Tag Archive for bride of Christ

The People of the Living God

A reflection on Revelation 7:9-17,
the vision of the heavenly multitude

We are the people of the Living God.

rejected, and
sharing the suffering of our crucified Lord,
we are the people of the Living God.

Human but holy,
flawed but forgiven,
immature but growing daily in Christ,
we are the people of the Living God.

sanctified, and
sealed as His very own,
we are the people of the Living God.

We are His Body,
His temple,
His treasured possession,
His precious children.

And soon, we will be His
stunningly beautiful Bride,
aglow with the perfection of our Beloved.

We are the people of the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Chosen in Jesus
Printed Music & Lyrics

Christ Your Bridegroom

Based on Psalm 45

Believers, you are engaged to Jesus Christ.
He is the most beautiful person of all our race.
His words are always
kindness, and
His entire life is permeated with God’s richest blessings.
All that He is and
all that He does
are filled with the
the wisdom,
the love, and
the holy majesty of God
With sovereign power He reigns in
truth and rightness
over all that is.
He protects and defends God’s people against
all who would harm them.
His rule is
universal, and

This One is your Bridegroom.
He loves you
deeply and
with all His being.
You are stunningly beautiful in His eyes,
pure and

What does your future hold?
You are about to experience what it means to be
the beloved bride of
a Great King.
You will be richly adorned in all His magnificence.
A train of attendants will accompany you
into His palace.
Cheering crowds will surround you.
His entire realm will rejoice at your wedding.

Your life will be
brand new.
The love you share with Him will be
fruitful beyond all imagination.
All will give thanks for you.
Even the rich and powerful of the universe
will honor you because
you are wed to the Lord of all.

Beloved bride,
forget your past.
Put it forever behind you, and
focus on your future.
Keep yourself pure for Him alone.
Give all you are completely to Him,
mind, and

What an honor,
what a joy,
to be the chosen bride of the King! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: See Christ, Your Bridegroom
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship


Father, when I come to Your house to worship,
I never come alone.
I come as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, all of us
redeemed by His blood and
united by His Spirit.
I come as part of the universal People of God
spanning all ages and nations.

Together, we come as Your temple,
Your holy dwelling place.
You are building us as a living, breathing, eternal home for Yourself,
exuding, and
incarnating Your magnificence.

Together, we are the Body of Christ.
He is our Head.
We are His hands and feet,
privileged and empowered to act out
His boundless love here on earth.

Together, we are the Bride of Christ,
devoted to Him alone
body, mind, and spirit.
He has set us apart for Himself, and
our destiny is an eternity of joyful oneness with Him.

Father, when I come to You in worship,
I come together with all Your people,
in Your Spirit,
through Your Holy Son. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Have Come, God’s Living Temple
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Ultimate Fulfillment of God with Us

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:25-27

What a wonderful gift is God’s Holy Spirit! But He is only a down-payment on the full gift of God’s presence.

Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession. (Ephesians 1:13-14, NIV)

God’s people are to be the Body of Christ. When God with us is completely fulfilled, our relationship with Him will be as close and interrelated as the head and the body.

Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:15-16, NIV)

God’s people are to be the holy temple of God. We are to be His home, His dwelling place.

You are…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 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. (Ephesians 2:19-22, NIV) 

God’s people are to be His holy Bride.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2, NIV)

We are to be God’s holy temple, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. These three images are intended to suggest one grand reality. We will be united with God in love, intimacy, and unbroken oneness. We will share in Him together, fully and forever.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3, NIV)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Imagine Your Creator’s Breath
Printed Music & Lyrics

Single-minded Devotion

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Hosea 4:7-13; Matthew 16:1-4

Since God views His relationship with His people as a marriage, He considers it adultery when we chase other “gods”, other loves. In the Old Testament, when Israel worshipped other gods, God accused her of playing the harlot. For example:

My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. (Hosea 4:12, NASB)

Jesus took the same view. When the Jewish leaders saw Jesus’ miracles and heard His words, yet still demanded other proofs of who He was, He called them “an evil and adulterous generation” (Matthew 16:4, NASB). Their hearts weren’t satisfied with Him or with their God. They were putting their love and trust elsewhere.

