Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Even when life doesn't go your way

“But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Mark 14:28 

God never sends you into a situation alone. He always goes before His children, as He did with the children of Israel when He led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. You do not serve as His advance troops in a foreign and hostile situation. He always precedes you in any situation you encounter. God is never caught by surprise by your experience; He has already been there. He is prepared to meet every need because He has gone before you and knows exactly what you will need for your pilgrimage (Deut. 31:8). Not only does God go before you, but He also stands beside you and behind you, to provide protection and comfort (Ps. 139:7–12). Jesus knew His disciples would be totally bewildered by His crucifixion, so He assured them in advance that no matter what happened, no matter where they went, they could go in confidence that He had already gone before them. Paul, too, experienced this assurance (Acts 18:9; 23:11). In the most bewildering circumstances, his Lord was there! If you are going through a difficult or confusing time, know that your Lord has gone before you and He is present with you. He is fully aware of what you are facing, and He is actively responding to your need. There is nowhere you can go that you will not find Christ waiting for you to join Him. Even when you face death, you can be assured that He has gone before you in triumph. As a child of God, rest in the knowledge that your Savior preceded you, and He will walk with you through each experience of your life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh my friend how quickly life makes its turns and twists before you and I. 

No doubt by now you know of people affected by what's going on in the world with the Covid-19 virus.  Even before that became a new reality, life already could be difficult to navigate. 

How about living as you thought you should, according to what you believed God wanted of you, then you find that reality took a turn at the last minute. 

That's partly my life right now.  We, in our own understanding, sometimes do live the way we think God wants of us and yet still we encounter perplexing things that make no sense. 

Prayer indeed has been and as long as I live will be a part of my life.   As you have been reading in recent days at least, I direct people to pray. Not to anyone but the one true God and Jesus Christ His one and only Son.  There's nobody else in history in whom we must be saved. No name given among men that we must be saved.  Jesus never promised we would always get life.  That we would always understand everything we go through.  He did promise that if the world hated Him, they would hate us too.  That doesn't sound so appealing. Yet Scripture says to count it all joy when we do suffer for the sake of the Gospel.  

Yes my life and yours probably are feeling more like the Colorado rapids.  What once was clear sailing now has us holding on for dear life. 

While in my case I confess a sense of distress and disappointment, I still yet will trust in Jesus.  I still have no doubts that this virus or one like it will have something to do with end times events.  Trust the Scriptures, don't trust me. Everything we are now experiencing, in one way, shape or form, has to do with Israel and the return of Christ.  The prophetic clock started ticking when Israel became a nation again.  God, in that moment, put the world on notice, that He has not gone away, is not going to be silent, is going to be returning.  Jesus is going to be coming soon. 

Look beyond what your eyes see. As movie quotes go, don't trust your eyes. They will deceive you.  Look at the Spiritual.  Because that's where God is working.  In the lives of believers everywhere.  Social distancing is nothing to the Holy Spirit.  He can go where we cannot.  Even before the coronavirus I used to speak of that. When dealing with difficult situations and people, the Holy Spirit will do far more than we can possibly imagine to make wrong situations right. In His time, in His way.  

So while I may be confused as to what has happened in my life, Scripture tells me that Jesus was already aware of where things were going to go.  He already knew before I did.  His eyes move to an fro looking at the thoughts and intentions of the hearts of everyone.  

People you encounter and include yourself in this, everyone cannot see the picture as God does.  Where we see pain and sorrow He sees a step towards redemption.  Where we see death He sees a step in a person's life where the step into eternity.  He conquered death. It is powerless before Jesus.  Even in that, open your Spiritual eyes.  Are you among those looking at an eternity in Heaven or Hell?

Those are the only two destinations.  Your family and friends cannot decide for you.  Once you die YOUR choice is made. 

Know today, in these uncertain times, where you will spend eternity.  Yes life is confusing at times.  But death is permanent.  There's no uncertainty in what comes after your last breath. 

Either your next moment is to be dressed in white before Jesus's welcoming smile to Heaven, awaiting your embrace, or the alternative.  That alternative being that you find yourself in painful torment in Hell.  Jesus described it clearly in the Gospels.  There's no party.  No endless celebrations of drinking and other sinful things.  It's torment.  There's plenty of recorded evidence of people in their last moments of life, crying out in rage at God, and screaming in pain as they slipped into Hell.

So while your life isn't going according to plan.  It is going according to God's Plan. 

This whole world has had its brakes put on for but one purpose.  To remove distractions, to give people time to stop and consider their own mortality.  To realize they are not gods of this world or their own lives.  That there IS a God who reigns and He will fulfill all Scripture in the Bible.  His mercy...us not getting what we do deserve...is being poured out in this world.  We all could very easily die from this virus.  But we all are not going to.  The other is the Grace of God.  God's riches at Christ's expense.  The favor granted to believers everywhere not on any merits of our own but on the will of God towards us. 

In Christ God the Father sees only Christ when He looks at a believer. Spotless. Pure. Holy. 
Without Christ the Father sees every sin in all its ugliness. There's no way to remove it on our own. 

Christ does the cleaning of our lives in His finished work on the cross.  Believing in Christ brings eternal life. Repenting and turning from sin. 

So while life may not make sense.  Trust the one who is way ahead of you.  He wasn't surprised.  

Monday, March 30, 2020

Even in this...Praise Him!

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:26 

Praise is greatly honoring to God! In the Old Testament account of King Jehoshaphat, God's people faced a seemingly insurmountable enemy who was determined to destroy them. Yet God assured them that they would “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:17). The people of Judah believed God. Their army was led by singers, offering praises to the Lord for their promised victory, and the victory came. When King David led the procession bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, he praised God with all of his strength (2 Sam. 6:12–23). David's praise was pleasing to God, and God's powerful presence remained in David's kingdom to give him victory against every enemy. Jesus was about to go to Gethsemane and to the cross, where God's greatest victory would be accomplished. He led His disciples to sing a hymn. The disciples were all about to fail Him, and Jesus was about to be cruelly executed, yet Jesus insisted that they praise God. Their praise looked beyond the cross to God's ultimate victory. Praise is rooted not in circumstances of the moment but in the nature and trustworthiness of God. You ought to rejoice when God asks you to proceed in the work of His kingdom because you know the victory is already secured. Don’t focus on the problems and failures of others. Focus on God's assurance of victory. If you have trouble praising God with a song in your heart as you serve Him, it may be that your focus is not on God, but on your circumstances. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

A great many people these days see a bleak future. Some may go as far as to say it's a judgment upon our nation, upon our world.  

There's been the questions asked about the other side of this virus, about the mental health of people. Of a predicted high suicide rate. 

Those are valid questions.  Yet the truth remains, God was not surprised.  God has not changed. God has not suddenly turned on all of mankind indiscriminately.  By no means!  Jesus, on many occasions, said that He came to seek and save the lost.

Yes, believers and unbelievers alike are being hit with this thing.  To the believer it's to the glory of God in that someone might be now reached to be saved that otherwise wouldn't have been reachable.  To the unbelievers it's to do with it being their time. That the possibility of being saved has reached an impasse.  They wouldn't come to Christ even in this hour. 

In the case of the believer, we still need to rejoice in the Lord always.  Jesus was facing the single most important, most horrific point in all of eternity, let alone of all time.  He already knew, because He was God, what He was about to suffer.  Yet look at this passage.  He wanted to have them sing praises in this storm. 

Casting Crowns, the Christian music group, has a song by the same name.  Praise You in this Storm. 

