|Matthew 19:3-6 (Voice)|
3 So some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked Him this tricky question about divorce:
Pharisees: Is it ever lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
Jesus: 4 Haven’t you read that in the beginning God created humanity male and female? Don’t you remember what the story of our creation tells us about marriage? 5 “For this reason, a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 6 If a husband and wife are one flesh, how can they divorce? Divorce would be a bloody amputation, would it not? “What God has brought together, let no man separate.”
|To question charges for a driving infraction, one would go before a judge. To question about a Christian wedding, or marital problems, where God was invited to be a part of that three-party agreement, one would go to God, and/or His Word to understand the implications. This was the case with the Pharisees, for they wanted to know about the implications of breaking that three-party agreement. As in other areas of questioning Jesus, He quoted scripture to answer man’s questions.|
|Some of you might skip right over this devotional after reading the subject, because you are afraid that there may be so much of my own feelings debated in this blog that you really don’t want to hear it, perhaps again. One of the beauties of reading through the Bible, vs choosing specific topics, is that you will come across every topic addressed in the Bible. Of course you can choose to ignore some topics and just move on, but what I share with you each morning friends, are things that I feel God lays on my heart. I am convinced that these things first speak to my own heart, but I believe that God has me share these thoughts so that He might also use my thoughts to penetrate your heart and speak Truth to you. Sin has become so rampant in our world, and most people have become so tolerable of sin, that we often find ways to condone many things, among Christian circles and even in our churches. I am convinced that the Bible is our Rule Book, and it makes no consideration for the acts of sinful man, but instead gives us the words of God that addresses all of our actions, thoughts and questions. The main reason we (Christians) should have for going to a counselor, or a pastor, is to seek help in finding out how the Word of God addresses our situation. Remember, it’s our Rule Book! Unfortunately, we concoct enough to build our case as to why we believe we are right, because we want someone to validate, or take our side, so that our sin won’t hurt so badly. Friends, I believe that the moment we feel like sin is affecting either spouse, we must address it then – urgently. For sin is similar to a boil, it starts out small and it will irate just a little, but very soon it becomes an eating sore where it erodes the area of our body and infects our whole being. Friends, I am happily married, so it may seem like it must be easy for me to say all of the above, but may I remind you that sin affects us all, and it is only through a close, daily, and committed relationship with God that we stand a chance of learning from Him, seeking His help with life and His direction for every walk of life. Although some of you might be perfect in this area, I must admit that this is a daily walk for me. I need Christ in all areas of my life, and I need His help and guidance every day and in every aspect of life. May I recommend that you do the same, for I strongly believe that it is through Christ alone that we can live a life that would come close to imitating Him. I would also like to extend an invitation to all those who live near Sebring, Florida, to attend a monthly group meeting for couples at Bible Fellowship Church, Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL, the 4th Sunday of every month at 5:00pm. This might encourage you in your marriage, or you might encourage some else. Why not join us and allow God to do His work in your marriage!|
|Father, thank You for loving us enough to create areas of happiness in our lives, then to provide the Rule Book on how we might best participate and enjoy all that You have created for us. Thank You for our spouses and for the happiness, contentment and friendship that we enjoy together in having You at the center of our lives and our relationships. Please forgive us for the many times that we have tried to have our own way and do our own thing. Although this often ends in disaster, we thank You for intervening in time to save our marriages. Please continue to impress upon Your children the importance of a daily encounter with You, so that we might become more aligned with Your ways and Your rules for life. We want to be more like You Jesus, so we humbly place ourselves at Your feet for a deep infilling of Your Holy Spirit. Use us for Your glory until we see You face to face. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category
Bible Reference: Proverbs 31:10–12
Bible Text: 10 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.
Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)
Throughout the Bible we see where crowds are usually counted based on the number of men in the crowd, even if women and children are present. We basically see where women are kept in the background of many Bible stories and especially in ancient church leadership. In fact, one may sometimes wonder if they were considered ‘second-class’ citizens. In my study today I came across two instances where we are reminded that women are super important to the kingdom of heaven, to their husbands, to their children, and to the church. In my new testament reading in Romans 16, Paul commended a female deacon, Phoebe, and He encouraged his friends to honor Phoebe as one who is worthy among the people of God. In Proverbs 31 we see where a good portion of that chapter is devoted to expressing the value of women to God, to their husbands, to their children and to their communities. In Proverbs 31:23, we are reminded that men worthy of being community leaders, can successfully fulfill his responsibilities when he is blessed with a good wife who knows the Lord, and is honorable in her home, for she not only supports her husband in clothing and feeding him, but in her prayers for his success also. Friends, I pray that not one man will stand and boast about how good or successful he is, because invariably you will find that he has the support of a praying mom and/or a supportive, loving, encouraging and praying wife. I have found that as I express love and worth to my wife, she in turn offers prayer, support and encouragement for my success. I am reminded from the Word of God, that Jesus expects for me to love and care for my wife, like He loves and cares for His church. He expressed that love through the biggest sacrifice recorded in history, for he gave of his own life, so that we may have access to the only One capable of forgiveness for our sins. With the purity that comes with a heart cleansed by Jesus Christ, we are acceptable for entry into heaven, and an audience with the Father. Our short lives here on this earth are filled with steps that lead us to our ultimate destination where we will spend eternity. In a major portion of this life, we (men) are surrounded by women who are ordained by God to care for us, push us towards success, support us in leadership, care for and love our children and pray for our walk with the Lord. We, in turn, must be willing to do whatever it takes, including total sacrifice as Jesus did for us, to bring fulfillment, happiness, and godly leadership into their lives so that they might also be honorable before God. This is a two-way thing Brothers! While Christ is very worthy of fulfilling the requests brought to Him by our wives, He expects us to do our part as worthwhile, God-filled husbands, to make them the virtuous women that He desires. Men, are you prepared to rededicate Your life to Jesus and ask Him to help you to rededicate the commitment, love and protection your wife needs from you?
Lord Jesus, we have been reminded of the love You showed for us on Calvary, the love expected of husbands towards their wives, and how all of this could lead to helping our wives be the virtuous women that You desire in Your kingdom, in our lives and in this world. There’s great responsibility from all involved, but this leads to a beautiful relationship between husband and wife, and fully dedicated lives by both before a lost world, all for Your glory. Based on my study, I truly believe that this is Your desire for us. Please help us to be obedient and willing servants so that others may see, hear and believe on You. I ask these things all for your glory, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
The Holy Bible
18So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married- 19pretty and graceful as a deer. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love. 20Why should you give your love to another woman, my son? Why should you prefer the charms of another man’s wife? 21The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching.
(Bible Translation and Location: Good News Translation – Proverbs 5:18-21)
There’s an old hip-hop song with the same title I gave to our devotional today, because as I meditated on these verses this song came to mind, so I didn’t intentionally use bad English!!! However, God not only spoke to a man that He made to be the wisest man on earth, but He also inspired him to write down these wise words to share with folk that came along after he (Solomon) died. God, in His wisdom, knew that you and I should be told from His Word how to truly live holy and happy lives, even when it concerns our lives with our spouses. Now friends, there are a few things in here that really step on the toes of some that have supposedly convinced themselves of what God should have included in His Word, so they may become offended, but I would encourage them to politely and respectfully pray to God about those things. These verses follow verse 15 where Solomon gave us these words of wisdom: “Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone”, so I believe that what God is drawing to our attention in order to have happy marriages, is that:
- Men must be the husband of one wife and find your joy with her – Notice the verse didn’t indicate “one of your wives” or “one of your women”. Also note that the verse didn’t say that you will find joy waiting for you, but rather you will “find joy”. That gives me the impression that we must seek after it, or work at it. If you sow in happiness, you will reap joy! Please note that to find joy with your wife, you cannot have other women trying to win your affection, otherwise you could never give your wife the attention and love that she, and you, deserve;
- Pretty and graceful as a deer – I’m sure that no one ever married a woman because she just wasn’t pretty in your eyes. So if she was pretty when you married her, and you have tried in every way to find joy with her every step along the way, why might she not be pretty now? I am reminded of something an elderly gentlemen told me at one time when I was finding fault with a vehicle I owned. He said, it is so interesting the fault we will find with our current vehicle when we have our minds set on a new one we want to buy! Funny, but very true words that also apply to our view of our wives! They are very pretty until we set our eyes on someone else that we are becoming attracted to. One word of advice to husbands and wives, don’t look elsewhere because you feel your spouse has lost their beauty, you are also growing old at the same rate of your spouse, and you may not be getting any more handsome either!!
- God is watching – God not only hears the words we speak, but He also knows our thoughts. You absolutely cannot straighten Him out with the poor excuses you give your spouse, so live upright, honest, loving and happy lives like God intended for you.
Friends, I am not a Marriage Counselor, but I am a Christian and would be happy to rejoice with you on any happy stories this devotional may have reminded you of, or if there is an area that you are struggling with, I would be happy to pray with you. So I encourage you to use the information in the footnote to contact me and allow me to pray with you about your marriage or your relationship with the Lord.
