Very few events are more powerful and moving than a beautiful wedding.
That moment when the groom, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the Minister, and all are in position and ready. They turn and look to the back of the church.
The music changes…the bride’s parents stand…all in attendance stand…and they look back in anticipation.
Dressed in white, hair done ‘just right’, flowers in hand, beaming and ready for The Moment!
All are breathless as they watch her. Some smile, some are brought to tears…all celebrate The Bride, especially as she arrives at the front to take the hand of The Groom.
Weddings are truly beautiful events.
…but anyone who has been involved in one knows that the preparation for it has been enormous. For many couples, the preparation for the wedding can be intense and stressful.
All of the work that this Bride put into the preparation is important to her. She wants the event to be ‘just right’. She’s dreamed of this day. She’s looked forward to it. She wants it to be just right–for The Groom!
In the Scriptures, the Church of Jesus Christ–those who are Believers in Him, and who acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord–are His ‘Bride’.
…and this is the time of our preparation.
There will be a time when Jesus (The Groom) will come for His Church (The Bride), and there will be a celebration!
“Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:
“Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice,
and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
and his bride has prepared herself.
8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)
What has The Bride done to “make herself ready”?
She has prayed. She has worshiped. She has rid herself of all the junk that would hold not be appropriate for the wedding. She has endured opposition, persecution, and even death!
Imagine if that moment happened…the doors opened..and the bride showed up with mud all over her dress, her hair a mess, and boots on!
What a tragic mess that would be!
That bride needs to be ready!
Yet, some of us will not be.
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids[a] who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”
Jesus says that we (the bridesmaids) need to “Keep watch”! We need to be ready!
What can we do to ‘get ready’?
Let me suggest 4 things:
- Receive His gracious self-sacrifice, by faith, as payment for your sins (Romans 3:23-34:) “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
- Acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9-11): “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
- Throw off the stuff that stands between Him and us. (Hebrews 12:1): “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” and
- Worship Him with your life! (Romans 12:1): “And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
The Bride must be ready!
Don’t waste any more time! Prepare, Watch, and Pray!