Wednesday, December 26, 2012


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Finally, a third angel came and shouted:

Here is what will happen if you worship the beast and the idol and have the mark of the beast on your hand or forehead.  You will have to drink the wine that God gives to everyone who makes him angry. You will feel his mighty anger, and you will be tortured with fire and burning sulfur, while the holy angels and the Lamb look on.

If you worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name, you will be tortured day and night. The smoke from your torture will go up forever and ever, and you will never be able to rest.

Revelation 14:9-11

I think we may have missed something about God! These verses clearly say that God will torture those who worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name.

Today, civilized people believe that torture is barbaric and serves no good purpose. There is great controversy in the United States about whether or not some of the interrogation techniques used by the intelligence services might be classified as torture. I know it would be much more comfortable to skip over these verses and pretend they were not saying what they are indeed saying. God will torture, in anger those who oppose Him while the holy angels and the Lamb look on!

This is simply a sobering reminder that we are not God and that we cannot stand in judgment of His Words or actions. When God decides to save a life, or not to save that life, we are tempted to read human motives in to God's actions. When God says He will torture those who oppose Him we cannot assume using torture, for God, would violate His Holiness and Eternal purity.

"Lord, I know that You are perfect in every way. Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Help me Lord to stand in awe of You and not in judgment. Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How to Stop Sinning!

"The people who lived through these terrible troubles did not turn away from the idols they had made, and they did not stop worshiping demons. They kept on worshiping idols that were made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. Not one of these idols could see, hear, or walk. No one stopped murdering or practicing witchcraft or being immoral or stealing."
Revelation 9:20, 21
What does it take to stop a man from sinning?
The world believes that education is the answer to everything! If there is a problem with illicit sex then we need more sex education. If drugs is the problem then drug education should fix it, right? But education is not the motivation for righteousness.
Knowing more about sin is not the way to keep from doing it. In fact, education may have the opposite effect. If I were to be trained in all the aspects of safe cracking and bank robbery it would not make it less likely that I would rob a bank. I might then even be more likely to try my hand at the crime.
Don't forget the first sin was eating of the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil." Knowing about evil is not a deterrent even as knowing good doesn't mean you will do it.
If you want to stop sinning the only way to do it is to get to know Jesus better and better everyday. Knowing Jesus will keep you from sinning and knowing Jesus will prompt you to do the right things everyday.

"Lord, I want to know You more today than I did yesterday. Keep me from knowing sin and help me forget the sin that I have come to know so well. May all my thoughts be filled with the wonders of Your love! Amen."

Monday, December 24, 2012

At Home in My Heart!

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My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families.  But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.

What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him.  You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy.  So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

If you were handsome or beautiful and had a very high IQ along with power and influence in this world would you feel a desperate need for God in your life? If you had all the material things that men desire and work hard to obtain how deeply would long for Jesus?

When you find a truly spiritual man or woman who seeks to know God better at every turn you almost always find a "suffering servant" who is not the world's ideal roll model. Isaiah 53:2 even says Jesus was not attractive. I have never seen a painting depicting Jesus as a man who even looked ordinary much less "unattractive."

If you received a present on Christmas and it was wrapped in beautiful paper how long would you remember the wrapping paper? This body that we have on this earth is like that paper around a gift. The gift of life and the promise of eternal life may be wrapped in the least attractive paper possible, but your body does not define your spirit, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus Himself who lives in your heart! Instead of spending your life grooming your physical body, spend all that you have in time, energy and resources in making the Holy Spirit feel at home in your heart.

"Lord, may the Holy Spirit in my life be as comfortable in my heart as He was in Yours when you walked this earth as a man. How can I make you feel more at home in my heart today? Amen"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Understanding Will Come!

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The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;

see, your king is coming,

seated on a donkey’s colt.”

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

John 12:12-16

Understanding the things of God can be an instantaneous enlightenment or a slow and even lifelong revelation.

When you read the Bible sometimes the Holy Spirit quickens your spirit with truth that is far beyond your human grasp.

Life itself is also a great teacher of Eternal reality. There is wisdom that comes with age which God built in to the human experience. An old man still makes mistakes but usually not the same ones he has made before. When you combine Wisdom from the Word of God and the wisdom of living here on earth you find a fully fermented wine that speaks not only of years past but also of Eternity to come!

Like the disciples of Jesus when He walked the earth there is much that you may not understand at first! But there will come a point or probably many points when things that were complex will be simple and things that were dark will be as bright as the morning sun.
Accept the mysteries of God like a child accepts the things he cannot understand until he is grown. The time will come and may come soon that everything will be as clear as crystal.

"Lord, there are so many mysteries in this life and so much that I want to know. Help me to rest in peace like a child in the knowledge that someday, maybe soon everything will be revealed as I stand or fall down in Your presence. May You be glorified forever! Amen!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Peace?

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That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep.  All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened.  But the angel said, “Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David's hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.  You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

“Praise God in heaven!

Peace on earth to everyone

who pleases God.”

Luke 2:8-14

What is this “peace” that the angels were talking about on the night that Jesus was born?  Was the peace of the first Christmas the end of war between nations?  Did the coming of Jesus 2000 years ago bring global peace?   Quite obviously it did not!

Was this “peace” a personal peace that would surround those who follow Jesus so that no trouble and turmoil would disturb them?  The answer is also no to that.

The angels were talking about peace between man and God Himself!  Man had been at war with God since the Garden of Eden.  With the coming of Jesus the war could end without the eternal damnation of all men!

My four year old grandson said “The devil is scary!”  His grandmother gently reminded him that the devil is scary only if you do not have Jesus with you.  If you are at war with God, Satan will destroy you.  If you are at peace with God, all the wrath of the devil himself can do you no eternal harm.

“Lord Jesus, may the peace of that first Christmas fill my heart and give me the calm assurance that all is well no matter how violent the storms that rage around me.  Thank You Lord.  Amen!”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heaven Meets Earth!

At the sound of the seventh trumpet, loud voices were heard in heaven. They said,

“Now the kingdom

of this world

belongs to our Lord

and to his Chosen One!

And he will rule

forever and ever!”

Then the 24 elders, who were seated on thrones in God's presence, knelt down and worshiped him.  They said,

“Lord God All-Powerful,

you are and you were,

and we thank you.

You used your great power

and started ruling.

When the nations got angry,

you became angry too!

Now the time has come

for the dead

to be judged.

It is time for you to reward

your servants the prophets

and all your people

who honor your name,

no matter who they are.

It is time to destroy everyone

who has destroyed

the earth.”

The door to God's temple in heaven was then opened, and the sacred chest could be seen inside the temple. I saw lightning and heard roars of thunder. The earth trembled and huge hailstones fell to the ground.

Revelation 11:15-19

Certainly heaven and all of its inhabitants pay much attention to the things that are happening here on earth while we barely recognize that heaven even exists!

It must seem strange to the heavenly hosts that we can ignore the God who created us while we dream up alternate explanations for everything. We are blind to spiritual reality while boldly pretending to see! It is indeed a pitiable existence. We are like men who cannot swim jumping into the sea with pride and confidence that everything will work out just fine. It will not!

Don't judge a man by the confidence he displays or by his many assurances that what he says is true. Judge a man only by his agreement with the Word of God. God speaks only truth, but more importantly truth is what God speaks. Whatever God says is true even if it appears to contradict everything we see, hear, touch or taste!

In these last days don't let an hour go by without thinking of heaven! Everything that is going on there is all about what is happening here.

"Lord, make me more aware of heaven than I am of earth. Let me see in my heart and mind the final preparations for that soon coming wonderful day! Amen."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Testimony of Life!

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A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.  He was the reason that many of the people were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

John 12:9-11

The testimony of Lazarus was not what he had done for Jesus but rather what Jesus had done for him! Lazarus had died and been resurrected. All Lazarus had to do to proclaim his testimony was to breathe and let men see that he was truly alive.

When you are dead and then you come out of the grave and are alive, it is not necessary to say anything in order to proclaim your testimony.

But when a dead man says he is alive but is not, it is a very "hard sell."

If you want to know if someone is really dead just watch for a while and you will know for certain. If there is no breath and no heartbeat for even few minutes you can know that there is no life.

Are you trying to give a testimony that does not match what people see? Are you claiming that you have been resurrected with Christ but there is the smell of death hanging on to every part of your life?

"Lord Jesus if I have even deceived myself about what You have done in me, for me and through me then right now turn my lies into the truth of Your love. Rescue me even from myself and let me be changed by Your power not mine. Thank You Jesus. Amen"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Incomplete Obedience!

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

I have the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. Listen to what I say.

I know what you are doing. Everyone may think you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up! You have only a little strength left, and it is almost gone. So try to become stronger. I have found that you are not completely obeying God.  Remember the teaching you were given and heard. Hold firmly to it and turn from your sins. If you don't wake up, I will come when you least expect it, just as a thief does.

A few of you in Sardis have not dirtied your clothes with sin. You will walk with me in white clothes, because you are worthy. Everyone who wins the victory will wear white clothes. Their names will not be erased from the book of life, and I will tell my Father and his angels that they are my followers.

