Friday, July 31, 2015

Suffering Will End!

Daniel wrote:I looked around and saw two other people—one on this side of the river and one on the other side.   The angel who had spoken to me was dressed in linen and was standing upstream from them. So one of the two beside the river asked him, “How long before these amazing things happen?”   The angel then raised both hands toward heaven and said, “In the name of the God who lives forever, I solemnly promise that it will be a time, two times, and half a time. Everything will be over, when the suffering of God's holy people comes to an end.”
Daniel 12:5-7
The suffering of God's holy people will come to an end! That simple and yet profound truth stands at the door of an Eternity of Bliss for all those who come to faith in Jesus Christ!

Today there are many, many drugs that we call "pain killers." They are designed to eliminate the pain and suffering that comes with injuries and all kinds of chronic physical problems. But taking away the pain without dealing with the underlying problem that is causing the pain will only make matters worse down the road.

God takes away the pain from His followers by permanently addressing the problem that is causing the pain. The issue is sin and it's consequences. Pain and suffering came to this world because of sin, and it will be ultimately eliminated because sin will have no more free reign!

A person who goes to the doctor just to get rid of the pain can easily become addicted to pain killers! If you seek to follow Jesus just to get rid of the pain and suffering of this life you will be disappointed. Even as a follower of Jesus you will suffer here on this earth. The end of suffering and pain will come when you stand before the Throne of God in Heaven and fall down praising His Holy Name with all the Angels!

"Lord Jesus, give me the strength to stand firm even while I suffer here on this earth like You did. And Lord I do look forward to that Day when I stand before You in Heaven where there will be no more suffering and pain! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Leaders Tell Lies!

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The two kings will meet around a table and tell evil lies to each other. But their plans will fail, because God has already decided what will happen.   Then the king of the north will return to his country with great treasures. But on the way, he will attack the religion of God's people and do whatever else he pleases.
Daniel 11:27-28

If your country has leaders who tell lies to each other and even lie to other countries, you can take heart by reading these verses!  It is very distressing to live in a land where lying has become the normal state of communication.  Political leaders are not even embarrassed when the evening news plays video clips of them boldly contradicting themselves over and over again! 

It reminds me of a bunch of small children trying to impress each other by "making up" stories that have no basis in truth. 

These lying leaders will even attack those who worship God!  But you can be sure that "their plans will fail!"  You see the struggle on this earth is not a conflict between "good and evil."  It is rather a battle between God and those who oppose Him.  "Good" can be defeated, but God cannot!  Good works may be overcome with evil, but God will never lose to Satan!

Make sure that you are committed to God through His Son Jesus Christ and not just committed to "doing good works."  Lying leaders can crush the good works you might do, but they can never defeat the God of Heaven who has called you to serve and worship Him.

"Lord Jesus, You are the Truth and the only Truth.  No lies of men can overcome You.  Strengthen my heart so that I will not fear those who lie and try to lead me in the paths of unrighteousness.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Angry God!

 After this, I looked at the sky and saw something else that was strange and important. Seven angels were bringing the seven last terrible troubles. When these are ended, God will no longer be angry.

Revelation 15:1

When someone is angry, it is usually a good thing to get as far away from them as you can! And we almost never think of being angry as a Godlike attribute! But God does get angry and His anger is frightening to say the least.

What makes God angry? The complete answer to that question would be long and yet there is a simple answer as well. God gets angry when men turn their hearts to other, false gods and worship them.

And if you read the Book of Revelation you will see that God expresses His anger by bringing destruction and disaster on those with whom He is angry. Seven angels will bring the "last seven terrible troubles" on those with whom God is angry!

When you turn your heart to God, His approval and blessings follow, but when you turn your heart away from God, His anger is headed your way! Like a child who really believes his parents will never discipline him, we are tempted to turn our hearts away from Jesus and toward the world around us. God's grace covers all our sin, but does not cover us if we reject Jesus and turn our hearts to false gods! That is when we come face to face with an Angry God!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to fear the consequences of turning my heart away from You! When I hear the words of Satan trying to lure me away from Your heart may I shut my ears and raise my voice to praise Your Name, now and forevermore. Amen!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nothing to Worry About!

