When Nothing Makes Sense

When nothing makes sense, we can completely trust that God is in control of all that matters.

Reading scriptures Habakkuk 1-3:

The prophet Habakkuk lives in a time around 600 B.C., when Babylon is about to invade Judah.  He is extremely troubled about the time in which he lives.  For him, it is the end times.  Christ followers believe that we also live in the end times.  Habakkuk questions the Lord in chapter one about world evil much the same as believers do today:

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but You do not save? ~Habakkuk 1:2 NIV

God gives Habakkuk a revelation in chapter two – just as the Apostle John was given The Book of Revelation in the New Testament by Jesus Christ – the last book of God’s Word, our Bible:

Then the Lord replied, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay… Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” ~ Habakkuk 1:2,3,5 NIV

As I watch what is going on in our world today, and the perplexing changes taking place in the nations, I am utterly amazed, just as the Lord predicted.  Nothing makes sense anymore, except God’s Word.  We must continue to watch, wait, and pray for strength like Habakkuk.

Easier said than done.  Watching the world crumble is heartbreaking.  Waiting does not mean we should complain as we wait.

Prayer: Forgive my impatience, Father, and replace my complaints with faithful expectations from Your Word. Nothing makes sense anymore but I will rejoice and trust in You. Help me to glorify You with a willing and cheerful heart for your service as I stand watch. Prepare me in Your strength with courage to face battles yet won. May I run with the fleetness of the deer as a herald with Your revelation given to a lost world and seek Your Presence at all times.  In Your Son Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him. ~ Habakkuk 2:20 NIV

If you are seeking God’s Truth, His Word has the answers.  If you have never trusted in Him, click this link.

He Has Done It!

There is no need to search for Jesus among the dead, for He is risen.  He has done it!

Just as heavenly angels pronounced His birth at Bethlehem, angels pronounced Christ’s resurrection from the tomb.

Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim His righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” ~Psalm 22:30-31 NIV

Psalm 22 is the most descriptive Messianic Prophesy to me of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself quoted the first verse on the cross when He cried out,”My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” Such haunting words were uttered in the depths of despair; as He who knew no sin felt the crushing weight of all human sin upon His shoulders; at a time when “I am poured out like water and all My bones are out of joint.” (verse 14). Yet Jesus was not doubting our Father in heaven.  He was, above all, accepting of the Father’s will.  But the Only Begotten Son of God had never been so far from the Father as at that moment on the cross – poured out; emptied.

Friends, the basis of our faith now is that Jesus is alive and restored to the Father in heaven. It is only the tomb where Jesus lay that is empty. Praise God Almighty!  There is no greater salvation under heaven whereby we may be saved, than this perfect and powerful sacrifice performed by the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ, the true Messiah.  He overcame death, the grave, and hell as He arose from the tomb; transformed, victorious and KING OF KINGS – LORD OF LORDS!

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:16-20 NIV

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY for HE HAS DONE IT!!!

WE are the future generations living at the very end of the age before Christ’s return to earth.  When He comes, He will reign over earth for one thousand years as King of Kings. According to God’s Word, His followers will reign with Him in a restored world full of peace. There will be no war, and the lion will lie down with the lamb.

Is He your King? He invites you to give your heart and soul to Him, for He forgives all sin, restores all life, and heals all wounds.  If you have questions about how to accept Jesus as your personal savior, click this link.

God Bless and thank you for following ImportantStuff.live!

Living Water at the Well

Jesus stopped at Jacob’s Well located at Sychar while traveling through Samaria on His way from Judea to Galilee (John 4:1-42 NIV).  He was tired and thirsty.  It was about noon, and His disciples had gone into town for food.  When a Samaritan woman came by to draw water from the well, Jesus asked if she would give Him a drink.  At first she questioned His intentions, since it was not the custom of Jews to interact with Samaritans.  Jesus simply stated that if she knew who she was speaking with, she would have asked Him for a drink of water; and He would have given her Living Water.

