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And Isaac loved her!

There is something so very pure, simple and beautiful about Gensis 24:67. Isaac saw Rebekah for the first time and the bible says he: “took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her” (KJV).

God’s love is an unconditional love; a love based in faith, not on anything the other does or does not do for us (1 Cor 13:1-13). God’s love never fails (1 Cor 13:8) and we are commanded to love with the God kind of love (John 13:34.

Marriage was God’s idea (Gen 2:24) and to be successful it must be done God’s way. In Ephesians 5:21 married couples are told to submit: “one to another in the fear of God”. This means to listen, communicate, submit, defer and agree in unselfish love. Husbands are to love their wives as Jesus loved the church and gave himself for her (Eph 5:25). Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph 5:28).

In an environment of harmony, the sacrificial love of her husband and mutual submission, the wife is to submit to her husband as head of the home (Eph 5:22).

God knew, that in all facets of life, we needed order and authority for his peace and fullness to be experienced. A marriage based on God’s love and with God at the center is a pure, beautiful, simple and successful thing (Eccl 4:12). 

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What are you Looking at?

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Psalm 121:1; KJV). Hebrews 12:2 tells us we should LOOK to Jesus because he is the beginning and the end of our faith. The meaning of: "LOOK" in that verse means giving Jesus our undivided attention.

In Numbers 21:5-9 we read about the Israelites who had been complaining to God and as a result God sent fiery serpents amongst them. However, Moses interceded on behalf of the people. God told Moses to hold up a bronze serpent and that if a serpent bitt anyone and they LOOKED at the bronze serpent, they would live.

In John 3:14 Jesus compared the raising of the bronze serpent to his being lifted up on the cross. If we LOOK to Jesus (with believing eyes) then we are delivered from spiritual death. Plus, if we look on Jesus with the eyes of faith he will deliver us from all the works of the devil.

Jesus also had to look to God in his life; John 5:19-21 reveals that Jesus could only do what He SAW the Father doing - all the more reason for us to keep our eyes on him from whom our help comes.

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Are You Ready?

In the Bible we are told to be prepared for the coming of Jesus (Mark 13:33, Matt 24:42, Luke 21:34 and 1 Thess 5:6). The story of the 5 virgins in Matthew chapter 25, is also a reminder that we should be ready because Jesus could come when we are not expecting him. In fact, everything the Bible has to say about the rapture is that it will happen suddenly: "in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor 15:52), when we least expect it. Revelation 1:7 confirms that Jesus will definitely be coming back.

I don't believe there has been very much preaching about the Lord's return in our churches, but none the less in the scriptures, we are definitely advised to be ready. I believe this means we should be thinking about it, anticipating it and excited about it. Watching for the Lord's return doesn't mean neglecting our earthly duties or guessing what date it will be, because we are told that only the Father knows that (Mark 13:32). We need to be busy about the Father's business as we wait.

The Bible doesn't tell us a whole lot about what heaven will be like but we do know this, there will be non-stop worship (Rev. 4:8), there will be no more pain and sorrow (Rev. 21:4), we will enjoy the fountain of the water of life (Rev. 21:6) and we will have unbroken fellowship with God (Rev. 21:3). Now that is cause for excitement.

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Order Brings Abundance and Peace

God has placed clear order and authority in our lives and it is for our benefit. In the Old Testament there were judges, prophets and kings. Through Moses father in law, Jethro, God created a whole hierarchy of leadership to judge and govern Israel (Ex 18:13-26).

We are commanded to submit to governing authorities and to pray for them (1Tim 2:1) that: “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life” (1Tim 2:2; KJV). This would involve obeying the laws of the land, including traffic speed limits; ouch! Within the church we are also to submit to and obey those leaders who walk in the love and wisdom of God. (Heb 13:17). In fact, we are to honor leaders and make their work easy, as they represent God (1Tim 5:17; Heb 13:17). Our leaders watch over us and they will answer to God for the job they do (Heb 13:17).  

In the marriage relationship, although there is to be mutual submission (Eph 5:21), the godly husband is to be the head as Christ is head of the church (Eph 5:22-33). Children are to obey their parents: “Children obey your parents---that it may be well with thee---” (Eph 6:1-3).

Order, discipline and submission were not put in place by God to limit us but to ensure our freedom, protection, prosperity and peace. When we do things God’s way, we can enjoy the abundant life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). Try it, I guarantee that it works.

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To Know Him

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection" (Phil 3:10a KJV). Is this your heart cry? That we might know Jesus, be like him and be empowered to walk and minister as he did. Paul, in his letter to the Phillippians went on to say that he had not arrived yet but he put the past behind him and pressed on to grasp what Christ had for him (Phil 3:12-14). There was nothing casual about his quest but a sense of urgent, earnest pursuit; this pressing was serious business.

In Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 1, Paul said, let's move on from the basics of our Christian walk and aim for maturity (Heb 6:1). How many Christians have a form of godliness but lack the power (2 Tim 3:5)? If we all sought after God as Paul did we would be transformed, growing in godliness and holiness and more like Christ each day.

If we want the power to change, the power to impact our world and fill it with his love and peace we need to press in as Paul did. Signs, miracles and wonders should follow the "Acts of the Apostles" church. This is the kind of church we should all be a part of; the "normal church".

We need to take our cue from the early church, immersing ourselves in the word, prayer, fellowship and unity; directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42). Our hearts should throb with Paul's heart cry, "that I might know him"; that we may be emptied of self and be filled with him (John 12:24-25; Eph 3:19). These are the people, this is the church that will shake our world and the principalities of darkness (Eph 3:10).

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