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With this year’s Valentine’s Day comes another round of… what is it? Shades of something? If audiences’ responses to the last two episodes are anything to go by, this one will also likely have a wildly enthusiastic reception and viewers will once again be exposed (no pun intended) to confused and distorted messages about sex, relationships, and love. It’s too bad that folks are so eager to accommodate an easy message of pleasure that they’re willing to overlook a genuine message of love… one that these movies essentially ignore or, perhaps, are incapable of even understanding.

Some might argue that the movies somehow, in the end, redeem themselves by trying to convince us that their characters eventually come to a place where they genuinely understand love itself, the movies themselves reportedly take (as the books on which they are based allegedly also do) such a circuitous path through hazy messages of sensuality and perverted sex, that viewers will be victimized by the notion that such interactions between two people are not only normal, but are desirable. 

But that argument is a stretch anyway. I cannot help but believe that the primary engine driving the production of the movie itself is greed which, in turn, exploits lust, the engine that is driving those who will eagerly attend the movie.

All the emphasis of these movies – all the sex, all the need to control others, and all the using of others to build ourselves up – are sad counterfeits of the greater pleasures of knowing God and experiencing His love and power in our lives. They threaten to ruin the God-given point of sex in the first place: the joyful consummation of the uniting of the lives of a husband and wife in a covenantal relationship.

It’s a sad thing when people, in whom the image of God resides, relinquish the high and beautiful purpose granted them by their Maker as they twist a gift He has given them… a gift that would ultimately deepen their love for Him and each other as it teaches them to love as He loves.

The love of the Bible is first-of-all a giving kind of love, not a taking. Just as God gives His love to those who place their faith in His Son, a husband and wife express their love for each other by giving themselves emotionally and spiritually to the other. The physical act loses all its meaning if it takes place outside the context of marriage and is a mockery of true love because sex without the commitment of the covenant of marriage is merely a taking from the other. As one uses the other for his self-centered urges, or allows herself to be used selfishly because she believes the lie that this is how one is loved, they miss the mutually edifying and sacred union that marriage represents when fleshed out as God intends it.

And aside from that, the very idea that physical pleasure is the greatest goal to pursue in this life misses the point entirely of what this life is about. God is not God to us when we capitulate to the lie that a mere physical pleasure is our greatest good. Nor can we accept the natural counterposition of this idea: that pain is our greatest evil. When we believe these lies (even subconsciously), we are unable to make sacrifices and put the needs of others before ourselves.

So watch out. Let your ideas about sex, love and marriage be shaped by the Bible, which is God’s Word. Don’t fall into the lie that God’s great aim in creating you is to deprive you of the joy of sex, but understand that He wants you, when the time is right, to enjoy it in the way it is intended to be enjoyed: in the confines of a God-centered marriage.

Jesus is the supreme example of what love is and what love does. He proves that love is not a mere emotion. It is the following through of the determined resolve to raise you up into His divine life. But just so you know, when you believe that truth and finally surrender your life to His holy sacrifice for you and His divine lordship, that love does bring forth a harvest of emotion: joy, peace, comfort, courage, affection, and hope. Indeed, when we finally surrender our passion to something as truly great as He is, we find an amazing grace sweeping us up into the wild abandonment of seeking Him, pursuing Him, discovering Him, and knowing Him. Only in Jesus are we truly freed to live and love and experience the myriad of experiences and fantastic encounters with Him awaiting us… and there are infinitely more than fifty shades!

“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God…. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (Psalm 24:3-6, 1 John 4:15-16 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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“But I’m almost done with college and God still hasn’t done anything,” protested the young woman across from me in the campus coffee shop where I often held “office hours” as a campus pastor (many years ago). Her voice was louder than she had intended and people at nearby tables cast a glance in our direction. Heedless of what others were thinking, she went on.

“You say that God has a plan for me, but I don’t see it. I want to be with someone so badly and it feels like God doesn’t care,” she said.

“But He does care,” I replied. “Just think of His promise in Romans 8:32, ‘He Who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”

“Well, I don’t know,” she responded. “I feel like I’ve got to do something.”

We talked a little more, then prayed and parted company with very little resolved, unless it was the resolve that she already had in pursuing a relationship that was not Christ-centered.

My heart hurt for that Christian woman, partly for the pain of her loneliness, but mostly for the pain I was sure that she would suffer in forging her own path outside of God’s plan for her: it seemed to me that her life was about to turn a tragic direction.

Sadly, it did go the way I was afraid it would for her as it has for some other men and women I have known in the last twenty-five years. The paths that they have chosen have been full of heartache and brokenness although, I am glad to say that in some cases, God has brought good out of tragedy.

Still, I pray for those who suffer from the snare of loneliness that besets men and women today (and not just college-age ones) and the strength it has in turning people’s hearts away from God.Dont throw away your confidence2

Trusting God with our relationships seems to be a tricky thing. I imagine that it is in part due to the fact that the world (the devil’s megaphone) likes to tell us that if we are single then something is wrong with us, either in looks or in personality. We are filled with impatience as it seems that everyone around us has “someone special” with whom he or she is living life. Impatience mutates into desperation which, in turn, becomes blinders upon our eyes, and leads us from the path of faith.

But singleness has the potential of being a very special place to experience the love of God. First, it allows us to celebrate the “centrality of Christ”. I simply mean the fact that there is no relationship that is even remotely as critical (and wonderful) as our relationship with God. Remember that the “Greatest Commandment” is to “love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, and mind” (see Matthew 22:38) and it is to a true relationship with God that you have been called.

The fact is that many people are looking to another man or woman to provide what only God can. Unconditional love and acceptance, however, cannot be truly found in any human relationship (no matter what movies or songs tell us), unless they are first grounded in the love of God Who HAS loved us unconditionally and accepts us with all our faults – as Jesus’ dying in our place proves.

But secondly, our singleness will be a place where we exercise the faith to which we have been called. Consider what is at stake. God has a plan especially crafted for a “special you” and your spiritual enemy (the devil) would like for nothing more (and wants nothing less) than for you to be derailed from that plan, partly to steal your joy and peace, but also to try to sabotage your fruitfulness for God.

Solomon’s wisdom was known far and wide, but he gave his heart away to women who did not share his love for God (it just made sense from a worldly perspective). In consequence, his heart turned away from the Lord and he forfeited, wise as he once was, the fullness of God’s blessing in his life and the lives of his children (see 1 Kings 11).

I am not saying that if you are single that God is necessarily going to bring the man or woman of your dreams into your life, but if you will not succumb to the unbelief that impatience and desperation will foster in you, then you are infinitely better positioned for God to bless you and increase your joy and peace.

Besides, if the Lord has in His plan for you that “special someone”, then that “special someone” shares your calling… a common vision and a common mission to know God and make Him known.

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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Spirituality is a practical affair. Does that sound like a strange statement? Often, when talking about spiritual things with people, someone will express to me the notion that they like spirituality and think it highly valuable, but he or she does not make it too much a priority since it is so lacking in practical application.

When you allow God to live out His love and power through you, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the mundane becomes mystical.

When you allow God to live out His love and power through you, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the mundane becomes mystical.

“Well, it’s nice and all to believe that stuff, but it doesn’t work in everyday life.” And so they go on, oblivious to the countless ways that God would have interacted with them in their “mundane” living had they simply recognized that all of life is spiritual.

Every moment of every day is God’s workshop as He sets His hand to craft something of beauty in our character, chiseling into our countenance features of courage, integrity, peace and a heart for loving service: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

Every moment of every day is God’s parlor as He invites us into the inner chambers of knowing Him personally through faith in His Son. “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20 ESV).

Every moment of every day is God’s invitation to walk with Him along the path of life, participating in His redemptive work of unveiling His grace and love to a world that humanity has cracked and keeps on cracking.

What does it mean then to apply faith and God’s love in “practical ways”?

One way is to be attentive to the “spirituality of the average day” as we seek to recognize the presence and activity of God in the lives of others, ready to participate in His work of loving those about us.

If we pass by, for example, someone who is hungry or lonely, are we willing to dare believe that our infinitely powerful and loving Creator may have orchestrated our steps to intersect those of this person and that He would help him if our hearts would just yield to His loving authority? “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV).

Do we dare believe that He Who is graceful beyond measure is leading others also to faith in Him, even those who may or may not have obvious signs of spirituality upon them? Do we boldly trust that God’s Holy Spirit can be hiding in the life of a dirty and bitter man, “in the thick” of their pain and brokenness as He seeks to apply the only healing that can fix the hurting in his heart?

“Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him Who sent Me” (Mark 9:37 ESV).

When you join with God by allowing Him to live out His love and power through you, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The mundane becomes mystical. What a colossal adventure then if we would simply have eyes to see and ears to hear!

May this day be the day that you embark afresh on the great adventure of walking in faith with God. And if you have not yet entered into a love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ, He invites you right now to join Him in setting out on the greatest adventure of all!

