ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY

[SW149] 08/09/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“All Things Are Now Ready”

Everything is ready now, even now, already! Are you?

Text:

Luke 14:16 But He said to him, “ A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’

Everything is ready now, even now!

As I listened to a message from a dear brother who came to the church I attend last Sunday, those words jumped out at me!

Everything is ready now, already!

It is a big dinner that our Lord is giving —

Isaiah 25:6 The LORD of hosts will prepare a  lavish banquet for  all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of  aged wine,  choice pieces with marrow, and  refined, aged wine.

It is His marriage supper —

Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and  give the glory to Him, for  the marriage of the Lamb has come and His   bride has made herself ready.”  8 It was given to her to clothe herself in  fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the  righteous acts of the  saints.
Revelation 19:9   Then  he  said to me, “ Write, ‘ Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he  said to me, “ These are true words of God.”

It is already ready! The Lord calls His bride to it, even now! Church, all things are now ready! Are you? Then blessed are you (Revelation 19:9)!

How do you get ready? You make yourself ready (see Rev. 19:7).

How do you make yourself ready?

Three things: Read, heed, and plead!
— Read the Word of God. You cannot know God’s will or His heart or His plans unless you do. If you continue constantly in the Word of God, you are truly disciples of Jesus Christ, and you will know the truth, and it will set you free! (John 8:31-32)
— Heed the voice of your Lord. Do not be a mere hearer, who deludes himself, but a doer, who is blessed in all he does! (James 1:21-25)
— Plead for His Holy Spirit to be given to you — He has already been poured out, at Pentecost. Ask, seek, knock, and your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to you (Luke 11:13)!

Everything is already ready, even now! Therefore, if we profess His name, what kind of people are we required to be?

2Peter 3:11   Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,  12  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which  the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the  elements will melt with intense heat! 14 Therefore,  beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be  found by Him in peace,  spotless and blameless . . .

Only if we are in a personal relationship with Him are we able to conduct ourselves in a holy, godly way, at peace with God, spotless and blameless!

Everything is already ready! It is ready to immediately happen, for He is coming quickly, in the twinkling of an eye, to scoop up His church!

He has sent out the invitations to His church. The table is set, clad in the finest linens. The candles are lit, the feast is ready, right now!

But what is this? What does the Lord show me about today’s church?

He says, “Come; for everything is ready now!”

But some beg off, shun, refuse, and avoid?

Why? They have not yet come to know Him.

Professing His name is not sufficient. Going to church is not sufficient. Singing His praise is not sufficient. Doing good deeds is not sufficient.

You must know Him, have holy intimacy with Him. It is altogether lovely to do so, even joy unspeakable and full of glory! That is good for you BUT . . .

It is FOR the glory of the Father and the Son, that the world may know that God sent Jesus Christ (John 17:21)!

Everything is ready, right now, this very moment. What will you do? He says,

Revelation 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand  at the door and  knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door,  I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 ‘ He who overcomes, I will grant to him  to sit down with Me on My throne, as  I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 ‘ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

He is coming quickly — suddenly — to gather you to the wedding feast. Be ready!

Matthew 24:44 “For this reason  you also must be ready; for  the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Luke 12:40 “ You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not  expect.”

Be ready to enter into the feast! It is already ready!

Be among the five wise virgins:

Matthew 25:6 “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Matthew 25:10 “And while they [the five foolish virgins] were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were  ready went in with him to  the wedding feast; and  the door was shut.
Matthew 25:13 “ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

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HOT PURSUIT

What is God looking for? Heat! Zeal! Intense enthusiasm and passion, to an excessive degree!

[SW148] 08/01/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Hot Pursuit”

Zeal (2204, zeo) — To be hot, to boil (of liquids), or to glow (of solids), i.e., to be be fervid, be fervent. To be intensely enthusiastic or passionate, to an excessive degree!

Zeal for His house consumes me, as it did Paul, as it did Christ (see Psalm 69, John 2:17)!

