Tag Archive | Bride

God of this City – The Church

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

God is God of the Church.  I’ve written earlier, here, about how much the Lord love His bride, His church, His city on this earth.   But the Lord’s love is not blind.  He sees our humanity, arrogance, love of the world and lack of brotherly love.  And then…He sees Jesus.  He sees His church washed in the blood of the Lamb, clothed in white garments..redeemed.  He cherishes the church and like a happy, anxious groom, is breathless with anticipation to see His bride walk down the aisle towards Him.

Is this the church we see?  Or, like the world, are our eyes so clouded by all the faults and glaring flaws, that our relationship with Jesus is hindered?  

God is still God of this City, the Church.  With all her present problems, the Lord still knows what He is doing.  He is completing a work which began before time, a work of great diligence, requiring perfect patience and grace. 

When you look at your own local church, ask the Lord for new eyes, to see as He sees. To see through eyes of patient grace.  And love.  Ask to see what Jesus saw, when He became sin for us, so that we, the Church, might become the righteousness of God.

He is still God of this City.

“For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City.”

Below are a few links of things the Lord is doing in our local church/city.  Let us pray for our local churches, that they will be cities on a hill, and His light in the surrounding darkness.  And, now and then, may the Lord grant us a glimpse of that glorious wedding day to come as we worship Him!   I can’t wait!!

http://andyfalleur.typepad.com/go_for_a_coffee/2010/09/satur.html

http://jonjuane.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-church-is-growing.html 

http://saulgood.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/jericho-road/

 

It’s His Church!

This a a re-post of something I wrote over two years ago.   The terms, “Church” and “Christianity,” often stir up a wide-range of negative emotions— anger, rage, dissatisfaction, dissapointment, hurt,  etc.  And I  understand why. It’s full of people!  People hurt and disappoint and fall short of their own goals or standards.  People in the church fall short of Christ’s standards.  And that brings tremendous shame on the Church and Christianity.  But…..

I am grieved by the attitude so many Christians maintain towards ‘the church’.  The church, local and worldwide, with all the good, bad, and ugly, is loved by Jesus.  He died for it.  He died for us.  We are the church.  

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or blemish….no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body.”  Ephesians 5:25-27, 29-30

Christ gave Himself up for the church.  He separated it for Himself, He cherishes the church. 

There’s so much dissatisfaction with either the local church or the church in general, that many either choose not to be part of one, or they change churches like they change their clothes..trying them on to see what fits or “looks good.”  They check it out saying, “does this one make me look fat?” or “how do I feel about this one—today?”  Statements such as “the church doesn’t meet my needs, “I don’t like the worship”, or the quintessential excuse, “the church is full of hypocrites”, is all too common.  All these sentiments lead to the same outcome; dissatisfaction with others, disconnection with Jesus Christ, and ultimately, disillusionment with their faith.  My heart aches, because it is HIS Church!

And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be the head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. (Eph.1:22-23)

In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Eph. 2:21-22 )

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  (Rev 19:7)

“And I saw the holy city, new Jersualem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”  (Rev 21:2)

When Christians complain about the church, they’re railing against the Beloved of Jesus.  “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine!”  In our own families, we get defensive if someone speaks negatively about our spouse, siblings, or one of our children (even if we’re aware of their faults!)  How much more does it hurt the Lord when we speak against His Bride? 

Let me close with a quote by a more eloquent and theologically-estute communicator, about the church:

On earth she is often in rags and tatters, stained and ugly, despised and persecuted.  But one day she will be seen for what she is, nothing less than the bride of Christ, “Free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement,” holy and without blemish, beautiful and glorious.  It is to this constructive end that Christ has been working and is continuing to work.  The bride does not make herself presentable; it is the bridegroom who labours to beautify her in order to present her to himself.    John Stott

Be patient with the work that Christ and the Holy Spirit are doing to complete and beautify His Bride.  Please don’t diminish or spurn the very one Jesus loves with complaints or strife.  It’s His Church!