If you have lived for more than a few years, you know that this world of people is changing. Today there are many more rules and laws, problems, and threats. Life has changed from that of just 25 to 50 years ago.
In the 1950’s over half of all Americans were full-time church attendees. Today it is less than 20 percent. Europe has seen what was once the hub of the Christian movement become today a place where less than 5 percent of the population attends church of any kind.
Christianity is the key to any society’s long term survival. Whether it is done openly or under supervision, Christianity thrives when God’s people will unite together as one church living by His word, not compromising it, and putting their own personal agendas aside for the greater good of the gospel.
The Christian life is not such a complicated one, but people do make it so. We go and turn it into a seemingly endless list of regulations and rules that involve everything from how to dress, what to eat or drink, the length of one’s hair or what’s on their face, and if we believe in this part or that part or all of the Bible, and on and on.
Then we judge others according to those rules, and all we end up doing is complicating our lives and the lives of others in the process.
If we will just work together, many of the world’s situations would change because God’s will in heaven is already done, and He wants it to be on the earth as well. And He needs people with His like-mind to put their agendas and personal opinions and denominations aside and just say “yes” to His great purposes.
I would believe that most of you are familiar with airplanes and that they fly and can travel all over this world with less demands than taking a car to get somewhere.
The airplane can be maneuvered in air space without having to stop at signs or wait for someone else to pass all because they change levels and speeds by the direction of an air traffic controller, people who watch radars and stay in communication with all other air traffic plus weather conditions or air fields available.
Without the controller things quickly can get into great turmoil. This is a good example of how God plays His major part in our lives. God knows exactly what the radar shows from the day we start until we finish, and every moment in between.
God sees what can harm us or help us. He knows the right direction we need to take. He completely understands what needs to happen for us to get from one place to another. God knows what dangers lie ahead of us if we get off course. Only God can see what no man can concerning our lives.
God knows it all and sees the entire big picture, and it’s when we get off course that problems begin- and some can get very serious. Only by letting God direct our lives will we ever make it to eternity in heaven. Any other course we choose of our own will eventually land us in hell.
For years this has been brewing for there has been an all out assault on mankind that has been kept at bay but has always gained a little more ground each decade. With each passing period of time the ground has been moving more toward a society that does not want God’s principles.
Since the new century of the 2000s we have seen a substantial move upon people’s lives like never before, challenging their beliefs in what really is important to them. And the results have been falling down the scale of morality until it is now affecting most every other area of human life; sexual perversion, economics, families, people’s attitudes toward others, occult activities, our deep political problems. The list could go on so much more, but you know that I’m talking about.
We can go on and listen to the newscasters and secular talk show hosts give us only partial truths and try to talk their way around the real issue. And that’s just what everyone mostly does.
A few years ago one of our presidential candidates ran by saying the problem is the economy. Stupid. Well, they won on that platform, but the stakes on this societal platform is greater. For now it’s sin-stupid and it has now gotten its hold so strong into so many lives that this great human corruption is finally going to come to a head.
Sin is behind all these problem areas, and the devil controlling mankind’s flesh is bringing this about. Sin has been allowed to get a pass too many times by good people doing nothing, to where now there’s a high price to be paid.
Christ Jesus is the only hope to those who will turn to Him. Those that won’t will have to pay sin’s bill, and it is going to be costly.
There are many recorded accounts in the Bible of God stepping into battles to help His own. Places where God actually sent angels to defeat or weaken a great enemy so just a handful of people could win a major battle. There have been accounts of one man defeating 1,000 men.
And the Bible is not the only place where these events have been recorded. Even in wars of the past when soldiers were trapped or outnumbered, suddenly weather patterns would change and they would escape or win a battle- even bullets would go through their clothing but not harm them.
And even without war there have been times where many other people could give accounts of how something happened at just the right moment or someone came by and helped save them from harm.
God’s world is somewhat different than us humans, for God is Spirit and His world is spiritual; and we are greatly affected by spiritual matters. That is where many great battles take place daily covering our lives. There are real spiritual enemies who would like to do us harm all the time, and sometimes do.
But if you belong to God, if you’ve truly placed your life in His hands through Jesus, His son, you have the invisible and maybe sometimes visible warriors close by to help you.
If we will let Him, God will help us. He has great concern for our eternal souls and He will do all He can to help you if you’ll choose to let Him.
Whether it is your home, business, or church, there is a level of maintenance that needs to be applied. Unless you do perform maintenance on almost all of your possessions, they will eventually fall into becoming problems instead of their intended usefulness.
Some Christians are terrible at not keeping up with the spiritual matters concerning their lives. They take their Christianity for granted, spend little time with the Bible and even less time in any real productive prayer. And then they wonder why the church is in shambles and not being as effective as it should be.
People may think they live in a Godly nation, on the “Bible Belt.” But it is not so anymore. They have let go of established Christian principles that have been let go so long that now we have a messy type of Christianity.
The maintenance needed now is repentance for not keeping the church what it should be. The Bible says we are to be the head and not the tail end of things, which we have become. We’ve not kept up with the spiritual inter-workings of real prayer, humility and holiness.
Unless the church, and I’m speaking of the Christian people, gets serious about making spiritual repairs, it’s only going to find itself in even more of a spiritual predicament.
