The bride of Christ – of all the figures used to describe the relationship between believer and Saviour, this is perhaps the most tender. How beautifully it is brought to mind by the question put to Rebekah, “Wilt thou go with this man?” [Genesis 24:58].
The bride must leave behind the old life. There are new tasks to perform, a new family to meet, a new home in which to live. The believer also must leave the old life behind and start out on a way in which “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [II Corinthians 5:17].
The bride is joined to her husband in a moment of time, and so also the believer is united to Christ on the day of his conversion. Whatever has gone before is lost the instant the hands are joined and the bride says, “I will go.”
The bride now begins a lifelong union with her beloved. No doubt she has the desire to please him – never to be a disappointment. It is so with the Christian. The paramount desire beating within the breast of the new believer is to please his Saviour. Nothing is too much if it will win the smile of His approval.
The bride must always strive to make the marriage work. Yes, the bond is sealed in a moment, but for it to progress, to thrive, to be successful, sustained effort is required. How very much like the Christian life!
It is necessary to be mindful of the new relationship with Christ. The ardour of the early days should not cool, but it does, and it will, if attention is not given to those things that deepen our appreciation of Christ.
Have you thought of your relationship with Christ in these terms? The analogy is not perfect, but it may inspire us to rediscover the flame that once burned with brightness and warmth for Him who is ever our Beloved.
[Rev. Timothy Nelson]
A UNIQUE FEBRUARY
We have just entered the month of March that tells us spring cannot be too far away. We hope you enjoyed February because it was unique in the sense that it had four Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This is called a ‘Miraclein’ and we are told by some that it will not occur again for 823 years. Others dispute the claim. While they argue we shall look forward to a blessed spring.
THE SNOW WILL SOON MELT
Canada undoubtedly has its fair share of snow and there are many who dislike this country’s climate. Personally, this writer likes the four seasons here. There is always something interesting to look forward to.
We must be careful about being too critical of the snow. It is God who says to the snow, “Be thou on the earth” [Job 37:6] and “He giveth snow like wool” [Psalm 147:16]. The Lord also asks us, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” He sends it to moisten the ground in preparation for the growing season.
When that time comes “He sendeth out His Word, and melteth” the snow, ice and removeth the cold [Psalm 147:18]. That season will soon be upon us, and soon we shall be able to joyfully sing, “The winter is past . . . the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come” [Song of Solomon 2:12].
DAVID AND WORSHIP MUSIC
Since Jubal’s invention of the harp and flute, music has been vital to life. It soothes, it expresses joy and sadness, and it helps in worship. David raised music to its highest tones as a vehicle of worship. After he became king, he enlisted four thousand Levites to praise the Lord with musical instruments. He recruited a choir of singers, accompanied by players of harps, lyres and cymbals. The stringed instruments seemed to be most commonly used for the official worship. ‘
Although sometimes played using a plectrum, a flexible piece of bone or metal, they were usually played by plucking the strings with the fingers. The sound was pleasing and soothing, able to calm troubled spirits and lift hearts to God. That the harp was a symbol of joy explains why the exiled nation hung up their harps on the willows; they had no desire to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Galatians 5:22, 23].
If we are to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit, then we must keep the seedbed clean.