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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Category

Christian Living

Now May Be Such a Time As This

 

Esther 4.14.JPG

 

Esther 4:14

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Most of us are familiar with the story of Esther, but we will recap just briefly here to provide some background for our Devotion. Our text for today’s Devotion is Esther Chapter 4. 

Due to circumstances in the Palace, Esther had managed to get herself married to the King of Persia, Ahasuerus. Readers may recall that at this time, the Jews were in bondage to the Persian Empire.  This story takes place towards the end of the bondage when a large number of Jews had been allowed to return to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the Temple there. It takes place around the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Esther was a Jewish woman. She also had a cousin Mordecai who had basically raised her into adulthood. Mordecai was obviously Jewish and an official in the King’s government. During the course of time, Mordecai had managed to offend the most powerful man in the Kingdom other than the King himself, a man named Haaman. Haaman was so deeply offended and angry that he tricked King Ahasuerus into issuing a decree ordering all of the Jews in the kingdom to be killed.

Of course, Mordecai was alarmed when he heard of the decree and he right away sent a message to his cousin Queen Esther pleading with her to go see the King and get this order stopped.  Esther had a problem, however; people just could not drop in uninvited to see the King. Doing so was very likely to result in the death of the visitor; the king was entitled by law to have anyone approaching him whom he did not call put to death. Needless to say, this concerned Esther greatly; she sent a message back to Mordecai saying basically: “Hey I can’t do that! I might get killed!”

Mordecai pointed out some important things in his answer to Esther.

  • She and her family would be killed anyway. The death order was for all of the Jews
  • If you don’t do it, God will find somebody else to do it if that is His plan; God will accomplish His plan
  • What if you specifically were put into the palace just to be ready and standing by “for such a time as this?”

Now we get to the meaning of this in our own lives. Few would doubt that today we are living in “such a time as this.” Nobody, at least in this country, is ordering that all Christians be killed. Sadly, that is not the case everywhere. Even in our own country, the environment in which we live is growing dangerous. Our society is degenerating around us. Sin and immorality are running rampant. The family as we know it is under assault from everything to no-fault divorce to the legalization of gay marriage. In some of our schools, our children are not even allowed to pray or read their Bibles.

To speak the truth about certain issues is considered hate speech; if one speaks in support of Biblical marriage it is considered hateful and bigoted. To even share the gospel with a person and tell them Jesus is the only way to God is considered hateful and exclusionary of other “religions.”

It is a dangerous time. People can be publicly admonished and humiliated. Christian activities are sued and threatened with legal action. People have even lost their jobs simply for expressing what they believe the Bible teaches.

Many Christians are remaining silent, and are not willing to speak the truth in this culture we live in. We look around us, see what has happened to others, and become unwilling to speak out with the truth.  We fear what will happen to us; we fear the repercussions of our actions. Does that sound familiar? Esther faced a similar dilemma in our Bible story. In her case it all ended well, as Haaman’s terrible plan was stopped; Esther became willing to step out on faith and speak up in a dangerous environment.  What about us?

  • The decay of society is going to affect us all, whether we speak up or not. Remaining silent certainly will not stop it. Speaking the truth in love is the only way to stop it. If we do not speak, the changes will still affect us in the end.
  • If it is God’s plan for a certain thing to stop, it will stop through us or someone else.
  • What if we have been specifically called and placed in a particular situation? What if we are the person God has placed in a certain time or place for “Such a time as this?”

We can learn much from Esther’s actions in the situation she faced. What we face today in our society is quite similar. If we face such a situation, perhaps we need to consider that we are God’s chosen way to deal with it. Perhaps we are His planned agent for change. We may or may not know if we are or not. God will, however, protect us and keep us safe if we step out and speak the truth in love to a world that is dying around us.

Why are You Standing There Staring?

Acts 1.11.JPG

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven

In Acts 1:9-11 we see the story of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven after 40 days ministering on Earth after His Resurrection.  Jesus and His disciples had gone to The Mount of Olives, where they spent one last time together, talking and teaching. Here, the disciples had asked Jesus if this was the time when He would restore the Kingdom to Israel. His answer was interesting.

