James 1:17 Every good gift is from above…
1st Peter 1:15-16 God being Holy.
With Him there is no variableness.
He doesn’t change and we can rely on God and there is no shadow of turning.
He is Holy.
Think of the sun at its zenith, there is no shadow.
There is no shadow with God.
When the sun turns there is shadow, when it is half way up.
I never used to like the term Holy and we used to think of people who were Holy as a cut above others.
We want to be Holy, not so that we can be better than, but so we can be Holy before God.
Help me to be Holy.
Reign without rival supreme and alone.
That is a beautiful prayer that we would have God ruling.
In 1995 when I was a teenager, that is when God started to speak to me.
I sat on the fence and had to decide whether I was going to serve God or not.
There was the school ball coming up and I had a feeling that God didn’t want me to go.
No one had told me not to go, my parents didn’t say anything, but it was made known to me by God.
The feeling I had after I gave my life to God, that I am God’s now.
When people asked me after this why I did things, I could say that it is because of God’s conviction.
One of my good friends I told that I was not going to the ball and she was a Christian too.
She asked me to come over to stay at her house for the night.
When we went to bed, I quickly prayed while my friend was in the bathroom.
When she came back I felt silly jumping up, so I stayed there and then when I looked I saw her praying on her knees too.
I was glad for that trip down memory lane and those revelations that I had.
Remember your first love.
Lord help me to be Holy.
That feeling when we are fully devoted to God and that knowing that he will take care of us.
I have been enjoying some thoughts from Math 25 Five wise and five foolish virgins.
A number of thoughts I have enjoyed from this parable.
Just one hymn came forcibly to mind. 361 “When first we heard the message and yielded up our all…”
This is when we will be yielded up to Him in heaven.
That destination is to be in complete peace with Him in eternity.
Among the wise and foolish, oh where will we be found?
The difference between the foolish and the wise.
They were all equipped with a lamp and the lamps all had a wick.
They all went forth and trimmed their lamps.
We all have been given human life and a body.
Some from birth have different levels of health.
We have the breath of life and a measure of health.
All of these virgins were equipped with that as they went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Not all of them had oil in their lamps.
The time and the difference it does make to our lives.
It spoke to me that this oil speaks of the life of Jesus.
It was olive oil that was used in the burning of lamps.
When we consider how we get to have olive oil, it is a whole process to get it before we can use it.
The tree has to grow and then grow olives.
There is a fork with many prongs that goes into the tree and the farmer shakes the tree.
There is a washing and soaking process and the stone is removed.
Jesus’ human body that is of no use to us today had to be crushed.
His was a really cruel way that Jesus had to be crushed in Gethsemane.
What weakness Jesus must have felt as he was being thrown around by them.
Some of them weren’t willing for the cost of buying the oil.
In the present we face these real experiences of life.
This process of having oil for our lamps, the world is dark, I don’t want to say always.
No oil, meant no navigation through the experience.
V5 we read of the bridegroom tarrying while they slept.
Enduring the length of the journey, because the bridegroom isn’t coming early.
Light definitely keeps us awake.
For those wise virgins it was a matter of keeping awake and a soft spirit really.
The wise virgins would have been proving the costs of the oil and they would have been wanting the light.
They would have been wanting to know who would be their future bridegroom because of their walk.
The reason that some people stop walking with the Lord is because they do not have a true revelation in their life and they haven’t experienced the beautiful spirit that Jesus had in his life.
The final message is to watch because the bridegroom is coming.
I hope that we will never get to the experience where we have nothing left.
May God help our soul.
I have been very thankful to God to sense again as we often do, about the need for praying and the purpose of praying.
Again and again we have loved the outcome of prayer and I am sure in the experience of us all, prayer can be a mighty source of power.
I can recall when I was young at 14 and I had just made my choice to serve God.
I knew instinctively that now I must pray and read my bible and that it had to be a daily thing.
That is life a foundation and the knowledge that God has given, otherwise we die spiritually.
