:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ephesians Chapter 5

vs. 1-2

- Imitate the Father. Why? Because you are His dear children.

- Children imitate their fathers. His actions. His mannerisms. They try and walk in his footprints in the sand or the snow to let themselves think that they're as big as daddy is.

- I remember going hunting with my dad and trying, as an 8 or 9 year old, to walk exactly where dad walked for fear that if I didn't step in the right spot, I'd make noise and scare all the deer off... and I mean... dad knows where to step to not make noise... right? (I probably made more noise that way than I would have otherwise... : )

- So what does it mean to imitate God the Father?

- vs. 2 says to live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.

- Wow. That sounds easy. Just gotta love everybody. Ok!... not so fast... We have to follow the example of Christ, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for us because He loved us. (When we hated Him.) Christ, in His love, went to the cross in the midst of the angry crowds, after being beaten almost to death, spit upon, mocked... He STILL went to the cross... for those very people... because He loved them. With love... SO deep...

- would you die to save your enemy's life? Would you love humanity enough to die for ones who hate you?

- John 13:34-35, 15:9-17
- I Peter 2:21-25

- Loving people enough to go visit people in the hospital you don't know... or don't even like... Loving people enough that you invite the neighbor you can't stand over for the backyard barbecue. Loving people enough that you let the dirty, smelly, street people into your church for services... on the front row... Loving people enough that you are still kind to the co-worker who makes fun of you or yells at you all the time... Loving your family even when they push all your buttons.

- Following Christ means loving unconditionally. Means being completely unselfish. Means putting others WAY above yourself. Means offering yourself as a sacrifice to God in order that others might one day be saved.

- Luke 14:12-14
- Matthew 5:43-48
- Galatians 2:20

- vs. 1-2 (Message) “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”

vs. 3-4

- Then Paul starts showing you what things are NOT imitations of God.
- Sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscene stories, foolish talk, coarse jokes.

- wow. Some of those don't really even sound like what we think of as sins...

--- Sexual immorality covers a multitude of things... In today's society we are bombarded on TV, the internet, billboards, and any and every other type of media you can think of with the idea that “everybody's doing it” or that it's not as bad as people tell you it is.
- Girls are given the lie that no one will love them if they don't put themselves out there. If they don't do everything the man asks of them, then the man won't love them.
- Boys are fed the lie that if they don't perform well that women won't be attracted to them.

- Sexual immorality is also translated as fornication in some bibles. (KJV)

- Webster's definition for immoral is “against what is right or moral; not good or decent; corrupt, wicked, lewd, etc.”

- I did some Greek study for this one... the particular word used here is porneia “illicit sexual intercourse”. This word comes from porneuo which comes from porne which is the femenine of pornos. (see a word we know well?)

- These words together cover everything from lust in thought, to incest, to adultery... The definition of one was “to indulge in unlawful lust”. That's an interesting way to put that...

- Lust covers a whole lot of thoughts. Christ said if you've lusted, you've committed adultery in your heart.

- All this to say this. Sexual immorality/fornication, is ANY sexual act outside the bonds of marriage.

- I know a whole lot of people who have for years tried to say things like... oral sex isn't really sex. It's not a bad thing... or that making out on a regular basis, isn't a bad thing.

- But you know... outside the bonds of marriage, one act, always leads to another.

- Lust grows and builds and become insatiable. And before you know it, you've gone way past the boundaries you thought you set.

- To indulge your lust is to feed the beast.

- As Christians, we are to practice self-control. It's one of the fruits of the Spirit... by the way...

- A former pastor of mine used to say something like this: If you can't practice self-control now... you won't do it later. There are times in marriage that you STILL have to practice self-control (in the realm of sex...) like... during a pregnancy, or an illness, or if your spouse is in an accident... Maybe for months at a time, you will have to maintain self-control and not seek fulfillment elsewhere.

- if you are used to indulging you every whim... you'll indulge them regardless.

- And this isn't the only area. If you don't practice self-control here... you won't practice self-control in other areas either... like... alcohol, anger, cursing, eating...

- Practice makes perfect...

--- Impurity/Uncleanness

- The Greek for this says “a physical or moral uncleanness”.

- The base for this word says to be ceremoniously or morally lewd or specifically foul or unclean as in demonic.

- Wow.... that just blew my mind... God is all purity. Satan is all impurity. All impurity or uncleanness comes from Demonic powers. If you have uncleanness or impurity in your life, is it because of a demonic influence over your mind and body (not to say you're possessed... more like... major temptation you can't get away from...oppressed but with the potential of becoming possessed if uncontrolled lust continues without bounds).

- Our God is a holy God. He does not tempt. He does not bring a bad influence. If you are tempted into impurity, put on the armor and go to battle with the enemy with God at your side. No excuses.

- You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Don't be afraid to do battle against impure thoughts, against anger, against greed, against hate, against lust, against self-pity.

- My mom was watching our cat the other day. My cat is a bird cat. She LOVES to catch birds. She drives mom up the wall sometimes... But anyway, so Miss Kitty was watching this one particular bird. He was in the flower bed... so... Miss Kitty went to the flower bed. Then the bird went to the tree... So Miss Kitty went to the tree... Then the bird went to the field... and Miss Kitty went to the creek beside the field... sneaking all the time...

- And so mom's thought as she was watching the cat in the chase was that... if that bird doesn't fly away... eventually the cat's gonna wear it out and it's gonna be too tired to escape. It's gonna either lead the cat to its nest and thus its babies... or it's going to die on its own if it doesn't take flight and fly away.

- Because the cat... is patient. She never gets tired of the chase. Never tires of watching and waiting.

- Satan is that cat. (not to say that my cat is Satan... quite the opposite... ha ha) He's patient. He's sneaky. He's quiet. He's crafty. He doesn't tire of the chase. He doesn't give up out of boredom.

- If you don't take flight. If you don't get down on your knees and fight with all you have. If you don't run from temptation and fly to safety (God). Eventually, Satan's gonna catch you. And when He does... he might play with you for a bit... make you think you've escaped... but eventually, he'll destroy and devour you. And if he can... he'll take your family as well...

- So... my friends, fight impurity.

--- Greedy- Websters- “wanting or taking all that one can get with no thought of what others need.” (wow... not just TAKING... but WANTING...)

- Opposite much? In imitating Christ, we have no room to be greedy.

- Greed does not just mean to want money. Greed is a response to your fellow man. It is a disregarding of those around you. It is an extreme self-centered. spirit.

- This can be greedy with your time, your food, your money, your family...

- To me, greed is the opposite of giving.

- Are you willing to give up some of your “me” time to do something for a neighbor?

- How about buying some food for the homeless shelter?

- How about giving some money to the guy with the sign regardless of your social perception of what he may or may not do with it later?

- How about letting your family do some community service on a Saturday rather than trying to find something to watch on TV that you can all agree on?

- Later it says that a greedy person is an idolater- worshiping the things of this world.

- What are you worshiping more than God?

--- Now these next three... are kind of odd for me... Paul doesn't mention murder, or idolatry, or blasphemy, or theft, or lying... it seems like he skipped over almost all of what we think of as the big sins.

--- Obscene stories... gossip? Rumors? Stories that have no Christian context... even about celebrities?

- We don't need to know who's sleeping with who, or who's getting a divorce, or who's attempted to murder their spouse, or who's getting beat up, or who's in jail for DUI or DWI or whatever it is now...

--- Foolish talk... again... not about Jesus? Not building people up? Stop it... Idle talk hurts people... and it doesn't help your witness...

--- Coarse Jokes. Ouch... you mean I can't tell the one about... nope... not that one either...

- Now I love watching comedy central sometimes... but you know... as I was sitting here writing this... there's some not so decent stuff on there sometimes... which... as I'm thinking... makes me wonder about watching it in the first place... cause... if I'm listening and watching... garbage in, garbage out.

- Now these three... are more a reflection of what's in your heart and on your mind than anything else. Paul doesn't label them with the previous three as being sins... but they are labeled as things we should avoid.

- Colossians 3:3-17
- Romans 6, 8:5-17
- Galatians 5:16-26
- I Corinthians 6:9-20
- I Thessalonians 4:1-8

vs. 5-14

- Such sins (and yep, he called them sins) have no place among God's people. They're not for you. (this is hard...) “You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

- God does not take this lightly. These are still sins that separate you from God.

- “Do not be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins. For the anger of God will fall on all who disobey Him”.

- There are no gray areas with God. He doesn't look at your life and say... “eh... well... you did ok...” There is a right and a wrong. God's way, and Satan's way. There is no in between. You're either for God or you're against Him.

- Do not participate in these sins. You no longer live in darkness. You have light from God. So live like it! The light produces what is good and what is true!

