Sapphire Sky

September 22, 2018

What did Jesus say about Marriage and Divorce?

Filed under: encouragement, marriage and family, theology — Tags: , — Steve Knaus @ 6:04 pm

close up of tree against sky

Thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount …

 

There is a lot of talk about marriage in the church. It is a constant subject in pulpits, books, blogs, and social media. Everyone has an opinion about marriage — from philosophers, to musicians, to politicians, to movie stars.

Through all of this talk, we are bombarded with several false myths:

  • “Marriage exists to make you happy”
  • “Everyone has the right to marry whomever they want“
  • “Love is all you need”
  • “You should leave when your partner no longer makes you happy”
  • “Half of all marriages end in divorce” (this myth is refuted here)

Unfortunately, the church is often guilty of making things worse. We thunder at the evils of this world, whether it be a new celebrity scandal or the latest political attack from homosexual activists. We are quick to attack the broken world, yet we ignore the broken people that we pass by every day.

In the church, we are glad to lift up a happy, wholesome marriage, but we are too quick to shove them aside when problems arise. When a marriage starts to disintegrate into separation and divorce, we tend to fall to one of the two extremes: we either gloss over the issue, ignoring real problems, or we pronounce judgement on the victims, isolating them when they need us the most.

What does Jesus say about marriage? What does He say about divorce? How can we apply His commands in our broken world today?

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September 12, 2018

What did Jesus say about purity?

Filed under: encouragement, theology — Tags: , — Steve Knaus @ 10:04 pm

amphibian animal close up color

Thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount …

 

Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

Are you a good person?

In Jesus’ day, people thought they were good because they kept the Ten Commandments. They did not worship any idols. They showed respect to God’s name. They honored the Sabbath day. They honored their parents. They did not commit murder. They did not commit adultery. They thought they were pretty good!

But Jesus showed them that they did not understand the law. They could never keep the law because they did not understand that it is all about a relationship with God (see here)!

In His first example, Jesus showed them that the law was more than just about murder. Even hatred and bitter anger will also leave you separated from God (see here).

In the next example, Jesus taught about adultery. It is not only the physical act of adultery, but also your lustful thoughts that leave you guilty before God:

Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

To put it into today’s terms, you are guilty before God if you have an affair with another husband or wife. But you are just as guilty when you have the longing gaze, or when you indulge your thoughts about desiring someone else. You are just as guilty as the “home wrecker” who is involved in the affair.

This warning does not matter if you are married or single. Although Jesus’ audience at that time were men, the warning is for both men and women.

This warning includes the movies and television you watch, the books you read, the music you listen to, your trips to the beach, and, of course, your time on the internet.

Do you stop your mind from wandering when it heads toward a forbidden place? What is the remedy?

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September 5, 2018

What did Jesus say about anger?

Filed under: encouragement, theology — Tags: , — Steve Knaus @ 10:28 pm

human fist

Thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount …

 

Anger!

How many times do we deal with anger each day? We yell at other drivers on the road when they cut us off or slow us down. We may put on a casual face when insulted at work or school, but we are boiling inside.

We never know what kind of example we set. I was driving home from school one day when we were cut off by another driver. Before anyone could respond, my elementary-age daughter yelled out, “Jerk!”

But often the results of anger can be much more serious. Our words and our actions can leave a trail of devastation and broken relationships if we do not control our temper.

Anger can blindside us. I was once at a gathering when a friend had had too much to drink, and then proceeded to tell everyone that I was a liar and was always trying to insult them. How can you not get angry when you are accused without a cause?

Sometimes we can cause conflicts, even when we try to do our best. Several years ago, I started such a conflict when I confronted a close friend about a problem. He responded by not speaking to me for several months. His wife even called my family, saying that I was such a terrible person. How can you keep from getting angry when your best intentions get thrown back at you? Especially when people attack those who are close to you?

These are only minor examples of the conflicts that we often encounter through life. What do you say to those who have suffered deep hurt — even tragedy or abuse — at the hands of others?

What does Jesus say about our response? Don’t we have a right to be angry? Or are we supposed to paste on a happy face?

Jesus does talk about anger, but with an answer that is as startling today as when He first taught it!

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