Let us shine like stars..

Jesus has a lot to say about service through His teachings, His parables and also His exhortations to the 7 churches in Revelation. We know the foundation of our faith in Christ that we are saved by grace not works, but we must not neglect our service to the King of Kings and are called to let our light, His light in us, shine before the world. These are the days that the Lord is exhorting His church to rise and shine.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world and as a light on a lamp stand gives light to the whole house so should our light be visible to all so that men will see our good works and give glory to God. Matthew 5:14-16. I am also reminded of John’s vision of Jesus in Revelation as He walked amongst the 7 churches who were shown as 7 lamp stands, the reminder that each church is a lamp stand for His light to shine. Representatives of Jesus. To each church, Jesus said “I know your works”. He is saying the same to us today. I know your works.

As Jesus encouraged and called those churches to account so we too can learn lessons from His words. His exhortation to the church of Ephesus is not to forget our first love, Jesus. We can so easily get caught up with works of themselves and become so busy that we can neglect our relationship with Jesus. If it is not our love for Him and His love in us that motivates us then Jesus says we are to repent and return to our first love. To remember the fervent love we had for Jesus when we first encountered Him and His love for us. To be zealous for Him and not lukewarm and indifferent as the church in Laodicea.

The church at Sardis had a reputation for being alive but Jesus said this was not actually the case. Jesus had tested their works and found them not perfect before God. This was a wake up call. To recognise things as they really were so that the church could repent and then take what was still alive and nurture it so that it could grow. As Jesus said to the church at Thyatira, who had corrupted themselves by allowing false prophecy, false teaching and sexual immorality, that He is the one who searches each mind and heart and will give to each one according to their works. Jesus warns against following false teachings and false doctrines. They will distort the light and corrupt our works. Jesus wants us to wake up and recognise false and corrupt things which influence us. To anoint our eyes with His eye salve so we can see clearly.

Jesus is calling us to examine ourselves, prepare ourselves so that we can shine. As disciples of Christ we have much to offer the world, not just in being good citizens and doing good things but also in terms of Godly wisdom and knowledge, insight and understanding. In the bible we are told that the sons of Issachar had the ability to understand the times and seasons that they lived in which enabled them to give the right advice to the people of Israel so that they knew what to do. 1 Chroncles 12:32. We so need that Godly ability in the body of Christ today for the days we live in. Understanding the times and seasons and recognising what God is calling us to do and hearing His voice so that we can advise others whether in our families, work lives, businesses or other positions of influence.

I believe that the Lord is reminding us in this season, where such great needs and injustices are evident in every part of society and in the midst of this global pandemic, to take every opportunity to trust God, obey God and do good because when Jesus comes again, which He will, then He will test our works in this life and reward us accordingly. The question is what we have done in obedience to His calling and according to the measure of gifting and opportunity that have been given to us. What has motivated us in our minds and hearts.

Many years ago, I had a vision of Jesus which impacted me greatly. I saw him stood in front of me and as He held His hands out to me I heard him say very clearly “well done my good and faithful servant”. He then gestured for me to look behind him and I saw this incredible amount of amazing things. I couldn’t describe them in detail to you but I knew they were items of incredible value and beauty and I couldn’t believe how much there was. I remember being completely overwhelmed and asked the Lord what they were for as I couldn’t imagine they were for me. I had done nothing exceptional with my life to deserve such a rich reward. Jesus simply said “ For you, for your faithfulness”. Then He gestured again, and I saw another amazing amount of things and He said “but all this could have been yours as well”. I knew that Jesus wasn’t disappointed in me but He was saddened that He could not give me all that was mine to obtain. I had missed opportunities for service either through disobedience, fear or countless other things which had stopped me. The little foxes which I had allowed to ruin my vineyard.

It would be a trap for me to use that vision to do lots of works for works sake. It wasn’t the message that the Lord had for me. He was encouraging me to remain faithful to Him and His call on my life. To persevere and not give up until My race is run. Jesus reminds me that He is My first love and My heart belongs to Him. I pray that when He calls I will answer and be bold to do all that He calls me to do in service of Him. One day when I do stand before Him I trust I will hear those words “well done good and faithful servant”.

I just want to finish with the following words of encouragement to us.

I heard the Lord say the following in the Spirit. It is time for My church to examine itself. To look carefully at what it is doing. The example it is setting. I am coming and I come first to My church. May they be found ready when I come to test their works with fire. Let him who is doing good continue to do so but examine the heart. For out of the heart comes every selfish thing and motivation. Let My Spirit guide and lead you. Let My Spirit be the one that breathes life into everything you do for Me as then you will reap a harvest, not just in this life but in the life to come. Let your good works be seen by others so they may glorify your father in heaven. It is time to rise and shine like the stars in the sky. This is the day for the church of My people to be the source of nutrition and goodness for others. To give freely out of an abundant storehouse, for I am the bread of life and the pure living water. I will never run dry and I will never run out of provision for My people. To those who are called and chosen by Me and whose name is written in My book of life and My name is written on their foreheads for all to see. Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of God my Father has risen upon you.

Blessings to you in Jesus name. Amen 🙏

Shine like stars

Take hold of today – Make it count

This is the 3rd word that God has impressed upon me for this season which is linked to the words “Awake, Awake” & “The Heavenly Steed”.    This is about taking hold of each day we are given for God to give glory to Him and to do His good works.

