"Love is Not Jealous"
"Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire."
(Song of Solomon 8:6)
Jealousy is one of those things that can be a bad thing if demonstrated in a non-loving way. In other words, There are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate jealousy based upon envy. We know that there are many biblical warnings against jealousy based upon envy, but on the other hand it refers to God as a jealous God who is love.
God's jealousy as being for His people because He loves us so much and wants for us to keep Him first. But there is a great warning to those who would be jealous of someone who has something that they want. That kind of jealousy can lead to bitterness and anger if not tempered by learning to love others. No doubt you have all seen couples whose marriages have been crippled by jealousy - it's not pretty. It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart. It's time to let your wife successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.
To that end, you should be our wife's greatest cheerleaders - to encourage her on to greater chances to excel. If you can do that, you have taken a step away from selfishness (there's that word again!) and towards oneness.
So take this challenge also: Take yesterday's list of negative attributes and destroy it. Then email, write, or telephone your wife to tell her how glad you are about a recent success that she have achieved. If, you don't know what a recent success might be, be sure and ask her something like this, "I want to be your cheerleader. Would you share with me something you have accomplished lately that you are particularly proud of - because I want to tell you that I am proud of you, too."
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:24-26)
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:13,14)
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16)
"And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head."
The example from today's passage from Mark's gospel give us a breathtaking perspective of extravagant giving. The woman from Scripture was so passionate about what Jesus had done for her, she willingly poured precious ointment, a priceless possession, probably a family heirloom, that most believe was worth at least one year's wages, if not much more.
Extravagant love warrants an extravagant response. When we realize how great a love was poured out for us and how richly we have been blessed by God's merciful and benevolent hand, the only proper response is to give with that same measure.
Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8b)
Prayer: God, give me a heart of extravagant generosity. Teach me to trust You, that as I give it will be given unto me. I will never be able to out-give You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Nehemiah 1 ... In this chapter, Nehemiah makes a confession before God, prior to beginning to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. How did the people's sins and disobedience impact their lives? How did their sins impact their relationship with God? Spend time allowing God to reveal any unconfessed sin that is destructive to your relationship with Him and your wife. Confess your sins before God and receive His forgiveness.