Friday, September 22, 2017

Matthew 4:18-20

Matthew 4:18-20
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Ardent Angler,
You've called me to come with You on the fishing expedition of a lifetime! It won't be easy and it won't be cheap; but it will be well worth the investment. When I'm willing to leave my past, live with You, and learn from You, You'll teach me the best kept secrets of the trade.

To join You on this wild and dangerous mission, I may have to forfeit my family, friends and freedom. I'll surely have to give up my comfortable lifestyle and social status. The lifelong journey will require a commitment to grueling hardships, irregular hours and arduous challenges.

My deficiencies and inadequacies are unimportant because You will make me a fisher of men. The Bible will train me to see and save lost souls. Like the rough and rugged fishermen on the open sea, I'll discover that my safety and success are fully dependent on You. Going where the prospects are great could require much effort, sacrifice, and risk. Patience and perseverance will be necessary as I continually cast out the net without a catch. Since fishing is a practical skill, I can only learn by doing it.

My ample compensation for persistence will be the satisfaction of the catch - Jesus hooked in a human heart. These are the fish that will be my joyful and triumphant trophy when I bow in adoration before You, the Ardent Angler, on Judgment Day. Yes, I will drop everything and come fishing with You to glorify Your name! Amen.

Jesus is calling faithful people to come on the fishing expedition of a lifetime. Are you willing, like Peter and Andrew, to leave your former life behind in order to follow Him on the most exhilarating eternal adventure? No special skills are necessary; only an open mind and willing spirit. When you leave your past and live with Him, He will make you a fisher of men.

He promises the crown of rejoicing to those who fish with Him for men: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

1 Peter 4:7

1 Peter 4:7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Matthew 6:25, 27
Jesus said, "I tell you, do not worry about your life ... who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

My Creator King,
You are Ruler of everything! Your majesty fills the universe! When I look at the heavens Your hands have made - the moon and stars set in place like brilliant diamonds in the sky - I wonder, "Why do You care about us humans who blaspheme Your name? Why are You so concerned about us weaklings?" Yet, You made us in Your image and crowned us with glory and honor, and let us rule over everything You've made - the birds in the air and the flowers in the fields.

Forgive us for our little faith! Times are turbulent. Trusting You is tough as we watch our paychecks shrink and our savings shrivel. Naturally, we wonder how we'll eat and clothe ourselves this winter. Yet, You who made us and love us, command us not to worry! You are right; we can't add a single hour to our lives by worrying.

Help me O Lord to keep my eyes on the sky and watch for You instead of worrying about what may not even happen tomorrow. If I'm expecting You, I'll let go of my fears and be at peace, knowing that You'll give me everything I need today for the renown of Your majestic name. Amen.

Worry muddies our minds and prevents us from thinking clearly. It causes us to react irrationally inhibiting our self-control. With our eyes on our problems instead of God, our Creator, we're unable to persistently pray as we ought. Worrying hinders us from loving deeply and serving spontaneously.

Letting go and trusting God isn't easy. But, with His help we are able. Pour out your anxious heart to God. Tell him that your mind is uneasy, and that anxiety is paralyzing your soul. Open your Bible and focus on His faithful provision in the past. 

1 Peter 4:8

1 Peter 4:8 
The end of all things is near. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

O Father in Heaven,
With the rampant immorality and widespread left-wing liberalism in the world, how much longer will You wait before sending the Eternal King, Your Son, to rule and reign with righteousness over all the earth? I eagerly anticipate the day when the trumpet blares triumphantly and You come down from heaven and meet me in mid-air to take me home with You.

In the meantime, while I wait, prepare me for that glorious day! Break down the barriers of bitterness, and teach me to love others radically - the way You loved me. I will gladly give up my grudges for the priceless and promised peace of Your presence. When the rest of world is caught in the worrisome whirlwind that's wrecking havoc with their lives, I want to be caught in the joy of Jesus who has covered my multitude of faults and failures.

Please dear Lord, prepare me for that glorious day by giving me Your heart of mercy and showing me who I need to forgive. With Your help, I will go in love, offering them the same gift of grace You've so generously given to me to bring glory, honor and praise to Your name. Alleluia! Amen.

Who do you need to love radically and offer the gift of grace?

Jesus couldn't be clearer: If you forgive people when they offend you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive people who have hurt you, your Father in heaven will not forgive your faults and failures. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Luke 18:18-23

Luke 18:18-23
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

Truthful Teacher,
O how honest You are! Your Word is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires, exposing them for what they really are. Everything about us is bare and wide open; seen by Your ever-living eyes; nothing can be hidden from You.

Like the rich religious leader, we often come to You with zeal and determination to purchase our ticket to heaven. Recognizing that You are the Grand Ticketmaster, we politely approach You and smoothly ask, "Good Master, what will a ticket to heaven cost me?" Unimpressed with our performance, You slash right through the thick flattery and cut to the heart of the matter.

Rather than accepting our personal affluence and influence, You painstakingly point out the one thing we lack, demanding the high price of our personal security and identity. Freely, we can join You on the journey to heaven, but first we'll need to get rid of anything that has more importance than You in our lives, and start taking care of society's rejects - the undeserving, unattractive, and undesirables. Sadly, like the rich religious leader, we often turn and walk away without a word. The price is more than we're willing to pay.

Forgive me O Lord for being so short-changed and short-sighted. Please touch my lifestyle with Your love. Show me the possessions that possess me. Willingly and wisely, I'll sell them or give them away, to make a safe investment in Your heavenly kingdom. In return, You'll bless me with Your identity and the eternal security of living with You in heaven forever and ever. Amen.


This invitation to come is extended to anyone willing to get rid of anything that has become more important than God in their life. Few are willing to invest the high price.

What possesses you? Anything that preoccupies your time or thoughts will prevent you from accepting this gracious offer. With a joyful and triumphant heart throw off the things that are hindering you from faithfully coming to follow Him. He will show you where to invest the proceeds.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Luke 9:11

Luke 9:11
He welcomed them and healed those who needed healing.

Healer of Hearts,
How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly welcome the patients who persistently pursue You.

Thank You for my miraculous heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your tender heart in me. I rejoice that You will dwell with me forever.

Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your grace fill my sick soul. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitated, I'll follow Your prescription for healing:

Humbly admitting that I'm ill and in need of Your care.

Prayerfully asking You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts.

Continually seeking Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible.

Daily bringing my afflictions to You.

Then, You will faithfully hear my cries from heaven and cure my condition. Warmly welcoming me, You will heal me because of Your wonderful name, Jehovah-rapha, Lord Who Heals.


Thank You for the blessing of healing grace given to all those who joyfully, expectantly come! I am eternally grateful because of Jesus. Amen. 

Jesus compassionately welcomes all those who persistently pursue Him for healing. Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm from heaven.

Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication, Faithlessness
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldliness
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You   

Psalm 93:3-4

Psalm 93:3-4
The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea-
the LORD on high is mighty. 

O Lord God Almighty,
You are the Maker of the spacious steel blue seas teeming with countless creatures. A continuous column of white-capped waves wildly pound their applause while living organisms, large and small, gaily dance beneath them lifting praise to Your high and holy name. Girded with surging strength, who is like You, O Lord? All creation worships You! 

 You, O Lord, are mightier than the roaring water and stronger than the billowing breakers. When we surrender to Your almighty authority, admitting our faults and frailties, You hurl them into the deep, dark sea of forgetfulness covering them completely with the blood of Jesus. Powerful torrents of mercy sweep over ALL of our BIG bad behaviors. Steady streams of grace from heaven flood over our middle-sized mistakes. And soft showers of love fall from your throne washing away our tiny little temptations.  

I just want to join the celebrating sea and shout, "Glory! Hallelujah!" when the waves of glory roll over me! Hallelujah, thank You Jesus for surging over me! Amen.       

Ponder the mighty power of God. Give Him your sins and He will hurl them into the deep dark sea of forgetfulness. Gratefully receive His forgiveness and join the sea by lifting up your voice to praise His high and holy name.

