In Proverbs 3:9, Wisdom is being likened to a woman whom you must embrace, honour, exalt and promote. It instructs us to stay close to her, promote her, exalt her, and try your best to lift her up. And the reward is clearly stated in verse 9:
She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.Proverbs 4:9
The result of following, embracing, promoting and holding on to wisdom is that you are going to receive a crown –You will receive honour.
The difference between a foolish and a wise person is in the choices they make. The foolish person usually does the most important things last. He waits waits till the last minute to do the important thing.
But a wise person chooses to do the most important things first. The earlier you make the adjustment and choose to do the right thing, the wiser you are. Don’t wait till the end to choose the important thing.
Make a decision to choose and do the right thing in the beginning itself. Give your youth to it. Give your strength to it.
Don’t say, “When I am finally almost dead, I will do the wise things.” Give yourself to wisdom, and the things that are important in God’s eyes when you are young. You may look like a fool, but in God’s eyes you are wise.
You can be definitely sure that the ornament and crown of Glory is coming.
We as believers should begin to think like this. If choosing wisdom is the principal thing, the first and most important thing, we must begin to settle this inside.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;Proverbs 3:13-16
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.
As you see in verse 16, there’s length of days, riches and honour that comes with the package. So learn to promote these kind of thinking and choices early in life. This means you already see the end from the beginning. The end is a crown.
Don’t be fooled. The end can come suddenly. It could come tonight, even as you are reading this. That is why we study this and gather at every given opportunities, not neglecting the gathering together of the saints. So we will gather some more and study some more on wisdom, so that we are not in dark about the time and season for when he comes.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Hebrews 10:25
The greatest thing for the church is the soon-coming of the Lord Jesus for His bride, the Church. This is followed by the 7 year Great Marriage Supper of The Lamb where it is also the Judgement Seat of Christ. This is a time of evaluation and designation with rewards. Crowns would be given based on what we accomplished while we were in this earthly bodies. For a believer, it is the greatest event. It took a special revelation coming to Paul to understand it and teach this to the body of Christ.
As you listen to what King Solomon is saying in these scriptures, you would have seen that if you had followed wisdom, embraced it, honoured it and exalted it, you would surely receive a crown. This was written thousands of years before Paul. You see it’s the same person or Spirit that is writing these things.
Timothy was very close to Paul. He once said that Timothy was the only one who was like a son to him and did not leave him. He said Timothy cared for the things of God like no one else at that time. So he made many personal comments to Timothy. In 2 Timothy, 4:6, this is kind of like the last communication to Timothy before Paul is leaving the earth.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.2 Timothy 4:6
Here, Paul says he is ready to go now. He is not surprised that he is dying. He said he knows he is ready. This is not some sudden unexpected death or accident.
In Philemon 1:9, he is calling himself Paul the aged. An old person.
Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.Philemon 1:9
So Paul did not die young. He lived to be a very old man even though he was tortured and he suffered a lot for the Gospel. He wrote to Timothy saying, “Now I am ready to be offered”. The time for his departure has come. So if we follow the ways of God, our story should also be the same. We should know what to do and when it is time to finish also.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:2 Timothy 4:7
There is fighting to do. We have to fight a good fight. This is not a physical fight. You are fighting invisible forces with the weapons of our warfare, which are in Christ, the good word of God.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12-18
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
So there is a course, each one of us have to run – a race that we have to finish.
Paul said I fought the fight. I have kept the faith. I have finished. I am over now. He said he didn’t give up the faith. He was sure that he kept the faith. He fought, He finished, He kept.
I declare in Jesus name that we will also, fight, we will finish and we will keep.
Paul continues to say in 2 Timothy 4:9, about what is going to happen after his death.
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.2 Timothy 4:8
Paul was sure about what he was going to receive. He was sure that there is a Crown of Righteousness laid up for him in heaven. He was sure that the Lord himself would give it to him on the day of judgement.
Therefore, this is the way it is supposed to be for all of us. We are supposed to know what we are to do and when we come to the end of it, we should expect to be crowned.
Moreover, Paul said this is not just for him alone, but also for all who love The Lord’s appearing or the rapture of the Church. So we have to “love His appearing”, be constantly expecting it and live in that expectation.
But, how will we know if we are not told about this? So the Church must keep on hearing that Jesus is coming soon and they are supposed to love that coming. So it must be taught that He is coming soon and we must look forward for it with great love.
Thank God for all the other things we learned, but this is supposed to be our great trophy à one of these days, He is coming and thet when He appears, He is going to give us a crown.
So we have to choose to do the right thing, to fight, to run and to finish. If we tripped and fell, we just stand up again, and go forward. Maybe our shoe got thrown somewhere. Just pick it up,and lets go forward.
Maybe somebody tied the laces together and you fell, they wanted you to trip and fall. But for those that love His word, nothing shall offend them.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.Psalms 119:165
Nobody can trip them. No matter what, they will stand up and say, “Oh, I love His word. I hunger & thirst for His word”. They cannot stay in offence.
You can easily tell when someone loves His word or not. If they are easily offended, they are not in love with His word. They are always losing their peace.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
Remember, Jesus has overcome. We should never think that we will pass through this life and nothing will happen. That is why we have to fight. Something is trying to stop us from finishing our course. Something is trying to stop you from getting your crown. Do not let anything stop you from that crown. You have to keep fighting by faith.
So no matter what portion of scripture you are studying, study faith every day. Make sure you read and meditate a few verses on faith every day. Faith must work for you every day. Wake up every day and say, “This is the day the Lord has made. Whether I feel it or not, I will rejoice”. It’s by faith that you do that.
Some days you may not feel like waking up. The weather is so hot. Everything is so weird. However, by faith we go forward. Paul went through all these feelings too.
We have to remember that we have a course to finish. We have to fight by faith. That means feelings would be my biggest enemies. You will not feel like doing things. However, faith is not moved by feelings. Faith acts on the Word of God. Keep saying, “I am a new creature. I am a child of God. I don’t care how I feel”. You have to just get up and keep going. Feelings will come later. If you wait to feel somethings to do what God asked you, it is going to be a long wait.
But when you walk by faith you go from glory to glory, from faith to faith. The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
Its not a 100 metre dash. It is a long marathon run. Let us do it one day at a time. Because there is a crown when the Lord appears.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Titus 2:11
Paul says that the grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men, including unbelievers. But to the church he says in verse 12,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;Titus 2:12
The teaching on grace makes you to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly and righteously in this present world. It means the grace of God will help you do this. It can take a person from the gutter, an addict and a useless fellow and make him a Pastor and a teacher. He can marry and can have a family and His children can observe it and it will be true.
The family may not like it. Jesus said, a man’s enemy will be the people in his own house. They may not like this kind of teachings.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.Matthew 10:34-35
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Jesus said, because of him, there would be a sword. This is the problem with the truth. Truth makes you an enemy. Some folks may not like it and they may ask you to leave them alone. There was a time when I could not open and speak about Jesus in my earthly father’s house. He warned me not to speak about Jesus in his house. He said, “Don’t preach to my daughter. This is my house.” So I didn’t preach there. But today my father is born-again. Hallelujah!
There is a fight, a war and sometimes when it comes to people in the household it is even worse. But ,you have to go on. You have to keep going. Because there is a crown waiting for you.
Jesus continues to speak.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:37
What is this? Looks like Christianity is terrible.
Looks like it says, once you become a Christian, you have to forget about all kinds of relatives, you have to leave everyone else? – Father, mother, son, daughter..?
He said it. It can happen. It may happen.
Then he goes even further.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:38
How many of you have been hearing about the cross? Not too many people preach about it. Because a cross is painful. You’ll be hanging there. But nobody wants to hang on the cross.But he did not say take my cross. But take your own cross.
You may say, this is my cross – my family is against me. My daughter in law is against me. How long will I carry this cross? That’s it. Because you are worthy of Jesus, you are going through it. You will start wondering, why you were born in this family. Job began to curse the day he was born.
He said I wish I was not born. But the wise God decided that you come from this particular family and he knows everything. He knows all the stuff that happens in that family. And he is asking, do you think peace in that family will happen automatically?
No you have to fight. You have to run and keep doing it and doing it and doing it, until the peace comes. That’s your cross, you have to carry it.
Nobody likes that.
But the teaching of the grace of God will strengthen you to go on. And it will strengthen you to live a godly life, waiting for the crown.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Titus 2:11-13
Everyone that is accepting these truths must be waiting for these great and blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
The grace of God will teach you that you can live a set apart life – a holy life, till Jesus comes.
So if I were to rate myself, you will have a very humble opinion of yourself. You thought you were someone great, But you may be disappointed. So you keep working on it. Running.
As a Pastor, I will check, How good an example I am. What Am I teaching? I teach grace. Is it making people to live holy? Are they able to look forward to the coming of Jesus or are they looking here and there.
Everything else is secondary compared to the blessed hope of Jesus coming. We are not saying that you should not expect things from the earth, but this is greater than all.
And you must expect him to show-up anytime. And if he shows up, are you ready? To receive? Because when he shows up, he is going to check you out and give you a reward.
That is the day you will know how good you are. Let’s see the result.
Have you had children who said they studied everything and then a few minutes before the exam, they are sweating blood. Then you ask them, I thought you had studied everything.
We just passed through the exam season.
We take them for the exam and when they come out, we ask them how it was and they say, easy. Everything was so cool. We say no problem, we will see the result. Result day is a funny day. Isn’t it? That is when you will know. You may not believe it. So you will have to go and look at the answer sheet yourself. Then you will believe.
I thought I was great, but look at this.So if we are actually concerned about meeting him face to face, it’s good to check and see how you are doing.
Am I teaching the right thing? Are the results coming? Is there any evidence? Is everyone going forward or giving up?do they just quit when the going gets tough?
There will always be one or two who will say I want to die – Commit suicide.
The simple answer to that is that you don’t have to kill yourself, you don’t have to hang yourself or jump in front of a train etc. You just have to complain everyday and that wil ensure you will die.
It is called bitter water. You will be drinking bitter waters and it will destroy you. Automatically you will die.
This is why I always praise God. That’s why I go by faith. If you are waiting for feelings, you may only be complaining.
And you will drink that juice yourself and you will leave. So if you are a believer, don’t try to jump in front of a train or eaten by lion etc. Just start complaining everyday and you will see that it is happening.
One by one your organs will start shutting off. You were supposed to be a temple that offers a sacrifice of praise.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Titus 2:13
It says Looking for.. So if you are not looking, something is wrong.
What are you looking for? What is your main expectation?
Is that possessing your life everyday? What is really possessing you? You can check. Just make a little note and tell God, Lord if you come today, I am not ready; I’ve been looking here and there. That is supposed to be a good church.
You cannot surprise a good church. They cannot say, Pastor you did not tell us about this.
The pastor will tell you. He will do his business. Jesus is coming. Better be looking for him and his coming. He may come tonight. Check your baggage and see if you have anything that is too heavy? Or are you ready to fly?
Where are your eyes?
The church has to check like that. Jesus actually said that you are to make sure you save in heaven and not on the earth.
Some of us are obeying that without actually trying. We don’t have much savings on the earth.
I am talking about people who have savings. They should look for a way of putting it in heaven.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.Titus 2:14
Isn’t that wonderful? If you ask Jesus, why did you die for this people, I try to give them a fat salary and many houses and cars. That’s all part of it.
But the main thing is that we are separated from the poverty of the world and the sickness and sin of the world. All that thing is in the fallen world. Because of that people are poor.
So they are working hard to come out of it. Ans then Jesus comes and takes you out of it. And says All these things are for you. But make sure that your eyes are on me.
The world does not know that. He that gets the son gets everything. He came to get us out from the failure, destruction and curse and purify for himself – for himself. He said before I can enjoy you, I want you to be clean. Not run off distracted when he says, I need a nice hug from you.
He wants us to be able to relax with him, clean and pure that we can enjoy his hug. Why is he purifying the church? For himself. He is asking, is the church ready for my embrace?
Is the church ready for me to come? Are their eyes here and there or on me?
So a good church should be showing us again and again, look up man. He is coming. Do some good works man. Let people be saved looking at you. Let them watch your life and desire to be like you.
Not them looking at you and saying, is this a Christian or what? I cant be sure.
Maybe he is a chameleon Christian. You cannot see the difference. When he is with unbelievers, he is like them, when he is with Christians, he is like them.
Can’t tell if he is a Christian or not.
The example Paul used was that they are lying down among the dead and pretending to be dead.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.Ephesians 5:14-15
So we must be different. People should see us and say it. It preaches more than our words. Our life preaches more than our words. Although people may not like it, but still preach.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.Titus 2:14
So you are zealous, peculiar special, chosen for good works. You’re the right person for this time.
God said I know who is perfect for 2019 and he said its you.
You may look at yourselves and say HOW? But he says, just look at me. Don’t look here and there.
You are perfect for this time.
I am your coach, your hero. Look at me.
He ended it in verse 15 by saying:
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.Titus 2:15
Nobody should be able to look down on you. That means when you start teaching these things, they may not like it and look down upon you.
But he said, with all authority, do it. So I am very happy that I am following the book as an example.
So I can tell Jesus when he comes, that I did it Lord. I taught them what you asked me to teach. If you are a clever pastor, you will look for those things that He said “teach these things”.
God started showing me and told me teach those things that I asked to teach with all authority. Even if you have to rebuke, you should. People will not like it. But don’t be bothered, just continue. Because when He comes, I must be clear.
I am accountable.
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)Philippians 3:19
Paul says, for some people, their God is their belly. I respect the belly, coz when you are saying “Hallelujah”, you hear it shouting.. Lets eat.. You get used to it and say, later.. shut up now.
