The last several weeks we have discussed some things we associate with this time of year and how they impact our marriages. We looked at thankfulness and gifts.
We discussed being thankful to God for the gift of salvation that He offers all of us through faith in His Son Jesus (see John 3:16). And we looked at the gift of a spouse He gives us to walk with through life (see Ephesians 5:31).
This week we will look at one other gift God gives to us—the gift of God Himself.
“My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26
Now that may sound strange, but let me explain. For Sabra and I have come to see this gift more clearly this year.
At the end of last year, we felt God leading us to choose a word for 2016 that would help us examine our lives and marriage in relation to Him. That word has been portion.
And portion is one word that describes beautifully this gift of God Himself.
The word translated portion in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word “halaq(k).” The Greek word translated portion in the New Testament is “meros.” Both mean one’s share, part, or territory. In the Bible, it always refers to what is parceled out by God. He is the source or creator of everything, and so He is the One who allots or distributes everything.
One important way this word is used is found in Psalm 73:23-26: “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (bold mine)
God Himself is said to be our portion. Have you ever thought of God as your portion?
When we think of portions, we often think of such things as food, money, or time. Many diets use this term to refer to the right amount of food to keep us healthy, for example.
But are we getting the right amount of God and His Truth to keep our lives and our marriages healthy? What portion does God want to give us?
God wants us to always be with Him–holding His hand as He guides us like a child. That’s because that’s what we are to Him–His children.
Psalm 73:23 says: “Yet I am always with you…”
In John 1:12, we’re told that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are adopted into His family. It says: “Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John also writes in 1 John 3:1: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Paul confirms this in Galatians 3:26: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”
When we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit to live in us forever as part of our portion–or inheritance (see John 14:15-20).
Paul also writes in Romans 8:14-17: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”
Psalm 73:23 also tells us: “…you hold me by your right hand.” God wants to take us by the hand—much like a father with a little child.
We read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28:20: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
And God gives us this promise in Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
God and the Holy Spirit are one. So having the Holy Spirit living in us forever is the same as having God with us forever. Indeed, He will never leave or forsake us.
Psalm 73:24 says: “You guide me with your counsel…” God wants to guide us with His counsel. And we find this counsel in His Word.
This is why it is so important for us to study God’s Word together as a couple. It is another gift our loving Father gives to us as His children. (To help you with this, we have a written a tool to help you design your own couple time to come together for this purpose. It is our gift to you. You can download it here: Couple Connect.)
As we accept all these things God offers us, God Himself becomes our portion. And as part of this amazing gift, God works in our marriage to make it all He desires it to be.
And after giving us a wonderful life and marriage here on earth, God will then give us eternity with Him in heaven. Psalm 73:24 says: “…and afterward you will take me into glory.”
When we make God our portion—when He is all we need or want–this will all be ours.
The psalmist said in Psalm 73:25: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” When this is the attitude of our hearts, God will fill our lives with Himself and we will receive all His gracious blessings.
Each time we proclaim that God is our portion, it reminds us that no matter what is happening in this world, we have a power and strength that overcomes all trial and difficulty. We live in a world that is filled with trouble, and it’s easy to become discouraged with the circumstances we face. On those days it is wonderful to remember that God is our portion. When we have Him, we don’t need anything else.
One concluding thought for those of us who are married. Part of the portion that God gives us is our spouse to share life with.
We husbands should take to heart what we read in Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”
And wives, you can give thanks to God if your husband is seeking to follow God’s command in 1 Peter 3:7: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.” Or if he is seeking to obey Colossians 3:19: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
God Himself is our greatest gift. And when we receive Him as our portion, He fills every part of our lives with wonderful blessings.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
♦ Discuss this week’s teaching together and what God is saying to you through it.
♦ How does it impact you and your marriage to know that God is your portion? That He is always with you and always will be? That He is all you need?
♦ How does it impact you and your marriage to know that if you have received God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus that you are adopted into His family? That you are His child with all the inheritance that goes with that?
♦ The way to continually remember that God is your portion, and to enjoy the blessings that go with that is to be in His Word and to pray consistently. You need to do this individually and together. Commit to God and each other that you will do this in the year ahead and beyond.
♦ Close with a time of prayer to God thanking Him for being your portion. Make the commitments together to Him that we discussed above. Ask for His help in following through on this. Here is a prayer you can use as an example: God, thank You for being my portion and my inheritance. Help me daily to remember that I have no one in heaven but You and that, having You, I should desire nothing on earth. My heart and my flesh will indeed fail someday, but You are the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks to spend time with my family over the holidays. But I’ll be back in January to start the new year with a new Couple’s Bible Study. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!
And may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
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