Thursday, March 31, 2011

Following the Instruction Manual

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:7-10

Not only do we often forget the positive message of prophecy, but we also sometimes forget to follow the instructions given in prophecy.  Although this letter of Peter applies to all of the church age, look at the special timing involved in the first sentence.  He said, "But the end of all things is at hand.”  To paraphrase—“Jesus is coming soon so pay attention and follow my directions!”  Since we understand that the coming of our savior is soon, we had better follow the subsequent steps to make sure we are ready.  

Step One—Be on your toes!  That makes sense.  If the coming of Messiah is imminent, then I want a holy life in Him that will honor Him and not be found following “my own heart”.  Why did I mention the heart thing?  Well, I hear it all the time from people who are clearly not given over to Christ in all that they do.  It can be seen by the choices they make and the words that they say.  Jesus Christ and their relationship with Him are not the top priority.  They excuse their often tainted lifestyle with that phrase.  God does know the human heart!  He says it is desperately wicked and who of us can know it?  He wants us to have a new, undivided heart that is eagerly serving Him and waiting on His return.  How is your heart?  Let the Holy Ghost check it out for you since we have the awful tendency to justify ourselves at God’s expense.

Step Two—Pray!   I wonder if that is prophetic too?  It seems that most people in Christian circles do everything else but pray.  Jesus is coming back but we are too busy putting our hands out for more blessings and spending less time on prayer and intercession for a lost world heading for judgment.  Name any great revival and I will name the men or women that prayed for it in advance.  There is a lot of busyness in the house of God.  We shout and sing and preach and play and eat and take trips and…..  Do we pray?  Can it be said of your church that it is first of all a house of prayer?

Step Three—Cover one another!  I heard it said recently that we have two choices in this matter.  We can cover one another, or we can kill one another.  God said to cover one another with love.  There are too many killing with gossip, slander, unforgiveness, bitterness and the quieter “Christian sins”.  We may not drink, cheat on our husbands or wives, do drugs, but we will sure kill each other with outright hatred and fleshliness while thinking nothing about the need to repent.  God wants love above all things—read the instruction manual above again if you are not sure!  You know, that unconditional love that God requires and has towards His children.  God’s love always seeks the best and watches our backs.  That is the type of love that patterns God’s love for you when he overlooks your faults and lifts and encourages you to keep on going because the finish line is just ahead.  Yes!  That agape kind of love is what He wills.

Step Four—Use hospitality!  This word “hospitality” is a strange word in the original Greek.  It is philoxenos.  It literally means love of strangers.  Xenophobes are people who are afraid of strangers.  Many Christians are apparently spiritual xenophobes.  We hide from the strange and sinful in our little four walled structures called churches while those estranged from the saving grace of Christ are dying and going to Hell at a rate of thousands per hour.  God forgive!  Be kind to all—Christians and non-Christians—for the sake of Jesus and the precious blood He shed. 

Step Five—Do something!  God has given you a gift of some sort to help the church.  We spend too much time on allowing the professionals to  do the work that God may want us to do.  Sure your pastor and other ministries directors will need to account for how they used the ministry gifts that God gave them.  However, the last time I checked we all have to give an account at the judgment seat of Christ.  Do something for Jesus’ sake!

Step Six—Whatever you do, do it by the power of the Holy Ghost in your life!  We also spend too much time relying on the arm of the flesh to accomplish God’s purposes and then wonder why the work that we did does not stand the test of time.  We are His servants and we need to do things His way. 

Remember, Jesus is Soon 2 Come!  Follow directions!

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11
  The phone company is currently working on our phone lines.  I am having to use a laptop in the meantime and all of the news articles that I saved are on the other computer.  I will share them later or double up on them the next time.  

1 comment:

  1. No need for the news articles. It'll all be there tomorrow, but as for today I enjoyed your teaching. Six very good steps. Imagine if the majority of those who call themselves Believers, kept just two or three of them? Imagine all six? We would have revival for sure.
    Keep on spreading the Truth and encouraging all of us.