All The Single Ladies

I am a helpless

romantic

 

and I long for a special man

for every woman

 

a prince for every princess

who longs for a prince

 

But even more than this

 

I long for you, single women,

to know your groom Jesus first

 

I long for you to want Him

more than any man

 

I long for you to know Him

and love Him first

 

before you find your Mr. Wonderful

 

I long for you to be so grounded in Truth

and the Truth-Speaker, Jesus,

 

that no human man

could take His place

 

No groom will match

the One who chose you first

 

And no romance will compare

to the one you can have with Him

 

If you can only see it

and hear it

and feel it

 

If only you can KNOW it

 

That is what I long for

for you

 

What a gift our Groom is

to the whole body of Christ

 

He gave everything

for us

 

and He is unswervingly faithful

and true

 

This is love,

 

True Love

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

– 1 John 4:10 (VOICE)

 

I made you. I am now your husband. My name is the Lord Who Rules Over All. I am the Holy One of Israel. I have set you free. I am the God of the whole earth.

– Isaiah 54:5 (NIRV)

 

And then I’ll marry you for good—forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know me, God, for who I really am.

– Hosea 2:19,20 (MSG)

 

Now is the time for joy and happiness.
        He deserves all the glory we can give Him.
    For the wedding feast has begun; the marriage of the Lamb to His bride has commenced,
        and His bride has prepared herself for this glorious day.

    She had been given the finest linens to wear,
        linens bright and pure,
        woven from the righteous deeds of the saints.

– Revelation 19:7,8 (VOICE)

 

You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
    a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
    and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
    and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
    and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so your Builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so your God is happy with you.

– Isaiah 62:3-5 (MSG)

 

Christmas Week – The Cast: Joseph

We were pledged to one other,

Mary and I

 

and we longed for the day

when we would be man and wife

 

I loved her,

this young girl with dark eyes

 

and a heart full of God

 

Mary was my faithful betrothed,

she was the one I could trust

 

until one day…

 

She came to me

and, with trembling voice,

told me she was with child

 

and my heart broke in two

 

It was beyond my comprehension

that she would make this choice

 

this choice with so many consequences…

 

but my love for her

eclipsed my anger and disappointment

 

I planned to break our engagement,

a divorce of sorts,

 

so as not to embarrass

or shame the woman I loved

 

But God has a way

of stopping us just in time,

sometimes

 

and I heard from Him

in an unimaginable way!

 

One of God’s magnificent angels

visited me in a dream!

 

He told me not to be afraid

to take Mary as my wife

 

and that the baby growing in her

was placed there by the Holy Spirit!

 

The angel said that it would be a boy

and that I was to name Him Jesus!

 

because He would save His people

from their sins

 

As soon as I awoke

I was on my way

 

I ran immediately to my betrothed

and shared with her my love

 

and the beautiful message

she already knew in her heart

 

We would endure

the ridicule

the scorn

the gossip

the accusations

 

TOGETHER

 

for we knew that no matter what,

God was for us

 

I committed to her, and to God,

that we would not truly become husband and wife

 

in every sense of the word

until our son was born

 

But to everyone else

she became my wife

 

We traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem,

for I was of the house of David

 

and there our son was born,

ours and God’s

 

I wanted so much more for my small family

but because of the census, so many people flocked to this town

 

and my precious son was born

and laid in an animal’s trough

 

for there was no space for us

in a decent room

 

Surroundings aside,

I could not take my eyes off of this miracle child

 

and I could not have been more joyful

or more proud of this boy

 

who was not of my seed,

for God was with us

 

And I would dedicate myself

to raise this Divine Son along with His siblings

 

in a way honoring

the deity He was

and is

and is to come

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement  quietly.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through His prophet:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

 

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

 
– Matthew 1:18-25 (NLT)

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

– Luke 2:1-7 (NLT)

 

 

Truest Love

 

 

In this life

there will never be

a truer love

 

than Jesus’ love

for you

 

You may have an attentive sweetheart

You may not

 

Regardless,

Jesus is matchless

in the way He focuses

 

on your life

on your heart

on your ways

 

His love surpasses

all others

 

Vast beyond measure

Deep calling to deep

 

Aware

On purpose

Romancer of your spirit

 

Jesus,

the truest

of Loves

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

– Psalm 36:5 (NLT)

 

God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.

– Psalm 36:5,6 (MSG)

 

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

– Psalm 42:7 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Unmerited

Who else

in all the universe

can make you feel completely

unworthy,

and yet also feel completely

loved?

 

God is the only One

 

Utterly unmerited –

so it must be true love

 

– Susie Stewart

 

This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

– 1 John 4:10 (NLT)

 

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

– Ephesians 3:18-21 (MSG)

 

Photo by Arik Stewart