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Lilwj #02: Living in Love With Jesus (Workbook) (#02 in Falling In Love With Jesus Series)

Paperback|Jun 2003
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The authors of the best-selling Falling in Love with Jesus book and video curriculum turn their insight towards the principles reflected in the life of the biblical character of Esther. ^Though two very different women -- one single and one...


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The authors of the best-selling Falling in Love with Jesus book and video curriculum turn their insight towards the principles reflected in the life of the biblical character of Esther. ^Though two very different women -- one single and one a married grandmother -- the authors combine their unique perspectives of God's love and our ability to love one another. ^Ideal for individual or group study, the Living in Love with Jesus workbook paints a portrait of biblical truth that infuses a woman's relationship with God with new vibrancy.
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 193956
  • Product Code 0849943884
  • EAN 9780849943881
  • UPC 023755022783
  • Pages 244
  • Department General Books
  • Category Women
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Thomas Nelson Publishers
  • Publication Date Jun 2003
  • Dimensions 279 x 209 x 12mm
  • Weight 0.553kg

Dee Brestin

Dee Brestin (www.deebrestin.com) is a writer, speaker, and teacher. Her book The Friendships of Women has sold over a million copies and was recently released in a 20th Anniversary Edition. Falling in Love with Jesus has sold over 400,000 copies. Dee has written twenty Bible studies, the first of which, Proverbs and Parables, has been in print for over thirty years. She is a frequent guest on Moody Radio (Mid-day Connection) and Focus on the Family; she also speaks to many large women's conferences yearly. A graduate of Northwestern University, Dee has studied with Covenant Seminary. She is th

Kathy Troccoli

Kathy Troccoli is an award-winning singer and songwriter (with album sales topping 2 million), bible-teacher and author of ten books. Her rich, melodic voice has garnered numerous 17 number-one radio hits, two Dove Awards, and three Grammy nominations. As author and coauthor of several books, her titles include Hope for a Woman's Heart and the bestseller Falling in Love with Jesus. Her numerous television appearances include Life Today, The Tonight Show, and Entertainment Tonight. With her expressive and passionate style of communication, Kathy is a sought-after conference speaker and seminar

Introduction:
Week 1: A Glorious Bride:


Embroidered with Gold





The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;


Her clothing is woven with gold.


She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors.
(Psalm 45:13-14a nkjv)





Week 1





A Glorious Bride:


Embroidered with Gold





We have been overwhelmed by the response to our first curriculum, Falling in Love with Jesus. So many of you, from eighteen to eighty, have written and told us how understanding that Jesus is your Bridegroom has brought your relationship with Him to a whole new level. Wherever you are in your singleness or marriage, you know you have a perfect Bridegroom. You feel cherished, and you are experiencing a deeper intimacy with Him.


What an exciting journey this has been for us as well. We'd like to tell you about just one amazing weekend when we were invited to minister at a two-day event. Falling in Love with Jesus was the theme, and it was being held at an elegant hotel in Atlanta. At this event the committee had planned all the pomp and circumstance involved with a royal wedding reception in order to bless four hundred women who were in full-time ministry. We watched as these women completely absorbed the pampering, the attention, and the reminder that they are loved as the Bride of Christ. Facials, manicures, and massages were available, without cost, before the start of the event. White flowers, fine china gleaming in candlelight, and displays of wedding gowns were arranged throughout the hotel. In the evening, when the women returned to their rooms, they found rose petals and chocolates scattered across their bedspreads. It was all magnificent.


Several humorous things happened that weekend, which we later realized made a perfect parallel for this study, Living in Love with Jesus.


(Dee) My plane arrived first. I waited with the retreat coordinator, Mary Francis, outside the security area. Darlene, a Delta flight attendant on the committee, went right to the gate to greet Kathy when she got off the plane. Darlene watched as each woman walked through the door. When the last passenger walked off and they closed the door, she was dismayed. No Kathy! She hurriedly called Mary Francis on her cell phone. I could hear Darlene's voice, filled with panic:


"Kathy wasn't on the plane!"


I thought for a moment and then realized what had happened. Smiling, I said, "Mary Francis, Kathy was on the plane. Trust me. Darlene just didn't recognize her. People always look for the 'album cover Kathy.' You know-the hair done, the makeup, the gorgeous clothes. Don't worry. I'll watch for her. She'll be coming up the escalator any minute."


