DEVOTION: "There's nothing "good" about divorce."
Mark 10:2-16 (ESV) 2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" 4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." 5 And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 7 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Let's get one thing straight, divorce is not a good thing. It is not a safety net. it is not a get out jail free card. It is a terrible and awful thing.
Jesus didn't like it either. He even goes so far as to say that the only reason Moses allowed divorce is because of stubborn people who were unwilling to repent of their sin against their spouse or other stubborn people who were unwilling to forgive that sin. That's it.
There are two "reasons" for divorce that Jesus "allows" in other Gospel acccounts. One is adultery and the other is abandonment. We can either take those two words as literal as possible and say that the physical acts, sex for adultery and leaving the home and never coming back for abandonment, are the only reasons for divorce. That would be the letter of the law.
Or we can take the "spirit" of the law as Jesus defines it when he says, "If a person looks lustfully at someone who is not his spouse he has already committed adultery in his heart. And we can also think of all the ways that a person can "leave" a marriage or "abandon" a relationship without physically leaving the house. things like unrepentant continued use of drugs/alcohol; physical, emotional and sexual abuse; focusing solely on careers and not on marriage, etc. come to mind.
The truth is that we could come up with a million "valid" reasons for divorce. What Jesus wants us to realize is that there are no "good" reasons for divorce. Christians should always be willing to give up and repent of the adultery or desertion. And Christians should always be willing to forgive. ALWAYS!
Unfortunately we live in a fallen world and people are stubborn. People don't want to give up their adultery. People don't want to keep their marriage vows to love, honor, cherish, keep, and obey. People don't want to stay committed to their spouse till death parts them. Instead, they'd rather stay committed to their alcohol and drugs. They'd rather give into their evil passions and desires. They'd rather be selfish that selfless. They'd rather let their anger and hatred get the best of them and be their god. They'd rather withhold forgiveness from others even though God freely forgives them. And so there is divorce.
You might call it a necessary evil..... like war.
Let this be a wake up call to you who may be already abandoning your marriages for other things. Let this be a warning to you who think it is ok to look at porn every once in a while. Let this be a jolt to those of you who think it is ok to keep from fulfilling the vows you made at your wedding. It's not ok!
Marriage was instituted by God to be a lifelong union between one man and one woman. They literally and figuratively become one person. It was meant to be a reminder (a picture) of Christ and his church, to show how committed he is to us all the way to his death on the cross, and how he submitted himself and became a servant to us only because he loved us. It is to be treated like the gift of God that it truly is! We truly become one flesh with Christ. "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.
Stop treating it like a curse or a prison sentence. Stop neglecting your marriages! Stop thinking of it as a way to get what you want, and instead look at it as a built in everyday way to give what the Holy Spirit has given to you namely love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control!
Prayer: Lord, help us to treat marriage as the gift it is. Help us to keep and fulfill our marriage vows and to repent when we don't, and to forgive our spouses when they don't. Amen.
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ: How many Psalms are there? 150 (Unless you count the many other songs of Moses and Solomon and others as Psalms)
Sun- SCRIP ORDERS DUE; Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45
Acolyte- 8:30- Jacob Cluver; 11- Alaina Heitgerd
Ushers- Don Hance, Rich Boeger, Don Tate, Doug Walters
Altar- Set up- Ruth Walters; Clean up- Terry McKenzie
Communion Assistants- Sat- Randy Sweet; 8:30- Rich Talbert; 11- Charlie Figura
Greeters- 8:30- Doug and Ruth Walters; 11- Steve and Sandy Robine
Lay readers- Sat- Judy Koprowski 8:30- Betty Schirr 11- Kailyn Blechle
Sat. Pianist- Tim Sherman
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Projectionists: Sat. Pam Bueltmann, 8:30- Dawn Sherman, 11- Hannah Johnson
NEWS!!!! PLEASE READ IT ALL!!!!
Every month throughout the school year, each church participating will take one food item and collect just that food item. At the end of the month the food will be delivered to school. The school officials along with volunteers will distribute the food to kids backpacks to take home.
UNMARKED BLUE ENVELOPE CONTRIBUTIONS ARE GOING TO THE BUILDING EXPANSION PROGRAM
If you'd like it to go to the DCE fund you need to mark it for that! Please make sure you mark the ENVELOPE clearly for the DCE PROGRAM!
DO YOU HAVE A KROGER CARD? ENROLL IT IN THE COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM!!!
Register it online www.krogercommunityrewards.com and have it swiped each time you shop to earn money for Little Lambs.
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