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

     
    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 didn’t notice that shift-but YES, It is there! His perfect love has driven out fear. 
     
    -I also love the shift in that it is both individual and corporate! How God kept Dee at home for His purpose and had the sisters in prison step in in Dee’s place.  I LOVED Twila Paris’ song and especially toward the end the pictures..of us as One reflecting Him to the world- loving and giving both physical sustenance and His Love and Light to others. 
     
    It reminded me of this-I received in my inbox yesterday from Spurgeon’s sermons: 
     
    ‘Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?’ Job 30:25
    Remember a little more the intimate connection between the body and the soul. Go to the poor man and tell him of the bread of heaven, but first give him the bread of earth, for how shall he hear you with a starving body? It seems an idle tale to a poor man, if you talk to him of spiritual things and cruelly refuse him help as to temporals. Sympathy, thus expressed, may be a mighty instrument for good; and even without this, if you are too poor to be able to carry out the pecuniary part of benevolence, a kind word, a look, a sentence or two of sympathy in trouble, a little loving advice, or an exhortation to your neighbour to cast his burden on the Lord, may do much spiritual service.
    I do not know, but I think if all our church members were full of love, and would always deal kindly, there would be very few hearts that would long hold out, at least from hearing the Word. You ask a person to hear your preacher; but he knows that you are crotchety, short-tempered, illiberal, and he is not likely to think much of the Word, which, as he thinks, has made you what you are; but if, on the other hand, he sees your compassionate spirit, he will first be attracted to you, then next to what you have to say, and then you may lead him as with a thread, and bring him to listen to the truth as it is in Jesus, and who can tell, but thus, through the sympathy of your tender heart, you may be the means of bringing him to Christ.

    1. love the Spurgeon Rebecca–and all of your post. Beautiful heart, always pointing to Him, reflecting Him.

  2. How appropriate to listen to Twila Paris’ song about the beauty of the body of Christ right before I go to worship with His body this morning! May we all have eyes to see and ears to hear His beauty today! I am wondering if you will get out to worship this morning, Dee, if you are feeling well enough to fellowship with other believers.

  3. I am sending a test post….tried to post a comment (twice) and it hasn’t shown up (although it said it had been posted).  I apologize if it shows up more than once; however, I want to test with this post!  Thanks!

  4. Today as I started to peruse the new study the first thing that caught my eye was the image of the full moon over the sea.  Interestingly enough, I took a few vacation days this week.  I spent several days wandering through art galleries and gardens…what a wonderfully healing thing for my soul.  Beauty HEALS…I am convinced of it!  God has used beauty time and time again to do much repair work in my heart.  In times of deepest need, grief, pain, etc…beauty is a balm.  I believe God intended it to be so that is why He created so many beautiful things for us to splash around in.  Like the Gungor song, “You make beautiful things”, it’s true and He invites us into those things.  So, this week I have done a lot of soaking and it has been wonderful.  I say all of that (going back to the moon image) because one exhibit was really moving for me. I actually sat in this spot for several hours, reflecting, writing, praying….I am attaching a link that will give you an idea about what I saw (I do not know this photographer, just found the image and wanted to be able to provide a visual to you).  LINK  The artist created a stunning visual representation of the moon (an illuminated ball 5′ in diameter) over an imaginary sea (gravel)…it was set in a Japanese garden and by tradition the Japanese love to present things illustratively (not necessarily the whole picture) but allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps.  Imagination is a God given gift too.  This serene place was a catalyst for both beauty and imagination, I think of the verse where He says, “He does more than we can even think or imagine” so I often ask myself, “What are you imagining?  Do you imagine?  Can you risk imagining or is the fear of disappointment too much?….as I read the lyrics to the Sarah Groves song it reminded me of that the wonder of God’s creation calls us to imagine and to bask in HIS beauty.  I just had to share this recollection with you today. Looking forward to diving into these passages….thanks Dee!

    1. So good, Rhonda — the healing power of beauty, He creates beautiful things; He IS beauty.
      Wow — just the pics are intriguing. The 5′ sphere would be spell-binding.

    2. Rhonda, my emotions swelled reading your posts. I love that you said, “beauty heals”. That feels weighty with wisdom. He calls us beautiful, and it heals. He shows us Himself in the beauty of nature, and it heals. HE is Beauty–and HE heals. Oh, powerful. Praying for you–always thankful when you stop by and share.

      1. Thank you for the prayers Elizabeth….I can feel the shift in perspective as I observe everyone talking about HIS beauty…beauty is captivating and people long for it!  That message is so powerful and everyone here on the blog is expressing that so wonderfully!  It goes back to the “power of a greater affection”….beauty moves a person in a way that information cannot.  I could have sat and read about the paintings in the galleries and still had something to share; however, it wasn’t until I was standing in front of the paintings, experiencing them and the consequent thoughts and emotions that arise that I really began to appreciate the wonder and beauty.  I hear everyone pounding away on that nail…I don’t think we can say it enough…the renewal of the mind takes time but OH…to truly, truly grasp this!  It’s the difference between breathing and telling yourself to breathe…seeing Him is loving Him. 

    3. Rhonda, it’s so nice to see you back.  I agree ..God’s beauty each day is to behold.  The link you gave is beautiful!

      1. Thank you Joyce…it is nice to be able to engage with you wonderful ladies!

    4. Love that you took vacation days and went to art galleries! How relaxing 🙂

      1. Laura, It was relaxing and I enjoyed it immensely!!! I walked away thinking through the verse in Ephesians 2 that say, “we are His workmanship created for good works”….I saw so many depictions of human likeness and I realized that mankind (being made in the image of the Creator God) wants to create.  I also thought about the sculptures, etc and that no matter the intrigue they are still without life!  The life (the breathe) of God in our lungs makes all the difference…we are living, breathing mobile artwork created for good works!  Now that brings an identity adjustment for sure!!! 🙂

    5. Beauty HEALS…I am convinced of it!  God has used beauty time and time again to do much repair work in my heart. 

      Love this, I could not agree more. I too love art and galleries. I find such joy and peace in seeing art through the expression of someone else.  I find beauty in all my surroundings and think if this is so beautiful, I can only imagine our eternal Heaven some day. I find simple healing even in a smile of a strangers…thanks for your post. It’s beautiful in itself!

      1. Staci, thank you for your kind words….just wanted to take a minute today and say thank you to you and your husband and your family for your military service!!!  It seems very appropriate to do so….thank you for serving us with your input on the blog, it is very insightful and most appreciated!  I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

        1. Staci, I echo Rhonda’s thanks to you, your husband and family for the sacrifices made daily for our country’s freedom.  Many, many thanks to you all!

