Last night’s teen lesson at Victory Baptist Church was a “little lesson” about end times and the signs we see all around us. I call it little because that’s all I know about the end times. Just a fraction of what’s in the scripture. Every page from Genesis to Revelation leads to the return of Christ, on that glorious day when we will be like Him, we will see Him and worship Him in living color. Glory! Won’t that be a marvelous day! But for now we battle.
We battle the naysayers and the the demonic forces that would love to rid the world of the notion of Jesus. But He is, unimpeachable! They cannot undo the cross. They cannot refill the tomb. He is not there. He’s unimpeachable and untouchable. Not until Heaven will we be able to see and touch the hands of Jesus.
There were those who did. The Bible is full of eye witness reports. The world can’t undo that either. There are versions of the Bible that are slowly but surely writing God out of it. It’s why I’m a KJV girl! But the word of God. The true word of God will stand until those skies split open and He returns for His church. The word of God will stand after that for it is forever settled in Heaven!
I just needed to remind myself of that today in this world of uncertainty. There is one thing for certain. The unimpeachable Jesus!
Paul’s letter captivates my thoughts quickly this morning, causing me to wonder about my level of commitment to the saints of God and to the service of our Lord. The depth of his heartache can be felt so intensely if you ponder each line as I believe God intended in our study of His word and our desire to get to know Him through Paul. His greatest desire at the point of his writing was to see those in the church of Thesalonica. But because of his own obligations, he decided to stay in Athens alone and send Timothy to the check on the spiritual welfare of those he trained in the gospel.
His goal of discipleship is listed in the final verses of this chapter, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
And the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Three quick points for this Monday morning of the year 2019’s final days leading into the New Year of 2020. It’s my prayer for you.
That your church has
Not only toward each other but toward all men.
It is so easy for us as separate denominations to feel superior over another. Believing that we are right and they are wrong. Forgetting that there is one gospel and that it was never Christ’s intentions to have the separation of the churches as we do today. No, I’m not suggesting we all join up into one church. That’s a good way to get a fuss going. But would it not be a grand gesture if our love could abound toward all men and women without regard to denomination.
I’ve sang and spoken to churches of another denomination without concern for our differences. We had a common ground that made that very easy and is a necessity for communion with other churches, which is, that they too believe in Jesus, the way the truth and life. Only His sacrificial atonement though the blood as our way into Heaven. Not of ourselves in any way, shape or form. That said, I sing and speak Christ. And the Spirit of God joins in because of our love abounding to one another.
Unblameable and Holy? That’s tough right? We likely all feel that there is plenty of blame to share in us and holiness is far from an achievable feeling. Namely because we have an accuser who loves to walk this earth and remind us of our failures. But having your heart established, meaning that you are conscious of where your spirit actually abides, will bring you to the next level of service. Because God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6)
Together. We are members of the body of Christ. There is no Baptist church in Heaven. Glory to God! There is no Methodist, Pentecostal or any other church in Heaven. When we meet together up there, there will not be no fussin! We will know the truth because we’ll be in the presence of the Truth!
But here, in this place, we have to get our hearts established through the Spirit that indwells us. And that means staying in His word until we see the world and ourselves through His eyes.
Paul never claimed to be perfect. In Romans 7:15 he says “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”
Can you identify? I sure can! The things I want to do, I don’t. And the things I don’t want to do, I do. It’s the flesh. Paul battled it and so do we. But through Jesus Christ we are seen blameless and holy in the eyes of God. In that we have to get established and continue on doing the best we can, not the least, so that we are
Paul said that we need to be established at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. That glad reunion day when all those who we miss on earth, we’ll be joined with again! I have so many. I know that they have no concept of time, and as fast as time is going in my life, I hardly having any concept either; but our reunion day will be one of great joy and the beginning of a life without complexity. No denominations, separations, aggravations and failed expectations… just celebrations! Worship. Collective worship as one Nation! The Nation of Heaven.
Just wrote myself happy! I am reunion ready, are you?
But until that day there is a work to do and a people to care for. Let’s do it today!
There are days that I consider myself a fairly good example to the children of God and to the lost… maybe two days out of the month. That would make it multiple so that I could use the tense of “days.” But most days I feel like an epic failure because I know that I’m not living up to the potential within me through Christ.