And I am in hot pursuit, to know Him more and more and more, to be more and more and more like Him!

Heat me until I glow, Lord!!

Text:  Philippians 3:14, Jeremiah 1 & 2

A little history on Paul (Hebrew name “Saul”) —
— “Successful”
— BUT he murdered Christians (Acts 26:10)

When he was stricken by the Lord (Acts 9)
— He deeply repented,
— His blind eyes were opened, he was filled with the Spirit!
— A new kind of ZEAL came into Paul; not the foolish zeal of a Pharisee, but fired up by the Spirit with HOLY ZEAL!
— All his prior “success”? Dung, to him!

Oh, to know Him! To have holy intimacy, a relationship where He speaks to you and you to Him! Sitting at the table with the Father and Son and Holy Spirit!

Pressing on! Running (1 Corinthians 9:26)!

Hot pursuit! Beyond Christ in us, the hope of glory! Full of His glory, His zeal!

And Paul finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8)!

But what is this that I see today, among Christians?

Thus says the Lord, to the church at Laodicea:

Revelation 3:15  “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot;  I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will  spit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

If you do repent as He commands, if you ask for pure gold refined by the fire, white garments, and eye salve, you will surely be rich in Him, clothed with Him, and able to see Him.

You will, like Paul, die to all you are so Christ can rule and reign in you.

You will be filled with the Spirit, if you but ask your Father (Luke 11:13).

And then you will have God’s fiery, holy zeal for those who do not know His Son, and for His church, to see to it that she is not found wanting by Him!

Jeremiah 1:

Tuesday night, I think it was, I was about to drop off to sleep, and I saw a picture. I described it to Jeff, because sometimes he is able to interpret what I see. But he had no interpretation this time.

I thought, “Maybe it was nothing.” But when I get a picture out of the clear blue, it is usually from the Lord.

Thursday morning I was fasting, praying, reading the Word. I continually read through the Bible, and had come to Jeremiah 1.

The Lord said, “What did you see?”

I saw an old man with a very long beard that came to a point at its end. He was sitting in a chair, but not straight up, and his eyes were cast down.

You have seen well,” the Lord says.
“It is My church.

“Rather than being full of My holy zeal and my life and my vigor, the church is old (the long beard) and has had to sit down because she is tired. She cannot even sit up straight, and she is looking down, rather than up, toward Me.”

Jeremiah 2:

But the Lord also says this, O church: “If you will return to the love of your betrothals, and follow after Me in the wilderness, I will surely bring you into the Promised Land!
“You are in this condition because of who you listen to. My Word is your plumb line, and nothing else.”

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

“So repent. Return, O faithless sons, and I will heal your unfaithfulness (Jeremiah 3:22). Remember Me, look up toward Me. And I will revive you!”

ALL YOU NEED IS A CRUMB!

[SW147] 07/26/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“All You Need Is A Crumb”

Do you think you are unworthy? Are you desperate? Come to Jesus Christ! Don’t give up until you receive what you have come for. He will change your heart AND your circumstances!

Text:  Matthew 15:21-28

He could not escape notice (Mark 7:24)!

The Syrophoenician woman:

— her gods did not answer (Psalm 115)
 Psalm 119:5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
    They have eyes, but they cannot see;
    6  They have ears, but they cannot hear . . .

Her gods are made of wood, of stone, of metal. They are dead. Our God is a living God, and Jesus Christ lives even today, for He was crucified, dead and buried, just according to scripture, and He rose on the third day, just according to scripture!

— her daughter’s situation dire
— she is desperate!
— she’s heard of a man who casts out demons with a word
— she comes out to Him, standing off a bit
— she cries out for mercy, addressing Him as the Christ (“Son of David”)
— she keeps asking
— the disciples are offended and ask Jesus to send her away, by whatever means

Jesus:
— has just finished an extended teaching on what really constitutes uncleanness, contradicting the Jewish scribes and Pharisees
— and now, the “unclean” Syrophonecian is here!