        2. Thank you Nanci J. 🙂

      2. Staci, wanted to clarify…I am aware that your family is still active duty…but still wanted to say thanks!!!  Your picture is an ever reminding prompt!!! 🙂

        1. Oh, I understood and I thank you so much. I love being a military wife and proud of our active duty men and women!

    6. Lovely, Rhonda…thanks for sharing.  So good to have you back; glad that you are making way in your healing.

  5. Dee, How are you feeling?

    1.   What stood out to me:
    1)  the moon
    2) the bride, the Body of Christ, being made up of every tribe and nation.  “Every tribe and nation” always stands out to me — the wholeness, the complexity, the beauty, different perspectives.  I LOVE THE DIVERSITY  — that God isn’t limited by my cultural limitations.
    3)  The shift to “His desire for me.”  SO encouraging.  That is still soaking in, and I can tell that when that fully soaks in — HE DESIRES ME! —  I will be changed.  I’m thrilled that He loves me so much and His love is changing me to reflect Him.

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

    This shift in her, pointed out by Hudson Taylor. I think this is profound. I hope this doesn’t sound trite, but it reminded me of something. The many years I dated my now husband, I referred to him as “my boyfriend” with all the pride of my 16 year old self. We’ve now been married almost 20 years, and recently, it struck me anew that he had chosen me. I was his chosen wife, and I felt overwhelmed with what the depth of that choice meant. We have been blessed to be brought through very rough early years of much pain–to a refining relationship of trust and deep love. But when I make the connection–the Lord, Jesus Christ has chosen to call me His Bride, He loves me, and this love is one of power–power to change me. Our sermon has been on 2 Peter, and Jesus’ sure return–and to know, that I am bound for the Promised Land, that my King is returning, for me–the love is overwhelming.

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

    It is as we said last week–this shift–more of Him, less of me. The more I realize His love is because of who He is, and who I am in Him–it is not my own merit–I cannot deny myself His love, because He has declared it, and He is truth.
    I think for me, the growth of confidence, the “sinking in”–comes only from daily over, and over, reminding myself of His nature, His declaration of love, His Word.

    1. Elizabeth, I LOVE your answer to no. 1  and how you relate the love of your husband to the love of Jesus.

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

    She is asked to describe her Beloved. If I were asked this—what makes Him who He is to me? He is perfect love. He is the One who saves me. Who knows all, sees all, understands all—and loves with an overwhelming type of love. He will not give up on me, He is a relentless pursuer. He desires me. He is jealous for my affection. He is completely trustworthy, there is no fear in Him. He is stronger than anything that will ever come into my world. He has chosen me, cleansed me, healed me, redeemed me.

    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.

    Vs 16—“He is altogether desirable”-there is not one speck in Him that is not beautiful. All He is, all He thinks, all He says and does—calling the lost to Himself, bring us home to celebrate our redemption through His blood—it is, He is altogether beautiful.

    5. Do you agree? If so, how might you present the beauty of Christ to others?

    I thought His point so interesting, and true. Christ Himself is magnetic, He attracts souls—we only need to talk of Him, His beauty. I recently read about the unlikely conversion of a Fox news anchor, who was brought by her boyfriend to Keller’s church. She says that he kept “bringing in Jesus”. At first it bothered her, she tried to ignore “that part” because Keller was otherwise intellectually likeable. But Jesus got a hold of her, and she cam to Him.

    This discussion has changed how I even talk about Jesus with my kids—I want to express more of His character, His love, His grace. I imagine if you are selling a fine diamond, you don’t describe how it was crafted, but you describe its qualities, its facets…and that is what draws someone to want it over something else—or if I want to encourage someone to try an entree, I don’t describe the process of how it was cooked—but rather it’s taste, texture, and let the aroma bring desire. Describe Him, and He alone will lure hearts.

      1. that’s the one, Dee! I was reading along and surprised when it said it was Redeemer–great story though, oh how He works!

  8. 2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?
    Oh, yes!  What is making the difference? Seeing His Beauty, worship, knowing Him more, that He pursues me.  I haven’t questioned His love for me for many years, but something is different.  In the past, I clung to His love to survive.  Now, I’m letting Him hold me, rather than grasping in desperation.  I’m seeing that He really does delight in me — that’s what is still soaking in.  Something else that made a difference:  getting to the end of myself.  Even when I don’t have the energy to hold on, He is holding on to me.

    1. oh Renee–this is gold ” In the past, I clung to His love to survive.  Now, I’m letting Him hold me,”

    2. LOVE that Renee!

    3. Renee, to see this shift in your relationship with Him – it is truly beautiful.

    4. BEautiful Renee!

    5. That is good, Renee. Very good description. 

  9. <!–
     
    1.  I really loved the song "How Beautiful."    I was not familiar with it, and I didn't want to miss out on any of the lyrics, so I Googled and found the lyrics, which I am copying here for anyone else who might like to see the words in print.  
    HOW BEAUTIFUL
    by Twila Paris

    Lyrics
    1. How beautiful the hands that servedhe wine and the bread and the sons of the earth.
    How beautiful the feet that walkedthe long dusty roads and the hill to the cross.
    How beautiful,
    how beautiful,
    how beautiful
    is the Body of Christ.
    2. How beautiful the heart that bled, that took all my sin and bore it instead.
    How beautiful the tender eyesthat choose to forgive and never despise.
    How beautiful,
    how beautiful,how beautiful
    is the Body of Christ.

    Bridge
    And as he laid down his life,we offer this sacrificethat we will live just as he died:willing to pay the price,willing to pay the price.

    3. How beautiful the radiant bridewho waits for her groom with his light in her eyes.How beautiful when humble hearts givethe fruit of pure lives so that others may live.
    How beautiful,
    how beautiful,how beautiful
    is the Body of Christ.

    4. How beautiful the feet that bringThe sound of good news and the love of the King.How beautiful the hands that servedthe wine and the bread and the sons of the earth.How beautiful,
    how beautiful,
    how beautiful
    is the Body of Christ.

     I then listened again, following the words, and it had much more impact on me then. 
    I went to church today — right  through Elders' meeting, Sunday School, Worship, and a congregational meeting.   All along today,  I was noticing how much ministry was going on — a lot of it behind the scenes.   I saw people encouraging one another, ministering to the grieving or upset people,  stepping up to help in unexpected ways, etc.  It was truly the Body of Christ in action, I felt.    Then I came home and checked out our Bible Study blog!!   It was as if the Lord had been painting a picture before my very eyes — giving the full panoramic view!   It all came to a climax in the listening to the song "How Beautiful!" 

