Nothing is Wasted

Lois Willis Sermons Leave a Comment

A Journey of Redemption and Grace

When Jesus addresses topics like divorce in the Gospels, He is not merely setting rules; He is inviting us into a deeper relational journey with Him, one marked by redemption and grace. The standard Jesus presents is not for condemnation but a guiding light to the Father’s heart.

Given the challenging nature of discussing divorce, it’s vital to frame our understanding within God’s ultimate purpose and design.

To provide context, Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:3-9 both highlight how Jesus responds to questions about divorce. It is critical to understand that in Matthew 19, Jesus is responding to a deliberate attempt by the Pharisees to trap Him into controversy. They tried to use the contentious topic of divorce, which had divided opinions based on Deuteronomy 24, with some rabbis encouraging liberal interpretations, while others were much more conservative in granting divorce based solely on sexual immorality.

In answering the Pharisees, Jesus points them straight back to Genesis and the creator’s original design. In God’s blueprint, marriage was created for oneness, a sacred and unbreakable union. God intended for a man and woman to become one flesh, symbolizing a profound and holy unity.

This ideal is not just about marriage—it extends to our relationship with God. Jesus’s prayer in John 17:21 asks that we be one with the Father, just as He is. Such unity with God reflects on every aspect of life, including marriage. When we embrace the Father’s heart for oneness, our marriages can and do reflect Christ and the church, showcasing sacrificial love and unwavering commitment to the world around.

Despite the sacred design, we live in a fallen world where sin and brokenness exists. While God’s standard upholds the sanctity of marriage, it also acknowledges the painful realities that can lead to divorce. Jesus mentions that Moses permitted divorce due to hardened hearts, indicating that we are both inherently flawed, but also sometimes the brokenness within a relationship is irreparable.

Jesus’s high standard for marriage is not to trap us in guilt but to raise us to a higher level of commitment, self-sacrifice, and love. His teachings call us to constant transformation and renewal in Him, a state where we can heal and thrive in our relationships.

Marriage matters deeply to God because it is a reflection of His covenant with us. Jesus speaks strongly against divorce not because He is harsh and legalistic, but because He understands the deep hurt and fragmentation it causes people both directly and indirectly. However, we must also understand that God condemns sin of any kind, very much including abuse and unrepentant behavior detrimental to the sanctity of life. Therefore, while Jesus calls us to honor marriage, He also calls us to protect life and well-being.

In ministering to divorced families or those contemplating divorce, it is crucial to approach the situation with compassion, understanding, and practical support. Healing, restoration, and redemption will always be available through Jesus! Therefore our church community should be a haven of grace, where individuals can find support irrespective of their marital status or past life experiences.

The Bible does not provide exhaustive details on every circumstance; thus, we must approach each scenario with prayer, wisdom, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We should aim to understand the full counsel of God, balancing Jesus’s high standards with His nature of grace and restoration.

Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7 adapts Jesus’s teachings to his context, reminding us that interpretation must be led by the Spirit and reflect the current dynamics at play in society. Today, divorce is prevalent, yet our response should be grounded in the radical, selfless love Jesus exemplifies.

As we delve into these teachings, the theme of radical, selfless love emerges time and time again. This kind of love, which Jesus models, is transformational. It calls us to put others before ourselves, promoting a deep, sacrificial commitment to our spouses and community. John 15:13 reminds us of this greatest love: laying down one’s life for others.

When we practice such love, our marriages and relationships can change dramatically. Philippians 2:3 urges humility and valuing others above ourselves. This ethos, when applied to marriage, can help prevent breakdowns and encourage thriving, God-honoring unions.

For those who have experienced divorce, the message is clear: nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom. He is a restorer and redeemer. Whether you are divorced, single, or married, God’s grace is available to bring healing, restoration, and new beginnings. Your value in God’s eyes is never diminished, no matter your circumstances.

Our prayer as a church is that we grow in understanding, grace, and commitment to God’s standards. May we be a community that supports, uplifts, and journeys together towards wholeness in Christ.

As we explore these challenging teachings of Jesus, let’s remember that His desire is not to burden us with impossible standards but to draw us closer to Himself. By embracing His truths and grace, we can experience the fullness of life, healing, and unity He offers. No matter where you are on this journey, know that God’s heart is for you, and nothing is wasted in His hands. Let us strive to embody His love and commitment in our marriages and beyond, reflecting His glory in all we do.

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