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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
The sin of unbelief wells up in my heart when I start to worry about the circumstances of my life!

God is the richest, wisest, and most knowledgeable of all!  With His resources, wisdom and knowledge available to me through His Holy Spirit, why would I ever fret about anything?  The God who is with me has infinitely more money than Bill Gates or Donald Trump.  My God is wiser than a million Solomon's together! God knows everything that could ever be known about everything!  Oh, and I should also mention that God is more powerful than all the energy in the cosmos put together.  You see He is the source of all that energy!

So when I think about who Jesus is, and that He is with me always, I cannot bring myself to worry!  There is no problem that Jesus cannot solve!  There is no conflict that He can't resolve!  So with Jesus I can say I am at peace even when everything around me is falling apart!

But with Jesus in my heart I literally have NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to think about You and not the things of this world.  The world may be falling apart on every side, but You are my strength and shield inside.  Thank You Lord Jesus that I have nothing to worry about.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Slave of Sin!

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If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.    Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.  This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

It is a very heavy burden to be a slave!  Slaves cannot demand anything of their masters, and slaves never have "free time."  In today's world we have decided that slavery is a terrible thing and should not exist anywhere in the world.  But ironically, there are more slaves today than ever before!

Today there are slaves with human masters, and their are slaves of destructive behavior.  Slavery is when your life is controlled by someone or even something!  We use another word for slavery today!  That word is addiction.  When you are addicted to something, anything, that behavior controls your life and mind.  Like a slave you do the will of your master and find no way to be free!

Don't misunderstand the freedom that Jesus offers all men is this: Jesus wants you to become His slave!  You might ask why being the slave of Jesus is better than being the slave of anyone else?  The answer to that is simple.  When you are controlled by Jesus, then you are the slave of God Himself who is your Creator.  When your loving Maker manages your life, He always has your best interests at heart. 

"Lord Jesus, I want to be controlled by You and be Your slave today and every day for the rest of my time on this earth!  Jesus, I know for sure that compared to the master called SIN, Your yoke is easy to bear and your burden is light.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Knowing Everything!

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Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face.  We don't know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.

1 Corinthians 13:12

This is a verse that is so often overshadowed by the verse that follows it.  That one is of course the verse about "faith, hope, and love."  But seeing God now like a cloudy picture in a mirror is certainly important as well!

I know that God is real and is on His throne in Heaven.  There is just too much "evidence" of God in the world and even universe around us to logically exclude God from the picture!  Everything we see around us "screams" about the Creator.  Look at the sky on a clear night and you will see the thin edge of Eternity, or look at a tiny flower in your yard and you will be confronted with the beauty of God's mind! But our picture of God on this earth is a cloudy one.  There are so many questions about God that the Bible does not answer.  But this verse promises that the answers will come when we are face to face with God in Heaven!

Here is a most amazing promise!  Now we don't know everything, but later those who are followers of Jesus will know everything! 

I think the saying was on a "bumper sticker" on a car and it says it well.  "Those who think they know everything really annoy those of us who do!"  I don't suppose we will be annoyed in Heaven, but later when you see Jesus face to face, you will know everything!  

"Lord Jesus, I don't know everything now, but I know You and You, Jesus are everything I need!  May You be praised forever! Amen."

Monday, July 20, 2015

In Control Forever!

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.   Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.   But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord's followers are suffering just as you are.   But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That's why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm.   God will be in control forever! Amen.

1 Peter 5:7-11

These are the Words I have been looking for. "God will be in control forever!" And it says He will make you "complete, steady, strong, and firm."

Have you ever heard the term "control freak?" It refers to someone who wants to be in control of everything with which they are involved. This is the kind of person who doesn't enjoy flying in an airplane unless they are themselves the pilot. Someone who always wants to be in control finds it hard to be at peace when another person is behind the wheel in the circumstances of their life!

But the ultimate question in the lives of everyone on earth is this: Who will control your life? Will it be you as you stumble through life from one bad decision to another? Or will you let Jesus pilot your life through the turbulence of each moment?

