Easter Devotional | 2019 - Day 1

There is More to Life!

By Jim Haines

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:17

Life can be challenging. Maybe that’s an understatement. Let me explain. Just after Nan’s and my fifth wedding anniversary, we were struggling in our relationship. I had just completed a master’s degree at Southwestern Seminary, and we were ministering at a church in South Carolina. Nan had given birth to our second child, and I was immersed in ministry.

Things should have been going well, but our marriage was going south. Nan helped me realize that if we didn’t get help, our relationship wasn’t going to survive. I was wrapped up in ministry activities, and she was home with two little ones, in a new town and a new church, with no friends or family nearby.

As we tried to navigate the difficulties in our marriage, Nan recalled something she’d heard in a seminar at a church in Fort Worth. I placed a call to the couple who had presented the material. I explained our situation, and they directed us to a counseling ministry in Atlanta.

The receptionist at the counseling office in Atlanta turned out to be our pastor’s sister-in-law. Through that connection, she fast-tracked us into a five-day intensive counseling session with the director of the ministry. God provided more than we could have imagined through that experience.

Nan and I had both trusted Christ as our Savior as children, but we were not experiencing the freedom and abundance of the Christian life. We were caught up in legalism and performance-based acceptance. At last, God’s Word became life-giving, not only for salvation but for daily living. His Word came alive in a way we had not previously experienced it, for which we are eternally grateful. And by God’s grace, Nan and I recently celebrated 38 years of marriage.

God instructed the children of Israel to establish memorial markers at pivotal times in their lives. This intensive counseling experience became a memorial marker for us. We continue to look back upon that event and season in our lives and thank God for His patience and provision. He healed, restored, and breathed life back into our marriage. There is an abundant life to be experienced when we walk with Christ…all because He lives!

Questions for Thought

  1. Is there something in your life today that is keeping you from experiencing all that God has for you?
  2. Are you trying to “fix” a relationship that seems impossible? Are you looking for a biblical solution, or are you trying in your own strength or through worldly wisdom to solve it?

Daily Challenge

Romans 5-8 are at times referred to as the heart of the gospel. Take time to read these four chapters every day for the next week, the next month. As you read, ask God to show you who He is and who you are in Him.

Author Bio

Jim Haines

Jim is passionate about working with Boomers and Seniors because they are the best! He is encouraged by their energy and hearts for the Lord and reaching others for Christ. When Jim isn't working he enjoys being with his family—preferably at the beach! He also enjoys musical theatre and the symphony. Jim and his wife, Nan, have been married 38 years and have four adult children.