40.Day.Week6

AUGUST 3

MARRIAGE AND MORALS

Hebrews 13:4-6 | Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

There is a world of difference between mating and meeting. Animals mate and move on. Humans meet and become one in the divine mystery of marriage. This sets us apart from apes. Man and Woman are created in God’s image—for community. Marriage is honourable. Fidelity honours it. Adultery defiles it. Let the marriage bed be undefiled (HEBREWS 13:4).

There are other things besides adultery that defile the marriage bed. Such as pornography, unbridled lust, and unnatural sex. In the time of Hebrews, a man could be excommunicated from the Jewish community at Qumran for having unnatural sex with his wife (DEAD SEA SCROLLS).

Sex is holy. Adultery profanes it. Premarital intercourse perverts it. Unnatural sex poisons it. God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous (:4).

Monkeys mate. Humans meet. Stay human in God’s image. Maintain strict abstinence before marriage. Maintain sexual purity within marriage. Pure sex is pure love.

Love your spouse. Love your church. Love the poor. Love strangers (:1-4). But do not love money (:5). Sex and money are often linked in ancient Jewish and Christian literature. The common ground is covenant fidelity. To love money is to commit spiritual adultery against God. The love of money is the root of all evil, and through it some have wandered from the faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:10).

We are the Bride of Christ. Don’t flirt with filthy mammon. Be content with what you have (HEBREWS 13:5). Detachment from possessions makes it easier for us to share with those who have not: the poor, the prisoners, and the strangers (:2-3). Keep your heart free to love God and neighbour.

Christian contentment and confidence rest on the character of God. He is faithful who promised: I will never leave you nor forsake you. Let the Church respond: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? (HEBREWS 12:5-6; JOSHUA 1:5; PSALM 118:6). Never fear.

MARRIAGE AND MORALS

Hebrews 13:4-6 | Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

There is a world of difference between mating and meeting. Animals mate and move on. Humans meet and become one in the divine mystery of marriage. This sets us apart from apes. Man and Woman are created in God’s image—for community. Marriage is honourable. Fidelity honours it. Adultery defiles it. Let the marriage bed be undefiled (HEBREWS 13:4).

There are other things besides adultery that defile the marriage bed. Such as

 

AUGUST 3

pornography, unbridled lust, and unnatural sex. In the time of Hebrews, a man could be excommunicated from the Jewish community at Qumran for having unnatural sex with his wife (DEAD SEA SCROLLS).

Sex is holy. Adultery profanes it. Premarital intercourse perverts it. Unnatural sex poisons it. God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous (:4).

Monkeys mate. Humans meet. Stay human in God’s image. Maintain strict abstinence before marriage. Maintain sexual purity within marriage. Pure sex is pure love.

Love your spouse. Love your church. Love the poor. Love strangers (:1-4). But do not love money (:5). Sex and money are often linked in ancient Jewish and Christian literature. The common ground is covenant fidelity. To love money is to

commit spiritual adultery against God. The love of money is the root of all evil, and through it some have wandered from the faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:10).

We are the Bride of Christ. Don’t flirt with filthy mammon. Be content with what you have (HEBREWS 13:5). Detachment from possessions makes it easier for us to share with those who have not: the poor, the prisoners, and the strangers (:2-3). Keep your heart free to love God and neighbour.

Christian contentment and confidence rest on the character of God. He is faithful who promised: I will never leave you nor forsake you. Let the Church respond: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? (HEBREWS 12:5-6; JOSHUA 1:5; PSALM 118:6). Never fear.

Prayer Track

■ Turn to God. Christian marriages are under siege. According to the Seasons of Marriage Survey 2020 conducted by Focus On the Family Singapore, we are in trouble. Almost two in five married individuals say they don’t really talk or do things with their spouse. Another 6.0% said they lead completely separate lives. About the same number describe conversations with their spouse as lacking and 6.7% describe them as cold. About 15% are uncomfortable addressing conflict with their spouse, and 21.6% indicate they have harsh arguments or ‘cold wars’ most of the time. 26.7% characterise their ‘love tank’ as being constantly depleted and 9.9% say it is (almost) always empty. Be warned. Left unchecked, such relational poverty will likely lead to infidelity and divorce. Already, one in 20 Christian husbands and one in 50 Christian wives have had sexual encounters outside of marriage. Twenty-eight percent have contemplated divorce (WHOLE LIFE INVENTORY 2016-2020). May we wake up and pay attention to this brewing crisis. May our married couples feel safe to confess their sins, shame, and struggles to their pastors and leaders, with no fear of stigma or judgment. May the local church be the go-to place of hope and healing for all who want help.