He simply replied that it was really not something they needed to worry about. It was not for them to “know the times or the seasons.” Then in Verse 8 of the passage, He made the promise of the power of the Holy Spirit to them and that they would later be His witnesses to the world.

Then they observed Jesus ascending physically, bodily into the skies until He was finally obscured by some clouds. As the disciples stood there staring(likely with their mouths hanging open), two angels appeared and issued the statement we see in Verse 11 of the text.

The question the angels asked seems important; they asked the disciples why they were just standing there gazing. Jesus had already told them what was coming. They were to return to and stay in Jerusalem. They were to await the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Finally, they were to go into the world and be His witnesses throughout their community and the world itself. They disciples had their marching orders, and those orders were not to stand there doing nothing and debating about His return.

The angels informed them that Jesus would return someday just as He left. Jesus himself had told them already the when of His return was of no importance to them.

There are takeaways for us here as well. Are we standing there staring up into heaven, so to speak? Are we so preoccupied with that and when it will be that we have forgotten we still have a mission to carry out here? We, too are to be His witnesses in “Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

So, let’s quit staring into heaven and get busy!

 

Have We Wiped Out Our Caananites?

Deuteronomy 7 4.5.JPG

Deuteronomy 7:4-5 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire

Reading Deuteronomy Chapter 7, we can see that The Lord gave pretty clear instruction to the Israelites as to how they were to deal with the people in the lands they were about to be given. Some of what we read may seem disturbing and harsh to us today, but God had very clear reasons for His instructions. He knew what would happen if any remnants of the inhabitants of the conquered land or their ways remained when His people occupied the land. He knows that any influence from the Canaanites would cause the people to turn from the one true God to the idols and ways of the Canaanites.

Of course, God was right. The Israelites failed to eradicate all of the inhabitants of the land and their ways, and time and time again this caused them to fall away from God and incur His wrath and anger. And the reason all the inhabitants of the land were not destroyed is that the people made conscious decisions to allow them to remain.

When we are saved, we need to follow a similar pattern in our lives as we eradicate the sin in our lives. The Canaanites are somewhat a picture of our sinful lifestyles; we have to make a conscious decision to blot them from our lives. Will we wake up the day after we are saved and be sinless? Of course not! God didn’t expect His people to deal with the people of Canaan all at once either. They were to deal with them town by town, piece by piece. But the important thing was that they were to not allow remnants to stay in their midst.

We, just like the Israelites, choose to leave little pockets of bad behavior in our lives. We do this for many reasons; we do it because we think we can manage it, and we do it because we like it.

We have to wipe out the things from our past that are our problem sin; if we allow them to remain, they will return and haunt us. If drinking was your problem, why are you hanging out with your old friends at the bar? If sexual temptation was your problem, why are you watching that show or reading that magazine? If laziness and sloth was your problem, why are you laying on the couch watching TV? The list of possible questions goes on and on.

We have to wipe our Canaanites; if we do not, then they will certainly emerge from the tiny pockets we left them in and turn us away from our God.

All Of Your Ways

Proverbs 3 5.6.JPG

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This particular Proverb is often quoted by people as one that provides comfort and illustrates how God oversees and directs our lives; and it should be, as that is exactly what it illustrates to us.

On the other hand, there are large numbers of people who fail to see and feel the guiding hand of God in their lives, and then question God as to why and even hold it against Him.

What we sometimes fail to see is that this Proverb has two parts; it is a conditional statement. If we want to see the realization of one part of God’s Word, we have to meet the requirements of another part; this Proverb is a great example of that.

“If” we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, then He will direct our paths. In other words, as normal, God has to be the focus rather than us. When we expect God’s guidance and hand in our lives but offer nothing in return, then it only becomes another sad example of our faith being man-centered rather than God-centered. What, then, does it mean to acknowledge Him in all of your ways?

