I don’t know if you know this, but I got married in October of 2022. I love my husband dearly and, even though we’ve had our ups and downs, I would marry him all over again. Marriage is a big deal in the kingdom of God and we, the church, are considered the bride of Christ (Matthew 25:10). In marriage, the wife is commanded to submit herself to her husband (Ephesians 5:1), just as the Bride of Christ is to submit to Christ (Ephesians 5:24). I haven’t always been submissive to my husband, and I also haven’t always been submissive to Jesus. It’s a daily commitment and I know I should take it more seriously sometimes. When I disobey my Jesus, I need to remember who He is and who I belong to. I often need come back to my first love, Jesus Christ.
John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” God has expectations of His children, and we are called to keep His commandments at all times. He searches our hearts and can see our thoughts all the time (Revelation 2:23). There is nothing that we can hide from Him. Have you ever felt the nudge to go talk to a stranger about Jesus? What was your first thought and what did you do? Yesterday, while I was working, one of my customers who looked to be about 15 or so, gave me a card that explains salvation and the way to it. This child was so bold in coming to me, a stranger he’s never met before. If only we all had his boldness and confidence. The seeds we plant mean something to the Lord, and He expects us to listen to His still, small voice that gives us discernment and wisdom. He knows we love Him by our actions. If we keep His commandments, we love Him.
Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” What happens when we disobey God? This verse is pretty clear that God will take away His kingdom from us and give it to someone else. I remember the days I had to clean out my kid’s toybox. All of the toys they never played with got donated to charity. It was strange how my kids would get angry with me for doing this and then all of a sudden, they wanted to play with those particular toys. I know that God turns from me when I’m in sin (Psalm 66:18) and I hate feeling His absence in my life. That’s when a change of heart needs to come. I know that I need to do good (James 4:17) and, in order for me to get my Father back into my heart, I need to become willing to let go of the things that keep Him from me. Obedience is important in advancing His kingdom.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes the kind of love we are commanded to have towards God and others. If I were to look inside of my heart, would I see this agape love toward my husband all the other neighbors? No, not all the time. Would I see an agape love for Jesus? No, not very often. As the bride of Christ, our love ought to be submissive and perfect. Our love should be patient and kind. Is yours? Perfect love is not provoked or self-seeking. Mine often is. The Jesus kind of love rejoices in truth and thinks no evil. Does your love do that? “Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).” Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We need a good cleansing to get rid of those wicked things and replace them with the love of Jesus Christ. How do we do that? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).” Get right with God by repentance. He is faithful to forgive us. We are so blessed!
He Is Our First Love
Psalm 100:3 “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” If we really sit and think about who we are in God, we will come to realize that nothing else in this world matters. Some people think that submission to God is pointless, but they don’t really understand what God does in our lives. If we want to see a change in the way people think about Him, we need to come back together with Him in submission and fervent agape love, so they can see the goodness and grace that keeps us alive. While God is loving and merciful, we have to know that He is also just and will come again to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). The world needs to know that Hell is real, but so is Heaven. We want to see others in Heaven, therefore, we need to run back to our Husband, Jesus Christ, so that they might be won over by the love that has been bestowed on us.
Father God, thank You for who you are and what you do in our lives. You are the perfect Husband and you set the ultimate example of how we ought to be. I know that I don’t always submit to You and I am sorry. You deserve all of my love and obedience at all times, especially because of what Your Son did for me on the cross. Show me Your ways and teach me Your paths, Lord, and let me always remember that You are my first love. I pray that I never leave you again, Father. I love you. In Jesus holy Name I pray. Amen.