There and Back Again

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Resonate.  To resound.  To act as a resonator.  To amplify.  Do I resonate Jesus?  Do I resound Him?  Does my life amplify His’?  What has my life sounded like today?   Too much of me drowning out the melodies of Him which He desires to resonate from my life.  What is my action and response like?  My life must seem at times like a cheap guitar, difficult at best to play and while it produces a melody, it never seems to resonate beyond my skin.  I think it’s because I live this life, my life, as if it was made just for me.  God didn’t just happen upon my life, He planned it, He created it and He redeemed it. What would my life sound like if I could make it much about Him?  It would sound . . . well, like Him – Resonate Jesus.

This is what I penned in my first blog post.  As I read through it again my mind flooded with memories of my unexpected journey in the Gospel these past few years. There is a small town in Pennsylvania, in a region know as the endless mountains, where my family has vacationed since before I was born.  We love the area so much that my family eventually purchased some property.  There is a path that leads above our mountain to one of the highest points in the area.  The journey is spectacular, beautiful, challenging, and terrifying.  When you are at the point of complete exhaustion you finally see a clearing up ahead as you summon what energy you have left.  When you reach the clearing you are completely out of breath, not because of exhaustion, but because of awe.  You see, the endless mountains seem to go on forever and when you reach what you think is the end of your journey you suddenly realize that the journey has just begun.

endless mountains

The Gospel is not something that you start off with and then graduate to something more or something better.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “This is of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” My journey these past few years in the Gospel have been spectacular, beautiful, challenging, and terrifying.  It has taught me this, my journey has just started.  May everything I do, all of my life, Resonate Jesus.

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Jesus and the whorehouse

There have been times through our journey together in the 105 that have left me scratching my head. Take this for instance, God speaking to the prophet Hosea.

“The first time God spoke to Hosea he said: ‘Find a whore and marry her.  Make this whore the mother of your children.'”

What??   I mean, wasn’t there a better way to demonstrate to Israel what they were like in relationship to their God?  And the amazing thing is that Hosea doesn’t even question God. He goes and finds a whore named Gomer and begins to have children with her.

I don’t know what to say.  These are the moments that leave me, well, speechless.  And yet, I gaze and grimace at this horrifying illustration of  the utter depravity of God’s people, I have come to this conclusion:  Jesus married a whore.  It is quite easy to look at God’s people from the perspective and point in history in which we find ourselves.  It is quite simple to pass judgment and become indignant of a people who never seemed to get it.  I would dare say that if those OT saints could see my life and the lives of many in the NT Church today they would reach the same conclusion, Jesus married a whore.  My heart is quite deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).  It is always searching for something, to give me, to be to me what only Jesus Christ can. The more I pursue the cross the more I realize these 2 things:  I have a growing awareness of God’s holiness and at the same time I have a growing awareness of my sinfulness.

So today, I am glad that God has chosen to love a whore like me.  May I through His empowering life and grace, become the bride that He died and rose again for me to be.

PT

Sex and the Glory of God

 

Sex and the Glory of God . . . talk about a paradox!  And yet is it?  An entire book of the bible dedicated to deeply satisfying sexual intimacy.  Something spectacularly beautiful created and designed for His Glory and our enjoyment . . . tainted, corrupted, perverted by sin.  It’s time to reclaim the conversation about sex that the church has abdicated to the culture.

This post includes a excerpt from C. J. Mahaney’s book Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know.  I would recommend this book to every man (there is a word for wives towards the end of the book written by C. J’s wife, Carolyn).

A smile crossed the king’s face as he dipped his quill into the inkwell one last time. With firm, smooth strokes the final lines flowed freely onto the parchment. Pushing back from his writing desk, he sighed with satisfaction. The project had gone very well. This was some fine work. Rising from the chair and lifting his hands to heaven, Solomon, the son of David, offered thanks to the Lord. Here, complete at last, was his greatest song, one of the most important pieces of writing he had ever done. With satisfaction he lowered his eyes to the finished work spread out before him. Today we call it the Song of Solomon(or the Song of Songs).

It’s about sex. In his lifetime Solomon would produce three thousand proverbs and more than a thousand songs and hymns. The son of a legendary king, and a great king himself, he would be esteemed in Scripture as the wisest man who had yet lived. And his Song of Songs is nothing less than an explicit and unblushing celebration of sex within marriage. To Solomon, this may have been simply a deeply personal reflection on love. But really it was much more than that. Because one day, as we know, it would be counted among the perfect and infallible words of Scripture, inerrantly inspired by the Holy Spirit and intended by God as a primary source of guidance for mankind until the return of the Son.

That’s right, gentlemen. Solomon’s Song of Songs is an entire book of the Bible devoted to the promotion of sexual intimacy within the covenant of marriage. It’s an eight-chapter feast of unbridled, uninhibited, joyous immersion in verbal and physical expressions of passion between a man and a woman. Not a couple of verses. Not a chapter or two. God didn’t consider that enough. He decided to give us a whole book!

But can the Song of Songs really be about sex? Isn’t the Bible about, well, spiritual stuff? It sure is. And sexual intimacy within marriage has profound spiritual significance. In fact, in the next chapter we’re going to take a quick look at what the Bible says about marriage. We’ll see that, above all else, marriage is spiritual. For now, though, let’s put ourselves back in King Solomon’s study. As husbands, we need to be clear about what this book is telling us. And when you want to understand what the Bible really means, you have to start with what the original writer actually meant. So I want us to take a moment to try to see through Solomon’s eyes.