6. Apr, 2018

Preparation for Pentecost


 As we continue through the week of the feast of unleavened bread it is time to reflect on our own lives, where we have been and where we are going. Yesterday we attended a funeral of a friend from our Fellowship. Going from the service to the cemetery, the people in the car in front of us threw some rubbish from the car. They had heard the Gospel spoken of how the Lord is just longing for us to accept Him for whom He is. How our brother John, who we were laying to rest, always spoke of the greatness of God Himself and how we can clean up our lives by just following the Lord. What He spoke of during his ministry, God's love and forgiveness, is not something to be cast aside like a piece of unwanted rubbish but something for all to treasure. [Psalm 19:1-10]

 We need to reflect on what we are doing with the very Word of God we hear spoken, whether it is within a church building, at a wedding, in the street or at a funeral. We all have to reflect on our actions before the awesome day of the coming of the Lord. [Zephaniah 1:7] It’s not up to anybody else to look in the mirror but ourselves and ask the question, “Am I a child of God?” If the answer is yes then we need to ask ourselves, what are we doing about it? Are we living up to the Word, are we living up to the crucifixion we have just finished celebrating, or was that just a celebration and now let's get on with life for another year. But what if we do not have another year? That is something we have to think about as the year continues. The Feast of unleavened bread is here to remind us that we are to live without sin [I Corinthians 5:8] and to prepare us for the next step, whether it be the coming of the Holy Spirit a fresh into our lives or whatever the Lord has in store for us.

 John, our friend who has now taken up residence in that room prepared for him by the Lord, [John 14:3] knew what lay ahead and was ready for it but are we? Yeshua the One with the body of purity and without leaven [Hebrew 4:15] died and rose again on the third day. [1 Corinthians 15:4] The very One who was God on earth; so the people who were sinners could not stand in His presence on earth. But what about in His state of Glory, can we stand within all His glory? When they approached Yeshua in the garden and they were told who He was, did they not fall to the ground? [John 18:6] Now there was power in His presence, a power that caused all to fall at His feet. We have been given the right to enter His Kingdom but this can only be by Him and Him alone. Acts 4:12] The Sceptre must be extended to all who wish to enter the Kingdom, [Esther 4:11] as the Sceptre will never leave the Lion of Judah [Genesis 49:10] is it this Sceptre that is extended to us?  Are we living with clean hands and pure hearts? [Psalm 24:3-4] Are we asking the Father to create in us a clean heart? [Psalm 51:1-10] Are we walking the life that reflects the Cross and the words, “Forgive them Father for they don't know what they do.” [Luke 23:34] Are we living up to these words of forgiveness?

 We have the Word to read and the Holy Spirit to convict us in all things. Yes, I know the Gospel of grace has taken over and taught that we can do whatever we like as we have been forgiven. But nowhere in scripture does it support this. Paul told people to repent and the Lord Himself told the Churches in the Book of Revelation to repent and that was all after the cross. So why would He have to say to repent? Because we are who we are, we are human and we do sin. [1 John 1:10] But the message is there for all to read and act upon, we need to walk, talk and act in the way God has laid down in His Word and to be the people we are meant to be. [1 John 5:2]

 This is what this time of unleavened bread is for, to start us along the path the Lord wants us to follow, [Psalm 119:105] His path, but over the next seven weeks we can prepare to celebrate the Helper, sent by the Lord. [John 15:26] The One who came to direct us in all things because as orphans we would soon lose our way but Yeshua said He would never leave us as orphans [John 14:18] because He knew what would happen if He did. An example of this is when Moses went up the mountain and left the people without a strong leader. They got tired of waiting and then fell into sin [Exodus 32:19] as we would without the direction of the Lord in our lives, hence the reason for the sending of the Holy Spirit.

 In all of this we need to realise just how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. [1 John 4:16] He promised us salvation and He delivered on that promise nearly two thousand years ago. And now, here we are, walking the same path as the Lord’s Disciples and knowing the Lord is with us and directing our path. First there was Passover when we were saved by the Blood of the Lamb [Revelation 1:5] then first fruits a picture of our own presentation before the Lord [2 Timothy 2:15] and then the path we are to take and to live without sin. [Proverbs 4:27] This is the Gospel, the truth, our life and our way to one day take up our room in the Fathers house, or will it be given to someone else?

 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. “And he sent out His slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. “Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. Matthew 22:1-10