— He tests her faith
— says nothing at first

Then He tests her further —

— “Only sent to the lost sheep of Israel” (but He well knows that He is the One sent also to the Gentiles in Isaiah 49,  the One Paul speaks of in Romans 15, and He has already healed the centurion’s son in Matthew 8)

Then she:

— Comes close
— Bows down (proskuneo meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch, to prostrate oneself in homage, do reverence to, adore, worship!!!)

And Jesus:

Tests her still further —
— It is not good to throw the children’s bread to the dogs

And she says —
— Then give me one of the children’s crumbs that fall from their master’s table!

Jesus —
— Oh, woman, your faith is great (3173 megas, big, exceeding, large, loud, mighty, strong!!) Oh, hallelujah! Loud faith! Big faith! Large faith! Exceeding faith!
— It shall be done for you as you wish.

The account of this miracle in Mark says that she went home and found her daughter set free! It does not say it in the Bible, but I believe she became a follower of Jesus. I believe she threw her gods to the moles and the bats!

Today:

All you need is a crumb!

Your gods have not answered because they cannot.

Throw them to the moles and the bats!

Do you think you are unworthy?

Are you desperate?

Come to Jesus Christ!

Don’t give up until you receive what you have come for.

He will change your heart AND your circumstances!

Come for a crumb — just a crumb is enough, from His table! He is all-powerful, and demons cannot stand even at one of His crumbs!

His children are all around the world!

His bread is everywhere!

His crumbs are available in abundance!

Come!

REWARDS TO THE STEADFAST

[SW146] 07/18/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Rewards to the Steadfast”

There are great rewards if we remain steadfast in Christ. But I must warn you of the dangers you face and exhort you to baptized in the Holy Spirit so you may stand!

NOTE: Please go to the link to the video sermon to get the message; the following is an outline.

The rewards:

Even now —

Fellowship with Father and Son (1John 1:3)

Father and Son indwelling us (John 14:23)

His peace (John 14:27)

His actual love inside of us (John 17:26)

Clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49)

Baptized in the Holy Spirit, receiving power (Acts 1:5, 8)

And yet to come —

2Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

James 1:12    Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has  been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord  has promised to those who love Him.

1Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

2Peter 3:13 But according to His  promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord  Himself  will descend from heaven with a  shout, with the voice of  the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The dangers:

2Peter 2:1   But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even  denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

Matthew 7:22 “ Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many  miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”

1Timothy 1:18   This command I entrust to you, Timothy,  my  son, in accordance with the  prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,  19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

The exhortation:

2Peter 3:11-12, 14, 17-18 [NOTE: v. 17 unprincipled = lawless = sinning, per 1John 3:4].

1Corinthians 15:58    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Colossians 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the  hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed  in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

How can you stand steadfast if you do not know the Word? How can you stand steadfast if you have no intimacy with God? How can you stand steadfast if you are not clothed with power from on high?

The means to prevent us from falling:

2Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in  the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and  excellence. 4  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in  the world by lust.

Romans 12:1   Therefore  I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,  acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the  renewing of your mind, so that you may prove [1381, in this context, to experience the truth of] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Be baptized in the Holy Spirit, filled with God’s love so that your only desire is to obey Him. He will give you the power to obey and the power to be steadfast!

Be steadfast, beloved, regardless of the pressure to conform. You will surely reap the rewards! The Lord led me to end with this:

Revelation 3:11 “‘ I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”

ASK AND RECEIVE

God, in His great mercy, will give us what we ask for!

[SW145] 07/12/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Ask and Receive”

Text: Isaiah 5:20-21, 9:2ff, and others

Isaiah 5:20      Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who  substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
    Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21      Woe to those who are  wise in their own eyes
    And clever in their own sight!

Isaiah speaks to Judah and Jerusalem, by the inspiration of the Lord. By calling evil good and good evil, by calling darkness light and light darkness, they say,  “We prefer evil, we choose darkness.”

