“The Bible on Marriage & Divorce” August 25

 

divorce separation

What does the Bible say about marriage and divorce? What about remarriage, singleness, and sex, both inside and outside of marriage? Does the Bible really address those subjects and, if so, does it have any relevance for today?

Also read about some of the amazing animals God has created: the horse with all his strength and fearlessness, the hawk, the eagle and a huge sea creature called leviathan.

Finally, our Proverbs passage talks about the drunkard and how, even after the a hangover, he runs to look for his next drink. The world wants us to believe they can’t help it, that it’s a disease called alcoholism, but what does the Bible say?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 41 & 42
Psalm 101.5-8
Proverbs 23.31-35
1 Corinthians 7.1-19

 

The Bible on Marriage & Divorce

 

1 Corinthians 7.1-19:

Sex, Singleness, Marriage and Divorce

 

Paul has a great deal to say about marriage, divorce, and singleness in this chapter. In verses 1-9 he explains that sex within marriage is God’s only provision for sexual fulfillment. That has not changed in spite of what our culture tells us.

I know this is a huge challenge for some of you who are single and want to be married. I want to encourage you that God has not forgotten you, that He is good, and that He will give you the grace to respond biblically to this challenge.

And to the married, verse 5 says:

5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

For those who are married, sex is to be continual. It is never to be withheld from one’s partner except by agreement and then only for the purpose of prayer and fasting and only temporarily. In the past, this passage was most often applied to women, but as my husband and I counsel, more and more I hear of women whose husbands are not interested in sex.

It’s ironic that in a culture where sex is everywhere—on billboards, on TV, on movie screens, and on the street—this has not freed people to enjoy God’s gift of sexuality. Instead, it has done serious harm. The reasons are many, and if you’re struggling with this situation, I would urge you to seek counseling for both you and your spouse if he or she is willing, or for yourself, if not.

Verses 10-16 talk about divorce:  Continue reading

“Habits that Rob Us of God’s Blessings” August 21

 

Habits that Rob Us of God's Blessings - Are there habits that can rob us of God's blessings? If so, what are they and what do they look like when they show up in our lives? Also, is it possible for evil and suffering to lead to good? And could we be in danger of following men and not God?Are there habits that can rob us of God’s blessings? If so, what are they and what do they look like when they show up in our lives?

Also, is it possible for evil and suffering to lead to good? And could we be in danger of following men and not God?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 33 & 34
Psalm 98.4-9
Proverbs 23.19-21
1 Corinthians 3.1-23

 

Habits that Rob Us of God’s Blessings

 

Proverbs 23.19-21:

Dangerous Habits

 

Verse 21, “For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.”

Proverbs warns us about many lifestyle habits that can ruin our lives and keep us from enjoying the blessings of God. In this verse Solomon addresses drunkenness, gluttony and drowsiness.

The drunkard is looking for relief from her troubles, distraction from what she considers a life of boredom, or the fun and excitement she craves.

The glutton over-indulges on God’s blessings, whether food or something else.

The lazy person wants ease and relaxation to the point of neglecting his responsibilities.

These three character issues show up in different ways. The most obvious is the man or woman who gets drunk on alcohol or becomes addicted to drugs. Or the person who gorges on sweets or snack food, sometimes purging later. Or the person who refuses to work consistently, preferring to live in mom and dad’s basement or spare room.

ReadingBut it’s also the mom who over-indulges in romance novels. She may take care of the physical needs of her children, but lives for nap time when she can escape into some exciting, romantic (sometimes steamy) adventure.

She’s missing out on the blessings of truly enjoying her children at each stage of life. And she often becomes discontented with the husband and life God has given her. Preferring to escape into her fantasy.

A dad who’s obsessed with video games or sports. He’s living for the week-end when he can don his team’s jersey or play his game for hours.  His children and wife take second place to his escape and he loses out of the joy of family.

The parent or spouse who escapes into his or her smart phone or computer, sometimes hour after hour when everyone else has gone to bed. Sometimes while family members sit right beside them. They miss the opportunity to build genuine, healthy relationships.