Its like a sport in some ways; we only have to get back to the basics:

  • Are you saved? If you aren’t, your sin has you separated from God, both in this life and eternally. Until that gulf is crossed by the restorative work of Jesus Christ, God cannot direct your paths.
  • Do you read and study God’s Word daily? If we aren’t seeking His revealed will from His Word, why would we expect any special guidance and direction?
  • Do we pray, meditate and spend alone time with God daily? Seeking His guidance means seeking His will. We can only know His will if we know Him. Study and prayer are the ways we accomplish that.
  • Are we striving to live like Jesus and for Jesus? It seems that if we are constantly out of line with the life He would have us live, that His efforts will be solely devoted to getting us back in line. Once again, why would He share with us His special guidance if we aren’t even following His specific guidance?

Become saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Read, study and meditate daily. Spend time in prayer and communion with God daily. Do these things and acknowledge Him in all of your ways, and He will direct your paths.

 

Carrying Your Tent Peg

tabernacle

Numbers 4:29-33
As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,
And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

 

Numbers 4:1-4
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:

 

Just some brief data about the Tabernacle here:

  • External Courtyard 150 x 75 feet. Outer walls 7 feet high.
  • Tabernacle tent itself. 45 x 15 feet, covered by an external tent structure.
  • Made of animal skins, ropes, poles and pegs, really a huge tent.
  • The Israelites were led by the Shekinah Cloud of Glory by day and the pillar of fire by night. When the cloud or pillar moved, so did the camp
  • It would have taken many wagons, oxen, and men to move all of the different parts of the Tabernacle, and God as was His habit, specifically assigned duties to different people. They did not simply pick and choose who did what, God assigned it.

 

That is even how it is today, God has a plan for all of us, every single one of us. This plan is specific to each of us and includes the tiniest details of our lives. God made this plan for each of us in eternity past and knows how us following or not following His plan will affect His ultimate plan for eternity future. And yes, we can exercise our God-given free will and choose not to follow His plan for our lives.

Some of us are Kohathites and some of us are Merarites. That is, in the service of God, some of us get to do the “important” jobs and some of us get to do the “Not so important” jobs. That was also the case for the Israelites as they wandered the desert for 40 years, One of the assigned responsibilities of the sons of Kohath was to carry the Ark of the Covenant, and lead the procession as the people moved from one place to another. The sons of Mera were assigned to carry the frames of the Tabernacle: the ropes, bases, and tent pegs. There is little doubt that carrying the Ark of the Covenant was seen as much more glamorous and “important” than carrying a tiny little tent peg!

The 4 men who each carried the four corners of the Ark of the Covenant were literally one in a million men, while men who merely carried tent pegs may have been barely noticed as they trudged through their lives diligently doing their duty and carrying their tent peg.

Imagine being Joe the Merarite, carrying your little unimportant tent peg year after year for forty years of wandering in the desert. Imagine packing up your peg year after year after year as the Tabernacle was moved from on place to the next as the Pillar of Fire moved. Imagine seeing how everybody noticed and fawned over the men carrying the Ark, or the altars or the contents of the tabernacle such as the lampstands and so forth.

It’s easy to imagine how Joe the Merarite might feel or what he might say as time marched on and he carried his little unimportant tent peg. “This tent peg can’t be very important, there are dozens of them!”,;” Why hasn’t Aaron the Priest ever come by and patted me on the back?”: “Look how everybody notices Bob the Kohathite and his stupid Ark!” It’s easy to see how over years Joe could become disillusioned.

What if Joe just got fed up one day and decided he was simply done carrying that little tent peg? It’s easy to picture one day as, the Pillar of Fire moved onward signifying that the camp was to move, that Joe the Merarite might just say to himself that he might just sleep in that day, since nobody would even miss his little unimportant tent peg. It’s easy to imagine the whole camp packing up, traveling through the desert, and setting up wherever the Pillar of Fire settled down. But, what might have happened when the Camp arrived at the new location, set everything in place, and then discovered that all was ready except for that one little, unimportant tent peg? Is it possible that the entire congregation might have been prevented from properly worshipping God just because of one small tent peg? After all, the design of the Tabernacle was very specific, down to the smallest detail; the truth is, without that one little unimportant tent peg the Tabernacle was in fact not complete the way God designed it.

