Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Waiting for Jesus 11.12.2017

As Christians we do not have an identity crisis, for we know who we are in Him. We have been reminding ourselves of this through our acrostic system of verses put together in alphabetical order for memorization, in order that our knowledge of Scripture would be internalized. We are still on the letter h. We say, I am an heir to the blessings of Abraham, which is taken from Galatians 3:14-That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

We know that our inheritance eventually will be granted unto us, for we have received the down payment of this inheritance through the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is a reality that only time separates us from. But when will that be? How much longer will it be before the majestic and glorious return of our Lord and Saviour returns?

A second question which we need to consider is this: How do we wait for His return? Do we hunker down in the protection of our churches and homes while we wait for Him and watch the war wage on in our culture?
After all, the victory is won and why should we not just wait for our Lord to return? Or do we have responsibilities as members and participants in the kingdom of God that we are a part of in the here and now?

In the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew, some questions were asked by the disciples of Jesus which relate directly to our question of how are we to await His coming.

KJV Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The first thing that Jesus told them in response to their question was, Take heed the no man deceive you. He essentially tells them to watch, for ye do not know what hour your Lord will come. (24:42-44)

He then uses four parables to teach them/us as to how to await His return, which the Father alone knows of the hour. In chapter 24:45-51 he speaks of a faithful servant who is being faithful and wise while he waits, and also of the evil servant who in his heart says, My Lord delays his coming.

In chapter 25 Jesus contrasts the wise and the foolish virgins, and of how the wise ones were prepared for His return but the foolish were not. Again, Jesus says: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.

Jesus then in 25:14-30 uses another parable to teach that various gifts are given our by Him, with different measures being given. Two servants were commended for using that which they had been given for the furtherance of the Lord‚€™s business while one was severely rebuked and his one gift was taken away from him. The two faithful servants were given more responsibility and were told to enter into the joy of the Lord. The wicked servant did not realize that he had a responsibility to use his talent for the benefit of the Lord‚€™s kingdom and simply buried in order to keep from losing it.

That last parable that our Lord teaches the characteristics of those who stood before the throne of His glory:

The righteous were surprised when the Lord told them of how they had ministered unto Him.

The righteous did not put any merit in that which they had done, for they had no awareness of their good deeds.

The surprise and amazement of the righteous indicates that they were so united with Christ and indwelt by Him that His passions were their passions, His hungers were their hungers, His goals were their goals, His desires were theirs and so on.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me
The Apostle Paul knew what Jesus spoke about in verse 40, for the first
question Jesus asked Paul when He met him on the road to Damascus was.

Acts 9:3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

So, how are we to wait for the Lord and His return?

Be a faithful and wise servant right up to the end.

Be ready for His coming at all times.

Continue to use and to increase our abilities for the furtherance of His kingdom

Continue humbly to serve Him, with lives so transformed by the Gospel that they are characterized by loving and truthful service to others both in Christendom as well as outside of it.

Closing Prayer (This is not my prayer, but one I wrote down and which was originally prayed by a Don Carson. It has had a great impact on me towards awakening within me a longing for those things that are prayed for in this prayer. May it do the same for you)

Lord God, you are the majestic One before whom even the angels hide their faces, The courts of heaven resound again and again with Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. May it be that our voices would join the heavenly throng in praise and adoration.

We take great comfort to know, Heavenly Father, that your dear Son, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, has come from the middle of the throne, from your very presence, to take the scroll from your right hand, and to bring about all your decrees of salvation and judgment for the world.

He has prevailed to open the scroll. We thank you therefore that a new song is sung even now, to the Lamb and to You who sits on the throne, a new song, that even the angels in heaven cannot really sing.

We bless you, therefore, that not only are you the God of creation, but the God of redemption.

We are twice yours, because you made us and because in the person of your dear Son, you have redeemed us. And now with the church through the ages, we cry, even so, come Lord Jesus. You live in unapproachable holiness, but we are still entangled in all kinds of corruption and decay.

And we hunger for the time when the new heaven and the new earth will appear, the home of righteousness.

We too begin to cry, O Lord, how long? We hunger for the day when there will be no more wickedness, no more corruption, in our mind and in our heart when our prayers will always be fervent, when we never again will entertain lingering doubts, or carnality or lust.

We hunger for the time when there will be not only justice and equity, but when all will acknowledge that there is justice and equity, for the time will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the praise of your Name.

We hunger for the vindication of your Son and for the help of your people. We hunger, Lord God, for the abolition of death, the death of death, the last enemy finally and utterly destroyed.

O Lord God, sometimes we do grow impatient and so we ask you Lord God that with our cry for your dear Son‚€™s return, we may know pulsating through us something of your longsuffering and of your patience towards human beings who don‚€™t know you.

Grant us the same forbearance, the same long suffering, the same compassion that you have for all.

Teach us, O Lord God, how to wait for your dear Son, with anticipation and expectation, with perseverance and continued service for you in your kingdom. Lord, teach us how to wait.

Benediction

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace and Peace to you now and always, Amen.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 12 Nov 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
IDOP and All Saints Sunday 11.5.2017
Dear friend,

KJV Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

1 Corinthians 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation/life be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Big Idea: Bring more awareness that we as Christians are part of the body of Christ and when one member hurts the entire body hurts. Could one hit one finger with a hammer and the rest of the body not react?

Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of the VOM missionary organization, spent 14 years in a prison in Communist occupied Romania and afterward reflected on that experience with three statements.

It was in prison that I learned that the Gospel was for the Communists.
It was in prison that I learned that I was to bring them the Gospel.
It was through being beaten and tortured by them that I learned to love them.

Those three statements have been burned in my mind and heart ever since I read his most famous book, Tortured for Christ. It is clear that he knew and lived in true blessedness, for he loved not his own life but had laid it down for his captors. For he knew that he had already received his inheritance of heaven and if his physical life was taken, he would see God forever in heaven. He knew what it meant when Jesus said blessed are you when men revile you, persecute you, speak all manner of evil against you, for my sake.

This blessedness is a state of being, not something we work for in order to attain it. It is our state of assurance that God is faithful to His promises to deliver us through all our trials here on this earth, and that through these trials His purposes are being worked out through our lives. Richard Wurmbrandt, whom we have referred to, understood and experienced that joy of blessedness through suffering with Christ and Margaret Clarkson, whom we will refer to later, as well came to understood and came to experience this blessedness also.

When I was still at home as a young boy sitting at the dinner table and was being very picky about what I would eat, my mom would remind me that there are starving children in India who would love eat off of my plate. I remember not being able to understand her and would silently cry out, But I am not in India, I am in the United States. In other words, her reasoning made no sense to me at all. I could not relate...

When North Korean Christians were asked as to how they could be prayed for, they responded in this way: Pray for us? We pray for you! The were asked why so. Because Christians in the West still have some health and freedom and power. Most have not yet experienced what it is like when all you have in life is God.

On this day in which is also All Saints Day and the day that the Church is called to remember those who are being persecuted, (IDOP) may God by His grace open our understanding so that we may be able to grasp what it means live in a state of blessedness. For Jesus, the King of Heaven has come to bless. Truly the blessing that He came to give is not according to our human way of thinking. It was opposite of that, and which has commonly been referred to as the Great Reversal, or today it is referred to as Counter Cultural.

This blessedness is a state of being, not something we work for in order to attain it.

Perhaps an illustration would help us to see what is being said here.

If you knew you were going to inherit a fortune, you know that would be happy for eventually you would be the owner of great riches. You and everyone around you would know that you will one day have the inheritance. Therefore you are happy in this knowledge in the present and certainly will be in the future when the inheritance beomes reality.
It is similar to what is being said in these verses of this text, for we are blessed, happy because of our knowledge of our future inheritance in which we will share in along with all the saints. We are not working to get this inheritance, for it has already been given to us now as the kingdom is now present. The more we trust in the faithfulness of God to deliver His promises, the more eager we lean forward in expectation of that which will eventually come to pass.

Jesus hungered to bring this Good News to mankind:

John 4:31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Being a member of the family of God, we seek to live out that which we have been created for: Community, which is marked by love for God and for one another and for all the world. Apostle Paul reveals his love for community and for all of humanity, and his purpose in life was to bring the Good News to them.

Acts 20: 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

His kingdom is here, suffering for being identified with Him is part of being in His kingdom, but there is a joy that lasts forever that is our inheritance.

As Christians, we have the promise of the inheritance now, and so knowing that why would not one be happy in this present age, why would one not want to convince others to come along, and why would not one be looking eagerly ahead to the coming of His eternal kingdom?

May I close with the story of Margaret Clarkson..

This hymn, So Send I You, has been called the greatest missionary hymn of the twentieth century. The hymn has been labelled by many evangelical leaders as the finest missionary hymn of the twentieth century. It was first published in 1954 after having been written sixteen years earlier by a Canadian school teacher, Margaret Clarkson.

Margaret Clarkson, who was born in 1915, was a teacher in a gold-mining camp in northern Ontario, Canada. It was a lonely life for this woman, but she also knew that this is where God wanted her to serve Him. She had a great desire to be a missionary on a foreign field but because of her health was unable to go.

One day she was reading again the verse John 20:21, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. While meditating on this verse she wrote the words to a hymn that has become a favorite during missionary conferences, So Send I You.

In 1935 teaching jobs were so scarce that I had to take my first job as a teacher in a lumber camp some 1400 miles from home, out in the Rainy River District of northwestern Ontario. From there I moved to the gold mining camp of Kirkland Lake, 450 miles north of Toronto. In all, I spent seven years in the north. I experienced loneliness of every kind; mental, cultural, but particularly spiritual, for in all of those seven years I never found real Christian fellowship ‚€“ churches were modern and born-again Christians almost non-existent.

I was studying the Word one night and meditating on the loneliness of my situation and came in my reading to John 20, and the words So send I you. Because of a physical disability I knew that I could never go to the mission field, but God seemed to tell me that night that this was my mission field, and this was where He had sent me. I was then twenty-three, in my third year of teaching. I had written and published verse all of my life, so it was natural to put my thoughts into verse.

So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O‚€™er wandring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.

So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart ahungring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.

So send I you to leave your lifes ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.

So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.

Posted on 05 Nov 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Waiting for Jesus 11.12.2017
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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