Psalm 109:26 Saved By Love

Red hands heart

Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26 

Going through a difficult time is a common occurrence for many people. As they are going through the tough time, some will seek help. In the process of seeking help, they seek it because of who they are or what they do.

It has been seen many times when a person of high position or popularity will get in to some trouble. When approached about it, he will often ask the person if he knows who he is. It is about the position or title that the person wants to be removed from trouble or helped.

During great disasters some have been known to fight for help to be saved because of their position. They are using their influence to gain the needed help.

David had been going through a very tough time with many different enemies. He cries out to God for help. He wants God to save him, but based upon His love, not his own merits.

Every believer will have times of extreme difficulties. During these times he will need help. It is common for him to cry out to God for help to remove him from the situation or receive a saving from the enemy.

As some cry out to God they will be like many in the world and tell God that they need to be saved because of all the good things that they have done. This does not show any humility, but is boastful and filled with sinful pride.

The believer must realize that he is only deserving of death and punishment. God does not have to save him. However, God is full of love and mercy. Seeking God for help based off of His love and mercy puts the focus on God and not self.

You will have difficult times in which you will need God’s help. Throughout scripture it tells you to cry out to God for help. As you cry out to Him for help, do not focus it on yourself, but upon God. Reach out to His great love and mercy.

As God helps you, it is not because of what you have done, but because of His great love. Jesus did not remove your sins because of who you are or what you have done, but because of His love.

God’s love compels Him to help you and build you up. Focus on Him, and not on self.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will focus your life on God; that God will help you remove any pride in your life; and that you will lean on God’s greatness to meet all of your needs. 

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.

James 3:17 Wisdom From Heaven

 

Sunset over water

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy ad good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Wisdom is just the knowing how to apply the knowledge that a person has in the best way possible. The world has a lot of wisdom, but it is faulty. The wisdom of the world is selfish and full of envy. It is about self and what one wants for himself.

In places where there is selfishness, there will always be disorder, discontent, jealousy, envy, hatred, cheating, and lying. The person is always striving to get the most out of life at any cost.

The wisdom that comes from God does not have any of those characteristics in it. God’s wisdom will always aim for peace, without compromising His standards. It is concerned with what others are going through or needing. His wisdom submits to those in authority, rather than forcing others into submission.

It has the mercy of God upon others who have done wrong, rather than throwing the book at the person. Heavenly wisdom will be filled with good fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, because it is led by His Holy Spirit. It will treat every person the same regardless of position, money, character or anything else, just as Jesus did and still does. God’s wisdom will always be sincere and true, not joking around and not changing all the time.

In simple words, the wisdom that comes from God will always put God and others first because of love. This is the wisdom of God that is found in Jesus. He put others, who did not love or want Him, first by dying on the cross for them. To the world this does not make sense, because it does not know true love–Jesus.

As you seek wisdom keep in mind how God’s wisdom will look in this life. See why you need that wisdom and how you will use it correctly in your life. Do not allow yourself to be full of selfishness and envy because of some wisdom that you may possess, that is not of God.

Allow God to give you His wisdom so that you may be His witness in this world of who He really is and what He is really like. Don’t be like the world, but like Jesus in this world.

I pray today that God will fill you with His wisdom; that you will know how to use God’s wisdom correctly; that your life will be one like that of Jesus; and that you will love as God loves.

James 1:19 Slow Speech And Anger

 

Angry man

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

People always want their voice and opinions to be heard. They are very quick to speak about something when it goes against their belief on how something should be. In the process of speaking so quickly, many will also get angry.

Anger arises everywhere a person looks. People get angry during times of voting for politicians; angry in the store when someone takes to long checking people out; angry at the restaurant when the food takes a long time to show up; angry on the road when they are cut off or behind a slow person; angry at home when things are not done a certain way.

In the process of getting angry, people begin to speak quickly and say things that they later regret. If the anger is left unchecked, it can often arise to physical violence in some.

James said that a person needs to be quick to listen. People do not want to take time to listen to what the other person is saying or why they are doing what they are doing. They just see the words or actions as a personal inconvenience and are quick to speak and get angry. This, then becomes selfishness and personal greed–both sinful.

When a person slows down on speaking, he may see and understand what is occurring in the life of the other person. God will be able to reveal ways to help the person, rather than beat that person down. He can show ways to be a witness of God’s great love and mercy.

As you go through your days there will be times of inconvenience or bad things said and done. Instead of quickly speaking slow down and listen. Listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding you in what to say and do. Listen to the other person and what he has to say.

Then be quick to show love and mercy to that person. Love will cover over a multitude of sins or wrongs. It will repair damages done. It will also bring about God’s desires in your life and those around you. It will not destroy and cause division and hate.

Do not allow anger to control you, but control anger with slow speech and listening.

I pray today that you will hear God speaking to you; that you will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit; that you will be quick to listen to God and others; that God will help you slow down your speaking and anger; and that you will be filled with the peace of God towards others.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 Love & Perseverance

 

Turtle crawling

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Every person’s heart is led somewhere. Where the heart is led, depends on who is leading it or guiding it. The world has a heart that is filled with self-love. It seeks to find what is best at the moment for self. It then has extreme perseverance to go after what seems to be best at that moment.

There are stories of people who had a dream to get out of extreme poverty and with years of hard work were able to become self-made millionaires. They had a love for something and aimed for it. They did not give up, but kept going after it. The only thing is that what they went after was of only temporary value, not eternal value.

Many people have a love for something and have the perseverance to go after it, but most of those things are of selfish desires and have no eternal value.

Paul prays that God directs the hearts of the people into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

God’s love is an eternal, undying, selfless love for every person, regardless of who one is or what one has done. His love was so great that He was willing to send His only Son to die on a cross to save that person who did not know Him or love Him.

Jesus, God’s Son, persevered under extreme persecution. He underwent dying on the cross in an extremely excruciating method so that one could be saved from his sins and death.

Every believer needs their heart to match after God’s heart in these areas. If one is filled with God’s perfect love and Christ’s perseverance, there is nothing that cannot be done. It will strengthen the believer to overcome sins done against him. It will give him the hope of eternal salvation and life during difficult times.

All of this starts in the heart with God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Allow God to work in your heart to know the love He has for all people and gain that love for all people. Allow the perseverance that Jesus went through to strengthen you to continue on in the path God has laid out before you.

Let the desires of God become the desires of your heart. This can only be done by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to direct your heart.

I pray today that you will allow God to change your heart; that your heart will be filled with God’s love; that your life will be filled with God’s perseverance; and that you will live to do God’s will on this earth for your life.