I am increasingly alarmed at the level of vicious criticism aimed at our current U.S. President. It is a national shame. Church, we are tasked to pray for our governing leaders. Way back in the Old Testament of the Bible, there was a similar situation brewing. Continue reading →
Tired of living a powerless life? Is being part of the “I’m OK-You’re OK-Anything Goes-Kumbaya” church getting you down? Well, God wants us to be living victoriously. How?
The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the church at Ephesus about Christian living and then expands his directives beyond the believers at Ephesus to include the whole world! (US!) How amazing is that?
Paul says the only way we can be confused, powerless, or snared by temptation is when we do not connect with God through His Word. During his imprisonment at Rome (AD. 60-62) he wrote:
¹ºFinally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. ¹¹Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ¹²For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ¹³Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.~ Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
What “evil day” is Paul is talking about?
At least, every day has the potential. Spiritual warfare exists today just as it did in Paul’s time. Unless a believer makes a deathbed confession, repents, and accepts Jesus as Savior, it is highly unlikely that any living believer escapes daily spiritual attack or testing. Don’t try to face evil alone! Get prepped up! Verses 14 through 20 give more detail about God’s armor:
Wrap Truth about our waist
Righteousness is our breastplate
Wear shoes of the gospel of peace
Faith is our shield to douse the flaming arrows of Satan (ABOVE ALL in importance)
Salvation is our helmet
God’s Word is our sword of The Spirit
Pray in the Spirit to persevere and be watchful toward all the brethren
See, if we don’t read our Bibles, we won’t recognize evil when it comes sneaking into our lives, our church, and our nation. We will not watch and pray for Jesus to return soon for His church. We will follow the world and fall into sin. We will not recognize Truth; our shoes will carry us away from situations of sharing our faith and toward sharing gossip or other sin. We will forget to pray; therefore, we will be weak and unfit for duty as God’s ambassador. We may lose our ability to speak boldly against satanic alignments. The list goes on …
Sometimes we can feel defeated or powerless. That means we are human. That is why our Father God has given us all we need for defense. Prepare according to His Word and then take the matter to Him!
“Heavenly Father, all praise, Praise, PRAISE TO YOU TODAY!!! Even though nothing is working for me, I have girded myself with Your whole armor as best as I know how. I read Your Word, and pray for understanding. The enemy seems to follow my trail and won’t be shaken. I turn around now and just face the evil day in Your strength. Help me to stand. Thank you in the Name of Jesus (Yeshua), Amen!”
“1I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. ~ I Timothy 2:1-2 NLT (emphasis added)
Acts Chapter 13:
The Holy Spirit sent the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey away from Jerusalem to the island of Cyprus. When they reached the town of Paphos, they encountered a Jewish sorcerer named Bar-Jesus (Elymas in the Greek). He was also known in the Bible as a false prophet who was very close to the governor. Elymas interfered with the witness of Paul and Barnabas by keeping them away from the governor. Elymas feared that the governor was a very intelligent man and may become a believer if told the truth about Jesus. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and stared Elymas down; then called upon God to strike the man blind so they could continue their mission. His prayer was answered instantly and the man was blinded. Elymas begged for bystanders to lead him away from the embarrassing scene.
Evidently the governor was watching the whole thing from a safe distance. He was so shocked by what he saw that he became a believer in Jesus. He had not heard the Gospel teaching about Jesus before this time; or had discounted it as being untrue.
This is a great example of why we should pray for our leaders. Prayer changes things, Amen? Not only will things get better in our nation, but as a result of prayers and spiritual support, some leaders may become believers like the governor of Paphos. Do not be discouraged that all of our leaders do not become believers. Leave that in God’s hands. That is what Paul had to do later in the town of Caesarea. Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem and after declaring himself to be a Roman Citizen, Paul demanded a trial in Rome.
Acts Chapters 23 & 24:
While being transported as a prisoner to Rome, Paul was taken as far as Caesarea and left there in prison to await further passage to Rome.
