Jesus is building His Church and of the increase of His government there will be no end. Jesus is reigning over His Kingdom forever because He is passionately committed (zealous) to accomplishing his purposes (Isaiah 9:6,7; Matthew 16:18,19)!
Through faith in Christ, the believer becomes part of God's purposes on earth. The believer is joined to the Lord and to His people and is delivered from a state of separation to a state of union with God and His Body, the Church (Eph.2:12-22; 3:10,11). Tragically there are believers who return to their original state of separation from Christ and His Body! In Revelation 2 we read,
"But I have this complaint against you. You don't love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first." Rev. 2:4,5
In the original Greek, Christ is literally saying, "You have divorced your First love and His Body!" The believer's first love is Christ and His Body, the Church. One cannot separate one's relationship to Christ and one's relationship to His Body. Our relationship to God's people reflects the reality of our relationship to God Himself (see Matthew 25:31-46; 1 John 4:19-21). Those who separate the two walk in deception (see 1 John 2:9-11).
Yesterday the Lord showed us how the dismembering or divorce process can happen in one's relationships, whether it be husband and wife, believer and local church, brothers and sisters in Christ etc.
The Dismembering Process
In any new relationship there is much excitement and joy. Everything seems "ideal" and all apparent "faults" are overlooked. This is a wonderful phase of new beginnings and great expectations.
As one gets to know one another, one can gradually become familiar with one another and take one another for granted. During this phase things become a little boring and common.
As one stays in relationship one realises that the other person or people are not perfect. One begins to recognise that the other person is imperfect and the first grumblings and criticisms arise.
As one continues in a relationship there comes a point when one recognises that there is no such thing as an ideal partner and one's unrealistic expectations are exposed. The bubble is burst and one becomes disillusioned.
At this point one realises one is faced with a choice. Either one works through the imperfections or one runs away. This is a crisis phase and the decisions one makes at this point will determine the outcome of the relationship!
If one decides to give up on the relationship and walk away, one first becomes independent and dislocated - one is still hanging on superficially but one's heart is already separated.
Isolation - the outcome of a heart that has decided to leave the relationship to look for a better one in the hope of finding an ideal partner. Driven by unrealistic expectations this person severs his relationship to the other in pursuit of his illusion.
Sadly the dismembering process is all too common in people's relationships in the world and in the Church! Christ's answer for those who are in the dismembering process is "Repent and do the things you did at first!"
God is calling His people to return to their first love -
Christ and the Church!
To avoid the dismembering process one needs to be passionately committed to one's partner. Passionate commitment or sacrificial devotion is the driving force that will fulfill God's purposes on earth and when we passionately commit ourselves to one another, we will become part of God's eternal purposes for our relationship with Him and His people!
Passionate commitment is the key to fulfilling God's eternal purposes in our lives!
Agape love produces lasting fruit!
We praise God for showing us how to be part of His eternal purposes and how to avoid becoming divorced from our first love!
Quote of the week:
"He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:7