THE LAST DAY

It will start out just like most others do; people will be preparing and going about their usual business. Some may sense something different, something that seems to be in the air…but most won’t.

When suddenly, just like the Bible has always said: in the twinkling of an eye, those that have been faithful to God and placed their entire life into His Son, Jesus, will suddenly be gone.

There will be such a great panic among people all over the world. People’s hearts will fail them, and there will be in-depth explanations given for what has happened (probably some kind of extraterrestrial excuse), but some will know different.

But now the problem is for the ones left, and especially those that really know why they were left. They thought they were alright with God- that they believed in Jesus- but now have really come to the realization that they never knew Him. They’ll know that what now lays ahead will not be easy, and probably fatal, if they’re to join the others that are now gone.

Some will have quickly bought into the lie that these people were removed by some alien nonsense, and that we need to move on. The shock will be massive at first, and many will never recover from it.

On that last day, where will Jesus find you when He comes? At the store, church, a casino, at work, doing something you shouldn’t? Or will you be ready because you are without a doubt secure, not because of what someone told you or what you think you know, but because you really do know Jesus.

By the way, pay close attention. That day is just around the corner now.

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THE FORGIVEN DEBT

A young pastor and his wife start a church with eleven people. It is small and in a very bad and run down part of town. But by the grace of God, it grows. The people that come aren’t wealthy as much as they were needy. And God blesses, and there needs to be a little bigger church. So they change locations.

As the years pass, the church again has grown with the people of all colors and races, backgrounds and struggles. And the church has remained faithful. Now they are offered an opportunity to purchase an old school that has the greatest opportunities to have a large sanctuary and build a Christian school in the heart of an area that needs such a place.

As God opens doors, the church again grows and the school begins to prosper. The church has to move out of the school and build a building next door. Then one day the economy goes into a tail spin. The church, like others, experiences difficult economic times. It is hard to make ends meet. So the church needs to sell off their old property. But with the depressed economy, there are few buyers.

The church remains faithful with their creditors. Eventually there is an offer to buy the old property. The amount is not enough to pay off the total debt. Yet the bank says, “Your property needs to sell,” so the church does.

A few days later their banker calls and says they want to look at the rest of their property that is left. He shows up and walks around the grounds and tells the pastor and his wife that they have been faithful and he can see how God has blessed. The banker says, “We need to go to your office and sign some papers because your church still owes the bank $323,000.” The pastor says that he understands. When they sit down in the pastor’s office, the banker says, “Sign on this line of these papers and I will sign the other side and when you do this the bank is going to forgive all the debt.” The pastor explains, “But what about our credit?” The banker replies, “We already sent a letter to the appropriate agencies declaring that with us you have a triple AAA rating. Your work here is proof of that.”

Never underestimate the supernatural power of God in any situation, at any place, at any time. “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the lord their hope and confidence.” Jeremiah 17:7.

 

Covenants of God

God never forgets His people but many times His people forget Him.  They get so caught up with life that they begin to overlook all that God has done for them and if they don’t stop; their hearts grow shallow toward who He is to His people.

Even when you forget the goodness of God, He doesn’t forget you.  He keeps His word because He respects His word even when we don’t.   God’s will isn’t going to change because the times do or be changed by your circumstances.  God keeps His word to those who choose to keep His word in them.

God tells us from His word to not forget His promises because they are real.  Deuteronomy 8:11, “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today.”  God always wants to remind His people that He’s not forgotten them.

And if you stumble, if you fall, He will keep His covenant promises to you if you’ll not run away but run to Him.  You get to make the choices of what you want to do because God has already made up His mind about you.  He is not ever giving up despite what you’ve done.  He’s made a promise if you want it.

Many people see God the wrong way.  I guess we all do at times.  The problems we face cause us to get a look that sometimes gets clouded.  God sees truth and reality.  He knows what’s happening today, tomorrow, and all the way to the end.  And your real Father has set plans concerning your future if you only are willing to place all of your life in His hands.  He will keep every promise and help you every day.

Deuteronomy 30:15-17 says, “See, I have set before you…His statutes and His judgments, that you may live…”

 

TRUST AND BELIEVE

A missionary in the 1920’s by the name of Saunders witnessed a great demonstration in Africa of the healing power of God.

