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The Heart of God (episode VI)

December 13, 2007

 Genesis 2:24  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Once again, I find myself having to discuss a topic that I would prefer to avoid, however, since this is a verse-by-verse series covering the sermon on the mount and everything that Jesus says is important, it must be addressed.  A casual observation of those in my neck of the woods who are steaming toward middle age will reveal a plethura of divorices, multiple marriages, desperate housewives, husbands experiencing a mid-life crisis, and many who are wearied from all of the obligatory commitments and just live together.  Children bounced from household to household as to comply with court rulings and feelings of bitterness on behalf of many adults for whom things just didn’t go as planned.  The landscape is littered with fragmented families and fragmented lives, however, I know that despite the circumstances that a person finds themselves in or the past that they come from, Jesus can forgive sin, heal the broken-hearted and make all things new. 

Matthew 5:31-33  “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery.

Ours is a culture that appears to be coming unglued at the most fundamental level.  Infidelity is rampant, children born out of wedlock; often times to parents who are themselves still children, and a cultural backdrop that’s increasingly void of godly principals.  A phenomenon known as “unreconcilable differences” wrecks havoc on the institution of marriage as it increasingly becomes normal; almost “admirable” in the eyes of the world to throw in the towel at the slightest hint of trouble.  Several years ago, I overheard a country song entitled “Broken Promised Land” (or something like that,) which tells how one partner cheats on the other and then the other does the same in return.  In the midst of the “sad and depressing melody” is a reflection on a very major problem.  We have a divorce rate of 50% and heartache of epidemic proportions. 

Praise God that he can fix even the most complicated of situations.  (Mine is a self-induced complicated situation.)  I’m compelled to restate this truth because so many families today; even christian families, have undergone twists and turns that weren’t planned.  These really are perilous times. 

The breakdown of the family is actually a symptom of a much bigger picture.   We’re in a time when a spiritual hardening is taking place in the hearts of those who consistantly refuse to come to Jesus.  Kids can take an unexpected turn; even in well grounded christian homes.  (This too is on the rise at an alarming rate.)  We’re in an age of unprecidented spiritual warfare and it takes place within the heart of every individual.  Without a doubt, the devil is walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  His time is running out and we can expect a full court press from here on.  Such is the times in which we live. 

These next set of verses are even harder to address for some reason, so this isn’t going to be very in-depth, despite having many thoughts concerning them. 

Matthew 5:33-36  “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths.  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is Gods throne:  Nor by earth; for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.” 

A few days ago, I saw a book entitled “Landmines” or something of the sort.  It covered situations that come upon saints without warning and then “KABOOM!”  I’m certain that it has something to say concerning making promises or saying things that haven’t been thought through.  (It’s written by Charles Stanley)  Making statements, making promises, or commiting ourselves to things without considering what we’re doing can get us into a heap of trouble.  All of us have, at some time or another, promised things or agreed to things without thinking first.   I’ve done it on more occasions than I care to think about.  This passage is much deeper than my elaboration, but I’m not certain as to how to proceed further. 

One thing that I have to be mindful of is to pray for people when I tell them that I will.  I have to write it down because it’s very serious and my memory isn’t the best.  Jesus admonished us with the parable of the unjust judge to pray always and not faint.  With so many needs out there and tortured souls on every corner, we should be praying at every opportunity.  I fall short of this and it’s something that I must continuously work on.  Nonetheless, when I make a commitment to pray for someone, I strive to do so.  Not just a halfhearted mentioning, but a serious “coming before the throne of grace” and lifting up one who’se in need of divine intervention. 

I’m certain that I’m not addressing this effectively, but what I have always taken from these verses is “be careful of what you promise and to whom.”  In fact the next verse sums it up perfectly: 

Matthew 5:37  “But let your communication be, Yea, yea: Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” 

To speak only right things and refrain from speaking things which can only get us into trouble.  One well known example that comes to mind is Herod.  He was purposely set up on his birthday and while the daughter of Herodias danced before him, he made a very unadvisable statement by promising her anything that she asked.  As we all know, she requested the head of John the Baptist and Herod complied. 

