Laying Down Our Life for the Bride

Laying Down Our Life for the Bride

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father" (John 10:17,18).

Jesus was called to lay down His life for His bride, the Church. Men are called to emulate this same "laying down" our lives for our wives - our earthly brides. Men are to be a physical representation of what Christ has done for each of us. As we men do this, we experience the love of the Father. Wives will experience the love of the Father as husbands do this. Most of us men fight this process due to our own insecurities, independence, pride and ego. However, it is the very laying down our lives that allows us to connect to the Father just as Jesus connected to His Father.

It is in the sacrificial, free will act that this occurs. This activates in the woman a response of love that allows the man to experience a deep love that is rooted in the Father but channeled from the wife, the one we lay our lives down for. Jesus did not feel something was being taken from Him because He chose to give it willingly. Conversely, if husbands lay down willingly their lives, they will not feel something is being taken. It is when husbands defend, negotiate and withdraw from the needs of a woman that it negates this process. When we think we are being used or manipulated against our will, we believe others are trying to control us and we resist. Jesus did not do this. He gave willingly. Men must realize they are the initiators called to lay down their lives for their wives. Women respond to this sacrificial act by giving their heart and physical love to their husbands. Both husband and wife experience the love of the Father when this happens.

Giving up our lives for our wives feels like just that - giving up our life. We give up rights, privileges, and desires. We focus only on them. When we become dead, God loves us by giving us the desires of our heart. We give up life, in order to gain it. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).

This is what it means when Jesus laid down His life for His bride. This is what it means when Paul said: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:25-28).

This principle is key to impacting the marketplace for Jesus Christ. The family has been greatly wounded by a failure to understand this principle. This has also led men and women to become slaves instead of sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Today, if you are a husband, commit yourself to laying down your life for your bride.

Today's Prayer
Dear God, Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for the seasons that change and the awesome wonder of nature that you gave us to enjoy and to oversee. Thank you for cool fall breezes at the end of a hot, dry summer. Thank you for the colorful autumn leaves that flutter down and the rusty, warm shades of flowers. Thank you for harvest time, orange pumpkins and crisp apples. Thank you for family together times and friends and festivals and all your abundant blessings. Thank you for keeping me safe, for watching over my loved ones, and for meeting our needs. I pray for the needy, that you will touch them and bring joy and provision into their lives. Thank you, God, for hearing me, for accepting my praise, and for answering my heart's prayers. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders

The Supremacy of Jesus
Bayless Conley

Hebrews 1:1-8 reads,

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire." But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom."

These eight verses tell us that Jesus is supreme, above any angel, because:

God speaks to us through His Son.
Jesus is the heir of all things.
God made all things through Jesus.
Jesus is the express image of God the Father.
He upholds all things with the word of His power.
He purged our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God, not a servant as are the angels.
He is worthy of our worship.
Jesus is God Himself.
That is the supremacy of Jesus!

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