The Church seems asleep when it should be wide awake at the spiritual warfare that is raging around us as the enemy is making its last desperate stand.
The Word of God is argued over, maybe discussed but rarely studied to get the maximum from it to draw us closer to God.There are hundreds of promises in the scriptures, it is like a diamond mine they need digging out by personal study or collective sharing.
Some of them are obvious and we make great play on the fact that we need to take God at His word and to believe it.
Such as the promises that are given to us for our salvation through the mercy, love and grace of Almighty God.
Then there are wonderful promises for us to take daily into our lives as we read and study the Bible, wonderful truths that are revealed to us in the scriptures that need to be appropriated so as to bring the word alive to us and in us.
Then we begin to operate as if God was really interested in us as individuals and not operating as if we know all there is to know already.
To so many the scriptures are hard work to read and study and it has become a text book and we get bored with it.
Here is one of the enemy ploys he will do anything to stop us searching out the scriptures because in them is eternal life.
The Christian life is warfare between the world flesh and devil and the Christian believer walking in touch with God day by day.
The Christian disciple quickly learns that they cannot keep the Bible standard on their own but that they can keep it when empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The need for daily communion with the Lord becomes a reality and to start having time alone with God is vital.
Then the battle starts and tiredness becomes a problem, finding time to meet with the Living God becomes a struggle for the flesh life.
This is a problem most Christians must face and the Lord allows this to come to see how deep is our commitment to Him.
Then the problem of understanding the scriptures is that we soon get tired get of reading the bible we blame the language instead of our lukewarm attitude towards it.
The scriptures brings home the truths about ourselves that have lay hidden to us until now that we should be applying to our life.
The word 'sanctification' is a long and hard word but it simply means 'separated to God' and it involves changes having to be made in our life and pattern of living.
The word sin means rebellion from or against God and that points to our old nature whilst sanctified means separated to God and the new nature we have inherited.
There are changes that will have to b e made that will bring us back and closer to God and that comes as we apply His word to our life.
Now here is the challenge of the coming year to me, I want to become the man that God wants me to become whilst here on earth.
I want to prove the promises of God so that my life may be a living testimony of our Father's saving and keeping power.
To know experimentally the power of the word of God not just mentally but in reality as the word becomes alive by the Holy Spirit in my life.
To claim the promises that will draw me closer to the Lord and that will give me greater compassion for the lost and turn them into love for the Church.
This is going to take time but the fact is the Lord is already at work in me and has been preparing me for this exercise of faith that will draw me closer to His self.
I am longing to learn from Gods word fresh truths every day of the year that lies in front of us or as long as He leaves me here in this body of clay so as to become more Christ like.
We launch out with the word 'come' and what promises this is going to reveal to us, let us start with 'Come let us reason together saith the Lord' Isaiah 1 v 18.
The invitation comes from the Living God and it opens up the truth that there is a distance between the two parties.
The Creator God longs for the human rebellion to cease and to return in repentance to Him and He is willing to forgive us completely.
The invitation introduces us to not only cleansing of the past but to the mastery in the future as we put our trust and faith in Christ Jesus.
We are saved from sins consequences so as to walk with God on the much higher standard of righteousness, we are to walk on the path of righteousness for His name sake.
The invitation comes not with a suggestion or good idea but with a deliberate chose to be made, to turn around and follow the Lord Jesus Christ standard or to be lost eternally.
This invitation comes from the highest standard of living and points out that we are on a much lower standard of living that finds its ultimate rejection from Gods presence.
So our invitation is come up higher and walk on the high mountain tops alone with God breathing in the fresh air of holy living.
To walk on the peaks of righteous living that brings us closer to our heavenly Father and into the divine intimacy that only those claiming the promises know any thing about.
'Come' reveals instruction because it brings us to the truth that we are filthy sinners living without hope of living eternally in the presence of the Living God.
Our situation regarding the eternal judgement of God that none of can escape
was absolutely desperate because we are without hope in this world.
That is where this lovely invitation become a beautiful promise, 'though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow' the wretched life can be transformed through the mercy, grace and love of God.
'Though they be like crimson they shall be as wool'; the fact is that through the cleansing blood of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary blots out as if it never existed.
What a glorious promise for us to lay hold of: our eternal destiny revolves around this promise that the Creator has made with repentant sinners.
'Come' instructs us to turn around and accept the mighty promise of God that brings us to realise that obedience to His invitation is of paramount importance.
The Lord is still speaks today through various ways to His children to come back to Him and it is up to us to accept His gracious instruction as we build our lives on it.
In Isaiah 1 v 20 we get a glimpse of the consequences of rejecting the invitation or offer of salvation, God will pour out His judgement on all rebelling sinners.
The incident in Isaiah brings out the spiritual state the nation of Israel was going through and they were far from being the people they should have been.
They were listening with one ear to the prophets but the other was listening to the will of the flesh and captivity was looming on the horizon.
The longer the prophet pleads the worse mess they were getting into and the cry of the prophet was going unheeded by a large section of society.
There is clear cut choice to be made we will either repent and turn from our sin to walk on the higher standard of holy living or we remain in our sin growing in a deeper mess.
We then can come into that deeper fellowship with the Lord that the early disciples enjoyed walking, talking and communing with Him daily.
They enjoyed times of fellowship as they walked their journey across the country and knew the reality of the spiritual battle that would confront them when He returned to His Father.
The Master taught the disciples through parables, miracles and direct teaching bringing home the truths of Gods word to them.
This instruction was the foundation of the Church and He the Living God brings out the urgency of coming in repentance to Him and not the church.
'Come' is a delightful word as it is an introduction to a completely new way of living, putting of the old nature, desires and habits of unrighteousness so as to put on the new..
In the New Testament there is much written for our learning about this change over and how were should be searching out the old standard continually so as to put it off.
Now it these changes that the old flesh life does not like to face, we cling on to the flesh life as if it is all important when in actual fact it is dying all the time.
The changes in life should be sort out so that we become a closer replica to the scriptures for the world to see the difference and for God to receive pleasure from our communing with Him.
We will be looking at these changes as challenges in the coming days God willing because they are as important as the 'come' is here.
The changes are part of our conversion and sanctification that will bring us into Christ likeness, that is the outcome of our response to His invitation, instruction and introduction 'COME'.
So now we take up the challenge of God s word and begin to start digging out the treasures that have so far been hidden from us.
There are many happy hours and enlightening hours in store for us it should be sealed by a fresh dedication of ourselves to the Lord.
Then we can press forward forgetting the past failures and misery to gain higher ground up Gods holy hill as Psalm 15 invites us, we need to elevate our sights so as to claim the spiritual inheritance that we have been brought into.
Why grovel around in the church brick and mortar when you could be growing in the Church the Body of Christ becoming the person God wants you to become.
The reason why we are reticent to 'come' is because of the decline in our spiritual life but listen carefully the Lord is calling us to return to Him in repentance so why wait any longer?
The 'come' needs urgent attention so that we can begin to apply the many promises put out in Gods word, the conditions are usually tied up on that front.
The promises of God are given for each of us to claim, just as a cheque when signed and presented to the cashier in the bank will reveal the money stated to your account.
So we hear the Lord saying to us all 'come' as a gracious invitation for salvation in Christ Jesus but also to enter into the new life in Christ.
There is so much more for us to individually draw from the spiritual bank of heaven and as we become obedient to the Living God we will soon be wondering why it has taken us so long to find these promises for ourselves.
Do not let Satan the arch deceiver stop you with his cunning and sly tricks from enjoying the full banquet that there is in Gods word.