You will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.  Micah 7:19

Hebrews 2:1-3

Hebrews 2:1-3So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. The message God delivered through angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak. NLT

My Life Preserving Lord,
O how I love Your Word! It is the Truth that saves my life. Completely right, fully trustworthy, and thoroughly tested, it awakens my conscience, warning me of dangers. I shudder to think that I could become lazy, spiritually negligent, caught up in prayerlessness, and go for days without seeking You!

I need You, Jesus! Securely fastened to You, I won't be afraid when I'm in the current of difficulty. Clinging to You, I won't drift away and drown in the sea of despair. When I'm confused Your Words will counsel me. Consumed with sadness and sorrow, they will comfort me. When I'm weak and weary, ready to quit the fight, Your Words will give me strength to persevere. O Lord, how can I flee the consequences if I choose to float away from You?

Please give me a deeper desire to diligently seek You daily! I don't want to let life's craziness and confusion distract or disturb our friendship. Help me to listen carefully through the constant noise and commotion so that I won't be swept away by false teachers and fall from my secure position. I need to hear the Truth with my heart, stand on it, read it, pray it, obey it, and walk in the light of it every single day of my life!

Growing in the truth and knowledge of my Life Preserving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I'll gladly give You all the glory and honor from now until the end of time! Amen.

The Bible clearly warns that it's possible for devoted believers to drift from Jesus.

What will you do today to draw closer to God? If you aren't taking active steps to stick by Him, through Bible Study and prayer then you may be drifting into dangerous, uncharted water without a Life Preserver!

Job 38:1-3, 24-25, 35-37

Job 38:1-3, 24-25, 35-37
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
       with words without knowledge?

 Brace yourself like a man;
       I will question you,
       and you shall answer me.

What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
       or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
       and a path for the thunderstorm?

Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
       Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?

Who endowed the heart with wisdom
       or gave understanding to the mind?

Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
       Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?

Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of Your glory! Woe is me! I think I know it all and have all the answers, but Lord have mercy, I cannot speak. I'm confused, lost and completely in the dark. My knowledge is miniscule and my view is distorted. Who do I think I am to question You, Lord God Almighty, Ruler of All Nature? Like Job, I cannot explain such common events as summer storms.

Holy Maker of All Nature, You do whatever pleases You in heaven and on earth. You shroud Yourself in darkness, veiling Your face with thick storm clouds. From Your high and holy throne Your thunderous voice rumbles, commanding the lightning to electrify the earth. The whole world witnesses Your magnificent display of power and trembles. Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord God Almighty.

From Your secret, sacred hiding spot, You come in awesome majesty. Opening Your mouth, You roar like a ferocious lion causing the wicked, wild winds to whip and whistle. At the clap of Your hands the rain crates from heaven tip, drenching the dry and desolate land. The whole earth experiences Your exuberance and exalts You: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.

O Lord, You are unsurpassable in power! Your sovereignty is unquestionable. An unparalleled genius, no one can ever outwit You. You are God above all gods! Have mercy on me for my unrestrained controlling character. It is You who endows me with wisdom. Apart from You I am an unintelligible fool!

Help me to always remember my insignificant, imperfect, and ignorant position before the immortal, invisible and incomprehensible King of Glory. With this proper perspective of You, I'll submit myself like the summer storms to Your supreme authority because You are Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Alleluia, Amen. 

God speaks through the summer storms. The next time you experience a scary storm think of God's challenge to Job. Just who do you think you are to challenge the Lord God Almighty? Consider Who is in control and submit to His supreme authority. Remember His right to your absolute love, the wretchedness of your offenses against Him, and your unquestionable need of His mercy and grace.-

Nahum 1:3, 7

Nahum 1:3, 7
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm.

The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.

O Wild and Wonderful One!
Your Word is both frightening and fabulous. It leaves me trembling and troubled, yet confident and courageous. It's scary to think You allow storms to rage, putting me in mortal danger. Fiercely determined to bring me to the end of myself, You want me to be fully dependent on You. When the sun is shining and the sea is calm I don't need a Savior.

