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!

Marriage Insurance

 APRIL 8

MATTHEW 5:32_saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery…

Fornication is sexual behavior outside of marriage. If you have sexual relations after marriage with someone other than your spouse, it is adultery. Some commentaries I’ve read say the word for fornication used in this verse means both adultery and sexual acts by single people. 

When Jesus referred to “what hath been said” He refers to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. This is a case where you entered into marriage believing your spouse came to you as a virgin. If after marriage you discover otherwise, or if your spouse is unfaithful during your marriage, then divorce is permissible. 

The single greatest thing you can do to ensure a fulfilling lifetime marriage is to have Jesus in your heart. Let Him lead you to someone in whose heart He also resides. The second greatest thing you can do for marriage insurance is to remain a virgin. If it is too late for you to remain a virgin, allow The Great Hope to keep you pure from now until your marriage.

Never underestimate the power of purity!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I want to live my life in the way You teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                            

Christ is marriage insurance—I trust His Words!

Strong Meat

APRIL 4

MATTHEW 5:32_But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife…

A hundred years ago it was more difficult to get a divorce than it is today. Today, the painful experiences in the court room are more about custody, and the dividing of properties (which are very painful experiences) – the divorce isn’t really contested. The judge used to require more cause before a marriage was ended. I believe that is what Jesus pursues in this teaching.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” is hard teaching. It is about seeking truth, for those who want the very best for their family. There is no room for quick and easy here. Jesus says marriage is something God brings together – He credits people if the marriage falls apart. 

God doesn’t want anything to break (unless it is the ties that hold you in bondage). He is the God of wholeness. God wants wholeness for His children, because that is how He created life in the beginning. This is strong meat which must be chewed and digested. It is not swallowing milk – even a baby can do that.

There is nothing easy about this teaching, but there is nothing easy about earthly life.. Don’t be offended. Trust everything Jesus teaches comes from His heart of love. Trust He knows the pains of earthly life – been there, done that. Trust He knows the weaknesses of the flesh.

But trust also, He knows the power of the spirit. Let Him teach you.

Stay with me! There’s much more!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to live my life like a baby. I want to digest Your strong meat teachings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.  

Christ does not want love to break—He can make it strong!

The Great Transformer

MARCH 31

MATTHEW 5:29_for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Jesus’ use of graphics continues. The graphics are not only good for attention, but emphasize the importance of what Jesus teaches. Which is better, to live life with one eye, or live eternity in hell? The answer is a no-brainer. Good point, Jesus!

It is not the looking at porn which sends you to hell. However, the power of porn bondage can cause you to reject Jesus. It has power to convince you to forfeit Jesus’ free gift of eternal life, for the world’s temporary pleasures.

A life of bondage is life in a black hole of powerlessness. A life of freedom is to dwell in the light and love of Jesus.

Any time you turn to porn for pleasure, you turn away from Jesus to the devil. The devil wants you on his team for one reason – to destroy you. Jesus wants you on His team for many reasons, the first is eternal life. 

Jesus has your attention. He has shown you that to play on the devil’s team can be extremely dangerous.

Never pluck out your eye! It is not necessary. It wouldn’t deliver you from bondage anyway.

Along with being The Great Balancer, Jesus is also The Great Transformer!

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank You I never need to destroy my life or limbs in any way in order to become free from bondage. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Transformer—He wants to transform me!

Unwanted House Guests

MARCH 30

MATTHEW 5:29_And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee…

Because of the tremendous power of sexual sins, Jesus gives His antidote in very graphic examples. Pluck your eye out? Good grief!

What is His point? Where does the lust which leads to the sin begin? By looking.

There are many causes of bondage prevalent in our society: alcohol, street and prescription drugs, tobacco, and the love of money. Few of these rope, throw, and bind like pornography. It is an insatiable addictive which can destroy a life with deadly power. Addictions generally enjoy company. Once you’re in pretty good with one – the others come for a visit. And as with any unwanted house guest – they never leave. 

If you have a porn addiction, don’t go plucking out your eye! Jesus, who loves you so deeply that He died for you, wants you to live free. He wants you to be free to truly love. He wants you to be free to face each day feeling clean and free of guilt. He wants your heart to be free – so He can dwell in it and give you supernatural, overcoming power.

Keep reading these devotions, and discover a better way to live.     

PRAYER

Mighty Jesus, Praise Your name that You desire to set me free. Praise Your name that You possess the power to set me free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ wants me to live free—He gives the power!