As Christ Loved the Church

This past Sunday was a remarkable experience for me.  I had the privilege of addressing the men of Grace like never before.  The text was not unfamiliar. Eph 5, Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.

What does it mean to give your life for someone?  Jesus showed us.  And now we are completely different people because we are His.  He did something no husband will ever do, He paid for our sins and invited us to live the redeemed life with Him as our Provider and Protector, our Healer and our Savior.  He did this for us.

Then He commanded us to go out and love each other (John 13:34-35; Matt 22:39). In Eph 5, He puts and exclamation point on this love as He tells those that are married to give so much of themselves to that one other person.  If you listen to the sermon, you will notice there’s a section that wasn’t recorded as I spoke directly and passionately to the men of Grace to deal with the stuff that was holding them back from loving and leading like Jesus. One of Satan’s biggest ploys today is to make men believe that they can’t do what Jesus has designed and called them to do.

Thank you to the men of Grace who stood that morning. I’m still praying for you!  Whether you’re married or single, young or old, you as men have a role and a responsibility.  Let’s love others as Jesus so loved.

I realize I didn’t take the time to blog on this last week, but ladies you’ll be glad to know we covered Biblical Submission the week before from Eph 5.  Both of these sermons are game changers as we all submit to Christ to fulfill the role for which we’ve been designed.

The sermons from Grace are available on itunes and our website.

By this all will know…

Amazing passages:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35

When each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Eph 4:16

As the term ‘love’ floats around the next few days, I want to draw your attention to a beautifully biblical understanding of love.

Look, I’m married. I love my wife. I get that Valentines Day in fact brings another opportunity for me to put words, actions, flowers, dinner, and yep, even chocolate to showing my love for Laurie.  And yes, I realize it’s not all about that one day.  It’s all year, it’s all day everyday. I really do love my wife and we both work at our marriage and clearly see our own imperfections.

But the kind of love talked about in scripture is rarely about chocolate and flowers and overpriced, over-wordy cards (ok, ok, I do have issues!). The love in Scripture is all about giving.  True, the giving may show itself in the giving of gifts on a special holiday. I’m good with that. But PLEASE don’t limit it to that alone.

Jesus didn’t say the people all around us would know we are His because of our prosperity, the size of our amazing church facility, how we vote, how many times we go to church or how popular we are.  He said they would know we His by our LOVE for ONE ANOTHER! This love is not just words. It’s not merely telling everyone how much you love them.  It’s giving. Giving to meet their needs. Giving so they can grow. Giving of yourself to others.  This is biblical love, as in this is exactly what Jesus did for us. He gave where we couldn’t.

Then Paul tells us that this is exactly how the Body of Christ matures and grows, its as we love one another and give of ourselves to each other.

So, what is the Next Step for you?  Reread the verses above.  We don’t need a lot of explanation or ideas. We just need God’s Spirit to lead us, as He has in the Word and as He is right now as you’re considering this beautifully, biblical idea of loving one another.

Dating Again

Last week in a wedding I performed, I challenged the couple to continue to get to know each other. To know each other’s ‘stuff’. What makes you happy, what are you thinking about, how are you doing? Dudes, we have to work at that. And we should. You’re not a sissy if you talk from your heart and to your wife’s heart. You’re more of a man than the guy that won’t.

Last night we got to go out for dinner. We don’t do it a lot. I’m glad we don’t. But I love it when we get to. Going out for dinner is still a treat for us. We don’t have to go out, we have food in the fridge. But, after a great productive day, how nice it is to clean up, put on a shirt that doesn’t have a sports team logo and go out. Try going to a place that uses silverware and cloth napkins. Go out, spend a few dollars and look at each other. Listen to each other’s heart. Treat her like you did when you were trying to win her heart.

I’m not about to write a book about marriage or dating, or heart stuff. But, I’m in the game. I love my wife and I love spending time with her. Whether it’s at home or out on the date. Make it real you guys. Live in the moment with the one God has blessed you with.