The consequence for preferring and choosing evil and darkness, even for God’s own people, is exile — absence from the presence of God. He gave them His sweet presence, but they have substituted that for the bitterness that results from exile.
In His great mercy, the Lord will exile them to Babylon and scatter them across the known world, just as He exiled and scattered northern Israel into Assyria. When they see the consequences of their evil, of their darkness, they will turn to Him and He will again choose them (Isaiah 14:1, Zechariah 1:17).

Their eyes were not single, looking to God only. They looked to other gods of the lands, gods that were no gods at all (Psalm 115), because they called darkness light.

Jesus Christ said that if the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! It swallows you up until what emanates from you is only darkness (Matthew 6:23).
He will give you what you ask for. It is for the purposes of salvation, of redemption of His people gone astray, then and now.

Then and now, it like the days of Noah:

Genesis 6:5   Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that  every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Northern Israel did the same, and received what they asked for, too.

BUT GOD, in His great mercy, and for His name’s sake, sends the Light (capital “L”), the Christ!

Isaiah 9:1   But there will be no more  gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the  land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the  Gentiles.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.  

Northern Israel’s exile began in 734 B.C. The first to go were Zebulun and Naphtali. Samaria held on for a few more years before it was also overrun by Assyria. Judah’s exile would begin in 598 B.C., 136 years later, long after Isaiah was martyred for prophesying God’s words.

But to these who chose darkness and evil, to these God sends light! Oh, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts not like ours. We would have written them off, but He has mercy (Isaiah 55:7)! He will make a great Light come from their midst, and they will see a light they have never seen before!

That light is a “He” and not an “it.” It is Jesus Christ, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government will not be disturbed. He will bring His peace when we submit to Him!

It is the same today. Even in the church, there are those who choose darkness rather than light, evil rather than good, who call darkness light, and light darkness, who reject the light of God’s Word, who run from the light rather than coming into it (see John 3). This is the verdict — light has come, but some have chosen darkness.

Today, once again, it is as in the days of Noah. The consequence for preferring and choosing evil and darkness, even for God’s own people, is that we receive what we ask for — exile, absence from the presence of God. He has given us His sweet presence, but we have substituted that which will become bitterness in us, as we suffer the consequences.

But even to these! Even to these God sends light today! Will we do as Bartimaeus did?

Mark 10:46    Then they  came to Jericho. And  as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  47 When he heard that it was Jesus the  Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “ Son of David, have mercy on me!”  49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they  called the blind man, saying to him, “ Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”  50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “  Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  52 And Jesus said to him, “Go;  your faith has  made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

If we cry out in the darkness and evil we have chosen, if we cry out as we struggle in the mire of its consequences, He will give us the light of salvation!

Have mercy on me, Messiah! I want to regain my sight! I don’t want to be spiritually blind any more! And He will say, “Go, your faith has made you well (saved you).” Hallelujah!

Once we have the light of salvation, there is yet more to come. To His disciples, who were with Him, who believed in Him, who were saved, He said:

Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;  seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 “Now  suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a  fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 “ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Why does Jesus say this to saved ones? Because we still have within us the propensity to evil. But He commands us to be filled; it is God’s will (Ephesians 5:18)!

If we ask our Father, we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who purifies and cleanses and illuminates everything in which He dwells! Darkness must flee:

James 4:7  Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

COMMAND and RESULT:  Ask, seek, knock (11:9-10) — it will be given, you will find, the door will be opened to you.

THEN
Darkness must flee (James 4:7)!

Much of the church is in exile, away from His presence, calling good evil and evil good, calling darkness light and light darkness, calling sweet bitter and bitter sweet. God is not with them, but He calls out, “Come to My light!”

Ask for darkness, and you will receive it. Ask for evil, and you will receive it. But turn and ask for light, and He will give it!

