Friday, December 25, 2009

Born To Die

December 24, 2009

I have just one question. Where did 2009 go? So many things happened in such a short amount of time I can hardly believe a year has come and gone. As with any year, we had the good and the bad as always. But lots of big events took place this For starters we sold mom’s house in Texas. This obviously was a very hard thing to do. Not physically, but emotionally. Initially we thought that a friend of moms was going to buy her house, so she didn’t bother with putting the house on the market and instead focused all her attention on doing some packing and retiring from the Texas school system. But, just before it was time to move, plans had changed and mom needed to locate a Realtor.

We put her house on the market and would you believe that the house had a contract on it in just 3 days! The LORD took care of that one in a heart beat. He is so amazing! We witnessed His mighty hand at work all around us during the entire process. The move went very well and mom was on her way to Alabama. We moved her in with us in early June and at that point spent the entire summer looking for houses that would work for all of us to live in together. But to no avail. In the mean time, the LORD was continuing His hand of provision in landing mom a new job at the middle school here (just before the school year started) doing what she loves most…teaching Special Ed. students. And while it was evident we weren’t going to find that perfect home for us, the LORD had something different planned all along. He was building us a house.

I wish I could tell you all of the details that go along with that statement. They are truly amazing. This house is exactly what we were looking for all along. (Of course it is, The LORD is building it!) Another neat thing about this house is that it not only has the perfect set up for mom, but it has lots of extra bedrooms for kids! And since we only have 2 kids….you may be wondering (if you don’t already know) that we are expecting more! The LORD has drawn our hearts toward adoption over the last year and we’ve got our sights set for a baby girl in India! We have been through the most interesting journey of our lives going through the process of adopting a child. We have filled out mounds of paper work and had our family raked over with a fine tooth comb. It has been interesting to say the least.

But we have learned so much about the LORD than we ever expected in this journey of adoption. We’ve learned more about the Father’s heart for the orphan as well as the whole concept of our own spiritual adoption in Christ Jesus. It’s been a mind blowing awakening. In my statement earlier I mentioned “kids”. We are working through the possibility of getting a sibling group of girls from India, but if the LORD wills just for us to have one this time around….then we plan to adopt again. There are too many babies out there that need a home for us just to stop with one. We’ll leave all the rest up to the LORD and just walk forward in obedience as He leads. I hope to be writing this time next year about a new member of our family!

So, lots of good as I mentioned this year but along with the good, came the bad. We had to endure yet another loss this year. I wasn’t sure my heart could actually take losing another loved one. This makes three years in a row that we’ve had to say goodbye to one of my closest family members. First it was my mamaw, then my father and this year it was my papaw. That’s too tough to even absorb. When we lost my papaw, we lost one of the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve ever known. He was a man who gave of himself to others all the time. I watched him literally give up the things on earth that he dearly enjoyed to care for my mamaw when her health was declining. With what little he did have he was always sending me checks in the mail letting me know that “he couldn’t think of anyone he’d rather give his money to”. He probably did that with everyone. Such a precious man. My papaw was loved by everyone and he is dearly missed.

The last few days, I have been reflecting on yet another who gave himself for others. My mind races to Philippians 2:6-9 that says, “Though he (Jesus) was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (NLT) Our pastor says every year “that the main emphasis of Christmas is not on the infancy of Jesus but on the deity of Jesus.” When you look at it like that you begin to realize (as much as humanly possible) all that He gave up to be born in human likeness. Jesus Christ gave up all that was rightly His to step into time to be born as a human being and ultimately humbled himself in obedience unto death.

Let’s be honest. When we think of Christmas, do we just see a baby lying in a manger, or do we see the King of the universe stepping out of heaven, giving up all His privileges to become an ordinary baby headed for the cross? Yes, He was born in Bethlehem but He was headed for Calvary. Putting it another way, He was born to die. Why? Love. It was love that drove Christ to such a humble state for our sinful account so that for all who truly believe might be saved! It’s one of those things you have to ponder deeply to even begin to conceive the slightest bit of its profundity. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. Ephesians 3:18-19 That you may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Trees, lights, presents, family and food are all nice at Christmas. But, I’ll take the humble King. Will you worship Jesus with us this Christmas? Not as an infant but as King, born to die so that we might be saved!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

We are all in this together

For more info go here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Living your life with Purpose

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God cannot bless a nation that turns away from Him

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What If?

