Happy 4th!

This was supposed to have been published last week.  Great song with great lyrics.

Published in: on 11 July 2011 at 07:57  Leave a Comment  
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I Do. (or at least I did.)

I really don’t like weddings.  In fact, I have only been to one wedding since my own and that was just a few weeks ago.  A close friend of mine was giving his only daughter away and I wanted to see it.  He also gave the charge.  As he challenged his daughter and soon-to-be-son, I found myself thinking about how well (or poorly) I have kept my own vows and lived up to the charge given to me and my bride.  Read through my friend’s charge and then take a night this week to watch your wedding video with your wife.  If you don’t have a video of it, look over some pictures and relive it together.  And then take some time to pray for a renewed and continued commitment to each other.  In the least, be challenged by my friend’s challenge to his own daughter and future husband:

This is your wedding day.  It’s just a day! Special?  Yes!  But still it is just one day – a beginning.  What lies ahead is your marriage – and that will be a lifetime.

Both of you have placed your faith in Christ.  You are confidently relying upon Him alone for your eternal destiny and security.  The Gospel has broken into your lives and there is the evidence of God’s Spirit working within you as you both continue to grow in grace and in your love for Christ.

You have trusted the truth of the Gospel to save you.  However, as you have heard said repeatedly by me and many others, the Gospel is not just for salvation – it affects every aspect of your life as you grow in your relationship with Christ.  And the Gospel is foundational to the success of your marriage.  The Gospel is God’s power for salvation.  But it is also His power for life.  And it is the power you need for a marriage that will honor Him and display His character.

If your marriage is going to thrive – if it is going to bring to you the kind of satisfaction and joy that you are anticipating, then it must be grounded in Gospel Truth.

Both of you are sinners – redeemed – yes, but still sinners.  Trust me — There will be a multitude of opportunities for each of you to extend to the other the same grace and mercy that God has lavished upon you in Christ.  None of us deserve this forgiveness. We can’t earn it.  We can’t be good enough to deserve it.  But God’s divine plan motivated Him to pour out His just and furious wrath for our sin upon Jesus.  And Jesus willingly bore that wrath for us so that we might have this wonderful gift that we call salvation. – what grace – what mercy – unmerited – underserved – immeasurable.  It is indeed in every sense of the word —  amazing!

Throughout the rest of your lives together, there will be times when you sin against each other – sometimes in small ways – sometimes in great ways. At that those times, remember God’s mercy to you. Remember what Jesus suffered in order to provide you with the forgiveness and righteous standing before God that you now freely enjoy.

Both of you need to be quick to seek forgiveness from the other.  And you need to be just as quick to distribute that same grace and mercy to each other as well.  Because that is what God has done, and continues to do, for you both for the sake of Christ.

The only way that you will find fulfillment and joy in your marriage is as you first find your fulfillment and joy in Christ.  Christ must be your all in all.

I have often told you, and I tell you again today before these witnesses – if each of you expects the other to make you happy and complete, then you are placing a burden on each other that neither of you can bear.  And such misplaced demands will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

You must find your contentment first and only in Christ.  Then, as you both are finding your delight in Him, you will find great fulfillment in this beautiful picture of Christ’s love for His people that we call – marriage.

Please know that we love you both deeply, and we pray that the truth of The Gospel will be reflected in your relationship with each other for rest of your lives.

Pass the hankie.

Published in: on 6 December 2010 at 08:45  Leave a Comment  
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