It was a summer evening, the heat yet to wane when I saw Him. A beautiful Man coming toward me of all people! I caught my breath when He bent down on one knee. With His arms extended toward me, He spoke quietly as He took my hands,” I choose YOU for my bride, say yes?” Jesus humbled Himself before me and asked me to choose HIM!
Have you had such a moment with God when the intimacy was palpable?
We toss around the phrase ” bride of Christ” so carelessly, much of the substance and significance drained from it. Look at Ephesians 5. Most sermons use verses 22-33 as a script for teaching on how husbands and wives are to behave toward one another. But it is so much more! Verse 32 lays it out plainly: “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” The mystery of marriage is an explanation of Jesus’ heart attitude toward us His bride. Eph 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.
Jesus’ hearts desire is to nourish and cherish His bride. Do you know this about yourself? Do you walk in this knowledge experientially, knowing that His heart is so for you, so tender toward you? Meditate on these meanings. To nourish is to feed, maintain, nurse, nurture, supply with food, support. To cherish is to have a great affection for, to prize, cling to, hold dear, treasure, care for, love, pamper, shelter. Do you know God has these thoughts toward you?
Jesus chose you for His bride in the garden of Gethsemane. His desire for you, His bride, was greater than regard for His own life. The commitment between a man and wife is a dim reflection of His love for us. Earthly marriages fail but He does not take His commitment lightly. He will not fall out of love or hit the road when the going gets tough.
The thing is, when a woman is proposed to, she has a choice, she can say no, it is not a one-sided affair. He has chosen her, but will she also choose Him? Above all others? What does it mean to say yes to becoming His bride? A woman says yes to become engaged, the marriage itself is a continual reiteration of that ‘yes’.
When we say yes, we say we believe in and receive His love and will act in ways that reflect that love.
When He came to me in that vision and proposed to me I heard a call to rise up and take my place as Chosen. A bride has a glow that is the result of being chosen. As such she is secure in the knowledge she is: favoured, hand-picked, select, first choice. Look up the antonym of chosen to find the lies the enemy tells us that we are common, run of the mill, average.
SAY YES! COME UP HIGHER! Walk in your identity as the bride of Christ Creator of the universe! Take His proffered Hand and walk in a manner worthy of your calling! Be nourished and cherished by Him, your Husband and feed His love to others.
P.S. Intimacy is our first and foremost responsibility as His wife but not the only. Much is said elsewhere about the work the bride must perform. My message was to speak of His love for us and those who have yet to hear He has chosen them too.