Sometimes it is difficult for our human minds to understand why God chooses to do things that we would have hoped He would have done differently. There are some people who are no longer in our lives that we miss greatly and would have hoped that they still were, but things and times bring changes.
We don’t always like it but God may know something more about the situation and knew changes needed to be made. We have all lost loved ones that have left a vacuum it seems, at times, in our hearts. But God really does control our very first and last breath.
This world was never meant to be a comfortable place for it is not supposed to be our home. God sets in every life appointed times for growth and changes. But ultimately it is up to us if we are going to accept this and trust God’s greater knowledge or try to operate on our own limited one.
It does bring pain when God has to involve His different plans from ours at times. But God makes all of His decisions according to eternity’s purposes. Life can never be just about us. It has to be about others as well. Our happiness here is not nearly as important as our happiness for eternity.
The Bible is right when it says God’s ways are not like mankind’s ways. God sees far beyond what we ever think we know, and we must trust Him if we are to have peace in any matter we ever will face.
All of us experience the heaviness that we feel from the pressures of daily life, some days a lot more than others. The demands of life not only can be, but will be, burdensome at times. We can feel pretty overwhelmed.
It’s obvious that many people are under pressure. You can see it in their face, even feel it as you hear them talk. This world’s gadgets of technology have not helped as the advertisements they produce say they do. It’s just increased the busyness of people and taken their attention in too many directions.
But you can find rest in the midst of all that is demanding and occupying your mind. There is only one place where you can find freedom from all the pressures of work, bills, other’s needs and anything else. The only true freedom in this world is a life that lets God take care of you- for He does say that He cares about and wants to help you carry your heavy daily load. In fact, He will carry most of the load if you’ll choose to let Him. He always wants to help, and it’s always up to you to let Him.
The cares and constant demands of this world are much too great to ever give us real freedom. God alone, the true God who made heaven and earth, who created you, in fact, has a much better plan to help you than you realize. Let Him, and you’ll find peace in your life. It comes through a life with God’s Son, Jesus. Reach out for His hand to help you, and He will.
Harvest time is when the grains, fruits, vegetables, grasses, nuts and a few other things become ripe. The time to bring these foods in is crucial or some of these foods could be lost. With different types of foods, the harvest time has only a window, and it always depends on the place. For instance, corn only has a maximum time of maybe three to four weeks at the most. Hay may be the same. Vegetables may have three or four days. Something like a wheat harvest, going across the land, might start in late May in the south and finish by early August in the north.
Regardless, harvest time is limited time. The Bible speaks of harvest in several places. (The book of Revelation, Genesis, Job, Matthew and many others.) A great missionary, Hudson Taylor, during the end of his time here on earth, told that God had given him a great insight that there would be a war with Japan and Russia (and there was) and one last great revival soon after in Western Europe (and there was – the great Wales revival), and then Hudson said the next event soon to follow would be the return of Christ.
And now here we are. As the Bible says in John 4:35; “Wake up and look around. The fields are ripe for harvest.” Right now God is positioning people for the harvest. This one will be only for a short time. Maybe just a few weeks. And then Jesus will come to take them home.
Prepare yourself. Be ready. Now let God place you to the edge of the harvest fields where He is going to use laborers who will bring in this final harvest of souls for this age. Get your life in order and be prepared. Everything is set. Make sure you are.
You’ll find that many times when people are willing to depart with something they believe is of value, it isn’t always that valuable to them. But when it does cost the one giving, there is a deeper price in the value.
In 1 Chronicles 21 you’ll find the story of how King David, even though God had given him victory after victory over his enemies, decided to number the people of the Lord just so he could see how many fighting warriors he had. But God wasn’t pleased about this. God had always taken care of David’s armies, large or small, and this act by the king showed that he was trying to rely on his own strength instead of trusting God for strength to win battles.
Because of this God brought judgment on the land. You know that the punishments of the sins of leaders are most of the time felt by those they lead. And the result here was that 70,000 people died. Yet at one point David was instructed to build an altar of sacrifice and repent to God to stop the plague.
Someone offered David the place and resources but David refused saying, “I will not present an offering to God that costs me nothing.” The altar was bought and established and the plague was lifted.
I look out today and see people’s lives, especially Christians, who live unsatisfied, unholy and defeated lives all because they try to give God offerings of their lives that are cheap and cost them nothing. They’ve never surrendered much of anything unless they really didn’t want it or gave minimally when they could have done better.
The life-changing work of the gospel is free to those who will receive Jesus as Savior, but there is a deeper cost to serving Him than many want to pay.
We’ve all made mistakes. That’s what people sometimes do in this life and some of us, like me, made many more than they should have. Mistakes bring pain many times, and we may have to live with the results of some of those mistakes.
If we are not careful, the mistakes can control our future much more than we should allow them to do, and this can hinder us from becoming more of what God wants us to be.
I, as do some of you, grieve over things I’ve done and am responsible for, but all I can do now is place them before God and ask Him to forgive me as I repent and then work through those areas as God knows how I should.
Sometimes you can go back and say “I’m sorry,” and other times you can’t. But remember that God can always fix, in His ways, what it looks like we’ve destroyed by our past mistakes.
God forgives, and we must accept this. People don’t always, and we must accept that as well. I don’t deserve to be able to serve God like this except by His grace, giving me another chance to serve His purposes- and the very same goes for you.
So don’t let your past determine your future. Let God lead you into the future He has for your life.