Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Christ's Teaching on the End of the Age - Final Part

Let's now bring in Matthew 13 and the parable of the tares and the other truths that Jesus was teaching.

What did Jesus say happens at the end of the age in Matthew 13?  The wheat will be gathered into the barn and the tares are gathered and burned.

Do you see the parallel between the wheat in Mt. 13 and the elect in Mt. 24?  Both give truths about what will occur at the end of the age. 

The wheat in Matthew 13 are true believers who are gathered into the barn by the reapers/angels, which are the elect that are gathered by the angels in Matthew 24 at the end of the age.

Jesus said He would be with us until the end of the age, when He returns - Mt. 28:20, Mt. 24:30,31.

The end of the age is when He comes with His angels to gather the elect, the wheat into the barn.  But before the end of the age occurs we will see what was spoken of by Daniel the prophet.  We will see the man of lawless stop the sacrifices and set himself up as God in the temple.  This will signal the beginning of the greatest persecution against believers ever to occur.  It will be so bad that if Jesus didn't cut short the persecution by His coming at the end of the age with His angels, no elect would be saved.  All elect would be killed.

Don't be misled.

We have been warned.

Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 that His disciples were to teach the new disciples to observe ALL Jesus commanded them.  Each generation of disciples is to be looking for the signs and should be teaching all the words of Christ to the new disciples, this includes the truths of His return in Matthew 13, 24, and 28.  We have fallen so short on this.  

Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that no man knows the day or the hour of His return.  He has given us the signs however to know when His return is near.  Jesus said the generation who sees the sign of the prophet Daniel and the great tribulation that breaks out after will be the generation that sees His return - Mt. 24:34.

Recapping then, at the midpoint of the week Antichrist will be revealed, a huge marker.  Antichrist will then begin persecuting the church, God's elect.  We know from Revelation 12:13-17 Antichrist goes after Israel first, and then those who hold to the testimony of Jesus, the true believers in the church.  The look-a-likes fall away.  The persecution will not go to the end of Daniel's seventieth week however.  Christ's return cuts it short - Mt. 24:22.  The end of the age occurs sometime before the end of the week.  We don't know the day or the hour but we know it falls sometime after Antichrist desecrates the temple.

We need to keep our eyes on Israel. 

1 Thessalonians 4, the classic rapture passage, where it says those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep - those who have died in Christ.  The dead in Christ rise first then those who are alive and remain will be caught up together with the dead in Christ in the clouds.  Here's something interesting  - the word remain can also be translated survive.  What would they be surviving?  The great tribulation.  Both Mt. 24 and 1 Th. 4 mention a trumpet at Christ's coming.  This too points to these being parallel passages.

There is a verse in the Old Testament that makes a reference to the end of the age.  It is the last verse in Daniel.  It reads:

"But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."

Old Testament saints looked forward to their Suffering Savior.  New Testament saints look back.  God is telling Daniel that at the end of the age he will be resurrected.  Paul tells the Corinthians that at Christ's coming the resurrection of the dead occurs - 1 Cor. 15:23.  So in Daniel we have a reference to the end of the age and the resurrection.  In 1 Cor. 15 we have a reference to the resurrection and Christ's coming, which we know from Matthew is at the end of the age - 1 Cor. 15:51,52.  It all points to the gathering of the elect being all who have died in Christ, Old and New Testament saints, and those who are alive and remain also, at His coming.

The gospel of Mark and the gospel of Luke also record Jesus teaching on His return.

Mark 13:37 says the gathering of the elect is from the farthest end of earth to the farthest end of heaven.  When you take all the passages we have looked at into consideration, it makes sense to me that the "earth elect" are the bodies of the dead who are raised, Old and New Testament saints, and the believers who are alive and remain at the Lord's return.  The "heaven elect" are the souls of those who died in Christ, that He brings with Him when He comes.

Luke tells us in his account that when we see the signs in the sky, the natural lights going out, we are to look up for our redemption is drawing near - Luke 21:25-28.

Our Blessed Hope, the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There will be unprecedented tribulation before He returns, but He also has promised that through Him we are more than conquerors, we overwhelmingly conquer!

Romans 8:35-39 - "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written, FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Jude 24,25 - "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christ's Teaching on the End of the Age - Part 3

Daniel 9:27 - "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."  

