Faithlife
Faithlife

Single & Serving God

Marriage (2017)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Not everyone is married or will stay married (due to death or divorce). Being single has its challenges, but also offers unique opportunities for serving the Lord.

Notes & Transcripts

Marriage is an important part of God’s plan and purpose for humanity, which is why we’ve been discussing it the last several months. But not everyone is married or will be married, and some will not stay married due to death or divorce.
Being single has its challenges, but it also offers unique opportunities for serving the Lord.
[TITLE] Single & Serving God

Being single is not a sin

Hebrews 13:4 ESV
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Marriage is an honorable and holy relationship when we follow God’s law.
But remaining single is also an honorable and holy when we follow God’s law.
Our primary purpose in life is not to get married or remain single, but to glorify God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Being single does not make a person more or less valuable to God. God has given all Christians, married or single, a part in the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:14–26 ESV
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
The Bible provides many examples of people who faithfully served God while single.
The apostle Paul was single. Though he may have been married and either his wife died or left him.
The prophet Ezekiel was a widower.
John the Baptizer was single.
Jesus was single.
Whether by choice or circumstance, a single person can faithfully serve God.
Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:23–24 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Being single has its challenges

Lots of people are single.
In fact, all of us have been single and could possibly be single again someday.
In a minute we’ll talk about some of the unique blessings for those who are single.
But we need to also understand the special challenges of being single.
Genesis 2:18 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
God said it was not good for people to be alone. He created us to be social / relational beings.

Loneliness

Single people must sometimes deal with loneliness. This can sometimes lead to
Depression
Low self-esteem
Low self-worth
Bitterness
When these temptations come, the single person must look to God.
John 16:32 ESV
Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.

Jealousy

The single person sometimes faces jealousy when seeing others who are happily married and enjoying their families.
In these situations, the single person must remember what Paul said in .
Romans 12:15 ESV
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Discontentment

Being single (and its loneliness) can make us think we’re wasting our time or missing out on something big in life.
In these situations, the single person must look to the example of Paul in .
Philippians 4:11–12 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
And to Paul’s words in .
1 Timothy 6:6 ESV
But godliness with contentment is great gain,

Sexual temptations

God created us as sexual beings.
Our sex saturated society has perverted God’s way for sex with all kinds of misuse and abuse.
One such misuse is the constant use of sensual images and content in entertainment and advertising.
The single person must work hard to remain pure, not just in action but also in thought.
Job 31:1 ESV
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
Job
Matthew 5:28 ESV
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
And we must remember that God’s way, which is the absolute best way, to fulfill sexual desires is in marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:2–5 ESV
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:9 ESV
But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
These challenges can sometimes feel unbearable, but with God’s help we can overcome.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Being single has its advantages

The apostle Paul viewed singleness as a gift.
1 Corinthians 7:7 ESV
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
Despite the challenges of single life, there are some unique advantages to being single.

Fewer responsibilities

1 Corinthians 7:28 ESV
But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
Single people have fewer responsibilities which gives them the freedom to make choices without worrying about how they will affect a spouse or children.
This can provide greater flexibility and increased opportunities for serving the Lord.
If you are single, use your freedom to serve the Lord.
Ephesians 5:15–16 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
1 Peter 2:16 ESV
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Fewer distractions

1 Corinthians 7:32–35 ESV
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
A single person can have more time to focus on strengthening their relationship with the Lord through study, meditation, and prayer.
1 Corinthians 7:35 ESV
I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Titus 3:8 ESV
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
A single person can also have greater chances to freely and actively serve others in teaching, hospitality, and in other ways.
1 Timothy 4:13 ESV
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
Titus 3:14 ESV
And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
These are just a few of the advantages of being single.

Single & Serving God

Marriage is good and honorable before God and man, , but so is being single.
If you are single, you are just as important to God and to the body of Christ, , .
May God help us all to do all we can to love and serve him and to love and serve others whether married or single.

Are you devoted to serving God?

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