Without a doubt, the tongue no man can tame.  The warnings in the book of James are to be remembered as we can find ourselves unwittingly uttering things without having considered what chain reaction will be initiated by that which we utter.  By the grace of God, there are scores of moments in my own household where I thought to say something in a moment of drama that would have intensified things tenfold, but kept it to myself.  (This household is occasionally subjected to drama)  I’m going to conclude here because the last ten verses in chapter five are so awesome that they need their own post.  (Or two posts; however it turns out.)  Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

  

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7 comments

  1. I thank God that His mercies are new every morning and that His grace teaches us to deny un-godliness!

    My good friend and brother Jim (James as a matter of fact) were just talking about the power that is within the tongue and how important it is to not just throw words around as if they were of no consequence.

    We were created in the image of God,…the One who SPOKE all things into existence!

    Thanks for this confirmation. The Lord knows that I needed it.

    You are Justifed, Redeemed, and Sanctified in Christ Jesus our Lord!


  2. Good morning Bro. Johnny. It’s amazing as to just how much damage can be done by a misplaced word or two. Likewise it’s amazing as to how much restoration can be in a word fitly spoken in the proper season. My biggest struggle at times is just knowing when to be quiet. Once we say something that should have been withheld, it’s out there. We can apolagize and the Lord is always faithful to forgive us when we step out of bounds, but the damage can be incredible. “Loose lips sink ships” as the old saying goes. (There must be a reason that it became an old saying.) Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  3. Good morning Timbob, and a blessed day to you! Your post touches some very serious issues facing believers and non alike, namely the deterioration of our society on many levels.
    Truly satan relentlessly works to deceive and destroy by any means he can, from the breakdown of the family ( which causes a negative ripple effect throughout society ) to a lack of integrity which diminishes the value of our words.
    And yet our words have “the power of life and death in them”. May we all by the grace of God speak only that which brings life, the life of Christ to others.

    Be filled with Jesus love and Light today Tim!
    His grace and peace to you always,

    Susan


  4. Greetings Susan. It does appear that our society iscoming apart at the seams which is another indication of the times thatwe’re in. Even from a purely natural outlook,the present trend is unsustainable long term. Praise God that our hope doesn’t reside in the realm of atoms but in the Lord Jesus Christ who is from everlasting, to everlasting, and has never failed.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish to you, Richard, and your household a blessed weekend in Jesus.


  5. hi timbob, hope things are going well for you. sorry i haven’t been around much. real life interferes way too much and many times it would be easier to jump in front of a subway. hope you have a good holiday. 🙂


  6. Oh, good brother!You always give me assurance that it’s not just my imagination that the world has stepped into another phase. I have been reading much about the One World Order and the “players on stage” from a secular & sacred view (recall the books I got from Tomorrow’s World and Indian Hills?)…prayer is indeed necessary without ceasing (not that we doubted). Even those on the right (politically speaking) are not looking for biblical applications in making decisions, but power. In that vein, what you share here gives me plenty to think about in terms of all the rhetoric flying thru media outlets. Isn’t it sad that humanists, for all their good intentions, leave God out of the equation and those who want to include Him only want to use Him as a tool for power? God is in control and Jesus will reign!!
    I always understood Matthew 5:33- to mean we shouldn’t swear to anything (like on the Bible in court) b/c, for instance, we aren’t supposed to be lying in the first place! 🙂 You have given a deeper interpretation even though you may feel like you did not go in-depth. I am (somewhat) better about not letting worldliness upset me and accepting that some are simply going to make that choice no matter what, but it isn’t easy to watch the liars and crooks use God’s name. In a conversation today, we were talking about how our court system does not accept ignorance of the law so why should we expect God to, especially considering how long His law has been around, and if we get sad & angry watching what is done deliberately, imagine how our Holy God must feel.
    Sorry for talking so much…haven’t had much time to visit with you lately!
    In Christ’s Love, Odale


  7. Hello. Again, because of time constraints, I’ll do a combined response here.

    Greeting Code. Sorry for not responding more expediantly. I know that you have a very hectic life and I keep you in prayer upon every remembrance. Thanks for stopping by. it’s always a blessing to hear from you.

    Greetings Odale. We indeed are living in strange times. It’s almost as though one can “feel” the darkness setting in. While we know that such must come to pass, it’s astonishing to behold. Last night, I watched a report on the three thousand page 500 billion dollar budget that congress just passed. Three thousand pages of mind numbing allocations that nobody could possibly read and vote on responsibly. They’re spending money that doesn’t exist; hoping to keep the facade going just a little longer. (until the Chinese dump all of their greenbacks.) A perfect storm is brewing, but Jesus is our anchor in the storm. Sorry for rambling and getting sidetracked. Thanks for stopping by.



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