Here Comes the Bride

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, then you would know as the bridal march begins to play that everyone stands to show respect for the bride as she walks down the aisle on her father’s arm. You notice how radiant she looks in her white gown, perfect in every way, not a flaw. But imagine a bride strutting along with a gown that was less than perfect, full of stains and wrinkled. Perhaps she was stumbling from that drink of whiskey or coughing from the cigarette she had just inhaled. Then what kind of image would she be presenting?
Revelations 21:2 says that “the bride has prepared herself.” The bride is the body of Christ, the church, you and me. God tells us that in order to come to Christ as His bride, we have to prepare ourselves. What kind of preparations are we to make?
God always gives us earthly examples so we may understand what He expects of us. First of all, we are to be mature in order to be married. So in our faith walk, it is essential that we grow up and not stay as a child. This takes an extra effort on our part. We must attend church on a regular basis to hear the Word and study so that we may show ourselves approved by God. This means that once we start understanding what God loves and hates, then we take on those same standards for ourselves. It’s true that once we are saved, we become children of God, but it’s only the mature ones who will get the car keys! Maturity is the key to this kind of anointing in the kingdom of heaven.
This preparation takes a serious attitude. We must first die to ourselves. We make up our minds that it’s not about us, it’s about serving the One Who died to save us by serving others in the world. We conform our minds and our wills to do the will of God. It’s being washed white as snow by the blood of Christ shed for us at the cross of Calvary.
Esther is a beautiful example of this self sacrifice to please the king. It’s not that she was better than any of the other candidates, but she learned what would be pleasing to him and humbled herself. She represents the Bride of Christ, the church. Her story in Esther 2:8-10 teaches us how to allow the government of God to rule over our lives in order to be anointed. She was literally anointed with oils and perfumes in order to be purified. Today these are all spiritual.
God is a God of order and everything is done perfectly. First of all, we must soak in God’s glory, in His presence, just as Esther did in the oils and perfumes. She learned to die to self before she was complete to present herself as the bride.
Like Esther, we too must minister to the Lord, not the other way around. This is when we stop asking what God can do for us, but what can we do for Him. This means that unless we are ready and willing to make sacrifices we will remain in the outer courts, not allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God resides.
Esther asked the king what she could do for him, she was not making demands. This is what makes a Christian mature as well. It’s all about Christ and the role we play in this marriage ceremony. Once you are in the Holy of Holies, you don’t feel the need to always be asking God for anything, because now you know, you already have it all! He knows our needs and is prepared to give them to us. As a result, our response will automatically be to honor and praise Him and give Him glory!
This sacrifice of putting our carnal flesh to death is what sends up a sweet smelling aroma which pleases God.
A ’glorious’ church, which is you and me, makes all the difference between one that is just anointed. A ’glorious’ church is a bride that when Christ returns, will receive her to Himself without spot, blemish or wrinkle. We must be holy, for He is holy. It is this combination of anointing and holiness that will remove all spots, blemishes and wrinkles, which result in having no more sin in our lives that hasn’t already been forgiven! This is a glorious church! Praise the Lord.

Here Comes the Bride

vigor

Punxsutawney, United States

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Artist's Description

Revelations 21:2 says that “the bride has prepared herself.” The bride is the body of Christ, the church, you and me. God tells us that in order to come to Christ as His bride, we have to prepare ourselves. What kind of preparations are we to make?

Artwork Comments

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