Archive for November, 2006

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Close Encounters

November 29, 2006

Genesis 28:16-17  “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.  And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

When a person has a “deeper than average” revlation of God, it’s without a doubt a very humbling experience.  The Holy One of Israel who has no beginning of days and never changes.  Those who are born of the Spirit will have an ever increasing understanding of God and will know his presence at greater levels as they keep their hearts with all diligence; seeking him in spirit and in truth.  But to have an overwhelming revelation of Gods glory will be a life changing experience to be sure.  Afterward, you would be unable to ever look at the world in the same light that you did before. 

Daniel 10:5-8  “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed with linen, whose loins were girded about with fine gold of Uphaz:  His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightening, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voices of a multitude.  And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.  Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.”

Of course, your first encounter with the most high was the day that you repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart.  On that day, at least in my case, my understanding of biblical concepts was nearly zero.  What I did learn that day; the truth that had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat and listening to every syllable that the preacher said (he was a guy on television by the way.  I know how strange that must sound)  was that I was a sinner in need of a Savior.  Jesus Christ; the Son of God came into the world and went to a cross to pay for that sin.  If I would repent of my sin and if I would ask him into my heart with sincerety, he would save me and write my name in glory.  My conversion was instant and it lasted.  It wasn’t an overly emotional event at the moment; in fact the first thought that popped into my head right afterward was “this won’t last long.  Give it a couple of days and you’ll be back to yourself again.”  That thought, which came from the pits of hell, actually served a purpose.  I remember, at that moment “determining in myself” that I was really serious about this; that I was going to serve the Lord Jesus Christ who died for my sins.  A couple of days later, I told my mom about it and she confirmed that she had noticed something “different” about me during the past two days.  It was real; it was the one moment in my life that stands above all others and if you’re born again, it’s the same for you.  It was later that I was baptized while in San Diego.  It was eleven months later, upon my first visit ever to a pentecostal church, where the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost, during prayer, before the service even started.  (It happened FAST!)  After that, I was baptized in the name of Jesus, which is the scripturally accurate way.  As you grow in the Lord and increase in understanding, he becomes more and more present in your life.  But it’s that first step that really stands apart from all of the rest.  The day when you woke up a sinner and went to bed a saint.  (Just ponder the profoundness of that.  If I had died that morning at 9:00 AM, I would be in hell at this moment instead of blogging.) While few have a “Road to Damascus” conversion like Paul had, each of us had the same experience of meeting Jesus for the first time. 

As you search the scriptures, you find men who have an overwhelming revelation of God.  I think of Moses, whom God hid in the clift of a rock and then allowed Moses to view him after he passed by.  (For no man can look upon the face of God and live.)  Forty days, Moses spent in the presence of the Almighty  When he returned to the children of Israel, his skin glowed from being in Gods presence.  We read these accounts often, but few of us really consider what it must actually be like.  When a person comes into the presence of God it’s both breathtaking, and very humbling as you realize just how “not worthy” you really are. 

Isaiah 6:3-5  “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is filled with his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

It’s a sobering experience to be sure.  Suddenly, any devices of self worth will come to nought as you find yourself in the presence of God.  As you ponder such events, it causes you to realize, all the more, of just how great a salvation we have.  That God became flesh and dwelt among us.  That Jesus was tempted in all points as are we, and was yet without sin.  Think about that.  After being baptized of John, he went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days.  At the end of that time, when his physical body was at its weakest state, the tempter came and attacked what would have seemed to be the most vulnerable point.  He said “Hey, you’re the Son of God.  Just make bread out of these rocks.”  Jesus referred to scripture throughout the temptations and the devil departed.  I’ve often thought on how significant that was.  If the enemy had any chance at all (which he didn’t) it would have been at that point.  Because Jesus was obedient throughout his time on earth, even unto death, he was able to pay for our sins with his own precious blood.  We truly serve an awesome God who would do all of this so that we could be reconciled.  All of us need a greater understanding of just how great our salvation really is.

