Bristol, Virginia

And the Bride Has Made Herself Ready – Pt. 5

Growing Up in God

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

It is said of the bride that she “has made herself ready.” We know this being ready is not salvation. Salvation is a free gift. (see Romans 5:15) So what does this getting ready mean then? It refers to her being conformed into the image of Christ, accepting the character of Christ. You see, salvation is a wonderful, free gift. But when it comes to character it is never given free. There is always our part in the process. Think of it like this: being born is a free gift. But from day one that child must learn from his parents. He must allow his parents and community to form him into a man. “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:2)

There is also a distinction between gifts and character. Gifts of the Holy Spirit do not produce character. That is not what they were meant for. But many are content to stay and linger in the camp of spiritual gift, not realizing God is after character. Look at the parable of the talents. What did the master say to the one who wisely invested his talents: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matt 25:21) The focus was character – well done, good and faithful. At the end of our lives God will not make an assessment of our gifts but rather our character.

Now, this message is not a popular one today. The emphasis is on spiritual gifts, the anointing and so on. Those are critical aspects but I fear many are missing the main purpose. God’s main desire for us is that we would, like the bride, be “ready.” Being ready takes time and effort. But is it not well worth it? Does the Olympian not enjoy his prize for the rest of his days? I will leave you with words from Paul.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (1 Cor 9:24)

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