Are You Tired of Searching And Striving?

mountains-1284691_1920“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

I’m very conscious that many Christians are weary and tired. Many are in fact exhausted. I mean this in a spiritual sense, hence the need for a place to sit down and draw fresh water to revive a weary soul. And many who don’t know Christ at all are equally spiritually exhausted in their search for truth and life, amidst a myriad of voices and choices, all of which have failed to deliver.

So here is a prayer poem for every one of you precious folk;

Today though you are tired

And your soul is heavy

whilst your burdens are many

and confusion reigns

may you be led to the trickling

of the streams that are running

flowing from the rivers

from the mountain’s terrains

As you sit by the streams

may you breathe in the air

that is fresh and sweet

to sweep away your cares

May you swish your feet

in the cool water flow

and be washed from the world

and it’s heavy, muddy blow

May your heart be quickened

to follow the streams

to search with tranquillity

the source of their beams

as the sunlight splashes

and shows you the way

may you not strive but rather

delay

the cares of the world

and it’s push and its shove

the lies of self-effort

to live by your own love

May you find yourself walking

ever so calmly

toward the river

in an atomosphere balmy

with a spring in your step

and a song in your heart

find yourself walking

in Someone else’s love

May you feel His hand

resting light on your shoulder

May you sense His warmth

permeate you and smoulder

the shame of your past

and the fears of your future

in the light of Him

in His perfect character.

May you find yourself lifted

your shoulders lightened

your legs at rest

and no longer frightened

May you know that within

you are being beckoned

Beckoned and called by

the One who has reckoned

Who’s reckoned all things

in His blood that has done it

That’s settled the matter

though you’ve not even earned it

Drink from that stream,

bathe in that river

Let your head fall back

and be carried hither

by the Arms of His Love

in the River of Life

May you come to know Him

As His Bride, His wife.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears say, “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely. (Revelation 22:17)

Look, I am coming soon! (Rev 22:7)

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In Search Of Authentic Authority

Leadership. For many of us the word leaves a bad taste. For some it evokes a sense of deep disappointment, emotional pain or abandonment. And for far too many it awakens traumatic memories of spiritual abuse. Jesus didn’t have a lot to say about leadership, except to warn the disciples that His idea of leadership […]

http://breadforthebride.com/2015/09/30/in-search-of-authentic-authority/

She only exists in The Son

I am always amazed at the way God takes us even deeper into a thing, that He has already revealed to us previously.

Some time ago,  the Lord enabled me to see with spiritual eyes, what seemed to be the outline shape of Jesus Christ – and almost translucently, in a way that I cannot describe, He was filled with some radiant brightness that somehow I instinctively recognised as the Bride, the Church. (One day soon I will attempt to draw this). The two were inexplicably one. Her radiance was beyond any light of this world that I have ever seen. Instantly, my heart melted and I began to weep as I was overwhelmed by the splendour of what my eyes were seeing.  I was looking at Christ but I was seeing the bride!

Subsequently, 18 months-or-so on, I am still taken-a-back by this bride – how stunningly beautiful and majestic she is. However, it has left me pondering why I find her so breath-takingingly beautiful, almost more than what I see of Jesus Himself?! I have even carried some element of guilt about this.

Now, for some time also, the Lord has been speaking to me of Himself and His Church, through the shadow and type of the sun and moon. I have even written some blogs on this previously – the sun representing The Son, and the moon representing the Church and how the moon reflects the sun as the church reflects Christ. What a glorious display of this relationship is expressed here.

Well, almost like the floor collapsing from under my feet, this whole insight into the Bride, fell even deeper for me the other day, in the same picture of the sun and the moon, yet again with even more of the Lord’s life in it. It was as though the Lord (well…not as though….but for real), had heard my ponderings and answered them with such clarity. It went something like this;

Me: “Why am I so breath-taken by the Bride but not breath-taken by You, Lord, in the same way?”

Seamoon by Angelo Amboldi

Seamoon by Angelo Amboldi

  Him: You can look at the moon and see her in all her glory. She perfectly represents my Bride, as she is bright and glorious and sits as a lamp-post, in the darkness. However, it is only by the light of the sun, that she can even be seen. It is only the light of the sun that she reflects to the world. She has no light of her own. But, because your eyes are able to look upon her, you can see how beautiful she is and she’s incredible. 