David Platt: SBC Pastors Conference 2009 from Todd Thomas on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I dare you to pray this

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I know I have been distant on the REVIVE blog. All my attention and time have been going here instead. So, I have resorted to posting videos and quoting others rather than posting my own stuff. I do intend to jump back on board soon and pour out from my heart in blog posts about what God is doing to REVIVE His Bride! But for now...I'll continue to use the help of others for my this one:

By Kerry Hasenbalg

".....just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." - Ephesians 5:25-27

If you have spent even a short time in the orphan and adoption field, you have undoubtedly heard the Scripture verse found in James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion that God our Father accepts is the care for orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted by the world." Although it is the most quoted passage in the Christian adoption and orphan care community, I believe it is one of the least practiced. Allow me to explain.

A friend of mine was out leading a four-wheeling expedition, and immediately following the outing, he came to our house to lead a small group Bible Study. When he arrived, he stared talking to me in my kitchen about the study he was about to teach, but it was very difficult for me to take him seriously because he had black splotches of mud on his face. he either didn't realize the mud was there or simply didn't mind, and he would have left it on his face had I not said something to him. Perhaps because many of the others who were in that room also had gone four-wheeling and were covered in mud, it just seemed normal and was not out of place. But because I was clean and freshly showered, it seemed to me to be quite silly. How often are we like that-not even realizing we look foolish because all around us there are others who look just as dirty or worse? The Word says that those who compare themselves to themselves are not wise.

Psalm 1:1 reveals that there truly is a progression of becoming more and more like the world and that it is possible to not even realize it is happening. "Blessed is the man that walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers." Walking, stopping and standing, and finally sitting down. It starts by just taking a bit of worldly counsel, moves to taking on some of the world's ways, and ends with us taking our place at the table to dine, completely comfortable in lives that displease God.

Much of the church is filled with man-pleasers who are unwilling to point out the mud that has splattered on our faces in the course of life, and too many are more interested in being like and accepted by men than being accepted by God. Yet, the Word reveals that God is preparing an acceptable Bride, without spot or blemish, to present to His Son! This is not about being perfect, it is about recognizing the mud on our faces and confessing our sins to a God who declares that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Caring for orphans and widows and being unspotted by the world is not an either/or option. Some ask, "why has the evangelical church not stepped up to care for orphans and widows," but let us also ask ourselves, "why have we also not chosen to have the muddy spots of the world continually cleansed by God?" Is it the God of mammon we are busy worshiping? Is it that envy, competition, or selfish ambition are present? Or is it that we are not even aware that we are dirty because we are hard pressed to find someone among us who is choosing to be set apart unto holiness? I used to think I was very generous, until I realized that I was comparing myself to those who were stingy. Let us not compare ourselves to one another, for God has given us the great example, His Son, Jesus!

Take a few minutes and ask God to search your heart and reveal anything in your life that needs to be confessed, an way that you have a been spotted by the world. In what ways can you be set apart unto holiness? What steps can you take today to care for orphans and widows while remaining unspotted by the world?

(from my devotional, Seeds of Change)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Think Of Me

Thursday, April 30, 2009

National Day of Prayer 2009

Get ready to hit your knees!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Revive in 5

REVIVE Ministries presents, "REVIVE in 5". Over the next several months we will be putting up videos recapping the 2008 REVIVE events. You will be able to watch highlights from select talks and get a taste of REVIVE in just 5 minutes. Here is video number one. For best viewing, choose the "HQ" button at the bottom of the video frame to view in high quality. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sheep and Goats-Which side are you on?

Sheep and Goats
Which side are you on?

When Jesus was asked to describe His second coming, He answered first with warnings, second with stories, and finally with a plain statement about “when the Son of Man comes in is glory.”

by Ray Hollenbach

The fifth and final discourse in Matthew’s gospel provides a vivid picture of Jesus standing just outside the Temple in Jerusalem as He tells his followers about the second coming. The irony could not have been greater. Even as Israel rejected the first coming of Jesus, He spoke to them of His second coming.

