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Keep the Lamps Full

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So many of us are growing weary and are just plain TIRED. As JD Farag said recently, those of us who speak the Truth can expect to be blasted with persecution in some form or another. Even I, little me who has such a small influence, am not overlooked by the enemy. Any time I post something which exposes the dark forces at work, trouble in my personal life follows. It is no coincidence, and the enemy knows how to push my buttons-often using  my own family to put me through the wringer.

Most of us are just tired of living in this evil world. The spirit of the world is in constant battle with the Spirit within us and we will be glad when it is all over.

Still, we MUST keep our lamps trimmed. We must continue to shine the Light of Christ. We must occupy and serve until He comes. We are in the throes of war and this is not the time to turn and run. Souls are at stake!

So, be encouraged dear friends. Take heart. The victory is already won. Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. Don’t be overcome. HE has already overcome the world. Stay strong. The race and the battle is almost done.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  Ephesians 6

 

Facing Reality

I also shared this on my family blog, Blessed Hope Homestead.

  1. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NIV
  2. I remember as a child waking up in the middle of the night and becoming frightened by the shadows of the room. Is that dark blob some nefarious creature waiting to pounce the moment I move? My imagination would run wild. I don’t know why I thought laying really still and hiding under the covers would keep me safe. We’ve all been there. It is one of those things of childhood.

But you know what? As you can probably guess, the moment I gathered the courage to turn on the light I could plainly see that what I had feared was the pile of clothes I had tossed on the chair (instead of putting away like Mom expected). The fear was gone instantly because the light revealed reality.

Such as it is with life. Even death.

So many are walking among the shadows. What they are convinced is reality, isn’t. They rely upon their senses, the opinions of others, and their own limited understanding to interpret the world around them. As a result, many live in fear. If they would only let the Light show them the reality, they would see the Truth. They would KNOW the Truth…and it will set them free. Free from their fears; free from the darkness and the pain associated with it.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  9That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. John 1: 1-5; 9

Jesus is the Word. Jesus is God. All creation is through Him. The very breath you take is because He wills it. Man was created in His likeness, to walk in fellowship with Him. However, man chose to believe a lie and to lean upon his own understanding and was thus separated from God. Mankind SINNED and the punishment of sin is death; death in the lake of fire for all eternity separated from God. This was not God’s will. He does not want anyone to perish so,

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3 NKJV

He gave us a way out. The ultimate do-over.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6 NKJV

This is REALITY. Reality is not in the eye of the beholder. It isn’t what you perceive it to be. There IS and there IS NOT. TRUTH or FICTION. The reality is, we sinned. We deserve an eternity in hell because the alternative to hell is fellowship with God in heaven, but we cannot be in fellowship with the Creator Almighty God because He is Holy and cannot fellowship with sin. Not without the sin being removed and covered by the blood of a perfect sacrifice. So, He became flesh and lived among us, experiencing everything all humans experience but SINNED NOT. He then offered HIMSELF as the pure, perfect, sacrificial Lamb to take away our sins. He offers us a plan of salvation; a way to be restored to fellowship with God. That is LOVE. Pure, perfect LOVE.

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2

Believe. Confess. Repent. Be Baptized. Walk in the Lord Jesus.

The easiest do-over ever, because you can’t actually DO anything….Jesus did it all, He paid it all. Embrace it.

I implore everyone to FACE REALITY! Jesus IS coming back, but this time He will not be the sacrificial Lamb. No, the time for that would’ve passed. He is coming back to judge the world.

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[e] a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,[f] followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS. Revelation
19

This is not science fiction, but reality. Do not be among those who will face the wrath of God. He has made it so easy for you NOW to live in the Light and enjoy an eternity with Him.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3

Don’t shut out the Light. Face reality because time is running out!

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22

‘The Harbinger’- Is it too late for America?

I have taken a little break from my literary tour of the world to finally read The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I realize I’m a little behind, but let’s just say I like to let hype settle before checking out what the hype is actually all about. 🙂

Anyway, if you have read Cahn’s bestseller, you will understand when I say I am floored. Of course I’ve always known God is in control and has His hand in current events and the affairs of mankind, but to see it so evidenced in recent events is just so exciting, to say the least.

Without going into detail about the harbingers-or warnings- I will say the overall theme of what has been happening in America is a call to REPENT. There is a word that is heard less often nowadays, being second less popular than the word SIN. But there we have it. Regardless of what the historical revisionists would have us believe, this country was founded on solid Biblical principles and our founding fathers warned that should we ever stray from God, we can expect calamity and, ultimately, destruction.

September 11 2001, the economic crash of 2008-they are a warning call for America to repent. As a nation, as individuals.

Have we repented? The thought is laughable because we are clearly steering this ship in the opposite direction. Everything God calls evil, progressive Americans call good and vice versa. Even those who would call themselves conservative are too steeped in compromise to notice they too are waist deep in the mire. Our leaders are, literally, hell-bent on flipping God the finger and then using it to poke the apple of His eye (Israel).