The employee who lives for the week-end or the next vacation. They deprive themselves of the satisfaction of a job well done.

The child or adult who expects everyone else to wait on them hand and foot or to meet their every need. They miss the blessings that come with service and loving others.

Proverbs 27.20 says, “… the eyes of man are never satisfied.” We can never get enough of the things the flesh craves including leisure time, new and exciting kinds of entertainment, food and fun. Escape is only temporary. When we sober up, the problems are still there, often worse because of our neglect. We end up being left empty and devoid of any peace, joy or satisfaction.

The desire for these things leads to poverty, not just physical poverty, but poverty in their relationships and, often, poverty of the soul.

Instead, if we will allow God to fill us spirit, soul and body, we will find that the things of this world pale in comparison. And we are free to enjoy God’s blessings in their proper place and amount.

Psalm 90.14 is a great prayer. It says:

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days (ESV).

And in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says:

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God (Eccl. 2.24).


Habits that Rob Us of God's Blessings - Are there habits that can rob us of God's blessings? If so, what are they and what do they look like when they show up in our lives? Also, is it possible for evil and suffering to lead to good? And could we be in danger of following men and not God?


Today’s Other Readings:

 

Job 33 & 34:

Even Evil Can Result in Good

 

Elihu, the fifth person in this scene, continues with his observations. He has patiently waited while Job and his other three friends have debated the issue of Job’s sufferings and his integrity or lack of it and now he wades in.

While Elihu makes some good observations (we will see in a few chapters that even God did not rebuke him as He did the others), his understanding was still limited. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13.12:

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

There will always be things which we don’t fully understand. We see only a small portion of the tapestry of our lives, our families’ lives, and the events playing out around us. And even what we do see, we don’t see clearly. So when we go through a test or a trial or we read about some tragedy, we must filter it all through the goodness of God, the sovereignty of God, and the absolute holiness of God.

When we hear of a child being molested, for instance, we think “Why would God allow such a horrible thing?” But what if, as a result, that child got saved, and then she married a Christian man, and his life was impacted by her testimony, causing him to draw closer to God. Then when they had children, they raised them in a godly home and, as a result, their children were saved and many of the next generation and the next. Maybe a whole line of people was ultimately impacted by that horrible act, changing the eternal destiny of many. From an eternal perspective, would it be worth it?  Continue reading

“Shame, Dishonor & Consequences” January 5

 

Shame, Dishonor & Consequences - The Bible calls Noah a righteous man, yet he was barely off the ark before he had sinned by getting drunk. Two of his sons responded righteously, but one did not. What does the Bible say about drunkenness and how should we respond to the sins of others, especially those closest to us?The Bible calls Noah a righteous man, yet he was barely off the ark before he had sinned by getting drunk. Two of his sons responded righteously, but one did not. What does the Bible say about drunkenness and how should we respond to the sins of others, especially those closest to us?

We’ll also talk about being made in the image of God, the quality of our “salt,” the importance of reconciliation, what it looks like to live in the kingdom of God, and driving under the influence.

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 9 & 10
Psalm 3.5-8
Proverbs 1.23-27
Matthew 5.1-26

 

Shame, Dishonor & Consequences

 

Genesis 9 & 10:

Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall!

 

It didn’t take mankind long to sin again, did it?! Noah and his family are barely out of the ark when Noah gets drunk and acts foolishly. When he does, his son Ham can’t resist the urge to look at him in a disrespectful way.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says about chapter 9.18-23:

“The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible, with that fairness which is found only in the Scripture, … to show that the best of men cannot stand upright, unless they depend upon Divine grace, and are upheld thereby. Ham … probably rejoiced to find his father in an unbecoming situation. It was said of Noah, that he was perfect in his generations, chapter 6.9; but this is meant of sincerity, not of a sinless perfection. Noah, who had kept sober in drunken company, is now drunk in sober company. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”

That last statement is a quote from 1 Corinthians 10.12. We need to be very careful not to think of ourselves as better than someone else or above sinning in some area, especially in our own strength. We must learn to continually rely on God and His strength.

Matthew Henry goes on: Continue reading