Arise and Shine
Last newsletter I wrote about some of the ramifications of Isaiah 59 where it speaks of truth having fallen in the streets and justice being driven back with righteousness standing at a distance. Today I feel compelled to highlight the first few verses of the next chapter, chapter 60:1-3
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Now more than ever we need to be and act as those who are living in and from the light of God in the midst of such darkness. We need to wake up and to throw off our security blankets of comfort and apathy. God gave man the responsibility of governing this earth. We have been made in his image and were given the mandate to rule as he would rule, beginning with our own life and then expanding outward. If those who have been given the rightful authority to rule in this life become complacent then illegitimate authority will take control. The church has been given the authority to rule and reign in this age and she was given the keys to bind and loose. It is the only societal structure where it was said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. However, if she abdicates her authority, a counterfeit society takes over parallel to the dynamic of Jezebel and Ahab. This is what has happened today. But that is about to change. The hour has come for us to wake up from our slumber. The night is almost over, and we are to put on our armor of light (Romans 13:8-14). Not only are we to use our spiritual weapons of warfare (thanksgiving, worship, prayer), but we are to love God and each other more and more. Love is the fulfillment of the law as love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, "the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9). All "love" is not equal. Love must be rooted in the law of God in order to prevail. Love wins ... if it emanates from God's love. Because of love we are called upon to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:10).
No matter what the political climate we can always demonstrate God’s love through our actions and our speech. We are admonished in Ephesians 5:19-20 to speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, always giving thanks to God the Father. We are to be filled with the Spirit and be knowledgeable of what the Lord’s will is as the days are evil. Each day there are so many opportunities to give encouraging words, give a helping hand, perform acts of charity, or uplift the poor. Repeatedly we are admonished in the Word not to forget the poor!
Let us live as children of light and the nations will come to our light. Maybe next month I will write about Isaiah 61 as this chapter describes our purpose and calling!
Please keep us in prayer
Dan and I feel compelled to travel, despite the growing cases of COVID. Starting November 12 we will be on the road (or sky) for a month. Please look at our itinerary plans below. God’s love for his people motivates us to go forward. Please pray that we would have the appropriate word of encouragement for each congregation and their leadership team. Shepherding a flock at this time is not easy. There are packs of wolves lurking around creating fear, confusion and division. The enemy knows that if he can cause division we will be more vulnerable to his purposes of deception, distraction and destruction. Please pray that no weapon formed against us will prosper and that we would be led by the Spirit and not fear. We so appreciate your love and prayers. We feel upheld by them ... really.
Please continue to pray for Ben and Lorena and their family as they begin to shepherd Tikkun America in the midst of this present crisis. Pray against discouragement as so many plans are being thwarted because of the COVID, not just in their ministry, but in those to whom they minister. We all need to be encouraged and strengthened.