Last Friday Bro. Jonah Ravinder spoke from Matthew 24 & 25. From the very beginning of 2011, the story in this world hasn’t changed much. In fact, there are more stories now than a year ago. The stories aren’t good either. There are stories of fighting for freedom, earth quake in Christchurch and japan, conflict between religious views, territories, wealth and the list goes on. Matthew 24:3-8 tells us watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” and that all things are just beginning of “birth pains”.
I am also able to see the steady decline in people’s prayer life. It is becoming a ‘challenge’ for pastors and leaders to keep the church intact. There are lots of programs being organized for people in God sanctuary but what use is it to a man if he doesn’t have a ‘true’ relationship with the Almighty God. Just as pastor Vipul has said earlier, the more time we personally spend with God, the more the fellowship grows since fellowship should be considered as a pronoun in objective form – ‘me’. You can be assured of God’s word in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”.
He concluded from Matthew 25:1-10, we have three things in us that need satisfaction. One is satisfied with food, another that is satisfied with the things of this world (eg. drinking, smoking etc.), and the last is satisfied with the things of above (eg. spending time with Almighty God). He said, if you don’t crucify the second one (satisfaction from things of this world), it will kill the other two. This is why Paul says, “I die daily…” and this is why we need to address the temptations in the beginning, not during the period or near the end.
Matthew 25:1-10 is a bridegroom and bride story that most of us are well aware of. We can see clear separation between the wise and the foolish. There were those who carried the lamp with oil (resembling God’s presence, the spirit of God/Holy Spirit) that filled up just the framework and those who carried spare oil in case the oil wasn’t sufficient. How much oil are we carrying? Its a question for each one of us to examine ourselves. If you want to live a life full of power and anointing, crucify the flesh daily. The bridegroom’s delay is for our own advantage but remember, your delay to meet him is leading to destruction. There clearly distinction between the wise people’s words and foolish peoples words. Foolish people tend to depend on others a lot while wise tend to depend on no one and in-turn give wise advices to others around.
Do you want to know the saddest statement in the bible? Well, here it is, “verily, I say unto you, I know you not” (Matthew 25:12). Now we all know what happens in the end but the point I am trying to get to, is to help you understand the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom comes from the Lord (Psalms 111:10) but knowledge can be gained from this world. One servant of God put it this way, “Wisdom is the skill, in the art of living life under the complete dominion of God”. In other words, Wisdom is nothing but depending upon God for every decision, temptation, trials, and so on. We usually tend to go to God just for ‘big’ decisions and make the small ones using our knowledge. Having wisdom is very important in our lives, since without it, we cannot meet the bridegroom.
You see, if you don’t meet the bridegroom the first time, there is NO second time. You cannot go back, the choice you made stands true for eternity and remember your eternity has NO end. For example, there is something really interesting on TV that contradicts the word of God, but you really want to watch it. Wisdom in this case is taking the decision on whether to remain under the dominion of God’s will or to choose our own way of doing things. You can take a wise decision and abstain from it or take foolish decision to conceive sin. Job 28:28 says, “the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding” (KJV). We also know that fools despise wisdom, they are consumed up with things of this world, speak uselessly and it simply means there is very less or even NO oil left to burn your lamps.
I want to encourage you to spend time in the presence of our Almighty God, irrespective of where your job, family and children stand. It is only then we can see oil lasting long in our lamps and that we might bring forth that light that lits up every dark place. Be sure to remember that our only strength is when we are under dominion of our God. In other words, we are continuing to have him as our refuge, our shelter. When we despise the word, it is synonymous to carrying a lamp without oil. As you spend time, God will speak to you and he will pass his advice. I will assure you of that, it may be slow but surely he will do it.
Many of us talk about humility. It is one of the most centric topic around Christians these days. It is nothing but saying Lord you are strong, you can take care of me and you are the sovereign Lord over all. Its about depending on God rather than yourself. God helps those who are weak, humble, and those who submit themselves to God completely. Don’t fear about what will happen tomorrow or in days to come. Put your trust in the Lord and he will help you in the times of need. The things that we can see now are temporary, they will come and pass away.
Some people worry about the stock market due to their heavy investment but oh, how terrible it is to not be able to realise that it will soon pass away. It is like the rich mans story who has everything saved up to enjoy for the rest of his lifetime. But how foolish to not realise that his soul might be required of him anytime. The things of this world will fluctuate like the stock market but God’s word remains the same just like him.
We are able to see many things unveil right in front of our eyes. It is getting more closer to God’s return than ever before. Remember, when we have oil in our lamps, we can contain that anointing to be able to live a successful christian life. There is no such thing as “multiple options/ways” in christian walk, there is only one way and that is through walking by God’s words.
So dear brothers and sisters, “…we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)