Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.Hebrews 9:28 ESV
I love how this verse is written — Jesus WILL appear a second time. It’s a future event that WILL happen whether you believe it or not. The confidence found in this verse fills my spirit with so much hope and happiness! I absolutely cannot wait for Jesus’s return to gather His Bride to Him.
Even though there is a lot in this world that should be bringing me down, GOD has been reminding me a lot this week of His promise to return to save His Bride. It’s actually been exciting, and it has kept me from getting super depressed and fearful.
People talk about the Bride as if it’s the church, and, personally, I don’t agree. I do think that some people who go to church will be part of the Bride, but I don’t believe the Bride is the church. I believe the church has become too divided and worldly to be Jesus’s beloved Bride. Instead, the Bride is a group of people, a small collection, who are constantly focused on and searching for Jesus Christ. Being part of the Bride is a heart issue — as the Bible talks about constantly from page one to the end — not a church-attendance issue. If you need Biblical proof of this idea that the Bride is a small group, check out Matthew 7:13-14.
The New Covenant, described in Jeremiah 31:33-34, is when God puts His Torah within His people, when He writes it on the hearts of those who are His. Once the Torah is written on the hearts of His people, He will be their God and they will be His people. The covenant continues with God saying that because Torah is written on the hearts of His people, they will KNOW Him. I believe that the people God is talking about in Jeremiah 31:33-34 are those who make up Jesus’s beloved Bride…those who KNOW who Jesus is. I don’t mean know intellectually. I mean know as in via a true heart relationship.
What does it mean to KNOW God? First, lets define what it means to KNOW.
Here are the two definitions for KNOW:
- verb: be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.
- verb: have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with.
BOTH definitions are verbs, which means KNOWING is an ACTION. If you want to KNOW someone or something you have to put in your time and effort. In the case of knowing something, you have to observe, question, and research information. In the case of knowing someone, you have to develop a relationship by spending time with that person. Both require work and effort.
SO, if you want to be part of the Bride, the chosen ones of Christ, you have to actively KNOW GOD. The new covenant is special. It’s so special God writes it on His people’s hearts. That’s not going to happen to just anyone. People delude themselves into thinking that because they say certain words and go to a building once a week that they are part of this unique group, but that is wrong-think. Being part of this unique group, this Bride, requires a true, active relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah 21:8, Isaiah mentions a watcher on a gate. This person’s sole job is to watch. This verse says, “Then he who saw cried out: ‘Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights.'” Isaiah 21 has historical premise, BUT I believe it is also a wonderful illustration of the heart of the Bride of Christ. The Bride is the one actively watching every day and night. As Paul says in Hebrews 9:28, the Bride, the one saved from the day of wrath, is all those who eagerly and actively wait and watch for Jesus’s return.
Our inclusion into the Bride of Christ is based solely on the relationship we have cultivated with Jesus Christ. Do you KNOW Him? Are you in your Bible every day? Are you praying throughout the day every day? Are you honoring God’s Sabbath day every Saturday? Are you honoring Jesus as He commands every day? Are you watching for Jesus every day?