Monday, September 28, 2015

The Thoughts and Ways of Jesus!

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Turn to the LordHe can still be found.  Call out to God! He is near.  Give up your evil ways and your evil thoughts.  Return to the Lord our God.  He will be merciful and forgive your sins. The Lord says:  “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,  my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.

Isaiah 55:6-9

Now is the time to turn to the Lord! There will never be a better time to seek Jesus than this moment! He is near to you right now and is waiting to embrace your heart with His love! You need not travel the world in search of God. Wherever you are, is where He can be found!

You don't need to go to a special country or city to find Jesus! But you must "Call out to God" and "give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts." Then, because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, He will be merciful and forgive your sins!

Your continual prayer will be that Jesus would show you how to be obedient to His every Word! You will abandon your thoughts and your ways and follow the thoughts and ways of Jesus. Sometimes I hear discussions about which of the Words of Scripture are essential.   The end of those conversations must be that every Word spoken by God requires my obedience!

Listen again to Isaiah 55:6


"Lord Jesus, teach me today how to think like You think and to walk like You walk. I want to live a life that reflects Your Glory to everyone I encounter. Give me the courage to abandon my crooked ways and evil thoughts and to return to You with all my Heart. And may You, Lord Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Not Hidden Forever!

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What a beautiful sight!  On the mountains a messenger announces to Jerusalem,  “Good news! You're saved.  There will be peace.  Your God is now King.”   Everyone on guard duty, sing and celebrate!  Look! You can see the Lord returning to Zion.   Jerusalem, rise from the ruins!  Join in the singing.  The Lord has given comfort to his people;  he comes to your rescue.   The Lord has shown all nations his mighty strength; now everyone will see the saving power of our God.

Isaiah 52:7-10 

Ever since the Garden of Eden, God has hidden Himself from the view of men. Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve walked with God and enjoyed His fellowship, but then came sin and the separation of man from God!

The way it is now, we see lots of evidences of God's existence and we hear many Words that claim to come from God, but we do not see Him face to face! It has not always been this way, and it will not be this way forever!

There will be a Day when everyone on earth will be confronted with the stark reality of Almighty God! We will all see Him as He comes to rescue His people! God will display His saving power before the eyes of all men! That will be the Day when God will be hidden no more!

While God is hidden from our sight we must know Him by faith! Faith is the evidence of things not seen and God for now is not seen! But you can be sure that the need for trusting God without seeing Him is only a temporary condition that will disappear with the Coming of Jesus! Every eye will see Him and the "old things" will pass away.

"Lord Jesus, I want to see Your face and fall down at Your feet. How much longer must we wait to fill our eyes with the Glorious sight of Your return? May You be praised now and forever. Amen."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Road Back to Unbelief!

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Turn to the LordHe can still be found.  Call out to God! He is near.  Give up your evil ways and your evil thoughts.  Return to the Lord our God.He will be merciful and forgive your sins.   The Lord says: “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours.   Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.  “Rain and snow fall from the sky.  But they don't return without watering the earth that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat.   That's how it is with my words.  They don't return to me without doing everything I send them to do.”

Isaiah 55:6-11

The power of God's Words is truly amazing! When God says something, it is as good as done. We read in the Bible that God "spoke" the world into existence. The actions of God are fully integrated with His Words.

Human beings have the serious problem of acting in ways that don't match our words. There is a sometimes fatal disconnect between what we say and what we do! The most common reference to this problem is when we say someone doesn't "practice" what he preaches.

God is all about truth, in fact Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The Word of God gives witness to truth. When God speaks a Word, it is something that is TRUE because God is TRUE. That is why you can trust the promises of God in the Bible. All that is real in all the universe conforms to the Word of God.

Someone once said, "God said it, I believe it and that settles it." But the truth is this: "God said it and that settles it whether I believe it or not!"

When you hear God speak and you question whether or not the thing that God said is true, you are taking the first step on the road back to unbelief. It is what Adam and Eve did in the Garden!

"Lord Jesus, I proclaim again today that every Word You speak is TRUE and cannot be otherwise. Give me the strength and wisdom to hold on to all that You have said, now and forever. Praise Your Holy Name. Amen."

