Month: April 2013

Looking to the end

Do you stop to consider the days and times we are living in? It seems that everywhere you look there is deception and trouble at every turn. We have departed from living day to day and began living from tragedy to tragedy. I am not saying good things and good people are not to be found, but, they are overshadowed by the negative and evil throughout the world.

Perhaps our perceptions began changing with the events of 9/11. We have suffered numerous wars (Iraq, Afghanistan) and threats of war from North Korea and Iran. World economies are portrayed as weak and ready for collapse. We should not be surprised. Prophetic scripture from the Holy Bible is a witness to the fact these things are coming. One example can be found in Luke: Lu:21:25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

As much as I enjoy reading and studying the Olivet Discourse, there is a scripture in Daniel which has been great upon my mind. Daniel:12:4: But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Let us concentrate on the latter part of that verse.

Many shall run to and fro. It seems that todays world is built around running to and fro. As world wide travel has become increasingly affordable it seems as though our world has become smaller. We have become a more global community. In a matter of hours you could be anywhere in the world.

Our daily lives usually consist of running to and fro. We go from home to work and from work to home. If you are a parent there is a lot more of going to and fro. From home to soccer practice or baseball practice, or, name the sport of choice. It’s also doctor appointments, dinners, sporting events, concerts, vacation, etc. We have and are fulfilling the “many shall run to and fro”.

Knowledge shall be increased. This, to me, is the most interesting part of the verse. We live in a miraculous day and age. Technology is the major driving force, I believe, to our knowledge being increased.

In less than 200 years we went from travel by horseback to putting a man on the moon. There are regular flights from New York to Paris. We no longer wait for a letter by courier which use to take days or weeks, we have instant messages and emails which travel almost instantly. We have access, via the internet, to almost anything we wish to know or study. With smartphones we are able to accomplish almost any task. Knowledge has definitely increased, maybe more over the last 20 years than at any time.

As knowledge has increased I ask: Has our knowledge of God increased? We have more access to Bible teachings, sermons, and literature than at any time in the past. We have more ways to learn of God and incorporate Him into every part of our lives and again I ask: Are we taking full advantage? We should be! We have a better opportunity today to learn of our Savior Jesus Christ than at any point prior due to the amount of His Word we have access to.

When we study and look at prophecy, it is truly a privilege to see it coming to fulfillment. These are perilous times and we should learn all that we can. We have access to an abundance of teaching, studies, and literature, much of which is free. Let me encourage you to take full advantage of it. Most of all, let us use this time and knowledge to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to be a light to the world so that they too may see those things which are yet to come! To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy!

Advertisements

Steadfast and Unmoveable

1Corinthians:15:57: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians:15:58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

As we read those verses there are at least four things we must commit to our own understanding and make sure they are not infringed upon. The world we live in demands that we open ourselves and all that we know to interpretation. The world likes relativism rather than absolutes, grey areas as opposed to black and white. The more uncertain an individual becomes the easier they are to control or lead astray. As a Christian, if you stand your ground you are labeled as “close minded”, “stupid”, and “intolerant”, to list a few choice terms. Do you realize that suffering these things for the sake of Christ is worth more than you can know? Though it isn’t an easy thing to endure, endure we must, so that He is glorified!

The first thing we will look at is “thanks be to God”. We are here to praise and glorify God. We owe all that we are and will be to God. It is He that has given us life. It is God that has given in abundance. He has given to us and deserves far more than all the thanks and praise we might give unto Him.

God has “given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. We have victory. I do not look for victory in this life, I have been given victory over this life! Yet, not I, but Christ in me! We will struggle, we will fail, and we will fall and each time we do we must lift our eyes and seek the face of our Father in heaven, there is our victory! He is our strength in a time of struggle, He is our success over our failures, He picks us up when we fall. He has given us victory over death, hell, and the grave through Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, we must be steadfast, unmovable. Jesus, as our example, was faithful to do the will of His Father. He did not waver. Before the weight of the cross was a burden to His shoulder, Jesus prayed that not His will, but God the Fathers will be done. We have no alternative but to accept the same position within ourselves. We must be strong, we must be bold, and we must be unmovable. Why? If you give in, even a little bit, you have opened yourself up to someone else’s idea besides that of God. A famous pastor put it this way: “Appeasement is really just defeat on the installment plan”. To be even more plain; they will take little bits at a time until there is nothing left. Today, let us have a greater resolve to stand and not be moved, not for ourselves, but that God be glorified.

Lastly, let us be doing the work of the Lord because it is not in vain. In this life we work for money which is soon spent. When you work on behalf of the Lord the reward is eternal. In this life it is easy to get caught up in worldly achievement and rewards. Our perspective must change from the temporal to the eternal. In this world we will get cheated, we will be given less than we’re worth, and we will settle for less than we should. If, however, we work for the eternal rewards they will be above and beyond all that we can think or ask. Labor for God is not in vain, worldly things are vain. Although Christ’s work and suffering in the flesh in this world is over, He is still in heaven laboring at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us. We too must be laboring for Him. To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy!

Faith, Hope, and Love

Much has been written about faith, hope, and charity. These three subjects have been the inspiration for the worlds greatest dramas. Does your heart return continually to these? Do these words beckon to you? Do they inspire you to lift your eyes and prayers to God in thanksgiving for the abundance which He has supplied to you? For just a few minutes and in a few words let our hearts search out faith, hope, and love.

1st Corinthians:13:13: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Faith is where we begin. How precious the moment is when the Holy Spirit touches the mortal heart and draws one to know the Creator as their Heavenly Father. Faith is the beginning. Just as a seed, it is planted in fertile ground. As God gives the increase, faith begins to grow and mature from a seed into something so much more. Just as a plant can be seen once it penetrates the ground, the increase of faith begins to show through the flesh. Plants grow many times larger than the seed from which they come and faith is no different. Just as God intended, the seed He plants within the accepting heart enlarges and produces fruit. How great that God has given the measure of faith, and He alone should be given praise for allowing us go from belief of the unseen to the manifestation of His work.

Hope is usually defined as expectation or desire. In most contexts I agree with this definition, but i do not find it to be the greater definition. As Christians we already have the fulfillment of our hope in Jesus. Hope is that point in eternity which we do expect and desire, yet by faith we see as accomplished. It is our appointment with eternity in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is by God’s grace we should no longer think of hope as a wish, but a promise. Hope is a certainty by which we rejoice for the soon coming day of Jesus. Our King is our Hope and He is the fullness thereof.

Charity, what greater word might we use in place of love? Charity is given away. It is given without expectation. It is given without condition. Is our love able to be called charity? Do we give without expectation? God gave His only begotten Son for the world. His Gift is free. He has given to all who will believe. He has given to all, and all that have accepted Jesus Christ was unworthy. The Bible says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. It also says that He loved us first. At our best, how undesirable we are in this flesh! Yet, because of His love we are perfect in His eyes. He has given in an abundance we cannot yet understand, and because He has loved, charity is the greatest. Jesus Christ is the love of God toward all mankind. Jesus is the fulfillment of faith, hope, and charity. The world defines these things much differently and when we hear these words, let us know they all point to Jesus! Praise be to Jesus, for He is truly worthy!