As we return to our home from the Feast of Tabernacles, it is truly awesome to think that for a whole week we had the opportunity to dwell with God; to learn to serve Him and to rejoice in His presence. The rich sermons, beautiful musical items, and joyous fellowship all worked together to make this a most blessed Feast! The baptismal ceremony toward the end of the Feast was a great highlight as the congregation assembled at the pool to witness six new persons added to the Body of Christ!
However, as we return from the Feast, the wear and tear of life can soon set in and wear away much of what we learned. The challenge for us is “Keeping the Feast Alive” as brother Zion Hezekiah reminded us in his most recent sermonette. One way he suggested we do this is to “practice the things we learned at the Feast”. How do you do this?
Practice What We Learned
First, you should take some quiet time to go over the notes you made during the sermons at the Feast. Take time to reflect on the texts to gain a deeper understanding of what God is saying to you. If you mislaid your notes, visit the church website at www.cgitoronto.org and listen again to some of the sermons that are posted there (note: We have a limit on the number of videos we can upload per week. If you don’t see a particular sermon, please check back as they are being posted as quickly as possible over the next couple of weeks.)
The scriptures admonish us to exercise ourselves unto godliness and to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In 1 Timothy 4:7, the Apostle Paul states “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness because it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Secondly, we can “keep the feast alive” by continually placing our hope in the coming Kingdom of God. It is in this hope that we will find the solutions to the challenges and cares we are likely to face. Hope in the Kingdom of God is the vaccine against giving up. It gives us the power and ability to take hard blows and not give up.
This was the experience the apostle Paul shared with the brethren in Corinth. He said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.( 2 Cor 4:8-9). He went on to say in 2 Cor 6:10 “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
1. Hope in the coming Kingdom of God enables us to endure suffering.
2 Cor 4:16-18 says: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2. Hope in the coming Kingdom of God enables us to put on godly character.
Rom 5:3-5 says, “..suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
3. Hope enables us to persevere through trial.
James 1:12 says Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
4. When you place your hope in God, He does not give you more than you can bear.
He says in 1 Cor 10:13, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
5. When you place your hope in God, He comforts you in time of trouble.
2 Cor 12: 9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Fixing Our Eyes & Our Hope
As we return from the Feast of Tabernacles to another year of life in Babylon, let us keep the Feast alive in our hearts by fixing our eyes and our hope on the coming Kingdom of God!