Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Bridegroom Cometh...Home from Africa

Two weeks ago I wrote about a member of the Grow Barefoot team, my husband, leaving for Africa. Last night I picked him up at the airport.
Earlier in the afternoon, I realized the house was kind of a mess. I should really get it picked up before he arrived home. When I finished with that, I realized I was kind of a mess. I should really take a shower before we leave for the airport.
Two things happened while I was in the shower. First, I decided to wear a new dress I picked up at Kohl’s the other day. It was simple and casual but I thought he would appreciate it if I made some effort to look nice. After all, he hadn’t seen me in two weeks. Second, one of my daughters interrupted my shower to let me know I received a text from Daddy. “On the plane. Still waiting at terminal.” The last leg of their journey home was about to begin.

The preparations to have both the house and myself look nice combined with the text of his impending arrival reminded me of another Bridegroom who will return soon.
“The bridegroom was a long time in coming,
and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out:
‘Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’”
Matthew 25:5-6
We don’t have to clean our house or put on a new dress to be ready for Jesus when He returns. Some people like to think they have to work real hard to do everything right so Christ will find them worthy. But that’s not how it works. We are worthy because we accepted His gift of forgiveness for our sins. He made forgiveness possible by His death and subsequent resurrection. We can’t make ourselves pretty for His return; He is the one who gives us a new outfit and clothes us with righteousness.
“‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)”
Revelation 19:7-8
But what about after He saves us or clothes us with righteousness? If I showed up at the airport looking like I did when I finished cleaning and vacuuming, my husband would have still been happy to see me. After all, he’s seen me in the mess of dirty work lots of times through the years. I haven’t asked him, but I’m guessing he appreciated the fact that I took a little time to look nice for him. It showed I cared about him, had missed him, and was ready for him to return.
Keeping our spiritual selves in order says the same thing to Christ. We know He loves us even though He has seen us at our worst. However, our actions show we care about Him, miss Him, and are ready for Him to return. Actions like…
We choose to obey when faced with temptation.
We spend some time studying His Word – His love letter to us.
We invest time or resources in someone else’s life.
We give Him the glory and recognition for all that is in our lives.
I received my text message from my husband a few hours before he arrived. Jesus sent His two thousand years ago…
“Yes, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20).
Are you ready to text Him back…
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” (Revelation 22:17).
“His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

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