I was sure by now

God You would have reached down

And wiped our tears away

Stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining


As the thunder rolls

I barely hear Your whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away



And I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm


I remember when

I stumbled in the wind

You heard my cry to you

And you raised me up again

My strength is almost gone

How can I carry on

If I can’t find You


But as the thunder rolls

I barely hear You whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away



And I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm


I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth


And I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm


And I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

Read those words.  This song certainly came to mind after reading many things this week.  But it's not the only one.  I also think of one by another Christian group MercyMe called Even if.  

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I'm losing bad
I've stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it'll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can't
It's easy to sing
When there's nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I'm held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
You've been faithful, You've been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
'Cause I know You're able
I know You can
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Is it well with your soul?  Look up the words to that old hymn.  It matters not what this world sees. Matters not what the world says.  

There are truths that must be proclaimed in this moment in time. 

Jesus tells believers to rejoice, even in this, rejoice.  
Jesus is telling those who haven't yet placed their faith and trust in Christ alone for Salvation, behold, I am coming soon.  
As God had me write down in another post, which will you face Him as, Savior or Judge?

I keep hours and hours of music on my phone to praise my God at any time.  Lord knows there's been times when it's been hard.  But nothing has ever been as hard as His going through the beatings, the humiliation of crucifixion.  Yet He said to His Disciples, let's sing to God. 

Singing to God takes your mind off of you and places it back on Christ.  Peter came back up from the water in which he was sinking when he put his eyes back on Jesus. 

In a prison, Peter and another sang praises while in a dank prison, held up off the floor in stocks. 

This may not be easy to do but it is doable. 

Jesus knows our needs before we can say them.  He knows what's going on right now.  He is forewarning the world...I am coming soon.  Scripture must be fulfilled.  After singing a hymn they departed. Scripture was fulfilled.  There's Scripture yet to be fulfilled and it will be.  The clock started again when Israel became a nation again.  It's not stopping.  

I long for the moment when I can finally embrace my Savior.  To know the struggles of this life are over when that happens.  He is coming.  The King is coming.  Are you ready?  Sing out in this storm...

Sunday, March 29, 2020

In His Suffering

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered. Hebrews 5:8 We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). 

We then, being sinful and far from perfection, should not be surprised if we are called to pass through suffering too. Will the head be crowned with thorns while the other members of the body are rocked on a dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown, while we walk to heaven in clean, dry slippers? No. Our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary—and true-born children of God must not and cannot escape it, even if they want to. But there is one very comforting thought in the fact that Christ was made perfect through suffering: He can have complete sympathy with us. “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, “I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong.” Believer, lay hold of this thought in all your agonizing times. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet support in His sympathy, and remember that suffering is an honorable thing—to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. The Lord honors us to the extent that He gives us grace to suffer for Christ and with Him. The jewels of Christians are their afflictions. The regalia of the kings God has anointed are their troubles, sorrows, and griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun this honor. Let us not turn away from being exalted. Grief exalts us and trouble lifts us up. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12 KJV). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Seems that God's not done writing today. 

My friend, if indeed you are in Christ, we too will go through some rough patches in life. 

All across the world in various places Christians are going through so much in their lives for Christ.  Some have even paid the ultimate price with their lives.  Satan beyond loathes Christianity and the Jewish people.  Those who are sealed in the Spirit through Salvation in Christ Jesus. 

So why do so many suffer and die?  There's many various reasons given by many men, but the Scriptures say it the way it is.  To reach the lost.  Every single person has their own reason for both belief in Christ and for not believing in Christ.  As unique as your finger print is as it is for you in regards to your faith. It's either in Christ or it's in yourself. 

Jesus suffered many things before dying and coming back to life 3 days later.  Throughout His life He faced everything we face in our lives...combined. 

Scripture says He was well acquainted with grief.  A man of sorrows.  Nobody in His day would acknowledge that.  Most today don't acknowledge that of Him. 

We who are in Christ have a mission that hasn't changed since the formation of the Church.  Reach the lost.  Show Christ to all.  No need to explain the true facts of this life that billions who live and have lived are stubborn. The Bible refers to them also as stiff-necked people.  It takes all kinds to reach all kinds. 

So people are indeed in various stages and states of suffering for Christ.  He never promised the easy life to anyone.  But He also promised we would never go it alone.  That the reward at the end would far outweigh the sufferings we endured. 

A peace that passes all understanding.  Wow.  To be calm while a storm rages.  Weird the movie quotes that come to me.  
"No matter how much the storm rages, the mountains will not bow to it."  The storms of this life cannot compare to the life that comes after it.  Nothing in this world is more powerful that the God of the Universe who created it all.  

Be encouraged, wherever you are, if you indeed are a believer in Jesus Christ as your Savior.  We may fall down, may get knocked down, but He will always be there to help us back up or to bring us home. 

Pray for all whom you know.  God doesn't have voicemail, He always picks up the phone when we call. 

To Fear or Fear Not? That's not the Question

"If you are not a Christian does the benefits of not having fear because of God apply to you?

If you have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ who is our only Savior, if you reject Him as your Savior, you have rejected life at it’s best. You have rejected eternal life. You have rejected the love of God. You have rejected His will, His purpose and plan for your life. You have rejected the best of life. You have rejected life as God Almighty intended for you. You’ve got a lot to be afraid of. Because one of these days you’re going to die and when you die, here’s what the Bible says “It is appointed unto man once to die, then after this the judgment” You have lots of reasons to be afraid. But you don’t have to. If you are willing to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins, seriously, you mean it. Asking Him to forgive you not on the basis that you’re going to do all these things for him. On the basis that when He went to the cross He paid your sin debt in full. He intended to take away these fears. And give you a peace and an assurance and a confidence to face anything in life. No matter what it is. That’s who He is. And the moment that you trust Him as your Savior All that you’ve heard of Him taking away your fears can become a reality in your life."  - Dr. Charles Stanley March 28 2020

My dear reader, my friend across the way, which are you this morning, afternoon or evening that it is for you?

In this hour of dread across the globe, there's much we are being told to be afraid of with this virus.  But it doesn't follow that we must be.  We are called to be wise, but not wise in our own understanding.  God gave us a brain with the expectation that we would use it. 

Christians should have the assurances of Jesus in this hour of humanity.  Indeed regardless of the world outlook, fear is far from me. Concern, of course, taking wise steps to protect myself and others for sure.  But fear isn't there.  Jesus didn't give those in Christ a Spirit of fear.  He promised to provide a peace that passes all understanding in this life.  To Christians all over, His promises have never been broken.  In Scripture we have countless promises that are as true today as they were back then when they were written.  

As Dr. Stanley puts it from his sermon, if you are not a Christian none of the benefits of a relationship with Jesus apply to you.  You, my dear reader, have everything to be afraid of. 

In this hour, the purifying power of God is impacting the whole world.  The fire has been turned up.  Impurities are becoming evident.  As the dross accumulates, He removes it. He's keeping His promise to sanctify the Saints.  To make those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone more like Him.  Jesus is and always will be a promise keeper. 

Read again that quote from Dr. Stanley's sermon.  My friend settle it right here, right now.  You see, in Scripture it does mention the comparison of purifying silver.  Read up on how that is done in the physical world. There's a distinct moment when it's the right time to remove the silver, because it's ready.  When Christ returns, there will be no second chances, no take backs. No way to beg for one more chance to believe.  He comes, it's game over.  The events of Daniel and Revelation will come to bare and judgment will be felt by all.  The exception is Christians.  They won't be here.  We won't be here. I won't be here.  Jesus is my Savior.  He is my God, my best friend.  The one who knows everything about me, forgives me, loves me as His own. I am His. 

