2017 IS UPON US!

2017 IS UPON US!

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. — Genesis 3:15

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.” — Malachi 4:5-6

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! — Revelation 22:20

The last day of 2016 A.D. — in the year of our Lord. Near the beginning of Genesis there is the promise of the Messiah (Genesis 3:15) and also at the end of Malachi (Malachi 4:5-6). Then the Messiah does come, yet quite different than most were expecting (Luke 2:11) and then at the end of Revelation is His promised second coming— “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

I remember in 1973, the year I graduated High School, a friend and I were talking, wondering what we would be doing in the year 2000. That was 27 years before we got to the turn of the century. Not it is 16 years after the fact and it has been an interesting 43 years since our talk of wonderings. It is amazing to think I now have 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren!

May we go into this New Year of 1017 with expectant hearts. What does He want to do in and through you this next year? Are you truly looking expectantly to His coming, to your being with Him forever? Is it your desire to be and do what He has planned for you? May it be so in this New Year of 2017 and for the rest of your life on this planet— until you see Jesus face to face! Yes, even so come, Lord Jesus! I truly want to be where You are! https://youtu.be/bo9ZWX1lEKI?t=1013

Dear Father, when I am misunderstood, when I am feeling lonely, when I am down on myself, when I am feeling whatever negative or positive feelings… may I look to the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He is and all that He has done and take the focus off myself and put it where it belongs… on Him. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. Yes, may it be so!

DIAMOND HARD

DIAMOND HARD

They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. —Zechariah 7:12

Hard hearts will not hear the Word of God. They are like the hard-hearted person in Matthew 13:4, 13 that “hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”

Diamond-hard is so very hard. Examples of softest to hardest (1=softest, 10=hardest): 1- Talc 2- Gypsum 3- Calcite 4- Fluorite 5- Apatite 6- Feldspar 7- Quartz 8- Topaz 9- Corundum 10- Diamond. Cutting blades made from diamond can do amazing things as seen in this video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brkK6-iszF0. Concrete, granite, steel are no match for a diamond blade. Diamond is hard.

Diamond hardened hearted people will not hear the Word of God. Their hearts are so hard they will not yield to the Holy Spirit of God. This is so sad, but it is just a matter of fact that there are people like this. We may not know who they are, but the Lord does. Our responsibility is to be witnesses and disciplers to whoever is open to the Word of God. That is the responsibility we have from the Lord God Almighty.

What is so sad is that these diamond hard hearted people are already under the wrath of God (John 3:18, 36). They will fully experience that wrath because of rejecting Jesus (Revelation 20:15). It is so sad, but it is also their choice…

Brother & sister, may we rejoice in the truth that the Lord touched our hearts and we responded to Him. Be faithful until we get home!

Dear Father, may I faithfully be what You desire and be about Your business on this planet— whatever You have for me. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by Your Holy Spirit.

CHRISTMAS— THE BEGINNING OF THE END

CHRISTMAS— THE BEGINNING OF THE END

“It is finished!” —Revelation 16:17

Jesus existed from eternity past with His Father (John 1:1; John 17:1-5). Then at Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ coming to earth as a baby— “Immanuel– God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He lived on this planet for 33 years as “the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (I Peter 1:19). Then He “died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4). Over a period of 40 days after His resurrection He appeared to many (Acts 1:3; I Corinthians 15:5-8) and then “he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight:” (Acts 1:9). After Jesus ascended “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven”’ (Acts 1:10-11). Yes, Jesus is coming back, but not as the innocent meek Lamb of His birth, life, death and resurrection while He was on Earth. No, He will be coming back as the King, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Revelation 5:5) and He will be coming to judge the world (Acts 17:31). You will want to be read for that time when He comes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgV0Rybx5o

Christmas— the celebration of Christ coming to this earth so we could be saved from our sins (Matthew 1:21), give us new life (II Corinthians 5:21), serve Him now (Luke 1:74), and be with Him in glory one day (John 14:1-6). So, may this truly be a MIGHTY CHRIST CELEBRATION for you today. As one has said, “The greatest gift you can receive is not under the tree. The greatest gift you can receive was nail on a tree.” Rejoice in “the gift of God (which) is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). There is no great gift that you can ever receive! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPClih1HLPg

Dear Father, thank You for the Gift of Your Son, Jesus. Oh, that I would be faithful with this Gift as You desire. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.

