A NEW THAT DOESN’T GROW OLD

A NEW THAT DOESN’T GROW OLD

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth… I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem… Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. —Revelation 21:1-2, 27

New in this world starts becoming old as soon as it is created or in your possession. A new car is no longer new, a new baby is no longer new, a new house is no longer new, new clothes are no longer new, a newlywed couple is no longer newlywed… all these new things on earth wear out, wear down, age and end. All of creation was new, but not any more…

But a time is coming when there will be a new heaven and a new earth. These will not wear out or get old and neither will we! No sin will be there, but only righteousness, peace and joy as we live with our King and all who love Him… forever!

The end of another year and the beginning of the next is upon us. We are one year closer to seeing Jesus and being in that perfect place that will never grow old! Brother and sister… keep looking to your coming home in Heaven! It is getting closer! Don’t get tied to this world, but focus on what is important to the King of Glory! All this temporary shadowy life will give way to the awesome place He has for us! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKx_hx5itIM Rejoice!

Dear Father, thank You for the gift of eternal life and my home in Heaven with Jesus and all who love Him. Oh, I look so forward to being there. May You be pleased to work through me to draw others to Jesus that they too will have their home in Heaven. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

THE RESCUED RESCUE!

THE RESCUED RESCUE!

Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. —Revelation 20:6

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:14-15

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, —Colossians 1:13

Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. —I Thessalonians 1:10

Fire, fire! Run… run! Who, in their right mind, would not flee a building about to be engulfed in flames? There are those who are not thinking right that have committed suicide by burning their homes down while they remained in side. The firemen were not able to rescue them because of the intense flames already consuming the structures.

There is another fire that multitudes are in eternal danger of perishing in. They should be running from it, but they are not thinking right. In II Timothy 2:24-26 we are told to gently instruct those who don’t know Jesus “in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” Those who do not know Jesus are not thinking right. They have a misconception about Hell. Many of them think it will be a party with friends. Talk about not thinking right! Wow, they are surely in the trap of the devil who is holding “them captive to do his will.” Satan has people thinking that the eternal horrors of Hell are going to be some joyous, sensual party with those they like, but they are actually committing an eternal spiritual suicide.

I read about the horrors of the Rwanda slaughter where a religious leader lured those of another tribe into a church building, supposedly to give them refuge. When the building was filled with people the doors where then locked and those above with weapons shot them all. Satan is luring people to a false sense of security, thinking they have no need, that they are safe, but he is luring them into the eternal flames of Hell!

Those of us who have been rescued by Jesus are now to bring that message to others (Romans 10:13-15) so they can be snatched “from the fire” (Jude 1:23) — the place originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). May we do so!

Dear Father, thank You for rescuing me from eternal Hell to Your glorious Heaven through my Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, may I be faithful in seeking to point others to the finished work of Jesus at the cross so they too can know Him and be rescued! https://youtu.be/bo9ZWX1lEKI?t=1019

BE RIGHT, DO RIGHT

BE RIGHT, DO RIGHT

These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord. —Zechariah 8:16-17

The Lord does hate things. He hates the plotting of “evil against each other” and the “love to swear falsely.” Instead we are to “Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts” and when this is not happening He is very well aware of it and hates it.

Here are some other things He hates: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

There are those who speak of the love of God to the point of denying the wrath of God. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 5:6). “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6). Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). God’s wrath is coming because of sin.

But… “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” ( I Corinthians 6:11). The Good News is that we can be made clean by calling on the Name of the Lord (Romans 10:13). Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and redeemed us by His blood ( I Peter 1:18-19). Not only that but the Lord has set us apart for special service (Ephesians 2:10). He has specifically “race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1) and His Holy Spirit empowers us to run that race (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Let us “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjLlLPZderk

Dear Father, thank You for all You have saved me from and saved me to. I know it is all of You, but not let me live a life of gratitude. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus my Lord. Yes, may it be so.

