Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Make The Wise Choice

People without a Savior will beg to die instead of living for Him.


Revelation 9:3-6 Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. 4 They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting. 6 In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!

Revelation 9:20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood--idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk!

In the last blog post we saw the incredible amount of trouble that was reserved for the unbelievers during the Great Tribulation. So far the earth has been subjected to all kinds of catastrophic events that have affected the people, these events are similar to what happened in Egypt when Pharaoh wouldn't let God's children go.

That is about to change as the misery becomes a result of physical torture that is applied directly to the unbelievers. The first few rounds of torture were the result of events that take place on the earth. (earthquakes, famine, water becoming blood)

The agents to administer this torture are released when the key to the bottomless pit is handed over to their leader. The bottomless pit is opened and its demons receive their orders, they are released but they are restrained, they are told what they must do and they cannot do anything else.

For five months the unbelieving world will have non-stop stinging pain like a scorpion inflicts. The pain will be so extreme that the people will wish to die but God does not grant them their wish, man has always had the ability to self destruct, but in the Great Tribulation suicide will not be an option.

The seals and trumpets are a gradual start of God's judgment that allows people some more time to change their minds but instead they are still rebellious even after being constantly tortured for five months. That's 216,000 minutes of non-stop, extreme suffering without any hope of relief.

To live without hope is a very sad place to be, you would think that this misery would be enough to get them to turn from their wickedness but instead of changing their ways they prove that they love their sinful ways and just seek to die. (Proverbs 2:14, 26:11, @ Timothy 3:1-5

Instead of seeking life they seek death but how is dying without a Savior going to make things better?

After five months of torture one-third of the earth's population gets their wish. God allows another group of wicked angels to be released and there is another outbreak of demonic activity that will bring widespread death to the people that were so anxious to die.

Again, I must ask you, even if you are being tortured continuously for 216,000 minutes, how does dying without a Savior improve your sad condition?

Back in Revelation 6:8 one fourth of the earth have already died and now another one third of the population dies in Revelation 9:15. There are thousands upon thousands of bodies lying around that needed to be disposed of, there are great wars, famine and evil demonic torture. No wonder mankind's only hope is to die.
It is unnecessary to try to “spiritualize” these symbols, or to interpret them in light of modern means of warfare. John is heaping image upon image to force us to feel the horror of this judgment.
-Warren Wiersbe
Again, I must ask you, even in these terrible conditions, how does choosing to die without a Savior improve your sad condition?

There must be another option, there must be time to make the right choice and accept the Savior, otherwise why would John tell us that man refused to repent. It seems to be implied that they have a choice but they refuse to choose wisely. (Revelation 2:21, 9:20)

You know that Cain and Abel must have heard their parents tell them about life in the garden and that God judged them for sin. When Noah and his family left the Ark they all immediately run back to their sinful ways.
Deuteronomy 30:15, 17-18 Now listen! Today am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 17 But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
When you read about it in scripture it seems like the correct choice is so obvious. After everything that happened on the way to the promised land God's children should have been able to make the right choice. They suffered severe consequences that are as big as some of the events in Revelation and many of them refused to repent just like the people in the end times.
Proverbs 1:22 "How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?
We are all just one step from stupid. We can all be known as a simpleton that enjoys his own rebellion and pride. The chances of success in this area are greatly increased when we truly love God and his book of instruction that he has given to us. 

Saturday, August 04, 2018

The King Is Coming

The only way to be a citizen of this kingdom is to be born into it.



Isaiah 52:1, 7, 8, 13 Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!

The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the LORD returning to Jerusalem.

See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted.

Someday the beautiful state that the world was in at the end of the creation story will be restored. The beauty and peace and especially the access to God that Adam and Eve had will be restored to all of God's people from every corner of the earth.

The Bible is the story of the Kingdom of God being restored, first the Bible makes it clear that we are so bad, from the original sin to the first murder and then shortly there after the story of Noah. Our tendency has always been to reject God and embrace evil.
John 3:3 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
The Bible lets us know that the day is coming when the king will restore his kingdom, the Book of Life will be opened and the citizens of the kingdom will be brought together to enjoy God's presence even more fully that it was in the garden.