In the book of Revelation, John saw the end of all things.  He saw the time of Jacobs trouble, he saw Jesus return to earth with the saints, he saw the beast and false prophet cast into the lake of fire, he saw the white throne judgment, he saw the New Jerusalem and he saw the new heaven and the new earth.  I don’t know how many years John lived afterward, but he spent the rest of his days, having seen Jesus in his glorified state, and knowing how things are going to transpire.  He also had the distinction of being the only person ever to know what the seven thunders uttered.  (But he couldn’t tell anyone)   We read of these accounts and yet we struggle to wrap our mind around the significance of them.  Here’s the account of when John saw Jesus.  Just compare it with Daniels vision mentioned previously. 

Revelation 1:12-18  “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.  And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.  And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

When John saw Jesus, he was speechless; there remained no strength in him.  You and I may never lay eyes on him while in this body of flesh but we will one day stand before him.  This same Jesus who died for our sins will also be our judge.  How zealous we should be concerning the things of God.  How much we should be about our Fathers business as the end of all things truly is at hand.  Your time in the land of the physical passes like a summer breeze.  Here for a moment; its presence felt by those in the vicinity, and then gone.  Never to pass this way again.  And so it is with us.  While we still have breath in us, I pray that we would all give diligence to the things that really matter.

Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”

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Wise as Serpents

November 27, 2006

Psalm 119:133  “Order my steps in thy word:  and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” 

Proverbs 9:10  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

The bible is filled from cover to cover with exhortations to seek true wisdom.  The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes give us the incredible insight that God gave to King Solomon; testifying that true wisdom comes from the one true God who inhabits all of eternity.   A person can pursue every degree under the sun; covering their walls with diplomas, but if they have no acknowledgment of God, what does it profit?  Especially when this life has run its course and the eternity that was never taken into consideration lies ahead.  Truly the acknowledgment that God “is” constitutes the beginning of understanding.  The devil, who comes to kill and destroy, will use his every device at his disposal in an attempt to obscure the truth of Gods existance and his perfect plan of salvation  through Jesus Christ.

Exodus 36:1  “Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, acording to all that the LORD had commanded.”

The book of Job tells of this man from the land of Uz whose his heart was established through understanding the nature of God.  He understood that God is omnipresent, completly holy, and everlasting.  He realized that his life in this world was ever so brief in comparison to the eons of forever and as a result he never turned away from God.  He lamented the trying circumstances but maintained his integrity.  The devil sought to cause Job to sin.  It backfired in that not only did Job remain faithful to God, the entire incident was recorded and every subsequent generation has had this example of steadfastness in the face of adversity.  Job understood the tricks of the enemy as even Mrs. Job tried to cause him to charge God foolishly.  (The devil doesn’t miss a trick)

Job 38:36  “Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts?  or who hath given understanding to the heart?”

We are admonished to be aware of the tricks of the devil.  This is not to give him undue attention; only to know of the ways that he will attack and to be prepared for it.  Know this; that the attacks of the enemy don’t always come from the direction that you’re expecting them.  Temptations or thoughts can show up at any time of day or night; especially if you have been somewhat negligent in prayer and hiding the word of God in your heart.  Even when in time of prayer, irrelevant thoughts can show up.  One moment, you can be in a state of awesome fellowship with the Lord, and the next thing you know, your mind is somewhere “out there” in the Andromeda Galaxy.  Without continuous diligence; even during prayer or bible study, the imagination can take hold and it’s off to fantasy land.  The devil knows how to manipulate the different law that works in our members and as a result, we must stay on guard continuously.  When you wake up in the morning, don’t step out of that bed until your heart is on the Lord Jesus.  I long for the moment when this corruption puts on incorruption and we shall be like Jesus forever. 