Lord Jesus, unlike anything we can see, or ever imagine, about the condition of marriages and Christian life in general today, I am convinced that You see and know every little detail. I humbly ask that You help us to overcome our carnal minds and worldly desires. Please help us to keep our minds fixed on You, and make decisions inspired by You and for Your glory. Happy marriages will result in happy couples who will have happy children. This is not the case today, even from our eyes dear Lord, so we know that You see the weaknesses evident in Your children who claim You, especially when it is convenient or needed. Please touch the hearts and minds of Your children today, beginning with me. I believe that as we draw close to You and refocus our desire to please You in all walks of our lives, then we will live according to Your Word, without It becoming burdensome to us. Our marriages and our families are in trouble Lord. We need You more today than ever before, to heal our land, revive Your very own children, and to melt the hearts of those spouses that do not know You as Lord. Marriage is instituted and blessed by You, and I question how this could be possible if a spouse raises the stop sign to not allow You in. We need You Lord! I know that You have this under control, please give me peace to leave You at Your job, knowing that You are the Master of all things! I love You Lord, and I ask all of these things believing, and in the precious name of Jesus, Amen!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day‘s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!
The Bible – The Good news Translation
10 By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I appeal to all of you, my brothers and sisters, to agree in what you say, so that there will be no divisions among you. Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose.
I bet that as you read the above verse you may have thought that it was something that I came up with concerning your church, or perhaps telling you gossip from my church, right? I agree with you friends, however this is obviously one of those verses that Christians today throw over their shoulders and let it go on to apply to the church on the next block for whom it was truly written!! In our secular jobs we often remark that the most challenging part of our job is dealing with the people/staff. I would imagine that for our pastors the most challenging part of leading a small, or a large church is the same – dealing with the folk who cause upheaval that could quickly lead to division. Paul addressed two important areas that we should consider as we think about what we might do to prevent division:
- To agree in what you say – I believe that if we did like one pastor suggested when he said “Let the main thing be the main thing” then we would quickly refocus our minds, and subsequently our conversation, to the mighty works of God among the congregation; the Word of God that speaks to us in powerful ways today, as it did in the days we read about in the Word; the blessings that God has bestowed on us instead of the small aches and pains that we might feel; the great teachers that God has provided to share knowledge with us instead of the small insignificant, humanly faults they may have; and the heartfelt desire to see our family members saved; and
- Be completely united – Do you know what happens in marriages when a husband and wife cannot be completely united in one thought and purpose? Don’t you imagine that the same thing would happen if we bring that type of behavior into the church? Independent thinking is important friend, but in a heart of compassion and love and caring about the good of others, we must learn to be understanding, appreciative and patient in what others have to say also. We are not all at the same maturity level, so sometimes we will find that someone else may have a different idea about a topic than we do. They may not be wrong – in fact they may be trying to say the same things as you are saying, just using different terminology. We must learn to not only talk, but also to listen, and try to appreciate the heart of the person speaking.
I heard a preacher approach this subject recently and he advised that should a third party be brought up in a conversation you are having with another church member, stop the conversation until such time that the other party could join you in the conversation! Great advice to avoid the issues that Paul was addressing with the Corinthian church, and to help with the unity of our churches today! These are tips on how we can help keep unity in our church today, are you willing to do your part friend? Let’s ask God for the strength to do His will, even in our relationships with others who should know better!
Lord, thank You for Your patience with Your people as we try to get along here on this earth and live in such a way that we would be a witness of You to our lost family and friends. Lord, please remind us often that we will never impact the lost when we act just like them. If we are different, and if we belong to the King of Love, the King of compassion and the King of all Kings then it is time for us to leave the things of this world behind and center our hearts and minds on You, and not our personal desires and selfish ways. More of You in this old world will force out the ways of Satan that has become so prevalent, even among Christians. Please have Your will in my life dear Lord, and may my friends also see the need for a similar prayer today, is my humble plea, that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!
NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.
