This past Sunday at South Bay Church we had the fourth message of our Marriage Redefined series titled, "Does Marriage Have to Limit My Life?" This has by far been our best attended series to date. I believe that so many people's marriages are in trouble and it so often it is extremely really difficult to find the kind of help we need with this super significant subject. On Sunday I talked about the "Death to Life Principle" from John 12:20-26 which is this, "when God calls us to give something up in life it is always so that He can give us something greater in return." In essence, at times God calls us to lay down our conveniences so that he can bless us with something far better than what we laid down. Marriage can be very challenging at times and can seem like a spotlight into the insufficiencies in our hearts and character. Married folks have to lay down many of the conveniences of single living. Every decision from what I wear to how many starbucks drinks I have in a week must be made in light of the most important person in my life, my spouse! In marriage there are many little deaths and sacrifices that have to be made along the way in order to make the relationship work. These deaths can often make you feel limited in your life. I meet many people who felt limited by marriage or parenting and instad of allowing God to develop holiness of character inside of us ran from their marriage. When I make a choice to die to some of my selfish goals and interests for the best interest of my family, I then find that God gives me a greater joy and peace on the other side of that sacrifice. On Sunday I challenged singles and married people alike to be reminded that the life God calls for is one of sacrifice. When we learn to live this and embrace it, we then can find life!
In addition to all of this we had exactly 240 present and 3 people publicly profess their faith in Christ through believers baptism. One of these people made a decision on the spot that morning to get baptized. It was so amazing to me as I watched her respond to God! I am so proud of the three ladies who took the plunge and identified themselves with Jesus. You are an example to so many. BTW, we didn't have any guys take the plunge... I challenged all the men in our church on Sunday saying, "you let the women kick your butt in responsiveness to God!" Next time I think we'll have a few men get baptized!
We're looking forward to the conclusion of the Marriage Redefined series on Sunday looking at "God's Definition" of marriage. We are going to address some very edgy topics. It's going to be great! Looking forward to all that God will do this weekend!