It is easy to die in that respect.
We don’t have to worry about the power of prayer, it is a powerhouse and we cannot estimate its power.
We can wonder, but have we fully understood the power of it?
Someone spoke of a woman who had lost her life in a spiritual sense and she had gone far out into the world.
It spoke of a prayer warrior.
Another lady had compassion in her heart and she decided that she would pray every day thinking of this prodigal.
This lady had taken her own way and was far away in a spiritual sense.
This lady was unaware that someone was praying for her.
Five years went by and ten years, then fifteen years and seventeen years and then there was news of the prodigal returning.
Don’t ever stop praying and giving up thinking of others’ needs and being kind and reaching out and having the goods to cheer someone and encourage someone to keep on track.
So often things crop up and we take the wrong track.
The prodigal and his desire to take his own way.
I am sure that in the background there was some prayer.
The father was watching and I am sure that he was praying in the background.
The prodigal came to the place where he thought I need God.
The prayer warrior in the background decided that she was never going to give up and then one day the prodigal returned.
When you count that up, it is about six thousand days.
You can hardly comprehend that.
Prayer is a mighty source of power and you can do much.
Aaron up in the mountain.
The hands had to be held up.
Some things come up and they seem like impossibilities.
Prayer is the mighty source of power.
Even during the day our heart wells up and we have a little word.
Or even please give me the answer, I need the answer.
We think of those that are there to help us and help us to hold up our hands.
Mark 11:12-25 When Jesus and those with him had gone past the fig tree and found nothing.
The fig tree had died to the roots.
Jesus answered them saying “have faith in God”.
Never lose faith in what God can do.
That is a strong indication of what Jesus could do.
Those ones would be totally encouraged that prayer is good and Jesus knows how to pray.
If we have anything against someone it can be dealt with right there.
That lady felt so clean and so forgiven after that experience.
Her experience of prayer indicates that we can have that portion too, as we seek God too.
Our weakness we are conscious of.
Maybe things around us, experiences, things within us, our flesh, human nature.
We want to be aware of He who can help us.
He can give us liberty.
We can bring everything to him.
The potter can only work with the clay that is in his hand.
It is not easy to admit weakness or sin.
Any weakness we feed it will overcome us in the end.
One lady said “Satan knows when I am weak”.
Another man said “I professed when I was young but it took me forty years to humble myself and realise that I needed the power of God to walk.”
When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.
Jesus understood the experience he was going to go through and he prayed.
Peter said “I am ready to go with thee even unto death” It is a very dangerous thing to rely on our own strength.
Strengthening ourselves is not only for others but for our brethren.
Paul, he said “I can do all things in thee”.
He was strong naturally to suffer shipwreck and all those things.
In the garden Jesus prayed and also when he was tempted.
It wasn’t his own power.
The Lord will give strength unto his people.
The Lord will give strength for everything we face and he will give peace.
We need to bring our helplessness before God and He is the one who can help us and we can go forward in his strength.
Weakness, that is often how we feel standing here, with what we have to say, but it is the strength of God.
So often we feel so weak and wonder how we can even take the next step.
But our strength is in God.
We don’t ever want to lose sight of our foundation.
Our strength is when we feel weak in ourselves.
Many things can shake us.
But when we are settled on that foundation of Christ, it will be firm.
Ps 1 He shall be like the tree who stands by the river of water and whatsoever he doth he shall prosper.
In listening to the word of God we can prosper.
Do we fully comprehend the revelation that God has given and can we comprehend it?
The Psalmist is saying “blessed is he that walks in the ….”
You wouldn’t want to be sitting with those who are scornful.
Blessed are those people who listen to Godly advice.
We are all sinners, but we have been given this opportunity of having that sin forgiven.
Blessed are those who have their sin forgiven.
Are we sitting by those who are respectful of God?
Standing, sitting, how are you walking, where are you sitting, what are you standing for?
Sharon mentioned she was “sitting on the fence”.
You have made an allegiance with God.
