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Summary: A sermon unpacking 1 Corinthians 13.

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WHAT TO DO BEFORE & AFTER I SAY, “I DO”.

Natalie and I just celebrated on this last Thursday, March 7, our 15th year wedding anniversary! I remember saying, “I do” like is was yesterday.

Even though 15 years is decent amount of years – I was on the other side of those 2 words, “I DO”, longer that I’ve been on this side of the words, “I DO”. BARELY. I was 22 when I got married! (some of you are doing the math and trying to figure out my age – I’m 37 you weirdos).

Our passage of scripture for our wedding was 1 Corinthians 13:

1 Corinthians 13 (LOVE CHAPTER)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Whether you are single, or you are married today – there are some rules for living - that will make you a happier single as well as a happier married. And that’s what I want to talk about today. What to do, before AND after I say, “I DO”.

The first point in your outline today is this:

1. DEDICATE MY LIFE AND RELATIONSHIP TO GOD.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4

When I first met Natalie, I was a music pastor. I did what pastor mike does (not nearly as well) – for a little church in Glendale, Arizona. I led the people in worship.

I was passionate for God! My focus was God…my friends loved God. I was delighting myself in the LORD.

I wasn’t out clubbing, going to bars or signing up for ChristianMingle.com. I was just loving God. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted a woman. But I wasn’t pursuing woman…I was pursuing God.

Then one day, as I’m leading worship in this small church…in walks this hot little mama and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. (How jacked up is that!? ) I’m supposed to be “leading worship and taking people into the holy of holies”…but there was this beautiful girl in the back just lifting her hands in the air, with her eyes clothes just worshiping God. MAN, THERE IS NOTHING MORE ATTRACTIVE THAN THAT!!!!! Well, okay, not to mention, she had really nice legs.

Like, as I am sining “amazing grace”…I’m thinking “amazing legs”…I told you!!!! That’s jacked up! I’m a jacked up, hot mess!

The only problem was…this girl didn’t even NOTICE ME! I, mean, I was on stage, FRONT AND CENTER, and she still didn’t even notice me! AND YOU KNOW WHAT…part of THAT is what I really LOVED about her. She, herself, was just pursuing God. Not a man. Not a husband. God. She was delighting herself in the LORD.

We would talk here and there, but nothing major. And about 6 months down the road from the first time I laid eyes on her…God started to put in all together.

I just seems like yesterday…our church used to feed the homeless every Saturday and I would always go…so I went up to Natalie and asked her if she would like to go feed the homeless with us!

How’s that for a pickup line! Hey baby, wanna go feed some homeless people!? I’ll pick you up at 8!

She said, “YES”!!!! Woohoo! I’m in business! We got our first date! Although she didn’t think it was a date – I DID!

It went so well and we had so much fun serving God together, that we did it 3 more Saturday’s in a row!!! 3 Dates!

Then we started to fall in love.

I encourage you today…married or single…the answer to a better single life and the answer to a better marriage – is to dedicate your life and relationship to God. Delight yourself in God. Pursue God. And He will give you the desires of your heart.

2. DEEPEN MY ROOTS IN CHRIST.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 (NTL)

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