1 Corinthians 7:4 Not Your Own

 

husband and wife

The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4

Marriage is something that God had started in the beginning of creation. However, it is something that mankind has chosen to abuse. The definition of what marriage is has changed over the years again and again. How people go into marriage is dependent upon how they see what marriage is.

In recent years, there has been a change when a couple gets married in their marriage contracts. They now put in certain stipulations that if certain things are not met, the marriage is annulled.

Each spouse now has the view that they are their own person in every way, even inside of marriage. Each has their own bank accounts, cars, jobs, friends, bills, and the list goes on. They are living in the same house, but are living separate lives.

Paul talks about how the wife is to submit herself to her husband and the husband is to submit himself to his wife. It is to submit to each other.

Submitting here is giving in to the desires of the other person, putting the other person first. It is building the other one up and seeking to meet the other’s needs first. When both are seeking to do this, both will be built up and there will be unity.

Many marriages end because one or the other, or both, are seeking one’s own desires above the other. This is not a sign of love or respect, it is selfishness and separation.

God is not a God of selfishness and separation. He wants all to be in unity and love, to be generous with each other.

If you are a married person, you are no longer your own person. You are one with your spouse. Seek to build your spouse up and meet his/her desires. Show the love that God has shown and given you. Jesus did not seek His own good when He died upon the cross, but He was seeking your good, what was good for you. Do the same for your spouse.

As you put God at the center of your marriage, you will put your spouse at the front of your marriage. Then your marriage will be stronger.

I pray today that you will know the love God has for others; that God will be at the center of your marriage; that you will put your spouse above your self; and that your marriage will be built upon God’s love and word.

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1 Corinthians 11:11 No One Is Independent

 

man and woman

Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 1 Corinthians 11:11

Paul had been talking about the place of men and women in Christ. It is common for men to remember the statement Paul made that men are under Christ and women are under men.

People all over the world, both men and women, often feel that they do not need the other in their life. For many years, there are groups of women striving to be independent of men, and men trying to be independent of women.

One group feels superior to the other and don’t really need each other. While it may be or may not be true that both can do things equally well, it is not true that they do not need each other. There will always be things that a woman can do that a man cannot do, as well as there will be things that a man can do that a woman cannot do. The very minimum thing that can be seen in the need of each other is that woman came from man, but man is born from a woman.

When God created Eve, He made her to be a helpmate to Adam. This shows that man needed the woman.

While the majority of people who feel the need of independence from each other are people outside the church, there are also many inside the church that feel the same way. Some will try to do things without the other or will cut down the work of the other.

Men and women who are believers need to learn that they can help each other be the best that they can be. They both can learn from each other. A woman will have insights into some things that the man cannot see and the same for a man will have insights into some things that the woman cannot see. God uses both to build each other up in Jesus.

Take a look at the value of men or women in your life. Regardless of which one you are, you need the other. The other can bring valuable insight and help into your life. Each can help you be built up in Christ in different ways and areas of your life.

If you are a man, you need a woman in your life. If you are woman, you need a man in your life.

I pray today that Jesus will be the head of your life; that you will know the value of others in your life; that you will be a support and builder with Christ of others in your life; and that you will work with others to build the kingdom of Jesus. 

Romans 13:2 Stop Rebelling

Rebellion

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:2

Rebellion is fighting against some authority. It is commonly thought of as teen-agers as those who are the ones who rebel. They rebel against those in authority and parents. Yet, it is not just teen-agers who rebel. Many adults rebel on a regular basis.

Often rebellion is seen as a form of legal right and responsibility. People feel that they have to rebel against some authority in order to make a change to occur.

Some of the rebellion will be seen in physical violence, while a lot of rebellion is in the heart and words against the authority.

Paul points out that every authority on this earth was put in place by God. This means every authority, whether Godly, or extremely against God. Take a look at the history of Israel in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king from Assyria, who did not serve God at the beginning of his reign. Yet, God put Him in the place of authority over the Israelites and the prophets of God told the people to serve and obey him. They were not to rebel against him.

Those who are in authority may not always be doing the best action, yet, God had still placed them in that position. They may be there to draw His people back to Him, just as was the case with Israel falling under the authority of Nebuchadnezzar.

Rebellion is just a form of selfishness. One cannot get what he wants, so he rebels to attempt to force getting what he wants. This is not a way of love, nor is it showing trust in God’s power and abilities.

Very likely you have someone in authority over you in some part of your life that is doing something you do not really like. Do not rebel to force your right, but go to God in prayer about the situation. Allow God to either change your heart and desire, or to change the other person.

God has every authority in place for a purpose. To fight and rebel against that authority is to fight and rebel against God. Trust God in His choices. He knows what is best for you and every other person on this earth. Seek God, not selfish rebellion.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose in your life; that God will strengthen you to love those in authority; that you will obey those in authority as God desires; and that you will be a witness of God’s love to those in authority. 

John 19:11 No Power, Except What Is Given

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Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:11

After Jesus had been arrested, they had a very quick trial to accuse Him of doing things wrong. The people had brought Him to trial and wanted Him crucified. Pilate would ask Jesus questions, but Jesus would not answer any of them. Pilate then stated that he had power to keep Jesus alive or kill Him. Jesus told him that the only power he had, was what God allowed him to have.

As people accomplish things in their lives, they feel that they have more power. The higher the position, the more power that they think they have. Many often feel invincible and have absolute power.

While a person may have a lot of power, all of that power was not accomplished in their own strength. It had been given to them by God.

Even in the church, there are people who feel as they have authority and power over others, from their own efforts. They think that they had built themselves up to be in the position of authority as they are.

While it is true that a person does a lot of work to get where they are at, it is all because of God. God is the one who is in absolute control of every person on the earth. No one can do anything without His permission.

It is God who opens doors of opportunity and it is God who closes doors of opportunity.

Without God sustaining everything, no one would be able to breathe or move on this planet. God is the one who has given every person the ability to live on this planet, and at any moment God can take that ability away.

Believers need to keep this in mind at all times. When a person in the world is opposing or ruling over them, he can only do what God allows.

There may be a person who is ruling very harshly over you. Trust God to help you through the situation.

Or you may be the one over someone else. Rule in the way of God’s love and mercy. It is not about you, but about God and His ways.

You have no power, except what God has given you.

I pray today that you will know what God has given you; that you will trust in God’s full power; that you will realize you need God for everything; and that you will live in God’s ways of love and mercy. 

John 10:18 Laying Life Down By Choice

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“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18

Jesus was talking about Himself as being the good shepherd. He was willing to lay His life down for His sheep, unlike those who are not a good shepherd, but a hired hand.

All over the world people dedicate themselves to do certain jobs. They love that job, or the love the paycheck and are willing to go the extra mile to do the job. However, in those jobs, very few people would be willing to directly sacrifice their lives for that job. It the sacrifice has to occur, it is because it was unavoidable, but not on purpose. Very few soldiers sacrifice their physical life on purpose for another.

Giving one’s life for someone else is not an easy thing to do. There has to be an extreme amount of love for the other person in order to do that. Very few people are willing to do that. It is only done in extreme cases, and then not directly meant to be done.

Jesus went to the cross of purpose to die for every person. He allowed the people to ridicule Him, whip Him, drive the nails into His hands and feet and to hang Him on the cross. Through it all, He did not cry out or fight back in any way.

Those who hung Him on the cross, did not have any authority to put Him there. It was all done by the choice of Jesus. This showed true love and commitment. He did not back down from a hard choice to make.

God may never ask you to physically lay down your life to die, but He wants you to lay down your life before Him. Allow your sinful, selfish self to die and be raised to serve Him. Do this because of what Jesus has done for you.

Jesus died on the cross for you. He laid down His life, so that you could have life. He did not die on accident or by the hands of man, but by His own choice.

Accept the abundant life that Jesus is providing for you. Know the tremendous love He has for you. Lay your life down for Him.

I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that you will lay your life down for God; that you will tell others of His love for them; and that you will know God is in control. 

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Mark 6:2 Amaze Them

Mountain

When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” Mark 6:2

Jesus went back to His hometown to speak to the people and perform miracles there. As He was speaking many people were amazed at Him. All they saw was a little boy who had grown up in a carpenters house and is now a grown man who spoke with authority. They were amazed and wondered how He got that ability.

Growing up as a carpenter’s son, Jesus would not have received training to be a great speaker or to be a preacher. His training was to be a carpenter.

However, when He spoke He spoke with authority and wisdom. No one who had grown up around Jesus could understand how He could do so much. They did not see what could not be seen. Jesus was speaking and doing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit in His life.

Over the centuries there have been many different great speakers in this world, but most have received some training in how to speak that way. They have worked in the realm of public speaking, getting better and better until they became great.

A believer has something different. Yes, a believer can go to bible college and get a degree, but that will only move a person only so far forward, then fall short. The unseen ingredient is the infilling and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The brand new believer can speak with great authority and do miracles, if he allows God to guide Him and he is doing what God wants him to do.

When you allow God to guide you, you will amaze those who know you. You will be a new creation in Jesus Christ. You will have wisdom and understanding that the world will not understand.  You will be able to perform miracles that the world cannot explain. You will speak with the words of God and not your own words or the words and wisdom of this world.

As you go through this life, what are people saying about you? Do they see a changed person? Are they amazed at what you are doing or saying?

Allow them to see God through you.

I pray today that you will be guided by God’s Holy Spirit; that you will speak only with the words and wisdom of God; that the world will see Jesus through you; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Mark 1:7 Know Your Position

Position Before God

And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.'” Mark 1:7

John the Baptist comes on the scene, baptizing people. As he was baptizing the people, he would often point out that someone greater than him was coming. The one coming was so great that he was not worthy to even touch his sandals.

People often think that they are worthy of certain things. In America it is commonly thought that everyone is worthy of the freedom that they have. Many think that they are worthy of having certain rights and privileges. This often occurs in the workplace because of their position. Others will think that they have special privileges because of their wealth or position in life. Many people think that they are above the law and cannot be punished for doing wrong, because of who they are.

Very few people like to be considered under another person. They want to be equal or above the other person.

This can also occur in the church. People like to be the top person in the church over others. Many will also feel that they are worthy of Jesus forgiving them of their sins. They feel that they are a good person and serve God very well and are worthy.

When compared up to Jesus, no one is worthy at all. The truth of it is that everyone is worthy of one thing–death. Yet, God in His immense, great love has chosen not to kill, but to offer forgiveness and eternal life. He does this not because of who people are in themselves, but because of His love for people.

You may be someone who does some great things for God. You may hear God and obey His voice on a regular basis. As well as you do that, it still does not mean you are worthy before God in yourself or your own works.

You are a child of God and worthy to stand and minister before Him, only because of what Jesus has done for you. If it were not for Jesus dying on the cross, you would not have the right to come before God and serve Him.

Know your position when you stand before people and God. Do not think as the world does of being special in our own way.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know who you are in Jesus; that you will know who you are without Jesus; and that you will show God’s love to the world.