I am so excited to be going to VBS (Vacation Bible School) this summer! Virtual VBS, that is, For Grown Up Girls! That is the name of the online Bible study that my friend Christin Ditchfield Lazo does each year. This time it is on Facebook, which makes it so easy get to each week. If you want a little Bible study boost, ladies, check it out. Just go to the page and click on a request to join. You will be so blessed. The study, which is called “Stand,” is all about the book of 2nd Peter. Short and sweet and packed with power!
I have been asking the Lord for direction for Until the Daybreak, and sure enough, I discovered His direction in 2 Peter 1: 19 –
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.. KJV
That is what this blog is all about; Preparing our hearts for the coming of the Day Star, Jesus. Time is short, but the Word is sure! So it is time to “take heed” – pay attention – to the Light that shines in the darkness of this world.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Prov. 4:18 NAS
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 4: 6
This path that grows brighter and brighter runs through our hearts! He is calling us to the Light1 to be IN the Light! To BE Light to a darkened world.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Isaiah 60: 1 & 2
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, even though these are things that we have heard before, and know to be true, help us to pay attention. To remind ourselves of the Light that should be growing ever brighter within us and through us. Help us to see it, believe it, and stand in it when darkness tries to overtake us. Until we come to the full day of Your coming. In Jesus’ name,
Let this song by Phillips Craig and Dean be our anthem!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? For a time I thought I might be lost, but, good news! The Shepherd knew right where I was all along! He took “hold of my wandering heart” and led me back to where He wants me.
Without boring you with details of my medical woes, let’s just say that I have not been in top form for a while. Praise His name! “He restores my soul” and I am on the mend. I hope it doesn’t sound trite to say that it is in those wilderness places of our journeys that we find the most precious truths. Faith can be found there! Hope! And His strength. His arms are everlasting and His Spirit inexhaustible.
Are you feeling lost in a fog? Are you hurting or unwell? Have you found it hard to pray, worship, or enter His Presence? Has your fire dwindled? Your passion flagged? Don’t fret! He knows where you are. He loves you still.
Let the words of Psalm 139 speak this truth to your heart today:
139 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. (KJV)
You see, it doesn’t matter if you can see Him, hear Him, or feel Him. HE sees you, hears you, feels & knows you! He never leaves you or forsakes you! You are His & nothing can separate you from His love. Even your darkest night doesn’t conceal you from His loving eye. His tender mercies will lift you up!
“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Song of Solomon 8:5
Whatever kind of “wilderness” in which you find yourself: a dry and arid desert; a rocky hard place; a deep, dark forest; tangled underbrush…know that He is there, watching out for your soul, keeping you safe until at last His marvelous work is done in your life.
Let’s Pray: Father, help us to realize that there is no condemnation for us who are in You! We are just poor sheep and subject to weaknesses and wanderings. We trust You to find us when we think we are lost.. To restore us and speak kindly to us. We refuse to listen to the lie of our enemy who would keep us hopeless and condemned. May we come out of our hard places leaning on your everlasting arm. In Jesus’ name,
Here’s the David Crowder Band with an oldie but a really good goodie!
That must be the dread of every rodeo rider! Being thrown from your horse …and in front of the whole arena of spectators! It is frightening to think of the possibilities of injuries: broken bones, concussion, bruises, humiliation, disappointment. Is it any wonder that fainter souls are loathe to mount up and go again?
I have to admit that this is a very apt picture of me recently! Yes, I was galloping along when, suddenly, I found myself down and dazed!
Did you hear me bawl, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!?”
So…doctors and tests and meds! Oh, my! The cure has been almost as bad as the affliction. Actually, there is no cure for the kind of nerve pain I have. Except for a miracle healing. But, until that comes, there is help through medication. Unfortunately, that has left me living in a dense fog, with difficulty concentrating. So I have had to take a break from the blog.
However, I am being prodded to get up, and get back on.
So…I’m saddlin’ up and gettin’ ready to ride! Again.
If you’ve ever been thrown for a loop, even felt like you were trampled under hooves; sore; bruised; disillusioned; wounded; dazed and perplexed. Don’t worry! You’re in good company. Listen to these words by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 9
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Yes, friends. We are weak, but HE is strong. It is OK to be thrown. It is OK to be down. Just know that it is not for “the count!” He will lift you up, set your feet back on the rock, steady you with His strong right arm, and tell you to get back onto that horse He’s called you to ride!
And seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 4: 1 & 6
There is work to be done. We are, all of us, called to shine in this dark world. To hold forth the Word of Life to the lost. This is why we must ride!
Let’s Pray: Father, help us to realize that there is no condemnation for us who are in You! We are earthen vessels and subject to weaknesses. We trust You to pick us up when we are thrown. To help us and heal us. We refuse to listen to the lie of our enemy who would keep us from our appointed work. May we minister the Gospel of Truth in Your mighty name. In Jesus’ name,
It’s that time of year again…the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” mortor boards, and honor ribbons. Graduation! Feeling pretty good about ourselves! And rightly so! Years of what seemed like an endless school career at the high school level, or college or beyond. We’ve set goals, planned strategies, mapped our lives. Things are lookin’ good right now. Onward and upward! The sky’s the limit! It’s time to jump in with both feet and start livin’ the plan!
But, sooner or later, life, as it often does, takes some unexpected turns, and we find ourselves in places that weren’t in the plan. Bumps in the road or major mishaps.
If you’ve been to a baccalaureate service lately you may have heard this verse quoted: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) It is one of my favorite verses. In fact, I have a beautiful brass refrigerator magnet with this verse on, right there in the kitchen, staring me in the face every day! Here it is in King James Version: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. It is powerful. Ponder the idea of being in the mind of Almighty God! HIS thoughts are aimed at YOU! He has a plan for your life! But, before we run out to the hitching post, grab the reins, mount up, and gallup off into our adventure, maybe we’d better take a closer look at what God is saying to us here.
HE knows the plans!…Not that He has shown them to us. He doesn’t hand us a map and say, “Go ahead now. Work the plan.” Sometimes you don’t find out what the plan was until years later when you look back and see where He has taken you! ( When I graduated from high school I had big plans for a career in singing. I won a voice scholarship to a big university and I was on my way…uh, without Jesus, I might add. To make a very long story short…that wasn’t God’s plan. Things didn’t work out the way I expected. As I look back over the years, though, I can see what God had intended for me. I did have a career in music! Not on the stage of the opera house, but, directing church choirs and teaching kids in Christian schools to make music and sing praise to the Lord…and loving every minute of it!)
HE wants us to know that He has a plan!…He is declaring it to us. In the King James version this sounds a little different: “thus saith the Lord.” That always makes me sit up straight and pay attention! 🙂
What is in HIS plan?King James doesn’t use the word“plans.” It uses the word “thoughts” from the Hebrew word machashebeth, which literally means “contrivance, invention, advice, intention.” I like to think of God having “intentions” for my life. And when He says His intention is to “prosper” me the word there is “Shalom!” So much more than prosper, it means peace of mind and heart; well-being; completeness; absence of discord. And…He says His intention is not to harm us, but to bring us good. (He is not out to get us!)
Plans for “a future and a hope!” King James reads: “an expected end.” The word for expected, “tiqvah,” means, a cord, or an attachment that helps you reach your goal, one meaning is “the thing that I long for;” hope! I keep seeing the farmer’s life-line that he rigs up to help him find the barn during a blizzard! He “expects” to reach the barn every day, no matter what, to milk the cow and care for the livestock. In a blinding blizzard the rope is his only hope of finding the barn & making it back to his warm fire. Otherwise, he is lost! So, God has holy intentions toward us! And they are all “SHALOM!” One of the names for Christ is Sar Shalom – Prince of Peace. We find every promise in Him. I love that He has given us a future to reach for, and hope to hold on to.. I am calling it the “Rope of Hope!” Our expectations come from being attached to Him with the beautiful, golden cord (tiqvah) of hope. Hope is the lifeline that we all will need because eventually our plans come to a screeching halt. We will feel like we are groping along in a blinding blizzard, but if we will stay attached to His lifeline we will reach the “expected end.” Let’s Pray: Oh, Prince of Peace, our Sar Shalom, help us to seek after you with all of hearts, that we might grasp the cord of your intended plan for our life. May we learn to trust that Your intentions are righteous whether we can see where You are leading us or not. Holding on to hope let, us live out the destiny you have planned…all things working together for our good and Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!
Pain….I’ve been living with that most unwelcome visitor lately. Having moved in and made itself at home, it is a very demanding visitor!
The problem with pain is that it wants all of your attention!. It hurts! It is hard to ignore it. What is causing it? How can you get rid of it? If it leaves for a while, is it going to come back?. How many pills are left in that bottle? Will there be enough to get through ’til the insurance kicks in again? Doctor appointments; Google; WebMD; Symptom Checker, vitamins & herbs; icepacks; hot packs; OTC everything … On and on it goes. Just how can you make it stop? Make. It. Stop. The reality is that it changes your life and your focus. It begins to become the center of your reality; it can become your identity.
