Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Let's Get Married!

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

I trust you have had a good week since our last visit. My week passed by so quickly I feel as if I didn’t accomplish all I wanted. Oh well, if anything was left undone, it will eventually be seen to. This week we celebrate our time of Thanksgiving. Have you already started counting your blessings? Even in the midst of trials and adversity, we have much to be thankful for. If you are ever feeling “left out,” look around. Someone is in worse shape and is having a tougher time than are you. Our family, and a few friends from church, will celebrate with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Miss Bessie goes all out when she cooks. She tries to fix at least one dish that is favored by each family member. Really, I could be happy with turkey and dressing. Bess makes her dressing exactly like my mom does, which means I’ve been enjoying the best bread and sage dressing in the world for the last 56 years. I sure hope there is dressing in Heaven! The food, family, friends, and fellowship make for a great time, but don’t forget the reason for it all. It is a time to stop and thank God for His goodness and blessings. I just hope you show Him gratitude every day, and not just one day a year as if by appointment. I feel like since He blesses me every day, I owe Him praise and gratitude every day. It has been said that if we live a life of “thanks- living,” then thanks-giving will be a natural outpouring of who we are.

Yesterday was another great day at Friendship Harmony Baptist. My message was titled, “Our Wedding Day,” taken from Revelation 19:7-9. This passage speaks of that future time when the bride of Christ, the Church, will celebrate her marriage to the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. After the service we were blessed to be able to view the renewal of vows of one of the new couples in our church who have been married 54 years. It was a blessing to all of us and was a fine affirmation of what a good marriage is. We held a reception afterward of cake and coffee.

In the message we discussed how marriage is a covenant, not a contract. With a contract, only certain requirements are necessary to fulfill it and nothing more. Contracts have expiration dates and can be legally broken upon agreement of both parties. A covenant is more binding. In the Old Testament covenants were not made, but cut. One would say, “Let us cut a covenant.” An animal would then be killed and its body would be cut as perfectly as possible in half. Half would be placed on one side, and half would be placed on the other. Both people would then walk between the animal halves. In essence they were saying, “If I do not keep this covenant, may I suffer the same fate as this animal.” With one’s very life at stake, you can see why it is wise to do whatever necessary to keep your word. If more people would take marriage as seriously as it should be taken, the divorce rate would plummet. Covenants have no expiration date and cannot be broken. This is why in a wedding you have the bride’s side, and the groom’s side. The picture is of that passing between the halves.

The picture of a covenant teaches us something about salvation. Salvation is a covenant, not a contract. Salvation has no expiration date, and cannot be broken by either party --- God nor man. In this covenant, Jesus is the slain animal, and God walks through the halves alone as He did with Abraham in Genesis 15:17. This is called a unilateral, or unconditional covenant. God is saying, ” No matter what you do, here is what I will do.” He then saves you and the keeping of your soul (the keeping of the covenant) is His responsibility. Praise God for that, because due to the fact of my imperfection I could neither save myself, nor keep myself. Can you spell, “eternal security?”

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and please enjoy your day and stay safe. If you plan on using a turkey fryer, be sure to locate it at least 20 feet from the house or any other structure. Sadly, a family here in Lee County lost their home due to the oil in their fryer igniting and spreading to the house. Their’s was outside, but only a few feet from the house. I do not want to hear that any of you suffered a similar fate.

May the LORD bless you wherever you are, and I’ll see you next week on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


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