MEMORY IS ETERNAL
You may say, "Well, Mr. Ravenhill, I won't be in serious trouble because I don't have a good memory." Well, you'll have one that day. There's going to be some awful revelations. There's going to be some weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. John says the books were opened (Rev. 20:12). What books? I'm not really sure what the books are, but I think the book of the Ten Commandments for one, and I think maybe the Book of Memory for another thing (Mal. 3:16). You see, memory is an amazing thing. Memory will last into eternity. I don't think the redeemed will remember their sorrows and heartaches, but I'll tell you the unholy dead will remember every time somebody put a tract into their hand. They'll remember it through eternity and wish to God they still had a chance to
A ROD OF IRON
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011]
The apostle Paul writes of Christ's ascension into heaven: "And having spoiled
principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them
in it" (Colossians 2:15). That's right! Staggering behind our Lord's triumphant
procession was the prince of darkness himself, bound in chains. And behind the
defeated devil — underneath the wheels of the heavenly hosts — were all the
powers of darkness, bound and vanquished. They were being put to an open shame
before all those who had died in faith before the cross.
“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall
they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation
2:27). Jesus entered the gates carrying in His hand a scepter of righteousness,
His "rod of iron" with which He rules all nations. Then, after His triumphant
entrance, He took His rightful place on the throne in full possession of all
power, authority and dominion.
What a glorious picture! Satan is not in control. Communism is not in control.
Atheism is not in control. No, the enemies of Christ exist only by His
permission. And right now they only continue to fill up their cups of iniquity.
Jesus is in control of all things and one day, when He is ready, He will "break
them with a rod of iron; [He] shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel"
Beloved, our understanding of Christ's victory over Satan and the dominion of
sin cannot be a vague, confused theology. We must know and understand that
Satan is totally defeated. He cannot hold us prisoner, and Christ has freed us
by His blood from every bondage. Now He sits on His throne with all power and
authority, offering us peace, joy and freedom.
Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/20641?src=devo-email
Both of these are beautiful Michael!!! Love the memory one!! I do believe the memory is eternal! We may forget many things only because they have been misplaced but juggle a few and the memories start flowing back!! Kind of like a computer!!
No One Knows Your Needs Better...
". . . for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." Matthew 6:32
St. Augustine once said that we were created with a "God-shaped" void.
Only God can meet the deepest longings of our hearts. There is nothing that can satisfy apart from your relationship with Him.
But it's not because He is a heavy-handed dictator forcing you to accept life the way He dishes it out! Who knows what will satisfy your deepest needs better than the One who made you? As your Creator, He can see what your needs are going to be tomorrow and ten years from tomorrow. Don't you think He knows what you need today?
What do you need today? Notice I'm not asking, "What do you want?" but "What do you need?" Does your Father know what that is? Then trust that He will provide.
Pass this devotional on
Dependence on God--A Witness of His Power
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Corinthians 4:7
If you're like most people, you don't realize your dependency on God until you're burned out from stress--either self-induced or caused by circumstances beyond your control.
Why is that?
Paul says it's because we are fragile. But he doesn't stop there. He says that God made us this way so that His power may be known through us!
Maybe someone told you, "Oh, just tie a knot and hang on!" Sometimes God wants us to let go of the rope because it is keeping us tied down to our destructive habits. We are totally dependent on God so that the love of His Son may be made known to the world.
Get a piece of rope and tie a knot in it. Let it sit on your desk this week as a reminder that God is more than just a knot at the end of the rope. He is the Savior of the World!
Pass this devotional on
Wonderful words of wisdom Michael!!! Thank You!!
IMPLOSION UPDATE: THE DEMONS OF VIOLENCE ARE ON THE LOOSE IN AMERICA. BUT WHY? AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
(Washington, D.C., December 15, 2012) -- "Newtown is a quiet town," one resident told CBS News. "I'd never expect this to happen here. It's so scary. Your kids are not safe anywhere."
"I've been here for 11 years," a teacher at the Sandy Hook Elementary School told the New York Times. "I can't imagine who would do this to our poor little babies."
