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Summary: When we become comfortable and complacent in our relationship with Jesus, we need to stir up our passion to seek after Him anew.

IT’S A LOVE STORY #2: AWAKENING LOVE

INTRO TO THE SONG OF SONGS:

“The song of songs, which is Solomon's.” (Song 1:1, NKJV).

• Three names to this book: Song of Songs, Song of Solomon, Canticles (Latin for song).

• The Song of Solomon is a picture of a beautiful relationship between a husband and a wife, and it is also an allegory for our loving relationship with Jesus our Saviour.

INTRO TO TOPIC: Have you ever had times in your Christian walk where God seems far away?

“At certain times in life we feel the presence of God very tangibly. Our whole life seems touched by His presence and we freely enjoy being with Him. At other times, God seems to be distant or event absent… Why is this? Is it normal? Is it because we have done something wrong?” (Graham Cooke, Hiddenness & Manifestation).

PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Most challenging year in 21 years of ministry; Felt like giving up, challenge to feel the presence of God; sometimes felt like in a storm or fog, walking by faith.

Held onto one promise - "I will build my church" - hell will not prevail.

Bright spots here & there - worship practice one night with Ken's team. There is hope for YOU!

THE BIG IDEA: When we become comfortable and complacent in our relationship with Jesus, we need to stir up our passion to seek after Him anew.

I. SEEKING THE BELOVED:

“1 The Shulamite By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. 2 "I will rise now," I said, "And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love." I sought him, but I did not find him. 3 The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, "Have you seen the one I love?" 4 Scarcely had I passed by them, When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, Until I had brought him to the house of my mother, And into the chamber of her who conceived me. 5 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.” (Song 3:1-5, NKJV).

• This reminds me of the story of Jacob when he wrestled with the Lord:

• “And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob." And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:26-28).

• Do you have that much passion to encounter God? His Promise: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

II. COVENANT LOVE:

“Go forth, O daughters of Zion, And see King Solomon with the crown With which his mother crowned him On the day of his wedding, The day of the gladness of his heart.” (Song 3:11).

• “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 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.” (Rev. 19:7-8).

“1 The Beloved Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! 7 You are all fair, my love, And there is no spot in you. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions' dens, From the mountains of the leopards. 9 You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace.” (Song 4:1a,7-9).

• Chapter four is the beloved’s beautiful description of the bride.

• See how much Jesus loves us: “You have ravished My heart!”

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 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.” (Eph. 5:25-27).

• This shows us how important reading and obeying the Bible is.

• We are being made ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb!

III. AWAKENED LOVE:

“2 The Shulamite I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, "Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.” (Song 5:2).

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