Monday, August 27, 2012

My Salvation Is Close At Hand

My wife April is a dreamer.  She has experienced fresh and clear expressions from the Lord for her and our lives together through dreams.  I’ve asked the Lord to speak to me, and I, on occasion, have dreams that speak to me.  More often, the Lord has given me scripture passages to find and study.

On July 10, in prayer, I asked God to speak to me.  Within the subsequent hour, Isaiah 5617 came to me.  I often see a book name in my mind followed by numbers when the Lord answers my request.  I then looked up Isaiah 56: 17.  I found out there is no verse 17 in Isaiah 56.  Such experiences have taught me not to give up.  I then moved to read Isaiah 56, verses 1 to 7.  These verses spoke to me profoundly and, I believe, prophetically. 

This is what the Lord says:  “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.  Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”  Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”  For this is what the Lord says:  “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant—to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.
 Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.”
In July we were heading for a decision as a church regarding the unifying of our two worship services into one.  This passage speaks of worship and ‘sabbath keeping’, and it speaks of what is coming.  “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” 
Foreigners and eunuchs are referred to in this.  Biblically, foreigners are those outside of the covenant of God politically and racially, and eunuchs are known as those outside of God’s covenant socially by their own actions.  When they worship and keep the Sabbath, they will be given a name better than sons and daughters and “joy in my house of prayer.”  This has already begun among us.
The last Sunday of August I met four people at Hewett who I hadn’t met before or who hadn’t been to our church before.  Prior to Sunday school in the fellowship hall I shook hands with Matthew (this isn’t his name).  I first met him at the Albertville City Jail two weeks before.  Back then, he told me he’d come to church to hear me preach.  I, also, met Mark (not his name) that day as we greeted one another in worship.  Troy, the director of Stepping Stones Rooming House, told me that Mark has just gotten out of jail, had heard of the house in jail, got out and walked to the house in Boaz.  Troy had never had that happen before.  He came with them to worship (Sabbath keeping) that morning.
I was greeting folks after worship in the lobby. Two women came to me.  Sarah (not her name) greeted me with a beaming smile and said how much she appreciated worship.  I didn’t know who she was.  Lastly, there was Rachel (again, not her name).  She had a speech impediment.  She said she’d suffered from a stroke, but that that day she discovered she could make a fist with her right hand for the first time since the stroke.  The Lord gave her joy in the house of prayer.
It has begun.  The Lord is sending the ‘foreigners’ and ‘eunuchs’ to our church and our congregation to worship and to, subsequently, be blessed.  What a wonderful time to be at Hewett!  Join with me in praising our Lord because His salvation is close at hand!