Sure enough, a few minutes later, Kathy appeared, easily lost in the crowd in her typical ball cap, jeans, cowboy boots, and leather jacket. I waved to get her attention. She smiled that recognizable smile, and the committee all breathed a sigh of relief.


The situation became more humorous when we arrived at the hotel. Our van pulled up to a side entrance, which was lined with urns overflowing with flowers.


(Kathy) I was walking in to greet the women when I was stopped.


"Wait, wait, wait! You can't come in yet."


Dee and I began to see what was so sweetly planned. The women started to unroll a white lace runner. A bubble machine was turned on over the door, and bubbles began to fill the air. When I saw what they were doing, I lightheartedly pushed Dee aside, saying:


"You've done this before. Get out of the way! This may be my only chance!"


This was a moment I didn't want to rush. I began to walk with an exaggerated "bride step," singing, "Here Comes the Bride." Everyone laughed hysterically. Part of the comedy was that instead of wearing a delicate white wedding gown and demure veil, I marched in wearing my traveling clothes: jeans, leather jacket, and ball cap. I had on no makeup, and to be quite honest, I had to catch a really early flight, so I had not even showered. I was surely not a typical bride!








Photo of Kathy's Entrance


(Courtesy of Susan Stewart)








It hit us later that this picture was a quite accurate portrayal of us as His betrothed. . . .


This week we are going to look at some of the pictures our Lord gives in Scripture of brides-some caught off guard, some gloriously adorned. For a great wedding day is coming, and our Bridegroom, Jesus, is coming for us. We want to be prepared.


Do your homework before you gather in your groups. In your groups you will be watching a video that will correspond with the lesson for that week. You will see a page for video notes. If you learn better simply by listening, you needn't fill it out. But many women find filling in the blanks helps them remember key points. There are also spaces for you to jot down anything you want to remember.


We challenge you to give your daily time with God top priority and attention. You will discover that much of the emphasis of 1 John is on the difference between the real and the counterfeit. It is so easy to walk like a Christian, talk like a Christian, and even be a Christian, yet have so much of the counterfeit in us. One of the key ways to drive the counterfeit from our lives is to pour truth into our souls. Determine now to be faithful, giving your time with Jesus priority, and with a heart open to His Spirit. Read with a pen or a highlighter, marking things in the workbook text that you want to keep in your heart. Our Bridegroom longs for faithful brides.


You will also find a memory passage for this week on a perforated page at the back of the book. Begin learning it right away so you can review it each day. Set a high standard for yourself and you not only will be taken to new spiritual heights, but you will help your sisters in this group to grow as well.


One key to living in love with Jesus is pouring truth into your soul, so set your heart to do that from the beginning.





Video Notes for Week 1


A Glorious Bride: Embroidered with Gold


Thoughts I want to remember:





1. What did the woman cleaning the hotel rooms ask Kathy?


_____________________________________________________________________





2. John's Gospel helps us _______ in love with Jesus. He wrote the Gospel so that "you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have ______________ in his name" (John 20:31).





3. John's first letter was written later, to revive that life, to help us __________ in love with Jesus. He tells us: "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be _________________ and _______________ before him at his coming" (1 John 2:28).





4. In the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22, the king asked one guest: "How did you get in here without ___________ ____________?" The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, "Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be _____________ and ______________ ______ __________" (Matthew 22:12-13). In this passage, the wedding garment seems to
represent ____________________.





5. In the description of the "Wedding of the Lamb," we are told that "fine linen stands for the _______________ ______ _____ ______ _________" (Revelation 19:8b). In this passage, the wedding garment seems to represent _______________________.





6. James tells us "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is _______________" (James 2:17).





7. Define "revived."______________________________________________________





8. "The colors of His love" is a phrase we hope will ignite your ____________________ on what is possible as you live in love with Jesus.





9. In Scripture, the color __________ represents the finest and the best.





10. Job said, "When he has tested me, I will come forth as ______________" (Job 23:10).





11. Psalm 45 begins with "My heart is stirred by a noble theme." What is this noble theme?______________________________________________________________





12. A scepter of _________________will be the scepter of your kingdom.





13. All glorious am I, _____________________________, within my chamber. My gown is interwoven with ___________. (The character of God is interwoven throughout my character.) In embroidered garments I am led to the __________.





