EBWU devotional for August 2010
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.’ Psalm 23:6.
This is a marvellous thought that those who love the Lord and have experienced His forgiveness, who earnestly desire to follow Him and be obedient to Him, will dwell in His house forever!
What a hope! What a certainty! After our lives here on earth are over God assures us that there is a welcome for us in His home, at His sumptuous table of abundance and unending hospitality. Our rich relationship we have with the Lord now will not be broken by death but enhanced; it is unlimited and it is a great joy and privilege to know God personally through the Lord Jesus Christ and to walk daily with Him.
At present one of my dear friends is seriously ill and doctors have said there is nothing more that can be done to preserve her life. In recent months I have said ‘adieu’ to friends and my mother; although this has caused me great sadness, I am reassured that I will see them again (‘adieu’ means ‘to the seeing again’) so it was not ‘goodbye’ but ‘adieu’ for their faith was firmly in Jesus.
‘In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.’ John 14:2-3.
These verses have been a great comfort to many over the centuries and continue to bring hope and comfort who seek solace in the Word of God. I know these verses thrill my heart to know that my Saviour is preparing a place for me. We are so unworthy of such an honour, yet because of our faith in Him, He is making a place ready for us.
Normally, and at least in Jesus’ time it is the man who finds a home for his woman. When contemplating marriage the man wants to provide, so he builds or prepares a house where he and his bride will live, where they will settle and raise a family. It will be their home. Jesus is like that; He is preparing a home where He and His bride (that’s us – all who make up the true Church) will settle and live for all eternity. When the time is right He, Himself will come for His bride. Isn’t that wonderful? Don’t you just long for that day to come?
‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ Revelation 19:6-8.
Here we are given a picture of praise, joy and worship as all of heaven join in a great thanksgiving service. The worship is carried out in love and adoration. How else can we respond to God but in worship! Picture the splendour of the scene in heaven as Jesus brings His bride home. Hear the sound – roar of waters, peals of thunder, shouting – see the dazzling light brighter than the sun, the beauty of heaven and all those there, the joy as God’s heavenly host and His redeemed people bring their worship to God, Who alone is worthy. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!’ Surely this is what we are waiting for – to be united with Christ Jesus, our hearts’ Desire. When we first came to know the Lord as our Saviour surely that was when He ‘pledged His troth’ to us and, if you like, we became engaged to be married. Now, ‘the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.’ The church is dressed in fine linen signifying purity, righteousness and resurrection glory. The Lamb’s bride, the Church, not just a portion of it, but the whole church from ages past, present and future, is prepared. The bride has made herself ready. All struggles with sin are now over, the fighting has ceased, illness and death have disappeared, the enemy has been destroyed forever, and the Lamb, the King of kings, and Lord of lords is the Victor and Bridegroom claiming His bride. The ‘wedding’ takes place and the bride begins her consummated life, full of love, joy and promise. It’s the union of Christ Jesus with His people in the glory of heaven, a union of eternal love and fidelity and infinite bliss and it will last forever – no death to separate, no divorce to divide – in that heavenly home our Groom has prepared for us. Our finite minds can’t begin to take in what awaits us. Although this event is still in the future, John who was given this wonderful vision saw it as taking place before his eyes. To me that just makes it ever so certain. It is as if it has already happened, so we can be very sure of it. God’s words are true – this event will come into being and we will see it and be part of it.
Just in case there is someone who reads this who does not have the assurance of sins forgiven and the certain hope that Jesus is returning, who does not know whether there is a place being prepared for you in heaven, then I would urge you to make sure before too long. Find a Bible and ask God to speak to you, personally as you look up the references given in this writing. Receive all that the Lord Jesus offers you by accepting His sacrificial death on the cross. Turn to Him, realise that you need the salvation that He offers, ask Him to forgive your sins and to make you His child. He will then give you His Spirit to live in you and you will be His. If you do not have the hope of heaven, then you ought to fear hell.
‘Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ ‘He Who testifies to these things says, “yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!' Revelation 22:12-13; 22:20
We have Jesus with us always, by His Holy Spirit and we are aware of that every day, but to see our Lord Jesus, face to face, in the flesh, that’s what we long for, isn’t it? I trust we are all prepared. I trust we are all ready. We are just waiting for the Bridegroom to come. He is coming soon; when exactly we do not know so we need to ensure that we live in constant readiness for His return (Matthew 25:1-7). Many signs in our world to-day appear to indicate that the time is drawing ever nearer for this stupendous event to occur. We must not be afraid, but take courage in our Lord. We must not be found wanting but tell others of the approaching and encourage them to be ready also. We need to be much in prayer. ‘I am coming soon!’ says Jesus. The bride cries out to her Bridegroom, ‘Come!’ The Holy Spirit also cries out, ‘Come!’ ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Jesus again says. Our response surely must be, ‘Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!’ To Him be all praise, honour and glory.
Margaret Brown, August 2010