Thursday, July 30, 2015

These Words

Revelation 1:8,11 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last."

I'm stuck on these words. He is ALL. He can be ALL to ALL people if they desire it. It's not about bowing to a dictator or puppet master, but a God who will bless us spiritually, sometimes physically, but most importantly spiritually, when we do. I want His spiritual blessings.

I don't know about anyone else, I just know that there are times when I read the Word I am overcome by them. There is power in the words, and truth in them. Love and judgment. I know the Bible is God's Word written to each of us, to admonish, encourage, convict, warn and save. 

Those words above do the same thing every time I read them. Jesus is saying them. It's as if in my spirit I completely collapse to the before Him. It feels as though my heart is about to burst.  Even if we sing these words in worship I feel undone.

All encompassing, as you can see...First, Last, Beginning, End, Alpha, Omega. Jesus Christ. Who else can say this about himself? Who would dare? 

The enormity of those words. Who can comprehend them? Too amazing, too glorious, too powerful.

So, I cannot say much more. The words speak for themselves. Can you grasp them? I pray that you do. As life goes on I find a greater and more important need to take these words in...and take Christ in to a deeper level. 

Psalms 102:11-12,24-27 - My days are like a shadow that lengthens, and I wither away like grass. But You, O LORD, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of Your name to all generations. ...Your years are throughout all generations. Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure... But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.

Monday, July 27, 2015

All One Needs

Isaiah 61:1-3 - “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me
Because the LORD has anointed Me 
To preach good tidings to the poor; 
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, 
To proclaim liberty to the captives, 
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, 
And the day of vengeance of our God; 
To comfort all who mourn, 
To console those who mourn in Zion, 
To give them beauty for ashes, 
The oil of joy for mourning, 
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; 
That they may be called trees of righteousness, 
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Who is Me in the above prophetic word? A prophetic word about Himself that Jesus
repeated to the anger and offense of some men when He preached them in a synagogue as His ministry first began. He did all the things listed. Go over them one by one. He did them all.

Our God, high and lifted up, watches from His throne of righteousness as men go their own way, do their own thing, apart from Him. He watches as they destroy life as it was intended to be. He knows His judgment must come to them. Yet He hopes they will turn and regard Him once again as Creator, Redeemer, Provider...their God. He desires their affection over the temporal things of this world. He desires they seek wisdom over folly. He desires obedience over sacrifice and humility over pride.

Why do some go against the things of God? How do they not see their Creator, the name above all names, in all that surrounds them? How do they take all of life into their own hands? How do they not see that they contribute to evil, which can be blatant or no more than turning God aside? How do they not see what is true, pure and just? How is pride of life so much greater than the things God has given us? Pride comes before the fall, we are told. (Proverbs 16:18)

Only God offers life abundantly. Only He gives eternal life. Man, in general, seeks only the things they find satisfy them in the here and now. When what today isn't enough, what about tomorrow? What will they seek then? What more will satisfy? 

Even the Church has sought their own ways seeking entertainment and soft words that leave one unprepared for tomorrow. They find no value in the simplicity, comforting and sometimes hard words of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Word is not enough. Their senses have to be heightened. You know who does that? For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)  His name does not need to be spoken. 

This is what is in the world. All about me, my feelings, my dreams, my desires...apart from God. Life in Christ is all one needs. Search for all the riches in the world but they won't preserve a life. Seek prominence in the world; when all is said and done that prominence, after death, will eventually be forgotten. All things come to an end...unless one knows Christ. He brings eternal life. 

What good is having it all in this life when one does not first have the Lord? What does one cling to when all else is taken away, when sickness invades? When riches diminish, when life gets dicey, when evil surrounds and destroys? What hope does one cling to then? Life in Christ is all one needs. He supplies all riches in glory. But one must know Him to receive the glorious things He has for all.

But there is an evil one who has blinded the eyes of many. They cannot see the cliff they are headed for. They do not see the wisdom in Christ. They do not believe the promises of God. They do not see. They are blind. Like the song says, I once was blind but now I see... Like Jesus when He healed the blind man: One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25) 

I was blind more than half my life. I was born that way. We all are. Oh, we see in the natural, but we do not see spiritually until Jesus opens our eyes to the miraculous things of God. Nothing looks the same. The evils of the world become visible and disheartening. The things of God become clearer and comforting. We see that the Lord has more for us than the world. 