I was reading in Luke 5 today.  In it is the story of Jesus's encounter with Peter for the first time.  After telling Peter and his companions to set out from the shore so that He can teach, after finishing He tells them to let out their nets for a catch.  They reluctantly do so probably because something Jesus taught got through. The seeds of belief were firmly planted.  The nets almost broke the catch was so big.  Peter implores Jesus to go away from him. He's not worthy to receive such blessings.  Jesus's response was to say that from now on they will be fisher's of men.  This morning God showed me that what Jesus really said was "No, my friend, you are My beloved.  We have much to do together. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Now, I will begin to teach and you are My student. My Disciple. I love you."

So where are you at this time?  Leaning on Jesus or leaning on nothing?  That's really the two options.  Live in the fears of this world or live in Christ.  

Be wise, obeying what your being told, keeping physical distance from each other, but also not disregarding.  Jesus is probably asking many why they didn't heed what they were told.  Likewise many probably asking Jesus why He didn't save them.  Again, He gave us a brain, use it 

Today you have before you two ways of life. If you are not a Christian, I pray you really have a heart to heart with yourself and ask yourself why not. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Scriptures Must Be Fulfilled

“But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then they all forsook Him and fled. Mark 14:49b–50 

There are times when, in the darkest moments of your life, the only comfort left for you is a word from God. Jesus faced the cruel injustice of a hostile world, but perhaps His deepest pain came when His closest friends deserted and betrayed Him. What could possibly sustain Him at such a dark moment? Jesus found His comfort in the Scriptures (Matt. 26:20–25, 31). The Scriptures kept everything in perspective for the Savior, holding Him steadfast in the knowledge that everything He was experiencing was according to His Father's plan. Jesus could proceed with confidence because the Scriptures assured Him that the Father was in control. The Word of God will guide you in the same way. There will be times when events around you will confuse you. Those in whom you’ve placed your trust will fail you. Others will abandon you. You will be misunderstood and criticized. In these times of distress, when your devotion and obedience are put to the greatest test, you must let Scripture guide and comfort you. Never let the faithlessness of others determine what you do. Turn to the Scriptures and allow them to reorient you to God and His activity. Even as a young boy, Jesus was already well acquainted with the Scriptures. He was never surprised by events; He lived with confidence because the Scriptures had prepared Him for everything that He would face. If you will immerse yourself daily in the Word of God, you will not be caught off guard when crises come. Your focus will already be on God, and He will safely guide you through your difficult moments. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh in this very hour of human existence, of human history, we wonder what is going on.  Why?  What brought on this massive destruction of culture and way of life?

My dear reader, it is as this verse says.

Scripture must be fulfilled. 

We are among those generations that thought and were taught that we are limitless.  That the stars were our oyster and the sky was the limit.  God says hold on there.  It's My will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Not yours. 

Long ago He ordained what we are living right now.  There's a world of possibilities but there is only one path for the human race. It is the preordained Plan and Purpose of God for man.

Most don't like these mandatory changes dictated by our Government.  The stay at home order. Stay in place order.  Let me tell you, this isn't even the tip of the iceberg for what's coming.  How will you feel, should you be left behind when Christ returns, to be forced to worship a man or die because you will not be allowed to buy or sell anything without his sign of approval?  How will you feel when food and supplies really are rationed.  When hundred pound hail begins striking the Earth.  When water is turned into blood. 

That's not science fiction.  That's Scripture that must be fulfilled. 

Read the book of Revelation. Those things HAVE to happen.  They WILL happen. 

Scripture must be fulfilled.  

Jesus says that you do not have to be here during that time.  You have the choice in the here and now to come to Christ and be saved.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the true Church will be gone.  All who are alive in Christ will leave right after those who have already died in Christ.  Then, my dear reader, if you haven't placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you WILL be here, will be forced to go through much of what you read. 

Right now, it's painful. Not being able to freely go where you want when you want. 

What do you think it will feel like when a world leader demands things of you and the alternative is to be put to death?

That's the reality of what's coming. 

Reality isn't sinking in for many right now over this virus.  Reality has a harsh way of flattening people when it's ignored. 

Where are you with Jesus? Is He your Savior or your Judge?  If you are not saved by Jesus, you face Him as Judge.  I can tell you right now that the verdict against those who are not saved is GUILTY. 

Take time today to search for Romans Road to Salvation.  Think about where you are in Christ. Now is the time to cry out to God and be saved. You do not want to be left behind. 

Know today whether or not Jesus is your Savior or your Judge. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

All People will See

At fifty-three, the last thing Sonia expected to do was abandon her business and her country to join a group of asylum seekers journeying to a new land. After gangs murdered her nephew and tried to force her seventeen-year-old son into their ranks, Sonia felt escape was her only option. “I pray to God. . . . I will do whatever is necessary,” Sonia explained. “I will do anything so [my son and I] don’t die of hunger. . . I prefer to see him suffer here than end up in a bag or canal.”

Does the Bible have anything to say to Sonia and her son—or to so many who have suffered injustice and devastation? When John the Baptist proclaimed the arrival of Jesus, he announced good news to Sonia, to us, to the world. “Prepare the way for the Lord,” John proclaimed (Luke 3:4). He insisted that when Jesus arrived, God would enact a powerful, comprehensive rescue. The biblical word for this rescue is salvation.

Salvation encompasses both the healing of our sinful hearts and—one day—the healing of all the world’s evils. God’s transforming work is for every story, every human system, and is available to everyone. “All people will see God’s salvation,” John said (v. 6).

Whatever evil we face, Christ’s cross and resurrection assure us we’ll see God’s salvation. One day we’ll experience His final liberation. - Our Daily Bread for Today 

All people will see...consider that for a moment.  All people.  Everyone who has ever lived will face Jesus in one of two capacities.  Either as Savior or as Judge. 

The world myriad means many. When used with itself it really means more than is countable.  Myriads and myriads. 

Myriads of people will be before Jesus.  He will look upon everyone individually.  He's God, He can and will do that.  He will look in His book of Life.  Those whose names are not written there, those who have not put their faith in Christ alone for Salvation, will face Jesus as their Judge. 

There's another verse worth mentioning with this.  "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God".  Hebrews 10:31.

Which side are you on?  I am not the first to ask the question.  That question has been asked for over 2,000 years.  

Right now, more is being done to prepare for the return of Christ.  If you read Daniel, towards the end of the book.  Read Revelation.  You can picture a world much like we have right now. Judgement has not come upon this world, yet. But it's being prepared for it.  This world will not last for untold centuries.  It has a set moment in time when things will happen. Appointed by the Father above.  There's limits to how long He will let mankind rebel against Him. 

There's an established time for when Jesus will return.  Undoubtedly at the time He said it, the Father hadn't revealed it, when He said that no man knows the day nor the hour of His return.  Since returning to the Father, He knows.  His glory, His power, everything about Him was restored when He sat down at the right hand of the Father.  He knows. 

My thought has been for quite a long time that the earthquake that precedes His return is the joyful shout from Heaven, knowing the reason why Jesus got up from His Throne. Heaven won't contain that amount of rapturous joy. It will spill over to Earth as the graves are opened and the dead in Christ arise to new life. When those who remain who are saved in Christ leave this world.  

You think this minor taste of chaos is bad. The world won't know what to do when over a billion people suddenly leave.  In tge carnage to follow, the world will earnestly seek someone to pick up the pieces to restore some semblance of a normal life. 

That person, after the Rapture, will be the Antichrist.  He will demand people worship him. He will seem like a savior at the beginning.  Making promises and solving world crisises. 

But it's all a lie.  Those who follow him are doomed to an eternity in Hell. 

What will you face Jesus as?  Your Savior or your Judge?

Right now is your opportunity to settle it. He's removed most every distraction from the lives of everyone with this virus. 

Scripture says everyone will be without excuse the day they stand before Christ.  Meaning there will be nobody who can say they didn't have time to think about it.  There will be nobody who will be able to offer any reason that is valid for not considering the free gift of Salvation. 


