The Gathering

 

Scripture: (Deu 16:13 - 15 KJV)  Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.

 

 

            Heavenly Father; We come before you today in the name of Jesus and ask for your blessing. We ask that you bless these words that they might inspire and encourage us to great things in you. We ask that you bless our bodies with health that we might be able to go forth and demonstrate your glory. We ask that you bless our finances that we might be able to give to those in need in your name. More than anything We ask that you bless us with your presence, for you are the Living Word, you are the God that heals, God our Provider, you are El Elyon (God Most High). Give us your Holy Spirit that you might dwell with in us. Let my body be your tabernacle. Let me become the temple of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God in Christ Jesus my Lord. For it is in His name I pray; Amen

 

            God desires to bless you with all the good things in life. It is His hearts desire that you be filled to the over flowing with abundance. Because He is that eternal, abundance. Within Him is all power and glory and riches and majesty. When we walk in Him, He dwells with in us and eternal life flows forth from our inner most being. That was Jesus’ prayer in the 17th chapter of John: (John 17:20-23 NIV)  "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

    Today’s message is one of celebration and warning. We are instructed in God’s word to celebrate the presence of the Lord. This Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of God’s protection and provision. Too often when we have gone though a tough time we fail to acknowledge the one who brought us through. Then again there is the realization that at times we just go on to one battle after another without taking the time out to enjoy any of the victories.

            This should be a time of celebration and reflection. Before we go forward we should be grateful for how far we have come. Some times I have a tendency to get down on myself. No one needs to criticize me because I do it enough to myself. I would like to take this moment to apologize to those I have let down. I know that in my secular job at Crystal springs Water I have made some mistakes. Have you ever had one of them weeks? I have them every week it seems. This week started out great with fasting and prayer for Yom Kippur. Then everything just started to get thrown at me from all angles. And I started making mistakes. I had four leaking coolers, I forgot to turn the water back on at the Brackens house, (sorry) I left the refrigerator pulled out and a leaking cooler as well as other unprofessional mishaps at the Southerlands, (Please forgive me) then to top it all off I get sick and missed a day of work taking away any overtime that I had built up. You know something, I could continue to beat myself over the head with these kinds on things forever. And that is exactly what Satan would have us do. He would love for us to get the thought in our heads that we are unworthy. He wants to rob us of the joy of the Lord. You see, God Himself dwells with in my heart. But Jesus would not make these kinds of mistakes. That is what Jeff asked me this week. What would Jesus do as a filtration technician? After thinking about it I realized that Jesus would do the job right the first time. Jesus would take more time to make sure the customer was happy and Jesus would be smiling a lot more then I do these days.

            So what has all of this have to do with the Feast of Tabernacles? Well, let’s look at it this way. A tabernacle was a shelter. Life has a way of being like as rough wind at times. And we need shelter from the storm. We all have homes (I hope) that we go to at night and find comfort and rest. The simple fact is we can end up taking that home for granted. God is my refuge. He is the rock that holds me firm when everything else is being blown away. He has delivered me from so much yet at times I still will take Him for granted and do not acknowledge the spender of His presence. I have come to realize that there is purpose in my life. God does have a perfect plan for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 puts it this way: (Jer 29:11 NIV)  For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

            Today’s message then is one to encourage your faith. You see faith is the confidence of things unseen. It is our knowing that that God is a rewarded of those who diligently seek him. It is believing that that we are daily being perfected into the very image of Christ Jesus. It is the hope of heaven, it is the joy of being forgiven, it is the knowledge of God’s unconditional love for us.

            I said that this message was both a message of celebration and warning. Well I would not be doing my job as a Man of God if I did not give you the warnings that are written in this book. First I would like to encourage each and every one of you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The unrest in the Middle East is prophecy unfolding, and I hope to get into more of that in the weeks to come. The important thing for us to do is pray. I know that the most effective weapon against any enemy is prayer. (Psalm 122:6 KJV)  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

            As with everything in life we are given choices. We can choose to follow God’s instruction and advice or we can choose to do it our own way. It is the same with this Feast of Tabernacles. You can choose to acknowledge and celebrate the presence of the Living God dwelling within you or you can just go on ignoring this awesome truth. If you have invited Jesus into your heart then the truth is that the God who created everything that is dwells with in you. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God in you, you in Him, it is cause of great celebration. If you hav not then I encourage you to do it right now. You have nothing to lose and all eternity to gain. Pray this prayer with me right now. “ Jesus; please take away my sins and come into my heart. I accept you as my Lord and savior. Right now I become a born again believer in you. Holy Spirit fill my with your presence. Father God I love you and ask for your forgiveness which is in Christ Jesus. For it is in His name I pray Amen.”  Because I will tell you the truth no matter what gets thrown at you when you are in Christ “No weapon which is formed against you will prosper.” “Greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world.” “If God be for us then who can be against us.” “We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And that is just the beginning of the blessings that await us. We need to let the joy of our salvation rise up within us. God does give us a warning in His word for not celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16-19 NIV)  Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

            This passage of scripture is prophetic yet speaks volumes to us today. God does have a perfect plan for your life and He will continue to guide you in it yet ultimately it is up to you to choose your course. It is up to you do decide what is important to you. It is up to you to put your priorities in place. The rewards for putting God first are abundant and eternal. The reward that the world gives is sweet to the taste but sours the stomach unto death. Yes we all know that there is pleasure in sin. But what you need to realize is that it is just for a short season then that short term pleasure leaves you with out any shelter from the coming wrath. And the day is coming. The writing is on the wall.

            What do you decide to celebrate? God wants to bless you. He truly does want to and will give you the desires of your heart as you make the decision to delight in Him. Make your celebrations eternal and give God all the glory. When we acknowledge His power it becomes stronger within us. So let’s set aside anything that does not give God glory. Lets take some time to celebrate the presence of the Lord.