    1. Very cool Deanna!

    2. Oh how I loved both the songs and Twila Paris’s words to her song….they fill my heart with such joy.

    3. Thanks for posting the lyrics, Deanna!

  10. 2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing?
    Yes. 
    If so, what is making the difference?
    I think that as I focus my thoughts on the beauty of Christ, it is as Dee said,

    There is confidence here, a perfect love that has driven out fear.

    As I love more, I fear less, and therefore I love more and fear less — it is an unending cycle.

  11. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    Twila Paris’ song….cried the entire song :/ especially in the wake of the typhoon in the Philiipines….I love America! Our Marines are already there on the ground helping those poor people.

    1. Laura-d, that’s one of my favorite Twila Paris’ too. I can imagine you doing a beautiful liturgical dance to that song!

  12. How beautiful are my friends and family this week. Thank you Jesus for putting us here on earth to help one another, to love one another, to reflect You in us; the body of Christ. Surgery tomorrow. Please pray for steady hands of the surgeon, an intelligent anesthesialogist, and results that are God-given.

    1. Laura, whatever it is your having done…your in my prayers and for the hands that help you….Blessings!

      1. Thanks Joyce 🙂 Nice to see your face again; I’ve missed you.
         

    2. Laura, you are certainly in my prayers!   Also praying for God-guided medical help for you.   Keep us posted!

    3. Lord, I pray for Laura right now, asking You to be a very real presence with her through every stage of her surgery today…please guide the surgeon’s hands and give him wisdom and may all who care for Laura work together smoothly as one. I pray too for Laura’s full recovery…may the healing begin even now. May Laura rest in Your love and give her Your peace.
       
      Laura, please let us know when you’re able how you’re doing!

    4. Praying for you Laura and the doctors and speedy recovery. Hugs.

    5. Dear Laura-d…I echo all of the wishes and prayers…take care, know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many.  Please do keep us updated as you can.  Love to you, friend.

  13. 2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?
     
    Oh yes. The difference is This Song of Songs study.
     
    Another quote that stood out to me was when Dee said she goes from invincible love to the wilderness and back again. I can so relate! I am so encouraged that confidence in His Love for me is “growing”. Before God opened my eyes in Idol Lies and now more deeply in Song of Songs I ‘knew’ He is faithful and His love would never change for me, yet my actions in hiding from Him instead of hiding in Him proved this hadn’t gone to my heart yet. The penny is dropping, but it has taken years of communing with Him in His word, on this blog, in sermons, and with other believers-just feasting on Him. 
     
    I think when I got up out of bed and went looking for Him-BOY did He come! And yet, DAILY my natural bend is to go back to bed- I HATE that, but the difference is that now when I am in the wilderness, I can see it-and His Love compels me to get in His Word and commune and feast on Him-and when I see His Love which I do every time I get into the Word-every time I hear a sermon, I turn and get up and go look for Him. This may sound small but to this frail girl who needs Him minute by minute- this is HUGE. 🙂

    1. Love your post, Rebecca…I can relate to so much…”…yet my actions in hiding from Him instead of hiding in Him proved this hadn’t gone to my heart yet.” And “DAILY my natural bend is to go back to bed- I HATE that, but the difference is that now when I am in the wilderness, I can see it.”

  14. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?
     
    She is asked what is so special about her lover. I suppose the fact that He died for me is pretty incredible.
     
    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.
     
    It is intimate. Nothing specific stands out but the overall idea that he seems strong and sturdy.
     
    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?
     
    I think it is as simple as being there to help others in their pain, suffering, joy, stupidity, etc. A presence, not an absence. I am struggling with this very thing right now with my sister. For some reason she doesn’t think she needs to be there for our mother. Mom has been on a rollercoaster ride this year with her health. She has lived in a rehab for almost a year now and could use my sister to spend some quality time together. I went for the summer, as I am a teacher and could do that. My brother has dealt with all the medical bills, and the actual troubles and routine care; taking her to doctors and visiting her as much as possible (he lives near). My sister isn’t working, has all kids (basically) out of the house, yet could only be bothered to visit one time in the past year. I am upset with her because I don’t understand it at all. My mother should have already died a couple of times, yet my sister can’t seem to find the time? We need to take care of each other, it is what Christ wants. We are here physically and He is not. He wants us to reflect Him on earth. Help me, Lord Jesus, to be a blessing here, for others to know Your love.

  15. Sunday/Monday Icebreaker
    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I like Song of Songs 6:10~majestic as the stars in procession. The stars welcoming us with our Lord, our own welcoming party, like a wedding procession. That is just beautiful to me. 
    2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?
    Yes, my confidence is growing in God’s love for me. I almost feel like a new love has emerged, but a love that does not fade.With time my love just keep growing more and more in love with God. Somedays I just want to sit in His presence all day, I dream of the day when we can all do that, no worries, fears or sadness. Just Him and us. I dont doubt God’s love for me now, even when I fail him or mess up. I dont want to run away from Him, or hide anymore, but I want to run TO HIM. I long for His presence, His love and Him embracing my heart, my soul.
     

    1. As i sat here reading everyones reply I feel the Lord nudging me as to why I like 6:10~majestic as the stars in procession
      My whole life I have loved looking at the stars. Even as a young girl my favorite book was Star Light Star Bright, May I wish upon the first star I see tonight…where the little rabbit makes a wish upon the first star he sees for a new lunch box. I still remember that story from a very young age. I remember thinking how beautiful the stars were, just knowing there was something so magnificent and grand about the stars. Something so much bigger than myself. I  sensed God as a little girl not even realizing it back then. Growing up with an alcoholic father, after being taken away from my mother at the age of 5….there was a sadness within me. Yet, somehow gazing up at the stars gave me a sense of hope, love and longing that there was a God that loved me. This was just all quickened by the Holy Spirit to my memory right now. Im almost in tears seeing God’s love here, even then, in all that mess as a little girl…God loved me and this one passages ‘Majestic as the stars in procession’  Im smiling and laughing seeing His love for me, even back then. The stars were HIS grand procession of His love for me.

      1. Staci, this is beautiful…yes, HE saw YOU…the little girl gazing up at the stars who didn’t yet know Him but He was putting His love on display in a way that would reach into your heart. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      2. I love this post….very sweet in so many ways (God’s warmth to you even in the most difficult times)!!

      3. SO BEAUTIFUL! I keep pondering this post, Staci, about how God touched your heart as a young girl through the stars, even though much of your young life was in a dark place. 
         
        This gives me hope too as I pray for my grandchildren that God will touch and lead their spiritual hearts toward Him, no matter what difficult circumstances they may find themselves in and what pain they go through. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.”