At the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week, Antichrist will sign a covenant that involves Israel but halfway through he will stop the sacrifices that evidently this covenant allows to begin again. Did you know that in Israel, they are all ready to begin sacrificing again?  Hmm...  Check out this website...

Are there any other passages in scripture that parallel this act by Antichrist, giving further detail?

2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 - "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come (the day of he Lord, when Christ comes and gathers His followers - see verses 1,2) unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."

So not only will Antichrist stop the sacrifices, he will also set himself up as God.

Let's head back again to Matthew 24.

What are believers in Judea to do when they see this sign of Antichrist, that we are fast approaching the end of the age, by stopping the sacrifices and setting himself up as God?  They are to flee.  Why?  Verse 21 tells us there will then be the greatest tribulation against believers to ever come upon the world.  It will be worse than what happened to the Jewish people during the holocaust.

Who is this persecution against?  The elect.  Jesus says if those days of tribulation weren't cut short for the sake of the elect, no life would be saved.  Since the persecution is against the elect, Jesus is saying that no elect life will be left if the great tribulation isn't cut short.  Those who fall away from the faith, the look-a-likes, they will not be killed.  They will be living in peace and safety along with those who never claimed to follow Christ.  It will be those who are hated on account of the name of Christ who will be suffering persecution and death.

In Revelation 13:7, we are told that authority over every tribe, tongue, people, and nation is given to Antichrist.  This persecution against the elect will spread over all the world.

In verse 25 Jesus warns His followers again, "Behold, I have told you in advance."

Jesus goes on to say that there will be those who say He is in the wilderness.  He warned not to go out.  Others will say He is in a building.  Jesus warned not to believe them - Mt. 24:26.

Then Jesus describes His coming.

In verse 29 He says the natural lights will go out immediately after the great tribulation.  Remember, He said in verse 21 the great tribulation will be cut short for the sake of the elect.

After the sign of the end of the age occurs, the natural lights going out and the world being plunged into darkness, all will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with great glory - v. 30.  Jesus is not going to first appear in the wilderness or in a room to a small group.  He is not going to just appear to true believers.  All will see Him.  The look-a-like followers will see Him and those who never claimed to be His followers will see Him. 

In verse 31 we are told that His angels will be with Him.

With a great trumpet His angels will gather the elect.  His coming is not going to be secret nor is it going to be silent. 

Final part, next time...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Christ's Teaching on the End of the Age - Part 2

In Matthew 24:3 we find Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives.  The disciples come to Him and ask Him to tell them the sign of His coming and the end of the age.

The very first thing Jesus tells them as He begins to lay out the truths about His return and the end of the age is not to let anyone mislead them - v. 4.  He then goes on to warn that many will come claiming to be Him and will mislead many.  His followers will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  He says not to be frightened, these things must take place but still, "that is not the end."  He said nation would rise against nation and famines and earthquakes would occur.  He said these are just the beginning of birth pangs.  His followers will be delivered to tribulation and will be killed.  His followers will be hated because of their Savior's name.  In verse ten He says that at that time (of tribulation) many will fall away, betraying one another and hating one another - vv. 5-10.

When tribulation, affliction, persecution, or pressure hits, Jesus taught another truth in the parable of the parable of the soils -

Look-a-like believers fall away.

Matthew 13:20,21 - "The one on whom seed was sown in the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction and persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away."

Back to Matthew 24.  In verses 11-14, Jesus goes on to instruct that before the end many false prophets will arise and mislead many.  Lawlessness will increase, most people's love will grow cold.  And the gospel will be preached in the whole world, and then the end will come.  He says that, "The one who endures to the end will be saved."

Who is "the one?"  "The one" is Christ's true follower.  The one in whom the seed falls and takes root and bears fruit - Mt. 13:23. Not a look-a-like follower.  Look-a-like followers do not endure through persecution.  Look-a-like followers, in the beginning, are joyful when they hear the gospel, but the word  never actually takes root.  Look-a-like followers fall away when persecution hits.  We saw in the parable of the tares that they will be thrown in the lake of fire and burned.  Look-a-like followers will suffer the wrath of God.  Look-a-like believers do not endure under the tribulation of man.  Their falling away proved a temporary, false faith.  A genuine follower will hold to their testimony, even if it means death. 

True followers endure.  

