Thursday, January 14, 2010

Occupy, till I Come

“to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience;" 2Peter 1:6

Ref: Lu. 19:13; Ps. 119:18; Jm. 1:3, 4; Heb. 12:1; Rm.5:3, 4; 2Cor. 12:9; Lu. 19:13; Luke 21:19; Eph. 6:14; Rm.15:5; Php. 4:5; Heb.6:12; Heb.10:36; Jm.5:7; Rev. 3:10

I chose the title to this lesson from a parable in Luke that the Lord gave because it tells you what Jesus wants you to do while he is away. The word “occupy” has the idea of moving forward with the business. To come and go, to bring in, to grow; all these words tell you what God has in mind for his children to be doing while he is away. Notice all these words are words that show action.

When God directs Peter to list patience as the next ingredient in this life that you are making with the help of the “starter faith”; he did not intend for you to sit idle. The word Peter used gives the idea of not just waiting on the Lord, but living out your life in a hopeful, even cheerful endurance and constancy.
There will be times when you may be called upon to suffer for the cause of Christ. Of course he doesn’t expect you to enjoy suffering, but you can have peace that it will not last, and that your reward will come when He does.

Then again you may not be called to suffer, but just struggle with the day to day living of this life. This is where the word “occupy” comes in. It is used many times as a military term when an army is in a foreign land holding onto a hill, a town or an island until the commander returns. It is not always pleasant work.

For instance: you must live in this world, but you are not to become part of this world and its ways. It takes patience to live daily by a person who is constantly doing things that you know are wrong, and not allow it to affect your life, but for your life to affect theirs.

Paul says in Ephesians six verse fourteen; after you have done what is necessary,then you are to stand; not just propped against a tree type stand, but stand in the truth (scripture) and protected by righteousness. In other words, with a sense of expectancy,have patience and courage, expecting God to move,knowing the promise of his return is truth.

James says that you are to let patience have her perfect work. Give the Spirit time to complete the labor that he has begun in you. Just as your Friendship bread needs time to let the ingredients in it work when you place it in the oven, so do you need to give the Spirit time to knit these things together within you. Remember your “starter” promise:

“But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Lu.21:18, 19)

With a promise like that; giving up should not be in the vocabulary of a Christian,-- unless it is to give up the things of the world that would hold you back from being the Friend of God.

Don’t be a complacent Christian: content to live off the name of your father, always taking from his goodness and contributing nothing in return. The term that is used for that in todays non-Christian world is freeloading. Don't freeload off God.

Remember, the Lord is at hand(close by,preparing to come). The time of his return is closer today than it has ever been. There are headlines in the news that verify that every day.
Are you ready? Are your children and husband and neighbors ready? If not then you must learn how to “occupy” until he comes to claim you. Put off everything that will hinder you and continue in patience to live this life that God has given you.

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