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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tucker Presley

The Bride

Tomorrow I will walk our baby girl down the aisle to be wed to the man that she loves and with whom
she desires to spend the rest of her life. The minister - our dear friend, Eric Gray - will ask,
"Who gives the bride to be married to this man?" and I will answer, "Her mother and I." Even though
I have been the "main man" in Haley's life from birth until today, that's going to change tomorrow.
Tucker Presley will become her "main man." I understand that this is the way it's supposed to work;
it must be that way for their marriage to be all that God intends. Besides, we love Tucker and
we'll be very happy to have him as our son-in-law. I will still find it difficult to give the bride
away, only because my heart strings will be stirred. I will likely shed a tear or two. (Those who
know me will say that is an understatement.)

The bride will be beautiful. Of course she's been beautiful to her mother and me since we first
laid our eyes on her when she was born into this world. Tomorrow our baby girl, the youngest of our
four children, will be dressed in a beautiful gown topped off with a veil that will have dozens of
sparkling sequins sown into it by the loving hands of her mother. Even now she is sewing - just as
she has been several hours each day for the last several days. But it's a labor of love for our
beautiful bride.

Tomorrow, when one particular song begins, all will rise and turn their eyes to behold the beautiful
bride. Then, they will look to see Tucker's response when he sees his bride walking toward him.
And my eyes? Well, they will be wet with happy tears because no one loves this girl more than I do,
and I'm giving her away to the man of her dreams.

May I draw your attention now to another bride - one that is also dearly loved and cherished by God
and by all who know her?

That bride is the Bride of Christ, the Church. As I contemplate giving the bride away tomorrow and
how Tucker must feel as he receives his bride, I have a deeper appreciation of how much Christ loves
the church.

When the Apostle Paul was guided by the Holy Spirit to write about the relationship between Christ
and the church, the Spirit directed him to compare it to the relationship between a husband and his
wife. Read Ephesians 5:22-33, a great text about the marriage relationship, which includes these
instructive words:

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ
is the Head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior."

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her."

"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife
loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as
Christ does the church."

Then the Apostle writes: "This is a profound mystery -- but I am talking about Christ and the
church." The church is the bride of Christ, and one day, He is coming to take His bride to a
wonderful, eternal home.

You and I become a part of the Bride of Christ when we submit our lives to the Savior. Even though
we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), we are cleansed by the blood of
Jesus through the "washing of water through the word" (Ephesians 5:26) and added to the Body, the
Bride of Christ.

We become a part of the Beautiful Bride (the church) when we place our faith and trust in Jesus
(Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).
Then, we are continually cleansed of our sin as we continue to declare our love and loyalty, by our
words and our actions, to Jesus (1 John 1:7-9).

Tomorrow, I'll give away a beautiful bride to her loving husband. And I'll be reminded of how much
Christ loves His bride, the church. I will thank God for the opportunity to be a part of that Bride
that Jesus will take home to His heavenly, eternal home.

Won't YOU say "yes" to becoming a part of the Bride of Christ through your trusting obedience?

-- David A. Sargent

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