Matthew 10:16  “Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

You can be certain that the devil knows every single word that’s in the bible.  He knows every pronoun, every comma, and every semicolon.  He knows the correct meaning of every verse, and he knows how to twist each one just enough to cause a person to go astray.  (Ye shall not surely die)  To cause one to “follow after the flesh” instead of following Jesus Christ.  The devil will ALWAYS appeal to the flesh with feigned words.  This is why holiness is so important.  It’s why we absolutly MUST lay aside everything of a sinister intent and search the scriptures daily.  Our adversary, the devil, is playing hardball and he’s playing for keeps.  He doesn’t want you to have that which he forfeited when he began to harbor pride in his heart.  He seeks to deceive “if it were possible even the very elect.”  We are all aware of this continuous struggle and yet we fail to take it seriously on way too many occasions.   

James 4:7-8  “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double-minded.”

I Peter 5:8-9  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking  whom he may devour:  Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

In other words, know that you have an adversary, abide close to the Lord Jesus and resist temptation.  If you are truly born again, remember that “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”  Know also that the other saints are facing the same types of battles.

II Corinthians 2:10-11  To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also:  for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us:  for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Maintain a proper attitude toward the saints as the devil will strive to stir up contention, mixed with a healthy dose of spiritual pride.  Don’t give him an inch.   Maintaining fervent love for the saints and keeping them lifted up in prayer is essential as we’re all in this together.  To truly be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  Well it’s after 3:00 am and as is often the case at this time of night, I’m starting to nod off.  I need to close this out for now but would urge anyone who reads this to simply seek the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly and know that he is soon to return.  The battle which rages 24/7 in this life will come to an abrupt halt when Jesus appears and we are transformed in a moment.   

II Corinthians 4:17-18  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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Soul Searching

November 24, 2006

Without a doubt, we have much to be thankful in this country.  Things are changing fast and and the end time senario is steadily coming to fruition.  But today, on November 23, 2006 it was a day in which the tranquility of life in America prevailed.  Although I talk much about the end of all things, I praise God for each day that he prolongs judgment.  Not because I love this world, but because somewhere, somebody will have an opportunity to come to Jesus and be saved.  Somewhere, a soul will wake up lost and go to bed a new creature in Christ Jesus.  This is the one event which causes the angels to rejoice more than any other.  This is the very reason that Jesus came into the world.  Without a doubt, he sought us out when we were everything contrary to the nature of God.  (I know that I’m being really basic tonight, but it’s needful that we remember this and not get caught up on things which have no eternal value.)

In the midst of being with family on this thanksgiving day, I didn’t see any news until I came out here.  The top story on the Netscape homepage told of 161 people being killed in Baghdad as he result of sectarian violence.  Last month, an estimated 3500 Iraqis went into eternity in one of the deadliest months to date.  To put this in perspective, Constantine Michigan, where we live, has 2300 residents.  Add 1200 to that and you have an idea of how souls went into eternity last month.  The press tends to adjust the size of their headlines in relation to the body count.  Every single one is priceless.  If one Iraqi goes into eternity, (or anyone for that matter) it’s a tragedy if the person doesn’t know Jesus.  Each one made in the image of God.  Each one had a first breath, took their first step, and uttered their first word.  Each one was very much like you and I.   We get so caught up in numbers that we forget that each of those numbers has a name, has a story, has a lineage, and for a brief span of time, interacted with this present world.  They loved, laughed, cried, and dreamed.  Every night, the number of Americans killed in Iraq is updated.  Behind each of them is a grief stricken family and a community that wonders why this young person was taken from us.  This post is not designed to take a political stand on the war in Iraq one way or the other.  It’s merely to shed light on the fact that every single casualty, regardless of what country they call home, is priceless. 

This world is coming to a cataclysmic ending much sooner than is realized.  We, as ambassadors for Christ, must do everything that we can do to reach the lost.  In Iraq, like so many parts of the world, anger and hatred is flowing like a river.  Many of these people are taught to hate from the age of two and it’s all that they know.  Only Jesus Christ can deliver one from the bondage of hatered or any type of sin for that matter.  Whaterver sin is besetting you, he can deliver you from it if you’ll submit to him.  My standing prayer for Iraq is for the gospel to go forth and for souls to come into the ark.  The things prophesied concerning the middle east, along with the rest of the world will come to pass at their appointed time.  Our primary focus should be getting the gospel out to a dying world while time is still left.  I pray for the saints that are over in these areas; that God will grant them protection and that the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ would go forth unabated.  Politicians can make laws and, policemen can enforce those laws.  But only Jesus Christ can make you free. 

