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2

Many Waters - SoS header

You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.

Song of Songs 4:9 NKJV

This changes everything.

I have trouble wrapping my mind and heart around this.

My Jesus looks at me, and sees my slightest move toward Him, a glance of my eye, a turn of my neck to face Him, and His heart beats faster.

Check out some of these translations:

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride.~ NLT
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride ~ NIV
You have captivated my heart, ~ ESV
You have made my heart beat faster, ~ NASB
Thou hast taken hold of my heart ~ JUB
My bride, my sister, you have charmed me. ~ NOG
My sister, my bride, you have thrilled my heart; ~ NCV [i]

WOW [I know – that is some really deep theological insight right there, isn’t it?]

When taken in the context of our "Christ and the believer" paradigm, this completely rocks my world.

I grew up for the most part in the evangelical Christianity, and for much of my Christian life, I never quite felt like I could embrace my own forgiveness.

Part of that is a strong and valid understanding of how heinous sin actually is, and how horrible a price was required to buy this forgiveness, the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. This understanding of my own depravity made it nearly impossible to ever get up off my knees before the cross asking for forgiveness, and move on with the Christian life.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in repentance, but I also believe there must be an embracing of our forgiveness and a stepping into a faith life.

And until you understand that your attentions make the heart of Jesus beat faster, that when you gaze on Him in adoration, it captivates Him, you may spend all your time with Him recounting your sin, and reliving it before Him.

We accuse ourselves before Him of being unworthy of His attentions, even though He has paid the dearest price imaginable to make us worthy.

If you are in relationship with Jesus, and have given your heart to Him, He has taken your filthy, stinky, cloths and thrown them in the fire, and taken Christ’s own robe of righteousness and tailored it to your size and dressed you in it.

That’s right – He had it tailored to your size – it is not a borrowed robe, it is a gift. He does not rip it off your back every time you have a rebellious or filthy thought. He does not ask you to leave His chambers every time you disgrace the name He has given you, by your actions.

What is true, is that every time you turn toward Him, His heart beats faster. Your attentions take His heart captive. [Tweet This]

As the reality of this verse has begun to take hold with some of today’s worship leaders, there is a move in worship music toward more and more intimacy and passion. I have heard many old school theologians bashing this movement. I see that things can be taken too far, but as a whole, it makes me happy to see a generation embracing the love of their Lord. Frankly it sounds like some of the emotion David wrote about.

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple. - Psalms 27:4

When You said, "Seek My face,"
my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." - Psalms 27:8

Lord, it is your face I seek today. I long to dwell in your presence while it is called today. As I walk through my life on Earth, I want to walk with you. I long to know your presence and see your goodness in the land of the living. And I look forward to the day, that great day, when I will bow down before you. For in Your presence is fullness of joy and at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by today.

See you again soon.

Ben


[i] English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.; Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) 2000, 2001, 2010 by LIFE SENTENCE Publishing; New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation; New Century Version (NCV) The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.; New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.; Names of God Bible (NOG) The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.; New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.

7

Shining through

So what does the Sabbath point to?

I realize I never really got to the Sabbath yesterday because I was so taken with the picture of circumcision. That really got me yesterday, and if you missed it, check the tail end of yesterday’s post.

Back to the Sabbath though, the passage we’ve been poking around all week – Colossians 2:16 ends with dashes in my Bible.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- - Colossians 2:16

So the next verse really needs to be included in the conversation too!

…things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. - Colossians 2:17

I love it in the New Living Translation:

For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. - Colossians 2:17 NLT

I know some of you, in the comments have mentioned this, and it has taken me a long time to get here, but hey – I’m plodding here.

Jesus Christ is the reality – the Greek word here is body, so you could say that Jesus is the embodiment of the Sabbath. He is a living breathing Sabbath. He is rest personified. He demonstrates what it means to keep the Sabbath everyday.

And to take it one step further, as I am want to do, this word body – σῶμα – sōma – is the same word used here:

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. - 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

If then Christ is the embodiment of the Sabbath, and we are the body – embodiment – of Christ, does it not stand to reason that our live ought to be a walking demonstration of Sabbath?

In case you are not sure the answer is an emphatic yes!

But wait Ben, it sounds like you are saying Christians should lay around doing nothing. Doesn’t rest mean no work? Didn’t God tell us to stop our labors on the Sabbath? If we live in a constant state of Sabbath, how will anything get done?

Oh – I am glad you asked, because there are some red letters that will help us with this little paradox.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30

Christianity is a state of working at rest.

We rest from our labors to earn a place with God.

Jesus’ work on the cross earned us that place.

We rest from our labors to earn forgiveness.

Jesus’ blood purchased forgiveness once and for all.

We take up our work in the kingdom of God.

Jesus’ yoke is easy and burden is light.

This idea of a yoke, is one of work, but not solo work, work in partnership with Jesus. Like two oxen plowing a field, it is God’s plan to link you up with Jesus, and for the two of you to do the work He ordained for you, and created you for.

So, in the same way that He has prepared heaven and a future home for every one in covenant with Him yet He calls us to be seated in heavenly places today, so it is that He has prepared a future rest for each of us that is yet to be seen, yet the cross provides a Sabbath rest for us today.

The real work of appeasing and pleasing God was completed with the words, “It is finished.” That was the violent and bloody cutting off of your sin, the once and for all burial of your transgressions, the completion of your reconciliation to the Father. All that is left for you to do today is place your faith in THAT work, that finished work.

I pray for you today, that you will stop your working to earn favor with God, and rest in the favor that Jesus bought for you.

You can enter covenant with Jesus right now, if you have never done so. Simply come clean with Him about how you never have been able to “measure up.” It’s not like He doesn’t already know, but He wants you to own your sin, to confess it, and then to give it to Him. In confessing your sin - it is best to name it, out loud every sin you can remember. Be honest with God. Remember, He already knows, but in saying it out loud, you are putting it in Christ's tomb. Next time you look in there it will be empty! Confession breaks your old sin's hold on you. It gives you a place to point when satan tries to accuse you. "Look satan, I put it over there in that empty tomb and it is GONE!!!" [Tweet This]

Once you give Him your sin, and see that His blood on the cross paid the price for it, there is nothing between you and a wonderful relationship with your Father and mine. Simply ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life.

The Bible promises:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, - John 1:12

The only thing left to do is to put your faith, your trust, your life into His hands.

If you have done that while reading this post there a couple things I would ask you to do. (What more work?)

Tell somebody, someone you know if a Christian.
Plug into a local body – a good Bible believing church.
Start reading the Bible for yourself. If you don’t have a bible – go to http://www.blueletterbible.org/ or http://www.biblegateway.com/ and start reading. I suggest starting with Mark because you will get to know Jesus quickly.

Lastly, I would love you to tell me about it – either in the comments below or you can email  me: Ben@AnotherRedLetterDay.com

What a great way to start Christmas at Another Red Letter Day.

Ben NelsonThanks for reading today.

See you again soon.

Ben

Here is a related post you may enjoy: Remember to Rest

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