Quote for Today
“Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground”
“Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground”
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails”
William Arthur Ward
“Of one thing we are very sure. There will be a full restoration of the apostolic gifts and the full power of Pentecost before the coming of the Lord. To the faithful few who are true to God, to the overcomers, to them that place their all upon the altar of a full consecration, God will pour out in the fullest measure the power that was given to the disciples on the day the Church was born. We believe that there will be miracles of healing, supernatural manifestations of God’s mighty power, that will break even the most calloused hearts. There will be another outpouring, this time a cloudburst of the latter rain. We not only feel it in our Spirit, but the Word of God corroborates what we feel. Be true, my friends; keep tight hold of His hand. God has some wonderful things in store for you.”
Dr. Charles S. Price – 1939
“And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”
Endurance is the secret to reaping. Endurance is the womb from which faithfulness springs. Faithfulness implies “being full of faith”. Faithfulness speaks of sowing in hope, believing God for the harvest to follow. It needs no seeing or evidence to continue steadfastly in the things at hand. It believes God, trusts God and rests in God knowing He is faithful. Our faithfulness is proportional to our trust in His faithfulness.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”
2 Corinthians 9:6
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him”
“To him that hath” that is, useth what he hath, it shall be given still and that more abundantly. Therefore, use your every grace, stir up the gift of God that is in you, be zealous, be active, according to your strength, speak for God wherever you are”
– John Wesley
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”
– Luke 10:27
Slumber and the Spirit of God
“And he awoke out of his sleep, and said,
I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself.
And he knew not that the LORD was departed from him”
“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference”
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none;
but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
rise up and walk.:”
Ministry should be the natural outflow of any life rightly associated with God. One does not need to go to Bible school, join a large organization or subscribe to some well-known teacher in order to find the wonder and beauty of His Life. The path to a powerful, individual and unique ministry, unto which God has called each of us, is in the Life of the Son resident within one’s heart. This path is characterized in one word… GIVE. It is in giving what we have that more is given!
“Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over…”
Many Christians become so overwhelmed by “big” ministries that they look upon their own portion as meager and insignificant. It is here that many miss the wonder and greatness of our God. It is in understanding the heart of Jesus that we can launch out into the depths of God’s call in our lives. His heart is summed up in one small glimpse afforded us in the Gospel of Mark.
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living”
While men see the amount, Jesus sees the depth of the gift. True ministry is not measured by what one has; Jesus measures by how much one gives. In giving what we have more is given to us in like measure. While many teachers relate this to the unrighteous currency of this world, Jesus was speaking of the true riches that He has placed within the lives of everyone that believes! Give all that you have to receive all that He gives. Every major river in the world begins somewhere as a trickle, an insignificant little stream. The secret of its power is that it continues to flow and as it flows it begins to grow. That which seemed inconsequential in its beginning becomes a river deep and powerful. Never consider any gift of God small, insignificant or irrelevant. The God of all Glory can take even a small meal of five loaves and the two fishes and feed multitudes. No gift of God is without significance. It only becomes so if the gift is neglected and held in faithless inactivity. The talent buried in the ground remains a talent. It is in our faithfulness to give and pour out our lives into those around us that the one becomes two, the two becomes four and the five becomes ten.
Peter’s journey to the place of imparting the life and glory of God into the life of another was no different than our own. The same God who has begun a good work in us will complete His work if we remain faithful to walk in His ways.
I have had the privilege of meeting with the underground church in other countries. In most cases their depth of Biblical knowledge is small in comparison to our land. However, while we may bask in our knowledge, they, at the peril of their lives, take what little they have and turn the world around them upside down.
“Let your loins be girded about,
and your lights burning;
And ye yourselves like unto men
that wait for their lord”
This is the posture of those in whom the fire of God is burning. They are not inactive and their faith is not passive; the anticipation of His coming has caused them to walk circumspectly. Their light is burning with the intensity of those who live with the expectancy of His return for this is the faith of the Bride who is making herself ready for Him. The slumber of a faithless church has not invaded their hearts. They are watchful and wide awake even in the twilight hours of a world that is passing its time in willing ignorance.
