In her new album, Brave New World, worship leader Amanda Cook writes to God about who He is and the reality of the intimate access that we get to His heart and presence. She makes this statement in her description of the creative writing process, “I felt like the songs were teaching me as I was responding to them. I’m not writing from a place of knowing all of these things, I’m writing from a place of discovering all of these things.” I love that! Relationship is all about an ongoing discovery of the person you have chosen to love and commit yourself to. I’m so glad I didn’t know everything about my wife when I married her…otherwise, there would be no mystery, no learning, no discovery!
Amanda’s lyrics from the song Pieces on this album inspired this devotional for today.
“Love keeps its promises
It keep its word
It honors what’s sacred
‘Cause its vows are good
Your love’s not broken
It’s not insecure
Your love’s not selfish
Your love is pure”
Love, promises, sacred, honor, and vows… these sound like words for a wedding day, don’t they? That’s because they are! These words echo my feelings toward my wife. Marriage is a sacrificial relationship in which we choose to trust and believe the best about our spouse. Because of the Holy Spirit living and working in me, I am able to keep my promises and honor our vows because “Love always trusts” (1 Cor 13:7 NIV). Another translation says, “Love never loses faith (NLT).” Here’s the point… Jesus calls those of us who have chosen to say “yes” to a fully devoted relationship with Him, His bride! He keeps His promises, even when we are hesitant to trust. He keeps His word. He honors our connection with Him, and His vows are good. Even when we feel broken, insecure, or selfish, He offers us wholeness, security, and selfless love.
“Husbands, you are to demonstrate love for your wives with the same tender devotion that Christ demonstrated to us, His bride. For He died for us, sacrificing Himself to make us holy and pure… All that He does in us is designed to make us a mature church for His pleasure, until we become a source of praise to Him- glorious and radiant, beautiful and holy, without fault or flaw, a bride fully prepared for Him” (Ephesians 5:25-27 TPT).
Let’s go deeper. Want to learn something truly amazing? When Jesus died on the cross, His last words before He gave up His spirit were, “It is finished” (John 19:30). That word in Jesus’ language (Aramaic) is the word kalah. Dr. Brian Simmons (author of the Passion Translation) makes this statement in His commentary on the book of John:
“This is the Aramaic word kalah, a homonym [a word having the same pronunciation, but different meanings] that can mean ‘fulfilled (completed),’ and ‘bride.’” To put it another way, this word kalah in the Aramaic and Hebrew sound the same, but mean both “finished” and “bride.” Wow! So according to this translation, when Jesus gave up His life on the cross He screamed out, “My Bride!”
What am I saying in sharing all of this?
Our God is all about relationship. God desires for us to choose to engage in a committed union with Him. So He sent His son, Jesus, to make a way for that to happen. Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We must come to Jesus to get to know the Father. During His time here on Earth, Jesus gives an invitation, or proposal, to all those whom He encounters. That same proposal is extended to you and I!
Again and again He invites us to know Him more intimately:
He cares about our physical health. Jesus is saying,“Come and dine” with me (John 12:21 KJV).
He cares about our mental health. Jesus is saying,“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV).
He cares about our emotional health. Jesus is saying, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis” (Matthew 11:28 TPT).
I hear Him whisper, “Do you trust me? I choose to trust my Father. I will never lose faith in you. I have already given up my life for you. I have made my vows… you need only say ‘I do.’”
-Are there barriers, unforgiveness, unresolved bitterness, or behaviors that are preventing you from giving Jesus a confident “I do?” Write them down.
-What are some practical steps you can take to find healing in these areas of your life?
Jesus, thank you that you have fully forgiven me and remember my sins no more (Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, Heb 8:12, Heb 10:17)! I confess that there are things that cause me to feel fear, to sin, and to distract me from living fully for you. Thank you for meeting my confession with your forgiveness! I choose to trust you, Lord. Thank you for always keeping your vows, even when I fail to. I want to know you more intimately. I re-commit myself to you again today and receive your rest and refreshing. I love discovering how I am secure in you. Amen!
Click here to worship to Amanda Cook’s song Pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0FW–zidYA