With each pronouncement in Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus’ words become more and more forceful. Now, in his final saying, Jesus speaks plainly enough for us to hear Him twenty centuries later. (Matt: 25: 31-46)

The words of Jesus in a single verse are breathtaking: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.” (Matthew 25:31) These statements fall on us with breathtaking rapidity. The carpenter from Nazareth claims plainly to be the Son of Man described in Daniel’s prophecies from centuries before (Daniel chapter 7); He will command all the angels of heaven; and He will sit on a throne of judgment that oversees all of human history.

What kind of person could make such claims? What kind of person claims that he will return after a long absence, sit on a throne, and separate the gentle from the stubborn? What kind of person declares that his choices alone qualify people for everlasting reward or eternal punishment? Jesus not only predicts his return, he issues a warning that the second coming will not be like the first.

Christian writer C.S. Lewis reminds us that we cannot separate the teachings of Jesus from his astounding claims about himself. In a famous essay Lewis points out: “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (Mere Christianity, 1952)

In his first appearance on earth Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus reveals in Matthew 25 that in His second coming He will return as the judge of all humanity. His bold statements outside the Temple that day force us to re-evaluate all we have learned about His teaching.

Jesus not only called the religious leaders of his day into account. He is calling us into account even now. Just as His resurrection was the Father’s vindication of Jesus’ claim to be the Savior of the world, so his second coming will be the vindication of His claim to be Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Watch a video about the Second Coming:

After describing the difficulties of the last days and telling stories about His return Jesus calls us to choose what we will do with His teaching. We can recognize Him as Lord now or in the day of His coming. Indeed, we should make our choice now because in the day of His coming the time for choosing will be over. The day of His coming tilts the scale from our choices to His final judgments.

In these final words about His second coming Jesus says plainly that He will separate the sheep from the goats. In that day our opinions about ourselves will not matter. Only His opinion will matter. In that day Jesus sets people aside for eternal reward or everlasting punishment. But we can do something about our destiny now, before that day. We can bow before Him now.

In the second coming only Jesus’ choice will matter. Our choices matter now. How important is that choice set before us? It is so important that at the second coming all the angels in heaven assemble to witness the results. It is so important that God Himself prepared His Kingdom “before the foundations of the world.” The words from Matthew’s gospel are not set before us to satisfy our curiosity. They are divinely inspired to set before us the most important choice we will ever make—will we be sheep or goats in God’s eyes?

Ray Hollenbach,a native of Chicago, has been the pastor of Vineyard Campbellsville (KY) for eleven years. His desire is to see the Kingdom of God advance in Campbellsville and beyond, as well as to see the next generation of leaders raised up and released into ministry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Virgins and the Bridegroom

Christians of every generation have been interested in the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. And no surprise: the second coming of Christ has been the hope of the church in every age.

by Ray Hollenbach

Jesus Himself instructed us to “keep awake” and be aware of the signs of the times:

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight the cry rang out: "Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"

Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out."

'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'

But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
— Matthew 25: 1-13

In this parable Jesus gives his disciples the assurance of his return and provides instructions for how they should order their lives in light of the promise of his coming. His message was not only for them; it is for us as well. What can we learn from the Lord’s story?

From the very opening words of the parable we can discover something about the community of faith: we wait together for his return. His coming will certainly involve personal accountability as Jesus returns to judge each person, but until he arrives we are called to remain in community.

It is a fact demonstrated in every century and every culture: Christians flourish in community and wither when they attempt the Christian life on their own. We have a duty to await the bridegroom together.

The young women in this story also carry lanterns. It is a beautiful image of those pure in their faith, filled with expectancy, acting in obedience to the Lord’s command to be the light of the world. Jesus said, "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5). But he also said to his followers, "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14).

In his absence he wants us to carry God’s light
. In a world darkened by sin we are the evidence that a new day is coming. For some people trapped in the darkness of depression or disobedience, we may be the only light they see. And the light we carry is not our own, it comes from the Spirit he has given us.

Jesus spoke of the oil that enabled the lamps to burn. Throughout the Scripture oil is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would not leave us alone. While He is away he provides his Holy Spirit to comfort and empower his disciples.

In this parable it is the oil that gives the lanterns their light, and the virgins must trim the lamps. This speaks of our devotion and fervor. We have a responsibility to trim our lamps. No one can do it for us. We alone must be sure that we steward the precious resource of his presence in the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul reminded us that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and instructed those who waited for the Lord’s return, "do not to put out the Spirit’s fire."