As I close out tonight, I pray that we would be thankful for the many blessings that we have and soberminded about the job that’s ahead of us.  As stated so many times, when a person goes into eternity and they have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, there’s no remedy.  That person will go to a devils hell needlessly.  This is serious serious serious and we need to be about our Fathers business more than ever.  Soon this age will be ended and we will be forever with Jesus Christ, the alpha and Omega; the beginning and the ending.  Keep this in the forfront of your mind always.

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Family Affair

November 21, 2006

As I come out here tonight, I’m not certain as to how to write the things that are on my heart.  My fervent desire that all in my household would be right with the Lord.  There is nothing in this life that concerns me as does this.  We know that in the last days, families will be torn asunder as some membrers of a given household will have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior while others reject him outright, or they try to get into heaven through a window.  (rejection with a title)  For those who are saved, it’s a heart wrenching situation as those who are so close to you just don’t see the urgency of this “issue above all issues.”  The devil knows every trick in the book on how to keep a person in darkness.  (The same tricks that he once used against you)  He uses pride, he uses friends, love for particular forms of sin, and anything at his disposal to keep folks from coming to Christ that they might have life.  Likewise, we wrestle with the temptation to become discouraged when we don’t see things happening.  (Let me suggest that you check out “Aline Baxley” on the blogroll as her story testifies to the power of prayer and determination)  To further complicate the struggle, we must strive to keep from saying things or doing things that would drive them away from Jesus instead of gathering them into the hopusehold of faith.  This battle goes on 24/7 and we dare not let our guard down for a moment.  Only by walking in the Spirit and being sensitive to his leading can we be effective ambassadors for Jesus. 

Like all who have been born again, I struggle with these issues.  Often in prayer, I ask the Lord to not allow me to say anything or do anything that will hinder the work that I know he’s doing.  Likewise I pray to be ready to speak words of truth whenever the opportunity arises. While the old man occasionally “gets one over on me” the Lord has brought me a long way in learning to put down selfish motivations and pride.  (The “it’s all about me” mentality is completly destructive.  It’s no wonder the divorice rate is so high.)  It’s kind of like the old game called “Operation” where the board consits of what looks like this patient lying on an operating table and you have to remove various items from him.  Each item is placed in a hole surrounded by a metal rim.  If you touch the rim, the guys nose lights up and he beeps.  (The things that we entertain ourselves with)  This is how it is with a household of folks that don’t see things as you do.  You try to be ever so careful because if you make one wrong move, you can do a whole lot of damage. 

I Peter 3:15-16  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsly accuse your good conversation in Christ.”

Last Thursday (Nov 16) my wifes sister passed away at the age of 44 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  Such situations as this always cause you to reflect on and ponder things.  My wifes family is scattered somewhat and over the years, we only visited with her sister and family on a few occasions.  Those “few occasions” were always very pleasent ones.  Yesterday, (Monday) the funeral was held.  When someone is to deliver a message; be it a sermon, an eulogy, or even a wedding, one can usually tell within a few moments if that person has a relationship with the Lord Jesus.  The preacher that delivered the message yesterday is most definately born again and it was reflected it his words; spoken with sincerety and assuredness.  He mentioned how he had visited with my wifes sister several times during the past two years and he testified that she indeed knew Jesus as Savior and Lord.  This he stated with all confidence.  Had this not been the case, I’m certain that the eulogy would have been done differently.   I can say that while the service was done in a like fashon as are most, the salvation message was all through it and I KNOW that Gods word doesn’t return void.  Likewise, I’m certain that my sister in law is in heaven at this moment.  She leaves behind a husband who stood with her through all that she endured and two really sweet daughters.  Their family has a strength that you rarely find these days. 

