Hi, this is Pastor Ken, I want to welcome you to my Thoughts on a Thursday Podcast where I take some regular occurrence or personal story from my life and connect it to a scriptural truth. So here are my thoughts on this Thursday, August 17th 2023…Happy Anniversary

On Saturday, my wife Lynn and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. As our associate pastor says, “That’s not a world record, but these days, it is a pretty good average.” I seem to have an especially good memory for details of days gone by. I am able to remember events with a good deal of clarity far back into my early childhood. The details of our wedding day just 23 years ago are incredibly vivid for me. I won’t bore you with all of them, but I could go on for hours recalling the events of that incredibly special day. There are far too many to convey in this format, but allow me to share just a few.

It was an incredibly beautiful day to have an outdoors wedding. The sky was bluer than it usually is. The leaves on the trees in the park where we were wed were greener than I had ever seen them before or have ever seen them since. The grass was softer than usual, and the sun though as bright as ever, was not too hot as it often is in August. Though it had not rained the air was crisp and had that amazing smell that is usually reserved for just after a summer afternoon shower. Lynn was stunning as she walked down the makeshift isle between the rows of white folding chairs. Her hair was beautiful, her face radiant, and her smile…it was as sweet as usual and seemingly permanent. I had chosen the perfect girl to ask to be my bride and together we had chosen to marry on the best day of the year.

Those are but a small handful of the memories I have from that day. Though I enjoy occasionally perusing the many pictures people took at our wedding, I don’t need them to remind me of a single detail of the day. Those memoirs are forever stored in the archives of my mind, ready to be recalled for a joyful review at a moment’s notice. Why do I have such extraordinary recollection of the events of that day over others? Obviously it is because of its extreme importance in comparison to of any of the other days in my life. That is the day that God joined Lynn and I and made us one. That is the day that the woman of my dreams became my bride. That is the day that has forever changed every day since then for the better.

So what, you might ask is the scriptural connection for this personal story? I could connect it to any number of passages that are about marriage as it pertains to how a husband and wife are to correctly interact with one another. If you want that kind of biblical encouragement, I would urge you to listen to my Monday Marriage Message podcasts. There I cover that subject in great detail. Instead I want to connect this story from my life to a different scripture.

If you are, or have been married, then perhaps like me, you remember many of the details from your wedding day. It is easy to remember the facts surrounding the day you were joined with the person you were so in love with. Even if the relationship has changed somewhat over the years, the connection you felt on your wedding day likely keeps the memories sharp in your mind. Did you know that God can’t keep His eyes off of you and feels the same way about the day you allowed Him to come live in you through His Holy Spirit?

In Psalm 139:1-18 it says this about the fact that God loves us so much that He can’t keep His eyes off of us. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up [each day], you are still with me

Not only are you the apple of His eye, God loves you so much that He was willing to do whatever it took to restore a wonderful relationship with you. Romans 5:8 tells us, But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. While praying the night before His crucifixion according to John chapter 17, Jesus prayed that He would have the strength to go through the terrible day ahead. Jesus also prayed that His disciples would be emboldened to continue to share the good news of the gospel after He went back to heaven following His resurrection. Finally, He prayed that you and I would hear the message and accept the truth about Him so that we could be with Him in heaven for eternity. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that because of the joy set before Him (the ability to share heaven with us forever) Jesus endured the shame of the cross.

Christ’s love for us shouldn’t ever be in question, He did everything He could do to prove His love for us. In light of all He did, what more could we…or would we ask Him to do? In the Gospel of Luke, it is recorded that Jesus told a well-known parable about a lost sheep. He said that even if a shepherd had 100 sheep, if one got lost, The Good Shepherd would go in search of the lost sheep and bring it back with great joy when he found it. Then it is recorded in Luke 15:4 that as Jesus finished telling that story, He said “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away”! We are the apple of God’s eye, He can’t keep His eyes off of us. He loves us too much for mere words, and when even one person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, they throw an amazing party in heaven.

It’s true that God loves us that much! He created us and knows every detail about our lives…we are that special to Him. Is He that special to us? Do we think about Him all the time? Do we remember everything about the day we realized just how much we needed and wanted Him to be right beside us for the rest of our lives? Is the day we came to Jesus emblazoned on our memories as deeply as the other not-so-important events we remember so well?

If you aren’t as excited about it as you once were, this isn’t designed to bring you shame, allow it to help change you and stir your heart to once again experience the awe of loving Jesus and reveling in His unforgettable love for you. The book of Revelation has the answer to finding that your memories of the day you accepted Jesus’ love for you have dimmed with time. Return to your first love. In other words, fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus again, and have the happiest of anniversaries! His love for you is the greatest you will ever know.

So now, falling completely in love with Jesus all over again, because He first loved you…Go be awesome!

So now, …Go be Awesome!