        1. Yes Diane, God has your grandchildren in His hands. I know I owe a lot of my gratefulness to my praying grandmothers! Hugs to you Diane.

    2. Staci…love this thought from “majestic as the stars in procession”…
      “The stars welcoming us with our Lord, our own welcoming party, like a wedding procession.”

  16. Here is a poem I have in my devotional bible in the middle of Song of Songs. I find it quite beautiful especially when the author writes “Sometimes I have looked at you so often I hardly see you.” So often I have looked at God and not even realized I was…
     
    My Lover, My Friend  by: Gladis and Gordon DePree
     
    In knowing and loving you
    Deeply
    I have become a part of the ground-spring
       of love
    Which is God.
     
    Sometimes I realize
    I have looked at you so often
    I hardly see you.
    You are more a feeling than a face,
        A feeling of what you mean to me,
        What you share with me,
        What you do for me…
          But I must remember you have your
                own face,
          Are your own person.
     
    And to that person I owe
    All the gentleness and respect and sense 
        of wonder
    I owe God.
    For you are God come closer to me
    Than in any other face.
     
    This reminds me of the Holy Spirit when I read it. It can be a person in your life, Jesus, God, or all. I see Jesus and the HOly Spirit when I read this beautiful poem. I also see people God has placed through out my life as well in this poem…God’s love working in them and through them.
     

  17. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?
       I know how I always answer it ‘He IS my EVERYTHING....’. I could not imagine life without God. I have said it for years and continually always say it. Im am lost without Him. I could lose everything, even my family, but dont take away my God, for without Him, Life has no meaning. I could not manage or even get through hard times without Him. He truly is the one that has sustained me and continues to do so. Nothing else compares to Him, my King.
     
     
    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 copied and pasted The Message Bible version:

    My dear lover glows with health—    red-blooded, radiant!He’s one in a million.    There’s no one quite like him!My golden one, pure and untarnished,    with raven black curls tumbling across his shoulders.His eyes are like doves, soft and bright,    but deep-set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water.His face is rugged, his beard smells like sage,    His voice, his words, warm and reassuring.Fine muscles ripple beneath his skin,    quiet and beautiful.His torso is the work of a sculptor,    hard and smooth as ivory.He stands tall, like a cedar,    strong and deep-rooted,A rugged mountain of a man,    aromatic with wood and stone.His words are kisses, his kisses words.    Everything about him delights me, thrills me        through and through!

    That’s my lover, that’s my man,    dear Jerusalem sisters.
     
    There is something about His words, His voice that is reassures me He loves me in the Song of Songs. In the Living Bible version it says: His lips are like perfumed lilies and his breath like myrrh.  I know this sounds really odd, but I love when my husband has cologne on and chews double mint gum.  For some reason, IM laughing at myself here, but this is what I picture. My husband knows this too and will go out of his way to do just those two things just for me. That simple act of love from my husband truly is a parallel here to this verse with God.  I love this parallel. 

  18. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
     
    HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THE BODY OF CHRIST (the opening line to this week) – second time I read through this week, I paused just on this; then went to the Twila Paris song
    and scrolled down to Deanna’s post to read the lyrics as I listened. This struck me – as the song opens, Jesus and His beauty are described…”hands that served…feet that walked…heart that bled…”
     
    And this line also made me pause, “How beautiful the tender eyes that choose to forgive and never despise.” Have you ever had someone look at you with that “hard look” that tells you, without words, that you are disliked, rejected, blamed, unforgiven? And oh, not to always blame others for I’ve also given that kind of a look.
     
    Then the song focuses on the Bride and her beauty…”the radiant bride who waits for her groom” reminded me of Psalm 45, “All glorious is the princess within her chamber”.
    Then I love how the last part intermingles the Bride and the Bridegroom, “How beautiful the feet that bring…the love of the King – how beautiful the hands that served the wine and the bread to the sons of earth”. The Bride and the Bridegroom are now One Body working together.
     
    2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?
     
    The answer to this seems summed-up best in what Dee said above: “…it seems to me that on this earth I keep moving from the land of invincible love to the wilderness and back again.” Some days I feel this confidence in His love; then it seems to fade and I feel unsure again, most always because I am looking at myself and how “dark” I am or I am reacting to feeling unloved. Most of my life I have felt that I just never quite fit-in.
    If anything makes a difference, it is my coming back here to study and fellowship with all of you.

  19. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I really like the Sara Groves song referenced later in the week; the picture of the moon so brightly reflecting the sun and on the water is the perfect picture.
    The comment Dee makes of “I keep moving from the land of invincible love to the wilderness and back again” gave me comfort…to think that the bible study leader that I have so much respect and admiration for has this same issue…well, it gives me assurance and hope.
    2. Is your confidence in the Lord’s love for you growing? If so, what is making the difference?
    I do see my confidence in the Lord’s love for me growing…  The point Reeves made about “being saved to know Jesus” and Jesus’ continuous affection for me, even when I am unkind, last week just hit me.  And then in addition to that there are all the other “little” things here and there (i.e., a podcast, scripture text, a book, etc.) that the Lord has been using to help in opening or adjusting my eyes, mind, and heart.

  20. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?
     He is faithful (even when I am not)…He provides for me each and every day knowing what I need better than I know for myself.  He doesn’t push Himself upon me against my will, but is gentle, kind, and patient.  He works in my head and heart; He guides and directs me (it is my awareness that is truly in question of in being aware, and my obedience in taking His hand to lead me.)  He loves me for who I am…the “in process” me.

  21. 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.
    SoS 5:16b…”He is desireable in every way” pretty much sums Him up…He is the utmost in every way (I must admit I’m not quite sure about the “set like jewels washed in milk…doesn’t really sound that appealing, but maybe I’m missing something in the cultural context??)…He surpasses all others
    but “such, O women of Jesusalem, is my Lover, is my friend” touches my heart to its very core.  “He” who surpasses all others, who is utmost in qualities…”He” is the one that loves me and calls me friend…extraordinarily incredible!!

  22. 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?
    Yes, I do believe we have invented this formula, do A, B and C and you are saved and everything will be OK. Salvation is just a gift from God to us, for all eternity is lost without salvation. Salvation to me opens the door to life and freedom with a relationship with God. Salvation is the key to opening the door to so many great things in God. I think the best way to express Salvation (an act of love done by Christ, that no other man could do for us) is to be the hands, feet, arms, legs (the Body of Christ) for Christ. To show kindness, love, compassion towards others who dont know the Truth. The world is lost without salvation, truth.  To me the lost need a friend who knows this Truth that we carry in our hearts, the love that God has for them. Just be their friend, our lives alone evangelize for Christ. Just in the past three weeks God has brought me a Dutch lady, a total stranger, who has MS, her husband left her after 28 years and she tried to kill herself.I have been spending time with her just talking, having coffee and telling her how much God loves her. Being her friend, when all hope is lost…isnt that what Jesus would do? It really does go back to the old WWJD. Through this, Im hoping she will see how real and loving God is, not some formula she needs to do.
     