All this is so painful to see, so heart-wrenching. I look at my own children - including my little 8 year old - and then look at all the grieving parents on TV and think, "There but the grace of God go I." I'm praying for the Lord to comfort and heal all those traumatized by what happened in Newtown. But as I do I can't help but think about the trendlines and the dark trajectory our nation is on. It's not just "the economy, stupid." We are, in many respects, in a moral and spiritual freefall in our country, and we are paying a terrible price.
The demons of violence and lawlessness are the loose all across America - in Newtown, Connecticut….in Aurora, Colorado….in Oak Creek, Wisconsin….just as they were in Littleton, Colorado and at Virginia Tech in years gone by. But why? How is it possible that violent crime in the United States has surged by more than 460 percent since 1960?
The answer is as painful as it is simple: the further we turn away from God in our nation -- the further we drive Him out of our society, our of our schools and courts, and out of our media and out of our homes, or the more we give mere lip service to religion, the more men are "holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power" (2 Timothy 3:5) -- the worse things are getting.
Should this really be surprising? The Lord God Almighty is a gentleman. He won't force us to accept His great love and many blessings. If a nation tells Him to leave, He will leave. But what are we reaping as a result of a society that increasingly ignores God and hates or dismisses Jesus Christ? We are witnessing a horrifying explosion of murder. We are witnessing a gruesome crime wave unprecedented in American history. And there appears to be no end in sight. In recent years, we've seen brutal mass murders in high schools, on college campuses, and in small towns all across America (a recent FBI report says the murder rate soared 18.3% in small towns in America last year alone).
The Hebrew prophet Nahum once wrote about the city of Ninevah, the capital of the Assyrian empire, "Woe to the bloody city….many slain, a mass of corpses, and countless dead bodies -- they stumble over the dead bodies….your shepherds are sleeping." (Nahum 3:1, 3, 18) The people of Ninevah had once repented and turned to the living God of the Bible during the days when the prophet Jonah warned them of coming judgment, and God had saved and blessed them. That generation of Ninevites had listened and turned from their sins towards the Lord. But 150 years or so later, a different generation of Ninevites refused to listen to the Word of God. They refused to repent. Their godlessness turned to terrible, wrenching, horrific violence. Their shepherds were sleeping. They weren't telling people to turn back to the Lord before it was too late. The shepherds didn't understand, or didn't care. They didn't feed the sheep the Word of God. They didn't lead the sheep to follow the Lord. They didn't protect the sheep from evil. So the judgment of God came and they were all tragically unprepared. The city of Ninevah was destroyed by God in 612 B.C.
What is the future of America? Is America in a "Jonah" moment, or a "Nahum" moment? Will we hear....
[To read the rest of this article -- or learn more IMPLOSION: CAN AMERICA RECOVER FROM ITS ECONOMIC & SPIRITUAL CHALLENGES IN TIME?; or DAMASCUS COUNTDOWN; or ISRAEL AT WAR; or to find links to the latest news and analysis of events and trends in the U.S., Israel, North Africa, Russia, and the Middle East -- please go to: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.]
ALSO ON THE BLOG:
* 20 children, 6 adults, and shooter dead in Connecticut school massacre
* Give the gift of Israel for Christmas. Bring your family to the Holy Land in 2013 with The Joshua Fund.
Thank you Michael O......beautiful!!!
Dedication to Hospitality
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
As we saw yesterday, being disciplined in prayer will make you devoted to love. And today we learn that love is manifested in hospitality.
Of all the manifestations of love, Peter chooses hospitality because it is the most stretching of all the expressions of love. In Peter’s day, there were no hotels—there were inns, but those inns were very dangerous, in fact they were places of immorality. That is why the Apostle Peter here in 1 Peter 4:9 is imploring the Christians to open their homes to each other.
Many years ago in the United States, a businessman tried to get a room in a hotel where there were no vacancies. A very well-dressed gentleman standing in the lobby offered hospitality to the stranger. He told him he had two beds in his room, so he could share his room. The stranger accepted very graciously and thankfully. When he went to the room of his host, the first thing he noticed was that his host went to his knees and started praying. The man thought, Well, I’ll talk to him in the morning. But when he woke up the next morning, his host was reading the Bible.
What nobody knew is that the Holy Spirit had been working in this man’s life, convicting him to give his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. So he began to ask his host several questions. Within thirty minutes, the host was leading the stranger to Christ.
