Most of us are kind of apologetic when we say we are Christians.  If we are honest, we see that we still have a long way to go to truly follow Christ.  So, we might qualify it.  We say things like, I am a Christian but I am weak.  We should change the but to therefore.  I am a Christian therefore I am strong.  I fell, but now I will arise.  That’s what God says.

Isaiah 60:1 
New International Version
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

When someone ARISES, they improve.  God, through the prophet Isaiah told us toarise, so it is possible.  Why don’t we see much improvement in ourselves?  If someone goes to the gym every day for 20 years they would see an improvement when they looked in a mirror.  If someone reads one book a day, over 20 years, they will find out that they know a lot more stuff.  When we go to church, pray and readthe Bible every day for 20 years, why don’t we see more of a change in ourselves and our characters?

Part of our lack of introspective vision is because we can’t see the forest because ofthe trees.  We are too close to everything.  Also, I think it’s because there are spiritual dimensions and physical dimensions.  We can see the physical with our eyes.  These things are temporary.  The spiritual, we can not see, but those things are eternal.

Last week, a lady, who hasn’t been by for a few years, came to the feeding center.  My defensive preparatory line to everyone that visits is, “I think the kids here are Christians, but nothing seems to change.”  The first thing she said was, “Wow the kids have changed!”  We didn’t see it with our physical eyes, because it wasn’t the physical changes as much as spiritual.

The kids are cleaner and healthier, because of our physical care.  The spiritual side of the feeding center etc. make the kids better spiritually.  They are arising and shining because of God’s glory.  These kids are Christians!  Therefore they arise, they are improving and are more disciplined.  You can see that they ARISE because they are more loving, kinder and gentler.  It is because of the Lord.

The Lord, and all of our faithful supporters, HAVE HELPED THE KIDS AT our ministry to ARISE FROM THE ASHES.  The Glory of the Lord is rising upon these precious little guys.  They are better both physically and spiritually.  As the children ARISE, the Glory of God rises upon them.

That is God arising and shining.  God getting the glory even more.

That being said, we still want to be better.  We still want to ARISE even more!  To do that requires skill.

Proverbs 22:29 
New International Version
Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.

If we want to ARISE, it is as much our responsibility as it is God’s. We have to apply ourselves, to be skilled at whatever we do. So that we are a good testimony, so thatthe Glory of God rises on us.  We want to be skilled at our work for our King, as well as on our secular jobs.  In order to be skilled, we need to apply ourselves. We do that to glorify God.

Jesus is the Light of the World.  You can’t hide Him, if He is in you. You can’t extinguish Him even with your grumpiness or lack of faith.  He is the great I AM.  He will destroy the yokes of bondage that are upon us.

That being said, We must strive to improve, to be skilled for our own self esteem and our families’ sakes. To serve Him better!  God has the rest covered if we abide in Him.

How can we A.R.I.S.E.?

A. Apply Yourself- Study, not just by reading, but by applying what you read to your life.  Christianity seems to attract scholars and books worms.  People who love to read.  That is only part of it. You have to get up and actually do stuff, and to reallylove people.  You can not do that from a study.
2 Timothy 2:15
New International Version
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

R.  Rise in grace and knowledge- if anyone wants wisdom, let them ask God!
2 Peter 3:18 
New International Version
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

I.  Impart- share what you have. Help others.  Feed the poor, love the unloveable, teach, share knowledge, etc. As you give you will receive.
Proverbs 22:9 
New International Version
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor

S.  Skill requires learning and perfect practice. Watch others who are skilled, put into practice what you see.
Philippians 4:9
New International Version
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

E. Everything in your life must be about Jesus- honoring Him, believing in Him so your joy may be filled.
1 Peter 1:8
New International Version
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.


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