  23. 6. Use Song of Songs 5:9-16 as a springboard for prayer. 
    This song is my prayer, I have been listening to it all week, it wont leave me head.
     
    “Who Can Compare”
     
    [VERSE 1:]Who can compare to You, my KingWho can compare to You, my LordWho can compare to You, my FriendI looked and I’ve found that there’s no one like You in all the earth[CHORUS:]And You take my hand, and You call me Your ownYou show me the way to lifeAnd You lift my head, and You give me hopeYou show me the way to life[VERSE 2:]No one compares to You, my KingNo one compare to You, my LordNo one compare to You, my FriendI looked and I’ve found that You’re the One I needed all along[BRIDGE:]You are the wayYou are the truthYou are the life
     

  24. 7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?
    This tells me the daughters of Jerusalem see something in the woman that they long for. They see the deep love, happiness and peace she has from her lover. The daughters see a beauty within, that comes from God alone.The daughters too long for this kind of love, they can not fathom such a love so deep, they too want to find this true love that they are willing to look for Him. To me that right there is the key to salvation….our witness’ is in ‘His love for us’ versus some formula for salvation for the lost to obtain His love. He loves them already, they just dont know it…yet…The desire the daughters of Jerusalem to find him is a stirring in their hearts, they are beginning to see that they too need and long for Him and yet they dont even understand why themselves.  That is God’s love, sometimes you cant explain it, other than just live it out and express it to others in kindness, love and the gifts God has given you to use for others.  
     
    Im learning this a lot this week as I shared God leading me to befriend a Dutch lady with MS and no hope.  There is just something about God’s love…once you experience it and have it in your heart…it just spills over to others. It’s wonderfully beautiful! 

    1. Staci, I love the idea of witnessing (evangelism) being so much more than words…your actions with your new friend speak volumes.  

  25. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?
     
    If asked this, I would say: My name is written in the blood in His brow-He loves us so much that He was willing to suffer for us on the cross and take on the wrath our sin deserved so that He could have us. He is Holy and on our own we are unable to be in His presence-He so wanted us to be in His presence and delight in us and us in Him that He took on the punishment and shame for our sins so that we could be forgiven and be in His presence, and walk with Him. That is not all-it is sealed forever and my life is new in Him and He won’t let me go even when I fail-when I do He turns my ashes into beauty-HIS beauty. :)))

  26. 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.
     
    This surprised me that He quickened me with this: 
     
    “His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.”
     
    I His eyes-gentle like a dove-His love is so compassionate and tender-his deep concern for us, He weeps for us-He became man and went to the cross. Yet the pure, brilliant white milk color around the beautiful inset of his eyes-the brilliant color of Jewels so brilliant and piercing. I see both His humility and power here. perhaps His fierce love. I can just imagine Him looking at me with eyes so full of pure love and majesty melting me from the inside out. That said, I also think of the Lion here-that His enemies will be crushed by His glory whereas we are welcomed in. 
     

    1. Rebecca, I appreciate your poetic thinking and insights.  When I saw the word milk, I thought “cataracts!”

      1. Renee,, ha! milk is a strange way to describe his eyes.  🙂 

  27. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked? If you were asked this question, how would you answer?
     
    The bride is asked – what makes your beloved more special than another?
    If I were asked, “What makes (your) Jesus better than…” I would say, imagine being loved by Someone who knows everything about you – everything you’ve ever done, every thought though unspoken, every dark secret and shameful thing that you would die if anyone found out. Imagine if a movie of your entire life was shown in the presence of everyone you know…everything laid bare, revealed…there are some parts where you’d be afraid that some would walk out, or never see you in the same way afterwards, or even never want to see you again. There would be one person left, and that would be Jesus. He would not be looking at you with derision, or contempt, or disgust. The only sorrow on His face would be due to what that sin has done to you and to others. And He would move near to you, and want to talk with you, and more than that, He is the only one who can do something about it. You are so used to having to hide parts of yourself from others – He is the only one you don’t have to hide from. He already knows everything about you and loves you just the same. In fact, He willingly assumed the guilt and shame of all your sin – He was declared guilty of it instead of you and He died for you so that you may go free. In all the world, you will not find another like Him – everything else is just a cheap imitation, a temporary comfort. Jesus is a Friend who forever remains loyal, a Brother who sticks by you no matter what, a Bridegroom always faithful, a Husband who will fiercely protect you and tenderly care for you, a Savior who loved you enough to die for you and rescue you, and as God, He is perfect, matchless, majestic and mighty and He alone is worthy of your love and affection and worship.

    1. That is a beautiful answer to the question what makes Jesus special, Susan. 

       You are so used to having to hide parts of yourself from others – He is the only one you don’t have to hide from. He already knows everything about you and loves you just the same. 
       In all the world, you will not find another like Him – everything else is just a cheap imitation, a temporary comfort. Jesus is a Friend who forever remains loyal, a Brother who sticks by you no matter what, a Bridegroom always faithful, a Husband who will fiercely protect you and tenderly care for you, a Savior who loved you enough to die for you and rescue you, and as God, He is perfect, matchless, majestic and mighty and He alone is worthy of your love and affection and worship.

      I hope that if someone asks me what makes Jesus special I will answer as winsomely as this.

    2. oh Susan, I so agree with Diane…your answer is absolutely lovely!  To think of Jesus as the last remaining after viewing our life (which incidently you are completely correct on)…well it is just a heart warming view…thanks for sharing your heart.

    3. Susan–THIS IS IT! You nailed the response to this question–this post truly is golden. I’m sure Dee will use it! I will use it! Oh, this really ministered to me.

  28. Twila Paris song has been running through my mind this week.  And “getting my soul happy in the Lord” gradually enters my foggy brain as I am waking up.  Work via email was encroaching on that peace even before I got up.  So, I am “OFFICIALLY” and consciously choosing to get my soul happy in the Lord, get into SoS, and LISTEN to the music before succumbing to the panic of the day (have had a few panicked emails from some who have delayed on joint projects).  I can absorb or be pulled into the distress of others around me if I’m not careful; I’ve noticed that what I am learning (deeply) here, including AWARENESS of getting my soul happy in the Lord has protected me, either by preventing it altogether or decreasing the time I spend before I flee from it.  Maybe this is evidence that I’m getting up more quickly to answer the door 🙂  

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

    I haven’t known what to answer for the “my response” part of this question, and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t move on yesterday or Sunday.  I don’t think words alone can answer the question of what makes Jesus better than all the rest.  Even the Bible, which has many good words, isn’t just words on a page, but the Holy Spirit working through those words. 

