The invitation of God to all of the world is to be a Home together for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost—to be a Bride that has made herself ready for the return of her beautiful Groom, Jesus.
The invitation of God to all of the world is to be a Home together for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost—to be a Bride that has made herself ready for the return of her beautiful Groom, Jesus (John 13-15, Eph. 2-5, Rev. 19:7). If you think about the picture in the Scriptures of how life for and with Christ culminates—what is it? It’s a courtship—and a wedding supper! God is appealing to us, saying, “I have this confidence about Myself. If you will be with Me and take a look at who I really am, there will be no other suitors who compare. There is nothing else in the whole universe that will win your heart like I can—because I made you for Me. Other things have distracted you, but if you will just take the time and step up alongside Me, you will see what life was meant to be. And we’ll have a wedding!
“So, prepare yourself, Bride.”
From the beginning of time, this invitation has brought people to seek Him. That’s His invitation for us, too. That’s what it’s all about. This is not some external doctrinal thing. It’s a drawing and a wooing of what’s inside of us. It’s us looking at all that He is and saying, “I can’t live without Him or what is precious and important to Him! I don’t want to live without that! I would never dream of living outside of His will for my life or outside of His purposes. I want to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Whatever He wants for my life, He’s got it! He’s the Bread of Life, where all my nourishment and fulfillment are found. He’s that picture of leadership and kindness and forgiveness and mercy that I can’t live without—that I don’t ever want to live without! I want to see Him strong. I want to see Him severe. I want to see Him kind. I want to see Him loving and compassionate. I want to see Him wise beyond words. AND, I WANT TO BE WITH HIM! I want to hear every word He has to say. I don’t ever want to be more than a step away from Him the rest of my life. I cannot turn my back on Him because of my own selfish pride or laziness or hurt feelings. I can’t turn my back on Him. The temptation is there, but the loss is too great.
Jesus has all these qualities. He is perceptive in a thousand different ways and wise beyond words. This is our Master. This is Jesus. This isn’t some fairy tale. This isn’t some story out there about some god that created the earth and sits on a big white throne. This is about the person of Jesus and His Father who rule over us. If we will just look, if we will take the time to encounter Him, there is absolutely no way to resist Him any longer. The problem has been a lack of willingness to abandon ourselves into His very capable and loving hands. His trustworthiness is beyond belief. But we don’t always get close enough to see it because we make ourselves a little too busy, too selfish, too careless—and just won’t take the time to be dazzled and wooed by Him.
Father knows that if we will take the time to be with Him in His Son, then He will demonstrate His character to us in such a way that He will be absolutely irresistible. The qualities of His character are staggering. There is something about being with Him that will catapult you out of all the other things that you are encumbered and dragged down by. Suddenly you are dazzled by something that is outside of the realm of your normal flow of experience. That’s JESUS! And, He is inviting us to come walk with Him. He will dazzle you with all His qualities of kindness, mercy, and everlasting forgiveness.
You’ll see His smile and the gleam in His eye. You’ll see how the wind blows through His hair. You’ll see and hear and experience things that take you to another realm, and time won’t exist there anymore (Rev. 1:12-18). You will see His leadership and His strength. You will see how He has a resolve against sin. You’ll see that He has a focus and a clear vision of what life is supposed to be. And you’ll hear the depth of His laughter and feel the warmth of His encouraging embrace.
Come follow Him. He’ll show you leadership. He’ll show you strength. He’ll show you an immovable character and quality of life that will dazzle you, that will make you want to come with Him because it’s safe and secure where He is. He’ll show you a kindness and a sensitivity that will see right into your heart and life. If you come to Him and lay down your miserable life full of yourself, then He’ll wash you, and cleanse you, and put His Spirit inside of you. Then, He’ll draw out the diamonds and the rubies and the jewels that are there. He’ll draw those things out. He’ll make you a queen; He’ll make you a king.
