Tuesday, June 30, 2015
what can the
This verse speaks to me right now in light of recent events that have taken place in our country, even in the whole world. The foundations of the moral fabric in this country are being destroyed, right before our very eyes. Some may say I am intolerant for saying that, but I can't help but feel we are being sucked down into a vortex of societal breakdown faster and faster with each passing day.
If that were all that I had eyes to see, I would be so depressed. Thank God, He has, through His Word, given me eyes of faith to see that this is all supposed to happen, no matter how sad it is to behold. The Bible speaks of the last days as being "perilous" in II Timothy 3:1. The word in the Greek for perilous is chalepos, in the Greek #5467. It is defined as:
(a) "hard to do or deal with, difficult, fierce," is said of the Gadarene demoniacs, Mat 8:28;
(b) "hard to bear, painful, grievous," said of the last times, 2Ti 3:1, RV, "grievous," for AV, "perilous
The lexicion says also to look into the word "fierce"
signifies "not tame, savage" (from a, negative, and hemeros, "gentle"), 2Ti 3:3. Epictetus describes those who forget God as their Creator, as resembling lions, "wild, savage and fierce" (anemeroi) (Moulton and Milligan, Greek Test. Vocab.).
My pastor said the last days resemble a gaping, open pit which many will fall into.
Very sobering stuff. But yesterday, the Spirit quickened a verse to me as an alternative to despairing over the state of the world. I received amazing encouragement from these 2 verses tucked away in Psalm 104.
33 "I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD."
Instead of worrying, I can sing to the Lord, for He is worthy.
I want to remember this verse always, no matter what happens. When I praise Him, it opens the gate for me to enter His holy courts. When I rest in that lovely place,
I am transferred, temporarily, to a place of calmness, a place of peace.
In this place, I am reminded of Psalm 46:10-11: "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."
Psalm 37 verses 3-6
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday."
and verses 23-25
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."
Oh God, help us to keep our eyes fixed upon You no matter what happens all around us. For You alone our worthy of our trust, and You alone are worthy of our praise. Amen.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Luke 21:31
What kinds of things?
Like the things we've been seeing lately.
Wars and Rumors of Wars
.......Men being lovers of selves and all the grief that causes
Here I am seeing all these signs around me, and still fight a battle daily with my own spiritual lethargy. How is it that I am so lukewarm in spite of seeing all these signs? I only shake my head and wonder how I can be so sluggish at times.
One verse I read recently stood out to me, as to possibly why God allows us to suffer through longstanding trials even in times like these.
Luke 21:19 says: "In your patience possess ye your souls."
Could it mean that our trials give us stamina? To help us to run to God like I did this morning and confess to Him yet again the lukewarm state of my own heart?
The word for patience is hypomonē (G5281) and in the Outline of Biblical Usage, it has these meanings:
steadfastness, constancy, endurance
in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
-patiently, and steadfastly
-a patient, steadfast waiting for
-a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
So ongoing trials have a purpose in our lives to help us possess our souls. But what does it mean to possess our soul?
The word for possessing (getting) is the Greek word ktaomai (G2932). It means:
to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one's self, to possess
God has perfect wisdom, even in allowing the things we may not want to help drive us to Him. Even possibly, to show us our own lukewarm state? He has with me. Instead of feeling all strong I usually feel so weak, and like the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 119, could say to Him daily:
Psalm 119: 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.
So many things distract me, so many things contend for my attention in my life. Yet the only time my soul has real peace is when it is in communion with Him.
In these days of confusion, we can still run to our God and find in Him all that our souls are longing for. There is no other place to find it. I am convinced that it is only going to get harder and harder as the days go by, so today, while we have opportunity, we can run back to our Heavenly Father for He is merciful and gracious and is waiting with outstretched arms to receive us.
As I was praying today, I fought a voice that wanted to condemn me, that wanted me to quit already and to give up. Have you ever felt like that? That voice was not coming from God! God wants us to draw near, so much more so, now more than ever, as the Day of His return approaches.
Don't ever think it is too late for you to return to Him! That is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Jesus paid in full so that you would have that right to draw near. If you feel your heart is lukewarm, as I know mine is at times, you can join me in asking God to renew our love for Him. It is not something we can do ourselves, so don't even try. But since He knows what is in my heart anyway, I simply admit it to Him and ask Him to do the work that needs to be done inside of me.
Jesus did ask after telling the parable of the unjust judge: "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Even though it is asked in the form of a question, it still gives me a shred of hope that He might find a bit of faith when He comes back. If He said He would not find any, I would not have hope at all.
1 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3
If I consider Him who endured for me, I will not lose heart.
This verse is for the members of the lukewarm church at Laodecia, the church on earth right before Christ comes back at His Second Advent:
Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."
Saturday, June 6, 2015
I have often wondered about the human counsel: "just follow your heart." And yet the Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. The older I get, the truer I see this statement is, just looking at my own human inclinations without the Spirit of God to keep me in check.
I used to think I knew what I wanted. It boiled down to "if only" statements. "If only" I had this, I would be happy. "If only" my situation were different here, then I would be happy. If I "followed my heart" in those situations, I would have fallen into the ditch a long time ago. You see, within my heart, and within every human heart there is restless longing that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ can fill. When I turn to Him, I have the peace that only He can give me, in a world that has gone stark raving mad.
I must bring my plans to Him, and trust Him that He knows what is best for me, instead of what I think is best for me. Sometimes His plans include things that are painful, but if I trust that He always is loving me and has my best interest in mind, I can get through the situation. Some of these rough things happen on a daily basis, but when I get to the other side, it will all have been worth it if I allow God to use them to refine my faith. He keeps on showing me that I must decrease while He must increase, as John the Baptist said in John 3:30. To my flesh, that sounds horrendous, because my flesh wants to hold onto my life with everything in me. But if I do hang onto my life at all costs, it only serves to make me and everyone around me miserable. It will not last, either, (for everything on this earth except human beings and the Word of God) will perish.
Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."
And so I run to His Word, for there I find my comfort when I cannot find it anywhere else. For I know I am just like the Psalmist, made from the dust.
Psalm 119:25 "My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word."
There really is nowhere else to go. Oh, but the comfort from the Word of God is sweet, like nothing else on earth. And in my time of need, and in the hour of need of all the persecuted believers all over this planet going through trials so much worse than mine, there is ultimate comfort from this promise:
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."
and this one...
"A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth."
So, no, I may not be able to follow my own heart, but instead entrust it daily to the one who knows me better than I know myself. He knows every thought before I even think it, so why should I even try to hide anything from Him? (Psalm 139: 1-3) This day, I don't want to follow the dictates of my own heart, but instead I want to make this verse my prayer instead:
Proverbs 3: 5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths." (emphasis mine)
If I do, it will only be by His grace. So help me dear Lord, please help me, to believe your precious promises today.