Monday, April 16, 2012
Today’s Topic: Where Do You Stand?
Today’s Text: Isaiah 64:1 (NIV) Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!
My wife is a wonderful seamstress. When our kids were little she made them a lot of clothing. Now she’s doing it for the grandchildren. She even does it for the granddaughter’s dolls.
Years ago, when the kids were small and I was in business, I was the manager of a retail department store while the Lord was training me for ministry. There was a fabric department in the store. Bolts of fabric would come in on the truck, and it seemed like all the seamstresses in town knew our shipping schedule. No sooner did we have the material on display than the department would be filled with women searching for just the right fabric to sew into a new garment for their kids or even themselves.
One table in the department was reserved for remnants. Whenever a bolt of fabric would be sold off to the point where less than two yards were left, we would mark down the price and put it on the remnant table. The fabric left on the bolt was just as good as the previously sold yardage, but the limited quantity also limited the available applications. The remnant was a small reminder of a previous abundance.
That’s the picture we have in the sixty-third chapter of Isaiah. I would really encourage you to spend a few minutes right now and read it. Isaiah 63:7-19
Did you see the remnant? The nation is in shambles. (vs. 18-19) They have rebelled against the Lord God. (vs. 10) Throughout their history God has revealed His glory to them. ( vs. 11-14) But in the midst of the dark days of the present, there arose a remnant that recognized their Redeemer. (vs. 16) Now their hearts are crying out to God for His return and His deliverance. (64:1)
I believe that we are living in a world that is on the precipice of prophetic fulfillment. Soon the remnant of those who truly believe that Jesus is the Messiah will begin to grow. Already there are organizations like the Israel Mandate that are committed to bringing the truth of the Gospel to the Jewish nation. Their mission statement says,
We believe we are living in a time of prophetic fulfillment. We have seen the return of the Jewish people to their homeland – Israel’s physical return to the Land – in preparation for Israel’s spiritual return to the Lord. We believe Israel’s spiritual revival will release world revival resulting in world redemption through Messiah’s return. We believe the day is coming when national Israel will say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” We therefore commit ourselves to participate in the fulfillment of God’s promises to his people Israel and invite others who share this vision to join with us.
Two things are certain from the prophecies of God’s Word: Jesus is coming back and the nation of Israel will be the political, spiritual, and economic capital of the world; and before He does return, we will see a great falling away from the Gospel by the people of the world and the true followers of Jesus being identified and persecuted for their faith that stands opposed to the cultural consensus of humanism.
I thank God that I live in this day, and that the Lord has chosen to pour out His Spirit on our church so that the Gospel is having a profound and eternal effect on people’s lives. I praise God that there is a remnant being identified that, while small and seemingly with limited applications, has the power of the resurrected Christ to exalt the glorious name of Jesus Christ. I am humbled that He has chosen to use our weaknesses to magnify His strength. I am honored to be surrounded by so many who have also chosen to set aside all of their earthly pursuits for the sake of the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in the resurrected Lord.
May I implore you to consider the call of Jesus Christ to true discipleship? With the love of Christ compelling me and the Holy Spirit empowering me, I challenge you to consider your connection to the kingdom of this world and repent. I urge you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to place your total faith and confidence in Jesus Christ alone that He can and will provide every one of your needs if you once again permit Him to be the priority of your love. I beg you as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reflect on your family life, and the priorities you are teaching to your children about dependence on the world’s activities to provide personal and emotional value. I charge you, as Paul charged Timothy, to not have a form of godliness without the power of it to transform your life.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
I implore you to be identified with the remnant of those who will stand apart from their culture and remind it of what once was and is coming again!