This passage also reminds us that things may take a little longer than we might expect. The bridegroom was a long time coming. He was delayed so long that both the wise and the foolish both fell asleep, but we are still commanded to be ready for his return at any moment.

Ultimately, only the Father knows the day and the hour of the Son’s return. While we recognize along with the Psalmist that our times are in his hands, we also need to recognize that the End Times are most definitely in his hands.

Much has been made of the end of Jesus' parable. When word finally comes that his return is at hand, the foolish virgins must leave to find more oil, and they eventually find themselves on the outside looking in.

This verse can be the source of argument and division or we can take from it one sure lesson: instead of fearing the words, "I don't know you," we can prepare now for the assurance that the door to the feast will be open to us.

Have we made Jesus both Savior and Lord of our lives? Do we guard the gift of the Spirit given to us? Do we look eagerly to the day of his coming?

The end of this parable is the beginning of the wedding feast. And Christ Himself has made a way for all to come and dine. The second coming is really the beginning: the beginning of the marriage supper of the Lamb. Will you be ready?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Signs of Christ's Return

Signs of Christ's Return
How Then Should We Live?
Christians have been looking for Jesus’ Second Coming ever since He left the first time. We have always longed for the time when our Savior will come from heaven and make everything right once again on the earth. I hope you’re looking for it because Paul says at the end of 2 Timothy that there is a crown awaiting all of those who are longing for His appearing. Are you longing for it? Do you get up in the morning thinking, This could be the day?

by Skip Heitzig

Christians live with hindsight and foresight. We look back to our redemption: the once-for-all finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross on our behalf. And we look forward to restoration, where there is a total do-over, a make-over on Planet Earth, and Jesus Christ rules and reigns.

As we look forward, how should we live? The Apostle Paul wrote in Titus 2:12-13: “Live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

As we anticipate, what should we know? What should we be aware of? Consider the parable of the fig tree that Jesus tells in Matthew 24:32: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.”

Notice that Jesus did not say, “Interpret what the fig tree means.” He simply said, “Learn a lesson from it.” He didn’t say, “Now you go to your theological libraries and try to figure out every little meaning of every detail.” He just said, “Look at the fig tree. Take a lesson from it.”

I believe there is a simple, straightforward meaning to the parable of the fig tree: You can tell what’s coming ahead by what you see right now. Jesus gave a series of signs earlier in this chapter—massive worldwide persecution (Matthew 24:2-13); worldwide evangelization (Matthew 24:14); the abomination of desolation and the mass exodus of the Jews from Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-20); and the cataclysmic catastrophes that occur on the earth and in the heavens (Matthew 24:21-31).

Jesus said these signs would be “the beginning of sorrows.” The word that is used to mean sorrows is the same word that means birth pains. Birth pains are different from abdominal pains. Birth pains are more frequent and more intense. And when the birth pains come, you know the birth is about to take place.

If you ever travel to South Dakota, there’s a little town there known as Wall, and there is a drug store called Wall Drug. When Ted Hustead started the store back in the 1930s, he knew it would not get much traffic from his small town, so he put up signs—everywhere. He decided that everyone should know about his store. So he put a sign in all 50 states that tells the distance from that state to Wall Drug, S.D.

In Memphis, the sign reads: “Wall Drug: 1,192 miles.” In Paris, France, it says: “Wall Drug: 5,961 miles.” At the South Pole: “Wall Drug: 9,333 miles.” There’s a sign in Moscow and Kenya. There’s one outside the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. But if you’re driving on Interstate 90 and you’re 45 miles outside of Wall, you can count 53 signs in that 45-mile stretch leading into the little town. The signs get bigger and brighter. So, just seeing a sign for Wall Drug isn’t necessarily an indication that you’re close, but when those signs become more frequent and more intense, you know you’re almost there. Jesus gave a whole list of signs, or time indicators, so that already we can say, “I’m noticing the world shaping up toward His coming.”

Matthew 24:35 gives us a promise: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” There are two parts to this promise: The world of men will end, and the Word of God will endure. If you’re a materialist, I feel sorry for you. If your only hope is that new home or that wonderful garden or the new car, enjoy it now, because it’s all going to burn. The Lord has been faithful to remind me of this throughout the years. It seems that every time I buy something new, even though I try really hard to take care of it, it gets dinged or scratched. It still works, but it’s as if the Lord is saying, “It’s all going to burn.”

