As a ministry and God-fearing family, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for answering our prayers for a vehicle. Since the inception of this ministry more than 3 years ago, we trusted the LORD to bless us with our own means of transportation. During this time we faced many trials and disappointments from people and this was especially hard on our children whom we had to carry on foot and under all weather conditions. The LORD in His faithfulness worked in the hearts of God-fearing and soul winning conscious men to save up and buy transport for this family and ministry (2 vehicles). We give glory to the Lord and we pray that He blesses the brethren who exercised selfless love to Christ, souls and this ministry. These brethren, in their unselfish act, were not asked; they identified our need for transport given to our work and acted by the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT.
Before we begin today's article, we would like to also share about the new features we recently added to this website. You can now hover over the links to read Scriptures instead of clicking on the links always which opens a new window. For subscribers receiving the articles via email, you have to read the web version of the article in order to see the links and Scriptures. This also applies for mobile device readers as mobile devices require you to click on the link lightly in order to see the Scriptures in the web version. Also, the other new feature is a tool on the top right which allows you to choose the version of the Bible you would like to read Scriptures in.
Late Coming is Disrespectful
The Bible does not address late coming directly, and the only reference in the Bible is the account about Amasa’s delay (2 Samuel 20:4-12). However, the Bible further stresses the importance of God having appointed times for the seasons and for His Judgements (Psalm 104:19; Acts 1:7; Daniel 2:21). In our study today we will address the question of being on time in the light of respect for God and others. I will also relate to actual incidents of late-coming by some of our own ministry members whom the Lord cautioned and rebuked.
Furthermore, when Peter and John went to the temple to pray, the Bible says: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon” (Acts 3:1). This was one of their hours of prayer; it was customary with the Jews to pray three times a day, (Daniel 6:10; Psalms 55:17). While this practice was not law, it showed obedience, devotion and faithfulness towards God. If we repeatedly honor an appointed time with God, we show Him obedience and that we are serious with our relationship with Him and this is what Daniel, David, John, and Peter did; since this was a Jewish custom the people followed the example of their leaders.
Also, it is ill-mannered and disrespectful to arrive late at a meeting or gathering after time has been arranged in advance. As Christians, not only are we dishonouring the Lord when we report late for church or work, we disrespect others and we communicate untrustworthiness, showing no care (Philippians 2:3). We are commanded to walk in love and habitual late coming is at best rudeness (1 Corinthians 13:5). I have heard many Christians saying when they were late that "the Lord will understand and I told the Lord I was going to be late". How dare you dishonour the LORD like that and His servants who considered their time less important to be on time! Don’t you know it is a principle of the Kingdom of God to be mindful of others (Philippians 2:4; John 3:16). In humility, STOP! STOP! your excuses and apologise to others to show respect and good manners and repent from coming late. A good name, a good reputation is important as a Christian (Proverbs 22:1). This means that we should be known as people of our word, trustworthy and dependable and not be known as always late, slothful, or unconcerned about others (Romans 12:11 ASV; Proverbs 22:29).
How The LORD Corrects Us on Time Keeping
Brethren, I am not going to apologise for repeating this statement: there are some "Christians" who consider faithfulness to God and obedience as works. Our faith is expressed through our obedience, which we can prove not otherwise to the unbelieving, but through our works of obedience (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 119:30; Philippians 2:12). We must not allow laziness, slothfulness and ill-discipline to mar our good Christ-like public image.
In this ministry, our oldest member lives quite a distance away from our house where we conduct our services. This old woman walks on foot way before our service times in order to be on time for our services. Bless her heart! Due to her failing eye sight, she often fell but she never complained or threatened to stay away using distance or anything else as an excuse. In her zeal for the LORD, not even her unsaved husband through his quarrels can keep her from being late or skipping services. This is showing love for the Presence of the LORD and the brethren (Psalm 26:8; Psalm 133:1). For your encouragement, let me put it this way, it is only fed-up, lukewarm and disobedient Christians who find it a nuisance to spend maximum time in the Presence of God and in the assembly of the brethren. I say this because the Lord told us that many Christians purposely come late to avoid spending enough time in His Presence worshipping and praising Him and fellowshipping with other brethren.
In addition, I would also like to share another situation where a faithful sister in this ministry repeatedly came late for services. This precious sister offered excuse after excuse while we both encouraged and rebuked her at the same time. After repeated reprimands, the LORD added His voice to ours and rebuked her for disrespecting His time. Through repeated rebukes from the Lord, she still came late until the Lord gave her a final message on her late coming saying she was "disobedient" and a “late lover”. We shared some of these rebukes with the brethren and now share them with you as a warning: the LORD hates late coming!
Like we testified in some of our previous articles, and for the benefit of new readers on this site, the LORD Jesus Christ both runs, leads and sets the service and witnessing times for this ministry. Some two weeks ago, I was rebuked by the LORD through Charis for attempting to change our witnessing times. The Lord said He would punish me for changing His commands; I repented and confessed my folly to the brethren.
Finally, for your encouragement on being on time, I would like to attach a few sentences and actual messages from the Lord to us about times set by the LORD and handwritten by Charis. Now people, as much as we like to share our experiences with the LORD, it is sometimes not easy; it is both embarrassing and some of the LORD’s rebukes hurt because it is the truth. We have learned to take the pain of the rebuke, repent and move on in obedience. I have hidden the names so as not to cause embarrassment to the people concerned. This we share not to show off, but to authenticate the teaching on time keeping the Lord gave us to share with you. We are said to be disciplined and dedicated in the workplace when we manage time efficiently; how much more when we must use time to honor the LORD, for the Bible says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23 NASB). Therefore, set up daily prayer times and be on time at your appointed prayer times, be early to church meetings and gatherings, honor the LORD, and live a Christ-driven disciplined life.
Time Keeping Messages from the Lord
Below are some messages that we have received from the Lord regarding keeping time. The pictures are scanned from the book where Charis records the messages from the Lord, and for clarity we have also printed the messages.
Message reads: "I have a serious message for My daughter S... tonight and I love My daughter S...
When the Lord delivered the message, He said: "My daughter S... hates time keeping and My daughter S... must rebuke people if they wrong, and I love My daughter S...
"I will give My son T... a message on Thursday, and you [Charis], Jaydeen and Dwight must read Bible 09H00 every Saturday and Sunday and you [Charis], Jaydeen and Dwight must pray 12H00 every Saturday and Sunday, and I love you, Jaydeen and Dwight".
As you may see from the above direct messages from the Lord to us and our children, the emphasis is time keeping, which shows disciplined behavior. This is the God of the Heavens showing us proper direction in our relationship with Him. Many people have been blessed by the Lord's direct commands into their lives and we hope you will be blessed and encouraged too.
Be Blessed in Time Keeping,