He wants to build an army of followers, but it’s not just some theoretical, logical, doctrinal issue—“Follow Me, or you’ll go to hell.” Well, that is true, but that has nothing to do with what Jesus came to show the twelve. Do you think they followed Jesus all over the countryside because He was wagging His finger at them and telling them to follow Him or they would go to Hell? Do you remember any scriptures like that? Is that what He did when He went and prayed to the Father all night? Did He say, “Father, show Me what I should say,” and then stand up and say, “You twelve, you come with Me or you’re going to go to Hell”? No. They wanted to be with Him because they saw something about Him that just amazed them. They saw His wisdom, kindness and patience. They saw strong leadership and an unwavering character. They saw someone who could take the pummeling of life and stand tall with just a little corner of His mouth smiling in the face of it, with courage in His eyes. And they wanted to be like Him—they wanted to be with Him! They weren’t going anywhere because there was nowhere else they wanted to be other than by His side (Matt. 4:19-22, John 6:68, Acts 5:20, Acts 3:19-20).
He didn’t have to threaten them, and He’s not threatening us either. He’s inviting us to see Him for who He is and to see the amazing qualities and the amazing personality that He has...so that we would want to be with Him, in this life and the next. I want to be like Him when I grow up. I honestly do.
Before very long, Jesus will come back for His Bride made ready. And, the will of the Father for us is not to attend a bride, but to be a Bride...not to attend a house, but to be a House. If you go all the way back into the Old Testament, you see His desire has always been for a House, not just for saved people for His possession. His desire is for a habitation, a place where He could live on this planet that He created. Jesus told us in Luke 17 that His Kingdom is neither here nor there, but it is within people who have enlarged the place of their heart, pushing out the things of the world, carnal desires, appetites and ambitions. We must be those who have made room for Jesus in our hearts as Jesus taught in John 8. That’s the nature of the Ekklesia, His living Body and Church.
Jesus did not just come to forgive sins, as wonderful as that is, nor just to make us think about His teachings. Jesus came so that we could experience the same life with the Father that He experienced—not just live here, die, and then go to heaven. As the Bible says, He came here so that we could live in “the power of an indestructible life” to experience the same fellowship and life and love with the Father and His brothers that Jesus did.
Getting “saved” is FAR from the end of the Story. As with Jesus’ Birth, our Birth is ONLY the Beginning of a very powerful Story Father wants to tell in us (Col. 1:26-29, Gal. 4:19, John 7:38). His desire is that Christ be formed in us, and that we (His People, His Bride, His House, His Ekklesia) would be the expression of the full glory of Jesus of Nazareth on planet Earth in this present day. God’s desire is not just for individuals to be reflective of Jesus, but that TOGETHER, corporately, we would become an exact representation of Jesus.
And, the working out of these “unsearchable riches” has everything to do with how we live our lives together every day. Much of what religion and christianity have done for many years is teach us great teachings about Jesus and His Church. It is now time to move on from learning teachings about the church to being the church (Eph. 3:10, Matt. 16:18).
We can only BE His church and live His Life as we love each other and exchange our lives with each other every day. We help each other to know Jesus better by helping each other put away sin, loving one another more, and by caring for others’ needs more than we care for our own. These are the teachings of Jesus. This is how He lived His life for us, and now He has called us to live this way for one another. This is how the Bride is “made ready” for the return of her Groom, Jesus. We become more and more beautiful as we learn how to truly love each other more. As we put away our selfishness and pride that keep us separate from each other, and as we willingly open our hearts to be vulnerable with each other, then the Spirit of God, the Grace of God and the Love of God pour out on us...and we become a beautiful Bride READY for the return of our Groom, Jesus.
This is a Church—to live this way every day, not attending the house of God, but being the place where God Lives. Then our homes, our workplace and our Church all become one. There are no more barriers from my heart to yours and no more barriers between my home and yours. I put away selfishness, pride, laziness and unbelief, and I love others as Jesus has loved me. When everyone does that, from the least to the greatest, Jesus pours out His healing oil, and we are a Church, a beautiful Bride. Jesus did not come to make us smarter. He came to give us Life to the full—to experience His Life daily in one another, not to say borrowed words and sing and pray stained-glass religious words. LIFE!