The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 37
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. Matthew 6:6-9
If we don’t learn to pray, we’ll only learn to play at the life God has given us. But when we pray, we need to go to the head of the table. God sets the table and invites us to join Him there. We must not stop at any other seat with our need, go to the head of the table. Jesus made this possible for everyone who believes (John 15:16). Listen carefully, we come into this Christian life by faith in Jesus, but we live this Christian life in the faith of Jesus. Jesus went straight to the Father. Don’t just believe in God, BELIEVE GOD! We must go straight to Him who is our Heavenly Father, who sits at the head of the table with all our wants, worries, and weaknesses. In the name of (success & victory of) Jesus we can go to the head of the table. Praise God!
The Kitchen Table: The Game of Life Day 36
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 6:1
One of the biggest traps in life is becoming trapped in living for the attention of men rather than living in the attention of God. And its easy to get caught up in the attention of others and never know or to forget what the accompaniment of God means to our lives. It’s His presence that makes all the difference. It’s what He can do that makes life purposeful, powerful, and pleasurable. We do that, bringing God into our lives, through faith and believing. But we bring God into our days through prayer.
If we never learn to pray, we will only learn to play. Believe it or not, it’s prayer that releases us for the attention of man to live in the affection of God. John Wesley once said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”
Doing what we do to be recognized or accepted by others is merely playing at life as if we can control it. There are so many more things we cannot control that end up controlling us. Doing what we do to honor God and live within His supervision empowers us to live life, not just play at life. And we do that through prayer. Until we learn to pray, we will look for the attention, acceptance, and approval of man. When we learn to pray, we will enjoy the affection, authority, and ability of God in our lives to live our lives in righteousness.
The Kitchen Table Devotional: The Game of Life Day 35
The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. Matthew 19:10-11
The ability to dream is divine. It’s one thing that separates from the animal kingdom. But not all of us can delight in dreaming because our hearts have been darkened by disobedience and disbelief. Disbelief and disobedience deaden the heart. Living to violate rather than value ourselves and others we soon can’t see any other way to live or be married. The heart must flex to imagine a divine life. That flexibility is found in freedom and the forgiveness from disobedience that leads to disbelief. Forgiveness breaks the bondage of disbelief and with disbelief gone, the heart can now believe in what God can do and bring into a marriage.
This life was created by God to imagine and experience life with God. That happens personally and that can happen corporately in marriage, but it takes a flexible heart. Just imagine what life would be like for two people who can imagine God in their lives! We need the freedom and forgiveness from what we’ve made marriage to be so that we can have the flexibility to imagine the marriage God made marriage to be.
Marriage is more than sex, it’s a story of a man and a woman living together forever in the imagination of God for the imagination of God. Let God heal the imagination and have the imagination of God to live, love, and laugh for a lifetime.
The kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 34
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
Keep marriage special and sacred. There is so much pressure in the world to make it social and secular. There are wonderful things that God wills and wants for those who honor marriage and those things reach out to the generations following. The sooner we learn these things the better and these things need to be taught earlier, not later. A good marriage isn’t something we have to fall into by accident. If we have God’s word in our hearts, we can imagine what it can be and what it can do for us. God’s ideas are good!
There are two values that are so important for a good marriage. (1) the purity of God’s word in our hearts and our lives. Love His word, it will accomplish His will in our lives. (2) The purity of our walk or lives. Listen, it’s important to live for marriage before we live in marriage. With no other people, pictures, pain, and paranoia, we can partner with another with our whole heart. That’s God’s way and it’s wonderful. That’s the best. If that’s not you, I hope it’s not but if it is, God loves you. Repent of sin and receive His salvation, forgiveness, and love. There will be things to work through, but He helps. Remember, where there is agreement there is authority and where there is authenticity, there will be appreciation. That works!
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 33
He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery
Marriage is a God oriented relationship that is both an institution and an enterprise. Marriage can be the greatest blessing or the heaviest burden. God created marriage to complete and comfort a man and a woman. But marriage, like all of God’s ideas such as life, family, church and so on depend on God’s instruction. We must have a heart that is willing to accept God’s instructions for this great institution. The marriage relationship is to reflect the relationship we have or can have with God. Paul wrote: FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
When we marry, we don’t just take a hand, we embrace a heart and get the head that comes with it. It’s a destitute heart that is unbearable to live with in marriage, personally let alone relationally. A destitute heart lacks the resources for a divine life The only way this relationship can bloom and bless is that we deal with the destitution of our own hard hearts. Immorality is the evidence of a impoverished heart. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or you will stop dealing with your own heart and start destroying the hearts of others. A destitute heart is dangerous to society, but God can and will deliver and fill the most destitute heart the bows to Him.
The Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 32
He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. Matthew 19:8
Here’s something to think about. The plans, promises, and pleasures of God require a pure imagination to possess. What is imagination? It’s the ability of the mind to see, comprehend, and hope in something that hasn’t necessarily happened yet. Where the heart is pure the head can dream but where the heart is perverted the head will dread what is to come.
The Pharisees could not see marriage for what God had made it to be because their hard or destitute hearts. To be destitute is to be without. They were without the power to imagine what God had made marriage to be. With destitute hearts we can only see what marriage should be according to me.
God made marriage to be this glorious union between a man and woman where they can bring pleasure and procreation into their lives. Imagine, two people, becoming one spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically in love and laughter for a lifetime. Imagine that! We can have those kinds of relationships in and with Jesus. It’s a great thing but we must guard our hearts. A hard and destitute heart cannot imagine all that God has for us. It takes a dedicated heart and delivered heart to dream about the promises and pleasures of God. Imagine this, Jesus came to deliver our hearts to dream with His. That’s where it all starts.
The Kitchen Table Devotional: The Game of Life Day 31
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Marriage is another wonderful relationship that God has created for this life. Marriage is a God idea and because it is a God idea it is a good idea to follow God’s instructions. God created the institution of marriage, and it is God who has the instructions for marriage. That’s why we look to God’s thoughts, not man’s theories on marriage. It’s obviously valuable, people are continually wanting to get married. We all need relationships of commitment, especially the more intimate we get with each other. Marriage is to bring two people so close that they become like one person. That only happens where there is commitment to each other and where the intimate details of life are shared with one another. Marriage is to be a safe place that resembles our relationship with God.
Marriage is to be valued not violated. The Pharisees came to Jesus that day with questions about violating a marriage. Commitment doesn’t look for a way out, it looks for a way through life together. Marriage isn’t something to be violated without vacating. Marriage is God’s idea that is be filled with God’s ingredients. It’s a relationship that is to be valued and to bring value to those who enter this lifetime commitment.
Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 30
This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17
Friends, because they have value for each other, will look for those values in each other. That’s why a friends expect more from each other. That’s why a friend will ask questions that others won’t dare to ask. Friends, because they have value for each other, find value in each other, share value with each other, and bring value to each other will call forth value from each other. The values friends share become the values friends expect.
Some people consider their friends simply as people who don’t expect anything from them and accept them as they are. If your friend simply listens to you then you’re friends with their ear, not them. That’s what makes friends so important. Friends who share values expect value from each other. That is also why good friends will challenge each other to be better people, do greater things, have higher expectations. If we want to be a better thinker, value deeper thoughts and then develop relationships with greater thinkers. To learn to play golf so that golf can be enjoyed, we play with better golfers. People with greater values make people with greater values.
Jesus commanded us to love one another. He shared more with His disciples and thus expected more from His disciples. A great friend loves us enough to challenges us to live a greater life. There is no better friend than Jesus.
Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 29
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
Friends bring value to each other. They do what they do so the other person can be who they can be. There’s a choice in that kind of relationship. We all make choices about our relationships. A friend makes a choice to invest in a friend. Jesus chose us to be His friend and live a life that is worth living. Jesus chooses us and chooses to give us the ambition, authority, and access we need to make the most of this life. It’s amazing!
It’s important to see what is motivating a relationship. Fancy words and fuzzy touches can deceive us to eventually disappoint us. There must be an ambition for love and life that comes with friendship. We can know that first within ourselves and then we can know it in others. The best way to find a true friend is to be one. Before we start looking at others, we must look at ourselves. Can I be a true friend? I can if Jesus is my true friend.
Paul once wrote: “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 This life was created for relationships. Jesus came showing us how so that we could share with others. Relationships don’t have to be hard, but they do have to be honest, or we will end up with what we weren’t looking for in life. Choose to be a friend and you’ll do better at choosing friends. You’ll know what is involved in friendship.
Kitchen Table Devotions: The Game of Life Day 28
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
Friends share values with each other. Friendship is more than a mutual respect for each other, it’s also a mutual regard for the same thoughts, things, and temperaments that are important to the life they want to live. That’s what makes our relationship with Jesus so amazing, we treasure the same values, or we learn to share the same values in this life together. This isn’t said to make relationship more difficult but more dynamic. Where there is agreement in life there is authority for life.
Jesus shares more than space with us, He shares substance with us. He shares who He is, what He knows and what He has with us. That’s what friends do. If we’re in a relationship that doesn’t involve sharing spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, or emotional substance with someone then we might have a friend but we don’t have a friendship. What makes our relationship with Jesus such a great friendship is that He shared and shares not just space but substance with us. In fact, He shares His Spirit with us in the space of our own hearts so that we can have the encouragement, empowerment, and enthusiasm to live this life with Him. That’s a friendship.