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Thank you for dropping by to spend time with me. I will try to post at least once a week. I value your comments and insights, so please - respectfully - share your opinion with us. Be blessed! Lynnda

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Treasure #4: Secure in His Love

Have you tired of gazing at my treasures: God's pure, encompassing love, His delight in my fumbling attempts to be like Him, His ravished heart when I look only to Him? These treasures make my dark days brighter and my bright days indescribably lovely. You have undoubtedly turned them into your treasures, too, so let me share another one with you.

My fourth treasure: The Holy Spirit is jealously guarding me.

Fear and insecurity can deprive me of sleep at night and of joy in the morning, but God desires me to live my life secure in His love. He has gone to extremes to see that I am secure. James 4:5 says, "Or do you think it's without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit He has caused to live in us yearns jealously?" (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Normally, jealousy would be considered a negative emotion. It usually indicates a lack of trust one person has of another person. However, in one relationship, jealousy can be appropriate: marriage. Suppose a man discovers that his wife is being romantically pursued by another man. This husband truly loves his wife and is committed to the relationship, so he does not ignore the situation and let this thief steal his wife's heart. He does everything in his power to keep his wife's love and to eliminate this thief permanently.

The New Testament speaks often of the church being the bride of Christ.

The best way to understand this relationship is to look at the Jewish practice of betrothal and marriage. The betrothal lasted for about a year, but was much more than our engagement is, today. The betrothal was as binding as the marriage. A betrothed woman could be executed for adultery if she became pregnant, because the marriage was not consummated during the betrothal. (This almost happened to Jesus' mother.) Traditionally, the woman received a gift from her husband at the betrothal.

From the perspective of betrothal and marriage, I have been betrothed to Jesus Christ and am now waiting for Him to come and claim me as His own bride. I have received the Holy Spirit as a type of betrothal gift. He is a seal that guarantees that I am Christ's, but He is also here to defend me from temptation and to rescue me from the world.

According to Rick Renner in Sparkling Gems for the Greek, one scholar expands James 4:5 to it's full meaning this way: "The Spirit takes it very personally when we share our lives with the world. He wants us so entirely for Himself that if the world tries to take us away, it infuriates Him. You need to know that in these cases, the Holy Spirit will not sit idly by and watch it happen. He'll do something to change the situation."

With the Holy Spirit completely committed to protecting me and to holding me safely in my betrothal to Jesus Christ, I have nothing to fear. I am secure in His love. Absolutely.