To really be ambassadors for Christ is far more than just saying words or joining a church.  It’s being a city that’s set on a hill, giving light to all who pass by.  A light doesn’t say anything; it performs a task.  What we do says a lot more than the words that we speak.  Our conversation should always be sincere, and the gospel of Jesus Christ should be foremost.  Our life MUST line up with our testimony because folks can spot a phony from a mile away.  In June of 1983, a girl with whom I had been friends went to live with her aunt and uncle as her situation at home had basically become unsustainable.   I was, in the days of my adolescence, a totally confused kid with such a convaluted take on things that only a miracle could bring me around.  The aunt and uncle were christians and during the summer of 83, they were really concerned with their neice.  Although I visited often throughout the summer, they said very little outside of casual talk.  They had no idea that while spending time with them and just being around them, my stony heart with its thick coating of sarchasm was beginning to soften.  It was three months later, in september, that I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.  While I’ve since had growing pains along with several semesters spent in the “school of hard knocks”, it was at that moment, when I met the King of glory, that my lifes path was forever altered.  It was on that day that I woke up a passenger on the hell bound train, and went to bed on a train bound for glory.  We grow in the Lord, we change from glory to glory, we become more Christlike as time goes by.  But that Friday morning in September of 1983 was a day that I’ll never forget.  I can’t remember the exact date, but it was the second Friday at around 11:30 am that my name was writen down in glory. 

Well I need to close this out.  As saints of the most high God, we need to stand in the gap like never before.  To be the best ambassadors that we can be; that when folks see us, they see Christ in us.  This means being the best spouse that we can be.  It means being the best parent, best employee, and best neighbor that we can be.  These are things that we all must work at continuously.  (I know that I certainly do)  If Christ is working in us, we’ll bear much fruit and be a vessel unto honor.  It’s my sincere prayer that we would all do all that we can for the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is able to make one free indeed.

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Remnant Nation

November 19, 2006

Acts 17:6  “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying,  These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.”

This is what happens when people get serious about the things of God.  When they have a true understanding of the world to come;  the glorious eternity that awaits those who come to Christ and the horrifying torment that will be the end of those who reject him.  When the saints have their heart totally set on the world to come, are untangled from the traditions of men, and put Jesus Christ above all else in their life, they will “turn the world upside down.”  The greater your understanding is concerning the lateness of the hour, the more diligent you will be in striving to reach those who don’t know Jesus.  All of us, including myself, need to have a greater understanding of this as priceless souls for whom Jesus died are going into eternity.  This preventable tragedy takes place every day in every community of every country.  since you began reading this post, someone has gone into eternity without Christ, never to pass this way again.  When a person dies in their sins, they go to a devils hell.  There’s no purgatory, no summerland, and no returning to earth as somebody else to “try it again.”  If we REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS, we will all be much more zealous about reaching the lost during these final moments.  (Remember, the Lord used someone to reach each of us)

As we come into the time of Jacobs troubles, the true remnant saints will stand out like a city set on a hill.  When taking a stand for Christ will mean losing your life in this world LITERALLY, the saints and the tares will forever part company.  The lukewarm, the carnal minded, those who never launch out into the deep and learn to just “trust the Lord” will be completly unprepared.  This is why it’s ever so important to make your calling and election sure.  This is why a life of holiness along with the laying aside of  every weight and sin is an absolute must.  It’s not to be legalistic or to keep you from “having a good time” (if you want to call it such) it’s to keep you in the love of God.  We must keep our hearts with all diligence because the most trying times in the history of the world are upon us. 

If you listen to most of the preaching today, you’ll rarely, if ever hear the phrase “tribulation saints.”  The bible makes mention of those saints who go through the tribulation repeatedly; telling how their faith will be tried like at no other time in history.  These next verses will be very familiar, but let me visit them again.

