I am the Bride of Christ
Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' "
Joni and Friends Daily Devotional
Waiting On the Groom
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom... The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'... The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet... Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
"When all the preparations for the consummation of the marriage contract were completed, it was customary for the Jewish bridegroom to go for his bride at night. He would march toward her village with his friends in a torchlight procession. As more bystanders recognized the wedding party, they would take up the call of celebration and cry out the good news from block to block (a coy way of alerting the bride to be ready!) In a short time, the torchlight processional halted outside her home. The bride, dressed in the gown she had hung by her bed in readiness, stepped out into the street amidst cheers. With laughing and singing, the bride and groom, with the wedding party, walked by torchlight back to the home of the groom's father where a feast awaited them.
"Wise virgins understand that the betrothal carries big responsibilities. We recognize that we are in covenant, albeit separated from our groom. We watch and work. We stay awake. Our groom could come for us at any moment!
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"Don't be a foolish virgin who easily falls asleep and forgets about her soon-and-coming groom. Energize your anticipation by learning the meaning behind the many other betrothal symbols in today's devotional. Look up 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Matthew 24:42-44; 1 Thessalonians 5:2."
Joni and Friends
"I want to ready myself for your return, Lord. I want to wait for you with spirited affection and eager anticipation. I want to be prepared with oil in my lamp and fire in my heart."
The news is full of stories about women who "play around" on their fiancé - who don't take their engagement seriously - and most of society looks poorly on them. It might be "cute" - or "fun" - but it's not becoming. Most of us know that being engaged means that we're making a commitment to one special person - and that means everyone else is "off limits." We would do well to acknowledge that we are "engaged" to be married - that Jesus is our Bridge Groom - and that the price He paid for us was as high as it could possibly be - His life. I know that most of the world watched the royal wedding with awe. It was an impressive event - the bride was lovely and the groom was handsome. Had Kate "stepped out" on Prince William during their engagement it would have been scandalous! WE'RE "engaged" to the King of kings and Lord of lords! Our groom deserves our faithfulness and loyalty. He's given us everything - all He asks of us is that we return His love by our obedience. Be ready for your Groom. Live today - and tomorrow - and forever - as though you take your betrothal to Him seriously. He does. Sharon Matthew 25: 1, 4-6, 10, 13June 13, 2009"Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." ...