You let the wild winds of the world whistle their threats to destroy me. Temptation sets my soul spinning like a tornado. Sucked into it, my heart is slammed, smashed and shattered.

Sorrow swirls around me bringing with it the gale winds of grief. Whirling and twirling, I'm consumed by its catastrophic cyclone. Confused by the chaos of uncertainty, I'm dizzy and disheartened.

You give sickness the right to swallow me like a titanic storm surge on the mighty sea. Sin is used to shake, quake and break the feeble foundation of my life. Hurricanes of hardship leave me destitute and devastated. Crippled and crying, I desperately need a Savior!

Divine Disrupter, in the midst of vicious whirlwinds, it's comforting to know that You care for me. In the center of problems and pressure, You are my Savior. Bringing me into the safety of Your presence, You shield me and heal me. Trusting You with my troubled soul, Your supernatural power rests on me. In Your strength I can stand firm through the fiercest storms certain that You are thoughtfully and thoroughly working out Your perfect plan for my life - a plan that will bring glory to Your Wild and Wonderful name. Amen.  

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." God's way is in the whirlwind and the storm. Are the wild winds whistling their threats to destroy you? Are the storm surges swallowing your soul? Trust the powerful promise of God: He cares for you!

His word says all the days of your life were written in His book before even one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16) He is the Author of your life story. He has a purpose and plan for every event in your life. He is not concerned about your happiness; He cares only about your holiness. Using hardships, He draws you nearer to His own dear heart.

Reflect on the lyrics of the age-old hymn: Near to the Heart of God.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Matthew 8:23-27

Matthew 8:23-27
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

Jesus,
Thank You for opening my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. By them You preserve my life. In them I find confidence, comfort and courage.

Often I find myself in the same boat as the disciples - caught without warning in a dangerous situation. In the ferocious storms of the soul, I lose power and am in the dark. Colossal waves of worry crash over me. Mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently toss me about threatening to throw me into the wicked sea of unrighteousness. Hopeless, helpless and paralyzed, I cry out to You, "Lord, help me! I'm drowning!"

When the raging storms of life overtake me, often I respond as though You're asleep and unaware of the terror in the night. Forgive me for failing to recognize Your presence, protection and power. I'm nothing but a coward with a faint heart and crippled faith. How many blessings do I miss because of my fear in the storm?

Beneath the raging tempest of even the perfect storm are still waters deep within the sea. When gale winds scream like demons in the dark, please give me faith to stop what I'm doing, let go of the troubling thoughts, and plunge into Your Word. Then, the rampant storm will subside and there will be peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of my heart. Deep within the sea of my soul, I'll find confidence, comfort and courage to wait through the fearsome fury and dreaded darkness. With One voice, You'll preserve my life, irrevocably changing me because of my extreme encounter with the One who calms the seas and quiets hearts in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Is a storm surrounding you? Are the mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently tossing you about threatening to throw you into the sea of unrighteousness? Ask God for faith to believe in His presence, protection and power. Then plunge into His Word, and discover the peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of Your heart.

Psalm 34:3

Psalm 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. KJV

Sovereign God,
Hear the cry of my heart and expand my view of You today so that I can join with the heavenly hosts extolling You. O Lord, come nearer to me so that I can see You greater in size, status, and significance. I want to see you MAGNIFIED.

M - Mighty to save! Your strong hand shimmering with power will guide me to Your holy dwelling.

A - Arrayed in awesome, holy, majestic power, there is peace and protection in Your presence.

G - Great is Your love reaching out to show me the expanse of Your grace and compassion.

N - Name above all names, all created beings in heaven and earth lift You high in adoring praise because You are the Master of all the universe.

I - Incomparable wisdom, more solid than silver, more costly than gold, and more precious than rubies, open my mind to the riches of Your the Truth found in Your Word, my Bible.

- Faithfulness that reaches to the sky will irresistibly beckon me to come further in and climb higher up even when I'm afraid of new heights. With my eyes fixed on You, I will not falter or fall.

