Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Sleeper Awake

 Scripture: Ephesians 5 v 11 - 17: "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. 
15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."

Christians have many responsibilities that need our wakefulness and ethics to carry them out.  Too many Christians are asleep at the wheel, and wonder why they crash so often.  We must redeem the time....make up for lost time, when we neglected the lost and broken people while we enjoyed life.

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 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.

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. If we are already in a "holding pattern" in our prayer life, it may be that the Lord is waiting for us to make the first move.  Snap out of this coma of self-indulgence and present yourself before the Lord to do His bidding.

People feel so noble about giving to charitable causes and humanitarian calls for help.  However, we need to realise that the word "charity" originally referred to God's love and kindness.  1 Corinthians 13 v 1 - 3: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

We must do the will of the Father to make our charity count where it matters.  We may be complaining that we have donated much to charities without a blessing from God, but He only blesses that which He initiates.

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.  We must back up those who are being obedient to this calling.  Stand in agreement with those who are endeavouring to reach the lost.  If we cannot go ourselves then empower others to fulfil it.

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, as many souls will be forever lost if we neglect to love them as He does.

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 you confront them with the truth and condemn their evil ways with strong rebukes.  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.

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.