PREPARING YOURSELF FOR CHRIST
Luke 6v42; “how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”
In this above scripture, we see God giving us the right concept of how we should minister. First, we should minister to ourselves and from the clarity and the benefit we get from the scriptures in the power of the Holy Spirit; it will be able to lead us to minister to others. When you are preparing yourself for Christ, you don’t think about saving souls. You think about yourself first.
First, you got to be prepared to receive or meet Christ. Thinking of saving souls and doing lot of things in the ministry is exactly what the Lord said here. How can you do for others when there is a mote in your eyes. If you are full of zeal and you want to do something for God, that’s great. The best is God with us and not God with them. You have to understand that you yourself must be prepared.
Get yourself ready for Christ return. Mathew 24v44 (a); “Therefore be ye also ready“. We cannot play with the time we have at hand. The time we have at hand, we should redeem it; using the time productively. If you have issues with your spouse or siblings or friends or mentors or parents, then that is an indicator that you are personally not ready to meet your Christ. The reason is, you got to forgive. You got to let go of stuffs and one of the ways to let go of the stuff is by surrendering to the Holy Spirit.
There is nothing you can do by yourself to forgive and not have the pain or hurt especially when they seem not to change. Now when this has to do with a spouse, it is very difficult to take. But whatever the case is you are in dilemma if you are not forgiving. Forgiveness is not the gift that you give to people. It is a credit meaning you owe them. The scripture talks in Romans 13v8; “own no men anything but love”. So, you don’t look for them to do good before you forgive them or look for them to deserve to forgive them.
Jesus Christ, the son of God on the cross showed us vividly how to forgive. While the nails were still through the flesh and fresh blood was dripping from His body, He forgave the people.
In the word of God, we get ready. In such turbulent times, we need to check how ready we are. One of the greatest mistakes is to assume we are somewhere and, in some place, when we are not or assume, we are spiritual because we feel certain things or we have done certain things. No assumptions. God’s word is clear how to be ready. Forgive! Forgive!
The scripture tells in Marks 11v25; “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him”. Many are not prepared like those five foolish virgins (Matthew 25v1-13), then how much more to expect the whole body of Christ to be ready individually. No wonder Jesus said in the same parable of virgins that five virgins were foolish and they did not know the word neither did the word and finally missed the groom. Those five foolish virgins were qualified virgins but did not do the word. So, you need to do the word. You need to forgive. From this parable we come to know that not all Christians will meet the Lord at His coming. According to the parable only 50% will meet the Lord. God doesn’t deserve such harvest. All His people must be able to meet the Christ. Hope you are not among the foolish ones. Focus on self-preparation and know that your fruit will prove it. So, check yourself if you are prepared as the wise virgins.
The first preparation is love. So, the first thing we need to do is love walk. You love walk again is not a report. Your love is not what people say about you. Your love walk is about your heart with the Lord, your love for the Lord, and the things He said you should do. People might see you from outside and have fake religious reports about you. Don’t let those reports blind your eyes about yourself. You might think you are a good Christian because you are doing things. You may think you are fine because you know the scriptures. The five foolish virgins knew what they are supposed to do but they did not do it. So, knowing the scriptures does not prepare you to meet your Christ. What makes you to prepare for the Christ is doing the scriptures. Now five foolish virgins might have reasons. If you have reasons, it simply means you are not ready.
To be prepared for Christ, you need to do what you believe and the first step is preparation of love. In Mathews 22v 37 says; “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” So, you have to love others genuinely with the love of God. The priority comes to the Lord. (Deu 6v5, Deu 10v12, Luke 10v27)
You must focus on self-preparation than what you want to do for God. It is always better to work with God than to work for God. If you are working for God, you might not work with Him. When you work with God, you can work for God. But when you work for God, you have no assurance that you are working with God. Working with God is a relationship. Working for God is like a contract. You are doing something for God. And God does not need your work as much as He needs your heart. So, all the efforts you are doing right now to prove to yourself and other people that you love God and you are trying to do things for God is fine but greater is your heart. So, focus on self-readiness.
When you think you are doing the word of God and are not submitting to it, you are like a hollow metal that cannot be used for a pillar because when there is an earthquake etc., the house will come shaking down. Don’t be a hollow metal. Be a solid metal. To be a solid metal, you need to be submitted to the word of God.
One of the most beautiful experiences a Christian can have in “preparing yourself for Christ” is submission. Submission is louder than actions. Submission is the ability to reduce yourself to the word of God. In James 4v7 the scripture talks about what is the boomerang effect of submission. It says; “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You need to remove the things you assume that you are doing and get to do what the word of God says. That is submission. Your submission depends on how much you allow the Holy Spirit to dominate you. Could it be that some people are not submitted to the word of God and so they are not able to resist the devil?
One of the beautiful discoveries that Apostle Edmonds made in the spiritual laboratory is that the word of God and the Christians are one. (James 2v18) God gave birth to us by His word. So, you are born with Word and so you are one with Word. Are you submitted to the word of God?
There is something called messed up understanding. Your lack of understanding will destroy you. When your understanding is wrong, you will read scriptures wrong. You will teach wrong things. You will believe wrongly. Your life will be parked on wrong plot. Man tries to do everything in his own understanding and strength but if you have to follow God, then it must be done in God’s standard way. Get your concept right.
(Message by Apostle Edmonds, extracted by PR)
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