Written by: Metty Nyang'oro

Morning and Evening Meditation

Read: Hosea 2:16-23

Pray: Ask the Lord to reveal to you what it means to be chosen by Him. Ask the Lord to show you the beauty of His salvation in your life.

Devotional

Read: Hosea 2:16-23

I am not aware of any culture that doesn’t celebrate marriage in one form or another. Do you know about 2 million weddings take place in the United States each year? Now image the number of weddings taking place in the world each year. Amazing! I think weddings are fun because there is something for everyone - from the bride’s dress, tear-jerking moments, food, dancing, etc. However, I believe weddings are great, because they serve as a visual representation of love.

However, the text in Hosea, is drawing our attention to a different kind of wedding. This one is a glorious wedding to come, with us - the Church, as the bride, and Jesus Christ as the bridegroom. In Tanzania, where I grew up, it is customary for a bridegroom to pay a dowry. A girl is considered betrothed once a dowry, which could be money, a herd of cows, sheep, or goats, is accepted. Betrothal, therefore, must cost a bridegroom something. As a church, we are betrothed to Jesus through his costly and precious blood poured out on the cross for us!

For the “dowry” Jesus paid on the cross, Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:25-27) reminds us that a bride betrothed to Jesus is expected to be holy and without blemish. For the majority of us, the idea of maintaining holiness is scary, because we are typically aware of our shortcomings. Nevertheless, as we read in Ephesians 5:25-27, Jesus has taken upon Himself to maintain us as His bride! He is the one who is sanctifying and cleansing us.

So what should our response be as we reflect on our charge and identity as Jesus’ bride? I think our response should be that of worship and thanksgiving, because our position as Jesus’ bride implies being chosen, deeply loved and relentlessly pursued by Him. The best part of all is, as we wait for the wedding day, we don’t have to search for a perfect wedding dress. Jesus has already clothed us with garments of salvation and has wrapped us with His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). How awesome is He!

Question

Think of all the things in your life – attitudes, ambitions, emotions, possessions, etc. How are they hindering you from committing to a life of holiness?

Prayer Challenge

Pray that the Lord will reveal to you all the things that have become a “baal” to you. Pray that the Lord will help you turn your heart completely to Him.

Next Step

Reflect on your walk with the Lord. For those areas that are no longer a struggle for you, find at least one person with whom to share your testimony.