“We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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As far as pastimes go, “drawing lines” probably doesn’t rank on many people’s “to do” list. In fact, “drawing lines”, as in establishing boundaries for ourselves and for our children, seems to have a connotation of severity that many folks feel too narrow-minded and/or judgmental. On the other hand, I suggest that a failure to learn how to appropriately establish boundaries by which we stand in our habits, activities, and attitudes is essentially the equivalent of relational suicide in our homes and families. Without such wisely appointed boundaries, relationships, no matter how intimate, will suffer the devastation of disappointment and broken trust, as individuals either “use” others or are “used” by others in patterns of presumption. Without setting boundaries for ourselves as a people we are also committing a kind of societal homicide in which our lack of respect for God and other people escalates “reactive measures” as we are forced to legislate rules and laws which aren’t necessary when people are simply committed to doing things God’s way anyway.

People who cannot perceive the need for personal boundaries and do not instruct their children in how to constructively establish, evaluate, and maintain personal boundaries will reap a harvest of heartache and disappointment.

I think that one very strong reason that people have an innate distaste for drawing boundaries by which we determine how we will invest our time, energy, and affections is that we believe in our own innate goodness and assume that we have a sort of intrinsic spiritual wisdom inherent in our psychological make-up.

But human nature really isn’t as benevolent in essence as we would like to believe to which human history attests. And in reviewing how God has historically interacted with people throughout time, we see that some boundaries actually have divine order behind them. For example, even as God sent His people back into a land that He had given their ancestor over 400 years earlier, He drove out of the land of Canaan peoples who had geographical boundaries but no moral boundaries whatsoever, practicing the evil work of “passing their children through the fires of Molech” (a kind of human sacrifice involving their own babies being burned alive as offerings to pagan gods that they worshiped), and temple prostitution by which the “gods” vicariously had relations with worshipers in their temples.

As His people were sent into the land to take ownership of it as God had intended, just as important (if not more so) than the physical allotments being made (although they too were guided by God) were the spiritual, moral, and social boundaries given them by the One Who had delivered them from their bondage in Egypt.

In Exodus 20, verses 1 through 17, and reiterated in Deuteronomy 5, verses 7 through 21, God gives His people ten basic principles that would shape their personal assessments of right and wrong, the ways in which they must structure their familial relationships, and the laws that would govern their society. Worshiping no other gods, refusing to participate in idolatry, treating God’s name with reverence and awe, keeping a Sabbath day set aside to honor God, honoring our fathers and mothers, not committing murder or adultery or stealing, and neither lying or coveting the things of other people were very specific boundaries that were relevant then and are relevant now: even today they should serve as boundaries for Christians.

Frankly, I don’t think we merely fudge on these Ten Commandments; we blatantly defy them. It’s bad enough for folks to live life morally without an anchor if they’ve not had opportunity to learn that there IS an anchor on which they may depend. But what should be especially troubling and indeed heartbreaking to us as Christians today is that we don’t seem to see the relevance of God’s Law for our own lives. Some say, “But we don’t live according to the Law, but by grace.” And they’re quite right. But what escapes them is that the essence of God in the New Testament is consistent with His essence in the Old. And while we do truly live by the grace of God (by which we mean “unmerited favor”), those Ten Commandments are essential moral codes for navigating life today.

Some time ago, I was involved in a conversation about the “over sexualization” of teens and preteens. Much was said about the various social factors fomenting it. On the one hand, it was observed that our culture is absolutely saturated with sexually confusing and explicit information, and that our children are caught in the crossfire. I almost agree but believe that the truth is far more heinous than that: our children are actually targeted by selfish and evil-minded companies looking to attract younger customers to “exciting and cool” products.

Then, on the other hand, it was stated that, while the other observation is true, the “blame”, as it were, falls back on us parents who may think that making sex symbols of children is “cute”. We are also guilty of this spiral into immorality when we are pushovers when it comes to drawing lines for our children and then sticking by them (in movies, music, television show, un-chaperoned or poorly supervised teen events). Can one see why God gave us Ten Commandments in the first place? In addition to lifting us up out of natural instincts into a mindset more like His, He also gives us “boundaries” that move us collectively towards a greater corporate good and allow for higher personal happiness.

One of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

One of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

One of the greatest things that God has done for humanity is the giving of boundaries for our lives. One of the greatest things that you and I can do as His children is to observe them and yield to His loving authority, remembering that the reason Jesus came to earth in the first place was to restore the heart of humanity to a position of desiring to live peaceably within God’s boundaries (one “must be born again” – see John 3:3). And one of the greatest things that parents can do for their children today is to lovingly establish and gracefully enforce boundaries for their children so that they may learn and benefit from the love and wisdom of those who are their mothers and fathers.

