Luke 7:14-15 Even The Dead Obey

Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:14-15

Obedience is something that is expected of everyone else, but is often ignored in one’s own self. Some believe that they are an exception to having to obey all the rules. They have extenuating circumstances that give them excuses to not follow the rules.

Cutting the corners and not fully obeying can be seen in many areas of life.

As a dead man was being carried away to be buried, Jesus walked up to him. Jesus told the dead man to get up. Immediately the dead man got up and talked. He was then given back to his mother.

The choice to cut corners and not fully obey is something that many believers have chosen in their walk with God. Many feel as if God does not really mean what He said for them to do or that it really does not pertain to them. However, God always expects complete, immediate obedience from those who follow Him.

In the scripture passage for today, the young man was dead. He had every legitimate and logical reason to not obey Jesus, yet, he did obey Jesus when he was told to get up.

Instead of providing excuses as to why one cannot or should not obey God, one must immediately obey what God has said. God may never tell a person to rise from the dead, but He does command His followers to be His witness. He does tell His people to leave a life of sin. He does tell His people be holy as He is holy.

There is no excuse to not do what God has commanded one to do.

God may be telling you to step out and do something that is different. It may be something extreme like the dead man getting up.

Instead of coming up with an excuse to not do it, trust God’s command and do it. He will never tell you to do something that He will not give you the power and ability to do.

Be willing to rise up from the dead in sin and follow God in whatever He calls you to do and wherever He calls you to go.

Are you obeying God today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what God is telling you to do; that you will obey God’s commands immediately; that you will not give excuses to not obey God; and that God will work great miracles in and through you.

Luke 14:18 Making Excuses

But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Luke 14:18

Every day people have many things to do. They have to make many choices as to what they will or will not do. The method of deciding what to do or not do is commonly left up to what is most important to the individual.

In order to decide, most people will choose what is most pleasurable or beneficial in the moment to do. Only occasionally do people look at the long-term effects of their choices.

Jesus gave a parable about a king inviting people to a banquet. Many gave excuses as to why they could not come.

It is very easy for a person to come up with a reason to not do something. Often it is difficult, inconvenient, costs too much, scary, or some other reason. Those who are successful in things, find ways to make it happen. Their eyes are on the long-term future, not just the present.

People can come up with a million reasons why they cannot make it to church, take time to pray, take time to study God’s word, or take time to be a witness. They are often busy with self in the moment and reject what God wants to do.

True believers will seek to find ways to do what God is calling them to do. They will desire to follow God with all of their heart, regardless of the cost. All excuses will be cast out, knowing that God does not care to hear excuses.

Jesus paid the ultimate price of His life so that a person can have life. This leaves zero room for any excuses to not follow and fully obey Jesus.

God is calling you to do a work for Him as a believer. It may be a small job or a large one, but either way it is an important one. At a minimum God calls you to obey Jesus, worship Him, know and study His word and be His witness.

Do not be like the world and allow yourself to make up excuses to not do what God is calling you to do. Do not be kicked out and rejected for making an excuse.

Do what God is telling you to do today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will do what God calls you to do; that God will strengthen you to not make excuses; and that you will see God’s hand of blessing and provision as you obey and follow Him.

Marriage: Divorce–Never!

Torn fabric

Divorce is something that is extremely common. One cannot go anywhere without meeting someone who is divorced, in the process of divorce, or thinking about getting a divorce.

Statistics of America state that about 41-50% of all marriages will end in divorce. The average length of a marriage in the United States is seven years.

In the church, the statistics may be slightly lower. Their average can be found at about 38% get divorced or are divorced already.

These statistics are just with first time divorce rates. There are many people who have been divorced more than one time.

The reason for divorce are numerous, but usually stem around the following: infidelity, lack of commitment, conflict or arguing. Many finish with reasons of infidelity, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

Abuse

With these types of statistics, divorce is a reality in this world. It is something that is found outside and inside the church. Very few people are not touched by divorce in some way or another, either they have been through a divorce or they know someone who has.

Knowing this, I want us to take a look at what the Bible says about divorce.

In the previous posts I looked at what marriage is. It is one man and one woman put together to become one (Genesis 2:22-24). Many will say that this is just the Old Testament and does not apply to us today.

The Pharisees came to Jesus asking about divorce and if it was lawful or not to do. Jesus repeats what was said in Genesis in both Matthew 19 and Mark 10. With those words that the man and woman are to become one, He also adds:

Matthew 19_6

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:6)

The leaders wanted to know what Jesus had to say about divorce and He tells them that it should not happen at all.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NASB

God hates divorce! It should not happen.

Why does God hate divorce? It is because He is a God of LOVE. He is Love. He wants His people to be people of love.

Divorce is not love. There is no love in divorce. There is no forgiveness. It is only hatred and selfishness. It only brings about pain and suffering for selfish reasons.

Love has absolutely no room for selfishness or hatred.

Some will say that divorce happened in the Bible and that Moses made provision for divorce. Jesus had something to say about this:

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way form the beginning.” Matthew 19:8

Stone heart

It was only out of the hardness of heart that divorce was ever allowed. This, again, does not show love. Love is soft and kind.

