Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Then Shall We Live?

What if the Rapture of the Church does not occur when we hoped that it would? Should we hang our heads in shame because we were almost positive that it would happen at a certain time, but it did not? Are we disqualified as watchmen and should we quit looking for answers or for signs of the times?

Maybe some better questions to ask are these:

  • Did the thought of the Rapture being imminent change how you lived your life?

  • Did you grow closer to the Lord in prayer and in reading His Word?

  • Did you reach out to others with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ?

  • Did you search your own heart for areas that are not pleasing to Him?

  • Did you look closely at how you spend the days that God has given you?

  • Did you seek to actually follow Jesus Christ as His disciple rather than just calling yourself a Christian and going your own way?

  • Were you looking for an escape from your life or were you longing to see Jesus?

In Revelation 2:2-5 , Jesus tells the Church at Ephesus,

"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."

Serious words.

Several weeks ago, the Lord showed me how much these verses applied to my life. In the midst of doing good works in His name, testing men's teachings to see if they lined up with Scripture and warning people if they did not and teaching others about the Bible, I had moved away from the Lord and was not even aware of the fact. I was so consumed with my mission and getting things done for Him that I forgot about Him. He said to Peter, "Do you love me? Feed my sheep." My priorities were backwards. I need to love Him first and let everything else flow from that rather than trying to prove by my works that I love Him. My relationship with Him must be personal rather than professional, family rather than business (or busyness!).

Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

There is no commandment greater than these.

I had to ask myself, "Am I being obedient to these commandments? Am I loving Him with everything that is in me? Am I totally His?" I want to return to my first love. I want to do the things that I did at first. When I first met Jesus, I was so in love with Him that I had to tell everyone around me; I could not stay quiet about what He had done for me. So, I need to draw closer to Him, to truly love Him so that my relationship with Him is real and vibrant and alive.

Next, I had to ask, "Am I loving my neighbor? Or am I just being polite? Does my neighbor's life mean as much to me as my own does? Or do I prefer not to be bothered with someone else's problems or the fact that they may be living their life without knowing Jesus?" The closer I get to Jesus, the more I can hear His heart's cry for those who are living without knowing Him. Because I love Him, what is important to Him is important to me. Therefore, I choose to love them and invite them to know Him and His love even if it is not convenient or comfortable for me.

I want to live the rest of my life with my First Love as my top priority. I want to return to the simplicity of loving Him and sharing His love with others. He is my All, my Everything, my Life. And He is coming soon.

1 comment:

Tony Cathey said...

I liked this post. Very inspiring. God Bless