Jesus the Sower:

Most people have heard this story, but many only remember about the sins of the woman, since she admitted to Jesus that she currently had no husband, but had been married a total of five times.  But this story is really about how Jesus worked His ministry here on earth.  It is about sowing the seeds of Truth, and reaping a harvest of souls.  The divine appointment between the woman and the Holy Son of God at Jacob’s Well was just the opportunity Jesus used to sow His Good News to a whole town of Samaritan residents .  Jesus already knew about the marital history of this woman.  She confessed that what Jesus said about her was true, and He agreed with her honesty about it.  She recognized Jesus as a prophet but her reaction was doubt.  She evaded the topic of Living Water that He introduced.  Realizing that He knew personal details of her life may have made her uncomfortable or distrustful of how those facts played into the mysterious Living Water topic Jesus mentioned.  Instead of being immediately receptive to His Word, she changed the subject to a long standing controversial religious topic .

20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. “

Jesus patiently explained that neither place is a valid location for true worship any longer.  She must have been shocked when Jesus said,

23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Jesus had just made an earth-changing prophetic statement, and she blew it off.  Of all things!  A prophet who sounds like a false teacher! – One who speaks with authority claiming the only acceptable worship to God is something called “worship in the Spirit and truth”!

25The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.” 26Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you – I am He.”

Whereupon the disciples returned with lunch, and the woman made her hasty escape; leaving her water jar at the well.  She missed the most perfect opportunity of a lifetime to ask important questions of the True Messiah, for He had just told her, in effect: “You are speaking to Him.  What would you like for Me to explain?”  Instead of receiving His teaching right then and there (perhaps intimidated by the arrival of the Jewish disciples), she dropped everything and ran straight into town.  She spread the news that a prophet had just arrived at Jacob’s Well claiming to be the promised Messiah; and convinced the town folk to follow her back to the well for further investigation into the matter.

39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”

It sounds like they only believed that he was a prophet of God, however.  Jesus stayed two days at Sychar at the invitation of the Samaritans in order to teach them the Truth about Himself – That He IS The Living Water.

Jesus the Reaper of the Harvest:

41And because of His words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

See, the woman only spread the news that a convincing prophet was traveling by, and asked the townspeople to investigate as to whether he might be the promised Messiah.  “Is not this the Christ?” she asked of them.  I have to believe, as do many Bible scholars, that the Samaritan woman truly accepted Jesus as her Savior Messiah at some point during His visit to her town.  The scripture account does not specifically say either way, but she did testify of Jesus to others, and because she blew the shofar, so to speak, many became believers.  Aside from John the Baptist, she is known as one of the first or possibly the first witness for Jesus as the Messiah.  Her example for spreading the news of His arrival has been told for centuries. This story of a woman who took immediate action and verbally testified of her meeting Jesus, has inspired thousands of believers to share that Jesus is the Messiah.

I am not surprised that many more believed that Jesus was the Messiah than the first bunch of “prophet followers” after the whole town heard His complete teaching on Living Water. That was His true purpose for stopping in Sychar and asking a Samaritan woman for a drink of water.  He used the woman to announce His coming into the town.  He wanted to give a drink of Living Water to as many as would believe more than He wanted to be given a drink of well water.

Through Personal Testimony:

In verse 37, while the woman was heralding the town for a trip back to the well to confront Jesus about who He was; Jesus had just spent his lunch teaching His disciples about the truthful saying, “One sows and another reaps”.  Yet Jesus was not only the Sower in this story, but He was also the Reaper of the harvest.  Here is a wonderful example of Christ’s zeal for serving the Father.  He did the Father’s work, and did it with perfect completion.  He gave His own personal testimony to the world.  He planted.  He taught the Truth.  Before He left town after a two day visit, He reaped a big harvest for God’s kingdom.  Jesus showed us that personal testimony is crucial to sharing the Good News of His Gospel.  Throughout His ministry He taught new believers to give personal witness to His works of healings, miracles, signs and wonders; so that many more would believe.  HALLELUJAH – PRAISE HIM FOREVER MORE!!!

