Monday, December 10, 2018

Babylon Now or Later?

I saw another angel come from heaven. This one had great power, and the earth was bright because of his glory.

The angel shouted, “Fallen! Powerful Babylon has fallen and is now the home of demons. It is the den of every filthy spirit and of all unclean birds, and every dirty and hated animal.

Babylon's evil and immoral wine has made all nations drunk. Every king on earth has slept with her, and every merchant on earth is rich because of her evil desires.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven shout, “My people, you must escape from Babylon. Don't take part in her sins and share her punishment.

Her sins are piled as high as heaven. God has remembered the evil she has done.

Treat her as she has treated others. Make her pay double for what she has done. Make her drink twice as much of what she mixed for others.

That woman honored herself with a life of luxury. Reward her now with suffering and pain. “Deep in her heart Babylon said, ‘I am the queen! Never will I be a widow or know what it means to be sad.’

And so, in a single day she will suffer the pain of sorrow, hunger, and death. Fire will destroy her dead body, because her judge is the powerful Lord God.”

Revelation 18:1-8

Is the “Babylon” of these verses a real country, or is it just a symbol of those who may fit the description in whatever country?

It makes me sad to confess that my country, the United States fits the description of Babylon in most every way.  We have developed a deeply perverted base of evil that is exported to the rest of the world.  We now see advertisements that say you can become very rich by investing in the legal marijuana market!  

We are in nearly a half a century race to change illegal into legal and even the immoral into that which is acceptable and expected. 

Remember Sodom and don’t live like those whose offence to God was great and prompted Him to destroy them.  

Pray that we will discover that the Babylon of Revelation 18 was for a later time because we heard the Voice of God, repented and turned from our sins as a Great Revival spreads
through our land!

“Turn our hearts to You Lord Jesus.  And may Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.   Amen!”

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Confession and Forgiveness

If we say we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn't in our hearts.  But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.  If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his message isn't in our hearts.

1 John 1:8-10

In the United States court system you are not required to testify against yourself.  You can remain silent and hope that no one will have testimony that will convince the jury that you are guilty.

But in the Eternal Justice system it does not work that way.  God has clearly stated that everyone who lives on this earth is guilty of sin!  The only man who ever lived without sin was Jesus!  

That means that the “best” person you know today is a sinner!  God’s justice system works like this: You confess your sins and because of Jesus, God forgives you and takes your sins away!  There is no other way to deal with your sins.  Every other method is doomed to fail!

Here is the sobering part.  Even if you never sin again for the rest of your life on earth, the sin you have already commited has doomed you to Hell!  Your only hope is to confess your sin and let the Blood of Jesus take it away!

“Lord Jesus, I am a sinner whose only hope of Salvation is Your Blood and Your wonderful and marvelous Grace.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever, Amen.”

Friday, December 7, 2018

Only By Faith

"But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him."  

Romans 4:5

When you try to deserve the acceptance of God, you are living the impossible dream, because it will not happen. 

There is nothing you, or any man can do to make God open the gates of Heaven for you! It is only when you trust in Jesus Christ instead of trusting in yourself that your life will be pleasing to God! 

When you depend on your own good deeds to make God happy with you, you are on the doorstep of pride. 

When you trust in Jesus and His sacrifice for you, the gates of Heaven are unlocked and waiting for your arrival! 

“Thank You Jesus for doing what I could not do to make me acceptable to God. May Your Name be praised now and forever. Amen.”

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Jesus Knows It All

The whole city was in an uproar, and the people turned into a mob. They grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Then suddenly the doors were shut. The people were about to kill Paul when the Roman army commander heard that all Jerusalem was starting to riot.

So he quickly took some soldiers and officers and ran to where the crowd had gathered. As soon as the mob saw the commander and soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

The army commander went over and arrested him and had him bound with two chains. Then he tried to find out who Paul was and what he had done.

Part of the crowd shouted one thing, and part of them shouted something else. But they were making so much noise that the commander could not find out a thing. Then he ordered Paul to be taken into the fortress.