It's hard living in this world when others don't "see" like you. When there's opposition to all good things and you see God, His name, His truths, His Word denied. And the days are growing darker. Blindness enlarges while truth fades. I'm so thankful, despite "seeing" all this happen in the world, that I know the Lord. I'm so thankful that I can say the same as the blind man, "One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." I did nothing on my own to receive my sight. There is a darkness that has been pervading our world. It is rapidly taking over. The blind will not be able to have the chance to see some day. God is turning them over to their own lustful desires (Romans 1:24).

While there is still a glimmer of light, I pray many will take advantage of it. That they will seek Jesus, seek the truth and allow their blind eyes to be opened. There is still time individually and corporately. But the days are dwindling. The light in this world is fading. Evil is taking over. But there is One who still holds out for the last few, to open their eyes.

John 9:3-5 - Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of 
Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Saturday, July 25, 2015


1Corinthians 1:13, 31 - Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."

Praise God. He has made it so simple but we are a people so determined to make more of it.  It's all about Christ. Period.

It's not about a church, denomination, saints, or man made doctrine, rules or regulations. It's not about ourselves or our accomplishments. It's about God alone. It's about what Jesus did on the cross for each of us. One Man. 

The name above all names is to be praised and worshipped. We need only cry out, fall down before, or pray to the One who did it all for us. The Bible says He is our only Mediator (1Timothy 2:5). There is nothing difficult about that statement. 

He never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4) so we can't say He's too busy to listen to our prayers or cries at any given time on any given day. Jesus, our Mediator, is available at all times.

Take the words to the following Psalm in. Who is the one who has done or does this all? Only one Person. We need only worship one. We need only call out to, pray to, praise one person. There is nothing difficult about these statements either. The LORD, He will do all these things. Why do we complicate the simplicity of Christ?

Psalm ‭121‬:‭1-8‬ - I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Reading, Hearing, Keeping

Revelation 1:3 - Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

What time is near? This is Revelation...the last book of the Bible. There was a beginning of this book and there is an end. 

In the beginning God created. He showed His love and justice toward His people in the Old Testament. In the New Testament He again showed us love in His Son Jesus, born out of a desire that all mankind would not perish but have everlasting life. In the end His intended perfect creation is destroyed that He can bring forth a better one. 

He has shown us throughout the 66 books what He desires, requires and commands. He shows us how He will respond to our dedication, or lack of, to Him. Life or death. 

He wrote this book that we might have a record to go by, examples. It's clearly shown what is right and wrong. Blessed is he who reads or hears these words and keeps them, we are told.

Bear with me a second; I envisioned this. The Old Testament was the foundation of God's Word. I see this like the long part, the base, of the cross, the part sunken into the ground. The New Testament is the fulfillment of what the Old Testament prophesied, that a Savior would come. God brought this Savior because He so loved the world that His Son would die for us that we might have abundant life. He loved us so much He purposely stretched out His arms on the crossbar of that cross. 

When you love someone so much what do you do? You stretch out your arms to embrace them, hold them. You can't do that without stretching out your arms.

The time is near. It's too hard for me to go into detail about some of the things I've heard or read over the years about timing In the Bible. God was into numbers and He is totally in control. There have been ages for mankind. These ages might have represented thousand year times. Like God created the earth in six days and rested the seventh, we are nearing the end of six thousand years since creation and about to enter the seventh. The last 1,000 years will be what is called the milennial reign of Christ after He returns. He will do this with those who have followed Him...who have read, heard and kept the words of God. 

James 5:8 says: You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Yes, we've heard for years He was coming back. There have been actual dates set. We cannot do that. Only God knows. But there is a day when He really will return and as scripture shows us, the days we live in are lining up with the end of days. Revelation shows us even more. 

