Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Bride (continued)

Revelation 21:2-4   " And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, " Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and HE SHALL DWELL AMONG THEM, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain; the first things have passed away."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been thinking about these verses for several weeks now and I'm going to be vulnerable here & share some insights I believe God has given me. First, a little background from my life: I was raised by a single mom, abandoned by my father at a young age, and later married to two husbands who also abandoned me & our children. I understand the pain of rejection very well. It clearly speaks to me that I was not valued or loved by my father or ex husbands. It gets worse, as my ex husbands clearly related the message that I was a strong disappointment to them. I wasn't "worthy" of their love! Thankfully, I've known Jesus for a long time now, and I know He loves me, even though I'm not worthy of His love either. But I am saved "by grace & not works" & the blood of Jesus paid the debt for my sins. God has blessed my life in amazing ways & I know I have His favor & I am the "apple of His eye". I don't spend a lot of time wallowing in self pity, rather I strive to be thankful. I remember that Jesus was rejected & I find comfort in the "fellowship of His sufferings".                                                                                                                                                  Now I want to tell a little story I heard by Matt Chandler, a young preacher from Dallas, Texas. He was a young man listening to a sermon on purity, where a fresh rose was passed throughout the audience & arrived back to an un-named preacher who held up the now bedraggled flower & made his point that  absolutely no one would want this rose now!  Matt said as he listened to this, indignation rose up in his spirit & he thought adamantly to himself, "Jesus would! Jesus would want the rose!" I love this story because the truth is that the bride of Christ is only made holy & pure through the blood of Jesus & His sacrifice on the cross. We all are that ugly wilted flower but Jesus still wants us & somehow, makes something beautiful out of each one of us. But only by His Spirit & for His glory!                                             So when I read about God's plan in the verses above to DWELL AMONG THEM, I see that as a wonderful act of love from a holy Father, Who would have every reason to abandon His sin-stained, unlovable children who I am sure, ARE NOT EASY TO LIVE WITH & PUT UP WITH, but because of Jesus, God sees us as worthy, lovable, beautiful,  & indeed, NEW CREATIONS & such as, we are.  To God the Father be all the praise & glory, forever & ever.      Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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