Today's Word of Encouragement

COVENANT
Monday, June 15, 2020

    It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce' (Matthew 5:31).

     Marriage, as God intended, is a permanent covenant between a husband and wife. The term ‘covenant’ comes from the Latin con venire, meaning ‘a coming together’ of two or more parties who form a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities.
     God’s original plan for marriage was established in Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. “A covenant is the most solemn and binding form of commitment that the Bible knows, and it is a principle in the Bible that no lasting relationship can be built without a covenant” (Derek Prince).
     So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God (Proverbs 2:16-17). . . . the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant (Malachi 2:14).
     I heard a comedian once say, “The primary cause for divorce is marriage.” I never thought of it that way, but it’s true - couples would not divorce if they weren’t married. Why do they divorce? A better question to ask and answer would be, “Why do they get married?” Many of the issues present in men and women before they married become issues that later cause them to separate - they just ignored them. Another comedian said, “Love may be blind, but it doesn’t have to be stupid!” Stupidity is knowing the problems, but ignoring them anyway.
     Why did Jesus say, I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery, (Matthew 5:32)? This is an odd twist, but it’s none-the-less true - Jesus emphasized God’s attitude, not so much toward divorce, but His attitude toward marriage. Marriage is serious. It is not just a contract or a ceremony, it is a covenant between a man and a woman and God who instituted marriage in the first place. And God takes very serious any covenant that is made and broken.
     Does this mean anyone who divorces is condemned by God? No more than a person whose his anger gets out of control or is caught in the trap of lust. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus reveals the ideal lifestyle of the true Christian. In a perfect world His ideal would be the standard. But that world is yet to come. In this world we will continue to fight against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). We are, therefore, encouraged to be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
     “Father, help me to teach and encourage people on the importance of marriage as a covenant between a man and woman, and between the couple and You. Help me to minister to married couples in a way that enables them to effectively deal with their issues so that their marriage will be an honorable and lasting relationship that glorifies You. Amen.”

Pastor Martin

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