These past few weeks have been a blur; I went from one project and one task to another until they all ran together like melted crayons. I felt consumed. That’s not a good feeling. I had very little rest, mostly just collapses of exhaustion and then I would wake up and begin again. But today… the day after our celebration of the Lord’s birth I feel renewed. There’s nothing pending… well except work. But that’s okay. There’s nothing that has my attention away from the Lord. His word is honey to my mouth, and oil to my joints. I’ve been stale and stiff. I have no other description of how I’ve felt of late physically. Nothing satisfied my tastebuds, and my body groaned under the pressures of the day. But today… not so much… That makes me sad and glad all at the same time. Because I missed Christmas this year. Or at least the Spirit of the season. I was too busy… again.
But today my mind is slowed down, absorbing the word and the mind of God. I’ve missed Him (I moved, not Him). And I wasn’t a very good example; not like the children of Thessalonica for which Paul, Sylvanus and Timotheus wrote to.
1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 KJV
 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Ensample is a large example; meaning that the Thessalonians were collectively serving as a group of believers, sounding out the word of God, not only in their hometown but spread abroad! Yes, that’s exciting for those of us on the internet and those of us who are a part of the body of Christ through the local church. Because imagine what the folks from Thessalonica could have done with such a tool. And while I have sore attempted to spread the word abroad, I’m not always successful because I’m not using the tools I’ve been given to their full potential. That’s what I believe the children of Thessalonica were doing. They were being heard… loudly!
To be a part of an ensample, you have to personally be an example. Showing the love of Christ is more than a December thing. The world seems to get extremely good at showing love this time of year. But by January the feeling has long since faded into background of Christmas and the New Year and new goals and objectives are on their minds. This ought not be the case with Christians. We should have that Spirit of giving 12 months out of the year. Not that we should be giving out fruit baskets continually, but the fruit of the Spirit!
The Thessalonians were so good at being an example that it says nothing else needed to be said. Oh that I were such a one!
The word “wait” gets a bad rap. It is so more often thought of as a spirit of setting, not serving. But add an “er” at the end, and suddenly the spirit of serving, as in being a waiter or waitress, shines a different light on it’s meaning. The children of Thesalonica were not sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the return of Jesus, they were telling the world about the One that was to return and save this world from the wrath to come. For the record… the wrath is still on our timeline.
Those who don’t know Christ will not be spared the wrath of God when He pours out judgement upon the earth in the last days. We see the signs of it everyday. God has a calendar too.
My friend Sue gave me another beautiful date book for me to keep my busy life in view. I love it… but this morning it reminds me that God has something else I need to keep in view. Eternity. Where will you be in eternity? Where will your friends and family be? Let’s find out today and add another mansion address!
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for light by night, which divide the sea when the waves thereof roar; the LORD of hosts is His name.
The house of Israel. God’s original chosen and still His people He has a massive plan for them; one that breaks my heart as a tender hearted woman. I wish the world wasn’t “the world.” I wish that the original sin in the garden with Adam and Eve, never happened. But it did. I wish that Israel had not continued to rebel against God and refuse to acknowledge His Son, and in the finality of their decision making, crucified Him. But all of that happened. I wish that the woman who sat beside me in the lobby of the Holiday Inn this morning didn’t have a rebellious son that had caused their separation. But it happened. Life is real and it’s filled with poor decisions from the beginning of time, to some of my breakfast decisions. The degree is not always the same, but it is all the product of a fallen world. But I love the “buts” of the Bible. Times they are a changin’! Glory to God!
The lobby has cleared out, and so as the distractions for me… well, except the news. But I can’t help to be tunnel focused on this word this morning. God made that covenant of Jeremiah with the house of Israel; but He, in His great mercy, grafted me into the family so I too share in that promise. And if you are a child of God, so do you! It’s the Christmas 🎄 gift 🎁 that keeps on giving! Every day… Amazing grace. It’s like the simplicity of the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby, just for ever green with specks of red. It reminds me of eternal life because of the blood of Jesus.
Israel doesn’t get it…yet. But God’s covenant isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to happen. And there will come a day that they will experience what we have the blessing of experiencing now: they will KNOW GOD! We will dwell in eternity together. Us and them. Us and God. Us and Jesus! Yep! Just wrote myself happy!!!!!
I’m headed home today after having come to this area to watch the Cirque Musica at the Keith Albee Theatre in Huntington, WV. Personally… I don’t recommend it. The show for the money wasn’t there. But what was here in this place is the presence of God because He travels with this chick. And every other Christian. Some folks just seem to put Him in the bottom of the suitcase, rather than letting their little light shine. Let Jesus shine in your life today. Talk about Him, share Him… Talk to Him.