Sharing the Good News:

Have you believed in Jesus, The Living Water?  If not, I encourage you to trust Jesus with all your heart now, for today is the joyful day of salvation.  Here is a helpful link:

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God bless.

The Eastern Orthodox Church tradition about the Samaritan woman at the well is found at wikipedia.com under Interpretations.  The traditions tell of her faith, baptism, persecution, and martyrdom.  Interesting stuff.

Encouragement – “see pg 381”

The Word of God is living and active.  It pries, prods, kicks and squirms;twists, shoves, rips and tears its way into every crook and cranny of the minds and hearts of men until all is “open and laid bare”.  Then – redemption.

The Apostle Paul sums up Dad’s message in the most compelling statement:

12″For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” ~ Hebrews 4:12-13 (Dad’s NT Bible)

 

Paul points out that God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world.  Then He rested on the seventh day (Sabbath).  God intended for man to enter into that rest with Him, but man rebelled (Heb. 4:1-5).  Without accepting God’s plan of redemption through faith in Jesus , man may never enter God’s rest.  Without acknowledging his sin, and accepting Jesus as Messiah, man is eternally barred from entering into an everlasting relationship with his Creator.

BUT GOD!  In His infinite mercy and grace, God provided His living Word as a testament to His abiding love for all men.  He made a plan for redemption. His Son fulfilled the Father’s plan on the cross. Christ defeated death, and God gave His Living Word to proclaim the Good News to let men know about it.

again He sets a certain day, “Today”, saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” ~ Hebrews 4:7 (Dad’s NT Bible)

I thank and praise God for laying my sins bare.  His living Word pursued me like a Lion. It found my hidden parts; then pierced my mind and heart, dividing me asunder. I give Him glory everlasting and thank Him for allowing me to strive for rest in Him.  When I get discouraged it’s usually because I have spent too much time caught up in the “cares of this world” with less time in God’s Word.  Those distractions cause me to be fruitless, while choking God’s Word (Mark 4:18-19).

So here is the last part of the message of encouragement that Dad marked at the bottom of page 381:

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I think it means perseverance.  What do you think?

 

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Many gods, but Only One Savior

There are many gods, but only one Savior.

All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord“and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lordand apart from Me there is no Savior. ~ Isaiah 43:9-11 (NIV)

Encouragement – “see pg 130”

The heart of the servant is what God looks at.  Being encouraged to do God’s will is not always what we want to hear.  We want Him to support us doing OUR will.

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. ~ Luke 12:41-48(NIV)

“The Heart of a Servant” would have been a good title for this post.  Jesus declared Himself to be a “Servant of the Father” many times in scripture.  What was His heart?  Plainly, He loved us so much that He gave ALL on the cross for us.  Christ took our severe punishment (death) which we deserve even though He was blameless.  He was the One who has given much.  Therefore, since believers are to be like Him, much will be required of His followers.

Jesus is teaching in Luke 12:41-48 that there are basically three groups of servants and how a master dealt with each group:

  1. Faithful, sensible servants – rewarded
  2. Unfaithful, disobedient servants – received severe punishment
  3. Innocently disobedient servants – received light punishment

Group One:        The faithful obedient servants – This is the group that all Christians believe (or hope) they have membership in.  Group One will inherit God’s kingdom, but Jesus also reveals that it does not come without cost (verse 48b).  It’s called taking up our cross and following HimThe cross of every believer is to be the same as His cross.  Men will always exact a heavy penalty for those who they consider to be against the establishment.  The world will scoff, ridicule and persecute every believer who is dedicated to being a servant of the Father (like Jesus). Verses 43 and 44 are the scriptures that all believers love to hear, though; the ones that mention reward for faithful service.  Jesus gives a detailed description of Group One, represented by the churches of Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) and Philadelphia (Rev. 3:8-12).  The church of Smyrna is the poor, but spiritually rich church, to which Jesus promises He will give the crown of life. The church of Philadelphia is known as the church that is loyal to Christ; the church that perseveres and is watchful for His coming.  Jesus promises the church of Philadelphia not only a crown of life, but for overcomers, a pillar in the temple of God and a permanent home in the temple of God; that the name of God, the new name of Christ, a brand new name for the church, and a new name for the New Jerusalem, will all be written upon them.  Group One is the group Jesus loves to love.