Let us stop and catch our breath. Let’s pause and think for a moment before we get sucked into all the hyperactivity of spring and summer. Let us think about how we need boundaries for life (yes… even grownups need boundaries). We need boundaries in our relationships. We need boundaries in our spending. We need boundaries for our time and our pursuits. We need boundaries for our families. And we need boundaries spiritually speaking so that we may remember why we were put here in the first place… to love God with all that we are.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise…. When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were.. slaves… And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand…. The LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as we are this day” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, 20-21, 24 ESV).

It is time that we reconsider how God’s ways aid us in maintaining healthy priorities; teach us to discern what is holy and lovely versus what is ugly and common; and give us standards for life that allow us to live lives with an abundance of joy and peace which God Himself created for those who love and serve Him.

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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As winter quickly steals the stage, and the black velvet of night rolls in earlier and earlier each December evening, one may look up and see the glittering hosts of celestial bodies sparkling down upon his or her head. As what appear to be tiny pin-points of flame twinkle down from the vault of heaven arching across the endless sky, we know indeed that each is actually a blazing ball of flame and fire.

And though we may also know that such light and heat is the result of colossal explosions and fusions and that one blazing furnace in the sky functions similarly to each of the others, still the glory of any one star that we behold is inconceivable whether we spin about it in orbit or are merely observing its light from millions of light-years away. Each star is uniquely created with unique position and unique purpose in the sky through which it sails in apparent perpetual journey. No two stars are identical whether we’re discussing the actual mass and breadth of said stars or we’re considering those objects upon which their light and warmth shine.

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so.  And God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars.  And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:14-18 ESV).

And just as these cosmic lampposts are each fashioned by the Divine Hand and appointed their own stellar duties, so each man and woman, boy and girl is uniquely created and positioned in this more temporal existence by that same Hand. And since we know that “determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4 ESV), we can also know that our lives are not accidental and that our place and purpose in this world are not incidental.

Pinpoints of twinkling flame “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6 ESV).

How wonderful to know that the light of each of our lives is not hidden from His eternal eyes! How amazing to know that we each count and matter in the grand scheme of His eternal plans! Though we may often feel lost in our responsibilities, our problems, our sins, or even the countless needs of over six billion other people, we are each known by name by the One Who spread the boundless canopy of heaven across the universe!

And how like Him, too, to appoint among all the starry host one single light that would transcend the luminance of all the others, to herald the arrival of One Who, among all the hosts of earth, would transcend the luminance of all other earthly and spiritual beings!

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He Who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1-2 ESV).

Greeting the tiny Messiah on the behalf of humanity with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh, these “Wise Men” followed the light of that very special star from the lands of the East and fulfilled their God-given destinies. Likewise, if any would be wise today, they still turn to the Eternal Light of Jesus that shines in the darkness of our broken world, and follow it, fulfilling the destiny that God has reserved for them.

Let us each then choose to receive the gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through faith in Christ. Through Him we become as lights in the dark and wintry sky of a world that is shrouded in sin and selfishness, shining with the sparkling glimmer of hope, joy, and love! And let us also “do all things without grumbling or questioning, that (we) may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom (we) shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16a ESV).

Let us avoid the trap of becoming bitter and self-absorbed, like star that collapse in upon themselves. Black Holes shed no light or warmth but greedily suck in all life and heat, hording such good things inside themselves and becoming incapable of shining any of the light they have devoured. Souls that implode in this way, whether due to bitterness or selfishness, are useless in any spiritual sense and offer nothing to those around them except an insatiable hunger that constantly gnaws at them.

Let us choose instead the destiny that God Himself has chosen for us. If we’ll receive the freedom that Christ offers us through genuine faith in His work of atonement on the Cross of Calvary, we shine like stars indeed.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world…. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16 ESV).

 Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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Unity is a beautiful thing… or at least could be and should be under the right conditions. Of course, people collectively bent on violence or fear can be just as ugly a scene as a group can be beautiful which is concentrated on good.

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV

But God’s people, when unified under His leadership can be an especially lovely sight. Understand, however, that my statement has at its core some significant assumptions. Without these conditions in place, the beauty of such unity is merely a mirage.

The first assumption is that before God’s people, the Church, can be unified under His leadership, they must first be separated from the world for God’s purposes and therefore unique to the world in nature and destiny.