As believers, we need to guard our hearts against the same danger, against the same unfaithfulness to our Bridegroom. In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul expressed his concern for them this way:

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3, NASB)

Since Jesus is the Bridegroom, we believers are engaged to Him. What is expected of us as we approach our marriage to Him?

  • Like any bride-to-be, we are to keep ourselves pure, devoted to Him alone. In our hearts and in our lives, we cannot chase other loves. We are His. We are to love Him alone. All our loves for anyone and anything must flow from our one love of Him. He is now the center of all our relationships and all our desires.
  • The word in 2 Corinthians 11:3 translated as “simplicity” is particularly meaningful. It has a variety of shades of meaning, depending on its context: simplicity…sincerity…generosity. But the one word that seems to sum it up is “single-mindedness”. Our groom, our husband-to-be expects us to be single-mindedly devoted to Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Only Good Is Jesus
Printed Music & Lyrics

Ezekiel 16

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Unclean. I was unclean to my very core – thoroughly, completely unlovely.
I had no hope or thought of ever being anything else.

You came to me and saw me for exactly what I was, yet You loved me.
You loved me because of who You were, not because of who I was.
There was not a scrap of worth or attractiveness in me.
You loved me because You are loving, not because I was lovable.

You tenderly, thoroughly cleansed me, and I was clean.
You began to share Yourself with me.
Because You loved me, something of You came to life in me.
You made me something other, something more than I had been in myself.
Your life, Your beauty, Your purity began to glow in me,
though before You, I had not a breath of any of these things.
Because You loved me, I grew lovely,
though the loveliness was Yours, not mine.

You proposed marriage. Such wonderful promises You made!
You promised to envelop me in Your love,
to love me deeply, completely, and forever.
You promised to make me more in You than I could ever be on my own.
You asked only that I be faithful to You—
that I give myself completely and exclusively to You.
You lavished more and more of all Your best on me—
all that You had and all that You were.

Sometimes I forgot that my loveliness was actually Your loveliness, and
I took what You had given me, what You had made me,
and used it selfishly, proudly to serve myself.
Though You were faithful, I was not.
Sometimes You had to let me taste the bitter fruit of the choices I made.

But Your love never gave up on me.
You forgave me, and You drew me back to Yourself.

My Lord, my Love, You are still drawing me closer,
and I am still discovering how Your love can change me, cleanse me, and renew me.

I love You, my Lord!
I am Yours, completely and forever!

Psalm 45: The Bride

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Psalm 45:10-17

Let’s imagine that Psalm 45 was written for the wedding of the ultimate King, Jesus Christ, and His bride, the people of God. The wedding song has begun with a description of the magnificence of the Bridegroom. Now what does the psalmist say to the Bride-to-be, to God’s people, the Church?

  • Don’t cling to your past (v.10). Don’t look longingly at what you’re leaving behind. Your future is infinitely better! Turn forever from what was and rejoice in what is about to be!
  • The King is deeply in love with you. You are stunningly beautiful in His eyes. Honor Him as your Lord now. Give yourself completely to Him (v.11).
  • Even the rich and powerful will honor you because you are the King’s bride. Your King and Husband is so important that you will be important as well simply because of your relationship with Him (v.12).
  • You are about to experience what it means to be the bride of the Great King. You will be adorned with all His finest, with clothing interwoven with gold and artistic embroidery. You will have your own train of attendants, and you will all be led into the King’s palace, with cheering crowds all around you. His entire realm will rejoice at your wedding (vv.13-15).

Christ…loved the church and gave Himself up for her…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory…that she would be holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27, NASB)

This wedding song ends with a look ahead. What does the future hold for the King?

  • Sons. Fruitfulness. New life (v.16).
  • Honor and glory that will never fade (v.17a).
  • The peoples will give thanks for You forever and ever (v.17b).

What an honor, what a joy to be loved by the King as His chosen bride! What a glorious future we have in Him!