More than a little discouraging, it is depressing. Life is not what it used to be. The drugs mess with your mind and you emotions, so you begin to question your thoughts and feelings. Like little foxes, pain spoils the fruit on your vine.
This little fox has run off with my words! It’s hard to write; it’s hard to pray; it’s hard to praise! My heart feels like a rock. My tongue seems frozen to the roof of my mouth. Where are my words??
I’m sure that some of you have felt that way at times when you’ve experienced wrenching loss and grief, or health problems. Maybe your son or daughter is in trouble. Perhaps someone you’ve loved with all of your heart has betrayed you. We suffer on this earth. And we know that Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 KJV Sometimes it just seems too hard to be cheerful. It’s not that you don’t believe it, it’s just that pain has come for a visit, and is clamoring for all of our attention, and our words have left us…words of prayer; words of praise; words of warfare and victory.
It is hard to go to the Lord without words. Hosea tells us to take with us words and turn to the Lord!
Hosea 14:2 Take with you words and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so we will render the calves of our lips.
Calves? The calves of our lips, you say? Yes, just like they took offerings of cattle to sacrifice to the Lord, we now offer Him our words.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Sometimes it IS a sacrifice to offer our words. Sometimes we must dig deep, cast the stones out of the well, to get the river of praise and prayer to flow again. We may be tempted to just sit down and not make the effort…because it IS effort. We must be intentional about bringing our words to the Lord.
Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” that he asked repeatedly for God to remove. Was it physical pain? A discouraging, besetting trait? Was it an emotional hurt that beleagured him? The Bible never tells us for sure what Paul’s thorn was, but this is what Paul wrote about the answer to his prayer:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10
The Apostle Paul surely experienced pain in his life, his body, his fellowship, his ministry…but he never seems to have been at a loss for words! He wrote most of the New Testament! Plus, he mentions other letters that we have not seen. He prayed; he exhorted; he corrected, chastised, and encouraged. But most importantly he praised! Beautiful heartwarming, inspiring praises and prayers.
So, when I am stuck with no words of my own, I am going to start with Paul’s words! Or ANY of the WORD words. And I am going to speak the Word aloud, not just read them in my head. I am going to loosen my tongue with the Word of God. I am going to break up my fallow ground with my praise plow, until the rain of heaven falls again and His strength is made perfect in my affliction.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, Word of God made flesh, Let Your Word be made flesh in our stoney hearts. Help us to come to you with the calves of our lips that we may be whole again. In Jesus’ name,
So…I am back at the keyboard again after a short “Martha” break. Being busy about a multitude of things; cumbered by so many details and provisions. Honestly, I had been feeling that perhaps the Lord had set me on a shelf to watch as He completed His work on earth. But, no! He isn’t finished with me yet, but He has taught me a few lessons about myself and my journey in recent weeks. I need to remind myself!
So, I am reminding myself of something He spoke to me earlier this year.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 KJV
Never forget to seek the Lord!
How should we seek the Lord? you may ask. Maybe we should check the instruction manuel! 🙂 Let’s take a look at Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, who displeased the Lord by doing evil in the days of his reign. His mother was an Ammorite woman who worshipped Molech, the fire God. (whose sacrifices included babies and children.) His maternal heritage did not have to be the recipe for disaster that it turned out to be. Rehoboham had a choice! 2Chronicles 12:14 says: “And he did evil because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.”
We must think of our hearts as a field to be prepared for the seed of God’s Word. It needs to be plowed, broken up, all the stumps and rocks removed. How do we do this? Hosea 10:11 says, in part, “Judah shall plow.“ The translation for the name Judah is “praise.” Praising and worshipping the Lord will help to break up the fallow, dried-up ground of your heart. Put on some good praise music. Read in the Psalms about God’s works, and attributes. Tell Him what He means to you! Sing to Him; speak to Him; shout to Him! You are plowing! Find a friend who loves Jesus and talk to them about Him. You are plowing! Read a book about the names of the Lord. You are plowing! Think about His goodness, His passion, His love. You are plowing! Preparing your heart!
