Sunday, March 13, 2016

Walking on Water

As we watch the birth pangs count down to the soon return of our First Love, the condition of the world around us can bring us down. I hope you take the time to tune it all out - at least one day a week, choose a day, any day - and rest in Jesus. Our souls can get so heavy and only the LORD can give us the peace that the world does not know.

Jesus told us that He overcame the world. And we are to follow His example. How can we overcome the world and the 'ruler of this world' who tries to bog us down with the 'cares of this world' to make us unproductive and useless for God?

We overcome "by the blood of the Lamb" and by the word of our testimony. We must never be ashamed of whose we are in Christ and keep Him the focus. Remember, Peter could walk on water as long as he kept his eyes fixed upon Him - but as soon as he looked at the storm, he began to sink. 

Do you find yourself emulating Peter and crying out from time to time: 'LORD, save me'!? 

Jesus wasn't kidding when He told us we would have tribulation in this world -- we sure do. And people are grabbing onto any hope they can see -- which is why many are latching onto their favorite political candidate as if winning the election would be the answer to their tumultuous lives.

After we refill our souls with Jesus, don't forget to spread Him around to those who have no hope in this world. This is not the time for 'every man for himself.' Spread the excitement. The world needs what we have.

Keep your eyes on the Prize!

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here." - John 14:27-31

“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father. ...Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:26-28, 32-33

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” - Luke 22:32

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Live Differently Today

So many preachers ask the question, "If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do differently today?" To us end-timers we need to ask the question, "If you knew the world was going to go on the way it is for another 100 years, what would you do differently today?"

Would you be more diligent to plan for your family's future? Would you be more optimistic about your children's education and career plans? Would you enjoy watching your grandchildren grow as they discover the beauty of God's creation, knowing they could look forward to love and marriage and their own offspring?

If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions -- if you would live life differently -- then you might be off-center in your apocalyptic fervor. The evil of the times may be getting to you.

The Christian way of life needs to keep all things in perspective -- in balance, so to speak. We must always seek the truth and be realists, not allowing the cares of this world to choke out our faith in God. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, while making the most of the time He has given us to enjoy His blessings and be a blessing to others.

It is so easy to lose heart and get down in the dumps as we look at the world falling apart around us -- politically, religiously, and economically. Thinking too deeply sometimes can be depressing -- especially regarding things that are out of our control to do anything about. Not taking the time to appreciate the good will turn many of us into pessimists -- people who are no fun to be around. 

Things will most likely be very different for the next hundred years -- and we can't do much to alter that. But we can live expectantly, that Jesus has all things in His hands and we can rest in that and look for ways to make the time left joyful and meaningful - making every moment count.

We love Him because He first loved us. Spread that love around.

"Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God....
When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
To deliver you from the way of evil"
-- Prov. 2:3-5, 10-12a

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." - 1 John 4:11-16