Establish your hearts. This can only be done by knowing God's Word. Knowing God's Word means being in relationship with the Word made flesh...Jesus. It's so simple. God would not have made it so difficult to come into relationship with His Son. He loves us too much. But we have to make a choice. It's up to us. We pretty much decide our own future. 

We have heard the phrase, all things must come to an end. Need I say more? Genesis to Revelation has shown us what God requires. Some believe it, some don't. It is a marvelous, miraculous compilation of books showing us God's sovereignty, grace, mercy and justice. I think about authority in this world. We've always had authority. We need authority. Not everyone likes authority. God created authority! He is the ultimate authority...and we should heed His words. He knows, He has all the answers. He can be trusted...and should be.

Maybe this sounds too out there. Maybe I seem a little out there too! I think had those words been used in Jesus' day He would have been considered out there. As Alpha and Omega, imagine those arms outstretched, from one side to the other, as if surrounding us in His love. He will return. Who is ready?

Revelation 1:8 - I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Imputed Righteousness

Philippians 3:7-9 - But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Himnot having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith...

Imputed righteousness. We had a great discussion at church last night on this issue. Imputed is defined as: any action or word or thing as reckoned to a person. Therefore, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them that believe in him, or so attributed to them as to be considered their own.

So basically, I can consider myself righteous. I have received Christ as my Savior. I have been reconciled to God. I have responded to God's prompting to come to Him, repent of my sins, trust in Him, follow Him, learn of Him, share Him with others (be a disciple). 

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2Corinthians 5:14-15,17)

A new person! The sins of my past, all of them, are forgiven. Oh, don't I know I needed to be forgiven! Those sins are not part of my life anymore. I know better. I feel conviction thinking of them, although I don't go there much anymore. I'm a new person! And because I am a new person, as 2Corinthians continues, I have become, as anyone would, an ambassador for Christ, as though God were pleading through us... So it is my/our job, as it were, to implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Corinthians 5:20-21)

The righteousness of God comes to each person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Forget about religion. Focus on a relationship with Christ. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are freely justified by His grace through the Lord Jesus Christ alone not by anything we think we have done or what any religion says we must do, apart from what the Bible says...that is, the receiving of Christ as Lord and Savior...being reconciled to God...being born again. Galatians 2:16 - ...knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law [what man tells us] but by faith in Jesus Christ...for by the works of the law [what man tells us] no flesh shall be justified.

Righteousness is imputed to us through Christ. We cannot boast of this in our own abilities/works, but boast in His righteousness given to us. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

Before anyone thinks this is arrogant, it is imputed to anyone who chooses to believe and follow Jesus Christ. Choose being the important word here. These statements are all biblical. They come from God. 2Corinthians 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God's Word speaks for itself. If you have come into relationship with Jesus Christ, you have received this righteousness. If you aren't sure, maybe you haven't heard His call or have not recognized it as God or are rejecting it. If you have felt His nudge, feel He's trying to reach you, I would not hesitate another day. It is an honor and privilege to be called by the God of this universe. He desires you as His child. If you are rejecting it, I'd think about not doing that. 

The world holds nothing of greater value than what God has to offer...ultimately eternal life. Forget all the treasures of this life. Jesus Christ is a greater treasure. Forget all the accomplishments...He gave His life for you. That meant giving up all for you because He loves you. He came as a servant. He had nothing. He is to be our example. Knowing Him is what is important. Having Him as the center of your life is what matters.

I'm again bringing up the Book of Ecclesiastes. All we have done, do or will do that we view as an important achievement, something that gets the oohs and aahhs of friends and family is vanity and a grasping for the wind. It's all been done before. When we die, it should not be our defining legacy. What is important is did we live for Christ because He above all matters most. (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3,14,12:13-14)  

1Corinthians 1:30-31 - But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Revelation 1:1 - The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place.

Want to be clued in to things which must shortly take place before Jesus Himself returns? 

