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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Pastor's Blog

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 Lordā€™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 Lordā€™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 Sonā€™s return, we may know pulsating through us something of your longsuffering and of your patience towards human beings who donā€™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
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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