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Mar25WedMarch 25, 2015Yes there are lots of Christians who are luke-warm and leaders leading astray but we also know there is a remnant of believers who are waiting for promises to be fulfilled. They are like Simeon who waited patiently for the promise. Luke 2:25 “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Today I want to encourage you to hold on to the word of God and do not let it go no matter what is happening around you. For some Revelations 2:10 “I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelations 3:11 says, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”In 2 Kings 19:30 we have this great promise. “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.” The promise to David based on obedience is everlasting. King Asa was leading the people back to God because 2 Chronicles 15:3 “For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.” 2 Chronicles 15:1 “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 16 King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah.” This next verse should be great encouragement for you if you are faithfully returning to the Lord and hanging on to his word but as of yet have not seen the full extent of his mighty promises. 2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” Other people may be going astray but as for you do not give up.We can find great encouragement in these very specific directives. As we go through scripture we see “as for you” appear many times. In Genesis 9:7 Noah is told, “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” In order for us to be fruitful and increase in number we must follow this directive to Abraham of which Jesus makes possible. Genesis 17:9 “Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.” Nothing has changed, as we also must obey. The recipient of the charge from David, Solomon is told by God, 1 Kings 9:4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws. 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.” As we know Solomon did not obey and the kingdom was torn from him and given to Jeroboam. God even said to Jeroboam in, 1 Kings 11:37 “However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. Sadly we know that Jeroboam did not continue obeying. If we jump into the New Testament Paul then tells Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,” 1 John 2:24 “As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”We need to do the same. Yes there are going to be leaders and Christians who choose not to follow wholeheartedly. There will be hypocrites and people who have decided that luke-warm is the perfect temperature. There will be lots who have decided to be part of a powerless church who 2 Timothy 3:5 “have a form of godliness but deny its power. There is a very strong command at the end of this verse that states, “Have nothing to do with such people.” These are people who have shrunk back. If you look at Hebrews 10, God said “I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back,” so we will not shrink back. We who are part of the remnant “39 do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. “But my righteous one will live by faith. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”So as you wait the Lord will make you strong. Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Hebrews 10:37 “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” Joshua 23:8 tells us, “But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.” Whether we have seen all of God’s promises fulfilled and we are holding on to His word with everything we have, “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” We stand on these verses knowing God always keeps his promise to the faithful. But as for you and I, Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”