Monday, June 20, 2011

Completely His - Part 2

Yesterday, I began a short series based on Shannon Ethridge's book Completely His.  The book uses the analogy of Jesus as our bridegroom and has had a profound effect on me.  I simply haven't been able to stop thinking about Jesus as my heavenly bridegroom, and what that should mean to me.

Ethridge tells the story of Hosea, who at God's urging took a prostitute for a wife.  And this wife didn't immediately change her ways.  Eventually, she did, but the reason God wanted Hosea to marry such a woman was so He could visually demonstrate how the children of Israel were playing the harlot with Him.  Ethridge quotes Hoses 2:20, in which God tells Israel, "I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.  I will be faithful to you and make you Mine, and you will finally know me as Lord."

Jewish custom required a bride price be paid by the groom.  And this bride price was nothing to sneeze about.  The bride came at a great cost.  Jesus, my bridegroom, paid the ultimate price for me.  He gave His life to have me as His bride, even though He knew I would not be faithful and I would search in all the wrong places and ways to find love and fulfillment.  I am certain, He also knew when I would finally come running to Him and say, "You are my Lord."

Ethridge says, "God wants us to love Him with a reckless abandon kind of love.  A love that says, 'I'm going to love You, no matter what it takes, no matter where it takes me, even if the going gets tough or times get hard.  I'm going to love You. Period. And that will never change'...We simply can't find our heart's true delight anywhere else except in the presence of Jesus."

How does the faithful bride of Christ act?  The way a faithful bride of mortal man would act.  She longs to be with Him.  She makes time to be with Him.  She expresses her love for Him.  She thinks about Him.  She asks Him to stay with her.  Ethridge says, "The true bride of Christ longs to adore Him."

Tenth Avenue North has a lovely song called Beloved.  In it, Jesus tells us how we are His beloved.

You're my beloved, lover I'm yours.
Death shall not part us, it's you I died for.
For better or worse forever we'll be.
My love it unites us and it binds you to me.
It's a mystery.

For better or worse - Jesus has gotten the worst from me that is absolutely for sure.  And, as undeserving as I am for the better, He gave it to me anyway.

© Lisa Kelley 2011

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