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Uncertain about the Future? Read on!

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EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.

In a recent “Point of View Commentary” by Kirby Anderson, he stated: “Most of us in modern society feel over scheduled and over committed.”* Although it is nothing new I believe this has been the way people have felt for years in the modern digital and fast food era. It is also a major contributor towards the anxiety and worry that many feel an a daily basis. You would think that technology would allow things to get finished quicker and in return give us more time to relax but unfortunately that isn’t true; it doesn’t seem to be how the human mind operates. What ends up happening is we just fit more in to our schedules only to produce added anxiety. Can we handle this? Most can, yes, some just barely, others no way. But what happens to the mind when it gets overloaded? We simply shut-down. I recently experienced this with an executive I know. Over a four week period he requested the same information from an associate four times. In each instance his response was the same. Why? Overload.

Another part of our lives that adds anxiety has to do with events going on at home, things in the public arena, and on the national and international scene. Today’s world is simply “out of control.” Consider the following, the animal world is dying, (see Hos. 4:3). Almost daily there are catastrophes killing thousands of God’s creatures around the globe, (see Animals Dying Everywhere). Wars of unimaginable atrocities are happening in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa that bombard us with the worst kind of barbarism known to mankind, vis. ISIS. Christians and other minorities are suffering cruel savagery at the hands of Islamic jihadists and many others. Tiny Israel, trying to exist peacefully, has and is enduring daily missile barrages from a people who want to see her eliminated from the face of the earth. The Ebola virus is infecting thousands in Africa and is now also being declared out-of-control. False religions with damnable teachings—even those that deny the Lord that bought them are on the rise. Race riots and senseless killings all over the states. We could add to these wildfires, droughts, sinkholes, earthquake swarms, tsunamis, and the red-moon tetrads as well as many other things. With all of this happening one may wonder how anyone could keep his/her sanity.

The fact is we can if we will simply trust Jesus with our lives and our families. You see, Jesus told us ahead of time that all of these things would occur in in a world where He is no longer trusted and believed in. He inspired prophets like Daniel to tell us that in the final days, “Knowledge would increase,” thus our busyness becoming a by-product, (see Dan. 12:4). He inspired Paul to tell us that families would have a very hard time controlling their children, and that mankind would turn from God and in pride and boastfulness would seek riches and pleasure as idols to occupy their life, (see 2 Tim. 3:1-4). Isaiah was raised up to warn that the days ahead will see the earth “reel to and fro like a drunkard” as its very foundations are shaken, (Is. 24:20) Jesus Himself said the “love of many would grow cold,” (see Mt. 24:12). Looking at these last days prophecies written 2000 to 2500 years ago is like looking at the morning news. What they tell us is that time is growing short and the soon return of Christ to call believers from this earth is near, (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

If the technology we work with on a daily basis is adding anxiety and busyness to our schedules requiring greater output what effects can all of these other things be expected to bring? As a Pastor what I have found in speaking to people from all ranks of society is that people are acutely aware of what is going on around them but are trying their hardest to put them upon a shelf in their mind; seeking to just forget about them while hoping for a better day; out of sight and out of mind is the approach. Humanity looks for it all to pass like a swift moving thunderstorm followed by bright sunshine, singing birds, and a ringing cell-phone. Simply put the busyness of our lives has crowded out the things that are most important; things like, spending time with our children, a date with our spouse, a friendly chat with friends, a walk in the park, and more importantly time with our God.

God promises that we do not need to let all of the things going on around us or even the trials we face bring us down. Jesus said reassuringly, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Through His substitutionary death (His dying for you) and His glorious death defying resurrection He validated all the things the Bible teaches to be true. Only Jesus has conquered death and even raised others from the dead showing the He is God.

The only real hope that we have in this world—the only real hope of times of peace, security, and well-being are the days ahead that He promises to bring. He promises a day when the following will be the norm:

 

  1. There will be unheralded Peace as the “Curse” placed upon the earth is finally removed. With Christ on the throne and Satan bound peace will flow like a river. All creation will be at peace and the toxins that so many animals now possess will be removed, (Is. 11:6-9, 65:24-25).
    Carnivorous animals will no longer exist


  1. There will be unprecedented joy, healing, strength, prosperity, holiness, fearlessness, singing, and abundance (Is. 35).


  1. No more will one wait for an answer to prayer. It will come immediately (Is. 30:19, 65:24).


  1. The earth will be repopulated and children will again delight our hearts, (Zech. 10:8; Jer. 3:1-14; Is. 60:22, 65:23).


  1. We will labor in joy and without oppression. Longevity will be restored as it was in the early days of earth (Is. 60:21, 22, 65:20-23).


  1. The earth will abundantly produce (Is.4:2; Ez. 47:9-12; Rev. 22:2).
  2.   The nations will not learn war anymore, (Is. 2:4, Mic. 4:3)
  3.   Every person will have a place to live in peace, (Mic. 4:4)


If the world seems to be spinning out of control it is because it is! We have entered the times the Bible says will characterize the world before the Lord returns. Once again, time is short. We need to pull our heads out of the sand and realize all the empty philosophies and useless rhetoric intellectuals throw at us in order to keep us aloof from the Lord are really lies. They have had their day, now its time to sweep them under a rug and realize the Bible’s truths are what matters. What will it take for humanity to realize there is truth in the Bible? What will it take for us to wake up and truly smell the roses?

If busyness and turmoil are adding anxiety upon anxiety to your life; if you find yourself ignoring the world around you then you need to look unto Jesus the author and the finisher of the Christian faith. You need to humble bow your head before Him in prayer and say something along the lines of the following:

Dear heavenly Father, I realize you have told me that sin has caused the turmoil we see on the earth. I have been part of that because I have sinned against You, heaven, and others around me. I do believe that You came to bring us hope and that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are true. Please have mercy on me and forgive me of my sin. I accept your perfect life of innocence as given to me upon the cross of Jesus as the substitution for my sinful life. I now accept that Jesus is my Savior. I turn from all of my past sin and thoughts against you. Please come into my life and change me that I may worship you from now on and forever. Please give me Your peace. In Jesus Name, amen.

If you say that prayer in sincere faith the Lord will hear from heaven and you will know it. Surely the truth inspires. Also if you have said that prayer please email me at pastormike@springfieldfirstbaptist.org. Or if you prefer, michaelhenderson@truthinspires.com.

You will need to begin reading the scriptures; start with the Gospel of John. You will need to pray daily to let the Lord know about your needs and to ask for His guidance and wisdom. You should also seek out a Pastor and Church where you can be baptized. And lastly you need to find a fellowship of believers to commune with. As a New creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) you are now part of the continuing family of the Lord.

God Bless

* http://www.ncfr.net/ncfr.net/subdomains/commentary/httpdocs/no-time-to-think/



The Most Amazing Sight!

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Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys 
Ex. 40:36–38

Artists have tried to depict it, film-makers have tried to capture it, and authors have tried to describe it, but meticulous as our efforts may be fully capturing the transcendent beauty of the Shekinah glory of God is out of reach. This had to be the most amazing sight in world history.  By day, a huge cloud extending from heaven to earth and by night a towering fire of brilliant luminosity. The Bible states from the time Israel had been delivered from Egypt the cloud and fire of God’s presence was with them, Ex. 13:22. Never during that time was the presence of God removed.

The word “Shekinah” comes from a Hebrew root, שכן, that means to abide, sit, dwell, or inhabit. It was here that God “tabernacled” among His people. It was here that He spoke with Moses and leveled judgments before the people. It was here that the people followed God. When the cloud moved they moved; when the cloud stopped they camped. He was an ever present source of help, power, provision, and sustenance.

