DayBreaks for 9/19/16 – Inexpressible Joy

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DayBreaks for 9/19/16 – Inexpressible Joy

From our worship bulletin:

“I knew he was going to lose it. I was to officiate the wedding of the daughter of a close friend of mine. The night before the wedding we had the rehearsal in the chapel. What a great setting. The groomsmen and bridesmaids took their places on stage. We processed out and then practiced coming in to the music. As my friend walked his daughter down the aisle it hit him. He began to tear up as he approached the front of the chapel. We paused. It was a wonderful moment.

“Why did he cry? Well, he told me that they were not tears of sadness. He likes the guy his daughter married. He told me that they were tears of inexpressible joy. He went on to explain that sometimes words cannot express how we feel. Tears can. The thought of his daughter, the ride, marrying the man she loves, the bridegroom, brought him to tears of inexpressible joy.

“Now as Christians, there is something deeper that is happening in a marriage ceremony. It is a picture. We see it in the 21st chapter of Revelation, I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, ad he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’

“Imagine the Father, seeing the bridegroom (His son Jesus) as the bride (the church) comes forward at the end of time for the consummation of all things. That will be a moment of inexpressible joy and that may well be why He will wipe every tear away.  It will be a joyous occasion.

“For now, we are called to look for a glimpse. We may see it in a daughter’s wedding. We may find it as someone we know comes to faith. We may experience it as our souls are healed through confession, repentance and forgiveness. It is just glimpse of glory and there is more to come. He is the God who gives inexpressible joy.”

PRAYER: God, we long to be part of the wedding of the Lamb and to experience Your eternal, inexpressible joy! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

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DayBreaks for 8/29/31 – Jesus’ Fiancee

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DayBreaks for 8/29/16 – Jesus’ Fiancee

Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. – Rev. 19:7-9

In Revelation, we (the church) is pictured as the Bride of Christ getting ready for the wedding day. That means that you and I are his fiancees! But what does that mean, practically speaking?

It means, above all else, that our relationship with Him is supposed to be our “first love”, not so much in terms of time, but in terms of importance. It is to take priority over ALL other loves. Earlier in Revelation, the church at Ephesus  was told by Jesus that they had abandoned their first (primary) love – namely, Him. We might be surprised – they had done great works, kept to the truth, persevered, were pure and had made a great impact on their city – but they had become complacent and let other loves take priority. They were just going through the motions as far as Jesus was concerned – going all the right things but without love for Jesus as the motivating force behind those things.

So, Jesus as the good physician gives them this recipe for getting right with him again: 1. Repent – realize the truth about themselves and turn from their present attractions; 2) Remember the passion and zeal of when they first fell in love with Jesus; 3) Repeat what they did in the beginning (being their whole hearted love for their fiancée – and keep at burning furiously.

Think about how a bride approaches her wedding day. As it gets closer and closer, her heart is filled with adoration for her soon-to-be husband, and she tells him over and over how much she loves him. She loves talking with him, being with him as much as possible, never tiring of their closeness. She eagerly does things for him not out of obligation, but as demonstrations of her love. When she talks with others, she can’t stop talking about him, she takes pride in introducing others to him. And when he’s not present, she longs for him to return.

We can do all those same things for Jesus as His fiancée. We tell him of our love through our worship. We talk to him through prayer and listening for the sound of his voice.  We can serve him out of love – not out of obligation. We can brag about him and tell others all about him.

As the Spirit searches your heart and mine today, how is our first (primary, most important) love? Is it burning hotter today than last year? Does it grow decade by decade, or has it dwindled? We need to be reminded that we may be doing all the right things, but unless we have stayed true to our first love and not wandered off to other loves by giving them priority over Jesus, we might receive the same kind of letter that the Ephesians did. And I am sure that wasn’t a comfortable letter for them to read. I wonder how they responded. Even more, I wonder how we will respond!

PRAYER: Jesus, we confess that we may have taken comfort in what we do instead of how we love you! We may have lost our first love’s passion. We ask you to help us remember the fire of the early love and to repeat our acts of love and devotion to you as in the beginning. Grow our love for you each day, each month, each year and decade into a pure, hot flame! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.