A. Brother

            “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight.  
What is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.  
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body 
but cannot kill the soul.”  
Matt 10: 27,28

          “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue…
He…wakens my ear as one being taught.  
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, 
and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.  
I offered my back to those who beat me, 
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; 
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.  
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me I will not be disgraced.  
Therefore I have set my face like flint, 
and I know that I will not be put to shame.”  
Isa 50: 4-7

            There is no ecclesiastical, institutional call for those who speak the Truth of God from His Word.  The call that comes to them comes in the darkness, not in the glaring lights of worldly publicity.
            God’s spokesmen and watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem are not picked for their advanced degrees, and their detailed knowledge of the intricacies of biblical scholarship.  In fact, there is no earthly reason for their being chosen for such a difficult, lonely, arduous task.  Only God knows the reason for His choices.  And His Chosen are given their call by Jesus Himself, not by men or man-made organizations.
            We are confronted daily with the blatant apostasy of the people of God.  As Jesus was maligned and hated by the religiously motivated men around Him, so we will be maligned and hated by those who stand for religion today.
            As in Jesus’ time, the teachers of Israel will often not understand God’s true purposes as shown in His Word, and will often stand in opposition to them. 
            That is all the more reason we cannot fight this fight with the weapons in our hands.  We cannot stand if we don’t put on the full armor of God, because we are set among the tares, and they will be constantly working to choke out the Word of God and make it ineffectual.
            But God is the God of the impossible, and He will do it for us.
            Right now, brother or sister, you may love the Word of God because you are called to be a watchman on the walls, a prophet among the people of God.  God’s Word may be your life’s blood, and your constant companion day and night.  You may pray without stopping, keeping your ears open to the Spirit, trying hard to understand everything Jesus gives you.  You may hear His voice speaking in the wee hours, in the morning hours, even when you go about your work or spend time with others.    
            You have waves churning in your heart and mind at the wrong around you, especially the wrong in the churches.  You look at the Truth given us in Scripture, and you wonder where it went.  You look at the behavior of so-called believers in Christ, who gather together and worship Him in comfort, yet who don’t carry out even the most basic of Christ’s commands, and you are in pain at this state of affairs. 
            Your soul, like Lot’s, is vexed at the sin around you.  And you are not primarily upset at the world, which careens toward self-destruction because the lost don’t know any better.  You are primarily angry and frustrated at the gap between how you see the Church shown us in Scripture and the life of the churches today. 
            You pray daily for God to raise up men and women who will speak these things boldly.

            What I am going to say is from the Spirit, and from the Son’s heart, and is the Father’s will for this time, though it is hard for me to say because it puts me on the line as well as each man who listens and hears and is willing to obey.

            We are those who must obey Jesus and speak in the light, shout from the rooftops what He tells us in the dark and whispers to us in our ears.  We are those who must obey His call to tell others what He is saying.  He is demanding of us what Jesus talked about in the Parable of the Minas.  That each of us has just one mina, one life, and that must be given wholly to advancing the Kingdom of God, regardless of our personal business, regardless of any worldly agendas we may want to pursue.
            Some of us, the spokesmen and watchmen He has called, are busy with our nets, trying to catch fish.  Some of us are collecting taxes or busy with our corporate jobs.  Some of us are raising families, and have our own businesses.  Some of us are in “fulltime Christian work”, and are busy doing things for the churches, or other organizations.  Some of us are laboring as carpenters, as Jesus did.
            But each of us is required to build the Kingdom of God first, and to put aside our own agendas and plans.  Jobs and earthly pursuits come last.  Your search, men and women, for career fulfillment comes last.
            Many of us are like the man who told Jesus he couldn’t come with Him because he had personal obligations that prevented it.  Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their own dead.”  --Matt 8:22 
          Do we think that Jesus can’t take care of us and ours if we follow Him?
          Today, even if you’ve spent time away from the Lord, and have sinned greatly, you are called to obey.  As Paul, the murderous, violent man whom God used so mightily, we who have sinned and been away are now called to tell the truth where we have promoted lies.

            Today, if you know this call of God in your heart, you are to obey, just as God is taking all other crutches and excuses away from me, and telling me to obey.
            What do we do?
            Speak out today to others around us about what God is saying.  We are to obey Jesus, and be His true disciples, and that means we stand with Him, not with religious men.
            We must forsake our nets, and follow Jesus.
            We are to be willing to suffer with Jesus outside the gates of the city, setting our faces like flint as He did, and be willing to endure the mocking hatred of the religious crowd if we are to fulfill His calling. 
            Remember Jeremiah in the cistern, up to his neck in mud, starving, and yet unyielding in His commitment to God’s Word.
            When the disciples saw Jesus cleansing the temple in Jerusalem of the money changers and the merchants who had taken over Israel’s central place of worship, they were reminded of Psalm 69, the prophetic Word that David spoke about the coming Messiah. 
            May it also be true of us as we awake each day and listen to Jesus speak to us, and as we are faithful to follow in His footsteps.

            “I am a stranger to my brothers,
          an alien to my own mother’s sons;
          for zeal for your house consumes me,
          and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”  
          Ps 69: 8,9

          As our Lord Jesus promised to His disciples, we won’t lose anything in this life that won’t be given back to us a hundredfold, both now and in eternity.
            We will be given brothers and mothers and sisters and fathers and children and the warmth of family now, in the form of the Body of Christ.  We will have greater riches than any we could have from the world. 
            That’s why our Savior says to us:
            “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters 
or father or mother or children or fields for my sake 
will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”  
Matt 19: 29

          So, if you are in the muddy depths, look up for God’s deliverance, brother.  If you are on the lofty heights of success, look down and rescue your brother who is alone in his struggles.  Get together and be the Body of Christ, proclaim what God reveals in His Word from the rooftops.  Do not hold back.  Let’s present the Lord Jesus with ten minas for every one He’s given us when we stand before Him.



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