Saturday, February 28, 2009

ARE YOU READY FOR CHRIST'S RETURN?

"For as lightning that comes from the east
is visible even in the west,
so will be the coming of the Son of Man."

Matthew 24:27 NLT
~~~~~~~~

The other day Charlie sent me a short video about the Second Coming of Christ. I clicked on it, and as it finished, I spontaneously cried out, “Oh God!” as people flashed across my mind; people who to my knowledge are not ready for Christ’s return. When Christ returns, it will be too late to get right with Him. That has to take place before that moment.

Most people reading these words know that God sent His Son to this world to be the Savior of all who would believe in Him. He did this because all of us are sinners and unfit to enter God’s sinless heaven. No matter how “good” we may try to be, it can not remove our guilt. That’s why God in His love sent His sinless Son to pay for our guilt by dying on the cross in our place.

Not only did Jesus die for us, but the Father raised Him from the dead, to demonstrate that His Son’s death fully paid for our sin. Now, our part is to admit to Him that we are sinners and accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. With our sins forgiven, we will be ready for heaven whether we go by natural death or at the Second Coming of Christ.

Weirdoes through the ages have predicted dates for the return of Christ, but the specific time is not for us to know. In fact, Jesus talking about His return said, “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” Matthew 24:36 NLT

Though we can’t know the time of His return, the fact of His coming is without question. Close to 100 passages of Scripture make reference to it. Besides being certain, it will be sudden - “As lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." Matthew 24:27 NLT

Turn up your sound and click on the Video.


video

You can be ready today, to live, to die, or for His coming!

Just pray something like this-
“Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner.
Please forgive all my sins. Come into my life, and take control. I want to live the rest of my life for you!
Amen”

If you prayed that with honesty, you are forgiven!! He made it possible through what He did when He was here the first time!!!



Saturday, February 21, 2009

PARTNERS WITH GOD

ork hard to show the results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
For God is working in you,
giving you the desire and the power
to do what pleases him.”
Philippians 2:12-13 NLT
~~~~~~~

Several weeks ago I wrote about “Pleasing God More and More.” I did some more research on “pleasing God” and was amazed at how many references there are on this subject. In a short time I came across more than forty. Our key verse this week informs us that pleasing God is a partnership.

Jesus is our perfect example of pleasing God. At His baptism a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The same thing happened again at His transfiguration. Everything Jesus did or said was pleasing to the Father, because it was all in perfect obedience. What He heard the Father say, He said – what He saw Him do - He did. It was a true partnership.

It is incredible beyond words, but God offers us the same partnership. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Because of our fallen nature, we can’t hear and see as clearly as Jesus did. Our human nature has no desire to know God or to do what He requires of us. Our natural inclination is to be our own god, and do whatever we please. However, as born-again believers, we are able to a degree, to hear and see what pleases God.

Our wonderful Lord knows the struggle we have with our lower nature, so He graciously “is working in us, giving us the desire….to do what pleases him.” Were you aware that any desire we have to please God does not originate with us? It is the result of God’s work in us! God’s work not only gives us the desire, but also “the power to do what pleases Him!!” He faithfully carries out His part of the partnership.

Our part in the partnership is to “Work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” We can’t earn salvation. It is a free gift. But the harder we work at sincerely obeying God - using the “desire and power” He faithfully provides - the more we will be working out our salvation in everyday life. That’s partnership with God!

Let’s Pray –
Oh Father, what favor you bestow on us by allowing us to partner with you. We know we can count on you to fulfill your part. Help us to be faithful in doing our part. Amen

SOME OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO LEAVE A COMMENT, BUT HAVE FOUND IT TOO COMPLICATED - LET ME MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU. JUST REPLY VIA E-MAIL WITH YOUR COMMENT, AND I WILL POST IT FOR YOU.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GODS’ LOVE - ALWAYS THE SAME

"And I am convinced that nothing
can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today
nor our worries about tomorrow..."
Romans 8:38 NLT

~~~~~~

This picture of Donna and I was taken 59 years ago at the front door of Glidden Hall, the girls’ dorm, of Sioux Falls College where we first met, and where she asked me to be her date for the School’s Reverse Date Valentine’s Party. And as I often say, “The rest is history.”

Today is Valentine’s Day, and the theme of love is everywhere. Love between a man and a woman is a wonderful thing. However, love between husbands and wives, even in the best relationships, may at times cool off and be in need of rekindling.

The love of God is infinitely more wonderful than human love at its’ very best. God is love. Love is His nature. His love never wanes. He has always been love, He is love now, and He will always be love. Before we knew Him, “while we were His enemies, He loved us.” Now that we are His children, He loves us. When we will be living with Him in heaven, His love for us will continue unchanged, forever!!

It’s not uncommon for people to think - when health is good –marriage is strong – a good steady income – living “the good life” - these things are signs that God loves them. On the other hand - if health should fail – marital problems come up – loss of job and don’t know how to pay the bills – that this indicates God doesn’t love them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God’s love is unconditional. He loves us perfectly regardless of what we may be experiencing in life. “Nothing can separate us from God’s love.”

F. M. Lehman wrote:
“The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.”

Refrain
“O love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.”

Let’s Pray-
Thank you Heavenly Father for your unconditional love which is the same yesterday, today and forever. Help us never to doubt it, even when we go through tough times.
Amen


SOME OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO LEAVE A COMMENT, BUT HAVE FOUND IT TOO COMPLICATED - LET ME MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU. JUST REPLY VIA E-MAIL WITH YOUR COMMENT, AND I WILL POST IT FOR YOU.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

RECEIVING REWARDS FROM GOD

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly,
to be admired by others,…
Give your gifts in private,
and your Father, who sees everything,
will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1,4 NLT
~~~~~~~~~

I felt like the Lord leading me to post a message on “rewards” this week. One thing that becomes obvious immediately in the teachings of Jesus is that God wants to reward us for doing what’s right. However, He insists that we do it with right motives.

Our natural inclination in life is to look for approval from people. Without giving it a thought we normally want to make a good impression, and that can create problems. Jesus warns about that in this week’s scripture. “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”(v1) God rewards good deeds when our motives are right – when we do them as if we were doing them to the Lord Himself. But if we do the deeds to win people’s admiration – that’s all we will get – their admiration. The answer is, “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (v4)

The same is true with prayer. When praying in public we need to be careful not to be trying to impress people. Our focus needs to be on the Lord, to whom we are praying, not the people who hear us pray. Jesus says, “when you pray,...pray to your Father… Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (v6)

Just as we are inclined to look for people’s approval, we are also inclined to avoid disapproval – rejection - mockery or persecution. It’s fear of these hostel reactions that hinder us from speaking out for Christ and Christian values in this sinful society. And as a result we lose rewards God wants to give us. On the other hand, it’s to our benefit and God’s glory if we are willing to suffer disapproval – rejection - mockery or even persecution for our faith. Jesus says, “Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” Matthew 5:12


Let’s Pray-
Father, thank you for enabling us to serve you in ways that earn us rewards on earth and in heaven. Help us to look for your approval instead of the approval of people. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

SOME OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO LEAVE A COMMENT, BUT HAVE FOUND IT TOO COMPLICATED - LET ME MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU. JUST REPLY VIA E-MAIL WITH YOUR COMMENT, AND I WILL POST IT FOR YOU.