1 Picture for today - Topshop in Oxford Circus in London
This is a "twisted picture" of the Topshop in Oxford Street in London - Topshop Oxford Circus London - one of the most desired-to-shop-at places for many youngsters today. Everyone in London wants to go to Oxford Street, because anything you want can be found there: jeans, snickers, t-shirts, sports shoes, suits, electronics, mobile phones, jackets, underwear, etc. Among those shops is the TopShop - one of the many very expensive shops there, who sometimes has some reduced prices on stuff and everyone goes there! They sell clothing, designer collection, shoes, accessories, make-up, gifts, etc - visit their website to find out more (including pictures of skinny people wearing their clothes).
1 Experience with the Lord - It's All Going Down if You're Not Growing in the Lord!
I don't really know whether the title explains what I'm trying to say, but it's something like this: if we are not growing in the Lord every day, we don't "stagnate"; rather, we are "going down". The reason the picture above is slightly inclined is that the whole world today, with all the shops and the shiny stuff, is GOING DOWN. Morality is not present anymore, ethics are up to you, respect is not found unless you're a close friend, love is re-defined to include all kind of perversions and twisted inclinations, and people are not pure anymore.
No one is seeking God - not even one(Rom. 3:10). They think they re-define God just as they try to re-define love and marriage. There's a trend today towards immorality, disrespect, not caring for anyone but yourself, reading and doing your best to be influenced by people who think the way you do, refusing to think about God or talk about God, rejecting and despising those who believe in God and love God, ... - and, in general, doing what YOU want but in such a way that you ignore God and His Word.... - the world is going down to the extent that they would rather believe a lie than believe the truth(2 Thes. 2:11)...
WHY am I saying all the above? It is simply because if we as believers in Christ, as lovers of the Lord, as saints in the church life, and as young pursuers of Christ - if we are not DESPERATE to grow in the divine life every day, we are being swept away by the trend in this world, the current that culminates in the lake of fire! If we ignore the Lord today, if we don't pay attention to His speaking within us tomorrow, and if we are not willing to pay the price to meet with our companions and with the saints, then we are not "surviving" or "stagnating" - rather, we are being little by little swept away by the strong current in the world!
In these last days, before the Lord returns, we do not have time to waste. I waste too much time on meaningless things, and especially after a home meeting like tonight - where we enjoyed the Lord Jesus as the Good Shepherd as revealed in Psalm 23, we had some new ones, we all shared something of our enjoyment in the Word, and we had fellowship with one another around some nice Thai Green Curry and some healthy fruits as dessert... - I realized this even more: I need to Grow In Life More Today! I know I can't grow faster than the speed of life, and I can't grow by just "desiring to grow"....
Lord Jesus, grow in me! Gain us as mature young saints who are here as a stepping stone for Your return! Save us from being influenced or swept away from You by the current of this age! Lord, keep us close to You! Keep us in the middle of the church life. Make us those who seek You with our whole heart, those who are willing to pay the price of their soul life that they may gain You!Whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, or whether we want to hear this / know this or not - the whole world - with all its glitter and its mud - is lake-of-fire-bound, and unless we are actively building the testimony of Jesus today (like Noah did in the old days) no matter how strong we are, we will be swept away in this flow! Daniel HAD TO refuse the king's food so that he would not defile himself. We HAVE TO stay away from certain places, certain people, and certain situations - so that we would not be defiled. But we also can choose the Lord right now - today! We can turn to Him right now so that He would continue to grow in us more today!