Matthew 5:31-32

Readers, it’s been awhile. Besides my lack of writing consistently I broke a bone in my thumb which makes typing zero fun. I have challenged myself  to write something today. My cast comes off August 15th.  I am ready. You really begin to appreciate your ability to type, play guitar, brush your teeth, and button your dress shirts with no hindrances.

Here we go:
“” It was also said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.”

But 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.””

Two recent  encounters come to mind concerning this passage. I recently heard a person say that their child was going through a divorce. It was shared so matter-of-fact that I wonder now if this person understood Our Lord’s teaching. He portrayed a sense of satisfaction then stated that they had slowly drifted apart. What in the world kind of explanation is that? This week I was in a conversation with two people at the bagel cafe and as we talked the conversation went to a place where one of the people, a grandmother, speaking about her grandson and his recent marriage stated, “I hope it works out.”

It amazes me that we all seem dumbfounded when the issue of divorce arises. We are all in situations in our work and life where divorce is close to home. We don’t want to speak out of turn about the issue. We have become numb to it. It no longer shocks, it no longer moves us. We don’t want to be “that Christian” as if speaking truth automatically makes you legalistic. Wrong.

Jesus Christ speaks about the husband and wife as a picture of Christ and His Church neither of which should be divorced. Though sin crouches at the door, that should not cause us to throw in the towel. Divorce as an option should still cause us to fight. It should  cause us to cry out to God for mercy. Yes, His grace is sufficient but not at the expense of more and more immorality and sin.

Jesus Christ is crystal clear in this passage. His is consistent throughout the Bible. God has permitted, for his purposes, certificates of divorce BUT this is not a license to consider it an option. God knows the hard hardheartedness of men. He has made allowance for it. Why? I don’t know but something tells me it concerns his common grace toward all men.

If there is GRACE ENOUGH to save a dead soul there is GRACE ENOUGH to save a marriage.

Matthew 5:27-30

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Well … we were eventually going to reach this passage and today we have. We all know it’s there; especially if we are male. How many times have we read this and thought, “I don’t think I could go without an eye” or “I would prefer the use of both hands, thank you.” Growing up, guys were taught that you could “look but you can’t touch.” Is that any real way to live?

The question: How serious was Jesus? He was serious enough to bring up hell (complete, eternal separation from the Triune God). The religious people assumed they were in the clear because they did not commit physical adultery. Jesus reminded his audience that He was about the heart. Jesus reminds us once again, “I am about the heart.” It wasn’t just physical adultery that was an issue – looking and dwelling were issues too. No one is innocent here.

Our deep need for satisfaction will never be met by the things we look at, think about, touch, etc. Our deep longings for missed affection or the lack thereof will never be met by another person or another thing. Our fleshly appetite will never be met with glances or gazes or mental scenarios. Our satisfaction and affection will only be quenched by Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ. He is enough.

Or is He?

Is Jesus enough gentlemen? Ladies, is Jesus enough? As a believer and follower of Jesus you have gained the rights to all that Jesus is and has and offers. Everything! All of it is yours in Christ Jesus. Have you stopped to think about that? You should. Where can you go to see it? I would start in Ephesians (New Testament book of the Bible) Chapter 1.

If only we would grasp the fact that in Christ we have all. Our flesh lies to us. The world lies to us. The adversary lies to us. We are so accustomed to believing lies that when the truth stares in the face we question it.

Don’t question it today. Trust and believe. Jesus is enough. He really, really, really is. 

Matthew 5:25-26

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

How many times have you said, “Well, that got blown way out of proportion.” If you are anything like me you’ve received gold medals and accolades for all the relationships you’ve destroyed along life’s way. This is not something to be proud of. We all look back on those episodes and recognize how differently it should have gone; “if only” is the melody of our life.

When Jesus speaks He provides a plan of action. Life is messy and relationships are messier. When a matter arises settle it quickly. Jesus gives us common sense in action. How do we do this? We communicate through the conflict. We don’t set up a meeting for later in the week. We address the issue immediately. When our focus is Jesus and when our desire to let Jesus love others through us, we will need His help to bring resolution so we can get back to the loving others part.

The problems start to snowball when we don’t do this. When we over think we create chaos. We open ourselves up to more conflict. The situation is handed over to another party, more issues arise. Jesus ends this by saying, “You are going to pay handsomely for it.” – This won’t be a good pay day for anybody.

Jesus is not throwing up abstracts or pie in the sky thinking. He is addressing messy life and messy relationships. He is saying, “I can help. I am Jesus.” Why don’t we let him do what only he can do? As much as we’d like to help, it’d be better if we let Jesus live His life through us. It takes submission and patience on our part. These are things the Holy Spirit helps with. We are not left high and dry.

As we look at His Sermon we must also talk to Jesus. We can ask for His help. This is a great first step; it might even be the only step. Relax and re-engage. There is time to meet that adversary on the road of life today. Talk it out, pray together, let Jesus love that person through you.

Matthew 5:7

Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

A Prayer …

God of all Grace you are a God of great mercy. How undeserved it is. Out of your great love it flows.

Help me to extend mercy today. I do not know the lot of the stranger. I do know that you see all, even into my heart.

May your Holy Spirit quicken me to be gracious and patient towards others and with others this day.

Amen and Amen.

Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Join me in this prayer today …

Sovereign LORD,

May you be exalted above all things today. May you be exalted in this life you gave me, today.

I submit to your will.

I choose to follow your directions and comply with how you designed me: to bring glory to your name.

I humble myself and tremble before Your Word (Isaiah 66:2).

I appreciate Your rod of correction because you discipline the one You Love (Heb 12:6).

You have been so gracious to me, your grace and mercy abound and overflow, I am thankful.

I trust you today, I desire to trust you everyday.

O how I wait expectantly for that Great Land where I will delight in Your Perfect Peace forever and ever (Ps 37:11).

Amen and Amen.

Matthew 5:3

Matthew 5:3

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

A Prayer …

Lord God, I was lost, hopeless, and helpless. I enjoyed my sin and I was your enemy. In your great love, grace, and mercy you rescued me; you saved me. I could never and can never save myself; no one can, no one will. I was poor in my flesh but I have become rich in Your Spirit. This world will never, can never possess what I truly need. I need you; every moment of every day. May I remain poor in the things of this world and seek only those things that you provide. They are all that I need. True satisfaction, true happiness is found in Jesus Christ. I await that Holy Rest for those of us that place their full trust and confidence in Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and our God. Amen and Amen.