 Daniel 11:32-35   “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries:  but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.  And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.  Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.  and some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

There are so many notable points in this passage from Daniel concerning the tribulation saints.

( 1 )  They will not be seduced by the flattering words of the antichrist.  They who know God and are walking close with him will see what’s taking place. 

( 2 )  They will proclaim the truth of the gospel, even as the world is wondering after the beast.

( 3 )  Many will cling to them in pretense; flattering them with like-sounding words but will be harboring a different aganda in their heart.

( 4 )  They will be prevailed over in the physical world.  Their faith will be tried by fire; they will be purged and made white. 

Revelation 13:7-8  “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given unto him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” 

If you’re following the Lord Jesus afar off, you’ll be hard pressed to keep the faith when times of trying ae upon you.  This is why you want to “love not” the world; because the love of the world or of the things that are in it will cause you to make fatal errors in the days that will soon be upon us.  But if you draw nigh to Jesus; get in close, maintaining a state of continuous fellowship, he will bring you through anything that comes your way.  Don’t be fearful of the things that are coming to pass on the earth as these things must transpire.   More than ever, we need to focus on the Lord Jesus and on the world to come.  When you get your mind focused on the things that truly matter, you’ll be about the Fathers business like never before. 

These are themes that I talk about over and over again because it’s so very urgent.  The way that the world is going leaves little room for doubt concerning the lateness of the hour.  So few are watching in this final hour; I pray that you would ponder these things and draw increrasingly closer to Jesus as time draws to a close.  I need to close this for now as it’s almost 3:30 AM, and I’m struggling to stay awake, but let me leave with another similar passage of scripture. 

Romans 8:38-39  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

He promised to be with us always; even until the end of the world.  Then we will be forever with him in a land with no time pieces, no tears and no parting.  I look forward to the day when all who are washed in the blood of Jesus  are forever with him in a realm of eternal bliss. Until that moment arrives, I pray that all of us would be diligent in reaching a lost world with the gospel.  With so many souls hanging in the balance, we mustn’t put off any opportunity to share Christ.  In this post, I am talking to myself every bit as much as to any passers by.  We all strive to “die daily” to our own agenda and seek the will of God.

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“Movin on Up”

November 15, 2006

John14:1-4  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Fathers house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 8:18  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Before writing this morning, I glanced through some other WordPress blogs in the “recently updated” column.  One was by a republican activist who is very very knowledgable as to the workings of the political realm.  There was, naturally, a right leaning slant as a persons set of beliefs will determine how they present their contentions.  (Matthew 12:34-36)  This individual, is very concerned for the state of things in this country, and seemed to be allowing the results of last Tuesdays elections to cause remorse.  As a former political junkie, I remember such moments.  During my season of rebellion, the republican party became a “pseudo religion” and my contentment was linked to the advancement of conservatism.  I praise God for waking me out of a deep slumber and getting my affections back where they belong; on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This world can never ever bring lasting contentment.  People can let you down, politicians can be “bought” regardless of whether their name is followed by a (D)  an (R) or the occasional (I). There’s so much money involved; so many voices seeking favors, that to have a purely honest system in this realm is impossible.  As a result ,corruption is rampant, as it has been since the beginning of history. 

“All these things will come to pass.”   This phrase has been repeatedly coming back to me for months now, as to get our affections on the world to come and to not obsess about things that will soon “be no more.”  This world can never bring lasting hapiness and if you become overcharged by its institutions, you’ll be on a continuous roller coaster of emotion.  I speak this from experience.  I remember being depressed when the Clintons were in office and I remember being jubilant when the republicans took both houses in 1994.  These events vere both very temporal and if my heart had been right with God at the time, I would have spared myself a lot of grief.  When you follow the political theater as I did for so many years, you run the risk of going nutty.  When you place an over abundance of loyalty to any of mans devices, you set yourself up for a fall. 

