A Word in Season
By Andrew Brown
The times and seasons are significant. Let us lift up our heads and read them for they speak of our redemption, which draweth nigh.
Meanwhile while we wait the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, what manner of people ought we to be in our behaviour and attitude?
The Truth in our hands has a constant urgent message to watch and pray that we might be prepared. There is no room for complacency as the Apostle Paul states regarding the times and season for he says that that day will come as a thief in the night to all those who sleep, but not to the saints of light who watch and are sober. While God is longsuffering with the World we are sojourning in, we are afforded time or opportunity to grow in the Truth or put right what may be wrong for this is the Day of Atonement or Salvation to make it sure.
Time is to be redeemed for it is given that we might work out our salvation showing ourselves workmen that needeth not to be ashamed but rightly dividing the word of truth. The coming together each first day of the week, is a good opportunity for renewing our strength for the conflict in which we are all engaged. May we then use this occasion to edify ourselves by self-examination. One thing we do well to contemplate is that we are all equal in terms of what God has given each person.
We all have the same hope and therefore opportunity. Also we have all been given the same time whether we are rich or poor, Old or Young, Learned or Unlearned, time travels the same speed for all. How do each of us use this commodity? For an answer to this Question let us take the interval since our last breaking of bread, as we assemble each 1st day.
We have had a six-day battle. Six days of common experience to man in this evil state. Six days of mortal occupation mixed with care and watchfulness and endurance. Now these six days are gone never to return and we are this day looking back upon them to sit in judgment upon them.
How do they look? Each of us must make that survey for themselves.There will come a day when the whole of our life will be in the rear in the same way. When there will be a gathering of a great multitude when the question for consideration will be that the account will be closed and the review of our past is analysed for a decision. But at the present moment our review of the past is useful in helping us to change the position of the account if need be.
Have the past six days all been what we could wished them to be? It is impossible at present that our days can ever be entirely what we should desire just because of the nature of things. We all share human nature as Paul confessed in saying the things I would do I do not. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Forgiveness is available if we haven't engaged in wilful sin.
In the last six days did we walk in faith for whatsoever is not in faith is sin Paul said. Could our faith be stronger helping us in our conflict to overcome. For it is to him who overcomes are the promises made. How then are we to overcome? Apostle John gives us the answer. This is the victory that overcometh the World even our faith.
How is faith derived? Paul states, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Therefore the most valuable advice that can be given to all those anxious about salvation is to give themselves to the reading of the Word. Jesus said the Words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are Life. Therefore as much as the Words of Jesus are in us the Spirit and the Life of the Truth is in us."
We cannot recall or alter the six days that are gone. They have taken their place in the record of our past on Jesus diary. But the six days to come are ours in a certain sense. What does wisdom say, redeem the time because the days are evil. Do not walk as fools but walk circumspectly.
The Apostle Paul lays down a doctrine of obedience. Doctrine means teaching, and Paul speaks to us in Titus saying, Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. If we remember these precepts and obey them, when our life is reviewed by Jesus we will be able to give an answer of a good conscience, having confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
From now on, then let Paul's Policy in life be Our Policy in Life. Which was to him and is to us, he says therefore in Philippians 3:14 "I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." As a good soldier we march on in the conflict in which we are engaged. We have to be prepared for battle. The Apostle Paul lists the equipment needeth in our spiritual warfare to be successful in conquering and overcoming sin in its many forms.
Let us consider the spiritual armour that is necessary to fight a good fight of faith.The List is given in Ephesians 6:14-17. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth. Anything covering our loins covers our shame, thus nothing but the truth can cover our spiritual shame. As sinners we are in a state of shame before God. The Truth intelligently believed and heartily upheld covers our shame. Anything but the Truth is a fig leaf device and is not what God requires to be acceptable to him.
Breast Plate of righteousness.The Breastplate covers the heart. The heart of the Truth is righteousness, it is the centre permeating throughout all the parts.We must guard against unrighteousness.
Righteousness must be the basis of all things in the Truth, the centre or heart of the Truth.
Our Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of Peace. Our Feet move us in a certain direction, that direction must be towards the Kingdom, which is the Gospel message of peace.
Let us always be shod with the Gospel message that we might be constantly moving towards that great destiny revealed in the Gospels joyful sound.
Shield of Faith to shield away the fiery darts of the wicked. Our faith is to withstand all what may come our way. Our faith will shield away all what may injure us protecting our life in the Truth.
Helmet of Salvation is the reason or motive, which directs all our actions. So if we think always of our salvation our actions will follow accordingly.
Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The Word is our Spiritual weapon even shaper than any two edged sword. But this weapon is of little use if we are unskilled in its use. The Apostle Paul tells us how to become skilful with God's Word in 2nd Timothy 2:5. He states "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth."
The Apostle Paul concludes his list of armour by saying to be always; Praying and watching with all perseverance.Paul elsewhere states that no man that is engaged in this conflict against sin entangleth himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. Let us constantly be on our guard for our enemy never sleeps, sin is in all its manifestations.
Paul at the end declared I have fought a good fight. Jesus is styled the captain or commander of our salvation who fought the greatest fight. Let Paul's words of counsel ever serve to strengthen us each day. Ephesians 6:10-13.
Finally friends be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.