January 31, 2020 Memory Verse

Ephesians 1_3-4

Marriage: What Is Marriage?

Wedding couple

In order to begin to look at marriage we have to start with defining what marriage is. Over history throughout the world there has been different meanings of what marriage is and is not.

While individuals and even the world as a whole defines marriage in multiple ways, there has to be an ultimate authority on what marriage is. In this study on marriage, I will be looking at it as from the viewpoint of God and the Bible. This is with the thought that God created everything. If God created everything, then He is the ultimate authority and can define everything and anything in His way.

If you take God out of the picture, then anything goes. At that point there is no real definition of what marriage is. Marriage can then become any thing a person wants it to be, there are no limits or boundaries in which one cannot cross.

Looking at the world, one can see how these boundaries have been removed and nearly anything goes. In some countries there are a few boundaries still in place, while in others, nearly every boundary has been removed. Each nation has its own set of rules and boundaries on how they define a marriage and what is acceptable and what is not.

Tangled roots

In America, many boundaries have been removed as a whole. However, in some states, some of those boundaries are still recognized and held on to, though many wish to remove all boundaries.

Marriage begins in the beginning of all creation. God had made the earth and everything in it. After making the land, seas, sky, plants, animals, birds, and fish, God made man. He made Adam to take care of this new earth He had created. Adam was the first man made.

God noticed that Adam did not have a helper to help him, so He chose to create a woman for him. At that point God created Eve, the first woman.

Notice the process that God did in making Eve. He took a rib out of Adam and created Eve. She was made different and was called by a different name.

Couple holding hands

At this point the world had its first marriage. There was no ceremony or celebration, it just became a marriage. Eve had become Adam’s wife. They become one in flesh and spirit.

This here shows that marriage is between one man and one woman. It is not between two men or two women, or between a man and child or woman and child, or even between a person and an animal. Nor is this between one man and several woman or one woman and several men. It is one to one. The world has chosen to corrupt what God has made.

If God is not in the picture, then, yes, the world has the right to define what marriage is in whatever measure they want. Without God there is no absolute authority and anything goes. However, there is a God and there will be a day of reckoning where everyone will have to give an account to what he or she did.

Over time, man has chosen to create a ceremony to establish a marriage. This is where the wedding comes in. The ceremony is not the actual creation of the marriage, but the public proclamation and recognition of what one man and one woman does.

Bride and groom

The actual marriage takes place when the man and woman choose to be together as one before the eyes of God, with or without a ceremony, and in or outside of a church, and with or without a minister. It is when they agree to say ‘I do’ to each other in their hearts and minds as one.

The wedding certificate is just man’s way of showing proof that the two are married and that both had agreed to the marriage. It is a formal way of tracking marriages. This is needed because people will lie. Later many might try to say that they had never been married, when in fact, they had been. This is just proof.

This here is just the basic beginning of what marriage is. It is the groundwork for the rest of this study. Next week I want to look more at the vows that are done in the marriage ceremony and what they can mean in a marriage. After that I will continue to look at what marriage looks like and how to make it work or destroy it. See you next week!

Exodus 28:29 Remembering Before God

red heart necklace

“Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continual memorial before the LORD.” Exodus 28:29

One of the ways that people like to remember other people is wearing a necklace that brings a memory of a person. There are many younger girls that wear a necklace with the BFF, Best Friends Forever, stamped up it. They want to remember their best friend at all times.

Another way that many people remember someone is with a small picture inside a pendant hung around the neck. These can be pictures of someone still alive or a loved one who has passed away. Either way it is a way of remembering the person. It can bring back many memories of good times, the love and friendship of that person.

As Aaron was to enter the Holy Place, the temple, he was to wear a piece that carried all the names of the sons of Israel, the tribes of Israel, over his heart. As he met with God, this would help him to remember all of the people of Israel and to bring their needs before God.

One of his jobs as high priest, Aaron would have to bring the offerings and sacrifices of the people to God. When they sinned against or praised God, it was Aaron who stood before God for them.

When Jesus came, he made all who are His followers priests. Every believer is a priest before God. As a priest, believers have the ability to stand before God on the behalf of other people. The believer is also now the temple of God himself. He can always be in the presence of God.

Each and every day, the believer must bring before God the needs and praises of those he knows. He must remember the names of the people who are in need around him, rather than just focus on his own personal needs, just as Aaron and Jesus had done.

You are a priest of God, if you are a believer. You have direct access to God on behalf of the needs of others. Each and every day, take time to bring the needs of those you know up to God. Carry the names of your friends, family, enemies, and all neighbors on your heart as you go before God. Be the priest of God for the people. God can use you through your prayers.

I pray today that you will know who you are in Jesus; that you will have the names of people on your hearts as you pray to God; that you will lift up the needs of others before God daily; and that God will do many great things through you in others.

Acts 24:16 A Clear Conscience

Bench By Stream

So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16

Paul had been going around Jerusalem preaching the gospel message. Some people grabbed him and took him to the officials saying that he was stirring up trouble in the city. Paul answered what he was doing and that always strived to be innocent of any wrongdoing before God or any person.

A clear conscience is one that believes that one has never done anything wrong to anyone. Most people in the world feel as though they are not doing wrong to anyone regardless of what they are doing. People tend to believe that they are in the right in what they are doing whether it is good or bad.

There are others who don’t care what other people think about their actions. These people will do whatever they want, when they want, without concern for others.

Most people suppress their conscience and deny what they know to be wrong or ignore what is right.

Believers will often fall into this same type of thinking in their own lives. They will feel as though they are following God, regardless of how they are treating others.

Paul took both God and other people in consideration in what he did. He wanted to be clear of any wrongdoing with both God and man.

When a believer has a clear conscience before God, he should also have a clear conscience before man. God wants every believer to love every person, both enemy and friend. When this is done, no harm will be done, no bad words will be said, and all that will be shown is love.

One should not strive to keep a clear conscience before God and ignore other people. And one should not keep a clear conscience before man and ignore God. It has to be both.

As you look at your life, ask God to reveal where you may have done something wrong, both to Him and to others. Strive to make it right.

Also as you deal with other people in your life, live your life in a way that honors God and others. Strive to live a life that has done no wrong to anyone else in any way. Always show love, grace and mercy to everyone you meet. This way your conscience will always be clear of anything wrong.

I pray today that you will repent of any wrongdoings to God; that God will strengthen you to always chose the right action; that you will be clear of any wrongs done to others; and that you will be the example of Jesus on this earth.