As they were leaving to go about their business for the day, they exchanged business cards, and the stranger was absolutely flabbergasted when he discovered that his host was none other than William Jennings Bryant, the Secretary of State at the time.
I remember saying to myself, “Oh God, give us godly men and women like that in public places. Not just godly men, but soul winners who seek to use hospitality to minister to someone to lead someone to the Lord.”
Prayer: Father, help me to be dedicated to hospitality and to remember that You may chose to use that opportunity to bring someone to You. Help me to look for opportunities to be hospitable. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
What an awesome article Michael!!! Thanks so much!!!
I am trying to wipe my eyes from your post and had to leave a message and star you, but a star is never enough for some of your posts. Touching Yes, Close to my heart, Yes, Needed Yes!!! Thank you, thank you so much. xo Gotta wipe my eyes. Hard to make this ole lady be touched so hard when I see so much! Guess I needed a good hard SOB. Bye.
Romans 14:10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For further study - Romans 14:1-13 Paul is writing to the church in Rome, in chapter 14, at least the first part of the chapter, about a problem among the people of the church. There are those who are saying, "We can eat this or that but we must not eat the other." Then there are those who say, "We esteem this day more important than any other and you don't do that." Paul addresses these issues in several ways. Paul says whatever we eat, if we are Christians, it's unto the Lord, verse 6 Also, what day we esteem, that will be done unto the Lord as well. In fact, Paul says, if we are alive we are living unto the Lord, or we should be doing so, verse 8. Then Paul exhorts the Romans, as well as each of us today, to stop judging one another any more. Paul says what must be judged is that we must not put a stumbling block or occasion to fall in our brothers way, verse 13. Paul then asks the question, "Why doest thou judge your brother, verse 10, especially in light of the fact that we are all going to stand before the "Judgment Seat of Christ" one day. This is not a judgment to determine whether we are saved or lost. That will be determined before we ever get to the "Judgment Seat of Christ". There will be only "saved" people at the "Judgment Seat of Christ". Verse 12 states that "Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God". The "Judgment Seat of Christ" takes place right after the Rapture of the Church. When we leave this earth at the time that Jesus shouts to call us up to join Him in the "air", I Thessalonians 4:13-18, we stand before the Lord right at that moment, in the "twinkling of an eye", I Corinthians 15:52. After departing earth we are "face to face with Jesus", in order that we can give an account of ourselves. It's at the "Judgment Seat" where we are judged to determine that our works are those which qualify as our "righteous acts", Revelation 19:8. These "righteous acts" make up our "wedding garment" for the "marriage ceremony" and the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb". Also at the "Judgment Seat" we will be given "crowns" as rewards, crowns for bringing our bodies under subjection, I Corinthians 9:27; for being soul-winners, I Thessalonians 2:19; for not yielding to temptation, James 1:12; for helping young believers grow in the Lord, I Peter 5:1-14; and for eagerly looking for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, II Timothy 4:8. We will then take these crowns to the throne, where Jesus is seated, and we cast them at the feet of Jesus in thanksgiving for what He has, is, and will do for us, Revelation 4:10. Paul has a great question for each of us as we close our time in the Word for this devotional, why do we judge our brothers and sisters? PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today, Lord, knowing I will stand at the "Judgment Seat of Christ", to receive crowns to cast at Your feet in thanksgiving. Help me not to judge others, but to make sure I am not a stumbling block.
II Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
For further study - II Corinthians 6:1-18
Our key verse for today's devotional reading is a strong exhortation from the Apostle Paul about how we must live in the last days. The directive to be "not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" is not the trend in Christian circles today.
Please don't misunderstand my thoughts. I am not saying we don't have a relationship with lost people, unbelievers, so that we can lead them to the Lord but this exhortation is about "being yoked" to unbelievers, not relationships.
To be "yoked" is like being "harnessed together in a team" of horses or some animals of burden. We must not "yoke" ourselves to unbelievers in marriage, ministry and mission.
It goes without saying that we must develop relationships with unbelievers, lost people, so that we might have an opportunity to lead them to Christ. In fact, Paul, in the first of this chapter, reports that he was doing all he could to give none offense in anything so that his ministry might not be blamed.
Everything we do should be for the purpose of "approving ourselves as the ministers of God", verse 4. Verses 4-10 contain illustration after illustration of how Paul was abiding in the lifestyle that he was exhorting the Corinthians to live.
