Jean Stepnoski (8 June 2011)
"His Wedding Presents: Now and Later"

Dear Doves,
      Galatians 5:22-24 lists the 9 Fruit of The Spirit of Truth, who indwells. Fruit is singular rather than the plural Fruits. This implies that if you demonstrate one of the 9, you will also demonstrate each and all of the 9! These 9 Fruit are early stages of wedding presents, they testify to the indwelling presence of The Comforter. These 9 beautiful wedding presents, lovely gifts, are the earnest of the beginning and unfolding of marriage with The Master. This is not engagement, rather early marriage. Is it courtship? The marriage according to the ancient Jewish wedding model is already begun. It is marriage before the stage at the chuppah. It is marriage before the consummation. This is not a pagan marriage model of Greeks or Romans.
      The Fruit of The Spirit wedding presents for the bride are Love, Joy, Peace (Shalom), Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. These are sublime presents and presence of fine character to constantly encourage and prepare the bride in the long waiting period  before the groom returns. Then shall unfold the profound intimacy, the consummation and the thereafter of relationship of finest marriage.
      The later wedding presents, the joyous gifting, will be associated with the later chuppah events and eternal marriage.  These are 5 in number, the number of The Age of Grace. We are living in this current dispensation. The later wedding presents are the crowns. They rightfully denote depth of relationship with The Groom of Grooms, more than rewards or status in His Kingdom. Bride, servant, or slave? Who do I want to be? Are these wedding and marriage presents to be gifted to servant, slave, or beloved bride and wife? These are the 5 Bema marriage presents for the bride: The Watcher's Crown, The Runner's Crown, The Sufferer's Crown, The Soul Winner's (Evangelist's) Crown, and The Shepherd's Crown. The Beloved longs to give them, as many as possible per adult.  
      There are wedding presents for now and for later. The Beloved is a most considerate and generous Groom of Grooms. The wedding presents of Messiah/ Christ are the finest ever to be bestowed to any beloved. May we truly value Him and them. May we reflect upon Him as The Pentecostal Season draws near. Behold! The bridegroom cometh!
With Love and Shalom,