Is that all there is to seeking? No! That is just the preparation of the heart! The Apostle Paul, in the book of Acts tells us this:
“…They should seek the Lord, if haply they might feelafter Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live, and move , and have our being….” Acts 17: 27 & 28
Some translations say “grope for Him.” I must admit that sometimes I have felt like a blind person groping my way back to God. But, thank God, Paul goes on to say that He is “not far from every one of us.” He is even “in us, and we are in Him,” if we have opened our hearts to Him. But, “feeling or groping for him” suggest a purpose. An intensity. Even a desperation! Not a casual inquiry, but a diligent seeking. A determination to find Him.
I am asking myself today: Am I desperate? Am I diligent? Am I determined?
Remind yourself with the Psalmist: Psalm 73: 25 – 26 “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” KJV
Let’s pray: Oh Father in heaven, We are so grateful for your longsuffering and compassion; that you are there to lift us when we fall; to draw us back to you when we wander away; to breathe on us when we are discouraged. Our hearts and flesh fail us often, but You strengthen us again. You restore our souls, and make us to know that we truly belong to You. Be our portion forever. In Jesus’ name,
I have written before about our family’s journey with our grandchild, Aaron James. (AJ) He flew home to Jesus just a few days after his 2nd birthday. He was a most precious gift for those brief years. He had turned our lives upside down even before he was born, but that is a story for another day. He was severely afflicted in a most mysterious way, with seizures, paralysis, a ventilator, feeding tube, monitors. His continuous, frequent emergencies requiring our intervention to save him, became commonplace to us. We know that it is a far better thing for him to be with the Lord than to be in our arms, but, still…grief is never far below the surface. We do not grieve like the world, without hope, because we know we will see him again one day…but, still…it creeps up on you when you least expect it.
And so it was on Sunday night in church. It seemed to me that God reached out and put His finger right on that tender spot in my heart. Right on the spot that is rubbed raw with the guilt of not seeing that sweet boy healed. That spot that cries out, “Oh, ye of little faith.” and “You didn’t pray hard enough!” “You should have done this or that.” All that believing and hoping and loving! All those nights walking the floor, crying out to God, rebuking the devil! What a waste!
Sunday night’s lesson was on 1Corinthians 13. You know, the “Love Chapter.” I’ve heard a lot of teaching on this passage of scripture over the years, so I wasn’t expecting to be undone by the truth here. But, still… I was. This is what the scripture says here, in part: Charity (love) does this —
7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
and further on…
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” KJV
And suddenly I was thunderstruck with the clarity of it!! All of the other gifts shall cease; even knowledge shall vanish…but, all of your faith, all of your hope, all of your love…abides forever. These are eternal graces that abide with you in eternity. Never a waste! Even when you do not receive the desired result. Even when your loved one dies, or is not healed! Even when your prayer doesn’t seem to be answered, or you feel all alone, and abandoned. Faith, hope, and love remain! They are treasure! They are gold! You are laying them up in heaven! They are working an “eternal weight of glory!”
You see, Hebrews 11, “The Faith Chapter,” tells us that some of God’s people “through faith subdued kingdoms…obtained promises… receive their dead raised to life again.” But, others “received not the promise!” But still were counted to have had faith! They will still receive the answer to their prayers..in another time and another place. Their treasure is laid up for them.
One of the ladies in our church testified that her granddaughter would have died without a kidney transplant. They prayed with all of their hearts. Praise God, her father was able to give her a kidney. She is a beautiful young woman now, living a full and happy life. They received the promise! We rejoice with them! Our boy left us for heaven. We didn’t receive our promise…yet. But our faith, hope, and love was NOT wasted! We will find it waiting there in eternity with Aaron James. God’s Kingdom is not subject to the constraints of time. Friends, He isn’t finished yet!
2 Corinthians 4:17 explains it like this:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weightofglory; KJV
Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God! Sorrows, afflictions, prayers, tears, faith, hope, and especially, love.
Never again will I let my enemy accuse me of wasting my faith, my hope, my prayer, my tears and my love. All will be waiting for me when I see Jesus one day.
Let’s pray: We look to You, Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to lead us into all truth; to touch the sorrows that we carry; to heal our hearts of guilt and regret. Though we see through shadows now, when the daybreak comes we will see clearly. We look for You! In Your name we pray,
“What’s for supper?” Like a lot of wives and mothers, those words are VERY familiar to me. Go past a certain time on the clock and I am bound to hear those words from someone in my house. Every day! Well, like a certain fast food ad goes: “Ya’ gotta’ eat!” Of course you do! So it is in the spirit, too. “Ya’ gotta’ eat!”