Isaiah 55:6  Seek the LORD while He may be found;
     Call upon Him while He is near.
7       Let the wicked forsake his way
    And the unrighteous man his  thoughts;
    And let him  return to the LORD,
    And He will have  compassion on him,
    And to our God,
    For He will  abundantly pardon.

GO TO THE LOST

When Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep,” it is a command, and we are compelled by the power of His words to do it!

[SW144] 07/05/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Going to the Lost”

Text: Matthew 10:1-8, 14-15, 40-42

We are compelled to go after a single lost sheep until we find it, and then bring it back, rejoicing. We are compelled to light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully for a single lost coin until we find it (see Luke 15). Then we and all heaven rejoice!

Going to the lost. Many in today’s church think He is saying, “Go to those who do not believe in Me,” but Jesus says, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel!”
God’s people? Lost? It is the same now as it was then. Many of God’s people were and are lost sheep.

Today, Jesus not only commands us to go to the lost sheep of Israel who do not see that He is their Messiah, but also to go to the lost sheep of the church.

Notice that the disciples did not question Jesus (What do You mean? We do not see any lost ones!). Nope. They knew there were lost sheep in Israel.

What signs do I see that there are lost sheep within today’s church? Many sheep in the church are:
— distressed     — oppressed     — depressed
— confused        — compromised     — afraid
Or worse:
— lulled to sleep OR
— slaves to sin, when Jesus came to set us free, indeed!

Why are the sheep lost? Do they not have apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)?

Israel had priests and experts in the law of Moses, but Jesus found fault with them. He declared to them that they did many things to misguide His people.

He finds fault with the leaders of today’s church, too, who do many things to misguide His people.

Lamentations 2:14  Your prophets have seen for you
                False and foolish visions;
                And they have not exposed your iniquity
                So as to restore you from captivity,
                But they have seen for you false and misleading  oracles.

We should not be surprised. Jesus spoke of false shepherds, wolves among the flock (Verse 16). There were wolves in sheep’s clothing within the fledgling church (Acts 20:29-31).

But we in today’s church have not been on guard as Paul commanded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Acts 20:29.

And the people are biblically illiterate and therefore cannot discern — few know the Word of God. They are sheep that do not know the Good Shepherd’s voice.

As a result, they follow the voice of strangers, and even love it, as in Jeremiah’s day:

Jeremiah 5:31 The  prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so!

What can be done? We obey the command of Jesus Christ, and go to them!

What does He give us as we go to the lost sheep of the church?

(Not as we sit, but as we go!)

In Matthew 10:1, He gives us authority over evil spirits to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness (also see Luke 10:19).

Why does He give us such authority? So people will know the kingdom of heaven draws near!

He commands us that as we go, we are to preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He commands us to preach repentance (Mark 6:12).

Then the authority comes into play, as the evidence that the kingdom of heaven is near: we heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

These are the accompanying signs (Mark 16:17), the attesting miracles that show the lost sheep that God and Christ are the true reality and not just philosophical ideas to which they give mental assent.

But we cannot preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand unless the kingdom of heaven is in our midst — within us. And when the kingdom of heaven is within us, we will have His authority, and we will heal, raise, cleanse and cast out.

FREELY we have received, and FREELY we give (Verse 8).

What do we FREELY give? FREEdom to the captives (Isaiah 61), to the lost sheep of the church!

We do it not give in our own power or by man’s wisdom, but in God’s power and wisdom and might! The Spirit of the Lord God is upon us!

What will be the result of our going to seek the lost sheep of the church? One of two things will happen, Jesus says:

#1 — We will not be received, and so we must do as He commands in Verse 14. Beloved, this will happen much in today’s backslidden church. It happened to Christ Himself, as He walked the earth! The consequence:
15 “Truly I say to you,  it will be more tolerable for the land of  Sodom and Gomorrah in  the day of judgment than for that city.”