Which side are you going to be on?

There's no fence to sit on. There's no one who can have the option of being undecided.  There's no one who has the option of sitting it out.  A non decision is your decision.  If you are not written in the book of Life, you made your decision. 

My friend, don't let today happen without knowing.  Is all you have had taken away in this moment, is all you crave in life,  more important than knowing in the here and now whether you are going to be judged or rescued? 

Jesus said on the cross "It is finished!" The Plan was in motion from the Father.  All the powers of Satan could not stop it. 

Just to be clear, Satan is no more in Hell than you are able to flap your arms and can fly.  Hell is a place of torment.  He no more wants to reside there than anyone else who is there.  God sends people who reject Jesus there. Including demons. 

Satan roams this world seeking people to devour. To destroy. He is a destroyer of all that God holds dear.  Even He has to report to Heaven daily to give an account of where he has been and what he has been doing.  For now.   The day is quickly coming when he will no longer be allowed into Heaven. 

Read it in Revelation. 

Don't take my Word for it. Read it yourself. 

I ask you today but one question. 

Is Jesus Christ your Savior or your Judge?

No other question is as important in this hour of your life.  Look up Romans Road to Salvation.  You need to settle that question today.  Time is running out. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

No Surprises to God

Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written …” Mark 14:22 

As you follow Jesus you will face moments of great distress. At times it will seem that events conspire to cause you to stumble in your relationship with Him. You do not initiate them, but they arise from opposition or the intensity of your circumstances. Nevertheless, failure is the end result. The disciples faced such fierce opposition to their Lord that they all failed Him on the night Jesus was crucified. Peter boasted that he was incapable of forsaking Jesus (Mark 14:29—31). Yet Jesus assured the disciples even before their failure that it was inevitable. The Scriptures had prophesied it. God always knew the disciples would fail His Son; He wasn't caught by surprise. He had made provision for their shortcomings, knowing He would eventually develop them into apostles who would fearlessly preach the gospel, perform miracles, and teach others. Later, when the risen Christ encountered Peter on the seashore, He did not ask Peter for a confession of his sin, but a confession of his love (John 21:15—17). You may fear that your failure has caught God by surprise. Perhaps you promised, like Peter, to stand with the Lord, but you failed. God was just as aware that you would fail Him as He was with the original disciples. He has made provision to respond every time you stumble. Don't think that somehow your failures are bigger or more complex than any God has dealt with. If you are facing challenges that seem overwhelming, don't be discouraged. God has already foreseen them and prepared for them (1 Cor. 10:13).
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Here in the United States we are 10 days into what they call the flattening of the curve concerning the China virus.  

People everywhere either are all out ignoring the order to stay home, not caring, not believing the Government or they are doing as recommended.  Sometimes somewhere in between.  

Depending on who they are the struggles in life now are very real.  Life is certainly different and will be for a long time to come.  That's what happens when man messes around with God's creation to make things they shouldn't. 

Struggles aren't necessarily failures.  Depression often sets in when people are confined.  A mandatory stay at home order can do that.  People are worried.  People having a great deal of time to think on what they do and why they were doing it. 

People are also facing themselves in the mirror.  Reading that devotional reminds me of that.  There will be many who blame themselves for not being ready for what life has become.  

The truth is God knew it was going to happen and wasn't surprised at all.  A global birth pang to me means this certainly was part of God's plans for mankind in this hour. 

I see people trying to interpret what the Government has said to fit their needs or wants.  It's defiance in all reality. 

But what do we do?  Look to God.  Quit looking to other men and women for guidance.  God wants to hear from you. 
Scripture says that one day we all will stand before Christ.  Each one of us.  On on our own.  Nobody there with us.  To give an account of our lives.  Every idle word thought or deed. 

But you're struggling?  Dear reader, we all are.  Even the likes of Billy Graham struggled.  The Apostles struggled.  Paul admits as much in the book of Romans.

At the moment they came to take Jesus, all of them ran.  Peter eventually does as he was told was going to happen. He denied Christ 3 times.  

I would be lying if I said my life didn't have moments in it when I fell flat on my face Spiritually.  I have a great many scars on me Spiritually on my face.  Each time I come back up to Jesus, He cleans me up. He restores me to Himself and we start walking again.  He forewarned us that if He suffered in this world we would too. He made no promises that it would be easy sailing after we were saved.  Quite the opposite. 

Failure isn't a identity.  It's not a description of you.  It's a label for a moment in time.  Not who you are.  Yes you will probably question everything when it happens.  But rest assured in Christ you are still God's child.  Peter was no less a child of God before, during and after his denial of Jesus.  

Life will be difficult at times.  Quit looking to man for hope.  Look to the author and perfecter of our faith.  God wasn't surprised.  Read your Bible. God always has a Plan. Mankind will not go some strange direction away from God's Plan.  
Everything is moving towards the events in the book of Revelation. 

Be encouraged.  Jesus is still proving who is on the Throne of the Universe.  Some indeed may not make it out of this situation.  But many will.  Many will come to Christ only because this situation was needed to bring them to that point. God removed a lot from the minds of people with a single virus for a reason.  He's waiting on you to talk to Him.  Get on your knees and start that conversation today. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Utter Importance of Prayer in Times like This.

"I pulled into my driveway, waving at my neighbor Myriam and her little girl Elizabeth. Over the years, Elizabeth had grown accustomed to our spontaneous chats lasting longer than the promised “few minutes” and morphing into prayer meetings. She climbed the tree planted in the center of their front yard, dangled her legs over a branch, and busied herself while her mother and I spoke. After a while, Elizabeth hopped down from her roost and ran to where we stood. Grabbing our hands, she smiled and almost sang, “It’s time to pray . . . again.” Even at an early age, Elizabeth seemed to understand how important prayer was in our friendship.

After encouraging believers to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), the apostle Paul offered special insight on the crucial role of continual prayer. He described the necessary armor God’s people would need during their spiritual walk with the Lord, who provides protection, discernment, and confidence in His truth (vv. 11–17). However, the apostle emphasized this God-given strength grew from deliberate immersion in the life-giving gift of prayer (vv. 18–20).

God hears and cares about our concerns, whether they’re spoken boldly, sobbed silently, or secured deep in a hurting heart. He’s always ready to make us strong in His power, as He invites us to pray again and again and again.

How can ongoing prayer change our perspective, relationships, and day-to-day living? What would it mean for you to consider your time in prayer to be as vital as breathing?" - Our Daily Bread 

Prayer is everything to a believer in Jesus Christ.  It's our lifeline in all situations. It's as necessary as food and water but for our souls.  Without it, it's the same as trying to hold your breath, you eventually have to cry out from need.

In this new time of life, that really hasn't been seen in a hundred years, God is waiting and watching for His Church.  Watching who is really planted by the waters and who isn't.  As Jesus said, you will know them by their fruits. 

Really consider your reactions to this life. 

Really take a moment, considering that due to this virus God's giving everyone time to, to look at what He is saying right now.  

This birth pang that hit this world called the coronavirus has stripped the world of a great deal of social interaction.  Shutting down boarders to countries. Shutting down travel.  Yet the internet is more alive now than ever.  People are looking for hope. People are looking for something or someone to tell them it's going to be alright. 

My dear reader it is only found in Christ. 

It starts with a right relationship with Jesus.  If you aren't a believer in Jesus.  If He isn't your Savior.  Then there's enmity between you and Him.  Meaning there's a score that needs settled.  There is a life debt that needs paid that you can't afford to pay.  If this is you and you are looking for hope.  It's going to cost someone something.  You need to make things right between you and Jesus.  If this is you.  I implore you to take a moment right now to search for Romans Road to Salvation. Settle that debt.  Begin that relationship with Jesus today. That will be the beginning of hope for you. 