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Final Trumpet!

I saw another angel. This one was flying across the sky and had the eternal good news to announce to the people of every race, tribe, language, and nation on earth.   The angel shouted, “Worship and honor God!  The time has come for him to judge everyone. Kneel down before the one who created heaven and earth, the oceans, and every stream.”   A second angel followed and said, “The great city of Babylon has fallen! This is the city that made all nations drunk and immoral. Now God is angry, and Babylon has fallen.”   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.   God's people must learn to endure. They must also obey his commands and have faith in Jesus.

Revelation 14:6-12
There is a song with the lines: "Just keep on walking. You don't know how far you've come. For all you know the Father might be standing up right now to give the call and end it all. Just keep on walking."

Don't spend all your time and energy trying to fit the pieces of the "End Times Puzzle" together. Are the "End Times" upon us? My opinion is that they most certainly are, but what am I to do about it? My response to the knowledge that the End Times are here is that I must strengthen my relationship with Jesus Christ and walk daily with Him! I will be ready for whatever comes my way if Jesus is by my side. It is not important that I know everything that will happen, but it is critical that I am at the side of Jesus when it does!

So when you see a "piece of the puzzle" clearly before your eyes let that be an opportunity for you to draw ever closer to Jesus Christ! Keep Jesus in the front of your mind all day long. Pray literally without ceasing as you see "sign" after "sign" unfold on the horizon of your day!

Let your response to what you see be ENDURANCE, OBEDIENCE AND FAITH!

"Lord Jesus, the world around us is teaming with what appear to be fulfilled prophecies about Your return! Hold me tight in Your arms as I wait the sound of the final trumpet and meet You in the air! May You be praised now and forever. Amen."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

God is Not Losing!

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Our Lord, how long must I beg for your help before you listen?  How long before you save us from all this violence?   Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice?  Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere?   Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around.

Habakkuk 1:2-4

These words were written long before the birth of Jesus Christ.  The actual date is not known, but when Habakkuk was alive he saw terrible injustices, violence, lawlessness, crime and cruelty and it was spreading everywhere.  Laws were not enforced and justice was always the loser.  Criminals crowded out honest people and they twisted the laws around!

This description sounds exactly like what is happening in the United States of America today!  In the struggle between Good and Evil when you see all kinds of wrongs around you, remember that God is not "losing" the battle, rather God is "using" even all these things to accomplish His ultimate purpose in the world!

I am tempted to despair when I see so many things wrong in this world.  But I must remember that I must not give in to any temptation, and perhaps especially the temptation to despair!  God will not be defeated!  He has decided that nothing set up to come against Him will succeed!

So today, when you see the roaring seas of despair all around you, let your heart be at peace in the knowledge that God has not and will never fail.  The promises for those who trust in Him are as fresh and new as the sun which came up this morning.

"Lord Jesus, I see that the battle is raging all around, but You have won the Victory and will forever Reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Give my heart new Peace today as I wait for Your Return!  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How Much Does God Love You?

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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 17:20-23

When Jesus said to God, "You love my followers as much as You love Me." He opened a window into the heart of God that is more than difficult to understand. How can God love me as much as He loves Jesus?

How do you put love on a scale and weigh it? How can you know how long, high, deep and wide love is? I can know that there is no limit to the love that God has for Jesus. And if that is so, then who can put a limit on the love that God has for me?

As a follower of Jesus Christ, God loves you more than you or anyone could ever imagine! His love is like a gushing spring that never runs dry! It is His desire that you be prepared to dwell for Eternity with Jesus as part of the Bride of Christ! You will not be a second class citizen in Heaven. When Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross, the Love of God was poured out on you and on me!

Here is the amazing news of the Gospel of Christ. When you think you know how much God loves you, the real truth is that God love you much more than that!

"Lord Jesus, I truly can't understand that God could love me as much as He loves You! Help me Lord Jesus to love You and to love the Father more today than ever before! And May You be Praised forever! Amen."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Remodeling Heaven!

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Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me.   There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you.   After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. 

