Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Heart of the Bride

Joshua 1:16 (New International Version)
16 Then they answered Joshua, "Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.

Ruth 1:16 (New International Version)
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

The heart of a bride for her bridegroom is devotion and love.

How well I remember as a teenager, falling in love with someone whose heart was inexplicably set towards a land far away.

I knew that to love him meant leaving all that was familiar; my beloved mother, friends and country, to follow him. But there was no question then, and there is none now. I love him and would follow him anywhere, no matter the cost. And that is the heart of a bride.

Another teenager, two thousand years ago, named Mary, had an unexpected visit from the angel Gabriel that turned her expectations of life upside down. But she had a heart that was yielded and pliable in God's hand; the heart of a bride. In the gospel of Luke chapter 1, verse 38, after the startling revelation she had just received, her response is recorded:

Luke 1:38 (New International Version)
38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

And I love her heart of submission and trust. The cost of the adventure she was about to embark on was greater than she could have imagined, but her cousin Elizabeth rejoiced with her and said, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" (Luke 1:45)

Yielded and pliable in God's hand; fully devoted to him and his use. There is cost and sacrifice on the surface, but no real doubt as to the decision, when you fall in love with him.

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