You see, not only does Jesus want to be in control of your life, but He also wants to make you "complete, steady, strong, and firm." No one else can do what Jesus offers everyone who will come to Him in faith! And when you let Jesus be in control of your life, you will be safe and He will be in control forever!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to let You control everything about my life. May my every decision be led by Your Spirit, and my daily life bring praise to You, forever. Amen."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Doorstep of Eternity!

When a woman is about to give birth, she is in great pain. But after it is all over, she forgets the pain and is happy, because she has brought a child into the world.   You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel.   When that time comes, you won't have to ask me about anything. I tell you for certain the Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.   You have not asked for anything in this way before, but now you must ask in my name. Then it will be given to you, so you will be completely happy.

John 16:21-24
As a young man who was about to become a father for the first time, I quickly learned how terrible labor pains could be. For that brief time, which seemed like it was very long, I stood by and watched my wife in excruciating pain as we waited for our daughter to be born. But then came the birth and the pain was gone, replaced by unspeakable joy!

The Bible says that the trouble which will come before Jesus returns is like the labor pains of a woman who is about to give birth. It will be terrible. Trouble will engulf the entire world!

Is it possible that the trouble in the world today, is what the Bible predicted and we stand on the very "Doorstep of Eternity?"

The answer to that question is "Yes!" The return of the Lord Jesus Christ may be many years in the future, but it also may be only moments away! No one knows for sure, but one thing is certain: Now is the time for all men to turn their hearts to Jesus and prepare for His return! You can't give your heart to Him yesterday and tomorrow may be too late. It is only "NOW" that you have opportunity to commit your life to Christ!

Here is the saddest part! Those who go to Hell for eternity will be their not because of their sins. Their sins were dealt with on the Cross of Christ. They will be in Hell because they rejected Jesus, who is the only One who could rescue them from Eternal Death.

"Lord Jesus, come into my heart and my life as I wait for Your return. I know for sure Lord, that all the pain and suffering of this life will be turned into unspeakable joy when that wonderful moment arrives. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, July 17, 2015

An Ocean of Troubles!

My people will go through an ocean of troubles, but I will overcome the waves and dry up the deepest part of the Nile.  Assyria's great pride will be put down,and the power of Egypt will disappear.    I'll strengthen my people because of who I am, and they will follow me.  I, the Lord, have spoken!

Zechariah 10:11-12
The promises of God for His people are not all wonderful, beautiful and pleasant! One of the main promises God made is that His people will have trouble. Each day of your life will bring problems that only God can solve. That is how the world around you will come to know that your life is supernaturally supported and sustained! Then they will either be attracted to God through your experience, or they will continue to reject Him and focus that rejection on you.

Your concern must never be "how people respond" to you as you walk with Jesus. If you are praised, ignore it and if you are condemned pay no attention to that as well. What other people think of you, either good or bad must not play any role in your obedience to Christ! Follow Jesus, and ignore the world!

A child being held in the arms of his father can ride out a storm in peace, knowing that "all is well" in the midst of turmoil and trouble. As a child of God, rest in the arms of the Father and be at peace no matter what the "Ocean of Troubles" brings your way.

"Lord Jesus, You know, oh so well that living on this earth as a human being means that I will experience many troubles. Help me today to rest in Your arms and pay no attention to the world around me! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rescued by the Lord!

They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content. Our lips are our own—who can stop us?” The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor.  Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.”  The lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.  Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation, even though the wicked strut about, and evil is praised throughout the land.
Psalm 12:4-8 (NLT)

How bad does it have to get before the Lord Himself rescues the helpless and poor and oppressed? You can be sure that God has not turned His face away from those who are suffering. The Bible, however does not say that God will rescue everyone who is helpless and poor, but it does say that He will rescue those who have "longed" for Him to rescue them!

There is a difference in wanting to be rescued and wanting to be rescued by the Lord! Everyone who is in trouble wants to be lifted out of their despair, but only a few desire to be saved by God! When God comes to your aid your faith grows and you become bold about telling others of His marvelous love! When God rescues you, you experience a certifiable miracle.

I know I am not wrong to assume that you have lots of problems. If you are still breathing then that is true. The question is this: To whom or to what are you looking for your rescue? If your goal is to be saved from your trouble and you don't care where that help comes from, then you will miss a tremendous blessing. But if you are longing for the Lord to rescue you, you will experience one of the greatest moments in your life as you are lifted from your trouble.