Getting Acquainted


1. Going around the circle, be ready to share your name and a response to one of the following: A time when you were caught unprepared that was funny or stressful. _______________________________________________________________



What you are looking forward to in this group.


_______________________________________________________________





2. What stood out most to you in the video? Why?
____________________________________________________________________





3. Some groups particularly spur you on to a deeper walk with Jesus. They are blessed because they are made up of women of depth who hunger for more of Jesus. How can you, as an individual, prepare and share so as to make this group the best it can be?











Day 1


Becoming His Betrothed








God gives us many pictures in Scripture to show us He wants intimacy with us: He tells us we are His children, that we are His body, but also, that we are His Bride. God the Son is the Bridegroom, and the church, or the true body of believers, is His Bride.


How interesting it is to examine some of the wedding customs in the days Jesus was on earth, and to see how they make a beautiful parallel to our ultimate Bridegroom.


The Jewish wedding ceremony in the days of Jesus took place in three parts. Each part was symbolic. Before the first part, or the betrothal, could occur, a "bride price" had to be paid. This involved intense bargaining between the father of the bride and the father of the groom. The bride price was very steep. The price was comparable to what you might pay for a new house today.





1. According to 1 Peter 1:18-19, what "bride price" was paid for you?


_______________________________________________________________________





2. The "bride price" has been paid, but you must receive it through faith. When the Holy Spirit helps you to fully understand your sin, your depravity, your heart will cry out to a Holy God to be rescued. He has provided a way for you to be cleansed, to put on "a garment of righteousness," so that you will not be ashamed. Meditate carefully on Romans 10:9-11 and write down everything you discover.


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





It is vital to see that it is not enough to confess Jesus as Lord with your mouth. There are many who profess, but one day, because nothing happened in their hearts, Jesus will say, "I never knew you." The heart of Living in Love with Jesus is the first letter of John. John continually differentiates between the counterfeit and the genuine. When salvation is genuine, there has been a heart change, and out of that heart will flow a change in behavior that lasts.


(Kathy) I remember when I had the veil completely lifted from my eyes, when I first grasped what Jesus did for me on the cross. Crucifixes were so much a part of my environment growing up. My family had them hanging over the headboards in most of the bedrooms. Some were even on the tops of dressers with candles around them. As a child I rarely saw adults without a crucifix around their necks. It wasn't just the cross, it was the full body of Jesus in agony.


Even at church, when I'd focus on the huge crucifix above the altar I was numb to the sight of it all. I had seen it so often: the crown of thorns, the blood trickling down His face, the bleeding wound in His side, the nails in His hands and feet. It all just seemed like some great tragedy from a Shakespearean play. I was removed from it because I didn't understand what it really had to do with my life. Yet a time came when I realized the significance of what Jesus did on the cross. I wept on and off for several months. My heart was pierced with the knowledge of Christ and what He had done for me. I would never be the same again. I understood the true meaning of His death, the great mystery of God's plan to reconcile me with Himself. The cross became sacred.





3. If your heart "has been pierced" as Kathy's was, do you remember how you felt when you first understood your sinfulness and what Jesus did for you on the cross? If so, share something about it and how you responded.


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins. All thought they were ready for their bridegroom's return, but five were not. Read the story carefully in Matthew 25:1-13. It is important to remember, when interpreting a parable, not to focus too intensely on individual elements, but on the main point, or you will miss the forest for the trees! In writing about those who have tried to give a particular meaning to the lamps, the vessels, and the oil in this parable, John Calvin writes: "We ought not to trouble ourselves much with minute investigations, which have nothing to do with what Christ intended."1





4. A. With this in mind, as you read Matthew 25:1-13, simply describe what happened.


Don't try to interpret yet-hurried interpretations are often wrong. Wait, for the other Scriptures will give you additional light.


__________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________





B. What observations do you have of the painting on page 8, The Foolish Virgins?


__________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________





5. In the story just preceding the parable of the virgins, there is another story of foolish and wise people. What other adjective is used to describe the wise servant? (See Matthew 24:45.)______________________________________________________________





6. In the parable of the virgins, the wise and the foolish are separated by an event (the return of the bridegroom). Likewise, in Matthew 7:24-27, the wise and the foolish are separated by an event (a storm). In the story involving the storm, how did the wise and the foolish look the same? Yet what was different about them?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





7. How could you tell that the foolish people in the above stories were counterfeit believers?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________




















The Foolish Virgins


J. James Tissot (1895-1899)

















8. What do you think is the primary point of the parable of the ten virgins?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





Begin memorizing your memory passage. (See the perforated sheet at the back of the workbook.)


