Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Occupy Till I Come
Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Other translations say; Do business - till I come.
In other words engage in trade with what you have been given. Take what you have and put it to work. Stay busy with what I have given to you. Make this money grow. If you are in business and you are not growing you have become stagnant. Itís no different with the church. If we arenít going foreword, then weíve become stagnant. You can't be both.
The Greek word used for occupy is pragmateuomai
from GSN4229; to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade:
W.E. Vines says occupy - "to walk," is sometimes used of the state in which one is living, or of that to which a person is given,
When you look at the modern church, you see it is busy as a whole, but are they accomplishing what God has given to them? Is the church occupying, or is it just setting on its laurels of past glories and waiting for the Lord to return. Is this what He called us to do? Is this what will hasten His return? Jesus said this to the church:
Revelation 3:16 "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.
The lord loves us more than we can fathom. I know he didnít say this to create fear, but as an admonition. In the last days, many will fall away from the faith. Satan knows his time is short, and heís out doing everything he can to sabotage the faith of the saints.
Matthew 24:10 "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11. "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12. "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
He also went on to say in vs. 24. "For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Weíre in the last days, but we are also in the greatest time to be alive since the beginning of creation. No one knows the exact time of His coming, but we certainly could be a part of the generation that ushers in His return. Shouldnít we be about the Lords business?
We are the ones called to such a time as this! Step out and take your God given place in His kingdom. Donít be afraid. Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He wants us to accomplish certain things while we are here on the Earth but he also is one hundred percent behind us, supporting us all the way.
There will be a day when many will look back with regrets and say I could have done so much more. God gave me all these abilities and talents and anointing, what do I have to show for all of that? I donít want to be one of those do you? I have regrets in my life and Satan has tried to hold things over my head. However, Iíve learned to not look back at my mess ups, but rather to look ahead at what I can still accomplish. I have been forgiven and I will go on! Once again I will say, if God is for me who can be against me! I will say even as the Apostle Paul:
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Regret can be a powerful tool of the enemy. He loves to beat Godís elect over the head with what they haven't done, and remind them of their past mistakes. He knows that if he can keep them in a state of remembrance of their past failures, he wonít have to worry about them in his future. This can become a great stumbling block in a Christians life, and many have stalled out, unable at least in their own mind to go forward because of it.
For those of you have been there and know what I am talking about, I want to encourage you. I know what it is like to be so down because of my past that I could not go foreword. The Lord is so awesome; He has not forgotten His promises to us. When we repent and turn back to Him, He is always there to take us back, and restore lost fellowship. I was in this very place at one time in my life. I had received forgiveness for my mess ups but really thought that I couldnít go further with my calling. The enemy was right there on my shoulder reminding me of my failures. One day as I was out in my back yard just playing around with my bonsaiís and quietly singing and worshiping the Lord, He spoke to me so sweetly, and told me this. "I have called you before the foundation of the world." Along with the words came the revelation, He will not go back on His word to us. Whom He has called He has called, and thatís that. He absolutely will not go back on His promises. Let us as Christians receive this great grace and go forward into the future with this holy hope and expectation.
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Although I knew this was in the Bible, it was certainly not personal to me up until that time. These words restored me and empowered me as nothing else could possibly have done. These words were spoken not only for my sake, but as a reminder for any believer who has lost their way on the journey, and for all of those who are questioning their calling and have lost their ability to go forward. He has not forgotten you, and is here to empower you by the Holy Spirit to go forward in His preordained calling and purpose. We have a purpose, and its time to put the past behind us and go forward. He is truly an ever-present help in a time of need.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
He wonít go back on His promises ever. It can not happen. Reach out with me for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I shared this to help any that could not go forward. We canít be occupiers of the land if we are stalled out in the present because of our past, can we? Take this attitude with me, I will go forward and fulfill my God given destiny. God is for me, who can be against me? With this attitude, we will walk in the victory that has surely been won for us.
My question is this, is the church really occupying or are we just doing business as usual.
There are great revivals in the world with hundreds of thousands and even millions giving their lives to Jesus Christ, but are we really occupying? I realize this is not a simple problem but one that will take the concentrated efforts of Christians across the board. How can we as Christians step across our own man made lines and start acting as the body of Christ as a whole and not just a lot of parts? The barriers have to come down, how can we occupy if we can not even come to agreement within ourselves. Jesus said a kingdom divided against itself can not stand.
I believe we as believers have certainly inhabited the land but have not truly occupied it. To occupy is to fully influence every aspect of society as we know it, spiritually, as well as socially and economically. Society should see a dramatic change. This kind of change doesnít just effect a generation but effects future generations as well. When the Apostles first preached, people werenít just born again but every aspect of society and culture was changed. If you change a culture you change the very fabric of the society that they live in. This kind of change can have long lasting effects, not just temporary ones.
Are we as the body of Christ thinking too small? We often think in terms of getting people into the kingdom and leave it at that. Jesus said as part of the great commission to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20.)
How can we disciple nations. By positively changing them from the inside out. Other religions have a systematic plan for doing just that. However, Christianity hasnít been doing that to the same degree.
All Christians are not called into the 5-fold ministry, but many are called to be bankers, teachers, lawyers, judges, politicians, and so on. Christians should be at the top and scattered throughout every area of society if they are truly walking in their giftings. There is an anointing that goes along with that calling. The God given abilities along with the anointing that is upon Godís chosen people in every area of society can influence that society in such a way as to give Godly direction and influence. To try to change the direction of a society without a Godly change from within will only lead to rebellion within the very society you are trying to influence. You can not have permanent change by trying to force laws down peoples throats without also teaching Godly principles along with them. And as well in so doing, changing the top areas within that society, and creating a society where a Christian revival will not only happen, but will grow and leave long lasting sustained influence and change within that nation. This kind of sustained change will endure into the future, and I believe will be the catalyst that ushers in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! Instead of setting on our spiritual backsides and waiting for the Lord to return, lets hasten His return. Lets fill our lamps with oil and go take the land.
Many feel that they are not really contributing if they are not a preacher or minister. If God has called you to be a businessperson, politician, banker, teacher etc. then know that there is no more important thing you can be doing. We all have our God given place and it will take all of us working together in every phase of society to bring about the kind of permanent change that can transform a nation.
We need Christians occupying within every area of society. I want to personally challenge you to find your God given place, and letís do this together Amen.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God! Glory to God!!!!Amen.