Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
“No care, but all prayer. No anxiety, but much joyful communion with God. Carry your desires to the Lord of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer, and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully, but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and, therefore, thank God for His Grace.” – C. H. Spurgeon
The following is a reply to one of last weeks devotions: the one about how it might be when Jesus returns. It came from a lady I’ve known since junior high and with her permission I share it with you:
“This message reminded me of the first time I really felt God was talking to me. About 6 or 7 years ago my dad was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm that was so large it could burst at any time. The next morning I was driving to work and it was storming really bad. I was thinking about my dad and what if he died and how we would handle it. Needless to say I was crying as I was thinking. While stopped at a red-light, a sunbeam came out of the pitch black sky and shined right on my car. I had the most awesome feeling come all over my body. I looked up and said ” OK God, I know it’s in your hands and it will all work out” My dad later had surgery in Cleveland. He had a 15% chance to make it through the surgery and less than 5% chance of walking again. My dad walked out of that hospital after recovering from surgery!!!
Who says miracles don’t happen!!!! -Cathy”
Cathy says this event still gives her goose bumps whenever she thinks of it; I can understand that. To know that the Master Creator has just touched a person or part of your life out of His divine love is an awesome thing. What a wonderful God we serve!
Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The other day I bought this new cleaning product. I was drawn to it by the wording of the labeling “no obnoxious fumes”. I’m very sensitive to harsh fumes so this was an easy buy for me. It took about one minute of use for me to realize that “obnoxious” was relative to the nose; that stuff was about as foul and obnoxious as anything I’ve ever had the displeasure of inhaling.
Have you ever wondered why there are certain folks that get to squirming around when you bring up the things of God around or to then? Perhaps it is as our passage today says: they smell the death of their sins on themselves when the sweet perfume of God is being waved through the air about them.
The next time you see some squirming going on with someone remember that it’s coming from their conscience. And keep on fanning them with the sweet aroma of the Lord, praying they’ll become sickened by the smell of death and long to have the aroma of life on them, too.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
During one of the testimonies tonight at Prayer Meeting someone said “God has been so good to me” and I immediately identified with the brother or sister who said it. But then this evening as I pondered on sweet Spirit filled service we had I began to think a bit more about that statement and changed my mind: He’s been so much better to me than I deserve is the real, honest truth.
I can’t even begin to tell you or praise Him enough for what He’s seen fit to do for me, with me and what He yet will. Scripture lays it out plain and simple: we are, in our natural, unregenerate state, completely the opposite of what God desires. We have a sinful nature that desires and seeks after everything but God. And yet God loved us so much to make a way for our sin-debt to be paid in full and our spirits to be quickened through and by Jesus Christ, if we will only come to Him seeking the forgiveness He wants to grant us and then follow Him as our Lord and Savior. A holy righteous God that sends His Son to suffer and die in our stead, why? Because He cares that much about us. No, I can never thank or praise Him enough. And He so very truly has been better than I ever deserve to me.
Have you ever seen the sunlight slice through the clouds above, making a sharp beam from the skies to earth and wondered what it might look like when Christ returns? I have many times. Today a friend sent me an email that depicted some pretty vivid imagery on just that event. I don’t know who wrote it but, though not completely Biblical, it brought many things to mind, probably the author’s goal to start with.
If one searches the Scriptures we find many statements and clues to the Second Advent. But not all things are revealed to us. This has led to at least four, that I can think of, different views of end times events. These views have often separated God’s people when in fact they are not essential, which view you hold I mean, to salvation. There’s one thing that we need to know and proclaim as absolute: Jesus alone is the Way into Heaven.
Exactly how events unfold are speculation on our parts to the best of our abilities. The thing our people need to fully understand is they need to be ready when the events do unfold. The Apostle John may well have said it best in his First Epistle:
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
If you have ever fooled around with digital photography editing software you know that there are many options and neat effects that you can obtain by applying them to your photos. Some of these include changing your photo to different hues, to appear older, monochromatic or maybe even tinted. One of my favorite it black and white; I just love the subtleties that come through in a black and white photo and the timeless look of them. Something I learned real quick though was there is a great difference in “black and white” and “grayscale”: Grayscale gives you the subtle tones of shades of black and white that you think of in terms of a black and white photo, whereas the “black and white” option looks more like a coloring book picture with no shading, only solid back and solid white areas.
