Matt Chandler is one of those preachers that God will use to greatly encourage your heart and impact your soul but then a few months later you’ll say things like, “I don’t really remember what the preacher said but I know that God used it to redirect my heart”. Of course once I go back over my notes I start to remember those things that the Lord used to really impact me.
One particular thing struck me as a pastor from Chandler’s message. After being really honest about how messed up the church is, and after sharing a really difficult couple weeks in his pastorate, Chandler really opened up Revelation 21:9.
“Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’”
That verse had never really caught my attention before. But the way that Chandler shared it and with the imagery that he used I saw that verse for what it is saying. I was reminded of how amazing it was whenever the green doors flew open in that little country church in 2004 and my exquisite radiant princess came through the doors. She was beautiful and she was my bride.
Chandler reminded us that though it is amazing when the door swings open and we see our earthly bride, this moment when we see the fruit of God’s work and we see the bride will be infinitely more beautiful.
Thinking of it this way caused me to reflect for awhile on what a bride does in preparing for that day. Bride’s don’t just throw on sneakers, sweat pants, and unkempt hair and then fling open the door and say, “Here I am”. It takes effort. But once she sees her excited husband, with heart pounding, tears streaming, and an uncontainable joy on his face, she knows that all that effort and preparation was worth it.
As a pastor we deal with the muck and grime of everyday life. We are doing the manicures, sanding down toe nails, etc. Sometimes we forget that we are doing all of this for that day when the doors swing open and we hear, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb”. On that day the blood, sweat, and tears will be worth it.
If you are a discouraged pastor or a discouraged Christian, then listen to Matt Chandler’s sermon from T4G. It was encouraging then and it is encouraging now. Enjoy: