Bill and I had a really good friend once. He's still a friend, just not as close.
This man spent so much time at our house and with our family. In fact he was with us so often that when we were invited to family events it was a given that John would be invited too.
When I was pregnant with my youngest child our car broke down about the time the baby was due. John came everyday and spent the whole day from sunup to sundown in case I went into labor and needed a ride. Fortunately we got our car running before our son was born.
John was a very devoted friend.
But then one day he found himself in a relationship. And the woman he chose was not one that we would've ever thought he would go for. She was bossy and took for granted his kind spirit.
Eventually she became his bride. And slowly but surely our friendship dwindled to occasional visits and phone conversations.
But I must add, John has been married to her now for many many years. He is committed to his bride. He may see her faults, but his love for her overshadows everything else.
And I know that despite everything, she loves him.
It is a devoted, committed relationship between a man and his bride even if we can see some faults with her.
It reminds me of the church and its members. We, the people, ARE the church. Are you devoted and committed to it. Do you love the church even if you see the faults? Does your love of the church overshadow all else? Christ loves the church so much that she is His bride. He would die for her. He did die for her.
Don't take the Lord's church lightly. Don't just be a part of it. Don't just be involved with it.
Would you want a marriage where your partner was just a part or just involved?
No! Be devoted to the church. Be committed to the church. Give yourself to the church. Live, cherish and hold dear the church.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”
Ephesians 5:25 ESV