Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 28: July 10, 2012- Self-control, Wisdom, and Following God

The Readings:

Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matthew 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23:1-6, Proverbs 5:22-23

Old Testament.
God's plan doesn't seem to be working out very well to Moses. But what happens is exactly what God told him would. Sometimes God's plan doesn't make sense. It seems to take the long way. Or worse...hurt. But it always works out for his greatest glory. So let's not complain or question him. Let's accept that God is God and his ways are good. He's going to work it out. And it'll be good.

New Testament.
Jesus addresses his disciples over a couple major issues. The first is forgiveness. Rather than giving someone a few chances and then deciding one is vindicated in dismissing him or her, Jesus says we're to forgive forever. Pretty much. He uses an illustration of how we've been forgiven of millions. And then we hold twenty bucks against a brother?

The other is marriage. It's a beautiful thing. It represents Christ and the church. And how permanent is it? Jesus explains- God doesn't want us to divorce, ever. But if one has broken the covenant through cheating sexually, then we may divorce. Otherwise, any remarriage is adultery. Even the one who was divorced is an adulterer if he or she remarries (apart from sexual infidelity). That's a message that we don't quickly live by. But he makes it crystal clear.

And the reason? It is a covenant, made at an altar, before God, and two become one. That can't be undone, except through sex, because it's also the consummation of the union. This is just the nature of marriage. Jesus isn't trying to hold us back. We often think we're entitled to whatever we want because we live in America. But we don't have a right to what we want outside of God's design. If we live it God's way, it will always turn out best. For us, our husbands and wives, our children.

What a comforting Psalm. To many people, Psalm 23 is a favorite. Try reading it to your newborn son soon after he's born. Pretty special.

Let us learn the lessons above. Proverbs ties it all together here. We should heed God's Word, lest we "die for lack of self-control, " or "be lost because of [our] great foolishness."

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