If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3:1-6

Years ago there was a military raid into Iran in an attempt to free the Americans who were being held hostage at the United States embassy. The mission was aborted when two helicopters ran into each other on the ground in a sand storm. The U.S. President called the effort an "incomplete success!"  That means the mission failed. It was a creative way of trying to put a better face on the tragic outcome.

What about your obedience to the Word of God? Are you obeying God completely or is your response to God's Word an "incomplete success?"

Instead of using these last days in searching the scriptures for prophetic references about the return of Jesus why not search the Word to discover another way you can be completely obedient to it? Of course you should keep watching the sky, but more importantly keep doing the things that God's Word encourages you to do. Then when He comes you will be working in His Harvest field! There would be no better place to be when Jesus returns!

"Lord, I know You are coming soon and I also know that there are those who still have not turned their hearts to You even at this late hour. Use me today Lord to bring someone else to the point of decision! Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God Will End the Day!

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Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?

“Has anyone known

the thoughts of the Lord

or given him advice?

Has anyone loaned

something to the Lord

that must be repaid?”

Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. Praise the Lord forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

If the wisdom, knowledge and wealth of God could be measured no man on earth would live long enough to read the results! God's wisdom begins in simplicity and never ends. When we encounter the wisdom of God even the greatness of the wisdom of Solomon is like foolishness itself. All the wise men on earth cannot collectively even show up on the same scale as God's wisdom.

And what about the knowledge of God? God does not learn. No truth comes to Him, it all comes from Him. You cannot tell God something He does not already know. God even knows the heart of every man! All of God's questions are rhetorical because He already knows the answers!

And the wealth of God cannot be compared to any other because God ultimately owns everything! If a thing exists it is because God created it, and God can, without justifiable judgment from anyone take it out of existence!

There is a popular phrase that is used a lot in public discussions in The United States. It is "at the end of the day." It is taking the place of phrases like "when all is said and done." or "the bottom line is." I would like to soberly and seriously use that phrase about God. "At the end of the day, God will end the day!"

"Lord, I fall down before You like a leaf in the forest. I am only a drop of rain in the storm or a grain of sand on the beach. It is amazing that You let me call on You at all. And yet because of Your amazing love for me I can humbly even stand in Your presence. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not a Substitute!

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Moses said a person could become acceptable to God by obeying the Law. He did this when he wrote, “If you want to live, you must do all the Law commands.”

But people whose faith makes them acceptable to God will never ask, “Who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down?”  Neither will they ask, “Who will go down into the world of the dead to raise him to life?”

All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, “The message is as near as your mouth or your heart.” And this is the same message we preach about faith.  So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death.  God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.

The Scriptures say no one who has faith will be disappointed, no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help.  All who call out to the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:5-13

As a parent of six children I can guarantee you that I frequently made errors in judgment in relating to my children. Sometimes I disciplined too harshly and then i might not apply any punishment at all when it was really needed.

But my love for my children never changed. I loved the most obedient child the same as the most rebellious. Rebellion meant that I could not show my love in the same way but the love was the same.

Some Christians are like the child who obeys his father, but in his heart he is standing against God in every way. Others have their hearts turned toward Jesus, but frequently fail in their obedience. The goal of course is to be both committed and obedient. But of first importance is your heart. If your heart is not right toward God then nothing else matters.

"Lord, I call on Your name with all my heart. May my obedience to Your commands be an evidence of the right relationship I have with You and not a substitute for it. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wisdom Not Gold!

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With great understanding,

Wisdom is calling out

as she stands at the crossroads

and on every hill.

She stands by the city gate

where everyone enters the city,

and she shouts:

“I am calling out

to each one of you!

Good sense and sound judgment

can be yours.

Listen, because what I say

is worthwhile and right.

I always speak the truth

and refuse to tell a lie.

Every word I speak is honest,

not one is misleading

or deceptive.

Proverbs 8:1-8

Why are old people often wiser than the young? The answer to that is quite simple. Those of us who are now old have made many more mistakes than the young and have learned "not to touch those fires again."

And of course the truly wise man is the one who learns from the mistakes of others. When he sees the tragedy of the foolishness of other men he sets his course to avoid those paths that lead to death.

But there is a way that is even greater. Instead of waiting for your own stumble or even the foolishness of others to instruct you the wisest man listens to the Word of God and orders his steps to walk on that path.

God will never point you in the direction of hell! His teaching shows you the way of life not death! So as you read your chapter or even verse for today be soberly certain that you are drinking in the wisdom of God and satisfying your thirst on the water of life.

"Lord, I ask as Solomon did that You give me wisdom, not gold so I may please You today and walk in the path of life forever! Amen."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fountain of Blood!