But his problem is, I want it now. That is the difference between grownups and children. Children show all kinds of tantrums.. NOW.
Grownups take care of other things first and then say, Now lets eat.
That’s what Paul is talking about. Some things that are calling for your attention – NOW NOW NOW.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:Philippians 3:20
We are not from here. Belly is important, but not that important. You came from there and this body is your house. Imagine the house always telling you to take care of it. You say, I’ll take care of you, but meanwhile I have to live.
Why should that house be telling you things. It has no right to tell you anything. If it is causing so much trouble, you leave the house and go to another house.
How can the house control you? You say, who are you? You are just a house. I am from heaven. You have been pampering yourself by yielding to what the house says. And the house is saying, I have this guy in my hands. He obeys me. You have to speak to the house. Challenge it. So Paul says, I put my body under.
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.1 Corinthians 9:27
You should be in control. But until you get that control, you may have to make some deals. I don’t have my house under full control. So we make a deal.. little by little. It’s not popular preaching. But it must be taught. It’s very dangerous because as Paul says, after preaching to others, I can be disqualified. All of us have the same body. Preacher has the same body as the congregation.
Thank God the word is perfect. We are not yet perfect. We are learning to put it down. You have to start .. little by little. Putting him in his place. Otherwise he will keep increasing and increasing, until he becomes a god.
He will sit there and say, when I command you just obey. Tonight I want kabab. Let’s go. And when you started going to a good church, he is not happy. Now it’s no more kabab, But Christ.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:Philippians 3:20
Paul says you Look for the saviour. People are looking everywhere. They look at the sty, take pictures of the sky.. the shapes of clouds.
But the real one is not visible. You are supposed to be looking at something that no one is seeing. How do we know that you are looking at the right place? Because you are living in a certain way.
People will know that you are looking somewhere else..
Nothing wrong with going to the mall. Bible says, if you are married, you should care for the things in this world, how you can please your wife. It is written.
What a great permission. That is why you should get married, so you can care a little bit about the things of the world.
But if you are not married, your eyes must only be in heaven.
How many unmarried people are doing that? The Word is ideal 100%.
It’s hard to find.
So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:1Corinthians 1:7
Why do you need the gifts? Because Jesus is coming. So you must represent him properly. You must be like Jesus. He is talking about the whole church. He said they – the whole church had all the gifts operating and they are waiting for the coming of the Lord.
How many of you are waiting for the coming of the Lord? He may come tonight. But Jesus says, no man knows the hour, not even himself, only the Father knows it. And the Father is with him.
Father is saying, “How much of India has heard the Gospel? How can my son come now? Those guys are dying outside there. I cannot let him go now.
So if we do our work quickly. He will come quickly.
But he can come tonight. He is a righteous judge. He knows what to do. He knows whether they will choose or not.He knows everything. Gospel is going everywhere – on TV, mobile phone, internet, radio. Quickly. He can come tonight.
The Corinthians came behind in no gift waiting for the coming of our lord Jesus. So while we are still here, go for the gifts also. Go and wait.
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.1Thessalonians 1:10
We were supposed to be destroyed. But he delivered us from it and said wait for him.
So what is your main job? Your eyes are looking up. Jesus is coming soon.
There is a testimony of a boy from our church. He recently married a girl who comes from a Buddhist background.
She said. When they were unbelievers long back, they happened to see the Jesus movie on Doordarshan during Christmas. The movie touched them. They were thinking, why did they kill Jesus? He was such a good man. What was amazing that really affected them was this.
On one easter day, early morning at around 5 am, this particular group of believers were going everywhere shouting He is alive. They were amazed. They asked, Is he really alive? That challenged them that these people believed he is alive.
Shortly after this incident, they accepted Jesus. People are watching. Everything you do is being watched. They watch and listen. I never knew that wakingup at 5 am and shouting that He is alive He is alive would produce something. But that went like a missile into their heart and the result was that the girl and her sister accepted Jesus.
Their Father who is a staunch Buddhist hasn’t accepted yet. But they heard him talking with a friend of his saying, Jesus is a good person, but he always says he is the only way. That’s the problem with him.
It’s going out there. Everybody’s watching. They are listening and observing everything.
They want your Jesus badly.
If your eyes are onlywhere their eyes are, then what is the difference?
If you are going to run a race, you know your eyes are very important. You need to be focussed on your destination. No matter what, their eyes are set. They fall down, they get back up and eyes go back to focus.
There is a race going on. The church has to be taught these things. There is a course you have to finish. There is a crown waiting. Let’s do the job.
Let your eyes be up. Stay focussed on Him. Run. Finish your race. Go home in glory!!!