Now I know that there are some out there saying right now that I just don’t know or understand their situation. There are some that are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused, or some combination of all three. They will say that divorce is their only way out of the situation.

I do know that abuse does occur. I agree that it is horrible and can be life-threatening. However bad a situation is does not in any way allow for divorce. The only situation that Jesus says that allows for divorce was for sexual immorality–a spouse cheating on the other spouse sexually with another person.

Even then, divorce does not have to be the answer.

Think about life as a believer. Jesus promised that there would be persecution of every believer. He never promised that following Him would be easy or fun. He only promised that it would be worth it in the end.

Think about this situation: As a believer you are persecuted and abused–physically, sexually and emotionally. Does this give you the right to strike back in anger and hate? No.

Think about Jesus. He was perfect, never did anything wrong ever. Yet, He was abused, persecuted and killed upon a cross. Jesus endured whippings and beatings and a crown of thorns put on His head. Then as He was put upon the cross, He had to endure the pain of nails being driven through His hands and feet. And He had to endure the punishment of all sins of every person for all time. Then to top it off, His Father, whom He had been with for all eternity, turned His back on Him and struck Him.

Jesus crucified

How horrible! How wrong!

Yet, as Jesus was upon the cross He prayed that the Father would forgive them because they did not really know what they were doing. He forgave them of what they had done wrong.

And the whole reason for going through all that suffering was so that you may have life and be forgiven of your sins. This is real love.

You, as a believer, are to be just like Jesus–full of love and forgiveness. If you are going through persecution as a believer, does that give you the right to deny Jesus to get out of that persecution? NO! You are expected to endure the persecution, love your enemies and forgive them, just like Jesus did with you.

No where in the Bible does it give a believer the right to sin for any reason at all. Yet, many want to divorce, just because ‘we are incompatible’ or ‘he/she is abusive’ or for some other reason. None of these hold up under the command that no one should separate what God has put together.

Marriage may or may not be easy. Guaranteed there will be times that it will be difficult. There will be times that will seem like the most horrible thing on the face of the earth. Yet, marriage is supposed to be about love. One is love the other, no matter what.

Wedding vows with ring

Going back to the vows. Many said that they accept the other ‘for better or for worse’. This is often forgotten or ignored. You promised to live together for better or for worse, now wanting to get out of that promise because something is worse. You are to keep your vows before God. He will hold you accountable for every vow you made.

The other thing to remember is that with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). God can redeem your marriage. He can also give you the strength to endure all of the abuse that you may be going through. He can give you the love you need to love your spouse, even when that love is not returned and hate is given.

Just as your walk with God as a believer is not always easy, you walk in marriage may not always be easy, but it is worth it to love and fulfill your vow. Who knows? God may change the heart of your spouse and bring the spouse around to change his/her ways to a way of true love.

Rough path in forest

Divorce does not allow for change. It does not allow for love. It does not allow God to be the center of one’s life. It only brings about death and separation.

Do not allow death and separation to destroy your marriage. Hang in there and trust God to turn things around. Pray daily for strength and love to keep moving forward. Trust God to make the needed changes in your life and in the life of your spouse.

Now with this being said, I will say that there may be times when a spouse may have to move out to be safe from harm. Moving out is not getting a divorce, but staying safe. It still holds on to the hope that God will turn the marriage around.

Also if your spouse is an unbeliever and wants to get the divorce, than you are free to allow the spouse to get the divorce and you are released from your vow. However, you must not be the one to initiate or choose to get the divorce. Fight for your marriage.

Prayer with bible

I will be praying for your marriage. Praying that God will be the center of both of your lives and the center of your marriage. I will be praying that God will give you strength to love your spouse no matter what happens.

Exodus 4:13 Give Someone Else The Job

“But Moses said, Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13

When Moses went up to the burning bush, God spoke to him. God told him that He wanted him to go to Egypt and get His people out of there. Immediately Moses started making excuses to not do it. He first asked who he was to go to Pharaoh, then he asked who he should say sent him, then he asked what to do if they did not believe him, then he said he could not speak, and finally he asked to have someone else sent. Moses did not want to do the job God was asking him to do.

This is a common problem with most people. A large, difficult job comes up and no one wants to do it. People come up with every excuse under the sun to not do it. The excuses can be as numerous as the sand grains on a beach. Too tired, too busy, other things to do, family, no family, no money, and the list goes on and on. Ultimately people want others to do the job.

God calls many people to do different things for Him. Often they turn God away with some type of excuse. They follow their own personal agenda rather than God’s.

As a believer in Jesus, at a minimum, you have been called to be His witness. What excuses have you come up with to not do the job? Why have you chosen to not be that witness as God has called you to be?

These types of excuses are: don’t want to offend anyone, don’t want to get in trouble, don’t want to intrude, I’m busy right now, they are busy, and the list goes on. Are you using one of these excuses? Are you asking God to send someone else to do the job rather than do it yourself?

Or are you willing to do what God has called you to do?

If God has asked you to do something, He will equip you to be able to do it. Trust that He is with you. Do not be afraid or make excuses to not do it. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will hear what God wants you to do; that you will not make excuses to not do it; that you will jump at every opportunity to do God’s will; and that God will use you to reach this world in great ways.