In the future there will be a fountain, where David's descendants and the people of Jerusalem can wash away their sin and guilt.

The Lord All-Powerful says:

When that time comes, I will get rid of every idol in the country, and they will be forgotten forever. I will also do away with their prophets and those evil spirits that control them.

Zechariah 13:1-2

In the late 1700's William Cowper wrote: "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel's veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains."

The truth of those words lives on today. Jesus satisfied the justice of God so that we can bask in His love and forgiveness. There is nothing more Amazing than the Grace of God poured out on sinners! Our own righteousness is useless. Filthy rags are more valuable than human righteousness.

I get caught up in doctrine, theology, church, culture and even right living and completely forget that without the Blood of Jesus washing me clean, none of those things would make any difference at all!

It is the fountain filled with the Blood of Jesus that washes me clean so I can stand before Almighty God forever! The Blood of Jesus is the only remedy for the inevitably tragic fate of all mankind. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus can even begin to remove the stains of sin.

"Lord, I come to You needing to be washed by Your Blood. My sin has no other cure than Your precious Blood. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

God Loves You!

I have given myself completely for their sake, so they may belong completely to the truth.

I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

I have honored my followers in the same way you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one. I am one with them, and you are one with me, so they may become completely one. Then this world's people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.

John 17:19-23

It is only when you have a child of your own that you begin to understand how much your parents love you. In a human sense parents play the role of the Creator of their children. God, the Creator loves each of His children with the same "I Will Die for You" love that a human parent has for a child. It is the same but it is also greater by many magnitudes.

In fact, God in the person of His Son Jesus did die for His children! The story is remarkably simple and yet utterly complex. God's ultimate creation which was made in His own image turned from Him and ran away to live a life that ends in Eternal Death!

The sorrow of God gave way to a Plan that would bring mankind back to that perfect relationship of Creator and Created.

Jesus came to earth and worked God's Plan by dying on the Cross. His resurrection sealed the deal and the price was paid for every man to shed the burden of his sin and return to the Father who created him.

"Lord give me a new awareness of the greatness of Your love for me. Help me to believe that which the world cannot believe. Lord, I choose to rest secure in Your love today. Amen."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Six Hours!

It was about nine o'clock in the morning when they nailed him to the cross. On it was a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is the King of the Jews.”The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.

People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “Ha! So you're the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved others, but he can't save himself. If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross! Then we will see and believe.” The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.

About noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until around three o'clock.  Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”

Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He is calling for Elijah.”  One of them ran and grabbed a sponge. After he had soaked it in wine, he put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus. He said, “Let's wait and see if Elijah will come and take him down!”  Jesus shouted and then died.

At once the curtain in the temple tore in two from top to bottom.

A Roman army officer was standing in front of Jesus. When the officer saw how Jesus died, he said, “This man really was the Son of God!”

Mark 15:25-39

Some people lived for several days while hanging on a cross.  Jesus was on the Cross of His crucifixion from nine o'clock in the  morning until three in the afternoon.  From our perspective two thousand years later it is hard to believe that no one on earth knew what Jesus was doing on the Cross except Christ Himself.  For His followers, His mother, the casual observers, and everyone else who passed by the cross that day the crucifixion of Jesus was just a terrible tragedy and to His disciples it put an end to all their hopes and dreams. 

The greatest event in all of human history was happening right in front of them and no one had any idea about the eternal significance of that day!

Like the followers of Jesus at the crucifixion you may be witnessing or even be a key participant in some of the most critical acts of God in these last days.  

Jesus was only on the Cross about six hours.  Mark off the next six hours in your life and ask God to show you what He is doing in your presence today.  

"Lord, like everyone who stood at the foot of Your Cross I am blind to what is really happening around me today.  Show me Lord how Your hand is moving in the world around me. Let me see the things I cannot see and know the things I cannot know without the touch of Your Hand on my heart!  Thank you Jesus.  Amen!"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Focus of His Love!

But I will sing about

your strength, my God,

and I will celebrate

because of your love.

You are my fortress,

my place of protection

in times of trouble.

I will sing your praises!

You are my mighty fortress,

and you love me.

Psalm 59:16-17

Two little boys may be caught in a heated argument about whose father is stronger and which one is the better father.  Although he may not argue about it any more it is natural for a grown man to believe that his father was the "best father in the world."  It is good and right to believe that about your father because the REAL FATHER  of every man is God and deserves praise far beyond our ability to give it.

When you love someone the focus of your life is never far from that person.  When you love God, you are constantly seeking to please Him more than anything else.  But here is the shocking and mind bending truth.  God loves you!  You heard me right.  The Creator of all that there is, including you, loves you!