Luke 1:17 ~ And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John the Baptist. One of the characters of Christmas that I seem to gloss over until it comes to his beheading. And then I quickly read past it because it breaks my heart to think of the profound immorality of the world then and now. Not much has changed in regard to religion. And I use that word only to generally define us. John the Baptist wasn’t religious. Religion wore a fancy robe, John wore camel hair. Religion drank wine and had fancy hors d’oeuvres, John ate locust and honey. Religion pointed a finger, John pointed people to Christ. Religion was pompous and societal, John was loud!!!! “Prepare ye the way!!!” He cried. Even Isaiah warned the people about him.
Isaiah 40:3 ~ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Sunday as we prepared for the Christmas Cantata, our sound man Carl, struggled to hear the voices of the music. (He didn’t know there wasn’t any on this particular part of the sound track.) In his attempt to find them he turned the split track up full blast, unbeknownst to the choir. When voices did finally come onto the track they blared out full decibel, and the entire choir just about jumped out of their skin! It was hysterical! We laughed and laughed and it took five minutes to regain our composure and get back to the matter at hand of rehearsal. Good times!
This morning it reminds me of what must have been the reaction of those stuff shirt religious Pharisees when they heard John the Baptist coming out of the wilderness and into their part of the world. Religion doesn’t like to upset the🍎 apple 🍏 cart.
My text today, Luke 1:17 likens John the Baptist to Elias, also known as Elijah. Both were men of the same spirit and disposition. They were zealous, leaders and loners. They dressed weird. 2 Kings 1:8 says that Elijah was “an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins.” Neither really cared about what the current trend of the day was. They both reproved kings and both suffered persecution because of it.
Religion makes me nauseous.
How to know if you’re religious. (I do, because I was)
You not only care about what you wear (which is fine) but you judge the apparel of others (which is not.)
I personally love clothes. But, I like every kind of clothes. Yesterday I wore the cutest red 👠 shoes ever, a black lace skirt and a shiny jacket! I love them. But to the evening service, I wore 👟 sneakers and jeans. I’m truly not about impressing the masses with my apparel. I wear what I like. I fully believe it is more about my relationship with God than my relationship with a tailor.
You care about where you live (which is fine) but you judge where others live. (Which is not.)
I love beautiful homes. I however do not live in a home that will ever find it’s way to the cover of a design magazine. It’s a double wide that’s had work done, and needs work done. It’s small, but it’s home. I raised my kids here, and they come home here. It’s got a lot of hand made goodness by my husband that makes me smile every time I see it. Because he was proud of his handiwork. It’s loud. And the kids are rowdy and sometimes annoying, but it’s where we live.
When John the Baptist came out of the wilderness, he must have looked a sight! But those who listened didn’t care. They got the message. In Luke 3:3 it says of John that he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;” and some folks listened and others loathed him (much like today), especially Herod the tetrarch, because John called out his sin of having an affair with his sister in law!
John didn’t judge… he left that to God; he just spoke truth and the world doesn’t want the truth. And the truth of the matter is, religious people really do care where you live and where you come from. And they care for the wrong reasons. John didn’t care where people came from, he cared where they were going! That’s good stuff right there isn’t it? Forget the neighborhoods we live in, let’s talk about where we’re moving too! Glory!
Those are the words of Christ, that spoke to my heart this morning. He did not say it in that manner of course, His words were documented by Matthew in chapter 19, verse 26:
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
All things? Well, let’s unpack the context of that verse and see what Jesus says about “all” things. I need to unpack it, because I hear that verse yielded around so often. It’s a great Instagram and Facebook verse. It encourages those who are down and need a word to continue on. It’s encouraged me in like fashion. But that response wasn’t toward something that most people use that verse for. Jesus had just told a young man to sell every thing he owned and give it to the poor.
So is that a word for everyone? Yes and no. When the young man asked the question “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” God knew the intent of his heart. As well as ours. Scary thought. In my teen class a few weeks ago, one of the younger of the boys was there when we were discussing the fact that God sees every thing. And I said to them, “God sees all the good you do.” To which he replied with direction to his peers, “Yeah, God sees it when we’re good!” To which I followed it up with “And, God sees when you do something wrong.” At which time he responded with a a look of concern on his face, “He does?” Makes sure you draw that word “does” out to about three syllables. Because he did, and I cracked up. Because I knew he had just fed me a line about something he did that wasn’t true. Well that attitude is in little boys and boys, and little girls and big girls. And God knows our heart.
