Monthly Archives: August 2021

The End

Books, novels, and movies have an ending. When I was in High School, college, and a young adult I read a lot of novels. I used to go to the last chapter of the book and read it first so I knew how it ended as I was reading the story. That sort of takes the suspense out of the story, and most don’t do that, I couldn’t help myself.

One-third of the Bible is prophecy, and much of the prophecies in the Bible tell us what the end of the story is. I read and study the prophetic books and passages a lot, I read many books and commentaries written about those prophetic books in the Bible, and I listen to teaching and sermons on prophecy.

There is a lot of weird and goofy teaching about end-time events on the internet that comes from poor hermeneutics and a hyper-imagination by the authors or speakers that is said to come from the Holy Spirit.

One thing is clear to me as I read and study the book of Revelation, Daniel, and the other prophetic books in the Bible; we are getting close to the end of the story. The end is relative because time is such a non-issue with God, but nevertheless, I believe we are in the last chapter of God’s plan for this earth.

One clear aspect of the end is the acceleration of events, things will happen, and change will occur faster and faster. I don’t know how things could be happening any faster than they already are, but I bet they do.

All stories have a plot, a theme that all events revolve around. God’s plan from the very beginning of the story has been to create a family, a family of God that would live with Him forever. Every person who has ever lived and is alive now is either in the family of God or not.

So, the most important question for anybody, for everybody to ask themselves is, “Am I in God’s family?” Those people who are not in his family when the end comes have a very sad ending to their story. The answer to the question needs to be based on what God requires as revealed in the Bible, not our personal opinions.

Top doctor: Mass vaccination program for COVID will be ‘one of the most deadly’ in history – LifeSite

Texas cardiologist and leading medical expert Dr. Peter McCullough recently criticized the mass COVID vaccination program in the U.S., saying that it ‘will go down as one of the most deadly, one of the most injurious and costly in human history.’ 
— Read on www.lifesitenews.com/news/doctor-covid-vaccination-program-most-deadly-in-history/

Beheaded

I got several prayer requests tonight from several people from locations around the world to pray for hundreds of Christians in Afghanistan who are scheduled to be martyred by the Taliban for their Christian faith tomorrow by being beheaded. As I read the various reports and requests for prayer for these people I felt myself sliding into a blue funk, a melancholy sadness over the state of the world and our own country. It seems like the “bad guys” are winning, and it isn’t supposed to happen that way.

I didn’t watch a single minute of the Olympics this year, and watching the Olympics and rooting for American athletes used to be one of my favorite things to do. I don’t watch football, baseball, basketball, professional or college anymore either. Watching or reading the news is depressing. It seems like kindergartners are running our country. It seems that if I want to feel good about our country I need to watch an old documentary on the “Battle of Midway.”

But then I did what I normally do when I find myself in a blue funk, I read the Bible. Here are some passages that I read.

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Psalms 2:1-5 Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury.

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Five Guaranteed Answers to Prayer

God will always answer the person asking for strength and power to live for God, to overcome sin, and to bear much fruit.

God loves to give wisdom to the person who knows he needs more so that he can talk and act in a way that attracts people to Jesus.

God gives joy to those who serve Him well, to those who are relentlessly pursuing righteousness.

There are very few people living around us who have prefect peace in the midst of the current craziness. I do, because God gives me peace because I ask for it and pray about anything that stresses me.

Those are four requests that God will always answer; strength, wisdom, joy, and peace. If those qualities are yours and increasing, you will be a difference-maker for God in the world today.

A fifth prayer request that God will always answer is the request for something to do that matters, that makes a huge difference in the world. An open door to an opportunity to bear much fruit for God. We are God’s children, the Holy Spirit lives in is, we were created and saved for good works.

But the sad truth is that very few Christians will ever do anything with their life that matters, that makes an eternal difference. The reason is that most believers are so entangled in the affairs of everyday life that they have no desire left do do something great with their life, and their prayers are seldom “give me something to do that matters, ” but instead their prayers are “take away the problems and trials in my life and give me comfort.” Those two prayer requests are incompatible with each other.

Freedom from Worry

God will give strength to those who love Him and ask for strength, every time, the more we ask the more He will give. God loves to give His strength to those who are His disciples, who know that apart from Him, they can do nothing, but with His power, they can do all things that are His will for their life.

Knowing exactly what to do and say in any circumstance that you find yourself in is an amazing gift. God loves go give His wisdom to those who know they need it and who ask in desperation.

If you have God’s strength, and God’s wisdom there isn’t much you can’t do, and there aren’t many problems you can’t solve, so bring it on Lord.

When I am feeling down, discouraged, afraid, like a failure, and tired I pray a simple little prayer, “ Dear Lord, in Your presence is fulness of joy, You give joy so would you give me some joy right now, would you lift my spirits.” God answers that prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 is one of the great promises in the Bible, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Basically this verse says that if you are uptight, worried, anxious, or stressed about anything, pray about it and God will give peace. Not just any kind of peace, but a peace that that is beyond comprehension. One of the ways I determine if I am praying enough is whether I am fretting about anything. Occasionally I will say to someone in conversation, “I have zero anxiety or fretting in my life about anything.” The look that I often get is the same as if I said, “I caught 100 trout today and they were all over 24 inches.”

Tuna Fishing

I went a tuna fishing with a friend who had a big boat and lots of experience. We went all day Friday and Saturday, and caught lots of tuna, especially today. I didn’t get the final count but I think it was close to 40 fish. We motored a long way out into the ocean taking several hours both ways until we got to warm water where the tuna hang out. Those fish really fight, and I worked up a sweat reeling them in. It was an extremely fun couple of days fishing. I had never been tuna fishing before and I have had it as a goal for the last couple of years. I can check that one off my goal list for the year, though I won’t turn down another opportunity to go again. Tonight I am filleting the tuna I kept, they call it “carking.” I watched several Youtube videos and now I am an accomplished “carker!” or whatever it would be called. One of my annual goals is to learn something that I have never learned before so now that I have learned how to cark a tuna I can cross that goal off as well.

Doing new things and learning new skills is one of the things that I enjoy very much. “Enjoy” that means I felt joy from an experience. Is that ligitamit? Sure it is!

1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

God brings enjoyable experiences and things into our life as a gift, and we praise Him and thank Him, but He also, brings trials and hard times into our life, and He expects us to trust Him, not whine, and rejoice.

Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

Today was fun; tomorrow might be sad; rejoice always, have fun and grow to be like Jesus.

God Gives Joy

Who does God give joy to?

1. God gives joy to those who seek him, who seek to know Him, who seek His presence, and who seek His face.

Psalms 16:11 In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalms 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;

Isaiah 9:3 You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest,

Psalms 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”

Psalms 105:4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

Psalms 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

-We seek God by reading His Word and spending time with Him in prayer.

2. God gives joy to those who rejoice always despite their circumstances and emotions as an act of obedience to Him. We can choose to be controlled by our circumstances by acting the way we feel, or we can choose to rejoice no matter what and feel the way we act.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

– God will reward the act of rejoicing with joy, He will put joy in us.

Psalms 4:7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

3. God gives joy to those who declare that they don’t need anything but God to have joy.

Psalms 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

– The world has brainwashed us into thinking that we need certain things to be happy. We need to reprogram our brains so that we believe the truth.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

When I am fishing and catching no fish I can become irritated, discontent, and very unhappy. But if I tell myself repeatedly, over and over again, “Dear Lord, thank You for the privilege of being able to fish, thank You for this time in Your creation, You are my joy, I do not need to catch fish to be happy.”I am soon feeling good and blessed by God.

4. God gives joy to those who ask Him for His joy to fill their heart. The more we ask, the more God gives. My prayer often goes like this, “Dear Lord, I am in a blue funk right now because of life, would You put your joy in me, I believe You are the source of joy, I desire nothing besides You.”

Joy, Joy, Joy

Everybody has as their greatest desire in life to have joy. All of the many other desires in life we pursue because we believe they will give us joy. People covet money because they believe the result of having lots of money will be joy. They pursue healthy relationships because they believe the result will be great joy. Oh to be happy!

What will it take for each of us to be a happy person most of the time? We all have our internal list of circumstances and possesions that we believe are the fulfillment of our joy need

The Bible says that joy comes from God, it is God’s reward for pleasing Him. He gives great joy and He takes it away.

When we recognize that God is the source of real joy, not the world, and seek it from him we will discover that God is very generous.

Guaranteed Answers to Prayer

Yesterday I wrote about the first prayer request that God will always answer for those who are sincere and love Him. That first request is for strength, God is infinitely powerful and He loves to give His strength to those who ask, and the more we ask the more we receive. Paul commanded Timothy to be strong, he commanded Titus to be strong, Moses over a dozen times commands Joshua to be strong. Samson is a great story about the victories of a strong man put in the Bible to inspire us. Who cares how tough life is if we have supernatural strength from God.

A second guaranteed answer to prayer is the prayer for wisdom. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Now that is a cool promise. Proverbs 2:3-5 says, “For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.”

I define wisdom as “knowing what to do and say in any situation in which God sovereignty puts us in, ” When it comes to fixing things and making situations positive nothing is so valuable as wisdom. We all attempt to change the world into a more functional place, but so many people keep making stupid choices and decisions that chaos reigns.

When Solomon asked for wisdom from God he was filled with God’s wisdom almost immediately. In the context of the story, it says that Solomon’s request pleased God, and when we repeatedly ask for wisdom, God gives it to us.

Besides much asking there are two requirements to much wisdom coming from God into our minds. The first is humility; that is, we regard ourselves as being dumber than a fence post and desperately needing more wisdom.

The second is that we are “wisdom seekers,” always reading, asking questions, and learning from others. Proverbs says that if we seek wisdom like gold, we will find it.

Think about my definition, “knowing what to do and say in any and every situation, ” that sounds so powerful, so influential, so in charge instead of being a victim.