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“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”—Mark 10:9 (NKJV)
Yesterday we looked at the Lord’s response to the Pharisee’s question about divorce. We noted their true intention was to get Jesus to answer in a way that would divide the larger audience listening to Him, thereby weakening His effectiveness and influence as a teacher of things pertaining to God. Well, that tactic backfired on the Pharisees, because Jesus used their question to launch into a deeper lesson about the original intent God had for the institution of marriage in the first place. The true matter at hand wasn’t man’s ability to divorce but God’s heart for marriage.
Today’s verse shows us the conclusion of this important exchange as Jesus reveals in no uncertain terms what that heart is. Clearly, God desires marriage to be a lasting union between one man and one woman. This is established from the very beginning, a principle rooted in the first marriage between Adam and Eve before sin left its ugly scar on this world.
But as foundational as this principle is to the institution of marriage, it goes even deeper than that. This is a fundamental facet of God’s very nature that has a myriad of applications in life. The Lord is not one to jump in and out of commitments, is He? When He commits to someone or something it isn’t a light thing . . . it’s for real! And we should be filled with gladness and praise that this is how He is. Can you imagine if God’s character was fickle? If He was into you one day but not the next? How unbearable would your life be?
Thankfully, that’s never going to be an issue in this life or the next. God doesn’t shift or change like the passing shadows (James 1:17). His “yes” is “yes” and His “no” is “no” (Matthew 5:37). What He has promised we can fully trust Him to faithfully fulfill (1 Kings 8:56). Why? Because He’s a committed God who takes His commitments seriously. And, so should we.
Children are to resemble their parents, and they do so more and more as they grow up under their influence and leadership. As we continue to spiritually mature and develop under the influence of our heavenly Father, we come to resemble and reflect His nature. In this context, we become those who keep our commitments and understand the importance of honoring them, especially when we recognize God’s hand at work in bringing something together, we should seek to preserve that bond as much as possible.
Honor your commitments in all aspects of your life, not just in marriage. For by doing so, you not only please God but point those observing your life to His commitment-keeping heart.
Pause: What does Jesus’ closing statement reveal about God’s attitude towards commitments?
Practice: Outline some ways you can build a reputation as a commitment keeper. What traits and actions should you be walking out?
Pray: Father, I confess that I need to be more like You in this area of life. It’s easy to cut and run. Please help me to be more like You by being completely committed. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.