The Bride of Christ
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” – Revelation 21:9
I love to read the Bible. I believe it. For about the past 15 or so years, I have been very intentional about living out what I have learned from reading and studying it. Some of it I haven’t minded doing. Some of it I have hated doing. But all of it has ultimately proven very beneficial. All of it has brought me to a place where I absolutely trust and absolutely love the God of the Holy Bible.
It is interesting to me that the Bible starts and ends with a marriage. In Genesis 2:24 it says “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.” The main verse I chose for today comes from Revelation chapter 21, the second to last chapter of the Bible. Two chapters into the Bible, there is a bride (Eve) and groom (Adam). Two chapters before the end, there is a bride (the church) and groom (Jesus Christ). God is looking for a bride. Not just any bride, but a pure and spotless bride.
Here is the question I am pondering this morning: Am I part of the bride of Christ? How can I know?
- Do I love Him? John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” I want with all my heart to do exactly as He says. If He says, “pray for those who persecute you,” I want to hit my knees and pray for them. If He says, “flee sexual immorality,” I want to run as Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife. If He says, “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me,” I want to do just that. Most of all, I just want to spend time every day with Him in His presence.
- Do I chase after other lovers? In the Old Testament book of Hosea, God asked Hosea to take a wife who constantly prostituted herself. Every time, Hosea would buy her back. Why? He was choosing to love her. This is an amazing picture of what God did for me. I am done trying to have Him and the sins I thought I couldn’t live without. I absolutely never want to make Him jealous because I chase after anything in this temporary world. I want my only source of fulfillment to be Him.
- Am I preparing for the wedding? If we are truly in the last days before Christ’s return, then we should prepare as brides prepare. The day of the ceremony, she spends lots of time preparing her make-up, her hair, and getting her dress on just right. In the same way, I should be spiritually becoming more beautiful. I should have more love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, and more self-control. I do not need to focus on the ugliness of the world, for this world is not my home. I must focus on Him, His Word, and the constant examination of my heart. I must clothe myself in the righteousness that is only found at the foot of the cross of Christ. What a day, glorious day that will be, when I am eternally married to the one who gave His life that I might know Him in the first place and live forever in His presence!
Facebook has been lighting up with flags lately. Many have chosen the rainbow flag. Others have chosen the Confederate flag and/or the American Flag. Some have even chosen the Christian flag. I think God is asking me to choose a simple white flag. The only flag that is pure and spotless. The flag of surrender to simply say “I lay down my right to have what I want to have, do what I want to do, and live like I want to live.” Live through me, Lord Jesus!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24