The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 11

Welcome to Week 11 where we’ve been studying the second Fruit of the Spirit, JOY. This month we have explored how JOY comes through trials in our lives. Last week, we witnessed the JOY in heaven when just one sinner repents. This week we’ll study the church’s engagement and marriage to the Lamb of God. It’s a time of JOY as we, the bride, prepare to meet our Bridegroom.

The Parable of the Vestal Virgins

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1) Click to read the rest of Matthew 25:1-13.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV).

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Jesus explained His Father’s kingdom by telling a parable about ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five foolish ones took no oil for their lamps, but five wise ones took oil in their vessels. As the bridegroom tarried, they all fell asleep. Then at midnight, a cry announced his coming. All the virgins arose and trimmed their lamps, but the foolish five had no oil. The wise ones didn’t have enough to share, so the foolish ones went to buy some. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went into the wedding with him. When the foolish virgins returned, the door was shut and the bridegroom refused to let them in, saying that he never knew them.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Is there any day more JOYous than a wedding day, especially if you’re the bride? Our culture has glorified weddings in recent years with television shows about everything from buying the dress to ceremonies and receptions. Weddings are currently big business—and no expense is spared.

But wedding traditions haven’t always been like today’s. In order to understand this parable, we must first familiarize ourselves with the customs of those times.

Hundreds of years ago, the bridegroom would travel to the home of his bride. Although the bride never knew exactly what time he would arrive, she still had to be dressed and ready to go. Sometimes a bridegroom was late, and the bride waited anxiously for days. But after his arrival, he would JOYfully carry her off to his home. Then they would celebrate with a wedding ceremony and a marriage feast with friends and family, sometimes lasting for days.

Who are these virgins in the parable? They represent the sleeping church, who is engaged to Jesus and waiting for His return. We don’t know the day nor the hour of His coming. But when He arrives, those who are saved and full of the oil of the Holy Spirit will be taken to heaven as His bride. Those who aren’t saved will be left behind, knocking at a closed door.

The most JOYful realization is that this event may happen soon. With our shining lamps full of oil, our eyes look up because we know our bridegroom is coming. When Jesus arrives in the clouds with His angels, we who are alive on that day will be caught up to meet Him in the air, along with the resurrected Saints. He will take us to heaven to be His bride and to feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb. You can read about this JOYful event, the rapture of the church, here.

Just as today’s bride takes time to groom and adorn herself for that special day, so we must also make ourselves ready to meet our bridegroom. Jesus is coming for a church without spot or wrinkle. Let’s wash away our sins in His blood and anoint ourselves with the pure water of His Word. Let’s clothe ourselves in garments of praise and righteous acts as we wait for that shofar blast to sound from the clouds.

‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb’” (Revelation 19:7-9 NKJV).

For more study on the subject of the Bride of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, click HERE to listen to a sermon by Charles Spurgeon.

Nothing is more JOYous than a wedding celebration! Would you share some JOYful memories abou your special day?

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for inviting us to be Your bride at the marriage supper of the Lamb. May we fill our lamps with the oil of Your Holy Spirit and be ready to go home with You at Your appearing. We pray that You send worldwide revival now. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

6 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 11

  1. Amen! Thank you Karen for this uplifting,heartfelt message.Im blessed to be a Bride of Christ!“‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory. Blessings to you!

    • Yes, Sydella, it’s so wonderful to be His joyful bride. I can’t wait! “What a day of rejoicing that will be—when we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!” Blessings ❤️

  2. Great and timely message! I really like reading some of Charles Spurgeon’s quotes & sermons.
    What a joy it will be to meet the Bridegroom, and see Him face to face! But we don’t know when God will call us home, so we need to be constantly ready, looking & listening for His upward call. When I think of being ready, my heart is ponders this song:
    “In the light of eternity,
    Will I have been all He’s asked me to be?
    Will I have done what’s required of me,
    In the light of eternity?”
    Oh, that we would always live in the light of eternity!
    I also thought of I Peter 4:18: “And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?” May we, as Christians, be ready & eagerly watching, ready to take with us as many as God draws to Himself!

    As to your question about sharing some JOYful memories about our special day:
    -First, a funny memory: We were the first wedding performed by our college pastor, and he asked if he would take me to be his lawfully wedded husband. Hehe!
    -My high school band director played his trumpet for the processional and the recessional, and he said he had never heard so much music played at a wedding.
    -As I walked up the aisle, Leland & I only had eyes for each other. I will never forget seeing him that first moment, and only wanting to be beside him.
    -We were both poor college kids. Neither of our parents could help with the wedding. But God took care of all the little details. When my mother’s wedding dress fell apart when it was cleaned, someone bought my dress. Someone else paid for the cake and for the flowers. Another person bought our wedding pictures for us. I know there were many more other things that God supplied, and we were so blessed for how God provided for each need. Yes, there was great joy! And what joy there will be at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

    • I love the song you quoted, dear Becky. I agree that we should live our lives in light of eternity. Just as 1 Peter 4:18 mourns the lost condition of the godless, we know that God has a perfect plan. May we be a part of it to help bring in the chosen to the ark of salvation. The wonder is that we’re all sinners saved by grace, but not all will heed the call. Still, we must pray and be ready to witness about Jesus as we’re called to step up. It reminds me of a favorite story in Acts of the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip obeyed the Lord’s voice to take the Road to Damascus, and the result was salvation and baptism for the eunuch. Then Philip was immediately snatched away to another city! Can you imagine that happening today? For us to be used and strategically placed by God’s hand for the perfect timing for one other person’s salvation is quite a miracle. May we all be ready, willing, and obedient to His call when it interrupts our plans. Perhaps another “eunuch” is studying Scripture in a chariot and needs to understand who Jesus is. 🙏🏻❤️

      Also, I enjoyed reading about your wedding. What a testimony to the Lord’s provision! You had humorous and sweet moments. I know the Lord blessed you and Leland with the perfect spouse! You are both so loving and walk in perfect harmony together. You are a rare couple who represents what we all are seeking in the perfect spouse designed by God. Your testimony as a loving couple shines far and wide. What a blessing you are, dear Becky! I know everyone in Heart“wings” would agree! You, Joyce, and Caryl are all rare blessings, and I can see Jesus smiling in agreement. ❤️

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