If you have asked Jesus to forgive you, if you have given yourself to Him as your Lord with your whole heart, then you are His betrothed. Wherever you are in your singleness or your marriage, you have a perfect Bridegroom who will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never be unfaithful to you. There is a ring on your finger. Your Bridegroom delights in your praise. In the privacy of your home, spend some time singing love songs from Appendix B in the back to Him.








Day 2





I Am Going Away to Prepare
a Place for You





After the betrothal, in the days of Jesus, the bridegroom went away in order to add a room to his father's house for his bride. It usually took about a year, but the actual length of time the groom was gone varied.





9. One possible parallel is in John 14:1-3. What do you see?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





Max Lucado writes in When Christ Comes,





He is preparing a place. . . . He knows exactly what you need. You needn't worry about getting bored or tired or weary with seeing the same people or singing the same songs. . . . Trust the promises of Christ. "I have ample space for you; I have prepared a place for you."2





10. In the days of Jesus, it wasn't until the father said all was ready that the groom came back in a great processional with his friends, surprising the bride. Read Matthew 24:36-38. What do you learn in this passage about the return of Christ?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





11. When the father said all was ready, the groom would come with his friends, in a great processional. There is a beautiful picture of Solomon's wedding day in the Song of Songs that is a foreshadowing of a much greater and wondrous processional. Read it in the Song of Songs 3:6-11.





A. Describe the grandeur of the processional. What stands out to you and why (Song of Songs 3:6-8)?


__________________________________________________________________


B. What evidence can you find in this passage that the bridegroom delighted in his bride and in pleasing her?


__________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________





12. A. When the bridegroom came, one of his friends would blow a ram's horn, called a


shofar, and the bride would hear it and know her bridegroom was very near. What parallel do you see in Matthew 24:31?


__________________________________________________________________





B. During the bridegroom's absence, the bride was preparing her wedding garment. Wedding gowns have been important throughout the ages, and in Scripture they are deeply symbolic. Your memory passage this week (if you are doing Track A) involves the wedding garment. See if you can write the verse here without looking at it:


__________________________________________________________________


C. It is fascinating to study the passages that involve the wedding garment. What does the wedding garment represent?


__________________________________________________________________





13. In Matthew 22:1-13, read the story of a king who gave a wedding for his son. Some historians say that at a royal wedding, not only was the bride attired, but fine linen, white and clean, was given to every guest who was invited. Describe what happened in verses 11-13. What does the wedding garment seem to represent in this passage? Why?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





14. In Revelation 19:6-8, what are we told the wedding garment represents?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





Some would say that in Matthew the wedding garment represents faith, or salvation. Yet in Revelation, it seems to represent a holy life, or righteous acts. Which is it?


We are saved by faith, yet, as James says, "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17). Another way of saying this is that faith without works makes no sense. Unless it is a deathbed conversion, you should be able to see a change in the person's life, and that change should continue. True faith will result in a life that reflects the Lord. John Calvin explains:


As to the wedding-garment, is it faith, or is it a holy life? This is a useless controversy; for faith cannot be separated from good works, nor do good works proceed from any other source than from faith. But Christ intended only to state that the Lord calls us on the express condition of our being renewed by the Spirit after his image . . . we must put off the old man. . . .3





15. Our transformation begins at salvation, but as we "continue in Him," the transformation continues. As you look back over your life since you put your trust in Christ, name some of the ways you have seen the Spirit of God make a change in you.


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





Continue learning your memory passage.








Day 3


We Ain't Going to Be the Same Woman





(Kathy) We've had a lot of laughs talking about our "wedding weekend" in Atlanta. I got razzed about how I walked down the aisle, and about my transformation from grunge to glamour. Neither Dee nor I knew it would be such a perfect analogy for this book.


The funny incidents just kept happening. Dee and I went up to our rooms to change. We passed the woman cleaning the rooms and visited with her a little bit.


Later, when I came out, I had changed from my ball cap and jeans to a lovely suit. I'd done my hair and my makeup. I passed the same woman Dee and I had talked to earlier, and though I said "Hi," she just stared at me, unresponsive. A few minutes later I heard a confused voice call down to me:





"S'cuse me. S'cuse me." She moved closer. "You ain't da same woman I saw before-are ya?"





