Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Bride

Becky & Andy-September 27, 1975

The day of our wedding, I was pretty relaxed---after we'd found candle sticks to light the candelabras, that is.  By that afternoon, I was out helping my little cousin learn to ride a bike.  My aunt urged me to start getting ready--I was making her nervous!  Imagine if the time came for my wedding and I was still in my t-shirt and shorts, no make-up, and my hair unwashed?  A little embarrassing.  But that wouldn't have happened.  I couldn't wait to get married to the love of my life!  I couldn't wait to become Mrs. Robert Andrew Dietz.  In fact, I'd practiced writing that name over and over.  And I'd spent time getting to know my future husband--and couldn't wait to be his!

Suppose we knew Jesus was coming for his bride November 10, 2015?  First of all, is He the love of our lives?  Are we excited to be His bride?  Have we spent time getting to know Him?  How would we live these next nine months if we knew He were coming for us then?  Would we do things differently?  How would we prepare ourselves?    

It seems there's too much division among believers--His Bride.  There's too much "I'm right...and you're wrong" attitude.  Why are lines being drawn when we've been told the secret to the Groom's heart?  He's been making known to us the secret of His will, His plan, His purpose...it's His good pleasure (something He's been planning since the beginning of time) to UNIFY ALL THINGS and consummate them in Christ.  Ephesians 1:9-10

The bride of Christ is not unified.  We've not spent time purifying ourselves and getting ready to be a beautiful bride.  Remember Esther?  Those girls spent a year in purification before going to the king.  Why would we do any less before being presented to our Bridegroom?

We should be working towards unity as the Bride of Christ.  To do that, we have to come together.   We have the mind of Christ--we need to come in agreement and align ourselves with Him.  We are to be iron sharpening iron--getting the rough edges off of ourselves and refining each other.  We're to encourage one another, to build up the body of Christ (what bride doesn't exercise to be her fittest?).  We are to be holy as He is holy--separated from the world--set aside for our Groom alone.  We need to know our Bridegroom intimately.  We should be beautiful and fragrant.  We need to be ready to give ourselves completely to Him.

Once I left my cousin on his own to ride his bicycle that September afternoon, I came inside and bathed.  I got the "world" off of me and put on some sweet perfume.  All I was thinking about was preparing myself for my groom.  I put on my pure white wedding dress and veil so I could present myself as a bride to Andy.  My mind was completely on him and I was ready to give myself to him alone.

"Let us rejoice and shout for joy [exulting and triumphant]! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come, and His bride has prepared herself.  She has been permitted to dress in fine (radiant) linen, dazzling and white—for the fine linen is (signifies, represents) the righteousness (the upright, just, and godly living, deeds, and conduct, and right standing with God) of the saints (God’s holy people)."  
Revelation 19:7-8

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