The Perfect Plan

APRIL 9

MATTHEW 5:32_and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Is Jesus too harsh on divorce? He brings adultery into the picture after the divorce! Why?

In Mark 10:5-8, Jesus went back to the beginning – to creation itself – to the original marriage – to God’s perfect plan. The Garden of Eden was perfection and everlasting life. Adam and Eve blew the whole plan by their disobedience to God, all life reaped the consequence – sin. Life will continue to reap sin consequences until an end comes, and all things are made new.

God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man and one woman for life. Their union causes them to become one. Perhaps Jesus adds adultery to re-marriage because no piece of paper (divorce contract) can sever God’s design of the physical union. The divorce contract can sever the legality of the marriage, but it cannot sever the oneness of flesh. This is why sexual sins are so devastating.

Why is purity marriage insurance? Foremost, it is God’s plan. His plan builds love by denying the flesh and bonding spirits – two people for each other. It builds respect for each other. It builds loyalty for one and only one. Aren’t those things you want in marriage?

We discussed before how impurity spells betrayal like no other sin. It is definitely one of the hardest to forgive. The Great Hope can give power to forgive. He asks you to do no more for your betrayer than He has done for you.

This is not to simplify the devastation. It may require a time of separation., and the key word in this sentence is time. Running straight to the divorce court does not give The Great Surgeon time for the surgery – including the time for healing and recovery. The basis of any decision has to be what action you believe will please Jesus.

When the marriage is broken beyond repair (one spouse has re-married), The Great Hope has good news. An individual life is not beyond repair.

Jesus repairs broken lives.

Jesus wants to bring His love into all families. Let Jesus use you to shine His love in your family.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Some of Your teachings are very difficult and hard. I know they are all designed for the very best life. I want that! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                    

Christ loves God’s original plan—I want to love it!

How Do the Godly Fall So Low?

MARCH 28

MATTHEW 5:28_But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her…

Just like Jesus’ lesson on the heart connection between murder and uncontrolled anger, now He will teach a heart connection between sexual sins and your ability to live free from bondage.

King David was more than just a God-fearing man. He is consistently referred to as a man after God’s heart. We’ve already discussed the importance of the heart being the center of your spirit. To call David a man after God’s heart is a compliment from God to David.

For all the godliness of David’s life, how he led the Israelites to love and obey God, what is the first thing most people think when they hear his name? Bathsheba, right? A few people may think of Goliath first, but the next thought is, Bathsheba.

Go back to Proverbs 6 (KJV), “33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.” It will forever be connected to his name. This is not to be interpreted that God did not forgive. He did forgive, and even promised to always have a descendant of David upon the throne.

How did such a godly man fall so low? He looked … too long. Job 31:1 (KJV), “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

PRAYER

Saving God, Help me make a covenant with my eyes. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ can help me avoid shame—Praise Him!

Do It!

 MARCH 23

MATTHEW 5:24_first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Be reconciled! Even if you never perpetrated a wound but feel the devil may have caused someone to misunderstand. Explain in detail, perhaps even in writing, if that will diminish the devil’s power.  

This is not about political correctness. It is not about agreeing with something that compromises your faith and convictions in order to please another person. This is about genuine repentance and grief. This is about expressing shame for your anger, or attitude, or theft, or for whatever you are guilty.

If you stole something – repay it. Depending upon how serious you are, repay more than you stole. You are not obligated to do that by the letter of the Law, but perhaps by the spirit. If the one you wronged has deep unforgiveness toward you, that might light their way to forgiveness. If needed, work out a payment plan – but whatever you have to do, do it!

If earthly possessions are in any way holding you back from being reconciled with someone – you are in bondage. Give your gift to God and live free. You can never out give God. Whatever you give to, or sacrifice for Him – will return with interest.

PRAYER

True God, Give me a willing heart and teach me how to use it for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me reconciled—I will do my part!

Jesus Hands the Broom to You

MARCH 21

MATTHEW 5:23_Therefore, if thy bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberst that thy brother has ought against thee;

Don’t be confused about altars. When you come to Jesus’ salvation altar, come with your broken, bleeding, messed up life. This is the time to ask Jesus into your life. He accepts you just as you are. It’s Jesus’ job to clean you up. His full forgiveness is immediate. Then He begins the process to repair the breaks, bind the wounds, and sweep up the mess you call your life. This doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen.

Jesus cleanses like Dove™ – He is not a soap, He is a beauty bar!

The altar in this verse comes after your salvation experience. You are ready and eager to serve Jesus. You come because you want to be a part of the earthly kingdom of heaven. Now Jesus hands the broom to you.

If there are people in your past with wounds you’ve inflicted, Jesus wants you to repair the wounds as much as is possible on your part. 

Possibly the Scribes and Pharisees didn’t like this teaching. They believed the Law had to do with loving God, not people. Jesus says the two go together. This is why the Scribes and Pharisees did not know the Messiah when they saw His miracles, or heard Him teach unconditional love.

Neither did they know Him when they slapped Him in the face, spat upon Him, or saw Him die in their place – and asked God to forgive them.

PRAYER

Forgiving God, Praise You that You take me just as I am. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ accepts me—He makes the necessary changes!

Everyone Has It!

MARCH 2

MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…

Jesus teaches something worse than to break even the least commandment – teach others to do the same. You can directly teach someone, or you can teach by influence. The power of influence is tremendous – and everyone has it!

You can’t keep commandments and make wise decisions in your own strength. When it comes to sin there is a one-size-fits-all consequence – eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23 (KJV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 (KJV) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” God’s compassion and forgiveness make a way to fix that. You need Jesus!

A hypocrite is a professing Christian who lives contrary (including influence) to the principles and teachings of the Bible. In other words, to be a Christian who is void of salt and light. The hypocrite will not cause anyone to thirst for truth – salt contaminated by the lures of the world and lost savor. No weary traveler will find the path to freedom through the darkness of a hypocrite.

You may not believe you are accountable for your influence. If someone makes a poor decision because of your influence, it is no different from your direct teaching. Everyone is responsible for their decisions – they can’t blame anyone else. But you are accountable for your contributing influence. And this is Jesus who says there will be a consequence.

Your call to be salt and light includes your influence. Contribute a salty-lit-up influence!

To really know Jesus is to know He is not about judgment and punishment. Jesus is the very embodiment of love, mercy, and grace. But it is also Jesus who warns there are consequences in life. This is why He draws attention to the importance of living in accordance with the commandments.

Just as the laws of the land, God’s laws are for your safety and protection. 

PRAYER

Precious Jesus, I want my life to be salt and light to those thirsty and in darkness. I want this to be true in whatever You call me to do in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is mercy and grace—I want to live like that!