Matthew 24 closes with a parable about a wealthy master who leaves for a period of time and places all that he has with a servant. He comes back and catches his servant “in the act.” But what does he catch his servant doing? If the servant is wise, he is working; if the servant is foolish, he is wasting time.

The foolish servant says, “The lord is delaying his coming,” inferring that his master wouldn’t come for a long time, if at all. And in this section of Scripture Jesus goes on to tell two other parables. One speaks of 10 virgins going to meet the bridegroom, and the bridegroom is delayed in his coming. The other is the parable of the talents, in which a man gives his servants money and immediately goes on a journey. In that parable Jesus said, “After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.”

It seems to me that, in telling these parables, the Lord was preparing His disciples for what would turn out to be a long absence. He was using imagery to say, “I’m going, and I’m coming back—but it’s going to be a long time.”

And the question for us is this: What are we to be doing in the meantime?

The answer is found in this story in Matthew 24. There are two kinds of servants: wise and wicked. The wise servant is caught in the act of faithful service. The wicked servant is caught in the act of fickle selfishness.

We who follow God are His servants. He is the Master. I want to remind you that if you are a Christian, Christ owns you. When you gave your life to Christ, you gave your life to Christ. He is the Boss. He calls the shots. You can never see your life as independent from God. In fact, that’s the very essence of sin.

Jesus says, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?” (Matthew 24:45). This indicates a task done in God’s household, the church. How are you helping to build up other believers in God’s household? How are you sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him?

Notice that the first servant is given two adjectives, faithful and wise. Let me ask you: What if your car started one out of three times? Would you say the car is faithful? What if you didn’t show up for work two or three days a month—just because you didn’t want to? Would your employer say you are faithful? What if you decided to make your mortgage payments most of the time, but a couple times a year you didn’t, because you wanted to buy something else? Would the bank say you’re faithful? In the same way, if you just come to church sporadically, but not enough to get involved, are you faithful?

Wise is the second adjective. Wise means you have enough insight that would prompt your obedience. Do you know that the wisest way for you to live is in absolute surrender to Christ? Romans 12:1 says “I beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” It’s the smartest way to live. It’s faithful and it’s wise.

And it’s how we are to live in light of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig is senior pastor at Ocean Hills Church, in San Juan Capistrano,
©2009 Skip Heitzig

from the February 2009 issue of "Decision" magazine

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Proclaiming Christ's Return

Proclaiming Christ's Return

I have felt for a long time that the church has long neglected prophetic truth and, as a result, has failed to carry out God’s revealed program not only for the church itself but has failed to tell the world of God’s plan for the future.
by Billy Graham

The church has failed to keep divine objectives in view because she has neglected the prophetic message of the Word of God. This neglect has caused Christians bewilderment, confusion and ignorance in a world that seems to be disintegrating around them. Many Christians needlessly wring their hands and ask, “What is going to happen to us? What does the future hold?” Many of them are filled with fear, even though our Lord said, “Fear not.”

I believe there is a worldwide tragedy as a result of a neglect of the prophetic Scriptures. Through the centuries men and women have been experimenting with their own social, national and international programs. They have been trying to bring about a righteousness that is not of God and, therefore, it is not obtainable. Instead, it results in a recurring national collapse and sometimes in worldwide calamity. We are heading for one of those collapses at the present hour.

Today, when the church should be leading the way out of the darkness that covers the Earth, it is all too obvious that we are unable to do so because of our spiritual impotence and lack of knowledge. The church today stands sadly in the midst of the ever-increasing ruins of a civilization the church itself helped to create but seemingly has little power or even desire to save.

Acts 15:14-18 is the record of the first all-church conference. It was held in Jerusalem and concerned the work of the church in the first century. The chairman of the conference was the Apostle James. He said: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: “After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.” Known to God from eternity are all His works.

Thus the program of the church is outlined. It begins with the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It continues with the Great Commission to go into all the world and proclaim the message of the Gospel.

The church is not a political organization or a social reform society. Individual Christians may work for political reforms and for social betterment, and in many cases we should do so. As the salt of the earth, we have a responsibility for being the preservative of society. As the light of the world, we must let our light so shine that people seeing our good works may glorify our Father in heaven.

But the church must keep on the main highway outlined in the Word of God and witness to the nations not only concerning the truth of salvation but also the truth of the program of God for the whole world, especially witnessing to the glorious consummation of the age when Jesus Christ is going to return.

