1 Corinthians 7 (Part 1)

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

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Excerpts from 1 Cor. 7 in The Message:

“Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me–a simpler life in many ways!  But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is.  God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.

“I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me.  But if they can’t manage their desires and emotions, they should by all means go ahead and get married.  The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.

“…don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else.  Where you are right now is God’s place for you.  Live and obey and love and believe right there.  God, not your marital status, defines your life….

The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following His commands….Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are.  Are you married?  Stay married.  Are you unmarried?  Don’t get married.  But there’s certainly no sin in getting married….All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible.

“I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence.  There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily.  Keep it simple–in marriage, grief, joy, whatever.  Even in ordinary things–your daily routines of shopping, and so on.  Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you.  This world as you see it is on its way out.

“I want you to live as free of complications as possible.  When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.  Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention.  The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God….All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.…Marriage is spiritually and morally right and not inferior to singleness in any way, although as I indicated earlier, because of the times we live in, I do have pastoral reasons for encouraging singleness.”

Father, may my heart and mind be wholly devoted to You above all else, above all other relationships in my life.  May YOU be at the center of those relationships, so that each one may glorify You!  Amen.

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