Saturday, 18 October 2014

Loving words to Loving Friends: The Speech I gave to my friends Graeme and Zoe on their Wedding Day

Thank you so much Graeme and Zoe for inviting me to enjoy this wonderful day with you both. To see my dear friends married makes me joyful beyond words. I am so blessed to be here and I cannot thank you enough for including me in this awesome day.
And thank you so much for your wonderful friendship. You have both blessed me in amazing ways but most of all you have blessed me by being incredibly loving friends to me. I am so grateful to God for bringing such wonderful friends into my life. Our friendship is another display of God’s grace in our lives and another reason for us to be full of thankfulness and gratitude to him.
But as wonderful as our friendship is it is not perfect. We are fallible and sadly we let each other down. As you begin your lives together it brings me joy to remind you of one who will never fail you, who will always be there for you, who will never stop loving you. The bible says,
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
(Psalm 86:15)

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5)

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.”
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

I would also like to share with you my experience of what a faithful friend Jesus has been in my life. Many are the times when depression has plunged me into the dark depths of despair. But he has been there to comfort and care for me even when my whole world seemed to be falling apart. It has been in my darkest days that I have experienced his love most intimately and intensely, seen his sovereignty in action most clearly, and been blessed by his grace to get through another day. You have a friend who will stick by you no matter what happens in your lives. In days of joy and sadness he promises to remain faithful to you and to always set his loving affections on you.

Graeme and Zoe, I am not a wealthy man. I don’t have a financial nest egg to fall back on. I don’t have many expensive possessions. I don’t own my own house. I don’t have a high earning job. I don’t have an advanced education. I don’t have a long list of friends. These are all the things the world we live in esteems as valuable. But what I and you do have that eclipses all of these is Jesus Christ. He is infinitely more valuable than anything the world esteems as valuable. The bible says,
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20)
And Jesus, pointing to himself as the one who satisfies the deep spiritual longings of your soul and your longing to know God, says,
I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in me shall not thirst.”
(John 6:35)

As you begin your lives together I hope and pray that each day you will point each other to the treasure that can never perish, whose love never fades, and whose grace will always be amazing. You were made for someone bigger than yourselves and bigger than each other. You were made to enjoy Jesus forever.
Recently I read these words from John Piper which I hope will encourage you as you begin a new chapter in your lives. He writes,

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of marital success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity. So it is with marriage. It is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.”

Graeme and Zoe, thank you so much for having me here to enjoy this day with you both. I wish you all the very best for the future. God bless and much love to you in our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.

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