Faithfulness III

by Peg Yarbrough

“Almost There”

Romans 13:11
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

We are closer to the marriage supper, to the Kingdom of God, today than we were yesterday! In some respects we are almost there because no matter how long our life is, compared to eternity it is only a moment. For us that “moment” could be years and years. But rather than saying, “I will be faithful for the rest of my life”, it is much more realistic to stay faithful one day at a time (Mat. 6:34). Don’t get overwhelmed by the task.

Mark 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

God wants us to love Him completely. This is how He designed life to be lived. He wants our love to be in response to His love for us, I John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”

God’s love is evidenced for us in so many ways. Going back to the analogy of espoused – there are a number of things that the bridegroom was charged to do during the espousal time that showed his love for his spouse.

Hebrew Marriage Customs dealing with espousal:

  • Once a bride is chosen the groom agrees to pay the Father of the bride a price.
    God chose us, and Jesus paid the price. I Cor. 6:20
  • The groom also gave gifts to the bride.
    Christ has given gifts to the Church. Eph. 4:8
  • The payment for the bride is formalized in a contract.
    Christ sealed the deal for us with his innocent blood. Heb 12:24
  • During the espousal the groom built a home for his bride.
    Christ is building a place for us. John 14: 2,3
  • When it came time for the marriage to be consummated, the groom escorted the bride to their new home, accompanied by a celebration and a royal feast!
    We will attend the marriage supper of the Lamb, the great celebration Rev 19:7-9
  • Later the father gave a dowry to the daughter (bride).
    God has reserved and inheritance in heaven for us. I Peter 1:4

While the groom was doing his duty the bride had one primary duty, to prepare herself and her trousseau for the wedding.

Her “preparation”, as we saw in Song of Solomon, was to keep herself pure for her groom; in love, in trust, the hope of a bright future together, in preferring him above all others.

Once she was espoused, Bride’s status changed. She was treated as a married woman even thought the marriage had not yet been consummated. We are espoused to Christ. Our status has changed. We are to walk in a new way, a new life, one that is clean, ordered in God’s Word.

II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Christ is the head of the Church; we are to be subject to him in all things. Christ washed us and made us clean through the word, but it is our own faithfulness that keeps the clean.

II Peter 3:13,14
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

The trousseau is primarily comprised of the bride’s clothes, usually linen, which she brings with her to marriage.

Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Revelation 19:8
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Like a faithful groom, Christ has done, or is continuing to do, all the things that we mentioned. He has chosen us. He has paid the price for us. He has given us gifts. His is preparing a place for us. He is awaiting the day when we join him in a joyful celebration at the marriage supper of the Lamb. He is faithful, and we are required to be faithful in return.

Faithfulness is from the heart. You can’t “fake it ‘till you make it”. It is from the inside out, not the outside in, that is religion. When our heart is right, our actions will be well pleasing unto God.

We are almost there. We are on our way to the place of our true destiny, the Kingdom of God. Until we get there and are truly one spirit and one mind, God wants to be as close as possible to us in the here and now.

I will close with these words to a song by Mercy Me called, “On My Way to You”.

Teach me to think like you think,
Show me the things that are true,
Finish the work you have started in me,
As I’m on my way to you,
As I’m on my way to you.

One day our passion, our faithfulness, our love, our self-discipline shall be rewarded in His kingdom when we enjoy eternal life with Him. What a great celebration the marriage supper of the Lamb will be! That is our hope.

Revelation 19:5-7&9
And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Hallelujah! All praise to God! We will be able to bring unfettered glory and honor to the Lord our God for all eternity. I can only imagine how magnificent this will be!