Some people wait a whole week between meals of spiritual food! These are busy people with jam-packed lives who are trying to get stuff done; making sure everyone is taken care of. I get that! In fact, I’ve been so busy in certain phases of my life, that I didn’t take time to eat my natural food, let alone take time for my spiritual food. My Bread from Heaven! So, yeah, I’ve been there and done that! You wont’ tell on me, right?
Here is the verse that got me to thinking this week: Revelation 3: 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. KJV
Think of that for a few minutes! He is going to sup with YOU! You are going to be the host/hostess! He is coming to supper at your house! And THEN, you are going to sup with HIM…His treat!! I bet you didn’t picture Jesus standing at the door with a picnic basket over His arm, did you?
The most important point here is that He wants to sup with YOU!! I know you have eagerly opened your door to Him! Soooo, what’s for supper?? What will be on your menu for King Jesus? Will you be serving up thanksgiving with a side of hallelujahs? Worship, with a bowl of gratitude? Or, will there be a burnt offering of bitterness along with big dollop of doubt for dessert?
This is an exchange, my friends. He is dining with US and WE are dining with HIM. What can we possibly offer to Him, since that Great Exchange that took place on Calvary? The one in which He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. Our death for His life. Now, what can we give to Him? There is one thing left to give. One sacrifice left for us to make….the sacrifice of praise.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13: 15 KJV
So spread your banquet table for the King of Kings. Make it a bounty fit for the King of the Universe! Pile the table high with the fruit of your lips! Fill Him up with your love and gratitude! Entertain Him with words of adoration & praise! Offer Him your heart on a platter! “Make mention that His name is exalted!” (Isaiah 12:4)
And then….He will open that basket of His and share with you out of His abundance: Bread of Heaven, Water of Life, New Wine, Milk and Honey, “every good and perfect gift,” fruit of the Spirit. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”
Lay the table with an abundance of your fruit! He is looking foward to an exchange! A feast for two! An intimate dinner party to be shared between just you and the Prince of Peace.
Your good fruit…that’s what’s for supper!
Let’s pray: Father teach us to realize that You have come dine with us. Help us to prepare a hearty helping of praise and worship for you every single day. May we practice our skills until we become good “cooks” and servers!! May our words be a sweet savor to you. In Jesus’ name,
Here are a few reasons to praise Him to get you started!
You either love it or hate it…BUZZZZZ!!! BUR-ING!!! The sound of the alarm going off in the morning! Do you hit the snooze button and roll back over, hating to leave your cozy bed? Yawn; stretch; snuggle back in?
Well, there is another alarm being sounded! It is the sound of the trumpet of God to get up to the battle! Now is not the time to take our leisure! We must wake up, and fight the good fight of faith!
We know from the signs we see that we are living in the end times; that God is working His plan; that Jesus is coming soon. This does not mean that we should just sit down and wait for whatever is going to happen. NO! We must gear up! Pick up the weapons of our warfare, and fight!
God works through the prayers and faith of His people! He has given us the gifts of the Spirit for a purpose. Darkness must be withstood! Souls must be won! Redeem the time, for the days are evil! (Eph. 5: 16)
Sound the alarm!! It is not time to give up the fight! Recently, I read a blog post by Monica Boyer, http://monicaboyer.com/when-religion-surrenders-to-tyranny/ a Christian Warrior, who has been standing against the onslaught that is attacking religious liberty, especially in her home state of Indiana. Here is what she has to say about being passive and taking the path of least resistance in these times:
“Nowhere in scripture do I see passivity. I simply don’t. When I read about the heroes of the faith, I’ve not seen any moment where they sat together singing Kumbaya in a rocking chair waiting for Jesus to come back. Today the pews and stadiums are packed full of passive people who are doing just that. Biding the time “waiting for Jesus to come back.” Passive.”
“In order to fight in a battle, a warrior must have something he is willing to give his life for. For the 20th century Christian, this battlefield looks much different than the heroes of the past. Instead of fighting the enemy, we negotiate. We’ve trade things like religious freedom, holiness, liberty, even our spiritual armor (which isn’t politically correct anymore) for better cars, smart phones, jam packed calendars, pride, bigger churches and bigger houses.
We’ve been tricked.
We’ve become weaponless.
Warriors without armor.” Her picture of a defeated knight struck a chord in my soul:
My friends, there is a battle to fight! And we must be fearless and faith-full. Sharpen your sword by reading and memorizing the Word. Polish your shield of faith in prayer. Strap on truth and never let it be compromised. Maintain your righteousness, and be not led astray. The world, the flesh and the devil are all conspiring to draw you away from Jesus, and thus from the battle!