- Determine carefully what pleases the Lord and take NO PART in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. Instead, EXPOSE them.

- footnote- “As people who have light from the Lord, our actions should reflect our faith. We should live above reproach morally so that we will reflect God's goodness to others. Jesus stressed this trust in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:15-16).”

- Light dispels darkness. It exposes what hides in the corners and under things. Evil intentions are exposed by holy light.

- John 8:12, 1:1-9, 3:16-21, 9:35-36

- Paul says it is shameful to even talk about the things ungodly people do in secret. (foolish talk, gossip, rumors...)

- Ephesians 4:29- let your words be an encouragement to those who hear them... ALL who hear them...

- “Awake, O sleeper
rise up from the dead
And Christ will give you Light”.

- (side note- footnote- “This is not a direct quote from Scripture but was probably taken from a hymn well known to the Ephesians. The hymn seems to have been based on Isaiah 26:19, 51:17, 52:1, 60:1, and Malachi 4:2. Paul was appealing to the Ephesians to wake up and realize the dangerous condition into which some of them had been slipping.”)

- Romans 13:11-14
- I Thessalonians 5:1-11

- footnote- “It is important to avoid the “worthless deeds of evil and darkness” (any pleasure or activity that results in sin), but we must go even further. Paul instructs us to expose these deeds, because our silence may be interpreted as approval. God needs people who will take a stand for what is right. Christians must lovingly speak out for what is true and right.”

vs. 15-17

- So be careful how you live.

- Don't live foolishly.

- Colossians 4:5-6

- Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days

- footnote- “By referring to these days as evil, Paul was communicating his sense of urgency because of evil's pervasiveness. We need the same sense of urgency because our days are also difficult. We must keep our standards high, act wisely, and do good whenever we can.”

I was reading a book by Mark Hall (Casting Crowns) the other day. I want to share a little bit of it here. “Jesus accomplished more ministry on the way to do ministry than most of us will ever imagine. Granted, He is the Son of God, but on earth He was imminently available for ministry because He was so attuned to the will of His Father and was perfectly obedient. The journey was the purpose for Him. It wasn't “I've got to buy some barley so I can eat and get to the next place to do some ministry.” No, the guy selling the barley WAS the ministry.” We can minister Jesus' love wherever and with whomever our daily events permit if we'll just become so permeated by the Father that we too can say, “that we only do what we see the Father doing.”

- Every possible open door is an opportunity. Every person you have even the slightest contact with is an opportunity to share Christ. To show love, compassion, mercy... You may not pray with every person. You may only start to plant a seed. You may not even get to plant the WHOLE seed... just lay it on the ground... for somebody else to stick deep in the soil later...

- So don't act before you think. Figure out what God wants you to do first.

- There was the slogan, “What Would Jesus Do?”.... It is still pertinent today.

- Stop speaking before you think. Pray before you act.

- Paul is stressing putting God first. God should be our 1st response to every situation. Our evil nature should not take over.

vs. 18-20

- “Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

- footnote- “Paul contrasts getting drunk with wine, which produces a temporary “high,” to being filled with the Spirit, which produces lasting joy. Getting drunk with wine is associated with the old way of life and its selfish desires. In Christ, we have a better joy, higher and longer lasting, to cure our depression, monotony, or tension. We should not be concerned with how much of the Holy Spirit we have but with how much of us the Holy Spirit has. Submit yourself daily to His leading and draw constantly on His power.”

- footnote- “The effects of alcohol are obvious, but what happens when we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit? In these verses, Paul lists three by-products of the Spirit's influence in our lives: singing, making music, and giving thanks. Paul did not intend to suggest that believers only discuss religious matters, but that whatever we do or say should be permeated with an attitude of joy, thankfulness to God, and encouragement of others. Instead of whining and complaining—which our culture has raised to an art form—we are to focus on the goodness of God and His mercies toward us. How would others characterize your words and attitudes?”

- Proverbs 23:29-35- this is a good example of the effects of alcohol when it starts to take over the mind and body. When a drug is used with repetition... the body starts to crave it... so regardless of the effects produced or the effects it has on your social life or your relationships etc., an alcoholic will still crave and partake of alcohol. Because they NEED it. (or think they do anyway...) We should take this and apply it to the Holy Spirit. If we repeatedly partake of God, if we constantly get a high from spending time with God... eventually... our Spirits are going to crave that interaction. Regardless of what effect it may have on our relationships or our social status or even on our own minds and bodies... we'll have to have Him. But the cool thing I see in this section is in verse 35. “They hit me, but I didn't feel it. I didn't even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” I mean WOW! To think of being so full of God that regardless of how much people beat and bang on you, you don't feel a thing. You don't even realize you're in pain because God's so good. And when you finally realize that something is going on... you go right out and search for more God.

