Saturday, June 5, 2010

MY HOUSE LIES IN RUINS

A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing 

            “Then the Word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:  ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
                                                                              --Haggai 1:3,4

          “…and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai…and the people feared the Lord.”
                                                                            --Haggai 1:12

          “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord.  Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.  Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way.’  --Jer. 26:2,3

          “The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord.  But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, they priests, the prophets, and all the people seized him and said, ‘You must die!’  --Jer. 26:7,8

            The situation in the affluent societies of America, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and Europe today is as in the time of Haggai.
            God’s House, His people, are held captive by their idolatry to the gods of pleasure and profit.  They are living contentedly in their big, fine, paneled houses, seeking their own desires, their own agendas, and ignoring the clear commands of Scripture regarding His House.  They are seeking their own good first, and God’s Kingdom last, after all other things have been taken care of.

            God is angry, and is giving us a choice.
            Will we obey His Word to us?
            Or will we kill those He sends, and ignore Him?
            Historically, God gives us examples of both—Haggai, whom the people listened to, and ended up repenting, changing their priorities, and following God’s Word; and Jeremiah, whom the people angrily defied, and ended up broken, destroyed, and in exile by the hand of their own Lord, who disciplined the remnant severely so that some might be saved.

            While Jesus speaks to His called out people in vain through His life, through the written Word of God, through the voices of a few prophets here and there, they ignore Him and pursue the world and its conveniences.
            True discipleship to Jesus is forgotten.  An easy, casual Christianity has taken over in the past three or four generations in America, and God’s tough, narrow road is overgrown with weeds and left empty of travelers.  We opt for the life of 10% discipleship, instead of the 100%.  By our tithe, we represent to God what we’re really willing to give.  By ignoring the New Testament standard of giving all, we flaunt our disobedience in the face of God. 
            The poor, the lame, the blind, the oppressed, the orphan, the widow, the lonely, the struggling—all are outcasts, not invited to our weekly worship feasts where we shallowly lift our hands and try to get our religious fixes while the shepherds feed us milk from a bottle.
            The cult of individualism has gripped our comfortable sanctuaries. 
            No longer is Christ’s ekklesia, His “called out to be together” people, made up of those who’ve given all to follow Jesus. 
            No longer do we think of God’s family as our one true family.  No longer are God’s chosen our refuge, nor do we love and help one another daily, banding and bonding together in unity and love as if our lives depended on it.
            No longer do we think of ourselves as one in Christ, hourly, daily laying down our lives for one another as Jesus instructed His followers to do.  No longer are we part of a living, breathing, loving, dynamic Body for Christ on earth, His passions and compassion consuming us to the exclusion of all other loves. 
            We instead have opted for a gospel that is no gospel, which emphasizes the individual’s relationship to God, and ignores the Kingdom Citizenship we share together. 
            We are to be one in heart and mind, as were the earliest disciples, and share everything, including our very lives, with one another.  Yet we persist in our sin of ignoring these commands from God’s Word, and instead, pursue our individual destinies apart from one another.

            LISTEN AND HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD:
            Obey me or perish along with the world.  Seek my face, call upon Me, and I will hear you and answer you.  Come out from the great crowd, who follow Me only to leave Me at the cross.  Come out and join together with others who will hear My voice and obey My Word.  Come out and be together, to live My life in this present evil hour.       Be My hands and feet, My heart, and give My love to one another and even to your enemies.  I am with you to save you and deliver you.  Know Me, from the least to the greatest, and live generously and kindly with one another, meeting one another’s needs, bearing one another’s burdens, and so fulfill My Word. 
          You are to stop pursuing your own agendas.  Put down your frantic life, your busy ways, and turn to Me in repentance.  Pray and listen.  Look to My Word yourselves, and ignore the shepherds I have not sent, who speak words of their own that are not My Words.  I call you back to Me today.
          Do not ignore Me, or I will discipline you with My love, to save you from being lost along with those who hate Me.  If you truly follow Me, the world will hate you as it hated Me, and you will suffer many things for My sake.  All for My Kingdom, all for My Love, all for Me.  I will be with you always, and will never leave you.  You will find your life if you lose it willingly for My sake.
          My wrath is coming to rest upon all the deceivers.  All those who follow Me from afar, their hearts consumed with themselves and their own lives.  All those who teach from pulpit and podium their own brand of religion, not My Word.  They may speak peace, but I came to bring a sword, and they don’t speak for Me.
          I am calling YOU today.  Are you listening and will you obey?

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