Everything Changes When You Fall in Love

Everything Changes When You Fall in Love

As the Church is preparing for Madison’s wedding, the focus is on the bride. Everything is planned according to her specifications and criteria. While we may have good ideas for the wedding, it will take place as Madison chooses. It is the day she has been waiting for.

Let’s not forget there is another wedding being prepared and we need to get ready for it. Even though we are the Bride, we don’t know the date of the wedding, because the focus is on the Groom, Jesus Christ. He is preparing for it and His Father will set the date. While we may have good ideas for the wedding, it will take place as the Groom chooses. It is the day He has been waiting for.

Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

This Scripture is often used to encourage men to be good husbands, but we are going to focus on Christ, the Groom, and what He is doing to prepare us for A Holy Matrimony.

God desires a love relationship with mankind, whom He created in His image.  Jesus went through all the sufferings associated with the Cross just to the have a love relationship with us.  He is longing for a deep love and intimacy with the Church. Just like a husband and a wife are to be “one flesh”, Christ desires that the Church be one with Him as well.

Jesus loves us so much that He redeemed us with His Blood from the death sentence that would keep us from living with Him eternally. Are you aware of the depth of His love for you? We are a bunch of criminals. Jesus took the death sentence of a bunch of criminals upon Himself because He loves us and wants us for His Bride! This love should overwhelm you. In spite of all your imperfections, He loves you, He understands you, and He wants you. But for a marriage to work out, it requires two persons loving each other. Jesus desires us to love Him, too. He has made a proposal of marriage to all mankind, but He gives each of us a choice to accept His proposal of matrimony, which is oneness with Him.

You may have plans for your life. Therefore, a proposal to marry and follow Jesus, that includes an unknown wedding date and requires you to give up the plans for your life, may not sound enticing to you. However, everything about following the Lord will change when you fall in love with Jesus. When you are in love with Jesus, He can ask anything, and you will do it—not because you have to, not because it is the Law, not because it is a requirement for Heaven, but because it is your heart’s desire to please Him. It is the result of falling in love with Him.

1John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

God’s eternal purpose is to bring into existence a group of people, a Church, who have willingly chosen to love Him and serve Him in holiness, and have a fellowship, a friendship, and a love relationship with Him, culminating into a Holy Matrimony when the Bridegroom returns.

To get us ready for His return, Jesus is going to sanctify and cleanse us. That is why He sent the Holy Spirit after He ascended into Heaven to sit at the right side of the Father. The eternal purpose of the Holy Spirit in us is to bring us home to Jesus Christ--as His eternal, spotless Bride. The Holy Spirit has come to dwell in you and me, to seal, sanctify, empower, and prepare all who will respond to His Proposal to be the Bride of Christ.

To understand the relationship between believers and the Holy Spirit let us look back at an Old Testament example of this relationship found in Genesis 24.

After Sarah died, Abraham sent his most trustworthy servant, Eliezer, back to the home of his relatives to find a bride for his son Isaac. Eliezer’s name means "mighty, divine helper" - a description of the Holy Spirit. And just as surely as Eliezer came back with Rebekah to present her as a bride to his lord, Isaac, likewise, the Holy Spirit will not fail to bring back a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. God chose Rebekah as a bride for Isaac and He led Eliezer right to her. Eliezer’s entire mission and purpose was focused on one thing: to get Rebekah to accept the proposal for matrimony, to leave all she had, and to fall in love with Isaac.

So it is with you and me! God chose us to be the Bride of Christ. He sent His Spirit to us with a proposal of marriage to Jesus. And if we trust Him and give our life to Jesus, the Spirit will cause us to fall in love with Jesus, sanctify us, and bring us safely home as the eternal Bride of Christ!

You see, Eliezer told Rebekah, "God has led me to you with a proposal to become the wife of my master’s son.” He offered Rebekah gifts of jewelry to signify the sincerity of this proposal. Rebekah put on the gold bracelets and nose ring he gave her. Then Eliezer asked to stay at Rebekah’s home while she considers the proposal. Should she accept, Eliezer will stay in her home while she prepares to go and meet the bridegroom, Isaac. Naturally, her family had some concern about this.

Gen 24:58-67 So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said. So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men.  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies." Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left. Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. Then the servant told Isaac all he had done.  Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Suppose Rebekah had answered, "Thank you for the proposal, and for all these gifts, but I have other plans for my life. Besides, my family and friends think it is crazy to devote my life to your master’s son when there are so many unknowns. This is the only home I know and I don’t want to leave now.”

It sounds ridiculous, but don’t we respond that way to Jesus? We receive His proposal of marriage, we take all the gifts, but when it is time to prepare ourselves by getting rid of every spot and blemish, to leave worldly things and follow Jesus, we are reluctant in our response!

Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Oh, how the Israelites loved this message! They loved being chosen, being special in God’s eyes. But they wanted to enjoy the benefits of this relationship without taking on the obligation and discipline of becoming a bride to their God!

Is 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

The nation of Israel was redeemed from slavery, but they failed to follow the Lord’s leading to the Promised Land. They were fearful, faithless, and grumbled at the cost of following the Spirit of God. They continued in stubborn rebellion, backsliding, spiritual harlotry, and idolatry. They were chosen, but not cleansed! They were special, but they never separated themselves unto Him. Although God loved them, they did not love God.

This is truly a picture of modern-day Christianity. We are redeemed.  We love being called of God, but we do not want the discipline of the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the holiness of the bride hood. We take all His blessings, His gold and silver, and His great provision. But when the Holy Spirit says, “follow me, it’s time to get prepared as a bride for Christ" - then we don’t want to accept the cost of following Him. Why?—because we do not love Jesus!

