Friday, April 29, 2011

Brides and Grooms

Weddings have been on my mind very frequently lately, as you can expect! Constantly my thoughts are on preparations, plans, concerns, and details. My appearance for "the day", our home, money, so much to consider!!! So when I realize that I have to share a story/thought in church tomorrow I decided to look up "brides" in the a commentary of the Bible. Amongst other verses two verses in Isaiah jumped out at me...

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10.

"And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5.

Before a wedding it is all about preparation. And the day of, time is spent to prepare oneself personally. The woman has a beautiful gown. Her hair is just so. She wants to look more beautiful than she ever has for her groom. The same is for the groom. He wants to look desirable for his bride. I somewhat feel sorry for grooms as so much hype seems to go toward the bride. However at the end of the day, the beautiful bride leaves with the groom. She is his bride. He waits at the end of the aisle for his bride to be ready. She walks down the aisle to him. They are for each other.

What beautiful imagery it is! And a powerful representation of Christ and His church. The church is referred to as the bride of Christ, dressed in pure white in Revelation 12. Jesus wants to come take His bride home.

"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:2-3.

Just like a groom preparing for His bride to come home with him, so is Christ. He wants to receive us to Him. 1 Thessalonians 4 describes Jesus coming in the clouds for His people. We will be caught up to Him in the clouds where He will be waiting for us.. "And thus we shall always be with the Lord." ( 1 Thess. 4:17) Isn't that the whole point of a wedding? To be with each other. I just want my home to be with Charlie. I don't want to be parted from him.

And it is the same with Jesus. He wants to be with His bride. He wants to rejoice over us! And He is coming for His bride! Are we ready? Are we preparing? Am I just as serious about Christ as I am about being ready for June 5th? Jesus is coming. Look around us! The world is going crazy and He said it would before He came. (Matthew 24) Our hope and security must come from Him and the hope in His coming. Just as a bride's desire is to be with her husband so we must have our highest desire to be with Jesus so we can be ready for when He comes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Of Moles and Freckles

This past week I went to the dermatologist to have some moles looked at. This was a unique experience for several reasons. But what stands out is that I learned something and that always makes me excited! I learned that my freckles are not freckles at all. What I thought were freckles are actually moles. All the dots I have on my face, my arms etc are moles! In some ways that seems gross because my perception of moles has been somewhat negative. Maybe everyone knows this and I am just behind the times.

Now until this last Monday I have referred to the dots on my arms and face as freckles. Someone could say I have been lying to people! I have been misrepresenting the truth. But I don't think anyone would condemn me because I simply didn't know.

Acts 17:30 say that in "the times of this ignorance, God winks."I am not condemned for my misrepresenting moles.

However if I were to continue to tell people I have freckles, that would be wrong! I would be deceiving people as to the true nature of moles and freckles.

This is a rather trivial example but it holds true in the more serious aspects of our lives. We are not condemned for our sins that we do in our ignorance. God is just and fair. However when God's will is made clear to us, He expects us to act and choose His truth. It's like a child who suddenly learns that certain words should not be spoken. The first time the child simply does not know the meaning. But for a child who knows better, he will be held accountable for what he says and his parents will discipline him if he disobeys.

Jesus says in John 12: 35, "Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going."

God reveals truth to us and just like it would be silly for me to disregard what I have learned about my skin, it is foolish for us to disregard what God reveals to us in His word. Let us be wise in the small things in this life as well as that which relates to eternity.