I smiled at her inquisitiveness. I knew I looked different. "Yes, I certainly am."





When I told Dee, she laughed so hard. She said, "This is perfect, Kath. We can tell women that as they follow the principles in 1 John, a transformation will continue in them. Right now they may be a bride in a ball cap, but they can become radiant brides, brides who are confident and unashamed at His coming."


If you know Jesus, if you have put your trust in what He did for you on the cross, the process has begun. You are in the betrothal period. You are now getting ready for your Bridegroom's return. The true and eternal transformation will not happen with makeup, surgery, or wardrobe-it will happen because of His life being poured into you: more of His light, more of His truth, more of His mercy. This is the only way it will happen. As His bride, we can be bought and transformed by no other means.


Our Bridegroom has gone away, but He will be back.





16. In 1 John 3:2-3, how does John explain that this time of separation is also the time of preparation?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________


This is a topical study, which differs from a book study in that you look at a particular topic rather than going verse by verse through a book. The core of this study, Living in Love with Jesus, consists of four principles found in 1 John that will help us be transformed into beautiful brides:


a Clothed in light


a Clothed in death


a Clothed in truth


a Clothed in mercy





All of the above are characteristics of the Lord. As we are being transformed into His image, they should also be true of us.


Review your memory passage.





17. What do you discover about the Lord from the following passages? From the above list, find the characteristic of the Lord and anything you discover about it. (They are not in the same order as above!)


A. 1 John 1:5__________________________________________________________


B. 1 John 2:20-21______________________________________________________


C. 1 John 3:16_________________________________________________________


D. 1 John 4:7-8________________________________________________________








Day 4





Thou Art the Fairest of Men








The first part of this wedding psalm, Psalm 45, describes the amazing Bridegroom, and the second part, His Bride. William Binnie, D.D., writes: "When a prince sets his affections on a woman of lowly rank, and takes her home to be his wife, the two are so united that her debts become his, his wealth and honours become hers."4





18. Sometimes we write from our heads, sometimes from our hearts. What does the psalmist say here in verse 1?


____________________________________________________________________





Read the following translations of Psalm 45:2a:





You are the most excellent of men. (niv)


Thou art fairer than the children of men. (kjv)


You are the fairest of all. (tlb)


One suggestion would be to sing "Fairest Lord Jesus" to your Bridegroom in your alone time. Sing it with all your heart and soul and mind. Charles Spurgeon noted that as the psalmist began to pour out his affections to the Lord, the Lord revealed Himself to him. Begin your time alone with the Lord today by pouring out your affection to Him.





Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,


O Thou of God and man the Son, Thee will I cherish,


Thee will I honor, Thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown!


Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,


Robed in the blooming garb of spring: Jesus is fairer,


Jesus is purer, who makes the woeful heart to sing.


Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,


And all the twinkling starry host: Jesus shines brighter,


Jesus shines purer, than all the angels heaven can boast.


Beautiful Savior! Lord of all nations!


Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor,


Praise, adoration, now and forevermore be thine! (Public Domain)


19. What do you cherish in Jesus as your Bridegroom? List a few specific ways He has been a husband to you in protection, provision, and faithfulness.


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





In the Song of Songs, the Shulamite maiden praised her bridegroom, who was a foreshadowing of Christ:





My lover is radiant and ruddy,


outstanding among ten thousand.


His head is purest gold . . .


(Song of Songs 5:10-11a)





20. Read the vision John had of the Bridegroom:


I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:





king of kings and lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)


Now read the vision of the Bridegroom in Psalm 45:3-7. What similarities do you see?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





21. What does it mean to you, in the difficulties or challenges of your life right now, that you have a Bridegroom who is just, faithful, and true-and who will fight for you? Be specific.


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





One suggestion is to sing the first and third verses of Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in your individual quiet time as a prayer from your heart.





Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.





Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.





He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat.
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.





Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.


(Public Domain)





22. What else do you learn about our Bridegroom from Psalm 45:7-9?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





(Kathy) I loved to read passages like the above to my mother in her last weeks and days on earth. I said, "Mom, Jesus is preparing a place for you . . . isn't that comforting?" I knew it had to comfort her soul.