This is very applicable for us as well today. Reading of what Paul had lived through helps us to understand why the Apostle told us to not be unequally yoked together.
In verse 16 Paul refers to the Temple, the place where the "Glory of the Lord" dwelled in days past; and prophetically, where the Lord will dwell among His people forever.
Paul's application was that we are the "Temple of the living God"; therefore, we must "come out from among them and be separate", verse 17. Remember, at this time in history there was still a Temple in Jerusalem as Paul tells us we are now the "dwelling place" for the Lord, I Corinthians 6:19-20.
Please don't forget, there will be a physical Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem one day. But until then the Lord abides in us, the reason for Paul's example and exhortation to us.
Peter wrote that the Lord was not slack concerning His promise to come back to earth, and that He was not willing that any should perish, He wanted all to come to the knowledge of the truth and come to know Him as Saviour, II Peter 3:9.
If we couple that thought from Peter, with Paul's statement in verse 2, of our extended reading today, we see how we can hurry the return of Jesus to the earth. Paul says, "now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
II Peter 3:12 tells us that winning people to Jesus in this "day of salvation" can hasten the Lord's return.
PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to make it a point to come out from among those that cause offense so that I can win the lost to You in this, the "day of salvation".
Is God Inclusive?
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
In the last few decades our culture has made several dangerous shifts in direction. One of the most dangerous shifts has been a move from an emphasis on thinking to an emphasis on feeling. We have shifted from absolutes to relativism. We have shifted from exclusivities to inclusivity.
Many do not want to speak or even admit the Truth because it may hurt people’s feelings. Inclusivity has not only become a buzzword in our society; it is now a virtue that is preached. In fact, vast numbers of preachers today have abandoned the Truth of the Scripture in favor of inclusivity.
And yet the Bible declares that while the invitation God has issued is an inclusive invitation, God is an exclusive God. The invitation is for everyone in every nation and every tribe.
But the reward is for those who have accepted the invitation; the reward for obeying the Word of God is very exclusive. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus gives us a picture of what it will be like on the Day of Judgment when He returns.
In this passage, Jesus talks about the separation of the sheep and the goats. Those who have not been saved by grace through faith, loving the Lord Jesus are not His followers, and therefore, they are not true believers.
How do you know if you are a sheep or a goat? First, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 8:9). In 1 John 2:20-23, the Apostle John says that those who deny Jesus as the Christ are liars and will not have the Father. Have you confessed faith in Jesus Christ and do you believe He is the only Christ? In 1 John 2:3-6, John says that those who know Christ obey His commands. Are you obeying Christ? 1 John 2:9-11, John tells us that those who walk in the light love their brothers. Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Sheep and goats look very similar, especially from a distance. If you are driving in the countryside and you see them, they look alike from a distance, but in reality they are very different creatures and they will be separated on the last day.
We must all examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Will you do so, today?
Prayer: Father, I confess faith in Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life and I know no one comes to you, but by Him. Please empower me by Your Spirit to demonstrate my love for You through my obedience to Your will and grant me love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32).
Wish I could watch this Michael but we have a bandwidth issue here... I swear I replied on this link a couple days ago and my post is gone! Urrgghhhhhh...unless there is another link someplace. But I heard or read I should say where Pastor Youssef has been taken to prison again...have you heard anything about that!?
Carol Pastor Youssef was arested on Christmas day I was reading. I havent heard nothing else.
Carol can you watch videos on u tube?
Book of Joel: Hear This!
Message 1, Joel 1:1-7. Join David Hocking as he teaches about "The Day of the Lord" from the book of Joel.
David's Ministry Website:
Michael..That is so sad and I also read someplace where Iran is doing more hangings!!
I hope he can be let free but I doubt the way Iran is going deeper and deeper into the bowels of hell they will release him again!
Also...Sorry but I can't view You Tube videos Micheal..they are major bandiwdth hogs..is what my hubby says..so they use a LOT of bandwidth!! I wish I could though!!
This post was modified from its original form on 08 Jan, 13:47
Thank you for this Michael
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
For further study - Philippians 3:10-21
The book of Philippians is one of the richest New Testament books you can read. I have a Bible study series that I teach which I have entitled, "Personal Power for Practical People from Philippians". As you may notice, I love alliteration. However, my series title does describe this great little book. I recommend it to you for your own personal Bible study.
