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The Bride of Christ: Making the Heart a Home

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” (Revelations 19:7KJV

As I sit here in my study writing this message, I am about two weeks from celebrating my 23rd wedding anniversary. I can honestly say that I am more in love with my bride today than even when we were married. We just had a wedding in the church a week ago, and my wife was in the wedding party. As I stood beside the groom watching the procession coming down the aisle, my heart leaped inside to see my bride of 23 years. Then, as I saw the bride start down that aisle, and I looked over at the groom, I knew how he must have felt.

We had a wonderful wedding that day. As the couple took communion at the end of the ceremony, the Holy Spirit began to move. There were people weeping while others began to worship the Lord. Out of that moving of the Holy Spirit, a young man came under conviction. During the reception after the wedding, he gave his heart to the Lord, and was gloriously born again. He went to the newly married couple, and shared what God had done in his life. What a glorious memory that will be for that couple.

A Marriage Made In Heaven

I am convinced with all my heart, that another bride is about to walk down that aisle. There is about to be a wedding in heaven, and the bride of Jesus Christ will be united forever with that man who loved her and gave Himself for her. “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”(Ephesians 5:25-27; 31-32) Paul is speaking about Christ and the church; Jesus and His bride. Paul would also speak to the Church at Corinth about Jesus and His bride. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 11:2)

Jesus Christ will have a glorious bride, one that has kept herself and is keeping herself just for Him. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And He saith unto me, write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb…” (Revelations 19:7-9B)

There is a calling going forth in these last days. The Holy Spirit is putting forth an invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. A call for man-kind to be born again and allow the Holy Spirit to mould and make them into a radiant bride that Jesus is worthy of. But listen very carefully; this is not a call for hired servants. The Holy Spirit is not looking for those who are just labourers, hard workers or who serve out of duty or responsibility. He is not looking those who will only welcome the benefits of being married to such a husband. No! The Holy Ghost is looking a bride! A bride that is making herself ready for Him.; a bride that has fallen head-over heels in love with this man Jesus Christ; a bride that welcomes the dealings of the Holy Ghost. She welcomes the purging away of the dross that she might be a radiant bride for her husband. She is not marrying for what He can do, but because she loves Him for who and what He is to her heart of hearts.

A Model Church?

This bride will prepare her heart to be a home. Her heart will be a home for her husband; home, that place of rest, and peace and intimacy and communion. The labours of this bride will be to keep the heart that place of intimacy for her first love. This bride is making room in her heart for her husband to have a place He can call home.

In Revelations 2, Jesus spoke to the church at Ephesus. If ever there was a model church with all the proper works and labours and zeal, it was this church. Listen to its wonderful attributes that Jesus acknowledges. “I know thy works, and thy labour and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.”(Revelations 2:2-3) What a church. What a list of accomplishments. They work, they hate evil, they love truth, and they have not fainted in their labours for Him. But, Jesus is not satisfied. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelations 2:5) This is Jesus speaking. What had this church done for Him to say He would remove their candlestick? Shouldn’t Jesus be excited that this church had offered so much? Why was He so severe with them?

This church had left their first love. Jesus did not say they lost their first love, but, they left their first love. They were as committed and zealous in their labours as ever, but they did it all outside of having a heart of intimacy and communion like a bride that was in love with her husband. Listen, it makes a great difference whether I’m doing all that I do for the mere results of my labours, or, in order that the fruits of it may contribute to His pleasure.

The only way your labours and excitement, and love for truth and hatred for evil, and talk about revival will ever be all for His good pleasure is that you have a heart that is at home with Him in communion. Your heart must be that of a bride that has Him as the object of your pleasure. The Church at Ephesus was able to do all the right works with all the right zeal, but, without the heart of a bride.

Nectar for the Hive

Listen, a bride does not do things around the home just to see the results. The results of her labours is not her object, her husband is. That bride prepares herself and the home for Him. Let me give you an example. The bee leaves the hive and goes to gather all the nectar he can from the flowers for one purpose. He gathers it to take it back to the hive. That bee doesn’t stay at the flowers and talk about the nectar. He takes it all back to the hive in order to make that hive sweeter. That hive is his home. The nectar is not the object, the hive is.

That is intimacy. That is the heart of the bride. It only desires the nectar because it makes the heart a sweeter place of communion for Him. I’ve heard many people talk about all the things Ephesus had, but without the heart. Did they have nectar? Yes, all their works and zeal was their nectar. Had they toiled to get their nectar? Yes, but they didn’t have a hive to take it back to. They had not prepared their heart to be a home. They did not have a place of intimacy they could call home with the Lord; that home where His good pleasure was the absolute most important thing.

Listen, all the works, all the toil, all the labour, all the zeal should only be to make the home sweeter. The nectar was not the object, but the hive. The results of our works cannot be the object, He must be. Many today are working hard with zeal, but they have no place called home to take the fruits of that zeal. They shout about the nectar, but not in that place where He can rejoice with them.

Has The Serpent Come to Your Garden?

The true bride desires to have that place called home so she can enjoy her husband. Her heart is to be that place. That place called home she continually desires to decorate and keep fresh and bright. We live in a society that in the natural knows very little of the home life anymore. The same serpent that came to Eve in the garden has deceived man-kind again. The “family” is too busy, too occupied to spend quality time together in the home. It has become that place where most families meet, but in going or coming.