Group Two:        The unfaithful disobedient servants – The master cuts them to ribbons and then banishes them from His kingdom as unbelievers!  Harsh?  That is what Jesus said they deserved.  “Wouldn’t it be fair to just let us repent and forgive us?” cries Group Two.  It is the saddest thing to contemplate, but God knows the heart.  Evidently, Group Two does not have loyalty to the master or the heart of a servant.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  ~ James 1:22 NIV

Group Three:     The innocently disobedient servants – This group could possibly be servants that Group Two influenced, trained, or misled.  They may not be doers of the Word simply because they don’t know what the Word says.  Maybe they never read it.  Or, they may have fallen prey to false teaching, immorality, or idolatry.  Skeptical?   A better description of Group Three is given by Jesus in His message to the seven churches found in the Book of Revelation chapters 2-3. The other five churches besides Smyrna and Philadelphia are listed:

  1. Church of Ephesus – Fundamental Doctrine, but lacking Love
  2. Church of Church of Pergamos – False Doctrine, immorality
  3. Church of Thyatira – Allowed a False Prophetess to teach
  4. Church of Sardis – Dead works
  5. Church of Laodicea – Lukewarm

“Weren’t we just carnal Christians or backsliders?” asks Group Three.   Jesus encourages Group Three to repent and be overcomers.

Page 130 of Dad’s Bible contains Christ’s instructional encouragement to believers.  Instructional encouragement is based on “here is the truth.  These are your options and there are consequences – you choose”.

The “take-away” for this writer in layman’s language is:

Jesus lovingly instructed Group One, “Great job!  Keep doing what you are doing.  I will be back soon.  Hold down the fort until I come.  If you need help, I left more instructions in My Word.  Send me messages for guidance.  I will answer.  Stand strong, don’t give up, and you will be rewarded.”

Jesus banished Group Two with “Depart from Me!  I never knew you!”

Jesus praised Group Three, “I know you thought you were serving me, but you have made some mistakes, and have been suffering the consequences of your bad decisions. Now that you are aware, turn back to me and I will forgive you.  Don’t be discouraged.  Study My Word, and share it with others; persevere, and I will bring your reward with me when I come back.”

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” ~ Rev 3:19 (NIV)

 Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” ~ Rev. 22:12 (NIV)

Maranatha!  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

The next posting Encouragement – “See pg 397” will be coming out soon, Lord willing.  Don’t miss it by following ImportantStuff.live!

God bless.

Here is a link to a brief commentary from LifeHope &Truth that highlights the encouragements that Jesus gave to each of the Seven Churches of Revelation .

 

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Indecision – The Spirit of Fear

Remaining in a state of indecision is like casting one’s mind into the midst of a tornado. Thoughts like a whirlwind can churn so chaotically that a person’s moods and behaviors may be adversely effected.  Indecision is not fear that you will be late for an appointment, but is more encompassing.  Indecision is the spirit of fear.  It can affect individuals and even nations:

“A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” ~ James 1:8 (KJV)

Indecision is one symptom of chronic stress that is brought about by fear and may manifest as panic; not knowing which way to turn.  One may become stuck; virtually paralyzed by fear; thinking that no course of direction seems safe; or conversely, may charge off in random directions without purpose.  Fear, if unchecked, can destabilize anyone.  Indecisiveness, in all of its debilitating forms, is clearly shown in God’s Word as being ruled by the overshadowing spirit of fear, which can lead to broken relationships, loss of employment, depression, poor physical health; and ultimately, self destruction.  If you have been struggling with fear or indecision,

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You may be on shaky ground emotionally, but you are certainly not the Lone Ranger.  It can happen to anyone – believers or unbelievers alike.  If you can’t seem to make up your mind in today’s complicated world, take heart!  God understands:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ I Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

So God didn’t create our spirit of fear, but He HAS given us the power to overcome it and to restore us with a sound mind through faith and the study of His Word.  Our magnificent Father is mighty to save and powerful to heal.

