Sunday, December 30, 2012

Greater Work Ahead

(Isaiah 54:2 KJV) Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

As we head closer to 2013, it is a perfect time for a saint of God to look into their relationship with Jesus Christ. Isaiah 54:2 embodies what every born again believer should be striving towards.

Four words jump out at me as things I must work on in my walk with God.

1st) The area around my tent must enlarge! I gotta get more Kingdom-minded so God can use me in a bigger and greater way. Souls need us with God's truth.

2nd) When stretching something you pull it beyond the normal. I dare say, we become too ho-hum in our daily activities. Stretching into new areas of ministry may be challenging, but the effort will be a blessing.

3rd) To lengthen my walk may require more of my time. Many times the joy might be right beyond where we stop. As you lengthen your spiritual values, the world will grow a little shorter and dimmer. Lengthen the cords to the Master and His ways.

4th) Strength comes from above. When we daily season our lives in the Will of the Lord, our stakes gain strength for all situations. Any storm, any trial, any temptation we can overcome because we are that tree planted by the water; rooted and grounded in truth.

Enlarging, stretching, lengthening and strengthening will only come by our desire to get closer to Jesus. As 2013 rolls in and all it has to offer, let me be used for the work of the Lord more than ever.

"Spare not, dear Lord, but let me have more of you so I can help a soul see you!"

Monday, December 17, 2012

Look Up

Luke 21:28 (NIV)

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Most mornings my eyes open once my wife has awakened the boys for school. The sound of their early morning chatter always makes me smile. I don’t get up just yet, though. I usually reach for my phone to catch up on the news from overnight. This past Friday morning was no different.

I grabbed my cell and quickly glanced at my twitter feed. Immediately I noticed a tweet from @BreakingNews. It spoke of an overnight earthquake off the coast of California. My interest was piqued only for a moment. After all, earthquakes have become a normal occurrence, and since I didn’t read of any major damage, I moved on down my timeline.
It didn’t take long to notice the next tweet from @BreakingNews. It was an update that told of the US sending 400 American Troops into Turkey. Alerted? Yes; but only for few moments. After all, we’ve been nation at war for most of my kid’s life. It’s become almost commonplace. It’s somewhat expected and didn’t seem to be cause for alarm.
But Friday continued. We said goodbye and sent our boys off to catch the bus and began our day, just as every other day. I had several things on the agenda and was anxiously looking forward to attacking my to-do list.

The day continued and it was time for lunch, so I decided to check out my timeline again. @BreakingNews this time told of police responding to a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Are you kidding me?

With each timeline update, more reports came in and more questions accumulated. This one had my attention. This one had America’s attention. I couldn’t shrug it off. I had kids in an elementary school.

It was then that my mind reverted back to the previous news items from earlier that morning, and I felt my spirit alerting me. Jesus is coming!

The disciples had questions concerning His second coming and the end of the age (Matthew 24). Among other things, Jesus spoke of rumors of wars, earthquakes, kingdoms rising against kingdoms. He spoke of afflictions, offenses, betrayal, and hatred. He spoke of iniquity multiplying and love growing cold.

I have heard the message preached my entire life—Jesus is soon to come. I believed it then. But because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t weaken my faith in His coming one bit. I have more faith in His appearing today than I’ve ever had. How can’t you? When you compare the Scripture to the daily events in our newspapers, it only builds my faith that what He said would happen is happening—daily.
Paul wrote to young Timothy concerning the last days. Take a look and see if what he mentioned seems familiar:
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Without a doubt, we are living in that day. This isn’t the time for us to be half-hearted. This isn’t the day for us to be inconsistent or unfaithful. This isn’t the hour for hypocrisy. Now is the time for us to lean on the Lord, and upon the strength of brothers and sisters in the faith. Now is the time for the church to stand true and stand strong. Now is the time for those who have grown cold and turned away to return to the Father’s house.
It’s not time to put your head down in fear. It’s not time to look to the left or right for compromise. It’s not time to look back to the past in regret. Now, folks is the time to look up! Look up! For our redemption is near!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

     I know that some people might not believe in themselves, but I believe God has birthed a great calling and purpose in every believer.  John 14:12 states "...He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;..."  There is so much possibility in each of us, but most of us are waiting for ideal conditions to get started. 
     I am aware that we all have the best of intentions in the midst of all of this.  Yet hopes and visions only go so far without actions.  King Solomon reflected on a similar situation years ago.  In Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT) we read, "Farmers who wait for pefect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest." So, if you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.  There are certain ways to get to the point that God is calling us to.  Let's all agree to get back to the old paths that the elders started years ago.  They lived and breathed this doctrine.  Let's make Jesus the center of our life and church; along with devoting more time to praying, reading our Bible, and fasting.  We need to make ourselves available now for what God is calling each of us to do.  
     I can't help but wonder how much impact we could have in the world today if we stopped waiting and finally start doing what God has called us to do.  I challenge each of you to step up and fill the shoes of the elders and make your own foot print upon the world. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

We Must Remember

At this time of year, the three words on most of our minds are Christmas is coming. Christmas is a wonderful time if we have the right reason on our mind. That is, everyone thinking of Jesus' birth. But we must not think only of His first coming. We must remember that He is coming back and I believe it is soon!
Between the rapture in  I Thessalonians 4:17 (Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.) and the Marriage of the Lamb in Revelation 19:7 (Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.) we will all have to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ in II Corinthians 5:10 (For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.)

In Revelation 19:7 we need to remember that they were not getting ready, but they had made themselves ready. My prayer is that you will search the scriptures and see that these things are true and do what you need to do.