Therefore, also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored.] Rend your hearts and not your garments. (Joel 2:12-13 Amplified)
I am reminded once again of what the Holy Spirit continues to impress upon my heart....that God has so much more for us. He desires a pure bride - a spotless church - a holy life, fully consecrated to Him. I think that perhaps most of us don't even fully understand what that means.
In Revelation when Jesus is speaking to the seven churches, He says to each one of them, "I know you by your works." That's not to say that we aren't His children because of His grace alone - for no man can be saved through works. But I say to you today - do not take His grace in vain!
Recently I heard a teaching by John Bevere. He used an illustration which I thought was so appropriate to showcase the somewhat apathetic attitudes of us Christians. There was a man who lived at the base of a volcano. The news was spread that this volcano was about to erupt and that anyone who was within 150 miles of its base would be destroyed. The man is panic-sticken, because he has no way to get away from the volcano! His SUV is in the shop and if he started walking right now and didn't stop there is no way that he could get 150 miles away within the next 24 hours. Shortly, there's a knock at the door. He opens it to find a man standing before him holding out a set of keys. He asked about the keys. The man told him that he was giving him a brand new vehicle. Wow! Are you kidding! This is awesome! But why are you doing this? Just because I care about you and love you so much and I want you to be able to escape from the destruction of the volcano. Wow. He thanked him and then immediately got on the phone and started calling all his friends. Can you even believe this? This guy just GAVE me a set of keys! I have access to this vehicle and it's going to get me far away from this place! I'm saved! Do you believe it? I'm saved!! When he finished telling the story to one friend, he called another and then another. Pretty soon he realized that 23.5 hours had passed and he had been so busy shouting about how he had been saved that he hadn't bothered to get in the vehicle and drive to safety. He would die.
Those keys are just like the grace of God. We have been given this wonderful gift of gace. Grace to empower us to live the life that God's truth demands. What are we doing with that grace? Remember what Jesus said to the churches in the Book of Revelation. "I know you by your works." We must continue to persevere - to reach the lost - to draw nearer to God - to work for His Kingdom. He has so much more for us to do - and so many more blessings to give.
It is we who hold the keys. What are we doing with them?
because they had to guard it;
and they had charge of the key for opening it each morning.
-I Chronicles 9:27
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.