Isaiah 40:31 “But those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
The bible is full of verses that encourage us despite trials in life. The Epistle of James says: ”My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance).” James 1:2-3
Life today is moving at such a fast pace, the years are flying by, and we are constantly being bombarded by things that make it difficult. Our flesh is weak, we are tempted, we are tested, we are attacked! What is the answer? Jesus told us a story about 10 virgins, 5 wise and 5 foolish. The wise virgins brought extra oil for their lamps, the foolish ones did not have enough oil. We are called to be lights in the world, but if we have no oil our lights will not burn!
Jesus said “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matt 10:16 Jesus instructs us to be wise!
You know the story in Matt 25:1-13. There were 10 virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom, Jesus said, 5 were wise and 5 were foolish! The wise virgins took extra oil, the foolish virgins took no extra oil. The bridegroom was delayed, the wise virgins were ready when he arrived. The foolish virgins had run out of oil and had left to buy more when the bridegroom arrived, hence they were not present at the time of his arrival. When they got their oil, they tried to get into the wedding, but the door was shut and they were not allowed in. You see, we have to be full of oil and ready for the Lord’s coming. We have to be ready for the time of our visitation!
What is this oil and how do we get it? How do we stay full? The oil is the goodness of God, the righteousness of God, the favor of God, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the wisdom of God found in His word!
- The Word of God –
“Your Words were found and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name oh Lord of hosts.” Jer 15:16
“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matt 4:4
Stay in the Word, develop a habit and schedule a certain amount of time each day to read the Word of God. If you spend 5-10 minutes per day in the Word, it will transform you and you can read the entire bible in one year! Set a Goal to read the bible in one year and keep doing it. It’s really good oil, its living oil, it gets inside of you and changes you! Although I consider myself a New Testament Christian, and I love reading the New Testament (NT) we must read the entire bible, both Old and New!
If you are a Christian and you are asking “Why should I read the Old Testament”? There are many reasons, too many for this blog. Books have been written on this topic, so I will keep it short.
- The Old Testament (OT) teaches us the nature and substance of God, God walked with man and the stories of Him reveal His nature. God gets angry, God shows mercy, God reasons with us, God enjoys our successes and supports those He loves in their trials, God shows favoritism, yes He does!
- The OT reveals the coming Christ, there are over 300 prophecies in the OT of the first and second coming of Jesus.
- The OT shows how great leaders can doubt and are still upheld by God and those around them to accomplish their given task(s).
- The OT tells stories of Love and Loyalty, Faith and Miracles, Pestilence and Persecution, Favor and Disfavor, Falling Away and Returning to God.
- The OT teaches us about Sowing and Reaping, giving our First Fruits to God and systematic giving to receive and abundance.
- Most importantly the OT teaches us about the need for a Savior and how much Jesus delivered us from on the cross!
I could go on and on in my description of the OT, but I will stop here. You see, the New Testament is a fulfillment of the OT and the themes are consistent. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not I come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Matt 5:17 A working knowledge of the OT really helps understand much of the NT and certainly what Jesus is saying here. Most importantly, Jesus came to fulfill the OT.
2. Do the Will of the Father –
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” John 4:34
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
When you read the Word you learn about God and His ways, you learn about Jesus. As you learn, it becomes evident what you are to do to please Him. In addition, find a bible based Christian fellowship group or church that is committed to learning, understanding and following the Word of God. This will enhance your learning of the Word and your journey with Christ.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Eph 5:17-21
Paul instructs us to know what the will of the Lord is and to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Doing His will is full of trials, but it is also full of rewards, some now and some later!
“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”” I Cor 2:
3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit fills us to give us power to accomplish the task at hand! Sometimes it is imparted from others and sometimes it happens automatically according to the commission of the Holy Spirit from the Father!
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”” Luke 1:41-45
“Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:” Luke 1:67
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” Luke 4:1
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:” Acts 4:8
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
Laying on of Hands:
“And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”” Acts 9:17
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52
So we see that the Holy Spirit comes automatically, through prayer and through the laying on of hands. The Holy Spirit is working and moving all the time. When we gather together and pray, worship and lay on hands, we can receive regular and greater in-filling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit loves fellowship and praise! That’s why we often feel the presence of the Holy Spirit during worship and praise.
I Cor 12 describes the gifts of the Holy Spirit and explains the fact that we have a diversity of gifts and together we make up the Body of Christ. Together there is nothing we cannot do and God made it that way on purpose. I Cor 12 and 13 really describe the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the most powerful gift, which is Love!
WE NEED EACH OTHER!
WE NEED TO LOVE EACH OTHER!
HOLY SPIRIT COME!
HOLY SPIRIT HAVE YOUR WAY IN US!