Thursday, June 16, 2016

Part Three: The Spirit and the Bride Say, "Come."

6 And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place."

7 "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

10 And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy."

12 "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

This past weekend was a very encouraging one, for me! The message from our pastor spoke straight to my heart…an answer to prayer, if you will. I started this series (posted here and here) this past Monday and aim to wrap it up, today. There is so much I took from the text above but I will highlight the points that struck me most:

1. Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book. As our pastor encouraged, do not stop taking about it…do not take your eyes off of Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

Sometimes, I unfortunately find that not everyone wants to fellowship about God and Jesus. There have been occurrences, infact, where my excitement to tell others about God and Christ Jesus, not being preachy mind you…just even the mere mention of their names, was met with such hostility and hatred it was shocking and quite unpleasant. The frequency of interactions with these individuals only made matters worse. It is my deepest desire, however, that everyone who has ever met me or is acquainted with me knows my position and for whom I stand. I do not wish to “seal up” what I believe to be true.

2. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”. For this, the pastor pointed out we are living “invitations” to those around us. I took this as a reminder from God of who I am. It is so hard to “invite” those who are adverse to God…even when I love them deeply and truly! At times, my “invitation” is met with indifference. However, there have been occasions where I was answered with rage, venomous words, sharp tongues, and damaging actions. For those I cannot reach directly, I pray. I fully understand I cannot change hearts. I must do as I am called, to spread the word (Matthew 28:16-20) and invite (Revelation 22:17), and the rest in the hands of God (Ezekiel 36:26).

3. No one should mess with the bride (Revelation 21:2, Ephesians 5:25-27) of Christ! On this point, as I understood it, God’s people, the body of Christ, are the “church”. And the “church” is the bride of Christ. The pastor gave us an illustration of those who do things to harm, persecute or injure, the church are “tearing the dress” of the bride. To put the feeling that washed over me into words would be impossible. I have been praying a specific prayer for YEARS, and more fervently the past month. At this point of the message, I felt as though God was assuring me he hears my prayers. My cup runeth over (Psalm 23:5).

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
(Isaiah 61:10. ESV.)

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