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Many Waters - SoS header

We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?

Song of Songs 8:8 NASB

When the Groom spoke of His bride's breasts earlier in the song, He spoke in terms of their beauty and symmetry. This is not what the bride is concerned with here.

No breasts, in this context has to do with the inability to nurture. The bride has those in her sphere of influence who look to her as mentor, or teacher. They look up to her as a role model. These disciples of hers are not mature enough as yet to make their own disciples.

Her own progress from young maid to mature bride was quite a journey. She’s come through fear and failure, discouragement and persecution. Now her heart’s desire is to bring others to full maturity, marked by their own ability to bring life to others.

Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, wrote a booklet called “Born to Reproduce.” The subtitle of this document is “A Passionate Call to Maturity, Spiritual Reproduction and Spiritual Parenting to Help Fulfill The Great Commission.” You can read it here.

It may sound down right darwinian, and there is so much more to the new birth than just reproduction. But at some level, reproduction is our big purpose.

The subtitle make clear that it's not just babies we want. We don’t really just want to make baby christians who make baby christians. We want to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

I have the deep joy of being a dad. I didn’t think there could ever be a greater joy than having kids and seeing them laugh and play (aka bicker and whine?)

Now my baby is twenty-one, and my oldest has a baby of his own. I’ve learned of the greater joy. Seeing your baby’s become mature adults, living their own life, starting their own families.

I was made for this.

And that’s the heart of the Bride of Christ. I want to see my spiritual children come to a place where they can raise their own brood.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by.

Walk in the blessing God has poured out on you.

Ben

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Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.

Song of Songs 8:5 NASB

In the Song, the mother figure points to the role of the Church in the life of a believer. Here we have the Shepherd King saying to the maiden, this is where your mother gave birth to you.

In these three short lines there is a wealth of wisdom for church leaders.

1) The church is first likened to an apple tree. The apple tree has many uses, but the two main assets I’m seeing are it’s protection and provision. The branches and leaves provide shelter from the sun and other elements.

Why protection from the sun?

Remember the parable of the soils? In stony ground, the seeds route system is weekend or nonexistent. The little ones coming up in the church need some help taking hold, digging their roots down deep in the soil. The apple tree—church—should be protecting it’s seedlings and saplings from the strong persecution—standing with them as they face the trials that come along with a new life in Christ.

2) Next we see that mother—the church—was in labor with her. Not everyone in church is in the same place. There are those who are on the road to salvation; There are those who have no idea or connection to Christ at all; There are those who are set in the church to mentor—to disciple—the young up and comers; There are shepherds and warriors in place to protect and defend the little ones of the flock, to ensure they are not devoured by wolves, or choked by weeds, or simply wander off.

3) The path to life in Christ is a path—a way. We must realize that everyone who walks through our doors is in a different place, and there may be labor involved in bringing them to life. Seeds have been sown; Promises have been made; Signs of life are evident. But there still may be labor pains, and we must see it through. We must push and breath and push and breath. It may get messy, and noisy, but we must not relent.

It is far to easy for church leadership to be content with the status quo and resist the work—labor—involved in bringing babies to the Lord. We must do it anyway. It’s why we are here. It’s why God has assembled you.

Maybe church doesn’t look like church to you, and maybe I should use the word community rather than church, but I think you can see what I’m talking about.

God wants you to be in community, and for the community of Christ to labor and bring forth life where before there was only death.

Lord, help me find my place in the process of bring many sons to glory—many men and women to worship at your feet.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.

Blessings

Ben

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And now for a small celebration - did you bring a party hat?

This is my 1,000th post on Another Red Letter Day.

Wooo Hooo

OK - Party's over - please cleanup after yourselves.

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Many Waters - SoS header

I long to bring you to my innermost chamber—
This holy sanctuary you have formed within me.
O that I might carry you within me.
I would give you the spiced wine of my love,
This full cup of bliss that we share.
We would drink our fill until…

Song 8:1-2 ~ The Passion Translation

Have you had a chance to check out ‘The Passion Translation?’

I just love it! It’s brand new, and only coming out one book at a time. One of the first books translated by Dr. Brian Simmons was the Song of Songs ~ Divine Romance.

These verses are so clear in their description of the bride and her Lover, Jesus. He so clearly reveals the heart of the redeemed as he translates these first couple verses of Chapter 8.

Innermost Chamber

This verse takes me to the last discourse again. Where Jesus spent the evening of His betrayal with the disciples. This is where we learn of his intention to form this sanctuary, this innermost chamber within us.

Jesus tells us that His Father’s house has many dwelling places. We are the temple of the living God, we are His dwelling place. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” That place is this innermost chamber.

Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. - John 14:23 ESV

God on the inside!

This is not only our hope, it’s the hope of Glory!

The Father has formed in you a holy sanctuary made to His exact specification so that Father, Son and Holy Spirit can take up residence in you.

Hope you brought your shoutin’ shoes today, cuz that’s a place for a Hallelujah!

I urge you (Ben) to press in to that innermost place this day. Seek the one who formed it within you for the purpose of intimacy.

All life flows from intimacy.

If anything is going to be born, it will be from intimacy.

If there be any fruit, it’s the result of intimacy.

Ben NelsonPress in today.

Ben

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Thanks!