Nov 24, 2014 - 06:08 PM
He is not saying do not attend to the spouse. But, there is an important principle in these verses and Paul is giving us what our priority should be. Remember in Luke 14:26, it says that “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. ” Is this saying that in order to be a disciple of Jesus, we must hate our mother, our father, our mother, our spouse, children, and brothers and sisters? What Jesus is showing us is comparison. Our love for Him must be to the point that if compared to the love we have for others, it would look like hate.
This phrase “live as if they do not” does not mean that those who are married should live as though they are not. Those who are married still have a responsibility to their spouse. However, our main focus need to be on the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you want a piece of scripture that expresses everything that God is trying to teach His people, it is found here in the verses you just provided. These verses summarize not only Paul’s message to those who are struggling with a morality issue and those who are struggling with a relationship issue, but it also encompasses every circumstance and every issue in a believer’s life.
If I recall, you have mentioned before that you don’t like reading things that are too long. I hope this is not too long but I wanted to share with you some very important principles and I do hope that you will read this through.
What Paul is saying is that as a believer, whatever circumstance, whatever situation you find yourself in, whatever condition you find yourself in, whether it is married, unmarried, a slave or a free man, but whatever condition and situation that you are in, you are to serve the Lord with your whole heart. We are not to choose or allow ourselves to get into a circumstance where our service to Christ is distracted.
Now here is how these verses are broken down.
Verse 29 says “But this I say brothers, the time is shortened.” The word shortened in Greek is actually what is called a perfect tense verb. Perfect tense in the Greek means that a present condition exists based on past action. What Paul is saying is time, the season in which we live, has been brought to a shortened condition. It is getting narrower to the point that time will no longer exist.
Time is running out and the time to serve the Lord is becoming narrower. This I say brothers that the time has been shortened. The next phrase of this verse in the Greek text gives us the summary. It says “That even those who have wives should be as though having none.” That is the first principle.
The phrase “The ones having” in Greek is a participle, showing a continuous condition. Also, the phrase “having not” is a participle showing a continuous condition. It doesn’t mean that you act unmarried. It means that you serve the Lord. There is no difference in serving the Lord if you are single or if you are married.
Time is short. The Lord is about ready to come back. Time is running out and it is time to seek and to serve the Lord. For those of us who are men, who are heads of our families, who are leaders in the church (the body of Christ), the message is that the greatest act of love that you can show your family is to lead them in the spiritual things of God.
It is time to sacrifice and to give up our little hobbies and our little things. This does not mean that we cannot have hobbies and recreation, but when we commit ourselves to a schedule that takes us and our families away from the things of the Lord, it’s time to seek the Lord. To function and seek the Lord as if you weren’t married. So that brings up the question of what differences in decision making do you have to make because now you are married?
The second principle is in verse 30. And those who are weeping as though they did not weep. We all weep and there is a time to weep over loved ones who have died, or hardships of circumstances and situations. It does not say that it is wrong to weep. What it is saying is that when you find yourself in a situation that causes you to react by weeping, go ahead and weep but don’t get consumed by it.
We all know that we can weep over something and let it consume us, and then being consumed by it just causes us to stay in a condition of weeping and weeping all the time because we are consumed by it. If you find yourself in a situation that you express yourself through weeping, go ahead and weep. Just don’t get consumed by it. Don’t bury yourself in it.
Thirdly, it says “and those who are rejoicing, as they did not rejoice.” Not only are there times of weeping but there are times of rejoicing. We love to take those times and just put them in a bottle for whenever we need it because the sad times and the hard times and the difficult times will come, and we wish we could just go over to a shelf and get that bottle of rejoicing.
What Paul is saying is that there are times of weeping and there are times of rejoicing. And even in the times of rejoicing, we are to rejoice, but don’t let it consume you. It you are like me you get caught off guard. You are rejoicing and praising the Lord and then all of a sudden, Satan comes up and hits you from the side without you even knowing that it’s coming, and you are more depressed and discouraged because your day was going well and you were rejoicing in the Lord, and then all of a sudden this big trial just got dumped in your lap and now you’re weeping.
We find ourselves being tossed around by the various circumstances of life. It is ok to weep and it is ok to rejoice. We are just told not to be occupied with it to the point of losing focus in Christ.
At the end of verse 30, he says “and the ones who are purchasing.” It is interesting because the word for buy or purchasing in Greek is the word Agoradzo and the Agora was the marketplace. It is the Greek word for shopping. As you go shopping in order to purchase, you purchase as though you don’t possess it. Now that’s a tough one! You know why? Because in our culture, we seek to own! We purchase to buy and then what happens when we purchase to own, we find out that we wrestle with the problem of it owning us, other than us owning it. We become in servitude to the things that we buy. We have to take care of them. We have to repair them, look out after them, and do all these things.
We see in the end of this verse the next principle and it has to do with using the things of this world. We are here for one purpose. After we are saved, the one purpose is to seek and to serve the Lord. We are to seek Him , to learn of Him, and to grow in Christ and to serve Him with that growth and with that relationship and with that understanding that He has given to us. But if we get caught up and if we start acquiring possessions, the possessions start acquiring us. And what do they take? They take our time, and they take our money.
Time is very precious to the believer because time is short. There is not much time, and time is what the Lord gives us. In the book of Romans, Paul says “redeem the time, the night is far spent and the day is approaching.” Not only has the Lord purchased us on the cross, but He purchased our time and everything about us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and our time He has purchased and it is all for Him from here on in.
How much time we spend, where we go and what we do, it is up to Him because we are His servants. I can get occupied and get caught up with the things that I purchase and they can take my time and they can take my attention away from the Lord. So Paul says at the end of verse 30, “Those who purchase as though they did not possess.”
The last principle is in verse 31, “And those who use this world, as not over using it.” Notice the literal translation, “The ones who are using this world as though not over using it.” The word for use in Greek is the word for employment and it is used in Greek to express “that which is necessary.”
What this means is that the things of this earthly life are here for what is necessary. It is for our sustenance, not to over use it for purposes in which it does not have. Let me give you an example. Let’s take a car for instance. It is necessary to have a car in order to get us from one place to another. That is the purpose of a car. However, we purchase a car and we get ourselves caught up in it. I got to keep it waxed and shiny, I need nice gadgets to put on it and I need to put a new stereo in it, I need to buy this for it, and I need to do this to it. It becomes a distraction and we lose focus on what is important, which is growing in the Lord. That is just one example because we purchase all kinds of thing things that take our time, our attention, and our money.
The things of the world are like vacuums that vacuum up our time and our money and our attention, and yet God in His plan for us basically says I’m going to take care of all of your needs, and everything in this earthly life is for your sustenance, for your living and survival in this earthly life as you’re passing through. But you see, we want to make this our home!
“Those who are using this world as though not over using it.” Don’t use things more than what its purposes are.