It’s a bright beautiful day. The sun is out and the birds are chirping. A couple of good friends are walking towards a hotel room on their way to check in. It’s probably the beginning of a great vacation. As they walk in one young man begins to talk to his companions. He is trying to figure some things out and would love the feedback and support of his friends. He begins, “You know I really sense that there is some sort of earthquake coming. Now, I am not sure if the Lord is speaking to me about a spiritual shaking or a literal earthquake?” He pauses for a moment a bit unsure of what he himself is asking. He continues, calm but confident,”You know I really believe it’s a literal earthquake, and I think people’s homes are going to be destroyed and there will be death.” He knows this is a heavy topic, but he also knows his friends can handle him saying things like this. Drawing from their strength and attention he states, “You know what’s the point of announcing anything like this? People are to stubborn, they don’t care about this stuff anymore, nor would it make a difference because no one would listen.”
Friends, family, and enemies as strange and sometimes bizarre these topics can feel and seem, let it be known that this is a biblical reality. Nations will give way to behaviors that are sinful , and openly reject and rebel against the one true God, Jesus Christ. Let it be known once again that God has a way of calling those whom He loves to repentance. Let it be known that from Genesis to Revelation, God has sovereignly and specifically allowed events such as natural disasters to have those whom He loves come to Him. Let it also be known that those who have chosen to stand in the gap for their communities have successfully protected them through the message of the gospel and power of the Spirit from great judgment as ambassadors of Christ. May your heart not shrink back, but allow the Lord to move you to prayer for a sinful nation that it may turn to God. May we turn to the Lord and stand in the gap for a fallen people who are facing imminent judgement. May we not allow the pains of the past and hurts of Church experiences to keep us from the Lord. May the Church not be found stubborn to the Scriptures, but may we engage it and allow all of its truths to cause a cry in our hearts to reflect Christ. In the name of Jesus! ”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
There is an analogy about the physical visible tangible opposition Christians face is not the enemy; The real enemy is he who animates the opposition. I believe the same analogy applies to the uprising against the life of unborn babies. Those who seek rights for abortion are not the true opposition, it is the ungodly forces behind this mindset. There is a thief in our world compelling multitudes killing and destroying is ok. Whether the origin of the child was consensual or nonconsensual, the thief intends to destroy people. He doesn’t care who or how old him or her is; he wants to kill. The thief’s mindset has convinced people that death is more preferable than life. Jesus has provided true life for everyone who accepts the message of the Gospel. As Christians, we have a duty to represent life. Supporting life and telling politicians, state representatives, and others in government to side with pro-life is good. Also, I think following the example of the early church, which adopted babies from gruesome deaths, should be our next response against abortion. My prayer is “a George Mueller mindset” will arise in USA. The nature of our Saviour is saving people; He is in the business of saving people. Jesus has said in Matthew 25: 35-36 “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.” (ESV). And in verse 40: “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.” (ESV).
Grace and Peace,
“Do not hold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor “Go , and come back and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.
When I was working at a diner as a waiter, I felt compelled to share the Gospel with two of my coworkers. Despite being compelled, I thought speaking the Gospel to them can happen during another time; Perhaps there will be a better time to evangelize. All of the sudden, this scripture came to my mind. I realized my testimony, who God is in my life and what He has and continues to do, is truly the only good thing in our world. I should not feel compelled to withhold the Gospel message from anyone. This scripture in Proverbs taught me to not let my thought processes suggest I withhold what Christ has done for me. I think this scripture teaches us to not prolong evangelization. Why should I talk about Jesus tomorrow when I can talk about Him today?
Grace and Peace,
In this world we will encounter many who need help. Jesus once spoke of a man, a Good Samaritan. The religious elite of the day had passed by a man who had been deeply hurt and did not stop to help. One man considered an outcast stopped and did the right thing. The Good Samaritan gave from every resource he had to help the man on the side of the road. James says that pure and undefiled religion is to go to the widow and the orphan in distress, and to walk unstained from this world. Body of Christ, how important it is that we would be an extension of Gods healing to our generation. With every generation that passes evil will increase, yet it is the Churches responsibility to wage war against this evil. We will not fight evil with evil, but we will do good, and allow the Lord to be our Vindicator. We as the Church must seek to heal the brokenhearted. We must give everything that God has given us to see someone restored. We must be like Christ. Christ did not count equality with God something to be grasped and died on the Cross for this earth’s redemption. Christ lives in us. We are the Holy Spirits temple. We are ambassadors of Christ. Will we bring the healing of God to our workplaces? Will we bring the healing of God to our churches? Will we bring the healing of God to our homes? I wish I was writing to you from a place of perfection, I am afraid that I won’t be there until Christ returns or I go to heaven. Christ is not asking for our perfection in this venture, He is asking for our hearts. That is all He needs. That is all this world needs to know that there is healing in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Prov. 28:1 ESV)
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31 ESV)
In the face of threats, the promise of Proverbs 28 can seem a bit unrealistic. We must not forget that the righteous have an inheritance. Our inheritance is in Christ, the Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation bearing witness to Christ in us. The people of God have always been known to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let us not forget that Gods will is so many times accomplished through our prayers. If our prayer is God give us boldness in the face of threats too glorify your Name, then we can be assured that He will give us Power to do so. Sometimes the threats of our friends, coworkers, media etc. can threaten to shut up Gods work in us. All we must do is simply ask that the Lords will be done in our lives, and He will fill us with His Power too do that which He wills. The promise of boldness is not kept by us, but by the Holy Spirit. Let us not feel the pressure to live up to God but let us let God enliven us. Let us allow Gods life to flow through our earthen vessels. The life of a martyr is one who has died to the old man, and now lives a new life empowered by God. The people of God will not function under the law any longer. We will not work up a boldness that does not exist in us. We will confess our shortcomings to God and watch as His Spirit empowers us to be bold. You will be filled with boldness, as you lean on God. God is not only the promise giver, but the promise keeper, He is Faithful.