We want to stay faithful to that.
We are blessed because of what we have and also because of what we are saved from.
By nature we would all be in the counsel of the ungodly.
The counsel of the ungodly could just be those and those things that surround us in our daily lives.
We have been saved from so much when we listen to the counsel of the Godly.
We have been saved from so much and I want to realise that more.
The words of Jesus are Godly and true.
He himself said “I don’t speak of myself.”
He was so honest.
It is such wise counsel.
Mary, she gave wise counsel at the wedding: “Whatever Jesus says just do it.”
It is your soul’s welfare and mine, when we do it.
“In his law doth he meditate day and night.”
The words of Jesus and to delight in it.
It is one thing to do something, but it is another level to delight in it.
We don’t just read the bible for the sake of it, it is for something to do, not just something to say in the meeting.
It is a great joy for us to do what Jesus says.
To be thinking about the word of God and how it pertains to my life.
Another, thinking about it all day and night but at any time day or night we can think of it.
I find it increasingly hard to concentrate in my reading as I get older, also in praying.
Also in meditating, it is hard to get quiet and allow God to draw near.
In many cases we are forced into it because we are getting ready for meetings.
But to delight in it and God can share something that is a help to us and others.
That’s what gives us strength, to be meditating in the word of God.
You will walk, sit and stand in places with others that are like minded.
I would like to have an increased appetite for the word of God.
Many foods are not good for us, but the word of God is always good for us.
Jer 18:7-8 “This man shall be planted by…”
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…
God gave Jeremiah the picture of a blessed person.
We will be trusting in the Lord for things that we can’t do.
Our hope is in Him.
He is like a tree planted by water, they do well because there is water.
Those roots are going down and when the heat comes, there is water.
I am glad for what we have heard about prayer this morning.
Prayer has meant so much to me.
The roots of a tree are unseen and they hold the tree in place and feed the tree.
This is like us meditating on the word God.
I have told you about Steve who I went to school with and he came to meetings and professed.
We shared a room and he hit me with a pillow when I knelt to pray after the light went out.
He thought I was sneaking out of bed to leap on him.
Then we turned on the light and talked about praying.
He didn’t know about praying.
He had been praying standing up, because that is how the sister workers prayed in the meeting.
If we let this root system spread out and go down.
Our roots can spread further so that others can know the help of God.
It is the same spirit that the psalmist had.
The leaf also shall not wither, like an evergreen.
In Australia most of our trees are evergreen.
We can be like a tree with this root system going down and these root systems making food for the tree.
Jesus came to the fig tree looking for fruit.
He bringeth forth fruit in season.
The fruit of the spirit is never out of season.
There is something about people whose spirit is always the same.
Aside from that there must be fruit.
It is good to be evergreen and to be the same in every situation.
People are different, some up, some down, but that is just like the leaves.
I wonder if it would be expected of us that whatever the experience we go through that there will be fruit.
What about the light that is going through the leaves?
It is expected that we would have the fruit of the spirit.
Eph 3:17 Being rooted and grounded in love.
To know the love of God… thinking of the love of God.
This person is rooted and grounded and settled.
Thinking of the winds that come, but this person is rooted and grounded in love.
This person, this is the highest level of love.
The old law taught that you love your neighbour as yourself.
Jesus loved his neighbour more than himself.
Jesus lifted the bar.
The love of Christ which passes all knowledge.
When we are rooted and grounded in his love, it helps us to show that same love to others.
The ungodly are not so… the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The chaff, it has no substance and the wind just blows it away.
To listen to counsel of the ungodly is like chaff.
If we live for the things of this life, there is no substance to it.
It is the work of the spirit in our life, so he can work with us and in us.
If we live for this life only, one day it will be gone.
It is just like chaff.
If we are going to be accepted by God in the judgment, we need to be right with him now and here.
God knows that we often come short and fail.
In the same way he knows the way of the ungodly.
There is eternal life with the Godly.
Those men who had a close relationship with God so that I can have the true blessings of God.