Sun and Evening Rain by Micolo J

Sun and Evening Rain by Micolo J

 

You ask, why aren’t you as breath-taken by Me? Think of the moon compared with the sun. You can’t look at the sun! The sun is too bright! It is too radiant, too powerful, too overwhelming. But by it, you can see the moon and everything else.  This is like Me, I am too bright for you to set your eyes upon, but You see me reflected in the church, My bride. This is why she is so beautiful to you. In her, you can see Me. 

Woah.

A whole bunch of scriptures came to mind, such as God hiding Moses in the rock so that he could only see His back as He passed by because otherwise Moses would die; Paul being blinded by the light of Christ, the crowd falling to the ground when Jesus said “I am He”.

I was then reminded of that day 18 months ago, I did not see the bride apart from in Christ. She wasn’t separate from Christ. She has no glory of her own. It is only in Christ that she is made so beautiful. It is only in Christ that she even exists. All of her illumination only exists because of the radiance that comes from the Son.

No wonder she is so breath-taking.

One day, with unveiled faces, as when the bridegroom lifts the veil from his bride, we will see Him, our Bridegroom, face to face.On that day, we will be able to look at Him, in His glory, and behold Him altogether.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face…(1 Corinthians 13:12).

Until that day, we see Him in each one. In each song, psalm, teaching or revelation that each member brings, in each smile, hug, laugh, tear. In each member of the body of Christ, we see a radiant reflection of our Jesus, in whom it pleased ‘the fullness’ to dwell.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

 

 

 

 

Treasuring Him Together – a brother’s blog site

Hello saints! Holy and righteous ones!!!!

Well, I am all a ga-ga about you right now, about this beautiful bride of our Lord Jesus! (of which I am part!)

Well, I have the honour of doing life with a dear brother whose name is Ben Halliday.  Ben has a blog site called ‘Treasuring him together’.  He has just posted his first ‘video’ post on the bride of Christ, although has been blogging for a good few months now. (If I could re-blog his post here I would!)

I’ve had the pleasure of walking with this brother for approximately 2 and a half years in organic church life and have had the honour of seeing the Lord’s life explode in him, as he continues to abide in Him and trust Him in all things.

After just watching his video post on the bride of Christ, I feel compelled to encourage y’all to check it out. It’s only short so I hope you have the time to check it out – just click on this link to go right there.

http://www.treasuringhimtogether.com/seeing-the-bride-for-the-first-time/

Matrimonial Love in The Vine

Matrimonial Love in The Vine

 

 

 

 

 

I Do

Wedding party head to the Wedding Feast

Wedding party head to the Wedding Feast

I love this photo of our dear brother and sister, Mr. & Mrs. Drikus and Megan Cronje. As a shadow and type, it is an image of Jesus our Bridegroom, the church as His Bride and their attendants, after the final ceremony of marriage, heading on to celebrate at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

A most excellent shadow and type of Christ the Bridegroom and His Church, His Bride, is seen in the traditional Jewish wedding of Jesus day when He was on earth. It is full of shadows and types that move me to tears.

For instance, just like in the West today, the chosen bride in ancient Jewish times always had a choice.  She, like us, could reject the proposal. This is seen in the case of Rebekah in Genesis 24:57-58. When she was asked regarding Isaac “Will you go with this man?” she said “I will go”.  This reminded me of today’s Western marriage ceremony where the bride is asked “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband…”?  The bride traditionally responds with “I do”.

So at the bottom of this post I’ve changed some words to a well known Abba song, to reflect the “I do”s of the church The song of-course is called I Do, I Do.  There is great significance in the lines referring to the Bridegroom taking His cup of wine, for in Jewish weddings the bridegroom would take his cup of wine at the betrothal ceremony and say to his bride-to-be,  “This is the cup of my covenant, the cup of my blood, which is poured out for you” which literally meant “I am committed to you as your husband forever”. Jesus said these same words to His disciples at the Passover meal. As He drank from the cup, He spoke the language of a Bridegroom to His Bride. 

Click on the link for an instrumental of the song so you can sing along. I hope you get a glimpse of the joy and celebratory heart of our Lord who is eagerly waiting the time He comes to collect His betrothed (us!), complete the ceremony and celebrate together at the wedding feast of the Lamb!

