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HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THE BODY OF CHRIST (SONG OF SONGS) LESSON 14

WHO IS THIS THAT APPEARS LIKE THE DAWN,

FAIR AS THE MOON,

 full moonOverWater

BRIGHT AS THE SUN,

MAJESTIC AS THE STARS IN PROCESSION,

AWESOME AS AN ARMY WITH BANNERS?

army

(SONG OF SONGS 6:10)

THIS IS NO ORDINARY BRIDE:

THIS IS THE BODY OF CHRIST,

MADE UP OF EVERY TRIBE AND NATION,

WHO REFLECTS HIS BEAUTY AS THE MOON REFLECTS THE SUN.

HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THE BODY OF CHRIST!

From this point on in The Song of Songs, there is no separation between the bride and her bridegroom. They are one. This is the land of invincible love. I do not know if this represents when we see Him face to face, but it might, for it seems to me on this earth I keep moving from the land of invincible love to the wilderness and back again. Or it may simply represent that state in which He longs for us to move.

I love the utter confidence she has in these final chapters. Hudson Taylor (founder of China’s Inland Mission) points out that in the beginning she said, “I am my beloved’s and He is mine,” and now there is a slight but important difference: “I belong to my lover and his desire is for me.” Taylor says, “In chapter 2 her first thought was her claim on Christ, now she thinks first of his claim on her, and only afterwards mentions her own.” There is confidence here, a perfect love that has driven out fear. And oh, it makes her so beautiful! I had thought I would be ministering in the Texas prisons this week, but laryngitis put a wrench in the plan. Yet the body of Christ is continuing without me, marching forward, volunteers stepping up to share, loving these women with the love of Christ. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

Let the words of Twila Paris’s song penetrate your heart:

 

Sunday/Monday Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?

Monday/Wednesday Bible Study

Remember what George Mueller said, “Your first and foremost duty is to get my soul happy in the Lord.” Abide in the passage and then use it as a springboard for prayer. Last week we saw how she was slow to open the door to her beloved, and then he was gone. She went out into the streets looking for him, suffering beatings from the watchmen, and evidencing a true change in heart from apathy to longing. The daughters of Jerusalem, who represent the less mature in Christ, notice.

3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?

Here is one song that answers that question:

4. In The Song of Songs 5:10-16 she describes her beloved to the daughters of Jerusalem. Read it aloud — see if a verse quickens you, and share it here.

5. Mike Reeves feel we have degenerated into presenting a formula for salvation rather than the beauty of Christ in evangelism. Do you agree? If so, how might you present the beauty of Christ to others?

6. Use Song of Songs 5:9-16 as a springboard for prayer.

7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?

8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?

9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?

Sara Groves put it like this:

YOU ARE THE SUN (SARA GROVES)
You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

Shine on me with your light
Without you I'­m a cold dark stone
Shine on me I have no light of my own
You are the sun, you are the sun, you are the sun
And I am the moon


We are not only like the moon reflecting the sun, we are like an army with banners. 

Our own Rebecca put it like this:

 I think we are coming out of our “individualism” – I think He is moving – This is so God’s heart that we would be One in Him and go out together serving in prisons, to the poor, to the oppressed and downtrodden – what a witness!

10. Comment on the above and use it as a springboard for prayer.

Thursday/Friday: Message from Nancy Leigh deMoss LINK:

11. Listen to the above and comment.

Saturday

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

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154 comments

  1. I was just listening to the Sara Groves song–and thought some may like to hear it: You Are The Sun

    1. AHH–just got to the Nanci Leigh DeMoss podcast and realized they play it there–oops 😉

  2. Just thought others might be interested. In my Scripture reading today, I found a verse that specifically requests God to make my soul happy. Psalm 86:4. I have put the surrounding verses below as well. I just found the verses a reassurance that being “glad” in my soul is a “biblical” request. 
     
    Psalm 86
    Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
    2 Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
    3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
    Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
    5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
    6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
    7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.