If you are in Christ, hope springs eternal, because of the Holy Spirit within you.  Jesus h

Keeps His promises.  Look at what kind of Lord we serve.  Look at the book of Joshua, Chapter 21. "So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass."

Pay special attention to the last verse. 

Scripture tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  By no means is this current situation showing anything of being forsaken.  God is drawing people nearer to Himself. 

What this virus has done to society is the same as you see in videos of a lake that was man made by intentional flooding of an area.  Every so many decades they have to drain it to clean it. When the water is held back and it goes down to nothing. Everything you couldn't see is revealed. The old buildings that had been hidden by the waters. The evidence of a city nobody had seen in a very long time. 

The pollution of sinful behaviors has been radically cut back in society. As those waters recede, people are taking stock in their lives.  Truth is being revealed as to what is really important to them. Somehow I doubt that toilet paper is it. 

People are craving relationships.  People are craving interactions with people.  God created us to be relational.  Right now my friend, hold onto the most important relationship. That which you have in Christ. 

He's pealed back a great many things about our society that He has a problem with.  Idolatry is a huge one.  It is what it is.  God's definition is still what matters. 

He's putting the brakes on abortion. Lives matter to Him. He is the Creator of life. 

He had stated what kind of worshippers He seeks.  Those who worship in Spirit and in truth.  

His work at this time is really showing who is a follower of Christ and who isn't.  It's a wakeup call of a Spiritual nature.  Are you alive in Christ or are you seeing that you are not?  This is a global disease, but it's also a purifying agent.  It's revealing what's at the heart of people. 

He's giving people a chance to reexamine their lives. To make things right. Judgment is coming.  God allows nothing without a purpose.  He allowed this virus. Look for its purpose.  Jesus spoke of birth pangs. Knowing what those are in the physical world, relate it to the Spiritual world. He said that when we see these happening and increasing know that His return is near. 

Be in prayer.  Be talking with Jesus.  Not just about food. About you. Get real with yourself and God.  The Disciples had no worries when they were near Jesus. 

Pray today, pray throughout the day. 

Make sure your evident fruit shows you are a Child of God. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Push on in Prayer

Push on in Prayer 

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed. Mark 14:35 

Some Christians are satisfied with only a surface relationship with Christ. Others desire to share the holiest moments with Him. On the night Jesus spent in sacred prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the people responded to Him in various ways. There were those who were so indifferent to Jesus that they were unaware He was even in the garden. Then there was Judas, who knew where Jesus was but was too busy with his own schemes to join Him. The rest of the disciples joined Jesus in the garden, but they were distracted by sleep. Jesus told them the urgency of the hour, but they did not comprehend it. There was the inner circle of disciples, Peter, James, and John. They initially prayed with Jesus, yet even they could not grasp the significance of the moment. Ultimately, Jesus prayed alone. He went farther than His disciples and prayed longer. At the greatest moment of intercession in human history, there was no one willing to go with Jesus and watch with Him. Throughout history God has looked for those willing to yield everything to Him and His desire to redeem a world. At times God has marveled that no one was willing to go with Him (Isa. 63:5; 59:16). The prophets seemed to grasp more than the common people, for while society carried on as though nothing were wrong, the prophets agonized and wept over what they knew God was preparing to do. God is calling you to go deeper in your prayer life with Him. If you are willing to be the person Jesus can take with Him into the most sacred moments, you will experience things only the angels shared with Jesus in the garden that night. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's often when the storm surges that it gets the most attention in a person's life.
I can certainly agree with this.  The most poignant moments of my walk with God have happened because the storm raged.

Right now this world is caught up in a global crisis.  This storm is going to be here a while.  The interesting thing is the lengths God had gone to attempt to gain the attention of the world.  

There are no coincidences in regards to the work of Jesus.  There is never something just happening at the same time as His intended work.  Jesus has one mission for all believers, to reach the lost. It's not to pursue a life of luxury or grandeur. It is to obey Him. 

Prayer was the greatest tool in the belt of an Apostle.  It's what began the Church.  It's what encompassed the life of Christ. His times He often left everyone and everything to talk to the Father. 

Prayer.  So now we all have extra time these days.  Stripped of aspects of our lives that cluttered up our minds.  In essence freeing us to seek God on a level we hadn't considered before. 

Prayer is where you start.  Jesus would go off and talk to His Father, come back and set about doing what the Father wanted.  

Prayer was crucial at the Garden of Gethsemane.  The Disciples weren't entirely getting it yet.  The evil in this world was poised to strike.  Prayer was the weapon of choice.  

So things are radically different these days.  It's happened before and people have learned to adapt before.  What's different this time is this generation has never seen a very indiscriminate enemy of the flesh on this scale, with this magnitude. 

But regardless, it's not stronger than a prayer.  Scripture says the effective prayer of a righteous man avails much.  Why is that?  Righteousness of a believer is from God.  So if a man or woman is in tune with God in their daily lives, in their relationship with Jesus, their prayers go places.  They accomplish things.  Because His will is being done. 

This time in our lives is best suited in learning how to deepen our relationship with Jesus.  Learn more about Him.  Learn to open up to Him.  Let go of the aspects of our lives that He doesn't approve of.  Take the weeds out of the garden of our hearts.  

This day that's before you.  Think about where you are with Christ.  Don't dwell on losses of this physical world.  Look at what it is God wants you to be looking at. 

Jesus had told Peter, James and John of what was coming.  He lead them to the Garden of Gethsemane. To pray.  

You're facing a very upside down world. 
Jesus has lead you to this place and point in time to pray. 

Stop trying to find all kinds of things and ways to occupy your life with anything else. 

Sit at the feet of Jesus and both listen and talk with Him.  That's how you will get through this.  It is no coincidence that online Church attendance skyrocketed due to people being told they should stay home.  People are seeking something we have in Christ.  What is it? Why do they have hope? How do I get it?  

Pray my dear reader pray.  God's phone lines can't be overwhelmed.  He's always available.  Tell Him what is on your heart and mind.  He's waiting for you. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

When dispair is there

He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch!” Mark 14:33t-34

Who can know the depth and intensity of the heart of God? No one could measure His sorrow over an unrepentant sinner or His joy over a spiritual rebel who relinquishes everything to Him. We can begin to understand what is on the heart of God only when He shares His heart with us (Amos 3:7). Are you aware of the fervent emotions in the soul of your Lord, as He carries the weight of the world? The disciples were unaware of the deep anguish in the heart of Jesus. Yet, He willingly shared His heart with them. The disciples often seemed disoriented to what Jesus was feeling. When He took delight in young children, His disciples attempted to chase them away (Luke 18:15—16). When Jesus had compassion for a woman living in sin, they acted confused (John 4:27). While Jesus wept at the hopelessness of those facing death, His closest friends grieved as if Jesus had no power to raise the dead (John 11:1—44). You can choose to be alert to the heart of God. As you seek to understand what God is feeling, He may share with you the intensity of His heart. When you are around other people, God may sensitize you to the love He feels for them. When you see others suffering, you may feel the compassion Jesus feels. When sinners return to God in repentance, you may share the Father's joy. You will react to evil the way Jesus reacts. If you will remain alert in prayer, Jesus will share His heart with you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There's been more than a few times in my life when despair hit me full force.  The situations were either at my hands or were because of things that were out of my hands. 

What's that to do with Jesus?  Read that devotional again.  Being misunderstood was something Jesus dealt with daily in teaching His Disciples.  

