Sunday, February 23, 2014

House Cleaning

The coming of the LORD is so close, we can almost feel it. The birth pangs we read in Matthew 24 are now part of our everyday life.

So, since we know what we know, what do we do? I think we can start by cleaning house. We can get rid of anything that offends - things we hold onto for maybe sentimental reasons that we know would not be pleasing to our God. Since it's all gonna burn - why not burn it early?

All the Kingdom parables warn of those not ready for the Master's return. The examples Jesus used were either caught sleeping or being in sin. Our world has put its stamp of approval on sin - "do your own thing" - yet we are not to be of the world. But you all know that.

The devil knows his time is short and boy is he ever on the rampage. He deceives the world and attacks us. He seeks a foothold in our lives and we give it to him when we hold onto things or ideas that exalt his kingdom and offends God's kingdom. We need to remember whose Kingdom we're of.

When my son was 4 years old, after the service I picked him up at children's church and I asked him, 'What did you learn today?' He responded exuberantly, "I learned I have to grind up my loins." I laughed and said, "you mean gird up your loins." "Oh yeah, that's right," he said.

That lesson is so important today as spiritual warfare is on the increase. Keep your spiritual armor on and remember to pray over your children daily and bless those you love. Make those prayers part of your daily routine.

And of course, staying in the Word keeps our mind on Him. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and on the alert.

Keep on the lookout!

"And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.'" - Rev. 19:6-8

"Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him...
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen." - Jude 14-15, 24-25

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Nearness of God

Does it seem like God is far from us sometimes? As the world appears to be crumbling around us, it can seem that way. If it were not for the sure word of prophecy, we might cave in under the pressure of the perils of this world.

I watched a movie on TV last night called "I am Legend" starring Will Smith. It is one of the post-apocalyptic tales of the near annihilation of humanity by a man-made virus that got out of control. Only a few people were immune. One thing that struck me was when a young woman looked at Neville and said that she could hear God and knows He sent her to him. He scoffed at her, but she said now that all the noise of society was silenced, He could be heard more clearly if only we would listen. At the end of the movie, just before Neville blows himself up with all the mutants to save her life, he looks at her and says, "I'm listening."

We grew up watching films that predicted a doomsday scenario and always laughed them off. They're not so funny anymore. In the 1970s "Soylent Green" showed a future where food would be so scarce the government would recycle dead people to feed the living. Who can forget Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode where New York City is demolished by a nuclear blast and he rejoices over the piles of books at the library? Or when the same actor stood up for the Bible against a repressive regime in the episode titled "The Obsolete Man"?

I'm sure all of you can come up with movie titles that were once thought to be unrealistic that now don't seem so far-fetched. There was even a television series called "The Prophets of Science Fiction" that showed just how prophetic some authors from the old days were.

When we think about these things, it is good to know that the coming of the LORD Jesus is at hand - especially His coming for His church before He returns with His bride. We can rejoice while those who reject Him have no such hope. His coming for us is our Blessed Hope. That hope will sustain us through the difficult times ahead.

We must keep our eyes on Him, stay awake, and keep on the alert. We must be in the world and not of it, knowing our citizenship is in heaven from where we await our Savior. Incline your ears to the Master's voice as we wait to hear those words, "Come up here."

Keeping on the lookout!

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being" - Acts 17: 26-28a

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. - John 14:1-3

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jesus is my Life Coach

Dear friends - particularly you women on the watch-

I received an email this morning from a woman concerned that her church has brought in a women's program out of Campus Crusade for Christ that she has looked over and has felt uncomfortable with. Here's the promo for the program:

"Announcing the release of The Significant Woman -- an exciting, newly published, biblically based life coaching discipleship resource for women. It presents 6 biblical life principles--or PEARLS--in creative ways. The principles are facilitated within a Life Coaching Group and Peer Coaching environment.

The Significant Woman PEARLS biblical life principles help women:

** Be encouraged to take the next step in their personal journey with Christ.

** Creatively grasp and apply the truth that their worth comes from Christ.

** Discover and celebrate how uniquely God has created them.

** Articulate their core values and identify their personal mission, which is a reflection of God's purpose and His mission."

I'm not one to mince words - so this was my response:

Dear Dolly (name changed to protect the discerner)

This is mainstream churchianity - trying to turn the bible into a self-help psychologized system of churning out Stepford wife clones. The bible is NOT a self-help book nor is it about me. Our focus should be on Jesus, not self. When we love Jesus and are grounded in His word we are conformed to His image. These methods try to imitate that but there's no spiritual power in such things.

Other than that, this is typical Focus of the Family/Campus Crusade money-raising capitalism at work. A ChristianityToday approach to church life I would classify under lukewarm vomit.

But the pastor doesn't know what else to do with the women in the church, so that's the best they can come up with.

This is not Spirit-led so you find yourself in a powerless place. == The Church of Laodicea - but that IS today's church. You can choose to pass up on going, but there isn't much you can do to sanctify the apostasy.

In Jesus,

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." - Rom 13:12-14

"Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor 3:16-18

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." - Rom 12:1-2

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Out of Step

My prayer for all of you, including myself, is that we stay in step with our LORD on the narrow path to which He has directed us. Let's not try and push ahead and move ahead of His timing.

The Internet and Facebook are filled with lots of factual news and information. However, it also feeds us much disinformation and our human tendency is to latch onto what fits into our individual expectations.

For instance - we know we live in perilous times and God has given us a general picture of what the coming Tribulation is going to look like. We can't change what is written in God's Word. But when we hear reports of a coming economic collapse or a coming world war, we often grab onto those rumors and let them cloud or direct our thinking. Some even panic over those reports.

Jesus tells us to abide until He comes. He is our peace. Our marching orders remain the same regardless of the circumstances of this world.

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." - 2 Tim 4:1-2

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen - Matt 28:19-20