Are you called to carry an Ark or a tent peg? Are you called to Preach? Are you called to sing in the Choir? Are you called to teach Sunday School? Are you called to clean the Sanctuary after Sunday service? Are you called to mow the Churchyard? Are you called to clean the bathrooms? Not everyone is called to carry an Ark. Some of us may spend years doing no more than carrying a tent peg.

But, whatever it is we have each been called to do, every task is ordained and designed by God. Each and every task is part of God’s design and the Tabernacle we call our Church is not complete without every single component in place. And, without every single component in its proper place, God’s design for our worship is not complete. What that means to us in our everyday lives of Christian service is that, whatever we have been called to do, every job is important. In fact, no job, no matter how “important” or “not so important” is actually of equal importance in the eyes of God. And we are to do our called and assigned tasks for as long as God requires it of us and to the best of our ability for that assigned duration

Taking Off Your Uniform

 

 

2 Kings 5:9-11

“So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.”

The full story for the background for this article can be found in 2 Kings 5, but we will briefly recap it here. Naaman, the Syrian General, had been afflicted with leprosy and was, of course, desperate for a cure. Word came to Naaman that the great Prophet of the Jews, Elisha, could cure him of his disease. As befitting a great general, Naaman showed up at Elisha’s home complete with Chariot and entourage, like the great man he was back in Syria.

We all know the story. Elisha didn’t even go outside to greet the great general; he simply sent a messenger out and told Naaman basically, “Go wash in the Jordan river, and you will be clean.” That was simple and with no fanfare at all. Needless to say, Naaman was greatly insulted, as he expected some great miracle from the Prophet. Naaman surely thought Elisha would come to the door, make a big greeting and perform some showy ritual for the big General. Elisha did not so Naaman stormed home in a huff basically. Of course, he was still leprous!

It was not until later in the passage, when Naaman’s servants spoke with him, that he changed his thoughts about what had happened. They pointed out to him, basically, that if Elisha had asked him to do some great thing that made him look good he would have done it; yet he had refused to do this simple thing that only glorified God.

Are we like that? Do we make a pretense of seeking what God wants, but what we really seek is the thing that preserves our status in our own eyes? Are we willing to “Take off our uniform?” Are we truly willing to humble ourselves and submit to the will of God, even when it doesn’t make us look good?

Naaman finally did humble himself and submit and was healed of his leprosy. We too might find that if we humble ourselves and submit we would also be healed of the diseases that afflict us: sin, death and lack of joy among them.

My House is Full but My Field Is Empty

This post was previously published. Enjoy.

 

My House Is Full, but My Field is Empty

Luke 10:2

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.


There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today. Indeed, there is much peace and contentment to be found around the Father’s table; he has promised us that. For those who are saved children of God, He gave us the promise that Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Why do we have so much peace? We can have that because although born sinners, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, He loved us enough to provide a way to be restored to Himself,  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Lots of food on His table and no one turned away. What is it we are partaking of at our Father’s table? Jesus told us that; He told us that the sustenance He provides would last forever. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. What we enjoy at the Father’s table will never run out, and we will never hunger or thirst again. But, there is more! The invitation to the Father’s table is an open one, and no one will be turned away, who comes to Him in repentance and faith; for whosever calls upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.

There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by. Hours? Try eternity, for we will be at our Father’s table forever! David, the Psalmist noted the following:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows.Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

But we don’t have to wait for our passing from this life and eternity to enjoy the many blessings of God do we? All saved children of the Father know our blessings start the moment God’s Holy Spirit moves inside of us and we are saved and born again. That’s really when we first come to the table. So, what is the problem? Our chorus tells us what the problem is.

