Month: September 2010

All Will Be Uncovered – W.E. Smith

Dear brethren; beloved of our Lord – our prayers are with all of you as we await His awesome and momentous appearance for His own. May He lead each of us deeper into Himself, and the life that He has always intended for us as His friends and disciples; breathed of His Spirit, and enlivened with the very vitality of God and His Beloved Son. May we eagerly and faithfully press onward into this life of power and provision; into what the Scriptures call the simplicity of Christ. Do not be fooled dear saints, for there is but one rock from which we must drink, and that is the Lord of All, Jesus Christ. He alone is the heavenly bread of which we must partake daily, such that He alone would be our righteousness and strength. We cannot grow or overcome apart from Him, for He is the beginning of this journey into the heart of our Heavenly Father, and He is also the end. He is both the means and the way. And all the glory belongs to Him alone.

Oh but look around and certainly there are some who have eyes to see that all is suppressed and hidden; that so little it seems is real and true. So many of His heavenly people saying, and so few actually doing. Wolves and tares masquerading as lambs and wheat – ready to be exposed in these last days! Pronouncements and plans from those deemed rich and clothed in their own eyes. The church in the world and the world in the church, and so many singing and rejoicing rather than tearing their clothes in repentance and mourning over how the Holy One is wantonly obscured and scorned. So many building when they should be tearing down the works of men! Hypocrisy and deception; duplicity and misrepresentation – perversion, falsehood and every foul thing done in His Holy Name! Oh where are the prophets among this people? Indeed if they should appear would they not more readily seek to silence them?

Now is the time for plain and direct words. Now is the time for openly revealing things as they really are, stripped of all sentiment and subtlety. Now is the moment for those who are truly His to stand up for Him, and for Him alone! Does it not break your heart dear ones? Are you not torn up inside at how our Lord and the Father are misrepresented by this humanistic and idolatrous generation? Does it not grieve you deep down in the spirit at how His Holy Name is profaned among unbelievers? Or are you being fooled and blinded as are the many, by he whose ministers present themselves as angels of light and ministers of righteousness?

Do not be deceived dear saints – for our Lord God who sits in the highest, and is clothed in truth and light is not mocked by the darkness of men and their false words and ways. And neither should we as His children; if indeed we are truly in the light, abiding in the One who alone is the Truth and the Word come down among us. Yet the question is this – Do we in fact have eyes to see and ears to hear? Does our heart feel what He feels? Are we in fact following Him as commanded and ready to stand apart from the almost universal corruption of the Christian way in this world?

“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Matt. 10:26)

Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait  until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. (1 Cor. 4:5)

A word of warning to all those who by their lives and example somehow believe that the Lord God on High is some kind of blind or naive fool – prepare to be bitterly exposed for what you are. Holy Judgment is the ultimate equalizer my friend, and every proud grin will be wiped from every face before He who pierces all darkness and deceit. Those who will be doing the weeping and gnashing of Coming Soon - The Prophetic Urgency!teeth at the judgment will not be the wicked necessarily but the professing tares who believed themselves to be true wheat. Oh what frightening irony at that day; that all those who were “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears”, those who resist the Holy Spirit and the authentic life of the Lord Jesus Christ as it moves in His people – will ultimately be revealed for what they are.

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Cor. 10:1-12)

Did you get that – “all passed through the sea”, but “with most of them God was not well pleased” and that all of this happened for an example for all of us? It is those counted among the many that deviate from Him and His purposes. Our Lord spoke constantly of them when He said they seek to appear acceptable and righteous; that they say but do not do, and that as tares they would grow up with the true wheat only to be revealed at the harvest for what they actually are. They will not enter into His promised reward because there is no faith in them, nor commitment. Again, are we paying attention saints? Is this getting through to us in this generation?

And did He not warn us also that the days preceding His coming would be marked by an almost universal blindness and delusion? Recall if you will how John warned that they “went out from us, but were not of us”. They at one time received Christ apparently, but for many reasons refused to live and walk in Him.

How then can we know? How can we be sure what is true and what is false; what is of Him and what is of the evil one?

In His letters to the churches, our all-seeing and all-knowing Shepherd reveals the hidden things, and we must be careful to catch what He is saying here. For some who considered themselves very much alive were actually dead in His estimation. And others who thought they could see, and were fully clothed and had need of nothing –

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. (Rev. 3:14-19)

I might boldly suggest that if this spirit-touching-bone reality does not stir you to the very core of your being; if it does not move you to be absolutely sure you are found in Him alone, abiding in the Light and living in Him completely every second of every moment of every day – then perhaps you no longer desire to see; that you have chosen your cup to drink from and effectively resisted the Holy Spirit.

Yet the admonition is clear – You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot live the life of the flesh and the life of the spirit at one and the same time. You are either in Him or you are in the world serving the god of this world. What then do you really truly want first and most? What then do you love, and who do you serve in reality? And remember, words and profession mean nothing. There are multitudes lined up saying this and saying that and all along believing in the delusion of their minds that God is well pleased with them. How will they respond when He spits them out of His mouth, and gives them eternal cursing and not blessing?

Recall how our Lord called all those who ‘say and do not do’ sons of hell, and blind guides, and a brood of vipers, and members of the household of Beelzebub. Though they affirmed that they were walking in the light, they were in fact of the darkness. And worse than this, they perpetuated the darkness and failed to recognize the Light when He stood in their midst and revealed them for what they were. Deluded and self-deceived they were; blind and stubbornly refusing to come to Him that He might wash their eyes so that they could see true things; spiritual things.

How many today does this describe? How many of us say we have no sin and make the Lord Jesus a liar, that we might be affirmed? How many of us say we know Him and yet shun His commandment to love God the Father first and our brother as ourselves? How many think we are abiding in Him and yet do not walk just as He walked? How many of us say we are in the light but hate our brother? Or how many say they love the Lord God when they in fact love the world and serve it with all lust and pride and idolatry? Fools and Blind! Deluded and destined for destruction! How foolish do we actually think the Lord is – He who made the universe out of nothing and holds our puny little existence between His fingers?

BE NOT DECEIVED DEAR BRETHREN, for our God will not be mocked by you or me or the little games we play to honor ourselves and not Him. Do you not believe for one second that all those who follow a different gospel, and serve another Jesus, and are inspired by an altogether unholy spirit – will not be revealed by the Light that will suffer no darkness to obscure His Transcendent Glory?

As John tells us, the spirit and delusion of antichrist pervades the world and the church and everything in these final days. Every false religion and every counterfeit manifestation of the true faith flows out of this pit of lies. And in this last hour we know that it will be universal in extent. The condition of men’s hearts and minds, as those with eyes can truly see, is marked by darkness, blindness, deception, delusion and deceit. In his first epistle, John makes this crystal clear; that there is indeed a recognizable distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil; and that by their fruits you will know them. Not their words, or church affiliation, or anything else.

Yet all you followers of men and movements, have you not heard that there are counterfeits in the world, and that they are represented by the many, not the few –

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

Again, so many saying and so few actually doing and being and abiding in the purity and simplicity of Christ Jesus. The Apostle John had much to say about “those who say and yet…”, and by his writings we can distinguish the true from the false, those who merely profess and those who practice following Him as a living dynamic. I encourage you to read all of 1 John, which I believe speaks great wisdom and revelation to this time and generation.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)

Ah, so you are utterly convinced in your own heart and mind you are a peach tree? And so you may be. Yet if one sees only crab apples filling out your branches, then you are not a peach tree at all and your fruit has given you away. Your profession and belief mean nothing, when the reality is that there are no peaches anywhere to be found. You have been found out, and you have perchance listened to far too many men and not the Lord who knows greater than our hearts.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else,

And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” (Jer. 17:9-10)

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

Again, here we see that only those who abide in Him and walk as He walked are the only ones who truly know the Lord God.

The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. (1 John 2:9)

It gets harder and deeper dear saints, those of us who profess to be in the Light. How is it then that we still harbor hatred and bitterness towards our fellow saints? As one moves further into John’s letter its gets increasingly difficult to gloss things over, or to resist the inevitable conclusions that it presents. Let’s read some more –

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. he one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:10-24)

Ultimately, as our Lord and John spell out ever so clearly, it is the love of God flowing out of the life of Christ that will identify His own at the end of this age. And this is no superficial love derived from some superficial agreement in doctrine or anything else. Rather it is a heavenly, spiritual love flowing from a shared life and existence in the Lord. It is God’s very own love that flows in us and out of us, and is willing to lay its’ very life down for others. An identifying love such as this is not known to the world or those who belong to it. It is not a love of profession and word, but grace and truth. It is the love of a pure heart. It is not a principle or pattern but a living dynamic marking all those who have been claimed by He alone who knows our works, and sees our hearts, and loves us anyway.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Dear saints of God, let us go to Him now and ask that we might see, and know and let us confess our sins before Him. Let us hold nothing back, nor claim anything from Him – but as little children let us fall into His grace and provision, revealed in His Beloved Son, for He alone is worthy, and He alone searches the hearts of men. He alone will reveal all that is covered and hidden at His coming. Ask Him now to uncover all that is hidden in you, that you might live solely by Him and in Him. Ask that His transcendent love might fill us and identify us as His alone, and that we would affirm and honor His Holy Name, when all the professing masses would deny Him. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Please pray for us here at Living-Walk, that we would watch and see the Master at work, and understand what He would have us do.

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Being Ready – W.E. Smith

Dear saints, all those looking faithfully to the imminent return of our Lord and Hope, Jesus Christ, the imperative for being ready for His coming is one of the most pervasive and incontrovertible themes of the New Testament.  Everywhere we look, it seems, from the Gospels, to the Epistles, to the final Book of Revelation, we are exhorted to be making ourselves ready. It is the Master Himself who has said –

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11)

“… I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” (Rev. 2:23)

Yet, given the overwhelming silence and neglect in this matter of personal readiness, in relation to the Lord’s imminent appearing, one would be tempted to conclude that the Scriptures have little to say on this subject; that there is no real sense of prophetic urgency whatsoever. As we will see, nothing could be further from the truth. It would seem, in fact, that the enemy has effectively dulled the spiritual senses of the people of God in this momentous hour (much as he did to the people of Israel at Messiah’s first coming), and carried out a grievous crime against the work of the Holy Spirit, in preparing a people for the King and His coming for His own.

And so is this exhortation to personal preparation and readiness important? Is it, in fact, urgent and timely? Indeed, it is brethren. For the Scriptures convey that those of us in this dispensation will be found in only one of two possible conditions when He comes –

Drunk, complacent, dull of hearing, sleeping, and useless to the Master

or –

Sober, awake, vigilant, alert and ready for service.

This is conveyed most graphically in that dark night in the Garden of Gethsemane, at a time when the hour was “at hand”,  and momentous events were about to take place –

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand! (Matt.26:36-46)

Sleep for the body is necessary, most certainly, and there is a time for sleep. When drowsiness comes, it is impossible in the flesh to resist its power over us. Our attention drops, our eyes grow heavy, and the events of the world around us, however important, grow dim and fade to black. What this living parable teaches us is that only in the power of the spirit can we resist the weakness of the flesh, and remain watchful and alert. While the Lord watched and prayed and beseeched His Heavenly Father for strength in the moment, the disciples slumbered. When the hour at hand actually came, and when the Master needed them most, they were found unprepared. They were, in the end, not ready!

And so what does it actually mean to be ready? Before searching the Word for its fullest spiritual meaning, we can learn a great deal from the formal, literary definition of the term –

1. completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use: troops ready for battle; Dinner is ready.
2. duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose: The mechanic called to say that the car is ready.
3. willing: ready to forgive.
4. prompt or quick in perceiving, comprehending, speaking, writing, etc.
5. proceeding from or showing such quickness: a ready reply.
6. prompt or quick in action, performance, manifestation, etc.: a keen mind and ready wit.
7. inclined; disposed; apt: too ready to criticize others.
8. in such a condition as to be imminent; likely at any moment: a tree ready to fall.
9. immediately available for use: a ready source of cash. (from Dictionary.com)

Here we see that readiness involves making provision or preparation for something known that is imminent or about to happen. We hear thunder, for example, so we immediately set about to close all the windows in the house.