    Romans 8 just “popped” 🙂 into my brain.  NOTHING can separate me from His love — and we can’t comprehend the glory that is to be revealed.   I’m not very good at using a formula approach because it feels fake.  But one benefit of knowing a few versions of the formula is the Scripture and major points of the Gospel are firmly anchored in my mind.

    When I am asked the question of what makes Jesus better, my response MUST go beyond the intellectual, must go beyond words.  I pray that my life increasingly demonstrates that I KNOW He loves me and that, though sinful and slow to get up (in more ways than one!), I seek Him.  Then, the Spirit will use my words, give me words to love people and meet them where they are.

  30. 4.  Read aloud  The Song of Songs 5:10-16
    If you all could have seen the thoughts going through my brain prior to reading aloud.  I am so resistant to reading aloud…I read it silently again and finally told myself a couple times that “Dee said to read it aloud so I’m going to!”And yes, something did stand out to me that I hadn’t noticed before 🙂   I sounded as if I were just learning to read on vs 11-15.  The words of those verses still seem just plain weird, but reading them aloud a couple times helped me to understand the tone.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the daughters of Jerusalem thought they sounded weird, too, if they only focused on the words.
    But they (and I) couldn’t help but notice her love for him.  She started by saying that he was distinguished among 10,000.  Then she poetically described his amazing appearance.  What struck me is what she did NOT say:  She didn’t say that he is wonderful because of what he did for me.
    Then she ends with “he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend,O daughters of Jerusalem.”She introduces him to the daughters of Jerusalem.  Her poetry (her emotions?) show that she loves Him.  He is her beloved and friend.  Her life, her words, her relationship with him, her love for him all demonstrate that he is worth knowing. 
    When I understand the depth of this passage, I also think of 2 Corinthians 5:  

    13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

    Vs 14, “the love of Christ constrains us…” is the verse I first thought of, but I couldn’t resist adding vs 13 because those SoS verses still seem strange, even for poetry!  I wonder what “out of my mind” with love for Him might look like in me ??

  31. 5. Mike Reeves feel we have degenerated into presenting a formula for salvation rather than the beauty of Christ in evangelism. Do you agree?
    YES, but the “degeneration” isn’t anything recent.  My response now isn’t as simple as it was when I first read the question.  Here’s a hunch:  I wonder if the formula approach parallels what has gone on in society as people attempt to cram in more, become more efficient.  It might be an attempt to CONTROL how God works.  On the other hand, many people think very linearly (e.g., students want notes in a ppt outline even when “outline” is the opposite of how something works), and a formula might be useful in helping to understand some concepts  — But I don’t think a formula is a good place to start.  I don’t like the formula approach, but I’m hesitant to pick on it too much because God is bigger than formulas, and I know He has used it with some people. 
    If so, how might you present the beauty of Christ to others?
    by having my soul happy in Him, knowing He loves me, reflecting that love to others by spending time with them, listening, living out the “ministry of reconciliation”By being dependable at work — time to do that again, fully convinced of His love 🙂

  32. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    the two are as one. They are inseperable. 
    A few months ago i would have swooned at this but it would have been from a selfish perspective. The two shall become one was a romantic notion that someone knew me well enough that they could finish my sentences, surprise me with the perfect gift or get me an ideal ice cream sundae without me having to ask. Yet now, as my eyes are drawn to the mirror to examine myself more objectively and as my soul is drawn to the beauty of Christ i see the two shall become one As a beautiful picture that was dipicted so nicely in the video from a couple weeks ago (the one with the artwork). I am becoming like Him, less of me, more of Him. Also: inseperable. Everything i do is with Christ. I do not get to pick and choose, but this is ok with me because I want to please Him. It is my soul’s desire. Now if my sleepy flesh would readily follow perhaps i could find this state that Song of Songs refers to. 
     
    2. Is your confidence in the Lords love growing!? If so what is making the difference?
    yes. Head knowledge is becoming heart knowledge. But even more influential is giving up my idol of ‘being good’. I had deceived myself that I was doing a good job of winning God’s favor, of being in the top 49% of humankind. Once i turned from the lie I also turned from MY efforts for security.  My security is now beeing put in truth rather than my deception (practice, practice!!). it is obvious which one is more stable…. And restful. 
     
    Something else that makes a difference is God has given me open eyes to see His illustrations more clearly. Such as my love towards my sons or my marriage, etc. I feel as though i have a fully new understanding of God’s desire for us and sorrow in our sin even though I have been observing these illustrations my whole life.
     
    Thank you to all who have prayed for me. I dont know what I exactly wanted for an answer but the Lord used an extremely challenging situation to further show me where there are idol lies in my soul (I suppose I expected the other to change instead of God changing me). i am grateful. I am also continually amazed that 1. There is always more to ‘clean out’. And 2. The freedom and lightness that comes in turning to Christ rather than idols. I cherish it. . 

    1. Jill, it is so encouraging to see that it’s coming together for you and that you have a peace in your challenging situation.

  33. 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.
     
    There wasn’t a particular verse that jumped out at me but an overall impression. Three years ago my husband and I had an opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to India. [I had also lived in India as a child for 6 years.] One of my fascinations was the temples and idols of the Hindu religion. Even in very poor villages, they had statues of their “gods” bedecked in finery. Some of them were HUGE, towering over the streets in bright colors. The temples were also inspiring – some of them looking almost like wedding cakes in pink or gold, festooned with garlands and hundreds of  mini statues on the roofs overlooking the passersby- like gargoyles.
     
    We also saw, from a distance, a wedding reception with the bride and groom(really everyone) dressed in very rich finery – bright silks, jewels, etc.  Needless to say, the Indians love bright colors and finery. They spare no expense to decorate their idol statues, their Hindu temples, their weddings.
     
    We in our North American Christian culture have deliberately downplayed our displays of God in our church buildings and often our churches are architecturally plain. (This is a generalisation, of course.) Part of the reason for this is that we do not want to be seen as worshipping idols.
     
    Anyway, this passage describes God in “idol-like” terms, dressed as for an ornate wedding-like ceremony – most awe-inspiring, for sure. But maybe, and perhaps I am reaching here, we should put as much effort into displaying God as beautifully and majestically as he is described in Scripture. Perhaps that would draw some non-believers to Him. Non-believers do not see Him as beautiful. They are not drawn to Him.