PERSEVERE!

PERSEVERE!

This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. —Revelation 14:12

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGt0bAAg09c Yes, Jesus told us there would be tribulation in this world (John 16:33). It is a fallen world. We are in spiritual warfare. As the world hated Jesus so it is also bound to hate us for His Name’s sake— “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me (Matthew 24:9). Satan also hates God’s people (I Peter 5:8). So don’t be surprised by it.

As followers of Jesus we are to “endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.” Just as Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33) so also we are overcomers of this world through our faith in our Lord Jesus— “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (I John 5:4-5).

Maintain your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Maintain— that means you are actively doing something about it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhk_5c6H-yc We will see Him soon either through death or His coming back to this planet! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFlPdNJAdOY&list=RDfFlPdNJAdOY#t=0 Persevere!

Dear Father, whatever comes my way, may I be faithful to my Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, that I would shine for Him throughout the race that is laid out before me and do so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

TRUST THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!

TRUST THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night. Why are you scheming against the Lord? He will destroy you with one blow; he won’t need to strike twice! —Nahum 1:7-9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dR0H0tAYT8 Are your thoughts like these? — “I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!” (Genesis 49:18); “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” (Psalm 9:10); “The helpless put their trust in you.” (Psalm 10:14); “I trust in the Lord for protection.” (Psalm 11:1); “I trust in your unfailing love.” (Psalm 13:5); “I Trust in you, my God!” (Psalm 25:2); “I trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:6); “Trust in the Lord and do good.” (Psalm 37:3); “Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord.” (Psalm 40:4); “I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:4, 11); “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” (Psalm 112:7); “All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!” (Psalm 115:11); “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5); “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” (Isaiah 26:4); “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31); “But blessed are those who trust the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7); “Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:12); “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1); “This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.” (Titus 3:8); “Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.” (I Peter 1:21).

Are you trusting the Lord God Almighty? Unless we trust Him fully with our lives then we will not live to the capacity that He has given us. Trust Him for what He desires to do in and through your life! Trust Him today! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DorNUsi5LE

Dear Father, please help me not to trust in myself, but to put my trust in You and You alone. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus.

BE WELL DRILLERS OF THE HEART!

BE WELL DRILLERS OF THE HEART!

The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. —Proverbs 20:5

Discipleship! It is deep water that many do not want to wade into, unfortunately. Those who have never been discipled probably have never been encouraged to consider the depths of purpose-counsel- plan the Lord has placed in their hearts. Their heart is an untapped aquifer waiting for someone to draw it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1zssqmQSIM

How about you? Have you ever been discipled? Have you ever allowed a fellow follower of Jesus who is a few steps ahead of you to encourage you, to draw out the purposes in your heart that the Lord Jesus Christ has for you? If not, then you have deep water that is yet to be known while many thirsty souls are untouched by what could be drawn out of your heart to quench them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGzu6oI9b4

How about you? Are you opened to be discipled, to allow another mature follower of Jesus to help draw out the purpose the Lord has put in your heart? If you are a mature believer then are you discipling others? If you are not discipling others, then can you be considered a mature believer? We are called to discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20) and it is the faithful believers that will be involved in discipleship (II Timothy 2:2). Are you faithful? Go to the oceans of untapped purposes in the hearts of those willing to learn to impact the lives of others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBJJJkiRukY

Dear Father, help me to always be involved in the lives of others to draw out the deep water purposes that You have place in their hearts. May I do so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

WAR

WAR

They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. —Micah 4:3

What a joy this will be when nations do not have militaries that train for war anymore. This is the hope of the world. Many people talk about being able to have peace on this planet and no war. But, it will not happen until the Lord God Almighty brings it to pass. Sinful man will never have peace until it is brought in by the Prince of Peace.

The terrible destruction that one nation can bring on another nation today is utterly unthinkable. Tens of thousands of people died in the immediate explosion when the first atomic bomb was used on Hiroshima. Tens of thousands more would die later of radiation exposure. That was August 6, 1945. The nuclear bombs that nations have today would bring utter destruction if used in a nuclear war. http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki Oh that the Prince of Peace would return soon. Even so come Lord Jesus!

Dear Father, I long for the time when there will be absolute peace and safety. Oh, that the coming of Your Son would be soon. May I be faithful until He comes or I die and go to be with Him. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by Your Holy Spirit’s power.