The Book of Life is a list of all of the people that belong to God's kingdom. This country won't have any illegal immigration and there won't be any discrimination based on your color or the place of your first birth.

Have you become a citizen of God's eternal kingdom? Find out how you can have peace with God that starts now and last for eternity.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Trouble Ahead

The day is coming when God will bring mans rebellion to an end.

Revelation 6:10-11 They shouted to the Lord and said, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before You judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters--their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred--had joined them.

Revelation 6:15-17 Then everyone--the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person--all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?"

Revelation 8:13 Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, "Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets."

So far most people are okay with the Book of Revelation, we have met the glorified Jesus and we have received his instruction on how to do church, then in the next chapter we see the church in Heaven where they meet the Creator and then the Redeemer.

We don't mind talking about meeting Jesus and getting our rewards but we don't like to think about the events that are about to start now that Jesus has called the church home and now he has taken the sealed scroll from God's right hand. It is now time for mans rebellion to be brought to an end.

This information about the end times isn't completely new to John, he has already heard Jesus teach about what will take place, Revelation six looks a lot like what Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 when he was teaching the disciples from the Mount of Olives.

The wrath of God begins with the opening of the seals of God's scroll:

False Christ - Matthew 24:4-5, Revelation 6:1-2
War - Matthew 24:6-8, Revelation 6:3-4
Famine - Matthew 24:7, Revelation 6:5-6
Death - Matthew 24:7-10, Revelation 6:7-8
Martys - Matthew 24:14, Revelation 6:9-11
Cosmic Changes - Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12-23

To the people that are subject to God's wrath it looks like complete chaos but John shows us from his perspective in Heaven that everything is in order as each seal is opened and nothing is happening without God's approval.

There are two groups of people that react to the trouble on earth. There are the martyrs that cry out for their blood to be avenged, and even though their prayers are heard in heaven, they do not bring an end to the suffering. The other group is the unbelievers that want to he hidden from all of the calamity. It is interesting to note that they know the reason for their suffering but they love their sin more that they love Jesus. (Revelation 6:9-17)

God will continue to deal with the relentless rebellion on the earth, the seventh seal brings the next round of his wrath via the seven trumpets. Each of these judgments comes with greater intensity than the six seals. (Revelation 8:1-11:19)
Revelation 9:20  But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.
It is difficult to comprehend that these people will know that their punishment is from God yet they will continue to refuse to turn to him. God is willing to accept them but instead of repentance the vast majority of the world will lash out at God's people and make more martyrs.

God's children throughout all of the ages are like those martyrs that ask "How long?" Even those of us that are not martyrs ask the same question as we long to be in a better place. Maybe the problem is that we live for the next minute, maybe the next day, but to wait for God to move may not come until generations later.

God will relieve his people of this sinful world and fulfill their longing for his righteousness kingdom to be established but until then it is my responsibility to bring his kingdom into my world. When I yield to the reign of Christ and surrender my throne to him then "thy kingdom come" happens in my life and it has an affect on the world around me.

Will you be a part of this new kingdom and escape God's judgement?
RELATED ARTICLES
The Six Seals (bible.org)
The Cross Absorbed The Wrath Of God (billygraham.org)
What Is The Kingdom Of God (desiringgod.org)

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

God's Books

Believe the contents of the open book or be punished by the sealed book.


Revelation 5:1 Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals.

Revelation 5:4-5 Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, "Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David's throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals."

Revelation 13:8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made--the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered.

Some of the oldest books known to man are the sixty six books that make up the Bible. The Jews were meticulous about preserving God's word and making handwritten copies of it with a great deal of accuracy.

The Bible tells us about other books that God has that are even older. David says that God has a record of every tear, in Ezekiel God says that he will remove the false prophets from Israel's record books and in Malachi a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.

What a blessing it is to have the words of our creator to help us know him and have some understanding about who he is and what he expects of us. The thought that he took the time to speak to us is amazing, as small as we are and despite all of our flaws he gave us a book to let us know him.

