How long ago did you leave the Lord? We become spiritual orphans when we leave the church and even for some of us that attend church. We come to the Lordâ€™s house but we do not partake in the family affairs.
We do not serve.
We do not share.
We do not support.
We attend church but we are rarely attentive. Itâ€™s like punching a clock at a government job. We donâ€™t even attend Sunday School and then wonder why we have no friends at church. As our pastor Bro Dennis always says, if you want a friend then be a friend!
â€œA man who has friends must himself be friendly…â€ (Proverbs 18:24a)
No matter your current spiritual circumstances, you need to return unto the Lord. That is step three. That was why God sent John the Baptist ahead of Jesus:
â€œHe will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, â€˜to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,â€™ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.â€ (Luke 1:17)
God can only use approved workers for His Kingdom. Which are you?
â€œBut in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.â€ (2 Timothy 2:20-26)
Are you a vessel for honor or dishonor? Are you still pursuing youthful lusts, such as pride, promiscuity, and prosperity, or do you seek righteousness, faith, love and peace? Are you always in the middle, or starting, foolish and ignorant disputes that generate strife, or do you avoid them? Are you always quarreling with the brethren or are you gentle to all, allowing you to teach patiently in humility so that you can correct those in error?
The late Dr. Adrian Rogers once said that he had only two types of members in his church, both very active. One was constantly building up the Body of Christ while the other was constantly tearing it down. Which one are you?
Whichever one you perceive yourself as, you and I both need spiritual cleansing before we can be spiritually prepared for a reviving from God. Jesusâ€™ brother James teaches us to:
â€œDraw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.â€ (James 4:8)
We cannot expect a spiritual awakening while our hands and hearts are filthy. To do so is to be indecisive and unstable. And we need not be because we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and sent His Son to pay the awful price of sin for us.
â€œBehold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.â€ (1 John 3:1-3)
All of us, in some manner, need to return unto the Lord. Have you abandoned your idols? Have you cleansed yourself of which Paul describes your body as a temple for the Holy Spirit? Before you can return to Christ, you had to have at first had Him.
Do you? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior? Have you confessed your sins to God and repented of them and turned to Jesus for salvation? If you havenâ€™t then there can be no other spiritual preparation for you. Nor is there any more important.
If you have, then once youâ€™ve taken the steps to spiritually prepare your hearts, then a very profound and personal purification as John speaks of in his first epistle can take place.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers