Friday, April 10

Pure and undivided devotion

Scripture: 1 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 1, 2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11:2–3 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.

Observation/application

The primary purpose of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians was to defend his apostleship and the gospel.  There were people in Corinth who were challenging Paul’s authority and message, and many were in danger of being led astray to a “different gospel” that proclaimed a “different Jesus” (v. 4).  

In v. 2-3, Paul used the metaphor of marriage.  The Old Testament often compared God’s relationship with His people to a marriage. Note three features of a good marriage that are to be true of our relationship with Jesus.

1. Godly jealousy.  As a husband, if my wife began to love another man, or loved anyone more than me, I would be jealous—and that’s a healthy jealousy.  Someone else has taken my rightful place in her affections. 

That’s how God feels about us.  God is jealous for our love.  Not in an insecure way—but simply because He loves us so much and desires (and deserves) our devotion in return.  When God sees us loving someone or something more than Him, He rightly feels jealous for our love.  

God is jealous for you!

2. Monogamy.  Marriage is intended to be one man, one woman for a lifetime.  We are to be faithful to each other.  I’m a one-woman man, and Laina is a one-man woman!  There can be no other!  There is only room for one!

Paul promised them to one husband: Christ.  They were to be faithful to Him, not pursuing other gods, other loves.  There is only room for One!  Don’t be led astray.

Be faithful to Jesus.

3. Pure and undivided devotion.  In a good marriage, both partners offer “pure and undivided devotion” to the other.  A good marriage is not 50-50; it’s 100-100!  My devotion to Laina is to be pure and undivided.

And that is exactly what God expects of us!  Devotion that is pure and undivided.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.  This is the first and great commandment.”  

Give God your best!

Prayer: Lord, thanks for the reminder about my marriage and my relationship with You!  Help me to do both with pure and undivided devotion.