“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now ARISE,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”--Psalm 12:5 (ESV)
With the recent weeks of devastation around the world, my heart is heavy. As I reflect on the word ARISE in this passage of Psalms, it gives me hope. In this context, the word means a literal lifting or standing up. The verb is active, intensive and causative. Wow, I had not pictured the LORD standing before! If there were any time, it would be now. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, political tension, shootings and enemy lines being crossed cause us to long for our heavenly home. But, He is standing and waiting. We wonder, "Why, Lord?" Could one of the reasons He is waiting be that He desires more to come to salvation in Him?
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth--1 Tim 2:3-4 (ESV)
While we wait, we can proclaim His love to others. We can share His truth. Until He returns, we can find hope in our trials, fix our eyes on Him, and trust that He is at work in the visible and invisible. God wants us to set our hearts and minds on Him. He is calling us to pray and respond.
We believe that He will shelter those in need. We believe that He will provide safety for those longing for His protection. We believe that He is Our Salvation. We believe and this is our prayer...
You, O, Lord, are Our Shield, the God Most High. You know our needs before we even speak them from our lips. You say we can cast our cares upon You and You will care for us. We are needy. All the nations need You. There is destruction all around us and we need You to rescue us. Arise, Lord Jesus, arise! Shape us in understanding, love, and compassion for those hurting around us. Give us hearts that feel and hands that can help. Help us to see people through Your eyes. We all long for the safety of Your shelter. We desire to be held in the shadow of Your wings. Keep us focused on Your power and Your might by believing in faith that You are LORD on Your throne! May we trust Your plans. We pray according to Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Thank you, Jesus. Amen!
Arise, Bride of Christ
Ever since we discussed the eclipse at Fall Kickoff, I have been investigating what the Bible says about weddings and Jesus’ character as Bridegroom. Jesus tells us that “[t]he kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” (Matthew 22:2a). Jesus performs his first miracle on earth at a wedding. In the Bible, the Church is often referred to as the Bride of Christ. The Women’s Ministry’s theme for this year, Isaiah 60, also gives us a visual picture of a large procession of people, travelling in search of the returning LORD. Could this be symbolic of a wedding procession? Revelation 19:8 says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
Who doesn’t love a wedding invitation?
My favorite part of a wedding ceremony is when the bride and groom exchange rings. The bride and groom give a ring as a symbol of the promise, devotion and commitment that they desire to have with one another. To the recipient, rings symbolize being chosen, sealed and secured by another person. Giving a ring is also a pledge to fulfill a contract. The circular shape of a wedding band symbolizes unending love. We know these earthly traditions illustrate our heavenly relationship with our God.
Christ wants us to be His betrothed, to be wedded to Him. When the solar eclipse was in totality on Monday, August 21, the Diamond Ring effect was displayed. It reminded me that He is calling us to Him and He will keep His promises to us -- His Bride. God tells us, “as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)
In this age of grace, the Church is engaged to Christ and He is the Bridegroom who is rejoicing over you today. And, when He returns, there will be cleansing of the Bride, a marriage feast will begin and last for eternity! You already have an invitation…