    1. LOVE this Diane!  THANK YOU!

  3. 3. In the Song of Songs 5:9 what question is the bride asked?  If you were asked this question, how would you answer? “How is your beloved better than others?” Wasn’t this question asked at a time when they perceived other gods to be real and they chose which to worship? Whereas today we live in a society that tends to either “worship God or not” (even though i believe “not worship God” is equivalent to “worshiping yourself.”) My answer: God is the one true and alive God. Romans 1:19-20 (Amplified Bible):

    19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.
    20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

    I used to think the scriptures were not very effective in witnessing to non-believers because they discount them as religious paraphernalia but I see this morning that God’s word can quicken a heart and be much more effective than logic (though some are won by logic, but even this is God’s work). I am glad for this realization because it begins to give me a way to speak of Christ to non-believers and those that would profess His name for religious sake only.
    (Babbling, sorry.) My answer continued: My God is the one true and alive God. He is strong to create and maintain creation. He is big to name all the stars and cause them to shine. He is attentive to hear my prayers and intervene graciously in my life. He is magnificent to set the stars on parade (I, too, love the stars, Staci!). He is powerful to spin this earth on its axle and yet He is tender to send His Son to build a bridge and commune with me….and you. (I could go on!)
    These questions are a challenge for me because I am so often on the defensive for my faith rather than the offensive. Perhaps it is time to change game plans.
     
    4. In the Song of Songs 5:10-16 she describes her beloved to the daughters of Jerusalem. Read it aloud – see if a verse quickens you, and share it here. 14 “His arms are rods of gold…His body is polished ivory” 15 “His legs are alabaster columns set on bases of gold…choice as the cedars”. These all speak strength to me, wise strength. Gold, while not the strongest element is resistive to rust and deterioration. Also 16 “His mouth is most sweet”. His Word is good.
     
    5. Mike Reeves feels we have degenerated into presenting a formula for salvation rather than the beauty of Christ in evangelism. Do you agree? If so, how might you present the beauty of Christ to others? Yes, I do agree. Many will profess over their choices and not their Savior. Many church have split over a single element of theology. Mike Reeves made a very good point about sermons today. Many speak on what to do rather than the beauty of our Savior and the inevitable change if we seek Him. We are saved to KNOW Jesus. In Him is freedom.
    This is changing my thoughts on evangelism or witnessing. I have always thought that we should just “let our light shine” and we wouldn’t have to say anything people would come and ask what made us different and then we would give a reason for our joy. While this has/does happen these questions make me ponder a different approach. And, if I am really honest, I would say that I used the concept as a justification to not speak more forwardly about my faith for fear of judgement or disapproval. The more people I meet that I do not know are Christian and then later profess such the more I am convicted that I am the same. Secretly loving Christ with not much outward change (this isn’t really love, is it?).
     
    6. Use Song of Songs 5:9-16 as a springboard for prayer: God, you are my God and I will ever praise You! You are magnificent, you are amazing, you are AWEsome, you are unfathomable! You are unchanging, even in others’ disapproval and misunderstanding, You remain Good, Right, True and Pure. Forgive me my shyness is proclaiming you to nations. Give me sight to see Your world and Your people. Fill me that I might spill out onto others testimony of Your greatness and Your unending, unbreaking love. You are capable and You are more than enough. I trust You in the face of criticism and skepticism and disapproval. Give me wisdom and discernment to speak of You to those that You would have hear. I love you. Amen.

  4. 8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?
    This is INTERESTING.  She was out searching for him, has been beaten, and when asked where her beloved is, she responds that “Oh, he is in his garden picking flowers!”  Prior to her flower picking response, she was describing his beauty, which both increased her confidence and attracted the daughters of Jerusalem to her.  I “get” that focusing on his beauty, his friendship increased her contentment and confidence.It seems that if she knew he was in his garden, she should have gone there first.  I know that when I’m distraught, I can be less than logical 😉    

    SO, what I’m wondering is if she just tore out of the house, ran into the night not really thinking & was beaten up because she ran into thugs.  Then, the question asked by the daughters of Jerusalem slowed her down enough to focus and him and “think straight” again.Otherwise, if she knew where he was, why didn’t she just go there in the first place ???  She was sorta focused on him since she ran out looking for him, but after the more concentrated focus on his beauty, she spoke with love and confidence —  and less desperation?  Not sure if I am reading myself into this too much!!  But the process doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, so the way I am understanding it is by applying my own nonsense.   What really did happen here?

    1. I like your thoughts here, Renee. I hadn’t really thought about it. Perhaps after she stopped and answered the daughters of Jerusalem, which is sort of like a praise/prayer, God spoke to her heart and revealed to her where she could find him. Just musing too!

