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Bethany Baptist Church

The topic of the Ladies Bible Study, Thursday morning, was “Take Control of Your Thoughts.” There is a war going on in our hearts and minds. On one side we have the flesh pulling us away from God and on the other the Spirit that pulls us toward God. We may think that we are helpless to resist the thoughts that would lead us away from God and into sin, but we do have access to victory over the flesh. We must acknowledge the problem to God, delight in the law of the Lord, and call out to God for help. We are not alone, we have the Holy Spirit and we have the Bible. If we submit our hearts and our minds to God he will keep them.

There has been some flurry of activity going on each Monday afternoon about 3:30. Some young ladies come after school for their own Bible study and fellowship. Darlene Sorensen is the leader for that group.

The Youth Choir presented a special song Sunday morning before Pastor Bob Sorensen brought another in his series of Bible Marriages, “Othniel and Achsah.”

Caleb was a great man of war of Israel who had wholly followed the Lord for over forty-five years. God had promised that he would give to him the city of the giants. When the time came, even though he was in his eighties, he was willing to go up against the giants in Hebron. He was successful in taking that city. Then when he came up against Debir, he said that he would give his daughter, Achsah, to the man that smote the city and took it. Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took the city. Caleb gave him Achsah, his beautiful daughter. When Achsah came unto him, she moved him to ask of her father a field, but she did the asking.

Even though this is a romantic story of the marriage of a brave and strong man and a beautiful woman, we may see some signs that may have led to problems later in that marriage. The problems were basically her conceit and her covetousness.

Maybe she had reasons to be conceited. Her father was a great man of Israel, she may have been a favored only daughter among several sons, and she had married the conquering hero, Othniel, who had much potential himself. What she exhibited was a “give me” attitude.

Marriages suffer if one or both persons exhibit selfishness or self-love. The self-centered person may have unreasonable expectations that the marriage should fulfill all their dreams for happiness. It is only in eternity with God that we can be completely satisfied. A self-centered person may think that everything about the marriage should be to please themselves and not really be thinking about the needs of the mate. Combining selfishness with impatience will put a strain on any marriage. You can’t always have every thing you want now.”

A marriage will have a much better chance of success if each has a desire to please the other. Instead of “give me” a good marriage can be based in “giving.” The best gifts are love and caring.

Achsah desired to have “springs of water” in addition to the place that her husband had fought hard to possess. She asked her father to give them to her and he did. He might have said, “Work for it.” Many young people come into a marriage after having had everything given to them. A young couple may not have the means to live on the same standard as their parents or the neighbors. It is said that 90% percent of marriage problem are money related.

“Keeping up with the Jones’s” or “Trying to get ahead” blurs the value system. The acquiring of more money may become the goal and lead away from living by faith in God’s provisions. Buying on credit, spending more than your income, all come from this discontent of not being satisfied with what you have.

The attitude of covetousness belittles Christian stewardship. We will all give an account for how we have used the resources God puts into our hands. Tithing should be the basis of Christian stewardship. Then additional offerings should be made for missions and the projects of the church. How can you give to the church and provide for your home? There should be a plan to spend carefully, to save regularly, to give to God, and to trust his promise to supply our needs. Keep money in the proper perspective. All we have belongs to God anyway.

It is said that godliness with contentment is great gain. When a need presents itself, pray first. Ask God to provide for the need, then wait for God to supply the need. We may think that we need a bigger house and better car. We may wish for more fashionable clothing, the newest technology for our kids, and a vacation to some expensive place. But don’t grab the credit card for every supposed need. It has been found that bigger houses, nicer cars, expensive vacations, and expensive toys do not guarantee happiness. The Bible says that having food and raiment we should be content. Contentment builds faith, brings happiness, and will not divide a husband and wife.

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