One of Saunders’ converts was a native man by the name of Edward Lion, a man who as a native didn’t wear clothing, was illiterate and had no knowledge of the ways of God. But as Saunders began to disciple him, Edward grew in faith and became knowledgeable of God’s ways and learned the teachings of the Bible and grew greatly in the faith that God was offering him through a greater work of the Holy Spirit.

God gave Edward, this once naked illiterate native, an anointed measure of faith, where on one occasion a multitude of sick people had been brought and were collecting in a valley to be tended to. That faith, by the power of God, rose up in Edward. He went up on the mountainside and, looking down on the sick below, stretched out his hands over the multitude and poured his heart out to God.

Within minutes, hundreds were healed as God’s healing power fell upon them and they walked out of the valley healed because of the power of God and a man willing to be used by God.

God never changes, but man does. If you are going to do great things for God, you have to believe. You have to trust. You have to obey. And God will make a way.

OVER SPENT

I guess we’ve all been there. Those are the times when we extended ourselves, usually financially, with credit cards as the problem. But there is another place I’d like to draw your attention to. Today there is a much greater problem to have to deal with when it is our livelihood that is going to suffer and many others as well.

This nation of America was put together by very wise men who took great care in establishing a life for its people that was built on a good foundation. There were put in place checks and balances to protect the people even from themselves and their own human tendencies.

This nation was established with direct Biblical guidelines for the people to survive under or fall because of neglect. Many Godly men and women gave their own lives so that others could be free from oppression; and most were God-fearing, believing that there was a greater power in heaven and upon this land to help those that would build America into what no other nation has become.

But we are quickly eroding away at the very spiritual inheritance that we were given. We now have spent our spiritual inheritance to the point where we are living on credit- and it’s running out with God.

Unless there is a reawakening of the people’s hearts to turn again to God, we are going to be spiritually bankrupt sooner rather than later.

The History of Revivals

In Christianity, a revival is an increased amount of interest in spiritual matters, over a specific time frame. A revival is generally characterized by a greater closeness to God in the church, and may be accompanied by mass conversions and an atmosphere of cultural morality. The most famous revivals are the three Great Awakenings in America, through there have been others, as well.

 

The First Awakening in America was a period of increased evangelicalism, and a shift from intellectual and deeply theological sermons to a more emotional style. The Awakening was ecumenical, spreading among Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists.

 

The movement known as Le Re`veil began in Geneva, Switzerland, and Montauban, France in the first half of the 19th century. It expanded through Germany and the Netherlands, and had a considerable political influence.

Toward the middle of the 19th century the Second great Awakening spread throughout New England and the Appalachian regions.

The Third Great Awakening took place toward the latter part of the 1800’s led in part by Dwight D. Moody. It was characterized by Social Gospel which included efforts to prohibit the consumption of alcohol as well as emphasis on Christ’s return.

 

This revival in Wales, between 1904 and 1905, though short lived produced over 100,000 converts. Though past revivals largely were spread by preaching, this was characterized by music and spiritual experience.

THE REAL FATHER

Today, many a father here on earth is spending more time with their children but having them neglect their real Father that is in Heaven. Each week I watch as parents play with their children in the yard or walk down the street. Never giving a real thought that they should take their children to church. To most families the church is no longer relevant. There was a time when the people respected Sundays and even Wednesday night services, but many people no longer see the importance of attending these services: even though it is the parent who is responsible for seeing that their children are given every opportunity to know God.

Proverbs talks a lot about the importance of obeying your Father: Proverbs 6:20 My son keep your Fathers commandments. Do you strive to do what your Father in Heaven asks of you as you go through each day?

Now, any parent will say they truly love their children with all their heart. But what does the Bible say about the children and the parent? Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 Let the little children come unto me and do not forbid them for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. This should really catch a parent’s attention because God says those who allow the children to fall into sin will in turn pay the highest price. When a parent, grandparent or especially the father, who is to oversee the home, lets ungodly things in or neglects their duty, they will pay a severe price. God takes a parent’s responsibility to know Him seriously.  Many a parent today who calls Jesus Lord, but  is out somewhere beside church, and  believes they’re OK  in their lives with God, while denying their children access to church because something else is more important than being in church, will be called to answer for that decision.

