Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Four Words

We just got back from our nephew's wedding in New Jersey. It was absolutely wonderful to see family and friends we had not seen in five years!! In a very real sense we felt we had gone home again. We were able to see folks from our former church in Northern New Jersey. It was so encouraging to hear and see how the "fruit" we had in our ministry there has remained and grown!
But, back to the title of this post... "Four Words". At Johnny and Jaclyn's wedding the pastor spoke to them (and allowed us to listen in) about four words necessary for their married life together.
1) Servanthood - the importance of serving each other, listening to and caring for each other as a servant does... as Jesus exemplified in His ministry. He took the form of a servant. He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for us!
2) Submission - mutual submission to each other as a way of showing love. We submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.
3) Forgiveness - this is so KEY! We are to forgive each other as God, in Christ, has forgiven us. No marriage (or relationship) can survive without forgiving each other, for big things as well as small.
4) Sacrifice - this goes right along with all the others. Jesus sacrificed His life for us. We need to sacrifice daily for Him and for each other. Sacrifice in small things is sometimes more difficult than the big things. How much better would all our relationships be if we would sacrifice for each other.

As I watched Johnny and Jaclyn exchange vows and enter a new phase of their lives and begin a new family unit I was reminded of my own marriage. I was also reminded of the church. What if, in the church we practiced these things with each other.... Servanthood, Submission, Forgiveness, Sacrifice. I don't see a lot of this right now but I am hoping for a renewal... a revival, if you will, in God's people.