The truth of God's Word is revealed to those who seek it. 
For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. (‭Galatians‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬)

In order to fully understand we must come into relationship with Christ, as His Book reveals throughout its pages. 
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬)
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭9)

God gave His Son the revelation of the last days. He shares this information with those who seek it. 
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭5‬)

This relationship comes from a new spiritual birth, being born again
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭3,5‬)

From there the Spirit of the living God draws us into knowing Him more. 
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. (‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭44-45‬)

When we turn to Him He makes it possible, through His Spirit, to know the things of God.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (‭1Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭13) not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2‬)

When we know the Lord, are born again, in relationship with Him, begin to know the things of God, i.e., understand His Word, we are given the mind of Christ.
But God has revealed them [hidden wisdom] to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1Corinthians 2:10,16)

Praise God for His love for all people. He never stops seeking those who seek for Him. He never turns away someone ready to repent and know His truth. He desires that none should perish. Without Him we are nothing...nothing...nothing.

Without His knowledge a lot of confusion and fear will arise. We will see things we've never seen before. We already see some things that we can relate to that are beyond our belief would happen in our lifetime. And it will escalate. Who is ready? 

The revelation of Jesus Christ, Who He is, what He has done, what He still does and what He will do when He returns, is ours just in believing in Him, knowing Him in your heart, not your mind, trusting Him and giving your life to and for Him.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus... Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (2Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭5‬, Acts 4:12)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Salvation is of the Lord

Isaiah 52:10 - The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 

Our salvation is of God. We cannot bring about our own salvation. We cannot expect a heavenly kingdom without first knowing Who created it, created us and eventually saved us. Nothing can be done without a relationship with God. That's what it was supposed to be all about 6,000 years ago with Adam and Eve. They walked with God in the garden. They were in relationship with Him. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (‭Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭8)  They had this relationship for a time. 

Our pastor, Terry Fischer, talked about testimonies yesterday. Jesus had a testimony and He gives each of us one if we have come to Christ for salvation. He Said a testimony is evidence of a changed life, changed minds...all brought about through the power of God, nothing we could have done ourselves. It all has to be about who God is and what He does! We can have the mind of Christ.

But the deceiver, the enemy of our souls, the accuser of the brethren, satan, angered at being cast out of heaven because of his belief that he could be like or greater than God, made certain that God would receive less and less of those creatures He created. Pride. It's the major reason for not receiving Him. Because we think we can do it on our own...

Oh, but God in His infinite wisdom and mercy, saw to it another Way was made for this great salvation. He knew we could not do it. It had to come through Him. 
Salvation: The act of saving someone from sin or evil; deliverance from the power and effects of sin. - Merriam Webster. Deliverance, salvation (by God), welfare, prosperity, victory - Strong's Bible Concordance. 

What was needed was a great sacrifice. While animals did the job of being sacrifices in the Old Testament, they did not cover sin completely and repeated sacrifices were needed to be made, much like the idea that if we are basically good people, do good things, striving ourselves at being good, God will be pleased and allow us into heaven. But it was not/is not enough. Why did God need to bring Jesus into the picture if we could do it ourselvesWhy did He need to suffer rejection, scourging? Why did He need to die? The enemy of our souls is still deceiving us into thinking we do not need Jesus. 

I would not have believed any of this 15 years ago. I was deceived. But God...showed me something one day. He had been leading up to this day but I was resisting. He pierced the hard heart within me and softened it enough for me to receive Him. Did I understand what had happened? Not immediately. I just knew I wanted Him. Oh how He can pierce the hardest of hearts. But it's the people with those hard hearts who ultimately make the decision. He pierces but we can still reject. Look at how many rejected Jesus in His day and how few followed. 

Some day He will return for those who have called on His name for this so great a salvation. It will be precious few because the way is narrow and few walk on it. If you have your doubts, seek Him for the answers. Ask Him to reveal Himself in such a way you understand it. You have probably been contacted many times but have either rejected the invitation or misunderstood it. Seek Him for eternal life. 

Some day He will return. When He does all the world will see it. The world will know to whom or what their allegiance was. We sang a song in church yesterday, Your Great Name
On the day that He returns, all will praise Him. For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  (‭Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭11) and ...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭10-11‬) 

Salvation does belong to our Lord. We must receive it for eternal life. Without it we have eternal death. Both these topics are in the Word of God. It might be called the Testimony of Jesus Christ because it explains from Genesis to Revelation the sovereignty of our God, His great plan for salvation and the plans He has for those who choose to receive and the consequences of not. God's Word is powerful unto salvation for all people. 

