BE ON GUARD!

BE ON GUARD!

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. —-Acts 20:28-31

We need to be watchful shepherds over ourselves (leadership) and over all the flock of God. Leaders were made overseers of the church by the Holy Spirit of God which Jesus purchased with His blood. This is an awesome responsibility.

The passage above tells us that there will be wolves that rise among the flock, will not spare the flock, they will distort the truth with the intent of drawing disciples away after themselves. Be on guard!

Years ago, when I was a very young follower of Jesus, I talked to a leader about the wheat and tares and talked about tares being in the church. He said, “Tares would not be in the church.” Well, if he was talking about the True Universal Church then he would be correct. Only believers can be a part of that Church. But, he appeared to be talking about the local church he was pastoring. I would disagree with him. More than likely there are tares among the wheat in a local church. It is highly unlikely that just because a people come to a church building that they all are necessarily part of the Universal Church.

Nor is it likely that just because people come to a Christian gathering of any sort that they are necessarily part of the Universal Church. Tares will come in among the wheat. There will be lost people among the saved. But, they will hear the Word of God and need to. May the Lord have mercy on them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8umfBRlwW8

Dear Father, may I be faithful in sharing Your Word in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. Yes, may I just be faithful in this out of love for You and for people. May it be so.

MY SHEPHERD

MY SHEPHERD

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. —Psalm 23:1

Is the Lord my Shepherd? If my answer is yes then I will not lack anything I NEED! He will provide me with food and drink, He will minister to my soul, He will guide me, He will take fear away by His presence, He will comfort me, He will bless me and cause my cup to overflow even among my enemies, His goodness and love will be with me life-long and I will dwell in His house forever!

He will give you and me what we need. He knows what is best and we can trust Him fully. May we do so as we walk through today… tomorrow and the rest of our lives.

Dear Father, thank You for Your loving care for me. I am so glad to know I am safe and secure in Your hands. May I faithfully serve you in the authority of Jesus and in the power of Your Holy Spirit— all for Your honor and glory. May it be so!

OUR SOVEREIGN LORD JESUS

OUR SOVEREIGN LORD JESUS

“At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. HE BRINGS THE CLOUDS TO PUNISH PEOPLE, OR TO WATER HIS EARTH AND SHOW HIS LOVE.” —Job 37:1-13

Life can be very difficult at times. Let us not sugarcoat it. Deaths of love ones… severe health situations come upon those around us or to ourselves… accidents change the lives of multitudes for life… Life can be very hard and sorrowful at times!

When difficulty comes on many they blame God even though they have not given Him much or any thought up until the time the difficulty came upon them. Many followers of Jesus also struggle with understanding and trusting when hard times befall them.

When sharing God’s Word with one unsaved lady I know she often brings up the three miscarries she experienced and asks where God was then. She is 88 years old and those memories of those miscarries are as fresh on her mind as when they happened. The answer to her question is not one we can fully know. But what we do know is that we are living in a fallen world where sin has affected every area of Creation. When sin entered the world, so did death, sickness, sorrow… That was not God’s fault. He is not to blame. Mankind sinned against Him and we brought all this on ourselves. The blame game started right after the first sin… Adam blame the woman who God gave Him and therefore was blaming God. So the blame shifting has continued through the ages right down to this present time and will continue to the end of the age. God is not to blame… man is!

But, God is Sovereign. He is ruler over all and is working in and through this fallen world to fulfill His purposes. We do not understand it all, but we can trust Him fully. Who else are we going to trust? Do you want to fully trust any man who is part of this fallen world or trust the in infallible Word of God? I know Who I will trust fully with my life… and it is no mere man on this planet! No, I will trust the Lord Jesus Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me. That is Who I will fully trust! It is His Word I will stake my eternal destiny on! May you as well! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw5osFG4WZk&list=RDvw5osFG4WZk&index=1

Thank You Father, that I can fully trust You as You carry out Your purposes on this planet. Oh, I do so look forward to Heaven, but until then help me to run the race You have laid out for me and encourage others to do the same. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of my Lord Jesus.

THE ETERNAL TERROR FOR REJECTING JESUS

THE ETERNAL TERROR FOR REJECTING JESUS

…you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life… —Acts 13:46

As a follower of Jesus I shudder at the thought of any who this saying above applies to. They will not be having a party in hell with their friends. Hell… I do not understand only what I read in God’s Word and what I read of hell is horrifying. Those who flippantly speak of it do not understand it. Listen! The demons understand that torment in hell is going to take place and they tremble (Matthew 8:29; James 2:19). This is such a serious and sobering consideration. I hope no one reading this falls under the statement mentioned above. Jesus clearly warned of this place many times… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5baswPg32Ws Unfortunately the majority of people do! The road to hell is wide and many are on it. The road to life is narrow and few find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

If you have not trusted Jesus please do so before it is too late. Whoever truly calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). Don’t put off this most important decision that will impact your life forever! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=2s Right now is the right time!