So before the end comes and Christ returns there will be false Christs, wars, famines, earthquakes, the gospel going out all over the world, and tribulation in which the Lord's true disciples will be killed.  Some true disciples will not be killed and will endure all the way to the end and be delivered from tribulation, but look-a-likes will fall away and betray.

The first word in verse 15 is very important.  Jesus says, "Therefore..."

He is grabbing our attention here and is going to give more detail about what He just said will happen before the end. 

"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place."

Here is a very clear sign Jesus gives us to look for to know when His coming and the end is approaching. 

Let's go to Daniel the prophet for a closer look at that sign...

Part Three, next time...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christ's Teaching on the End of the Age - Part One

It is amazing how Scripture parallels itself.   We know the Bible does not contradict itself because it is the Word of God.  There are parallel passages all throughout Scripture, that with a little digging, it becomes clear they are just another perspective on the same truth.  I love what the Psalmist said in 119:160, “The sum of Your word is truth.”  


Following Jesus resurrection and before He ascended into heaven to the Father, Jesus left final instructions for His disciples.  In Matthew 28:18 He said that all authority had been given to Him.  Then He told them to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that He commanded them.  He was commissioning them to take the gospel out, to the ends of the earth, and in so doing His church would be built.  Then He said, "And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

What occurs at the end of the age?  What events lead up to the end of the age?  Are there any other places in Scripture where Christ gives us truth and instruction regarding the end of the age?

There are two, Matthew 13 and Matthew 24.  

In Matthew 13:24-30, we find the account of Jesus telling the parable of the wheat and the tares.  He said the kingdom of heaven could be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While the men who tended this man's field slept, this man's enemy came in and sowed tares among the wheat which the man had planted, then the enemy went away.  The tare seeds took root and sprouted, and bore grain. Once the plants bore grain, it was evident that there were tares among the crop of wheat.  The slaves of the man go to him and ask him, "Didn't you sow good seed in your field?  Why does it have tares?"  The man responded by saying that an enemy had planted tares amongst the wheat.  The slaves ask the man if he wanted them to go and gather up the tares.  The man tells them no.  The reason is that while they are gathering the tares, they could uproot the wheat with the tares.  It wasn't harvest time yet.  He said he was going to wait until harvest time and then he'd send out the reapers who will gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to be burned and the wheat would be gathered by the reapers and put into the barn.

Later on, after Jesus told the parable to the crowds, His disciples go to Him and ask Him to explain the meaning of the parable of the tares.  Jesus told them that the man who sowed the good seed was the Son of Man.  He said the field was the world.  The good seed are the sons of the kingdom and the tares are the sons of the evil one.  The enemy who sowed the tares is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age.  The reapers are angels.  Just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send His angels and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and they will be thrown into the lake of fire - Matthew 13:37-42.

What was one of the truths that Jesus was teaching?  He was teaching that the church was going to have true believers and look-a-like believers.  Not everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus will be genuine.

I will come back to this parable again because Jesus was teaching other truths as well, but let's go to Matthew 24, the third instance in which Jesus is giving instruction and He mentions the end of the age.  

Part Two, next time...

Friday, September 24, 2010


My challenge for us as we walk through the day today is to ask ourselves this question, often -

Does this honor the Father?

Or, we could put it another way -

Does this in any way bring dishonor to the Father?

I do think our lives will be lived quite differently if we were to make this a daily spiritual discipline.

May the Lord be lifted high in our lives today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Honoring the Father

My thoughts have been on this specific phrase for the past couple of days.  This is the purpose for our existence.  Jesus lived His life out in perfect honor to the Father.  Every thought Jesus had, every choice He made, every act He engaged in, and every feeling that Jesus experienced honored His Father.  That is Jesus desire for us as well.  Being dead in our sin keeps us from being able to honor the Father.  Jesus death on the cross paved the way so our lives could bring honor to God.  Without Jesus honoring the Father in this way, it would be impossible for us to honor Him.  This makes Jesus death a most precious thing, doesn't it?  Jesus, in bearing the wrath of His Father on the cross for our sin, honored His Father, and it paved the way so our lives could now honor Him too.

Doing the will of the Father then is what brings Him honor.