The rich young man wanted eternal life. And in all honesty, God did not need his money. But Christ’s response about a rich man going to heaven being as likely as a camel going through the eye of a needle, bothered them all. It bothers the vast majority of the earth today. The young man wasn’t willing to even consider giving up what he had to serve Jesus. And Jesus knew that. It wasn’t that he couldn’t be saved, it’s that he wouldn’t be saved. That broke my heart. Because I see it everywhere I go… including the church house, and including my own heart.
I am viewed, and I’m humbled by it, as an outspoken child of God. I am very vocal about my love for Jesus and the worlds need for salvation. But if I truly examine myself, and I don’t have to dig very deep; there are parts of my heart that I have yet to surrender to God. I’m hanging on to my riches… Anything I have, I owe it to the one who gave it to me. So when Christ says “with God all things are possible,” He means all. As I said, it’s a great verse of encouragement. But God speaks in spiritual terminology. Not of monetary means. Which is why the young ruler wasn’t willing to give it all. He valued that more than heaven. While the unsaved often will not surrender their heart to the Lord because they don’t want to leave the pleasure earthly means give; Christians, who have already been given enteral life, forgo all the spiritual goodness of God because they forget that He knows their heart.
He knows. Two little words that render the feeling in my soul of inadequacy. Praise God for grace. So back to the title “You can do it!” Yes we can. We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) He gives us strength, but He expects some effort on our part. So a word for me, and perhaps you today is this: in the examination of your heart, what is it that you refuse to give up for Christ?
I give up a lot to serve God. Mostly time. And I know my Lord is grateful. But there’s this thing in my heart that I’ve yet to trust Him with… and He knows. Emphasis on “knows.” Draw that out to about three syllables. Because that’s how I feel today.
I have to ask myself that question as I read Revelation 3:14-22
The lukewarm church Is the modern day way. I see it everywhere I go, and I run the risk of falling into that spiritual category with my own personal relationship with Christ. I can get too busy, become too apathetic about my great commission; which is to go, observe and teach. So it makes me wonder, at what point is God going to say, “I’ve waited long enough.”
There is coming a day when the door of opportunity for salvation is closed, be not deceived, it will be a sad, sad day… not only for the unsaved, but the saved as well when our opportunity to win the souls of our friends and family is over.
Revelation 3:14-22 KJV
 And unto the angel k of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The Laodicean church was the wealthiest of the seven. It was known for four illustrative things in Christ’s message on their final days. Three industries and their source of water (a vital part of any community).
It was known for its banking industry, being a city of great wealth. How much of an Industry is that across America? It’s big business and it’s more often than not a merciless business. So when John writes the words of Christ “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” He’s not trying to sell them something, He speaks of the spiritual treasures. Those things that moth and rust cannot corrupt and cannot be obtained through earthly means. There will be no banker in Heaven, but there will be great wealth.
What does that say about our time here on earth? Which is the more important to focus on, dollars or destiny! Gloray! I’m headed to work in about 40 minutes, but I can assure you, my heart is not on the dollars I’ll derive from my day at work. It’s on what spiritual gold I can lay up today by doing something for Jesus.
Another industry of Laodicea was the manufacturing of wool. As we are heading into the winter season here in West Virginia wool is a great thing. But the Christ speaks to the desire within most of us for “stuff”. Or perhaps it’s just me. I love stuff! But verse 18 continues with Christ’s counsel “that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.”
I love, love, love clothes and shoes. I’m a fanatic . But I am aware that my trip before the throne will not find me clad in leopard boots and cute jeans. Nope. My apparel will be the robe of righteousness that Christ made for me when He took my sins upon His back on the cross. Christ reminds me that I need not be so focused on how good I look on the outside, but what is most important is what is going on inside with my heart. My robe and my position in Heaven, will be dependent upon the spiritual treasure I lay up through the winning of souls and my Kingdom work.
Within the city of Laodicea was a medical school that produced eye salve. Can you see the spiritual implications there? Christ continues His counsel “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mightest see.”
I am forever grateful for the medical team that did my open heart surgery. I’m especially grateful for those that I felt understood my reliance on Christ, not them. But of the team who did my surgery wasn’t a completely saved group. Yet God worked through them to save my life. How I wish that they would have healed their own hearts by accepting what Christ did for them. This was Christ’s counsel to the educated of they city… don’t forget Who created you.
The Water Source
At one time an aqueduct was built to bring water to the city from hot springs. By the time the water reached the city it was neither hot nor refreshingly cold, but was rather lukewarm. Christ used this for the illustration of the church that had lost its zeal for Him. The church had become as bland, tepid water, not fit for anything.
