"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)
In these materialistic days, it's so important that believers wash their robes and be ready for their Lord's coming. With all the stress at work and busyness at home, believers tend to forget that their Lord is coming back soon to take his faithful ones home.
Holiness matters to the Lord Jesus Christ more than anything else, so we must make it a point to check our lives continually and keep ourselves clean for the Lord's coming.
Regarding this matter, the Apostle Paul writes,
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24)
God will sanctify them who have accepted his call.....and how?
Paul writes......he will sanctify them through and through....
And if we have difficulty in washing our robes ourselves, the Apostle says, "...he will do it"
God wants us to be blameless and holy at the Lord's coming and so he will sanctify us for that.
With all the liberal theological views going around, exhortations like the one that we read below seem to have few takers....
...........continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)
But it is very important for us to discern the times that we are living in.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth........ (John 16:13)
The Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit will guide us continually, if we seek his help.
Even in the Old Testament times, holiness was so very important to God.
His command to the Israelite's was, "Be holy for I am holy."
The Apostle Paul, exhorting the Church at Corinth wrote,
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
So let's make it a point to check our lives continually and do the Lord's bidding in this matter. The Holy Spirit of God will help us.
The bottom lines being.....
...........without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) &
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' (Luke 10:35)
How far can the hands of mercy be stretched? Actually, it depends on how far one is willing to stretch it. Jesus spoke about a Samaritan who was willing to stretch it all the way, perhaps till it hurt. He had found a wounded man, almost dying. He could have passed by and not bothered to do anything, like a priest and a levite who passed by earlier did. No, but he was different. Actually he had no status in society in that period of time and no one would have complained if he ignored the half dead man, but he chose to be different. He bandaged the man's wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him
His merciful act could have ended there, but no; he was willing to go further. That's clearly seen in the words that we read in the title verse above.
Jesus once said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." (Matthew 5:7)
The question that we can ask ourselves is this...How far can we stretch our hands of mercy?
Sometimes, we hold ourselves back thinking of what others would think and sometimes, we limit ourselves in being merciful. Sometimes we put on our judgmental glasses when we see others suffering. Sometimes we look to see whether the suffering one is one of us, so that we may show mercy.
But here is what our Lord says,
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
We are not perfect, but the Lord Jesus urges us all believers this day to be like our Father in heaven. He says,
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(Matthew 5:48)
Perfection may take a lifetime, but we can start today and learn from our Savior Jesus Christ, who stretched forth his hands of mercy towards us that we would not perish in our sins but have eternal life by believing in his finished work on the cross.
Jesus Christ has shown us the path of being merciful; let us all follow in his footsteps.
The man of God replied, "The Lord can give you much more than that." (2 Chronicles 25:9)
Amaziah, king of Judah, hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel, for a hundred talents of silver. This was to increase the size of his army. But a man of God came to him and said, "O king, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow."
Amaziah was worried about the loss of money that he would be bearing, if he excluded these hired Israelite's from his army. He asked the man of God, "But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?" That's when the man of God gave the reply that we read in the title verse here.......The Lord can give you much more than that......
Amaziah obeyed the counsel of the Lord though he suffered a loss, but the Lord gave him victory when he went to war against the Edomites.
The Lord will give us victory when we are obedient to him. He is a good God and he honors faith and obedience.
But obedience to God has to be a continuous process and not a one time happening.
Look at Amaziah. God gave him a great victory in the war against the Edomites, but when he returned from war, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them. God was angry with him and he sent a prophet who asked him, "Why do you consult this people's gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?"
Amaziah was angry and he dealt badly with the prophet. His downfall started as a result of this. In his arrogance, he challenged the king of Israel to war and he lost and was captured and his treasures plundered.
His downfall came as a result of his disobedience.
We, as believer's have words of exhortation in this regard from the Apostles...
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do..(1 Peter 1:14, 15)
The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. (Leviticus 25:1-5)
No sowing or pruning or reaping or harvesting for a whole year. That would have sounded preposterous to the Israelite's and many of them would have started calculating losses or imagining their families going hungry. The Lord knew the thoughts that would run through their minds; so he gave them the solution before they encountered the so called problem. God spoke to them and said,
You may ask, "What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?" I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in. (Leviticus 25:20-22)
Amazing, just amazing! They were going to have a yield in the sixth year that would last for 3 years i.e. till the harvest of the ninth year came in.
So what's that problem that you are worried about today? Some job opportunity that slipped through your hands? Some financial gain that you thought you would pocket but it didn't materialize. Relax; God has the solution in place. Not to worry, child of God. Carry on serving the Lord faithfully and you will see God provide all things needed at the right time. He is El Shaddai, God Almighty. He will do great miracles for you and satisfy your righteous desires.
The God who promised great blessings in the 6th year to the Israelite's still bestows wonderful blessings on his children. Trust in him.
......God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)