Saturday, May 21, 2011

What Time Is It?

Reading from the Book of Mark 13:31-33

 31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
 32But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
 33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

So where is this generation at in this sequence of cosmic events? Jesus instructed us to watch the signs of the times so that we would be better prepared for His coming. But not just His coming: preparation also for the arrival of false prophets, persecution, an Antichrist, and other tribulations. Yes, Jesus commanded us to watch and pray so that we would be able to remain faithful during the "final trial" that would come.

Particularly, our generation is certainly a candidate for the possible arrival of the "lawless one."
What is my mission? In part, it is to better prepare you for these trials. However, my ultimate goal is to prepare you, not for the Antichrist, but for Jesus Christ! For the Lord is near, and He desires to enter your heart now. If you open wide your heart to Jesus, then you are already beginning to live in the Kingdom of God, and the sufferings of this present time will seem as nothing compared to the glory you will taste and which awaits you in eternity.

There are fearful things I sometimes have written in my "blogs" (see also GodsModernDayMartyr). And should they awaken you and drive you to the feet of Christ, then that is a good thing. I would sooner see you in Heaven with trembling knees than know you went into everlasting flames because you were asleep in sin. But even better if you come to the Lord in trust and hope, recognizing His infinite love and mercy for you.

Jesus is not someone "way out there", a cruel judge hastening to sentence you, but He is near… a Brother and Friend, standing as it were at the door of your heart. If you open it, He will begin to whisper His divine secrets to you, putting this world and all its trappings in their proper context, and bestowing upon you the World to come, in this life, and the next. With Jesus, you will hear, see and know what time it is.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Mighty Oak

Reading from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-3

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called mighty oaks,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

If we consistently believe God's Word, He will turn circumstances from negative to positive, in His perfect timing.

A lot of negative things have happened to me, and Satan used them to sour my attitude toward life and people.  I was trapped in my past because I did not believe I had a future.  As soon as I believed in Jesus Christ, I was released from the past and began making progress toward the good things God had in mind for me. It did not all come to me immediately in manifested form, but believing in God gave me renewed hope that kept me going from day to day. Slowly but surely I began to see changes take place in my life, and each change encouraged me to believe God more.

Believing God is the key to recieving from Him. No matter what has happened to you in the past, if you believe, you can begin to enjoy the good future that is set aside for you in Jesus Christ, and begin to stand strong as the mighty oak.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Balance vs The Beast

 18I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
 19For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
 20All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
 21Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
 22Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
A prudent person is balanced. He avoids extremes in the management of his life and faith. People have a difficult time with balance. Ideas concerning the power of words, the mouth, confession, calling those things that be not as they are, and speaking things into existence, is one example of an area in which I have seen people move into extremes. It seems that the flesh wants to live in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, but it has a difficult time staying in the middle of the highway between the lines of safety.
Extremes are actually the devil's playground. If he cannot get a believer to totally ignore the truth and live in deception, his next tactic will be to get him so one-sided and out of balance with the truth that he is no better off than he was before. Sometimes he is even worse off than he was.
Wisdom is a central theme of God's Word. As a matter of fact, there is no real victory without it, and we are wise to remain balanced in our everyday lives.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Armor Of God

Reading from the Book of Romans 8:19-22,13:12 and Ephesians 6:10-18
 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
We live in day in which there seems to be much anxiety throughout the world about what the future holds. There is the economic anxiety of failing monetary systems on a global scale that leaves many wondering what will become of their finances in the near future. There is the anxiety of wars and rumors of wars throughout the world on a scale more fearful than ever before with the existence of nuclear weapons throughout a majority of the world’s powerful nations. There is even the anxiety of where the next earthquake will strike as we are undoubtedly witnessing the increase of earthquakes as Jesus forewarned would happen shortly before His return. Not only have there been increasing earthquakes but also an increase in other types of nature related calamities such as volcanoes, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, cyclones and many other unordinary weather occurrences and with a frequency that we have never witnessed before. Even the animal world seems to be in a state of despair with the increase of bees, birds and fish suddenly dying in great numbers throughout various regions of the world. Romans 8:19-22 says that all of creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the Son of God, that the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption and that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs. I believe that the increases of natural disasters that we are witnessing are indeed these birth pangs spoken about in Romans 8:22 from the creation itself before the coming of the Lord.
  12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
The Bible warns us that as we inch closer and closer to the return of the Lord we will be subjected to a world that will wax more and more evil. Throughout the ages there has been a battle between good and evil that exists beyond the tangible world. Many walk through life unaware that they are in the midst of this unseen spiritual war. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” There are spiritual “hosts” of wickedness that are pulling strings behind the curtains of the world’s affairs
As we live in a time where the future is so uncertain with the world tinkering on the edge of nuclear war and of global financial collapse, the secular world wants to provide solitude in material and temporary enjoyments. The only way you will be able to cope in a world that is heading towards inevitable turmoil is to put on the armor of God. I may sound pessimistic about the future but God’s timetable for prophetic fulfillment is right on schedule. All of the end time chess pieces are moving into position. Our present day world may seem like evil is winning but God is still and always will be on the throne and in control. We shouldn't be surprised when we read the headlines and see catastrophes, corruption and wars. Jesus said it would be so but if we are wearing Jesus Christ, then we are prepared.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
If you live a life of anxiety or fear then may I suggest turning to Christ. It isn't just the right remedy it is the only one! All other remedies are temporary and want something in return. Christ just wants your heart. Christ is a giver not a taker and what He gives is life and in abundance. Spend some time meditating on Ephesians 6:10-18 and get acquainted with your battle armor. Christ doesn't want you living in fear. Fear is of Satan. It is one of his most underhanded weapons but we have armor for it. We have Christ and we have His promises of overcoming the world and of eternal life. We know the end because He has revealed it to us and at the end of the day – we win! In fact we have already won the battle but we are just waiting for it all to play itself out. While we are waiting, be sure to be donning your armor. Satan’s time is running short and he knows it. In these last days he is pulling out all the stops to take as many with him as he can. We live in an era that is chock full of temptations, compromises, deception, lures, and distractions from God then any other generation before. That is why it is so important that we have on our protective armor – The Armor of God.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free! Free! Free!

Reading from the Book of II Corinthians 3:17 and John 8:36
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
II Corinthians 3:17 affirms God want us to have liberty and not legalism.

36So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.
John 8:36 defines liberty as emancipation from bondage: freedom, "If the Son liberates you...then you are really and unquestionably free".

You may ask, "What am I free from?"
You are:
Free from the power of sin.
Free from manipulation and control.
Free from fear of what others think of you.
Free from comparing yourself with everybody else.
Free from competition with others.
Free from selfishness.
Free from legalism.
Free to be an individual.
Free to be you!
Free! Free! Free!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Enjoy The Trip!

Reading from the Book of James 3:6-10

6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
   “God opposes the proud
   but shows favor to the humble.”

 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

All human beings have evil tendencies, but James 4:6 teaches us that God will give us more and more grace to deal with these tendences. God gives grace to the humble, not the proud.

We have our own ideas about what we can accomplish, but often we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  We need humble attitudes, knowing that apart from God, we can do nothing. If you are planning your own way, trying to make things happen in the strength of your own flesh, then no doubt you will become frustrated. You've probably have said, "No matter what I do, nothing seems to work or go right!" Nothing will ever work until you learn to trust in God's grace.

Relax. Let God be God. Stop being so hard on yourself. Change is a process and it comes little by little. You are on your way to perfection, so enjoy the trip!