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The Father arranged a bride for Christ the Son. Christ came and sacrificially secured that bride by laying down His life for her. The church is naturally called to be solely devoted to Jesus Christ who gave His life for her.
1) Affection for Christ
Marital commitment is two way. The groom desires, chooses and makes a life-long commitment to the bride, his wife. She too is won by his attention and love. The bride responds to her husband by saying, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:30).
Just as a bride is given to her bridegroom, her husband, so has a Christian given himself to Christ when he became a Christian. This love for God and Christ is called our ‘first love.’ It can wear off just like in any romance. The Lord spoke against the church of Ephesus, “You have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). We must respond to Christ’s constant love by maintaining our loyalty to love Christ and His word.
2) Attentiveness to Christ and His Work
The devotion of a wife must always translate itself into attentiveness, the ability and willingness to tend to the needs of another.
Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty. (Psalm 45:10-11).
In the above verse, the bride is given four suggestions for maximizing her marriage. The first three were to call her to take the advice! Underline these three commands. The actual advice (the fourth item) told her to forget her father’s house. She might get lonely or long for the ‘good old days,’ but then she would be focusing on her own needs rather than her husband’s. Her responsibility now is to serve the needs of her new husband. Below, write down the result of what happens when the bride is rightly focused.
Reflection: A good Christian friend from another country once visited us during a barbecue with his Christian student group. He was one of the advisors. He asked me, “Why is it that so few people come around and volunteer to help?” There was no easy answer. There were a number of ‘obvious’ needs but no one asked if they could help. They were not focusing on the needs of others. He was just the opposite. He was very attentive to the needs of the church. Wherever there was a need, he would pitch in and help even at great sacrifice of sleep and time.
Application: Can you remember your zeal for the Lord when you first believed? Do you remember talking to others about Christ? Did you spend extra time in His Word? Didn’t you joyfully go out of your way to help others?
What about now? Pray that the Lord would give you a love that surpasses how you loved Him in the past.
A strategic basic discipleship series designed to help Christians grow not only in their relationship with God but also with other people. Each section uses a familiar relationship to bring out basic but very practical Biblical teaching.
We highly recommend getting the BFF Discipleship #1 Digital Library which not only includes the Relationship Discipleship book, but slides, summaries, user guide, teacher's reference, etc. This D#1 Library also contains all our other Christian training resources for new believers.
These Christian media-enriched resources can also be purchased in the BFF Resource Center.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988