Word for Word 2/19/20

Pastor Steve Oden
Pastor Steve Oden

A True Fairy Tale

This time of year seems to be a time when “love is in the air,” and lots of people intentionally acknowledge and express their love and affection for those they love and care about the most, often with cards, expressive words, chocolates, flowers and going out to eat!  But there is a love affair so intense, even beyond our wildest imagination, that is probably, for most people, overlooked.

It’s the greatest love story of all time - far surpassing any love story between a man and woman. It’s a story about a Son of Man who loved his future bride so much that he willingly suffered an excruciating death to rescue her from a fiery abyss of torment to which there’d be no end.  He was her knight in shining armor. In fact, one day the heaven will rip open and he will come back riding on a white horse to get his beloved bride and take her home.  And they shall live happily ever after… forever.

You see, the above story is true, and it affects every one of us. “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.” The joy that was set before Him was that Jesus saw beyond the cross to a great company of men, women and children down through the ages who would receive His loving sacrificial death, thereby becoming His Bride. He is the great Bridegroom, and He will return one day soon to receive His blood - bought Bride. The marriage supper is being prepared!

A loving, healthy and happy marriage is the closest picture we have on this earth that remotely comes close to depicting the relationship between Jesus and His Bride, those who have been rescued back to God. The Bible says God is love.  He’s not loving - He is love! God loves you… intensely loves you. There is a line in a song we sing at church that reads, “You (God) can love us more in a moment, than other lovers could in a lifetime.” One touch of God’s love can change everything; you cannot encounter God’s love and remain the same.  There is not a more powerful force in the universe than the love of God. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for His friends.” Jesus did this for you and me.

God loves you but you must personally respond to this great love. Jesus wants a relationship with you. God has sent mankind His love letter - it’s called the Bible. In the great love book, the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament, God says this to us about His love. Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave. Its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.” God invites you to encounter His fiery love today.

Pastor Steve Oden
New Life Christian Church
Waukon

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