Dear Father, if there are any who read this and have never trusted Your Son, the Lord Jesus, may they do so now. Oh, that you would put it on their heart to do so. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

HE KNOWS ME… AND YOU!

HE KNOWS ME… AND YOU!

Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? —Job 31:15

The billionaire, the pauper and everyone in between have something really important in common! They were both formed in the womb by the Lord God Almighty. This should be recognized by all people because we were formed by His hand to be in relationship with Him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl88O_mUgU4

How sad when the creation won’t even acknowledge the Creator who created it! Yet today as days past “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? (Isaiah 29:16). Oh, that happens the majority of the time with people. How sad… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMdf0oWnKEM

How exciting it is to know that there are those who are willing to listen to the gospel and seeds are planted and watered and the Lord God Almighty will bring about a harvest with the seed sown and watered. May we be faithful in planting and watering, trusting God to bring the increase (I Corinthians 3:7-8). May it be so!

Dear Father, may I be a faithful servant of Yours— planting and watering as I trust You to bring increase. Please help me to be about Your business today in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

HEALTHY LIFE

HEALTHY LIFE

But the word of God continued to spread and flourish. —Acts 12:24

Ever seen a vine spread and flourish? We had a vine taking over some of the trees in our yard. The vines flourished so much that it killed a tree it covered. In the southern U.S. the Kudzu vine can grow up to 60 feet in a season. This vine can engulf anything it attaches itself to: trees, telephone poles, fences… These vines are a good example of spreading and flourishing and it is an invasive species of plant.

The Word of God “spread and flourished” in the early church and should be doing so today in our own lives and through our lives. If God’s Word is not spreading and flourishing in my own life, then how will it spread and flourish through my life? It won’t! So the question is— How is the Word of God spreading and flourishing in and through my life? How is the Word of God “invasive” through my life to the culture I am in?

Have I shared the Word of God with a person who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ? Or, have I just plan and simply share the Word of God with anybody? When was the last time I shared the Word of God with somebody? You may say… “Well, that is being invasive in that person’s life.” You are exactly right. God’s Word is invasive and should take over a person’s life. We should live according to the Word of God. Would you describe the Word of God spreading and flourishing through your life? How about in your life? Oh, may His Word be spreading and flourishing in all areas of our lives and then may His Word spread and flourish to many others. Oh that His Word would be invasive in our own lives and in the lives of others we share His Word with. May it be so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkunT7BYCqw

Dear Father, may I be a faithful follower of my Lord Jesus. Oh that Your Word would spread and flourish to all areas of my own life and then through me to the lives of others. May it be invasive! Yes, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

HATE EVIL!

HATE EVIL!

And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” —Job 28:28

Let those who love the LORD hate evil… —Psalm 97:10

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. —Proverbs 8:13

Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts… —Amos 5:15

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. —Romans 12:9

Sincere love for God and a healthy fear of God is to “hate evil.” So do you and I hate evil? Or, do we play around with evil? We are to love the Lord our God with our whole being (Matthew 22:37-38). If this is not our highest priority, then how will we ever be able to carry out the 2nd greatest command to love our neighbor? (Matthew 22:38-40).

Let us check our heart right now before God or better yet, let us ask Him to check our heart and reveal any evil in our lives that we need to confess and repent of! Oh, that we may sincerely do so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsYyuK1w3q0

My Dear Father, may I sincerely have a right attitude toward You and the things that are dear to You. Oh that this would be true in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. So be it!

LIFE WILL SOON BE OVER

LIFE WILL SOON BE OVER

…he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ —Job 20:7

Wow! It is coming my friend! There is an end to our life on this planet. Our body is wearing out and will not function anymore sometime not too far in the distant future. Think about it… just like our dung will turn to dust and be gone… so will our body. These bodies are just temporary tents for us to dwell in. Soon, life will be over… then what? This is a question we NEED to answer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiRhcR4Vg10

I went for a swim this morning as I seek for that to be my daily habit during warmer months. The lake was calm, the water cool and it was a great morning for a swim. I had just finished my swim and was standing shoulder deep holding the kayak I tow when I heard someone enter the water behind me. I turned and greeted the man whose name turned out to be Bob. We talked generally for a few minutes and turned to discuss spiritual matters.

Bob is 77 years old, has been swimming since he was 14 years old. He is a seasonal resident, just up for the summer. We talked about the brevity of life, agreed all people have broken the Ten Commandments, that all are headed for judgment, destiny after death and the reason, the gospel, Jesus came to earth. 77 years old and he had not considered these things and yet our bodies will disintegrate in dust as much as our dung will. Not a grand ending for these bodies.

Yet, we can have new bodies that will last forever if we repent (turn from our own ways), trust the finished work of Jesus at the cross (follow His ways) and call on Him to save us. Then the body—- “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (I Corinthians 15:52-54).

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”.(II Corinthians 5:1-10).

Dear Father, I thank You for forgiveness of sin and eternal life through trusting in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. I so look forward to the new body You will give me. May I be faithful as I finish the race laid out for me in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in Jesus Name.