Sunday, December 22, 2013

DAY 582 - Don't Be Mis-Matched (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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                               Today's Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

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Please click this link to read 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

Bible Study

     Paul starts a new issue to deal with the Corinthians. The problem of Christians marrying non-believers or even idolaters. 

Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
     The basic command, in 6.14, could refer to any sort of partnership, such as in business.  But its most obvious reference is to marriage.  In 1 Corinthians 7.12-16 Paul addresses the question of people who become Christians when their spouse does not, and tells them not to separate unless the unbelieving spouse wants to.  But in verse 39 of that same chapter he makes it clear that when contracting a fresh marriage it is important that this be only 'in the Lord', in other words, to a fellow-Christian.  That is the thrust of this passage as well.
     Paul had no doubt witnessed the tensions and problems that arouse when one partner came to belong to the Lord, with all that that meant, and the other one remained unbelieving.  Anyone who thinks this doesn't matter very much, Paul would say, has simply not realized how serious belonging to the Messiah really is. 
N.T. Wright. Paul for Everyone:2 Corinthians. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.64-65.

     Do you think this is a serious question? If you are not marry yet are you going to marry a non-believer? 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    What I heard from Jesus today is: Don't be mis-matched

    What I got from Jesus today is a warning to all Christians no matter married or not yet marry. You should know that mis-matched is a very serious problem. There are so many mis-matched nowadays because the divorce rate is now more than 50% or even 60%. Which means out of ten married couples, six of them are sooner or later going to be divorced. How can this happen? Mis-matched!

    According to what Paul says, the first rule of a Christian marriage is not to marry non-Christian. You may not agree with me because your spouse may be a non-Christian and you have a happy marriage. Well, congratulations! I need to tell you that your case is a rare case! Why?

    Jesus gives me a picture today. He gave me that photo our son Ignatius took in Ethiopia about five years ago. Jesus is talking about that kind of yoke when he describes our relationship with him in Matthew 11:28-30:

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 He as the other cow working in the field with us having the same yoke. The field that Jesus and you are working is the field God prepares and you can be sure that harvest will come in time.

    Today, Jesus gives us the same picture telling us that a husband and wife should be like that, same yoke working on the same filed. But, if we are having the same yoke with Jesus working on God's field with a new lifestyle of Christlikeness and new value system, how can we work with our non-Christian spouse with the same yoke and the same field. Impossible!

    So, this is what Paul is talking about. So many marriages have no rest, no joy, because working on wrong field and wrong yoke! 

Dear Lord Jesus, 
Lead us to work with you and our spouse with the same yoke on the same field that your name will be glorified and your Kingdom will be extended.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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