The Bible tells us that Jesus also tabernacled among us. John 1:14 (NKJV) states,  “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” He also showed forth a glimpse of His glory when He was transfigured upon a mountain. Matthew 17:1-2 (NKJV)  “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;  (2)  and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Here is a glimpse of the glory of God the same Shekinah that Israel saw in the wilderness nearly 3500 years ago. Oh the beauty that is Jesus!

Think about it. This same Jesus who was transfigured in such stunning glory before Peter, James, and John, three of the apostles, the world crucified. God has shown Himself to humanity through Jesus Christ. His power has transformed the history of the world and will soon be seen again as He comes again with all the vengeance of a righteous judge: Isaiah 61:2-3 (NKJV)  “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,  (3)  To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Again He states: Isaiah 63:4 (NKJV)  “For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come.”

When we picture the Shekinah glory of God what we see is a transcendent power that surpasses anything humanity can muster. He has the power both to save and to destroy, (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5).

The author of Hebrews said it best:

Hebrews 10:30-31 NKJV ” For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  (31)  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

The question is: What will you do with Jesus? John 3:16



Hosanna. God Save Us!

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8  And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9  Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ 10  Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
 
12  The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13  took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!”
 
The Word Hosanna, ὡσαννά, Save now; or save, we pray; is an emphatic exclamation of praise to God. In the week prior to His resurrection Jesus rode on a colt, the foal of a donkey into Jerusalem where the people of the city had spread leafy branches and palms on the road before Him. There are many things we can look to for a better understanding of this celebratory moment. Here are a few:
 
Celebration of Victory
Such a welcome was usually reserved for kings who had just returned from battle When the victory was complete the Palms were cast forth in adoration and praise. But in this story of Christ’s Triumphant Entry to Jerusalem, the celebration is wont of military victory. Instead it would be the cross and the subsequent resurrection that would bring true victory.
Many scholars believe the triumphal entry was a foreshadowing of the soon victory of Messiah yet to occur.  This led the people to apply the Psalms of Ascents (Ps. 118:25-26) which was sung as a welcome to pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem to worship at Passover, Pentecost or Shavuot, and the Feast of tabernacles or Sukkot. In this sense the people were exclaiming their desire for the Messiah to be their deliverer and King.
 
Future Celebration of Victory over Evil
In Rev. 7:9-15 the future tribulation saints are seen as being dressed in white linen and holding palms. John saw this event in the following way:
 
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:9-14).
 
In the passage John is shown a future event that is in a past tense setting. The event was future to John but the victory the saints had been crowned with was past tense to them. They had overcome the evil one during the Great Tribulation and were now standing in victory because of the blood of the Lamb.
 
We also see a similar victory of the saints in Revelation 4:10. Here the saints of God, pictured as twenty-four elders, are casting their crowns at the feet of the Lord as they worship. The scene depicts the saved of all ages having received crowns for service and casting them at the foot of the throne of God in humility and joyous praise. There is nothing a saint can receive unless it comes from the Lord. The scene typifies God working in and through us and our recognition that we could do nothing without Him.
 
Victorinus , a 3rd century theologian, stated it the following way:
That is, on account of the eminent glory of Christ’s victory, they (24 elders) cast all their victories under His feet. This is what in the Gospel the Holy Spirit consummated by showing, for when about finally to suffer, our Lord had come to Jerusalem, and the people had gone forth to meet Him, some strewed the road with palm branches cut down, others threw down their garments, doubtless these were setting forth two peoples – the one of the patriarchs, the other of the prophets; that is to say, of the great men who had any kind of palms of their victories against sin, and cast them under the feet of Christ, the victor of all. And the palm and the crown signify the same things, and these are not given save to the victor.
 
Jesus is the victor over sin and death—He alone is worthy of our worship!
 
Coronation of a King
Another side of the story of Palm Sunday can be found in 2 Kings 9:13 where Jehu is celebrated as the new King of Israel. His servants start the celebratory moment through laying a blanket on the steps before him over which he would soon pass. Elisha the prophet, God’s spokesman, had made the announcement under the authority of God’s Word, 1 Kings 9:6.
 
Other Scenes from John 12
We are told Jesus comes into the city on the colt of a Donkey. What a contrast this is in juxtaposition to all that the kings of the world would desire. Why not a strong horse? Why a colt? In the first advent or coming of Christ, the Lord would appear, not as the conquering King, but as Isaiah’s suffering servant of peace. But the people for the most part were blind to this. When the prophets spoke of the Messiah or deliverer in the Old Testament or Tanakh, they often did so in terms of a Messianic warrior who would destroy all kingdoms and elevate Israel to the place of honor over all nations. This was the preferred view to look for in their Messiah. But in doing so they often overlooked that He would first as the final sacrifice to save the people from their sin. To do so would mean suffering and death. Isaiah tells us of both. In Is. 9:6-7 He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. There will be no end to His rule. But in Isaiah 53 we see a different picture. There we see:
 
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:3-6).
 
So at the end of the day, Christ did not come on a shining strong white horse because the King had two victories to win. The first He had to win was the victory over sin and death. He would be the Passover Lamb, 1 Cor. 5:7, the One to be sacrificed and substituted for our sin. This victory did not require a shining white horse that pictured conquering strength and victory but rather a small donkey picturing humility and burden. The Scripture is clear; we are called to “cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us” (1 Pet. 5:7). That is why He came.
 
Still the crowds looked for the Conquering King to deliver them from the oppressive rule of the Romans. When that did not occur for the most part He was abandoned. “Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter” (Zech. 13:7; Mark 14:27).
 
But all is not lost, Praise to God!!! His first victory was necessary to bring forth His final victory and the fulfillment of Is. 9:6-7 and many other passages. Rev. 19 gives us a glimpse of what the people desired to see on that first Palm Sunday.
 
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:11-16).
 
That is the Jesus the first century believers wanted to see. Zech. 14:4-5 also gives us a glimpse of the King who will return to earth to conquer to the same place from which He ascended to heaven, the Mt. of Olives.
 
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You” (Zech. 14:4-5).
 
What a glorious day that will be. The invitation to ride that horse in battle array with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is still open. God is still calling us to lay down our Palm branches and to crown Him Lord of all.
 
Do not delay any longer. Time is running out. God will soon be calling us to glory. Do not be left behind! “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isa 55:6).
 
Ezekiel also saw that future day when the Lord would be seated on the throne for eternity. When the victory was won and the Millennial Temple was prepared for God’s Holy Habitation; for you and I He was given the following vision of the Lord:
 
“Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east.
And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw–like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek. 43:1-5 (NKJV)).
 
Won’t you seek Him for eternal life today? All you need to do is believe that He died and arose again for your sin. Then call out to Him in prayer, confessing your sin that He may forgive you with the intent on serving Him from now on. Then join a church and be baptized; dedicate your life to Him forever. The miracle of a changed heart will ensue and you will know why other Christians love Jesus. Please let me know if you prayed to receive Jesus, John 1:12,  and if you would like more personal instruction.
Jesus loves you, don’t forget it.
 
God Bless


The Choice is for Eternity

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All of us who have prayed for and spoken with the unbelieving have at one time or another been told, “I don’t believe in God, therefore I don’t believe in the judgment of God.” It’s a common mantra of atheism to say such things. But is it correct? Not according the Scripture. The Bible tells us:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:11-15

This passage is referred to as the Great White Throne judgment and will come to pass after the Millennial Period has completed and eternity of eternity has come. It takes place at an undisclosed location outside of the heaven of heavens and involves only the wicked dead of all ages from the lowest of their ranks to the highest—the small and the great. It is said these not only die once but twice. The first death is of physical consequence while the second is of the spiritual. Henry Alford has written, “As there is a second and higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death.  And as after that life there is no more death, so after that death there is no more life” John Trapp also concluded, “The devil and the damned have punishment without pity, misery without mercy, sorrow without succor, crying without comfort, mischief without measure, torments without end and past imagination.” This is the result of the second eath.

The cultural Jesus says there is no hell, no judgment, no lake of fire awaiting humanity. But the Biblical Jesus says nothing of the sort. Using such language as, “The worm dies not,” “Eternal punishment,” and “everlasting shame and contempt” so the Bible declares the eternal resting place of the unbelieving as a place that is not as restful as the mocker may think.

Unbelievers today follow the post-modern reasoning that morality is determined by the majority. They cannot make an end-run around the fact that moral choices are made every day–even by them, so they choose to measure their morality by whatever is popular on-the-street. Surely, there is nothing new under the sun and what comes around goes around…and around…and around again.  In the ancient days of the Judges, who ruled Israel prior to beseeching God for a King, the rule of the day was, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). It seems society was too caught up in their own daily lives to consider or even make a stir over spiritual things. With no law being enforced in the land the people lived aloof of God and one another.

And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; …  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way. —Judges 2:18a-19

Judges reads like a page out of the latter twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Groups like “The Freedom from Religion Foundation” (FFRF) and the “American Atheists” are doing their best to promote a “Jesus free” society in which everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Translated that means living a life that is self-centered just as Eve fell prey to in the garden and as aloof from Christ-centered instruction as their imagination can carry them. They promote a future of nothingness that espouses the drowning of every hope of true and eternal love amongst sons, daughters, parents, grandparents, and close friends as pure fantasy. For their belief to be successful it absolutely must rule out any afterlife, judgment, and any hope for an eternal reunion with all that we have loved and cherished.

But that’s not all! It also comes with a life devoid of law and rule—a life where one can cast all caution to the wind and live out your wildest fantasies in hedonistic passion. Sound Fun? Sure. Sound rewarding? Sure, at least for now. The Bible never says sinful activity is not pleasurable to the senses, it is! The problem is the arena—the playground in which those activities are pursued. I’m not talking about something physical but rather, what is for-the-most-part, unseen. The hidden playground that espouses a fluidity that so permeates every area of the human conscious that one becomes wont of ever seeking anything spiritual and holy again. It’s a playground whose compatriots roam the depth of the underworld living among the unseen and surfacing among the living. It’s a place that corrals from all the eons past every foul demon that has ever caused human suffering and pain; every foul bird that has winged its way from the depths of hell to deliver its harbingers of a pleasurable death. It is the place of separation from God.

Moses, a man attested to being first in line to the throne of Pharaoh, was also faced with the choice of living a life of incredible pleasure, luxury, and ease or a life of eternal identity with the one and only Supreme of the universe Jehovah God. The author of Hebrews has this to say:

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. —Hebrews 11:24-27

Moses made the choice to identify himself with the people of God who were in slavery because He knew that their God was God, therefore, His God. In making this choice God raised him up to be the deliverer of God’s people taking them from a life of physical bondage to physical freedom–from spiritual confusion to spiritual opportunity.

The latter playground is upon green hills and pastures full of living color and a clarity of life that’s so peaceful and tranquil that it defies understanding (see Phil. 4:6-7). The former is a dark wasteland strewn with the septic litter of lives gone by, the foul stench of demonic presence, and filth piled so high that its barriers prevent any way of escape. It’s hot—it’s dark—and worst of all it is a place of immense blackness.

The difference between belief in God and selfish unbelief surfaces as your eternal home. There is still time to make the right choice and choose Jesus, but soon that door will close. While it is still day and before the dark sets in choose to believe in Him now (see and believe (John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-11).


The Bride of Christ has Made Herself Ready

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The Bible teaches of an upcoming Wedding Day that the Church should be on cloud nine over!!

Rev. 19:7-9 states:

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ “ And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

The passage above speaks of two distinct events, the Marriage of the Lamb and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Both of these events are reminiscent of the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony where the Bride would become betrothed to her Groom and he would go away to build her a home. In the meantime she would wait anxiously for his return with shouts from his wedding party of “The Bridegroom Comes!” When the shouts were heard she would run out to meet him and they would share each others love in the wedding chamber then proceed to a banquet that would last for up to seven days. He would then take her to her new home. The one caveat is the timing of the grooms return to her. For he could never return until the home he built met the approval of the his father. Jesus used this wedding ceremony imagery often in His Parables. Some of the passages where it is used can be found in Matthew 24-25, Rev. 19 and in John 14:1-3. In John He stated:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

I love the Scripture because it is so revealing about God and His amazing plans for those who love Him! The Wedding Ceremony takes place in Heaven after He has come from heaven with a shout 1Thess. 4:13-18; 1Cor. 15:51-57. After the Church has gone up to meet with Christ we stand before Him in judgment to receive the reward that He has promised to all believers. This is not a judgment of condemnation, because the church is never condemned, but rather a judgment of obedience. God has called us all to be His ambassadors on this earth and as such we are rewarded for our acts of obedience, 1 Cor. 3:9-15; Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10. In Revelation 19 the Church is seen to be wearing the Wedding garments of white linen, bright and clean, which are the righteous acts of the saints. We are clothed because we have received our reward.

Soon after the Wedding Ceremony we will return with Christ to the earth, Zech 14:4-5; Jude 14; 1 Thess. 3:13, where we will participate in the second event referenced in Rev. 19:9 the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All saints of all ages will participate in his blessed event as they share their adoration of Christ our Savior and Lord through the blessing of a feast!! Jesus referred to this event the night before His betrayal in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, where He sat with the Apostles for the “Last Supper”. He stated to them:
 
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Luke 22:14-18 (ESV)

Isn’t it amazing the things that God has prepared for our future! St. Paul stated:  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) Often my heart pains for those who have rejected to come into a saving relationship with Christ. They do not understand that their rejection means a refusal to participate in the glories to come, heaven and the right to rule with Christ on this earth for another 1000 years during His Millennial reign, Rev. 20:1-6.

Sure the wedding and the associate wedding supper is on the horizon. the big question is will you finally turn to Christ and make your vows to be part of His eternal bride?

I hope you enjoy the video made by “larfm1” to lyrics by Casting Crowns concerning this awesome day that still awaits the church, the Bride of Christ!



Christian Persecution in Ukraine and Around the World

– Somalian Persecution Photo –

My heart is bleeding for the believers in the Ukraine, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. I am sending out a request for Men and Women of Christ all over the world to pray for these genuine believers who have stood for Christ in the midst of hate and demonically driven hostility. The senseless targeting of Jesus’ children is plain nonsense! The families left behind are hurting along with our Lord who will one day avenge all the deaths of His sons and daughters throughout the ages (see Rev. 6:9-11). I must interject that when one dies to the Lord it is always in keeping with  2 Tim. 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” David Guzik writes: “It is the way that you live that makes you a martyr, not the way that you die.” These men who died in Ukraine did so because they first trusted Christ and were living on mission for Him. Please read the following from Christian Aid Mission:

Christian Aid Mission has received word from ministry sources inside Ukraine that church leaders are being targeted by terrorists in the volatile Donetsk region.

A pastor, his two adult sons, and an elder have been missing since June 8, when they were kidnapped from an evangelical church in the city of Slovyansk. Some six weeks later, the ministry finally learned what happened to the four men. The following report came from a Ukrainian ministry leader who is a long-time friend of Christian Aid:

These four brothers in Christ were kidnapped a month ago by terrorists. All the while their families prayed for them, not having any information about their whereabouts.
Only a week ago, witnesses revealed that on the night of June 8, terrorists abused and tortured them, and in the morning they let the men go. The elder deacon was driving the car. Once they left the city, the terrorists reappeared, chasing after them in a vehicle. They started shooting at the deacon’s car.
The pastor and his sons jumped out of the car to try to escape. They were shot to death immediately. The driver was also killed and his body was burned when they set the car on fire.
On the second day fighters took the bodies and buried them with other victims in the same grave. Just now the families of the four men received this information. All this time they have been waiting for their husbands, fathers, and sons to come back home.

