Saturday, May 28, 2016

Even Heaven Has a Wall!

I saw one of the seven angels who had the bowls filled with the seven last terrible troubles. The angel came to me and said, “Come on! I will show you the one who will be the bride and wife of the Lamb.”  Then with the help of the Spirit, he took me to the top of a very high mountain. There he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven.

The glory of God made the city bright. It was dazzling and crystal clear like a precious jasper stone.  The city had a high and thick wall with twelve gates, and each one of them was guarded by an angel. On each of the gates was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Three of these gates were on the east, three were on the north, three more were on the south, and the other three were on the west. The city was built on twelve foundation stones. On each of the stones was written the name of one of the Lamb's twelve apostles.

The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring stick to measure the city and its gates and its walls. The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about 2,400 kilometers high and 2,400 kilometers wide.  Then the angel measured the wall, and by our measurements it was about 60 meters high.

Revelation 21:9-17

All around the world today there is much attention given to whether or not the United States should build a wall on it’s southern border.  Some say it is heartless and cruel and even racist to physically block access to those who want to come across the border.  Others say it is essential to keep the country from drowning in a wave of desperate humanity trying to escape some form of hell in their own countries!  The fundamental controversy is about whether or not there should be “Open Borders” to a land of freedom and opportunity!

According to Revelation 21, Heaven does not have Open Borders.  It says that Heaven has twelve gates guarded by angels and a wall that is 60 meters high!  Of course, Heaven is the ultimate place of freedom and eternal opportunity and the only escape for those who were destined for Hell, but Heaven is only for those who come in “legally.”  There is only one passport to Heaven and that is the Blood of Jesus!  

Remember, Heaven does not have open borders and it does, most certainly have a wall!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a Passport to Heaven for everyone who gives their heart to You and becomes Your follower! May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen!”

Friday, May 27, 2016

You Belong to Jesus!

If you tell others that you belong to me, the Son of Man will tell God's angels that you are my followers. But if you reject me, you will be rejected in front of them. If you speak against the Son of Man, you can be forgiven, but if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you cannot be forgiven.

When you are brought to trial in the synagogues or before rulers or officials, don't worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say.  At that time the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.

Luke 12:8-12

When you tell other people about Jesus, do you tell them who He is, what He did on the Cross and that He will return?  That is a good summary of fact, history and the future, but don’t forget to tell other men that you belong to Jesus!  If you reject the ownership of Jesus for your life, He won’t tell the angels that you are His follower!

Even if you deny Jesus, like Peter did in the early morning of the day that Jesus went to the Cross, you can be forgiven.  But if you speak against the Holy Spirit you separate yourself from the very one who would draw you 
back to Jesus!

It is the Holy Spirit who not only fills your heart with the fruit that only He can produce, but He also fills your mouth with the Words that will confound those who would condemn you for following Jesus!

Tell someone today about Jesus Christ, but also tell them that you belong to Him!  Then there will be angels today who will hear that you are a Christ follower!

“Lord Jesus, may Your Spirit again today put love in my heart and Your Words in my mouth and may the angels know today that I follow You.   May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spontaneous Concert of Praise!

All day long I will tell the wonderful things you do to save your people. But you have done much more than I could possibly know. I will praise you, Lord God, for your mighty deeds and your power to save.

You have taught me since I was a child, and I never stop telling about your marvelous deeds. Don't leave me when I am old and my hair turns gray. Let me tell future generations about your mighty power. Your deeds of kindness are known in the heavens. No one is like you!

Psalm 71:15-19

We often like to say the words “Praise God,” but how often are we specific about the wonderful things that God has done as we praise Him?

To praise someone, anyone without saying the “what for” is really quite strange!  When you attend an awards ceremony the one who presents the awards always tells the audience why the person is being honored!  But when it comes to God we shout His praises, but rarely if ever say why!

Of course, it is not a sin to praise God without saying why, but when you speak the reason for praising Him you will soon be reminded of a thousand other reasons to praise God and your day will turn into a spontaneous concert of praise!

If you praise God for the birds, you will think to praise Him for the trees, and of course the air in which they fly.  And you won’t forget the songs they sing to bring peace to your heart and the list can go on forever!

So when you praise God, open your eyes and praise Him for what you see in front of your face!

“Lord Jesus, I praise You today for hanging on the Cross so that I might be able to love You and look forward to living with You forever!  Amen!”

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Pure Heart and Faith!

We have a great high priest who is in charge of God's house.  So let's come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let's keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water.  We must hold tightly to the hope we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us.  We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.  Some people have given up the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.

Hebrews 10:21-25

Jesus wants you to have a pure heart!  In fact, in the Sermon on the mount Jesus said that if you have a pure heart you will be able to see God!  My understanding of a pure heart is that it has to do with my motives.  If I have secret and self serving reasons for doing the things that I do, then my heart is not pure!  If my heart is pure, then like God Himself, I AM who I AM.  There is no deception in my heart!

