OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
TUESDAY 4TH APRIL 2017
THEME: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW COVENANT III
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Matthew 19:8
READ: Matthew 5:31-32
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Leviticus 8-9 & Jeremiah 7:8-26
The paradigm shifts introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ ever since He came to reveal the perfect will of the Father to us are indeed numerous. One of these is in the area of divorce and remarriage. The Jewish leaders hated the teachings of Jesus and the change He came to introduce; for this reason, they wanted him dead fast! Indeed, no man ever spoke like Jesus did. The amazing thing is that these leaders believed they were doing the will of God by killing Him. John 11:49-50 says,
“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.”
Just like these Jewish leaders of yesteryears, some church leaders and pastors today try to justify their error in the area of divorce and remarriage, thinking that they are doing what is expedient for themselves or for the parties concerned. In our Bible reading for today, in opposition to the accepted standard of His time, Jesus revealed the perfect will of God concerning this. Hear what He said:
“But l say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:32
In Matthew 19:3-10, when Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees on the issue of divorce as applied from the time of Moses, they were shocked to learn His standpoint on this matter. Jesus revealed to them that they had been living under the permissive will of God in this area (Matthew 19:8), and He also reinforced what He had already said about divorce and remarriage in His Sermon on the Mount. Just as so many people are perplexed by this teaching today, even the disciples of Jesus were also perplexed by it (Matthew 19:10). However, that is the verdict of the new covenant. We have to accept the standard the Master has set and walk in it. Whoever has ears, let them hear what Jesus Christ is saying to those who want to enjoy the provision of the new covenant in His Blood.
Father, help me to meet up to the standard of the requirements of the new covenant, and bless me through it, in Jesus’ Name.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 9: ON THE HILL FAR AWAY
1. On a hill far away
Stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’II cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
2. O that old rugged cross,
So despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
3. In that old rugged cross,
Stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
4. To that old rugged cross
I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he’ll call me some day
To my home far away,
Where his glory forever I’ll share.