Enjoy Church, for our Bridegroom is coming soon and He’s excited!!!

 https://youtu.be/HEYRu-7zZtM

I Do, I Do (song)

Sunday, 24 May 2015

8:50 AM

SONG to tune of Abba’s I Do

(verse 1)

Bride 

Your father chose me, I’m Your bride, now receive me

I love you

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

 

(verse 2)

Groom

My Spirit sealed it, I’ll return, can’t you feel it?

I love you 

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

 

(Chorus 1)

Bride & Groom together 

Oh, I’ve been dreaming from eternity past

Now we have made it, I found you at last

 

 (Verse 3)

Groom 

With my cup, I have done it, with this wine, I’m excited

We’re betrothed

It’s true, it’s true, it’s true, it’s true, it’s true

 

(musical interlude for tag and one verse)

 

(Chorus 2)

Bride

With all – Your promises and wedding feast

We’ll be united, for all eternity!

 

(Verse 4)

Groom

With my cup, I have done it, with this wine, I’m excited

We’re betrothed

It’s true its true its true its true its true

 

(Verse 5)

Bride

So you’ll never leave me, I’m Your Bride, You’ve received me

I love you

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

 

(Verse 6)

Groom

My spirit sealed it, I’ll return, just believe it

I love you,

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 3 

For Part 1 & 2 of this post discussing the gifts of gold and frankincense, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already discussed how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!) talked about in the Book of Revelation.  We have also discussed how the gift of frankincense revealed the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross. Now let’s take a look at the gift of myrrh.

Myrrh was also taken from a tree by the same manner.

Myrrh is a red gum-like resin taken from a thorny tree that to be harvested must be wounded repeatedly until it bleeds its resin. Gosh. Can’t we just see in this, the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head, continually wounding Him and causing blood to flow from His brow.

Myrrh is a bitter spice often mixed with wine and we know that at Golgotha, on His way to being crucified, Jesus was offered a bitter wine mixed with gall (another name for myrrh). We see here, the Lord’s suffering and affliction, represented by the bitterness of the myrrh. This mix of bitterness with the wine, as Jesus is the New Wine of the Second Covenant, can also reveal the life of the church. The church is called to join in the fellowship of His suffering. There is a bittersweet relationship of myrrh mixed with wine.

Not only is myrrh bitter but it is also used as anointing oil and for embalming. It is associated to the Balm of Gilead mentioned in Genesis 37:25 and Jeremiah 8:22 and 46:11).  Jesus is our balm for healing and anointing, as we read in these verses for the healing of God’s people, Israel, which we as the church, have now become.

So in the gift of myrrh, the wise men unwittingly symbolically announced not only the suffering of Christ by bearing the crown of thorns, the life of the church in the fellowship of His suffering but also Christ as healer, our Saviour, by His sacrifice we are saved! The myrrh was brought by the Magi to point all humanity to Christ as the healer of the nations!

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 2

For Part 1 of this post on the gift of GOLD, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already read how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!).  Let’s take a look at the gift of Frankincense.

Frankincense was a very valuable and key ingredient used in incense. Incense was used by the priests in the temple as they prayed on behalf of the nation of Israel. It speaks of the sacrificial prayers of the saints and the burning of frankincense in the tabernacle which was to continue day and night, never ceasing. So here we see the eternal sacrifice of Jesus as our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, on behalf of all mankind. We see the sacrifice of Jesus as the pleasing aroma unto God, the “once and for all” eternal, sacrifice.

Keeping the word ‘sacrifice’ in mind, it is amazing to know that the means by which Frankincense was obtained is an astounding announcement of the Lord Jesus’ death. “Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out…” (http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html).

Here we see Jesus (the Tree of Life) on a tree, the cross, being pierced for our transgressions. His hands, feet and his side being pierced until water and blood flowed from His side. Wow. The Tree of Life being pierced, incisions into His body on the cross, allowing this sacrificial, sweet smelling fragrance of His life, to flow out.

And what was born out of His side at this time? What came from Adam’s side? A wife! The Bride! The church! We are a sweet smelling aroma unto God! The birth of the church, was announced at Jesus’ birth by the wise men in the gift of frankincense!