John 14:1-3

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ never forget that He has been getting a place ready for you in Heaven!  Some people are very gifted in remodeling old houses to make them  beautiful and simply perfect for their new residents.  I suppose it is appropriate that Jesus learned the trade of carpentry while living here on earth and then has been getting our places to live ready for the past 2000 years!

If you were to image the perfect place for you with everything you ever dreamed it could have, you need to know that what Jesus is preparing for you is many, many times better than that!  I am confident that when I see what He has prepared for me I will fall down at His feet and cry out "OH MY GOD!"   How will you respond when you see your new place for the first time?

Is it alright to tell Jesus what you would like in your place in Heaven?  Well of course it is.  My list might include: I like to look at mountains through my front window and I love to sit in front of a fireplace and stay toasty warm.  I love the clean and clear air after a spring rain and I do like a place that is quiet except for whatever sounds I could hear from the throne room of God!

So be sure and remember that Jesus, the Master Carpenter is preparing a room for you in Heaven!  And when He is ready He will come and get you and take you to be with Him forever!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for spending these last 2000 years getting a place ready for me in Heaven.  I do hope You come soon and take me there!  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Trying to Reap What You do not Plant!

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You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant.   If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.   Don't get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don't give up.   We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord.

Galatians 6:7-10

Most people spend their lives trying to harvest crops that they never planted in the first place.  Also you rarely, if ever hear of a farmer who sells his field when the crop is ready to be harvested. 
There are some things that, indeed money cannot buy.  Money cannot buy a peaceful heart.  You cannot purchase a calm spirit as you stand before the Lord.  You cannot earn the assurance that no matter how difficult this life on earth is, you will spend Eternity in Heaven when it is over. 

And when you are finally convicted of the seriousness of your sin, you cannot "do" anything to make it better.  Then comes the amazing truth to the words: "What a friend we have in Jesus!"  When you set your heart on following Jesus Christ, you find out that He is all you need, or have ever needed.

When you live your life by following the desires of your own heart, you will reap a harvest that comes from the flesh and not from God.  But when you are led by the Spirit of God in everything you do, then your harvest will be Glorious! 

"Lord Jesus, I have spent so much time sowing to the flesh while hoping to reap from the Spirit.  Give me the grace to sow only seed that comes from You.  May You, Lord Jesus be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Day that Begins Forever!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It's free!  Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book:  If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book.   If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.   The one who has spoken these things says, “I am coming soon!”  So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!   I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you.
Revelation 22:17-21

Those are the final five verses in the Bible!  The last Word we have from Jesus is "I am coming soon!"  Those Words were written about 2000 years ago but they are as fresh and new as today's sunrise.  John responded to the promise Jesus made to come soon by saying, "Lord Jesus, please come soon!"  And then the final verse of the Bible was John's prayer when he said, "I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you."
We remember "last words" of those we love.  The last word I heard my earthly father speak was on a phone call shortly before he died.  He simply said, "Don't forget me."  Almost 24 years ago when my sixteen year old daughter died after a car accident the last thing I heard her say was "I just want to go to sleep and if I don't wake up it's OK!"  When I leave home even for a short trip to town I try to always remember to tell my wife that I love her!  Then if something were to happen to me while I was gone that would be my last word to her.

Again don't forget that the last Word from Jesus was "I am coming soon!"  That was not an empty promise that will never be kept.  Jesus will come and today we are 2000 years closer to the time of His return than when He spoke those Words!

A thousand years to the Lord is the same as a day, so it has only been two short days since Jesus made the promise to return soon.  Jesus never tells a lie, so it would be wise to watch the sky today because this may be the Day that begins forever!

"Lord Jesus, the Day You come will surely be an ordinary day until You change it forever by coming back with the clouds!  Help me to keep my eyes to the sky today and be ready for Your soon return.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Rest is Easy!

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Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure. God saves me and honors me. He is that mighty rock where I find safety.  Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each of your concerns.  God is our place of safety.

Psalm 62:5-8

He delivered the messages with a loud voice and always brought conviction to my heart about my need to be closer to the Lord. More than 40 years ago I listened to his sermons and I still remember one simple and yet very profound statement. He said: "After you believe the rest is easy!"

