December 27, Thursday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“The Voila Moment”

Ephesians 5:25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

During the holidays, I often feel sorry for my wife who prepares most of our meals.  The reason being is that preparing quality meals seems like such a painstaking and time-consuming process, while the actual enjoyment of eating lasts significantly less.  So a couple days ago, to prepare our Christmas dinner, my wife was probably in the kitchen for a solid 3-4 hours, but actually sitting down to eat took maybe 20 minutes. I often offer my wife the out, that we can order out, but she won’t have it.  For her, she wants to have that “Voila!” moment when her family takes that first bite, and she can see that all of efforts have culminated all of her loved ones happy and surrounded by great food. I think this “Voila” moment is what chefs live for.  

When I think about what the Lord is doing for his church, I also think of this long painstaking process, which kind of seems inefficient, if you ask me.  I mean think about how difficult people are; how petty we can be—how selfish, unforgiving, childish, stubborn, sometimes even malicious. Yet, our passage tells us that what Christ is doing with us (his church) is that he is making us holy, cleansing us through his word, making us clean and perfect, so that one day he can present us and say, “Voila!”

And that voila moment is “the Marriage of Supper of Lamb,” which the apostle John describes it in the following manner: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb’” (Rev. 19:6b-8).

And the major difference between what happened at our dinner table and at the Marriage of Supper of Lamb is the “payoff”: the joy won’t last a mere 20 minutes like a holiday feast, but an eternity.  What a blessing! Thank you, Jesus!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are patiently making me more and more into Your image.  Please allow me to submit myself to Your work and thank You for the person that I will one day be.  

Bible Reading for Today:  Proverbs 28


Lunch Break Study

Read Proverbs 27:1-6:

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. 2 Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. 3 Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. 4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? 5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What can we learn about boasting from this passage?  And in what ways do we “boast”?
  2. What are the dangers of anger, fury, and jealousy?
  3. Taken together, vs. 5-6 give characteristics of true friends and enemies.  What are they and how do you compare as a friend?

Notes

  1. Boasting, a form of pride should be avoided.  The Proverbs writer shows the folly of boasting about tomorrow, much like James reminds us in James 4:13-16, because we have no control over the next day.  Verse 2 implies that self-promotion is another form of boasting; let others compliment you.
  2. In vs. 3-4, anger and jealousy are compared to something heavy that we carry around us.  Isn’t the imagery so true because anger and jealousy often feel like a weight that slows us down.  
  3. Friends speak truthfully even if it is hard to hear sometimes.  Enemies are like “yes men”, they may make you feel smart and good, but their words don’t help much.  

Evening Reflection

This morning we talking about the Lord’s patience with us and our slow transformation, and this afternoon we highlighted some potential areas of struggle, such as boasting/pride, anger, jealousy, and truthfulness.  Are any of these areas you’d like to progress in? If so, remember transformation may be slow, but Christ is in it for the long haul.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s