 

Home – He is ours and We are His

Hopefully anyone reading this blog post, understands the term ‘bride of Christ’ is not referring to an Australian ABC series on nuns that was aired in the 1980’s! It is not even referring to the Catholic church, or any denomination or church building. If you’re not sure who the Bride of Christ is, I can tell you right now, that the Bride of Christ is the same as the Body of Christ  – it is the collective body of believers who are in Him – those who have received salvation and have become part of Him – in other words, The Church.  Although there are a few lyrics that don’t fit with the picture, to me, this song is an awesome dialogue in song between the Lord Jesus and His beloved Bride.

Have you ever been so at ease and in love with your partner that you have said to him or her “I’m at home when I’m with you”? This is an expression of feeling safe, comfortable, secure, completely free to be self, and having a sense of absolute belonging from eternity past.

So, this song called ‘Home’ is about a guy named Alexander (representing Christ) and a sheila named Jade (representing the church) and they sing to eachother about how they are eachothers’ home.

One can hear Jesus saying to his Beloved Bride that His home is within her, His home is her (We the church are called the temple of the Holy Spirit, He has made us His dwelling place and in the words of Frank Viola, we have become His Bethany,-His favourite place on earth,a place He can call home).

We can hear the church represented by Jade, singing back to Jesus about the fact that He is her home, that wherever Christ is, she is home. The two sing of how nothing compares to the love they have for one another.

Toward the end of the song, Alexander confesses to Jade that when they first met and she fell out a window, he was falling in love with her as he took care of her. This spoke to me of Jesus, in love with us the church, picking up His Bride-to-be when she was in a sorry state with no salvation, brushing her off, healing her, making her sins of scarlet white as snow, when she had no idea of His love for her. As it says in Romans 5:8  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

I do hope anyone who listens to this song as part of this blog post and follows the words, can receive a little bit of the Lord’s fun and life in His love toward His cherished one….us.

Enjoy…..(but be warned….it’s hard to get this tune out of your head!! – but that might be a good thing!)

American Sniper movie – Forever changed – Ruined for Anything else

Taken from google images

Taken from google images

Dear brother or sister,

Firstly, let me say, in this post I am not condoning war, killing, murder, racism, other religions and I am not in any way glorifying war. I am not pro any country over another.

Having said that – American Sniper, what a movie. What a story. What a spectacle of the reality for the believer who has seen the Eternal Purpose of God and is ruined for anything else.

In a nutshell and be it right or wrong, the true story goes that Chris Kyle signed up to serve his country with a deep heart conviction that he was called to protect his fellow-Americans in this way. This led him to the war zones as a sniper where he served four Tours of Duty, saved many American soldiers’ lives, killed 160 enemies as a sniper, became a legend in the eyes of many of his countrymen and comrades and returned home a tormented man, damaged and changed, trying to re-connect with family and society. He was never the same again.

It is common knowledge that young men in particular, can be taken up with some fantasy of war and being solders, being convinced there is much glory and honour in serving country.  For the young soldier there can be a sense of calling, duty, pride, bravery, excitement, hope, destiny, purpose and meaning. There is generally an expectation of victory, glory, wonder, certainly comradery and even adventure and sight-seeing. However, one thing is true of any I have heard speak after the event of being at war, and that is, that except for the comradery, it was none of those things. And this is my point.

Those to whom the Lord has given a glimpse of His Eternal Purpose, can be likened to such a young person. We leave the safety and familiarity of the traditional or institutional church environment and habits and we walk into this ‘organic’ church life expecting some hard times and challenges for sure. You know, we’ve read the books, we’ve heard the testimonies, we know it’s not going to be easy. However, we have heard the call and we can’t help ourselves now. We are compelled to go!

We ‘enter in’ so to speak, this ‘organic’ body life, in order to seek this glorious experience of the Lord’s Bride expressing Christ in all His wonder and love, power and light – to fellowship with brothers and sisters who have also heard the call and who have given their lives up for Him – and we intend to walk this path together with that same sense of calling, duty, courage,  excitement, hope and purpose, believing we will see glory, wonder, adventure and experience a similar type of comradery.

What does such a one find? Just like the young soldier, this one finds the journey into organic life in Christ, is more about death than anything else!! – pain, suffering, loss – losing ones’ life (self-life) in the sense that he is no longer an individual accountable only to self but now moves as part of a corporate body, loses his individual status or spiritual reputation, risks his life (self-life) for the corporate body and its purpose (to let Jesus win!). This one risks his life all day every day in community life of the body.  He thought training was hard! – like Chris Kyle training to be a navy seal on the beaches, even that didn’t compare with what faced him. But now that he’s living it, he’s on the front, he’s on the ground, he’s functioning with other soldiers alongside him who are also functioning, he is getting used to death. Death is now becoming a way of life. So it is for those in true organic body-life, under the headship of Jesus Christ. It was the way of Jesus, why wouldn’t it be the way of His followers? 

