A word from the Lord this morning:
“Do not be moved by the things you see. Chaos abounds, but look for me. I am working in hearts, in rooms, behind the scenes in and through my people for my purposes. The world speaks destruction, but I speak restoration. Restoration of my order. Restoration of hearts, of lives. Restoration of righteousness streaming from the throne of heaven, in and through my people.
When you see the bud sprout you’ll know that the time is near. My kingdom will be restored, and my people shall see my face. They shall speak to me face to face.
Live in my presence. I am not a God that you take off the shelf on Sunday, only to return to your way of living Monday through Saturday. Talk about me with your children, in your going out and your coming in. Make me welcome in your home, in your place of business. Make a seat for me at the table. I will open doors for you that no man can shut. To make me known. To make my glory known. To make my power known.
Carry me as I carry you.”
The Lord uses language that I don’t use, and when he’s giving me these words, for me, it’s like being given treasure. There are certain parts that sparkle even brighter, causing me to go in and search for deeper understanding. I liken it to finding more treasure buried deeper within his word.
When God said, “When you see the bud sprout, you’ll know that the time is near” made me think of a passage in Matthew. It reads like this:
Matthew 24:32. “Now learn the lesson from the fig tree. As soon as the twigs get tender, and it’s leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at your door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.”
Jesus is speaking about remaining watchful for his return. I highly encourage you to read Matthew 24 and 25 to understand the full context of what Jesus was saying to his disciples about his return.
Summer Time is Harvest Time
Jesus saying summer is near is significant to his disciples. During Jesus’ day, summer was a time of preparation and harvest. When Jesus said to watch the fig, he was saying, just as you know that the fig = summertime, when you see these things happen, know that Jesus’ return is near.
But what things? Let’s take a look. His disciples asked him privately in verse 3, “Tell us, they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus responds,
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. [..] For as lightning that comes from the east is visible from the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (v. 27) […] At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
What Looks Like The Death of The World is Restoration of the Kingdom of God
It’s hard to watch events unfold. It’s hard, especially if you have a smidge of nostalgia about the way things used to be. We can be certain in uncertain times. We can have hope. Because God, in his goodness has given us a vision of the future. It’s a future where holy restoration of all things happens. Restoration can be defined as the act of returning something to its former condition. Making something new again. Restoring can also make things better than their current state. Hear these words from Jesus in Revelation: 21:5 “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’ [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].
The River of Life In the Kingdom of God
I love this passage in Revelation 22. Flip to the end of your bible and take time, especially now, in light of what you see going on all around you, to be reminded of what life looks like on the other side of restoration.
It says, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.
Live Differently. Live Ready. Make Him Known.
Restoration is happening. Old paradigms, old ways of doing things are dying. What looks like total anarchy is part of God’s process of restoration. He’s telling us to keep him at the center of our lives. It’s time for believers to become disciples. Knowing about Jesus is not enough. Calling out to him is not enough. He wants to be invited into every area of your life. He wants to be Lord of your life. Lord of your family.
He said “Fix my words in your hearts and minds. […] Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…” In other words, and not from a place of religious works, but from a place of, “Make me part of your everyday and every way, not just your Sunday.”
Not only does he want to be in 100% fellowship with you at all times, he wants to give you influence to take him into spheres, to people, to nations, places where God is weaving circumstances to draw others to Him.
Remember the great commission in Matthew 28:18: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am will you always, to the very end of the age.'”
Have You Decided?
I am reminded of this hymn, I Have Decided. I’m feeling this as I type and need to release it. There are those who are confessing salvation in Jesus but their hearts are far from him. The long, loving, and merciful arm of the Lord is reaching out to you today saying “Return to me.” Don’t play with salvation. His love inspires true repentance- that means no going back to your old ways. God’s word says, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62) In other words, it’s time to be done with half-hearted commitment. It’s time to be done with christian lip-service. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of transformation. It’s the day of restoration. He desires to make you new too.