Tag: wake up

Be filled with the Spirit!

Scripture reading for August 31:  Ephesians 5

Maintaining Christian unity requires personal responsibility and daily action to follow the Holy Spirit.  We cannot live the life God requires in our own power or strength, but must look to Christ and God the Father as our examples! “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (Ephesians 5:1-2)  Christ’s supreme act of love is our example of how to love others!  We are dearly loved and can now live a life of love.

In order to live this life of love, we need God’s gift of love to us personally.  “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:15-20)

Being filled with the Holy Spirit was not an option for the Ephesian church, nor for us who live as Christians in this 21st century.  As it was then, our days are evil as well and we must be filled with the Holy Spirit to make the most of each opportunity to show love and encourage others in the church.  Christ’s fragrant aroma through our lives will draw others to Christ and promote unity and peace!

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Watchman, what is left of the night?

Scripture reading for July 23rd: Isaiah 21-23

Prophets in the Old Testament were often likened to watchmen.  Watchmen were stationed on the city wall to give early warning of approaching danger or enemy attack.  They also functioned as an alarm clock to the people of the city.  They kept track of the time and announced the arrival of a new day.  When someone awoke in the night, they could call out to the watchman on duty and inquire about the time.

“Someone calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night?  Watchman, what is left of the night?”  The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night.  If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.” (Isaiah 21:11-12)

In our day, many are asleep and living in darkness.  They don’t know what time it is prophetically and are unaware of the danger of the coming time.  Those who are aware of the coming day, listen for the watchman!  They know the signs of the times.  They prepare for the coming day and the coming of the Son!

The question: “What is left of the night?” is applicable today!   The disciples of Jesus asked Him when  He would come and what would be the signs of His coming and the end of the age.  (Matthew 24:3)   Jesus Christ taught that no man would know the day or the hour of His coming again.  (Matthew 24:38)  He also taught that many would be unprepared!  (Matthew 24:37-41) His coming would be like a “thief in the night” and many would be unprepared!  (Matthew 24:42-44)

The watchman’s answer was revealing:  “The morning is coming, also the night”.  Many today are not aware that the “day” that is coming will be “night” for them!  They are living in perpetual darkness and are not ready for the arrival of the “Son”.  They are living in deception and are in danger of  being cast into outer darkness for eternity!  Are you ready today?   Today is a day of mercy if you will repent and turn to the Lord, the great “Watchman” of our souls!

“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14-15)

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Alive but dead!

Scripture reading for December 11th: Revelation 2:18-3:6

Have you ever been convinced that something was true, only to find out later that it was a lie?   The church at Sardis was given a timely word by Jesus through John that should have alerted them to truth.  The opinion of others and our past reputation are not the best indicators of our true spiritual condition!

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:  “These are the words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.  I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die,  for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of My God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.” (Revelation 3:1-3a)

The church at Sardis had a great reputation and had been a strong church.  They were known for their life in Christ!  But as Jesus evaluated this church’s current deeds, He found them non-existent–dead!  From this we can see that our past accomplishments, although good, cannot keep us alive in Christ’s kingdom.  We must continue walking in the good works that He has prepared for us!  (Ephesians 2:10)  As long as we live here on earth, Christ has work for His church to be doing!

The call of Christ was to ‘wake up!’  The enemy of our souls lulls us to sleep and rest on our past laurels.  Repentance requires a change of mind and then of attitudes and actions.  This church needed to seriously and quickly change its course.  Christ warned them that He would come like a ‘thief’ and that they would be caught unprepared for His appearance!  This is an echo of Jesus’ teaching and Paul’s teaching as well!  (Matthew 24:42-44; 1st Thessalonians 5:1-6)

The Bride of Christ must be prepared for Christ’s return.  “I know your deeds,” was the evaluation of Jesus.  As we look at Scripture later in Revelation, we find the Bride of Christ adorned with fine linen.  (Revelation 19:7-8)  We are told that this ‘fine linen’ is the righteous acts of the saints.   Our deeds and faithful obedience result in our clothing at the wedding supper.  Without the proper clothing, we are in danger of being thrown out!  (Matthew 22:11-12)  How important it is to listen with hearing ears to the living Word!

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Lazarus’ wake up call!

Scripture reading for May 20th: John 11:1-53

Death is something that we will all face, unless the Lord returns before we go through that experience.  Death has swallowed nearly 100 percent of all human beings.  The Bible records two in the Old Testament that did not see death: Enoch and Elijah.  Several were raised from the dead in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  One of the most notable is found in today’s reading in John Chapter 11: Lazarus!

Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha.  Jesus often stayed at their house in Bethany, just a short walk from Jerusalem.  Lazarus became sick and the family sent for Jesus to come.  Jesus purposely waited two days before traveling to see him.  Jesus had escaped stoning in that area right before this and the disciples were concerned about returning.  Jesus told them that Lazarus had fallen asleep and that He was going to wake him up.  The disciples did not understand that Lazarus had died so Jesus told them plainly.  He would raise him up so that they would believe!  (John 11:11-14)

When Jesus and the disciples arrived in Bethany, they found that Lazarus had been dead for four days.  Mary and Martha and the community were grieving.  Both Mary and Martha told Jesus that they knew that if He had been there, their brother would not have died.  Jesus saw their grief and was deeply moved with compassion and troubled in His spirit.  (John 11:33) Jesus began to weep Himself.  Comments were made by many of the mourners concerning Jesus’ show of emotion.  “See how He loved him!” and “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:36-37)

As Jesus, deeply moved, came to the tomb, He commanded the stone be taken away from the entrance.  Martha was concerned that there would be a bad odor from the decaying body.  Jesus spoke: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40) Jesus thanked the Father for hearing His petition, and then called out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)  Lazarus appeared, wrapped in grave clothes and strips of linen!  What a sight to behold and what joy for those grieving!  Jesus held power over death and still does!  Be sure your name is in the Book of Life for a “wake-up” call!

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Wake Up from Your Slumber!

Scripture reading for November 23rd: Romans 12-16

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)   Now the Bible doesn’t promote being in debt by owing money to other people.  In fact, the borrower is slave to the lender and God’s people should not be in slavery.  But there is a debt that we must continually be making payments on.  This is the debt of love we owe to our fellowman because of Christ’s love lavished on us.

Paul goes on to describe this love in terms keeping the ten commandments.  When we commit adultery, it is a lack of love for our friends and neighbors.  Murder is certainly a lack of love, as is stealing from a neighbor.  Coveting is selfish and not loving.  These commandments are all summed up in one rule:  “”Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9b-10)

Paul encouraged the Romans to live a life of real love for each other because of the coming of Jesus Christ!  “And do this, understand the present time.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now that when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11-13)  The Romans were involved in some deeds of darkness that lacked the love of God.  They needed to put off drunkenness and sexual immorality as well as dissension and jealousy.  The night was a time of evil and debauchery, but the day was coming!

God’s people must be clothed with light!  “Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” This is a word for the day we live in.  Many are sleeping and involved in the deeds of darkness.  They seem to disbelieve that Jesus could arrive at any time and only those who are watching and ready will go to be with Him.  Many are going to be caught asleep and unprepared!  It is easy to forget the debt that we owe to others to love them by living a sold out Christian life!  “So then, each of us will give an account to God.” (Romans 14:12)

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