The Encroaching Darkness

I want to share one my favorite authors/speakers talking about a subject of great importance.  We are living in dark times, but we are not left alone and without hope.  It is so important to know who we are as children of God and to know what He has said so that we may view the dying world around us through his eyes.  We need to get back into the Word in a way like never before to be salt and light to a world that has largely turned away from Him!

Be blessed!

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To Which Throne Do You Bow?

At Whose Throne Do You Bow? Where do you bend your knee? It seems like such an antiquated concept, but in actuality, everyone does it whether we know it or not!

We sometimes like to look at things holistically – in terms of years, months, weeks, or days – when it comes to how we plan out and address our lives.  However, decisions are made at a much smaller scale and many times this scale is moment-to-moment.  It is this time period I would like to address.

We like the illusion that life is made up of grey areas.  In reality, however, things are starkly black or white, up or down, right or wrong.  There are such things as absolutes and our lives are full of them whether we acknowledge them or not.  The moment-to-moment decisions we make determine, in effect, where we bow our knees.

When our decisions follow God’s ordained laws and principles, we bow at the throne of Jesus, our savior.  When our decisions succumb to the carnal side of our nature, we bow at the throne of Satan.  “Satan has a throne?” you may ask.  Yes!  He is called the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and “the ruler of this dark world” (Ephesians 6:12).  He is the leader of the principalities, powers, and dark rulers of this world.  We know princes and rulers have thrones and Satan is no different.  The Bible makes it very clear that he currently has dominion over the earth.  If not, how could the following take place:

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Matthew 4:8-9

The huge difference here is that Satan’s authority is limited but Jesus’ is enduring and eternal.  Though we may choose to bow to Satan now (and make no mistake – that is exactly what we do when we choose to deviate from what God has ordained), the Bible makes it very clear where we all will eventually bow:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11

So, the question is: Where do you bend your knee?  We cannot look at this in a high-level overview.  Where we bow is determined by our choices.  We need to take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).  That is clearly moment-to-moment and doing so will help us establish dominion over our flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to continue his work of molding us into the image of Jesus Christ!

Blessings!

 

Forget TBT (Throwback Thursday) – Here’s TPT (Thought Provoking Thursday) Instead…

Thought Provoking Thursday (TPT)..

I come across interesting posts and articles from time to time that are worth sharing.  Here are a few for you to consider. They will take you some time, but I think it’s worth it.

I’m curious what your thoughts are on these.  Please share your comments with me!

Blessings!

America’s Holocaust

Pastor Ray Comfort took to the streets to ask young people about what they knew of Adolph Hitler.  Surprisingly, many did not even know who he was!  After explaining, where necessary, he started an interesting dialogue with them regarding the subject of the Holocaust in Germany during World War II and how that is happening in a similar fashion in America today.

I challenge you to take a few minutes to view this riveting documentary on the subject.  My heart grieves for America and how we have morally lost our way, but it rejoices in the fact that God can and does change minds and hearts in spite of all our misdirected ways.

What About Prayer?

I am part of a group that meets once a week at 6:00 to work through and discuss the book Radical by David Platt.  Part of our discussion this morning went off on an tangent and we started discussing corporate prayer.  I ended up recounting an event from my past that was powerful and I’d like to share it with you and then see what you think.

Many years ago, I went to a genuine revival where the power and presence of God was present and palpable.  To say the least, it really changed my perspective on a great many things.  Naturally, those in the group who went started discussing things back at our home church and this led us to the conclusion that we really needed to pray over our church on a regular basis for revival and the power of God.  So, we started meeting together on Saturday nights to do just that.  Now, I was on fire because of what I just experienced at revival, but I’m also not one naturally inclined to be first in line when meeting is called specifically for prayer.  I was in my 20’s and it was on Saturday nights….  However, during the course of this time, I watched God move in an undeniably strong way and I must say that to this day I still remain extremely close to many people in that small group even though we are separated by miles of distance and months of time between when we talk.  Things just became so clear, so real, and so powerful during that time.  Bonds were created that remain unbroken.  Unity was established.

Let’s fast forward to today.  I haven’t done anything like that since, but I’m starting to believe that group prayer on a regular basis with a small, intimate group is really what is needed in my life, my church, and my community.  If you really think about it, the early church had power because they had relationship.  They had relationship because they prayed.  It was a great pattern then and it is a great pattern now.

I challenge you to take the time and consider the importance of individual and group prayer in your life.  This is a stark reality to me today, but if I do not act on it, like all things, it will fade in importance.  Our communities, our states, our nation, and our world are in chaos right now and there is no better time for intimacy with the one who created us and who set us free.  Ponder, analyze, and determine the veracity of what I am saying.  If you find it to be true, take action!

Blessings!

Words of Encouragement…

It seems like many people I know are going through some gut wrenching, soul testing times right now.  Take heart in what Paul has to say below.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28 ESV)

And also:

What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how  will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’  No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:31-39 ESV)

Be blessed!

It Only Takes One…

I was in the car yesterday at a stoplight while out running errands.  As I looked out my window, I saw a woman there with a sign asking for a donation.  I reached into my wallet to pull out my solitary dollar (I tend to use check cards so I don’t carry much cash), then I beckoned the woman over.  I actually had to wait as the truck in front of me was doing the same thing.  She came, got my dollar, then I noticed that the person behind me was giving as well and it made me think back to other times I’d given to someone on the street.  It seems to me that if one persons starts the process, then other people tend to pick up on the moment and give as well.  Perhaps they already had it in mind to do so…perhaps it was guilt, or peer pressure….  Who knows?  But I know the end result is that the person was helped.

Now I know there are myriad reasons for not wanting to give money to a person on the street corner and I will admit that those thoughts cross my mind as well, but the bottom line is we are told to give to those in need.  Period.  I won’t beat a dead horse here, but I will say that I just make it my policy to give and not question the motives of the receiver.  That is between God and them as far as I am concerned.  What I tend to think of is:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)

Remember, an enormous chain of events can start with a single action.  Will you be the one to start it all?