HOW FAR HAVE YOU GOTTEN WITH THE PREPERATION FOR THE WEDDING?
Why do you ask? I am not going to get married or you might say that you have been happily married for many years and you have planned to stay married for the rest of your life. That is pleasing to God. Divorce should never be a light solution to a problem.
I really do not talk about a wedding between a man and a woman. I am talking about the wedding described in the Bible. The wedding we all are invited to. The Bridegroom has prepared everything and it is ready and The Holy Spirit is preparing the Bride.
I want you to look up Matthew 22. We are reading about a wedding feast. Jesus is telling this story. He said that the kingdom of God is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. The king sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding. He said that the servants should say: “See I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” The strange thing was that they didn’t want to come. Some didn’t take it seriously and said that they had to tend to the farm or their business. Others seized his servants and treated them badly and finally killed them. The king got angry and revenged those who had done it. Then he said to his servants: “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and so many as you find, invite to the wedding.” The servants gathered as many as possible, both good and bad and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king entered the room, he found one without wedding garment and he told the servants to take him away and cast him out. He said:” Many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Bible says that Jesus is the Savior of the world. That means that everybody can be saved. He carried the sins for us all. No one is excluded. The only thing we need to do is to accept Him as our Savior and make Him our Lord. We must understand that we cannot come to the Father any other way than through Jesus. Our sin had blocked the way but Jesus paid the price with His blood. We read in Romans 5:17 that when we receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, we will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Many countries have a tradition of using white dresses for the bride at the wedding. White is a symbol of purity and virginity. Many are today wearing white even if this is not the case. We read in Matthew 22 that the king found a man without wedding garments. What kind of clothes should we wear for the wedding? We should get rid of our own righteousness and the dirty clothes filled with sin. Jesus gives us white clothes. These are clothes of righteousness. Both men and women who have accepted the invitation to the wedding are entitled to these clothes. The bride is usually paying a lot for her dress, but we are clothed in righteousness free of charge. It is pure grace. Ef.6:14 encourage us to stand firm in the breastplate of righteousness. Ph.1:11 is saying that we should be filled with the fruits of righteousness. 2.Tim.4:8 is pointing out the there is a crown of righteousness waiting for us in Heaven. There is no other way than through Jesus Christ.
We can see the symbolism of bride and bridegroom already used in The Old Covenant. The Song of Solomon is a love song. It describes Israel as God’s fiancé and the Church as the Bride of Christ. The entire song is a praise and worship of the bride to the groom and vice versa. If you believe that God is looking at love in a platonic way, you can just read the Song of Solomon. It describes strong feelings and a lot of passion. If your marriage starts to cool off, just read this song and return to the first love. At the end of Solomon’s Song it says that the love is strong, strong as death. Love has flames of fire, a most vehement flame. Jesus proved that He loved us so strongly that He was willing to die for our sake. He was driven by love.
We might return to Matthew 22. The invitation to the wedding was already sent, but those invited chose to say no thank you. They were busy with other things. Some people today say that they want to postpone any relationship with God till they get old. That might be too late. None of us have any guarantee for how long we live. Things are happening so fast that I wrote that it is important to be at the right place at the right time. So many things are taking our attention and I can almost hear the Lord saying: “When do you have time for Me?” A bride is very engaged in the bridegroom, but I think that the Lord is saying to us as He said to the church in Ephesus: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say that they are apostles and are not, and have found them liar. And you have persevered and have Patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Can you remember when you fell in love or the time when you had passionate emotions? A bride to be cannot be together with her man enough. They spend as much time as possible together. If they have to be apart, they talk to each other often. In the old days they wrote love letters to each other. Many children have found old love letters when their parents died and some have been tempted to read them.
I believe that religion can hinder us in seeing Jesus as He really is and that can stop us from giving ourselves to Him as a bridegroom. He really loves us with a pure and unconditional love. Are we able to receive it? I know that I haven’t always understood it and haven’t always received His love. We must not compare Jesus with people who have hurt us and shown us conditional love. We must ask The Holy Spirit to reveal His love and help us to receive it and respond to it. A real love relationship is built on trust and it is a relationship where one gives and receives. When one loves somebody, one has a desire to do something for that person. Jesus has done everything for us and He continues to pray for us. We can love Him and tell Him so and we do something for Him when we give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty and dress the naked. He continues to say that we do something for Him when we receive the strangers and visit those in prison. We read in Matthew 25:40 “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
When we seek Him and His presence in love, we make Him happy and we get blessed. We do not do this because we are forced to, but because we love Him and long for Him.
We must ask The Holy Spirit to stir up a love for Jesus in us
Matthew 25 starts with a story about ten virgins. It says that the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise and five foolish. All of them had lamps, but only five of them had oil on their lamps and those were the ones entering the wedding. The story ends with these words: Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
ARE YOU A BRIDE AND ARE YOU READY TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM? BE SURE TO HAVE ENOUGH OIL FOR YOUR LAMPS!