But wait!  There may be another contributing factor in the valley of decision ruled by the spirit of fear.  Have you ever felt like screaming, “I am at a loss!”?  Sometimes indecision can be caused by information overload:

Data

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” ~ Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

 

Most people in the world are immersed in data; to the point of many being in a constant state of information overload via computers, the internet, television, media, and access to mega data storage/retrieval systems. Is there a connection between time of the endrunning to and fro, increased knowledge and the problem of both individual and national indecision?  Increased knowledge, or data, may be adequately managed by computer systems, governing systems, or economic systems, but what effect, if any, does it have on human mental health?

There are many Bible scholars, ministers, and believers who are convinced that we are living at the time of the end; or in the end times; just prior to the time when Jesus will return to this earth, destroy man’s failed governments, then set up and rule His own perfect kingdom of 1,000 years, otherwise known as The Millennium, or Millennial Age (Revelation, chapter 20).

The end times is not defined as a specific number of years in the Bible, but only a time period that is near the end of this world as we know it.  During the end times, as told in the Old Testament to the Prophet Daniel by an angelic messenger from God, many humans will be running to and fro.  Some believe this scripture in the Book of Daniel refers simply to a time when world-wide travel is very advanced compared to ancient times of this prophecy.  It could also mean an age of distress; when people are in a condition of panic mode; wildly running scared from some terror (or terrorism); or frenzied racing around without direction (spirit of fear).  Today even the movie industry has capitalized upon end times prophesy by promoting an apocalyptic view of disaster and foreboding – possibly contributing to further infection of audiences with a dreadful spirit of fear.

The end times is also described as a period of time when knowledge is increased.  Increased knowledge has ushered in an age of space exploration, scientific and medical advancements;  but no peace.  In our present technologically advanced age, most people would agree that knowledge has increased rapidly since World War I (WWI), but no community on the planet is out of reach from the threat of total annihilation from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

 

MissilesWMD

Since WWII there have been wars fought in the name of WMDs prevention; and treaties made between nations regulating WMDs.   Yet this global effort has not brought peace or stability to the earth so far.  This is evidence to many that we already live in the perilous times of the last days.  Generations of populations living under this evil threat could be so fearful of impending doom that it is a pervading underlying cause of national fear – which sparks nations to produce more such weaponry in the name of defense, and the cycle continues.  Because of a spirit of fear of global annihilation, entire doomsday-thinking populations may be easily manipulated and controlled by power-seeking or terrorist governments.  Yes, as if WMDs are not scary enough, earth’s global community is now operating under a spirit of fear due to terrorist attacks.

By understanding there is a connection between time of the endrunning to and fro and increased knowledge in God’s Word, we may go deeper and offer that the angelic messenger who visited the prophet, Daniel, described an age identical to our century.  Increased knowledge and data overload or the activity of manipulating data (think of cell phone texting alone) may also be linked to the problem of both individual and national indecision.  There is no question that knowledge has increased (past tense).  People already do run to and fro (again, past tense).  There also seems to be an epidemic of double mindedness world wide, as evidenced by reports of political and social upheaval in the news daily.  Whether or not we are living in the time of the end, scripture seems to support in favor.

If you are gripped by a spirit of fear for whatever reason and still don’t understand why, just take a deep breath.  Turn off the news, and spend time with YHVH, our Elohim.  Ask God to clear your head, bring peace into your heart, and settle your spirit.  Ask Him for guidance over your life and wisdom in decision making.