“For this they willingly are ignorant of…”
2 Peter 3:5
It is not an ignorance in which they are born. This is an ignorance that is the product of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge God. Men choose to darken their understanding by a determination to ignore the conscience within their own hearts.
The attitude of those who have their loins girded with truth speaks of a self-discipline to remove themselves from the passions and lusts of this world. There is an active living faith which is pursuing the victory over self and the world. There is a constant discovery of the sufficiency of His grace to rise above the fallen Adamic nature in the reality of life. It is through faith we can enter into this grace (Romans 5:2) which will give an ability to escape the desires of this world in order to be prepared for the One to come.
“Whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust”
2 Peter 1:4
“Be ye therefore ready also:
for the Son of man cometh
at an hour when ye think not”
“For they have healed the hurt
of the daughter of my people slightly, saying,
Peace, peace; when there is no peace”
In every generation false ministers speak peace and comfort when God’s desire is righteousness. There can be no true peace apart from God’s righteousness. These false comforters speak peace “when there is no peace”. They have never confronted the sin within themselves and therefore cannot and will not speak to the sins of His people. Righteousness is simply a religious term with no meaning in those who proclaim such a message. These are false and impotent expressions within His house. Words like mercy, forgiveness and grace have little value without an expression of righteousness. If sin is not understood as the evil and horror it is, then the sacrifice and shedding of Christ’s blood holds little weight in the hearts of His people.
We live in a day of tremendous obscurity as the result of a false and man-centered preaching of the gospel. While these ministrations lure His people into slumber of spirit and a false sense of peace and safety, death and destruction lie at the door.
“Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you;
and they have not revealed your iniquity,
to turn back your captivity”
It is in preaching the righteousness of God in Christ that His people discover the wretchedness of their ways and can avail themselves of the beauty of His grace, mercy and truth. It is in the ministration of His Holiness that we discover His power to save us and raise us up to be a flaming expression of Him. He came to save us from our sins not to leave us in them. He came to give us a peace which cannot be taken from us because it is founded in Him. It is a peace that the world cannot give. Those who speak peace when there is no peace are liars and traitors to the word of God. They seek to soothe and console when God desires conviction and repentance.
What is the end of such preaching? What does a church look like that endures such false and beguiling words? Read the next verse from the Book of Lamentations.
“All who pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem,
saying, Is this the city which they called the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?”
Men mock and scorn the very thing that should reveal the power, the love and the glory of our God. When the church as a whole listens to the falseness of this gospel His face and heart are hidden from the world around us.
The Church at Laodicea
“Because you say, I am rich, and I am made rich,
and I have need of nothing,
and do not know that you are wretched and miserable
and poor and blind and naked”
This is God’s church! Why did she not know her true condition? Why did she not know of her wretchedness and poverty? Her condition was the result of a false gospel which spoke peace and comfort instead of preaching the truth. Deception is anything which hides God and prevents His people from truth. Truth is the revelation of Jesus the Christ; in His piercing light we see Him and we see ourselves. It is in this ministration that men and women find powerful comforts of mercy and grace whereby we are set free from our sins and our poverty becomes the storehouse of His riches; the blind eyes see, our nakedness is clothed in the garments of His salvation and His joy becomes our strength.
Woe to those who seek to comfort His people with anything less than the living truth of God. Woe to those who would speak comfort to people who are at home in this world. Woe to those who seek out and listen to those who would lie to them.
This is a day for crying out to God for truth that we may turn from our ways and back to His ways; that the hurt and the cause of our lukewarm hearts would be discovered and healed so we may rise up in the purity and fire of a love that cannot be quenched.
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape”
1 Thessalonians 5:3
This is a word to God’s people not the politicians of the world.
“If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,”
where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word
“Let love be without dissimulation*“
and blunt the edge of truth,
speaking not right things but smooth things,
then I know nothing of Calvary love…”
*Note: The meaning indicated here is to speak the same to all people; we do not blunt the edge of truth because of friendships, associations and people with whom we seek advantage. Calvary’s Love destroys the seeking of the approval of men for it brings us to the same heart as the One who offered Himself at Calvary. He died for Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free men. His blood is without dissimulation and so must be our ministration of Him!
“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”
In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..
It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”
EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”
REVELATION 7:2 – 3
It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.
“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”
Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!
*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6). (S. Zodhiates)