I havent been to one in years, but we used to attend Detroit Lions games.  (I still don’t know why)  Usually they would lose and on the way out, everyone would be grumbling about this blown play or that missed tackle.  Gripe, moan,, whine and lament about a game that has absolutly NO SIGNIFICANCE WHATSOEVER in the realm of the everlasting.  Oftentimes while heading back home, we would stop at a rest area or restaurant only to find more whining and complaining by folks who had been to the game.  Folks who, after all of these years, should be accustomed to the Lions getting crushed.  It was silly then and it’s silly now to let such frivilous things get you down.  These things will one day be gone.  The last football game will end, the last vote will be tabulated, the last oath of office will be uttered, the final bribe will change hands, and all the glory of man will come to nought. 

I Peter 1:23-25  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

An inheritance incorruptible.  A world without ending.  An everlasting realm where rust doesn’t corrupt, moths don’t consume, and thieves cannot set foot.  This is a truth that while we know it’s real, we find ourselves unable to “wrap our mind around it”  (a phrase often used by Steve Quayle)   Forever with Jesus Christ who paid for our sins with his own blood.  I find it being repeated often, but if you have your heart fixed on him and on the world to come, nothing in this realm will “get to you.”  Just like Paul and Silas who were in the deepest part of a Philippian jail, and fastened with chains.  They were singing praises to God in the midnight hour with a joyful heart.  That joy would have remained even without the earthquake. 

Isaiah 26:3  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Today is November 15, 2006 AD.   This means that your final moment in this life is one day closer than it was yesterday.  You’re older than you were yesterday and if you see tomorrow, you’ll be older than you are today.  (see; the world can depress you)  The book of II Timothy was written as Pauls physical life was soon to be ended.  He exhorts us to be about the business of the gospel and to not be overcharged with this life.  As mentioned before, it’s impossible to be “so heavenly minded that you’re of no earthly good.”  That statement is as erroneous as a statement can be.  A person whose truly heavenly minded will be about their Fathers business instead of spending too much time blogging. (I needed that; trust me.)  Paul had a testimony that should stir us up to ber about the things that really matter.

II Timothy 4:5-8  “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:  and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Whenever I read that, I’m remember all of the times when I haven’t been as diligent as I should and how many souls have not been reached as a result.  The old song “I need Thee Every Hour” is so true of us all.  I praise God for his forgiveness, but we all need to strive more in reaching the lost.  That when this life has run its course, we might have a like testimony as the apostle Paul.  If we are truly keeping our affections on the world to come, being about our Fathers business will be our foremost desire in this life.  Not falling in line with the traditions of men or becoming ritualistic, but doing everything to reach out to a dying world with a pure heart, in all sincerety.  Another passage from II Timothy; one that I write down often.

II Timothy 2:24-26  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

I need to close out for now.  Keep looking up.  This world is soon to see troubles like you cannot imagine in your most detailed dreams.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and on those things which are in the realm of the everlasting.  One more very familiar verse.

II Corinthians 4:18  “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

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Priceless Souls

November 13, 2006

I Timothy 1:15  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all aceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

These words, spoken by the apostle Paul, say it all.  Jesus Christ came to save sinners.  He came into the world that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  He came that we might be free from the law of sin and death.  He came and gave his own life on Calvary; shedding his innocent blood for our sins.  There is sin cleansing life changing power in the blood of the Lamb.  There is a peace; a supernatural peace that will abide with anyone who knows him and trusts him with simple childlike faith.  He is a friend who will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will be there in your darkest hour when the entire world has turned its back on you.  Wherever you go, he’s as close as the mention of his name.  People can let you down.  Friends can turn on you and your family can deal treacherously with you.  Jesus Christ, who is from everlasting to everlasting, will always remain faithful.  You may ask why I’m stating all of this as it seems so elementary.  The reason is multifaceted.

1:  It’s true.  Jesus is our High Priest forever and he ever lives to make intercession for us.

2:  We lose sight of his presence way too easily; looking at the situation around us and rather than trusting the Lord, we panic and begin to sink. 