The world today wants to apply the grayscale option to God’s Word. In their fleshly wisdom, they want to interpret the Bible on their own terms, in their own ways, effectively making an idol out of Scripture.
Friends, there is no gray in the Bible. And we as heirs of the King are obliged to speak and say so. Each one is accountable to God Himself and will someday have to answer for what we have done. If God called it sin, be it in Genesis or Revelation, it still is today; God nor His Word ever changes.
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Wednesday night my wife, Billie, and I attended the worship service at our church association’s teen camp. It was a wonderful service, culminating with at least two (their were so many gathered in support and prayer around the alter it could’ve been more) teens giving their lives to Christ.
The thing that keeps coming back to my mind are the testimonies I heard that night from these kids. They reminded me how much the youth of today have to contend with everyday. If we, as adults, have to struggle along at times on our walk, think of the extra pressure these young ones face. And the don’t yet have the benefit of the life-experience we have to assist them.
We need to encourage our kids (and I mean all of them, not just our blood-kin) as much as we can. We have to edify them, show them Godly love, and set solid Christian examples for them. And we must let them know that we are there for them and then make ourselves available to them when they need us.
As I write this it is storming outside. The night sky is ablaze with streaks of lightening and the whole earth, from my perspective, rumbles from claps of thunder. Large raindrops fall from the sky, water all of the thirsty creation around me. It is actually pretty amazing and awe inspiring to watch, feel, and listen to the storm passing through.
There are those that would claim this amazing spectacle to be just part of nature; some even proclaim it to mother nature or, sillier yet in my opinion, mother earth, just doing her “thing”. These same people would say that the amazingly complex, artistically designed planet we live on, that provides sustenance to all living things is an unexplainable accident. Denying a Creator, they reason that nothing made everything. With all the evidence of creation being perfectly composed by The Creator, I could never have enough faith to believe in such a ridiculous theory.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means
doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the
man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
– C.S. Lewis
These words from Lewis went along with a lot of the lesson and preaching I heard today, at least in my mind. There are so many roads and intersections out there today. It can be easy to get guided in the wrong direction, take a wrong turn, or get completely off course. False teaching and heresies abound as much or more today than at any time in history. And we have so much “political correctness” being shoved at us in the name of tolerance that more and more folks are getting turned down the wrong road. It’s true there are many roads that lead to one destination. But all of those “broad” roads lead to hell, not to Paradise.
PC it isn’t but the truth is this: There is only one way and that is through Christ Jesus. And thank God we have a map to lead us along the road: the Bible.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
When I was in the car business we had “tally boards” everywhere. There was a count of everything that was countable on at least one of these boards. Some boards were erased daily, some weekly, and others monthly. Because of this constant resetting of the counts there were a couple of catch phrases you would often hear from the managers. The two most prominent were “What have you done for me lately?” (often used the day after a salesman had had a very good day) and “From hero to zero…” was often heard as the monthly totals were erased at the beginning of a new month. This served to remind us that each day or month restarted fresh. And more than once I saw those who were rejuvenated after a bad month by seeing it “wiped away” on the board. I also saw many more that sat back lax the month after doing well to have a terrible follow up month.
I think we are apt to have this kind of thinking in our walk of faith sometimes, too. Satan would like nothing more than to trip us up by getting us to dwell upon past failures. Thankfully we have had our tally of sins wiped clean by the blood of our Savior.
We must always remember that we should be seeking daily to grow closer to Jesus. Can we ever get close enough to Him while we are still walking in this life? I don’t think so. Never rest on your “race” here on this side of eternity. Always look forward to knowing God better and serving Him as He would have you to, with your eyes set on that eternal prize.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.