Over the weekend, the Lord directed me that He desires I speak of His love for us and all that He has done. With the time being short, due to the lateness of the hour I can understand why this is so important especially as we come up on the resurrection of Jesus. While I had been thinking on verses to add, the Lord stepped in again (as is not uncommon at all) to put that on hold and write on the Wedding Feast first. Along with what the Lord has impressed on me to write previously (mercy being a big one) one can see that it all ties together.
When you take a step back and reflect on it, it truly does all fit.
The last few days I have been spending time in the book of Matthew, namely, chapters 22-26. The Lord told me to focus specifically on Chapter 22 but if you spend time in the others after it you can see how it ties in to where things are and where they are going. Lately I am seeing many who are still spending too much time in worldly pursuits or making statements on news items that are contrary to the Word of God -the comments are distasteful and unhelpful in what is coming and I believe that what I am getting here is a warning or a ‘watch out!’ so as to not fall into the snares or the devil’s trap -and there are many of them right now hitting at once as many of you know. Yesterday I was reading these in repetition and reflecting, then last night when I was laying down to go to bed I listened to these chapters and then again, this morning. I woke up very early and spent time in review. I paced back and forth with my earbuds in thinking on these verses.
Afterwards, I was in worship and listening to praise music for a while. When I spend time doing this, I always feel His presence and I begin to ask Him what He is leading me to write on next or direction for it. His love always surrounds me and after reading Matthew 22, it makes me tear because I know there are so many who are seeking or struggling to find answers and still many that are unsaved or backslidden.
The Lord began to put it on my heart that He desired to speak to me about this so I went into prayer to seek Him and He began to speak to me about the verses He gave to Me to study as well as how I was feeling about it;
“I desire My people be dressed in the proper garments for My Wedding Feast. Many of My children have chosen not to hear, not to see. They do not make time for Me. They could know My way for them, but they choose not. They are too blinded by worldly pleasures to understand I am all they need. Many of My people would have so much of what I desire if they would only seek My instruction, do My will and spend time in my presence. My son, because you have made the time for Me, you know My Word. I am established in your heart for every time you study it is written. You have endured so much that you already have in your heart what I desire for you and how you live, for it is Me working within you and providing your direction. It is through your faith in Me you are living My Word and My ways. I would desire all of my children would do this. Many of My children are looking for answers but are not willing to submit to my refining. My son, though you show much mercy, you cannot do this for them. They can have as much of Me as is desired but they must choose. Many would have My blessing if they chose to believe My Word for what it says. Those who truly desire my presence will continue to seek Me and they shall find for I will reveal Myself. I desire they be dressed in the proper attire but they have not made enough time by cutting out the distractions and making time to understand. You must tell them My son, for you have been there and can explain it in such a way that can be understood -those who do not have on the proper attire for the Wedding Feast shall not enter.”
The Lord spoke to me the other morning about those who are spiritually blind as to the lateness of the hour and all the signs around us. What the Lord is meaning by this is those who do not know Him or those who claim to know Him but are not living in His ways. They are not taking what is written in His Word seriously as the time has become very late even though it’s all there for everyone to see. I have written extensively on the many sins that we see before us and the demonic agendas that are unfolding before our very eyes. I have written on the need for repentance and the need to call on Him or to answer the call when He is calling on you if you feel the conviction and the importance of not hardening your heart when ‘the day is today.’ Standing against the wickedness is one thing but having a true relationship with the Lord is another; One that should not be taken for granted especially in the times of persecution we are entering and not knowing when He will call us Home or return for His bride.
I have written about idols and discussed the topic of distractions many times and what must be done to avoid them. Let me just say that I do not tout as Mr. Perfect over here. I have my days where there are distractions as well, but I do my best to make up for it if I get off center by committing my time. That is called personal responsibility. In reality, I really try to save the frivolous things for the days He tells me to rest. Even then however, I find myself speaking to Him throughout the day and thinking on my next project where this blog and other endeavors are concerned. I am and have always been an inquisitive person so I am constantly fascinated with learning new things and reflecting on where I can improve especially in areas where it can be used for good.
I digress; Whatever you struggle with, that is between You and the Lord and not for me to decide nor tell you what to do, but you have to make a choice to spend time in His Word so as to write it on your heart in that His presence manifests. This is what I was writing about when I talked about living by the Spirit and letting Him guide you in all ways as your steps will be established.
Jesus said man does not live by bread alone. He stated many times in the parables he taught that He was not talking about bread that you consume. The same, learning the Word is not like going through a drive through at McDonalds where the parent gets the child a happy meal, only for them to consume a ¼ of it because they are more interested in playing with the cheap plastic toy that comes along with it. In this case, you would liken the food to the Word itself and consuming it so that it nourishes you, and the toy being the distraction. You are being led to the bread of life by God (the Father) and you are choosing what is more important. Do you choose to eat or to play?