GODLESSNESS

GODLESSNESS

But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts. —Revelation 9:20-21

After 1/3 of mankind dies in these future three plagues people will still refuse to repent and turn to God. They would rather worship demons, murder, practice witchcraft, be involved in sexual immorality and rob. How sad is that? This will happen in the future, but people today also would rather be involved in these sinful lifestyles rather then turn to the Lord God Almighty.

Ever since the Fall when Adam and Eve disobeyed God sin has dominated most of mankind. Comparatively speaking there has always been a minority of the present population of this world that has repented and truly turned to the Lord God Almighty. The vast majority would rather live their sinful lifestyles. How sad is that? This must so grieve our Creator deeply (Genesis 6:5-8).

But praise be to our Lord and Savior Jesus who redeems a people to Himself. All that the Father has given Him He does not lose. All that the Father draws to Jesus will call on His Name for salvation from sin, a new life with Him and will be with Him forever in that perfect place— Heaven. Brother and sister let us rejoice in knowing Him now and for the home in Heaven He is preparing for us (John 14:1-6). Let us also live faithfully for Him and all that means. Let us also tell others the Good News about Jesus! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zARVp3420I&list=PLcHqC9YNzSaD-O-rkP9o8hDA9jJ_oja4l&index=4

Dear Father, it is so sad that people rather live for themselves than for You. May I be faithful in living for You for the rest of my life. I so look forward to being with You and with all who love You in Heaven. May I be and do what You desire of me in the authority of my Lord Jesus and in the power of Your Holy Spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv5j7pX7yF8

SAVED!

SAVED!

Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb! —Revelation 7:10

A man fell through the ice into the water and could not get out. Every time he tried to get back on the ice it broke off and he could not get himself out. It did not look good. He would not survive long in the icy cold water. Fortunately for him another man was passing by and saw what was happening. This man had a rope in his truck and threw it to the man and pulled him out to safety. If it wasn’t for this man coming by at that exact moment the other man would have died. The man in the water could not save himself. It was the man in the passing truck that saved him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=386a4-Ch7Nw&t=188s

Now it would be ludicrous for the saved man to say he saved himself. The only part he had was to hold on tight to the instrument of his salvation— the rope being pulled by the man on shore! So it is with us. We had nothing to do with our salvation except to cling to the “Instrument” of our salvation— the Son whom the Father was drawing us to— “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). http://biblehub.com/john/6-44.htm

Dear Father, I rejoice in the salvation that You have given me through Your Son and for being kept by Your Holy Spirit. May my life be a reflection of gratitude for what You have done for me. May it be so!

OUR SOVEREIGN LORD WILL SET THINGS STRAIGHT

OUR SOVEREIGN LORD WILL SET THINGS RIGHT

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them. —Revelation 6:9-11

People who follow Jesus are killed simply for the “word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.” These followers of Jesus realize a few things. First, they understand that the Lord is Sovereign in their deaths and in all things. Second, they know that “the people that belong to this world” and follow Satan will be judged. Third, they realize that the Lord will take revenge upon those who shed their blood.

These followers who had been killed “were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.” At some point the last follower or followers of Jesus will be killed for the “word of God and for being faithful in their testimony” and then the Lord Jesus will avenge their blood. This will happen.

Today Christians are targeted and killed and for what? These followers of Jesus have done nothing wrong— https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/christian-attacks.aspx One day Jesus will set things right. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/27/asia/pakistan-lahore-deadly-blast/ —— http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/africa/kenya-university-attack/ 100,000 followers of Jesus Christ are killed annually! http://www.clarionproject.org/news/100000-christians-being-killed-faith-yearly# They are falsely accused by those who hate the Lord Jesus Christ and His followers. http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/03/asia/jakarta-islamist-governor-protest/

Jesus said to “rest a little while.” Then He will take vengeance on those of this world who have done this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbX-3_a98U Nobody of this world will get away with anything. Our Sovereign Lord Jesus knows all about it! He will set all things straight. Brothers and Sisters, we just need to be faithful to Lord God and people. He will take care of the rest.

Dear Father, we are grateful to know our Lord Jesus knows all things. Nobody and no actions escape His notice and we can trust Him fully to do the right thing according to His plans and purposes. May we be faith in His plans and purposes by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.