-(This has nothing to do with the argument over whether or not we should drink alcohol as Christians... whatever you believe on that topic is your own issue between you and God... This is all an illustration that happens to use alcohol because being drunk and being under the influence of the Holy Spirit were seen as similar things. It was something outside of you taking control of your actions etc. You never know what you're going to do with either... ha ha... but... you'll probably have a better memory of the things you do under the influence of the Holy Spirit... : ) Although they might seem just about as crazy... like... preaching on a communist street... or standing your ground even on the threat of pain of death... or being the minority voice... but being the loudest voice anyway... : )

- So instead of living a life on a path that will destroy you... a path that will ruin your life, be filled with the life-source.

- Let your life's reflection be singing, and making music, and thanksgiving to God. Let what you exude be the joy and wonder of God that flows pure from the throne.

- This walk is a good thing. Are you happy? Do you have joy?

- Our society is so pessimistic sometimes... We look at everything around us and see nothing but the bad stuff...

- Let God show you things in a different light. Let joy well up in you regardless of how things appear. While at Ichthus. we heard a story of a nurse in Haiti.. She lost her home and everything she had worked for. She took care of a niece who was badly injured in the quake. The only thing she found that wasn't destroyed was an umbrella. As she looked around at all the people who had been injured, she began to thank God and knew that he had a reason for sparing her life. So with nothing but an umbrella, she began a clinic under her umbrella.. She began treating all the people who had been injured. She didn't charge money, worry about supplies, or even sleep for ten days straight. When helpers finally arrived, they were amazed at all she had accomplished. They built her a 27 foot clinic. They were so sorry they couldn't help her rebuild her home (a grass roof hut) but she never complained. Always aware that God has a purpose for everything and being content with whatever he brought her way, she was having fun ministering Jesus to everyone he brought her way. IF we love him and IF we are called according to HIS purpose . Don't let circumstances around you define your God, let God define your circumstances. Let God be God.

- footnote- “When you feel down, you may find it difficult to give thanks. Take heart—in all things God works for our good if we love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28). Thank God, not for your problems but for the strength He is building in you through the difficult experiences of your life. You can be sure that God's perfect love will see you through.”

vs. 21-33


- Paul uses these last verses to demonstrate God's relationship to us with an example that everyone could understand. An institution that God put into action from the very beginning of time, just so our feeble human minds COULD understand how awesome and how deep His love for us is.

- Marriage. Starting with Adam and Eve.

- God created Adam first. Created him in the image of God Himself. With the same desire for relationship and companionship and communication that God Himself has.

- God so desired a companion that He created the very being that would break His heart.

- My Sunday School lesson for the little ones this week was on the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

- As we were going through the lesson, one of the questions was, why would God create us with free will, KNOWING that we were going to mess up? Why would God, who knows all things, put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden... and then tell them not to eat it if he KNEW they weren't going to follow directions? It doesn't seem to make sense does it...

- Up until this point, God had communication with only one set of beings... the angels.

- Angels are great... but unlike man, they were not created in the image of God. They were not given authority over all things on the earth. They were created to serve, Heb. 1:13-14, not to have fellowship as man. And of course, Jesus died for man, not angels.

-Hebrews 1, 2

- Angels were created as servants. This kind of love is not fulfilling. We as humans understand this. Who would want to be married to someone who just goes through the motions. They may wait on all your needs and brag on you, but a robot can do that... We want true love, true passion, true COMpassion. We desire relationship, communication, life involvement and interest.

- God felt something lacking. He wanted a TRUE friend. Someone who loved Him because they WANTED to. Someone who talks to Him because they desire His communication.

- So He created Adam to fill that void.

- Then in turn, created Eve to fill the same void in Adam. Wonderful picture. (Why did God have to create Eve? Wasn't God enough communication for Adam? He had a friend! But... God knew the future... He knew the outcome... He knew Adam would be very lonely without a helpmeet. And there had to be a method of procreation...)

- Now we know from Genesis 3:8 that God came for evening visits to the Garden. To walk and talk with His creation.