    2. I like this, too. To speak of His beauty would focus our hearts so that we might “find Him” and hear from Him. She was looking for Him with her perspective, frantically trying to find him (in all the wrong places?). I think we see this all the time! I think we do this all the time, running to the “wrong place” not realizing it. Perhaps this is another reason why making our souls happy in the Lord first thing in the morning is such an important concept! Because then we are not just running looking for Him but rather going to the garden and feasting with Him. Good thoughts. =)

      1. Thanks, Dee!  In basking in His love and gazing on His beauty, my soul has been more calm.  Therefore, either what my soul was saying was good or what I was automatically telling my soul was fine.  I don’t know; maybe I was even thinking that once I understood His beauty and His love, I wouldn’t need to (consciously make an effort) to speak truth to my soul.  I’m starting to realize that it is “both/ and” rather than “either/or.”  I was listening to music because it helped me focus on Him, because it “helped.”  But I hadn’t viewed it as speaking truth to my soul.  Just putting together the army with banners with the armor in Ephesians 6.

  5. 9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
    Even though I could figure out the “right” answer from the info above, I wasn’t grasping it from the passage UNTIL I scrolled back in the book and remembered “oh yeah, Solomon was the king, with all the majesty etc that accompanies royalty.”  So now I see who/what she was reflecting.
     
    From v.6:  I was glad she still had all her teeth after being beaten 🙂  
     
    After running around and being beaten, she probably didn’t look too great on her own.  SO, he actually was seeing the reflection of himself in her.  VERY COOL AND ENCOURAGING.

  6. 11. Comments on Nancy Leigh deMoss:
    I thought it was interesting that the lead-in song for Nancy Leigh deMoss was the song that Dee printed above for us — the Sara Groves song, “You are the Sun.”   They didn’t play all of the song, however.  
     
    I posted yesterday that I had a transmission “evaporate” off the blog after I posted it.   I did respond to those questions 7,8, & 9, but only briefly.  Originally I had included some information from the commentary in the Life Application Study Bible concerning the meaning of the name “Tirzah” and also concerning the 60 wives and 80 concubines.  I didn’t include that in my second posting — but then I saw where Nancy Leigh deMoss included all of that as well, so all is well that ends well.  My original post would have been sort of redundant. 
     
    I liked the way she drew in the reference from Luke 12.  I always like it when the Old Testament and new Testament reinforce one another:
     

    “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. . . .
    If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants. (vv. 35–38)”

    I also loved this part:

    The evidence that we belong to Him, that He really is our beloved, is that when we realize we’ve lost His presence, that we’re willing to change our priorities.

     
     

  7. 11. Listen to the above and comment.

    This is so full of wisdom. I really appreciate too that there is a transcript! That helps me to meditate on these truths. My thoughts after listening:

    Her bridegroom came when she wasn’t expecting Him and she wasn’t willing to be interrupted. Her priorities were out of line.

    It struck me that something had become an idol in her life. And because of this, she lost His fellowship. Their relationship was only restored when she was willing to refocus her attention on Him. She had to take initiative.

    When she returns to Him, He reassures her of His love, and tells her His feelings for her never changed. Her failure, MY failure, does not affect the degree, the way, the fact that He loves me.

    As the Bride of Christ, we are the object of His amazing love—and my disobedience does not have the power to alter how He feels about me. I am always the object of His love—I cannot change that by my actions. Such peace in that for me. Cuts the net of guilt and frees me to feel His love pour over me.

  8. 10. Comment on the above and use it as a springboard for prayer.
     
    And I am the moon with no light of my own
    Still you have made me to shine
    And as I glow in this cold dark night
    I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to you.-I think of this both individually and collectively-the Shulamite maiden who is like Him-glowing in the cold dark night attracting the daughters of Jerusalem to Him.
     
    Lord most high thank you that though we are dead moons you gave us life and as we look in your face Your light in us only shines brighter making us look like You-beautiful and radiant. Forgive me for those moments when I try to shine my own light by trimming my sails to the prevailing winds around me and chase my idols..God give me a heart tender for you-shine through me with Your Love-I want to love others the way you love and I just can’t on my own-I am a dead moon unless You shine on and through me. I want to see others like You do-with your eyes. I want to be shaped to groan so much for the new heavens and new Earth that I see others now-the way you desire them to be-One with you-knowing You, filled with your Spirit and knowing your love and loving others as you love. Lord may each one of us here on this blog so dive into you that your light glows through us today as we walk in these cold dark nights. Help us to attract others in our homes, our work, and as we do our daily things, to YOU. Help us see and Love people the way you do. If there is a kind word, a gentle touch, an encouragement, a deed we can offer to someone today-our children, husband, friends, co-workers, strangers-Lord lead us to those. In your precious name, amen.

    1. Amen and Amen Rebecca!  Beautiful!

  9. 7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you? “Where has your beloved gone, o most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?” They are converted. They want to seek Him after hearing of his beauty. They want to seek him *with her*. I also see the reflecting Christ concept here because they compliment her (o most beautiful among women) after she speaks of his beauty.
     
    8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3? “…I am my beloved’s…” She has found him, again.
     
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-6 she describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on v. 10. What do you see? “…beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun…” She is reflecting his beauty. I find the concubines and wives interesting, for two reasons. One, though we are loved fiercely we are not the only one, right? He loves all his children. Perhaps this was just a way to communicate commitment and the feelings associated with being chosen? Or it is reference to the church and not the individual. And two, there is no jealousy. The others just accept that she is loved most. I think that we can become jealous of one another within the church (I even once heard a pastor preach on becoming a “part of the inner circle” and thought it was a little sad, though I know his intent was not to promote ‘cliques’). But in these passages they are not. In fact, it is the opposite “…they…called her blessed…they praised her…” Again this imagery may be of the church and not the individual. (Though, as Dee would say, there is application with both.)

  10. 4. In The Song of Songs 5:10-16 she describes her beloved to the daughters of Jerusalem. Read it aloud – see if a verse quickens you, and share it here.
     
    I love how this opens with “My beloved is radiant and ruddy…” because it makes me think of a face that is glowing with health and vigor (not pale and wan like so many actors who portray Jesus in movies).
     
    I love this description, too – “His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs” because you have to get really close to someone to be up against their cheek; so it pictures intimacy and closeness…I can almost “feel” those cheeks and imagine breathing in their sweet, spicy smell. HE is “altogether desirable”. This is my Bridegroom, the Lover of my soul…no one else compares to Him. I love her declaration at the end, “This is my beloved and this is my friend”.
     
    5. Mike Reeves feels we have degenerated into presenting a formula for salvation rather than the beauty of Christ in evangelism. Do you agree? If so, how might you present the beauty of Christ to others?
     
    I agree…but it’s a balancing act. On one hand, we have to be careful not to simply extol the beauty of Christ and present it as if a person thinks – okay, great, I want Jesus in my life, but doesn’t change the way they’re living-He is also a God who hates sin and I think the Gettys’ expressed it well in their hymn not leaving out the part about the wrath of God. I think one point Reeves made was that we turn the gospel into abstract things, as if they are separate from the Person of Christ.
     
    I’ve never thought of using the book of Song of Songs in evangelism, but I think I could use it now, sharing with others what I’ve learned as I’ve studied this and have seen Jesus and His Beauty in these passages.
     
    6. Use Song of Songs 5:9-16 as a springboard for prayer.
     
    Oh Lord Jesus, You know how I so often can gaze at Your beauty but then so quickly turn away…I turn my head to gaze at something or someone else, and I forget You and leave you like that Martin French drawing of the Brokenhearted Bridegroom. But as I read these verses, I see these do not describe any human man…there is no one that fits this description nor is there anyone but You who is worthy of being described like this. You are the most excellent, You are The Beloved, and You are altogether lovely and desirable. I pray that You will help me to keep a flame burning in my heart for You, and fuel it with these words and words like those in the Twila Paris song…yes, Lord Jesus, how beautiful You are.
     
    7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?
     
    They have heard and believed that what they were told is true. Now they want to go with her to find him. This tells me that it is better to focus on describing Him than on abstract things. It also tells me that if I’ve let my love for Him grow cold, or lukewarm, then I’m not going to be very convincing when I share Jesus with others.

  11. Just listened (but not too carefully yet) to the Nancy Leigh DeMoss link.  So encouraging.  I’ll listen again. 
    I’m feeling a bit of a panic because I don’t want this study to end.  I have so far to go in soaking up this message.  I’m smiling after I wrote this because I thought of being even more distressed a couple days ago, and my blood pressure going down when I focused on Him, His beauty, His faithful love.
    What a contrast between the message of “getting my soul happy in the Lord” and “if you don’t spend ___ minutes reading the Bible each morning, God might strike you dead because you have broken a vow to Him.”  Though the second one didn’t “work” for me, I still remember the line.  I’m also wondering why this has never soaked in before, if I haven’t heard it, if I had too many layers to penetrate,… not sure why?  I’m not asking this from a place of regret, just wonder and curiosity, wondering how to help others understand.  One of the reasons this is impacting me so much is because what I knew (at least in my head) before comes back to my mind throughout the day.

    1. Renee, I’ve really enjoyed your posts all during this study…I felt that same “panic” when we were doing Idol Lies and not wanting to leave that study, also feeling like I have so far to go to really get it.

  12. I am continually amazed at how my love for others increases exponentially when I seek to understand and commune with His love. It is as if the turbulent waters of my soul were being dredged out and I can breathe deeply instead of gasping for air while drowning, merely focused on survival. This is not the result of a formula but the gracious change in my heart from a Father who fiercely loves me And clothes me. 
    Some days I just have to keep trudging forward through the haze that is misunderstanding or ignorance to find the gems on the other side. I believe….I know  my determination to keep on going is a spiritual weapon against the one that would have me quit. 
    Keep on, Sisters, keep on. 

    1. Jill, this is so good: “I am continually amazed at how my love for others increases exponentially when I seek to understand and commune with His love.” This is truly the key, isn’t it?

  13. 8. How do you see her confidence in Song of songs 6:2-3?
     
    She says, “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.” I was reading the above post by Renee and the replies by Diane, Jill, and Dee. It does appear that her anxiety is gone, the panic that you sense in 5:6-8. This confidence comes after she begins to focus on Him as she describes Him in 6:10-16. I also see this confidence in 5:16, “This is my lover, this is my friend.” My application is that there are times when I get afraid, when I wonder if He really loves me, has forgiven me…turning to Scripture and focusing on His character, which is unchanging…reading about the love of Jesus that took Him all the way to the Cross…brings back my confidence – not in myself, but in Him…in Him I am secure.
     
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
     
    Right at this moment, what I see out my window which faces east is the coming of the dawn…through the now bare trees, it looks like a fire from reddish-pink of the rising sun lighting the sky. And just that fast…it is gone…but what a sight it was to see what appeared to be flames low on the horizon through the trees! It reminded me of what Sibbes’ said, “There is not a thing necessary to nature but you have the style of it given to Christ…when we see light therefore, think of the True Light; when we see the sun, think of the Son of Righteousness.”
     
    So when I see “Who is this that appears like the dawn” – I think of Christ…but I know verse 10 is supposed to be talking about the bride. I’m looking back at my notes from Reeves and he says (about verse 10) “She is compared to a multitude of people. The description of her as the moon – she is reflecting the sun; she’s like him.” He also said that Jonathan Edwards believed that she is a plurality of persons – she is Jerusalem.
     
    I may be off track, but verse 10 makes me think of sort of a prophetic thing…the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven…the day that the Bride of Christ (all believers) will be assembled together and He will be in our midst – kind of “Revelation”-future. But I do see how incredibly beautiful she is, as described here, and it can only be because He has made her so…a reflection of Him.

    1. Oooh, I like thinking of the New Jerusalem, the day all believers are assembled together with Him — every tribe, tongue, people and nation :)SO, this is striking me:  THIS IS THE CHURCH; I can view the church this way now vs fear of being burned, crazy political rants, etc

  14. Lots to comment on with Nancy De Moss. I will note this that SO encouraged and stuck out with me:

    When she referred to Proverbs 4:18-But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.-this is a picture of the trajectory of the person who is in Christ, and Judges 5: let those who love Him be as the rising sun. 
     
     
    -not only are we the moon reflecting Him, as we grow-our trajectory is to be as the rising sun in the dawn overcoming the shadows, and this is Him in us. I LOVED THIS!
     