And then you go to the end of each of the Gospel accounts. Look at what is said of Jesus.  He bore our sorrows. Our sin our shame.  Even approaching the moment of time when He was to be betrayed it was beyond excruciating to Him. It wasn't only that He knew that every sin ever committed by every man and woman would be heaped upon Him, it also was that His Father would for the first and only time turn His face away.  He knew it had to be that way but oh the pain!

People are in anguish today.  Over all that surrounds this virus.  Fear grips people.  The loss of work, of money, of any form of normalcy to their lives.  Further, normal emergencies still are happening.  Further still, countless thousands not heeded the orders of health officials.  

Worry and distress are most everywhere. 

My life is impacted, yours is, everyone.  But what do we do?  What I am doing is looking for God in the midst of it all.  Scripture says that nothing reaches a believer unless it gets past Jesus.  It was permitted for Job to go through a great deal. Many today will be in the same situation.  

Jesus will never leave nor forsake any believers.  He promised.  He keeps His promises.  

Be in His Word, the Bible. 
Be in prayer.  Talk to Him.  
Better than Facebook, much better than Twitter.  God is there.  Patiently waiting for people.   With life being limited for a while, thousands are finding themselves watching Churches online when, before this, they wouldn't have attempted it.

God is preparing to return. Jesus promised He would return.  Are you ready for that?

Do not despair over what you see in this world.  Look for God in this world.  He is looking for those yet to be saved.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

You know that in the midst of all the pain and anguish and sorrow He went through YOU were on His mind? Yes, you.  He died a horrible death on a cross in your place. 

It makes it kind of important to find out why He would do that, don't you think?

Why would He give His life to save you?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16.

He paid the price you couldn't to give you a chance to live.  But you still have to ask my friend.  It's still in your hands to ask Him to save you.  Not just from this virus but from your sins, which are much worse. 

Seek Him today while He may be found. 

Look up Romans Road online.  He's waiting for you. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Are you prudent or foolish?

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:1-13 NASB

I can only say that this passage came to mind only because God did it.  I think on the events of today and a conversation with a friend through texts. 

My friend do you really know you are ready to meet Jesus?  Are you even aware of the plans He is unfolding this very hour?

Because He is revealing much though it must be looked for.   As this pandemic is spreading, people are looking for hope.  Regardless of how they lived their lives to this point they know where to look.  What's odd to me is how few professing Churches are noticing what those outside the Church see. They see the hand of God yet those in much of the professing Church don't see it.  

Bible Prophecy always comes true.  It's God's Plan for mankind.  There's a book in the Old Testament called Daniel.  In it there's a vision granted to Daniel to see.  It refers to 70 weeks of years appointed to the people of the nation of Israel. 69 of those 'weeks' of years have passed.  One week remains.  It's the week that Daniel was told to go his way.  It wasn't for him to know.  That was passed on to the Apostle John.  Who wrote the book of Revelation.  Also known as Daniel's 70th week. 

The prophetic clock began its march toward that 70th week beginning when Israel became a nation again.  Various smaller birth pangs have happened. Wars, rumors of wars. Earthquake's and famines in various places. Perhaps you have read about a few?  

Many years ago while going through a book conversion project, retyping an old paperback into PDF form, much went through my mind back then.  Like what would the world be like either just before the Rapture of the Church or right after.

What's amazing to me is the scenarios that I envisioned are happening right now.  It's like God gave me a foretaste of what was to come.  I saw a world where there was no sports, no movies, where countless lives were lost, where the government's of the world covered up the Rapture of the Church by saying those people just died from a disease that the world was fighting.  They will say they disposed of the bodies to contain the spread.  Whereas there were no bodies.  The deluding influence if Satan will get people to believe it all.  Right now the restraining one, the Holy Spirit, prevents him from doing so. 

This pandemic is a wake up call.  It is. It really is.  Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Would you be leaving with Jesus when He returns for His Church?

Or are you stubbornly holding onto your own ideas of what's to come? My dear reader, there's some facts you need to be aware of.   Every. Single. Prophecy. Has come true that's written in the Bible.  Every single one. There's no chance that even one won't come true.  None.  Which tells you that what God says about sin, about needing a Savior, about repentance from your sins is all true as well.  Without Christ you are going to be left here when He returns. You will go through 7 of the most horrifying years this planet has ever seen.  If you live through it.  People are all up in arms over the thousands that have died from this virus.  Billions will die in that 7 year period. Billions. Read it yourself. Revelation.  The last book of the Bible.  Find the judgment where 1/3rd of mankind is killed.  Let's do the math. Roughly 8 billion or so alive today.  That is 2.66 billion dead.  Of those that remain yet more will die.  

Read it for yourself.  God's not joking concerning sin.  Those whose names are not written in the book of Life will not go to Heaven.  Those who have come to Christ for Salvation are written in that book.  Only Jesus has the free gift of Salvation.  Only Jesus.  Look up Romans Road to Salvation.  Consider your life tonight or today, depending on when you read this.  Nobody's promised a tomorrow. Not believers, not the unbelieving.  Let today be the day of your Salvation.  Don't put it off.  I promise you, you won't regret it.  

This is some hard truths to take in.  Read it again. Check your stubbornness at the door.  Now is the time to know where you will spend eternity.  It may be this pandemic or another, but sooner or later, Christ is coming back.  

Just as Jesus told His Disciples that no man knows the day or the hour of His return, He also was very detailed in the signs that would happen before He would return.  Are you looking or is your head in the sand?

Wake up.  Reality has taken a turn for a reason.  It's God giving this world one more chance.  He loves you and doesn't want you to spend eternity in Hell.  But you have to choose.  He won't force you, but will hold you to your decision. 

Choose wisely. 

Why Pray? Where is Hope?

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying. Matthew 26:39 NLT 

There are several instructive elements in our Savior’s prayer in His hour of trial. First, it was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from His three favored disciples. Believer, spend much time in solitary prayer, especially in your times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, and prayer in the church are not enough—they are precious, but the best incense burns in your private devotions, where no one but God hears. Next, it was humble prayer. Luke says Jesus knelt, but Matthew says He bowed with his face to the ground. What then is our place, as humble servants of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover our heads! Humility gives us a good foothold in prayer. There is no hope of prevailing with God unless we lower ourselves so that He can lift us up at the appropriate time. It was the prayer of a child to its parent: “Abba, Father” (Mark 14:36). You will find protection in the day of trial by pleading your adoption. You have no rights as a subject; you have given them up by your treason. But nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Do not be afraid to say, “My Father, hear my cry.” Observe that it was persevering prayer. Jesus prayed three times. Don’t stop until you prevail. Be like the persistent widow of Luke 18, whose continual asking earned what her first request could not win. Continue in prayer, and do it with thanksgiving. Finally, it was a prayer of resignation. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT). Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will determine the best. Be content to leave your prayer in His hands—He knows when to give, how to give, and what to give . . . and what to withhold. So plead earnestly and persistently, but with humility and resignation. You will certainly prevail. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

In the hour in which we live, it's beginning to set in that people are looking for signs of hope.  People seek some form of solace in the midst of apparent chaos. 

My dear reader, it is just that, apparent chaos. Nothing more. As a wise man once taught me, perception is everything to everyone.  What we perceive becomes truth to us. 

Some view holding onto a belief in Christ as a fallacy.  That it shows someone who is weak and can't know what it means to live life.  On the contrary, it shows someone who has had their eyes opened to see what life is about. 

Prayer and praying only work when directed at the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ and done through the Holy Spirit.  He is the only Creator of this world.  He is the only one who has proven countless times in human history that He is and that He does love mankind. 

Praying isn't our handing over a list to a servant to be filled.  It's open communication with one who loves us unconditionally. One who knows every fault we have and loves us anyway. One who leads us through every storm and every dark valley.  Not just the one who shows up on a bright sunny day. 

