The Sweet Christian Bride

Thought for the Week: Titus 3:3-7

by admin on July 15, 2012 in Faith, Thought for the Week with No Comments

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

Salvation staggers me.  That God would save us when we were wretched truly astounds me.  He must know something about us that we don’t.  He must truly love us to lavish us with His mercy and renew us by His Spirit at the cost of His Son to include us in His inheritance.  There is not one piece of that gift that any one of us intrinsically deserves.  We are made worthy by the blood of Christ, but we are not inherently deserving of that gift.  The difference sounds like semantics, but it is the very foundation of the perspective by which we live our lives.

We believe we deserve a lot of things.  Being a bride can heat up our defenses causing those entitlements to emerge like steam extracting oil from a porous face.  No one wants to tell a bride she doesn’t deserve the desires of her heart, not even me.  So I challenge you to let God search your heart.  Let Him show you if you are demanding something in a way that is idolatrous such that your own desires are elevated above God’s glory.

Do you believe that you deserve a very expensive gown?  A sunny day?  Exactly the guests whom you desire to invite?  A flawless program?  Perfection from your vendors? A blissful marriage?  Not one of us deserves any of those things, although we can hope for them and pray for them.  The difference comes in how tightly we grip our hopes.  Have they become expectations rooted in entitlement or are they goals that we desire secondary to God’s glory?  If we aren’t sure, we can find out by assessing our reactions to disappointments.  Are we resentful or are we sad?  Those emotions have different roots and different spans. Resentment comes from entitlement and lasts a long time.  Sadness comes from hope deferred and lasts through the grieving process, which is natural and healthy.

Lord Jesus, King of Kings, I am truly and utterly selfish.  I want the best things for myself.  I do believe, to one degree or another, that I deserve them because of who I am and what I’ve worked for.  Forgive me that I elevate my own desires above Your will.  I don’t always see it, and when I do, it’s often too tender a sin to acknowledge.  Have mercy on me and grant me Your grace so that I may bask in the glory of the Lord no matter how the details of my wedding and marriage turn out.  To God be the glory forever and ever!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Lindsay

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