I should emphasize I do not recommend McDonalds as nourishment where food is concerned, I only use it to compare the toy in the happy meal to a distraction from the food itself. =)
But back to the point; The apostle Peter made light of this in 1 Peter 2:2.
In the same way, there are devotionals you can and should read as they are helpful, but these are inspirations for encouragement (and much of that is inspiring your walk and time in the Word) -they are not meant to take the place of time in the Word itself. To put it bluntly, you cannot sum up the Word like a reader’s digest and walk away with only a quarter of the knowledge. We need as much of the Word as we can get before there is a famine for it. We need to be craving that pure spiritual milk as much as possible.
Even for as much as I attempt to write on these points in great detail as I am led to teach you, I simply cannot cover it all in one sitting. You have to have self-discipline and invest the time and patience into it. When you get stuck you have to cross-reference verses, look at different translations and do study. There are several resources available on the internet for free -many I have linked to on my resources page. If you have time to spend playing video games or playing on snap-chat, or spending the time here or there watching videos on YouTube then you have the time; It’s just a question how you best utilize that time. It’s up to you to make the commitment of how little or how much of a relationship you have. Nobody can be a crutch when it boils down to your own responsibility. If you are reading this then ignorance is no excuse as I have now witnessed this to you.
The time (the marriage supper) for “I was too busy” comes when least expected and you are being invited to feast on the bread of life now and to put on the proper attire -not go shopping for the oil and clothing after the door is shut to the reception hall. This is what is meant by keeping ‘oil in your lamp’ in Matthew 25. You are your own person and the Lord desires each of us to choose and use our time wisely to know Him and understand His ways for us and live it. Choose this day who you will serve. You cannot stay on the perpetual fence forever as the fence will not withstand what comes. You have to be hot or cold. Choose.
Now I realize some of my words here may come across strong but that’s the reality and it ought to be motivation to eliminate the distractions. You have to realize that if you admit you have problems with distractions then you already know the answer to your question -eliminate them or set a time each and every day -and not just a quick two minute “Our Father” prayer. As Christians, yes, we should encourage and help each other where we can but it begins in each of us. So, my encouragement to you is if you struggle in this area, start taking a count of how much time you spend doing and not continually asking those around you. You have to follow through on your own convictions.
I think back to an old friend of mine I had back in the day when I lived in Florida. He used to get very annoyed at all talk and no action and would say to me ‘advice is something people ask for when they already know the answer but wish they didn’t.’ I can’t say I agree whole-heartedly with that statement because there are exceptions in tough situations where we need to bounce ideas off each other but to a great extent it made sense in some situations and in regards to what I am saying about distractions it makes perfect sense. -If you know what you need to do, then the answer is quite simple; Put the thought into action and do it. In time spent in the Word, I don’t think, but KNOW the Lord is desiring you to do it and without haste. He needs to be first in all things for it is He who provides it all -and I will be talking more about that when I write about His love for us and what it has meant to me. Only when we begin to reflect on His mercy and love for us do we begin to understand why we should conduct ourselves in the same manner.
As I mentioned earlier, by spending time in the Word we are learning how God desires us to live -how we are to conduct ourselves. We are to put on the clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy as God’s chosen people as we are directed in Colossians 3:12. Conducting ourselves in this way and truly living by the Word as it directs is how we dress accordingly for the Wedding Feast. It assures our place at the table and only when we have the Word written on our hearts and live by the Spirit of Christ are we truly fulfilling it and putting on the proper armor and attire to live Holy lives. Only then are we (the bride) putting on the proper attire for the wedding celebration -the uniting of the Bride-Groom.
Please take into consideration the Word the Lord gave me and what I am saying here. Please further commit yourselves to time in His presence if you haven’t already done so. He has a will for each of us to fulfill in these last days but it does not come in saying and not doing. He desires us to bear good fruit -that our roots may grown deep down into Him and a firm foundation be established on His teachings. Matthew 22 illustrates the parable of the King (Jesus) who threw out the man not wearing the proper attire. Please heed this warning.
My friends, thank you for reading. I pray that this writing has richly blessed you in wisdom.
May our Lord Jesus Bless you as you continue to understand what the refining is all about.
Verses as they pertain to the above;
1 Peter 2: 1-3 (NLT)
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Timothy 3: 1-5 (NKJV)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Amos 8:11-12 (NKJV)
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.
Colossians 3: 10-15 (NLT)
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Joshua 24:14-15 (NLT)
14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Matthew 7: 16-19 (NLT)
16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 22: 1-14 (NLT)
Jesus also told them other parables. He said, 2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!
4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.
7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 24: 10, 12-14 (NLT)
10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.
12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Matthew 25: 1-13 (NLT)
Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.
Matthew 26: 40-41 (NLT)
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Hosea 5:4 (NLT)
4 Your deeds won’t let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through, and you do not know the Lord.
Ephesians 6: 13-18
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 23:6 (NLT)
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Revelation 3: 15-16 (NLT)
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
Romans 13: 11-12 (NLT)
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.