    1. Diane, Very good point about North American culture, particularly some fundatmentalist/evangelical trends!  I’ve worshiped in huge cathedrals a couple of times; the characteristics/awesomeness the the architecture pointed me to God — kinda like being in nature.  As Rhonda indicated earlier, beauty heals.  I do think that beauty also can point us to the Creator of beauty.  Hmmm… a lot of newer buildings don’t have steeples, not that a steeple indicates at all what it happening inside, but it does cause me to wonder about general trends.When I’ve read about the history of cathedrals (even if some of it was fiction!), I’ve gotten the sense that many of those involved in the designing and building process, sometimes over centuries, have sought to use their crafts and trades to the glory of God.  I think that still is true among some who design church buildings.  Perhaps extreme simplicity, in order to avoid the appearance of worshiping idols, itself becomes an idol ??  I’m starting to think about my own assumptions and judgments related to worship.  Maybe as believers who worship THE MOST BEAUTIFUL God should be the most flamboyant (not the exact word I want) in our worship practices and surroundings .  Sacrificial giving for the purpose of worship:  we see it in Scripture, but today’s giving seems more “practical.”  Oh my!  Exciting stuff!

  34. 3. In The Song of Songs 5:9, what question is the bride asked?    “How is your beloved better than others?”
     
    If you were asked this question, how would you answer?   He is the one who loves me unconditionally and constantly.  He redeemed me with His death on the cross, so that I never have to fear death.  He will be with me perpetually, even though I slip and I slide and I  mess up and do all the wrong things that disappoint Him.   He calls me to follow Him; and when the going gets rough, He comforts me.   He is more precious than silver, more costly than gold, more beautiful than diamonds.  Nothing I might desire compares to Him!

  35. 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.
     
    Verse 12  seemed to give me the best “visual” experience.  
     
     
    His eyes are like doves by the water streams…
     

  36. Well,  the last half of my comment didn’t transmit for some reason.
    I envisioned doves swooping down to be near the streams of water.   In the same way He focuses his vision upon me, nailing me,   piercing dark eyes  riveting me to his presence.    I gain refreshment from his “streams of water.” 
     

  37. 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?
     
    Yes, I think I do agree.   I hadn’t realized this until recently as a part of this blog, but I can clearly see it now. 
     
    I think that instead of saying that we are concerned for someone’s soul and are wanting them to be saved, we should tell them of all the blessings of our life that come from Jesus — all the things that make us love Him.   Of course we are grateful for his suffering death to save us, but perhaps we should emphasize how Christ gets us through our days and blesses us in all the mysterious ways — tell of His kisses!  

  38. Surgery went well, just trying to recover now. It’s hard to stay down; type A personality! Still would like prayers for a good pathology report. Thank you sisters!

    1. Praying, Laura-dancer!

    2. Thanks for sharing the good news, Laura!   Yes, we will certainly pray for a good pathology report.   I would imagine you were told to rest, so perhaps you too need to do like Dee and “listen for God” during this down time. 

    3. SO good to hear…thanks for the update.  Take care, Laura-d…take time to heal before jumping back on life’s treadmill…:)

    4. Glad surgery went well, Laura – dancer. Praying for you as you rest and recover. Have a good time spending time with the Lord. Hope you also have some good books to read or good movies to watch. 

  39. 7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?
     
    The daughters of Jerusalem ask “Where has your lover gone…which way did he turn…that we may look for him with you.”    This tells me that the maiden had done a very good job with her description and had whetted their interest in finding Him themselves.    Likewise, if we can describe Jesus in glowing terms that at the very least peak someone’s curiosity about Him, then perhaps they will seek Him for themself. 
     
    8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?   
     
    In verse 3, ” I am my lover’s and my lover is mine….”   There is no hedging here, she doesn’t say “I think He loves me” or  “I think I am in love with Him.”   She makes a solid statement  — she definitely has a relationship to proclaim.  
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
     
    According to my Life Application Study Bible commentary:   In verse 4, Tirzah is mentioned.   Tirzah was a city about 35 miles northeast of Jerusalem.   It’s name means “pleasure” or “beauty.”     “Majestic as troops with banners” means that the beloved had awe-inspiring beauty, like an army ready for battle.
     
    Verses 8 & 9 refer to 60 queens and 80 concubines and virgins beyond number.   Solomon had many wives and concubines, but he is saying that his love for this woman has not diminished since their wedding night, even though he has many women available to him.
     
    Concentrating on verse 10, I see that these lines are given by the “Friends.”  
     
    “Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?”  
     
    My commentary gives me no help on this verse.  🙂     I know that Reeves said she was like the moon reflecting the sun — she was reflecting her lover.  I think that would make her all the more lovely!   Lovely and glowing as the Christian who reflects the Savior.   No wonder a couple of verses later the friends are calling out “Come back, come back, O Shulamite; come back , come back that we may gaze on you!

  40. I posted up through question 9, and then I responded to Laura’s comment, and everything that I had posted on questions 7-9 disappeared.   I don’t think I can reproduce that!!  I am a tad frustrated.  

    1. So sorry about that Deanna, it is quite frustrating. “Been there and done that!”

  41. 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?
    I do think that in many ways salvation has gone to a more “fomula” sense.  Evangelism seems to talk about our sin and Jesus dying to reconcile us with God…believe that Jesus died for your sins, say “the believer’s prayer” and you’re in!  There is SO much more that needs to be brought into evangelism.  We have a Lord that is continually affectionate, that is faithful despite our lacking faithfulness.  He loves with genuine and unconditional love…He is always willing to give and longs for us to receive, but will not push or prod us to do so against our will.  There is SO much of Jesus that is left out…and I am only at the “tip of the iceberg”… 🙂
     
    7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?
    They are willing and eager to help in finding Him.
    “He” is for us all on an individual, one-to-one basis, as well as in a “corporate” oneness.
     
    8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?
    She knows where to find Him…she professes their mutual love and relationship…i.e., “I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine”…she expresses no doubt whatsoever.
     
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
    Confidence…she reflects Him.
     
    10. Comment on the above and use it as a springboard for prayer.
    God works in each person’s heart with a deeply, personal intimacy.  With love for the Lord and a desire to further His work, we are drawn to move forth and unite with others.  I think part of the Lord intent/purpose is “united we stand, divided we fall.”  There is strength in numbers in a variety of ways…e.g., support, encouragement, sharing of knowledge, what “one” is capable of is more than multipled by a unified group.