3:  We neglect to do everything that we can do to reach the lost who are all around us.  We don’t think about the priceless souls who are hanging in the balance at this very moment. 

This was one of the very rare Sundays where I went into work.  During our lunch break, I often go out to the truck to read, but this time I turned on the radio instead.  There was a program on called Dawson McCallister Live and folks; most of whom are in their teens and twenties call in to discuss various issues that they’re dealing with.  I had never heard of this show until tonight and therefore I know very little about it.  Nonetheless, some of the calls were from kids that had the most complex set of circumstances that you can imagine.  Situations where their own family ill-treated them and situations where it seemed that all the forces of hell were up against them.  It was heart breaking to hear the few conversations that I had time to listen to.  Precious souls for whom Jesus died, struggling against every form of adversity imaginable.  This is my reason for beginning this post as I did.

John 10:10-11  “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

We tend to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we lose sight of the battle.  The battle for souls that never ends.  The forces of darkness are doing anything and everything to keep folks in divers forms of bondage.  They use the media, peer pressure, drugs, cults, gangs, miseducation, (such as evolution) and every form of distraction imaginable to keep people from coming to Jesus.  This is the devils only game plan at this point.  He thought that he could set himself up higher than God.  He was cast out of heaven along with one third of the angels whom he had deceived.   When Jesus died on the cross and rose the third day, he defeated Satan once and for all.  The devil and his angels are headed for a lake of fire and the only thing that they can do now is to play spoiler.  This spiritual battle is only going to intensify until Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom.  For the sake of those neighbors, family members, and strangers who don’t have a relationship with him, we need to be serious about sharing the gospel and praying without ceasing for them.  Every saint of God needs to be more diligent than ever as souls are entering eternity every day.  I’m talking about spiritual warfare; we’re in a battle that never lets up.  When you take a nap, the battle still rages on.  It continues relentlessly while you’re at work, on the lake, on the freeway, at the basketball game, on the computer blogging at 3:00am, sitting in your tree stand, or just laying on the couch in your living room being hypnotized by the television.  Here’s some very familiar verses.

II Corinthians 2:11  “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

II Corinthians 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Ephesians 6:11-12  “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

James 4:7  “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Familiar verses but true; we must be about the business of the gospel because the time is very short indeed.  This was mentioned in a previous post, but kids today are up against much greater adversity than my generation had to face.  Certainly folks are the same for the most part, meaning a 17 year old in 1982 had the same kind of thoughts as does a 17 year old in 2006.  But the ambience of iniquity is thicker than ever through music and television, through the internet and through a society that’s becoming increasingly hostile to the gospel.  (this is scriptural and therefore it shouldn’t surprise you.)  The times are indeed more perilous than ever, which is why we need to be in prayer more than  ever.  When you come before the throne of grace and fellowship with Jesus, the devils tremble.  Strongholds turn to dust and hearts are changed.  Blinded eyes are opened and lives are transformed.  We take prayer way too lightly.  PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.  

Priceless souls.  Each one that goes into eternity without knowing Jesus is a horrifying tragedy.  Every soul that enters hell is a completly senseless loss.  Jesus died for every person that ever would come to be in this world.   He rose from the dead, he’s alive for ever more, and he’s rich unto all that call upon him. 

I need to close this out for now.  I’m hoping to post on philippians320 tomorrow if time permits.  Here’s a link for Dawson McCallister if you’re interested in checking it out. 

www.dmlive.org  

They have a phone number for anyone needing to talk to someone.  It’s  1 800 394-4673  I don’t know too much about them as I learned of them only a few hours ago, however, I know that on the radio program, they discussed some very complex and tragic situations; the kind of situations that Jesus can resolve.   If you’re born again, he’s as close as the mention of his name.  If you’re not born again, he’s waiting for you to come to him just as you are.  In sincerety, just ask him to save you and believe in your heart that God has raised him up from the dead.  If you come to him in sincerety, he’ll save you. 

Luke 15:7  “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”