Monday, November 11, 2013

Eric and Jennifer: Getting Ready

“This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church” - Eph. 5:32 This past weekend, we were getting ready for our son, Eric’s, wedding. He was marrying Jennifer, a phenomenally beautiful girl, inside and out. Eric was so ready. Jen was too. It had been an exciting several months leading up to the event. All their lives, God had been preparing them to be ready for each other and now they were going to live their lives as one. The Bible refers to another bridegroom that is preparing to be married. In Ephesians Chapter Five, Paul focuses on Christ coming to be “married” to the church. Of course, believers are the church, not a building or a program or a denomination. And we are waiting, as Eric and Jen were waiting, to be joined together in the second coming of Jesus. We’re to be faithful to Him as we wait for His return. But, when it comes to our “faith” engagement time, most Christians handle it in less-than-faithful ways. “Since I don’t know the actual wedding day, I can’t really count on my bride.” The past few months, Eric and Jen have been focused entirely on each other and their union. Their anticipation has centered them more on each other, not less. A majority of Christians believe in the second coming of Jesus but few embrace the reality and let it affect their everyday lives. Paul writes repeatedly about Jesus’ return, that it might be an encouragement to believers to persevere through trial. “When I know the time of the wedding, I’ll focus more on my bride-to-be.” Eric and Jen’s actual wedding was a confirmation of their love for each other, not the beginning of their love for each other. Our love for Jesus isn’t determined by when He returns. We already have the capacity to love Him deeply and to let Him love us as well. He is with us now. “I’ve never been engaged.” Now that’s a huge issue. Eric and Jen had already expressed their deep devotion and love for one another. The wedding simply capped and confirmed their love. As Christ returns, He will gather those who have confessed their faith in Jesus. That relationship begins now, not when He returns. And I have to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus to be joined with Him upon His return. “It’s okay to have multiple wives- I’ll become monogamous when the wedding arrives.” Eric and Jen have focused their devotion and love to each other and no one else. Many a Christian focuses on multiple “wives” long before the wedding day. Money, health, career, self and others are not bad in themselves, but when they become substitutes for the love of Jesus, they are destructive. “I am head-over-heels excited to marry this woman and can’t wait to begin the journey of life together.” As Eric and Jen walked down the aisle of the church, you could see the deep love they had for one another shining in their faces. They are simply God’s match for one another and are meant to journey their course of life together. God has designed us the same way. We were meant to be His children and to spend all eternity together with Him. Yes, it is a mystery, but love is always mysterious and wonderful, all at the same time. May we enjoy our engagement time with God. We don’t need to hide in a cave and wait for His return, but its okay to be excited about the wedding day. May it be our very encouragement to finish the course He has planned for us all. May we have the same deep love and devotion for Christ that is evident in Eric and Jennifer… …before the wedding and beyond. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

No comments: