2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 19

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Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Matthew 18

English Standard Version (ESV)

Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of theselittle ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Temptations to Sin

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin![b] For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell[c] of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.[d] 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my[e] Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[f] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name,there am I among them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.[g] 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.[h] 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant[i] fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,[j]and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,[k] until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages: Part 2 Staying Single

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Last week we started a new series of seven MINI-blogs designed to recognize unhealthy habits. If you missed last week check out our first Highly Defective Habit: Habit #1: Spiritual Continuity

Here we go…#2 on the list of my 7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages:

Defective Marriage

Habit #2: The Single Life

sin·gle, siNGgəl
only one; not one of several
Synonym: one (only), sole, lone, solitary, by itself/oneself, unaccompanied, alone
Mark 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.
The synonym’s of the word single say it all.  People, who are married, living by and for oneself.  Daily life exists as if the marriage covenant didn’t even happen.  “My spouse is an inconvenience.” “I have a life outside of my spouse.” “My private life has nothing to do with my married life.”
Alone.
Single-mindedness in marriage causes corrosion to the integrity of the marriage.
As said in so many sermons, blogs, books, etc., the design from the beginning was “two becoming one.” I’m not talking about the much-needed time that men need to be with men and women need to be with women.  We all need time with friends.  I enjoy time with the guys to eat wings and watch football.  Anne likes running and shopping with her friends. I am talking about the intentional actions that individuals chase after to maintain a “single” life while being married.  To claim to have a private life outside of the “two becoming one” means, quite simple, the two are NOT one.  
To be single means to provide for one person.
To be single means there’s no one to report
To be single means I’m responsible to myself and no one else.
In prison, there may be no worse punishment for prisoners (other than capital punishment).  Solitary confinement causes an individual to breakdown on every level. One study (psychiatryonline.org) about solitary confinement says it can cause “hallucinations, and other changes in perception, as well as cognitive problems including memory loss, difficulty thinking, and impulsiveness.”  The more you isolate yourself away from your spouse, the more you abandon you spouse to “solitary confinement.” By living single, you’re inviting problems in marital perception, thinking, and impulsiveness that will break your unity down.  Don’t be surprised  when you see this lifestyle cause jealousy, frustration, hurt, distrust, and resentment.
How else is your spouse supposed to act?  You’ve put them in solitary confinement.
The relationship we have with God helps provide keys to starting, repairing, and maintaining a highly effective marriage. Why? I believe the image of God is shown in the covenant of marriage. There are so many parallels to take. One scriptures I’d like to speak into you:
James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
When we draw near to God, there is a reciprocal movement on his behalf.  He comes near to us.  The response we have to that closeness: humility and repentance so that our loyalty to our life outside of Him is severed.
It should be no different in our marriage. If you’ve been living single, draw near to your spouse.  The only way to do that is to step away from being single.  Approach your husband/wife in humility and repentance.  If you’ve put them in “solitary confinement”, there’s gonna need to be some healing needed.  But you step away and draw near so that the loyalty to your “singleness” can be severed and your marriage healed.
Stop living single.  Stop leaving your spouse in “solitary confinement.”
Draw close to your spouse.
Next week, #3…
Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo #31Days – “A Moment”

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We started a new series this month called “#31Days.” What “#31Days” means is we are encouraging everyone to take the challenge of encouraging someone via social network for 31 days.  Make sure you use the hashtag!

Today’s scripture:  Psalm 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.