Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding Indeed

Today the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Princess Kate is taking place with the entire world as wedding guests, thanks to television and internet coverage. There are those who are moderately interested in the unfolding of this historical event, while others are totally immersed in the grand occasion.

No earthly wedding can compare with the marriage of Christ to His Bride, the believers who pledge to love, cherish, and honor Him forever.  The splendor of Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey cannot compare with the glories of heaven, nor the crown jewels of England with the crown that awaits the Bride of Christ who lives wholly devoted to her Bridegroom.  The fanfare surrounding Britain's royalty is no match for the celebration that awaits believers in heaven.

As beautiful as Princess Kate's wedding gown may be with its elegant train, it cannot compare with the train of the Lord's robe.  Isaiah wrote:  "In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.  Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called out to another and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts.  The whole earth is full of His glory'" (Isaiah 6:1-3).

As we watch the Royal Wedding with great admiration and perhaps even idolize the Prince and Princess, let us remember that there is only One truly worthy of our worship.  May we make ready our hearts to receive the Bridegroom and pledge our love and devotion to Him alone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Did You Expect?

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." -- 1 John 3:19-20

It amuses and sometimes angers me that my family expects me to roll with the punches and never get upset about the disappointments, hurts, and challenges that are a part of family life.  Somehow as a mom I am expected to rise above the mortal realm of human emotion and take everything in stride.  But some days my grace quotient is far from adequate to keep the feelings bottled up inside.  Before I know it, the dam breaks and waves of emotion come gushing out of nowhere, much like a flash flood in the spring.  When that happens I want to scream, "Well, what did you expect?"

We all struggle with our own challenges.  Financial problems, unruly children, and job stress are just a few of the irritants that nip at our heels and make it difficult to walk in a manner that glorifies God.  Yet, that is just what He expects -- that we rise above our circumstances and dwell in the shelter and peace of his presence.  Jesus is sympathetic to all that concerns us because "he has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).  Because he is our great High Priest, we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we will receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (v. 16).  Not only is he sympathetic, but also passionate about all that concerns his children.  Why should he expect us to feel any less passionate about our own?

As believers, we need always to seek a higher way of living and make every effort to live Spirit-controlled lives that reflect God's glory.  But we also need to keep in mind that although we were created in God's image, we are also human beings subject to feelings that can at times be overwhelming.  When that happens, rather than beat ourselves up for being human we must remind ourselves that "God is larger than our hearts, and he knows everything."  If we can do that, then we can expect to receive peace instead of condemnation as we rest in God's presence.