In the first 4 studies we learned
1. To strive to know Him
2. To develop His attitude of service
3. The value of sharing in His sufferings
4. To be content in His presence
In this 5th and final study, “To Be With Christ”, we reflect upon how much we actually want to be with Christ and be part of the future kingdom when Christ returns to the earth. We learn of the desire to be with Him forever!
Each and every day we strive to develop a Godly character within ourselves. Christ is our great example to follow so that we can put away the things of the flesh and become like Christ, shining forth with a godly character. In Philippians 1:19-24, Pauls’ earnest expectation and hope was that Christ would be magnified in him. Do we feel like that? This is a feeling that needs to be nurtured. Like in any relationship, we need to learn about the ways, the character, the life of the other person. It’s the same with Christ. We need to read our bible daily to learn of His character and strive to be like Him in our lives so that when He returns he will find us together, waiting to be a part of His kingdom. Will He find us compatible with Him? Will our thinking and attitude be like his?
Our marriages today are a copy of “Christ and the Redeemed”
In Ephesians 5:22-29 the pattern is very clear and needs to be read in context.
v22. Wives submit to your husbands, AS unto the Lord
v23. Husbands are to be the head, AS Christ is the head of the ecclesia (church)
v24. Wives be subject, AS the ecclesia is subject to Christ
v25. Husbands love your wives, AS Christ loved the ecclesia and gave himself for it
v29. Husbands nourish and cherish, AS the Lord the ecclesia.
Right from the beginning Gods’ focus was His family and the marriage of His son with the redeemed. eg. Ephesians 1:5, 2:19, 5:1,8,22-32
Collectively, we are the bride of Christ. 2nd Corinthians 11:2 and Ephesians 5:32. How often do we think on this? Do we labour to bring ALL to Christ or do we selfishly strive for attention and think only in terms of ourselves?
It’s good to remember, in Matthew 25:10, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. We need to make sure we are ready and eager when our Lord returns. He’s preparing the kingdom for us and that should bring us joy and happiness. As in any relationship, there will be no attachment or joy if we aren’t in the presence of the other person. Let’s make sure we come into His presence and nurture our connection with Him so that we do feel the joy and happiness at his return and so find our place in his glorious Kingdom. So come, Lord Jesus!
My notes taken mostly from bible study 5 of 5, “To Be With Christ” by Michael Wolstencroft, Rathmines Bible School September 2015