Every command in Scripture reveals the will of God.  When He says, husbands love your wives, this is God's will and it honors God when husbands love their wives.  When God tells wives to respect their husbands, this is God's will and it honors God when wives respect their husbands.  When God says children are to obey their parents, this is God's will and when children are obedient, the Father is honored.  To know God's will then, we must be in the Word.  We need to be in the Word, find out God's will, obey it, and God is honored. 

May we be about doing the will of God today.  It is the desire of Jesus, we honor the Father, and it shows that we cherish the death of Christ on our behalf.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jesus Greatest Desire

Want to know the heart of Jesus?  To know what Jesus greatest desire is, all we need to do is look at His instruction to us regarding our very first request when we pray...

"Hallowed be Thy name..."

Jesus wants His Father honored, and this is also what true prayer consists of...our existence, everything about life, is not about us, it's about Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Join in Imitating Me"

Daniel is at the stage where he loves to imitate people.  If you ask him to say grandpa, "apa" is usually what comes out.  "Birdy" on the other hand, rolls very clearly off his lips.  "Kitty, kitty"  sounds more like "gully, gully."  Ask him what a bear says and he'll growl.  Peek-a-boo is a favorite game of his.  If I put my hands over my face, he will too.  We're still working on blowing kisses but believe it or not he can put his lips together and whistle after I do, at only sixteen months of age!  Toddlers love to imitate or follow what other people are doing.    

Paul confidently told the Philippian believers to imitate him.  He said in Philippians 3:17a, "Brothers, join in imitating me..." 

What was Paul doing that he wanted the Philippians to imitate?  

He was pursuing Christlikeness with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength...

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of you who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.  Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."  Philippians 3:13-17

One mark of spiritual maturity is the desire to go on with Christ.  Paul called his readers to share with him in the effort of the zealous pursuit of Christlikeness.  What he wanted for himself he also wanted for them.  It is the reason Christ laid hold of us and we are to surround ourselves with believers of like minds.  

One of the greatest needs believers have is to live up to what they already have in Christ.  We are perfect in Christ in our position.  This exalted position is what we attained at the moment of salvation but most of us live far below our exalted position.  We have been clothed in His perfect righteousness.  Now we are to strain forward in that righteous, matching our practice with our position.  This does take conscious effort.  God has graciously given us each other to encourage one another to live according to our high position, with earnestness. 

With concentration, with the enthusiasm and persistence of a Greek runner, Paul sought the prize of ultimate conformity to Christ.  Paul didn't live with his mind on earthly things, nor did he live with his mind in the past, on what could have been.  He lived with his mind on what was real and true, what he was going to ultimately be in the future and it affected his living in the here and now.

That is how we are to live.

As you go about your day today, relentlessly pursue Christlikeness.  Show love that places others before yourself.  Let praise of God and His wondrous works spill from your lips, rather than complaining or gossip.  Take that Bible off the coffee table and spend some rich time with the Lord.  Think about the prize that awaits you, one hundred percent Christlikeness, all the time, in heaven. Your humanity is going to someday be glorified into the complete likeness of Jesus Christ.  Make conscious choices to live according to your high and exalted position, with joy, with enthusiasm, and with much thanksgiving...and remember, others are watching you, especially little ones.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome, Charlie!

There is someone I'd like you to meet, and his name is Charlie.

Charles Lee Robert Chi Hall, second grandson, third grandchild, was born at 11:11am on September 10th.  He weighed in at 5 lbs. 15 oz. and from head to toe he is 18 1/4 in length.

Mai had a doctor appointment the morning of the 9th.  She was showing signs of Charlie's imminent arrival so the doctor sent her and Ben directly to the hospital.  Tim and I joined them soon after.  It was quite a long labor, over 24 hours, but after he was born, we all forgot about the weariness, only joy.  I grabbed my camera, of course, and you may follow the story pictorally by clicking on the album link at the bottom of this post.  You'll be able to tell at what point Mai had an epidural...she was a trooper for the first twelve hours, but became exhausted as contractions came three minutes apart from the start.  After the epidural, she was able to sleep, and this was while she was in hard labor, amazing!   

Charlie comes home this morning.  I did go see him last night.  I was amazed at how in just 24 hours, his little head is now perfectly don't be alarmed when you see his head just after he was born.  We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.  God has accommodated that travel for babies as they are coming into the world. 