The Apostle Paul had this to say about the end times in his second letter to Timothy:

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” ~ II Timothy 2:16 (KJV)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves …” ~ II Timothy 3:1-2a (KJV)

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ~ II Timothy 3:5 (KJV)

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ II Timothy 3:7 (KJV)

Tips to consider (in laymen’s terms):

  • Avoid egotistical, profane blabbermouths (II Timothy 2:16), for associating with them will only escalate into more ungodliness.  Foul speech is indecent; it is a slippery slope that spirals ever downward into hopelessly confusing indecisiveness.

“But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:29 (NLT)

  • Study God’s Word:

For God is not the author of confusion.” ~ (I Cor. 14:33).

  • In the end days, self centeredness will abound.  People will appear to be saintly or Godly, but their associations prove their hypocracy.  Consider how that may be playing out in our modern age today.  God’s Word says not to hang with them and if we are in doubt about who these people are, the Apostle Paul identifies them in a list of the ungodly: lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:2-5).  It reads exactly like the attributes of the Antichrist!  So then, is ungodliness similar to indecisiveness?  This is where we started – at the crossroads of decision.  Time to choose the path that is straight, not crooked; the path of wisdom.  Don’t walk – RUN from them!
  • In the end days, there may be an increase in knowledge along with an increase in education but neither advancement appears to lead people to Truth (II Timothy 3:7).  God’s Word is saying that He understands what leads to indecision, that these are scary, perilous times, but there is only one Hope; only one Truth.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” ~ John 14:6 (KJV)

Pray for deliverance from a spirit of fear.  God is faithful, and will set you on the path of assertiveness and stability, which means peace of mind.  There is nothing like it. Promise.

“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.” ~ Lamentations 3:24 (KJV)

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” ~II Timothy 4:18 (KJV)

Peace to you, and God bless.

For anyone who is interested, there is a list of end time prophetic signs at this link 26 End Time Signs.

 

 

 

Encouragement – “see pg 49”

Page 49 of Dad’s New Testament Bible has a faint penciled box around verses 37-40 of Matthew 25.  It is as if Dad could not boldly circle these verses in ink; just humbly and gently scribe the page with a blunt pencil; as a servant awed by the sheer power and majesty of his Almighty King.  When I first read the noted verses 37-40, I was not seeing a message of encouragement.  In the words of Jesus Himself:

37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’“ ~ Matthew 25:37-40

Matthew scripture chapter 25, verses 31-46 is known in modern times as “The Parable of the Sheep and Goats”.  It is the last parable that Jesus spoke to His disciples privately at the location of the Mount of Olives just two days before his betrayal and arrest during Passover in Jerusalem.  Jesus is speaking of the judgment of the nations in this passage which will take place at His Second Coming.  I encourage you to read the entire passage if you have not already.  A link is provided at the end of this post.  The parable’s meaning is very controversial; even to the point that there is no agreement as to whether it is a parable or not!  I have avoided links to opposing views on this parable, but feel that we can surely ascertain that the verses speak of King Jesus separating the goat nations to His left for everlasting punishment, and the righteous sheep nations to His right hand for eternal life, based upon their treatment of “the least of these My brethren”.

But what does this mean?  Who are the least? Scripture supports, explains, or backs up scripture, so let’s look at a passage in Exodus:

21Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry, 24And My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 25If thou lend money to any of My people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? And it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto Me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.” ~ Exodus 22:21-27 (KJV)

Consider: Here in Alaska it would be thought inhumane in extremely cold weather to accept the coat of another unless the circumstances were dire (survival related) or the recipient of the coat knew it was a spare coat of the giver.  Yes, and return it by nightfall!  But I can also witness that some Alaskans will go out of their way to cover a freezing homeless person with their own coats in sub-zero weather.  Whether believers or not, I cannot say, but the gesture of mercy for the poor and naked is not lost on this writer, nor with Jesus, I am confident.

Don’t forget “My brethren” are fellow believers, the Jews (Yeshua was definitely a Jew).  Show kindness to one another.  Help one another.  Pray for and lift up all men, as only God knows who is of the sheep nations or who is of the goat nations.  We are not to discriminate or judge anyone.

