Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 314

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Welcome to Day 314 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Job 35; Job 36; 1 Corinthians 7; 1 Corinthians 8 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P =  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Job 35:16, “So Job opens his mouth with empty talk…”

(Thanks a lot Elihu… Sheesh!)

Job 36:2, “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.”

16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.”

1 Corinthians 7:10, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

32 “I would like you to be free from concern…”

“An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.”

39 “But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes…

but he must belong to the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 8:7, “But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”

O bservation

Lots to chew on in today’s readings… Elihu continues his assault on Job. Paul writes about marriage, single life and divorce issues.

A pplication

People often ask me about divorce. Not just me, but pastors everywhere… often looking for me to “endorse” their decision to leave their spouse.

Even though the Bible does give some direction on such matters, the bottom line is Jesus said, “Moses permitted you a certificate of divorce because your hearts are hard.”

Obviously it is very difficult to recover if your spouse has cheated on you… And no one wants to live with someone who is abusive or an alcoholic.

And I’m not here today, really, to address those matters…

Those situations are always complicated and difficult and hurtful. I mean, really… who am I? I know the scriptures, yes, but I never tell anyone they have permission or grounds to leave their spouse. No matter how obvious the circumstances might be.

We always contend for healing, forgiveness and restoration.

But the statement that stood out to me today is, “but he must belong to the Lord.”

He MUST belong to the Lord…

That is in the context of a woman remarrying after her husband has passed away… But even before one marries, that their potential spouse belongs to the Lord is key. If you are a Christian, it’s vital.

I have known too many people who have married someone who is on a different page spiritually… often underestimating the importance of the spiritual side of marriage.

The “two becoming one” is a spiritual principle, not a legal matter. (Paul addressed it in the context of a man becoming “one” with a prostitute…)

Even if both parties are Christian, the flavor can matter deeply. One was raised Baptist. The other, Catholic. One was raised Pentecostal. The other Methodist. One was raised with no church experience, the other was Lutheran.

What typically happens is there is a gulf between belief systems and how the spiritual side of life is lived… what church to attend, etc… how the kids will be raised? More often than not, the wife ends up attending church alone, and gets discouraged over time…

And the issues of life often grow out of these differences…

I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to me about similar issues.

No matter how many times people are told not to be “unequally yoked” they do it anyway… To me, unequally yoked doesn’t necessarily mean “believer and unbeliever.” (Although Paul certainly drew a distinction referring to “darkness and light.”)

That’s why I said “being on the same page spiritually” beyond believer/unbeliever. There can be some pretty dramatic differences in expression within church practice and belief.

Spiritual gifts, for instance… What about Communion and other such matters?

I’m a big picture guy, not one to tell people what to do. (I have an opinion, usually a strong one : ) but I’m not quick to interfere unless asked. People can’t usually hear it anyway. There are times I feel obligated to state my position anyway, but again, it usually falls on deaf ears.

I recently had someone tell their spouse that the only reason they married them was because “Scott talked me into it.” I had no idea I had that much power! It somehow went from me giving them the courage to take the leap (again) to talking them into it. Such is life.

All that to say this, “he [and I would add, “she”] must belong to the Lord.”

P rayer

Lord I pray for all those out there struggling with issues of marriage, singleness and divorce… Bring healing, forgiveness, restoration and contentment to each situation.


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One thought on “Day 314

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Scott-There is so much wisdom in this post. It is better to be alone than to be unequally yoked. Paul was full of wisdom as he wrote 1 Cor. 7. We get caught up in the flesh and can let it distract us. Taking our focus from Christ to ourselves, forgetting the spiritual side of our beings. Focusing on what our flesh needs. Forgetting that Christ completes us-not another person.

    I love 1 Cor. 7:27 “Do you have a wife? Then don’t try to get rid of her. Are you unmarried? Then don’t look for a wife 28 But if you do marry, you haven’t committed a sin; and if an unmarried woman marries, she hasn’t committed a sin. But I would rather spare you the everyday troubles that married people have.”

    It seems we always want what we don’t have. We get married-then we might try to find reasons to divorce once we see how hard the road is going to be with them. We aren’t married-then we are looking for a spouse. Not knowing the everyday troubles that come along with marriage. That grass always seem to look greener on the other side of the fence.

    Paul says in verse 35 that he is saying all of this not to put restrictions on them but to do what is right and proper and to give themselves completely to the Lord’s service without and reservation. That is our purpose-to give ourselves completely to the Lord, his work, his love, his ways-without any reservation.

    This reminds me of Matthew 10:34-39
    “I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughter’s in law against their mothers in law; 36 your worst enemies will be the members of your own family. 37 Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to my disciples. 38 Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. 39 Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.”

    He wants to be first in our lives.

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