There is deep sorrow once again sweeping across our nation.
The question rises again: how many times will innocent lives be lost?
A day intended to celebrate love instead turned to a day of devastation for the families of the 17 lives lost last week in Florida. My heart aches, and my mind cannot even comprehend the sorrow felt across our nation for those in pain.
And yet, there seems to be more people angry at each other over the tragedy than expressing love and sadness for the families in pain today.
The uproar of both wisdom and foolishness fighting to be hear can be seen from the responsibility of wealth on one side and to the burden of poverty on the other.
There are moments of peace on earth, and also times of unending suffering, hunger and devastation from war in areas all over the world.
There are battles both in front of us and behind us. There is a conflict between good and evil, which rages within us and all around us.
There are three types of people today just as in Jesus' time: Good people, bad people and the "hypocrites."
God is calling us all to rise above the noise, hatred and hypocrisy of the world and live lives of boldness, bravery and victory!
In the midst of the world's constant pain and sorrow, there are great signs of Christ's return. It is evident that Christ will indeed be returning soon, and we must be ready.
In Jesus' Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Virgins, Jesus is teaching us how to live our lives in times of overwhelming brokenness with great boldness to reveal how we should be living our lives while we wait for His return (Matt. 25:1-13).
I want you to consider five things to live your lives by that are found in this profound parable of the end times:
1. We are to be watchful. Watchfulness is a passion that produces pursuit. The turbulence of our time is marked by distractions, distortions and deceptions. 2018 is already going down as a year of constant interruptions. But we need to be ready for divine interruptions of the Holy Spirit to rock our world. Watchfulness is marked by someone listening to the voice of God.
2. We are to live in zeal. Zeal is a passion for obedience to His voice. Zeal is passion for His Word. Zeal is passion for prayer. Zeal is passion for reaching the lost. Zeal is passion for the awaking of the church for the return of Jesus Christ.
3. We are to live clean. Clean is passion for holiness. If we want to hear God's voice and be zealous to respond to His voice, we must live a clean life. Our hearts cry will be for holiness, a word rarely spoke today anywhere in the body of Christ. Only holiness breathes for His freshness. To be clean before the Lord is both humbling and empowering, because it is about His greatness and our realization that all things are possible to those who believe.
4. We are to live separated. Separation is passion for time alone with the living God. I long for Him for the breath I breathe. I am not talking about being separated from the lost but separated from the world's system of thinking and acting.
5. We are to live pure. Purity is the passion for His love alone. God's love is the answer to the lost and separated world. They are separated because of their sin and disobedience, but His love is what causes us to be pure. Our purity is established by His grace alone.
Watchfulness leads to zeal, and zeal cries to be clean. Clean wants separation from filth, and separation wants purity for a passion of His love alone.
I encourage you to block out the noise of the world, and instead, listen to the voice of God. Be ready for His return, and live a life of victory!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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