The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is." Mark 13:32-33

The European Union meltdown is heading into high gear as warning signs continue to flash. Even though President Obama said he was keen to see the eurozone crisis end: "the United States stands ready to do our part to help Europe resolve this issue. This is of huge importance to our economy..." there is not enough money in the world to bail out Europe along with all the debt  the United States has and continues to create.

The Middle East is  surging toward an all-out war. Hezbollah is under the control of Iran. As Kaytusha missiles are fired from Lebanon into Israel one must ask: "is Iran sending a message to Israel - 'get ready for war?'"

How much longer can war be restrained? How long before Europe implodes?

Is the Rapture closer than we can imagine? Is it time to start the countdown; the Day of the LORD, the battle of Armageddon, the Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ with His church? All the warning signs are flashing,  sirens are blasting -- God's judgments on this world are about to begin...

and time is running out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39

Thursday, November 24, 2011

God commands us to give Him thanks for everything He has done, is doing and will do for us.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God"  Philippians. 4:6

 "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"  1 Thessalonians 5:18

 "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men" 1 Timothy 2:1

 "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Ephesians 5:20

But this is not the normal response of the sinful heart of man. Even in times of health and prosperity, we fail to genuinely thank God for all that He has given us.

In Luke 17 we read of the LORD cleansing ten lepers, yet only one returned to give thanks to God. Many thousands were physically healed by the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry, thousands were provided food, others delivered from demonic oppression, yet few really believed in Him as God or accepted Him as Saviour. Adam and Eve, knew God, but failed to glorify Him as God, or obey Him as LORD.

How many took the time this Thanksgiving to acknowledge that:

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

or truly gave thanks for all that God has given?

If you didn't ~~ it's not too late.

[Thanks to Dr. John Whitcomb for his insight leading to this post.]

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter1:6-7

'Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators.

When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship does not move to its harbor; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven.

No flowers are as lovely a blue as those that grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam as brightly as those that glisten in the midnight sky; no water tastes as sweet as that which springs up in the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.

Tested faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness if you had not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength if you had not been supported in the flood. Faith increases in quality, assurance, and intensity the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Do not let this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: The full portion will be measured out to you in due course.

Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence you have now attained: Walk according to that rule, and you will still have more and more of the blessing of God, until your faith will remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.'

Days of testing are coming. Will you be able to say with confidence:

"When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:10-12

Testing the Genuineness of our Faith, by
Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Written by a street preacher in Nashville:

I live in Nashville where more Bibles are printed than anywhere else in the world. We have more Christian publishing houses in Nashville than anywhere else on the face of the earth – more churches per square mile – and, outside the Vatican, a greater percentage of bodies in buildings on Sunday morning than anywhere else on earth. So we in Nashville have a better chance to get it right,  wouldn’t you say??

We have 1000 churches and 4000 homeless people living and dying under bridges and in culverts. I know because I have prayed with them and lain with them as they died, and every week I feed and pastor them. We can’t even get it right enough for every church to reach out to 4 homeless people. And yes, that includes children as young as they get.

Nashville is the headquarters for a swag of church denominations, and para church organizations like the Gideons, and from this buckle on the Bible belt of the richest nation on earth, missions go out all round the globe. Those missions are funded with .01 percent of all monies collected in North American churches.

That’s right! For every $1000 collected by North American churches, ONE Dollar is sent to evangelize those who have never heard the name “Jesus” - but from the latest stats, are probably well aware of the name “Coca Cola”.

And frankly, whereas I once despaired of these manifest failures of the church, now I say, Bring it on! Let the world see forever the rich failures of putting religion before Jesus, ritual before relationship, rules before lives and liturgy before love.

When the world at large finally see that the emperor has no clothes, so also will the light of the real gospel of grace and peace shine the brighter. For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!

Let it get darker, our Jesus will shine brighter.

"...Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me..." Matthew 25

Monday, November 7, 2011

Outside my kitchen window, children played hide-and-seek. I had to laugh at some of their funny hiding places.

