Magnificent Marriage Monday – Advanced Warning From Danger!

Date December 10, 2018

So Noah, his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives entered the ark because of the floodwaters … just as God had commanded him. Seven days later the floodwaters came on the earth.” (Genesis 7:7, 9-10, CSB)

 

Seven days later the floodwaters came on the earth. Magnificent marriages simply know and are prepared for the coming catastrophe much better than those marriages filled with strife and tension, distance and distractions that cause them to drift away from the Lord. They enjoy God’s advanced warning system.

Who wouldn’t appreciate a bodyguard in the midst of a scary situation? Inside information is always helpful, especially when one needs to navigate through unfamiliar territory in life. Having an experienced guide on an adventure holiday is always wise. And choosing to do life with an All-Powerful God simply makes a lot of sense. In the above scenarios, we see a common thread. Danger lurks about us and it’s helpful to have help, the earlier the better.

Marriages that last know that God wants to be a part of the discussion, a part of the planning, a part of the travels, a part of the life He is giving the couple. How we do that is a matter of walking together as individuals first and as a two-some second.

While our styles will be different, when we have a thriving personal relationship with the Master of the Universe by bowing to His will and accepting His gifts of mercy and grace, we are so far ahead of the rest of humanity. When two people are in such a position with God, and then unite themselves for His honor, the third person in that journey (God) finds it a personal joy to protect, inform, guide, and do the supernatural whenever necessary to make life abundant.

One hundred years before the flood God warned Noah. One week before the flood God moved the family of Noah into the safety of His floating security ship. Talk about advanced warning! Talk about a magnificent marriage! Talk about life and that more abundant!

This week, take the time necessary to regroup and refocus on the God who wants to be so much a part of your personal and your married lives. Confess sin. Realign purpose. Recount the cost. Focus your hearts. Unite yourselves in His presence. Act on His warnings!

 

Magnificent Marriage Mondays are helpful hints, clues, ideas, and solutions for the child of God who is looking for a spouse, in a relationship with someone, or are already married. Each post seeks to bring help, hope, and honesty to your life and make the rest of your life, the best of your life. They are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his 38 years, 5 months and 2 days experience with his wife, Melodee, who was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. He is currently seeking God’s will for his new life partner. He welcomes your comments below.

Hope For Today – Jesus, the Joy in Our Souls!

Date December 9, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about having joy deep down in our souls when everyone else is mean!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: EaglesInLeadership.org.

Just push the media button below to hear this encouraging message!

Faith Filled Friday – When Our Faith Influences No One!

Date December 7, 2018

 

Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” (Genesis 19:12–14, ESV)

But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. One of the key tenants of faith is that we are supposed to transfer it to our family. In fact, the Bible tells us in the New Testament that such men are qualified to lead the local Church.

Before a man could be an “overseer,” a New Testament term for pastor, we are told, “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:4–5, ESV) Don’t you love that closing question?

Respect for those who were older in Biblical times was a huge part of the culture. Honoring parents and those who were more mature was part of the life-blood of a community. So, when we look into Lot’s life, we see he had been in Sodom long enough to allow his two daughters to be engaged and build a relationship with those men. Yet, when he comes with the all-important warning from God Himself, the reaction of these “sons-in-law” was shocking, to say the least.

In other words, Lot was good enough to give away his daughters as wives but not good enough to listen to about serious matters. Faith has a gravitas to it when it is possessed and when it possesses us. We all know though that there is a huge difference between a talkie-faith and a faith that is walked each day.

Day by day we have to be looking around, evaluating to what extent we are influencing those closest to us with our relationship to Jesus Christ. Do our loved ones take us seriously because we live what we say we believe? Or, does our influence fail to make an impact in their lives? Lot’s failure reminds us there is so much more to our days than making money. We are called to transfer our faith to our family.

 

Faith Filled Fridays hope to boost your trust in God and accelerate your daring and courage in everyday life. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each encouragement out of a heart that has known both great joy and great loss – his wife of 38 years, 5 months and 2 days was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. Through every experience, God has proven Himself more than faithful and trustworthy. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Train Them Thursday – Render to Caesar!

Date December 6, 2018

And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.” (Luke 2:3–5, NASB95)

 

And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee. Jesus would say in the early days of His ministry,“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17, NASB95)

Yet so many today think that obeying the government is an option and only then, when it pleases them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Every Christmas reminds us that obedience to even a tyrannical government is not an option for those who fear God!

