Archive for September, 2014

The last few weeks I have had the privilege of leading a small group study at the church in which I serve called “Sacred Marriage.” This past week while studying, a few thoughts occurred to me. My first thought was, “Am I still dazzled by Christ?” After thinking through reasons why the Lord still amazes me, my second thought was, “Does Christ still dazzle His Bride?”  It did not take long to answer that question, seeing as how I am part of his Bride. Yes, He still dazzles His Bride. Since Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to “Imitate God” and Ephesians 5:25 says that I am to “love my wife as Christ loves the church,” it seems like there could be some implications (albeit loose ones) that we should continue to pursue and even date our spouses, even after they have been married for 50 or 60 years.

How Christ still dazzles His Bride:

  1. He still woos people to be His bride. The bride of Christ, the church, still continues to grow to this day. While it is the Holy Spirit that actually does the drawing or wooing, the Spirit still draws people to Christ. If Christ is still adding people to His bride, doesn’t it make sence that He still actively loves her? He is still active in the process of wooing. The full number of saints has not yet come to the saving knowledge of Him. Until that time comes, He will continue to seek and dazzle His Bride. Since this is true, shouldn’t we continue to seek and dazzle OUR bride?
  2. He sanctifies His Bride. For those of us that are already followers of Christ, we know that we are being sanctified. We are being conformed to the image of Christ. This does not happen overnight. This is a lifelong process. However, it is a process that He has committed to make. He has promised to ultimately glorify us one day (Romans 8:29-30), but until that day we will continue in this process of sanctification. During this time, He is with us, making himself known to us . . . making himself more and more beautiful. If He continues to make himself beautiful to us in our sanctification, shouldn’t we do the same for our spouse?
  3. He still wows His Bride. Have you ever seen a beautiful sunset or roaring ocean tide and been taken aback by the beauty of God? Has your spirit ever been lifted into what seems like the third heaven while praising God? Have you ever been overcome by the holiness of God and hit your face to the floor in awe of who God is? When that happens, we truly begin to worship Him. The Lord still wows His Bride every day. This is true for the believer that has only recently come to know the Lord as well as the one that has been walking faithful with Him for 60 years. Christ is still in the process of wowing His Bride. If He still dazzles and wows His Bride, shouldn’t we continue to do that for our spouse?

Why we should still dazzle our spouse:

When we are going through the early years of dating, our relationship can be so exciting. It makes romance, dating, and doing special things easy, because it is part of the early process.  The problem I see with so many is that after we get married we see our spouse as already being “caught” and there being no need to continue to try to catch them. For some it is easy to think “why do I need to continue to be romantic, or date after I have already caught the person?” I believe that this is a foolish way of thinking. We all desire to be pursued in one way or another.  We are built that way. Most of us enjoy being made much of, in one way or another. Why should that stop after we are married? Shouldn’t marriage just be the beginning point? Does Christ not still woo, make beautiful, and WOW his Bride? It is easy to stop dating each other once you get married, become comfortable with, and just start living life with your spouse. Your spouse is more than just a buddy and friend . . . they are the person that you covenanted together with for life.

Men: If you do not regularly take your wife on dates (my wife and I shoot for once a month at least), then it is time to ask her out. Buy her flowers. Write her a letter expressing what she means to you and your family. A date does not have to cost much money. It can simply be going on a hike, or playing a game together at Starbucks. Men, you are the spiritual leader in your home, so if you are not doing a good job of making this happen, I believe the buck stops with you. Make it enjoyable. Make it regular. Make much for your bride.  Make much of her, because Christ still does for His.

Woman: God has made you all beautiful in your own way. Your husband once (and hopefully still does) thought you are beautiful. Allow him to lead. Make yourself attractive to him. You know what he likes and does not like. Make yourself available to him. Express your desires in the things that you like and don’t like so that he does not have to guess. Go and do things that he enjoys as well. While the buck stops with the husband when it comes to making these things a priority and finding time to do them, you have a big role to play as well. So ladies, dress up, make your husband feel important, and be the bride of Christ to your husbands. Enjoy a time away from the kids, or just time away from normal life.

Dating is a wonderful part of the beginning part of courtship. The culmination of courtship is marriage. It only makes sense that we should continue in that wonderful process of dating after marriage as well. While dating is not the chief end of marriage (the glory of God is), it certainly is one of the ways to continue to cultivate it. Christ loved, and still loves the church. He still makes much of her. If we want to have a healthy marriage that bears the image of Christ and the church, I believe a good date once or twice a month will help keep you in that process.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

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One of my favorite acts of worship is to hear a great exposition of scripture.  It can fill me, and break me at the same time.  I love good preaching.  However, it is not the only act of worship that I love.  A carefully crafted, theologically sound song can make my spirit leap for joy and my heart and mouth sing praises to the Lord.  I love to hear a congregation of believers sing worship and praise to the Lord.  Not every song that we sing in our corporate worship fits the “carefully crafted theologically sound” criteria.  It is true that we all have different theological bents that come out in the songs that we sing.  This is understandable.  Nevertheless, there are some songs that transcend denominational loyalties and should call for all Christians to lift their hands (although they may just be a mental hand lifting if you are more conservative,) and hearts in praise, or bow low in worship to the King.

Over the past year, I have been compiling a list of songs that I feel fit well into the above mentioned category.  Some are very old, and some are very new.  Scripture does tell us to “sing a new song” but it also implores us to sing “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”  So, the list below will be made up of songs that span different centuries, different continents, and different theological leanings.  This list is not exhaustive, but here are 50 songs that we would do well to sing unto the Lord with a grateful heart and attitude.  If you click on the song, it will direct you to a site where you can listen to it. You may have a song that I have missed that would fit well. If so, feel free to leave a comment with a name of the song.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

10,000 Reasons

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Alas and did my Savior Bleed
All creatures of our God and King
All I Have is Christ
All I once held dear (Knowing You)
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
Be unto Your name
Be thou my vision
Before, the throne of God above
Behold Our God
Blessed Be Your Name
Creation Song
Come, Praise and Glorify
Come, Thou Almighty King
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Days of Elijah
Hail the Day
Hallelujah What a Savior (Man of Sorrow)
He Knows My Name
He Leadeth Me
Hide Away In the Love of Jesus
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Deep The Father’s Love for Us
How Great Thou Art
In Christ Alone
It is Well 
Glory To God
Grace Greater than all our sins
Jesus, Lover of my Soul
Jesus Paid it All
Lamb of God
Name above all names
Nothing That my hands can do
Now why this Fear
The Love of God
The Wonderful Cross
There is a Fountin Filled With Blood
O’ The Deep Deep Love of Jesus
O How Marvelous (I Stand Amazed) 
Our Great God
Our Song From Age to Age
Praise to the Lord, The Almighty
Revelation Song
Salvation Belongs to our God
See the Conquer
Sing To Jesus
Song of Moses
Speak Oh Lord
What a Wonderus Love is This
Your Name