Saturday, March 21
Scripture: Joshua 12-14, 1 Corinthians 7
1 Corinthians 7:32–35 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul answers some questions the Corinthians have about marriage. His view of marriage is remarkable for its mutuality in the midst of a patriarchal culture. It seems clear that Paul was writing in the midst of a crisis (26) and believed that the time was short (29). These concerns and beliefs shaped his advice to stay as they were: if you were married, stay married; if you were single, stay single.
He reminds married people that their interests are divided. They want to serve the Lord, but they must also be concerned with “how to please your wife (or husband).” Notice the mutual desire to please each other.
He reminds single people that they are free of this divided concern, and can focus their entire attention on one thing: serving the Lord with undistracted devotion.
For the married: please the Lord and please your spouse! One of your primary responsibilities is to please your spouse. Our top priority is to please the Lord; our second priority is to please our spouse. I write JOY at the top of my to do list every day. It stands for Jesus—Others—You. It reminds me that I’m to please Jesus first, then others (especially my wife) and then myself. I need the reminder. I’m naturally selfish—I want to please myself first!
How can you please your spouse today?
For the singles: serve the Lord with undistracted devotion. Don’t waste your life wishing it were different, pining for a spouse. Make the most of this time, this opportunity and serve the Lord with undivided attention. Give Him your best!
How can you serve Jesus today with undistracted devotion?
Prayer: Lord, help each of us, whatever our situation, to give our very best to You first, and then to each other.