Does that describe you and me, or do we have a heart like Rebekah that trusts the Holy Spirit and prepares for our marriage, regardless of what we must leave behind? Is Jesus the Lover of our soul? Is our love for Him growing and consuming our heart?" Do we desire to get rid of every spot of sin that would offend our Bridegroom? Are we willing to give up our life and walk by the Spirit? If so, we are on the right path of purification and preparation as the Bride of Christ.

Rebekah was asked, "Will you go with this man? And she said, “I will go."  She left everything, family, friends, to be the Bride of Isaac, and to love him. Will you leave everything to be the Bride of Jesus? When you are in love, you will do whatever He asks.

Mark 12:28-30 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

ALL – not part, not, some – ALL! How can we get this devoted love for the Lord? THE KEY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US, sanctifying us, and filling our hearts with love for Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Paul describes a people of God who are "sealed with the Holy Spirit". It is like an engagement ring, signifying our betrothal. The whole Scripture speaks of a people specially marked by a work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has produced in them a distinguishing mark, a glorious inner work – the fruit of the Spirit – that has changed them forever and gives them the character of Christ.

Those who are marked with the Spirit are no longer "of this world," since they have set their affections on things above, not on the things of this earth. They are not moved by the world’s events; rather, they are unshakable. They are no longer lukewarm or half-hearted. Instead, their hearts cry out night and day, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus...."

What happened to change them? Simply this: The Holy Spirit gave them a foretaste of the glory of His presence! He came to them, and they experienced a supernatural touch of His exceeding great love! Then they fell in love with Jesus. Everything changes when you fall in love!

The Holy Spirit comes to an individual or to a church that wants Him and is praying--to believers who are broken before God, repentant--to those who have no other concern than to be conformed to the image of Christ and get prepared to be His Bride.

The Holy Spirit gives us times where Jesus is so real that you taste a little bit of Heaven in your soul. You come away with such a sense of eternal reality that your problems no longer bother you, the world events don’t shake you, and you’re especially not afraid of the devil. God puts a holy fire in your soul, and you say, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!"

Once we get a taste of His holiness, His peace, His rest, His love - we are forever spoiled for this earth, because we yearn for the fullness of what we have tasted! We want to be with Jesus!

The Spirit’s mission is not complete until He creates In Us this passionate, ever-Increasing yearning and love for Christ!

After all, what kind of bride do you think the Holy Spirit will present to Jesus Christ on that day of matrimony, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb? One who is half-hearted? Whose love is lukewarm, or cold? Who is not devoted to Jesus? Who does not want intimacy with Christ? NO!

If we truly love Jesus, He’s never out of our mind. He is present in our every waking moment. We want to be in His Presence.  We long to be with Him with a yearning, a groaning in our spirit! Nothing else matters, because everything changes when you fall in love!

2 Cor. 5:2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,

The Holy Spirit is here today, He’s alive and working in us - to produce in us a passionate love for Christ. It is a groaning of the Holy Spirit deep inside our heart. It is an emotion that is so profound there are no words to express it.

The Hebrew word used for groaning means a yearning - a longing for more of Christ. It says, "Jesus, You’re the only happiness there is in this world. I’ve tasted and seen You are good. I want all of You and I want You to have all of me."

This is the deep, inner cry comes from someone who is in love and hungers for holiness and is anguished over his sins. His heart’s cry is: "Holy Spirit, come! You know the mind of God. You know how to pray according to the will of the Father. Walk with me - take control of my life.  Empty me of all selfishness and fill me with Yourself.  You are all I need!" This is the mark of one who is sealed with the Spirit: He has an insatiable appetite for Jesus.

Sadly, few today have this passionate groaning after Christ. There is no hungering or thirsting for righteousness, and so little passion. Each Sunday churches are full of Christians who never question or examine their love for Christ!  They have no passion to follow Jesus or be led by His Spirit. Unless they repent and give the Holy Spirit full control and fall in love with Jesus, they risk Jesus saying to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

What has happened in your life since you got saved? Are you just going through the motions? Are you lukewarm? Are you afraid to get "on fire" for the Lord because you’ll be considered a fanatic? Can you say right now you’re ready to go be with Him, that you want Him more than your very life? Are you more passionately in love with Jesus than when you first met Him?

You may feel spiritual in a crowd on Sunday morning, but loving Jesus is intensely personal. You cannot borrow this love from someone else, nor can you get it by imitating the actions of others. You get it by allowing the Holy Spirit to take control. Are you ready for that?

If so, ask the Holy Spirit—every day—ask Him to fill you with Himself so that you have power to die to self, pick up your cross, and follow Him. Yield to His convictions and repent of every sin He shows you. Walk after the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Ask the Spirit to so reveal Christ to your heart that you’ll be totally weaned from this world and totally in LOVE with Jesus, because everything—everything will change when you fall in love!

Right now, the Holy Spirit is poking at the dying embers of our love. It is because He desires to set our hearts on fire for Jesus Christ. Are you allowing the Spirit of God to convict you of sin and unbelief? If so, REJOICE over this conviction! He is cleansing you from every spot, wrinkle, and blemish, and preparing you to meet your Bridegroom!

So yield to His leading. Let Him do His work in you completely and you will truly know what it means to love and worship your Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, with all of your life. Everything will change when you fall in love with Jesus.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is inviting you to begin one. Jesus’ proposal of marriage is offered to you. Will you accept it? Will you go with this man? If so, confess your sin and confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Repent of living your own life and receive a new life through water baptism and the power of the Holy Spirit.

  December 2017  
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