Better not to marry?

Matt 19:10 “…it is better not to marry.”

Jesus had explained to Pharisees about marriage for life.
He explained Moses’ permission of divorce because of the hardness of the heart.
Then He told them the reality of remarriage and adultery.
His disciples replied, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
The disciples’ thinking is in this Jewish tradition – that if a wife displeases her husband, he has the right to put her away by divorce.
They never thought that perhaps the reason she is not pleasing to the husband is that he is displeasing to her.
It takes two to make a marriage.
It is never dependent on one person.
Hence, Eph 5:22 and 25, “wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” and “husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
It seems more is placed upon the husband than the wife.

There is room

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Within a week, I have baptized an 88-year-old and an 8-year-old.
While there is a wide difference in their ages, there is no difference in their salvation.
Today’s scripture bears witness to this.
It doesn’t matter if you are from Israel or Greece.
If you are black or white, male or female, blue-collar or white-collar worker – all are equal in Christ.
We are one.
The church will become more effective as soon as we realize this and act like one body.
The baptism also shows there is no minimum or maximum age limit to salvation or baptism.
There is also no limit to how many can join the body of Christ through salvation and baptism.
There is no cap so there is room for you today.

Thankful for Grace

1 Cor 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

Another reason to give thanks to God is for His grace.
Without it, you could never have salvation.
It is by grace through faith you are saved.
The Bible also says to give thanks to the Lord for His mercy.
Grace and mercy travel hand in hand.
Mercy is described as deserving what you do not get – which is death.
Grace is getting what you do not deserve – which is salvation.
Through it all, you can then give God what He deserves – your praise.

Be blessed and give thanks

1 Thess 5:18 …in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

What is God’s will?
This verse says it is for you to give thanks in everything.
That seems difficult.
Can you truly give thanks for bad things that happen?
Heaven forbid, but if I was shot I don’t think I could give thanks for it.
On the other hand, if I think about it, I could give thanks for living.
I could give thanks for the prayers I know would go forth for me.
If I die because of it, I give thanks I know Jesus as my Savior.
Therefore, it is possible although it could take some thought.
Perhaps if you begin to give thanks for everything now, then if something does happen you will find it easier to give thanks when it does.
No matter, it is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you.
Be blessed today and give thanks!

Give Thanks

1 Chron 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

It is Thanksgiving week but every day is a day to give thanks to the Lord.
First, because He is good.
In Him is no sin and the Creator does no wrong.
Give thanks for His mercy.
Without it there is no hope for any of us. But His mercy gives grace to pass over our sins through the blood of Christ.
Give thanks because of His endurance.
There are some people I struggle with enduring. They can wear me down.
Not God! We can never weary Him because He endures.
Finally, give thanks because He is eternal.
Nothing lasts in this life.
Not the life of your friends and family.
Not your vehicle.
Not your home.
Not your president.
But God does not grow old, break down, rust, or go away.
And the salvation He offers is as eternal as He is.
Give thanks!

Our Jewelry

Job 22:25-26 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold And your precious silver; For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God.

My grandson isn’t into jewelry.
He doesn’t wear necklaces or rings, that is, until he got his senior ring this year.
It’s the only ring on his hand and he wears it all the time.
It’s a source of pride and accomplishment for him.
I remember a portrait session from many years ago. Linda and I were there to get our portrait taken.
The lady before us was wearing a brooch and I remember the fuss she caused to make sure it was portrayed prominently in the portrait.
The brooch was a sense of pride for her.
Our scripture says God is our gold and silver.
We should delight in God more than our jewelry.
God should be seen proudly and prominently in our lives, after all, Jesus gave Himself for us and His jewelry included nails and a crown of thorns.

Full Joy

1 John 1:4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

How often do you read the Bible?
I know there are parts that bog you down.
There is scripture that seems to make no sense.
The Bible has stories that seem to have little relevance for today.
And, yet, it is a day like today and a time like this time when you need more hope and joy.
The Bible is written so your joy may be full.
You can’t get full from a meal unless you eat.
And you can’t get full on joy unless you read your Bible.

A Masterpiece

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I was awakened a little after midnight with this thought.
There are those gifted with skills.
With those skills, they do marvelous things.
Paints and canvas in the hands of the right person will create a work of art.
Lumber in the hands of a carpenter becomes a cabinet or baby crib.
A chef can turn flour and eggs into a cake, crepes, or a souffle.
With the right materials in the right hands, anything can happen.
However, God does His best work with nothing.
He created the heavens and earth with no materials whatsoever.
So next time you are down to nothing, get ready!
God is able to make a masterpiece out of you.

Love does not hurt!

Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor;

I remember a song from 40 years ago.
It was called Love Hurts.
The lyrics tell you Love hurts, scars, wounds, and marks any heart not strong enough to take a lot of pain.
The song should say it hurts when you love someone more than they love you, something that many people experience.
Our verse says love does no harm to a neighbor.
Love does not hurt anyone.
If I see a stranger in need, have compassion for them, and help them in some way, then love does no harm.
As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
That won’t hurt you either.

Keep it shut

Titus 3:2 speak evil of no one

What does that mean?
The NLT says they must not slander anyone
NASV – to malign no one
Message Bible – No insults
The Greek word translated to speak evil is blasphemeo.
That sounds familiar.
It’s the word that is also translated into English as blasphemy.
So the scripture is saying, “do not blaspheme others!”
That throws a new light on it.
The mouth is a fire, a world of iniquity – with it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10
So with our mouth we say something nice about someone and then talk behind their back.
It is not an easy feat to do.
The only way I have figured out to accomplish it is to keep my mouth shut.