Me and my friend found ourselves thrown into a prison cell. We were courageous and knew that we could handle the situation we were in, but it was still our first day. We were prisoners of war, we knew that we were called to endure things that other men could not endure. This helped us deal with what we faced our first day.
The cell was dark and musky, dirt floors and dirt walls. It seems to almost have been a cellar. There was some light from the entrance to see a shirtless prisoner, whose frame seemed a bit skinny. Immediately we knew that this man had been here awhile and anything he told us we were going to glean from what he shared.
I quickly looked down at my leg and saw what I had written on it. It was a map of the world that discussed my plans. I knew that if the guards saw this, being my enemies, they would use this as one more excuse to treat me even more harshly then they already had. I immediately started looking at the ground for a rock to scrape my leg with. I found a nice flat one that could do the job. I began to scrape, and it was working. I scraped until my whole identity and purpose that I knew about myself was wiped away so that the enemy would not taunt me even more.
As I was doing this in the corner of my eye I saw a mouse that landed opposite of where I was sitting. Looking up to my friend and the experienced prisoner of war, he signaled that this was food for the day. He courageously grabbed it. I knew that although I feared mouse and hated them, I had to do things I thought I never would to survive. He grabbed the mouse and began to prepare it to eat. I can’t begin to tell you how nasty it was. There was no place to cook it, we were all dirty. We were all no different than that nasty mouse. It was not only dirty physically, but it reminded us of the sort of situation that we were in. Yet, we had resolve, so we partook.
Then the pressure really began to build as our cell door was opened and we were rushed out. Me and my friend knew what was coming, we would be tortured. We soon found out that torture was a regular part of every prisoner of wars day. I had a moment to whisper, ‘Let’s just take it like men.’ After all we were soldiers with a resolve too survive and fight for our lives. We were marched into a room in the middle of the compound. It was once again nasty and dark. Two figures met us inside the room. One was a heavier set guy who didn’t seem to be interested in the fact that we were there, yet we knew he was part of the team that tortured men. The other man snickered when he saw us, happy to know that we would be hurting that day. The room was also riddled with torture machines. I hoped that we wouldn’t have to go through any of those yet was ready if that was on the menu for the day. I looked at the man who had snickered with resolve, just to let him know that he could hurt me physically, but I still had life in me that he could not take away. To my relief none of the torturing implements were on the menu.
What happened next is not my fondest memory. As part of a psychological technique I was basically forced to beat my friend with a stick. I knew by the eye contact that we had made that he understood, we were going to be ok. I beat him till he was bloodied and then I was beaten just as bad. We thought that was it, and the guards could see the relief in us that it was over. But then they sat us down and splashed boiling water over us as they laughed. We screamed because our open wounds were being met with boiling water.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;1 he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;2
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, band the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.1
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
5 Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast.
7 Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.
8 For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong;1 I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. (Isa. 61:1-11 ESV)
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things (NKJV).” -Philippians 4:8
“Meditate on these things.”
I had devoted three months to a summer camp ministry and during the third month, I began to feel downcast because I was dwelling on the incidents which made my job at camp frustrating. Somewhere around that time, I had read an article which reported people having the tendency to remember the negative, unhappy, and adverse things they had experienced. I thought to myself this is something that I unknowingly do sometimes. As I reflected on this article, Philippians 4:8 came immediately to my mind. When I recalled this verse, I remembered the kids I had prayed with, problems I had listened to, talking to them about Jesus, playing with them, challenging them, and encouraging them. This scripture reminds me that God has given us the power over experiences that can negatively affect us. God was reminding me to meditate on what He has done; He was telling me to meditate on the noble, pure, lovely, and good things He had done at camp. As it says in Psalms 103:2, we should not forget what the Lord has done for us.
Grace and Peace,