Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How’s your "ever-after" going? Well, maybe not so good, because it turns out that there are a lot of bumps on the road to ever after. But here is some great news: God wants to help your family!

Part 1: Good Medicine for Your Marriage

(Series: Heavenly Help for Your Family)

Revelation 2:1-7

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - June 11, 2006

*Most everybody knows the closing words to those old childhood fairy tales: “And they lived happily ever after.”

*How’s your "ever-after" going? Well, maybe not so good, because it turns out that there are a lot of bumps on the road to ever after. And the devil is lurking around trying to do every thing he can to hurt your family.

*But here is some great news: God wants to help your family! And if you are married, God wants you to have a happy marriage! So let’s look into the Word of God this morning and see what to do.

1. First of all, receive God’s guidance.

*The Lord tells us to do this down in vs. 7, where He says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We need to listen to what the Lord has to say to us, and thank the Lord that God is willing to speak to us!

*He speaks to us most clearly by His Word. He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, and He speaks to us through the things all around us. As Ps 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

*God also speaks to us through our relationships. He uses human relationships to help us understand Heavenly relationships. Friendship is an example because we know what it means to have a trusted friend: Someone we enjoy being with, someone we can depend on, someone who cares for us.

*We understand friendship -- And then in Prov 18:24, we hear God speaking of Himself as a friend who sticks closer than a brother. And in John 15:13, we hear Jesus say, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” God uses human friendships to help us understand that He wants to be our Best Friend.

*Marriage is another example of God speaking through relationships. The Bible tells us that Christ is the Bridegroom and the church is the bride of Christ. So all of the love, trust and companionship of the best marriage is a taste of the relationship that God wants to have with me and you.

*God uses human relationships to help us understand Heavenly relationships, but the reverse is also true. For example, we husbands are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. In these verses, the Bride of Christ in Ephesus has grown cold in their love for Jesus. And the Lord is speaking to all Christians here, but if we will listen and apply these truths to our marriages, we will also have happier homes.

2. So receive God’s guidance. Then remember where you were. (1)

*The Lord tells us this in vs. 4&5, when He says, “You have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen.”

*“You have left your first love,” Jesus said. The word picture here is a definite and sad departure. It can mean sending someone away, like a husband divorcing his wife and sending her away.

*We do tend to leave our first love -- Both in our relationship with Christ and our relationship with our mate. The fire grows cold, and problems do arise. But I like what Kent Crockett once said about problems in marriage:

“Let’s suppose that everyone on this planet is an absolutely identical clone of you. You all have the same preferences and opinions. Everyone thinks the same. Each individual sees from your viewpoint.

Now imagine—hypothetically, of course—that you are married to you. Would you have a perfect marriage? Would you ever argue with yourself? What if you both wanted the last piece of chicken? Suppose neither of you wanted to take out the trash. What if you were both in bad moods?

Yes, you would still have arguments with yourself if you were married to you. You would find out how difficult it can be to live with yourself. You might even ask yourself for a divorce!” (2)

*Of course we will have problems and disagreements over the life of our marriage. But the Lord says remember your first love. Keep on remembering how good it was at first.

*I think of Adam. Do you think Adam was happy the first time he saw Eve? Yeah! Remember Adam’s situation in Genesis 2. He had a great home -- Not like the Garden of Eden -- It was the Garden of Eden!

*Adam had a great job: Taking care of the Garden and all of the animals. His health was good; no bills to pay! He had a great relationship with God. Adam walked with the Lord in the cool of the day. It seems like everything is great, but in Genesis 2 the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (Gen 2:18, 21&22)

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