Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Bride

How to I explain how amazing the Lord is? How can one describe His wonderful works, the way He extends His hand to us, opens our eyes, fills our hearts?

I am increasingly amazed as He shows me my place in The Church, what it means to be The Church, how He loves her (The Church), and what that says about Him.

Do you know that the Gospel is more than just a story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? Oh it's beautifully more.

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is head of the wife as also Christ is head of the church.  He is the Savior of the body.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her, to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word.  He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless.  In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hates his own flesh, but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh.
This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:22-32

 See, when many read this, all they see is a command for wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives.  But it is SO. MUCH. MORE.

We (collectively) are The Church, which is referred to as "she", likened unto a wife. Christ gave Himself for us, His bride. He makes us holy, cleanses us.  Why?  To present The Church to Himself in splendor, like a beautiful, pure bride.

Just think about that for a second.  As my husband and I lay in bed discussing some of this last night (through the wee hours of this morning), I thought about how protective my husband is of me.  When someone wounds me, hurts me, offends me- it is like someone is attacking, wounding, and offending him.  He loves me fiercely and protects me fiercely because we are as one flesh.

My husband often calls me his "trophy wife", but The Church, in a very real sense, is Christ's trophy wife.  She is His inheritance.  He passionately loves her.  We are united with Him, one flesh with Him.

At least, that is my understanding so far.  God is still working it out in me, still showing me new and wonderful things in His Word.  I love how His Word is always fresh and alive.  He desires more than head knowledge, but heart knowledge- wisdom that digs beyond the intellect and into the soul and spirit, and that's what I want as well.
 
 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jeremiah 33


This is such an amazing chapter (Jeremiah 33).  I can't help but become all teary-eyed when I read this- not just because it prophesies of the coming of Immanuel, but because I see God's heart so vividly.

I can just hear Him calling out to me, the passion in His voice-
Oh my dear Mandy!  Call on me! Loved one, I will answer you! I will! I will answer you and show you great, awe-inspiring, mighty and wonderful things which you can't even fathom!  If you would only call out to me, seek me, ask me!  How My Spirit desires to pour out understanding, wisdom, and blessings upon you- to show you more of Myself.  Come to me, my daughter! Come! Call! Cry out!
Verse six makes me giddy inside-  "[I] will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth."  Yes, He has forgiven.  Washed me clean. Clothed me in Christ.  He has formed me, made me into a new (wo)man, so I am not meant to live a defeated life!   I have been pardoned! I don't have to keep living in guilt, keep trudging through this myself, keep dragging my chains with me.

No!
NO!!

He is ready and willing to pour out His revelation of peace and truth.  Not just a little. Not just a sprinkling.

An {abundance, my friends!

Doesn't that make you want to shout for joy?



Monday, June 4, 2012