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Family Life - Part Seven

Good Morning Family,

It's such a blessing to gather together here today
and to worship our Lord!

Heavenly Father,

We gather here today, and we ask that You would quicken the hearts of those who are dead in sin and transgression. We pray that they would be drawn in true repentance and by faith, and by hearing Your Gospel of truth they would come to know that Your Son, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
Father, we plead that You would remove the work of satan in all of our lives and open our eyes to see the light of the gospel and the glory of Jesus Christ.
Amen

Continuing our series on Family Life, today we'll be talking about Living Happily Ever After.

"The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Luke 18:27

Most of the classic children’s stories paints a picture of those who marry living “happily ever after.” Living in the real world, we know this does not always happen. Marriage is full of joy and sorrow, heartache and loss. But it is also full of the joy and wonder of a new life being placed in your care, and the peace of knowing you are fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for families.
Even though we know fables and myths do not have true-to-life endings, it is possible to live a rich, rewarding life in Jesus, when we put Him first, our partner next, in an attitude of service, and self last.

Fables are fanciful stories, and myths are tales made up to suit cultural changes and whims. However, there is a true and special story of what a marriage should be. We find this story in the pages of God’s book, the Holy Bible.

“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord."
Hosea 2:19-20

God's Love Story:

The love story of God and His bride, Israel, is not always about having fun and enjoying life. 
It talks of a loving and giving husband who gave Himself totally to the good of His wife,
Isaiah 54:5-6.
He protected and cared for her always, Exodus 23:20-33.
He did everything for her—providing for her every need and want—even giving her things she had never imagined, Exodus 3:8; Hosea 2:8-9.
He blessed her with gifts of every description and clothed her in the finest, Ezekiel 16:8-13.
He gave her houses she did not build and vineyards she did not plant, Deuteronomy 6:10-12.

She must have loved Him very much and served and sacrificed willingly for Him right? Wrong!

After all the blessings He bestowed upon her, she turned her back on Him, cursed His gifts, and left Him for someone else, Isaiah 57:8.
She did this over and over, and His heart was broken, Ezekiel 16:14-19.
Every time she got in trouble, she ran to Him for help. He forgave her and took her back
Judges 2:16-17.
As soon as things were going well again, she would run away with a different lover,
Judges 2:18-19.
This went on for many years. Finally, He put her away, Jeremiah 3:1, 6-8, but all the time He planned to bring her back, Deuteronomy 7:6-9.
When she was a slave, for sale on the auction block, He bought her back, Hosea 3:1-5; 1 Corinthians 6:20.

Where can you find this story in God’s Word? The entire Old Testament covers the same theme—God in a covenant relationship with Israel, Exodus 19:5, suffering through her idolatry and wickedness, but always loving her and bringing her back to Himself Jeremiah 31:3.
To get specific, go to the Book of Hosea and read what God said there through His prophet. chapters 4-14. Check out the kind of marriage Hosea had with Gomer, chapters 1-3 and see what God told Hosea it was all about.

According to “Introduction to Hosea”, an article in The Full Life Study Bible “The infidelity of Hosea’s wife is recorded as an illustration of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God.”
Gomer ran after other men—Israel ran after other gods.
Gomer committed physical harlotry—Israel committed spiritual harlotry.

See what God did when His chosen one sinned against Him? He forgave and restored her, always looking for the return of His beloved.  
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him. Hosea 14:4.

Israel was God’s chosen people. No matter what they did, God loved them and brought them back. Then, in the New Testament, He came to live among His people.

He came as one of us, not in pomp and ceremony, but as a tiny helpless baby boy, Matthew 1:23.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:1, 14.

He came to redeem and save from sins, 2 Samuel 7:23-24; Isaiah 53:6.
He left the glory and majesty of heaven and humbled Himself as a servant, Philippians 2:7-8.
He felt pain and hunger, saw suffering and death, Isaiah 53:4-5, 7.
He died willingly in our place because of His great love for us all, 1 John 3:16

Following God's Example: 

God has always had a plan for His chosen. His plan has always been beautiful and good, but man wants to do his own thing, following His own path. This selfishness began in the Garden of Eden and is continuing today. It is the cause of most problems, especially those in the family.

When we look at the picture of a marriage relationship in the Bible, we see over and over how one-sided it can be. It is like this because of selfishness, not because of the plan of God. God wants the best for His chosen ones. When they make wrong choices, follow their own path, and ignore His Word, they find themselves in terrible situations.

The picture of God and His bride is not all pleasant. We like to think of marriage as the picture-perfect story we sometimes tell our children. These stories usually do not show the selfishness that causes most of life’s problems. God’s Word gives us a clear picture of real life, and real life is often one-sided.

God did all the giving; His chosen one all the taking.
God sacrificed again and again, while His chosen one cared only for herself.
God forgave and restored, while His chosen one continued to live for her selfish pleasure.

This story would be discouraging if we did not see the final outcome. God not only shows us how to forgive again and again, Matthew 18:21-22, He also shows us the final picture.
There will come a day when Israel will be restored, Luke 1:68.
“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away"
Isaiah 51:11

God’s covenant with His chosen one is everlasting.
“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name”
Psalm 111:9

In closing....

God’s Word gives us the pattern to follow in a marriage. It tells us the way God intended marriage to be, a joyous and fulfilling union of one man and one woman until death separates them. 
God’s illustration of His relationship with His chosen one, Israel, is meant for men and women to look at and follow carefully.

It does not mean that one partner will always have to be the one who gives and gives and gives, seldom receiving anything in return. It does, however, mean that both partners have to be committed to one another and willing to also “give” instead of just “get.”
  
Marriage is an exercise daily in becoming and being unselfish.
Marriage is about sacrifice and centeredness, not self-centeredness. 

Here are a just few suggestions for ways to help make a life of joy and peace on earth and in your marriage more likely:
Turn to God in all situations.
Always pause and listen to His voice.
Do His will, not yours.
Obey His Word.
Follow God’s pattern in the choice of a mate.
Work with each other, not against.
Teach children and those under your leadership biblical principles regarding marriage.
As a reminder of God’s promise to be with us even when we fail, memorize and quote these verses daily.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

And now may the Lord bless and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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