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

That’s right, we all love the blessings God bestows on us as saved children of His. But God needs workers. The fields are ripe for the harvest, as The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: 

Who will go and work for Me today? In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, we hear the Lord ask Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? In that occasion, the prophet promptly replied to the Lord Here am I; send me. Is that our answer when God calls us to reach out to a lost and dying world? Or are we a Moses, who resisted at first until God grew angry; or a Gideon, who required proof after proof; or a Jonah, who complied but even then remained angry at God’s decision to reach out to Nineveh?

So, then, what does does God want from us besides us sitting around enjoying His great blessings? Does He want us to just stay in his house, filling our bellies with His bounty? NO!

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

We have our orders, and our instructions are clear. Push away from the table. Look out through the windowpane, After he had spent 40 days showing himself to the world and his disciples after His resurrection, Jesus had these famous words to say to them jut prior to leaving this Earth and returning to heaven:  Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Go, Go Go. That is what Jesus said. Go! At some point after that, just before he ascended to be with His Heavenly Father, Jesus reinforced the point when he further told the disciples that ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. As if to further reinforce the point, after Jesus disappeared into the clouds two angels appeared to the disciples and asked them, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?

Who was this instruction for? Was it just for the disciples assembled there? Well, obviously not! How would 12 men reach the uttermost part of the Earth? This command is for all people, of all times, in all places. It’s not just for preachers, or evangelists, either; again, this instruction is for us all.

The instruction is for NOW. Of course, Jesus did tell the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which did occur on the Day of Pentecost. We no longer have to wait for that, because as saved believers we are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have all the tools we need at our disposal! The time is now, because the harvest of souls is ready and waiting, see again Jesus teaching His disciples, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. This command is not for the future; it is for now, and it is for us all.

So, why are we in the Father’s House, gathered around the table, and enjoying His sustenance? Well, of course it is because He loves us and wants to bless us. But perhaps there is more, and the narrator in the video on this post may have captured it perfectly. Why do we eat and rest in the first place? We do it to keep our bodies nourished and to recover from previous efforts, right? We do it so that we can go back to our endeavors at a later time.  Maybe that is why God blesses us in His house, not so much for simply our enjoyment, but to get back out there and resume our endeavors.

So, let’s enjoy our Father’s house and His table. Let’s thank him for and enjoy the many blessings He gives us. Let’s remember however, that those of us who are saved believers will enjoy that bounty for all eternity. There are, however those, who will not, unless they are reached, because  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

So, then, beloved, let us fill our bellies and get our rest. Then, let’s not sit around and do nothing. Let’s push back from the table, look out that window, and more importantly walk out that door into a lost and dying world and share Jesus Christ with them!

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields….

Who will go and work in my fields

 

My House is Full but My Field Is Empty

As we have been doing for a bit, I have been recapping the message I got to deliver at our church a couple of weeks before our  Revival. We have talked about a few things regarding, “Revival,” and I closed with an oral presentation of this blog post to close things out and illustrate what it might look like to actually get revived. My wife and her friend sang this song to open our service. This is not them; they are actually much better! Don’t ever say blogging doesn’t pay, as there is nothing like literally having a message in one’s pocket at all times!

 

My House Is Full, but My Field is Empty

Luke 10:2

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.


There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today. Indeed, there is much peace and contentment to be found around the Father’s table; he has promised us that. For those who are saved children of God, He gave us the promise that Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Why do we have so much peace? We can have that because although born sinners, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, He loved us enough to provide a way to be restored to Himself,  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Lots of food on His table and no one turned away. What is it we are partaking of at our Father’s table? Jesus told us that; He told us that the sustenance He provides would last forever. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. What we enjoy at the Father’s table will never run out, and we will never hunger or thirst again. But, there is more! The invitation to the Father’s table is an open one, and no one will be turned away, who comes to Him in repentance and faith; for whosever calls upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.

There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by. Hours? Try eternity, for we will be at our Father’s table forever! David, the Psalmist noted the following:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows.Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

But we don’t have to wait for our passing from this life and eternity to enjoy the many blessings of God do we? All saved children of the Father know our blessings start the moment God’s Holy Spirit moves inside of us and we are saved and born again. That’s really when we first come to the table. So, what is the problem? Our chorus tells us what the problem is.