And so it is with religion of today. The churches who are more concerned with appearances and worldly acceptance have nothing that will satisfy the dry thirsting soul of the sinner, God help us.
I pray today that you and I will take the refreshing water of the Spirit and word of God to the world around us, I gotta go… but praise God, I’m fired up and ready.
Another church, another thought, as I continue through Revelation. I have to go back and post about two previous churches because those posts got tangled up in web design and technical difficulties. But today I’m doing my best to stay on track like the church of Philadelphia. A faithful lot, without rebuke. I’m sure that it wasn’t that they were perfect, they were faithful. There is a vast difference.
People outside the church look at children of God and expect us to be unscathed in this sinful world. It’s not going to happen. We mess up, we fall down and we get dirty with sin just like the rest of the world; the difference is, I have a spiritual wash cloth that cleans me up. Glory!
I was rebuked by my husband last night in a “joking” manner when I said I didn’t want to answer a message that I’d been sent. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to fix the person’s problems. It was the fact that I couldn’t. It’s a spiritual issue not a physical one. The spirit realm is this abyss of Satan and his minions that continually strive to create confusion, strife and opportunities to sin. And Christians willingly walk into it even knowing that it can destroy. And on the outside of Christianity is the unsaved only seeing the physical realm not the spiritual. And a testimony is destroyed. The unsaved seldom see the acts of repentance and restoration of the child of God.
Life is about doors. Doors that open and doors that close on opportunity.
A person who has accepted the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross has walked through a door that will never close. And that is the one to eternal life. But the unsaved who has yet to make that decision is now running the risk of having that door shut for all eternity on the wrong side.
That literally makes my stomach turn.
It’s why I can’t fix the spiritual issues of another. I’m not holding the key 🔑 .
The church of Philadelphia was a loving, faithful church that used their spiritual gifts for the Kingdom of God. They just kept going in the face of what ever came their way, bad or good. And that’s all any of us can do.
It is my prayer that you know which side of the door you’re on when eternity calls.
If not, follow the link to the plan of salvation. Please don’t wait.
8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was de-ad, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
church of Smyrna was just 25 miles north of the church of Ephesus. To me it’s
symbolic as well. There’s not a whole lot of distance between being on fire for
the Lord Jesus, and having your world turned upside down by the troubles and
trials of life. Some of which can be brought on by the fact that you’re just trying
to do what the Lord called you to do.
persecuted church of Smyrna was facing tribulations that most of us have never
experienced, nor can we imagine. Facing death for our faith isn’t something
that Americans understand. Most won’t even live for Jesus, dying for Him would
be unimaginable. But it was a very real possibility in the days for which John
wrote. And it will be again.
to the website www.Opendoorsusa.org. An
in-depth investigative report focusing on global church persecution showed “a
staggering 11 Christians are killed for their faith in the top 50 countries
ranked on the World Watch List.” If you’d like to read the article, here’s the
most of us cannot comprehend persecution, we can certainly understand troubles
and trials. I’ve had my own and I continue to watch as friends and family
suffer. But what I also see is the glory of the Lord.
Monday I went to the Long Term Care unit of our local hospital to sing. But before
I could get my guitar out of the case, a dear lady pulled me to the side and
whispered in my ear, “Shari, I’ve been diagnosed with cancer again, but I’m not
seeking treatment. Please just pray for my comfort.” My heart sunk. But what
joy there will be in Heaven when this dear friend meets Jesus face to face, for
Whom she trusts her life to. I’ll be very sad. She will be very happy!
watched friends lose children, I’ve seen marriages fall apart and watched them
restored, I’ve seen others disintegrate, I’ve seen people lose their jobs and I’ve
been victim of that too. But the common thread that always made my heart smile,
was the fact that we all held onto hope even on the darkest days because we
knew there was a better day coming.
was John’s message to the church of Smyrna and it’s God’s message to us today.
Hold on! It ain’t over until God says it’s over! We may, or we may not have the
victory we desire on this earth. But either way, Satan’s going to lose.
This brief and not so in-depth study of the book of Revelation is stirring my soul for Heaven. I’m tired. And not just because of the physical stress. But because of the spiritual stress on my soul. I’m back in the workforce on a part time basis which allows me to continue my ministry work and pay my bills. Win! But what it also does is put me back into the world where I see firsthand the brokenness of society. It’s not that I didn’t know it was there. But being home every day allowed me to retreat into my world more often. Now, one day on the job and I realize I’m among it; and we are not winning that battle.
world is under the curse of sin and the power of Satan. So what’s a girl to do?