Day 5





A Glorious Bridegroom
and a Beautiful Bride








The subtitle of this study is "Clothed in the Colors of His Love," a phrase that we hope will ignite your imagination. Our God is so lavish in the ways He loves that we cannot name the colors of His love any more than we can list the colors in the feathers of the peacock, the petals of the wildflowers, or the leaves of autumn.





23. As you look at the world God created, what are some of your favorite colors?


____________________________________________________________________





24. Meditate on Psalm 19:1-6.


A. What does the splendor of the heavens declare?


____________________________________________________________________





B. Why is it that every single individual, even in the most remote area of the earth, is accountable to realize there is a God?


Psalm 19:4 is quoted in Romans 10:18 when Paul is making a case that shows that everyone has "heard" about God, because of creation.





C. To what does the psalmist compare the sun that faithfully rises each morning, flooding the earth with light


__________________________________________________________________





Jonathan Edwards writes:





Therein the Sun of Righteousness rises from under the earth, as the sun appears to do in the morning, and comes forth as a bridegroom. He rose as the joyful, glorious bridegroom of his church; for Christ, especially as risen again, is the proper bridegroom or husband, of his church . . .5





Although we have told you we cannot name the colors of His love because there are so many, we can tell you that in Scripture, gold often represents the finest and the best.


Can you say your memory verse without looking at it?





We've paraphrased the following from Psalm 45. Insert your name:





All glorious am I, _____________________________, within my chamber. My gown


is interwoven with ___________. (The character of God is interwoven throughout my


character.) In embroidered garments I am led to the King.


We've often talked about what suffering and "picking up one's cross" produce in the heart of a woman. The fires of life will refine and purify your character into a magnificent gold if you allow God to use them as He desires. Many of us know women who already "glisten" with the attributes of God.





25. What does gold represent in the following passages?


A. Job 23:10__________________________________________________________


B. 1 Peter 1:7_________________________________________________________





It has been said that a refiner of gold, the craftsman who burns the impurities out of gold over the fire, knows that the gold is genuine and pure when he can see his face in it. In the same way, Jesus knows we are genuine and pure when He can see His reflection in us.





26. With the above verses in mind, how might you become a glorious bride, with a gown interwoven with gold?


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________





27. Meditate on the description of the bride in Psalm 45:10-15.


A. What do you think verse 10 means?


__________________________________________________________________





In the story of Lot's wife, she looked back, not willing to be truly severed from her past. In contrast, Ruth left her people and her father's house to follow God. Jesus asks us to "forsake" all other loves, to let go of the things we thought were important before coming to know Him, and to love Him first and best. This "dying" to what the world holds dear is key to transforming us into a beautiful bride. (We'll look at this in depth in Weeks 6 and 7.)





B. How does the Lord feel about such a bride, according to verse 11?


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C. Describe the princess, according to verse 13.


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Within her secret chambers her glory is great. Though unseen of men her Lord sees her, and commends her. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." [1 John 3:2b kjv] Or the passage may be understood as meaning within herself-her beauty is not outward only or mainly; the choicest of her charms are to be found in her heart, her secret character, her inward desires.6


(Charles Spurgeon)





D. Describe the mood, according to verse 15, of that great wedding day.


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. . . Have you ever noticed the way a groom looks at his bride during the wedding? . . . Most miss it. Most miss it because they are looking at her. But when other eyes are on the bride, I sneak a peek at the groom. If the light is just so and the angle just right, I can see a tiny reflection in his eyes. Her reflection. And the sight of her reminds him why he is here. His jaw relaxes and his forced smile softens. He forgets he's wearing a tux. He forgets his sweat-soaked shirt. When he sees her, any thought of escape becomes a joke again. For it's written all over his face, "Who could bear to live without this bride?"7


(Max Lucado)





28. What do you think you will remember from this week's study? How will you apply it to your life?


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Prayer Time


Close in silent prayer today, asking each woman to pray silently for the woman on her right, that she would see significant changes in her life as a result of this study. Pray she would be a faithful bride, spending time with the Lord, and that she would be transformed. After a few minutes, the discussion leader might lead in this closing song:


In my life, Lord, be glorified, be glorified


In my life, Lord, be glorified today.


In your Bride, Lord, be glorified, be glorified


In your Bride, Lord, be glorified today.





Words and Music by Bob Kilpatrick, © 1978 Bob Kilpatrick Music; P.O. Box 2383, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

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