1 Samuel 31 – A Long Slow Death

Have you ever watched a movie that ended abruptly, without a resolution? You’re waiting for things to turn around, but it never happens. It just ends with a heavy “thud.”

The book of 1 Samuel ends this way.

The final chapter ends the book (and the life of Saul) with a heartbreaking “thud.” You find yourself thinking back over Saul’s life and asking, “How did things come to this?”

Though 1 Samuel chapter 31 tells us when Saul came to his end, the entire book tells us how Saul got to that point. He got there gradually…little by little. He got there by…

  • Focusing on the quick way rather than the right way.
  • Worrying more about his image than his integrity.
  • Being motivated more by fear than by faith.
  • Serving himself more than serving God or others.
  • Being impulsive rather than being disciplined.

Saul was dying throughout the entire book…little by little. Chapter 31 is just the conclusion of a long, slow death.

Maybe you’ve asked the question, “How did things get to this point?” about your own life.

The record of Saul’s life is a warning to us. If we respond to things as Saul did, we too will be dying a slow, lingering death. We may live a long life, but spiritually we will die a slow death. Remember the words of Jesus…

“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35 NLT)

Age: It’s Natural

Note – Though this post does not specifically target marriage, it addresses something every marriage has to deal with.

Age. Whether you’re young or old, everyone grapples with their age. The young wish they were older. The old wish they were younger. Even the terms “young” and “old” are relative to our age. When we’re ten, thirty seems old. When we’re thirty, fifty seems old. And when we’re fifty, we’re just hoping we can make it to retirement!

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Deuteronomy 32 – A Live Demonstration.

Some things just stick with you. They are indelibly inked on your mind and heart. It might be an event, a realization, a statement, a phrase or an image. Whatever it is, it’s stamped into you, and becomes timelessly highlighted in the midst of all the “normal” of life. This happened to me while reading Deuteronomy chapter 32. It was a phrase that grabbed me when I first read through the chapter, and it continues to echo in my head.

God, in explaining to Moses why he could not enter into the Promise Land, uses this phrase… “You failed to demonstrate my holiness to the people.”

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Numbers 31 – What’s Cooking?

As any cook knows, it takes a variety of ingredients to make a great dish. Yes, some cooks make incredible dishes by somewhat randomly throwing a variety of things into a pot, but most tend to follow a recipe…whether it’s in their head or on a piece of paper.

Numbers chapter 31 is a recipe of sorts. It’s a chapter that covers a variety of ingredients for a well lived life. Many of these ingredients are so simple and common we tend to overlook them, if not reminded once in a while.

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The Light and Dark Side of the Force

One major theme runs throughout the Star Wars story line. It’s that there is a struggle between the light side of the force and a dark side of the force.

The same is true in marriage. I’m not saying that spouses should solve their conflicts with light sabers (although that would be cool,) I’m saying these forces are just as powerful as the light sabers.

What are these two marital forces?

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Lessons From Living in a Shack

In twenty years of marriage counseling, I’ve seen couples put more and more emphasis on their house.

I’ve seen engaged couples believe they couldn’t get married until they had purchased a three bedroom, two bath home. I’ve seen couples expecting a child purchase a bigger home for more bedrooms, bigger yard, better neighborhood, a pool, or a playroom.

It’s as if we believe we can’t have a good marriage and family unless we have the “right” house.

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 5: The Guide

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

In this series, we’re looking at your marriage as if it were a story, and hopefully a good story that you and others want to read. We’ve been talking about certain elements that every marriage needs in order to tell a good story. A good marriage story starts with a good author, and two main characters . Then, like any good story, those characters encounter obstacles and struggles that get in the way of what they want.

That leads us to the next element of a good marriage story.  

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Are You Taking In Life or Taken In By Life?

Here’s a question for you: are you taking in life or are you taken in by life? Everyone does a little of both, but you probably lean toward one more than the other. Though they sound similar, there’s a subtle difference between the two that can change the way you live. What’s the difference?

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