Every difficulty I have ever had in my Christian walk always was the result of even a brief moment of "unbelief!" When I question what God has said, then I like Adam and Eve reach out to taste the forbidden fruit!

But when I believe, I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to stand strong no matter what the temptation. Trusting in God always enables me to walk on water no matter how strong the storm or rough the sea!

My job is not to battle Satan and the forces of Hell, it is rather to believe that Jesus on the Cross defeated them all and to stand firm in that faith! When I do that I can be at peace and never shaken by the rough seas of life! Then I can truly "rest" as I walk with Jesus for the rest of my time on this earth!

"Lord Jesus, I choose again today to believe that You are the one who defeated Satan and that I am called to trust in You with all my heart! You are my only hope for all of Eternity. May I "rest" in You for the rest of my life! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

For Heaven's Sake!

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God's Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together.  He is the head of his body, which is the church.  He is the very beginning, the first to be raised from death, so that he would be above all others.  God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son.   And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.

Colossians 1:17-20 

The Bible tells us plainly what the Cross of Jesus Christ means for human beings. Without the Cross we could never be reconciled to God because of our sin! The work of the Cross touches the lives of everyone who believes in Jesus and gives Him control.

But these verses give us a glimpse into the work of the Cross in Heaven! When you read "all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God," you see a door of reality about what the Cross did for those in Heaven. We have no way to look behind that door and understand what exactly these verses are talking about, but it is clear that the Cross of Jesus Christ was for Heaven's Sake as well as ours!

Rebellion against God did not start on this earth. Humanity simply joined in the rebellion when Eve gave in to the temptation to do the thing God had told her not to do. On the Cross and with the Resurrection Satan was forever defeated! That defeat was not only on this earth, but included the entire Cosmos.

Eternal reconciliation for those who had been separated from God became a real possibility because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice! Be careful not to take this clear truth and add to it your own imagination. We will understand exactly what happened at the Cross when we arrive in Heaven, and probably not before!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for going to the Cross for my sake and for the sake of every man who has ever and will ever live. And thank You for letting me know that Your Cross was for Heaven's Sake as well. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rainbow - Beautiful or Ominous?

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 Again, God said to Noah and his sons:  I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you.  This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat.   I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.    The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever.  When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky,  I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life.   When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature.   The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.
Genesis 9:8-17

You may have seen the pictures of the rainbow which appears to end at the new World Trade Center building in New York City.  It was the evening before the 14th anniversary of the 911 attack on the World Trade Center buildings, which brought them both to the ground and killed three thousand people.  The pictures are "beautiful" but what is the message?  The rainbow was a sign from God when He promised that He would never again destroy the whole earth by flood!  It was not a sign that He would never again destroy the earth!  The rainbow simply ruled out a flood as God's method for the next time men are wiped out. 

A little more than two months earlier the tower on top of the new World Trade Center was lit in "rainbow" colors to honor the ruling by the United States Supreme Court which recognized the legitimacy of gay marriage.  That was also the time when the White House in Washington DC was bathed in rainbow colored lights. 

So was the rainbow's appearance above the new World Trade Center a sign of God's blessing on America or a sign of ominous warning?  When Sodom and Gomorrah embraced all forms of homosexual behavior the response of God was to bring fiery judgment on the towns.  Has God changed?  Are we now able to spit in God's face and have no response from the Almighty? 

I cannot say how God will respond to a nation that is determined to establish it's laws contrary to the will of God, but I know for certain that He will respond! 

"Lord Jesus, help me today to be ready for Your return and to be ready to stand strong in You until You do return!  May Your Name be praised forever.  Amen."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Someone Always Pays!

I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go.  I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of life was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done.   The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead. Then everyone was judged by what they had done.   Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.   Anyone whose name wasn't written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15

Human beings especially like it when there are "no consequences" for their actions. Everyone who does something that is wrong hopes that he or she will not be held responsible and have to pay the penalty! But the truth is this: There is always a penalty for sin. Someone always pays for wrongs that are done. You may not pay here and now, but your sins are not and have never been without consequence!

