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Single-Minded
11/9/2015

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV)

What do you think of when you hear the phrase, Being single-minded”Well, if you thought of having one overriding purpose or goal, or about being steadfast, or resolute in your thinking, then you would be correct.  But does the thought of marriage pop into your head when thinking about being single-minded?  Probably not, but we can actually see this very subject as the basis of discussion in the book of 1 Corinthians.

The Apostle Paul answers some crucial questions proposed to him about marriage, as he speaks of the blessing’s and challenges of being married, versus the benefit of being “single-minded” for God through remaining single.   So in the seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians we can see Paul outlining God’s divine plan for men and woman with respect to entering into matrimony and becoming one flesh. Paul then gave what he believed to be “trustworthy” advice to those in Corinth (v. 25).

Paul knew once a man and woman make the commitment to be married they would be more preoccupied with all the things required within the confines of marriage, thereby lessening their ability to devote everything they had to living fully for the Lord.  Paul then clarifies it is not wrong to marry by saying, “But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.”  He then finishes this verse with a sober warning to those considering marriage by saying, “Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh…” (1Cor. 7:28).

Paul also knew there would be many challenges facing the Corinthian church, including persecution for their belief in Jesus.  Throughout his travels Paul had already witnessed many Christians being arrested, beaten, and even killed for this, so he knew it would be very hard for a husband or wife to endure such persecution, let alone having to see their spouse and children endure it. 

When Paul speaks of “trouble in the flesh” he wasn’t just referring to the potential persecution brought on by being a follower of Jesus, he is speaking of the challenges every couple will face when they are married and come together as “one flesh.”   Even though both people may be alive in Christ spiritually (believers), and have the heart to follow Jesus, they still remain in their temporary fallen tents (bodies), which continue to die.  This means they will have two distinctly separate natures—a new nature in their spirit, and the old one in their flesh. 

This results in a continual battle against their individual fleshly weaknesses, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, self-indulgence, lust of the flesh, etc. (cf. Rom. 7:14-25).  Marriage can be great for meeting some of the legitimate needs, and for solving some issues a person may have been dealing with, such as loneliness, but it could very well bring about many other challenges not previously encountered.

Paul was letting them know marriage will bring about conflicts, hardships, and demands—it will require adjustments along with many sacrifices that their singleness would not have required.   I have personally seen many marriages plagued from their very inception, simply because one or both were following their own physical desires, rather than counting the costs involved of being united as one.  I have further witnessed all too often where a person has not properly resolved previous issues, or dealt with their sinful habits and patterns for living, prior to making their marital vows— subsequently, they will bring these same issues into the marriage, only to have them manifest again, bringing harm to their spouse and family. 

This does not mean we are to be perfect before saying, “I do”, but we should attempt to be prepared by fully understanding what our commitment to be “single-minded” really entails.   We must first be single-minded in our love for God, for His Word, and in being fully surrendered to His will—only then can we truly be the person we have been called to be, whether we are single or married. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Deuteronomy 6:5, how are we to love our Lord?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you loving Jesus with everything you've got, or are you holding back a smidge?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make it your commitment to love Jesus with your heart, soul and mind—choose today and everyday, to give Him everything!

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for giving us Your Son, and for allowing Him to show us how to love with everything.  Help me to see any area where I am settling for something far less than what You want for me.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000