As Joseph makes the 90-mile trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem by foot, nine-month and nearly ready to deliver Mary rides a donkey behind him. It is an arduous trip for the healthy person. For Mary, the agony must have been virtually unbearable. But Scripture records no complaint or cursing against the Emperor, who was going crazy due to sexually transmitted diseases from his frequent immoralities.

True disciples of Jesus, “honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17, NASB95) Even when he’s antagonistic to our faith or our beliefs, God calls us to understand that “every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” (Romans 13:1–2, NASB95)

And so we rejoin Joseph, who with his new bride Mary, render to Caesar the 90-mile journey to register in David’s town because God wills it and ordained it. How many times have we had to interrupt our lives for some regulation, some infraction that needed to be paid?

God knows every detour and every obstacle. Like the equipment in the gymnasium, each trouble and trial set before us by the “powers that be” are actually placed there to strengthen our faith and mature our trust in God. Today we choose to obey Caesar and trust God!

 

Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Willing Worker Wednesday – Insider Information!

Date December 5, 2018

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25–26, HCSB)

 

It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. How many times has it been true in your life? God speaks and lets you in on what He’s going to do before He does it.

You can’t exactly explain how you know what you know, you just know it and you know it’s true. And then, as time passes, it comes true! Maybe you’ve told someone. Perhaps you haven’t told anyone. I mean, who’d believe you if you did, right?

But, there it is. You know. And you know you know because the Holy Spirit has revealed it to you. That feeling – that confident feeling – overtakes all other concerns and cares, doesn’t it? God has let you inside the workings of the natural by sharing with you the supernatural insight that only He possesses.

Being a willing worker of Jesus is the key. Did you see the words that describe Simeon? He had four character traits that the leaders of Jesus share. These are the leaders God gives insider information to.

Servant leaders – those who follow Jesus and lead for Him – do what’s right. Period. They don’t make excuses. They. Do. What’s. Right. And when they fail, and we all fail from time to time, they are quick to confess it publicly and privately because that is the right thing to do.

They also are devout. You don’t have to push or prod them the get alone with God and listen for His voice through His Word, the Bible. They are the first ones to step up and into His presence in confession, adoration and to follow His directions.

They long for Jesus to return. They hunger for His presence – His physical presence. And they pray to that end. It is their deep desire not to taste death before He comes. And they know the Holy Spirit intimately and passionately. They listen to His voice and, thus, have the insider information they need to accomplish God’s will and whim!

 

Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Turn-Around Tuesday – Bad Choices, Worse Choices!

Date December 4, 2018

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”” (Genesis 9: 20–22, 24–25, ESV)

 

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. Did you ever wake up the next morning and wish you could have a “do-over” for the day before? If you just said “no,” you probably have only been alive for a few minutes.

Sin is as natural to us as breathing. Pharisees who condemn those of us who sin still exist in today’s climate. And you know that life is filled with times when we know we shouldn’t but we do it anyway. Too many trips to the buffet bar or plates of food during the week is my issue. You see, I am a recovering glutton. I like to eat. I don’t have to be hungry I just like food!

And, when I eat too much, my clothes get too tight, my stomach aches, and, if I’ve eaten spicy, I have heartburn. What about you? What’s your “go to” sin of choice? How do you deal with “the morning after?”

Noah’s choice of drinking to drunkenness set up a scenario for generations of heartache. While we don’t know exactly what his son, Ham or his grandson, Canaan, did to him while he was sleeping, we do know that it made Noah so mad that he cursed his grandson forever. That’s serious anger unleashed on his own flesh and blood.

Many times we choose a path that has unforeseen consequences. We don’t intend for anything bad to happen, but our indulgence leads to disaster. When that happens we overreact on others because of our guilt and shame. Many of you reading this right now are shaking your heads in silent agreement and, perhaps a few of you are weeping because of the brokenness of relationships severed by harsh words.

While prevention would have been the solution, reconciliation is the strategy at this point. Humility can repair much if we but try!

 

 

Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.

Magnificent Marriage Monday – God Protects Magnificent Marriages!

Date December 3, 2018

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1, CSB)

For I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. All too often we fail to comprehend the realities of our relationship with God as a couple. Sometimes we simply fail to grasp the reality that God protects those who put Him first.

Note the phrase one more time. I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.” What? An entire generation and only one man is right before God? Can that be correct? No one else, of the multitude of people alive in that day, chose God first? Frightening, isn’t it? What does that mean for our generation?

And before you go all theological on me, hear me out.“Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7, CSB) And, while many look good, they are “holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5, CSB) What we cannot see, God sees. He knows our true hearts.

