We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 


Extra Strength for: Ask It: Introduction

Up until Sunday my husband and I made decisions very differently, especially if it involved purchasing something. By differently I mean from each other and from how we will make decisions going forward.  When purchasing something my husband has to shop around and in his mind must be 100 percent sure that he is getting the best deal before he will make a purchase.  I, on the other hand, go with my gut. 

In our pre-kid life when we knew we needed a new(er) car for me to drive, we were barely at the first dealership five minutes when I spotted it — my car. It was a cute, fuel efficient (for that time), used Toyota Corolla with a mere 80,000 miles on it.  I knew this was my car, and I let my husband know right away that this was the car and that it was a great deal. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I also said this within earshot of a salesman. I didn’t need to negotiate. (Cue groans) I just knew in my gut that this was a good decision.  In my defense, I hadn’t been married long enough for my gut or any other part of me to know that making that decision and announcing that decision without first consulting my husband was not a good decision for my marriage. Thankfully, my husband is long-suffering and forgiving and the car did turn out to be a good decision.

What I learned from looking back at this and other decisions, good and bad, is that in all cases we have been beneficiaries of God’s infinite grace. Sometimes we asked God for his guidance and we listened; other times we didn’t even ask. What I see when I look back is that in all our choices He “hems us in behind and before” (Psalm 139:5) and he “causes everything to work together for our good” (Romans 8:28).  Francis Schaeffer put it like this,

God being infinite, not only knows everything that ever will be but all the things that could be and never will be. 

So how will the Jacksons be making decisions differently going forward?  Besides seeking God’s will through his Word and prayer we will make a regular practice of asking, “What is the wise thing to do based on my past history, current reality and future hopes and dreams?” 

As we apply this most important question to the choices we make, the likelihood of making better choices will increase and we will give God the glory for the facts he makes known to us and the minds he has given us to use those facts to make wise decisions as we seek to do his will.  As much as I have loved taking credit for my good, gut decision to buy the Corolla, It was God’s grace that covered that decision and all the others, too. To God be the glory.

imageMartha has been a wife for 17 years and is the mother of three children ages 10, 9 and 5.  When she’s not folding laundry, cooking meals, helping with homework, kissing boo-boos, grocery shopping, cleaning house and running errands, she loves to hold babies at Immanuel MOPS!



Be Challenged:

  • Take to heart James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Ask God for wisdom in the decisions you’ll be making today, this week, month and year.

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