Most know very little of the “old-fashioned” eating together, a “mom” cooked meal at the same time each day. Just sitting around is a thing of the past for most families. The structure of each family member knowing they will all be together at least a few hours each day at the same time is for the most part a thing of the past. Finding a mom that is still a “bride” or a father that is still the “groom” is not so easy. Many have left that “first love” that drew them together in the first place.

That same spirit has been brought into the church. It has become a place where many meet, but there is very little communion. There is a whole lot of noise about all our nectar (our works, our zeal, our talents, our ministry) but very little intimacy. Most of the “church” has become so busy working for God they have very little time with God. We have fooled ourselves in thinking that God is impressed with all our nectar. But God is looking a bride, a bride for His Son. Many go to a place they call church every Sunday. God did not call man-kind just to go to church, but, to be the church, to be the Bride of Christ. Satan is not concerned in the least over all our churchism and religious works and shouting around our nectar. What concerns the enemy of the church is seeing a bride that is head-over heels in love with her bridegroom. When Satan sees a people that are making their heart a home of intimacy for her husband, he knows his gates will not prevail against that place.

The Serpent in the garden wasn’t after the apples or the nectar, he despised the communion and fellowship man had with God. The garden was a home, a place of rest and peace and intimacy. That is what Satan despised. Adam and Eve chose the apple instead of fellowshipping with God. When God came in the cool of the day to fellowship, He could not find Adam and Eve. They had been reduced to hiding behind all the “nectar” of the garden without the intimacy of the garden. Multitudes every Sunday hide behind a whole lot of nectar without the true intimacy of the bride. This is what Paul was talking about to the Corinthian church; “I wish you would bear with me, while I indulge in a little (so-called) foolishness. Do bear with me! For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But (now) I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11”1-3 Amplified)

Satan, with all his cunning endeavors to corrupt that place called home both in the natural and the spiritual. He despises the home where the presence of God has brought peace, rest, contentment, and intimacy. He despises a people that Jesus can truly call His bride, that God has brought peace, rest, contentment, and intimacy. He despises a people that Jesus can truly call His bride, that are preparing their hearts to be a home for Him.

Preparing the Heart to Be His Home

To the bride, her husband is what makes the home. He is before her heart in everything she does. “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She is not afraid of the snow for her household. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eath not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” (Proverbs 31:10-12; 21A; 27-28)

This is the heart of a bride that has been prepared for her husband and her household. She protects well that place of rest and communion. She fills the heart of her husband with trust and praise. This is a picture of the bride of Christ, preparing her heart to be His home. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” (Proverbs 12:4A) What an honor and privilege to be the true bride of Christ and be that which is His crowning joy.

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” (Proverbs 31:23) All the work, all the labour was to make Him known. But how was He known by the elders? When they would sit in the gate of the city, as was their custom, what would they say about Him? Could it be they talked about how wonderful He must be for a bride to be so in love with Him? Could it be the elders heard the bride as she talked intimately about her husband as the bride did in the Song of Solomon? “ Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Draw me, we will run after thee: the King hath brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine. . .” (Song of Solomon 1:2, 4) “By night on my bed I sought Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him, and would not let Him go until I had brought Him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” (Song of Solomon 3:2A, 4B) I believe this is from a heart that has been prepared to be a home of intimacy for her husband.

This is what the world needs to hear at their gates from the church. The gates of hell cannot prevail against a bride whose heart has been captured by her Jesus. I believe this will be the language of the true bride of Christ in these last days. They will talk about what they know, Him. All their nectar is only to make the heart a sweeter place of communion for Him. As the bride in the Song of Solomon went thru the streets of the city she said to the daughters of Jerusalem, “If ye find my beloved, tell Him that I am sick (faint with desire) of love.” (Song of Solomon 5:8B Amplified) David said, My inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You.”(Psalm 63:1) These are hearts that have become that place that Jesus can call home. That place where He, the person, is desired. That place where all the nectar is brought only because it pleases Him who has captured the heart of the bride. The heart that has become a home is only satisfied with that which pleases Him.

A Call to Come Away

I believe we are in the last of the last days. Jesus is about to come for His bride. There is a call going forth to come away from all that distracts from true intimacy with Him. The church at Ephesus had all the right nectar (works, zeal, etc.) but their heart was no longer a home of sweet communion for Jesus. Jesus said, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…” (Revelations 2:5A)

This church had left their first love; somewhere, the hive had been deserted. They were busy gathering nectar, but they had nowhere called home. Their heart had been consumed with the nectar without that faint desire for Him. The heart no longer blushed in His presence. They failed to realize the nectar (works, love for truth, zeal, etc.) was only to make the hive sweeter.

In Mark 6, Jesus sent out the twelve. “And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:7, 12-13) This is the nectar, the works that Ephesus was committed to. But what did the apostles do with their nectar? “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things both what they had done, and what they had taught.” (Mark 6:30)

These men brought their nectar back to Jesus. They gathered themselves around Him. All the nectar did was make the hive sweeter. Look at what Jesus said when they gathered around Him. Listen to the call to come away . “And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going…”(Mark 6:31) Notice Jesus said that many were coming and going, but He called them away unto Himself. Many within the church are going and coming with a whole lot of nectar, but there is a call for a bride to have a heart that makes Jesus feel at home. That place where the desire to please Him is the only reason for the nectar. Will you be a bride? Will you heed the call to come away with Him from all that distracts? “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready.” (Revelations 19:7)