The focus of God's existence is never far from you.  Jesus desires to be with you forever and has done everything needed to make that possible.  

"Lord, I am stunned by the fact that You love me.  Your love is better than anything else in this world, or in the next.  To be loved by You is awesome and amazing and the beginning of a journey through Eternity that I cannot begin to fathom.  Thank You Jesus!  Amen."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Next Divine Appointment!

The LORD All-Powerful

will destroy the power of death

and wipe away all tears.

No longer will his people

be insulted everywhere.

The LORD has spoken!

At that time, people will say,

“The LORD has saved us!

Let's celebrate.

We waited and hoped—

now our God is here.”

Isaiah 25:8-9

When that Day finally comes and the saved stand before the Throne of God will you have any regrets about how you lived this life? How could you be saved and still regret something you did here on earth? Doesn't the blood of Jesus cover all my sins? Yes of course it does, but consider this: I wonder about the opportunities that God arranged for me to share the love of Christ and the message of His Good News that I simply ignored. Certainly God can send someone else if I don't respond to the Spirit's leading, but what glorious things did I miss seeing because I was too tired, or too busy with this life?

Don't be satisfied with the assurance that when you die you will go to Heaven. Live this life looking each moment for the next divine appointment. Be ready to be God's instrument and messenger and look for His power and purpose in every situation of your day!

Nothing is more exciting than clearly seeing the Hand of God working in an otherwise ordinary encounter. Be ready and be willing to be used in God's plan for the day.

"Lord, send me today into the Battle for the Eternal destiny of men and women here on earth. Give me the courage and willingness to engage the Enemy as a true Soldier of Christ! Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Come Quickly!

I have a lot of enemies, LORD.

Many fight against me and say,

“God won't rescue you!”

But you are my shield,

and you give me victory

and great honor.

I pray to you, and you answer

from your sacred hill.

I sleep and wake up refreshed

because you, LORD,

protect me.

Ten thousand enemies attack

from every side,

but I am not afraid.

Come and save me, LORD God!

Break my enemies' jaws

and shatter their teeth,

because you protect

and bless your people.

Psalm 3:1-8

Do you need to be rescued from your enemies? Do you even have enemies?

Many Christians believe that we should live our lives so that no one would consider themselves an enemy. They think we should lure men and women to Jesus with the promise of wonderful and pleasant things and avoid any reference to the difficulties of a Christian life and especially the inevitable suffering!

The truth is this: Jesus told every follower of His to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all men. Some when they hear will also become His followers and others will become His enemies and yours!

But when you are faithful to Jesus the end of the story is this: Jesus will come and rescue you from your enemies.

I think the worst part of being stranded on a desert island would be the uncertainty of knowing whether or not anyone would ever come and rescue you. You could wish and hope, but you would never know for sure that help would someday arrive. Christians know that Jesus will come and rescue them from this desert island called "life on earth." No matter how bad it gets here all followers of Jesus can rest assured that the turmoil of this life will end and they will be ushered in to a glorious eternity with Jesus Christ.

"Lord Jesus, I thank you for the promise you made to come back and take Your followers to be with You forever. Come quickly, Lord! Amen."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Same Breath!

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But don't be fooled! People will rebel against God. Then before the Lord returns, the wicked one who is doomed to be destroyed will appear. He will brag and oppose everything holy or sacred. He will even sit in God's temple and claim to be God. Don't you remember I told you this while I was still with you?

You already know what is holding this wicked one back until it is time for him to come. His mysterious power is already at work, but someone is holding him back. And the wicked one won't appear until this someone is out of the way.  Then he will appear, but the Lord Jesus will kill him simply by breathing on him. He will be completely destroyed by the Lord's glorious return.

II Thessalonians 2:3-8

God breathed on a lump of clay that had been formed into a body and Adam came to life. When Jesus returns He will breathe on the "wicked one" and he will die. The same breath can bring life or death.

When you inhale your body takes in the air that is rich in life sustaining oxygen. When you exhale the air that comes out is rich in carbon dioxide which cannot sustain life.

If you are the object of God's love, His breath brings life. If you are an enemy of God, His breath will destroy you.

Don't forget that believing in Jesus is not the same as trusting Him. Satan believes that Jesus exists and he knows for sure who Jesus is. That kind of belief will save no one. It is only those who trust, obey and depend on Jesus who will live with Him forever.

Do you believe in Jesus? If you said "yes" that is good, but it is of no value unless you also trust, obey and depend on Him for everything. Jesus must be more than the Lord of all. He must be the Lord of your life! Only then will His breath bring you life and not destruction!

"Lord, I declare today that I trust You! Help me to depend on You for everything and to obey Your voice in everything I do. Amen!"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Jesus Came!