The Good News of the Cross of Jesus Christ is that He paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world! And everyone who believes in Jesus and follows Him will have their name written in the Book of Life! So on the Day of Judgment your name in the Book of Life will keep you from being throne into the lake of fire!

It is not and never has been your "good life" that qualifies you for Heaven! If you go to Heaven it will only be because you turned your heart to the One who paid the price for your sins and your name is then written in the Book of Life!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Lord and Savior and paying the price for my sins! Only because of You and Your sacrifice will my name show up in the Book of Life. And may You, Lord Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jesus Controls the Earthquakes!

Don't you know?  Haven't you heard?  Hasn't it been clear since the time of creation?   God is the one who rules the whole earth, and we that live here are merely insects.  He spreads out the heavens like a curtain or an open tent.   God brings down rulers and turns them into nothing.   They are like flowers freshly sprung up and starting to grow.  But when God blows on them, they wilt and are carried off like straw in a storm.   The holy God asks, “Who compares with me? Is anyone my equal?”    Look at the evening sky!  Who created the stars?  Who gave them each a name?  Who leads them like an army?  The Lord is so powerful that none of the stars are ever missing.

Isaiah 40:21-26

Since the time of creation God has ruled the whole earth! We may think that we are in control of the world around us, but that is just not the case. Satan's influence for evil is felt around the world, but God is the One who is in control. The illustration is not perfect, but God is driving the "car" of this world and Satan is just a pothole! The Enemy may make the ride uncomfortable, but he is not and cannot prevent God from taking this world to the place of His Almighty Choice! The final scenes of life on this earth will be as God has chosen and not the result of human foolishness or even Satanic ill intent!

So if I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I can be at peace no matter what happens. God is still in control if I am "blessed" according to the standards of this world, or if I am imprisoned, persecuted and even killed. I suppose there is some irony in the truth that it is more difficult for me to remain faithful to the Lord while being showered with the blessings of this world than when I am in the throes of persecution.

The conclusion of the matter is this: I must seek Jesus and not a "better life" here on this earth. If I have Jesus and He has me then all is well no matter what else is happening in my life! With Jesus, my enemies are no threat to my Eternal inheritance. If they even cut off my head then I am "Absent from the body but present with the Lord!" Jesus in my life means that my enemies cannot harm me!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to keep my eyes firmly on You and not on the world around me. When I see the mountains begin to crumble around me help me to remember that You are in control of even the earth when it quakes! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Wedding Supper!

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Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.   Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.   Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)   Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 

Revelation 19:6-9 (NIV)

Not long ago I was "blessed" by being invited to the Wedding Supper of a young Amish man and his bride. It was a remarkable glimpse into a sub-culture of American life that outsiders rarely see. The bride and groom sat in one corner of the room while we all were served a delicious and abundant meal with four deserts, not counting the Wedding Cake! There appeared to be at least 200 guests in the room and there was some talking, but mostly it was quiet. Then before the meal one of the men shouted a few words not in English and everyone bowed their heads for a couple of minutes of silent prayer. A quiet rustling let me know it was time to begin the meal.

Following the meal there was singing. It was not like any singing I had ever heard before, but it was beautiful and compelling.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I expect to receive another invitation to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb! I think it will in some ways remind me of my time at the wedding supper at the Amish wedding. The Bride and Groom will be there while we eat the feast in their honor. And the singing, I am sure will be like nothing I have ever heard before. It will redefine the term "beautiful music."

But along with the Praise there will be quiet reverence and a sense of total awe which will come over all of us who attend! Also, I can't even imagine what the food will be like at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, because it will be beyond our imagination!

It truly was a blessing to attend a marriage supper at an Amish wedding, but it will be a greater blessing to be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb and it will be one meal that you will remember forever!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the joy of what is coming for those who love You and follow in Your steps.  How wonderful it will be!   Just the thought of  being there at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb thrills my very soul! May You Lord Jesus be praised now and forever. Amen."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

No Fear of Elephants!

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Tell those who obey God, “You're very fortunate—you will be rewarded for what you have done.”   Tell those who disobey, “You're in big trouble—what you did to others will come back to you.”   Though you are God's people, you are ruled and abused by women and children.  You are confused by leaders who guide you down the wrong path.   The Lord is ready to accuse and judge all nations.