It is also essential to comprehend that readiness involves effort and commitment. It doesn’t just happen. It takes time, attention and concerted action, and those who will be found duly equipped at the Lord’s appearing will be those who have first recognized the imperative to be ready and then determined in their hearts to be so. This, brethren, is so tremendously important.

It is also vital, in this context, to understand that one of the primary purposes of the prophetic ministry in any dispensation, is to send forth the message of exhortation, at the appointed time, for the Lord’s people to make themselves ready. In the New Testament, for example, we recall the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent to “make straight the way of the Lord”, by preparing the people of Israel for the imminent arrival of Messiah. John’s was a message and baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4), marking the need for the people to be consecrated, or made morally ready for the Lord’s imminent appearing.

This is mirrored in the Old Testament in Exodus 19, when Jehovah commanded the people to make themselves ready for His ‘meeting’ with them –

The LORD also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. “You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. ‘No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. (Exo. 19:10-17)

It is indeed a fearful and serious thing to “meet God” dear saints, and it is the authentic prophetic ministry that prepares the people of God to meet Him in any age or dispensation. Here we see that the people of Israel were to prepare for the Lord’s descent into the cloud by washing their garments and abstaining from anything that rendered them unclean. This is quite interesting considering the Master’s exhortation to us in Luke 12 about being dressed in readiness

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. (Luke 12:35-38)

And the Lord’s sober words to the Sardis and Laodecian churches –

‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels . (Rev. 3:4-5)

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (Rev. 3:17-18)

Whether our God comes for us on the third day or the third watch of the night, we are to be found clothed (covered) in the righteousness and life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be found alert and watching with all vigilance and attention, with eyes wide open in the spirit. We are to be found pure and faithful. This is the exhortation to readiness at the close of this age. This is what it means to act upon the prophetic urgency and the imminence of His coming for His Blessed Bride! Until He comes, dear brethren, nothing is more urgent or more essential. And, just so there is no confusion in this matter, this has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of spiritual life that has made us His people.

The exhortation to readiness and the reward for those servants found in such a worthy condition, has to do with entrance into His Blessed Kingdom, and a distinguished place in His Eternal Counsel; what the Apostle Paul calls the prize –

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

Not all of His people will heed the prophetic ministry in this hour calling them to personal readiness. Not all will be found ready when He comes for them. Not all will run in such a way as to win the prize. Not all will be found dressed in white robes, such that they might enter into His Kingdom and millennial government. In fact, the Scriptures seem to indicate that not all of the Lord’s called out ones will hear the words “Well done, good and faithful slave… enter in to the joy of your master.”

This being so, blessed brethren, the Word of God is literally packed with warning, exhortation, caution and wisdom for those who have a heart to receive it. Here are a few such examples, and we will most certainly visit many others throughout this series of messages.

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Eph. 15:21)

Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Phil. 3:17-21)

Dear saints, it would appear (and I do hope I am mistaken) that there are far more messages being preached today to improve our lot in this present world than to prepare a people to meet their Lord coming for them from out of heaven. Where then, is the heaven-sent cry of the prophet ringing out from these modern-day pulpits, calling each saint to a commitment of personal readiness for the Master? Why, if all we have said above is true and endorsed by the Holy Word and Spirit, is there such relative silence and neglect in this most essential matter? Where indeed, are those saints who are found making themselves ready for their precious Bridegroom when He comes?

Have modern-era Christians learned nothing at all from the tragic example of Israel ringing out from history, when the overwhelming number of the people had little interest, knowledge or awareness of the imminent coming of Messiah among them? So many teachers. So many scribes. So much religion and tradition and expression. So many prophets saying so many lofty things. Then finally, even John the Baptist sent to prepare them, crying out in the wilderness. Yet when Immanuel arrived, seemingly only two (Simeon and Anna) among the entire nation were suitably ready and waiting for their Messiah.

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. (Matt. 22:42-44)

Oh Gracious Father, being found ready for your Precious Son involves so many things. And we thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dress and prepare us to meet the Righteous One who has been found worthy to judge both the living and the dead. Oh Lord, please teach us from Your Word and Your Spirit what it truly means to be ready in this most urgent hour, and please grant us the grace to be found so. In Jesus’ Blessed Name, Amen.

(To Be Continued)