If we’ve seen the Lord’s Eternal Purpose, we have no alternative but to keep dying and giving up our lives. We know it’s worth it. We have no life of our own, no personal status or value. We are members of a corporate body and live only for the purpose of that corporate body, which is to let Jesus win on every occasion so He is seen in the earth. Our personal lives have no individual value. We risk our lives every day and die new deaths every day for the sake of the purpose of this body. Even though we may live physically, still have jobs, families and regular every day commitments, we are ruined for this life (self-life). We are never going to be the same. We can’t return to who we used to be.   People might look at us from the outside and think we’re the same person we used to be but we are not. Not ever. And there is no going back.

The young soldier deployed for war doesn’t have a clue what he is signing up for.  When we enter into ‘organic’ church life, neither do we.

But!!  The glory! Yes! There is glory there! A far greater glory than what any young soldier might be hoping for. A richer glory than we have ever experienced before. The glory of the Lord Jesus truly freely functioning as the Head of His Church, that He is. It is the sweetest and most consuming wonderous glory that ever there can be here on earth – to see and know with our spiritual senses, the wonders of the Lord Jesus getting what He wants.

Having been given a glimpse of this purpose, a glimpse of this glory, what choice is there? It’s like when Simon Peter said to Jesus “Lord, to whom shall we go? For You hold the words of life”. 

We have no-where else to go Jesus. Just a glimpse of You in Your bride has ruined us for anything else.

The Temple of King Solomon – Extravagant Giving! Part 1

Solomon’s Temple Built for God

(Picture found at http://biblestudyoutlines.org/bible-study-lessons/old-testament-bible-study/1-kings-6-bible-study/)

Have you ever read the account of Solomon’s building the temple for God? I’ve been recently struck by the extravagance of Solomon’s ‘giving’ to the Lord. No, God never asked for it to be built, it was King David’s desire, that was given to his son King Solomon to fulfill but God sure accepted it.

What struck me, is that King Solomon at the time of building the temple, knew in his inner-man, the worthiness of God. He knew that God was worthy of extravagant giving and sacrifice and he went all-out to express that knowing of the Lord’s glorious worth.

There is so much to learn in this story about the gold and precious materials he used in this building. One might say in today’s terms that King Solomon was a ‘perfectionist’. Nothing less than extravagance would do – and he could afford it! King Solomon had soooo much blessing from God that he could hardly give enough! His blessing from God far outweighed what he could give back to God but he was adamant about doing all that he could to create the biggest, best, most glorious, most appropriate, most true representation of the Lord’s glorious ‘deservance’ (I made that word up ’cause I’m free in Christ to do so – lol!!) 

There was purpose and meaning in every single aspect – the entire process from beginning to end. That is every type of material used, every item and where it was positioned, every section, every boundary etc.

You know, at the completion of the building it still wasn’t enough! King Solomon STILL had plenty of blessings to spare because the Lord had blessed him so. The scripture says that King Solomon made so many sacrifices that there were too many to count. Talk about over the top – talk about extravagant giving!

This all reminded me of the Lord and us of-course. God has given us so much in His Son Jesus, that we could NEVER spend enough on Him, we could NEVER return to Him what He has given us. We could NEVER sacrifice enough to meet His ‘deservance’! (worthiness)

Those who have seen the Lord and His glory, who He Himself is, have seen that He is worthy. We have seen that He may not ask us to build Him a temple, like He didn’t ask David, but we see that simply by being Who He Is, He demands our all! We want to give Him EVERYTHING we have to give! And we realise that anything we have to give has come from Him in the first place! There is this exchange of gift-giving, love, sacrifice. He sacrificed His Son Jesus to give us EVERY blessing in heaven! We have been made most rich! And now we seek to give back to Him by sacrifices and gifts of pure love and adoration, as He Himself leads us by His Spirit.

Once again, it is all HIS work – nothing of ourselves. What an extravagant God we serve and love! We have seen He is worthy! So worthy! 

Of-course, King Solomon at the time of building the temple, was a type of Christ – but that is for part 2………….