Remember this: Never allow yourself to be found guilty of taking things God says are Holy and trying to make them common or no longer relevant to a matter.  These include lifestyles, neglecting church, biblical marriage and various other things God deems holy.  Our daily lives should be lived in such a way as to bring honor to the Father in Heaven by showing the world that we are His children by living righteous lives, taking the talents He has given us and raising our children to exalt and enlarge His Kingdom here on earth: remembering that no child is ever too old to come to know their real Father who loves them more than anyone and will never leave them or forsake them.  Children should know they have a  loving Father who will help them every day of their lives here on earth and who in the end will receive them into their new home in Heaven.

YOUR SAMARITAN WELL

One of the most popular Bible stories is found in John 4:3-30. It’s the story of Jesus meeting a woman from the area of Samaria, a place where most good people seemed to avoid. But He chose to go there, out of His way and on purpose, to prove a point to those that turn their nose up to people they think they are better than.

This woman came to the well when others didn’t as much because she was looked down on by others, but not Jesus. That day He revealed to her who she was with truth, but who she could be with the greater truth of who Jesus could be in her life.

The woman believed and saw Jesus for who He was and she began to spread the word to come and meet the man that had changed her life.

That same story is played out again and again each day when a person comes to the reality of what Jesus knows, and what He can do for their life. Have you ever come to that place where you had to come face to face with what was really true? What did you do about it? Did you let Jesus help you, or did you turn away and go on your own?

If you’re tired of the same old life that has dogged you for years, find your way to that well, where Jesus is waiting to touch your life in such a way that will transform who you are into who you can be. Then your life will not be so burdened down. Be free and experience a peace that passes all understanding.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW

From technology to financial markets to society’s ever-changing moral decline, where will we be 10 years from now? In the past 10 years, we’ve seen some big economic failures like we hadn’t seen in the last 75 years. Not just business corporations and stock market stuff, but cities filing bankruptcy, countries’ financial systems falling apart, while other countries try to take over their management.

What about social issues? It is worse than ever. Just 12 or 13 years ago in America, who ever heard of marriage not being between a man and a woman? Less than 20 years ago, there were crosses and Christian symbols and sayings everywhere. But in the last 10 years, many have been taken down, covered up or destroyed. In the last 10 to 11 years, look at the type of language radio talk show hosts can use that used to get them fired.

Today there is a bigger push for what offends people more than what offends God. For the last 20 years, God is no longer being referred to as the True God but He’s given various names that are nothing more than false identities.

Television has changed so much in 10 to 15 years now to where they say and show more than ever and compete to make themselves idols of their own worship. And it is getting worse with each new series.

So what should we expect 10 years from now? Well, at our continuing rate, anything to everything; and we won’t recognize what we used to be. And 10 years from now or less, many won’t be allowed to speak any longer against such things. Only a spiritual awakening of the church can again realign to this nation’s founding principles.

THE LEAVES AND THE FRUIT

There’s a great illustration that Jesus spoke of in Mark 12 where Jesus sees a fig tree and goes over to it to get a fig to eat, but there is none. Jesus said, “May no one ever eat your fruit again.” Later, as Jesus and His disciples are walking by the same fig tree, they notice it has withered and died. The point here is that if the tree wasn’t going to bear fruit to be used then it was not good for its purpose.

The tree looked okay until Jesus walked over and took a closer look at it. The tree had leaves and looked okay, but upon closer examination it had no fruit. It was of no real value because it was a fruit tree.

The point being made here is that each one of us has been created by God, planted here on earth during this time period, to use our lives bearing fruit for His kingdom work. Some could care less, and then some want to look like they are representing God. They have leaves but never produce any fruit for Him. They produce fruit for themselves and their own life. But these are not fruit trees for God – for a tree does not eat its own fruit. It produces for others. If it keeps its own, then the fruit rots and it’s still no good for God’s purpose.

We experience many problems in life because we don’t produce fruit for God and, therefore, set ourselves up for a judgment we don’t want to have to experience.

So think on this today. When Jesus takes a good look at you, what does He really see? Fruit that He can use, or just leaves that look good but have no value?