■ Turn to God. It takes a village to make a marriage thrive. Pray for married couples you know by name: Our Father in Heaven, you have set the standard. Marriage is sacred. Marriage is a covenant. Marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman. Marriage is exclusive. Today, I stand in the gap for ___ and ___. Lord, bless them with a love that always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. A love that keeps no record of wrongs. A love that celebrates each other’s unique personalities and gifts. A love that gives each other plenty of space to function and flourish for your glory. A love without end, unconditional and undiminishing from day to day. A love that exemplifies a beautiful hope that marriage can be lived out well in God and invites others to know the God of marriage (FOCUS ON THE FAMILY SINGAPORE). In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

■ Turn to God. Secularism is pushy, touting money as god and consumerism as religion. The contemporary lust for ‘more, more, more’ is clearly pyschotic (RICHARD FORSTER). Be vigilant. Pray. Heed God’s warnings: No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (MATTHEW 6:24). Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own (LUKE 12:15). For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:10). Ask God to fill this generation with godly contentment: For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content (1 TIMOTHY 6:7-8). Ask for childlike trust: Everything belongs to God (PSALM 50:10-12). Put total confidence in God’s character: If we failure-prone earthly parents know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our failure-proof heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him (MATTHEW 7:11).

Prayer Track

■ Turn to God. Christian marriages are under siege. According to the Seasons of Marriage Survey 2020 conducted by Focus On the Family Singapore, we are in trouble. Almost two in five married individuals say they don’t really talk or do things with their spouse. Another 6.0% said they lead completely separate lives. About the same number describe conversations with their spouse as lacking and 6.7% describe them as cold. About 15% are uncomfortable addressing conflict with their spouse, and 21.6% indicate they have harsh arguments or ‘cold wars’ most of the time. 26.7% characterise their ‘love tank’ as being constantly depleted and 9.9% say it is (almost) always empty. Be warned. Left unchecked, such relational poverty will likely lead to infidelity and divorce. Already, one in 20 Christian husbands and one in 50 Christian wives have had sexual encounters outside of marriage. Twenty-eight percent have contemplated divorce (WHOLE LIFE INVENTORY 2016-2020). May we wake up and pay attention to this brewing crisis. May our married couples feel safe

to confess their sins, shame, and struggles to their pastors and leaders, with no fear of stigma or judgment. May the local church be the go-to place of hope and healing for all who want help.

■ Turn to God. It takes a village to make a marriage thrive. Pray for married couples you know by name: Our Father in Heaven, you have set the standard. Marriage is sacred. Marriage is a covenant. Marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman. Marriage is exclusive. Today, I stand in the gap for ___ and ___. Lord, bless them with a love that always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. A love that keeps no record of wrongs. A love that celebrates each other’s unique personalities and gifts. A love that gives each other plenty of space to function and flourish for your glory. A love without end, unconditional and undiminishing from day to day. A love that exemplifies a beautiful hope that marriage can be lived out well in God and invites others to know the God of marriage (FOCUS ON THE FAMILY SINGAPORE). In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

■ Turn to God. Secularism is pushy, touting money as god and consumerism as religion. The contemporary lust for ‘more, more, more’ is clearly pyschotic (RICHARD FORSTER). Be vigilant. Pray. Heed God’s warnings: No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (MATTHEW 6:24). Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own (LUKE 12:15). For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:10). Ask God to fill this generation with godly contentment: For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content (1 TIMOTHY 6:7-8). Ask for childlike trust: Everything belongs to God (PSALM 50:10-12). Put total confidence in God’s character: If we failure-prone earthly parents know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our failure-proof heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him (MATTHEW 7:11).