The Bible doesn't tell us much about all of God's books but we don't need worry about their content. We don't need to try and understand more than God has made undeniably clear in the sixty six books that we have in our Bibles. God isn't going to give us a pop quiz on material that isn't covered in his word. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

We need to read God's open book so that we can know what he expects of us. The open book tells us about a day of judgment that is coming for all of mankind after God's children are safely at home with Jesus.

There is a sealed book that will finally be opened and God's wrath will be carried out as the final battle with Satan takes place. The Lamb that was found worthy to take the sealed book from God will reveal it's contents a step at a time to carry out God's plans. (Revelation 5:1-5)

There are thousands of promises from Genesis to Revelation, so many of them have come true that it is safe to assume that the promises that haven't happened yet are going to be accomplished.
Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.
The final judgment of mankind will be done with some more books, there will be the book that has a record of all of our deeds and there will be the Book of Life, the first book that God will use will find us in great need of a Savior and his second book will validate if you have one. 
John 3:3 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
The Book of Life is the record of all of the citizens of Heaven, everyone that is recorded in this book is a citizen by birth, there won't be any illegal immigration into this country and there won't be any discrimination based on your color or the place of your first birth.

Have you become a citizen of God's eternal kingdom? Find out how you can have peace with God that starts now and last for eternity.

FIND PEACE WITH GOD

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Worship The Redeemer

Sooner or later we are all going to do it.


Revelation 5:9-14 And they sang a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For You were slaughtered, and Your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 And You have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth."

11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. 12 And they sang in a mighty chorus: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered--to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing."

13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever." 14 And the four living beings said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.

When Jesus called for John to visit Heaven the entire population of Heaven is worshiping the creator (Revelation 4:1-11) until the worship music suddenly stops. The abrupt silence came as God presents his scroll that has been protected with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1)

There must have been great anticipation as they all pondered the contents of God's book that were known only to him. He was ready to reveal the mysteries contained in his book but it seemed like nobody could possibly meet the qualifications to take such a book from his right hand. (Matthew 13:11)

A "strong angel" knew that he wasn't even qualified as he called out "Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?" John was grieved that there seemed to be no way to learn about the contents of God's book. Would we ever know more? (Daniel 12:8-9)

John can stop crying because the all knowing and all powerful Lion has been revealed and he has the right to reveal the contents of God's sealed book because of his submissive and sacrificial death as the Lamb of God. (Matthew 28:18)

The Gospels reveal the Lamb of God to us who came in meekness to be judged as our Savior and the provider of God's grace. God's love story for us continues in the Book of Revelation as it reveals to us the promised Lion who will came in majesty to be the judge that will govern and carry out the return of God's kingdom. (Genesis 49:9-10, Matthew 6:10)

Why did they have to look around for Jesus? In this scene Jesus isn't at God's right hand, the church is in Heaven so there isn't any reason for him to be there in that location interceding for us, Jesus isn't seen until he steps up to take the scroll from God's right hand. (Hebrews 10:12)

As Jesus steps up all of the inhabitants of Heaven break out into song, their song explains why Jesus is the only one that is qualified to take God's scroll. Because he submitted himself as our substitute and died for our sins he is worthy of all praise and honor.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When we get to Heaven we will finally see the infinite worth of Jesus and the natural reaction will be unhindered, spontaneous praise without anything getting in the way. When we meet him face to face we will know him fully and we won't have our carnal man getting in the way of the worship he deserves.
That's His favorite song of all, Is the song of the redeemed
When lost sinners now made clean, Lift their voices loud and strong
When those purchased by His blood, Lift to Him a song of love
There's nothin' more He'd rather hear, Nor so pleasin' to His ear
As His favorite song of all
- Phillips, Craig & Dean "Favorite Song Of All"
Since we are all going to bow the only question is when. Will you choose to practice worshiping now or wait and do it when it is too late? If we bow before Him now we will receive salvation but if you wait to bow before Him at the final judgment then condemnation is your eternal destiny.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Crowns

There are crowns in my future instead of the punishment that I deserve.


Revelation 2:10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.

Revelation 4:4 Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.

It would be a shame to reach the end of our time here on earth and realize that we didn't do very much that had eternal value. It is sad that few people are interested in knowing how to live for things that have eternal significance that will earn us an eternal reward.

It may sound strange to you that God's children are supposed to be working, don't be confused by this work, we aren't working to become his child, we are working because we are his child. Our work is not to achieve acceptance into Heaven but rather our work is because we are so grateful for Jesus work on the cross to give us what we could never attain on our own.

We have heard of the judgment seat of Christ but that really isn't a good translation for what is going to happen there. The children of God have already been accepted and their sins have been covered so this judgement is really an assessment of how many rewards you have gained or lost. We have no reason to fear what will happen when we meet Jesus. (John 3:18; 5:24; 6:37; 17:23 / Romans 4:7-8; 5:1; 8:1 / 1 Corinthians 1:30, 11:32)
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have--Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials--gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
On top of the incredible privilege of eternity in the presence of God we also have the potential to earn crowns if we do not waste our life on worthless things. What a shame to build on the foundation of Jesus with building materials that are so cheap, easy to get and even easier to burn.

We need to build with gold, silver and jewels by doing the right things and by doing them with the right motives and attitudes. This is a real "paying it forward" that will last for eternity.
Five Crowns For God's Faithful And Obedient People:
The Imperishable Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, 1 Peter 1:3-5)
A garland or wreath that would soon fade away was the crown that was given to the winner of the early Olympic style games. It is amazing that so much extreme work went into receiving a crown that would last a short while.

The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
God the Father's free gift unto his children, promised to everyone who loves the Lord and eagerly waits for His return.

The Crown of Rejoicing (Luke 15:7, Philippians 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:9)
Also known as the soul winners' crown. Will you meet people in Heaven that are there partially because of your influence?

The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4, Romans 8:18)
The shepherd's crown that is reserved for those that take care of the flock. Those of us that heed Jesus' words to Peter to feed his sheep will be rewarded.

The Crown of Life (James 1:12 / Revelation 2:10)
This crown is for all believers, but it is especially dear to those who endure sufferings, who bravely follow Jesus to the point of death.
God's people have always been promised rewards for obedience, his guarantee of blessings can be seen throughout the Bible and while Jesus was here he repeated the promise. (Deuteronomy 28:1–14, Mark 10:29–31)

Man made crowns are used to focus our attention on the one wearing the crown but in Heaven our crowns will draw attention to the giver of the crowns and bring him greater glory. Instead of pride or envy when we see somebody with a greater crown there will only be great joy and amazement that God's son would personally reach out and give us our reward.

Can you imagine how amazing a crown must be that is created with the building materials that they have in Heaven? What will it be like to have that amazing crown given to you by Jesus instead of the eternal punishment that you deserve?

Lord help me to stay focused on the work that you have for me and not be distracted by worthless things so that you will be pleased. It  is amazing that I will receive eternal life with you and on top of that I will also be rewarded for my service to you.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Worship The Creator

We will not worship as we should before we get to Heaven.


Revelation 4:8-11 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the One who always was, who is, and who is still to come." 9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever).

And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, 11 "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased."

The Revelation of John continues in chapter four with an invitation to step into Heaven. The Book of Revelation started with Jesus as he is today, the glorified Jesus at work among the churches, giving us instructions on how to do church.

John's vision keeps progressing and now the church age is over in chapter four and we can logically conclude that the rapture of the church has occurred. The progression of John's vision is from the Church Age on earth to the throne of God in Heaven. Combine that progression with what we know from other scriptures and you can see that God's children are safely with him when his wrath is poured out on those that are still on earth in chapter six. (1 Corinthians 15:52 / 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

John is called up to Heaven to encourage us of how wonderful our future is. What an amazing sight that John is attempting to describe for us! John's experience is much different from any of the popular accounts of people that claim that they have been to Heaven. Unlike all of those stories everything that John sees in Heaven revolves around the throne of God.

