February 17, 2019 Sermon

Husbands can behave badly. Men are not wise if they tell your wife what's wrong with them. A good husband doesn't talk about the wife's shortcomings. The same goes for the wife to the husband. A marriage is coveted: love never fails! God doesn't just talk about Love. Husbands, love your wives as Christ does the church...it should be holy and without blemish. We, the church, are the bride of Christ. Jesus love 'the bride' with a Perfect Love. We are to hold wives in esteem, but also the 'bride' of Christ in esteem.

In John, Jesus talked to Peter about taking care the church. It was important to Jesus that Peter respect and hold the church in esteem, the bride, the body of believers. If Jesus holds the church to such high esteem, shouldn't we?

When the bride comes down the aisle in a wedding, she's dressed her best and everyone stands up out of respect. Shouldn't we have that much respect every Sunday for the church?

If you want to nourish the bride, you have to spend time with her. When the husband returns from work, he doesn't 'return home'...he's still thinking about work, or he's checked out and zones out to the TV set or his cell phone. We need to honor our brides by giving her attention and love upon return from work, right? Doesn't this show respect and show a holding of esteem? We need to have the same feelings toward the church. We need to have quality time in church, but we also need to have quantity time outside of church with each other. Fellowship is so important to allow folks in the church to bond. Spending time together is still church. It's church within the church.

We honor the bride by encouraging her. We are not supposed to insult or belittle the bride. We are to use our mouths to lift each other up so that we lift up the Body of Christ. The church has a black eye in America today. We need to stop with the negative talk and talk about the positive. When we grumble and gossip, we tear the church down one brick at a time. Eventually, the foundation crumbles. When we tear down the bride, we need to remember who's bride it is: Christ's. We ought not cast mud and stone at the bride's garments. If the bride isn't where she needs to be, we need to encourage the bride and work with the bride to bring about betterment. It's about investing in people. When the bride is in need, so we just play the guessing game and decide on our own what to do, or do we ask the bride what she wants and desires? We all have the opportunity to minister in, for, and on behalf of the church, so be sure to ask where there is a need that must be met that isn't right now. Jesus will appreciate so much the fact that you've served the bride and He would request, love, and desire. The relationship gets special when you move from a consumer to a producer. When you are acting upon The Lord's requests, you earn the Holy Spirit in your life. It allows for a sanctified, holy life, but also allows you to be a witness; not just receiving, but also giving. We need to fill up so that we can flow out.

When we love the bride of Christ, we help her thrive. Increase. Multiply. Reproduce. When we are called on by the bride of Christ, we are called to reproduce and build up new Christ-followers. The bride of Christ is a measurement of what God has in store for all of us.

Honor the Bride of Christ by nourishing, encouraging, and loving her to allow her to thrive.

John 21:15-17

- Jon Bruney
(credit to Jeff Strite)

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

Jon Bruney, Pastor          Gene Force, Elder

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Credit to BibleGateway.com for verses.