What a joyous occasion when we celebrated Hannah’s wedding to Matt. Thank you all for celebrating with us and for blessing the two of them with your prayers, gifts and encouragement.
The picture painted by the ceremony reminds us all that we, the Church, have a Bridegroom whose name is Jesus. He pursued us and purchased our freedom from the slavery of sin and made us free. Though He loved us and sought us, we had been spoken for by sin. Our captivity made it so that we could not join with Him. Sin owned the claim on us. So Jesus paid the price that was demanded – His death on the cross. The ransom has been paid.
His love didn’t stop at the cross. Jesus rose again from the grave and in doing so He conquered sin itself. We do not return to our former captivity. We are spoken for by Jesus who is the Bridegroom. Those who have been saved walk through this world with an engagement ring on our finger so let us remain faithful. Jesus, in His own words said that He is preparing a place for us and one day he will return. Our wedding day approaches. The down payment on the angel band has been made! The feast is cooking and I can almost smell the aroma! Our heavenly Father, himself will walk us down the aisle and present us!
As much as we enjoyed the wedding day of our beautiful daughter, Melanie and I longingly await the day when we, as His church, will be presented to Christ the Bridegroom.
The last thing we want to do as people of God is to take for granted the gifts and blessings that He has poured out on us. But how often do we demonstrate an attitude of entitlement when it comes to God’s providence. How often do we compare what we have to what our neighbor has and wonder why God hasn’t blessed us more? Do we declare it “not fair” if something doesn’t go our way or we experience loss?
When God has poured out immeasurable blessings on us and we fold our arms and frown because we think we deserve more, we are tempted to doubt His generosity, when we should, instead, acknowledge our own selfishness. If the unlimited providence of God can’t keep up with my appetite for more, then the problem is me. A few weeks ago, Joe shared from 1 Timothy 6. Paul instructed Timothy to “tell those who are rich in this present world”(v 17) “to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (v 18)
Let me be somewhat transparent. When I fail at generosity – when I withhold rather than share, I sometimes fight against the unthankful thought that “I don’t have enough yet, therefore I can’t share.” As we examine what the true demonstration of thanksgiving will look like in our own lives, let us also consider that thanksgiving should sometimes look like repentance. There is a time for us to repent from the sin of taking God’s blessings for granted, to repent from a failure to be generous, to repent from an attitude of selfishness which makes us wonder “Why didn’t God give me more?” I can’t say whether or not it is time for you to repent of such things, but it might be. I know I will be taking a close examination of my own state of thankfulness.