Keep reading… the war ain’t over.
Every time I reach the point of
exhaustion, brought on by too much list and not enough time, I have one of
those wishful Calgon take me away moments. If you remember the commercial, it’s
where the mom soaks down into a tub full of Calgon bubbles and somehow her world
While that’s awesome. The problem is you
have to get out of the tub eventually! Monday comes. That’s where the manic
Monday concept comes from. The dishes need done, the work needs done, people need
stuff, the phone’s ringing, the bills need paid and it all gets to be too much.
It’s then that I need my life to make
sense. I need order in my chaos. And because I am personally my own chaos, I
can’t do it. So I go to the word. And I look for my escape from the manic I call
I knew it was coming. So when the Pastor
preached from Philippians four last night and I heard the word escape, my mind
began to drift from Sunday night to Monday and I felt that overwhelmed feeling
and thought, “that’s my word for the week.” I need to escape!
But just like the Calgon bath, I knew I
would eventually have to face it. Just as we all do. So I might as well face it
with the Lord and His word.
looking for an Escape, Don’t Ignore the People
And what shall I more say? For
the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of
Jephthae, of David also and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith
subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths
of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out o
the weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in the fight, turned to flight the
armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and
others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a
Glory to God what a line up of
people for us to gather encouragement this Monday morning!
Most of them did escape. They
eventually got their Calgon moment. But some went by the way of great escapes
because they escaped to the best Calgon Moment of all, the one that never ends
And while none of us are likely
wanting to shorten our time here. We can still have those Calgon moments if we
stay in the word.
Those people, as well as others
in our life are there for an example.
Hebrews 12:1 says
Wherefore seeing we also
are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every
weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us.
God knew there would be “Calgon
take me away” days. He wanted us to be prepared for them, so He put examples of
the others who faced worse, and many in our own lives today. You know who they
are. The people that you just don’t know how they do it.
I think of Louis Milam. A man in
our church who had crippling arthritis and the deformities that came with it,
and yet he seldom ever missed church. He’s my go to guy even though he’s
already gone on to Heaven. Every time I want to throw in the towel, I think of
him. I don’t figure Louis had one Calgon day in the last 20 years of his life.
And yet he didn’t quit.
Don’t ignore the people that God
put in your life to encourage you.
My second point:
When Looking for an
Escape, Don’t Ignore the Preacher
See that ye refuse not him
that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth,
much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from
If that’s not a warning, I’ve
never heard one!
October is Pastor appreciation
month. It may be one of the most unappreciated professions of all times in this
day and age. The world doesn’t want to hear preaching. I crave it. I listen to
it more than music, because to me it is music.
It restores my hope! Last night
the preacher said something that really made me take note. He said “Nothing should
make us go to one extreme or the other, because nothing changes the fact that
the Lord is going to return!”
Nothing that happens today is
going to change the fact that Jesus is coming back! Woohoo and Glory to God!
that should put a shout on you. Because you can say that to Satan and it will for
sure get his goat, because he knows it’s true.
Someone once said “If Satan
reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.”
That’s why we go to church and
take every opportunity we can to listen to good solid preaching because we need
that reminder that we will have our day.
Which brings me to my third and
When Looking for an
Escape, Don’t Ignore the Promises
2 Peter 1:4
Whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of
the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
We have within ourselves the divine
nature of God in the Holy Spirit. We have a Calgon moment in the making anytime
we want it, but we have to have the promises of God in our lives to escape the
corruption of this world which is also still in us. Those promise are found in
the word of God.
I don’t think any of us realize
how precious the book is. But we can see how precious Satan knows it is because
he keeps doing everything within his power to destroy it. It’s why we have to
fight for it.
Not nearly enough came to the
fight with Madeline Murray O’Hair in 1963 when she single handedly managed to
get prayer and the word of God out of public schools. I wonder what our lives
would be like today if she had lost her battle. I read the story of her
distorted life and horrific death this morning and praise God for her only
living son, William, who is saved and serving God in D.C. as an author, Baptist
minister and chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition.
So I’ll say this in closing, the only way to escape the wickedness of this world, is to understand that Jesus is the way, truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Him. He is the only way to a true Calgon moment. Do you know Him today. I needed this message today. Take heart child of God, Jesus is coming soon!
Please share this post and I pray your week is awesome!!!