Charlie's story begins with Mai and Ben in the labor and delivery room and ends with the family gathering around to welcome this new, sweet, bundle of joy.  And that is exactly what babies are.  Those of you who are expecting your first grandbaby, (or grandbabies!), you are in for one of the greatest experiences of your life!  And, it is just as wonderful and awe-inspiring at the goodness of God and His marvelous works, for the second time, and I would imagine the third, and fourth, and fifth, for them all! 

Pray for this little guy, that he will give his heart over to the Lord at an early age, that he will love Him with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that he will long for the His return, just like his grandma! 

Enjoy the album...

Welcome, Charlie!


Oh, about his name - Charles is for his great-grandfather, Lee is for me (my middle name), Robert is Tim's middle name, and Chi (pronounced Chee) is Mai's dad's name...

My new favorite quote of Ben's - "There is no longer such a thing as night, just one, long, perpetual day."

You are a very attentive husband and father Ben, I'm so proud of you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Martin Luther Quote

Came across this great nugget by Martin Luther.  No commentary, just enjoy...

"When natural music is sharpened and polished by art, then one begins to see with amazement the great and perfect wisdom of God in his wonderful work of music, where one voice takes a simple part and around it sing three, four, or five other voices, leaping, springing round about, marvelously gracing the simple part, like a square dance in heaven with friendly bows, embracings, and hearty swinging of partners."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Countering Satans Lies With The Truth

At the end of Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, she lists twenty-two truths that we can use to battle Satan's lies.  The battle we are waging is a spiritual one and calls for spiritual weapons.  God's truth is the greatest weapon of all.  Her counsel is to savor each of these truths, even saying them out loud, until our thinking becomes aligned with God's thinking.  By the truth listed, you will be able to discern the lie that Satan attempts to plant into our minds and bring us into bondage. 

1.  God is good - Psalm 119:68; 136:1.

2.  God loves me and wants me to have His best - Romans 8:32, 38-39. 

3.  I am complete and accepted in Christ - Ephesians 1:4-6.

4.  God is enough - Psalm 23:1.

5.  God can be trusted - Isaiah 28:16.

6.  God doesn't make any mistakes - Isaiah 46:10.

7.  God's grace is sufficient for me - 2 Cor. 12:9.

8.  The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all my sin - 1 John 1:7.

9.  The Cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh - Romans 6:6-7.

10.  My past does not have to plague me - 1 Cor. 6:9-11.

11.  God's Word is sufficient to lead me, teach me, and heal me - Psalm 19:7; 107:20; 119:105.

12.  Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God will enable me to do anything He commands me to do - 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Philippians 2:13.

13.  I am responsible before God for my behavior, responses, and choices - Ezekiel 18:19-22.

14.  I will reap whatever I sow - Galatians 6:7-8.

15.  The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control - Matthew 16:25; Luke 1:38; 1 Peter 5:7.

16.  The greatest freedom I can experience is found through submission to God-ordained authority - Ephesians 5:21.

17.  In the will of God, there is no higher, holier calling then to be a wife and mother - Titus 2:4-5.

18.  Personal holiness is more important than temporal happiness - Ephesians 5:26-27.

19.  God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than about solving my problems - Romans 8:29.

20.  It is impossible to be godly without suffering - 1 Peter 5:10. 

21.  My suffering will not last forever - 2 Cor. 4:17-18.

22.  It's not about me; it's all about Him - Colossians 1:16-18; Rev. 4:11!

Nancy expounds upon each truth with many great insights.  At the very end of the book she gives a list of resources that offer practical help in dealing with specific issues.  These issues are:
  • Abortion
  • Addictions
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Emotional Issues
  • Food/Eating Disorders
  • Forgiveness
  • Homosexuality
  • Infertility/Loss of Baby
  • Marriage
  • Marriage to a Non-Believer
  • Spiritual Assurance and Growth
  • Parenting
  • Parents
  • Pornography
  • Role of Women
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Purity
  • Singleness
  • Suffering
  • Time Management
  • Women's Issues (Misc.)
She encourages the reader to scrutinize all the resources, and even her book, in the light of God's Word.  This book is definitely worth picking up and keeping in your library. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Eyes Have It

I was at the Department of Licensing on Wednesday afternoon because I needed to renew my driver license.  My number was R506.  When I arrived, they were at R486.  (I am pretty sure R stood for "Renew.")  People also had "A" numbers, "O" numbers, and "N" numbers.  (I'm not sure what those other letters stood for, although I think the "N" could have been for new licenses.)  Twenty people were ahead of me with the R number.  This was going to be at least an hour wait, if they took five minutes for each person with an R number.  Good thing I brought a book with me to read, except - the DOL is an interesting place to people watch...