Many decades ago, I played their game. Into my mind flashed hiding places that felt cozy enough to sleep in. Others were cramped, cold and hard. Like some of the challenging places God assigns to His children today, I thought.

My hiding place in God -- the place or circumstance where He keeps me safe in Him -- may not always be comfortable by my finite human standard. But whether pleasant or painful for the moment, it fits His plan for my growth, ministry and protection. There, "under the shadow of the Almighty," I am safe from stalking enemies from the inside (such as pride, anger and self-indulgence) as well as the outside (all the threats and troubles of today's changing world).

Because He drew me to Himself and saved me through the Cross, He will continue to guide and train me. He always does -- in His chosen places.

My King may use any part of His creation to keep me in His presence. By hiding rebellious Jonah three days in the belly of "a great fish," He provided safety from the sea, proof of His sovereignty, and the personal humbling needed for Jonah to follow God's command.

By hiding Israel 400 grueling years of slavery in Egypt, God unified His people and guarded them from the rising corruption in Canaan, their ultimate destination.

I trust that He will always choose the hiding place for me that best prepares me for tomorrow's challenges. It may not look or feel like a hiding place designed by my Father's wise and loving hand. But as I rest in Him, He will accomplish His purpose.

"I will give you the treasures of darkness," my King assures me, "and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who calls you by your name, am the God of Israel."

God, my wonderful Lord and King, is my Hiding Place today and forever. Yet, every day I have a choice to make: Will I rest peacefully in His plan and provision? Or will I try to run from Him as Jonah did. If I would be foolish enough to turn away, I trust my Shepherd to remind me, and I had better listen as He tests the firmness of my faith:

"Am I a God at hand... and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?" Jeremiah 23:23-24

My heart's desire is to live in total union with my King -- every hour of every day. And since "[I] have died with Christ," my "life is hidden with Christ in God." When I rest in Him, I am confident that "in the time of trouble He shall hide me..."

That precious promise is repeated again and again in His Word. Those who belong to Him are safe no matter what lies ahead. Shepherd-king David knew that. In the midst of a flood of painful circumstances, he cried out to His Lord:

"Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence...
Blessed be the Lord, For He has shown me His marvelous kindness!" Psalm31:19-21

In Him alone I am safe!

There, I will "be still and know that He is God!" Psalm 46:10

[Berit Kjos ~ Kjos Ministries]

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

David Wilkerson writes:

'The seventh chapter of Micah contains one of the most powerful messages on the new covenant ever preached. In this incredible sermon, Micah is speaking to natural Israel—yet he is also speaking to the church of Jesus Christ in these last days. He begins his sermon with a heartbroken cry—one that is still being heard from spiritually starved believers around the world today:

“Woe is me! . . . There is no cluster to eat” Micah 7:1

Micah is describing the effect of a famine in Israel—a famine of food and of God’s Word. It echoes the words of an earlier prophecy by Amos where the Lord says:

“Behold, the days are coming . . .that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall . . .run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it.” Amos 8:11–12

It was harvest time in Israel and the vineyards should have been bursting with fruit, but there were no clusters hanging from the vines. Micah watched as people went into the vineyards looking for fruit to pick and finding none. In his prophetic eye, Micah saw multitudes in the last days running from place to place, seeking to hear a true word from God. He envisioned believers scurrying from church to church, from revival to revival, from nation to nation—all seeking to satisfy a hunger and thirst for something to nourish
their souls. The cry is still heard, “Woe is me—there is no cluster!”

There is a great famine in the land. Yet, in spite of multitudes running about looking for spiritual food, those who truly desire God’s Word comprise only a remnant (see Micah 7:14, 18). This is certainly as true today as it was in ancient Israel. Few Christians today truly hunger to hear the pure word of the Lord. Instead, the majority fatten themselves on Sodom’s apples, feeding on the straw of perverted gospels.'

"Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men." Mark 7:6-8