When Christ came into the world, he said to God, “Sacrifices and offerings are not what you want, but you have given me my body.

No, you are not pleased with animal sacrifices and offerings for sin.”

Then Christ said, “And so, my God, I have come to do what you want, as the Scriptures say.”

Hebrews 10:5-7

God's plan for Jesus on this earth was carefully crafted by God Himself and predicted by the Old Testament prophets. Every day and in every situation of that day Jesus made choices that were consistent with the Will of God!

Jesus came to earth to do what God wanted done! He had no other purpose.

When you come to God and pray do you ask that He bend His Will so it will fit snugly into your own plans? Is your prayer focused on gathering and experiencing as many blessings as possible? Do you occasionally stumble across the Will of God for your life and find it inconvenient and even troublesome? If you answer yes to those questions you are simply being more honest than most.

The truly liberated Christian is the one who comes to Jesus and makes no claim on his own life, peace and security, and pleasure. You see, you were created to do what God wants. That is your purpose in life and that is the only thing that will truly make you happy.

"Lord, I confess that I am clinging to my own blessings and comfort instead of trusting You completely for everything. Take my heart today and help me to do only what You want done in Jesus Name. Amen."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shore of Eternity!

In the right hand of the one sitting on the throne I saw a scroll that had writing on the inside and on the outside. And it was sealed in seven places. I saw a mighty angel ask with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it.

I cried hard because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying and look! The one who is called both the ‘Lion from the Tribe of Judah’ and ‘King David's Great Descendant’ has won the victory. He will open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Revelation 5:1-5

Jesus is the only one who is able to open the scroll and release the Word in the lives of men and women. When you try to be a Christian without an active, living, personal, and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ all you have is a rule book and a life of frustrating attempts to follow those rules.

But if you try to have a relationship with Jesus without the Word of God you will find yourself deceived at almost every turn. False teachers will fill your ears with new and exciting doctrines that sound wonderful to the human spirit.

The powerful and victorious Christian life happens when Jesus unseals the Word of God in your life. You read a verse of Scripture and suddenly it becomes alive and the power of God floods your soul. You find yourself standing on the shore of Eternity with Jesus beginning to explain it all!

Then you are distracted by the cares of this life and the lure of pleasures here on earth. You remember that moment with Jesus but begin to believe that it was just for that moment and not for every day. And you are lulled back to sleep while Jesus calls you back to Him.

"Lord, wake me up again to the reality of walking with You and experiencing the power of Your Word today in my life. And may tomorrow be the same, and forever, Amen!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The First Cup!

When the time came for Jesus and the apostles to eat, he said to them, “I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. I tell you I will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God's kingdom.”

Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he told the apostles, “Take this wine and share it with each other. I tell you that I will not drink any more wine until God's kingdom comes.”

Jesus took some bread in his hands and gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!”

After the meal he took another cup of wine in his hands. Then he said, “This is my blood. It is poured out for you, and with it God makes his new agreement.

Luke 22:14-20

Have you noticed that in this account of the night before Jesus died on the Cross there are two cups of wine mentioned, not just one. The first cup mentioned is to be shared while the second cup is His blood!

The symbolism of the Lord's Supper is amazing. Read about the Passover meal itself and you will learn even more about what happened that night before the crucifixion.

Followers of Jesus share a cup that touches every part of our lives. We share in the blessing of knowing Jesus and hearing His voice as we walk through life. We share a cup of suffering as we feel the push back of the world. We share a cup of pain as we are crucified with Christ.

The next time you approach "The Lord's Table" to participate in Communion also remember the first cup of Luke 22.

"Lord Jesus, I say "Yes" to Your proposal that I become part of Your Bride. May my heart be totally focused on You, Jesus, now and forever. Amen!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Jonah Role!

Look and be amazed

at what's happening

among the nations!

Even if you were told,

you would never believe

what's taking place now.

Habakkuk 1:5

It is indeed amazing to look at what is happening in the world today. There is turmoil among the nations and movement toward a massive re-alignment of allies and enemies. Israel is being threatened in some way by almost every other nation. A great shaking of the world as we know it seems to be at the door.

Many Christians have simply stopped watching and listening to what is happening. They cover their eyes and put their fingers in their ears hoping it will just all go away. It will not!

Regardless of how it goes over the next few days, weeks, months and even years followers of Jesus have a crucial "Jonah" role to play in the "End Times."

Jonah told Nineveh to repent or they would be destroyed! To even Jonah's amazement Nineveh did repent and God did not destroy them at that time.

As you see the world spinning out of control, lift your voice and call men everywhere to repent and turn to Jesus! It is the only thing you can do that will make an eternal difference in these last days!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pray for God’s Will!