To prove my point, just read our extended reading for today and you will see that Paul is looking for the Rapture to happen. This is found in verses 11,20 and 21. Verse 11 is the statement of his desire to be called out of the grave if he should die before the Rapture, to then be caught up into the heavens.
The preceding verse reveals how Paul wants to live until the Rapture does happen. Paul's focus is to "know Him" which means to really come to a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Paul also repeats a principle that is available to each of us which he wrote about in his letter to the Ephesians, Ephesians 1:19-20. He wrote the Ephesians that we can know the "power of the Resurrection", this is the power to live today, which we can receive from the Lord, by faith.
Paul knows that there has been much suffering in his life and ministry by the time he writes Philippians and he acknowledges that he wants to be able to understand the "fellowship with Christ" in that suffering.
The bottom line in verse 10 is that he, and we, must be ready to conform to the will of the Lord even as Jesus conformed to His Father's will and died for us on the cross.
Now that is only the first verse of our extended reading. I told you this book was rich. Look atverses 13-14. Paul states that he is focused on the future and what it might hold for us. He says, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." In this verse he refers to the "prize" that he hopes to get at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Therefore, verse 13, he has "one thing" he does. He forgets the past failures and looks to the future and how he can live so that he does get that "prize" at the judgment seat.
Again, I must remind you this is all in the context of Paul's awareness of what he considers, at the time of the writing of Philippians, to be the nearness of the Rapture. Paul reminds us all that our "conversation", our citizenship is not here on earth but is in heaven from where we look for Jesus to call us to be with Him.
It is when the Rapture happens and we go to be with Jesus that these old bodies of ours are changed to be like "His glorious body". What a day that will be, and it could be today that the Rapture happens. Keep looking up!
PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for such a rich passage of Scripture that You have given us through your dear servant Paul. Help me to appropriate all the truths of this passage for my own daily living.
Carol Pastor Youssef, was releast I was reading after 17 days thy let him go.
Fight the Good Fight
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
With the stroke of a pen, Emperor Constantine issued the edict of Milan in 313 A.D., and Christianity became fashionable instead of a source of persecution. Suddenly, church membership rolls grew as thousands joined churches after professing faith in Christ. However, many of these professions of faith were not sincere. Only God, the searcher of hearts, knows how many remained pagan at heart. However, their harmful influence in the church soon became apparent.
A life lived for Jesus Christ is not usually outlined with popularity or ease. Salvation cannot be earned or received by any other way than by coming to the Lord and seeking His forgiveness of sin. You can do nothing to earn God’s gift of grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Are you, like Asaph in Psalm 73, feeling as if you are the only person suffering and sacrificing for the cause of Christ? Be patient. Don’t give up. God will reward your faithfulness and honor your perseverance. Paul said:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ... We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Be content to trust God for your deliverance. Trust Him to keep you safe in the palm of His hand.
Prayer: Lord, may I fight the good fight of faith. Thank you for never leaving or forsaking me and for the grace you have given me in the gift of Your salvation. I pray I will never take my salvation or Your Truth for granted. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
For further study - Colossians 3:15-25
As we approach our extended reading for today reflect with me on our devotional in Colossians the last time we were in the book, which was the first fifteen verses of Colossians 3 .
Verses 2, 3 and 4 exhort us to set our focus and affections on the heavens where Jesus awaits the command from His Father to call the body of Christ, the Church, up to be with Him. Verse 4 says we will appear at that time with Him in the heavenlies. What a glorious hope that is for each of us as believers.
Now to our reading for today, in verse 16 we see Paul exhorts us to "let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly". That means to first read God's Word and then meditate upon what we have read. Finally we internalize the Word of God, as we apply every bit of it to our daily lifestyle.
In verses 15-22 Paul tells us what will happen when the Word does dwell in us richly. Our music will be God-honoring music. Music, by the way, is not for evangelism. In the 500 references to music in the Bible they all deal with worshiping the Lord and not for evangelizing lost people. Therefore, we don't need to mimic the world's music.
If the Word fills us, we will use psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to teach each other and admonish each other in our worship of the Lord. What we do, we do in the name of the Lord, verse 17.