Y - Your strong hands and inconceivable mind that made the whole world formed me too! You, the Mastermind and Majestic King make masterpieces for the praise of Your glory!

To You be the majesty, the glory, and the power forever and ever. Amen.

To magnify means to see something greater in size, status, or significance. When we recognize God's size, status and significance, we suddenly see ourselves and our problems as very small.

What will you do today to magnify the Lord with me? Let us exalt His name together.

Hebrews 3:7-11

Hebrews 3:7-11
 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
   "Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
   as you did in the rebellion,
      during the time of testing in the desert,
 where your fathers tested and tried me
      and for forty years saw what I did.
 That is why I was angry with that generation,
      and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
      and they have not known my ways.'
 So I declared on oath in my anger,
      'They shall never enter my rest.' "

Living God,
What a privilege it is to come into Your holy presence! I BELIEVE You are the steadfast, secure Rock of my Salvation. I come before You with a thankful heart because You are the Great God; the Builder of Everything. In Your holy hands are the depths of the earth, the majestic mountains, the thunderous seas, and ALL creatures including ME. O Lord, You are my Creator, King and Father.

Today, when I hear Your voice, do not let my heart be hardened in rebellion. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your Word. I am a stranger on earth, wandering in a foreign land. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to heed Your heavenly calling, and fix my thoughts on Jesus, Your precious Son who was faithful through every temptation, trial, and test, and deemed worthy of great honor.

As I open Your Word today, judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. When I am tempted to turn back to bondage, the proverbial place of my past, help me to focus on the future, hold onto my faith, and keep walking forward firmly holding onto the confidence I had when I began this expedition.

Resting on the Rock of my Salvation, Jesus Christ, I will not be afraid. Instead, I will listen to Your voice, do what You ask, and stand on Your promises. Trusting in Your protection and provision, I will stop grumbling and complaining, and truly rejoice that I am part of Your royal and blessed family destined for this journey through the dangerous desert that leads to the Promised Land. Help me to be faithful and holy every step of the way so that I too will be crowned with glory and honor and found worthy of Your name. Amen.

Three times the Hebrew writer warns, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." When you are in a difficult situation, wandering in the wilderness, and God speaks to you through His Word, do you do what He asks, or do you ignore Him?

Today when you hear His voice, surrender Your will to His Word, and experience His quiet rest.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Luke 12:54-56

Luke 12:54-56
Jesus said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?"  

God of the Times,
I BELIVE You are the Beginning and End; the First and the Last. Thank You for Your timeless Word that's still alive, active and accurate after thousands of years. You are absolutely right. When we see clouds forming in the west, we say, "A shower's coming." And, it does. When the south wind blows, we say, "Today's going to be a scorcher." And, it is. When the humidity is 100% we know a thunderstorm is on the horizon. And, it comes. When the days get longer we can be sure summer is right around the corner; and when the days get shorter we're aware that winter isn't far off. We can interpret the weather by the appearance of the earth and the sky, but we are clueless about the crisis ahead.

A confluence of conditions is combining to form the storm of the millennia, but because we've neglected Your Word we don't recognize Your activity in the world. These are crucial days. All biblical indicators point to phenomenal conditions mounting in the eastern sky. Enormous pressure is forming on all sides of Israel as evidenced in the daily news. With each passing day it appears we are getting closer to the ultimate Perfect Storm - the day when heaven and earth collide, You roar in on the rogue cloud, time is wiped out, and we are swept into eternity.

How predictable You are! We are indeed ignorant of the present times. Lord, now more than ever help me to carefully study and KNOW Your Word. By Your Holy Spirit and according to Your promise, make all the scriptural predictors plain to me, and enable me to remember them. With my eyes peeled on You, I will be able to see the incredible converging conditions and confirm my belief that You are coming back again, and possibly quite soon. Blessed assurance. Amen.

Do you understand the time in which we're living? I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to make the scriptural predictors plain to you. Then compare God's Word to the daily news and you will see with your own eyes God's terrific and terrifying activity in the world.


While no one knows the day or hour, the year or the month, we can know that Jesus is coming, and possibly soon.