He knows everything you consider a secret.  He wants an intimate relationship with you.  He is ready to forgive you when you ask.  He doesn't run away or even walk away when we sin. Because He knows we will.  We should never intentionally sin. There are many who do. Intentionally doing what He said no to.  That's what it means in Romans about a practiced sin.  One you willing do with no remorse.  Excusing it because it's easier than obeying. 

Prayer indeed moves mountains.  My friend, I have seen so many moved in recent years it's astounding.  This virus is nothing to God to handle.  

As I remember from a movie a character asks an interactive hologram a series of questions.  When at last the character gets it the hologram responds with telling him that was the right question and self terminates. 

The right question is what are you doing about your prayer life? You want hope, but keep looking at those in this world for it.

It's not found in world leaders. It's not found in Doctors.  It's found in Christ. 

Daniel could have lost hope in the lions den.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have lost hope in the fiery furnace. 

John the Apostle could have lost hope when he was boiled in oil.

Peter could have lost hope when called out because of denying Christ. 

Did they? Should you, in this time in which we live?

Prayer isn't for weak people, it's what makes them strong. 
Prayer is your heart to speak with His heart. 

Prayer brings hope in the midst of hopelessness.  Not just when our back is against the wall and we promise God anything if only He would save us.

Where is your prayer life?  Are you even a Child of God? If you are not, your prayers go no where unless it's a prayer leading to Salvation.  God does indeed save unbelievers, but look closer, the intent behind it is He wants more of you. He wants you to believe in Him and have a relationship with Him.

Running short on hope?  Look where you stand with Jesus. It will tell you everything you need to know. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sometimes Sorrow in Obedience

“You will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone.” John 16:32 NLT 

Few were intimately aware of the sorrows of Gethsemane. Most of the disciples were not advanced enough in grace to be allowed to see the mysteries of “the agony.” Occupied with the Passover feast at their own houses, they represent many people who follow the letter of the law but are mere babes regarding the spirit of the gospel. Of Jesus’s twelve disciples, only eleven were privileged to enter Gethsemane and see “this great sight.” And of the eleven, eight were left at a distance; they had a kind of fellowship, but not that intimate sort that admits people who are greatly loved. Only three highly favored ones could approach the veil of our Lord’s mysterious sorrow. But within that veil even these three could not intrude—they stayed at the distance of a stone’s throw. Jesus must tread the winepress alone. There will be nobody with him. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, represent the few prominent, experienced saints who may be called “Fathers”—having done business on great waters, they can to some degree measure the huge Atlantic waves of their Redeemer’s passion. Some selected individuals are given, for the good of others and to strengthen them for a tremendous future conflict, the right to enter the inner circle and hear the prayers of the suffering High Priest. They have fellowship with Him in His sufferings, and are made “like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). But even these people cannot penetrate the secret places of the Savior’s woe. “Your unknown sufferings” is the remarkable expression of the Greek liturgy: there was an inner chamber of our Master’s grief, shut out from all human knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is left alone. Here Jesus is more than ever an “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15)! Watts is right when he sings, And all the unknown joys he gives, Were bought with agonies unknown. “How Rich Are Thy Provisions, Lord,” Isaac Watts (18th century) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city …” Mark 14:13 

The two disciples were given very detailed instructions to go to a certain town and look for a particular man performing a specific task. He would have a large room, furnished and ready to observe the Passover. These instructions might have seemed unusual had it not been their Lord speaking, but the two disciples obeyed and found everything just as Jesus had said. Jesus knew exactly what they would find, and so He guided them specifically. One of the most memorable and precious times the disciples would spend with their Teacher hinged on the obedience of these two. Obedience to Christ's commands always brings fulfillment. When the Lord gives you instructions, obey immediately. Don't wait until you have figured it all out and everything makes perfect sense to you. Sometimes God will lead you to do things that you will not fully understand until after you have done them. He does not usually reveal all the details of His will when He first speaks to you. Instead, He tells you enough so you can implement what He has said, but He withholds enough information so that you must continue to rely upon His guidance. Your response will affect what God does next in your life. Your obedience may affect how others around you experience Christ as well. If there is any directive God has given you that you have not obeyed, obey that word immediately and watch God's perfect plan unfold in your life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There's been more than a few times in my life when sorrow and obedience went hand in hand.  

The sorrow of my Savior was great in the Gospel accounts of His time in Gethsemane.  We think we know sorrow.  Oh my friend we haven't scratched the surface compared to what Jesus was confronting.  In a short while all the sin of all history would be unceremoniously heaped upon Him on the cross.  So much would be there that it would, for the only time in all creation, block His view of His Father.  From before time began They enjoyed intimate intense fellowship.  Consider your fondness memories of someone you care deeply about and multiply it by infinity.  Then cut off that ability to have that on a scale unparalleled in anything.  It wasn't just cut off, that fellowship was buried under sin.  His own Father could not look at Him. He turned away. 

That's sorrow.  

But it was the price of obedience.  The price that had to be paid to satisfy the penalty of sin.  We sin daily.  He promises the believer to wash them clean daily when we ask for forgiveness with repentance.  There's the catch.  You just cannot willingly continue in sin because you can be forgiven.  Read Romans.  Intentionally looking to sin is not it. 

Obedience is often tied to sorrow.  Sometimes it isn't.  This world is going back and forth about obeying the Government concerning social distancing...keeping your distance in public.  It's really putting a hurt on people who love to hug others.  Who were brought up shaking hands.  But for now it's necessary for self preservation.  

Self preservation is to me a two edged sword.  It's both good and bad.  There's times when you are just in need of taking care of yourself, because there's a need to do so.  

Sometimes that hurts to do so.  When you really need comforting and what we normally would do is dangerous right now.  

That's sorrow mixed with obedience. 

We have had our lives seriously disrupted by the coronavirus.  In ways few ever imagined.  Many decades ago when pondering the events that must be evident at the beginning of the Tribulation was shown the very scenario we are in now. If it isn't going to happen soon, it's going to be an event like this. 

At or around the time of the Rapture people will be doing what is happening right now.  There will be no sports or movies  going on.  There will be governmental explanations as to what happened to so many people.  Lies will be said through the media to cover it up.  I am telling you, that's what I was shown.  

We must turn to Jesus at this time.  You can only go so long before you start to wonder about life.  Sorrow is inevitable. But obeying God is what's important.  

Download a Bible or order one if you don't have one.  My friend it's time to start realizing that everything Jesus said was to happen is happening.  You need to read it for yourself.  You are looking for hope in all this hopelessness.  It's not found in YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  Not found in streaming networks.  You will find your sorrow is still there after the show ends.  Find out what Jesus has to say to you.  In this world seeking peace and safety, look to the only one who can provide it. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Why do you have doubts?

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26 

It is by faith that God's mighty power is released into the life of a Christian (Heb. 11:33—35). The fact that you have doubts indicates that you do not know God as you should. If your prayer life is infiltrated with doubts, you have denied yourself the greatest single avenue of power that God has made available to you. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). God never comforts you in your doubt. Jesus consistently rebuked those who would not believe Him. He had revealed enough of Himself for His disciples to have believed Him in their time of need. God wants to build your understanding of Him until your faith is sufficient to trust and obey Him in each situation (Mark 9:23—25). The moment you turn to Him with a genuine commitment to rid yourself of doubt, God will match your doubt with a revelation of Himself that can convince you of His faithfulness. When Thomas doubted, Jesus revealed Himself to him in such a way that every doubt vanished (John 20:27). You can only resolve your lack of faith in God's presence. He must reveal Himself in such a way that any doubt you might have is removed. Jesus did this with His disciples. He involved them in a consistent, growing relationship with Himself. Jesus took them through teaching, to small miracles, to large miracles, and to the resurrection. Jesus knew that the redemption of the world rested on His disciples' believing Him. What does God want to do in the lives of those around you that waits upon your trust in Him and the removal of your doubts? - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh how a day changes everything.  When you have one idea in your mind of how your day starts and then,  just like that, it changes. 