    It can be difficult in my kitchen job-I don’t know if this is right or not but the difficulty is and isn’t necessarily how rough the ladies talk but how much I love them and hope that they see how much HE loves them-yet honestly some of the things they joke about are funny and my boss has this timing with her sense of humor that is really good-oh my-and there is something about her and the others that I love..I find myself laughing sometimes-and then I wonder if that is borderline and can dampen His light in me. Yet, the difference is that I don’t beat myself up for it like I used to and then feel guilty and defeated. He is strengthening me in confidence of His love-so when I have gone over the line I have found myself saying Oh Lord help me, forgive me that I hurt you and put this above You. Yet I know He hasn’t forsaken me in that time-I just get so tired of my flesh-and the ebbing and flowing of my Love for Him, yet Grateful for His ever flowing Love and Grace!
     
    Daily I am so grateful for His love even though I stumble.  The ladies know I am His-and I pray they see Him in me-that I would grow and be like the morning sun reflecting Him to them so brightly-and that He would give me discernment in how I respond. 

  15. 12. What is your take-a-way and why?
     
    I want to dive deeper into Him. I am comforted and convicted this week! 🙂 I don’t like that my Love for Him ebbs and flows but it does, yet even then He will make me rise like the morning Sun-That the trajectory of my life would be like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter-and as He is making me shine and as He does He will say to me, and to His Church:
     
    “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem, as majestic as troops with banners.
    5 Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me.”
     
    This just does something to me inside when I read this-it melts my heart to know He feels this way about me, and about His body-the Church-that I am part of His Bride and together-wow can His sun shine so bright!

  16. 10. Comment on the above and use it as a springboard for prayer. The phrase “Without you I am a cold dark stone” really speaks to me. How true. This week has been difficult and I am learning the meaning (and value) of fighting every day to speak to my soul rather than listen to my soul. (Thank you, Dee for your response this morning, it was exactly what I needed to hear!) Of consciously turning my face to Him and being warmed by the sun. I have been on the defensive and perceived oppression for so long and I am finding this effects my approach to my relationship with Christ. Also, realizing how deep my idols run….
    Father God, You are the light, You are the light, You are the light. I am cold and dark without You. Praise be Your name for your might and power and strength. Praise be Your name for your tender mercies that are new every single morning. Thank you, thank you. May I be a worthy vessel to You, carrying the beauty of who You are to dark places. Forgive my trespasses into idol territory. Forgive my reactions. May I be convicted to act instead of react. Forgive my selfish sight, give me Your vision. May I always remember to turn my face to You to be warmed and reflective, and may I especially remember to turn others to You as well (especially my sons, Lord!). So much to say and yet I can only sit here with my face turned toward You receiving Your grace and being consumed with gratefulness. May my steps today be in Your light and not my own. Amen.

  17. 11. Listen to the above and comment. This was very good. There is a lot to say and comment on but for the sake of brevity I will limit myself.
    -I love that she pointed out that the bridegroom “feels about [the bride] now as he did before her failure.” After she was a reluctant bride he speaks to her and says the same as he did at the beginning. His love is the same regardless of what we do.
    -Because of my recent challenges and an increasing awareness of those around me who are borderline “persecutors” of the Christian faith I really appreciated what she said at ~10:40 about the victory of Christ and the bride of Christ being in His victory train and following to ~14:42. I especially appreciated this “If we’re following Christ, our lives are a threat to the kingdom of darkness….not because of who we are but because of who Christ is in us.” I just really appreciate the “victorious” and “conquering” language….”everywhere He went hell shattered at His feet”… It is an image of power and strength that He has given us in our cloak. This empowers me to speak of Him and His beauty and to realize the power we have to scatter evil and do His work. It gives me renewed confidence.
     
    12. What is your take-a-way and why? So many good things. I think the things that will stick with me are
    -the image of being a cold dark stone without Him and the necessity to turn my face to Him to shine
    -the image of Hell shattering at His feet, empowerment instead of fear to go forth. 2 Tim 1:7 “for God gave us not a spirit of fear but one of power and love and self-control.”
    -the reminder to speak to my soul and not listen to it. Renee pointing out that when the bride stopped to speak of the beauty of Christ she was able to find Him and go to Him.

    1. Jill,
      Thanks for this:  “I love that she pointed out that the bridegroom ‘feels about [the bride] now as he did before her failure.’ After she was a reluctant bride he speaks to her and says the same as he did at the beginning.”  
      I’m physically not feeling very well and together with stress of pressures here and getting ready to leave town, my thoughts and emotions are vulnerable.  God blessed me with your post this morning.

