We Live in Perilous Times…

We Live in Perilous Times!

Jesus said He would return a second time so we can count on it. He first came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for our sins. He will come again as a Lion to put an end to sin and satan.

The only question is, when will He return?

As with all events that affect our lives the word of God holds the answers.

Listen to some of the clues signaling that Jesus return is drawing near.

Some signs of the 2nd coming of Jesus!!

II Tim 3:1-3 “But know this that in the last days perilous times will
come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than
lovers of God.”

Sounds a whole lot like the age we live in.

Mat 24:4-8 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. But all these things are the beginning of travail’.”

Don’t be afraid of the signs but also don’t be unaware of them!

Psalm 40:31 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the
nations I will be exalted in the earth.”

So where is Jesus now?

John 14:2-3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

The question to ask yourself and to ask those around us is.

Have you been ‘Born Again’ so that Jesus is preparing that place for you?

What was your answer? If you are not sure of your eternal destiny then the 2nd coming of Jesus either brings fear or it seems foolish to you. After all, things seem to be as they were thousands of years ago. Or are they? Those that see or think of it as being foolish most likely are not saved (born again). Our reason for being on this earth is to give the gospel to those in that condition. To do so you must first be ‘born again’.

I Cor 2:14 “Now the natural (unsaved) man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

God knows ALL…

Mat 11:28,29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.

Who knows?

When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts…

God knows how hard you have tried.

When you’ve cried so long and your heart is in anguish…

God has counted your tears.

If you feel that your life is on hold and time has passed you by…

God is waiting with you.

When you’re lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call…

God is by your side.

When you think you’ve tried everything and don’t know where to turn…
God has a solution.

When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated…

God has the answer.

If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope…

God has sustained you.

When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for..

God has blessed you.

When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe…

God has smiled upon you.

When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow…

God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

When you realize life is for eternity and only Jesus can save you…

God awaits your calling upon His Son to save you.

Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing…GOD KNOWS!

Mat 11:28,29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am
gently and lowly of heart, and you will find rest unto your soul.”

Do you see yourself as a Servant…

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that
you present yourselves……………….

 

Do you see yourself as a servant!

You know, it’s a good thing to stop the world for a little while and
go back to where it all started.  In fact, Jesus may be inviting you
even now to go back with Him to where it all began.

In Matthew 28:10 from the Word of God, Jesus has just blasted out
of His grave on Easter morning, and He has a message for His disciples:
“Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.” And
they did. It was there that Jesus told them, “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of
all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19).

Why this trip by the disciples back to Galilee to be with Jesus?
They were in Jerusalem at the time. That’s a long 90-mile walk from
Galilee. No cars, buses or trains back then. And Jesus would send them
back to Jerusalem to start their mission. So what’s the reason for going
back to Galilee? I believe it was because that’s where it all began.
That’s where they met Christ. That’s where they abandoned everything to
follow Christ. And that’s where they needed to go after all the battles,
the failures, the mountains, and the valleys they had experienced since
they met Jesus and before He launched them on a mission beyond belief.

Jesus may be asking you to go back to your Galilee, to remember
the wonder of what He did to rescue you, the things about Him
that captured your heart then; the time you surrendered fully to His
purposes for your life. All of that tends to get obscured by all the
knowledge you’ve acquired, all the responsibilities you’ve taken on, all
the disappointments and disillusionment, all the complexities of your
life. Jesus is saying, “Come back with Me to where we started, so you
can remember again just who I am, who you are, and just what I’ve
created you to do.”

When you started, it was pretty simple: one man or one woman
following one Savior wherever He was going. And we had that burning
desire to learn more of the One who saved us and the desire to share
that knowledge was almost overwhelming. Now with all the other voices in
your life, it must still be that one man or woman following that one
Savior. He wants to go back to that point where you sensed things that
He was calling you to do. It’s still His calling on your life, no matter
what has happened since then. And there was probably a time and a place
where you totally surrendered to Him – no strings attached – maybe at a
camp, a conference, in church, alone in your room.

If you cannot remember that time the calling in your heart is for you
to do so. Jesus wants all of us. In the beginning of your spiritual walk you didn’t
care where that commitment took you, how much money you had, what sacrifices
would be required. You were all His for whatever He wanted you to be and
do. Maybe that unconditional surrender has become a conditional
surrender, encumbered by your position, your possessions, your
convenience, your comfort, a lot of stuff. And Jesus is calling you back
to that original surrender where it all began.

It’s time to go back to your Galilee – to rekindle your first love
and remember that it’s still all about Jesus. Jesus wants to bring you
back to where it all started so He can take your life where it’s never
gone before!

———————————————————————
Portions from Ron Hutchcrafts (#5087) 11 July 2006
 
Rev. 2:4-5 “But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.  Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.”

Controlling your Temper…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who
rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Controlling your Temper…

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His
Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he
lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,
the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He
discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper
at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested
that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able
to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell
his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the
fence.  The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in
anger, they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife
in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say
I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.  Friends are
very rare jewels, indeed.  They make you smile and encourage you
to succeed.  They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they
always want to open their hearts to us.”

