Friday, 1 February 2019

Are You A Sleeper?

Scripture: Ephesians 5 v 11 - 14: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
 12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
 13  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 
 14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 

Christians have many responsibilities that need wakefulness and ethics to carry out.  Too many Christians are asleep at the wheel, and wonder why they crash so often.  In the above verses the word 'reprove' means to rebuke.  Don't keep dodging the evil elephant in the room, rebuke that evil thing people are trying to hide.  Confront it and bring it into the light.  Yes people are sensitive, their demons prefer it that way. 

Jesus is calling us to rise and shine in the darkness of these days of blatant corruption in every sphere of society.  We need to manifest or display the highest moral codes, righteous living and honesty to bring those who have fallen short of it into the opportunity to change their way of life.

Keeping such high standards needs constant vigilance and consistently correct behaviour.  We are being changed into the likeness of Jesus, as members of His Body, and we must let Him manifest His goodness through us in every place.  We cannot take days off or neglect to be a witness for Jesus because it may make people uncomfortable.

John 16 v 7 - 8: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
 8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin deep down in our souls.  He accepts no excuses and is relentless in bringing every false thing to our conscious mind.  It is an unforgettable event that crushes evil out of our souls.  He convicts us of righteousness, especially of someone we admire for honesty and good behaviour.  He wants us to overcome our natural instincts to lie, cheat and mock.  Finally, we see the judgment of eternal separation from God into a realm of misery we would not wish on anyone.

We have chosen to follow the Lamb and we must maintain our faithful commitment to Him, otherwise when we need His help we may wait in a long queue.  We see the growing evil on this planet on social media and the jeopardy of human souls on the streets near us, but we spend our time and resources on luxuries and comfort.

The Great Commission of Jesus to us is to go into all the world, i.e. the unsaved trapped in Satan's kingdom, and preach the gospel to every person, to baptize them and disciple them and teach them truth.  This is not just a directive for those who are ordained, but for every Christian to do.  Back up those who are being obedient to this calling.  Stand in agreement with those who are endeavouring to reach the lost.

Are you a sleeper?  Jesus sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane while facing the agony of the Cross.  Around Him the disciples slept.  He asked them why they could not watch with Him for even one hour.  We have been given talents by God to accomplish His purpose of salvation and will be rewarded here and in Heaven for using them to the best of our ability.  Those who bury their talents will face the Father's anger.

Evil is done in darkness, that does not just mean night time or dark corners, but in dark souls.  Those dark souls need a strong light to shine into them.  That light only comes when they are confronted with the truth and their evil ways are condemned with strong rebukes.  Like the way Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes who were full of pride and hypocrisy.

The Light is Jesus.  He alone can transform a hardened heart of a criminal, sinner or unbeliever, into a Blood-cleansed Christian.  But they will never hear about Him unless we tell them.
These are the ways we can use our talents.  Be an effective prayer warrior, using the gifts of the Holy Spirit to open hearts.  Use our homes, resources, time for God's purposes. Minister healing and deliverance to the sick or afflicted.  Never quench the Holy Spirit, allow Him to move freely and empower whom He will.

I am reminded of a man who told me he had a fearful dream about the coming Rapture.  He was being lifted off the Earth when he heard people calling his name and screaming, John, why didn't you tell us about Jesus?  He knew the question Jesus would ask him was why didn't you tell them about Me?  Are we sleeping on the job?  Uncaring about the fate of people we don't really know?

Whatever blocks us from sharing the news of salvation with others is rooted in pride and rejection.  We need to break down the tools Satan is using against us to prevent us from bringing any more souls into glory.  I promise you, there is no joy on this planet greater than rescuing a soul from eternal darkness.  The whole of Heaven rejoices over every sinner that is saved.

Luke 15 v 6 -7: "And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

Prayer: Heavenly Father forgive us for our pride and selfishness in withholding the knowledge of salvation through Jesus from those who know us.  Change us, O Lord, to see what You see, and fill us with Your compassion and love for the lost and dying. Wake me up from this slumber to take an active part in Your work. In Jesus' name. Amen.