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Day 33 “Hunger and Thirst”March 27, 2015Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? This is a question that can help you understand whether you are part of the remnant. God has been gracious to us in leaving a remnant so it is important to understand what that means. It is obvious by now that just because you go to church does not mean you are a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. 2 Chronicles 34:21 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.” The church today is in the same position as Josiah and Judah. Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 37:31 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” Malachi 3:16 [The Faithful Remnant] “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured his name.” Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be part of the remnant but those who are luke-warm and those who have become cold will not be. Scripture makes it very clear that we need to remain in Him. John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”This means living according to the word of God. For example, if you boil water there is a lot going in in the pot. Boiling is described as agitated, deeply stirred, extreme, fierce, churning. Once water has boiled and you take it away from the heat, it will return to the temperature your house is. To stay hot you must remain by the fire. Another way to look at it is the furnace in your house. One year mid-winter it was really cold outside and I noticed, even tough the furnace was turned on, the temperature in the house was dropping. As it turned out the sensor to tell the furnace to fire up was broken. Like this example of our furnace your environment effects how far the temperature will drop. Very quickly it will return to a luke-warm state or cold. The remnant are not people who are luke-warm. You know they go to church and that’s it. They are religious but not Christians. The pot of water can also get very cold depending on if it’s in the fridge. When people take themselves away from the heat, the word of God by the way, they end up cold even though they started off boiling. They no longer want anything to do with the truth so they do whatever they can to stay away from the heat. The remnant is not people who are cold. Sadly there are many who are seeking truth and since many churches no longer teach the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they go else where. The remnant will persevere and remain but hose who do not will continue in their own ways, saying I will be safe going my own way. Isaiah 53:6 like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;These people who once knew, are crucifying Christ all over again. I don’t just want to use this one verse but part of the chapter to help us realize how important it is for us to follow wholeheartedly and remain in Him. Hebrews 6 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. 4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” I am always amazed when I hear someone say they were a Christian but became dissatisfied and looked for other answers and became a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist. The atheists are even promoting themselves with advertisements on TV. I looked at one that talked about knowledge and truth but without God they are deceiving themselves. I have always said that in these cases although they are denying Jesus Christ as their saviour they are also not making the connection that church is Jesus Christ the only way, the only truth and the only life. These people are dissatisfied with the church and the people in it and rightly so I might add in many cases. There are millions of people dissatisfied with the church and we should be in its state but don’t be lead astray by man-made religion. You are accountable to search for the truth and if you search in the wrong place it will cost you your eternal life. A true atheist will deny God to his face on their deathbed but it is easy to be anti-God when things are going well. What atheists do not realize is they are making their decision surrounded by God. They reap his benefits but once they enter hell apart from God they will wish they had believed. As we move further along into this apostasy more and more people will die thinking they found the truth. Wake-up church. The luke-warm and the cold will not win those looking for truth. Fancy churches, programs, music, drama and slick preaching only last for a bit but eventually the crowds will turn away hungering and thirsting for the truth. Sadly these crowds do not search scripture but turn to the teachings of man . The same crowds that shouted Hosanna also shouted crucify him. Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?The remnant is not part of this group of people. Unfortunately many people who call themselves Christians do not even know the elementary truths of the gospel that Paul talks about. Hebrews 6:9 “Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” When we look at the question; do we hunger and thirst there are two ways of looking at it. The first is for those who are lukewarm and cold. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.” If we do not listen to the word of God we will die of hunger and thirst but we do not want to be with those people. But in Isaiah 49 is the description of the restoration of Israel “8 This is what the Lord says: In the time of my favour I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out, and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.” 13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”If you think the church is where it should be and you are not hungering and thirsting after righteousness you are probably not part of the remnant. The remnant are those who believe in the word of God but not just as a story that happened a long time ago but as the living present and very relevant word of God. They are dissatisfied with the lack of power in the church. Like Gideon they say where are all the wonders? Leonard Ravenhill asked, “Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old?” I believe yes but not in the state the church is in. We must hunger and thirst once again for truth. Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” John 4:13 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Are you thirsty for this water? John 6:28 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” Do not be part of the unbelieving church as that is not the church but hunger and thirst after righteousness.