I hear all the time that there is no salvation in good works.  Baloney!  True, Jesus is our Messiah, and He is our Redeemer.  There is no other way to salvation but through belief in Him.  Yet His ministry on earth was a life of good works.  He fed the hungry.  He healed the sick.  Let His example be our guide, in order to be more like Him.

I think James, the Lord’s brother, clarifies the question of good works :

14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” ~ James 2:14-18 (KJV)

So where is the message of encouragement on page 49 of Dad’s Bible?  For me, it is “THE PROMISE” of great reward that Jesus taught us: He knows His sheep, and is known by them. King Jesus is The Great Shepherd who carefully tends His flock (sheep nations) and keeps it safe from God’s wrath.  He refers to His sheep as being “righteous”.   But Jesus warned, in His own words, that there is a terrible and final consequence for the goat nations who are not charitable; who do not feed the poor, but rob the poor; who do not help orphans or widows, but abuse and sell them into slavery; who love themselves more than their neighbors; who judge the sins of others as being worse than their own.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ is to love one another, as the King loved us.  As we walk that out, take encouragement from pg. 49 of Dad’s Bible.  Jesus rewards the faithful and obedient servants of His Word with everlasting life.  How much more encouragement do we need?

The cost:

There is nothing on pg. 49 of Dad’s Bible that will make us prosperous by the world’s standards.  The Gospel is totally free as our gift from our Father in heaven.  He sacrificed His Son for us.  There is no way to take up our cross and follow Him except to humbly serve others less fortunate and without expecting personal gain or earthly honor.  Our true reward is His spiritual blessing of life everlasting with Him; which is treasure immeasurable.

20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV)

God bless!

Note:  I apologize to the readers of these “encouragement posts” for lack of citing Bible translation versions of the scriptures that Dad circled or otherwise referenced in his New Testament.  The reason I cannot cite is because I am transcribing the featured scripture text verbatim from his Bible (other than taking liberty to capitalize His Holy Name out of reverence).  The first 12 numbered pages of his Bible, which would have included Matthew chapter 1-7 are entirely gone; including the title, publishing and copyright pages.  The Bible text begins simply on page 13 with verse 12b of Matthew chapter 8.  I could guess at the version, but will forbear.  Fortunately, there is nothing noted at the bottom of each page by Dad which references those missing pages, so we at least have Dad’s complete message.  Thank you for following the “encouragement posts” in spite of this issue.  YOU are giving ME great encouragement!

Thanks also, to those following importantstuff.live.  The next post Encouragement – “see pg 130” will be posted soon, Lord willing.

Here is a link to the entire scriptural passage on the Parable of the Sheep and Goats for those interested at biblegateway.com.

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Paid in Full

24He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By His wounds you are healed.  25Once you were like sheep who wandered away.  But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.” ~ I Peter 2:24-25 (NLT)

Without the precious blood of Christ, the innocent Lamb of God, there is no hope of salvation.

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”~ Acts 4:12 (NLT)

Some reject the “blood” part of the gospel, but God paid a ransom with His own blood. According to His Word on the cross, “It is finished.”  Our sin debt is paid in full.  There is no other true gospel.

God Bless.

Overcoming Fear

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ~Psalms 27:1a KJV

Have you ever been gripped by paralyzing fear?  Most people would say “Yes”.  Yet we suffer from anxiety and fear needlessly.  God wants us to take it to Him right away.  His Holy Spirit brings instant peace if we cast our cares upon Him.

There are many mornings that I pray for God’s guidance during the day, and then by noon I am feeling frustrated, scared, or stressed for whatever reason.  It took a long time, but I am finally learning to stop and ask, “Please, Lord, settle my spirit now!”

Believe me when I say that He has never failed me when I ask Him.  Within minutes I am wondering why I was so upset and fearful.  Thank you, Father, for always being my rock.

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. ~Psalms 27:5 KJV