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beginning of Sorrows

Matthew 24:6-8 - And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Hah! A friend of mine was talking about a study on the Book of Revelation she will be taking. When she emailed me she said her iPad changed Revelation to rebellion. Makes sense to me! I have decided to join her in this study.

I'm certain while little is said just yet, there have got to be a lot of people noticing a shift in this world. Revelation will show what will occur. We have been warned. Are we prepared? We can be if we believe what the Bible says about all things. We can be if we trust in the Lord for our lives, which I mentioned yesterday.

What will it take before everyone takes a long, hard look at their own lives and realize how we need a Savior for remission of sins, everlasting life and strength for the days we will all face in one way or another? He came to save us! I was just as stubborn once in thinking I didn't need anyone to help me with my life. I was doing fine, got through the glitches on my own or with the help of friends. I was achieving my goals, whether in the right way or wrong. Living the way I wanted, whether right or wrong. What was wrong, I thought, anyway? Wasn't it the way we perceived it...or didn't? But one day that all changed and I "saw the light."

So, some don't believe we are nearing the end of all things. Some believe life will just go on. Some think the Church, or at least certain ones, are just trying to instill fear to fill the pews for profit. What will it take for them to even consider the times we live in?

We must be able to face bad things we will go through, or have gone through. We cannot push them in a corner or sweep them under a rug and pretend they don't, or haven't existed. Bad things happen and will continue to. Since that bite out of the fruit in the Garden of Eden we have had our share of trouble. It happens. It won't go away till Jesus returns. 

But God...brought a solution. We are all born into sin but we can all be reborn into that "arrogant" righteousness if we submit our lives to Jesus Christ. The Word of God has explained it all. He laid the foundation in the first five books of the Old Testament. He continued in the Old Testament to show the ongoing sin, the rebellion of Israel to God's commands and their ability to "forget" all He had done for them. He has shown what He does when His people returned to Him, then turned away, then returned and turned away again. The ongoing struggle of rebellion and disobedience and righteousness and obedience. And we still struggle with it today.

But then the solution became reality in the New Testament in the form of His Son, Jesus. Redemption was a possibility for any and all who would recognize and receive it. We can still turn to or back to God, as a people or a nation. Jesus may not be physically walking the earth today but spiritually He is still available to receive anyone who struggles with the things of this world brought on by sinful natures.

The other night I had dinner with a friend and this subject came up. We see the beginning of sorrows referred to in the Bible. The only thing I can do is take the subject of the changes in this world all the way back to that garden! That's where it all began. How they have escalated. Oh, some say, that was so long ago. Does it really matter anymore? Yes! Your life today, 6,000 years later, still depends on Him. 

How I love the Bible and the accounts of people long gone. How they knew God, listened to Him speak, watched Him do miracles; how He supplied their needs, loved them even in their sinfulness, but disciplined for their rebellion. Nothing has changed. God never changes. When they returned to Him, like the prodigal son's father, God received them back with open arms and joy. He wants the same today. 

He will return someday for all those who have called on Him. For those who have stopped being rebellious and now wait for His return. Revelation outlines things we need to know, even if it's to teach the youth. It talks about the churches in these last days and the rebelliousness of many of them. It gives them warnings and how to turn back. It brings up satan and his last days, the dreaded mark of the beast. It speaks of false prophets present even now and describes the last days war, the revealing of the anti-Christ. God's wrath is explained. From Revelation we can better understand the rebellion that is taking place in our lifetime and what it will turn in to. And best of all it reveals Jesus and all that believers have to look forward to...the Lamb's book of life.

Yes, it's about our rebellion. Our rebellion against God. This is individually and corporately as churches, governments and societies. We walk away from God, He's not happy. He will judge. And He will return to do one final judgment of all. Will we be ready?