As they reached the steps, the crowd became so wild that the soldiers had to lift Paul up and carry him.

The crowd followed and kept shouting, "Kill him! Kill him!"

Acts 21:30-36

The crowd demanded that Paul be executed just like the crowd had demanded that Jesus be crucified!  Paul knew well the story of the crucifixion.  It certainly must have crossed his mind that he might, that very day walk in the footsteps of Jesus to his own death. 

If you want Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you will experience a glorious relationship with the Father through Him.  But you will also suffer as He did.

Remember as you walk through your day that Jesus fully knows everything you are experiencing.  If you are suffering because of your sin, Jesus especially relates to that!  He did not sin, but Jesus suffered and died because of your sin and mine!

Don’t believe that since Jesus was perfect and never sinned, He does not understand everything we experience as human beings! 

“Lord Jesus, thank you for all the Joy and Pain of being a Christ Follower!  You are the only one who knows everything about me, both now and forever.  Amen.” 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Proclaim the Gospel Here and Now!

Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia. After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.  So they went on through Mysia until they came to Troas.  During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!"  After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia. We were sure that God had called us to preach the good news there.

Acts 16:6-10

Has God ever told you where not to preach the message of Jesus?  Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, so why would Paul be directed not to preach in some places?

I believe it was because the Heart and Mind of God as well as His Hand are totally involved in orchestrating the spread of the Gospel around the world!  

If you ask for God’s direction in your life today, He will give it.  He will show you where to go and when to proclaim the message of the Gospel.  Your job is to keep your ears open to His voice and your heart willing to obey Him when He speaks!

These verses from Acts 16 clearly indicate that there wil be times when God may say “not here or not now.”  But as you keep listening for the direction of the Holy Spirit you will hear the Lord often say “speak the message here and now.” 

Set your heart on being OBEDIENT to every WORD that comes from God!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wisdom and Words from God!

God gave Stephen the power to work great miracles and wonders among the people.  But some Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria were members of a group who called themselves "Free Men." They started arguing with Stephen. Some others from Cilicia and Asia also argued with him.  But they were no match for Stephen, who spoke with the great wisdom that the Spirit gave him.

Acts 6:8-10

Powerful speakers today sometimes use a device called a “Teleprompter.”  It is a clear screen that displays the words for the man to read, but the words cannot be seen by those in the audience.  Some people who are considered to be “great orators” are “ordinary and uninspiring" without a teleprompter.

As a follower of Jesus Christ you are promised a teleprompter called the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will give you wisdom as you proclaim the message of Jesus.  He can even give you the exact words He wants you to use.

When  you depend on the Holy Spirit as you tell about Jesus you will discover that your words will have great power as they impact those who listen!

So today as you have opportunity to proclaim the message of Jesus, look for the Holy Spirit to give you the Words to say!  Then your proclamation will be like Stephen as you impart “Great Wisdom” from God! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Obey the Commander!

Jesus answered, "My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If it did, my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom doesn't belong to this world."  "So you are a king," Pilate replied. "You are saying that I am a king," Jesus told him. "I was born into this world to tell about the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth knows my voice."

John 18:36-37

Mercinary soldiers involve themselves in battles for their own personal gain.  They fight because they will be paid for their effort.  They have no vested interest in the war!

If you are a follower of Jesus you are a soldier in a war that has been going on since the days of the Garden of Eden. And you have everything invested in the cosmic battle.  It is crucial that you bring the right weapons to the battle.  If you use the weapons of this world to fight, you will surely be defeated by the powers of Satan who is stronger than any human effort.

But if you use the weapons of war crafted by the Mind of God you can defeat any enemy including Satan himself!  

As a soldier for Jesus your job is to listen to His commands and obey every one of them.  Then you will be more than successful because Jesus has everything it takes to defeat Satan!  In fact, Jesus already defeated the Devil when He died on the Cross!  

Let the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit fill your heart and mind as you hold it firmly in your hand for today’s battle!