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I love you, LORD God,

and you make me strong.

You are my mighty rock,

my fortress, my protector,

the rock where I am safe,

my shield, my powerful weapon,

and my place of shelter.

I praise you, LORD!

I prayed, and you rescued me

from my enemies.

Death had wrapped

its ropes around me,

and I was almost swallowed

by its flooding waters.

Ropes from the world

of the dead

had coiled around me,

and death had set a trap

in my path.

I was in terrible trouble

when I called out to you,

but from your temple

you heard me

and answered my prayer.

Psalm 18:1-6

When was the last time you were in terrible trouble? The problem had no obvious solution and you began to panic! You went to your trusted advisers and they could offer you no feasible way to solve the dilemma. You had prayed for wisdom and nothing changed. You didn't need wisdom, you needed a miracle to change the circumstances and you needed it soon!

And then you cast yourself on the mercy of God and prayed for Him to intervene in whatever way He saw would be best. And when the answer came it was even better than you had hoped.

Often we pray for God to do a specific thing, but the greater prayer is for God to do His will in our lives!

"Lord, do for me according to Your will, not mine. Bless me or afflict me as You see fit and as Your love for me dictates. And may Jesus be glorified! Amen!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Next View!

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After this, I looked and saw a door that opened into heaven. Then the voice that had spoken to me at first and that sounded like a trumpet said, “Come up here! I will show you what must happen next.”  Right then the Spirit took control of me, and there in heaven I saw a throne and someone sitting on it.The one who was sitting there sparkled like precious stones of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne.

Twenty-four other thrones were in a circle around that throne. And on each of these thrones there was an elder dressed in white clothes and wearing a gold crown.  Flashes of lightning and roars of thunder came out from the throne in the center of the circle. Seven torches, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning in front of the throne.  Also in front of the throne was something that looked like a glass sea, clear as crystal.

Around the throne in the center were four living creatures covered front and back with eyes. The first creature was like a lion, the second one was like a bull, the third one had the face of a human, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.  Each of the four living creatures had six wings, and their bodies were covered with eyes. Day and night they never stopped singing,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord,

the all-powerful God,

who was and is

and is coming!”

The living creatures kept praising, honoring, and thanking the one who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever. At the same time the 24 elders knelt down before the one sitting on the throne. And as they worshiped the one who lives forever, they placed their crowns in front of the throne and said,

“Our Lord and God,

you are worthy

to receive glory,

honor, and power.

You created all things,

and by your decision they are

and were created.”

Revelation 4

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Tomb With Jesus!

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Don't you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death?  When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father.

If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him.

Romans 6:3-5

What is Christian baptism?  For centuries believers have agreed and disagreed, discussed and even argued over this simple command.  The command is simple but the reality of this act of obedience is beyond our ability to grasp.  

Unless I have missed something, the Bible does not say that baptism is symbolic.  These verses say that when we were baptized we were buried with Christ.  How can that be?  I certainly don't know but I know what the Bible says and I have chosen to believe it.

When I choose to be baptized in response to the command of Jesus, I am stepping in to the tomb with Jesus!  I choose death with Christ over life with the world.  Then comes the Resurrection and I am there when it happens.  

"Lord, show me more of what You have done for me.  And hold me close as the Day approaches when we will be together forever!  Amen."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Keep Watching the Clouds!

Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. They asked, “When will these things happen? What will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

Jesus answered:

Watch out and don't let anyone fool you!  Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people.

When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don't be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn't the end. Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.

Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their synagogues. And because of me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith.  But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations.

Mark 13:3-10

When I write one of these blogs and post it on the internet, it is instantly available to every nation on earth that has internet access. And that number is quite large and growing all the time.

Is it any wonder that Satan wants to use the internet for evil purposes? This international digital communications network makes the Gospel of Jesus available almost everywhere and it is instantaneous. In the last 24 hours even this blog has been viewed in five different countries around the world. If you Google "Gospel of Jesus Christ" you will get over 41,000,000 hits!

The bottom line is that we do not need to wait for something else to happen before the End could come!

If you believe that you don't need to be ready for the return of the Lord today then wake up! Instead of spending your time trying to figure out why Jesus will not return for a while yet, use what time you have left spreading the Gospel and getting ready to hear the call!

And as you wait, keep watching the clouds! Amen.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

“All Aboard!”

You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate.  Here you will find all of God's dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.   And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God's new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel.

Hebrews 12:22-24

When you ride the train you will often hear the "next stop" announced over the speakers in the ceiling of the train car. These three verses would be an appropriate announcement before the train stops at the gate of Heaven!

