Jesus is Coming Soon!

This song has been on my mind for the last few weeks so I thought I’d share it.

 

Troublesome times are here filling men’s hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod Christians awake

Jesus is coming soon morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound

Love of so many cold losing their home of gold
This in God’s word is told, evils abound
When these signs come to pass, nearing the end at last
It will come very fast, trumpets will sound

Jesus is coming soon morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound

Troubles will soon be o’er, happy forevermore
When we meet on that shore, free from all care
Rising up in the sky, telling this world goodbye
Homeward we then will fly, glory to share!

Jesus is coming soon morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound

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!

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!

Isaiah 1

I was reading today and came across this passage where God is speaking to Judah.  The similarities between then and now struck me enough to share them.  God speaks the problem and then gives the solution.  I’ll let the passage speak for itself without any other commentary.

“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?  Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me.  New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations – I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.  When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Isaiah 1: 12-17 ESV

Blessings!

The Power of Relationship

Every now and then I’ll have a conversation that is unequivocally God-ordained. That is not to say that God does not influence a great many of my conversations; however these are extraordinary and unusually powerful.  They typically come out of the blue and leave you feeling great, knowing that something special has transpired.  My memory is not what it used to be, but I can always remember these conversations as they are etched into my mind as significant events.

Some of the most important of these conversations have taken place in the workplace.  I just want to take a moment to reinforce what I feel God is saying to me.  We are called to be salt and light wherever we go.  He is able to spread his message in many ways, but one great vehicle comes through the power of our relationship with people whom we see on a daily basis.

How are your relationships?  Can God move through them to broadcast His thoughts, will, power, and love to people you know?

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

Mathew 5:13-15 NKJV

Blessings!

This Present Darkness…

Periodically, I will go back and re-read books that I find valuable or entertaining.  In keeping with this tradition, I’m about to start reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti again.

The Bible tells us that what we deal with on a daily basis is not physical in nature; rather, it is spiritual.  Failing to understand that basic truth can cause all kinds of problems in your life.  There is a war going on for your soul and you will always be a casualty if you don’t know you’re in the cross-hairs of the enemy!  Paul clues us in to this foundational truth about life in his letter to the Ephesians:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

Our struggle is against whom?  President Obama?  Republicans/Democrats?  Blacks, whites, neo-nazis, or Al-Queda?  No.  We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.  We struggle against spiritual forces.  So many times we set our aim on people, not realizing all along that there is more at play than what meets the eye.  Did you ever stop to think on the higher reality that those who cause us difficulty and harm, though responsible for their actions, are under the influence of evil spiritual powers?   I really wonder how many of the ailments we see plaguing society are really caused by spiritual influence rather than physical imperfections (split personalities, depression, suicide, ADD, homosexuality, abortion, sexual perversion, etc…).  Saying that they are influenced by the spiritual does not give license to condone or practice these activities, but it can shed light as to the source of the problem.  Dealing with these types of problems with medicine will never work if they are spiritual in nature.  This is not to say that there are not true medical conditions out there that can be treated, but you have to admit that the concept of a spiritual root is provocative and worthy of serious consideration.  Along the lines of this train of thought, if there were demons present and active in the time of Jesus, did they pack up shop and call it a day when he ascended to heaven?  I think not!  That begs to question, “Where did they go?” and “What, if anything, are they doing now?”  I submit to you that they didn’t go anywhere and are just as active today, if not more active.  But I digress….

Notice that Paul gives a hierarchical listing: rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers.  Just like any modern military, there is an order to Satan’s forces, each with increasingly higher power and authority to work their evil.  Notice that Paul also clues us into the where: the heavenly places.  Where is that?  Those are the places you cannot see but exist nonetheless.  We now know from science that we live in more that four dimensions.  Four you say?  Height, depth, width, and time make up the four observable dimensions, but there are others that are not directly perceptible.  Science is confirming what the Bible has said all along.  Even though we cannot directly perceive the heavenly realms with our eyes, they exist and are populated with both good and evil beings.

The concept of evil and even the use of the word is largely missing in our sophisticated, humanist view of the world at large.  But make no mistake, just because we don’t use the word or acknowledge its workings, evil is present, alive, and on the move in the world today.  Christians accept the reality of the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  If we can accept that each person of the Trinity is actively at work in the world today, then how large a leap of logic does it take to realize that Satan and his angels are hard at work in the world as well?

Sometimes it takes a vivid illustration to make this point and This Present Darkness will snap you out of any sleepy illusion that you may hold regarding the world of the spirit  and give you a fictional, but very thought-provoking view of what it looks like behind the scenes in the realm of the spiritual as it collides and interacts with what we see in the physical.

There is a war raging all around you.  Not consciously making a choice for one side or the other will not prevent you from becoming embroiled in the fray.  The war is real, the stakes are high, and you cannot escape it!  If your eyes are not open to this reality, then I pray that you take the time to explore my claims so that you can prepare and equip yourself to be the active warrior and not an unknowing victim.

Fortunately, the hard part is already done for you:  Jesus died according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the scriptures.  Putting your faith in him and believing that only he has the power to cleanse you of your sin (another word we do not use much today), break you out of the chains of your current bondage, set you free, and make you a new man or woman truly alive as you were created to be is the solution.  And he will also give you the power to stand against the tide of evil washing over the face of the earth…the power to stand against this present darkness!

Be blessed!

Before Abraham Was, I am…

John 8:58 has got to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible!  Jesus just finished confounding the scribes and the Pharisees when they tried to test him with the woman caught in adultery (v. 2-11).

He then begins to tell them that he is the light of the world and that the truth will set you free.  The scribes and the Pharisees just cannot take it any longer at this point and start to engage him again, saying “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus explains it for them again, telling them if they were children of Abraham, then they would be doing the works that Abraham did.  As it was, they were trying to kill him – something Abraham wouldn’t do because he would understand who Jesus is and embrace the truth he was imparting to the people.

So they retort, using the insult that they weren’t born of immorality (implying that Jesus was a bastard as a result of his virgin birth) and again cling to the fact that Abraham was their father.  Jesus quickly corrects them and lets them know who their true father is: the Devil.  They claim he has a demon and Jesus replies that he honors his Father and they (the scribes and the Pharisees) dishonor him (Jesus) by what they are doing.

Again, Jesus imparts wisdom, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”  That does it.  The scribes and Pharisees have heard enough!  “Now we know you have a demon.  Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death’.  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?  And the prophets died!  Who do you make yourself out to be?

And here is the part I love: Jesus breaks it down and makes it really simple for them.  The results were staggering and the implications profound:

 If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’  But you have not known him.  I know him.  If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.  So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Wow!  Before Abraham was, I am.  Talk about a thunder-clap statement!  There can be no denying what Jesus just did: He directly tied himself to YHVH, the God of the burning bush…the God of creation.  I’ll bet you could have heard a pin drop in that moment!

But think of the implications of what he said as it pertains to us.  Before you were ever thought of or concived, he was God!  Before that illness struck you, he was God.  Before your husband left you for another woman, he was God!  Before you started having all those problems at work, he was God!  Before one particle of this universe came into being, he was God!

It wasn’t a concept or an idea that was nailed to the cross.  It wasn’t something ordinary that was put into the grave.  It wasn’t something ethereal that rose on the third day.  It was Jesus the Messiah that did all of these things…it was the I AM.

Think about that as you reflect upon whom it is you serve.  It makes all the difference in the world!