God is on His throne and around the throne are beings that represent God's people, they have been given white robes and they have received their crowns which they will give back to God as they worship him.

God is in control, which is what we should expect from the one that is on the throne of Heaven. Despite the persecution that is going on back on Earth, which John is experiencing, the persecuted Christians should never doubt his power or his wisdom.

We suffer with so much discouragement and worry because we forget that he is on the throne and he is in control despite all of the chaos around us. We should not entertain the idea that evil is going to win.

God is being worshiped, which is what we should expect from the ones that are seeing the one who is on the throne of Heaven. As good as you may think your worship is, it is nothing in comparison, in Heaven God is truly being worshiped fully and correctly.

It is impossible in our current condition, to worship God as he should be worshiped, we will not comprehend the value and worth that should be given to God and worship him properly before we get to Heaven. As long as our old sin nature is a part of who we are then we will be distracted with our thoughts, our pride and our sinfulness.

While we wait for our call to go to Heaven we should learn more about how to worship and practice doing it.
The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by treasuring God, prizing God, enjoying God, being satisfied with God above all earthly things.

And then that deep, restful, joyful satisfaction in God overflows in demonstrable acts of praise from the lips and demonstrable acts of love in serving others for the sake of Christ.
-John Piper
It is clear in scripture that worship is more than just singing a song at church and then going home until next Sunday. Praising God begins with preparing our heart and then honoring God with our lips but it doesn't stop there. We tend to forget that worship continues long after the church music is over. (Psalm 50:14, Isaiah 29:13, Hosea 14:2)

Our worship continues through the preaching of God's Word and through our acts of love that show the value of God by what we are willing to sacrifice to serve others. When I present myself as a living sacrifice to do good for someone else I am declaring the worth of God in my life and I am making God look more glorious to the ones that witness my good deeds. (Matthew 5:16, Romans 12:1, Philippians 4:18, Hebrews 13:15-16)

Everything that we say and do and the lifestyle that we live should draw others to "come let us adore him."
RELATED ARTICLES

Sunday, April 01, 2018

I Have Been Rescued!

There is good news for the captive, Good news for the shamed, He's our rescuer!


Video: Rend Collective - Rescuer

He's our rescuer
He's our rescuer
We are free from sin forever more
Oh how sweet the sound
Oh how grace abounds
We will praise the lord, our rescuer

There is good news for the captive
Good news for the shamed
There is good news for the one who walked away
There is good news for the doubter
The one religion failed
For the good lord has come to seek and save

He's our rescuer (hey)
He's our rescuer (hey)
We are free from sin forever more 
Oh how sweet the sound (hey)
Oh how grace abounds (hey)
We will praise the lord, our rescuer

He is beauty for the blind man
Riches for the poor
He is friendship for the one the world ignores
He is pasture for the weary
Rest for those who strive
For the good lord is the way, the truth, the life
Yes, the good lord is the way, the truth and life (hey)

So come and be chainless
Come and be fearless
Come to the foot of Calvary
For there is redemption
For every affliction
Here at the foot of Calvary

Rescued From Darkness
Colossians 1:11-14 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Back To The Garden

I was made to be royal but I was torn from the garden.


Video: Crowder - Back To The Garden

I was born to be royal
I was made to be free
But I was torn from the garden
When that devil lied to me

I was formed from the soil 
I got dirt inside of me 
But I was born to be royal 
I was made for glory

Take me back to the garden 
Take me back and walk with me 
For Your presence I am longing 
Take me back God, take me back!

Take me down to the river 
Down to Eden's crystal streams 
Where every sin can be forgiven 
Holy Ghost come set me free

Gardens have a special place in history, in the beginning life began in a beautiful garden and that's where the first battle with sin took place. The first Adam failed in a garden but later the second Adam stepped into a garden that was marred by sin to prepare for the battle that would change the world.

When you see the awesome start to human history back in the Garden of Eden you can't keep yourself from longing to go back there. To experience a sinless existence is an awesome thought but to also be in God's presence for eternity is definitely beyond comprehension.
Eagerly Waiting
Romans 8:23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.

