Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. – Jude 1:21 niv
I went to two weddings in one weekend. The first ceremony was held in a small, Pentecostal church with under a hundred guests in attendance. The entire bridal party consisted of a matron of honor and two flower girls. The forty-something first-time bride glowed in her traditional white gown with beads, lace, and sequins. Gail walked down the aisle to the music of “From This Moment” sung by a trio of friends and relatives. When the bride brushed the tears from the face of her groom after they said their vows, it seemed as if the entire crowd said, ‘Awww…” in unison.
Before the couple even kissed, I slipped out to go to the second wedding. An hour later I sat in a Catholic church with 300 other guests. Twelve, yes, twelve bridesmaids, three flower girls, and a ring bearer preceded the bride. The young bride, dressed in an understated, elegant gown walked slowly down the long aisle to the traditional Bridal Chorus played by violins. The formal ceremony lasted three times as long as the first one.
Even though the brides and their ceremonies differed in many ways, the love that brought the two couples together was the same. Each bride promised undying love and faithfulness. Each groom pledged to be true and supportive of his bride. I have no doubt as each man stood before God making his vows he would give his life for his bride.
Jesus gave His life for His bride, the Church. He proved His love on the cross. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul uses the imagery of a bride and groom to describe God’s relationship with the Church. God calls us to a lifetime of growing closer to Him.
A few days before the wedding, I asked Gail, the older of the two brides, if she had made all the preparations for the wedding. “Are you kidding?” she said, laughing. “When he proposed, I was ready.”
On the other hand, the younger bride took an entire year to prepare for her wedding. Are you prepared for Jesus’ return? We want to be prepared for His coming. It doesn’t take a year to prepare to meet Jesus as Savior. When you’re ready to become a Christian, God’s ready to accept you as you are. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13 niv.
Each bride promised to remain faithful to her spouse. Have you remained true to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Many times our eyes wander. We get sidetracked into love affairs with the things of this world. As Gail promised to love her husband ‘from this moment on,’ we make a vow to be true to God, making Him the Lord of our life, not just for the moments of this life, but for all eternity.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for being my Lord, and for Your boundless and indescribable love. My heart’s desire is to remain true to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
I’m one of the healthiest people I know. I try to maintain a positive outlook on life, and thank God every day for my health.
Recently a nasty bug invaded my body and wreaked havoc on me. After three long days, I feel better and almost back to my old self. No further comment on the ‘old.’
Being sick made me so thankful. Does that sound odd? While I lay in bed, I thought of those who feel sick in body day after day. How many people suffer for months, sometimes years with a sickness? And then I feel badly for three days and complain? Not me. I made the attempt to say very little. Although my family might argue the point, I tried valiantly to suffer in silence knowing this too would pass. Okay, maybe one or two complaints crossed my lips, but I did try!
When we become sick or something bad happens, our faith can be tested. At times, Satan works against us, but we can’t blame every ailment on Satan. While we are on earth, we live in a frail body subject to decay and illness. Corruption entered the world through sin. But we have hope in that while this body perishes, our soul lives forever with the Lord when we’ve made Him Lord of our life.
In Ecclesiastes 3:3, King Solomon wrote there is a time for everything including a time for healing. God can and does heal. He created our bodies to fight off disease and heal wounds. God give us the knowledge to create medicine and traditional cures. At times, He miraculously heals us. Our sickness allows God to show Himself as our Healer.
Why aren’t we all healed while on earth? Healing may come in this life or not until we reach Heaven. I don’t know why some people live with abundant health while others struggle. The reason some Christians fail to receive healing remains a secret, known only to God.
Those of you who struggle, I pray for God’s healing power for your body. I pray those of us who are relatively healthy will remember to thank God for our health and pray for those in need of a miracle.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2 niv)
Whew! I’m praising the Lord that nasty bug has left me alone!
Prayer: God, I thank You for health, and for healing my body. I ask that You touch those today in need of a miracle of healing physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Grant those who are discouraged peace and comfort through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.