The oldest of the pastor’s sons leaves behind a wife and two young children. The other son had three children. The elder deacon had eight children, and his wife is due to give birth to their ninth child in August.1


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Using the Wisdom that Comes From Above

Jesus with the Disciples_discipleship
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
–James 3:13-18 NKJV

One of the conundrums of a “New Believer” is the “New” spiritual fight they find within their minds. The Apostle Paul refers to it as the “Flesh lusting against the Spirit” in Gal. 5:17. And for many of those delivered from the darkness of the old sinful habits and into the “…the kingdom of the Son of His love,” Col. 1:13, the war is very pronounced and real. The temptations coming in remembrance of the life from which they have been delivered will subtly sneak up on them at inopportune times, seizing the moment, and begging for attention. If they fall they experience guilt and the lie that God’s forgiveness is no longer available for them; they often fall very hard as they accept this lie. If they do not recover, as God desires they do, in the aftermath what I often hear is, “I am just not good enough” and or “I cannot make commitments to God.” This is sad for the wisdom found in the glorious gospel of the grace of God teaches us that we are to get back up and persist onward in the battle for the weakness of the flesh does not necessitate a weakness in the Grace of God. On the contrary, “where sin abounded, Grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 5:20-21. That statement—that wisdom is a big chunk of the greatness that is the gospel!


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Images of Famine – Hope in Christ

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="156"]jeremiah_lamenting Jeremiah’s Lament[/caption]

1 How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street. 2 The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are regarded as earthen pots, the work of a potter’s hands! 3 Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4 The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them. Lamentations 4:1-4 (ESV)

To some this may seem to be an enigmatic passage. But I assure you, just as Jeremiah the “Weeping Prophet” penned it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is as meaningful today as it was when he first delivered it. Let me interpret:


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Trust in The Lord

It’s simple. It’s short. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.


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Concerning Excuses… Concerning Repentance…

Just recently a friend of mine introduced me to a couple that he had known for several years. After the introductions were over they were eager to share with me their reasons for not being faithful church-goers. There were many, but the main one being a lack of concern by the church for their welfare. That could mean several things but I did not have to speculate for they were quick to say that no one visited them which spurred their decision to not attend corporate worship. Again, circumstance at the time may have played a part in that churches decision to not communicate, so I will not speculate too much. But I will say there seems to be far too many excuses that people engineer to cover up their lack of personal responsibility and fervor in coming before the Lord to worship. In this case they could have pestered the church for financial gifts over-and-over till the church was overwhelmed. There could have been a word said that they took the wrong way, or even the right way, and it became a reason for offence. Or they simply could have become bored, etc… Surely the church needs to do their best to love as Jesus loves and to put the needs of others ahead of their own (Rom. 15:1). But I do not wish to always place the blame on the church. Sometimes the reason is simply that other things have captured the attention of the individual.


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4 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Gros says:

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  2. rout says:

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  3. Lonnie Clemens says:

    5 Baptisms for the month of March! When a church does not disciple and teach it’s new believers. The numbers of baptisms are just numbers. When Sunday School teachers do not study their lessons and properly teach students. It tells the students that the teacher does not care. And if the teacher does not care, then maybe it’s just not a big deal to attend church. People do not have time to attend a church where the pastor and the Sunday School teachers do not properly teach. Sunday morning comes once a week. Sunday evening comes once a week. Wednesday evening comes once a week. I think it is rude to invite people to church and to not be prepared to teach a good class.

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