Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prepare for the Great Storm

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

We see the signs all around us. Storms are coming. The confusion grows stronger with each passing day and who knows, really, what the truth is behind the stories we are told in the mass media. But most people I talk to will admit, something is coming.

The Bible calls this time (among some of its names) the Day of the Lord, the 70th week of Daniel, the time of Jacob's trouble or the Great Tribulation. Scoffers may say that people have been calling for Christ's return ever since He ascended to heaven. But Jesus did fulfill all the prophecies in the Bible about His first Advent, so why would anyone think He would not fulfill the ones about His second Advent?

Why is there all this fighting and bloodshed in Jerusalem? Did you know that the Bible prophesied this very thing would happen in the last days? One of the last books in the Old Testament, Zechariah tells us: “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it." Zechariah 12:10

Have you noticed how many people are against Israel now? Even some of their own people are marching against their own military. That is because Jerusalem has become that burdensome stone Zechariah warned us about. But that is not all the trouble we see. We see trouble in America with our immigration crisis, trouble in the Ukraine and in Russia, trouble in Iraq as the terrorist group Isis takes over and forces the Christians to either leave or die. (Nice choice.) And there are many more troubles, in fact, wherever you find people you will find trouble because the minute we are born we are appointed to trouble.

Job 5:6-7 "For affliction does not come from the dust,Nor does trouble spring from the ground;Yet man is born to trouble,As the sparks fly upward."

We are born to trouble because we all are born into spiritual death, whether we like it or not. But our hope comes from One Man, the perfect Man, the God Man: I Corinthians 15:20-22 says "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."

By taking a simple step of faith in what Jesus did for you personally on the cross, you can be instantly transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and forever enter the family of God. The only thing necessary is faith in the Son of God. John 3:36 affirms: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Though there is a lot of bad news in the world today, the good news outweighs the bad news. God is still holding out the lifeline to anyone who wants to climb into the ark, so to speak, before the great deluge hits. It is not too late for anyone, no matter how grievously they may have wandered. No sin is too big, and God is no respecter of persons. Anyone, anywhere, who seeks for shelter from this final great storm may freely have it.

If you have made that decision, then read God's Word like a little baby who wants their bottle, and it will guide you during these perilous days. Find a church where you can hear God's Word. Then, we can be like the wise man who built his house on a rock, and ready when at last the storm comes. May God prepare us for that Day.

I would love to hear your comments!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

God Has Not Forsaken Israel-- Neither Should We

Isaiah 51:3 For the LORD will comfort Zion,
"He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden,And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody."

Once again we see the Mideast stewing in a vicious brew of tumult. It is easy to listen to the news broadcasters and let that help us form what we think might be an obvious opinion: that one side is mercilessly pounding the other and that they are the side that should be railed against. If you listen to the mainstream media, you will easily discover what I am talking about. But are they telling us the truth?

While I am not a political pundit, I do know that God happens to love people on both sides of this conflict. He cares about the souls of both the Jews and the Arabs, who have been at odds ever since Sarah kicked Hagar and Ishmael out of the tent they shared with Isaac. I do know that the enemy of men's souls hates the Jewish people, because they were the ones whose race brought forth the Messiah. He figures if he can destroy the Jews, than God cannot be faithful to keep His other promises either. We have seen the enemy try to destroy the Jews all throughout human history, especially in the Holocaust. But the devil has never succeeded. He insanely hopes that God will be proven to be a liar, but we know that can never happen. God has never lied once in fulfilling His Word and is not about to start doing so now. In fact, it is impossible for God to lie!

" hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began..." Titus 1:2

To lie is to sin, and have darkness inside. But the Apostle John testifies: "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." I John 1:5

God is not listening to what the commentators are saying. He has promised to save His chosen people Israel. He calls them His Beloved.

"Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill." Isaiah 5:1

They were the natural branches and we, the members of Christ's Church became grafted in because of their unbelief:
"And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you." Romans 11:17-18

But that does not mean God is done with Israel. Remember Who will fight for Zion! Though they have forsaken Him, He has not forsaken them, nor will He ever. When they are in their final week of years in the 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel, all the nations will forsake the nation of Israel. Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near." Luke 21:20 If we think the publicity campaign against Israel is bad now, I wonder what the media will say in the Tribulation period! Israel will have no one else to look to but God, and suddenly they will realize that their Messiah really was Jesus after all!

Christ will come and personally save them in the final battle of all, Armageddon. The prophet Zechariah clearly tells us:

“It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zechariah 12:10

Zech. 14:3 "Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle."

So what are we to do now, as we see things deteriorating in the Middle East?

Psalm 122:6 says to: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you."

The day that God made His covenant with Abraham, He promised him that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Think about it. In Jesus coming from the Jewish nation and the tribe of Judah, He offered Himself the perfect sacrificial offering for all mankind. So the Jews have blessed us tremendously in giving us the Messiah, whether they realize it or not. It does not matter what others are saying or doing, God said in Genesis 12:3: I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Sunday, July 6, 2014

God will not fit into our box...

"If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." John 7:37-38

I was reminded at church today that God will not be limited by our puny human plans, or our human preconceptions. Often times when I pray, I think I know how God will answer the prayer, as if I have the omniscience of God. But He reminds me that His ways are so much higher than my ways, and His thoughts so much higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

I have been praying about a certain situation for quite a while now and told God that I believed He could answer exceeding abundantly beyond what I could ask or think. (Eph. 3:20) Well, He did that today, in a way I never would have dreamed. He broke down barriers. All in a way that was way beyond my own human understanding. How great is my God.

Sometimes we don't see the fruit of our prayers for years, but when I see an answer like I saw today, it encourages me to keep on praying for others that have gone on for years. Situations that seem impossible from a human standpoint are nothing to God. I love it when God told Abraham, "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" (Genesis 18:14) about Sarah bearing a son in her old age. He says it also to us, whatever situation we are in. Or what does God say through Isaiah?

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

My hope cannot be in myself or my ability to affect anything, but when I put my hope in the Lord, I will never be disappointed. I still have situations that seem impossible, by human standards, for "fixing." And every time I try to "fix" them myself, they only get worse. But in prayer, I leave them at the foot of His cross, and trust that He hears. Micah promises:

"Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." (Micah 6:7)

So, even if our situation seems impossible, if God is in it, He can move mountains, and He is glorified when we believe that He can do above and beyond what we could ask or think. Our prayer is for His will, not ours, to be done. We must not faint,but keep on believing until we see our mountains moved! "And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9no