So there’s no confusion

My God has a name. When Moses stood at the burning bush that was not consumed, he asked the Lord, “Whom shall I say sent me?” Jehovah answered, “I AM”. My God sent Moses to guide His people from slavery in Egypt to freedom. His people (as well as Moses) were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses led those people to the land Jehovah promised Abraham. God established them there. They did not serve Him with all their hearts and were taken captive. Since 1948 they have re-inhabited this land of great controversy. I AM said they would. My God sent His son, His name is Jesus (Jehovah saves). He became the sacrificial lamb to atone for the sins of all men. Since His own rejected Him, the doors to the kingdom of God were open to the Gentiles (non-Jewish descendants). We are living in days in which all men regardless of nationality can come to Him. He is a God of mercy and grace. He IS love. He grants salvation to those who will call upon the name “Jesus.” Jesus referred to Jehovah as His Abba, Father. Jesus sent His Spirit to comfort, guide and convict when He returned to His Father after His resurrection. His Spirit is part of the triune nature of Jehovah. Father, Son and Holy Spirit make up this omnipotent deity. Jesus will return to capture up His bride, those who have called upon His name for salvation from the “day of God’s wrath”. After a time of great tribulation, Jesus will come to defeat the enemy. The old earth will pass away, a new earth will come. Just in case anyone is confused in thinking this God to which I belong is the same as others who have the title “god” but no name, I have given you a few of the many distinguishing characteristics of the Almighty. Know your God.

Burning within me,

JOY!

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Hosea 13:4 Yet I have been the Lord your God

Since the land of Egypt;

And you were not to know any god except Me,

For there is no savior besides Me.

Imagery

In the beginning, when the sinfulness of man became evident, we see God’s deliverance/salvation plans, which foreshadow His ultimate plan revealed in Christ. In Genesis six when the wickedness of man was great, God called Noah to build an ark. Though He destroyed the earth by a flood, Noah and his family were delivered, saved, by God. God let Noah know to get ready and told him how. And though Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), no one joined his family on the ark. When God shut the door, the world outside was doomed to destruction. Again, God’s judgment was coming in the form of the death angel in Egypt. God told His people how to save their first-born from death. Each family was to put the blood of a lamb on the doorpost of their home, and at midnight when the death angel passed through, he would “pass over” them. (Genesis 11-12)

The shut door and the midnight hour mark the end of opportunity. God is merciful and patient. Again, Peter relates this in 2 Peter 3:9. I have begun to pray with this imagery in mind for the lost I know. Lord, let them prepare for your coming. Let them as the Israelites apply the blood to the door post of their heart. As in the days of Noah, help them recognize a day of destruction is near and get on the ark! The images help me feel the urgency of the coming days of God’s wrath. It is not something we desire any to suffer. God doesn’t desire any endure His wrath. We do His will when we warn the unbelieving. We just don’t know how little time we have left to do so.

Burning within me,

JOY!

my son and me

I was nauseous. I didn’t know what to do or say. A person responsible for our son’s medical care was speaking harshly to him, being belligerent even. She commented after looking at my face that she had made mom mad. She had made mom sick. It was worse to have her speak to my young son that way than if she had given me that same speech. To his credit, he remained calm and polite. I however, was undone.

Thinking back of the situation, at length, God reminded me of something. You do something, good or bad, to my child, you have done it to me. Bring him a cake and make him smile, I smile. Speak harsh words to him and you have spoken harsh words to me. I had been told this before. “When someone hugs my child it is as if they hugged me.” The Lord seemed to speak audibly to say thus it is with Me and My son. If you reject Him, you reject Me. You don’t get Jehovah God without Jesus. You can’t have a relationship with God the Father and not accept His son. Blaspheme Jesus’ name and you have blasphemed His Father. It is an all or none arrangement.

I can’t close and not say the lady, not in my presence, apologized to my boy. He was totally accepting of her apology. He said I am not mad at her, she apologized. And the same is true of Jesus and His Father. If you confess your sin to Jesus, all is made right with Him and His Father. As Easter Sunday draws very near, what have you done with your knowledge of God’s son? It is in reality what you have done with God Himself. Be very careful you choose wisely.

Burning within me,

JOY!

1 John 2:22-24 (NASB)

22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Imminent

Peter lived and wrote motivated by the conviction Jesus return is imminent.

1 Peter 4

7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving

by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,

to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

If we too are motivated by this truth, there is a plan for living in this Scripture. Stay sober for the purpose of prayer. Prayer is essential to remaining faithful. Our lost loved ones are worth our times of pleading with the Father for salvation. Love deeply; love covers over a multitude of sin. Serve as God has gifted you to serve. Do all to the glory of God. When He comes that is what all will see, the glory of the only begotten of the Father.

Burning within me,

JOY!

Rescue

The words of this old hymn have not been sung in a church service I have attended in years, yet God has had them on my heart this week. They are challenging, convicting, and sobering words…

 

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,

Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;

Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,

Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,

Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,

Waiting the penitent child to receive;

Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;

He will forgive if they only believe.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,

Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

 

Burning within me,

JOY!

