SHEPHERDS VOICE – September 2023

“…HE CALLS TO ME…,
“WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?”

(Isaiah 21:11)

 

The Holy Communion reveals the truth that Jesus Christ will be coming soon. Consequently the situation of the world raises the question to each of us believers, being watchmen of God “Watchman, what of the night?’ The watchman seems to experience a fearful dark hour of the night and is waiting for it to end as he is unable to see anything beyond the darkness before him. The word of the Lord came to Prophet Ezekiel in Ezek 33:3 commanding him to be a watchman over the house of Israel. Those of us who have been redeemed by God need to remember that we are given the responsibility of a watchman over the current generation and hence are accountable to God regarding your spiritual lives. Matt 16:3 ..”You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times”. Here the Lord emphasizes that it is necessary for us to understand the times we live in. The Bible talks about the day which is yet to come – a day when man becomes helpless to do anything.

 

In Jer 8:7 & Isaiah 1:2 we see the utterances from the painful heart of our heavenly Father. God says that we, His children, have forgotten the requirements of our Lord, rebelled against him and have not considered Him as our Lord. We are caught up with the cares of this world and are not aware of the dark times we live in. We forget that we have been made watchmen over God’s people and we are accountable to Him. We need to analyze our spiritual lives and ask ourselves how firmly we are leading a christian life.

 

During these dark times our focus should be on the Rising Sun which will come to us from heaven (Luke 1:78) and as said in Isaiah 44:6 “so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.” Paul the Apostle speaks to the church of the Thessalonians in 1Thess 5:1-3 “1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”

 

God expects each of us to know the circumstances and times in which we live so we could escape the destruction.

 

There are 3 ways to be aware that we could be living in such dark times.

 

  1. Rom 13:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

A child of God would set aside the works of darkness as mentioned in Rom 8:9-10 and focus on Jesus who is the Light of this world (John8:12). Remember, Lot could not be saved from the destruction despite fleeing from Sodom because she still desired to be in Sodom. She remains a pillar of salt to this day. Therefore, cast away the works of darkness as soon as you have received the Light of God. Self deception is the biggest deception. If you say you are in the Light and continue with any works of the dark, you deceive yourself.

You may be a regular church goer, spending time alone with God and doing a lot of spiritual/charity works. Yet, if you have not accepted God’s commandment of being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, you are deceiving yourself with the word of God. You deceive yourself if you engage in the works of darkness and tell yourself that you are leading a pure life. God expects you to lead a holy life separated from all wrongdoings.

 

  1. How can I await His coming? Rom13:12 “……..let us put on the armor of light.”

We need to be transformed daily by the renewing of our minds to reveal that God is living within us. If God is living in us we will be constantly inspired to live Christ like. God desires that we adorn the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18).

 

  1. 1 Thess 5:6 “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”

We ought to be spiritually awake while waiting for the Lord. The church of Sardis looked alive outwardly but inwardly were spiritually dead. In Rev3:2-3 God says to the church of Sardis “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

Here we are reminded to beware of spiritual laziness or overconfidence and guard our hearts from spiritual attack. We need to ask ourselves if our spiritual lives are dead or are awake for the Lord. Jesus teaches us about His second coming in the parable of the ten virgins in Matt25:1-13. We do not know the timing of Christ’s second coming, but we should prepare for it as though it could come at any time.

 

Pr. Juxy Mathew