Hold Strong

July 28th, 2010 |

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Unfortunately, he is very good at what he does. Just as thieves can steal cars that have alarms or break into banks and other protected places, the Thief can also sneak in and rob us while we are unaware–even if we are praying.

People ask, “If there is a God, why do bad things happen to good people?” Sometimes non-believers ask, “If there is a God, why have your prayers not been answered?”

The answer is above. The Thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. Yes, we may be praying, believing, and going to church, but those defense systems only defend our souls 100% of the time. Our worldly gains, be they money, children, or our health are protected, but not as well. The Thief  may still slip in and nab an item here and there.

If the Thief has taken something from you, I encourage you to hold strong. Hang on! Because Jesus didn’t end with simply telling us about the Thief. He said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Jesus came that we can have life and have it more abundantly than we could without Him. Hold on to the promises of God. Yes, the Thief may have taken something or someone from you, but Jesus has come and has promised you a wonderful life.

Don’t chase the Thief trying to get that thing back. If you do, you only leave your other treasures unguarded so more thieves can slip in and plunder them. State your case to Jesus. Let Him chase down the Thief and restore you.

John 10:10

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Pray through the pain

June 3rd, 2010 |

I haven’t posted here as much as I wanted to. I will get better about that. I believe it’s important that every capable voice preach the gospel. Some will plant seeds; others will water them, etc.

I posted a few things about how great God has been to me. About how He made me wait and then blessed me. I wish this were one of those posts.

Last father’s day (2009), a cat I’d had for 11 years (since he was born) went out and didn’t come home. At the end of July/beginning of August, my wife brought me a stray kitten she had found. He weighed 2.4 pounds–with all the worms in him.

This was shortly after he came home…

Last week he started sleeping late (getting up at 6:30 instead of 5:30am).

How could this not bring joy and laughter? This was completely unstaged. We walked into the bedroom and found him like this:

But that was last September. On Monday, Memorial Day 2010, he couldn’t breathe. He spent all day in the vet on an IV and getting oxygen. At roughly 6pm, we said goodbye and put him out of his misery. He was a great companion–even if only for a short while–and brought me an immense amount of joy.

I admit I bawled like a baby. It has been a couple of days and I still get teary. I loved the little booger. What can I say?

There is a point to this story…

We don’t know what God has in store for us. I have no idea why He chooses to allow some people to suffer. I have no clue why he lets Satan destroy the joy from our lives. Perhaps God wants to teach us to praise Him through the storm; to pray through the pain. And that’s what I am working on. I’ve had my fair share of heartache in the last couple of years.

If you’re going through something you don’t understand, please keep the faith. Jesus will see you through. He will see me through. He will get us through these trials. In the end, we shall come forth like gold! And the prize of that high calling is unlike any other.

Read Rev: 21 & 22. If we can’t imagine half of the greatness of heaven, consider John’s revelation as a minor scratch on the surface.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Rev 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Rev 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

Rev 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

Rev 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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Tough Times

July 4th, 2009 |

I’ve been facing tough times here lately. I suppose that means God is trying to get my attention. Besides losing my job a few months ago, my cat recently vanished. Yesterday morning, as I was walking the dog and praying–as I often do–I found myself realizing and vocalizing a painful thought. Despite all my prayers, God is under absolutely no obligation to answer them. He will never be indebted to me. The only thing I deserve is death.

As Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Later Paul said in 6:23 “the wages of sin is death.” It is all any of us truly deserve.

Yes, I understand what Paul was driving at, but I could not help but think of both of those verses at the same time. I trust in God and Jesus Christ. A fundamentalist, I believe every bit of the Bible. I know Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for my sins and that he raised Himself on the third day. But that doesn’t mean I am perfect. The spirit is always willing, but the flesh is often weak. It’s for that reason this corruptable flesh deserves to die. In so passing, I will find life.

But back to the original thought. God owes me nothing. He already purchased me with an eternal warranty and an eternal fuel supply. I am more like God’s chauffer than taxi. By that I mean, if I carry his plan from Point A to Point B, he is under no obligation to pay me for it. He owns us all outright.

Though this may sound depressing, I write it as a bit of encouragement to others who find themselves wondering why God isn’t acting upon a specific prayer or in an area in your life. He will. But He will do it in His time. Keep praying. Keep expecting Him to hear. Keep expecting Him to answer. And keep thanking Him in advance.

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