Wives will submit to husbands, verse 18. Husbands will love their wives and be not bitter to them, verse 19. Children will obey parents because it pleases the Lord, verse 20. Fathers will raise their children but won't provoke them to anger, verse 21. Servants will obey masters,
Thanks so much for these words of wisdom for the Lord!! When one soaks in this information and applies it to their daily lives the inner spirit can do nothing but soar! To not feel anger or hatred for one who consistently downplays and criticizes the words of God proves that Jesus lives within us!!! The words of God are of love!!
Wish I could watch this Michael! Thanks so much for adding it on!!
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
For further study - II Thessalonians 2:8-17
There are two great truths that we will confront in our reading for today. The first is revealed in II Thessalonians 2:13. Within the words of our key verse, we find the answer to the centuries old debate about election and free will.
I may be introducing to you a discussion that you've never heard of in your Christian experience. Let me suggest that if that is the case, just file this away. It may be that you will need this insight for another time when you may be confronted with this issue. The Lord has the greatest way of reminding us of these things at just the right time when we need them.
II Thessalonians 2:13 speaks of how both election, (God's plan of bringing people to Himself), and free will, (our experience of accepting what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us to bring us to salvation), work together. Notice how this verse combines the two in the process.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that God, from the very beginning, has chosen each of us to be saved. The Lord uses the Holy Spirit to bring us to the point of conviction, revealing to us our need for a Saviour, because we are sinners.
The Bible teaches that we are all sinners, born that way. Have you ever noticed that no one ever sat us down and taught us how to lie? We just knew how to lie because we were born that way.
The Holy Spirit convicts those of us whom God has chosen for salvation, however, the process doesn't stop there. The verse continues to tell us that we then must believe in the "truth". By exercising belief we are exercising our own free will. This is our choice, to receive that which He has chosen to give us, salvation.
I hope this doesn't seem too simple, but God doesn't want it too hard for us to understand. He wants us to see how He is working in our lives. That is what Paul was writing on this issue in his letter to the Thessalonians. Remember that these believers were still fairly "young in the faith" Christians.
The other great principle found in the extended reading for our devotional today is that of the "second chance". Verses 8 to 12 reveal the truth about the possibility that after the Rapture there may be a "second chance" to get saved.</
Thanks Michael..GREAT article! It seems in today's world "lies"...are so easy to come by! Lies are easy to say...it's the "truth" that appears to be too hard for some to face but eventually it hits us between the eyes!! The end results are it's usually a very hard lesson to learn from something that could be SO simple!!
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Exodus 3:4
I think one of the most important words in this verse is the very first one. When. The Hebrew word means "at the same time." That goes back to verse 3, where Moses said, "I must turn aside."
When did God speak to Moses? At the same moment when Moses turned aside. Now that's simple, isn't it? Moses stopped his forward motion, stepped aside from his responsibilities for only a few brief seconds, and headed in another direction. He moved toward the event that had captured his attention.
And God says, "What's it going to take? What will finally persuade you to stop in your tracks for a minute, turn aside, and consider this event in your life?" What's it going to take before you say, "I'm going to check this out. I'm going to find out what all of this might be saying to me."
Moses did just that, and when he did, he came face to face with his destiny. It was not until Moses turned aside that God spoke. Yet even at that moment, I do not believe it had dawned on the man that God was speaking. As far as Moses was concerned, a bush was speaking. God hadn't introduced Himself yet. Moses had simply heard his name coming out of a flaming shrub and answered back.
"Moses! Moses!" the voice said.
And do you know what Moses answered? The original Hebrew reveals that he spoke only one word: hinaynee, which could be rendered, "I'm here," or, in our terms, "It's me."
Believe it or not, that's all God wanted to hear. It's still true today. That's all He wants to hear from you when He speaks. Don't kid yourself; He's not impressed with you; He's checking out your humility, your sensitivity, your availability. He's looking for someone who will slow down long enough to check out a burning bush. And when He calls, all He asks for is a simple acknowledgement. I'm here, Lord. All present and accounted for.
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II Timothy 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For further study - II Timothy 3:1-17
II Timothy is the last book that Paul wrote, even though Titus follows II Timothy in the New Testament cannon.
Paul is actually continuing his training of young Timothy in the ministry. Timothy had been given the responsibility to travel to churches that Paul was unable to visit.