I heard James MacDonald on the radio this week exhorting us to understand that this is not a life of ease. He referred to the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:34: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” MacDonald’s take is that He isn’t calling you to take up a sword to do violence, but He is calling you to be able to withstand the sword that will come against you! To stand fast in the evil day! Are you able? If persecution comes to your church, your Christian school, or your business. Are you ready to fall on your knees and fight? Or stand in the public square and speak up? Ask Christians in the Middle East if you think this could never happen. Would you be ready??
There is good news here!!! The battle is NOT yours, but the Lord’s! We are in agreement with Him! “Thus saith the Lord unto you: ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron.20:15 KJV Believe it or not, the army in this chapter did not have to fight at all…they had to fix their hearts on the Lord and sing praises!! The enemy turned their weapons on each other! All Israel had to do was collect the booty left on the battlefield!
Here is another way we will fight without “fighting:”Psalm 149: 6-9 “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword (that’s the Word of God!) in their hand: to execute vengence upon the heathen and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgement written: this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the Lord!” KJV
Not only is spiritual warfare your job, it is your honor! AND you are executing the judgement written by God against those that oppose Him! You see, they are coming against Christ…and in the Christ that is in you.
So, Wake UP!! Get UP! Look UP!! We are not finished yet!! Yes, Jesus is coming! But,we are not to be lounging in the waiting room, playing with our smart phones until we hear the trumpet call. We are to be about His business…winning souls, exhorting one another, and doing warfare on our knees, girded in our armor. So: “Finally, my brothers, (and sisters!) be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!” Ephesians 6:10 NIV
Let’s pray! Lord of Hosts of Angel Armies, teach us to fight! Teach us to stand on the Rock and not be shaken by the wiles of the devil and the ways of the world. Blow the trumpet of alarm loudly in our hearts, and awaken us to the battle…YOUR battle. You have shown us in Your Word what is to be our part. May we be found faithful to do it! In Jesus’ name,
The tomb is empty! We called to one another all day, “He Is risen!” “He is risen, indeed!!” I love Resurrection Day because of the reminder that Jesus lives. He is alive! Yes, in heaven; but more than that… in my heart! “Christ in you (me,) the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27
Today, I am thinking about that tomb: so dark; dank; carved into solid rock. Jesus’ body sealed in a blackness so complete that no light could penetrate once that monolith stone was rolled into place. A giant mouth that swallowed the Christ Corpse. Death hole.
As I ponder that grave, I can’t help but think about my own life…swallowed in a death hole. Sealed in by my sin. Alive, but living in darkness. Groping for a way into the light. If it had not been for the Lord, I would be groping yet.
Miracle of miracles, the stone rolled away! Light flooded the death hole, that dark grave, and death was conquered. Jesus stepped out of the darkness, a conquering Hero, bringing with Him the keys of death, hell, and the grave! And because He did, I was freed from my death hole, my tomb of sin. Like Lazarus, Jesus called me “out of darkness into His marvelous light!” 1 Peter 2:9 His death on that fateful Good Friday paid the price that I owed for my sin, and His resurrection led me out of the prison of condemnation to follow Him in my freedom.
Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for my sin, but, if that weren’t enough, He is the Resurrected Lord of All. That is why it is important for every Christian to embrace His resurrection with a full heart. Because by His resurrection He proved He is Lord.
Romans 10:9-10 tells us:
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. KJV
If you want to be truly His, you must believe in His resurrection from the dead, and in doing so, embrace Him as Lord of your life.
Jesus is a Lord Who is worthy of your devotion; a Shepherd to follow; a King to serve; and a Bridegroom to love. Not just an idea to “accept.”
Perhaps you have “accepted” Jesus, but have you believed in your heart? (not just in your mind) Do you see Him as your Lord, with resurrection power for your life? Are you still sitting in your tomb, though the stone’s been rolled away? Have you let Him lead you out?
I urge you to invite Him to become your own Lord. To yield to His Word and to His leading.
He will lead you “out of darkness and into His marvelous Light!”
Let’s pray: Father of Lights, Darkness surrounds us in this earthly realm, but teach us of Your glorious light. Speak to us out of your Word and lead us into the realization that we dwell in a heavenly place, hidden with You in eternity. Help us to hear Your voice as you call us into Your marvelous Light. In Jesus’Name,