The Bible –New Century Version
2 He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust the Lord.
We can easily identify a single man by his playfulness with no one girl. We can generally identify a married man by his devotion to his wife and his unselfish attitude in doing everything to make her happy. We can generally identify a sinner by the unconcern for anything spiritual; their ungodly character; their ungodly, and often disrespectful speech and of course their lack of interest in trying to be in the presence of Christian believers. What is often confusing is when we hear folk that meet most of the criteria just stated, yet they will tell someone that they are a ‘Christian’ or they attend church regularly. As a follower of Christ, we must often return to the cross and, like David, thank God for what He brought us through and where He brought us from. If we don’t do this we may tend to boast about what we did to achieve our rightness with God. While at the foot of the cross we should remind ourselves of the joyful song that we exuded at the time of our conversion, and ask God to refresh that song in our heart so that we may glow with His presence and His glory. When others see Jesus, yes even His qualities in us, they will burst in to worship to God! For those who have only heard of Jesus, they will trust in Him and seek His favor. So I guess my challenge to believers today is: Does others see enough difference in us that they would want any part of what incents us, what drives us or what motivates us? Are we singing the praises of a King’s kid, or are we portrayed to others as a beggar with lots of needs and having never been lovingly and spiritually touched by the Master? We will exude what is prominent inside of us. Why not put more of Jesus in, through daily time in the Word, prayer and communion with God?
I’m Yours Lord. May others see and be blessed in recognizing that You are mine also. May Your will, Your love and Your character be prominent in me so that You may be lifted up and that others may be drawn to You. Touch hardened hearts today so that they may not shy away from recognizing and accepting You. Touch the hearts of Your kids so that your glory may shine through every fiber of our lives and influence this world for You. Lord, may You be glorified today in all things that we do or say, for it is in Your precious and worthy name that I ask, AMEN!
Note: **If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.
Studied: Mark 10
OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)
Mark 10:1-12 ~ After Jesus left, he went to Judea and then on to the other side of the Jordan River. Once again large crowds came to him, and as usual, he taught them. Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus asked them, “What does the Law of Moses say about that?” They answered, “Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away.” Jesus replied, “Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.” When Jesus and his disciples were back in the house, they asked him about what he had said. He told them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. A woman who divorces her husband and marries again is also unfaithful.” (CEV)
APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
I believe that most of us have encountered divorce in some part of our family, either directly or indirectly through a family member. I don’t believe that it is ever pretty, or mutually agreeable, because someone often gets hurt, in fact I would dare say that many times many people get hurt. I am not here to judge anyone who makes such a decision, but I feel like this is something that perhaps someone who may be considering divorce today may need to hear. In fact, if I skip over this ‘Nugget’ in Mark 10 I believe that I could be considered like the folk that Moses dealt with in his day, I could be accused of being heartless. To those that are struggling in their marital relationship today I would ask that you consider the following tips that I discerned from God’s Word, and the sensitivity of this was heightened this morning when I read this passage:
- God made us in His own image – I don’t believe that this pertains only to bodily form, or not just in character like Him, but in whole I believe that He made us to be imitators of Him in every way. For instance, He is known as ‘love’. He taught us to love like He does. He loved us so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son so that we may have…. If we are to be imitators of Him, why would we turn our heads on a spouse that God has blessed us with? God never faltered in His love for us, why would we falter in our love for our spouse?
- Is your marriage in trouble because you believe that you found someone else better looking? Remember that beauty comes from within, not outward beauty.
- Is your marriage in trouble because your spouse is cheating on you? Look deep inside and try to determine why you have allowed this. Is it because of Neglect? Not showing your love? Not praising them when appropriate?
- Is your marriage in trouble because you have been distracted with someone else of the opposite sex in your circle of friends or coworkers? In your marriage vows you promised to pledge your allegiance and love to only your spouse. Don’t put yourself in the position of allowing someone else to interfere in your vow and in your marital relationship.
- Is your marriage in trouble because you never included God in your union with each other? It is not too late. Go to God in prayer, with your spouse, asking God to be a part of your union and to help you maintain a strong, loving and happy relationship with Him and with each other. Remember, God is bigger than all of our troubles and when you welcome Him to be a part of your life, He can work miracles in your situation. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you.
As your relationships are mended you will find much less stress in your life. In fact, with a happy and loving relationship with each other and God, you will find that you can deal with everything else! Let God be a part, won’t you?
PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Lord Jesus, I thank You for being a part of my marriage. I thank You for holding our hands and helping us to overcome those times when we struggled and when we doubted Your presence. You have truly been an inspiration in our lives and in our marriage and I pray that You will continue to bless our marriage, because I know that old Satan could easily interfere if we let our guards down or if we exclude You, our source of power and strength. May we be a blessing to others that may be struggling in their marriage? May Your love and Your light shine so brightly in us that others may be touched and encouraged? May You receive honor and glory for anything and everything accomplished as a result of our union. Please continue to be instrumental in our individual lives and in our marriage. Thank You Lord Jesus!