I looked out on the sea of humanity before me.  Two high school age looking girls were smiling and laughing, playing with their cell phones while they chatted with each other, probably texting.  A young man in army fatigues listened as his wife described something to him.  His eyes caught glimpse of a pretty girl, then they went back to his wife.  One of the DOL workers helping those of us holding numbers, looked like she'd had a long day.  She could barely muster a smile with each new face who came to her window.  The boy sitting next to me exclaimed to his mom that she had big arm muscles. "That is fat, Dear," came the reply, and without skipping a beat she continued her conversation with her ex-husband on her cell phone.  Many faces contained eyes that looked weary, worried, or uninterested in what was going on around them.  They would rather be anywhere else but where they were.  Every one's attention was scattered, well except for the screen on which your number with the letter popped up.  I couldn't help but notice the diversity of ethnicity represented.  All these different people focused on different things.  What were their cares?  How many of them knew the Lord?  Were any of them thinking about the Lord?  Then my thoughts went to Revelation 7 and the great multitude described there, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.  This multitude stood before the throne...

...and their focus was in one place...on the Lamb in the center of the throne.

They will be crying out with a loud voice these words of worship and praise-

"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  

The Lord will be getting all the attention...We'll be praising Him for our deliverance from sin and Satan's wrath.  And the angels and the elders and the four living creatures will say, "Amen!"  - Also blessing Him with praise, worship, and honor...

When faith is sight, it will always be all about Him!

(Be sure and give Him some undivided attention today...)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bitter, or Thankful...

My sister sent me this quote today.  I really like it -

"I've never met a bitter person who is thankful or a thankful person who is bitter."

(The remedy for bitterness is thankfulness, by the way...Start by enlarging your view of God.  There is so much about His character and what He has done for us, for which to be thankful!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Highly Recommended Reading

Every one of you gals who read my blog would benefit from reading Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, if you haven't read it alreadyThis is one of those books that would be beneficial to read through again.  I'm thinking I should read it in another six months to a year, to see how I'm doing.  As I said in a previous post, Nancy lists forty lies.  She  categorized them by what we believe about God, ourselves, sin, marriage, children, emotions, and our circumstances.  Emotions are a big one for us gals.  When Satan can bring us into bondage with our emotions, we then become self-focused and glory is stolen from the One to Whom it rightly belongs.

Here is a snippet about what Nancy says regarding our emotions:

When we wrestle with out-of-control emotions, it is easy to conclude that emotions are inherently sinful or wrong and should be suppressed.  We need to remember that being created in the image of God means we have the capacity to experience and express a variety of emotions.  God exhibits a spectrum of pure emotions, including joy, delight, anger, jealousy, and sorrow.  And He has designed us to be able to feel and express many different emotions in a why that reflects His heart and brings glory to Him.  

The problem is not that we have emotions-they are a gift from God.  The problem is that our emotions (unlike God's) are tainted by the Fall.  The challenge is to let the Spirit of God sanctify us in the realm of our emotions so that they can be expressed in godly ways.  

I know of no tool that the Enemy uses more effectively to lead us as women into bondage than our emotions.  He does so by causing us to believe things about our emotions that just aren't true.  

The Truth is that, due to our fallen condition, our feelings often have little to do with reality.  In many instances, feelings are simply not a reliable gauge of what is actually true.  When we allow them to be tied to our circumstances-which are constantly changing-rather than to the unchangeable realities of God and His Truth, our emotions are prone to fluctuate wildly.  

If we want to walk in freedom, we must realize that our emotions are not necessarily trustworthy and be willing to reject any feelings that are not consistent with the Truth.

Good stuff, isn't it?

In each chapter, after Nancy identifies the lies, she then counters the lies with the Truth of God's Word.  The final section of the chapter is called "Making it Personal."  We can get out of Satan's trap by agreeing with God that we have fallen for a lie (or lies), by accepting responsibility, by affirming God's truth, by renewing our minds with God's truth, and then by acting on God's truth.

We spring and fall clean our homes, giving them a deep cleaning.  This book is a good tool in which to do it with ourselves.