The Heavenly Bridegroom
The wedding guests had gathered in the church, and the minister, a close friend of the bride's family, had entered, followed by the groom and his attendants.
Bridesmaids floated down the aisle, and then a hush swept over the audience as the bride and her father stepped toward the altar.
When the minister asked, "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" the girl's father said, "I do."
Then a surprising thing happened. The minister stepped aside, and the girl's father, who was himself a minister, took the place of authority, and conducted the ceremony. That father's double expression of authority laid an unusually solid groundwork for commitment between the bride and the groom.
Brides and marriages are very important to God. In fact, His holy Word refers to the church, or believers, as the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:1-2, Revelation 19:7, etc., NLT).
Before we betroth ourselves to Him, the Holy Spirit first introduces us (1 Corinthians 12:3) because our heavenly Father wants us to know His Son. Our Father even sets up the introduction! (John 6:44). This is an example of the amazing and complimentary interactions of the Trinity. The Father is also there to witness the betrothal of His Son as we say, "I do," or "I will" to our Lord Jesus.
Miracle of miracles, even though we come to Him as less than a perfect bride, because of our sins, He removes our blemishes and makes us a chaste bride, by His grace. "He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault" (Ephesians 5:27, NLT).
God says, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18, NIV). We are cleansed not by our good works or good intentions, but only by Jesus' blood, our heavenly spot remover.
Just as a satisfying marriage
relationship can be built only on the basis of total commitment to each other, so a fulfilling relationship with Christ can be built only on total commitment to Him.
An earthly bride should love, honor and obey her husband. Once betrothed and committed, we should also love honor and obey our heavenly and eternal bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, who saved us by His grace.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.