Jesus’ teachings necessitates such a kind of separation because the world-at-large is under condemnation for sin as it pursues its own purposes and slides into its own destiny of destruction and eternal separation from Him.

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51 ESV). “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18 ESV).

When Jesus remarks that He came to bring division, He is indicating that salvation requires a heart movement that swims against the flow of worldly patterns of thinking in our world, our society, our workplaces, and even in most of our homes.

Responding to God’s call to follow Him, therefore, generates division from the outset of our Christian experience as we turn our allegiances from institutions and personalities that the world venerates. As we yield our love and life to His sovereign claim to our lives, we are blatantly disconnecting from the world around us.

The second assumption that we must retain as we assess the beauty (or lack thereof) of unity, is that of the purity of our united devotion to God. For our unity to be more than just a neat idea and to keep it from becoming a disgusting mockery of what it should be, the Church must not become distracted by becoming infected with the woes of complacency, hate, greed, idolatry, immorality, or pride. The Church (both universally speaking as well as the local assemblies with whom we worship and minister) is comprised of individuals. And when those individuals are collectively living the lives to which God has called them (pure and holy, loving and serving), the body is uniform in its character and godlier in its essence.

This does not happen automatically, as you might have guessed. It happens when God’s people undertake the joint venture of knowing God through His Word and truly seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). The Bible records for us Jesus’ prayer for the unity of His people (in the context of the abovementioned criteria).

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom You (God the Father) have given Me, for they are Yours.…. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth…. may (they) all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me (John 17:9, 16-17, 21-23 ESV).

So what do we do with this call for unity? First, remember that God’s appeal for our unity requires that we first be separate from the world: we belong to Him and not ourselves. Second, remember that the saving grace that He has bestowed to us (to which the cross of Christ bears testimony) binds together all those whose lives it has transformed in a supernaturally and divinely instituted organism: the Church. Third, in the context of the these first two facts, we may see that we are individuals who are diverse in gifts, personalities, and contributions to the larger body, but individuals who, like parts of the body, together share a common life, along with a common purpose (God’s glory) and a common hope (eternity with God through faith in Christ Jesus). Finally, our bond is not merely that we share a common cause but is instead the fact that His very Spirit indwells us and links our lives to one another with cords that human eyes cannot see.

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV). “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world…. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God” (1 John 4:4, 7a ESV).

So, let those who have been born of God walk together the path to which the Lord has set before our feet. Let us link our hearts in the common yoke of loving Him with all our heart, soul, and strength, and let us surrender pride and selfishness, as well as fear and anger, to the Holy One we serve so that He might accomplish in and through us more than our hearts can imagine and show the world that He is truly the King of His people.

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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A Letter to my Wife on Mother's Day

Diane, you are, as my wife, the best of friends and an enduring and lavish blessing to me. As a mother to my children, you are an amazing provision from God!

Dearest Diane,

Of all the blessings entrusted to me by God, after Jesus’ atoning work, the gift of His indwelling Spirit, and the Father’s eternal acceptance of me through Christ, you rank as chief.

It’s been said that “a good woman is hard to find,” and Proverbs 31:10a asks the question, “An excellent wife who can find?”  It is abundantly clear to me with the rising of every sun, that I have indeed found (rather, I have been given) a most excellent wife.

You remain to me a treasure far, far “more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10b) and brighten each day a “the delight of eyes” (Ezekiel 24:16).

Your faith, as a precious well-spring of instruction to me and inspiration to those who really know you, flows like a bubbling mountain spring, refreshing those it touches.

Your character as a godly woman is a model of what true womanhood is really about.  Not only are you a truly beautiful woman on the outside, your beauty as it flows from your heart is of “the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very beautiful in God’s eyes” (1 Peter 3:4).

I have watched you time and time again overcome trials, hurts, disappointments, and loss with wisdom, dignity, and faith.  It amazes me how you’ve endured grief and persecution, as well as hardship and even betrayal, with a patient spirit, Christ-like forgiveness, and redemptive grace, thinking not of the harm you’ve received, but of the spiritual need of another.

Thank you for being you, for loving the Lord Jesus, and for honoring and supporting me in our life together (Ephesians 5:22).

I know that you’re not one to look for (or even feel comfortable with) the recognition I would lavish on you (if I could), but, as a truly “virtuous woman”, how can I not praise you “in the city gates” (Proverbs 31:31)?

You are, as my wife, the best of friends and an enduring and lavish blessing to me.  As a mother to my children, you are an amazing provision from God!

In love,

Your husband,

Thom

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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