So if my heart is pure, can I because of that be confident before the Lord?  The answer is “NO.”  My pure heart enables me to see God, but does not justify me before Him.  It is only Faith in Jesus that makes me able to stand, assured of an eternal future in Heaven.

Be glad if your heart is pure, but put no trust in even a pure heart.  Remember your heart can be led astray in a moment.  Put all your Faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him with all your heart!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for being the reason for my hope for Heaven.  Help me keep my heart pure today, so I can see God.  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen!”

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Free Will and God's Word!

The Lord said: Ezekiel, son of man, you've heard people in Israel use the saying, “Time passes, and prophets are proved wrong.”  Now tell the people that I, the Lord, am going to prove that saying wrong. No one will ever be able to use it again in Israel, because very soon everything I have said will come true!  The people will hear no more useless warnings and false messages.  I will give them my message, and what I say will certainly happen. Warn those rebels that the time has come for them to be punished. I, the Lord, make this promise. Ezekiel, the people of Israel are also saying that your visions and messages are only about things in the future.   So tell them that my words will soon come true, just as I have warned. I, the Lord, have spoken.

Ezekiel 12:21-28

Does God punish nations today, or was that only for “ancient” times?  If you believe that God, today is only concerned about individual people and not about how they live together as a nation consider this:  The end of all things will come just as God has planned it and not as nations and godless people want it to be!  Men and whole nations can rebel against God, but God will either tolerate or wipe out that rebellion according to how it fits into His final plan for planet earth!  

The “free will” of man does not and cannot change even one Word of God’s Will for His creation!

So when a nation rebels against God and is not destroyed it is because God will use even that rebellion to accomplish His Will on earth!  But when a nation rebells against God and crumbles under the power of God’s judgement, that rebellion does not serve His purposes!

As followers of Jesus Christ we must simply listen to the Words of God and obey them, rather than trying to understand His Global Plan for making things ready for the return of Jesus to this earth!  One thing we can know for certain, and it is this:  God will not destroy a nation that honors Him and seeks to know His will for their land!

“Lord Jesus, may I today be one of those that honors You in my nation.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ready for the Great Suffering!

After this, I saw a large crowd with more people than could be counted. They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands, as they shouted,

“Our God, who sits upon the throne, has the power to save his people, and so does the Lamb.”

The angels who stood around the throne knelt in front of it with their faces to the ground. The elders and the four living creatures knelt there with them. Then they all worshiped God and said,

“Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen!”

One of the elders asked me, “Do you know who these people are that are dressed in white robes? Do you know where they come from?” “Sir,” I answered, “you must know.” Then he told me:

“These are the ones who have gone through the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and have made them white. And so they stand before the throne of God and worship him in his temple day and night. The one who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 

They will never hunger or thirst again, and they won't be troubled by the sun or any scorching heat.

The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to streams of life-giving water, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Revelation 7:9-17

If you are chosen to go through the GREAT SUFFERING, your reward will be much greater than the suffering!  Allow your heart and mind to look beyond the tribulation and pain on this earth and meditate on the "Impossible Truth" that there will be human beings allowed to stand before the throne of God and Praise Him forever! And if you give your heart to Jesus, you will be among them!  

Don't seek the suffering, but don't run away from it if it comes!  Seek the Heart of God and seek Jesus and be obedient to every Word that comes from the Holy Spirit!  Then you will be ready for the Great Suffering and for the Eternity of Praising Him that follows!   

Praise His Name forever!  Amen!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Closed Door Disciples!

This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:

I am the one who is holy and true, and I have the keys that belonged to David. When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say.

I know everything you have done. And I have placed before you an open door no one can close. You were not very strong, but you obeyed my message and did not deny you are my followers.

Revelation 3:7-8

How strong do you need to be in order to be successful as a follower of Jesus? These verses clearly answer that question. You do not need to be “very strong,” but you do need to be very obedient and very unashamed to declare that Jesus is your Lord!

In your walk of faith God opens the door for the way that you should go, and He closes the doors to opportunities that are not part of His plan for your life. Sometimes though we stand at a closed door for years hoping that God will change His mind and let us through. Instead of seeking the way that He has prepared for us to walk we may stop and wait at that closed door for a long time!

Are you still standing at a door that God shut many years ago?  Or maybe He shut the door just yesterday? Unless God has told you to wait at that door, you must move on and look for the door He has opened for your life!  I think most Christians spend at least some of their lives waiting for closed doors to open!

“Lord Jesus help me to know if the ‘closed door’ that stands before me now was shut by You, or is simply blocked by Satan.  If the Devil is blocking it, then move him out of the way, and if You have shut it, then move me on to the door You have opened for my life!  May You be praised forever.  Amen!”