Archive for November, 2017

Ravished

Ravished

So your God will rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5

This Thanksgiving I am most thankful for Cheryl, so last week I posted a picture on Facebook of Cheryl and me, updating the opening page for all to see us together.

Isn’t technology wonderful? It gave me the opportunity to show off my bride, to receive a lot of “likes,” and to bask in flattering but largely untrue comments. Jon, a great friend who lives out west, said, “You are both looking great! Time has done little to either of you!!!!” Four explanation marks? I appreciated his grace but wonder how his eyesight is these days—I am wrinkled around the edges and missing topside insulation. Mark wrote from North Carolina, “same two people I knew in college.” I told him he lied, but I do appreciate the intent of his words. Sherry, a local sister in Christ, caught Cheryl’s beauty and affection (she has her arm around me) and commented, “[I] see why John is always smiling. The beautiful lady beside him.” She is spot on. A trainload of folks “liked” the picture. Thanks everyone.

Pull up your Bible app on your monitor or phone to Isaiah. I so relished Isaiah 61-62 this week. In context, these chapters are a promising portrayal of God’s love and plan for Israel after the pronouncement of judgment upon her and the nations (gentiles) for their unbelief and idolatry. We participate in this feast of promises because the Apostle Paul said, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him [Jesus Christ] they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen…” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Great!

Isaiah wraps the promised future in terms of marriage. It is a familiar metaphor to New Testament readers (Ephesians 5) and so rich in application for marriage and all who follow Christ, including His unmarried followers. God is the bridegroom rejoicing over His bride—us. The Father assures us of everlasting joy, garments of salvation and garland, a crown of beauty and a royal diadem, the security of never being forsaken, and His delight in us. Go ahead and try to resist cross referencing Zephaniah 3:17…

Sometimes I forget how God’s past love through Christ to bring us salvation is active now and will find its ultimate display and consummation in the future He is preparing for us.

This brings me back to Cheryl and marriage. How thrilled is my heart to peek at the glory and love and promises of God in her. How privileged we all are to put the gospel and the glory of God on display before a needy and watching culture through our marriages and individual lives.

I can’t fully explain how rich my life is because of Cheryl—and richer nearly every day. But even greater still is the biblical picture of how the Father feels about us and how He will ravish us with His love when we are in His actual presence forever.

I can’t wait! Can you?

-john

The Rhea Herald News, November 22, 2017

 

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