So, when your husband seeks God ladies, it is a true gift from the Almighty. And when you chase after God men, it comes with attendant blessings. Noah experienced one of those blessings. God sent him and his family into the ark – the place of refuge and safety from the most imminent and total destruction of all humanity and life on the face of the earth. That is no small blessing, to be sure.

Godliness, a true relationship that aches when one’s heart isn’t right with God and yearns to enjoy the sound of His voice, is all that God desires. And anyone who has ever cared for another knows that these are the central heartbeats of love.

With that kind of love for God comes the protection of God. “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5, CSB) Shielding is one of the great, and often silent, benefits of a walk with God. “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:4, CSB)

So today, walk together with God as a couple in truth and reality. Enjoy and serve Him. And know this, He is your shield and defender!

 

Magnificent Marriage Mondays are helpful hints, clues, ideas, and solutions for the child of God who is looking for a spouse, in a relationship with someone, or are already married. Each post seeks to bring help, hope, and honesty to your life and make the rest of your life, the best of your life. They are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his 38 years, 5 months and 2 days experience with his wife, Melodee, who was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. He is currently seeking God’s will for his new life partner. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Hope For Today – Jesus, the Peace in Our Hearts!

Date December 2, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about the panic that befalls so many at Christmas time each year!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: EaglesInLeadership.org.

Just push the media button below to hear this encouraging message!

Faith Filled Friday – When Faith Is Weak!

Date November 30, 2018

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”” (Genesis 19:4–8, ESV)

Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. The Bible records life as it happened. Lies, failures, foolishness, disaster – it’s all recorded for us to see. And, what we come to realize as we read the pages of Scripture is that these people were broken, just like we are (perhaps more so at times).

In this bizarre turn of events, the small town of Sodom was filled with some of the most aggressive sexually perverted men. And while Lot had chosen to live there from afar since it looked like it was a blessing because of its fertile lands, in reality, it was everything but a blessing. That righteous man lived among them day after day, [and] he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard.” (2 Peter 2:8, ESV)

When the deviants came to take the two angels out for their sensual pleasures, the weak faith of Lot actually offered his two virgin daughters as replacements! To us, this may seem to be beyond comprehension, and it should be. However, Lot’s faith was drained of all it’s vitality by the “the error of lawless people and [he lost his] own stability.” (2 Peter 3:17, ESV)

Today, the focus is upon us. We live in decadent times. Sensuality and permissiveness are awash in our culture, and unfortunately our churches. It is so easy to lose the strength and vitality of our faith simply by “going with the flow” and having to deal with the latest downward spiral (See Romans 1:18-32).

So, will you fortify your faith by renewing your time alone with God is His words and prayer, thus reenergizing your heart of faith?

 

Faith Filled Fridays hope to boost your trust in God and accelerate your daring and courage in everyday life. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each encouragement out of a heart that has known both great joy and great loss – his wife of 38 years, 5 months and 2 days was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. Through every experience, God has proven Himself more than faithful and trustworthy. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Train Them Thursday – God Keeps Us On-Track!

Date November 29, 2018

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24–25, NASB95)

 

When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. A true disciple obeys God immediately. They may have thought differently earlier but when God speaks, they have already chosen to change and they do!

Consider Joseph and his aching heart over his fiancé Mary’s pregnancy. While he loved her, he was stepping away from her graciously for her seeming infidelity. He was doing this out of purity and holiness. He was being godly and remaining true to his convictions, as he understood the words of God. No one should fault him for that.

And then God stepped in. When God speaks, it is so! This was something Joseph had lived his life by. The written words of God were his manual for life, to enjoy the abundant life he knew so well. So, when the angel said to him, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20, NASB95) Joseph did just that!

Can you imagine turning 180 degrees in your decision and opinion in a moment? Did Mary know his intentions beforehand? She probably didn’t. Whether she did or not, we know he told her after the fact because we have the written account of these events.

When life grows difficult and choices have to be made, God looks into our hearts, that’s for sure. He knows the stuff we are made of. And, when His will is at stake and we are headed in the wrong direction, we can be sure that He will do whatever it takes to keep us on the right track, even if that means sending an angel with a divine message. We can trust God to honor our effort to please Him.

So today, before you despair of the decisions you have to make, trust that the God of the universe is watching and knows what you need to do to stay in line with His will and whim. If the choice you are making is off track, be assured He’s going to intervene!

 

Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.

 

 


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