Saturday, February 23, 2002

The Joy of the Bridegroom

You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the
Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him -- that is all.
The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegroom's
friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom's friend, and I
am filled with joy at his success.

-- John 3:28-29 (NLT)

What a beautiful image. The friend of the bridegroom finds his joy in
seeing the bride come to her groom. Imagine if we all lived with the
same commitment that John had. What amazing power would be unleashed
among God's people if we all lived to prepare the way for Jesus to come
to other people! So why don't we? Why not start right now and make a
commitment to give the rest of your life to prepare the way for others
to know Jesus!

Loving Father, please use my words, my influence, and the rest of my
life to influence others to know Jesus and his grace. Open my eyes to
the opportunities around me to touch others with your grace. Open my
ears to hear the cries of those hungry for your Living Bread. Please
give me the joy of the bridegroom! In Jesus' name. Amen.

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February 23, 2002

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our
transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.
-- Ephesians 2:4-5

Of all things to be rich in, I cannot think of anything I'd
prefer the Holy God to be rich in than mercy. I know my failures,
shortcomings, sins, and transgressions. Without his mercy, to
pardon again, and without his grace to send Jesus to pardon at
first, I would be lost and without God. Now, because of his rich
mercy, my life is tied to Jesus' future and not the one I earned
for myself.

Father of all grace and mercy, thank you. Thank you for being
God like you are God. Thank you for extending grace when I have
not deserved it. Thank you for giving mercy when I most needed it.
Thank you for giving life when I thought my life was doomed and
hopeless. May my wealth be in mercy and grace much more than money
and gold. Help me be more like you. Through my older brother
Jesus, I pray. Amen.