Jesus says in John 14:29, "I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe."

2 Thessalonians 2:10b, 12a, 13b

2 Thessalonians 2:10b, 12a, 13b
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. All will be condemned who have not believed the truth.

From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Jesus,
I BELIEVE You are the Son of Glory and Living Truth. When I stop, sit and soak in the Son, my heart is warmed with wonder that You loved me and picked me from the very start to be saved. Convicted of breaking Your moral law, I was locked in the dungeon of darkness and condemned to death when you called me to come out, not because of my character, but because of Your incredible kindness. Having heard the Good News that You paid the penalty for my transgressions and pardoned me, I gratefully accepted it and wholeheartedly embraced it. Forgiven and free from the domination, deception and delusion of the licentious liar, the Devil himself, Your Spirit instantly set me apart, cleansed my heart and preserved my life.

Lord, with the increase in lewdness, immorality and corruption shamelessly surrounding and seducing me, help me to focus on the privileged life of purity I have in You. Turn my eyes from worthless toys and trinkets, and invigorate me through Your Word to love You more. With Your help, I'll lay down the temporary allures of this world for the imperishable reward of being with You. In the midst of clamor and confusion, help me to grasp the truth with all my mind. Guard my precious faith so that I will hear You, believe You, and adore You, sharing in Your incorruptible glory both now and forever more. Amen.

Jesus makes it clear; the way to eternal life is to hear His Words and believe what He says is true.

Believe the Truth and live.

You are guilty before God, the only Righteous Judge, of breaking His moral law.

The penalty for breaking the moral law is death.

Jesus paid the penalty for your transgressions by dying on the cross for you.

Live for Him, by listening to Him! His Word is Trustworthy and True.

John 5:24
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

John 8:51
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

He speaks through the Holy Bible. Read, receive, and obey.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-7

2 Thessalonians 1:6-7

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 

Just Judge,
I BELIEVE You hold the keys of death and Hades, and You are the Author and Finisher of life.

Struggling to find meaning and hope amid a hostile culture, Your Words comfort and commend me. They give me courage to continue on this hard road that ultimately leads to heaven. You're not surprised by the slander that comes from Satan's scoffers because I submit wholeheartedly to You. My afflictions don't alarm You. According to Your Word, these trials that test my faith are to be expected. They prove that I am worthy of Your kingdom. Help me to remain faithful even to the point of death. 

According to Your Word, You promise to keep me from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world to test those who did not believe in You. With my eyes focused on my fabulous future, I will walk through tough times in Your strength, with joy and thanksgiving in my heart so that You will be increasingly glorified in me, and I in You, according to Your grace and the Lord Jesus Christ, my Triumphant King for Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

If you are in the thick of the battle, severely suffering, ponder these true promises of the One who calls you by name. Read what is to come for those who are troubling you.

Read Revelation 14:14 - 16, 19-20
 
No wonder God tells us to pray for those who persecute us!

Monday, August 28, 2017

1 Thessalonians 5:13b-15

1 Thessalonians 5:13b-15
Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Blessed Word of God,
There's nothing like the Sacred Scriptures for training us to live like children of the Light. Thank You for teaching me Your ways. In the remarkable light of Your impending arrival, help me to develop godly habits. With Your help I will:

Warn those who rebel against You and wreck havoc in their lives that spills over into the church.

Encourage those who are disheartened, doubting their decision to follow You.

Hold onto the weak in faith and not let them fall as I kindly show them how to stand up and walk with You.

Be patient with everyone; today's scamps may be tomorrow's most solid leaders.

Do my best to love and forgive those who mistreat me and others, killing their malice with kindness.

By habitually following Your remarkable instructions, I will be a blessing to the pastors and elders whom You've called to be my earthly keeper, proving that I love, honor, and respect not only them, but also You. Since unity is vital to the health and growth of the church family and Your kingdom, I will joyfully do my part to bear with the burdens of others so that together we will be found worthy of the Name above all names.

In my life O Lord, be magnified in majesty, grace and power. Amen.

