tirsdag 3. mai 2011

The Bride of Christ by Alice Smith

When God saw Adam alone in the garden, He said, “It is not good.” Using a rib from Adam’s side, God formed a bride and named her Eve—the mother of all humankind. Have you ever thought of the fact that at the very moment the Father prepared a bride for Adam, He was also preparing a bride for His Son, Jesus? For every nation, tribe and tongue have their origin in Eve, and from every nation, tribe and tongue the heavenly Father has formed Jesus’ bride, the Church. The Church’s features encompass the beauty of every race and culture.
During Old Testament times, a common place to seek a Bride was at the local well. Women gathered every day at this source of physical sustenance to draw water for their families (see Gen. 24 for the story of Rebekah at the well). Spiritually speaking, for our spiritual sustenance, we must continually go to Jesus, who is the pure source of living water that sustains our souls. All too often, however, instead of finding sustenance directly from the source, Jesus’ bride drinks from tainted streams to fill her spiritual thirst with religious activity. Going to church or even joining the church, however, is not the well of refreshment. Jesus, Himself, is the well of living water that will refresh the Bride. Jesus wants to fill the thirst of His Bride with pure and clean water. He said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water”(John 7:38, ASV).
What does it mean to be Jesus’ bride—to be one with Him? Because we were chosen to be in Christ from the foundation of the world, when Jesus died—we died. And when Jesus was in the grave—so were we. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead—so were we! That’s why Paul could write to the Romans, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him. . . Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Rom. 6:6, 11). Think of it! God’s plan for a bride—the Father’s desire for an intimate relationship with us in a divinely designed marriage—was dependent upon Christ’s resurrection from the dead! That thought alone should stoke the fire of our love for our Bridegroom. But why should we need to stoke the fire?
Just as we are enamored with our lover and life partner in the days of courtship and beginning marriage, when the days turn to months, and months to years, the flames of passion can die down to smoldering embers. One day the two lovers are shocked to realize how much they have filled their days with activities that caused them to drift apart. They have forgotten the most important fact of their relationship—their love for each other.

So it is with our relationship with Christ. We are prone to forget our love for our Bridegroom. We become careless; we get busy and distracted and make our heavenly Lover wait for us to return to Him. As the Bride of Christ, we are not going to be judged for what we have done, but for why we have done it; not for what we failed to do, but for why we didn’t do it. How, then, can we stay close to the Lord?

One thing we can do is to trust Him fully. In my anxious moments, I find myself wanting to know what the Lord is doing and why He is doing it. But He invites me to learn only about who He is. The Lord refuses to tell me the specifics about what He is doing. By getting to know Him, I learn His character and then I am able to discern His ways. I have found that those who know God’s ways know His heart; those who know His acts know only His hand. I want to know His ways, don’t you? (See Ex. 33:13; Psa. 25:4; 103:7)

When the inner spirit plunges into the fathomless ocean of God’s love, consummation of a divine union has occurred. Male or female, all are one in Christ. The Bride and her heavenly groom are one. This relationship is like a sweet perfume that fills the air. In the life of this new partnership, the human spirit experiences the joy of forgiveness, and the assurance of life eternal. An awakening of the inner life has occurred.

During the honeymoon phase of any new marriage, love is immature. The same is true when we begin our relationship with Jesus. We depend heavily on His reinforcing love. As the relationship deepens, however, we learn to give our love to Him more freely.

It's in falling in love with Jesus, Son of God, again and again that we learn of Him and become a fit helpmeet for our Bridegroom. Will you renew your love for Him today?
written by Alice Smith

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