Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Ephesians 5:21-33 NIV

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Message Notes

1.The pursuit is never circumstantial.

God’s pursuit of us was never circumstantial. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. In marriage we often let events dictate our level of pursuit. The word for “love” Paul used in this passage indicated the highest form of love that is unconditional.

2. The pursuit is never complete.

We point to a spot in the future and believe, “If I can there then I will be happy. If my spouse could be like…I would be happy.”

We pursue happiness as a point in time.

Instead of pursuing happiness, find happiness in the pursuit.

3. The pursuit guarantees the value.

You are ultimately the only one that can assign value to something. Paul realized in his life that God’s will for him, no matter what it included, was far more valuable than anything else.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways did Paul compare marriage to the relationship between the Church and Christ?
  2. Have you ever thought about marriage in this context?
  3. Why is tempting to offer love based on the circumstances we find ourselves in?
  4. Give some examples of Christ love for us being unconditional?
  5. What are your thoughts on the statement, “The pursuit is never complete.”?
  6. What are some ways that we can pursue each other daily?
  7. How can you assign more value to your spouse?