movie Length:53 mins) 13 (Movie Length: 75 mins) (449 Page, Hardback Book) $8.95 $8.95 $24.95 WAAPDV WVHBDV W365CB Bob the Tomato tries to bring the Bible story of Abraham and Sarah and their wait for a promised son to life, but when a film crew of zany French peas get involved, everyone's patience is tested! Stand up, stand tall, stand strong! Laugh along as children introduce each episode with delightful stories of their favourite Bible heroes. Your favorite Bible stories come alive in this bright and colorful storybook that takes your child through the Bible in one year. Children will love the illustrations and easily understand the words taken from the Contemporary English translation. 14 Faith for the Journey Daily Meditations on Courageous Trust in God $16.95 If life is a journey, it certainly is a bumpy one. In this thirtyday devotional, Chuck Swindoll inspires us to develop courageous trust in the God who is in charge of our journey. Each day’s devotion uses the life of Abraham to illustrate what it means to dare to trust. Just like Abraham, we may not know where God is leading us or how He will fulfil His promises to us, but we are called to trust. Let Chuck Swindoll be your daily companion, encouraging you to put your life into God’s capable hands. FFJLB On The Air 7th of August - 6th of November: Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith: A Classic Series Coming Series November - Adventuring with God December - What if. . . ? December - Holiday Message PO Box 443 Boronia VIC 3155 Australia t.aus 1300 467 444 (+61 3 9762 6613) t.nz 0800 481 228 f. 1300 903 900 e. [email protected] www.ifl.org.au AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, AND SOUTH PACIFIC • Insight for Living Australia • Post Office Box 443 Boronia, VIC 3155 Australia • 1300 467 444 • www.ifl.org.au • Insight for Living USA • Plano, Texas • www.insight.org • CANADA • Insight for Living Canada • Vancouver • UK AND EUROPE • Insight for Living United Kingdom • Dorking • Copyright © 2014 Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide. No portion of this newsletter may be translated into any language or reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. Insights is published monthly by Insight for Living, the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Insight for Living is an autonomous ministry. • Cover image: CanStockPhoto • All other pictorial images courtesy of CanStockPhoto • Australian design - Wanda Skattebo. 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