#2 — We will be received, welcomed, accepted, and those who do it will receive a reward:
Matthew 10:40   “ He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 “ He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet [that is, as a prophet sent by the Lord] shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man [that is, a righteous man made righteous by the Lord] shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 “And  whoever in the name of a disciple [as a disciple of Christ] gives to one of these little ones [prophets and righteous men] even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” [my interpretation in brackets]

Beloved, I am praying for today’s church to receive those whom Jesus is sending out even now.

I am praying that the lost sheep of the church will be found and carried back with rejoicing.

I am praying that the lost coin will be found and cause great rejoicing, in heaven and on the earth!

I am praying that many in the church will ask for the kingdom of heaven to be within them — that is, asking for God the Father to fill them with His Holy Spirit.

THEN they will receive authority. THEN they will proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has drawn near and their hearers must repent.

And I am expecting to see the attesting signs.

Amen, Lord. Let it be so!

Rebuilding – Consecrated and Cleansed

[SW143] 06/28/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Rebuilding the Church — Consecrated and Cleansed”

Always when I preach, it is as much a message to be worked in my own heart as it is one that is to be delivered to you. And that is so today!

I tell you, He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until Christ comes (Philippians 1:6)! So let the work begin, Lord, in me, in your church, in all believers!

“God’s work!” we say, as He consecrates us and we are baptized in water as a sign of it.

“God’s work!” we cry, as He cleanses our hearts and fills us with His holiness, bringing us into holy intimacy with Him!

In Nehemiah 12:27-30, the completed wall was dedicated, and the priests purified themselves.

It was God’s work.

It began with Nehemiah’s intercession, seeking the Lord’s heart and petitioning Him on behalf of His distressed people.

We have talked about the steps that follow. Now we are at the conclusion.

The dedication of the wall in today’s passage was an outward act done as a sign of an inward conviction, a recognition on Israel’s part that the wall they had worked on was God’s wall, and it was completed only by His provision.

It is like that when we are baptized under the new covenant (God’s promise fulfilled), the one Jesus instituted. We are God’s workmanship:

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We could not save ourselves. He saved us and bought us with a price (1Corinthians 6:20) — the blood of His Son.

We acknowledge we are God’s, and no longer our own. He wants us to be His. He wants us to be His children. He made us for that purpose. Step into that purpose!

Just as with the dedication of the wall, baptism yields worship — gladness, thanksgiving, and songs of praise!

Then came the purification of the priests, the people, the gates and the wall  (Verse 30). It was outward, it was external — they performed a cleansing ritual established through Moses.

Under the new covenant, God Himself cleanses us inwardly, purifying our hearts so they are wholly His.

When Jesus walked the earth, He chose His disciples, setting them apart to Himself. And He does that with us today. But then He said (and still says today), “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (see Matthew 5:48).

Peter repeated God’s call when he quoted Leviticus 11:44ff in 1 Peter 1:14-16, “As children of obedience, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior, because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

We are consecrated and set apart with water baptism.

But there is a greater work, one that makes us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, victors who are no longer slaves to sin:

Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

If we do not ask for the greater work to be done, we will be as Eliashib, inviting Tobiah (the ways of the world) in, and finding that he displaces everything that feeds worship in us (see Nehemiah 13).

We will be as those who went out and married the world (13:23ff).

We will violate the Sabbath (13:15ff), Christ’s sabbatismos (Hebrews 4:9), the true Sabbath rest of God, where we rest from our own works.

We will distance ourselves from our God by continuing to willfully disobey him (Isaiah 59:2).

But if both consecration AND cleansing are done, then we will hear the Holy Spirit say, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 13:2). These are the keys to effective service.

He will continue to mold and shape us as we go, but our hearts will be ever willing and not resistant.

The church as a whole and we individually must let Him to a complete work in us, consecrating ourselves to Him 100% and asking Him to purify our hearts.

Then the rebuilding of the church (and you and me) will be complete.

Our cry must be as David’s in Psalm 51:10-13.

Then we will hear and walking the way He continues to show us (Isaiah 30:21), obedient from our hearts.