My Life as the Bride of Christ – part 2

In this series which I’ve titled “My Life as the Bride of Christ,” we’re going to look together at a few things that I believe make the marriage relationship unique and how our relationship with Christ is particularly special because we are His bride. (You can read Part 1 by clicking here)

#2. The marriage relationship is designed to be ‘til death do we part.

The Lord is described over and over again throughout scripture as steadfast and faithful, promising to NEVER leave us or forsake us.  His love toward us is eternal.  We were never designed “grow up and move out” like a child with their parents.

This is one reason I am so certain that we cannot lose our salvation and also one reason why I’m certain that God hates divorce.  When God places His seal upon us and fills us with His holy spirit, He will never break that covenant with us.  We are bound to Him eternally.

As Ephesians 5:31-32 says “’Therefore, a man shall leave [Greek: kataleipo – leave behind, to depart from, leave, forsake] his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.’  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”  Wow.

See, our children are designed to grow up and leave us, that they may become one flesh with their mate, and so are we to be ONE FLESH with Christ.  We are His bride, and He is our bridegroom.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US….  How does the fact that our relationship with Christ is eternal impact our lives?

We can demonstrate our love for Christ, by remaining certain of His love for us while we’re in the midst of trials.

I have been through some hard times in the last 23 years since I bowed my knee to Jesus, and I have been tempted countless times to doubt His love and power, and yet, God has proven Himself faithful to me over and over again.  By remaining faithful in my love toward Him, and certain of His love for me, I commit my life into His hands until my last breath.

Stay tuned for “Part Three: The marriage relationship is deeply intimate, close and personal...”

My Life as the Bride of Christ (a new series – part #1)

I recently had the opportunity to share this talk with my women’s study hour class at church.  When I read over my notes now, I am so disappointed that I didn’t record our conversations.  God showed up and took my meager offerings and multiplied them hundred-fold as the other women in the room shared their thoughts and questions.  It was a beautiful time.  I pray that God would once again take these meager offerings and multiply them in your own mind as you meditate on these truths.

In this series which I’ve titled “My Life as the Bride of Christ,” we’re going to look together at a few things that I believe make the marriage relationship unique and how our relationship with Christ is particularly special because we are His bride.#1. The marriage relationship is exclusive:

We can have a dozen coworkers, a dozen children and a dozen friends.  But we can only have ONE husband and He can only have ONE bride.  God will not share us with other gods and our husband will not share us with other men.

It is not enough for us to make God the biggest God in our life, or the best idol that we have.  He can’t be our “favorite” husband, the one who gets to share our house and our bed.  He wants to be our ONLY husband, our ONE thing.  He wants ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength, our everything.

As Hosea 1:2 reads, “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”

What had the Israelites done that made them whores, adulterers?  They had forsaken the Lord.  They had turned their back on Him and chased after false gods, idols.  They had given their allegiance to things OTHER than the one true God.  They were not loving Him with ALL their heart, soul, mind and strength.  God despises adultery of all forms, especially adultery toward Him.  God wants our whole heart.  He will not share His glory with another.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US….  How does the fact that The marriage relationship is exclusive impact our lives?

Well, for one, we can demonstrate our love for Christ, by being a good steward of all that He has entrusted to us: our time, talent, treasure and testimony,

  • by rising early in the morning to spend time with Him when we’d rather sleep in,
  • by using our gifts and talents to serve Him and His kingdom, rather than our own pursuits,
  • by using the possessions and money that He has given to us for His glory rather than selfish passions,
  • by speaking of His unfailing love to both strangers and friends, rather than turning a blind eye to their needs, or being ashamed of our “first love.”

We can demonstrate our love for Christ by giving Him our first and our best, rather than the scraps and leftovers.

Stay tuned for “Part Two: The marriage relationship is ‘til death do we part.” 

Sometimes you can’t understand until you’re there

Today my amazing husband turns 47 years old. Where have the years gone?

20th anniversary – 2004

As I’m aging, I’m beginning to see that though I look older on the outside (only a very, very little bit older), on the inside I’m really the same person — just a little more experienced and wiser, hopefully. (Thank You, Lord!) But as a young person I really couldn’t understand that, even if someone explained it in the simplest of terms.

There are some things you just can’t understand until you’re there. When my kids were little, I had older women tell me repeatedly to enjoy these years because children grow up so quickly. Well, I couldn’t understand. I didn’t think they were growing up quickly. I couldn’t wait for them to sleep through the night, to talk, to be potty trained, to read. And now it’s gone in a flash. Those women were right! Where did my babies go?

It’s like that when I’m trying to explain my faith walk to someone who doesn’t know God. How do I explain how real God is to me? How can I explain how scriptures jump off the page when I read them? How can I explain that I literally hear verses echoing inside my mind at just the moment when I need them? How can I explain that I hear a small, persistent voice calling to me, saying, “This is the way, walk in it”? How can I make someone see something that they can’t see? How can I explain to someone something that was once so foreign to me, too, but now is as normal as taking my next step or my next breath?

God is real. He’s real. He sees me and He knows me and He cares for me and about me. He is with me wherever I go and whatever I do. He walks with me and He talks with me. Though I cannot see Him, I know Him and He has made me His own. His love is as real to me as the air that I breathe. I wish everyone could know Him like that.  Praying.

TWIG

 

Dear Younger Me – audio

Over the weekend I had the incredible opportunity to share a full-length message based on my “Dear Younger Me” series at the MHEA Conference in Starkville MS.  I pray that others will be encouraged by both my successes and failures as a mom and for God to be glorified over all.

You are welcome to share this link and list of “nuggets” with others, but please do link it back here.

Ten Plus One Nuggets for My Younger Self

By Kim Endraske   www.TeachWhatIsGood.com

Nugget #1: “Trust the Lord”

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov 3:5-6)

Nugget #2: “Don’t Be Anxious”

“Let your reasonableness (NASB= gentle spirit) be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:5-6)

Nugget #3: “Hide God’s Word in Your Heart”

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Ps 119:11)

Nugget #4: “Respect Your Husband”

“Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

Nugget #5: “Number Your Days”

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)

Nugget #6: “Discipline Yourself”

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness, for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7b-8 NASB)

Nugget #7: “Brothers and Sisters Really Can be Best Friends”

“A brother is born for adversity.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

Nugget #8: “They’re Imitating You”

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Ephesians 4:31-5:1)

Nugget #9: “Don’t Give Up”

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  (Galatians 6:9)

Nugget #10: “Refuse to Discipline in Anger”

“Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”  (Romans 2:4)

Nugget #11: “Grace and More Grace”  

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.   For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”   (Ephesians 2:1-10)

God “saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)