Sunday, July 16th, 2017
Name Tags: You Are... (Part 17)
Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NIV)
When the Lord calls His church the bride of Christ (now in a stage of engagement on earth, awaiting the grand union beyond it)... He reveals His undying love for us: an eager expectation of contact and the joyful celebration to come. God's greatest desire is to be with us, and He proved it by giving up His Life.
Yet being betrothed to the King of kings is far from just another role you play. It's the bedrock of your identity. If this name tag seems far removed from you, then re-read the Book of Revelation.* The Bride of Christ stars in His closing act. Therein, practice this part and play it well, so you'll be prepped when His curtain rises.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider three aspects of this role:
1) Christ expects His bride to be holy: 'Be holy, for I am holy' (1 Peter 1:16, NKJV). So act in a way that honors Christ. No, no one is perfect in this world, but repent and pursue what is good: 'Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous' (1 John 3:7, NASB).
2) Christ expects His betrothed to be chaste: no fooling around with other gods; no love affairs with manmade idols: 'Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him' (1 John 2:15, NASB). 'You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?' (James 4:4, NIV).**
3) You are betrothed to a jealous God. He doesn't want what He doesn't own. He desires what is rightfully His. 'You shall not make for yourself an idol... You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God' (Exodus 20:4-5, NASB). He desires eternity with you. His jealousy is for your life.***
To Be Continued...
* Some excerpts from the Book of Revelation regarding the church as the bride of Christ: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+19%3A7-8%2C+21%3A2%2C+21%3A9%2C+22%3A17&version=NASB
** Short article: What is spiritual adultery? https://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-adultery.html
*** Short article: Why is God a jealous God? https://www.gotquestions.org/jealous-God.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.