Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.   Ephesians 5:32 NKJV

This mystery of Christ and the church? If Paul calls it a mystery I can't imagine I could call it anything different. It is a love relationship but it's not quite like anything else.

The Bible calls the church His bride.This is who we are collectively, and the Bible speaks of us in this way. As women we can relate easily to this concept. When I was young, girls in the catholic church had their first communion in white dresses. I believe this was to signify their marriage to Christ.

 The people of God are His. He has committed Himself to us as a loving husband does to his one and only wife. God doesn't have a backup plan. He isn't a foolish husband who makes a commitment he cannot keep.

He has made covenants with His people. Abraham's justification by faith promised him God would be with him and his descendants forever. God is the God of forever. His promises never end or have an expiration date.

His faithfulness is never late according to His time clock. We get flustered and out of sync when God doesn't move the way we want Him to. We may be led to think He has forgotten His covenant but this is impossible.

God is never out of sync with His agenda. His plans rule over everything else. Those who don't surrender to this will never have peace. The ruler of the Universe has made us with free wills to choose Him or not.

A love like this has never been duplicated or copied and it never will. There is only one God who gives grace and healing. He has extended Himself to humanity from the beginning of time. This comes from His love for us.

We cannot understand a love like this. It baffles common sense. It satisfies our hearts and fills it with joy. There are no words to adequately describe its depth and perseverance. You have to grab on Him for yourself!

Monday, July 16, 2018

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesians 5:31 NIV

For this reason? What reason? Since Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it. A man shall leave his parents and start his own family. He is to love his wife more than his own life.

How far we have come from this simple, loving truth. Many men don't cherish women because women don't want to be cherished. It is not in vogue. It's considered sexist. Women are strong and don't need to be cared for is the thought. 

Why is it suddenly wrong to acknowledge we need help? Women aren't as strong as men in many ways. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and we need each other.

Women want to be safe. This is especially true if you are pregnant and the nesting instinct begins. Don't mess with a Mama ready to give birth! She wants to know everything is set.

Men need the emotional support a woman gives. He needs to know his wife is with him and loves him. This stability isn't discussed too often but it is true. What is wrong with saying it like it is?

The persona of today says we are just fine without anyone else. When a society has too many loners the depression rate also goes up. If marriage is not considered permanent why make an effort to make it work?

Gloria Steinem, a leader in the Women' Movement,  got married. She had strong feelings about marriage being degrading to women. What made her change her mind? 


Friday, July 13, 2018

"For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members {parts} of His body." Ephesians 5:29-30. AMP

This child is viewing the flower with awe and wonder. I suppose this is why I love children. Every new thing brings them such delight! You may never know from one minute to the next what they will find to occupy their time.

There are times though, when nothing will occupy them. If a nap is in order, or hunger has set in crankiness will over take even the calmest little one.We have to allow children to get the sleep and nourishment they need.

It wouldn't be right to limit these essentials. A loving parent wants to provide what is necessary for healthy growth and strength. It is similar for women. If a husband is selfish and doesn't love his wife she won't be able to flourish in the relationship.

Weak relationships do not honor God especially when marriage is God's idea. Loving a wife means the husband will value her opinion. He includes her in important family decisions, and honors her over himself.

Sounds like a good deal to me. Why doesn't marriage work for everyone then? Not everyone understands the value of loving his wife, and the wife may not value and honor her husband.

Value is what God places on our lives. His value of us includes him cherishing us as if we were the only human on the planet. If God holds each of us in high esteem we ought to hold others up in the same way. 

The love of of God is the only true valuable we have besides each other. Pour out love on someone who needs it today. There isn't anyone who is not in need.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves His wife loves himself." Ephesians 5:28 NIV

Do we live in a selfie world? What exactly does this mean? I believe a selfie world is one where people are caught up in themselves. Google says a selfie world is about your pics being on social media.

What does Jesus say?  He says to forget about yourself and concentrate on Him. He doesn't say this in a condescending way or to make us feel "less than." He wants us to realize there are seven billion other people in this world.

The love of God within us wants to reach out. It wants to be available to those who need it. When we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this the will of God is accomplished.

Thinking of others and acting on these thoughts of love are important.  Everyone gains hope when someone gives of themselves. It is not natural to anyone but it can be done. We learn to walk away from selfish ways when we see the benefits of selfless actions.

How we are brought up probably has a place in what we think of servanthood. If family members felt it was beneath them to serve  we may have picked up similar feelings.  Jesus, who is the ultimate servant never stopped doing what He saw His Father doing.

