Sermon - eternally married?
- There is a statement used to describe marriage that I really don’t like.
- This isn’t a message describing divorce, but one of a marriage that is like the
marriage between the church & Christ.
- The notion is why don’t you let yourself go, you’ve already got the girl.
- With that comes the idea that, I don’t care what she thinks now, she’s stuck with
- That’s not the picture for the bride of Christ, & it’s not the picture for spouses
- Yes, our marriage vow says, till death do we part.
- Ruth Graham joked, I’ve never considered divorce. Murder, yes, but not
- When the idea of marriage is brought down to, oh she’s stuck with me now. That idea
robs the marriage of the intimacy, the closeness you’re supposed to have.
- Let’s read part of Paul’s letter to Ephesus concerning husbands now.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
- The Words Love your wife as you love yourself.
- Let’s put it, Love Christ, the one in whom we are engaged to, as yourself.
Q- Do we show as much care for Christ as we do our own bodies?
> The Woman of His Dreams. - (www. Jokes.christians unite.com)
young man called his mother and announced excitedly that he had just met the woman of his dreams. Now what should he do?
His mother had an idea: "Why don't you send her flowers, and on the card invite her to your place for a home-cooked meal?"
He thought this was a great strategy and arranged a date for a week later. His mother called the day after the big date to see how things had gone.
"The evening was a disaster," he moaned.
"Why, didn't she come over?" asked his mother.
"Oh, she came over, but she refused to cook."
- Christ committed Himself to the church!
- Jesus gave over & above what any person deserves.
- Christ wanted the very best for His bride, to be completely acceptable in the beloved.
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
- There is no doubt that Jesus is beloved by Father God.
- In marriage, two become one.
- Jesus shows the unity, the bond between us. There is no void between us.
- The perfection, & righteousness, of Christ is seen on us, by Father God!
- In this marriage He gave us a family.
- He unified us to increase & grow the family.
Q- We always hear the words, be fruitful & multiply, but do we understand them?
- Having children is a clear understanding of that statement.
- Just as more people accepting Jesus as Savior is to growing the family.
Q- Did you know one of the leading causes of divorce is having children?
- Now, here’s the thing, multiplying is the latter part of that command.
- God first said in marriage be fruitful.
Q- Be fruitful in what?
- Be fruitful in your marriage, make it grow!
Q- Why do you hear so much about celebrity divorces?
- It’s because as soon as there’s one thing they don’t like about their spouse,
- That’s not being fruitful.
Q- How many of us cut out their rose bush because it has thorns, or their apple trees
because they attract bees?
- Not very many do that, because they learn to cultivate around, or deal with the
things they don’t like.
- Often Times you see barriers set up around a rose bush, so no one gets hurt.
- God’s direction for the Church is to be fruitful in growing to be Christ’s bride.
- Listen to the day the bride is revealed, in all her perfection.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
- The beauty of her fruitfulness is seen in her garment/gown. The righteousness of the
saints, that’s her works/fruit.
- There’s never a time in marriage, in the church, that we ever stop working to draw
closer to the one we love.
- Our outreach is one where our love for God spills over to reach every person
with the same kind of self love that we show ourselves & Christ.
- This morning’s message is one for commitment in this Holy Union, we the church, are
- Let’s not get cozy with saying, well He’s stuck with me now.
> God’s love and a German soldier (Source: Moltmann’s writings. Quotes from The Source of Life.The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life. Fortress Press 1977)
It was 1945, World War II had drawn to a close, and a young man sat broken inside a POW camp. He had been a reluctant soldier in Hitler’s army and here, inside a prison in Scotland, he had months to contemplate what had been and what was to come. The cities of his homeland had been reduced to rubble and the people impoverished. His sleep was filled with repeating nightmares in which the terrors of warfare were lived over and over.
And then came what was for me the worst of all. In September 1945, in camp 22 in Scotland, we were confronted with pictures of Belsen and Auschwitz. They were pinned up in one of the huts, without comment… Slowly and inexorably the truth filtered into our awareness, and we saw ourselves mirrored in the eyes of the Nazi victims. Was this what we had fought for? Had my generation, as the last, been driven to our deaths so that the concentration camp murderers could go on killing, and Hitler could live a few months longer?… The depression over the wartime destruction and a captivity without any apparent end was exacerbated by feelings of profound shame and having to share in this disgrace. That was undoubtedly the hardest thing, a stranglehold that choked us.
An unshakeable shame saturated his being and the only future he could see stretching out before him was one that filled him with despair. Yet it was in the midst of this shame and despair that God found him. A visiting chaplain gave the soldier a Bible and, with little else to do, he began reading it. In the lament Psalms he heard resonant voices, the agony of people who felt God had abandoned them. In the story of Christ crucified he encountered a God who knew what it was to experience suffering, abandonment, and shame. Feeling utterly forsaken himself, the German soldier found a friend in the One who cried “my God my God why have you forsaken me”.
In 1947 he was given permission to attend a Christian conference that brought together young people from across the world. The Dutch participants asked to meet with the German POWs who had fought in the Netherlands. The young soldier was one of them. He went to the meeting full of fear, guilt and shame, feelings that intensified as the Dutch Christians spoke of the pain Hitler and his allies had inflicted, of the dread the Gestapo bred in their hearts, of the family and friends they had lost, of the disruption and damage to their communities. Yet the Dutch Christians didn’t speak out of a spirit of vindictiveness, but came to offer forgiveness. It was completely unexpected. These Dutch Christians embodied the love the German soldier had read about in the story of Christ and it turned his life upside down. He discovered despite all that had passed “God looked on us with ‘the shining eyes’ of his eternal joy”, that there was hope for the future.
That German soldier was Juergen Moltmann, who would go on to become one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. Years later, with the message of the loving, crucified God still indelibly printed on his heart, he penned these beautiful words.
But the ultimate reason for our hope is not to be found at all in what we want, wish for and wait for; the ultimate reason is that we are wanted and wished for and waited for. What is it that awaits us? Does anything await us at all, or are we alone? Whenever we base our hope on trust in the divine mystery, we feel deep down in our hearts: there is someone who is waiting for you, who is hoping for you, who believes in you. We are waited for as the prodigal son in the parable is waited for by his father. We are accepted and received, as a mother takes her children into her arms and comforts them. God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.
Source: Moltmann’s writings. Quotes from The Source of Life.The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life. Fortress Press 1977
- Now Imagine The Love Jesus has for us. He’s watched us, & waited for us, & died for
- You are worth it!
- If you’re worth it, then He is worthy of all our praise
- Let’s go Now & praise Him!