November 9, 2020
"For your maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" Isaiah 54:5a
"And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast" Matt 9:15
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come Lord Jesus. Return quickly" Rev 22:12,13,17
Isaiah 54 comes after Isaiah 53. After explaining for an entire chapter How Jesus will come to die for the sins of His people, Isaiah portrays the Church as the Bride of Christ. Throughout the Bible, God uses various human relationships to portray an aspect of Himself. Jesus called his disciples friends, brothers, he often called them children. Also he likened the Church to a bride - remember the Parable of the ten Virgins (Matt 25).
Imagine someone walking into a Church and saying, I want to meet God and the person outside says, God is gone back to Heaven, but his wife is here, do you want to talk to her?
Imagine another person saying, I wish I could meet Jesus. And a bystander tells him, see Jesus is not here, but his wife is here and you can meet her. She will show you the same Mercy and Counsel and Encouragement as Jesus would have done. Meeting her is just like meeting Jesus. God expects us to be exactly of the same stature, maturity, wisdom of His son Jesus. We ought to be filled with the bowels of Mercy of Christ
Quite frankly, the early Church didn’t miss Jesus so much, as the bride was around. To meet Peter and John and Paul was to just meet Jesus. Everything they spoke or did was Christ like. That’s why their sermons/letters/mails are called the Word of God. They depended on the Bible (OT, Sermons of Jesus = Gospels), and continually sought to obey the Holy Spirit.
Today, honestly examine yourselves where you are at in your spiritual journey. Are you bearing fruit as Christ did? If there is any shortfall, I want to tell you Firstly the lack is because You don’t know the Bible as well as Jesus did. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his word (Bible) does he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2). Today most people only have read 20% of the Bible. Imagine being a car mechanic knowing 20% of the car parts. That’s exactly who you are! Don’t delude yourself. Our parents and pastors are to blame, for not emphasizing that we read the Bible fully. It’s a tragedy that todays Christians live off sermons and devotionals. Its like living off popcorn or chips. Honestly the pulpit ministry has failed totally in this generation. Pastors give sermons on pet themes, while 70-80% of the Bible remains untouched in their preaching. I urge you to develop yourself, because our leaders have failed. There are no more Charles Spurgeons or Billy Grahams today.
I remember the Holy Spirit once admonishing me while in B-school - You better read your Bible, as diligently as you read your Case Studies. We read, re-read, cross-reference, underline, make notes, memorise, study background material, historical context, analyze things, discuss it with others in groups etc. How much more should we work diligently at the Living Word? The Greatest thing that you can do for God is to read your Bible fully.
Secondly, our Prayer life - Jesus prayed 3-4 hours in the morning, many night outs praying, he was continually either reading the Word or was in Prayer. And Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Jesus prayer was always answered, because he was an Advocate who presented his case, knowing 100% of the Case Law and facts. In contrast, we are like uneducated village folk, just begging and more begging before a Govt officer. When Esther stood, the King granted her what she requested. When Samuel or Moses or Daniel prayed, God had no choice but to give them what they wanted.
Thirdly, we need to Do the works of Christ. Not just reading the Bible, but to go out and do things. Befriend people, stand with the lonely, go visit the sick, elderly, encourage other believers, meet also with unbelievers etc, preach the Gospel etc. Be problem solvers at work. Even fight corruption in society - Jesus made a whip of cords and drove out the corrupt from the temple (John 2:15). Faith without works is dead.
You are the Bride of Christ, the world wants to see Jesus in you.
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