What do your actions in the house of God say about your love, respect and honor for not only Him, but also your pastors and leaders? God's Word is clear: we are not to be a burden to them but a blessing.

The time to get right with God and each other is today. Tomorrow may be too late.

Personally, I want to be at the award ceremony in heaven cheering for my beloved pastors and elders when they receive the crown of everlasting glory for their works prompted by faith, labor motivated by love, and hope inspired by God's great and precious promises that are securely kept there for all believers. It is my pleasure to work cooperatively with them to keep peace in the house of God.

Thessalonians 3:10b-12

2 Thessalonians 3:10b-12
We gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 

Master, Jesus,
Sometimes Your Word stings! Admittedly, I have a somewhat skewed view of work. I can be a "busy body" - busy fooling around and not accomplishing anything. In view of Your imminent return, work seems tragically meaningless because I must leave everything I've earned with my knowledge and skill for those who will be left behind. It's tempting to throw up my hands and quit in despair, questioning the intrinsic value of hard work in this world. 

Change my mind and outlook, Lord. I want nothing more than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in my work. These providential pleasures are gifts from Your good and generous hand. Enlighten me to see my occupation as an opportunity to develop my talents and use my treasures to fulfill my God-given purpose, bringing praise, exaltation and honor to Your magnificent name.

Empower me to be diligent, dedicated, and devoted to my employer. Out of deep respect and awe for You, I will work enthusiastically, not by way of eye-service, as a man-pleaser, but as Your humble, faithful servant, doing Your will with gladness of heart and eternal values in view. Amen

With all the chaos and confusion in the world, its easy to feel like work is pointless. But God's Word is clear: if you don't work, you won't eat. Not only does He want to find us watching and waiting for Him, but He also wants to find us working, using the talents and treasures He's given us to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Be a good example in the work place. Be diligent, dedicated, and devoted to your employer out of respect for God.

2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3

2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way. 

King of Prophecy,
You alone are God! There is none like You. You are incomparable and irreplaceable. From the very beginning You have been telling Your people what's going to happen in the end. According to Your Word, everything You plan will come to pass, for You do whatever You wish. 

Today, all the wars in the Middle East coupled with terroristic threats cause us to question if the day of the Lord has already come. Reports of mad cow disease, swine flu, and avian flu tend to propel us into pandemonium. Wicked weather and increased natural disasters make it difficult to avoid the whirlwind of worldwide chaos and confusion. In the midst of all the current commotion it's easy to lose heart and hope, and wonder if we missed the great gathering, and are going through the great tribulation.

Lord, help us to remember who you are: the Master of Time and Space - not even Your own Son, or right hand angels know the day or hour set for Your return. Remind us of who we are: dearly loved by You, washed by the blood of Jesus, purified by the Holy Spirit, and chosen to be saved from destruction because we believe the Truth of the gospel. Because we will one day share in Your glory, give us the power to calmly stand with Jesus, on Jesus, and in Jesus, quietly focusing on Him, so that we will not fall for the flagrant lies that lead to a fury of fear and confusion. By Your amazing grace, eternally encourage us, renew our blessed hope, and strengthen us for every good deed and word so that we will always be ready to bring glory, honor, and blessing to Your Name above all names. Amen.

In troubling times it is so easy to take our eyes off Jesus, the Word of God, and fall for the father of lies who wants nothing more than to rob us of God's promised rest. Turn your eyes upon Jesus today, and see Him standing with you.

David Wilkerson writes, "All around us the world is breaking down. But we see Jesus! We see him in our present trials. We him standing with us in our pain, our suffering, our crises, all things. Most of all, we see Jesus getting all things ready for his coming. Hallelujah!" World Challenge Pulpit Series, April 5, 2010.

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 

Jesus,
I BELIEVE You are Head of the Church, the High Priest, and Chief Shepherd. I will honor and respect You by valuing the pastors and elders You have appointed to shepherd my soul. I will love these dear men because they regularly lead me to streams of Living Water in my Bible where I can refresh my thirsty spirit. Tirelessly, they feed me nourishment from the Word of Life. Patiently, they train me so that I will be prepared and properly equipped to love and serve You.