Sometimes the Lord lifts you out of the pit of despair and sets you back on the ground of this earth, and sometimes He lifts you up from that pit and brings you all the way to Heaven!

"Lord Jesus, I want to be rescued by You today. I want You to be the answer to all my problems. I want my testimony to be that 'Jesus was indeed the answer' to every question in my life! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Red Sea Roadblock!

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When the king of Egypt heard that the Israelites had finally left, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “Look what we have done! We let them get away, and they will no longer be our slaves.”  The king got his war chariot and army ready.  He commanded his officers in charge of his 600 best chariots and all his other chariots to start after the Israelites.  The Lord made the king so stubborn that he went after them, while the Israelites proudly went on their way.  But the king's horses and chariots and soldiers caught up with them while they were camping by the Red Sea near Pi-Hahiroth and Baal-Zephon.  When the Israelites saw the king coming with his army, they were frightened and begged the Lord for help.

Exodus 14:5-10

Even Moses looked at the Red Sea and was discouraged by the road block to the Promised Land that seemed to spell certain defeat. 

The powerful Arm of the Lord had brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt!  They had seen miracle after miracle force the Egyptians to give in to the request to “Let My People Go!”  But there it was.  The Red Sea signaled the end of escape from Egypt and slavery!  Like the Cross of Jesus, the Red Sea was a confrontation with a human impossibility!
In your journey from slavery to the Promised Land have you come to the Red Sea?  Has your joyful journey brought you up to the Dead End of Despair and Discouragement?   

When you turned everything over to Jesus in your life there were daily confirmations of His love and mercy.  It was a “miracle a day” ride with seemingly no bumps in the road.  But then you came to the Red Sea.  It is too deep to wade across and too wide to swim.  When you look back you see the Hordes of Hell closing in fast!  There is literally nothing you can do.  If you are to be saved it will be by God’s power alone and nothing that you can even imagine doing will prevent your eternal demise!
Remember: The shore of the Red Sea is where you learn to trust God for the impossible.  When you stand on the banks of the Red Sea and your despair turns to Praise as you lift your arms to Jesus and raise your voice in a shout of victory, you will see the waters part and the path to the Promised Land become clear!
“Lord Jesus, I am standing today at the Red Sea in my life.  May the wind of Your Spirit separate the waters and show me the way to the Promised Land beyond the Sea!  And may You be Praised forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Light of this World!

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You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, as you try to please the Lord. Don't take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark.  But the light will show what these things are really like.  Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say,“Wake up from your sleep and rise from death.Then Christ will shine on you.”  Act like people with good sense and not like fools.   These are evil times, so make every minute count.
 Ephesians 5:8-16
A follower of Jesus Christ who used to be a Muslim Imam told me that one difference between Christians and others is this: Everyone who does not follow Jesus is in the darkness, but Christians are walking in the light!

The world without God is a dark and frightening place!  Evil stands ready to entice you with forbidden pleasures and then destroy you in the wake of your sin!  Corruption is the cornerstone of many powerful institutions in this world.  World leaders and those who serve them traffic in deceit and lies!  In such a world that is filled with darkness the smallest light of even one life stands out and proclaims that Jesus is Lord!

Never minimize the importance of even the smallest act of standing for truth!  Let your light shine.  Remember that the deeper the darkness, the easier it is to see even one little candle!

"Lord Jesus, let my life shine like a light in this dark, dark world.  And may those who see my light know for sure that You are indeed the light of this world!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Waiting for the Finish!

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Then the one sitting on the throne said:

I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.   All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Revelation 21:5-7

I suppose I could, and maybe should read these verses everyday. When Jesus makes something "new" it doesn't just "look like" it is new, it really is new! And when He says all things are finished, they are indeed finished!

There are those who are predicting a soon and total collapse of the world system! Never forget that even when every power on earth is "out of control," Jesus will still be in control and will still be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

The conclusion of life on this earth will not come because of "global warming" or "nuclear anihilation." It is foolish to think that man can destroy this earth, or to think that man can save the planet! As the Bible clearly says, all men are like grass that appears for a little while and then is gone!

