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!

The Original Plan

APRIL 3

MATTHEW 5:31_It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.

More law transformation.

Divorce has always been a heart-wrenching, painful, experience – especially when children are involved. Jesus wants to save His disciples from this kind of pain. When someone you love hurts, you hurt as well, and Jesus loves His followers.

Mark 10:5-9 (KJV), “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept [divorce]. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Jesus teaches the original plan – if two become one that is how they should remain.

When the only two people on the planet chose disobedience, and sin entered their hearts, their hearts hardened. A hard heart is difficult to live with. When two are put together it’s doubly hard.

The only hope is The Great Transformer.

PRAYER

Lord of All, Please give me wisdom concerning the very difficult situations in life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                           

Christ created marriage to be forever—He will teach me!                                      

Like Nothing Else

MARCH 27

MATTHEW 5:27_You have heard it has been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery;

Jesus is ready for another law transformation, the seventh of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not commit adultery. All sins bear consequences. Learn to look before you leap. Save yourself the pain of walking contrary to God’s ways. 

Sexual sins produce jealousy more than any other sin. Jealousy, more than any other emotion, produces uncontrolled anger. Uncontrolled anger often leads to murder.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Didn’t Jesus already make this connection? Uncontrolled anger is in the category with murder.  

Proverbs 6:32-35 (KJV), “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”

Adultery breaks trust. Adultery breaks the heart – like nothing else.

PRAYER

Living God, Help me learn the importance of keeping marriage vows. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows what breaks trust—He teaches me!

A Jesus Relationship

MARCH 18

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy. 

We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.   

Galatians 6:1, 10 says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).

PRAYER

Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!

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!