In the meantime, Paul was able to witness about Jesus to Governor Felix and his Jewish wife, Drusilla. Now Felix was very familiar with the Gospel of Christ, and he became fearful of Paul. Instead of embracing the Lord Jesus as his Savior, Felix sent Paul back to his prison cell. Two years passed, until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus. The new governor also heard Paul’s legal defense as well as Paul’s testimony of Jesus; as did the visiting King Agrippa, and the king’s sister, Bernice. In summation, Paul literally gave an altar call to the Governor and royal guests,
“27King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do – “
28Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”
29Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”
30Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.
~ Acts 26:27-30 NLT
So not everyone will immediately embrace our testimony as truth when we witness – even our leaders; but we can still pray for them, as Paul did.
It is importantstuff to pray for our leaders. Why?
3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,
5There is one God, and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.
My college economics professor let it be known on the first day that there would be no excused absences in his class. He stated that being absent was an automatic course drop and therefore an incomplete grade – a horror in 1969.
Of course there are always the exceptions …
“I have heard every phony excuse there is for missing my class. Don’t do it! There are only two legitimate reasons for missing my class per semester:”
“You got married”
Naturally, about two weeks later I missed class. As I approached him timidly about it, he said, “WELL, I SEE YOU AREN’T DEAD, SO BRING ME YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE.”
I felt like saluting as I said, “YES SIR!” and hurriedly escaped to obey his command (Yes, I was just married).
Over the coming months all went well, even though it soon became painfully obvious that econ was not my forte. However, one fateful day I missed class again. I was terrified to approach his desk. Did I mention that I was diligently striving for at least a 3.5 GPA; and this problem was not supposed to be part of the picture?
As I opened my mouth to blurt my excuse he cut me off with, “I SEE YOU ARE NOT DEAD AND YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED ONCE PER SEMESTER. YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED!!!”
I instantly teared up and flushed beet red. I backed up and headed for the open doorway …
“ER … HOWEVER, I HAVE HEARD IT ALL, BUT TELL ME. IF I’VE NEVER HEARD YOURS, IT MAY EARN YOU AN EXCUSED ABSENCE.”
Did I hear him right? I could possibly get a reprieve? I blew my nose and tried to talk, but nothing came out. I cleared my throat and managed, “My clothes were stolen.”
“WHAT?” he roared. He was glaring, and then his eyes widened in disbelief.
“TELL ME ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW!”
Jesus, help me! I was about to collapse from fear or heat stroke on the linoleum floor. Remember the old kind with square linoleum tiles the janitors used to mop with chlorine bleach-water and then wax and buff with that big machine every night? Yes, that floor. I was hot and tired from an hour of gym class; running downhill to go home to change; and running back uphill in temperature of 100⁰+F.
He had kindled hope, so I rallied with the truth.
“I have gym class before econ and when I went back to my locker after showering my clothes were gone – stolen. I had to run home in my gym shorts; change; and by the time I got back, class was over. So here I am – dressed but missed class,” I stammered.
“I am so sorry,” I trailed off as I realized I was not that sorry. Had he heard this before? Locker thieves were evidently on the loose. Had this happened to anyone else yet? I was thirsty. I searched his face … no reaction. Nothing. His face was frozen in a peculiar questioning grimace. I hung my head.
All of a sudden he belly-laughed. He roared out, “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! THAT’S A FIRST.”
“ABSENCE IS EXCUSED!”
I was about to faint from thirst and relief.
“DON’T DIE THIS SEMESTER!”
Seriously? So now you know why I couldn’t die that semester.
Over time I realize that our Heavenly Father doesn’t appreciate excuses for not showing up for class either. He has generously given life, clothing, and our beautiful earth to sustain us. We can repent from sin; marry Jesus once this semester; and escape the everlasting death part.
“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” ~ Romans 14:12 NKJV
Enjoy the holidays and remember: DON’T DIE THIS SEMESTER!
As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times. The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed. He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.
7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV
Every heart of every person is driven by love. Yes, even the wicked love something.
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice. We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology. Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself. Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom. Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth. He will reign with strong power over evil. As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.
Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies. If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now. Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.
Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth. In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV