The Bride

Today’s reading is Revelation 2.

As confusing as Revelation can be, I have found it simplifying to see it as a story. It is actually a very common story. It is the story of the Hero saves the Girl. I know it is out of vogue to have a damsel in distress saved by a knight in shining armor, but that is exactly what this story is. And, in fact, I would it is one of the reasons we shouldn’t be so quick to abandon that story. In this and in our next reading, we meet the girl–or rather, in Revelation, the Bride. We already know from Ephesians 5 that all brides are to represent Christ’s church. In Revelation, we see that played out literally. The Bride is the church. That will become completely clear in Revelation 21:9. However, please note, while the damsel is in distress, she is not exactly presented as utterly helpless and just waiting around for the Hero to save her. She is embattled, but as the Hero is fighting to save her, she must fight to be true to the Hero. She must fight against enemies that would destroy her. She must especially fight against Jezebel, the Harlot, the seducing woman who would encourage the bride to fall from her virtue, purity, and devotion to the hero. Will the Bride stay true to her first love? Will she be faithful even if it means her own death? Will she only eat at her coming Groom’s banquet table, or will she eat at the table of false idols? Keep reading. And as you do, remember that we Christians make up that Bride. These are really questions for us today. 

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 3.

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A Marriage Goal

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 7.

It’s too bad this wasn’t our Valentine’s day reading. We were all thinking about love, relationships, and marriage yesterday. However, I’m sure it is good to continue those thoughts today. Smack in the middle of this reading, which points out marriage is permanent, we see a powerful goal for our relationship. The goal is not ease or leisure or pleasure. The goal is that both spouses be saved. That doesn’t mean you should marry someone in order to save them. But the goal is salvation for all involved. Sadly, despite all your faithfulness to God and your spouse, your spouse may refuse to be saved; and that is not your fault. But the goal is salvation for all involved. Whether you are married, dating, or single, what can you do today to help promote salvation in those with whom you come in contact?

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 8.

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The Groom

Today’s reading is Revelation 5.

Of course, because we know who the groom is, I know we have already met him in chapter 1 as the one walking among the lampstands. However, it is here in today’s reading that we meet Him as the groom, as the hero prince, the one who has paid the bride price with His own blood. We meet the one who is the Lion and the Lamb, who is worthy to open the seals, who is worthy to take the church as His bride because He went to the cross, was slain, then rose again to be seated on His throne. Death cannot stop true love. In fact, it was because of His true love He died, but rose again. This Groom will be victorious. He will win. But it is a dark path between here and His victory. Keep reading and watching. We need to understand His path to victory.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 6.

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The Bride

Today’s reading is Revelation 2.

The story of Revelation is actually a familiar one to us. It is the story of a hero who is to marry, but first he must conquer the enemies of the bride–whether monsters, foreign kingdoms, or female competitors. That may sound odd to you, but as we read Revelation, let me know if you don’t see it. In fact, in today’s chapter and the next, we are actually introduced to the bride. She isn’t called the bride until Revelation 21:9, but we who know the story know that is who we are meeting as we meet these seven churches of Asia. We know from Ephesians 5:25-33, in the letter God had written to the very first congregation in Revelation‘s list of seven churches, that the church is the bride of Christ. Here we find Christ’s bride is under attack, beset with troubles from without and within. Will she be victorious? Will her hero win? Or will she give up and give in? This is who we are, the Bride beset by perils. Keep reading to see the victory.

Monday’s reading is Revelation 3.

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Everyone Wants to Go to the Party; Not Many Want to Go through the Prep

Today’s reading is Matthew 25.

The 10 virgins teach us a lesson. When it comes time to go to the marriage feast of the lamb, that is, when it comes time for Christ’s bride to find its ultimate fulfillment in the heavenly kingdom, everyone wants to go. Nobody wants to go to hell. Everyone wants to go to heaven. But few want to prep for the party. That is especially the case since we don’t know exactly when it is going to happen. It’s way off in the distance, we hope. We procrastinate and wait and hope we’ll have enough time at the last minute to do the prep work. It’s why so many still ask for prayers, but don’t pray themselves. It is why so many pray in the moment of crisis, but abandon it once the crisis is averted or passes. We want God to give us more time. We want to go to the party, we just don’t want to have to prepare until it is absolutely necessary. The problem is when the trumpet sounds and the Groom announces His arrival, it will be too late for the prep work. The party will have started and many will be caught on the outside. Trust me, the party will be worth the prep and the wait. Get ready now. Whether it starts tonight or in a millennium, you’ll be glad you did.

Monday’s reading is Matthew 26.

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