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!

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!

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!

Less of You?

MARCH 24

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

Nothing in this life is worth the bondage caused by the spirits of darkness. Spiritual bondage is void of light – a place of deep darkness. It thrives on anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. Spiritual bondage weakens the soul and brings it into despair. Again, nothing in life is worth allowing your spirit, heart, and soul to be in bondage.

Be reconciled. Come in freedom, and offer your gift. God receives your gift with joy and blesses you. As you grow physically and spiritually, your gift will grow, shining in your countenance and in your life. It will cause you to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Your light will bless all who cross your path – “all that are in the house.”

God possesses the greatest treasure – love. He bestows love upon you – which flows to other people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find you have the ability to love people. The more you love God, the more you’ll find self-sacrifice becomes a byproduct of your life – because you learn to love others more than yourself.

Do you want your life to be more of Jesus, and less of you?

PRAYER

God of Love, I want who You are to shine in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ loves me—He wants me to love His people!

Ever Felt That Pain?

 MARCH 17

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…

Jesus’ explanation of His transformation of the Law begins with but I say unto you. The word but implies a change. The scales have balanced as far as killing and punishment, but if there is more to life than the physical, then there is another way in which to kill someone – anger. Ever felt that pain?

When Jesus refers to your brother, it is not biological, but a fellow human being. Perhaps it particularly means a Christian brother. Anger shown between Christians must be very painful to Jesus. After all, these are the people who claim to be His disciples. The people who are supposed to be salt. The people who are supposed to be light. Even if what they say is right, when it is said in hot tempered anger, it destroys any good which may be done. 

Anger wounds the spirit and is very destructive to the soul of the one it has inflicted. Anger is also destructive to the soul of the one doing the inflicting. This is not just losing your temper. This is malicious, mean anger. To destroy fellow humans with mean-tempered, explosive, anger, is in the category of those who kill.

Once again, life is serious business.

PRAYER

Merciful God, Help me not to be an angry person. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ makes us brothers—He wants me to be patient!