Summary: Faithfulness to the Lord! Are you? This sermon delves into that question using a story with a surprise ending.

Are You Faithful To Jesus?

Isaiah 62:1-12

{1} For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.

[2] The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

[3] You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.

[4] You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.

[5] For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

Today, I want to tell you wedding story.

Stephanie Crosby and Tony Ellsworth were getting married.

Stephanie wasn’t the most attractive girl you’ve ever seen.

She was a little over weight…and her nose was larger than most.

Even though her parents were rich…

Stephanie never had a steady boyfriend…and seldom dated.

Still, Tony had fallen in love with her.

They met at church and had been seeing each other for a year.

When Tony asked Stephanie to marry him…

He promised to be faithful and provide all her needs.

Stephanie told Tony that she loved him with all her heart.

She promised that she would always be a faithful, loving wife.

Transition:

In our Bible passage this morning…

Isaiah gives us a prophecy about God’s people.

He says in Verse 1: I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.

In Verse 2: You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

Clearly, this is about God’s desire for His people.

It’s very much like Tony’s desire for Stephanie.

Point #1

Jesus Loves You.

[3] You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.

Jesus wants to have a relationship with you!

Can you see that?

His desire is to have you for Himself!

Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me.

I don’t care how fat..or thin…you are…

How attractive…or unattractive…

How tall…or short..

How old…or young…

Jesus love you!

The night before Jesus went to the cross to die for you, He said: John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

No matter what others might think about you…

Jesus loves you!

Transition:

Stephanie’s parents were rich.

They wanted their daughter’s wedding to be a big event.

They arranged for the wedding to take place

at the largest church in the city.

Stephanie’s Mom hired the best photographer available…

To take all those wedding pictures.

His bill was going to run several thousand dollars.

The big Community Center in that city was rented.

A fancy wedding reception would be held there.

A caterer was hired to provide all the food.

The wedding cake would cost close to $1,000.

Stephanie’s wedding dress cost nearly $4,000 dollars.

The dresses for the maid of honor and 6 bridesmaids

were also very expensive.

Fancy wedding invitations were printed up…

And mailed out to about 500 persons.

Airline tickets were bought and hotel accommodations made…

For a 7 day honeymoon in Hawaii.

Well, the day of the wedding finally arrived.

The church was loaded with people.

Some of the wedding guests had come from a long distance.

The wedding ceremony went off like clock work.

Everything went perfect!

Transition:

Jesus not only loves us…He wants to be married to us!

Point #2

When We Get Saved,

We Are Married To Christ

[5] For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

Listen to Romans 7: 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Jesus referred to Himself as the groom in Mark 2:19

And Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.

Listen how God’s Word tells us husbands to love our wives!

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Isaiah 54: [5] For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

[6] For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God.

Transition:

After the wedding at the reception,

Tony stood up and walked over to the microphone on the stage.

He said that he wanted to thank everyone for coming.

He especially wanted to thank Stephanie’s Mom & Dad

for this beautiful wedding.

Tony thanked everyone for bringing all those wedding gifts.

The gift tables were piled high with fancy wrapped gifts.

Then Tony paused.

Transition:

So…what kind of bride does Jesus want us to be?

POINT #3

Jesus Wants Us To Be Devoted To Him

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

We are the church when we get saved!

We are to live in submission to Jesus!

And listen to what being saved is supposed to be like!

Ephesians 3:17-19 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- [19] to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

After we get saved, does Jesus want us to be devoted to Him!

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

When I married Pat, I expected her to act like my wife!

Jesus expects us to act like His bride!

Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Some people think it doesn’t matter how we live.

They remind us what the Bible says in Ephesians 2: 8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, [9] not of works, lest anyone should boast.

But listen to Romans 6:1-2

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? [2] Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Romans 6:15

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Just as a groom expects his bride to walk down that aisle…

Dressed in the purity of white…

Jesus expects us to live a life of purity for Him.

Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

We are clothed in the purity of our righteous acts.

CLOSING

After an uncomfortable period of silence…

Tony announced that he wanted to give everyone a gift.

He said if they would look under the chair they were sitting in…

They would find something taped to the bottom.

He said this was his gift to everyone.

The silence was broken as people began to move their chairs…

And proceed to see what surprise Tony had arranged for them.

Suddenly, a lady near the back screamed.

You could hear others gasping in surprise.

Stephanie’s Mom fainted.

You could also hear several guys laughing.

What was it that was taped beneath everyone’s chair?

It was a picture.

This picture had been taken at a little motel in a nearby city.

Stephanie…the bride…

And Tony’s Best Man…Chuck…

Were holding hands.

And they were obviously entering a motel room.

Tony explained that he had suspicions about Stephanie and Chuck.

He had hired a private detective to trail them.

This is what the private detective found.

After a couple of minutes,

Tony turned and walked out.

What about us?

Have we been faithful to our groom…the Lord Jesus?

When we get saved…we become the bride of Christ!

Is it possible…that a sneaky private eye…

Could catch us being unfaithful to our Lord?

Are there things we do…

That we are so glad there are no pictures to prove our infidelity?