Timothy was to be of assistance to the church leadership and, in fact, he was to help the believers to set in place a good leadership team who would be responsible for making certain that the body of Christ was being taught correctly from the inspired Word of God.
Another of those famous "3:16's" is found here in Paul's letter to Timothy. II Timothy 3:16 is the absolute statement about scripture. Paul relates to Timothy, and to us, that all of the scripture was "breathed into" men for the purpose of revealing God's love, plan and doctrine for the body of Christ.
Timothy was to help men, those in Jesus, to become mature, "thoroughly furnished unto good works," verse 17. Our key verse, verse 1, is a direct warning to the Church at that time, around 65AD, and for the Church today as well.
Technically the "last days" began after Jesus left to go back to heaven, Acts 1. However, from a practical standpoint, today must be considered the "last days", the period just prior to the Rapture, the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Paul's description of the "last days" surely fits our day. Verse 2, in our reading for today reveals that "men will love themselves more than they love Jesus," and others. Notice the rest of the list, in verses 2-4 where Paul describes the last days. As we read through this list we can recognize our day, and the activities of people today.
As it relates to "love", Paul says men, humankind, will "love pleasure more than God", verse 4. That thought is a prefect description of our society today. Verse 5 describes much of the Church today, "having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof."
We are to "turn away" from all that Paul has listed in these verses that is contrary to God's desired lifestyle for us. Paul warns each of us that in these "last days" it is not going to be all "roses". There will be "thorns", verses 10-12.
The Apostle exhorts Timothy to remember what he had been taught from the scriptures, as a child, and he was to do those things he had been taught. Timothy was to "live out" what the Word of God had taught him. We also must live a life dictated by the Word of God.
In our "post-modern" world some believe that the scriptures are "old-fashioned". This is a lie from Satan. The scriptures are profitable, we must study them, II Timothy 2:15, and live them out in these the last days.
PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, as I study Your Word to live by what it tells me to do in these the last days.
Obey More, Learn More
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:21
In frustration many say, "Well, there's so much in the Bible I don't understand." Do you feel that way? But Mark Twain was once reported to have said, "It's not that part of the Bible I don't understand that gives me so much trouble; it's the part I do understand." I'm afraid that's true of many of us. We must learn to practice the Word of God.
There may be mysteries you don't understand, but you can understand when the Bible says "love one another," can't you? If you want to learn more about the Word of God, first you must obey the part you do know. You see, when it comes to obedience, the rich will get richer. It's not enough to recite the promises without obeying the commandments. The more you obey, the more you will learn and understand.
Keep the Word of God. That's a simple principle, but how important it is. Jesus said, "He that keeps my commandments, he it is that loves Me, and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father and I will manifest Myself to him." You want Him to be real to you? Then begin to obey His Word.
Pass this devotional on
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory
Why was Jesus referred to as “the Word”? Because He is God speaking to us—God wants you to know Him! Jesus expressed in word and action what God is really like.
The whole Bible is about God revealing Himself to people. Even in your own life, God is constantly reaching out to you, inviting you every day to live your life in close relationship with Him.
That’s why He has given us the Bible, which is also called “the Word”. God wants to be totally involved in your life today. He doesn’t just want you to be a “committed Christian”; He wants to walk with you through your day on a relationallevel.
I encourage you to make your life a pursuit of God! When the Bible talks about“seeking God”, this is what it means. It means that you look for any way, any opportunity to get to know God better on the personal level.
As you read this devotional and think about this day, ask yourself: how can I personally get to know God better? God is inviting you to a closer walk with Him. He wants to live with you.
READ: Psalm 46
Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10
You’d think I would have my mother’s fingerprints embedded in my knee from all the times she squeezed my leg in church and whispered in no uncertain terms, “Be still.” Like any boy, I had a bad case of the wiggles in places like church. So for years, when I read, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10), I thought of it in terms of not being antsy.
But the Hebrew word for still means “to cease striving.” It’s the concept of putting your hands down and letting God intervene in your situation without your interference. This word picture is interesting, since we often use our hands to push things out of our way, to protect ourselves, or to strike back. When we drop our hands, it makes us feel defenseless and vulnerable—unless we can trust that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v.1), and that “the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (v.7). In other words, stop struggling and wait on God to do His work!
CLOSE TOPICS PLEASE.