  18. test–my last few comments haven’t posted–ok, this one made it, just not the one with a song-oh well! 😉

  19. Takeaway:  gaze on His beauty AND speak truth to my soul.
    ALL of this still is soaking in.

  20. 11. Listen to the above and comment.
     
    Another great message by Nancy…I liked especially the part about how we are on a trajectory towards noon. Still amazes me how everything in nature is a picture of much deeper things – and this one, the early pale light of dawn growing brighter and brighter until high noon and no more shadows. I can be afraid at times of a noise…nighttime and darkness magnifies that. But when the sun is high overhead and shining brightly, it dispels fear – you can see everything around you. I long for the day when there are no more “shadows” in me!
     
    Her words at the end were comforting, too; speaking to single ladies and married ladies who may not have a spouse who expresses love to them in this way…cherishing, tenderness. Jesus loves us like this. He sees Himself in us because He has clothed us in His righteousness. We are lovely and beautiful in His eyes. His love is unchanging even though our love for Him ebbs and flows. Love how in SOS he was passionate still in his love for her even after her failure.
     
    12. What is your take-away and why?
     
    A growing confidence in His love…not by looking within myself…but by gazing upon Him. This is how the maiden regained her confidence after her failure, when she told the daughters of Jerusalem why her lover was more excellent than any other. I am thankful that even when my heart is cool, when my love for Him ebbs, He never lets me go; it is His love that maintains our relationship. The burden could never be on me to do this – I would fail every time! It is His love that continually draws me back.
     
    I love the metaphor of the moon and the sun. Oh how I can try to be the sun…making everything about me, but it’s an artificial light. I want to be happy being the moon reflecting His light, being warmed by Him. Another great week.

  21. 11. Listen to the above and comment.
    I agree with Elizabeth, it is really nice to have the transcript for further reference.  Nancy Leigh-deMoss made many good points…I printed out the transcript and highlighted them for future reference…:)

    “because of her negligence, her resistance, the fellowship that they had been enjoying previously is lost for a season.”  … “She wasn’t prepared to receive her beloved when He came to the door and knocked.  As a result, she lost the fellowship that they had previously enjoyed.” … “Ant that relationship with her beloved…was only restored as she was willing to adjust her priorities, to refocus her attention on her beloved.  She had to take initiative to get up and go out and seek after the one that she had neglected.”
     
    It gave me thought once again to ponder how often I have felt nudges and have questioned or became distracted and not followed through…these are His knocks that I have left unanswered because of priorities that are out of whack. 
     
    “…in His opening words after she’s been through this time of failure and faltering, He speaks words of grace and acceptance.  He reassures her of His love, and He expresses that He feels about her now the same way that He did before her failure…her love ebbs and flows, but His doesn’t.” … “Christ’s love for us is the same yesterday, today, and forever, regardless of where we are in our love for Him”

    I see how my love “ebbs and flows”…in my morning times with the Lord, I feel so close and energized…the words of scripture open up, devotions speak to me, etc., but after a long, busy day fatigue makes for lack of motivation. I can relate to the “sleepiness” of the bride…I too repent. Praise the Lord for His understanding, patience, and mercy; that despite my failings, He still loves as He always has and will…thank You, Lord, for loving me the same yesterday, today, and forever…thank You that I am Your beloved.
      
    “Here’s a bride, a kingdom of believers, a kingdom of saints, an army of Christ followers who are confident and unafraid, not because they’re secure in themselves; but because they’re following in the banner of Christ who has all power, has the keys of heaven and hell, all of life and death.  Everything belongs to Him, and they follow in His train.” … “”our lives are a threat to the king of darkness, not because of who we are, but because of who Christ is in us.” … “everywhere where there is a believer in Christ, there should be at least a glimmer of light.”

    Reading this provides renewed confidence…I know who is in charge; it isn’t me, it isn’t the evil one, it isn’t my neighbor, co-worker, etc., it is the Lord Jesus Christ!  It makes me smile thinking that His Holy Spirit is within me; I am “at least a glimmer of light”.   
     
    “She is living in His light, walking in His light, reflecting His glory”…There’s a brightness, a beauty, a glory that gets reflected through our lives as we grow in our love relationship with Christ”
     
    I love the whole thought of reflecting His light.  Sara Groves’ song is a wonderful illustration of this…I have especially liked this song for years; the words spoke to me, and now they speak to me even more so, and with greater meaning and understanding.