Because they are men of integrity who willingly keep watch over me like a doting Dad, day in and day out, year after year, and are accountable to You, I will make every effort to live harmoniously with my church family so that their work will be a joy. Their battles and burdens are many. Don't let me bog them down with bickering and backstabbing.

In view of the fact that You've ordained them, I will readily accept their authority. Instead of criticizing them, I will be quick to compliment them for their works prompted by faith, labor motivated by love, and hope inspired by Your many great and precious promises. Since they are godly examples, it will be a pleasure to pray for them, work with them, and support them so that when the Chief Shepherd appears with all His precious sheep, they will be deemed worthy to receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. Lord, today I ask that You strengthen their hearts and encourage them so that they will be blameless and holy in Your presence. Amen.

Speak a word of appreciation to your pastors and elders today. Write a note. Send an email. Make a phone call. Leave a voice mail. Make them smile, and you will make your Father in Heaven smile.

Suggested prayer for our church leaders: That our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

I Thessalonians 5: 4-6

1 Thessalonians 5: 4-6

You, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 

Pure Father of Light,
I stand in awe and amazement when I think of who You are, and who I am. That the God of the Galaxies would love and care about me enough to bring me out of the dreadful darkness into the remarkable light is incomprehensible. You are the Master of Time and Space. On that earth-shattering Day when Christ abruptly arrives on the clouds to carry away His Bride, the Church, You will be both the Superior Judge and the Righteous Criterion.

The wake up call has been ringing. Having waited for 20 centuries for Your promised appearance, and been aroused by many false alarms throughout the ages, it's easy to see why people have become cynical and apathetic. Admittedly, it's tempting to hit the snooze and fall back to sleep. By Your great Spirit, help me stay awake and alert. 

Instead of leisurely lying around in my soft pajamas, in Your strength I will get up and put on the mighty under armor of faith and love to guard my heart from the seductive arrows of Satan. Crowned with the blessed hope of my salvation, I will have peace of mind knowing that dead or alive, one day possibly quite soon, I am going to see the Christ the risen King. Until then, I long to be so in love with You that when You come You will find me willingly working, witnessing, worshipping, and worthy of Your high calling. Amen.

Consider yourself warned. Christ is coming. While we do not know the times and dates, we can know with confidence that His arrival will be sudden and surprising. If He were to return today or tomorrow, would you be ready to meet Him?

Warren Wiersbe writes, in his book, Be Ready: Living in the Light of Christ's Return, "There is a difference between being ready to go to heaven and being ready to meet the Lord. Anyone who has sincerely trusted Christ for salvation is ready to go to heaven. Christ's sacrifice on the cross has taken care of that. But to be ready to meet the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ is quite another matter."

Jesus said, "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." Revelation 16:15

1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17

1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17
According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Blessed Father,
Thank You for recording these incredible revelations from the apostle Paul to give me remarkable hope! Because you could return any day, I am urged to be watchful, waiting and ready. At the blink of an eye You could whisk in and carry me away.

Your authoritative words give me extraordinary comfort and assurance. On that day, when I hear Your voice boom, the loud trumpet fanfare and the unmistakable cry from an angel, there will be a remarkable reunion in the sky. I will meet You face to face, and see with my own eyes all my loved ones who fell asleep and died in Your strong arms, remarkably resurrected. They will not be dead, but fully and physically alive, and You will bring them back with You. What a day of rejoicing that will be. I don't have to grieve as one who doesn't have hope! With a single triumphant breath of Life, I believe death will be vanished forever!

Expecting Your imminent return from Glory, live and in person, Blessed Father, permeate my heart with confidence and purity so that I can unashamedly stand before You when Your Son, Jesus my Lord, arrives in the air to pick up the Church and carry us to our high-flying home in heaven to live with You there forever and ever. Amen.

Who do you know who has fallen asleep in the arms of Jesus? As Christians we have wonderful assurance and hope because of Jesus' resurrection and promised return. Who do are you longing to meet in the sky?