This is what the Apostle Paul did when he preached to the Athenians as recorded in Acts 17. Taking his text from the altar of the unknown god, which he discovered while walking around Athens, he declared, “In Him we live and move and have our being” and “we are also His offspring” (Acts 17:28).

Warning against the worship of gods of gold and silver and graven stone, Paul continued, “These times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31).

The church should be boldly proclaiming the deity and authority of Jesus as the powerful antidote to the present trend toward world chaos. The whole human race is going after false messiahs and false prophets, false religions and other gods. They will continue this way unless they are continuously taught that God has been manifested authoritatively in the flesh and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

While there has been a great evangelical revival in the church throughout the world, there are many evangelicals who neglect the prophetic program as laid out in Scripture. Therefore, millions of people and millions of professing Christians have little hope in the future. They have not been told that our hope is in the return of Jesus Christ.

Many have turned from regeneration to the philosophy of humanism. This supposedly universal solvent in the last analysis is truly the opium of the people. It blinds them to truth so that while they ignore the reality and nature of evil, they are also deluded into believing that even the present evil is some sort of process of change for the better. They declare that even this latest reversion to savagery is but the birth pangs of a better day. The progressive humanistic interpretation of the message of the Bible is the basis of many of the programs of so-called Christian conferences today, and the gospel of social change has taken the place of the Gospel of regeneration.

Don’t get me wrong. I am for social change. In many countries of the world it is desperately needed. Even in our own country some of the structures of society need to be changed, even though most people do not know how they need to be changed or by what methods they should be changed. I have yet to find a person to tell me where the ideal government exists in the world. There can be no ideal government based upon human nature as it is. That is why it is so important that human nature be changed. That is why Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

There is one clear mandate to the church, and that is to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all nations. The results of the church’s neglect of the prophecies of the Bible are pathetic and tragic. Had we kept the message and program true to the prophetic Word, it would have been kept in its proper spiritual orbit. There would never have been the deadly ecclesiasticism of the Middle Ages—which caused the church to glory in her form, ceremonies and temporal power. There might never have been the divisions that followed the Protestant Reformation, which brought a section of the church to the truth and yet created confusion in the world by sectarianism. The expectancy of Christ coming again would have kept the church unified, holy, otherworldly and energetic, balanced with a passion for social reform and social justice.

I have found that where churches are preaching the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the churches are evangelistic and concerned with the social needs of the people round about them. These churches also recognize the Bible as the authoritative Word of God instead of denying it.

Only God knows the future and can foretell it with accuracy. In this connection, Peter says, “we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:16). But he did say that in the message of prophecy there shines a light in a dark place, until the darkness of this day is over and the day of the Kingdom of God dawns.

The Bible teaches that the future Great Ruler of the world will be Jesus Christ. He shall rule in righteousness and equity, and shall make the knowledge of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. He shall destroy wars and its miseries. Upon His shoulder, world government shall rest. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.

If you don’t know Christ, you can come to know Him personally today by confessing and turning from your sin, and receiving Christ into your heart right now, and you can be prepared for the future. ©BGEA

from the February 2009 issue of "Decision" magazine

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Life I Planned by Beth Moore

Has someone seen the life I planned?
It seems it's been misplaced
I've looked in every corner
It's lost without a trace
I've found one I don't recognize
Things missing that were dear
Promises I'd hope to keep
And dreams I'd dreamed aren't here
Faces I had planned to see
Hands I planned to hold
Now absent in the pictures
Not the way I told
Has someone seen the life I planned?
Did it get thrown away?
God took my hand from searching
Then I heard him say,

"Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans I have for you
Are more than you could dream.
"You long to walk by sight
But I'm teaching eyes to see.
I know what I am doing
'Til then, you must believe."
He's done so much, I felt ashamed
To know He heard my moans
To think I'd trade in all He's done
For plans made on my own.
I wept over His faithfulness
And how He'd proved Himself
How He'd gone beyond my dreams
And said to Him myself,

"No, my ears have never heard
My eyes have never seen
Eternal plans you have for me
Are more than I could dream.
"Yes, I long to walk by sight
But You're teaching eyes to see
You know what You are doing
'Til then, I must believe."
I felt His great compassion
Mercy unrestrained
He let me mourn my losses
And showed me to my gains.
I offered Him my future
And released to Him my past
I traded in my dreams
For a plan He said would last.
I get no glimpse ahead
No certainties at all
Except the presence of the One
Who will not let me fall.
Are you also searching
For a life you planned yourself?
Have you looked in every corner?
Have you checked on every shelf?

Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans He has for you
Are more than you could dream.
Perhaps you long to walk by faith
But He's teaching eyes to see
He knows what He is doing
Child, step out and believe.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived what God has prepared
for those that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Go Tell!

There is a world out there in desperate need to hear that "LOVE has come". Are we telling them?

Great video message by Travis Cottrell on Vimeo! Check it out.

Travis Cottrell Go Tell from Rick Morgan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Beloved

You’re My beloved you’re My Bride.

To sing over you is My delight.

Come away with Me my love.

Under My mercy come and wait.

Till we are standing face to face.

I see no stain on you My child.

You are beautiful to Me, so beautiful to Me.

I sing over you My song of peace.

Cast all your cares down at My feet.

Come and find your rest in Me.

I’ll breathe My life inside of you

I’ll bear you up on eagle’s wings.

And hide you in the shadow of My strength.

I’ll take you to My quiet waters

I’ll restore your soul.

Come rest in Me and be made whole.

You’re My beloved you’re My bride.

To sing over you is My delight.

Come away with Me my love.

By Kari Jobe

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lead Me to the ROCK

Psalm 61:1-2
Lead Me to the Rock
A Psalm of David.

1Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61 was a similar prayer my father had been offering up to God for about five months. At the news of his cancer, he began calling on the only one who could rescue him. All of us were crying out to God for deliverance from that evil disease. However, God didn’t answer quite how we expected. As I type this letter, a year ago today, this very minute my father left us and was delivered home to be with the LORD.

In his last few days, the cancer had taken its toll on my dad’s body and left him bed ridden and very incoherent. While watching him slowly slip away from us, my mom and I received a precious gift from the LORD the day before my father’s death. We witnessed miraculous things and experienced incomparable joys!

Dad had woken up from a deep sleep and began carrying on coherent conversations with us. His personality came to life as he began his joking and playing pranks on my mom which brought us sweet laughter. We got to huddle and love on one another and talk for long periods of time. We were able to express fears as well as provide assurance of provisions for mom once dad was no longer with us. We spoke of the difficult situation at hand and of how much he would be dearly missed. Precious conversations!

Later, to our surprise, dad sat up in bed and requested his glasses and the news paper, not hesitating for a second to go straight to the sports page. We even enjoyed a playoff football game together where he was happy to share his thoughts and opinions on players and teams as he always did. To our delight, dad didn’t waste a minute to ask to enjoy the sheer pleasure of swigging down 2 chocolate (milk chocolate Bluebell of course) milk shakes. Don’t think for a minute that he didn’t exclaim, “Mmmm, that’s so good!” one more time.

We laughed, we cried, we reminisced, we prayed together, confessed, forgave, loved deeply and reconciled all things. All of life’s earthly pleasures were enjoyed to the fullest one last time. As well, all eternal questions and decisions were completely squared away as we thoroughly discussed salvation in Christ alone, by faith alone. Dad reaffirmed his trust and hope in the LORD as he uttered the sweetest words, “who else do I have?” God demonstrated great mercy and grace to us. Never had we experienced such loving presence from the Father.

But, one thing left mom and I stunned that day. Dad spoke of a dream he just had that morning. As he described the dream, he told us he found himself walking down a long path. At the end of the path he sat on a rock and there he began talking to God. At the time it didn’t make any sense to either mom or I. We pondered it, then accepted it and moved on.

Today we fully know what was happening in what seemed to dad as a dream. It was the answer to the prayer he had been praying all along. “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. It was not an answer of temporary deliverance. Jesus led dad down the path to The ROCK of his salvation, where he would find himself just the next morning, talking with God face to face, permanently. I praise you FATHER for letting us enjoy him one more day before you delivered him home.

Dad, I love you and miss you dearly.
With love always,
Your daughter, BB

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Here I am to worship

What a beautiful song of worship to YHWH that is being sung to Him all over the world! This brought such joy to my heart and caused me to call out Praise to our God!

Then I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9)


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you hear it too?

Together for Adoption