Do you really want to go to Heaven, or is it just a better alternative than Hell? Many people believe that everyone will go to Heaven and that Hell does not exist. They want to believe that life goes on after they die, but they don't have any idea what it will be like.

Heaven is where Christians will be with Jesus forever! It is where they will find out what it means to be the "Bride of Christ."

The beginning of Heaven on earth is when you give your heart to Jesus.

"Lord Jesus, I want to be with You where You are. I want to hear Your voice and see Your face. I want to rest in Your arms and live in the peace that cannot be understood. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen."

Friday, November 9, 2012

His Home My Heart

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea.  Then I saw New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.  He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Revelation 21:1-4

Yes, of course Heaven is the place where we go to live with God. But God will also make His home among His people! While we live on this earth we are not yet in Heaven, but God makes His home in our hearts before we leave this earth!

"Christ in you the hope of glory!" We are filled with the Holy Spirit and can listen to His directions for our lives.

The secret to peace on earth is in our hearts if we believe in Jesus. Our peace comes from knowing that God is with us and is in us. That one truth changes everything about how we see the world around us. There are no problems too difficult, no mountains too high, no storms too fierce. When you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ the answer to everything is inside you!

This secret relationship is not imaginary and it is the power behind the victorious Christian life.

"Lord, wake me up to the truth that You are indeed in my heart. Forgive me for ignoring You. Speak to me Your Words today! Amen."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Expect His Help!

Even though the LORD had commanded the Israelites not to worship idols, they did it anyway.  So the LORD made sure that every prophet warned Israel and Judah with these words: “I, the LORD, command you to stop doing sinful things and start obeying my laws and teachings! I gave them to your ancestors, and I told my servants the prophets to repeat them to you.”

But the Israelites would not listen; they were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to worship the LORD their God.  They ignored the LORD's warnings and commands, and they rejected the solemn agreement he had made with their ancestors. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves. The LORD had told the Israelites not to do the things that the foreign nations around them were doing, but Israel became just like them.

2 Kings 17:12-15

Sons become like their fathers and daughters become like their mothers. When you spend lots of time with someone you acquire characteristics and mannerisms of the other person. People, like sponges soak up the culture in which they live.

When a man or woman spends lots of time with Jesus listening to the Holy Spirit and pondering the Majesty of God he or she is changed. Let the Words of Jesus become the words you say when you are presented with similar situations. Expect to see the power of God intervene when you pray for His help. Every day wash yourself in His Holy Word because the world regularly splatters you with filth from the Evil One!

"Lord, help me to be like Jesus and not like the world around me. Give me the courage to confess my sin and be made Holy and Righteous by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Revenge or Revival?

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Then Joshua told the people:

Worship the LORD, obey him, and always be faithful. Get rid of the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. But if you don't want to worship the LORD, then choose here and now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you're living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you'll worship their gods. I won't. My family and I are going to worship and obey the LORD!

Joshua 24:14-15

When a nation clearly chooses not to follow God, but to go the way of the flesh and the way of self indulgence rather than restraint it is a sad day, but not one without hope.

When the culture and the elected leaders of a country draw the people to God it is a good thing, but not a permanent one. When I am righteous because everyone else around me is righteous I am just a leaf in the wind. But when I am touched by the Holy Spirit of God and filled to become like Jesus then I am reformed in a total transformation process! That is what we all need!

Remember, an election really only reveals the character of a nation, but a Revival changes it forever!

"Lord, pour Your Revival Fire on this land and may it burn all the chaff of our rebellion and foolishness. Amen"

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Storm of God’s Anger

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You disgraceful nation, gather around, before it's too late.

The LORD has set a time when his fierce anger will strike like a storm and sweep you away.

If you humbly obey the LORD, then come and worship him. If you do right and are humble, perhaps you will be safe on that day when the LORD turns loose his anger.

Zephaniah 2:1-3

The anger of God is like a storm. Hurricane Sandy seemed at first to be no real threat to the United States. It was late in the hurricane season and it was heading north where usually hurricanes lose their strength as they move into colder water and air. Sandy defied the odds and struck New York City and New Jersey with fierce winds and rain. The aftermath of that storm will be felt for years.

The "Storm of God's Anger" seems to be no threat to men who have lived their entire lives in opposition to Him. Why would He now show His anger when He has tolerated their sin for so long? God will show His anger at the very time He has set for judgment. When that time comes, no one who opposes God will stand. He will sweep them all away.

The choice that we have is this: We can be sheltered in the arms of Jesus or standing on the shore of rebellion to God when the storm hits. If you choose Jesus you will never regret it, but if you choose the world instead of God you will regret it for eternity. Be quick in deciding. Who knows how long before the storm will come?