Sunday, April 21, 2013
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Jenn and I have been married for 640 days now. We came into the marriage with a passion for Christ, his Gospel, and his Church. We understood that marriage was created and instituted by God to show the marvelous mystery of the Gospel to the world. In fact, we understood that our sole purpose in the marriage was the glory of God alone. As I was counting the days we have been in union together I asked myself, "How well have we done at glorifying our great God in our marriage?" We have passionately shepherded and loved those we oversee. We have served our community by pouring ourselves out for them. We have learned to communicate in ways that help keep unity in our marriage when the enemy whispers lies of deceit. Above all we have relentlessly pursued one another with grace and love.
But you see, the question still lingered in my mind, "Have we glorified our God with our marriage?" Yes, we love each other massively but has our God been glorified? To help answer this question I want to look at John 2:1-12. In the first sign in John's Gospel, we have a wedding party that runs out of wine. Now, in this context it was the bridegroom's responsibility to provide the wine. Imagine all your family and friends who have traveled to come be a part of this extravagant affair. Imagine in the middle of the celebration when you realize the wine is out. What will people think?
Jesus comes to the rescue and turns six stone jars full of water, holding 20-30 gallons each, into the finest wine. Imagine the shock the bridegroom would be feeling. Would he be thankful? Of course! Yet, does he glorify God in such a miraculous sign? Nope. If we look at v.9-10 the master comes and praises the bridegroom for saving the best wine for last and the bridegroom doesn't say a thing, at least as far as John records.
The point of this text is that Jesus is showing his first sign. The first sign the King shows to the world is at a wedding, has to do with wine, and is about our joy. When we realize our God is for our joy, we can glorify him. The sign was not the end purpose though, every sign in John's Gospel points to a reality. The reality this is meant to show us is that the stone jars that were used for ritual cleansing are filled with wine. This is ultimately pointing to the true cleansing which is by Christ's blood, not ritual washing. The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34) is about bridegrooms like this and like me who are about their own glory, being washed in the blood of the True Bridegroom Jesus Christ. When we have been cleansed by his relentless love, we then can be about manifesting his glory (v.12) and not our own.
So, have Jenn and I glorified God with our marriage? I believe yes and no. When I do things out of selfishness while using Jesus as a way to coerce Jenn into "Godly behavior" of course not. But when we are honest about our sin, confessing them to one another and God, and ultimately reminding one another of the Gospel we can then point at his grace and give him the glory. I can say one thing with all assurance, I adore my wife like no other. She often has my attention more than my Savior does. Her beauty, her love for me, her being a place of safety, the list can go on and on. My beloved bride often is where all my attention and desires rest. Yet, it is in the times where I realize that if I love her as much as I do than God's love for his children is far too large for me to comprehend. It is when I realize that he loves her far more, is pursuing her perfectly, and that he will one day stand at the wedding feast and present her as a perfect spotless bride that I will stand in gratitude and glorify him for loving her better than I ever could.
Thank you King Jesus for being the perfect husband. Thank you God for giving me a wife I adore and showing me that your love for us is an unleashed beast that will transform us into the image of your Son. I praise you and glorify you when I look into the beautiful green eyes of my bride and know that you will one day look into our eyes and welcome us into the New Heavens and New Earth. Thank you Lord for taking the sins of your people upon your body and cleansing us. Thank you for rising from the dead to proclaim your victory over your bride. Until the wedding feast my King teach us how to glorify you.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
David Powlison, Seeing with New Eyes (pg. 132-40)
1. What do you love? Hate?
2. What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey?
3. What do you seek, aim for, and pursue?
4. Where do you bank your hopes?
5. What do you fear? What do you not want? What do you tend to worry about?
6. What do you feel like doing?
7. What do you think you need? What are your 'felt needs'?
8. What are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish?
9. What makes you tick? What sun does your planet revolve around? What do you organize your life around?
10. Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, security?
11. What or whom do you trust?
12. Whose performance matters? On whose shoulders does the well-being of your world rest? Who can make it better, make it work, make it safe, make it successful?
13. Whom must you please? Whose opinion of you counts? From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection? Whose value system do you measure yourself against? In whose eyes are you living? Whose love and approval do you need?
14. Who are your role models? What kind of person do you think you ought to be or want to be?
15. On your deathbed, what would sum up your life as worthwhile? What gives your life meaning?
16. How do you define and weigh success and failure, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, in any particular situation?
17. What would make you feel rich, secure, prosperous? What must you get to make life sing?
18. What would bring you the greatest pleasure, happiness, and delight? The greatest pain or misery?
19. Whose coming into political power would make everything better? 20. Whose victory or success would make your life happy? How do you define victory and success? 21. What do you see as your rights? What do you feel entitled to?22. In what situations do you feel pressured or tense? Confident and relaxed? When you are pressured, where do you turn? What do you think about? What are your escapes? What do you escape from?
23. What do you want to get out of life? What payoff do you seek out of the things you do?
24. What do you pray for?
25. What do you think about most often? What preoccupies or obsesses you? In the morning, to what does your mind drift instinctively?
26. What do you talk about? What is important to you? What attitudes do you communicate?
27. How do you spend your time? What are your priorities?
28. What are your characteristic fantasies, either pleasurable or fearful? Daydreams? What do your night dreams revolve around?
29. What are the functional beliefs that control how you interpret your life and determine how you act?
30. What are your idols and false gods? In what do you place your trust, or set your hopes? What do you turn to or seek? Where do you take refuge?
31. How do you live for yourself?
32. How do you live as a slave of the devil?
33. How do you implicitly say, “If only...” (to get what you want, avoid what you don't want, keep what you have)?
34. What instinctively seems and feels right to you? What are your opinions, the things you feel true?
35. Where do you find your identity? How do you define who you are?
Other helpful sources:
Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Counterfeit gods by Tim Keller
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
"Let us suppose, in the manner of some romances, that a king was betrothed to a beautiful wife, whose picture was sent to him before he himself saw her. But when she set out on her journey to him, she fell sick of some loathsome disease, such as the smallpox or leprosy.
But suppose that he knew before she came to him that she should be restored to her first primitive beauty, and that even though he knew he would be troubled by her disaster, distemper, or disease, he easily quieted himself for that little space of time in which her infirmity, though greatly disfiguring her, was to continue. For he himself would be her physician, the only one who could cure her and restore her to her first perfect beauty, which he know he could and should do. Thus he would show all love and peace toward her, even though her disease was loathsome, in full hope of her recovery.
This is the case between Christ and the church."