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds
of heaven with power and great glory. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and
every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the 
earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and
who is to come, the Almighty.” (Matthew 24:30, Revelation‬ ‭1‬:‭7-8)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lazarus is Dead

John 11:9-10 - Jesus [said] “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 

This morning I read just a few scriptures out of Micah...not John! It reminded me of our study in Ecclesiastes. (The thought rushed through my head that one scripture here is related to this scripture there, and then on to another. All of the Bible's scriptures are so tightly knit together. How I love this God and His powerful Word!) 

Back to Ecclesiastes. Everything is a grasping for the wind...except the Lord. I wept as I realized that I do have some compassion for the lost world. I pleaded with God to show them the way. I pleaded with my having the right words to say. 

How far we have strayed, like Israel, from God. It's like we read: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (‭Isaiah‬ ‭53‬:‭6‬, Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭23‬). It's so true. We like to think we are so good, at least better than this person or that. And we are not! We all start out walking in grave clothes. We all start out dead like Lazarus. How these thoughts evolved!

Remember Lazarus who Jesus brought to life? I would suggest reading all of the account of Lazarus in John 11. Let me share some of the things Jesus said about this situation:
When Jesus heard that [Lazarus was dead] He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ...after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (‭John‬ ‭11‬:‭4,11,26‬)

But what were the words Jesus spoke to bring Lazarus out of the tomb, out of his "slumber," his death? "Lazarus, come forth." (John 11:43) Two words! Only two!

Death surely is ours but resurrection can be ours through Jesus Christ. He urges us, whether we hear it or not...and sometimes I think we hear and ignore His plea...come forth. That's all we need to do. Come forth. We may not hear those words. We might hear, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, follow Me, or maybe receive Christ for the remission of sins, or you must be born again. We all have sinned and strayed from God but He calls us to return. This world has nothing for us, but He has it all. We walk in this world in our grave clothes like Lazarus. We are dead in this world though we are living. We stumble in the darkness of life in the world. But if we would come forth when Jesus calls, we would no longer stumble but be going by the lighted way which is Christ.

It's not about a religion, denomination or church. It's about Jesus Christ. It's about Him alone and what He has done. We must have a personal relationship with Him. He is available to all. You cannot have a relationship with Him by just going to church or knowing someone who has that relationship. He wants it directly with you. It's why it is called personal. It's a commitment you make with Him. In the world we daily make deals with the devil!

When we come forth and make a commitment to Jesus, the glory of God has taken place in our lives. This is not some arrogant thing. He changes us. He unwraps those grave clothes. We walk in a resurrected life in Christ. This is not some scary thing. But, oh how difficult it is to explain to someone who is not ready to give up death in the world and take on life in Christ. 

At dinner with a friend last night, I watched her weep as she talked about how she felt helpless to do anything to save the lives of the many people in the cars around her, people she doesn't even know. There comes a time when we have to let that go and just deal with those lives we can touch. We know the path is narrow and few will be on it, even those who believe they will be. We can do just so much and pray God will do more. We aren't called to save the entire world, just our little corner of it. 

We talked about all the well-meaning people we all know who miss some of the points of what's happening in this world, how evil is escalating, how compromise or tolerance has set in against God and His truths, about how we will be considered intolerant and hateful because they do not understand what God says. And her words pretty much summarized it: I guess that's what I will look like then. I agree. If we are on God's side it will happen. If Jesus was persecuted for His beliefs, so will we. But in the end, we will come out victorious, like He Lazarus did too.

Like Lazarus, those grave clothes come free. Listen for Him and be willing to take off those grave clothes and follow Him. He heals, He raises people from the dead, He brings new life, He sets people free from bondage. 

John 11:44 - And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Light and Dark

John 1:1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it

The only true light is Jesus. We can hear or read news reports about the possibilities of economic collapse, wars, terrorism, illegal aliens, job issues, you name it, but if we have Jesus at the forefront of our lives, minds, we can continue to walk in the light. All else is darkness. Government and world leaders won't be able to permanently fix a problem. But Jesus can.