RELATIONAL DILIGENCE

RELATIONAL DILIGENCE

This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God. —Zechariah 6:15

But without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. —Hebrews 11:6

This is not some haphazard, occasional, when I feel like it I will follow the Lord type walk. No, instead there is an attentiveness, a devotion, an active faith in this “race marked out for us” as we keep “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 1-2). As we obey Him, as we trust Him we will see those things happen that He desires and we will line up with them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIpnW3rtRQ4

What we do should be coming out of whose and who we are. The work of God comes from our being with God. Godly service flows from a godly relationship. Time with Him guides our works for Him, “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). We cannot divorce our relationship with God from our service to God. The one flows out of the other. James is very clear about this as well— “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” and “faith without deeds is useless” and “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:17, 20, 26). The Apostle Paul said “that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20). Again, the outward manifestation of service should come from the inward transformation that is taking place through relationship with our Father through His Son Jesus and as empowered by His Holy Spirit. The gift or gifts of the Holy Spirit in action shows forth the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life and transformation takes place by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We need to spend time with Jesus for this transformation to take place. Even the Jewish leaders had some understanding of this “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

To accomplish the work of God a follower of Jesus needs to spend time with God to develop relationship with God to know the will of God. Then the follower can move forward with confidence fully assured in the direction God desires him to go. If those who profess Christ do not start here then they are living in their own strength and that is futile.

Dear Father, I am grateful for Who You are and for Your love for me. There is nothing greater than this. Please help me not to be caught up in what the world thinks is important, but may I be caught up in what You say is of utmost importance. Help me to regularly sit at Jesus’ feet and listen. Then help me to go forward in Your Holy Spirit’s strength to be and do what You desire that You would be glorified. May it be so!

VICTORY IN JESUS!

VICTORY IN JESUS!

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death… Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. —Revelation 12:11, 17

Those who have “called on the Name of the Lord” for salvation have overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony. Those who truly follow after Jesus “keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” They truly know whose they are! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsDQEb-qlyM

Take a look at the testimony of Paul in Acts Chapter 26. This man was radically transformed! He was in prison for his life’s testimony about Jesus which gave him more opportunity to give testimony of how Jesus impacted his life and the directives that he was given by Jesus. Yes, Paul knew who he was in Jesus. Nothing would change that— nothing in all creation could change that (Romans 8:37-39). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjLlLPZderk

Do you understand whose you are and who you are in Jesus? What testimony are you giving about that? Those followers of Jesus in the above passage “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” This is how confident they were in Jesus. So do you and I have that type confidence? It will be seen in our lives! May it be so!

Dear Father, thank You for what You have done for me in Jesus. I am grateful. Now may I live more faithful to Your desires and show my gratitude. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER!

HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER!

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” —Revelation 11:15

Christmas… the celebration of Christ… and for those of us who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, those who have called on His Name for salvation, this is only the beginning of the celebration. The Lord God Almighty will reign forever and ever. Got that child of God? You are in a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). It is an eternal kingdom that we are in! (Psalm 145:13; Daniel 4:3; II Peter 1:11). What is the greatest Christmas Gift a person could receive? “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 6:23). That is the most Awesome Gift a person could ever receive!

As the world celebrates a Christless Christmas, let we who profess His Name do just that this Christmas and all year long— profess His Good News to a dying world… until we see Jesus. May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=30s

Dear Father, thank You for the Gift of eternal life that You gave me through Your Son, Jesus. Now, may I be faithful with this Gift in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

OF UNFAITHFULNESS AND JUDGMENT

OF UNFAITHFULNESS AND JUDGMENT

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.” Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets. —Micah 3:9-12

Leaders “who despise justice and distort all that is right” put their nation at risk of judgment. These leaders have not problem shedding blood to keep in power and their lives are filled with wickedness. These leaders are easily bribed and even religious leaders do what they do only for the money. Yet these people claim that the Lord is among them and no judgment will come. They are dead wrong!

Instead, it was because of these wicked leaders in government and evil religious leaders that “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will be a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.” So, those who are being faithful will be affected by those in leadership that are not faithful.

We can easily see this in the U.S. government and with religious leaders across America. They are in it for themselves. They love their power positions and only the Lord fully knows what they have done to keep their positions or try to keep their positions. Undoubtedly, some of them have practiced these very things that are mention in the Scripture portion above.

Those unfaithful leaders in government and in the church will eventually bring down judgment on this nation. Could there be a national repentance? Anything is possible with God. Will there be? If so, it needs to start with those who profess the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It needs to begin with me… and you… Cling to Him, understanding all our brokenness, but His faithfulness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhxELo-uD3c Be honest with yourself and keep going as in marriage…

Dear Father, oh, that I will truly desire to be faithful to You above all things. Oh, that I would not be conformed to this world’s system and live according to Your Spirit and not according to the flesh. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus! May it be so!

DON’T BE A JONAH

DON’T BE A JONAH!

Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” —Jonah 4:6-8

The Lord God provided:

-a message for Jonah to preach

-a storm to redirect him

-a fish to swallow him to bring him to obedience

-a ride by the fish to the shore where the Lord wanted him

-a repentance to a whole city

-a leafy plant and He made it grow

-a worm that cause the plant to wither

-a scorching east wind to blaze on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint and wanted to die.

-a challenge to Jonah that he was more concerned about one plant than a multitude of people

Jonah had just seen an entire massive city repent and turn to the Lord. But, he was not happy about it. Instead, he went out on a hill overlooking the city and was waiting for the judgment of God to fall on the city as he had preached. His message that God sent him to give was “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). Jonah was just waiting for the fire from Heaven to fall upon these wicked enemies. Instead of the Ninevites rejecting the message they all believed the message and God’s hand of judgment was stayed. Amazing that Jonah was angry with God for not judging these repentant people.

Look at all that God did in this historical narrative and what He says to us. He gave Jonah the message to speak and God has given us His Word to speak. God sent a storm to redirect Jonah and He does the same today to redirect us at times. God caused a fish to swallow Jonah to captivate him until he had an obedient heart and God can captivate us today to change our hearts. Just as God supernaturally guided a fish to spew Jonah up where He wanted him, so also God can use creation to bring us to where He wants us. When Jonah preached the message that God gave him a whole city repented and when we preach God’s Word He will use it to accomplish His will through us was well. God provided a leafy plant to bring Jonah comfort and God gives us comfort as well. But then God caused the plant to wither and bring a scorching wind that to cause Jonah to be uncomfortable to the point of wanting to die. Jonah was rebuked by God for caring more about a single plant that made him comfortable than about people who were in danger of perishing and the challenge to us is—

Do we care more about being comfortable than about the people all around us that are in danger of perishing that need to hear the message of repentance?

Dear Father, please help me, help us, to be more caring about those in danger of perishing than of our own comfortableness. Oh, that this would be true by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

RESPOND TO HIM!

RESPOND TO HIM!

Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say, “ ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’ “Therefore this is what the Lord says: “ ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’ ” —Amos 7:12-17

Amos was shepherding sheep and an arborist when the Lord redirected his life. He was in the quiet shadows of life tending to sheep and caring for trees when he was given the directive to prophesy to God’s people Israel. This was quite a change for Amos. He was probably enjoying his work among the mostly compliant creation and now the Lord was calling him to work among people who were often not so compliant.

Sheep and trees don’t have tongues to speak rejection. They accept care and compassion very readily. People, on the other hand, can be cruel rejecters with no desire to receive anything from you. Not only that but so often they may tell you to stop what you are doing even though it was the Lord who told you to do it. They do not receive the authority that the Lord has given you to do what you were told by Him to do. They reject Him.

The Lord often calls people from their present vocation to serve Him in a new capacity. We may feel quite comfortable with our present job and enjoy it, but then He starts drawing us to follow Him in a new way. It is a decision we may not have intended to make. Maybe we thought we would be doing the present job for the rest of our working lives. Then, seemingly out of the blue, He redirects our lives in a totally different direction. I have seen Him do this in my own life and seek to be sensitive to His guidance wherever He may want to send me now. May I always seek to be open to His direction.

Is the Lord tapping on your shoulder to go in a different direction? Are you yielding to Him or are you resisting the change? You will only be the most fulfilled when you are obedient to His guidance. I pray that you will yield to His desires for you. May it be so!

Dear Father, may I run the race that You have marked out for me. Oh, that I would be sensitive to Your guidance as I run the race. Please help me not to get off course. May I stay on course, being and doing what You desire in the power of Your Hoy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m_sWJQm2fs

GOD’S LOVE & HATE

GOD’S LOVE & HATE

Hate evil, love good. —Amos 5:15

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

Look at the love of God toward us. We are told “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19-20). When no man could redeem us (Psalm 49:7-10), Jesus did (I Peter 1:18-19) and nothing in all creation can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39). God is love (I John 4:8) and we are to love like He does. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBYCzvThB1A

Yet, God hates evil and “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) and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). As followers of Jesus we need to hate the evil that God hates and love the good that God loves. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19). It is because of this evil that judgment will come— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbX-3_a98U Do we hate the things that He hates? Do we love the things He loves? May it be so!

Dear Father, may I truly love the good that You love and hate the evil that You hate. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!