51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O Death, where is your sting?O Hades, where is your victory?”
56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. ~ I Corinthians 15:51-58 NKJV (emphasis added)
13Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done with love. ~ I Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV
Our Christmas lights are up, but they just don’t seem to be shining as brightly as before. It’s me – I know. I rose early thinking if I caught the sunrise it would perk me up as it usually does, but … Continue reading →
2How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save.
3Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.
4The law has become paralyzed,
And there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
So that justice has become perverted. ~ Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT
Hello 612 – 589 BC! – a time in the history of ancient Judah when national sin spelled impending judgement by God. When a historically righteous nation becomes morally indistinguishable from its pagan neighbors, it’s – well, it gets God’s attention.
After much pleading and warning to His people to repent from sin; God plans to send destruction and slavery upon Judah. The prophet Habakkuk complains to God about the evils of Judean society plus God’s impending judgement at the hands of a pagan invader called Babylon. After all, how can God’s plan be just? On the surface of things, there is nothing but sin in both nations!
I ponder these things in our day as well. Our modern culture is rife with the same sins mentioned by Habakkuk:
Violence – There is virtually no community in our nation that does not have a problem with domestic violence, assault, murder, rape, and even infanticide whitewashed as “abortion”.
Evil Deeds – The purposeful acts of bullying, torture, theft, fraud, and cruelty, are just a few examples.
Misery – The widespread use of street drugs, divorce, homelessness, depression, and aimlessness abounds.
Destruction (War) – Our nation is known as the super cop of the globe. We war with everyone in the name of peace.
Discontent – Reality TV shows are a gruesome example of elevating family bickering and fighting.
Moral Paralysis – Where is God’s Church? Sadly, asleep. There is a huge price to pay, Church!
Court Injustice – Time after time we see judges who give light sentences for heinous crimes. Repeat offenders only escalate the severity of their crimes, i.e. serial or mass murders, school shootings, or human trafficking, .
Righteous Minority – Back to the Church: it used to be known as the silent majority. Now it is only a voiceless minority while elected officials scream obscenities about our President, Christians, and Jews on the floor of Congress. Christians who stand up for faith in Jesus are being martyred all over the globe while mainstream media is silent. Recently bills have been introduced to make practicing Christianity illegal in our country. Where is God’s Church?
Perverted Justice – Social norms have flipped. What used to be called right is now wrong. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
The LORD‘s reply is found in verses 5 – 11 and is a scary descriptive of the conquering Babylon but noticeably God only confirms that,
YES! He is sending this murderous enemy to conquer Judah.
AND YES! Babylon is cruel, violent, destructive, haughty, and pagan.
Very bad news for Judah. Habakkuk’s reaction is similar to anyone looking at such a desolate future. He complains again to God.
“Surely, LORD, you do not intend to wipe us out?” ~ verse 12 paraphrased.
Ah, the LORD has more to say about this. Until then, God bless your week and Thank you for following
²²But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, ²³GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. . . 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22,23,25 NKJV
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . . . 8bbut he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. . . . 16And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE and MERCY be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.~Galatians 6:7,8b,9,16 NKJV (emphasis added)
Brethren, keep God’s law – love one another. Share each others’ burdens. Keep sowing to the Spirit and reap everlasting life. Don’t lose heart!
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children;
Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep His commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in His ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NLT
Follow the words of Jehovah God for blessings individually and nationally. Those who have gone before us knew that freedom is not free. They founded this nation based upon God’s Biblical laws; erected monuments to the Ten Commandments; raised up Christian churches with crosses on their steeples; and sent missionaries worldwide to spread the gospel. Tomorrow is more than just a day to have a cookout with family and friends.
TURN! Bow the knee. Pray, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior!
Praise the Lord for the USA! Happy Independence Day! Be blessed.
The May Tree blooming in June. It has a friend that lives beside it – A Siberian Larch.
Even the wilderness and the desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display His glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.“ ~ Isaiah 35:1-4 NLT
What an unpopular subject! Warning a nation that has run amok:
Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.” ~ Ezekiel 14:6b NKJV
“The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: “Son of Man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it…” ~ Ezekiel 14:12-13 NKJV
“And I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,” says the Lord God. ~ Ezekiel 15:7-8 NKJV
No matter how much God loved His people, Israel, He eventually had to turn them over to their own depraved lusts and rebellious minds.
What about America? Does any of this apply to our nation? Despite what is currently taught in our public schools and universities, I believe our nation was founded on the same Biblical laws set down by Almighty God for His covenant people, the Israelites. As long as our people held God in esteem as a nation, I believe we were blessed with God’s favor on many fronts; plentiful natural resources, educational and technological advancements, wars won, and a per capita quality of life that leads the world. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee individual freedoms (including religious freedoms) that are second to none. Many nations around the globe have copied our national model.
So why, after this much blessing, does our nation turn its back on God? Just look at the ancient history of Israel for the answer. It is all there in the Old Testament. Israel turned away from God to worship idols and practiced abominable acts such as child sacrifice to those idols. Legalized abortion in the United States is just as abominable or more so in the sight of God. Our abortion laws have caused more loss of life than Israel’s child sacrifice to the idol Molech in ancient times – over 60 million since 1973 Roe vs. Wade, according to U.S. Abortion Clock.org.
Don’t be deceived. God doesn’t change. He pleads with His children to repent and turn back to Him before it is too late. Now is the time to repent as a nation and humbly seek forgiveness. This requires a change of heart at the leadership level. Yes, God punishes the people of a rebellious nation by the actions of its leaders.
Take 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21 for example: King David decided to take a census of all of his subjects (actually, just the men). This angered the LORD, who gave David three choices of punishments. David chose what he must have thought was the lesser, of three days of death across the land. God sent a plague that killed 70,000 Israelites. God showed mercy and stopped His angel of death just prior to wiping out the City of Jerusalem in order to give David a chance to repent.
How many chances has He given us?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Otherwise, according to Wisdom in Proverbs 1:27b-30:
“When distress and anguish come upon you, then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.” ~ NKJV