Darkness in the world is taking over and many are falling for it. They have forsaken truth for a lie...or they have never known the truth. We see this happening so much more deliberately. Exchanging the truth for a lie. What once was bad is now good...or tolerated. God's Word tells us the truth. I said a few days ago, I will hold to the truth. I will not compromise even if it means people disliking me. It's how I will be victorious in this fallen world. Many may think it is intolerant and hateful, but God says....

IF WE DON'T KNOW JESUS AND BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS WE ARE IN DARKNESS. WE BELIEVE THE WORLD'S LIES. WHEN WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THE BIBLE STATES IS TRUTH, WE LIVE IN DARKNESS AND DO NOT KNOW GOD. If you do not know this Man, you live in darkness. The things He says then mean might believe He loves all people and that He died for all (which He does) but you do not share in this life unless you receive Him as He says we all should. 

Oh, people, know the truth. Know Jesus. Listen to His Words, as hard as some of them may seem. He also says a lot of encouraging things. We must know Him today rather than wait for tomorrow. We must understand who He is, what He has done, what and who He stands for. We cannot compromise His Word. It is what it is. He is who He is, who He has been, who He will be.

Who He was: 
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬)
He [was] despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭53‬:‭3-6‬)

Who He is: 
The way, truth and life. Light of the world. Bread and water of life. The solid rock. Our Redeemer and Savior. Almighty God and the Son of God. Sovereign. King of kings and Lord of lords (greater than world leaders who we seem to want to trust). Alpha, first and beginning (as in creation) and Omega, last and end (as He who will return to rule and reign one day). 
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed... (‭Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬)

Who He will be:
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬)
There shall be no night there: they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (‭Revelation‬ ‭22‬:‭5‬)

If you don't know this Man today, you need to seriously consider it. Not have an intellectual knowledge of who He is, but know Him spiritually, deep within your heart...the heart you have given to Him. He died for you. Now it's time to die to self for Him. Give your life to the One who gives the better life. If you want to know Him, and you seek Him, He will respond. He will know your heart's desire. He wants to heal your broken heart, set you free from your sins, give you life and remove the blindness from your eyes. He is all we need. 

In this world we seek things to satisfy. Nothing will except for Jesus. Hear these words. They are His coming from my fingertips. I haven't written anything He hasn't already spoken. Honest.

John 8:12 - ...I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Way Was Made

Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭25‬  - Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God...

God has made a way for all people to be in fellowship with Him. It is our choice to make. If we do choose Christ we are taught what truth is. There's another we believe it or not. If we do not, we do not follow Him. 

I will say what the truth of God's Word states when confronted. I will not back down. I will not argue. But I will hold to what God says is true. Not what might seem out of spite for anyone but out of love for the Lord and His truth. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (‭1John‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬) I have done my part. It is up to the hearer to have ears to hear and a heart to receive.

I know not everyone, in fact few, will want to hear if His truth goes against their thinking or lifestyle. But if God says...then I believe. Some might want to think God would not do this or that if He is a loving God. But...what does He say about how much He loves...He's willing to discipline. ...My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭5-6‬)

He allowed His Son to die for all of us. If God is so loving how could He have done that? He did it because He loves so much He wants none to perish. He was willing to give One life for the lives of many. Do we choose that life in Christ and all that comes with it? That's where the choice is. If we do we must believe what His Word says.

If I tell the truth as per God I might be confronted with, "Oh, you're just being judgmental."  If I have stated God's truth, I am not. God ultimately is. Ouch. That's despising God. THAT is another hard truth. He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. (‭Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭16‬)

We are put into all sorts of life situations. We are to learn from them. Christ made a way for us that we would learn what is right, just and true. If we reject His teachings we reject Him. When we learn the truth we must live it out. Perfectly all the time? No. I still struggle with some things myself, those little things like patience...ugh!

God never changes. What He was in the beginning, He is today and will be tomorrow.  He will not change His stance on what He has commanded. If you believe what He says you will stand on that truth and not any price. You could lose friends or family. But you cannot back down. You choose them or you choose the Lord.  That might be the thing that makes you choose not to follow or seek Him. If He is more important than anyone else, this will not hold you back. It's the end result we must strive for...eternal matter the cost. I'm thankful He made a way. 

James 1:12,14-15 - Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.