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Intentional Intamacy

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Last week we looked at God’s desire to be close as He described Himself as a shepherd, and we looked at our tendency to roam off and stray. In our passage today, Paul addresses our need to draw close and know our Savior Intimately!
Consider Paul’s words as we read Philippians 3 7-14
Philippians 3:7–14 NASB95
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Intimacy...

Does not happen by accident
Defined : by Webster...
in•ti•mate \ˈin-tə-mət\ adjective
belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature
marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity
marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Former Editor for focus on the family Sahna Schutte wrote this:
One evening over dinner with a friend, we spoke about intimacy and what it means. She shared a cute little phrase with me to remind me of intimacy's true meaning. "It means ‘in-to-me-see,'" she said. Ah yes, it's a blending of our heart with another's, so we can "see into" who they really are, and they can "see into" us.
Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another's, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something we all long for because it's how God made us. We were designed to connect.
https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/preparing-for-marriage/what-it-means-to-be-intimate/what-it-means-to-be-intimate
If we are going to even desire to be intimate with Christ...

We Must Come To A Place Where He Is Supreme!

Verses 7-8 consider all other things “RUBBISH”!!! (Trash, Waste)
This is a change of mind and heart
We cannot hold onto the past… verses 13-14
When we bring baggage into this relationship it hinders the intamacy
When we try to do it all in the relationship rather than let Him work it gets messed up
Greater than past hurts
Greater than your good deads
Greater than a schedule
Greater than our aspirations
We have to forget this leave it
And Grasp, lay hold of, reach out for something far greater!!!! KNOWING HIM!

Intimacy Requires Knowing Him!

This is NOT a knowing of Him
This is known by experience, the power of His ressurection
That is power over death and sin!!!
This is a knowing that brings freedom into the life of the believer!
AND Fellowship in His sufferings… WHOA we can and will suffer as we conform ourselves to the image of Christ as we IDENTIFY with Him!
Conforming we identify… We are the bride of Christ, as such we take His name, we join His family, we join in with His suffering
Knowing Him is not easy, He perfectly knows us intimately, however we need to take:...

Both Time and Effort Are Required of Intimacy!

Look at Paul’s use of words here to describe this knowing Him:
Press on… strive after, give chase, with great effort, no wavering
Lay Hold… to acquire, obtain with great effort, hold firmly the prize
Reaching forward… to strain for, to stretch out, intense effort
Time is required as well… Paul has know Christ for a while now
Any relationship takes time with that person
Getting to know them in all circumstances

Remembrance of Christ Rekindles Our Desire For Intimacy

We are the espoused bride of Christ
Today, we remember Him in a special way, for what He did at Calvary.
Ephesians 5:24-32 talks about being the bride along with many other passages
Ephesians 5:24–32 NASB95
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
Christ at the last supper was in part proposing to His Bride the church...
Context is crucial… context also means when we look at the context of scripture we look at the context of the Culture of scripture. Sometimes this is difficult.

The Shiddukhin

Shiddukhin refers to the first step in the marriage process - the arraignments preliminary to the legal betrothal. It was common in ancient Israel of the father of the groom to select a bride for his son.
They would then agree upon the The Bride Price
· 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Christ paid with His own blood We are also told that our bride's price is not just silver and gold but His own life (I Pet. 1:18-19)
1 Peter 1:18–19 NASB95
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

A Covenant Was Made

We also have a legal contract - which is the New Covenant: Ray Vander Laan explains it this way…
When they’d arrived at the price that was to be paid for this young girl, … , the young man would then ask her to marry him, but he did it in a very Jewish way.
The young man’s father would take a flask of wine. He would pour a cup of wine and hand it to his son The son would then turn to the young woman, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almighty God Himself, that young man would take that cup of wine and say to that young woman, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.” In other words, “I love you. I’ll be your faithful husband. Will you be my bride?”
Mark 14:22-25 Records something familiar for us…
Mark 14:22–25 NASB95
22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 “Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

With This Cup

Jesus offers this to His followers and thus the proposal to the church to be His bride.
The groom essentially promises love and care for His bride - and to give Himself for her. He also has paid the proper price for His bride - (His own life).The bride promises to pay her dowry - her financial status - that of her yielded life and to keep herself for Him - NOTICE: Jesus does not drink of it:
Rich Traver had this to say concerning this custom…
In presenting the cup, if the young girl accepted the young man’s proposal of marriage, she would take the cup from him and drink of it. To seal their betrothal, the young man would then take back the cup from her and he would drink of it himself!
Jesus Christ, our Passover, formally presented the New Covenant to His Bride, at Passover, in the format of a first century Jewish marriage proposal. But, He pointedly declined to drink of that cup just then, as the Biblical narrative specifically states! At that point in the ceremony where He, as the prospective bridegroom, would have partaken of the cup Himself, He made a rather startling statement, that He would not drink of it from that day onward, until He drank of it new, with them, in the Kingdom!
This proposal not only included them… but many to follow! You and Me! Jesus Christ made this proposal to all mankind…HE CHOSE HUMANITY!!!!
The bride could accept or decline the proposal
This is the betrothal period… as a custom the young man would go back to His father’s home and prepare a place for them to live, as he got close the bride would ready herself for his coming for her…
Christ says I go to prepare a place for you! We are to be ready for His return which could be any time! And then we will celebrate the wedding feast! Revelation 19:7
He proposed His love to us at the last supper and showed the depth and power of His love at Calvary
Communion is a proposal given to all mankind, and communion is partaken by all who receive His proposal and place their faith in Jesus Christ!

This Do In Remembrance of Me!

Will you join me as we remember Christ? (Salvation Offer)
Men come forward as we prepare our hearts for this time of remembrance...
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