    I wanted to share a part of today’s “Jesus Calling” devotion…it seems quite fitting…
    “… you and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of your being.  The Light of My Presence shines within you, as well as upon you.  I am in you, and you are in Me …”

  42. 7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?    They ask “Where has your lover gone…which way did your lover turn, that we may look for him with you.”  This tells me that the maiden had done a very good job describing her lover and had whetted their interest in finding Him for themselves.
     
    8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?   She states “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine….”  She doesn’t  hedge at all.  She doesn’t say “I think He loves me,” or “I think I love Him.”    She makes a solid statement.   She is sure of her relationship with Him.
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?    Verse 10 is spoken by the friends:
       ” Who is this that appears like the dawn fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession.” 
     
    Reeves commented that, just like the moon reflects the sun,  the Shulamite reflected her lover. This would make her all the more lovely!  Thus a Christian will reflect Christ and others will see the glow and be attracted to Him. 

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

    They are eager to help her find Him. The way she has talked about Him, the glow in her eyes, the tone of her voice—I imagine all of it has stirred in them a desire to know this love she has been changed by.

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

    She knows where He is and she knows who she is in relation to Him. There is confidence in her voice. She is no longer insecure about their relationship, about His commitment to her, His love for her—she is assured that they are united. 

  44. Getting my soul happy in the Lord impacts my health 🙂    This morning, I was in the clinic for a “recheck.”   I was asked a question about work right before my blood pressure was taken.  It was HIGH (not high enough for  a stroke, but high enough that I wouldn’t have been comfortable leaving the clinic and having it that high all day).  When I heard how high it was, I said that it was because I was talking about summer situation at work.  Then the nurse told me to “think happy thoughts.” So, guess what I did? 🙂    And a couple minutes later the systolic number went down by about 25 (and I zoned out the other numbers)!  I probably killed off some brain cells during the summer.  Sometimes I’ve been in there when I’ve been close to passing out because of low blood pressure, so I was initially kind of shocked. 
    Although I knew that stress had impacted my health, I had no idea how quickly my thoughts (about what we are studying now and the Twila Paris song) could make a difference.

    1. Renee, LOVED This. 🙂

    2. Wow, Renee. Good reminder!

  45. 8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?
    I like this verse, to me it represents Jesus going to pick the finest of spices for me, his bride. Maybe to make me some perfume and to pick me some lilies. The fact is says gardens and not garden or garden’s says to me that my Lord goes to all lengths to pick the finest for me, He loves me that much. Nothing but the best for His bride and in return that tells me how much He loves me and wants nothing but the best for me. As women I think we have a hard time seeing ourselves so loved and adored at times like this. Especially with society painting women as second chosen, second best, second thought of at times. Also how women are viewed sexually by the world in general is so wrong compared to how the Lord ordained us to be viewed, loved and adored. So this verse really resonates with me and is almost like a healing verse to my soul and heart.
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
     I could be wrong but  Who is this that appears like the dawn”~to me brings the meaning a ‘new day’, a fresh start, a do over, new beginnings, clean slate…
                                        “fair as the moon,bright as the sun”~the moon shines in all places, it knows no differences,it shines for ALL to see, but at the same time the moon is fair in color…the sun is bright, it guides and leads us into a new day as well. The sun brings life to things it touches at times, it helps to grow, warms our souls, sheds light into our daily lives.
                                        “majestic as the star in procession”~ to me this can represent so many things, how majestic the love God has for us, how grand, it never ends. A procession of His love for us, it goes on and on. 

  46. 10. Comment on the above and use it as a springboard for prayer.
    I love this
     
    I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to youIt’s so true, like mentioned before we must sit with him and fellowship if we are to go out and suffer like He did. We must be full of Him to rid of ourselves, our ideas, our judgements. To have His heart for others and not our own ideas or fleshly love. I am so guilty at times of not having Him, trying to do works on my own measures, ideas or understanding. Lord I pray you break the things off of me that are not of you, tug at my heart, knock on my heart and dont give up until I answer. May I be so full of your love that it spills over to others for your Glory.

  47. 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?
     
    Yes I agree. I was thinking about this yesterday. What comes out of our mouth reflects what is on the inside. So, if we present it as a formula usually it focuses on us and what He can give us and I was asking myself what does that say about our hearts? Perhaps it is because most likely our minds are set on truth, and on us and what we can get from Him rather than on Him. It doesn’t mean we don’t know Him-it just means, and I fully believe it is because of how we are discipled in our day and age, that we aren’t taught to gaze on His beauty and therefore our affections aren’t growing more and more on Him and so they turn to worshiping truth and obedience.  So I think if we are feasting on Him-Like Keller said-pounding the Gospel in deeper. This will come out of us when we share the Gospel with others. Like it did with the Shulamite Maiden.
     
    6. Use Song of Songs 5:9-16 as a springboard for prayer.
     
    Lord Jesus, everything about you melts me, and again my hand is over my mouth for what do I really know? When the reality of who you are sinks deeper in, and really Lord Your beauty is deeper than the depths of endless waters-You take my breath away for You are so powerful and fierce in Love that you break down the diseased places of my heart and build anew while I am still not perfect yet. Your love??? wow.. There is nothing like You on Earth or in the heavens-nothing more desirable, nothing worth casting myself on and this stony heart that bends to cast herself on worthless things-you chisel and reveal more of your beauty. Lord, my body is breaking down but you are everlasting and OH what a delight forever-this taste of You now, please help me grow as my flesh wars in me and fades, but in the future-OH..I am so sorry my heart so often doesn’t break for what breaks yours..I don’t truly see others as you do, as I did this past week so I confess i fell so short and forgot you-but thank you for the glimpse you gave me with Marilyn at work..You are breaking through this awful heart of mine-your beautiful, strange, fierce powerful love-I so don’t deserve you but You love me anyway-a mystery so help me gaze on You this moment and the rest of the day..thank you Jesus 
     
     

  48. 7. In The Song of Songs 6:1, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond? What does this tell you?
     
    THEY WANT HIM! :)))) and they want Him so much they are willing to sacrifice-to go with her-to find Him. 
     
    8. How do you see her confidence in The Song of Songs 6:2-3?
     
    She is confident that HE is the one who tends her garden-She can rest in Him more and more in good times and bad. He makes her beautiful.
     
    9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
     
    I see she is like Him–honestly, I see Renee here and Jill and others who are growing-who He is making SO beautiful. 

  49. 9. In The Song of Songs 6:4-10 he describes her beauty. Concentrate particularly on verse 10. What do you see?
     
    I didn’t have time to add this, but I also see the church in this passage reflecting Him..The shulamite maiden and the daughters of Jerusalem for they are One, a powerful army reflecting Him loving and serving others together. I also think of an army and how along the way they need encouragement, so they encourage one another by feasting on His beauty together.