Isaiah 3:10-13

Even when a nation is filled with lots of God's people they can be abused and confused by their leaders who guide them down the wrong path!

I suppose when you are young it is hard to see when the leaders of your nation are directing you in a way that will ultimately destroy the land.  But when you are old, or you have carefully listened to those who are old, you can see that nothing good can come from a "supreme court" challenging the will of The Supreme Being!

It would be like a man, confidently saying "I am not afraid of elephants, so I will stand right here while a herd of elephants runs over me!"  What a foolish and yes "stupid" man it would take to make such a statement.  And yet leaders of many nations have declared war on the Will of God.  They confidently proclaim that God has no place in their land.

You may be able to live a long life while having no fear of elephants, as long as you don't encounter any elephants that are upset.  But you will not succeed in life if you have no fear of God!

Somewhere the Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom!

"Lord Jesus, I do fear standing in opposition to Your will.  And Lord I pray that my nation will turn back to You and repent of our foolish and evil desire to exclude You from our national life!  And may You Lord Jesus be praised forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Burn or Jump With Joy!

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The day of judgment is certain to come. And it will be like a red-hot furnace with flames that burn up proud and sinful people, as though they were straw. Not a branch or a root will be left. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!  But for you that honor my name, victory will shine like the sun with healing in its rays, and you will jump around like calves at play.  When I come to bring justice, you will trample those who are evil, as though they were ashes under your feet.  I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!

Malachi 4:1-3
Many years ago a good friend said, "I have read the end of the Book and we win!" I have heard it said many times since that day so I don't know if John came up with that phrase or he heard it from someone else and was just passing it on, but when it comes to the Bible it is certainly true! We win if you read the last chapter of Revelation, and we win when you read the last chapter of Malachi which is the last book in the Old Testament.

The fire of the Day of Judgment will be like a "red-hot" furnace with flames that burn up proud and sinful people like they were straw! But those who honor God's name will bask in the healing rays of the sun and jump around like calves at play!

When I see a group of children running and jumping as they play, frankly I wish that I could do that again. Well the promise of Malachi 4:2 is that if I honor the Name of God I will jump around like a calf at play! My new body won't get tired and I will be able to jump with joy in the presence of the Lord!

The choice is yours: Will you follow Jesus and jump with joy on the Day of Judgement or refuse to honor God and on that day burn like straw?

"Lord Jesus, I choose You today and every day. And Jesus I do look forward to jumping like a calf at play on the Day that You come to Judge the whole world! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Before My Next Breath!

The Lord said to Gog: Long ago, I ordered my prophets to warn the people of Israel that someday I would send an enemy to attack them. You, Gog, are that enemy, and that day is coming.   When you invade Israel, I will become furious,   and in my anger I will send a terrible earthquake to shake Israel.  Every living thing on earth will tremble in fear of me—every fish and bird, every wild animal and reptile, and every human. Mountains will crumble, cliffs will fall, and cities will collapse.  I, the Lord, will make the mountains of Israel turn against you. Your troops will be so terrified that they will attack each other.  I will strike you with diseases and punish you with death. You and your army will be pounded with rainstorms, hailstones, and burning sulfur.   I will do these things to show the world that I, the Lord, am holy.

Ezekiel 38:17-23

The world will not end without everyone living on the face of the earth coming to know that God is the Mighty One and that He is indeed the Lord and is Holy! Ever since Creation God has provided men with gentle reminders that He is God and with subtle hints that He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. You can look at nature itself and see the hand of God in everything He created. When you gaze at the Heavens you see His Glory in the stars. The Sun and Moon proclaim the amazing precision of their Creator! But there will come a time when God will reveal His Glory on Earth in a powerful and earthshaking display!

The world and everyone in it will know that God is the Lord!

No one can say for sure when that time will come, but without any doubt I can say that Jesus will come back to this earth!

Right now there are many signs that His coming is very near! Whether or not the things we see now are indeed signs of His imminent return only time will tell.

