ARISE & SHINE
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Now God's Word doesn't get stale it doesn't wear out. In the 4th chapter of Luke, Jesus preached from the Book of Isaiah chapter 61 and he told them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
What is God saying?
He is trying to prepare us for the future, for whatever may be coming down the road. If things are tough now, if we are having a hard time making it through these days, then how will we ever be able to face even worse times to come?
I believe what God really desires is: When the world is at it's worst, the Church is to be at it's best. The world's darkest hour will be the Church's brightest hour. That is what the prophet Isaiah was referring to when he told the people of his day: ARISE!
The prophet calls out ARISE: We are, as a body, told to "get up". Brothers and sisters, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, if you believe that we are approaching the end of this evil age, if you truly believe that there is a Heaven that's sweet and a Hell that's hot, then let's get up and do what Christ commanded us to do.
There are people out there who cannot see God, but they can see your light, the light of God shining through you, if you will heed His Spirit, the Spirit who indwells you.
Listen to this: Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
We are, right now, living in a day when there is more preaching and less Gospel than any time I have known.
The watchman cries out, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come.”
I believe there are some Christian men and women who have
wasted a large part of their lives for want of somebody or something to wake them up; caught up in routine, in doctrine, or caught up in what other people around them are doing.
Many believers today have moved into the darkness by compromise. Compromise with darkness for the sake of business. Compromise with the darkness for the sake of prosperity.
Do you know what compromise is? Compromise is sin that has crept into the life of the Christian. As Compromise grows, our witness grows dim. And as our light dims, unbelievers slip out of this life and into hell fire unsaved. This must not be so!
I'll tell you something that has happened to me. I have had times when I felt like my strength was all gone and had a week of revival to preach. I told the Lord, "I am so tired. My flesh is crying for rest, please strengthen me." And it was like the Lord spoke into my spirit and said, "Bring me what you have left. (In other words, Arise and go shine.) Bring it as an offering."
And immediately my mind went to the widow in I Kings chapter 17 and then to the boy with the fishes and the loaves. They gave the Lord what they had, offered it up, and He blessed it and returned it multiplied.
When we come in here (Church) to have praise and worship, and I am preaching to myself also, we should give our best efforts into it because that is an offering and sometimes we offer up a lame offering.
14 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
I know that each and every one of us at times look at this world and think, "There's nothing I can do. It's such a mess!".
Yet God tells us that if we, as a body of believers, arise He will provide the shine. (His glory shall be seen upon thee).
If you are a "born again" believer, then the Holy Ghost is in you providing all the power you need to shine in every circumstance. When you realize this, you will, indeed, become a powerhouse that God can use to redeem sinners and rescue the fallen of the Church.
Let me share something with you. The Ship of Zion is not a pleasure ship cruising around on a sea of ease waiting for Jesus to come or in the ocean of prosperity as some of the modern Churches would have you believe.
The Ship of Zion is, in fact, a fully armed Battleship on a search and rescue mission to seek and save that which is lost, her lights shining through the storm and fog of sin searching for the one who has lost hope.
The message today is this: Don't be overcome or caught up in what you see going on in the world today, but be a light.
And most of all: Don't fall asleep spiritually but rise and shine!
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world,
16 Holding forth the word of life.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
So as you go out each day, remember who you represent and remember that you are to act like children of your Father which is in heaven.