MARCH 18

Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 29
     Proverbs 5
     John 8
     Galatians 4
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth.'' (Proverbs 5:18)
 
SAFE SEX
            Proverbs 5-6 is the account of what happens to a man who follows ''Honeylips'' in an adulterous trail of lust, infidelity and destruction. By contrast, we are presented the beautiful picture of a husband and wife who are deeply in love and satisfied by each other.
            The wise man will realize that God has given him a classic, and it is a foolish man who trades his classic in for a new model. Many a man has looked across the fence and noticed that the grass was greener on the other side, not realizing it was growing over a septic tank. He has made the tragic mistake of trading his classic in for a new model. Too late he had learned that new models depreciate immediately. 
            All the problems with sexually transmitted diseases that have caused untold heartache would have been solved if man had the wisdom to follow God's instruction of ''one man/one woman for life." If you are married, be aware that your partner is unique. You don't need a new partner. Your partner is the one God has given you and the one with whom you can find happiness.
            J. Allan Peterson, in his book, The Myth of the Greener Grass tells the story of Ali Hafed who lived in ancient Persia and owned a very large farm of orchards, grain fields and gardens. He had many investments and was wealthy and content. One day he was visited by an ancient Buddhist priest, a wise man of sorts. They sat by the fire and the priest recounted and detailed the history of creation. He concluded by saying that diamonds were the most rare and valuable gems created and called them, ''congealed drops of sunlight." He said, ''if Ali had diamonds he could get anything he wanted for himself and his family."
Ali Hafed began to dream about diamonds, about how much they were worth. He became a poor man. He had not lost anything, but he was poor because he was disconcerted and discontented. He feared he was poor. He said, ''I want a mine of diamonds'', and he lay awake nights thinking about it. One morning he decided to sell his farm and all he had, and travel the world in search of diamonds. He collected his money, left his family in the care of a neighbor, and began his search.  He traveled Palestine and Europe extensively and found nothing. At last, after his money was all spent and he was in rags, wretchedness and poverty, he stood on the shore of Barcelona, Spain. A great ·tidal wave came rolling in and the poor, discouraged dying man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide. He sank, never to rise again.
The man who purchased Ali Hafed's farm led his camel to his garden brook to drink one day. As the camel put his nose in the shallow water, this new owner noticed curious flashes of light from a stone in the white sands of the stream. As he stirred up the sand with his fingers, he found scores of the most beautiful gems. This was the discovery of the most magnificent diamond mine in the history of mankind. The largest crown jewel diamonds in the world have come from that mine. Ali Hafed's diamonds were under his own feet but he did not realize it. Your marriage diamonds are in your own backyard. Don't overlook them, don't minimize them, don't look somewhere else. Mine them!
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            Because it has been in the news so often, almost everyone in America has heard of the Republic of Estonia. This is not a small place, boasting 1.5 million people. The aggressive reforms from a Communist economy to a capitalist free market have made Estonia more prosperous than any other region of the former USSR, but not without pain to those on fixed incomes. Estonia has been long dominated by surrounding nations. Independent (1918-1940), the Soviet invasion of 1940 and subsequent deportation and murder of a large minority of Estonians, is still a cause of deep resentment against Russia.  This nation became independent during 1988-1991 as a multi-party democracy. Estonia has single-mindedly sought to integrate with the Nordic nations as a frontrunner, or early entry, into the European union. There are a good number of denominations that have churches in this region, but Lutherans seem to be the strongest. Over the years, there have been great challenges to prayer. The church is now free. Pray that it may not become indifferent now that persecution has ended. And pray that the nation will remain free in the face of Russia's current  move to enslave Eastern Europe again.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Sexual fulfillment is the number one need for a man in marriage." Willard Harvey in his book His Needs, Her Needs.