Divorce

Mark 10

Mark 10 8b

There are many things that man has come up with that God really didn’t create us to do. The Pharisees loved to bring the complicated subjects up to Jesus and see what he said. They were always comparing his teachings to the teachings of Moses. So the Pharisees go to Jesus and start discussing divorce. Jesus says for them to go ahead and tell him what Moses commanded.  They say that Moses said it was okay “to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” Jesus admits that this is true, but reminds them that the Hebrews Moses was dealing with were a rebellious and ungrateful people. This was not the best way. In the beginning God wanted man and woman to “become one flesh” and stay that way. In Mark 10:9 Jesus says “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Jesus’ disciples wanted to make absolutely sure that they understood Jesus on this subject. So later they bring it up again. In verses 11 and 12 Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” They knew without a doubt that adultery is wrong. It’s one of the ten commandments. “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

We might ask “Why is this so?” Ultimately we have to trust that God knows what is best and wants what’s best for us. We can look at divorce in our society and see some of the ramifications of it and see for ourselves that it’s hard on families. Does God want us to be happy? Without a doubt, YES! Read Psalm 37:3-5 God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. We need to trust Him, be committed to Him and His ways, and do good.  Our Father will take care of the rest.

Melissa New

 

 

What Counts

1 Corinthians 7

Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

I hope you have enjoyed working through 1 Corinthians this week.  I’m going to finish with chapter 7 today.

 

Up until now Paul has been telling them about all of the changes that they need to make.  He has told them to set aside the worldly wisdom, and the associated status that comes with gaining it, for God’s wisdom.  He has told them to seek purity because they are members of the Body of Christ, and they cannot do things anymore just because their conscience says it isn’t bad, they need to listen to the Holy Spirit.   He has also instructed them to seek unity in the Body of Christ instead of handling their issues in the courts in order to “win” the argument. Several times in these instructions Paul has shifted tone between one of condemnation and rebuke, to one of conciliation and support.  Again here in chapter 7 Paul is lightening the blow from all of the changes he has asked of them in these previous chapters.

 

Paul does not want to overwhelm them with the changes he is asking for, so in chapter 7 he clarifies about the things that he is not asking them to change, but they may have thought he wanted them to change.  They do not need to get a divorce if they are married to an unbeliever, but are to do everything in their power to maintain a healthy relationship. If they are a slave then they do not need to attain freedom, although if they can that is nice, but it is not required. Contrary to what some of the Jews in the early Church were saying they do not need to be circumcised. Paul understands that these life changes would be a roadblock to some new believers and that they are not what God really wants, he says “Keeping God’s commands is what counts.”  God wants them to change their hearts. And maybe some of the life changes would be wise, but those things can come later as you grow in God’s wisdom. The most important thing to work on is obeying God’s commands and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

Thanks again for reading along.  I hope some of this has helped you.

Until next time,

Chris Mattison

He’s Serious

Matthew 18-20

matt 18

Wednesday, May 3

I think most people think of Jesus as a mild-mannered, humble, loving person.  They believe he is full of mercy and mostly thinks kind thoughts about people.  I think all of these things are true about Jesus, but there is another side to Jesus that I think many overlook.  He can get really ticked off, especially when it comes to sin.  He hates sin!  In Matthew 18 alone he has this to say:

  • If anyone causes a child who believes in him to stumble, it would be better for them to have a heavy millstone hung around their neck and be drowned in the sea.
  • If your hand or foot causes you to stumble, it is better to cut it off than to be cast into the eternal fire.
  • If your eye causes you to stumble, it is better to pluck it out.
  • If a brother sins, go and reprove him. If he doesn’t listen take one or two more with you to talk to him.  If he still doesn’t listen, tell the whole church.
  • He told a parable about a man who would not forgive a debt so the master was so angry that he handed him over to torturers until he would pay the debt. He then said his Father will do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother.

Millstones around necks to drown people, cutting off hands and feet, plucking out eyes, telling the whole church that someone refuses to stop sinning, and handing people over to torturers if they don’t forgive tells me one thing.  He’s serious!  He’s not messing around.  Sin really makes him upset.  So my advice to you is:  Don’t sin.

I chose to write devotions for the book of Matthew because I knew it would be easy to find something to write about.  Matthew is loaded with nuggets to help you in life, but that has become my challenge to narrow down what to write about.  I can’t pass up this little nugget in Matthew 19:9.  It is about a subject that there is much disagreement about, but I believe this verse should not be ignored.  Jesus said, “whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”  We can debate what is meant by immorality or if this applies to someone who doesn’t want a divorce, but it seems pretty clear to me that you shouldn’t divorce your spouse and get remarried, unless your spouse has committed immorality (likely sexual immorality).  I know some will say you can’t base the whole argument on a single verse and there is more to the story, but I would warn you that you better make sure this verse fits with your view on divorce and remarriage.

Another little nugget I want to mention has to do with children in the kingdom.  I have struggled to understand if children who are not baptized will be in the kingdom.  In fact, what happens to children who died at a young age, including those who were aborted?  What about the children who are young when Jesus returns?  Do they have a chance?  How will their salvation be decided?  I can’t say I have the answers to these questions, but Matthew 19:14 gives me some hope for their eternal wellbeing.  Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  It sounds to me like there will be some children making it into the kingdom.

I won’t spend a lot of time on my last nugget (I’m pretty sure I already lost Mackenzie), but it is such a key concept that it needs to be mentioned.  The last will be first, and the first will be last.  Similarly, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.  I am not going to spend a lot of time explaining this to you because it is so simple to understand.  Ditch the selfishness.  Start living for God and others.  Be honest with yourself and ask yourself this question, “Who am I living for?”

-Rick McClain

(Photo Credit: http://indulgy.com/post/znFZhGDqr2/matthew)