Faithful. I heard my faithful Bridegroom speak this into my spirit as I prayed. At the start of every new year, I ask the Lord for a word, so I was delighted when I heard this.
This one-word description describes Beloved perfectly. He is:
- Faithful to love us first. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NKJV).
- Faithful to love us without reservation or condition. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV).
- Faithful to bring us into fellowship with other believers. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV).
- Faithful to forgive us of our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NKJV).
- Faithful to complete the good work He has started in us. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV).
- Faithful to protect us from the evil one. “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NKJV).
My Beloved Jesus is faithful to us, but are we faithful to Him? I must admit I fall short of my goals here. I am guessing it is the same with you. None of us live perfect lives, and this includes our commitment to the Lord. Let’s face it–mess-ups are guaranteed. There are no perfect people except for our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. As much as we want to be exemplary, we don’t always make that goal. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23b NKJV).
When we have lost sight of our Beloved, and we’ve done wrong, we can rest assured He has not lost sight of us. He still loves us. In fact, His love is always constant.
“I will betroth you to me forever … in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.”
-Hosea 2:19b NKJV
The steadfast love of the Lord never changes. If we read further in this chapter of Hosea, we see the Bridegroom waiting for His Bride to return so He can show her His steadfast love. There’s the sticky point. If we don’t experience His love, it might be because we need to position ourselves to receive our gentle Groom’s love.
We see this same principle applied in Song of Solomon. Beloved is there if we look for Him. We say to our lady friends, “If you find my beloved, you tell Him I am lovesick.” (Song 5:8b-9 NKJV) The result? Just as Hosea expresses the Bridegroom’s readiness to show His lovingkindness to the Bride He already loves, God is ready to take us back because we’ve asked for His rescue.
In the next two scenes of the vignette, we see an exchange of praises (see Song 3-4). We compare how Beloved is superior to all others, and this is followed by Beloved complimenting us and showing us how we are like no other. We center our thoughts by praising Him, and we can then hear His voice pointing out what we are doing right. This goes a long way in helping us to be more faithful to our Groom, who is undoubtedly our first love.
Our Bridegroom values us more than we can think or imagine, even though He knows there will be times He will need to fetch us. He eagerly awaits our readiness for His rescue. He does not condemn us. Instead, He meets our praise with praises of His own, knowing as we praise Him, we heal. And this praise-exchange brings us into the throne room of God.
If we’ve struggled at times with being faithful, it is likely our friends have experienced this same struggle. How can we help them? We tell the maidens, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem … Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases” (Song 2:7 NKJV).
Our best plan is to remain in Beloved’s love, but if we wander, we can return to Him through praise and continue in this state, not breaking from praising Him until we are in His presence. Even then, we will praise Him to anchor our commitment. We repeat this advice to our friends in two other places of the vignette, which shows the supreme value of praise (Song 3:5; 8:4).
Journeying towards being faithful is a progressive work in any believer. Remember the biblical solution of praise so you won’t get stuck in guilt. The solution to unfaithfulness is to return with a repentant heart and praise the One who knows our whole story and loves us anyway.
Bride of Christ, always remember the title Beloved gives you. Your name is “Love.” You are His wife. And if our name is “Love,” then this indicates we have a responsibility to shepherd those in our sphere of influence. He commissions us to spread divine love to every person and to invite them into the right relationship. It does not matter how many times a friend has fallen short. Jesus is not keeping count, so we mustn’t either. What matters is to be committed to the charge to be faithful and to help believers do the same.
How we accomplish this has nothing to do with nagging, cajoling, or setting standards they nor we can follow. (If I remember correctly, I have been unfaithful in applying the basic Ten.) What is effective is knowing how much Jesus loves us. From the overflow of this love-experience, we share the peace we have in knowing Christ. We can also share the confidence He has that we’ll make it–not because we or our friends can do everything right but because the Faithful One does. Abiding in His love is the source of our strength. Because of what He has accomplished and who He is, He perfects the yielded Bride.
Our journey began with an undeserved kiss only the Bridegroom possesses, but one that can be fully ours as we lean in to receive it. Beloved first kissed us with peace, demonstrating His faithfulness and His love by dying on Calvary’s cross and rising again–victorious over death, hell, and the grave. He continues in His heavenly abode, and through the Holy Spirit shares His eternal kisses of divine peace.
As we abide in our Beloved, we must be faithful to share this same spiritual kiss with the lost, the saved, the unfaithful, and the faithful. It is in this way that we will draw all people into the bosom of our worthy Savior, who says, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people unto Myself” (John 12:32 NKJV).
If you’re wondering if your message matters, let me share a glimpse into my testimony. I learned a song way back in Sunday school that stuck in my craw–the two times as an eight-year-old girl that an uncle took me to church.
I’m sure you know the song, so sing it with me. The opening line is “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I wondered for years if this really could be true. Jesus loves me? Me? He loves me? Years later, the melody still played in my mind, and this helped me to accept salvation for myself. Those words I learned because an uncle was able to take me to church finally rang true in my spirit, and I pressed into my Bridegroom’s love. I’ve never regretted that life-changing decision. I thank God for those who evangelized and discipled me. Someone is waiting to hear the truth about Beloved’s love. Are you willing to share with them that Jesus loves them?
Bride of Christ, let’s get to work. We are commissioned to be as our Bridegroom: “faithful.” Because we have been transformed by His kiss of peace, we have a responsibility to share His message and make “Brides” as our gift to Him. Jesus’s departing words were, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28 19a NKJV). We have been given His authority to do so through our Bridegroom’s divine kiss of peace.
How can you best reach the person the Bridegroom is commissioning you to share His love with?
My faithful Bridegroom, Thank You for Your unfailing love. Help me to faithfully share Your love with everyone in my sphere of influence. Help me also to be grateful for the mercy You have shown me. Amen.
Copyright 2021: My Faithful Bridegroom: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved