IIT UBF - University Bible Fellowship at IIT

Mike and Marys wedding address

Date: Sep. 23, 2010

Author: admin

Michael Mark and Mary Shim' Wedding Address September 18, 2010 . AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST . "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."(2 Corinthians 5:20) . . As we are gathered here today to celebrate Mike and Mary's wedding, we have to think about the meaning of marriage. Marriage has been around ever since man existed. When God made the first man Adam, He saw that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. So God made Eve for him. And they lived happily ever after right? Not exactly. Shortly after this new family was born, they began to have troubles. Through temptation, they fell into sin and disobeyed God. Then they blamed each other for their problems and fought. This wasn’t how God wanted it to be, but unfortunately this is how it often is. . Because of sin, whether it is against God or anyone else, relationships get broken. I have known Mike and Mary for a long time. I have known Mike since he was in high school and Mary since her first year in college when, as God would have it, Mike and I were on the IIT campus and we happened to invite her to Bible study not knowing that she was already in UBF and that her parents were missionaries. Who could have known that it was God’s plan to establish His family with them many years later? Anyway, as I was saying, Mike and Mary were not always the cute and perfect couple we see here today. Just like everyone else they fell into sin too. . However in the course of time, through Bible study, prayer and by the grace of God Almighty, Mike and Mary came to know Jesus personally and they confessed Him as their Savior. And through this their lives began to change. Many of us here have witnessed their change personally. Verse 17 explains what happened, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” When we put our trust in Jesus and decide to really live as God wants, by obeying His commands, we become a new creation. This is where our inner character changes and we have a new identity, a new purpose and a new hope. We begin to act upon new principles and live by new rules with different desires and goals. For example, in the past Mike had more interest in dancing than in Jesus, now he loves Jesus more than anything else and wants to grow to be like Him. And Mary used to be full of fear, now she has become more courageous, and is even able to share her testimony in front of many people. . As we know our prisons are full of people with bad habits. Our government has tried almost everything to change them often without success. So how does God accomplish this impossible task of changing people? We find the answer in verses 18-19a. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.” God did this for all people. God accomplished this through His one and only Son Jesus. Because of our sin and unfaithfulness, we rebelled against God and our relationship with Him has been broken. But when God sent Jesus, he took the punishment that was meant for us upon himself. Thus giving us peace with God. It says that we have been “reconciled” to Him. Reconciliation means to bring into balance, into harmony. When we set our watch by the atomic clock in our kitchen, we are "reconciling" our watch to the clock. We change the one so that it keeps time set by the standard of the other. This is what St. Paul, the writer, meant; that those who believe in Jesus bring their lives into harmony with the pattern set by God. . . And the amazing thing is, that when God reconciled us to himself, he doesn’t count our sins against us anymore. In our world, who doesn’t count our wrong doings against us? Even in baseball, its three strikes and you’re out. But thank God for Jesus who doesn’t count our sins against us. Thank God that that He didn’t hold Mike and Mary’s sin against them but He forgave them and blessed them with a new life. . Why did God do this? The answer can be found in verses 19b-20. “And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” Mike— being a software engineer, and Mary— being an architect, know that designers don’t create things without a purpose. You don’t design a web page, or build a house unless you have a purpose for it. Likewise God reconciled people to himself for a purpose, and that purpose is to bless our lives with heavenly joy, but it is also for us to carry the message of God to the rest of the world. To put it succinctly, we become ambassadors of Christ. Just as the U.S. ambassadors carry the message of the President to other countries, those who believe in Jesus carry His message to our world. Jesus came from the heavenly kingdom and he wants you to carry His message of reconciliation to everyone around you. This was so important, that at the end of the passage St. Paul begs the readers urgently to be at peace with God because Paul knew what judgment awaits those who are not at peace with God. . Mike and Mary, each of you have gone through personal transformations, your lives have been changed by Jesus. However it’s not over. This is a life long process. Even today you are going through yet another transformation, where the two become one. You are no longer individuals and you can not think like individuals because you’re now one. Marriage requires being transformed on a whole new level. St. Paul gives us the picture of a Christian marriage in Ephesians 5. Paul says to husbands, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her....” (Eph 5:25) To grow to be like Jesus Mike, you must learn to sacrifice yourself for Mary, especially for her spiritual growth and fruitfulness. But this isn’t easy for anyone. Although men look tall, strong and handsome, sometimes they can behave like little boys demanding love and attention. sometimes they treat their wives like servants. Mike, you must come to Jesus every day and learn the spirit of Christ to love Mary so that she may grow into a beautiful woman of God, wife and mother. . St. Paul says to wives, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord...the wife must respect her husband.” (Eph 5:22,33) Usually women have a high standard and want their husbands to be like prince charming. When this doesn’t happen, they may nag and complain, pointing out all their husband’s problems. But Mary you can’t be like this, you must learn to respect Mike, simply because the God says to. You must pray for him and see him with hope, and encourage him no matter what the situation is. Then he can grow into a great man of God, husband and father. . As Mike and Mary are transformed into a new creation, may they be truly happy. And their home to be a spiritual oasis where the love of God and true respect nurture their spiritual growth. Their Christian home will then send a message to those who know them that Jesus is alive, and that families established by God are truly blessed. As time goes by, they will also be able to test and approve God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for them. It will be their unique spiritual journey, which unfolds day after day. At the same time, may they live as Christ’s ambassadors sharing the word of God to all, because God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but to come to salvation through Christ. That’s why Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations. I believe God will use this family to raise disciples of Jesus starting with family, friends, co-worker and especially students from IIT. Someday God may even send them as missionaries somewhere. . Mike and Mary, God has established your family for your joy and fulfillment and so that you may live as Christ’s ambassadors. May God richly bless you as you do so! At this time, Mike and Mary would like to share their personal life testimonies of how Jesus made them a new creation. .
Daily Bread

Return to the Lord

Lamentations 3:40-66

Key Verse: 3:40

  Let us test and examine our ways,
    and return to the LORD!

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Intro Daily