No, it appears we have not repented. The nation is full of scoffers, the sexually immoral, the greedy, the murderous and the complacent. Our churches are filled with apostates, wolves clothed as sheep and those who have accepted a watered-down gospel that tickles their ears. Everyone wants God’s blessings but few want to repent. Everyone wants a Savior, but not a Lord.

And so it continues. Without repentance, we cannot expect God to once again protect and bless this nation. Is there hope? Of course. As long as He continues to warn us, to call us back to Himself, there is hope. We as a nation, as individuals, can still repent and return to the Lord. It begins with you and me. It begins in our churches.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

We are called to be salt and light. Will we be that to a dying nation?

Without repentance and a turning away from our sin, this nation will face destruction.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6

These verses are a template for all of us.

Is it too late for America? Perhaps. But as long as you draw breath, you have hope. Thing is, no one knows when the next breath may be their last.

Choose this day whom you will serve….

What then shall we do?

We have brothers and sisters in Christ dying every day for their faith. I consider the Christians in Pakistan and other highly persecuted places and cannot help but wonder: why? Not why they are persecuted, but why aren’t I? I mean sure, being a Christian in America isn’t what it used to be. We are called names, shunned, made fun of, sued for our beliefs, but very few of us are actually killed for it. We do not live in danger, like Christians in other parts of the world do.

So then I have to ask, since we’ve been blessed to live in general safety (thus far), what is God’s purpose for this?  What, then, should we be doing? Is there anything we can do for our persecuted brothers and sisters? We have it “so good” here in the U.S., are we taking advantage of that?

It seems many of us are not. We sneeze one time and decide we couldn’t possibly make it to church that day. Oh, but if I send my child to youth group on Wednesday night, he’ll miss soccer practice and won’t be able to play on Saturday. The Super Bowl is on tonight so we better cancel services. The minister has gone over ten minutes, someone needs to have a talk with him about that. Boo-hoo. Puhleez.

There is nothing wrong per se in enjoying football or other activities, but when it takes precedent over serving the Lord……

Meanwhile, we have those in Africa and the middle east who go to church services knowing full well they may not make it home alive. More likely, their building will be burned down while they sit in it or demon-filled hoodlums will come in wielding their machetes and chop them up. This is the reality of so many who choose to follow Christ. When they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are very much aware they may be signing their own death sentence. Yet the rate of conversion to Christianity grows!

So then maybe, just MAYBE, we should get off our lazy patooties! Maybe we should be on our knees praying for those persecuted and thanking God we do not have to worry about our children being stolen and traded or killed. Maybe we should ask Him what we can do to advance His Kingdom. Maybe we should be proclaiming the gospel to every lost soul we encounter. Maybe we should wake up and get busy doing what we can, while we can.

Time Well Spent

I need no more convincing that we are in the last days.  For those of you who would agree, I present this question: What are you doing to make the most of the time we have left this side of eternity?

Do you recall that country song, “Live like you were dying”? It tells a story about a guy who was told he had X amount of time left and what he did with it. He went skydiving, mountain climbing, rode a bull and mended broken relationships. He suggested we all “live like (we) are dying” .

While all the things mentioned in the song are exciting and note-worthy, they do not compare to the thrills that await us upon entering the presence of the Lord. With that being said, what are you doing RIGHT NOW to prepare for that glorious meeting? Are your “last days” thoughts centered around “just waiting” while continuing in the same ol’ same ol’? Or, are they focused on the Kingdom-in building it up and serving it so you may have a crown to lay at the Lord’s feet?

Have you given much thought to the eternal destination of those within your circle of influence? I mean REALLY given it much thought. If you truly believe the Bible is the True Word of God, and what is written in it is indeed True then you know this is not a game. Nothing is more serious nor more important! Eternal souls are at stake and the enemy is working double overtime to devour whom he can.

Are we asleep in a foxhole, while the war rages around us, or are we actively engaged in the largest (and most important) battle for all time?

If ever there was a time to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6) and walk in the Spirit it is NOW. Do not be conformed to the ways of the world. Toss away all inhibitions about being intolerant or politically incorrect and do not fear offending someone. Did Jesus fear offending people? He sure did NOT. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will know the perfect will of God. (Romans 12)

Now obviously we cannot ram the Gospel down people’s throats, but nor should we bite our tongues when the Spirit is nudging us to speak Truth.  If someone’s house is on fire and a fireman enters the home to discover a family peacefully asleep in bed, will he think to himself, “aw, if I wake them up it would disturb their peaceful sleep so I’ll just leave them alone and hope they wake up on their own and realize what is happening”. Of course not!

Well folks, there are people we know who are in a burning house, blissfully unaware of the flames licking about. Are we so cruel to not try as we might to save them? (Now before you email me…yes, I know Jesus is who saves). We are called to be firemen, rescuing souls by bringing them into contact with the Living Water.

So, again….how are you spending these last days? Is it time well spent?