“Arise My Beloved & seek after Me.  For this is the day – Take hold of today for you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  Live each day for Me – from when you rise up until you go to bed.   For I will give you sufficient grace & provision for each day.

At the end of the day you will have discovered something new in Me.  You will have grown in Me, developed in Me, produced fruit for Me & My Kingdom.  If you have not produced fruit for that day, then you have wasted the precious gift I have given you.

One day you will stand before My throne and give an account for each precious day of your life.  A day of opportunity to serve your Master and bring glory to My name.  A day to grow more in love with Me; a day to show My love through you to others.  

What have you done with the days I have given to you?   What have you done with the days gifted to you?   Each one is precious.   Each one is valuable.  Each one is a gift from Me.

I do not judge by how the world judges.  I am not impressed by worldly riches or goods for who can have more riches than I?  All of creation is mine.   Do not be led astray & try to gather riches for yourself – for each person’s works will be tested by fire.   Whatever remains after the fire will be rewarded.   Do not build according to the pattern of this world but build My kingdom.   Let My kingdom come & My will be done.

What do I require of you each day but to walk humbly with your God.  Submit each day to Me.   Begin with thanks & praise and end with thanks & praise.   For the time is drawing near for all men’s works to be tested.  Let the fruit be good that grows in your heart so that when you are tested you will come forth as gold – pure gold.

I am looking for a harvest in your lives My children & I do not accept any excuses – for within you there is My power – wrought in Jesus Christ so there is nothing to stop or hinder you which you cannot overcome through faith & submission to Him.

What have you done today for My kingdom?  What have you done today in praise & worship to Me?  Any act of obedience to My will is pure worship before My throne.  I will not be mocked.   What a man sows that he will reap.  Do not sow to your flesh but sow to the Spirit.   Let all be done to My honour & glory & let My glory cover the earth as the waters cover the land.

All hail the Lamb who sits on high.  He comes & brings His rewards with Him.   To those who overcome there will be much reward in heaven.  Amen.”

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me; to give to everyone according to His work”.

Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you – these things I command you that you love one another”.

brown and green grass field during sunset

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com 

 

Atrophy

I had this word at the beginning of 2020 and having read it again, I sense that it was a warning about this season that we are now in with the restrictions that COVID 19 has put on us.

We are in danger of atrophy setting in so need to keep spiritually active especially in ways we can encourage each others as believers in Christ to keep reading our bibles, fellowshipping in different ways..who would have thought we would have prayer and small group meetings over zoom or WhatsApp.

Perhaps it’s time for a fresh spiritual MOT to make sure atrophy has not set in.

This was the word which I heard in the Spirit today as we were praying together for the body of Christ.   

Atrophy means the partial or complete wasting away of part of a physical body.   

A sense of shrinking and weakness in body mass and muscle tone.   An entire limb can become atrophied and withered and incapable of movement.    

There are several things which can cause Atrophy in a body but these ones caught my attention:

  1. Disuse/Lack of Exercise -When muscles are not used or you are immobile for long periods of time then Atrophy can set in.    We are called into active service in Christ Jesus and to pick up our cross and follow Him.   We are called to give and serve others, to exercise the giftings which God gives us through the Holy Spirit.   To serve others and be a blessing to them.   To show God’s love in action.   There are plenty of opportunities to serve within the body of Christ and the communities we live in.   If we are not using and exercising the talents & gifts which God has given us then they will wither.   We are called to be a voice crying in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord”.   We are called to be light in the darkness.  God is rallying his church and the trumpet is sounding – wake up and start to work for the Lord because the day is short.   The good news is that this sort of Atrophy can be cured by exercise unless it is too severe.   It is never too late to start working for the Lord – He will always make a way.  Trust in the Lord and do good.
  2. Poor Nourishment – if we do not feed our physical bodies properly then they will suffer.  Muscles will lose mass and our bodies will start to shut down if no nourishment is given.   Similarly, the body of Christ will suffer if it is not feeding on the Word of God and in fellowship with Christ – the bread of life.    The challenge is -What are we feeding on?  If we feed on worldly rubbish or false teachings and doctrines then we will suffer.    We need a diet of God’s word and His truths.
  3. Mutations -these are things that should not be part of the body and they cause damage – they attack it from within.  In a spiritual sense I believe that Atrophy in the body of Christ is caused by sinful, immoral & selfish behaviour – there is no fruit of the Spirit.   It is like a disease which spreads from within.  The bible teaches us how a root of bitterness is such a thing – it causes much damage to others.   Jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and such things should not be within the body of Christ.   Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not belong in the body of Christ and will certainly cause damage.  The bible warns us against them and their works.  Jesus says we will know them by their fruits.
  4. Poor Circulation – If we do not have the living Christ, the life & power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love flowing through us then we will have poor circulation.  If we are not in unity with one another then there will be a blockage in God’s love and blessings being manifested throughout the body of Christ.   Those parts of the body which are not flowing in the Spirit of God will not prosper – their growth will be stunted.   We need to connect into God’s amazing power and for the life giving blood of Jesus to pump through us.

I pray that the body of Christ will not suffer Atrophy but will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  

That we will put off lethargy and sin which can so easily ensnare us and will rise in service of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. 

That we will put our hands to the plough and not look back and we will run the race of faith with patience and endurance.   

Let us not be weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9.  

Let us rise up like the Eagle and run and not faint.

Let us leap for Joy in service of our King.

Blessings in Jesus. Amen 🙏

sunset beach people sunrise
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