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

That’s right, we all love the blessings God bestows on us as saved children of His. But God needs workers. The fields are ripe for the harvest, as The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: 

Who will go and work for Me today? In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, we hear the Lord ask Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? In that occasion, the prophet promptly replied to the Lord Here am I; send me. Is that our answer when God calls us to reach out to a lost and dying world? Or are we a Moses, who resisted at first until God grew angry; or a Gideon, who required proof after proof; or a Jonah, who complied but even then remained angry at God’s decision to reach out to Nineveh?

So, then, what does does God want from us besides us sitting around enjoying His great blessings? Does He want us to just stay in his house, filling our bellies with His bounty? NO!

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

We have our orders, and our instructions are clear. Push away from the table. Look out through the windowpane, After he had spent 40 days showing himself to the world and his disciples after His resurrection, Jesus had these famous words to say to them jut prior to leaving this Earth and returning to heaven:  Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Go, Go Go. That is what Jesus said. Go! At some point after that, just before he ascended to be with His Heavenly Father, Jesus reinforced the point when he further told the disciples that ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. As if to further reinforce the point, after Jesus disappeared into the clouds two angels appeared to the disciples and asked them, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?

Who was this instruction for? Was it just for the disciples assembled there? Well, obviously not! How would 12 men reach the uttermost part of the Earth? This command is for all people, of all times, in all places. It’s not just for preachers, or evangelists, either; again, this instruction is for us all.

The instruction is for NOW. Of course, Jesus did tell the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which did occur on the Day of Pentecost. We no longer have to wait for that, because as saved believers we are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have all the tools we need at our disposal! The time is now, because the harvest of souls is ready and waiting, see again Jesus teaching His disciples, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. This command is not for the future; it is for now, and it is for us all.

So, why are we in the Father’s House, gathered around the table, and enjoying His sustenance? Well, of course it is because He loves us and wants to bless us. But perhaps there is more, and the narrator in the video on this post may have captured it perfectly. Why do we eat and rest in the first place? We do it to keep our bodies nourished and to recover from previous efforts, right? We do it so that we can go back to our endeavors at a later time.  Maybe that is why God blesses us in His house, not so much for simply our enjoyment, but to get back out there and resume our endeavors.

So, let’s enjoy our Father’s house and His table. Let’s thank him for and enjoy the many blessings He gives us. Let’s remember however, that those of us who are saved believers will enjoy that bounty for all eternity. There are, however those, who will not, unless they are reached, because  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

So, then, beloved, let us fill our bellies and get our rest. Then, let’s not sit around and do nothing. Let’s push back from the table, look out that window, and more importantly walk out that door into a lost and dying world and share Jesus Christ with them!

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields….

Who will go and work in my fields

 

Revival Is Not Primarily an Emotional Event

Student-Revival-large

We have talked about why we even need revival, why revival is not just an even and why revival is not primarily a tool of evangelism. Let’s move on and talk about how a revival should to more than just give us an emotional charge

Psalm 85:6

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? 

God is clearly all for us expressing joy, and even emotive joy over the blessings He has clearly given us. In our verse above, the Psalmist clearly asks to be revived so that the people can rejoice. We see this in other places as well:

After his sin with Bathsheba and his restoration(revival one might say) David had the following to say:

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

The congregation sang the following in song to celebrate their return from captivity in Babylon:

Psalm 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

Who can forget David dancing for joy upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant in 2 Samuel 6?

Obviously, joy and excitement at revival and restoration is very appropriate and highly encouraged by our Lord. Why then, do I raise this issue? What do we need to consider when we balance the emotional aspects of revival?

Did revival make me happy, or did it make me change? I can be whirling in the aisles and barking like a dog during service, but If I leave as the same person I came in as, then I was not revived.

Was the focus on the emotional aspects of revival, or on the sound preaching and admonishment of the Word of God? If the focus is on how excited I got, then I have become the focus and not God. If I, or anyone else was the focus, then we were not revived

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