1 Corinthians 1:7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.

Philippians 3:20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.

2 Timothy 4:8 And now the prize awaits me--the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.

Titus 2:13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

Hebrews 9:28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.
I can't wait to get to the garden where there will not be any sin, crying, sadness or death. The river flowing through this garden will flow forever and the tree of life will produce everlasting fruit and best of all the glory of God will be fully revealed to us there!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Your Will Be Done

How radical am I for God's will?


John 17:1-5 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so He can give glory back to You. 2 For You have given Him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one You have given Him.

3 And this is the way to have eternal life–to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to You here on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring Me into the glory We shared before the world began.

When we hear somebody mention the Lord’s Prayer we think about the prayer that Jesus said when his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. Maybe you never thought about it but Jesus didn’t actually pray that prayer, Jesus wouldn’t have asked God to forgive his sins, he spoke that prayer as an example for us. (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4)

The prayer in John 17:1-26 is the longest prayer of Jesus that we have recorded in the Bible. It is our best opportunity to listen in as Jesus talks to his Father, it shows us the courage that Jesus had to stay with God’s plan despite the great sacrifice that it would require.

Jesus begins this prayer completely surrendered, safety and comfort are not on his mind, he is only thinking about God’s will and timing in his life. It is odd that the Giver of Life who would never have to die, willingly submits in obedience, He will choose to be subject to the curse of death. (Philippians 2:8)

God’s Timing In Jesus Life
(John 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20, 12:23, 27; 13:1; 16:32)

Jesus never lost sight of his mission and purpose for being here. Imagine knowing that you came for a purpose and having to wait thirty-three years for God’s timing so that you can complete your mission. We can learn a lot from Jesus about how we handle delay in our lives, we get anxious and want God to hurry up, Jesus left the timing of events up to his Father.

Now the time is right and the shame and the pain would not keep him from completing his work. Jesus shows us that if we are going to do God’s will in this hostile world then we need to submit without hesitation to God’s sovereign plan to glorify Himself.

You will be inconvenienced and you will get dirty, you may have to go toward dangerous situations, live with uncertainty, or embarrassment. Life is full of risk, but the life that is lived for Jesus is even riskier, the side effect of living in the rescuing power of the gospel and being willing to rescue someone else is that you will have to live by faith.

Risk It All To Glorify God
(1 Samuel 14:1-23 / 2 Samuel 10:12 / Esther 4:15-16 / Daniel 3:16-18)

Jesus surrendered to the cross and we must do the same, He told us to pick up our cross daily and follow him, that certainly involves risk. God’s people have always been called to take risk, that’s the very nature of living by faith, we cannot see the outcome or the pathway but we step out because we are told to do so.
When we risk losing face or money or life because we believe God will always help us and use our loss, in the end, to make us more glad in his glory, then it’s not we who get the praise because of our courage; it’s God who gets the praise because of his care. In this way risk reflects God’s value, not our valor.
-John Piper “Risk Is Right”
God is most glorified in my life when I step out and rely on him no matter what is going on around me and how foolish my obedience looks to the rest of the world. The glory goes to God when the world sees me trusting him with absolutely everything.

It is difficult to value our forever life that we cannot see over our temporary life that we can see. The ability to put our lives completely into God’s hands and follow no matter what is a real struggle that most of us want to avoid. Very few people in our safety minded culture come to the point that the disciples came to.
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
-Apostle Paul
How radical am I for God’s will? We pray a lot about knowing God’s will, but few of us really want to know what that looks like. The number one prayer request from Christ followers living in the safest country on the planet is for safety. I don’t know of anybody praying like that in the Bible. God’s people chose to do God’s will despite the risk that was involved and they prayed that they would have even more boldness. (Acts 4:23-31)

In every life that is lived for the Lord there will be a moment when a radical step of faith is required in order to please God. I need to be willing to allow God to achieve his agenda through my life and I need to be okay with being uncomfortable and insecure when God shows me his agenda.