There is only One Man who can Save the people of this earth, and He already did what was needed to provide that Salvation for everyone who will accept it! Jesus finished His work on the Cross of Calvary!

The "Signs" of the return of Jesus seem to be everywhere! We are like runners in a race who can see the finish line. An old song said it well. "Soon oh, very soon, we are going to see the King!" Hold on to your faith and run with everything that is in you toward the End!

"Lord Jesus, even as You have finished Your work on the Cross, we are waiting for the "finish line" in this race of life! Encourage us today to keep running until we see Your face coming with the clouds! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Protected by God!

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Beside the Ahava River, I asked the people to go without eating and to pray. We humbled ourselves and asked God to bring us and our children safely to Jerusalem with all of our possessions.I was ashamed to ask the king to send soldiers and cavalry to protect us against enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king that our God takes care of everyone who truly worships him, but that he gets very angry and punishes anyone who refuses to obey. So we went without food and asked God himself to protect us, and he answered our prayers.
Ezra 8:21-23

Ezra refused to ask the king for a military escort because he had told the king that God takes care of those who worship Him!  God did protect them and answered their prayers.In today's world with so many things to fear and the threat of terrorism almost everywhere are you declaring to the world around you that God will protect you?  

As a follower of Jesus Christ are you depending on God or the hand of man to keep you safe?  The world makes available elaborate security systems, weapons for concealed carry, personal defense classes as well as police forces dedicated to keeping you from harm!  What more do you need?  Well, the answer to that question is simple:  even if you have none of those things available God can and will protect you if you belong to Him.  

Does that mean that followers of Jesus will not suffer persecution or be killed?  No it does not!  What it means is this: No one and no thing on this earth can keep you from going to Heaven to live with Jesus forever when you die!  The salvation that He purchased for you on the Cross cannot be touched by those who would do you harm!  Satan himself may send you to Heaven sooner, but he cannot send you to Hell!

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to proclaim to everyone that I am Eternally Protected by You!  And thank You for the Cross that cannot be touched even by the Devil.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Power of the Potter!

Click here to listen to blogPeople of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay.If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation, and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.If I promise to make a nation strong, but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won't change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right.Jeremiah 18:6-11When a lump of clay complains to the potter and declares that it does not want to be vessel in the heart of it's creator, the clay never wins!  But when the clay submits to the Hand of the Potter, the finished product can be glorious beyond anyone's imagination.Don't judge the pot when God is the potter.  If the Hand of God is shaping your heart on the wheel of life, that fact, in itself, is enough!  It really makes no difference what God has called you to be, as long as He has called you!  If God is shaping your life, then you are ordained of Heaven for the task He has given you, whether  or not it is a high position or a lowly one like Jesus Himself had!But if you, and others around you start disobeying God and living lives focused on your own pleasures, then God will not help you at all!  The simple advice for any person, people or nation that has turned away from God is this:  Stop sinning and start living right!And I would add this: Do it before it is too late!"Lord Jesus, You are the Potter and I am the clay.  Mold me and make me according to Your will.  Make me into the person You desire for me to be.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, July 3, 2015

What is Going to Happen?

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I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.  The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn't speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen.
John 16:12-13

When you hear an expert in his field talking with another person who is equally qualified in the area, the conversation is usually not understandable by the average man or woman.  They discuss concepts and use terminology that you have never known!  But if you apply yourself to study and learn, then the things that made no sense become clear and understandable. 

Jesus is telling us that even as a follower of His there are things that He would like to tell you, but you are not ready to understand.  It is the Holy Spirit living in you, who shows you what is true and guides you into the full truth!  

If you think that right now you "know it all" when it comes to the things of God, then you are mistaken!  Every day as you walk with Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit you come to know more of what He wants you to understand.  

Then Jesus says something that is truly remarkable.  He says that the Holy Spirit "will let you know what is going to happen!"  So the best place to determine what the future will bring for a follower of Jesus is to ask the Holy Spirit to let you know!  You can spend all your time listening to men and women who think they know what the future will bring, or you can focus your attention of the Holy Spirit and He will tell you the truth about the future!  

"Lord Jesus, there is so much that I would like to know, but I can't yet understand.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me today into Truth that I have not yet seen!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."