Can we see the Father pouring down spiritual blessings from above for eternity? I think the Bible supports this theme. Zephaniah3:17
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

If the All-mighty can function in a attitude of giving how much more should you and I? Giving love, care and mercy are not things we are going to regret looking back on our lives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27 NKJV

God wants us to be whole or holy? What if I told you these two are the same? God wants us to be whole. We are talking about our hearts. Only God can do such a thing for us.

In the old testament each family had to bring a spotless lamb to the temple. It represented the spotless Son of God who would come to take their sins. The father had to put his hand on the head of the lamb, as a sign of the sins being transferred to the one who would pay the price.

It was a very real life reminder of sin being paid for by the blood. God uses pictures to remind us of the things we need to remember. I don't think I would forget any of this if it were right before my eyes. This is how important it is to God for us to remember how we got to be pure and blameless before Him.

He doesn't laud it over us in a demeaning way. Never! He wants us to remember so we will know who we are in Him. We are told to remember why He came. We are told told to remember why we are here. It's not for our will but for His purposes.

Because His love for us is genuine, He wants us to be blessed. This is of course in the realm of what's good for us. We don't know what's good for us all of the time.

Listening to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, we learn what's holy and acceptable to Him. Oh how I miss out when I don't listen carefully. I'm sure some of you can relate.

There is no way any of us could present ourselves to God and live. Without the blood of Jesus and the work He accomplished on the cross, none of us would be whole. Live in the victory He has won for you!

Monday, July 9, 2018

"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,"   Ephesians 5:25-26

Nothing says summer like flowers. You can almost smell these peonies and the color isn't something any man can manufacture. They hold a glimpse of heaven for us to see for just a split second.

The transformation from earth to the heavenly realm can only take place because of the love of God. His love for us defines us and prepares our hearts to be with Him forever.

Can a human love with the love of God? When the love of God is inside of someone it can flow out. Jesus gave Himself up to the cross so we could have an eternal home with Him and bring down heaven in His love.

Why would He do it? His love for us compelled Him to do the unthinkable. Only through the love of God can any of us please the Father. Husbands are called to love their wives by laying down their lives if necessary.

Jesus knew what had to be done to save us from the lies and torment of the enemy. We no longer have to live under the dictates of this world. He has lifted us above this realm to dwell in His presence and walk in the truth.

Live in His presence. How do we do this? Read the Word. Meditate on it day and night. Let it consume your thought life. Listen to worship music. Allow it to wash over you. 

Sometimes a hardship or trial will draw us to God's side. This can be a blessing in disguise. I write about this in my book"Unshakeable-Becoming What You Were Created For."

 I think I will be teaching from this book in September at my church Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. The book will be made available to everyone soon. Blessings and love to all.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

"For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is Savior." Ephesians 5:23 NIV

There is no denying Christ is the Head of the Church. It is clearly taught through out scripture.  Christ rules with the power and authority of the Godhead. He also rules with wisdom and love.

Christ our Lord is undeniably the Savior, healer and lover of our souls. He comforts, builds up His people and protects us from harm in every way. If correction must be given He choses to bring it in the easiest way possible. He is never overly harsh or uncaring in His correction. 

Correction is given from the hand of God to protect, and save anyone from harm, or destruction. The pitfalls of life are all around us. Sometimes we are unaware. I ask the Lord to please show me my error or wrong doing so I can turn away from it. 

As lovers of God we don't ever want to do things to offend Him. At times we do want to do things our own way though. This is where the rubber meet the road. We will save this discussion for another day.

The point I want to hone in on today: as Christ is the head of the church in all decency and honor so husbands are to be to their wives. "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." {Philippians 2:4} 

If we think God is harsh, uncaring and cruel to His children, we will treat others the same. The God of the Bible is nothing like this!
How do people perceive Him in such a way? Someone had to teach it to them!

The enemy of our souls is out to distort marriage and God's take on it. He doesn't want women to feel safe and protected. If women are content and peaceful why would they ever look to follow the enemy's lead? He is mad about this, so distortion and lying about God's way is all he can do.

 Many have fallen for his tricks but those who look to the Word of God for direction and truth will find it. Peter said to Jesus when asked if he wanted to go home and stop following Him,"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life." {John 6:68 ESV}

Peter tends to be looked down upon as if he isn't very smart. He could be led by emotion at times as any of us are. He understood the most important truth: Jesus is Lord of All!