Many Gifts

What? It is NOT God’s will for everyone to marry (Matthew 19:10-12). Before you get hung up on that, many of you shot hoop in your driveway with the clock expiring and the game on the line only to miss the buzzer-beater. What did you do? You took a knife to your ball and knock the goal down with your parent’s car in a fit rage. NO! You simply restarted the clock and did it over and over and over, one day you’re going to get better, I hope, and well, eventually you hit the buzzer-beater and ran around arms extended as a champion, you heard Dick Vitale say…Oh my, did you see that? It’s a barn burner baby. For others it was the kick, the jump, the walk, you got the best interview. You were supposed to be LeBron or Wilt, Brady or Montana, You were the next Walter Cronkite. 

Perhaps you may have even dropped out of school like Peter Jennings, but the big break never came. Life has a plan and the disciples realize Jesus is saying marriage is a lifetime commitment and say in Matthew 19:10~The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” (ESV) Listen as Jesus responds Matthew 19:11~But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. (ESV) So, for some, it is a spiritual gift. Those given the responsibility of marriage are expected to accept and adhere to what the Bible teaches about it. Likewise also about celibacy.

Jesus then gives some various reasons a person might remain single by identifying three types of eunuchs. Let’s break down what Jesus is teaching us. Matthew 19:12a~For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, (ESV) This refers to those who are born impotent. Second,  Matthew 19:12b~…and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, (ESV) This refers to eunuchs who were usually slaves and served in government, having frequent access to royal women. 

Third, Matthew 19:12c~…and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven…(ESV) This refers to those who choose to remain single so they can serve God more effectively. This means that it is not God’s will for everyone to marry. Sadly, many single Christians are pressured by other believers to find someone to marry. I have a friend named Tim. He is single feels that this is what God has for Him in life. He is open to marriage if the Lord brings him someone, but he will not settle. Every time he moves for his job, he battles being single because people feel the need to mix in and even ask, What’s wrong with you? Singleness is mistakenly viewed by some as spiritually inferior or second-class citizens of heaven. That is simply not true according to the apostle Paul. Listen to what this spiritual giant writes about his own singleness in 1 Corinthians 7:7~I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (ESV)

Paul is referring to the gift of celibacy or singleness. This is a spiritual gift that God gives to some. The Bible doesn’t teach celibacy is better than marriage. For example, Hebrews 13:4~Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV) Moreover, the Lord says in Genesis 2:18~Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV) Referring to the permanence of marriage and celibacy Jesus says Matthew 19:12d~…Let the one who is able to receive this receive it. (ESV) This means we must put aside worldly opinions and receive, or accept, what the Bible teaches. Now the question arises: What do I do if I am guilty of a non-Biblical divorce? Our answer is found in 1 John 1:9~If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (NIV) 

Confession is admitting our sin is indeed sin, and not just a mistake, a blunder, or someone else’s fault. When we confess, we own what we did and God is faithful, He is reliable, and will do as He promises. God will forgive, which means to send away our sin, so it never returns. Then He will cleanse totally removing its stain. There is nothing the blood won’t cover, be it an unbiblical divorce, a struggle in singleness of a hardening heart. This is what it means to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. It is God’s absolute forgiveness. (Revelation 7:14)

Today I ask: are you living the life God gifted you? Put your life, your marriage, your singleness under the blood and live whole-heartedly for God. Jeremiah 31:34~No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (NIV) You don’t suffer from spiritual sclerosis, just take a trip to see the greatest heart doctor there is, Jesus. I believe He has an appointment just for you, right now.

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