Was waking up for work and I heard an alarm.  Was my sump pump backup alarm. 

Water was in our basement. Prayer is your only partner at times.  You can only pray and do what God sets before you sometimes.  May not seem like it's a blessing but it is. 

God is God in the times we understand what's going on and when we haven't got a clue. 

What happens in our lives is for our growth in Him and others around us. Removing doubt and instilling faith.

So today didn't go as you planned. It is going the way God planned.  Pray always. 

In everything give thanks the Bible says. 

Even when it's as clear as mud.

Keep your chin up. Keep the faith.  God will see you through whatever is causing your faith to be shaken.  He will be glorified. 

Nothing you face is greater than He. 
From flooding to a virus.  He is King and God over all.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Faith and Grace

His faith grew stronger. Romans 4:20 NLT 

Christian, take good care of your faith. Remember, it is only through faith that you can obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing but faith can bring them down to us. Prayer can’t draw answers from God’s throne, unless it is the earnest prayer of the person who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between our souls and the Lord Jesus in glory. If that angel is gone, we can neither send up prayers nor receive answers. Faith is a cable that links earth and heaven. Along that cable, God’s messages of love fly so fast that He answers before we even call—while we are still speaking He responds. But if that cable of faith is snapped, how can we receive the promise? Am I in trouble? I can get help for my trouble by faith. Am I beaten down by the enemy? My soul leans on its Refuge by faith. But take faith away, and I call to God in vain. There is no road between my soul and heaven. But in the deepest wintertime, faith becomes a road on which the horses of prayer can travel (and they travel quickly because of the biting frost). Blockade this road of faith, though, and how can we communicate with the great King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages the omnipotence of Jehovah on my side. Faith promises every attribute of God for my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It allows me to march in triumph over my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord? An uncertain person—who is like a wave of the sea—should never expect to receive anything from God! So, Christian, watch your faith carefully. With faith, however poor you are, you can win all things. Without faith, you can obtain nothing. “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23 NLT). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 When you relate to God you always deal with abundance, for God does nothing in half measures! This is true regarding His grace. The Lord is not miserly when it comes to providing grace to His servants. When you seek to perform a good work that God has asked you to do, you will always find an ample supply of God's grace to sustain you. If you begin to lose heart in the work you are doing, God's grace upholds you and gives you the love for God and His people you require in order to continue. When you face criticism and are misunderstood, God's grace enables you to forgive your accusers and to sense God's pleasure even when others do not understand what you are doing. When you make mistakes in the work God has appointed you to do, God's grace forgives you, sets you back on your feet, and gives you strength to continue the work. When you complete the task God gave you and no one expresses thanks for what you have done, the Father's grace surrounds you, and He reminds you that you have a heavenly reward where everything you have done in the Lord's service will be remembered. God does not promise to provide all you need for your dreams and projects. He does assure you that, for every good work you attempt, you will never face a shortfall of His grace in order to successfully complete the task God has given you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Seems that God feels we need to hear from both of these today.  My dear reader, when He speaks...listen. 

Time goes quickly or slowly only when based on your state of mind.  If you find the work of your hands enjoyable seems like it flys. Yet the opposite seems true when the task seems to be more menial. Mundane. 

In whatever you do in word or deed do all to the glory of God.  As the Scriptures say. 

My life is replete with instances of obedience and disobedience.  As I am sure yours is too.  There's parts of the Bible that refer to refining silver. Referring to the purifying of a person through God's direction.   Some today have referred to it as gold under fire.  The point really is that a believer is being refined.  That which is precious to Christ is refined by Christ. 

Jesus went through what He did in His earthly life and death to pave the way for mankind to be saved.  He went through the refiners fire.  He now sits at the right hand of God the Father as the mediator between God and man.  

He also is at work in the lives of every believer.  There are the small things He changes an then there are times when it's an all out surgery.  What keeps a believer going is faith.  What causes us not to be consumed in the process is grace.

Grace is unmerited favor.  Nothing done, said or thought by the recipient is taken into account towards worthiness to receive it.  It's all on Jesus to bestow it.

Coupled with faith, grace goes farther, it's strength multiplied, it's distance stretched farther than anyone or anything could ever do or imagine on their own.  

In these times we live today the fire under everyone has been turned up.  Reading between the lines of what Government officials say every day it's looking for a silver lining to the dark clouds of coronavirus.  Looking for the positive side of people in this.  

My friend, wherever you are today, when all is said and done, your life will be impacted by what is going around the world. 

The fire under each soul is being brought up to smelting temperature.  Impurities are being brought to the surface.  God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Including this.

Look at this virus from a Spiritual perspective.  Idolatry is being affected. The murder of babies is being affected. Things that people have prayed for concerning mankind have been affected.  

It's also showing who has true faith in God and who does not.  Looking at another example from Scripture...the separation of the wheat from the tares.  

As one Church put on their sign out in front of their building. If you don't like how life is now if you are left behind at the Rapture you're certainly not going to like it then.

Faith and Grace get believers through the roughest of times.  It's how we still smile in the midst of adversity.  It's how we deal with life.  Many millions out there, probably billions, have no relationship with Jesus.  They truly are isolated and alone.  They have only their faith in their government to look to through all of this.  I have my God with me at all times. I have Jesus because He first loved me.  He died for me, paved the way to save me.  He loves me and stands with me in everything going on in life.  He forgave my sins, gave me a heart filled with His life.  He can do all that for you.  The next part is the best part. He promised never to leave me or forsake me.  Doesn't matter what kind of quarantine, I always have a visitor. He holds me, tells me He loves me and promises He is coming back soon. Then I will be with Him always.  

Can the same be said of you? Are all the things you do not have today worth more than knowing you won't spend eternity in Hell?  Are they worth more than knowing you can no longer be alone right now?

People exhibit faith at all times.  Including atheists.  It's what the person believes in their heart to be true about their lives.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. That He was born of a virgin. Lived a sinless life. Was beaten, scourged, nailed to a cross. To pay the price for my sin and the sins of mankind.  He arose 3 days later, victorious over sin, death and the grave.  He now sits at the right hand of God the Father.  He is coming back soon.

Some put their faith into thinking they are good people.  Not deserving of any penalty of sin.   That's not what God says. 

Some deny God's existence.  They refuse to admit there's a God.  God says the world testifies to the reality of Him.

Some hate the God of the Bible.  Hate His chosen people.  Hate all that Israel stands for.  God calls them beloved.  Regardless of how they have been towards Him. His commitment to them has never changed. 

Faith only works with Grace.  Those who believe as the true Church does, anticipate His return.  They have the promises and peace of God in all situations. Including this.  Prayer only requires a believer to pick up the phone of faith and pour out their hearts to Him. He is always there.  No busy signal. No voicemail. 

Where are you today?  Either it will be this pandemic or another, Jesus Christ is going to be coming back. Governments will use whatever excuse works to cover the facts of millions of people vanishing.  

Are you ready?  The Bible says that in the twinkling of an eye the Rapture will happen.  There will be no time to say "No! Wait for me!"  Jesus said you know not at what hour He is coming.  When His Father says it's time, then, it will be time. 

Faith, Grace and Mercy.  Mercy?  Oh yes. Can't forget Mercy.  Mercy is a believer not receiving what they do deserve.  God handles that too. 

My friend, before you close this session out.  Ask yourself do you really know Jesus? Is He your Savior?  If you are not sure.  Google or search for Romans Road to Salvation.  Be sure.