- Isn't this WONDERFUL!? GOD. ALMIGHTY. CREATOR OF ALL. OMNIPOTENT JEHOVAH. Came down to talk face to face with Adam and Eve while taking a little stroll through the garden.

- Creator in communion with Created. WOW!

- I wonder what they talked about... Why the zebra was given stripes? Why the monkeys like bananas? What names He gave the stars? Why God chose to create the earth in the first place? What the earth looked like before God moved the waters? Something funny the angels did today? Or even... just... how was your day?

- We desire this kind of communication. We are social people. It's natural for us to want a friend to talk to about our daily lives. Our daily happenings. Because god made us, like Himself. He too desires these same things. He longs for us to talk to Him as a friend. He longs for us to tell Him how our day was today. He wants to hear the funny story about the co-worker... or the boss... or the kids... or the cows... (I live on a farm... there's ALWAYS some goofy animal story... like... the cow who thinks she's a dog and loves to eat dog food... honest truth...). God so wants that communication with you. He doesn't want every conversation you have with Him to be like one you would have with a genie. “I wish for this and this... and I wish for more wishes...” He doesn't want to you to get down on your knees, read off a grocery list and then leave His presence. He wants to be in constant communication with you about everything and anything... He wants to be a PART of your life. Not just on the outskirts...


- Now God gave Eve to Adam. Genesis 2:23-24- Adam has just been presented with Eve. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken from 'man'. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

- Matthew 19:4-6

Jesus said in Matthew 10:37-39 that if you love your father or mother or son or daughter more than Him... then you're not worthy to be His (paraphrased).

- When you get married, you can still talk to your parents. You can still love them. They can still be a part of your life... but they're no longer your main focus. Your spouse is.

- And I guarantee that if you run home every time your mom or dad calls and wants something or needs something or drop everything when a sibling calls... it'll put strain on your marriage. Especially if you keep running home when the spouse has something planned for the two of you to do together... even if it's just dinner...

- God wants your attention. He wants to talk to you. He doesn't want to get interrupted every five minutes with calls or visits from the in-laws. He wants intimate time with you because He's SO in love with you.

- In a young marriage... the couple is still finding out about each other. It takes a while for a couple to be able to say that they really know each other. People who have been married for decades will still tell you that it's always an adventure... Yeah you may know the big things... you may know all the favorites... but sometimes... you still get surprised with an old story or a random romantic happening or a something you've been trying to teach your spouse for as long as you can remember... FINALLY sinks in... ha ha.

- Hebrews 13:4


- In these verses, Paul starts detailing a little bit the expectations of the spouses.

- The expectations of the wife are that she is to submit to her husband.

- I Peter 3:1-6

- Post feminist movement, this verse has made more than a few women angry... Submission to the man (who half the time is seen as an enemy figure...) is not on their list of things to do...

- footnote- “Submitting to another person is an often misunderstood concept. It does not mean becoming a doormat. Christ—at whose name “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10)—submitted His will to the Father, and we honor Christ by following His example. When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey His command to submit to others, that is, to subordinate our rights to theirs. In a marriage relationship, both husband and wife are called to submit. For the wife, this means willingly following her husband's leadership in Christ. For the husband, it means putting aside his own interests in order to care for His wife. Submission is rarely a problem in homes where both partners have a strong relationship with Christ and where each is concerned for the happiness of the other.”

- Now. Submission to the husband does not mean letting your husband beat you or demean you as much as he pleases....

- Remember, Paul is speaking of the marriage as being the perfect mirror to our relationship with God.

- God will discipline His children as their Father should... but God does not abuse His right to do so...

- Just as God is the head of the church, our leader... so the husband should be the head of the wife... especially in Spiritual matters.

- It should be the man's responsibility to be the priest over his household. To lead his family in their walks with God. To help them grow and mature in their faiths.

- Submission also means thinking about another person. Taking another person into account above yourself.

- I Peter 5:5

- So when decisions are made, consult the spouse. You are ONE. You should move as one, think as one, act as one. Should always have a united front.

- Will this always happen? No... but you should strive to stay in tune with each other as much as possible. Especially on big things... like... job changes, new cars (or any other big purchases), discipline of children (always a big one), chores, and any financial issues or problems.

- What's for dinner? Not as big. Home decor? Still probably not as big... might need some consultation on carpet and furniture... largely because of cost issues... but if the wife decides to move a picture to another place on the wall... I doubt it's going to be a HUGE deal...