My watch broke

I realized at one point last week that my wrist was not heavy enough. I grabbed my arm; my watch was gone. I retraced my steps. I checked in every possible bag. I hoped I had left it at home, but I found one lone bead that belonged to the band in my office. Thinking of my watch and its absence created a sense of urgency in me. It sounds odd but I could only attribute it to the Spirit’s urging. I began to pray through my “lost” prayer list with a sense of panic. Are you too hearing the clock that seems to be increasing in speed?

Time, it is ever ticking by whether we acknowledge it or not. I am burdened with the reality time is short. Peter teaches us that Jesus is tarrying His return for one reason. He is patient and not willing that any should perish. Bible scholars repeat that there is nothing left on the prophetic calendar to happen before He comes. Can I remind you again today to be aware that no man knows the day or hour of His return and we should be watching and praying?

Burning within me,

JOY!

Do you have boys?

Just this past week Michael Youssef spoke of pornography in the introduction to a message he preached on the Samaritan woman. That is an odd preface to a story of salvation. Josh McDowell retweeted the video of a message he preached during Founder’s Week at Moody Bible church. Pornography is a strange topic at a founder’s week celebration, yet McDowell challenged parents and grandparents concerning the epidemic of pornography. Both men spoke of the average young age of first exposure. One said 10 and the other 9. This struck apprehension in me. (McDowell has his research statistics on his website.) The industry wealth exceeded 13 billion in 2006. Those involved are heartbreaking. It is as widespread among the church members as those not affiliated with the church. The clergy are effected as well. The presence on the web: “As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages.” (Notice these stats are approximately ten years old.)

If you have boys, it is a subject to address. It is leading to heartbreak and woes in America as well as the church and families. As God opened my eyes last week, we shared with our sons. May we raise a generation of godly, wise men forewarned of Satan’s destructive land mines! For your inspiration, I include the passage we used to broach the subject. Solomon wrote warnings to his son as well. We need to teach our inheritance to guard their hearts and fix their gaze and watch the path of their feet.

Burning within me,

JOY!

Proverbs 4:20-27 (NASB)

20 My son, give attention to my words;

Incline your ear to my sayings.

21 Do not let them depart from your sight;

Keep them in the midst of your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them

And health to all their body.

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,

For from it flow the springs of life.

24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth

And put devious speech far from you.

25 Let your eyes look directly ahead

And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

26 Watch the path of your feet

And all your ways will be established.

27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;

Turn your foot from evil.

Everyone is talking about it

On her radio program, Precepts for Life, Kay Arthur is teaching through the book of Daniel. Today on “Running to Win”, Erwin Lutzer was discussing the churches in the book of Revelation. Jan Markel’s program this past weekend had Jack Hibbs speaking of Islam, False Prophets, and the Daze of Deception. Everyone is talking about the times and how they relate to the Word of God!

The following is from Dr. Robert Jeffress book, Countdown to Apocalypse, published this year:

I realize that many people react with skepticism whenever anyone mentions Bible prophecy. In one sense, it seems unrelated to modern life. Who cares about the Mark of the Beast when we still have bills to pay and meetings to attend, not to mention making sure the kids get to soccer practice on time? Life is already so full that we don’t have any extra energy to study the meaning of some obscure vision in the Book of Revelation. It might be fascinating to ponder the strange statue in Daniel 2, but we’re just too tired to think about it. Plus the headlines we see are frightening enough without wondering about the “last days”.

What difference does it make?

Knowing the future ought to make a big difference in the way we live today. Jesus gave us some very specific signs of the “last days”. We ignore those signs to our own peril. Those who know what is to come can be prepared.

I want to be like the watchman in Isaiah 21. He was told specific things for which to look and when he saw those he was told to “pay close attention, very close attention”! Beloved, we are seeing those things of which Jesus spoke, Daniel prophesied about and John saw in his visions. Don’t be caught unaware. Make Bible Study a priority, find a radio program where truth is taught like “Precepts for Life” or “Leading the Way” or “Running to Win”. Prepare for the days ahead; prepare your household! Jesus is coming soon. Maranatha!

Burning within me,

JOY!

Know the future

Jeremiah 29:11 is a beloved verse. It hangs in many households. It is quoted often by saints of all ages. The context, however, isn’t often considered. This verse was spoken to God’s people, Israel. God’s plans for them have yet to find fulfillment. The remnant is struggling and fighting to maintain their homeland. Their bright hope and future is in the Messiah. Yes, He came. Yet, Israel’s struggle did not end then and has not finished as of yet, even though they have returned to their own country. It is when He comes again that the fruition of this promise will take place. Do you know what will take place at that time? Are you a student of prophecy? Does the context of God’s words matter? Oh, yes and a million times yes. If you don’t know the bright hope we have is coming, you might think God misled Israel (and us) when we suffer here and now. By no means does God lie! “Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:3 NKJV Israel is in the midst of dangerous times. Iran continues to build nuclear weapons. That is a threat to America as well, beloved. If the dark times overwhelm our thinking and we are not aware of God’s plans (which He has made known to us in His Word), we might very well become discouraged in our souls. We must know God’s Word and what He tells us about the future to realize He does have a bright future for Israel and the body of Christ. The current times are just proving each word He has said is true. Don’t neglect to study the words God Himself gave you to guide you through the days ahead. Remember always, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)  There is a bright future ahead! Burning within me, JOY!

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