I Am a Beautiful Bride

Published on Sep 10th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
I Am a Beautiful Bride

I Am a Beautiful Bride

I used to have a poster in my office of Kramer from Seinfeld.  In the poster he was posing as some kind of aristocrat but he still looked like goofy Kramer.  It reminded me of how we try to clean ourselves up, how we try to make ourselves look good, how we try to give ourselves some dignity but without God we are still these creatures who are dead in our sin.  We just come off looking ridiculous. Without God there is no hope of us ever being able to come off looking good.  But with God…hubba hubba.  Listen to Isaiah 61:10,11, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown up in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.”  Isaiah was prophesying what God would accomplish in Israel but I think it is OK to hear our God speaking to us.

We have much to rejoice about because God has clothed us with a salvation that makes us righteous and beautiful.  There are no ugly brides or grooms on their wedding day.  Thousands of dollars are spent on dresses.  Hours spent on primping and painting.  Men actually shower and usually shave.  We look our best.  That is the illustration Isaiah gives us as to what God has done for us.  He makes us look our best because we are now reflecting who he is.  What is so cool about all of this is that he is outfitting us to be his bride.  Every bridegroom in the world has the same reaction when they see their bride for the first time on that great day…WOW!  God now looks at us with that same kind of love and amazement.  He has made us beautiful in his eyes.

He doesn’t stop there.  He keeps producing in us righteousness and praise.  I understand the righteousness part.  That truth is found in Romans 8:29, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” God is the one acting here.  He is conforming me to look like Jesus. He also chose to do this, according to Ephesians 1, before the creation of the world.  He is producing righteousness in me.  The second part of that phrase is what caused me to stop and think today.  How has he caused praise to come out of me?  I thought praising him was my choice?  Here it says that he has caused praise.  My mind was brought back to that groom who sees his bride for the first time.  He is overwhelmed and that smile or that “wow” just comes out.  He can’t help it.  We walk outside and the heavens are shouting the glory of God and we can’t help but praise.  We have the Holy Spirit inside of us and he produces in us fruit that includes love, joy, and peace.  Our hearts can’t help but sing to him and give him praise.  The truths of the gospel are so overwhelming in light of our sin that, again, we must praise.  God so overwhelms us with his goodness and beauty that he causes us to praise him.

As I think about those truths I am lead to realize that I do not have to work to praise him…I have to work to not praise him. I have to keep my eyes focused on my circumstances, on what I do not have, on what might happen, on the sin of others, etc. because if I look at him – I must praise.  Does that make sense?  He is so beautiful, he has blessed us so much, he has given us life and eternity, his love is so overwhelming that it is causing us to praise him.  The only way not to praise is to stop looking at him.  His beauty and love are seen in all things, and to not look at him, really takes some effort.  We choose to focus on other things and that makes us praiseless (is that a word?).  We think it is the other way around.  We believe we need to work hard at praising him.  No, he causes us to praise.  We need to work hard to keep our eyes fixed on other things.  He surrounds us with his beauty.  He overwhelms us with his love.  He showers us with blessings.  He does and is so much that he causes us to praise.  Take a look in the mirror today.  He has made you a beautiful bride that he takes great pleasure in.  As you think of that…try not to praise him…you can’t…you must praise him…why? Because he causes you to praise him…that is so cool I just want to praise him more.

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