- BETROTHED: An Intimate Face-to-Face Walk with God
- Finding The Love Of Your Life | RiverLife Church
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They were like that woman, that humorist Erma Bombeck, who overheard someone speaking to her daughter during a worship service, to stop that grinning here in church. Get those smiles off your face! Stop filling your mouths full of food!
BETROTHED: An Intimate Face-to-Face Walk with God
He goes on the defense of His disciple friends by picking up this marriage analogy. They had to make sure that there was enough food room, enough wine, music was playing. They were to make sure that everybody was being taken care of, especially the bridegroom; and Jesus identifies Himself as the Bridegroom.
You think there was anyone more happy than Jesus? We worship a Bridegroom Savior. A husband—just like a wife has a profound impact upon a husband—a husband has a profound impact upon a wife, upon her emotional health. Well, think about this: the Bridegroom is Jesus. We have a perfect Husband, Jesus rejoices over us. This Husband never gets irritated. Jesus is the Bridegroom, the church is His spouse.
Now, this marriage analogy, strange as it might seem, finds its greatest frequency in the book of Revelation, and why is that?
Finding The Love Of Your Life | RiverLife Church
It looks forward. As you probably know, the Jewish marriage was a little bit different than ours. They had what was called a betrothal period. Betrothal was more than our engagement, far more serious, more binding. It was really like they were married. There was a witness that these two were betrothed. It was something like a wedding ceremony, again, legal documents had been signed.
There even had been a dowry paid by the groom or his family. So, in that sense, it did look like a marriage. It sounded like what we would understand as a marriage, but it fell short of a full-fledged marriage. In fact, during the betrothal periods they might not even see each other, or talk to each other for months, and it could go on for a long time. And one of the reasons was to test fidelity, loyalty; something similar to our relationship with Jesus. In the book of Revelation, John anticipates the coming of the Bridegroom.
In your wallet? Before I left, I asked my wife if I could take a picture of her. Maybe not on your wallet, but at your desk, in your office. Well, this is a picture that God wants us to set before our own eyes, before our people. The marriage analogy presented, but secondly: the marriage analogy developed.
I got a pretty simple outline: marriage analogy presented; marriage analogy developed. I want to talk to you about His love.
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First of all: His protecting love, and then: His sacrificial love. Protecting love, and sacrificial love; Jesus loves His church, that means He takes care of His church. Turn to Ephesians chapter one, the book of Ephesians does have a lot to say about the church. He begins this first chapter telling us about the church. He subdues all of His enemies, all sinister, evil forces in this universe, in order to safeguard, bless His church, His chosen people. Paul wants to assure the Ephesians in this very letter, on the very front part of this letter, that Jesus is going to take care of His church!
But notice, that he, also, at the back end of the letter, tells us about Jesus taking care of His church in Ephesians 5, that section that was read earlier. Ephesians 5, speaking here to husbands and wives, helping them to understand their distinctive roles, he gives a theological module about the church, and says that a way a husband and a wife relate to each other, behave towards each other, serves as a visible parable, reflecting the relationship that exists between Christ and His church.
The man who treats his wife graciously, kindly, tenderly, is really serving as an evangelistic tool to the world. This is how Jesus treats His church! Do we listen to our wives? Do we care for our wives? Do we protect our wives? Or do we ignore our wives?
Are we irritable with our wives? About Jesus? He urges husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church. Then he further instructs or urges husbands to love their wives, to tenderly take care of their wives like their own body!
When it comes to sports, men tend to like it rough and tough, we like football, we like hockey. When it comes to our bodies, we turn into softies. Has your wife ever said this to you? Maybe he knows that men tend to be softies with their own bodies, and so he drives this home, we could all relate to this, in terms of how you take care of your wife should be manifested in some way in which you take care of your body: that gentle, solicitous, high-quality care.
So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies, and when he talks here of nourishing and cherishing our wives like we do our bodies, he brings Jesus back into the picture. Now, you want to see Jesus in action? You want to see how Jesus cares for His church? Run through the gospels, see how He cares for His disciples!
He was concerned for their emotional well-being. He tells them not to be afraid. He protected them spiritually from their enemies, the Pharisees. When the Pharisees attacked His disciples, it was like Jesus was a lion, springing to the defense of His little cubs. A number of occasions He warns the disciples about the leaven of the scribes and the Pharisees. He protected them from that dangerous sin of pride, and when they were squabbling among themselves—remember? Well, He gave an illustration using a child. He protected them by teaching them, not only warning them, but teaching them about humility and what it means to be a servant.
He also protected His disciples from the devil. Remember the incident with Peter in Luke chapter 22?
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- Betrothed : An Intimate Face-To-Face Walk with God.
- Finding The Love Of Your Life.
- ANYTHING YOU COMMAND.
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And he hits Peter!