I can remember my wedding like it was yesterday.
I remember the tears that streamed down my face the moment Nicole walked arm in arm with her father and step-father through the double doors in the back of the church.
Although I was excited for this one moment when I would pledge my ‘yes’ to hear until death do us part, nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful she looked in that instant.
It was like the sun breaking forth in its morning glory as it peeks above the horizon.
The further she walked down that aisle, the more my heart was filled with the reality of what that moment meant.
Two lives were about to be joined at an altar.
What was mine was about to become hers.
What was hers was about to become mine.
And I can’t think of a greater symbol of what it is that God wants to have with His people than this.
This is why I cry at every wedding I attend or officiate.
I can’t help but think about the day when I will be joined to the Lord forever.
Make no mistake, Jesus isn’t coming back for a rescue mission.
He’s coming back for His wedding.
He’s returning for His bride.
But I do not believe that Jesus is returning for a bride that has cold feet.
He’s not looking to marry a people that are unsure of their love for Him.
When the minister asked if I took Nicole to be my lawfully wedded wife, I did not reply, “I do, but only 50% of the way.”
Likewise, Nicole did not respond to the minister when asked if she took me to be her lawfully wedded husband by saying, “I guess I do, but only 30% of the way.”
No one in their right mind would marry someone that wasn’t fully committed in their love for them.
You’d always be wondering where the other 50% or 70% was being spent.
You’d always be suspicious that there was a fling or a separate love interest on the side.
Similarly, Jesus has no interest in marrying a people that aren’t fully committed to and in love with Him.
He will not double date you and a lesser lover.
To be loved by us is the one thing He desires above everything else.
Now more than ever, He is looking for the burning ones… the ones that love Him with all that they are.
And those that love Him make themselves ready for Him.
Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Guys, it would not be incorrect of me to say that every day that passes draws that future reality one step closer… and it’s closer than ever before.
I can feel it and I believe you can feel it, too.
I cannot think of a single woman that did not make herself ready on her wedding day.
There is not one bride that thought it acceptable to walk down that aisle and greet her future husband in anything or with anything less than her best.
She wouldn’t dare dream of wearing a stained or tattered dress.
It would be completely unacceptable to have one strand of hair out of place.
But I did not say to Nicole on the day of our wedding, “Hey, let me do your makeup and hair for you.”
That would have been a disaster!
But because Nicole loved me, she clothed herself in radiance.
So much care and preparation went into that day.
It wasn’t through my assistance or suggestion… it was through her desire to be my wife.
Although there is a holiness God works within us through His death and resurrection, there is a holiness we walk out relationally with Him out of love for and reverence of Him.
He will not make us ready on that day… but those that love and fear Him will.
And I feel deep within myself that the Lord is asking us to get ready.
1 John 3:2-3 says it well by saying, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
I believe with all of my heart that it’s time to be “dressed in readiness” and to “keep our lamps lit” (see Luke 12:35).
In other words, we should be clothed outwardly and burn inwardly in a way that says to Jesus, “I’m ready for You.”
Although I cannot promise this will happen, my hope is this: I would like to discuss what that means in future blogs to come.
In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought: What would it look like for you to be ready for His return?
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries
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