And to [the Bride of Christ] is was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:8
When Britain’s Queen Victoria married in 1840, she started a tradition that continues in the West to this day: the white wedding dress. As Queen, her choice started a trend which became a custom. Gradually, the white wedding gown came to symbolize fidelity and purity.
A grander wedding ceremony is coming: the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The groom will be Christ Himself, and the Bride will be His Church. As the apostle John saw this scene in heaven, he saw that the Bride of Christ was dressed in “fine linen, clean and bright” which symbolized “the righteous acts of the saints.” No white wedding dress on earth can make a bride pure and righteous on her wedding day, but nothing less than clean, bright linen will do for the saints-made-holy when they meet the Lord Jesus Christ to be united forever.
Are you prepared for that day? Do you anticipate being made completely pure and righteous in heaven? Your garment of righteousness is waiting for you.
Our guilty spirits dread to meet the wrath of Heaven; but, in his righteousness arrayed, we see our sins forgiven. Isaac Watts
Revelation 19:7-8 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1
A classmate gave my family a registered collie that had become too old to breed puppies. We soon learned this beautiful dog had, sadly, spent much of her life inside a small pen. She would only walk in tight circles. She couldn’t fetch or run in a straight line. And even with a large yard in which to play, she thought she was fenced in.
The first Christians, many who were Jews, were used to being fenced in by the Mosaic law. Though the law was good and had been given by God to convict them of sin and lead them to Jesus (Galatians 3:19–25), it was time to live out their new faith based in God’s grace and the freedom of Christ. They hesitated. After all this time, were they really free?
We may have the same problem. Perhaps we grew up in churches with rigid rules that fenced us in. Or we were raised in permissive homes and are now desperate for the security of rules. Either way, it’s time to embrace our freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1). Jesus has freed us to obey Him out of love (John 14:21) and to “serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). An entire field of joy and love is open for those who realize “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Reflect & Pray
How have you been kept from experiencing freedom in Christ? How can realizing this freedom help you serve others?
Jesus, help me to believe I am as free as You say.
Time is a precious commodity. You can’t earn more of it or reuse it. Once it’s spent, it’s gone forever. That’s why no amount of money, possessions, or success can equal its value. What’s more, we have no control over the length of time we’ll be allotted in this life. God alone is sovereign over the number of our days (Ps. 139:16).
If you want to know your true value system, simply look at how you spend your time. For the committed follower of Jesus, activities and pursuits will reflect a life lived for Him. What, then, is required to live wisely?
1. Realize that without Christ, you have no inheritance in God’s kingdom. The Savior offered Himself as a sacrifice to God so that all who believe in Him could be forgiven and receive eternal life. Without salvation, all of your time is wasted.
2. As God’s beloved child, imitate Him. Do this by walking in love, turning from sin, and trying to learn what is pleasing to the heavenly Father. Of course, imitation requires that you know the Lord, His ways, and His desires as revealed in Scripture.
3. Make the most of your time. Thoughtlessly moving through life results in hours spent on endeavors that, in an eternal sense, are fruitless. The apostle Paul warns us to be wise in making the most of opportunities (Eph. 5:15-16; Col. 4:5).
Remember, life is not about how long you live, but about whether you’re living for Christ. It’s never too late to change direction. Place your trust in God, ask Him for guidance for each day, and let Him direct how you spend your time.
“So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)
With the coming of the Shekinah glory cloud into the great house, God showed His acceptance of Solomon’s beautiful temple as His symbolic earthly dwelling place. This had happened once before in the wilderness. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).
But as the glory once departed when the Ark of the Covenant was taken from the tabernacle by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:22), so it later also departed when Solomon’s temple was plundered by the Babylonians and the people carried into exile (2 Chronicles 36:17-20; Ezekiel 10:18; 11:23).
It returned for a time when “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [literally, ‘tabernacled’] among us, (and we beheld his glory)” at least in a spiritual sense (John 1:14). On one occasion Christ’s glory shone through even in a physical sense: “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and . . . they saw his glory” (Luke 9:29-32) on the Mount of the Transfiguration.
There is also a great day coming when the ascended Lord will return with His heavenly temple, “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), even as “the glory of the Lord shone round about them” (Luke 2:9) at His first coming. His glory will be present forever when the heavenly tabernacle, the New Jerusalem, comes to Earth (Revelation 21:3-10), “having the glory of God” (v. 11).
In this present age, the body of each believer “is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” and he must “therefore glorify God in [his] body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “For God . . . hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Some years ago one of our national Christian brothers from the land of Thailand gave his testimony in my hearing. He told what it had meant in his life and for his future when the missionaries came with the good news of the gospel of Christ.
He described the godly life of one of the early missionaries and then said: “He is in the Father’s house now.”
He told of one of the missionary women and the love of Christ she had displayed, and then said: “She is in the Father’s house now.”
What a vision for a humble Christian who only a generation before had been a pagan, worshiping idols and spirits—and now because of grace and mercy he talks about the Father’s house as though it were just a step away, across the street.
This is the gospel of Christ—the kind of Christianity I believe in. What joy to discover that God is not mad at us and that we are His children…. What a hope that makes it possible for the Lord’s people to lie down quietly when the time comes and whisper, “Father, I am coming home!” EFE050-051
Thank You, Lord, for this incredible truth! And this is the message of hope that we share as we proclaim the gospel! Let us do it joyfully today. Amen.
Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.—Isaiah 59:1,2.
One thing alone, dear Lord! I dread—
To have a secret spot
That separates my soul from
Thee, And yet to know it not.
Frederick W. Faber.
It is a condition of enjoying continued insight into the laws which govern spiritual truth, that we should conform our moral being to that measure of truth which we already see. A deliberate rejection of duty prescribed by already recognized truth cannot but destroy, or at least impair most seriously, the clearness of our mental vision. A single act may thus involve grave inward deterioration; it may land the soul upon a lower level of moral life, where passion is more imperious, and principle is weaker; where a man is less his own master, and more readily enslaved to the circumstances and beings around him.
H. P. Liddon.
It is a strange but inflexible spiritual law, that those who aim at anything short of the best according to their conception, as God has given them light, will sooner or later come to grief. It is merely a matter of time.
Charles H. Brent.
“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1Peter 1:25
All human teaching and, indeed, all human beings, shall pass away as the grass of the meadow; but we are here assured that the Word of the Lord is of a very different character, for it shall endure for ever.
We have here a divine gospel; for what word can endure for ever but that which is spoken by the eternal God?
We have here an ever-living gospel, as full of vitality as when it first came from the lip of God; as strong to convince and convert, to regenerate and console, to sustain and sanctify, as ever it was in its first days of wonder-working.
We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass, and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah. Opinions alter, but truth certified by God can no more change than the God who uttered it.
Here, then, we have a gospel to rejoice in, a word of the Lord upon which we may lean all our weight. “For ever” includes life, death, judgment, and eternity. Glory be to God in Christ Jesus for everlasting consolation. Feed on the word today, and all the days of thy life.