Summary: Isaiah’s words ring true today just as they did in Israel. It’s high time to rise up and let the light of Jesus Christ shine out into a world of darkness.
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Pastor James May
RISE AND SHINE
Isaiah 60:1-2, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."
Surely we are living in the times of darkness and gross darkness that Isaiah described. I know that he was prophesying over Israel to say that their Messiah was coming. The Messiah did come and He is coming again.
Darkness covers the face of the earth. This isn¡¦t just an absence of natural light given off by the star we call our sun. It is the absence of the light of God that comes from the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
There is more preaching and less gospel than ever in our ¡§Christian¡¨ churches. Pastors are no longer preaching a Holy Ghost anointed message. Now the message is watered down to appease those who refuse to live right.
One recent story I have heard pertains to a Pentecostal Preacher who belongs to the same organization and denomination that I belong to, who rarely ever had a real anointed sermon from the Lord. His sermons consisted of a 5 or 10-minute talk on some current event out of the newspaper and then quoting or reading a verse or two. His entire Sunday morning messages were about 10 to 15 minutes long at most. I find it impossible to feed the flock of Christ with newspaper articles and personal commentary. Where is the unadulterated Word God? What does such a minister believe that his calling, if he even has one, from the Lord is all about? Where is the message of the gospel in what he has to say? No wonder so many of our churches are in trouble and no wonder so many people are going back into the world. The power of deliverance is in the Word of God, preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost and not in some words of wisdom that man has.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5, "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
I venture to say that those whose ¡§sermons¡¨ are no more than a recap of the daily news are really ¡§ministering¡¨ in weakness, but there is no fear of the Almighty God of Heaven that called them, neither is their any trembling with awesome respect or trembling with a sense of responsibility for the souls of the people of God.
Unlike Paul who preached with demonstrations of the Holy Spirit and the manifestations of the power of God, these ministers are making speeches and preaching only the wisdom of Man and that wisdom is pure foolishness in the mind of God. Woe unto that man whom God has called and anointed to speak His truths if that man refuses or fails to do so.
In addition to false preachers and hirelings, we find teachers in the churches who spend their time telling fairy tales, watching movies, or doing anything to occupy the students under their care. Why aren¡¦t they teaching God¡¦s Word? I believe it because they don¡¦t have enough of the love of God, the conviction of the Holy Spirit or the personal discipline to get alone with God and pray until they have a word from the Lord for their students.
I tell, without the anointing of the Holy Ghost and the move of the Spirit of God upon the congregation, I don¡¦t have anything to give to you and nothing I say will change anything in your life. But, you let the Word of God go forth with power and the anointing and you will see chains broken. You will see homes put back together. You will see teenagers and their parents getting along well for the first time in years. You will see God¡¦s Spirit begin to move in the hearts of every true believing child of God.