As with all needs our heavenly Father provides the answer for correcting the problem called anger and also called sin. It goes against our flesh or what part of us feels is the solution. That is because our flesh and the world rebels against God. But to have that peace in our lives that passes worldly understanding we need to implement God’s solutions and deny our fleshly desires. Correcting anger starts here;

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

The Bible or the TV, you choose…

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved to God, a worker
that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Joshua 24:15 “But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites (Americans) in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

“The Bible or the TV, you choose”
They lie on the table side by side
The Holy Bible and the T.V. remote and Guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride.
Not the Bible, but the T.V. remote and Guide.
One is used daily to help folks decide.
No, not the Bible, but the T.V. remote and Guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see.
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the T.V.
So they open the book in which they confide.
No, not the Bible, but the T.V. remote and Guide.

The Word of God is seldom read.
Maybe a verse before they fall into bed
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be.
Not from reading the Bible, from watching T.V.
So then back to the table side by side,
Lie the Holy Bible and the T.V. Guide.
No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.
But forgiveness of sin, so full and free
Is found in the Bible, not on T.V.

Here is great passage to keep in mind when viewing the TV, your computer, thinking of a movie, listening to radio…..

Philip. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Trials, Troubles, Heartaches and Victory…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

“Trials, Troubles, Heartaches and Victory”

Little Jessica suddenly became America’s child the day she fell down that narrow shaft in a backyard in Texas. Here was a toddler, wedged nearly upside down, in a shaft far too narrow for a man to navigate, and unable to help herself in any way. It didn’t take long for the press to descend on that little hole in the ground to cover this valiant effort to try to save little Jessica’s life. Pretty soon countless people across the country and around the world were rooting and praying for her life. I was one of them. At first, there appeared to be no way out of this deadly situation, but the rescuers weren’t giving up. They began to build a wider shaft parallel to the one Jessica was trapped in. She’d been in there for nearly three days when a rescuer finally went down that new shaft and through the tunnel they had dug to Jessica. Minutes later – a scene many of us will never forget. In the glare of the press’s massive lights, a battered but breathing little girl emerged from that hole with her arms tightly around her rescuer.

Many times you and I fall into a similar spiritual situation that we see little Jessica in. We are trapped in a spot, in a situation where there does not seem to be any way out. We cannot plan our way out, think our way out, talk our way out or work our way out. Fear can set in or worse yet complacency. Can you recognize those areas of your life when that happens? Or may it even be happening right now? If not, it will sooner or later. At that moment we are facing a situation that is beyond our power to fix or to figure out.

Our usual delivery systems in our life, the people or sources which would usually come
through for us just aren’t doing it. Not this time. And worse yet maybe we have fallen into the trap so often that complacency has set in. We have given up trying to doing it God’s way. Or maybe we even have ourselves convinced that God is not right there with us at every moment and situation in our lives. We feel like there is no way to turn this around. We are at the bottom of the shaft, beyond the reach of any conventional help.

God offers us this comfort in times of trials or troubles;

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

The snare that entangles us can come from a multitude of directions. One is from satan as he seeks to trip us up. As believers, he can no longer have our souls but he can keep us from serving Jesus.

Ephes. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Another is from our flesh when we do not flee youthful lusts as II Tim 2:22 reminds us to do. We dabble in them and as James 1 notes that dabbling leads to sin. And Genesis 3 and Romans 6:23 reminds us of the penalty for those sins is spiritual and physical death. If that sin goes unconfessed then complacency and depression set in. And yes, while believers cannot lose their salvation sin can wreck their testimony, their happiness and even affect their family and generations to come. We lie to ourselves when we think we are only affecting ourselves or that God does not see the sin (Psalm 37).

Another are trials sent from God (James 1:2, 3) to help develop us into the servants He desires and hopefully we desire to be. There can be no lasting peace and joy outside of serving Jesus and allowing those trials to mold us. Acceptance offers the peace of God that passes worldly understanding.

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Another is the heartache other people bring into our lives. Simply because they may view wrongly the reason for their difficult moments, they may be conformed to the world, their lack of acceptance of trials, their unsaved condition, their lack of accepting God’s trials to mold them; they can make our lives miserable.

Fortunately, God our heavenly Father enters the situation when snares entangle us. And yes, there is a Way out. Psalm 25:15 “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” If you are facing something for which there seems to be no conceivable solution, then do not give up and crawl into yourself. If you have placed your faith in Jesus and are one of His children then all things do work together in our lives for good and most importantly for His names sakes (Rom 8:28). As a believer the only thing in our life that He cannot be the Author of is sin.

Nobody sees God bigger than those who need Him desperately. That is if they seek Him.
As King David said in this psalm, “Only He” can release you. Isn’t that great? God wants you to believe Him for a solution that will have no human fingerprints on it, only His. It must be Him and Him alone.

  1. W. Tozer said, “The child of God should always be found living in expectation of the divine.”
    And he was right on track. In all things God says to lay our requests before Him and seek His wisdom (Psalm 1:1,2, Mat 6:33, James 1:5,6) If you are at one of those Red Sea moments then the question is, where will you turn?

If God chooses to use humans to deliver His resources to your life, remember it doesn’t come from them. They are but a tool that God uses to direct us.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”

Dealing with Stress…

Dealing with Stress!

Did you ever have one of those days when you felt the whole world was against you?
Each of us has those times in our lives and how we deal with them determines our peace of mind in this life. The key to understanding them is recognizing that our God cares for us and wants to be our strength in life and provide us with peace that passes worldly understanding.

Yes, even during and especially during those bad days|||||||||||

Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you;…”

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for God to help me, then He listened, and
heard my cry…He lifted me…and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me…He has given me a new song to sing.”

I Pet 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”

And fortunately for us His love is not dependent upon our love for Him.

Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.”

Have you accepted God’s love?

 John 3:3-16Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” …For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”