- There are things you can do on your own... like... fix a faucet, or paint the wall, clean the house, mow the yard... chores and responsibilities that come with the territory... However, the more you involve each other, the closer you become... and the less stressed and confused you may be...

- Proverbs 12:4, 31:10-31, 19:13, 21:9, 19
- I Corinthians 7:1-16
- Colossians 3:18
- Titus 2:3-5


- Husbands are called to love their wives.

- I Peter 3:7

- Wait... we have to submit, but they just have to love? What kind of deal is that?!

- footnote- “Although some people have distorted Paul's teaching on submission by giving unlimited authority to husbands, we cannot get around it. Paul told wives to submit to their husbands. The fact that a teaching is not popular is no reason to discard it. One way to disarm the antagonism that the external culture may inject into the marriage relationship is the remember that the wife gets to submit and the husband gets to die. According to the bible, the man is the spiritual head of the family, and his wife should acknowledge his leadership. But real spiritual leadership involves loving service (a form of dying). Just as Christ served the disciples, even to the point of washing their feet, so the husband is to serve his wife. A wise and Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role, and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband's leadership. Either approach causes disunity and friction in marriage.”

- footnote- “Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as to telling wives to submit to their husbands. How should a man love his wife? 1. He should be willing to sacrifice everything for her. 2. make her well being of primary importance, and 3. care for her as he cares for his own body. No wife needs to fear submitting to a man who treats her in this way.”

- This takes on a whole new light...

- Christ loved us SO much that He laid His life on the line. He died for us.

- Just as the wife is called to love and serve and submit, so the husband is called to love and serve and submit.

- It's usually easy to tell a woman to love and serve. Our motherly instinct kicks in and it's more natural. Submission, is harder for us. We like to tell you how to fix things and how to better do things... So letting the man lead... is sometimes more difficult... hence Paul's teaching...

- Men have a tendency to need to be seen as the hero, the conqueror. Big, strong, and mighty... which... is great... we need that too...

- But Paul is painting a picture of Christ here. He Who happens to be compassionate, loving, caring, sensitive to our needs... and sometimes men forget to show this side of themselves... or it's just plain hard because of social stigmas.

- verse 28 says that “husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies.” Because they're ONE! If a man loves himself... he will not harm himself. So if the wife, is part of the husband, he should love her as he loves himself and treat her accordingly.

- Colossians 3:19
- Titus 2:6
- Proverbs 5, 18:22


- Christ is the husband. The Church is His bride.

- I Peter 3:8-12

- Christ has proven His love for us. He has given the ultimate sacrifice for our well-being. Paid the highest bride-price.

- All He asks for in return, is that we love Him, serve Him, and submit to His will. That we follow His example and put aside our own interests, and goals, and plans, and think instead on His.

- He washed us, cleansed us, prepared us as much as He could for this marriage... Now we have to allow Him to work in our hearts so that we are ready to enter into this perfect union.

- (footnote- “Christ's death makes the church holy and clean. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for His special sacred service (Hebrews 10:29;13:12). Christ cleansed the church by the washing of baptism. Through baptism we are prepared for entrance into the church just as ancient Near Eastern brides were prepared for marriage by a ceremonial bath. It is God's Word that cleanses us (John 17:17; Titus 3:5).”)

- Hebrews 10:19-22
- (The book of Hosea is a wonderful picture of God taking us back time and time again... despite our turning away from His love.)
- II Corinthians 11:2-3
- Revelation 19:6-9, 21:1-7, 9-27


- I Corinthians 12:12-27, 6:15-20

- As we leave our plans and goals and priorities behind to marry our anxiously awaiting lover, we are bonded together in a way that remains a mystery.

- footnote- “The union of husband and wife merges two persons in such a way that little can affect one without also affecting the other. Oneness in marriage does not mean losing your personality in the personality of the other. Instead, it means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself, learning to anticipate his or her needs, helping the other person become all he or she can be...”

- God has been down on one knee asking, begging you to be His bride. Yes it means sacrifice on your part. Some pride, some safety, your will, your goals, plans, etc.... But can your sacrifice ever equal His?

- Luke 18:29-30
- Matthew 25:1-13 (Are you ready for the wedding?)

- He has given up much to be able to request your hand in this perfect union... even to his life...

- Will you accept His heartfelt offer?

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