Today's Devotions

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Showcase:Celebrating Discipline

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  • Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster +

    The Path to Spiritual Growth The book on spiritual disciplines. Read More
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alex kirk and familyBelow is the last sermon from a series on marriage titled "Happily Ever After," from Chatham Community Church, by Alex Kirk. 

 

 

Below are a few notes from Alex's sermon.


This is our last of a six week marriage series called Happily Ever After—everyone
wants happily ever after but getting there takes a whole lot more work than we
realized

So we’ve been working together these past 6 weeks to invest a bit in our marriage,
closing out today and we’ll start talking about Christmas next week.

And if you’re a guest with us and you’re not married—if you’re single, divorced, or
widowed, like we’ve said each week, we’re so glad that you’re here.

One of the dangers of doing a series on marriage is you can feel uninvited or
unwelcomed if you’re not married, but nothing could be further from the truth.

We would not be a real church if we didn’t have singles, widowed, and divorced
people here with us, thank you for being here.

And each week we’ve been talking about issues like communication, conflict,
forgiveness and the like and talked about how it applies to workplaces and family
relationships as well as to marriages.

As we close this series I want to say a special thank you to Mark and Michelle Stith,
they’ve been leading a Sunday night series called “The Marriage Course” which
many of you have participated in over these past five weeks
And the feedback on that course has been incredible.

Thanks so much to the Stiths for leading us here in worship on Sunday morning and
for facilitating that course on Sunday nights

If you feel like all of this series has kicked over some things you need to think more
about or you’re feeling like you’re on a roll and making some good decisions in your
marriage and you want to keep good going I highly recommend the book that we have on the book table, “Sacred Marriage”—

I’ve stolen some stuff from that book for this series, I’m going to steal some more
today

This is a great resource for you to continue to do some good thinking and digging
into your marriage.

I also want to highlight one other book we just added to the book table last week
that I’m very excited about, it’s called “Good Pictures, Bad Pictures”

 

Given that all of us want happily ever after and yet marriage is the most difficult job
most of us will ever do in our lives, we need to find ways to do marriage beyond our
capacity as well

The call here from the Lord in Jeremiah is to LEAN IN not just to their situation there
in Babylon, but also to ONE ANOTHER to help one another in and through their
experience in Babylon.

And we are to invest in and develop and cultivate great marriages not just for our
OWN happily ever after but for the sake of being a blessing to others in whatever
way that might play out

Our take-homes today are real simple:

1. Is there a relationship where God is calling you to re-commit to?
Is there a friend you need to reach back out to, a family member where the
relationships is strained?

Is God calling you to TODAY to re-commit to himself or make a first-time decision to
build houses and make your home here with himself? To stop running away from
God and run TOWARDS him instead?

Or if you’re married is today the day that you need to re-decide to re-marry this
person sitting right beside you? To dig in and do the hard work of working through
whatever issues are surfacing?

Is there a relationship where God is calling you to build houses, plant gardens, and
dig-in with a friend, family member, in your marriage, or even with God himself?

2. Married Folks
Given that marriage is the single hardest thing that we’ll do in our lives,
therefore we are made to do it in this interdependent community

a. Who are your peers? Do you have friends who you can help you in
this ongoing work of marriage?

b. Who are your mentors? Do you have people who are further along
than you are in their marriages who could bless you just by being
around them?

c. Who might you serve? Is there another couple, a single person, a
kid or a group of kids that God is teeing up your marriage to serve
and bless?

As we close out this series this morning, there are some rich words and some
wondrous promises of happily ever after that God included in this message to the
exiles

And what I want to do is let the Lord speak his word and have the last word over all
of us this morning as we close out this series

All of us want happily ever after, it turns out that God does, too, and here’s how he
describes it and here’s what he promises to his people:

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I
will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this
place.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then
you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will
seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29

 

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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