The best advice is this: Don't procrastinate or put off in any way preparing for the return of Jesus. If your heart is not "right" with Him, then repent and turn back to Jesus, and do it now! No one knows how long it will be before He comes back, but live today as if Jesus were coming back before you take another breath!

"Lord Jesus, I know You will return to this earth, and I hope and pray it will be soon. Help me to be ready for Your return even if it is before I take my next breath! Praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Listen and Obey!

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Obey God's message! Don't fool yourselves by just listening to it.  If you hear the message and don't obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave.   But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don't just hear and forget.

James 1:22-25 

We have the "listening" part down pretty good!  We can hear the Word of God in many places in today's world.  If you can read and have a copy of the Bible, you can open the Book and "hear" God speaking anytime of the day or night!  The Bible is not just a book that tells about miracles, it is a miracle in itself.  The Word that was spoken by Almighty God and created Heaven and Earth and everything that there is has been gathered and preserved in the form of a Book!  How amazing is that?

The central question of my life is not: "Have I heard the Word of God?"  The question is rather: "Have I obeyed the message after I heard it?"  Hearing without obedience is not better than never hearing at all!

So I will ask myself, and you must do the same, "What have I heard God say that I have not yet obeyed?"  Whatever the answer is to that question must be the focus of my energy today! 

"Lord Jesus, bring to my mind the Word that You have spoken to my heart and I have not yet obeyed.  Make it clear to me what I must do today to be obedient to Your Holy Word!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Joy of Waiting for Jesus!

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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

There is a Day, fixed in the timeline of history when Jesus will return to the Earth!  The Bible gives us all kinds of "signs" that will let us know that the Day is near.
When I was in high school there was a very exciting "tradition."  It was called "Beautiful Day" and one day each Spring the high school principle would announce in our daily assembly that today is a "Beautiful Day."  That meant that we would all load up in busses and go the park for the rest of the day.  Classes were cancelled and we had a picnic with food, fun, and games!  I suppose the best part about "Beautiful Day" is that it was a total surprise.  When Spring came we knew it was near, but we never knew when it would be until we heard the announcement!

That's the way it will be with the coming of Jesus.  We see the signs of Spring all around us so we know that His coming may indeed be near, but we don't know the Day or the Hour when we will see Him come with the clouds.

Knowing that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ may be near should bring joy to your heart every day if you are a follower of Him.  But if you are not His disciple you need to know that giving your heart to Jesus is the only way to change the despair of today's world into the joy of waiting for Jesus!  Someone recently told me that when he lost everything, he only had Jesus left.  But then he discovered that Jesus was all he really needed anyway!
"Lord Jesus, You are all I need.  Help me today to discover the joy of waiting for You and the peace of knowing that You are all I need.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ready to Go

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Then they sang a new song,“You are worthy to receive the scroll and open its seals, because you were killed.  And with your own blood you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race.
You let them become kings and serve God as priests, and they will rule on earth.”

As I looked, I heard the voices of a large number of angels around the throne and the voices of the living creatures and of the elders. There were millions and millions of them, and they were saying in a loud voice,“The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power,riches, wisdom, strength,honor, glory, and praise.”

Revelation 5:9-12

There will be a final moment for you on this earth. If you die before the return of Jesus, you will take one last breathe and then, if you are a follower of Jesus now the truth of Eternity will open before your eyes! The Glory of Heaven, the Reality of God Almighty and the Peace and Joy of Eternity will flood your total being!

But if Jesus comes before you die, in the "twinkling of an eye" you will be changed and you will forever be with the Lord!

It is easy to say "Jesus is coming soon!" But deep in your heart there may still be the question: Is it really true? The truth is this: Jesus can come at any moment, and you could leave at the blink of an eye. The return of Jesus is as certain as the fact that if He delays His return you will leave whether He returns or not!

Many Christians spend their time ignoring the fact that Jesus may come at any moment, just as lots of people give all their energy to "staying alive" on this earth as long as possible!

The Apostle Paul said it best when he said he was anxious to go and be with the Lord, but willing to stay here for the sake of others. So we too must be ready to go and yet willing to stay!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to be ready for Your return and busy in helping others do the same! May You be praised forever. Amen."